Eastern Orthodox/Pre-millennialism/Chialism


Why is Chialism rejected by the orthodox church? When I read the the Church fathers I find that many of the the Early Fathers in the first 3 centuries held to Pre-millennialism/Chialism people like Polycarp Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertellian, Methodius, Lactantius, and Hippolytus.

Now I understand that others like Augustine and Origen rejected this but Polycarp and Papias were both disciples of John the Apostle who received the Revelation doesn't it make sense that they would have a more accurate interpretation of revelation than Augustine who lived hundreds of years after John?

One of the Arguments I here is that Chialism was condemned by the council of Nicea because it says " and of his kingdom their shall be no end" however Chialism does not teach that christs Kingdom is only 1000 years long but instead discuses the events during the first 1000 years of his reign Chialists believe that Christ returns and then the devil is bound for 1000 years at the end of the 1000 years the devil is released for a short time and is then finally defeated and tossed into the lake of fire then the new heavens and a new earth are made. Christ continues to reign throughout the entire thing and afterwards aswell so chialism does not go against the Nicean council.

Another common argument is the Jesus said that his "kingdom is not of this world" However if we look In Daniel 2 we see the vision of King Nebuchadnezzar with the statue of different metal that is crushed by a stone cut without hands which is Christ" and it grows and becomes a mountain that fills the whole earth. This is the Kingdom of Christ. So Daniels says that Christ kingdom will be on this earth.

So with the understanding that Pre-millenialism/Chialism does not deny any of the creeds of the Church and that the Church fathers do not speak with one voice on the issue and that all those Fathers closest to John held to Chialism why cant an Orthodox person hold this view?

Dear James,

thnx much for your question.

some early church writings interpreted verses about the near kingdom of the Lord by thinking it was very near and will start at their time or very close thereto. that was due to many persecutions facing the Church. persecutions continued and the second coming has not happened.
in amillennialism the "thousand years" is an idiomatic expression for the entire period following the resurrection of Christ until His return. the millennium represents the period between Christ's death and resurrection and his Second Coming, that is, the age of the Church. This view is related to the understanding of a millennium as a short time period to God, with an inexact extent.
The New Testament knows nothing of an earthly and temporal kingdom of Christ, but does speak of His heavenly and eternal kingdom.
2 Tim 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve [me] for His heavenly kingdom. To Him [be] glory forever and ever. Amen!
2 Pet 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

please read these passages where the Holy Bible speaks of the kingdom of God. it is not an earthly or national kingdom. the New Testament books represent it as spiritual and universal, a kingdom that is now in existence.
Mat 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Luke 17:21 “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” {37} Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say [rightly] that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

The verses in Daniel 2 that u mention are not speaking of an earthly kingdom. they are speaking of the Church as God's kingdom on earth.

in Revelation St. John speaks in symbols. most of the numbers and facts in Revelation are symbolic not literal. The 1,000-year reign is a symbolic and spiritual period that started from the day of Lord Jesus’ crucifixion and will continue until His Second Coming for judgment.

ur questions and follow ups r always welcome. best wishes.

urs in Jesus Christ,

Eastern Orthodox

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ashraf Nisseem


Peace be with you. I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox. I can answer questions about the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox beliefs, especially Coptic beliefs.


I have the knowledge to say something useful.

I teach children in my church how to read the Holy Book and other sacred books used in holy services.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.