End-time views

   End Time Prophecy Leads to Rome | The Kingdom of Israel

The end-time viewpoint of Justin Martyr.

He was Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, converted to Christianity about A.D. 130, and taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165.

He clearly believed in a 1,000 yearmillennial period but its characteristics are radically different than premillennialism.

  1. Inhabited only by martyred believers from the church age
  2. No unbelievers present
  3. A continuous worship service
  4. The Great Tribulation is the persecution of believers under the leadership of the man of apostasy

Justin Martyr

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew

Note that Justin is speaking to a Jew who is very knowledgable of the Old Testament.

Chapter LXXX — The Opinion of Justin with Regard to the Reign of a Thousand Years. Several Catholics Reject It

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?"

This matches my view of the new heavens and new earthperfectly. Here are the claims...

  1. Jerusalem (destroyed at the time of Justin) will be literally rebuilt. This event has since occurred.
  2. All people will be gathered joyfully together with Christ including those true believers before and after Christ came. The question is: what does joyfully together with Christ refer to? Certainly the new heavens and new earth qualifies.
  3. Notice that there are no unbelievers in this joyful time period. This does not match the 1,000 yearmillennium at all.

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."

Christians disagreed about this topic. Perhaps the others thought Jerusalem would never be rebuilt or that the Jews before Christ would never come joyfully together with Christ. Whatever their views, they were not heretics.

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 Genist, Meristae, Gelilaeans, 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.

Justin mentions Christians he considers heretics who don't accept the bodily resurrection because the body is the source of sin — a dualism between body and soul, even denying that Jesus came in bodily form. It appears these believe that upon death, the soul is taken to heaven, presumably forever.

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.

Jerusalem had been destroyed at the time of Justin but has since been rebuilt. In order for Justin's timeline to be correct, Jerusalem will at a yet-future time be destroyed again. But premillennialists never claim this in their scenarios.

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew

Note that Justin is speaking to a Jew who is very knowledgable of the Old Testament.

Chapter LXXXI — He Endeavours to Prove This Opinion From Isaiah and the Apocalypse

For Isaiah spake thus concerning this space of a thousand years:

Quotes Isaiah 65:17-25(but substitutes the phrase "days of the tree of life" in verse 22for "days of a tree").

Now we have understood that the expression used among these words, 'According to the days of the tree [of life] shall be the days of my people; the works of their toil shall abound' obscurely predicts a thousand years.

The passage from Isaiah doesn't mention 1,000 years but it does mention the new heavens and new earth.In my view all these glorious miraculous occurrences will occur in the new heavens and new earth, not in a literal 1,000 yearmillennium.

For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, 'The day of the Lord is as a thousand years,' is connected with this subject.

And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place.

In the book of Revelation, John did not mention anything about dwelling 1,000 years in Jerusalem. Justin is in error.

Justin clearly places the general judgment after the 1,000 years so I suppose you could say he was premillennial. But his views are nothing like any form of premillennialism I've ever encountered.

Just as our Lord also said, 'They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection.'

So many bad assumptions:

Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew

Note that Justin is speaking to a Jew who is very knowledgeable of the Old Testament.

Chapter CX — A Portion of the Prophecy Already Fulfilled in the Christians: The Rest Shall be Fulfilled at the Second Advent

And when I had finished these words, I continued: "Now I am aware that your teachers, sirs, admit the whole of the words of this passage [Micah 4:1-7]to refer to Christ; and I am likewise aware that they maintain He has not yet come; or if they say that He has come, they assert that it is not known who He is; but when He shall become manifest and glorious, then it shall be known who He is."

And then, they say, the events mentioned in this passage shall happen, just as if there was no fruit as yet from the words of the prophecy.

O unreasoning men! understanding not what has been proved by all these passages, that two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which He is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonoured, and crucified; but the other, in which He shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians, who, having learned the true worship of God from the law, and the word which went forth from Jerusalem by means of the apostles of Jesus, have fled for safety to the God of Jacob and God of Israel; and we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons,—our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage,—and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, and hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified; and sitting each under his vine, i.e., each man possessing his own married wife.

Justin does not entertain the concept of a two-part second coming: first the coming in the clouds for the rapture, then the real second coming. His descriptions of events do not match any premillennial view I've ever encountered.

For you are aware that the prophetic word says, 'And his wife shall be like a fruitful vine.' Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshippers of God through the name of Jesus.

For Just as if one should cut away the fruit-bearing parts of a vine, it grows up again, and yields other branches flourishing and fruitful; even so the same thing happens with us. For the vine planted by God and Christ the Saviour is His people.

But the rest of the prophecy shall be fulfilled at His second coming. For the expression, 'He that is afflicted [and driven out],' i.e., from the world, [implies] that, so far as you and all other men have it in your power, each Christian has been driven out not only from his own property, but even from the whole world; for you permit no Christian to live. But you say that the same fate has befallen your own nation.

Notice that Micah 4:7 will occur at Christ's second coming after the man of apostasy appears on the scene; verses 1 to 6 occur before this during the Church age.

Now, if you have been cast out after defeat in battle, you have suffered such treatment justly indeed, as all the Scriptures bear witness; but we, though we have done no such [evil acts] after we knew the truth of God, are testified to by God, that, together with the most righteous, and only spotless and sinless Christ, we are taken away out of the earth. For Isaiah cries, 'Behold how the righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart; and righteous men are taken away, and no man considers it.'