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So what is millennialism?

I thought I would take a break from going through the Old Testament to help understand Revelation and define one of the popular misinterpretations of the book of Revelation. Those who do not properly understand the Old Testament prophecies can come to some pretty interesting interpretations of Revelation. One of these (actually a class of these with different interpretations within the class) is millennialism.

Millennialism is a false doctrine. There are four major parts to this doctrine: the "rapture", the "tribulation", "Armageddon", and the "millennium" or thousand year reign. There are a number of different subsets of millennialism (not including amillennialism - which is the belief that there is no such thing as a literal thousand year reign). It is difficult to nail down which Christian denominations actually teach millennialism as the various different forms along with amillennialism pervade them all. Rather than attempt to cite any one source (good luck with that) or even worse, link you to definitions from wikipedia, I'll just give a general description of what millennialism's four main parts entail. You can ask a millennialist to try and defend this position from scripture (and I'd happily debate one if a millennialist ever reads this wiki and decides they would like to pit their eschatological belief against my own as posted throughout this wiki). A fictional version of one form of millennialism has popularized the belief, the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (http://www.leftbehind.com/ ).

The Rapture - the belief that either before, during, or after the Tribulation "faithful Christians" (and I use the term in the broader, denominational sense rather than the correct, Biblical one) will be taken directly to Heaven, even those who are dead and buried. Popular bumper stickers on cars evidence this saying "in case of Rapture, this car will have no driver" or some such.

The Tribulation - a seven year period where the "Antichrist", the son of Satan in contradistinction to Christ, the Son of God, is born and unites the world under a false, one world religion seeking to turn all of the rest of the world (and specifically the Jews) from God. Those who were "left behind" but become faithful Christians must endure the Tribulation and remain faithful till Christ returns to set up his 1000 year kingdom.

Armageddon - the final battle at the end of the Tribulation between the forces of Good and Evil on Earth. At the end of the battle, Satan is cast down into the abyss/hell/whatever for 1000 years and Christ sets up his 1000 year kingdom and rules from Jerusalem.

Millennium - a 1000 year physical kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ from Jerusalem. This 1000 year reign is one of unparalleled prosperity, beauty, etc. that restores the Earth to what God meant for it to be before the fall of man in Genesis 3.

There are vast problems with the millennial interpretation. For instance the fact that Revelation begins and ends by saying that the events John is writing about will come "soon" "quickly" and that the "time is at hand" rather than hundreds or thousands of years later. Other internal problems are more detailed, for example the idea that the four horsemen of Revelation 6 are servants of Satan, when in fact they are servants of God. These I cover thoroughly in Revelation elsewhere in this wiki.

Eventually we will, by covering what the Bible actually says, deal with all of the false interpretations that millennialism and other heresies present. Just wanted to post up at least a basic understanding of what I'm talking about when I refer to the term "millennialism".

In Truth and Love.

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