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Summary: This message traced the doctrine of the millennial kingdom through church history.

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Introduction

The millennial kingdom doctrine has been debated among many Christian scholars. The question when will this 1000 years take places defined in Revelation 20:1-10. The word millennium derives from the Latin words mille (“thousand”) and annus (“years”). There are three theological viewpoints: millennialism, postmillennialism, and premillennialism. The prefix “a” means “no” or “none,” amillennialism suggest there will be no future rain of Christ on earth for 1,000.00 years. Amillennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God will not be physically established on earth throughout the “millennium”, but rather that Jesus is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, that Jesus is presently remain with the church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension, that the Pentecost, the millennium began, as shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what happening, and that, therefore the church and its spread of the good news is Christ’s kingdom.

Postmillennial views that the church becomes more successful in missions all over the world and that the world will merge into a 1000 year kingdom. The Book of Revelation, chapter 20 by contrast, the amillennial view holds that the number of years in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number, not a literal description; that the millennium has already begun and is identical with the church age or more rarely, that it ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and that while Christ’s reign is spiritual in nature during the millennium, at the end of the church age, Christ will return in the final judgment and establish permanent physical reign.

Finally, premillennial is Christian eschatology is the belief that Christ will literally reign on the earth for 1,000 years at his second coming. The doctrine is call premillennialism because it views the current age as prior to Christ’s kingdom therefore before Christ comes back the world will go from bad to worse.

Why are there distinctive views? This paper will search through church history premillennialism’s dominance in the church’s first two centuries, Augustine and the prophetic dark ages, the Protestant Reformation’s return to literal interpretation, the dispensational movement and the return to literalism in prophecy, and postmillennialism.

Premillennialism’s Dominance during the Church’s First Two Centuries

Permillennialism dominated views throughout the early church were clearly taught. The first century premillennialists’ interpretation speaks clearly to those who received God’s revelation and wrote it down in the Bible. The materials tell us that there will be a millennium after the resurrection of the dead, when the kingdom of God is set upon earth. This is important because at the time of Christ the interpretations among the Jews view as literal methodology.

The students of Antioch embraced the earliest literal interpretation of the Scriptures which text was entirely exegetical. Diodorus of Tarsus, founder of the school, educated Theodorus and Chrysostom which were impactful for the school. Diodorus influenced Papias who was associated with the Apostle John, who played a major role in advocating premillennialism in the first centuries. This is imperative because Papias incorporated oral traditions of two kinds: some he had himself heard from the Presbyters; others had a second hand from the disciples of the Presbyters. Therefore, every introduction to the New Testament, every book on the Fourth Gospel mentions him. Furthermore, the restoration of a more literal interpretation of the early church fathers spreads to revival of permillennialism in the 1600s. Irenaeus, Plocarp, and Martyr writing portrayed a starring role in the first century of their clear premillennial statement.


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