Amillennialism: The Parallel Of Good And Evil.

Deals with Eschatology which is the theology of last things. Amillenialists believe there will be no Millenium before the end of the world. They believe there is a parallel existance of good and evil that exists until the end.

Amillennialism is a belief that falls under Eschatology, or the study of end times. They believe that the rapture comes at the end of the Church age or Millennium (The one thousand -year reign of Christ) as described in Revelation 20:1-7. There are various views as to how the world will end as described in the Book of Revelation. Revelation is clear as to what is going to happen, but the exact timing, and theologians do not agree upon the specific order. Other views are Premillennialist (the Rapture happens prior to the Millennium) and Postmillennialist (the Rapture happens after the Millennium).

Amillennialists believe that at Christ's resurrection, the Millennium started and that we are living through it now. Part of this belief comes from the New Testament, because only two ages are mentioned. This present world (or age) and the world (or age) to come. Matthew 12:32 states, "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or the age to come. Mark 10:30 states, "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time"" houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions""and in the age to come, eternal life".

They believe that the visions in Revelation run parallel to each other. They don't believe there is a chronological order and that each of the visions are spiritual realities that are happening during the Church age. Revelation 20 1-6 is part of the basis for this belief. Paraphrased, John describes seeing an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit. The angel laid hold of the dragon who is the Devil or Satan and bound him for before casting him into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then he saw thrones and judgment taking place. He describes seeing souls of those killed witnessing for Jesus and God and of those refusing to accept the mark of the beast.

Because Satan is bound, he cannot stop the spread of Christianity. Hostility against Christians will gradually worsen and increase as the end nears. When the Millennial reign ends, Christ will appear in midair and the believers will meet him. Believers will then return to the earth with Jesus while he defeats the antichrist at the battle of Armageddon. After winning the great battle, the white throne judgment will take place. The believers go to the New Jerusalem for eternity while the non-believers are sent to hell.

Amillennialists have the belief that Christians will go through the Great Tribulation. This is a time when there will be great persecution of Christians. During this time, the Judgements described in Revelation will take place. Most agree that the Tribulation will last for seven years. The events of the tribulation include the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and the seven bowl judgments. Other events are the emergence of the antichrist, the conversion and killing of 144,000 believing Jews, the ministry of the two witnesses and their deaths and resurrections. There will also be a revised Roman Empire, Israel will be invaded, and Babylon will be created and destroyed. Finally, the antichrist's kingdom will be destroyed prior to the final battle of Armageddon.

The seven seals are the first of the judgments carried out. The first seal is the white horse whose rider wears a crown and carries a bow. Theologians have differing opinions on what this stands for. Some believe it stands for an outbreak of violence; other think it signifies the spreading of the gospel throughout all of the nations. The second seal is depicted by a red horse whose rider is given a large sword and given the authority to make war. The third seal is the black horse whose rider is given a pair of scales while a voice from heaven announces a lack of food, which means there will be a famine. The seal is the pale horse and the rider's name is Death. His partner is hell. Together, they will slaughter one-fourth of the world's population. The fifth seal is opened to reveal the souls of those martyred spreading the gospel. When the sixth seal is opened, there will be a great earthquake that shakes the earth. The seventh seal is opened and there is a period of silence in heaven. This leads to the final judgment that will lead up to the final battle between Christ and his enemies.

The second judgment consists of the seven trumpet judgments. When the first trumpet sounds, fiery hail falls to the earth burning one-third of the trees and grass. When the second trumpet sounds, a mountain of fire will be thrown into the sea. This will turn the sea into blood, kill one-third of the sea creatures, and destroy one-third of all ships. The third trumpet signifies a flaming star named Wormwood falling to the earth poisoning one-third of the world's fresh water. The fifth trumpet summons locusts with the power of scorpions are allowed to terrorize and torture unbelievers for a period of five months. With the sounding of the sixth trumpet, there will be another violent war resulting in the death of another third of the world's population. The seventh trumpet announces the misery of the seven bowl judgments to come. After the seven bowl judgments are poured, the final struggle will take place in heaven and on earth.

Sometime before or during the seal judgments, antichrist will rise to power. He does not just appear; he comes from a long line of rebellion. After his rise to power, politically, he will become so powerful. Those who openly oppose him will be killed. He will require anyone wishing to trade be branded with his mark. Those who refuse will not be allowed to buy or sell. He will suffer a wound "as to death" which helps to deceive many. Later he will defile the temple and demand to be worshipped as a god; those who don't will be ruthlessly persecuted. The actions of the antichrist are responsible for the tribulation period. His goal is also purely religious; he too wants to be worshipped, to have authority over all nations, and to replace Christ.

During this same period, there will appear two witnesses. These two will preach God's word for 1,260 days in Jerusalem and to the world. Anyone who attempts to silence or harm the witnesses will be destroyed. They will have the power to cause plagues, stop rain from falling, and turn water into blood.

After 1,260 days, the antichrist will kill the two witnesses. Their bodies will be left to rot in the streets. People will celebrate for the first time since the start of the Tribulation. This celebration will be cut short because after three and one-half days, the two witnesses will be resurrected and ascend to heaven. Many who witness this will proclaim faith in Christ

The seven bowl judgments signify the end is near. When the first bowl is poured, painful sores will appear on non-believers. This hardens many hearts against God. The second bowl turns the rest of the seas into blood, killing aquatic life. The third bowl turns the rest of the fresh water into blood. With all fresh water polluted, life can't last much longer. The forth bowl allows the sun to burn and torment people. The fifth bowl changes the sun from bright to dark. The earth will be enveloped in darkness. Even as the earth is enveloped in darkness, hardhearted people will continue to curse God. When the sixth bowl dries up, the Euphrates River is caused to dry up. This creates a route for the armies to gather at Armageddon. The seventh bowl results in another earthquake along with hail. This affects the whole earth with cities collapsing. People will further harden their hearts against God.

After all of the judgments, Amillennialists believe this is the time the Church will be raptured. As the armies prepare for the battle at Armageddon, Christ will return and appear in the clouds. This is when they believe the believers will ascend to meet Him. They will all ascend back to the earth and the final battle of good and evil will take place. Christ will defeat Satan and the antichrist. The great judgment will take place, and the believers will go to spend eternity in Heaven while the non-believers are sentenced to hell for eternity.

Besides the book of Revelation, other sources of eschatology or end time prophecies include Daniel 9, Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians 4, 2 Thessalonians 2, 2 Timothy 3, and 1 John 2. By studying these books, it is possible to at least partly understand what Biblical Prophecies are all about. Study diligently and come to your own conclusions.

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