John Calvin believed in Amillennialism as do the Roman Catholic Church

St Augustine and John Calvin - AmillennialismAmillennialism

Is the idea that there will not be a future literal 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth.  (Revelation 20:1-6). The Latin prefix a means “no” while the term millennium is Latin for 1000 years – Amillennialism thus meaning “no 1000 years”.

The term Amillennialism denies the actual presence of a future literal 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth after the second coming of Christ, where as Premillennialists believe this is still to happen.  Having said that, Amillennialists do have their own version of what they believe the millennum to be;  it’s what they reject though, and that is the idea of a future literal 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth.

According to Amillennialists, their version of the millennium is our currently present age, before the return of Jesus Christ.  So the millennium or Kingdom of Kingdom of God if you will is right now, as we speak, being fulfilled spiritually.

Amillennialists will tell you that their millennium began with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and will end when Jesus returns again to establish the Eternal Kingdom that is spoken of in Revelation 21-22.

Satan is currently bound and Christians believe it or not are enjoying the benefits of living in the millennium and that the Saints are reigning in heaven.   They also claim that 1000 years is an indefinite period of time and is not a literal 1000 years, so when does their millennium end?  Well your guess is as good as mine.

During this millennial time-period there are trials and tribulations, even though Jesus and His saints are ruling from heaven.  Jesus will then return to earth again of which there will be a resurrection of all the saints and judgement will take place.  Then the Eternal Kingdom will begin.

Premillennialism (belief in the Rapture) was the predominant view for the first 300 years of church history.  I have been told so many times that this is not true, and that the Rapture is a new teaching.  I have also been told that the Roman Catholic church hold to the teaching of the Rapture, but this is completely false.  The Roman Catholic Church are AMILLENNIAL.

Saint Augustine (354-540) is often referred to as the FATHER OF AMILLENNIALISM.  He abandoned the correct Premillennial teaching for a false Amillennial teaching.  It was Augustine who falsely interpreted Mark 3:37 to be a ‘present age’ binding of Satan.  (If only someone had bound Augustine, we would not be in this mess).  St. Augustine viewed the Catholic Church to be the visible form of the Kingdom of God.  Augustine saw that the millennial reign of Christ was taking place IN and THROUGH the church (including all it’s creeds, sacraments, offices, etc, etc, etc).  In his book, City of God, Augustine promoted and praised Amillennialism.

Because of Augustine, Amillennialism quickly became the NEW view of the church.  It was then later adopted by Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin.  Some Anabaptists continued to hold onto Premillennialism.

Premillennialism thankfully experienced a huge resurgence over the last 250 years, but still to this day comes under fire.  Unfortunately the Word of Faith movement got hold of this teaching and because of this Premillennialism takes another beating.

Amillennialism is the official position of the Roman Catholic church, and is held by many Lutherans, and Reformers. The Roman Catholic church’s rapture is at the end of their millennium.


Early history regarding Premillennialism.

D. T. Taylor tell us that the earliest denouncement of Chiliasm was in A.D. 373 by Pope Damascus.  [1]  C. Cooper notes that, “From the third to the fifth centuries Chiliasm was vigorously fought and ruthlessly put down, although it was not officially declared a heresy. It was all really rather awkward, because previously nearly everybody of note had been a Chiliast… Between Chiliasm and the charge of heresy stands the canonization of Justin the Martyr and Irenaeus.” [2]

So as we can see Premillennialism is not a new idea.  It might seem new to some only because the gospel truth is shining it’s light out in the open again after being trampled upon by the Roman Catholic Church.


[1] C. Cooper, “Chiliasm and the Chiliasts,” Reformed Theological Review 29 (1970): 12
[2] D. T. Taylor, The Voice of the Church on the Coming and Kingdom of the Redeemer; or, A History of the Doctrine of the Reign of Christ on Earth, rev. and ed. H. L. Hastings (Peace Dale, RI: H. L. Hastings, 1855), 115.


Deborah (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded by Deborah du Rand in 2008. Tom Lessing joined Deborah in May 2013. Tom Lessing founded the website “Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray” which was closed in 2013 and articles moved across to DTW.

29 Responses

  1. Christiaan says:

    Hi Deborah
    just to let you know that I have found more information on CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM, have mailed you. Maybe an article on it on this site? Regards, Jaco

  2. Bland says:

    Interesting article, Calvin is primarily an a-millennialism because the two arguments cancel each other out, both pre-millennialism and post-millennialism have about equal weight in any discussions of the subject. For this reason I never debate the subject as people are fixed in the groove and it s not for me to shake them out of that groove over a non salvic issue.

  3. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Um, what exactly is your point? Calvinism is a SALVIC issue because TULIP produces nothing but a false salvation.

  4. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:


    Um, what exactly is your point? Calvinism is a SALVIC issue because TULIP produces nothing but a false salvation.

    GE asks:
    ‘TULIP’ produces nothing but a false salvation???!!!

    ‘TULIP’ for:
    ‘T’ for Total Depravity of man …
    ‘U’ for Unconditional Election …
    ‘L’ for Limited Atonement …
    ‘I’ for Irresistible Grace …
    ‘P’ for Perseverance of the saints …

    THAT ‘TULIP’ not “Salvation”?!
    That is how Salvation and Redemption and Blessedness and Happiness and Everlasting Life are spelled in Christian Idiom. Most precious inheritance of the Reformation!

  5. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    ‘TULIP’ for:
    ‘T’ for UNREGENERATE ‘man’ in his Total Depravity …
    ‘U’ for GOD in His Unconditional Election …
    ‘L’ for CHRIST in His Limited Atonement …
    ‘I’ for HOLY SPIRIT in His Irresistible Grace …
    ‘P’ for REGENERATE ‘man’ in his Perseverance unto Glorification …
    “your life hid WITH CHRIST IN GOD” …
    …at the Return of Christ and the resurrection of the body…

    the one and only GOSPEL of Jesus Christ!

  6. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    I had a strong feeling you were Calvinist.

    Calvinism produces delusions of grandeur that YOUR PRE-CHOSEN by God before time memorial, if you are lucky you were not the one PRE-CHOSEN to go to HELL.

    No, we have free will – Jesus Christ DIED FOR ALL MANKIND – Not just the ‘chosen’ ones.

  7. Burning Lamp says:

    GE, you believe that Christ’s sacrifice was only for certain pre-selected, chosen ones?
    How can you not see what an INSULT this is to our precious Lord and Savior who died for the WHOLE WORLD? It is a free gift available to all who will come to repentance. Yes, in the Fall man became spiritually dead, but God still allowed him FREE WILL to make choices and the opportunity to be redeemed and reborn spiritually.

    Yes, God is sovereign, but He is also just. He would NEVER create a human being who is condemned to hell from birth with no opportunity to hear the Gospel and be redeemed. This is not our loving God. This is an INSULT to Him AND His dear Son and contradicts the overall theme of redemption in the Bible.

  8. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    “”He only is my salvation.” It was He who turned my heart, and brought me down on my knees before Him. I can in very deed, say with Doddridge and Toplady-
    “Grace taught my soul to pray,
    And made my eyes o’erflow;”
    and coming to this moment, I can add-
    “‘Tis grace has kept me to this day,
    And will not let me go.”

    “John Newton used to tell a whimsical story, and laugh at it, too, of a good woman who said, in order to prove the doctrine of election, “Ah! sir, the Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else He would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards.” I am sure it is true in my case; I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.”

  9. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    Deborah said this, “’TULIP’ produces nothing but a false salvation???!!!”

    So one must infer,
    Total Depravity of man … is “nothing but a false salvation”;
    Unconditional Election … is “nothing but a false salvation”;
    Limited Atonement … is “nothing but a false salvation”;
    Irresistible Grace … is “nothing but a false salvation”;
    Perseverance of the saints … is “nothing but a false salvation”.

    Result: We sit with “nothing but a false salvation”— a false ‘Gospel’. And the truth is,

    T. Man is not totally depraved and the Scriptures lie that he is;

    U. God cannot elect unconditionally, He must choose the good and the bad without distinction, and the Scriptures lie that all men are wicked and only believers are forgiven their sins; also that God in truth shows mercy to whomsoever He wills and forgives their sins;

    L. Christ’s atonement in far the most cases is ineffective and wasted and no one knows whether any of the few remaining ‘saved’ individuals will be actually redeemed in the end. Who knows who’s not a pretending hypocrite? So the Scriptures promote a hallucination of peace made with God through Christ’s finished atonement. (Hence the Seventh-day Adventists’ ‘Investigative Judgment’— condemning not only of Seventh-day Adventism, but of the whole of the Arminian bulwark of ‘free will-Christianity’, now-a-days going under the misnomer of ‘Evangelicals’.)

    I. We sit with an irresistible and powerless Power of God the Holy Spirit, “nothing but a false salvation” and false ‘Gospel’, a hopeless atonement, and an aimless Divine Purpose. In a word, an imminent catastrophe that is going to end in the total destruction of the whole universe, awaits us if the Grace of God through the operation of the Holy Spirit is going to be ineffective, resistible and rejectable. Speak of fatalism, speak of free-will Christianity.

    P. If the Perseverance of the saints isn’t true, the opposite must be true, the failure of the saints. And what is left of ‘salvation’? No! it must be said of Arminianism – free-will dogmatism – that it is “nothing but a false salvation”.

    Summed up:
    Goodness of man … is “nothing but a false salvation” and the pride of man before his demise;
    Conditional Election … is “nothing but a false salvation” and hopeless future;
    Unlimited Atonement … is “nothing but a false salvation” and faith without foundation;
    Resistible Grace … is “nothing but a false salvation” and blatant blasphemy;
    Failure of the saints … is “nothing but a false salvation” and the devil’s very first lie making God the liar.

    [EDITED by DTW: I love how you argue from a FALSE TULIP standpoint.

    Anyhow, this topic is about John Calvin believing in Amillennialism like the Roman Catholic Church Which you obviously AGREE WITH.

    If you want to argue TULIP please read this article and comment here:

  10. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Don’t quote other people. I don’t know what was REALLY going on in their hearts.

  11. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> God cannot elect unconditionally, He must choose the good and the bad without distinction.

    Oh boy, I have never heard it said so blatantly.

    So tell me, how do you know you are not on the BAD list?

  12. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:


    >> God cannot elect unconditionally, He must choose the good and the bad without distinction.

    Oh boy, I have never heard it said so blatantly.

    So tell me, how do you know you are not on the BAD list?

    GE answers Deborah:

    It’s a pleasure to answer, because I believe Irresistible Grace; that was how I came to believe in God’s Grace, the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit.

  13. Gerhard Ebersöhn says:

    Dear Deborah, I don’t see a topic in your ‘List of Articles’ about Jesus’ resurrection and “the third day according to the Scriptures” 1Corinthians 15:4. Or haven’t I looked properly?

    Jesus’ resurrection and “the third day according to the Scriptures” is my ‘favourite’ subject to discuss. Do you have an ‘article’ for it? If you haven’t, would you mind to create one?

    I am a Calvinist as you by now know, and a fervent believer of the Reformed Protestant Faith. I have peace with ‘my Church’ as far as the Confession and Articles of Faith and ‘Three Formulae of Unity’ are concerned, except that I do not accept the fiction that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday and its ramifications. (Of less importance, I aslo have big problems with water-baptism but can live with it in the Church.) I don’t often engage in debate on Reformed doctrine generally. I find great comfort in the many great Reformed thinkers and theologians – great men of God – and see myself unfit to try improve or just add to the wealth of their legacy over centuries.

    I truly believe I made a contribution to Christian thought in the field of my preferred studies, and wish to promote its discussion as far as I can. So I also ask for your kind consideration in this regard.


  14. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> because I believe Irresistible Grace; that was how I came to believe in God’s Grace, the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit.

    I think it’s terrible to think that you GE, have placed yourself on a pedestal above other people, and that you call the scriptures a LIE when it says that JESUS DIED FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. In stead you say that Jesus only died for you and others who believe in PREDESTINATION. Yes the bible speaks about predestination, but not because God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell, heaven forbid, no! Predestination in that He FOREKNEW who would choose His Son. He KNOWS the hearts of each and every single man on earth and each and every little baby still to be born.

    You are a very intelligent man GE, that I have no doubt, but honestly, TULIP destroys the gospel message of salvation, because 1) Jesus did not die for the whole world 2) you can sin and go to heaven no matter what because once Chosen always chosen. And just to settle the matter, no I am not Arminian. My gospel lies between the pages of the Bible and does not belong to any MAN, was not created by any man and does not form any sort of acronym.

  15. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    No I don’t have an article for this. I can create one. However I need to ask you a big favour :) Your writing style is very difficult to understand (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). The way you wrote the above comment is great, I can understand it. But your other comments were very difficult to understand. I felt like I was reading a scientific journal writting in Klingon.

    Can you write me an article, based on your topic (email it to me) I will read it, pray about it, and then I MIGHT post it as an article and then you can discuss it with people. How does that sound?

    [EDITED: I say I might post it, because I want to read it first, and I want to see why it’s so important that we know the day, hour, time, minute that Jesus was raised from the dead. Personally, I could live my Christian life never knowing for sure what day Jesus rose from the dead as long as I believe He did and that I have accepted Him as my Savior and have a burden for others to know Him -quoting someone else]

  16. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    The Salvation Army don’t baptise either. Are you against baptising (total immersion)?



  18. John Chingford says:

    Hi Deborah

    Excellent article!

    I have a query. You mention that Word of Faith are pre-millennial? That confuses me. I thought they were post-millennial because they believe in dominionism and Kingdom Now. They are declaring that we reign with Christ NOW physically and spiritually. They are also in league with NAR with many of WoF and NAR speakers sharing platforms. Are you sure they are pre-millennial? If they are, how does pre-millennial fit in with their dominion theology?

    I look forward to your reply.

  19. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Hi John!

    Sorry for the late reply. Actually I mention they are pre-millennial based on what they taught 50 years ago, not what they teach today. So yes you are right. Years ago they would teach a pre-millennial rapture (but it was a lie) because no one really knew their Latter Rain roots. NOW they deny the pre trip rapture. However…not all of them, some are still confused as to what they believe. Am I making sense? For instance Rodney Howard-Brown taught pre-millennial years ago, ask him today what he believes and I am sure his view has changed.

    So now we sit with a huge problem….many people denounce the Rapture now because it was once upheld by WoF folks. These people don’t realise that just because WoF preachers ONCE PREACHED IT it does not make it false.

  20. Martin Horan says:

    A good book on Calvinism is Dave Hunt’s “What Love is This?” In it, Dave shows his mettle as an excellent historian. He also as tighly logical as he is scriptural. It is definitive regarding Calvinism.
    I sent a copy of it to a couple of Calvinist friends. One could not budge from his Calvinist paradigm, in spite of all the facts before him. The other did, thankfully.
    Whenever I read comments for Calivinsits, I pity their wives.
    I have attended a few Calvinist meetings and found them to be on a par with the Armstrongite cult in which I was once a member: manipulative and controlling. Both groups were convinced that their demoninations were correct and that they were the only ones saved. Mind you, Calvinism has that in common with many cults.

  21. John L. Decossaux says:

    The two things about amillennialism:
    1. It encourages “Replacement Theology” which encourages antisemitism.
    2. It devalues the Bible as the sole interpreter of Church Universal’s doctrines. That encourages Christians to fall for doctrines of demons, human philosophies & sciences and to idolize them. The true doctrines are again replaced by the false.

  22. Peek Morpholux says:

    Anthony Hoekema

    A Brief Sketch of Amillennial Eschatology

    A common criticism of amillennial eschatology is that it is too negative, spending its strength primarily in opposing and refuting eschatological systems with which it does not agree. Leaving aside the question of whether this criticism is true or false, I would like at this point to counteract the negativism of some amillennial eschatologies by sketching briefly some positive affirmations made by amillennialist theologians. In this way we shall be able to see amillennial eschatology in its totality, rather than just as a certain interpretation of the millennium of Revelation 20.

    This sketch will cover two areas: first, what amillennial eschatology teaches with regard to inaugurated eschatology, and, second, what it teaches with reference to future eschatology. By inaugurated eschatology I mean that aspect of eschatology which is already present now, during the gospel era. The term inaugurated eschatology is preferred to realized eschatology because, while the former term does full justice to the fact that the great eschatological incision into history has already been made, it does not rule out a further development and final consummation of eschatology in the future. When we speak of “inaugurated eschatology” we are saying that for the New Testament believer significant eschatological events have already begun to happen while other eschatological occurrences still lie in the future.

    As regards inaugurated eschatology, then, amillennialism affirms the following:

    1. Christ has won the decisive victory over sin, death and Satan. By living a sinless life and by dying on the cross as the sacrifice of atonement for our sin, Christ defeated sin. By undergoing death and then victoriously rising from the grave, Christ defeated death. By resisting the devil’s temptations, by perfectly obeying God, and by his death and resurrection, Christ delivered a deathblow to Satan and his evil hosts. This victory of Christ’s was decisive and final. The most important day in history, therefore, is not the Second Coming of Christ which is still future but the first coming which lies in the past. Because of the victory of Christ, the ultimate issues of history have already been decided. It is now only a question of time until that victory is brought to its final consummation.

    2. The kingdom of God is both present and future. Amillennialists do not believe that the kingdom of God is primarily a Jewish kingdom which involves the literal restoration of the throne of David. Nor do they believe that because of the unbelief of the Jews of his day Christ postponed the establishment of the kingdom to the time of his future earthly millennial reign. Amillennialists believe that the kingdom of God was founded by Christ at the time of his sojourn on earth, is operative in history now and is destined to be revealed in its fullness in the life to come. They understand the kingdom of God to be the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ. Its purpose is to redeem God’s people from sin and from demonic powers, and finally to establish the new heavens and the new earth. The kingdom of God means nothing less than the reign of God in Christ over his entire created universe.

    The kingdom of God is therefore both a present reality and a future hope. Jesus clearly taught that the kingdom was already present during his earthly ministry: “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt. 12:28, NIV). When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, he replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!’ or `There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Lk. 17:20-21). But Jesus also taught that there was a sense in which the kingdom of God was still future, both in specific sayings (Mt. 7:21-23; 8:11-12) and in eschatological parables (such as those of the Marriage Feast, the Tares, the Talents, the Wise and Foolish Virgins). Paul also makes statements describing the kingdom as both present (Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:19-20; Col. 1:13-14) and future (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; 2 Tim. 4:18).

    The fact that the kingdom of God is present in one sense and future in another implies that we who are the subjects of that kingdom live in a kind of tension between the “already” and the “not yet.” We are already in the kingdom, and yet we look forward to the full manifestation of that kingdom; we already share its blessings, and yet we await its total victory. Because the exact time when Christ will return is not known, the church must live with a sense of urgency, realizing that the end of history may be very near. At the same time, however, the church must continue to plan and work for a future on this present earth which may still last a long time.

    Meanwhile, the kingdom of God demands of us all total commitment to Christ and his cause. We must see all of life and all of reality in the light of the goal of the redemption not just of individuals but of the entire universe. This implies, as Abraham Kuyper, the renowned Dutch theologian and statesman, once said, that there is not a thumb-breadth of the universe about which Christ does not say, “It is mine.”

    This total commitment further implies a Christian philosophy of history: All of history must be seen as the working out of God’s eternal purpose. This kingdom vision includes a Christian philosophy of culture: Art and science, reflecting as they do the glory of God, are to be pursued for his praise. The vision of the kingdom also includes a Christian view of vocation: All callings are from God, and all that we do in everyday life is to be done to God’s praise, whether this be study, teaching, preaching, business, industry or housework.

    A common source of tension among evangelicals today is the question of whether the church should be primarily concerned with evangelism or social and political action. A proper kingdom vision, it seems to me, will help us to keep our balance on this question. Needless to say, evangelism — bringing people into the kingdom of God — is one of the essential tasks of the church. But since the kingdom of God demands total commitment, the church must also be vitally concerned about the implementation of Christian principles in every area of life, including the political and the social. Evangelism and social concern, therefore, must never be thought of as options between which Christians may make a choice; both are essential to full-orbed kingdom obedience.

    3. Though the last day is still future, we are in the last days now.

    This aspect of eschatology, which is often neglected in evangelical circles, is an essential part of the New Testament message. When I say, “we are in the last days now,” I understand the expression “the last days” not merely as referring to the time just before Christ’s return, but as a description of the entire era between Christ’s first and second comings. New Testament writers were conscious of the fact that they were already living in the last days at the time they were speaking or writing. This was specifically stated by Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost when he quoted Joel’s prophecy about the pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh in the last days (Acts 2:16-17). He was thus saying in effect, “We are now in the last days predicted by the prophet Joel.” Paul made the same point when he described believers of his day as those “upon whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11). And the Apostle John told his readers that they were already living in “the last hour” (1 Jn. 2:18). In the light of these New Testament teachings, we may indeed speak of an inaugurated eschatology, while remembering that the Bible also speaks of a final consummation of eschatological events in what John commonly calls “the last day” (Jn. 6:39-40, 44,54; 11:24; 12:48).

    The fact that we are living in the last days now implies that we are already tasting the beginnings of eschatological blessings—that, as Paul says, we already have “the first fruits of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:23). This means that we who are believers are to see ourselves not as impotent sinners who are helpless in the face of temptation but as new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) and as those who have decisively crucified the flesh (Gal. 5:24), put off the old self and put on the new (Col. 3:9-10). All this involves having an image of ourselves which is primarily positive rather than negative. It also involves seeing fellow Christians as those who are in Christ with us and for whom we should therefore thank God.1

    4. As far as the thousand years of Revelation 20 are concerned, we are in the millennium now. Earlier in the chapter evidence was given for the position that the thousand years of Revelation 20 extend from the first coming of Christ to just before his Second Coming, when Satan will be loosed for a short time. The amillennial position on the thousand years of Revelation 20 implies that Christians who are now living are enjoying the benefits of this millennium since Satan has been bound for the duration of this period. As we saw, the fact that Satan is now bound does not mean that he is not active in the world today but that during this period he cannot deceive the nations — that is, cannot prevent the spread of the gospel. The binding of Satan during this era, in other words, makes missions and evangelism possible. This fact should certainly be a source of encouragement to the church on earth.

    Amillennialists also teach that during this same thousand-year period the souls of believers who have died are now living and reigning with Christ in heaven while they await the resurrection of the body. Their state is therefore a state of blessedness and happiness, though their joy will not be complete until their bodies have been raised. This teaching should certainly bring comfort to those whose dear ones have died in the Lord.

    As regards future eschatology, amillennialism affirms the following:

    1. The “signs of the times” have both present and future relevance. Amillennialists believe that the return of Christ will be preceded by certain signs: for example, the preaching of the gospel to all the nations, the conversion of the fullness of Israel, the great apostasy, the great tribulation and the coming of the Antichrist. These signs, however, must not be thought of as referring exclusively to the time just preceding Christ’s return. They have been present in some sense from the very beginning of the Christian era2 and are present now.’3 This means that we must always be ready for the Lord’s return and that we may never in our thoughts push the return of Christ off into the far-distant future.

    Amillennialists also believe, however, that these “signs of the times” will have a climactic final fulfillment just before Christ returns. This fulfillment will not take the form of phenomena which are totally new but will rather be an intensification of signs which have been present all along.

    2. The Second Coming of Christ will be a single event. Amillennialists find no scriptural basis for the dispensationalist division of the Second Coming into two phases (sometimes called the parousia and the revelation), with a seven-year period in between. We understand Christ’s return as being a single event.

    3. At the time of Christ’s return, there will be a general resurrection, both of believers and unbelievers. Amillennialists reject the common premillennial teaching that the resurrection of believers and that of unbelievers will be separated by a thousand years. They also reject the view of many dispensationalists that there will be as many as three or four resurrections (since, in addition to the two resurrections just mentioned, dispensationalists also teach that there will be a resurrection of tribulation saints and a resurrection of believers who died during the millennium). We see no scriptural evidence for such multiple resurrections.4

    4. After the resurrection, believers who are then still alive shall suddenly be transformed and glorified. The basis for this teaching is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (NIV).

    5. The “rapture” of all believers now takes place. Believers who have just been raised from the dead, together with living believers who have just been transformed, are now caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17). That there will be such a “rapture” the Bible clearly teaches. But I have put the word rapture between quotation marks in order to distinguish the amillennial conception of the rapture from the dispensationalist view. Dispensationalists teach that after the rapture the entire church will be taken up to heaven for a period of seven years while those still on earth are undergoing the great tribulation.

    Amillennialists see no scriptural evidence for such a seven-year period or for a transference of the church from earth to heaven during that period. Risen and glorified bodies of believers do not belong in heaven but on the earth. The word translated “to meet” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (apantesis) is a technical term used in the days of the New Testament to describe a public welcome given by a city to a visiting dignitary. People would ordinarily leave the city to meet the distinguished visitor and then go back with him into the city.5 On the basis of the analogy conveyed by this word, all Paul is saying here is that raised and transformed believers are caught up in the clouds to meet the descending Lord, implying that after this meeting they will go back with him to the earth.

    6. Now follows the final judgment. Whereas dispensationalists commonly teach that there will be at least three separate judgments, amillennialists do not agree. The latter see scriptural evidence for only one Day of Judgment which will occur at the time of Christ’s return. All men must then appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

    The purpose of the final judgment is not primarily to determine the final destiny of men since by that time that final destiny has already been determined for all men except those still living at the time of Christ’s return. Rather, the judgment will have a threefold purpose: First, it will reveal the glorification of God in the final destiny assigned to each person; second, it will indicate finally and publicly the great antithesis of history between the people of God and the enemies of God; and third, it will reveal the degree of reward or the degree of punishment which each shall receive.

    7. After the judgment the final state is ushered in. Unbelievers and all those who have rejected Christ shall spend eternity in hell, whereas believers will enter into everlasting glory on the new earth. The concept of the new earth is so important for biblical eschatology that we should give it more than a passing thought. Many Christians think of themselves as spending eternity in some ethereal heaven while the Bible plainly teaches us that there will be a new earth. When the book of Revelation tells us that the holy city, the new Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to the new earth (21:2), that God will now have his dwelling with men (21:3) and that the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the new Jerusalem (22:3), it is teaching us in figurative language that in the life to come heaven and earth will no longer be separated but will have merged. In the final state, therefore, glorified believers will be both in heaven and on the new earth, since the two shall then be one.

    When one keeps the vision of the new earth clearly in mind, many biblical teachings begin to form a significant pattern. As we have seen, the resurrection of the body calls for a new earth. The cosmic significance of the work of Christ implies that the curse which came upon creation because of man’s sin (Gen. 3:17-19) shall some day be removed (Rom. 8:19-22); this renewal of creation means that there will indeed be a new earth. The Bible also contains specific promises about the new earth. We have already looked at Isaiah’s prediction of the new earth in 65:17 (see 66:22). Jesus promised that the meek shall inherit the earth (Mt. 5:5). Peter speaks of new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness shall dwell (2 Pet. 3:13). And the elders and living creatures whom John sees in the heavenly vision recorded in Revelation 5 sing a song of praise to the victorious Lamb which includes these words, “You have made them [those whom you purchased with your blood] to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10, NIV).6

    In the light of biblical teaching about the new earth, many Old Testament prophecies about the land of Canaan and about the future of the people of God fall into place. From the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews we learn that Canaan was a type of the Sabbath-rest of the people of God in the life to come. From Paul’s letter to the Galatians we learn that all those who are in Christ are included in the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29). When we read Genesis 17:8 (“And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” [ASV]) with this understanding of the New Testament broadening of these concepts, we see in it a promise of the new earth as the everlasting possession of all the people of God, not just of the physical descendants of Abraham. And when, in the light of this New Testament teaching, we now read Amos 9:15 (“And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which 1 have given them, saith Jehovah thy God” [ASV]), we do not feel compelled to restrict the meaning of these words to national Israel and the land of Palestine. We understand them to be a prediction of the eternal dwelling of all God’s people, Gentiles as well as Jews, on the new earth of which Canaan was a type. Amillennialists therefore feel no need for positing an earthly millennium to provide for the fulfillment of prophecies of this sort; they see such prophecies as pointing to the glorious eternal future which awaits all the people of God.

    When premillennialists therefore charge amillennialists with teaching a future kingdom which is only spiritual and which has nothing to do with the earth, they are not representing the amillennial view correctly. Amillennialists believe that Old Testament prophecies which predict that the land of promise shall be the everlasting possession of the people of God, that the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and that the earth shall be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, shall be fulfilled not just for a thousand-year period but for all eternity! This interpretation, we believe, gives us a richer, wider and more relevant understanding of those prophecies than that which restricts their meaning to a description of an earthly millennium which shall precede the final state.

    Some Implications of Amillennial Eschatology

    What, in conclusion, are some of the implications of amillennial eschatology for our theological understanding? Let me mention four of them:

    1. What binds the Old and New Testaments together is the unity of the covenant of grace. Amillennialists do not believe that sacred history is to be divided into a series of distinct and disparate dispensations but see a single covenant of grace running through all of that history. This covenant of grace is still in effect today and will culminate in the eternal dwelling together of God and his redeemed people on the new earth.

    2. The kingdom of God is central in human history. That kingdom was predicted and prepared for in Old Testament times, was established on earth by Jesus Christ, was extended and expanded both in New Testament times and during the subsequent history of the church, and will finally be consummated in the life to come.

    3. Jesus Christ is the Lord of history. This means that all of history is under Christ’s control and will ultimately prove to have been subservient to his purpose. We must therefore be concerned not just with enjoying the blessings of our salvation but also with joyfully serving Christ as Lord in every area of our lives.

    4. All of history is moving toward a goal: the total redemption of the universe. History is not meaningless but meaningful. Though we are not always able to discern the meaning of each historical event, we know what the ultimate outcome of history will be. We eagerly look forward to the new earth as part of a renewed universe in which God’s good creation will realize finally and totally the purpose for which he called it into existence: the glorification of his name.

    All this implies that regarding world history, amillennialists adopt a position of sober or realistic optimism. Belief in the present rule of Christ, in the presence of God’s kingdom and in the movement of history toward its goal is accompanied by a realistic recognition of the presence of sin in this world and of the growing development of the kingdom of evil. Amillennial eschatology looks for a culmination of apostasy and tribulation in the final emergence of a personal Antichrist before Christ comes again. Amillennialists do not expect to see the perfect society realized during this present age.

    Yet, since we know that the victory of Christ over evil was decisive and that Christ is now on the throne, the dominant mood of amillennial eschatology is optimism — Christian optimism. This means that we view no world crisis as totally beyond help and no social trend as absolutely irreversible. It means that we live in hope — a hope that is built on faith and that expresses itself in love.

    Amillennial eschatology, therefore, gives us a realistic, yet basically optimistic world-and-life view. It is an eschatology which is exciting, exhilarating and challenging. It is an eschatology which gives us an inspiring vision of the lordship of Christ over history and of the ultimate triumph of his kingdom.


    See Anthony A. Hoekema, The Christian Looks at Himself (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1975).
    Note, for example, how John tells us that the spirit of the Antichrist is already in the world in his day (1 Jn. 4:3).
    G. C. Berkouwer, in his recent book, The Return of Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1972), shows how Scripture requires us to think of the “signs of the times” as having relevance throughout the entire Christian era (pp. 235.59).
    Scripture proof for a single general resurrection has been given above in the exposition of Revelation 20:1-6. For additional evidence against a multiple resurrection, see L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1941), pp. 724-27.
    Gerhard Kittel, ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, trans. and ed. Geoffrey Bromiley (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1964), I, 380-81.
    See the excellent chapter on the new earth in Berkouwer, pp. 211-34.


    Anthony A. Hoekema was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States in 1923. He attended Calvin College (A.B.), the University of Michigan (M.A.), Calvin Theological seminary (Th.B.) and Princeton Theological seminary (Th.D., 1953). After serving as minister of several Christian Reformed Churches (1944-56) he became Associate Professor Bible at Calvin College (1956-58). From 1958 to 1979, when he retired, he was Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Professor Hoekema spent two sabbatical years in Cambridge, England (1965-66, 1973-74) and has written The Four Major Cults (1963), What about Tongue-Speaking? (1966), Holy Spirit Baptism (1972), The Bible and the Future (1979) and was a contributor to The Meaning of the Millennium from which these are articles were taken (1977).

  23. Peek Morpholux,

    It comes as no surprise that Anthony A. Hoekema would choose to champion amillennialism. He was a Calvinist who – like all other Calvinists – followed the teaching of the Roman Catholic heretic, Augustine. Like Augustine, John Calvin tried to establish the Kingdom of God in Geneva but failed dismally.

    Hoekema wrote:

    Yet, since we know that the victory of Christ over evil was decisive and that Christ is now on the throne, the dominant mood of amillennial eschatology is optimism — Christian optimism. This means that we view no world crisis as totally beyond help and no social trend as absolutely irreversible. It means that we live in hope — a hope that is built on faith and that expresses itself in love.

    Calvinists have a strange way to express their love when they believe that God chose to damn and send to hell the majority of people because it pleased Him not to predestine them unto salvation before the foundation of the world. Do you call this love?

    In any case, you must be truly blind to believe that Satan is already bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years so that he cannot deceive the nations to make war one with the other (Revelation 20:3). Read here.

    Read here.

  24. Peek Morpholux

    I am sure you will agree that the Kingdom of God is where everyone does die will of the King 100%. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” If God’s Kingdom has already come, then everyone is already doing the will of God 100% in the earth. That’s ridiculous. Not even the so-called Calvinistic elect are doing God’s will 100%. Amillennialism is a farce.

  25. Peek Morpholux

    Hoekema wrote,

    2. The kingdom of God is both present and future. Amillennialists do not believe that the kingdom of God is primarily a Jewish kingdom which involves the literal restoration of the throne of David.

    He is calling God a liar. God Himself said:

    And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

    The entire nation of Israel over whom Christ shall rule forever are at present still in unbelief. You must be blind to believe that He is already ruling over Israel. And please don’t tell me the church has replaced Israel as a nation. That too is a heresy doomed to be cast into hell very soon. If the Kingdom of God has already come, then Jesus Christ is already ruling over the house of Jacob from his father David’s throne in Jerusalem. Rubbish!

    The Kingdom of God cannot possibly be present and future at the same time. You cannot have a Kingdom where no one is dong the will of God 100% all the time and a Kingdom where everyone does the will of God 100% all the time. That’s ridiculous. It is either the one or the other and as I have already indicated, Jesus’ prayer ” Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” proves without a shadow of a doubt that God’s Kingdom has not yet come because there is not a single person on earth who is doing the will of God as it is being done in heaven. Unless, of course, Jesus was hallucinating when He said that God’d Kingdom is where everyone does the will of God 100%.

  26. Peek Morpholux

    Hoekema wrote:

    Meanwhile, the kingdom of God demands of us all total commitment to Christ and his cause. We must see all of life and all of reality in the light of the goal of the redemption not just of individuals but of the entire universe. This implies, as Abraham Kuyper, the renowned Dutch theologian and statesman, once said, that there is not a thumb-breadth of the universe about which Christ does not say, “It is mine.”

    Hoekema is talking nonsense. If evrything was already Christ’s possession, He would never had admitted that Satan is presently still the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and in complete possesion of all the kingdoms of the earth.

    Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:8-10)

  27. Peek Morpholux

    Hoekema wrote:

    4. After the resurrection, believers who are then still alive shall suddenly be transformed and glorified. The basis for this teaching is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (NIV).

    The resurrection of the dead was not a mystery. Old Testament saints knew that the dead would be raised. So how could it have been a mystery?

    Job, the oldest book in the Old Testament, says the following:

    For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25)

    Daniel writes:

    And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)

    So how could something like a general resurrection which was common knowledge among saints in the Old Testament be a mystery? That’s ridiculous.

    The word “musterion” (mystery) refers to something that was not known before and is now revealed by God to a person whom he chooses to reveal it to. The person to whom God revealed the mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:51-51 that was not known in the Old Testament or even in the four Gospels was Paul of Tarsus. The mystery Paul referred to was not the general resurrection of the dead but the resurrection from the dead of deceased saints and the simultaneous transformation of the living saints at the Rapture before the seven years tribulation period. That was the mystery Paul revealed to the church which was not known before in the Old Testament or even in the four Gospels.

  28. Who said anything about believing or not believing in Amillennialism? I’m a Preterist. Sometimes, anyway. Panmillennialist most of the time–it’ll all pan out.

    Bless ye, fine fellow, and look to the Autumn skies for the Final Gathering, day and hour unknown, but season well defined.

  29. Peek the Morpholux wrote:

    Who said anything about believing or not believing in Amillennialism? I’m a Preterist.

    Do you usually contradict yourself? If you’re a Preterist then you are automatically an Amillennialist.

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