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Why the Millennium Is in the Future

Pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, a baptist church in Jessup, MD. B.A. in Bible, B.S. English Ed., M.S. in Educational Leadership.

Satan Bound for a Thousand Years

I have been a premillennialist all my life (since I became a Christian), but recently I found amillennialism to be a challenge to my premillennial assumptions. For this, I am thankful: I don’t really care about which school of theology is right, I just want to understand what the Bible really teaches.

When you consider that God’s kingdom was supposed to be set up in the days of the ancient Roman Empire (Daniel 2:44), that it was present among men when Jesus walked on Earth (Luke 17:21), that it was preached by Paul (Acts 28:31), and that it was a principle observed by Christians (Romans 17:17), you really have to wonder if there is anything the dispensational, premillennial, and pretribulational perspective has missed.

I think there is. For starters, I don’t believe the Bible really teaches such a thing as a pretribulational rapture.

Moreover, I like the amillennial proposition, that the thousand year reign in Revelation 20:4 refers to something happening in the present. It makes sense that Jesus coming on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-14;4-5) is a reference to the victorious Christ ascending to heaven after his resurrection (Psalm 45, Psalm 68:18, Ephesians 4:9-10), that Satan’s binding in Revelation 20:1 is something that Christ did during his earthly ministry (Luke 11:20-22), that the first resurrection refers to the spiritually dead coming to life upon hearing the gospel (John 5:25).

But I think that, in order for this proposition to be right, you have to dismiss the timeline present in Revelation.

In my outline of the book of Revelation, you can see that the millennium is just a small section toward the end of the book. It is also one of several short visions that John sees in sequence and that appear to represent events in sequence (Jesus on a white horse, the binding of Satan, the millennium, the judgment before the white throne, the new heavens and the new Earth, the New Jerusalem, and the River of Life). Of these short visions in sequence, amillennialists usually argue that only the first three or four of them refer to events already represented elsewhere in the book, whereas the last four or three of them refer to new events that happen toward the end of the book.

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Assuming that my outline is right, and that the book is mostly composed of three sections that are parallel to each other (chapters 4 to 11, 12 to 16, and 17 to 19), I do not see why Revelation would include a fourth and much shorter parallel section (Revelation 19:11 to 20:15). It makes more sense that Revelation started the book with an introduction followed by seven short letters, and then ended with seven short visions followed by a conclusion (and in the middle, three large parallel sections). The book is more symmetrical this way.

Moreover, I think there would also be some chronological problems with the white horse and the millennium when compared to the rest of the book.

When Jesus comes on the white horse, the beast, the kings, their armies, and probably the false prophet gathered together to make war against Jesus (Revelation 19:19). However, when Jesus came invisibly to destroy Jerusalem (in 70 AD, as amillennialism proposes), Nero (whom most preterits say the beast represents) had been dead for two years (68 AD).

Moreover, sometime in the 60’s, Peter wrote that Satan was roaming freely as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), although Satan had supposedly been bound during the ministry of Jesus, and yet was also loose throughout Revelation until he was bound in Revelation 20. Let us remember that, before the millennium, Satan wasn’t only bound, he was also shut in the bottomless pit, and it seems he cannot get loose or out until after the millennium.

The other chronological problem I see with millennialism is that, after the millennium, the battle of Og and Magog is supposed to take place. According to Ezekiel, Og and Magog will attack Israel after the Israelites have been dwelling safely there for many days (Ezekiel 38:8-9). Well, if you’ve watched the news recently, the Israelites haven’t been dwelling safely in their land in quite some time.

Now, you might say that all these things are just symbolic and that, therefore, they don’t need to be chronologically accurate. Well, at that point we might as well throw away any notion of chronology from the book of Revelation and become idealists: the whole point of being premillennial, amillennial, and postmillennial is that you can locate the millennium in a timeline.

In conclusion, I think the structure and chronology of the book of Revelation match better a future millennium instead of a present millennium. That doesn’t mean everything amillennialism proposes about the millennium is wrong, nor does it mean everything dispensational premillennialism proposes about the millennium is right.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Marcelo Carcach

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