Rapture Shock: Postmillennialists and Amillennialists :: By Kit R. Olsen

Postmillennialists teach that Christians will create a Golden Age on earth, gradually defeating the forces of evil. They believe they can help usher in a beautiful peaceful world of Christian dominance, and after that—Jesus Christ will return and establish His eternal kingdom. Considering the intense anti-Christian sentiments throughout the world, which continue to increase day by day, perhaps the Postmillennialists should reconsider their theology. Not only is their theory unrealistic and unattainable, it cannot be substantiated with Scripture.

Those who believe in Postmillennialism call themselves Reconstructionists, and also label it Dominion Theology. They generally do not interpret Scripture literally, which means that their interpretation of Scripture is greatly flawed.

Many who adhere to Postmillennialism teachings also accept certain ideas within Preterism, believing that many of the prophecies of the last days have already been fulfilled. The doctrine of Preterism denies the future literal fulfillment of key prophetic Scriptures—the Rapture, the Tribulation and the Lord’s Second Coming. It also rejects a literal millennial kingdom. The belief that Christians will someday establish a theocracy on earth is an inconceivable idea, especially in light of the growing worldwide hatred toward Bible-believing Christianity.

For the last one hundred years the influence of Christians has waned greatly. However, the power of the major false religions (Roman Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age Spirituality) have increased significantly along with atheism and humanism. The popular accepted “politically correct” religions will merge into a one-world ecumenical religious system led by the False Prophet during the seven-year Tribulation.

The forces of darkness have strengthened their control over nations all throughout the world. A rapid movement in the last century was initiated, consolidating the power of Satan’s henchmen among governments worldwide—through the creation of numerous political and economic  organizations. That intense effort is growing stronger in this century with no signs of slowing. A one-world government, economy and religion under the power of Satan is inevitable—just as the Bible teaches (Revelation chapters 13 and 17).

Amillennialism is a erroneous doctrine which denies that there will be a literal Rapture, a literal seven-year Tribulation and a literal millennial kingdom—over which Jesus Christ the Messiah will rule on earth for 1000-years.

Amillennialists teach that the 1000 years cited six times in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number. In the early 5th century, Augustine, a philosopher and theologian, wrote in his book The City of God that the book of Revelation “is a spiritual allegory.” He saw the millennial kingdom as being primarily the reign of Christ in the hearts of the faithful and that Christ’s reign on earth is spiritual in nature.

Roman Catholicism gleaned a great deal from Augustine’s writings even to the point of sometimes being referred to as the “Father of Roman Catholicism.” His contributions to Catholic doctrine include his belief in the necessity of infant baptism, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. All very disturbing blasphemous teachings. The Roman Catholic Church also claims to be the “kingdom of God on earth” and the “new Israel.” [1]

Amillennialism was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church and also by most of the Reformers who did not reject all of the unsound doctrines of the Church of Rome. A few of the early Church fathers of the first and second centuries believed in Amillennialism, but none of the writings of those few men have survived—so there is no definitive record of their beliefs except for references made in the writings of Justin Martyr (100-165 AD).

The vast majority of the early Church fathers taught that there would be a 1000-year millennial kingdom with Jesus at the helm. Only a small number of them rejected a literal kingdom: Clement of Alexandria, Caius, Origen and Dionysius. The latter two are considered to have been heretics. It was not until Augustine (354-430 A.D.) began to write on his views of eschatology that the belief in a spiritual, and not a literal millennial kingdom took hold.

The skewed teaching of Amillennialism does not make sense; it denies the literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is inconceivable that God would fulfill all the prophecies of the Messiah’s First Coming in a literal manner, and then have most of the prophecies of His Second Coming fulfilled in an allegorical (spiritual) manner.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

One must ask who is more trustworthy concerning doctrine—the Roman Catholic Church which teaches Amillennialism and other extra-biblical doctrines, or Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophets, the Apostles and the early Church fathers?

The Reformers held onto Amillenialism when they split from the Roman Catholic Church just as they retained a number of other false doctrines, such as the teaching of purgatory. Amillennialists deny that the Antichrist will be a real man and they deny a literal Tribulation period. They do this by twisting the passage in Daniel that describes the Antichrist and the Tribulation (Daniel 9:25-27).

Amillennialists argue that the “anointed one, the prince” in verse 25 and the “anointed one” in verse 26 is Jesus (which is correct), but  say that the “prince” in verse 26 refers to Titus. They also claim that the word “he” in verse 27 is Jesus who made a covenant with Israel at the beginning of His ministry and broke it after 3½ years. They say the “one that maketh desolate” in verse 27 was Titus.

Such an interpretation is clumsy and implausible. It is impossible by all rules of grammar for the word “he” in verse 27 to refer back to the “anointed one” of verses 25 and 26. The “he” in verse 27 can only refer back to the “prince” of verse 26 which clearly states, “the prince that shall come” (Antichrist).

Another insurmountable problem with this interpretation is that Jesus did not make a covenant with Israel when He began His ministry; Titus did not make a covenant with Israel, and neither did anyone else in the first century A.D. The Antichrist  (“the man of sin”) who is prophesied to come in the future will make a covenant with Israel and later break it:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV).

“And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26 ASV).

“And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27 ASV).

The Church fathers who taught that there will be a literal millennial kingdom were Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Polycarp, Ignatius, Papias, Pothinus, Justin Martyr, Melito, Hegisippus, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Apollinaris, Cyprian, Commodian, Nepos, Coracion, Victorinus, Methodius and Lactantius (Chafer, Lewis Sperry, Systematic Theology, Vol. 4, p. 271-274). At the Nicene Council, “318 bishops from all parts of the earth placed themselves on record” in believing in a literal millennial kingdom (Ibid., p. 275).

Additionally, at the Nicene Council, “318 bishops from all parts of the earth placed themselves on record” in believing in a literal millennial  kingdom (Ibid., p. 275). The teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter is wrong. The Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ, the Apostles and the early Church fathers are right that there will be a millennial kingdom.

Postmillennialists and Amillennialists use the same method of study. They insert into the text a meaning that is simply not there. They make the text say what they want it to say, rather than accepting what the text itself says.

Common sense and careful biblical exegesis cannot support a mythical spiritual utopia (an allegorical millennial kingdom), and the other flawed teachings that Postmellinialists and Amillennialists embrace as truth. When the Rapture takes place, those who hold to those positions will be shocked.

Endnotes

[1] Israel’s Guaranteed Future Glory, page 18, May 2017, World Bible Society

References

  1. Revelation God’s Greatest Triumph, World Bible Society, March 31, 2017
  2. http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-15/augustines-millenial-views.html
  3. https://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/a/augustine.html
  4. 4.Longfield, Bradley J. (2000). “For Church and Country: The Fundamentalist-Modernist Conflict in the Presbyterian Church.” The Journal of Presbyterian History 78 (1): 35

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Kit R. Olsen is General Editor, Featured Writer, and staff writer for Rapture Ready; also a Christian book editor and Christian author. All proceeds from her books are used for evangelism,  not personal monetary gain. You can find some of Kit’s books at Barnes & Noble and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kit-R.-Olsen/e/B00E1QNXYY