Simplicity – Amillennialism and the Two Ages


Patek Philippe & Co. watch, Rama, 15 April 2007 (according to Exif data), Wikipedia.

Patek Philippe & Co. watch – Rama – 4/15/07


“The Last Day”

John 6:38-40

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

“This Age [Time]” and “the Age to Come”

Luke 18:28-30

28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left [h]our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”


Thoughts

I’m posting this because, though Amillennialism is probably new and strange to many Bible-believing Christians it deserves a hearing by those who love God’s Word. It has simplicity and clarity, and gives prominence to Jesus’ statements in the Gospel of John, the prominence that ought to be given. I pray this gives you something of value from God’s Word even if you disagree. 


A Present or Future Millennium?

[The link in the title is to the page “From the Archives of Modern Reformation.” There, you’ll find this title with an embedded link to a pdf file. Using Windows 10 the pdf doesn’t open on the web but asks to be saved to your computer.] 

By Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

Senior pastor, Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim, California 

Source: The Riddleblog | Devoted to Reformed Theology and Eschatology

“Without a doubt, most American evangelicals are firmly committed to premillennialism–the belief that an earthly millennial age of one thousand year’s duration will begin immediately after our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Advent. Since premillennialism is so dominant in American church circles, many who encounter Reformed theology for the first time are quite surprised when they discover that all of the Protestant Reformers, as well as virtually the entire Reformed and Lutheran traditions (along with their confessions), with a few notable exceptions, are amillennial. Amillennialism is that understanding of eschatology which sees the millennium as the present course of history between the first and second Advents of our Lord (the age of the church militant), and not as a future golden age upon the earth as is taught in premillennialism and postmillennialism. In the case of both ‘pre’ and ‘post’ millennialism, the millennium is thought to be the age of the church triumphant, not the age of the church militant. . .”

“. . .Yet another problem encountered when discussing this subject is that there is often a great deal of heat without very much light. One prophecy pundit (Chuck Missler) once quipped that the people in heaven with the lowest IQ’s will be amillennial. Hal Lindsey goes so far as to label amillennialism as anti-Semitic, demonic and heretical. Jack Van Impe called A-millennialism (to use his characteristic emphasis upon the A) the greatest heresy in church history. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to hear prophecy experts label amillennial Christians as theological liberals who were a bit embarrassed by the bold supernaturalism required to believe in a sudden and secret rapture. Furthermore, amillennial Christians are often accused of not taking the Bible literally and of teaching so-called ‘replacement theology.’

“The result of such rhetoric is that American Christians cannot help but be prejudiced by such unfortunate comments and many reject outright (without due consideration of the other side) the eschatology of the Reformers and classical Protestantism–an eschatology which is amazingly simple, Biblical, and Christ-centered. . .”

The article is a little over five pages single-spaced and very helpful in understanding the Bible’s teaching on the last things. 


 

Go read! Kim Riddlebarger on the Man of Sin


Dr. Riddlebarger’s article is the kind that involves “thinking along with the author.” 

Revelation 13

NASB
The Beast from the Sea

13 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


666 and the Mark of the Beast

Kim Riddlebarger, The Riddleblog
From his book, Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist (Baker, 2006)

 

In fact, the preoccupation with identifying just who it is, exactly, to whom this number refers creates an unfortunate tendency to downplay (or even ignore) the theological significance of this number.  What the number 666 represents is at least as significant as the beast’s human identity.  When John tells us that this is “man’s number,” he may even mean that this number does not refer to a specific individual such as Nero, but to a series of individuals who behave as Nero did.

As Beale points out, “The omission of the article in 13:18 indicates the general idea of humanity, not some special individual who can be discerned only through an esoteric method of calculation.  Therefore, in both verses anthropou [man] is a descriptive or qualitative genitive, so that the phrase here should be rendered ‘a human number’ (so RSV) or ‘a number of humanity.’  It is a number common to fallen humanity.” (Beale, Revelation, 724)

In light of the beast’s attempt to parody the redemptive work of Christ so as to receive the worship of the nations, the idea that this number is to be understood as the number of fallen humanity makes a great deal of sense.  If seven is the number of perfection, the number six comes close, but never reaches the goal.