FAQ :: What is Amillennialism?

This doctrine denies that there is a literal Rapture, a seven-year Tribulation and a literal kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule on earth for 1000 years. It teaches that the 1000 years mentioned 6 times in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number. Augustine wrote in his book, The City of God, that the book of Revelation is a spiritual allegory, and that the Millennial Kingdom began with the church, and Christ’s reign on earth is spiritual in nature. Amillennialism holds that Christ’s reign during the millennium is spiritual in nature. This erroneous theology was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church and also by most of the Reformers who could not reject all of the confusing convoluted doctrines of the Church of Rome.

A few of the early church fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries believed in Amillennialism, but none of their writings are extant. There are a few references to their beliefs in the writings of Justin Martyr (100-165 AD). The vast majority of the early church fathers taught that there would be a Millennial Kingdom. Only a handful 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 the Catholic Church bishop Augustine (354-430 AD), began to write on eschatology that the belief in a spiritual Millennial Kingdom took hold. He was a faithful Roman Catholic priest who held to all of the false doctrines of the church, including the damnable doctrine of Purgatory. The Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and most of the Reformed denominations teach that doctrine.

Amillennialism denies the literal fulfillment of the prophecies of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 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 manner.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever” (Hebrews 13.8).

One must ask who is more trustworthy concerning doctrine: the false Roman Catholic Church, which invented Amillennialism, or the Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophets, the apostles and the early Church fathers? The Reformers merely held on to that doctrine when they split from the Catholic Church just as some did with other false doctrines such as infant baptism.

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 (9.25-27). They argue that the ‘anointed one,’ the ‘prince’ in verse 25 and the ‘anointed one’ in verse 26 is Jesus (which is correct), but the ‘prince’ in verse 26 was Titus. They also claim that the ‘he’ in verse 27 is Jesus who made a covenant with Israel at the beginning of His ministry and broke it after 3½ years. The ‘one that maketh desolate’ in verse 27 was Titus.

It is creative exegesis, but it is not correct. It is impossible, by all rules of grammar, for the “he” in verse 27 to refer back to the “anointed one” of verses 25 and 26. It can only refer back to the “prince” of verse 26. Another insurmountable problem with this clumsy exegetical trick 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 1st century AD that could be a fulfillment of this prophecy. The Antichrist who is to come in the future will make that covenant.

Amillennialists think the false religion of Roman Catholicism got it right, while the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Christ, the apostles and the early church fathers got it wrong. 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).