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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

Ask A Question About Eschatology

If you would like to ask a question about Reformed amillennialism, ask it here.

If the question is relevant to readers of the Riddleblog, or has not already been answered, I'll get to it when I can.  I try to answer one of these a week, so, obviously, I cannot get to all of them.

Please be sure to read through previously answered questions first.  I may have already tackled it!

Questions and answers are archived in the "Answers to Questions About Eschatology" section.

When Jesus talked to his disciples on the Mount of Olives, he said that the temple would be torn down, and that he did not speak of it being rebuilt again at some later time, yet he mentioned the abomination of desolation. Does the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24:15, and the sitting in the temple of God of II Thessalonians 2:4, necessitate a rebuilding of the Jewish temple? Jesus fulfilled all the law and types of the temple, and when he was crucified the veil was rent in twain, and within a generation the Jewish temple was thrown down.

In the old testament, there was the temple/tabernacle with the presence of the LORD above the mercy seat in the most holy place. Then in the new testament, first there is the presence of the LORD, in the tabernacle of flesh, i.e. the incarnation of the Son of God. Then after he ascended into heaven, there is now the presence of the LORD in the body of Christ, the church, in the person of the Holy Ghost – collectively in the body of Christ, and individually indwelling each born again believer in Christ. This is the presence of the LORD, in this current temple, until that particular ministry of the Holy Ghost ends as dramatically as it started, when he brings the body of Christ, resurrected, up to meet her bridegroom, the LORD Jesus Christ, in the blessed hope.

I Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

II Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The different times Paul mentions the temple to the Corinthians, that he always uses 2nd person plural, ye & your, implying that the temple of God is made up the believers, plural. Yes the Holy Ghost indwells the individual believer, but there is a collective indwelling of the Third Person of the Trinity in the church. The word temple is singular in all three places, and body is singular when it is used also. He did not say, “Thou art the temple of the God” - nor did he say, “ye are the temples of God” - nor did he say, “your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost”.

Is there any way possible that there will be an abomination of desolation taking place in the church age temple, rather than in an old testament temple rebuilt? Could there be one, who will, like the son of perdition, Judas, also be called the son of perdition, and betray Jesus, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God – somehow possibly in the body of Christ, rather than in a rebuilt old testament temple on Mount Moriah? Is there any possible way for something like this to occur?
July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGino LaPointe
Why would someone make this statement ?

"Scripture interprets scripture and there is only one truth, and Amill's tend to spiritualize Revelation which they shouldn't do."
July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElmarie Swart
I've always wondered about the rest of Daniel -- after chapter 9 -- in relation to Amillenialism. Namely the vision which speaks of the kings of the South and the North in chapter 11 and 12. How do we go about interpreting this, since it also speaks specifically of peace treaties, wars, times and days, removing the sacrifices, and setting up the abomination of desolation?

In the context of chapters 11 and 12 the vision seems to be referencing the destruction of Jerusalem and beyond...so then what do we make of the passage and its conclusion that speaks of 1,290 and 1335 days (a difference of 45 days).

Still a mystery and very speculative...

Chris Jager
Tillamook, OR
April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Dr. Riddlebarger,

I understand how the overall context of Daniel Chapter 9 is very covenantal and how Christ is the main subject of the 70 Weeks prophecy, but I am still having trouble with a few of the details.

First of all, in verse 25, many Bible translations (NKJV, NIV, NASB, etc.) seem to group the first 7 weeks and the next 62 weeks together (for 69 weeks total), and then indicate that an anointed one will come after those 69 weeks. However, the ESV translation seems to indicate that the anointed one would come after the first 7 weeks. So, a couple of questions: (1) if the ESV is accurate in its translation, then how could the anointed one referred to in verse 25 possibly be referring to Christ? And, (2) in your opinion, which translation gives the most accurate rendering of the 70 Weeks prophecy?

The second issues deals with the much discussed “he” of verse 27. Again, variations among translations are significant. The NIV and NLT seem to clearly indicate that the “he” who makes the covenant is the same “he” who makes the abomination of desolation (which would be an anti-Christ type figure). However, other versions such as the ESV, NKJV, and NASB seem to indicate a distinction between the “he” who makes the covenant and the one who makes the abomination. So, my questions are these: (1) is there any grammatical support in the original Hebrew for concluding that the “he” who makes the covenant is indeed the Messiah and thus separate from the one who makes the abomination? And, (2) is there any grammatical support for concluding that the “he” who makes the covenant is the same one who makes the abomination?

Any insight you can provide will be greatly appreciated! -Josh
July 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh
Dr. Riddlebarger, I've been stuck in a rut. I am not a Dispensationalist but I do believe in a distinct future for Israel. What is your advice on the subject?
July 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Biglin
Dr. Riddlebarger,

How should one understand "growth of the kingdom" OT texts from an Amillennial perspective? These texts are often appealed to by Postmillennialists. In particular such texts as the following: Ps. 72:8, Isa. 9:7, Hab. 2:14 and similar texts. When and in what way should we understand these texts as being fulfilled?

Also, how should one understand the usage of Ps. 110 in the NT? 1 Cor. 15:25 says that Christ must reign until all enemies are put under his feet. What does this mean from an Amillennial perspective?
June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJosh Schwisow
Dr. Riddlebarger,

I understand your argument for the continuation of the covenant of Grace and I agree that it is the most consistent way to view the Bible. My only question is why did God reinitiate the covenant of works with the Israelites on Sinai if they too were under the Covenant of Grace which had been made with Abraham?
Thank you,
Zach
February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZach
A Question about "Which say there are Jews":
Dr. Riddlebarger,
What are the various interpretations (true & false) regarding who are they which say they are Jews but do lie (Reve 2:9 & 3:9)? Some have told me that it refers to the unconverted of the tribe of Judah, since they are not saved. That cannot be, because even the scriptures often uses the word Jews when speaking of unbelievers as well. Another was by a friend of mine who keeps trying to convince me that those currently in the land are Kazaars and not of Judah - that really seems wrong in light of the historical records. Others have mentioned that current JWs & Adventists come close to this. Thenthere is the "Yeshua Ha'Mashiach" crowd that are going back to the law like the Galatians, speaking as much Hebrew as they can, etc. Also how do these people worship at the feet of the Philadelphians? Is that in reference to evangelistic altar calls? They do not worship the Philadelpheans, but only worship the Lord at their feet, correct?
Thank you,
Gino
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGino LaPointe
Hello Dr. Riddlebarger,

I have an eschatology question for you that's always bugged me.

In Jesus' telling of the sheep and goat judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) the text suggests three categories of people in His brethren, the sheep, and the goats (the latter two making up "the nations"). The meaning of the parable seems to be that, on the day of judgment, the dead will be judged - at least in part - on the basis of how they treated His brethren.

In the larger context of Matthew's gospel, it would seem that the identity of His brethren are either His disciples and/or "whoever does the will of my Father in heaven" (Matthew 12:46-50). Following this interpretation, we then have an irresistible parallel between Matthew 10:40-42 and Jesus granting the sheep access to His kingdom on the basis of how they treated His brethren.

But now I run into a problem in that I want to identify the sheep - who inherit the kingdom - as His brethren but all the scriptural evidence I can find tells me that this isn't so:

(1) A plain reading of Matthew 25:31-46 suggests that these are separate categories. If we suppose that they are really the same category then the text becomes somewhat awkward (i.e. the sheep are judged on the basis of how they treated each other [!?] and the goats are judged on the basis of how they treated the sheep).

(2) 1 Corinthians 6:2 suggests that His brethren are not before the throne in this scene, as are the sheep and the goats, but standing alongside Him in judgment.

(3) The sheep and goat judgment seems to be a picture of what will happen at the Great White Throne Judgment: the dead are judged according to what they had done [first parallel] and those not found in the book are thrown into the eternal fire [second parallel]. However, John tells us that the dead who are judged at this scene come from death, Hades, and the sea; none of which seem to be natural containers for His brethren [third parallel]. Lastly, a plain reading of Revelation 20:15 suggests that not everyone is thrown into the eternal fire at this judgment as well [fourth parallel].

(4) Lastly, according to the NIV translation (circa 2010), John 5:24-29 reads as follows (taken from BibleGateway.com):

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

Which supports this idea that His brethren are resurrected to life and the dead are resurrected to judgment, but within the latter category another "cut" is made (if you will) on the basis of what they have done. It doesn't take too much effort to see that there might be three separate categories of people in this passage.

So, Dr. Riddlebarger, how would you identify the sheep in Matthew 25:31-46 and how would you reconcile that identity with everything I've mentioned in points (1)-(4).

Thank you for your time,
Dave
December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Hi Kim thanks for all you do!
Kim I understand the 2 age model from you & Dr Waldron, I was asked yesterday about Zechariah where he mentions that day 16 times. They were looking at it as the mellenal reign any thoughts on this, and resources to look at?
October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim
Dr. Riddlebarger,
In Isaiah chapter 65 the prophet is teaching about the New Heavens and the New Earth. I always understood this to mean the Kingdom of Christ after his return in judgement. However, in verse 20 of this chapter we read "he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth, he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed." This seems to indicate that physical death will take place during this time. Please explain.
Thanks,
Mike C.
June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Hi Dr. Riddlebarger,
I've been a pre-wrath rapture, premillennialist for 30 years. I've studied postmil. and preterism and am unimpressed, however, your amill. view is the first to truly make sense. So far I've read "God of Promise", "Case for Amill.", "Man of Sin", and "Triumph of the Lamb", and just bought G.K. Beale's commentary of Rev. My question is: Since the first 69 weeks of Daniel were literal 7-year periods (483 years), should we not expect the 70th week to be a literal 7 years also? And if it is, the references to the 3 1/2 years, 42 months, and 1,260 days seem to best fit an historic primil. view.
April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPerry
Hello Dr. Riddlebarger,

I have (roughly) same question Jesse asked on October 14, 2007. I checked the archives and didn't see an answer to any question along these lines.

This past fall I encountered this same teaching regarding the Jewish feasts. Part of me wants to tell such people, "How can the Day of Atonement not be fulfilled? Read Hebrews already!" Another (much smaller) part of me wonders: if Jesus, as our Passover Lamb, died on Passover, if the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, then maybe there is something to this line of thinking regarding the fall feasts after all.

I have been unable to find any (credible) evaluation of this teaching, either for or against. I would certainly value your take on this subject when you get a chance.

Thank you.
February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon R
I have often heard premillennialists use the idea of prophetic perspective in explaining the absence of a millennium in second coming passages and the apparent consummation of all things and general resurrection at the second advent in such passages. After all, amillennialists do use prophetic perspective in OT passages when the prophet sees both comings as one, inserting an at least two millennia gap into the text. Could not the epistles and gospel writers have this same prophetic perspective, seeing two resurrections and two judgments as one which is later explained and clarified in John's apocalyptic vision in Revelation 20? What are the problems with this reasoning without simply resorting to the other problems of premillennialism such as where the nations come from?
October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob
This is a great question by Adam Olve. Was it ever answered?

Thanks!
September 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChadwick
If Christ's millenial reign is a period 1000 years, why are we still here in 2009 AD?
August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWalter
Dr. Riddlebarger

Thank you for an extremely interesting blog. Beeing a salvation army officer I have just recently found that our international headquarter has published a book titled "the Rapture"
( http://www.theraptureandthebible.org.uk/ ). I'm waiting for amazon to send me the book, but from what I've read I fear that this is plain dispensationalism.

I am not surprised to find this view among members of the salvation army, however it shocks me that our international headquarter publishes such a view since (as far as I now) our church never had a fixed theology on Jesus second coming (apart waiting for his return and the final judgment). Therefor, I am determinded to write an article for some of our internal magazines to argue strongly against this view. My question is therefor:

Where can I find good arguments against the dispensationalist interpretation of the rapture / 1. tess 4. ?
(I plan too search your blog very well for argument, and I am already familiar with N. T. Wrights arguments trough this blog:
http://castleofnutshells.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/investigating-the-rapture-by-tim-lahaye/

sincerely,
Helge Byre Myklebust,
captain in the Salvation Army,
Harstad, Norway
June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHelge Byre Myklebust
My question is concerning Acts 1:6-7 and Ephesians 2:7

ACTS 1:6-7
When asked before his crucifixion about his earthly kingdom in Israel by the pharisees and Pilate Jesus answered them in a negative sense, telling them his kingdom had already come not with signs but was in their midst, or when spoken to Pilate telling him His kingdom was not of this world, why then when asked this question after his resurrection by his disciples here in Acts 1 does he not rebuke them but rather tell them it is not for them to know the times which God has fixed?

EPHESIANS 2:7
"So that in the coming ages"
If there are only 2 ages, the present age and the eternal not yet age, why does Paul mention multiple ages here? I ask because my historic premill friend is stating that Paul is mentioning another age, which to him makes sense to be the 1000 year reign of Christ age.

I am squarely an Amill and appreciate your knowledge and insight into these deeper things of God's word, I feel the Acts 1 passage is perhaps the strongest argument a Premill or Dispensationalist have and I am very much looking forward to your response.

Soli Deo Gloria
~Evan
April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEvan
Is Postmillinalism for all intensive purpouses dead and if so how does one deal with Theonomy?
March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
I am on board with amillennialism but would like to know how you explain the first resurrection's (taken in a spiritual sense) relationship to the martyrdom for not taking the beasts mark or worshiping his image. It seems that this is why they are not living in the first place not because of being dead in sin. This is the one difficulty I keep coming up against.

Michael G.
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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