We Condemn Jewish Dreams Of A Golden Age

THE SECTS. We therefore condemn all who deny a real resurrection of the flesh (II Tim. 2:18), or who with John of Jerusalem, against whom Jerome wrote, do not have a correct view of the glorification of bodies. We also condemn those who thought that the devil and all the ungodly would at some time be saved, and that there would be an end to punishments. For the Lord has plainly declared: “Their fire is not quenched, and their worm does not die” (Mark 9:44). We further condemn Jewish dreams that there will be a golden age on earth before the Day of Judgment, and that the pious, having subdued all their godless enemies, will possess all the kingdoms of the earth. For evangelical truth in Matt., chs. 24 and 25, and Luke, ch. 18, and apostolic teaching in II Thess., ch. 2, and II Tim., chs. 3 and 4, present something quite different. Read more»

Heinrich Bullinger | Second Helvetic Confession (1561/1566), chapter 11.


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. Dr. Clark, does this imply that people who believe in postmillenialism are not Reformed?

    Also, would you consider postmillenialism an orthodox understanding of Scripture? I am under the impression you are an amillenialist. What I am asking is if you would consider someone a fellow Christian if they are a postmillenialist.

    • Hi Brad,

      Yes, I’m amillennial, but the question is more complicated than it seems. We’ve used different categories to describe eschatological positions. Much of the early church was chiliast, i.e., it looked forward to a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on the earth. Now we describe that view as historic premillennialism. As Charles Hill has shown, however, there were orthodox non-Chiliasts. At least some of those would have been what we today call amillennialists. That term, amillennial, however, is only a little more than a century old. Before that, orthodox Christians tended to be described as premillennial or postmillennial. The latter term, however, didn’t mean then what it has come to mean now. So, you can see, these terms are a little slippery.

      That Bullinger issued this warning and that the Second Helvetic was widely adopted (including by the English church) indicates that his critique of the idea of future earthly glory was widespread. Nevertheless, there were more than a few who adopted a version of chiliasm toward the end of the 16th century and in the 17th century and there were those who looked forward, in the 17th century, to a gradual spread of the gospel and to the benefits that would bring. Some of those, however, who’ve been described as “postmillennial” (e.g., Warfield) would, I think, today be described as amillennial.

      In the 20th century, however, sometimes in conjunction with theonomy and sometimes not, versions of postmillennialism have developed that do come very close to the sort of “golden age” thinking condemned in the Second Helvetic.

      Too many folk, especially those new to the Reformed faith and those who’ve entered the Reformed village via the theonomic gate, tend to assume that this more recent version of postmillennialism is the Reformed eschatology.

      That version of postmillennialism associated with theonomy/reconstructionism tends to be adopted by converts from Dispensational premillennialism. Sometimes it seems like it is a very short journey as they trade in their chiliasm (Jesus reigning in a temple for a 1000 years with sacrifices) for a vision of the future that is about as wrong. These versions have fueled to preterist movements which must make the the Revelation go away by dating it to the destruction of the Second Temple or worse by saying that Jesus has already returned, which is heresy against the catholic faith and condemned by Paul himself.

      It’s not my job to decide who is an isn’t a Christian. That’s an ecclesiastical judgment.

Comments are closed.