How does the Amillennial view see the millennial promises to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33?
This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33
Dr. Reagan: Let's focus on Amillennialism, that particular viewpoint which is held by the majority of Christians both Catholic and Protestant, that we are living in the Millennium right now. What do you think about that?
Don Perkins: We're definitely not! I'll give you a simple example. In Isaiah 11, one of the conditions of the Millennium is that Christ will deal with the animal kingdom. Go to any zoo and look at the lion. Based on the scripture, during the Millennium, the lion will eat straw like the ox. Go to a zoo today and see if that lion is eating straw today. Put a little lamb in that cage and see what happens... lamb chops!
Don McGee: Handel understood this many years ago when he wrote the words and the music to that great song "Messiah." Charles Wesley also understood it when he wrote the words to the song "Joy to the World." We sing that as a Christmas song, but that's not even close to being a Christmas song. That's a song that has to do with the millennial reign of Christ. "He rules the world with truth and grace." That is not the case today.
This Amillennial viewpoint is not something that was imposed upon the world in the Fourth or Fifth Century. There have been godly, scholarly men through those centuries who have understood these passages, but because of the Greek influence that goes back to the early Church Age where anything having to do with the physical world was considered bad and was sinful, then that was imposed upon the Church, but it's not scriptural.
Dennis Pollock: Right. I'll never forget, many years ago, before I really knew much difference between Amillennial, Pre-millennial, or a millipede, or whatever, I heard some tapes by a guy who was teaching on the Amillennial viewpoint. He was going along and on the first tape or two it made some sense. I was starting to think, "Maybe he knows what he's talking about." But, the thought came up, "Where is the millennium in all of this?" Well, he finally got around to that and basically said, "It's all symbolic. It doesn't really mean anything of what it says, and essentially, there is no Millennium." I couldn't go along with that.
Dr. Reagan: That really robs you of a lot of hope, doesn't it?
Dennis Pollock: Well, it does, and that's what they do.
When you look at the Millennium you have to ask, "What's involved? What does the Bible say about it?" There are really two great sources on that. One is Revelation 20, where it describes certain aspects of the Millennium. The second is Isaiah, where it goes into some of the more graphic details about it all.
When you look at those scriptures, if you take them as they're written, you'll find that Satan is going to be bound for this thousand year period. He is not going to be active. If you're bound you can't do a whole lot. If I was going to tie you up, you wouldn't get much work done, would you? And so, he's going to be bound, thrown into a pit, and the Bible says even beyond that, "he will deceive the nations no more." Well, I've been to India and across the world and I've seen some of the way that millions and billions of people are bound by false religion, deceit, and by deception. Satan is very busy. He is not the least bit bound at this point. He is active and involved.
If you took a couple of drops of coke and put them in a gallon bucket, and then you poured water in the rest of it and handed it to someone and said, "Here, have a coke." They'd reply, "That's not a coke." That's two drops of coke and the rest water. That's what Amillennialists have done with the Millennium. They have so diluted it by declaring, "This doesn't mean what this says. This doesn't mean what that says. Satan is bound, but he's still able to do a whole lot." Essentially, they dilute the millennial reign of Christ out of existence.
Dr. Reagan: When I was teaching on this topic at one time, I was talking about how Augustine developed this whole concept of Amillennialism back about 400 A.D. Augustine pointed out that Satan was bound by the cross and he's been bound ever since then and that's one of the evidences that we're in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. There was a fellow in the audience who just stood up right there and said, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. What? You're saying to me that Amillennialists believe that Satan is bound right now?" I answered, "That's right." He replied, "Well, brother, all I got to say is, if he's bound, he is bound on a very long chain because he's always gnawing on my leg." And, boy, he just brought the house down!
Don McGee: Peter wouldn't agree with what Augustine declared, because Peter said Satan's like a lion that goes about seeking someone he might devour.
In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll continue to look at how the Amillennial view sees the millennial promises to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33.