A question on the Millennium?

I’m having a huge rethink about the book of Revelation at the moment. When I first got saved all I knew at the time was that of a  Pre-trib / Pre-mill position.  And therefore I was caught up with the Left Behind type teaching of Tim La Haye and others like him.

One of my major concerns about this movement was the energy that was wasted in worrying about the future regarding the Anti Christ, the branding of 666 and the Tribulation. In the midst of this worry I saw little trust in Christ and little reassurance that God knew what he was doing. This resulted in a lot of fear and little peace.

Interestingly though those very same people who were worried about the 666 mark of the beast were those most likely to be caught up in some form of tithing / prosperity gospel

I started to research the various theologies about the end times and found that there were many more than just the one. None of them really grabbed me and there was always a gnawing suspicion that they had it wrong.

One of my gnawing suspicions was about the Millennium in that I believed it was never a literal 1000 years, but meant a season in time. It’s also interesting that the church would make a vast theology out of one minor sentence whose thought does not have support of other Biblical witness.

Today I heard the term… atemporal amillennialist

is the view that the ‘thousand-year’ period is hardly any period, but a symbolic term describing the period between the beginning and the end of the judgment, a period which does not really have any length.

While I can’t find a lot research on the web about this position, I am excited that finally I found a position which I can freely and whole heartedly agree to. This bears witness with what Jesus said in regards to the end times… Only God knows and don’t worry about it…for today has enough problems of its own.

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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11 Responses to A question on the Millennium?

  1. Ozowen says:

    I take the “What is happening is happening, what’s gonna happen will happen. If it has already happened than it’s happened” attitude.
    The Bible isn’t clear on the subject so I don’t feel the need to be either.
    It’s all good.

    The real issue is grace. The rest is stuff.

  2. Gontroppo says:

    Have you read More Than Conquerors yet?

  3. Craig Benno says:

    Yeup… you have said well what I believe also. It’s good to know though there is a actual technical term which covers that base….

  4. I can sympathise with your history with the book of Revelation. When I first started getting into Christianity a bit more the only view I thought existed was the Left Behind view. The big problem I have with this view now is that they’re so worried about the whole tribulation idea, especially when the popular teaching from dispensational premillennialism says that they’re not going to be there!

    I was actually startled by the notion that there were other views held by scholars, and if that’s the only thing that I end up getting out of Bible College, I’ll still walk away happy! However, having only now just heard the term atemporal amillennialist, I’m having a small theological reshuffle again. I agree with some of the position they take on the thousand-year period, but I also agree with a fair amount of the traditional amillennialist stance.

    I really enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work!

    • Craig Benno says:

      Thanks Ben.

      I also found it interesting about there being other scholarly positions on many positions. As for your theological reshuffle; I am impressed with your honesty. I think its important to know what you believe and why you believe it and not just because someone else believes it.

  5. Brian Sleeman says:

    I believe that too many people look at this book the wrong way. It’s title and the start of the first verse really should spell it out – it’s about the revelation of Jesus Christ – i.e revealing him, not about secret hidden messages etc. It reveals Christ in Heaven, his position on the throne. Yes it talks about different events and times etc., but it is a prophetic book it is full of symbols and descriptions that particularly need to be read with an understanding of 1st century Christians and how this would have been understood by them. I agree with the view that 1000 years is not meant to be a literal 1000 year period but an ‘age’ or general extended passage of time.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Brian, thanks for reading and commenting.
      I believe your right about the symbols and descriptions. They are metaphors for those at the time and therefore we can be encouraged in that Christ is in control and sits over all things.

      Going on a brief tangent, I think its an interesting exercise to try and write out the story of a whacky dream we might have time to time which can help us to understand the metorphoric symbolism that is happening within this book.

  6. David McKay says:

    Craig, More Than Conquerors [a quote from Romans 8] is a strange title for a book on Revelation!
    It is by William Hendriksen and promotes the kind of view you are toying with.
    It was written in the 1940s and is worth buying and reading.
    Some people knock William Hendriksen, but I think he is tops. After this book, he wrote commentaries on quite a bit of the New Testament, but died before he could complete the project.
    Back in the pre-internet days I wrote him a letter and got a lovely reply.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Thanks David.
      I did a search and found his book and think it would be a good read.
      Interesting about your writing letters. I have emailed a number of authors / scholars over the last few years and found they are gracious in replying.

  7. David McKay says:

    Much easier to send to reply to an email.
    Then you have to carefully keep the email: so easy to lose in a sea of inconsequential ones.

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