Has your congregation dedicated any degree of time and effort into investigating the meaning of the Book of Revelation, beyond the first three chapters? Has your preacher expounded upon other prophetic books, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Daniel? When was the last time you heard a sermon on the meaning of Zechariah Chapter 14? Have you ever noticed that Amos vividly prophesies the planting of vineyards and gardens, rebuilding of cities, fruit harvesting, and the Jewish people restored to their own land in peace, but your preacher explains all these away as symbolically fulfilled by the Church? (cf. Amos 9:11 – 15). If you are facing this frustration, know that you are not alone! Many other Christians wish their church leaders taught Bible prophecy but, sadly, it does not happen because those leaders have fallen victim to a doctrine known as, Amillennialism.
Telltale signs of Amillennialism are obvious. Firstly, Bible prophecy is avoided like the plague. Any explanation given for specific prophecies is supplied only under the rarest of circumstances. Entire books of the Bible are avoided as much as possible. This makes sense because, when our answers are weak, and they contradict conclusions already drawn about Bible teaching, there is certainly no desire to open up that part of God’s word and “face the music”. Most would rather simply ignore prophecies that don’t agree with “Church of Christ doctrine” and, instead, focus only on friendly eschatological passages. As I have heard said in the Philippines, “A water buffalo without any horns does not go out looking for a fight”.
Secondly, this failed interpretive method attempts to allegorize obvious statements in God’s word. It denies what the Bible clearly teaches and reinvents the meaning of prophetic language in order to suit its own preconceived conclusions. Even though prophetic precedent shows us that, usually, statements are to be taken literally (at face value for what they say), so many Bible teachers will make nearly everything written in apocalyptic literature into a “symbol”. The Bible states, “They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). One may easily observe this statement and conclude the open and shut case for the premillennial doctrine. “If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up with nonsense!” Premillennialism accepts the plain reading of Scripture while Amillennialism rejects it, as plain as it may be.
Volumes of information, including passages found in nearly every book of the Bible, could be offered to refute the falsehoods inherent within the amillennial hermeneutic, and its false concept about the nature of the kingdom. In fact, Amillennialism is one of the easiest false doctrines to refute, but if time allowed only one argument to be presented in order to topple the amillennial denial of Christ’s future 1,000-year reign, what would that argument be? What stands apart as the most powerful refutation and the death blow to Amillennialism?
I find this to be considerably important because, so often, there is no time to debate details and mull over the various interpretations of so many verses with someone who has been confused and misled by years of incorrect teaching and twisted Scriptures. Honestly, I was left confused for many years. However, the one passage I kept returning to, and could not reconcile in my own mind, is found just before the aforementioned verse (Rev. 20:4). The inspired text reads as follows:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.” (Rev. 20:1 – 3).
As indicated by these inspired words, John saw an event simultaneously taking place as the saints were resurrected and began their reign with Christ upon the earth. Notably, all of this occurs immediately after the description of Christ’s glorious return in Chapter 19. John then sees Satan being bound for the purpose of restraining him from deceiving the nations of the world anymore. This passage, along with the entire context, directly contradicts the central claim of the amillennial theory – that Christians are presently reigning upon the earth right now, as the millennium is realized and enjoyed by Christians in the present.
In order for Amillennialism to be true, it must also be true that Satan is bound right now, and unable to deceive the nations during this present age. Since it is impossible to prove that Satan is restrained from his deceiving power, it is impossible to prove the amillennial construct. In fact, it is further disproven by the fact that the Bible teaches, explicitly, Satan currently “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8, NKJV). Peter speaks about Satanic activity during the Church Age. Many other passages confirm that Satan is presently on the prowl, as he always has been, to destroy and consume the weak (cf. Job 1:7; Mk. 4:15; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:14; Jas. 4:7). The method of his murderous work is clearly identified as deception (Jn. 8:44; 2 Cor. 4:4). In fact, he deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9).
To claim that the millennium is nothing more than a symbolic reference to the Church Age is to necessarily imply that Satan is bound, and no longer deceives nations. Since he does deceive nations, we know that Satan is not bound, and, therefore, the millennium has not yet begun. We may demonstrate this point using a simple, logical form of argumentation known as, “modus ponens” or, “the mode of affirming”.
1. If (1) it is the case that Satan is bound during the millennium so that “he might not deceive the nations any longer” and, (2) Satan is presently not bound from his work of deceiving nations and, (3) we are presently living in the age in which Satan is not bound, then, (4) we are not presently living during the millennium.
2. It is the case that Satan is bound during the millennium so that “he might not deceive the nations any longer” (Rev. 20:1 – 3) and, Satan is presently not bound from his work of deceiving nations (1 Pet. 5:8) and, we are presently living in the age in which Satan is not bound.
3. Therefore, we are not presently living during the millennium. Amillennialism refuted!
This is a valid argument because the conclusion about the millennium follows the listed premises above, directly denying the amillennial interpretation of Revelation, and falsifying its claim that we are now living in the millennial kingdom era. I don’t know anyone who denies that Satan is at work today but, somehow, those with an amillennial viewpoint of prophecy continue to believe, inconsistently, that we are living during the time of his binding.
To sum it up, the binding of Satan categorically disproves the supposed, present-day, allegorical millennial kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. We are not in the millennium! Since Satan’s incarceration is future, the kingdom’s arrival on this earth is also future, since it refers to the same era. The resurrection of the righteous is future, the resurrection of the wicked is future, the judgment is future, and everything else which is prophesied to transpire after Christ’s coming, described in Revelation 19, is also future. The doctrine of Amillennialism is not Biblical and it must be rejected! – MAH