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.
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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

37 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    Amillienianism ( a ‘literal 1000 years’ ?) is not a Farce, have you not read Ephesians 2:4-7? Is Christ Reigning NOW? Absolutely YES! He is not ‘coming to earth’ to establish
    an ‘earthly kingdom in any way whatsoever’. “My Kingdom is not of this world’ Never was, never will be. “And I saw a NEW Heaven and a New Earth’

    Let me ask, if He is not Reigning now, what is He doing? Amillienianisim only started with The DARBY translation and his notes in that bible,
    and was NEVER a concept until at least the 1700s. And even IF Augustine was amillinealist how does that equate to the Roman Catholic Church.
    Using a logical fallacy to some how say, ‘amillinealism is not true because the Roman Catholic Church says so’ is fallacy. The RCC has nothing to do with it,
    as in one sense, they see themselves as ‘The Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, with the Pope being the ‘Vicar of Christ’
    However, one has NOTHING to do with the other in any way. (I am not a so-call ‘Roman Catholic’).
    Psalm 110:1
    The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

    But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
    6 And

    ****God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus****

    , 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

    What exactly do you think The LORD, Jesus Christ is doing right now? Sitting around doing nothing?

    Matthew 26:64
    “You have said it yourself,” Jesus answered. “But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One
    and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

    Mark 13:26
    Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

    Luke 22:69
    But from NOW on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of ‘His Majesty’.

    Matthew 16:27
    For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and ***then He will repay each one according to what he has done***.

    What, is he going to ‘come to earth’ and sit on an earthly throne and all the ‘saint’s are going to be on earth in the presence of ‘dead’ unbelievers and do what?
    Make them believe? Would you, if you died today, want to come BACK to earth and live in an overpopulated polluted realm..after having been Made clean and
    having ‘shed this earthly tent’? How does that make sense? Why bother believing now. We can just sit fat and happy in unbelief and say: “I’ll believe when He comes back and when I see Him in Glory then I’ll believe”..granted no one knows when the day will Come.but we now that when he does, ‘two men will be in one bed, one will be taken up and the other will remain’. How does that equate to staying here at the same time?

    How do you reckon a 1000 year reign on earth with this?

    The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.
    10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
    The heavens will disappear with a roar,
    the elements will be dissolved in the fire,
    and the earth and its works will not be found.

    11 Since everything will be dissolved in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?
    You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness…

  2. Dear Steve

    Your comment is very confusing. Both of them in fact.

    For instance you say “Amillienianisim only started with The DARBY translation and his notes in that bible,”

    Darby didn’t invent Amillienianism. The doctrine has been around for hundreds of years. John Calvin was Amillenianal (under different terminology) a few hundred years before you say Darby ‘started’ it.

    St Augustine the father of the Roman Catholic church was an Amillienianist

    The Roman Catholic church father Augustine of Hippo is without a doubt the central figure associated with the eschatological view of amillennialism. His viewpoint became the prevailing doctrine of the Roman Church, and it was adopted with variations by most of the Protestant Reformers along with many other teachings of Augustine. —

    Augustine, who blended Christianity with Neo-Platonist philosophies, is notonly responsible for many of the errors of Roman Catholicism, but also for many of the teachings found in its reformation. Much of Catholicism was retained and merely redefined in the Protestant Reformation. many of its denominations today are merely degrees of separation from its mother, the Roman Catholic church. —

    I’ve never read Darby’s bible or his notes, only ever read the KJV, NKJV and AMP, and used Hebrew and Greek for better understanding.

    Have you ever read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion Originally published in 1536 and base your doctrine on T.U.L.I.P? In other words, are you a Calvinist?

    You said “If one believes in the Fact (Doctrine) of total depravity they are suffering from delusions of grandeur. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. A DEAD person can be nothing but ‘depraved’.And all are DEAD apart from Being Alive in Christ.”

    Does God give you the gift of faith?
    How is one made alive? Through Monergism?
    And who gets to be made Alive in Christ? Those Predestined by God before the foundation of the world?

    Calvinism is Reformed Catholicism.

    Is this what you believe?

    Reformed theology is more properly known as Covenant theology, which suggests that God made three major covenants within the Godhead before time began. These three implicit covenants, which cannot be found in the Bible with chapter and verse, define 1) how God elected some for salvation while letting the rest go to Hell (Covenant of Redemption), 2) how God promises salvation for obedience (Covenant of Works), and 3) how man can’t obey, so God, through Christ, provided obedience actively in His life and passively through His death for the salvation of the elect (Covenant of Grace). Therefore, both Christ’s life and death are said to contribute to salvation in Reformed theology. Both His life and death are salvific. These inferred covenants lay the groundwork for salvation through election and law-keeping righteousness. In essence, these three additional covenants skew God’s plan for mankind to the point where Reformed theology can justify not only Calvinistic election and preterition (not choosing to save some), but also justify replacement theology (where the church replaces Israel), the tribulation happening in 70 A.D. (Preterism), and the kingdom being in existence today (Kingdom Now theology). This complicated theology cannot be defended if Calvinistic election is false. Therefore, Reformed theology is predicated on Calvinism. [Emphasis added]—

  3. Stephen J says:

    Pre Millenialism is a awful night mare and denies that Christ is Reigning right now, that somehow His Victory was not complete and still has to Do something more, which is not biblical. And yes, those in Christ are Reigning with Him right now Into Eternity. He is SEATED with God as too are those who are ALREADY part of the First Ressurection, they who have Died into The Baptism of His dead and Raised into Newness of Life, having been made Alive in Christ and seated with Him in heavenly dwelling place (Eph 2:4-6). It is a view the Jews had when they were looking for a worldly ruler’ yet He said; My Kingdom is not of this world, I am from Above you are from below”..can you imagine hIm being ‘seated on an earthly ‘ throne in the midst of unbelievers while those who died and were beheaded would then be with Him despite that ‘every tear will be wiped away and we will be in Perfect Peace?” that would be impossible. :nope:

  4. Stephen J

    Where will Christ be seated on the throne of his father David – in heaven or on earth (Jerusalem)? (Luke 1:32). :nope:

  5. Filemon Brandao Jr says:

    If rapture is the second most important event for the church after salvation, why did Jesus in his preaching over 42 months and with his disciples never mentioned this fact? And all the Old Testament prophets never mentioned the future rapture? Salvation was present every day in Jesus preaching. The word Salvation appears 40 times in the New Testament, and no mention of rapture. I read Augustine, Luther, Calvin and haven’t seen any mention of rapture, why?

  6. Hi Filemon Brandao Jr.

    Thank you for your question. There are a long answer and a short answer to it. If you read carefully what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

    The word “mystery” (musterion) does not mean that what Paul revealed to the church (the rapture) is unintelligible. It simply means that what had hitherto been unknown was revealed to the church at that time. Paul was God’s chosen vessel to reveal the mystery of the rapture and not the other apostles.

  7. Colin says:

    Those who believe in the millennial reign of Christ do not believe that Christ only reigns for 1000 years…that is calvins misunderstanding. For reasons i dont fully understand, Christ locks up satan for 1000 years and reigns from Jerusalem in Israel for those 1000 years after which the devils is then released and destroyed and then Jesus creates all things new including the new heaven and the new earth. That is what the word of God teaches … remember that it is Christ Himself who gave us revelation and you cannot deny the 1000 year reign without taking or adding to the revelation of Christ delivered to John

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