Amillennialism

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“Surely the eyes of the LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth–yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. “For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:8-10 NIV)

Reading Revelation invokes a promised blessing. We are doubly blessed if we take the prophecy to heart. The reason why is given: “Because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3).

Past the middle of the book is a warning that needs to be taken to heart. It involves an evil figure who will dominate the landscape.

“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Rev. 13:7-10 NIV)

Here we have in the Word of God a book to which the Lord has attached blessings and curses (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). In it we are forewarned of an unparalleled disaster and time of distress for the saints. The problem is this: The Church is populated with Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) and Amillennialist teachers who make irrelevant the above prophecy. Many, if not most of the PTR promoters, tell their flock the rapture occurs at the beginning of Revelation 4. They say that in verse 1 a voice calls to John, “Come up here.” So that is it. That’s the rapture in the Bible’s last book. (TV Pastor and evangelist John Hagee is prominent among this group.)

In other words, Pastor Hagee’s flock is supposedly gone before the opening of the seven seals in Chapter 6 and assuredly absent when the antichrist rules in Chapter 13. Those following this Christian teacher–and others like him–have become convinced Christians will not be overtaken by disaster. They believe they will be in heaven wearing crowns after Chapter 4. Then who are “the saints” in 13:7? Who are “the saints” “killed with the sword” in Revelation 13:10?

Though Amillennialists often scoff at the PTR crowd, they are really in the same boat. Little attention is paid by this segment of Christianity to prophecy period. Though, infrequently, they may cherry-pick a verse from Revelation to buttress their teaching, they more or less erase all the warnings. How so? By declaring that Revelation is an allegory or symbolic. Millions of Christians under their influence have swallowed the lie that “Disaster will not meet us.”

What does God call his people who reject a literal judgment or a physical Coming of Christ? Through the prophet Amos, He calls them “sinners”. (See Amos 9:10 at top)

Of course, an Amillennialist could try to make “die by the sword” symbolic. A symbolic sword won’t hurt so much. For my Bible-believing PTR Christian brothers and sisters, I go to my knees. Please, please, question your false prophet teachers. Prepare for the day of disaster before you taste the blade.

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“…so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NIV)

For over 470 years, Calvin’s “Institutes” has served as a textbook for students of Systematic Theology. It has guided a major branch of Protestantism on God’s Sovereignty, Christ’s salvation, and a host of other doctrinal points. It might be surprising that a minute fraction of “Institutes” is dedicated to the subject of God’s sovereignty in prophecy Revelation (cf. 11:15-18).

My answer as to why prophecy was nearly irrelevant to Calvin, Luther, Knox and other great Christian Reformers, is this: Their teaching had another purpose. The Spirit veiled their minds. Only now, in the latter days, are the prophets’ words being unsealed. Those receiving insight today are motivated by the same Spirit that stirred Daniel to read Jeremiah (cf. Dan. 9:1-3). Those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying have focused their attention on Christ’s repeated admonition, “I am coming soon!” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20)

So shall the Lord’s word be that came from his mouth. He is coming soon! Tragically, multiplied millions of Christians following the instruction of the Great Reformers and their disciples, do not believe what Jesus has said. Teachers who are steeped in Calvinism have erased the plain meaning of foretold events by rejecting a literal interpretation of Scripture and injecting symbolism. They refuse to examine prophecy in its context or compare a passage with all other relevant passages. This highly intellectual, academically-trained multitude forgo accuracy by ignoring the near/far prophetic in Scripture. One could say they have thrown out the major rules for Bible interpretation to promote their theology.

Beginning with the 4th century and St. Augustine, Christians began to fall in love with human reasoning, intellect and thoughts. With all his brilliance, Augustine had also developed an antisemitic theology. (I have written of this at length in Key 22 of “The People of God”.)

“Amillennialism”, the widely-held view that the Millennium, Christ’s thousand-year reign (Rev. 20:4-6, Acts 1:6), is not a literal future event, came about by Augustine’s influence. Christ’s coming was to be understood only in spiritual terms. As a result, the Catholics and mainline Protestants Augustine influenced have embraced an “allegorical” (a good vs. evil tale) view of Revelation and prophecy.

Augustine’s anti-Jew sentiments gave birth to “Replacement Theology”. As far as God’s promises to Jacob’s offspring are concerned, the inheritance now belongs to Gentile Christians.

Catholics and Protestants have been guilty of terrible atrocities against the House of Judah. This is attributable to their Satanically-inspired belief that God has forever cursed the Jew. Within a segment of Presbyterianism, a virile strain of hatred for Israel exists. Their god is indeed antisemitic.

Lord, deliver your people from this and other lies. Open the ears and eyes of your true saints before it is too late. As you did with Simon, rebuke these misguided teachers. They do not utter the Father’s thoughts nor do they express his heart. Instead, they exalt the ideas of men (Matt. 16:23).

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“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Recently, family friend Carol, a retired professor, sat with my sister Marilyn and I. She described the available sources for uncovering our ancestors. This was interesting, but I realized I wasn’t there to learn about my great-great grand-uncle. God wanted me to receive an insight into prophecy.

When Carol, cautioned not to trust every leaf of information, I leaned forward. “I’ve found out the hard way people can enter wrong data,” she said. “I may practice due diligence, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does.” Her next statement startled me: “You have to develop critical thinking skills! Though a credible source may pass it on and many others accept it, it is possible that it’s not true.” Our mentor added, “Two things have served me well: I have a detective mentality plus I’m trained in history and geography.”

I was struck by the connection between ancestry and prophecy. “Critical thinking”, “due diligence”, “credible sources presenting false leads” are concepts I use to discover future events.

Most likely, we have a “doctrinal” family tree. It descends from our teachers. We may be Pre-millennial, viewing prophecy literally, because our tutor was a literalist. Perhaps our Amillennial pastor gave a convincing argument why Bible prophecy should be treated as allegory. In fact, we may have adopted their “Preterist” belief that all prophecy has been fulfilled.

Pre-Millennialism and Amillennialism cannot both be right. We must do our research. Trace your branch as far back as it will go. Regardless how esteemed our Christian mentors, only one position leads to the root of God’s Word. Amillennialism can be traced back to the notable St. Augustine. It stops with this 4th century theological giant who was sold on replacing Israel, the people, with the Church. Pre-Tribulation Rapturism’s branch (PTR) is very popular. This, despite historical evidence its leaf suddenly appears in the early 19th century. (See Lifesaver, #22, “Charge!”)

My branch is Pre-Wrath Rapture (PWR), an end-time doctrine expounded on by Van Kampen and Rosenthal. My detective work and knowledge of history and geography has removed doubts. PWR descended from the prophets and apostles. What does your research tell you?

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There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)

Ever wonder how we come up with the things we do? Recent conversations left me scratching my head. How did this person develop his belief that Genesis was written by men? This young man said he believed in Jesus and loves him. He also said the Bible’s earliest chapters are myth. “What about Carbon-Dating?” he charged. “Using this proven method, we have fossils hundreds of millions of years old.” I sensed an opening for later, so I encouraged him to stay open-minded.

In doctor-like fashion, I listened in order to diagnose the problem. I asked myself, “Why the strong negative reaction to Genesis 1-3?” I’ve heard similar objections. He didn’t think of the Carbon-Dating argument on his own. Cynics had fed him “the Evolution lie”.

Earlier, I spoke with a well-educated, personable young man; knowledgeable in the Scriptures and raised in the church. Our discussion focused on The Book of Revelation. I knew he had objections to my Pre-Wrath Rapture position, so I assumed his orientation was Pre-Tribulational (PTR). I should have asked more diagnostic questions.

His is another contagious malady. He didn’t believe a physical temple would be built at the end of this age. In fact, “Jesus’ return”, he offered confidently, “is spiritual. Christ now reigns over the earth in the spirit.” The Millennium, oh yes, according to him it is a spiritual concept. His take on Revelation is that it is allegory.

It all sounded familiar. Symptoms lead us to the disorder. In his case it is Amillennialism. He never thought on his own to spiritualize Bible prophecy. This thought came from his Amillenialist teachers. I know because I, too, once sipped their poisoned Kool-Ade.

Both men love the Lord, yet they reject the Bible’s version of the beginning or the end. Who originated the attack on Genesis and Revelation? Read what was spoken in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from the tree in the garden’?” Who first cast doubt on God’s Word? (“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.)

See why the devil hates Genesis 3? It exposes his crafty scheme.

See why the enemy attacks Revelation. Satan wants us corrupted into unbelief by man’s thoughts (Matthew 16:23).

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