Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Chapter LXXX.—The opinion of Justin with regard to the reign of a thousand years… And Trypho to this replied, “I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the … Continue reading
Chiliasm is a name for the system of theology that the earliest post-apostolic Christian writers upheld and defended as orthodox doctrine. Today it is commonly known as historic pre-millennialism. The word “Chiliasm” comes from the Greek word “chilia” meaning millennium. This early Christian system of theology was called “Chiliasm” by later Christians due to the early writers who defended this doctrine and interpreted the thousand year millennium literally (Rev 20:4).
The earliest eight non-canonical Christian writers (see early church fathers) unanimously agreed and upheld the Chiliast view that after this present age Jesus Christ would return to the earth to physically judge the wicked that have rejected him, at this time after the tribulation the first resurrection would occur. This would be followed by the saints and Christ ruling over nations, with the nation of Israel as the head of those nations. The earth will then be restored to its original pristine condition before the fall and God’s eternal kingdom will be inaugurated. The rule of Christ and His saints over the mortal gentile nations will last 1000 years at this time the second resurrection will occur consisting of all who did not take part in the first ressurection. These will face the final great white throne judgment.
The early Christian writers who defended this system of theology did so with zeal and fervency because the Gnostic cults who were spreading heretical doctrines were heavily attacking this view. The early Christian writers believed that the destiny of believers was Christ’s coming eschatological kingdom on this earth, while the Gnostic cults viewed the believer’s destiny as a spiritual existence in the “pleroma” or celestial heavens.
See Justin Martyr’s quote below:
Chapter LXXX.—The opinion of Justin with regard to the reign of a thousand years…
And Trypho to this replied, “I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?”
Then I answered, “I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly,that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware;but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. Moreover, I pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone, I shall draw up a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us; in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit to you.For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth],and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistæ, Meristæ,Galilæans, Hellenists,Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are [only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.
- Justin Martyr [A.D 110-165]
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