Revelation 20

Contrary to the alpha privative (a-) prefixed to the millennialism that holds to a real millennium, Amillennialism holds to a real millennium. Those with the pre- prefixed to their millennialism immediately shout down this first statement, since the millennium envisioned in Amillennialism is not a literal millennium, and hence, is not a millennium (Latin. ‘thousand years’).

The Amillennialist has tried to correct the misunderstanding based on their camp’s name by saying contentedly, ‘It is A-millennial, because their is no millennium as a premillennialist would define the millennium.’ Good enough. But there is still a millennium of sorts to define. And so, the counter argument is that a-millennialism does not define what it is but only what is not. Amillennialists would soon be classed as post-millennial, and would be glad to bear it if it meant that Christ returns after (post) the millennium as they understand it, not as pre- or post-millennials understand. So, still there is no defining it yet.

Some Amils have preferred the terms Inaugurated Millennialism because the millennium of Revelation 20 has begun already, the kingdom has come with its power through Christ but not-yet as it shall when He returns. Inaugurated eschatology (already-but-not-yet-fully) is great and biblical, but is used in all millennial schemes and it could be taken to mean that there is a not-yet to the millennium which will eventuate upon Christ’s return…we’re back at Premillennialism.

What should Amillennialists do? (And, no, the answer, my cheeky premil brothers, is not to switch to Premillennialism. Ha-ha.)

I have thought of this name for a while and I think it defines this, the author’s eschatology better: Intermillennialism. Simply, here’s why:

  • The millennium takes place in the intermediate state, where Christ reigns with the glorified souls of Christians. Of course, the blessings of heaven and Christ’s reign there extend to us down here, but the millennium proper is heavenly.
  • The time of the millennium spans the inter-advent age, between Christ’s first and second coming. We have Pre- and Post- positions relative to the return of Christ, this defines the millennium in relation to both comings.
  • The kind of kingdom that comes to the fore, though it cannot be reduced to this, is Christ’s internal reign in the hearts of and through His people. Again, this is a part, not the whole of His redemptive reign.

These three things, place, time, and kind are a logical necessity to define the nature of a thing held to, like an eschatological position.

I might also add another “inter” that I hope adherents to this view adopt: interdependence. That is, with other Christians who hold a different view of the millennium and what comes before it. There are Premillennialists who sweat more, bled more, and cried more than I have for the cause of Christ. Am I to deny them my right hand and my mission support because they conceive of the return of Christ differently than I? There are Postmillennialists who have fought spiritual battles in court and parliament and senate for my freedoms as a Christian. Am I to belie them because I trot and they gallop? By the grace of God I hope to hasten the coming of the day of God with the help of and not in spite of my Pre- and Post- brethren.

It seems like a thing worth changing for the sake of better clarity and improved conversation around our interpretation of Revelation 20 and all other related texts.

Well, tell me what you think.