End Times Terminology
Terms to Help With the Study of Bible Prophecy
Millennium - from Latin mille (thousand) + annus (year) This term means one thousand years.
Millennial Kingdom – This is the one thousand year Kingdom with Christ reigning on the earth and over the whole earth; also known as the Messianic Kingdom (kingdom of the messiah), the Davidic Kingdom, or the Kingdom of God.
Premillennial return of Christ - from Latin prae (before) + millennial This is the belief that Christ will return to the earth before or prior to the 1,000 year kingdom; also known as Chiliasm from the Greek chilioi (thousand).
Postmillennial return of Christ - from Latin post (after) + millennial This is the belief that Christ will return to the earth after the 1,000 year kingdom.
Amillennial - from Greek a (not, without) + millennial This is the belief that there is no 1,000 year kingdom or that it is only a spiritualized kingdom and not literal.
Rapture - from Latin raptus (to snatch, seize) This is the belief that Christ will return to remove the saints (church) from the earth.
Tribulation - from Latin tribulum (to press) This is the belief that God will administer His wrath on the earth for a period of seven years. This time of wrath is also known as Daniel’s seventieth week, Israel’s seventieth week, or the Day of the Lord.
Pretribulation Rapture - This if the belief that Christ will remove the entire church from the earth prior to the Tribulation; before the Day of the Lord begins.
Midtribulation Rapture - This is the belief that Christ will remove the entire church sometime during the Tribulation period. Usually this belief holds to a rapture of the church right in the middle of the Tribulation at the 3 1/2 year point.
Prewrath Rapture - This teaching is essentially a variation of the midtribulation position. This view redefines many Bible terms and views the church being removed from the earth sometime after the first 3 1/2 year point.
Partial Rapture - This is the belief that only those watching for the Lord and are living a holy life will be removed from the earth at the Rapture. This is a pretribulational view but without the entire church being taken away. This belief neglects the realization that the entire church is positionally “in Christ” at all times.
Preterist (past) - from the Latin praeter (past). This view believes the prophecies in Revelation have mostly or entirely been fulfilled. The preterist view usually points to a spiritual return of Christ in 70 A.D. for the fulfillment of most of the book of Revelation.
Historicist (present) – This view believes that portions of the book of Revelation are slowly being fulfilled over time. The historicist view believes the Tribulation is being fulfilled at different times throughout church history with only a portion of the book yet to be fulfilled.
Futurist (future)- This view believes most of the book of Revelation is yet to be fulfilled in the future.
Idealist/Spiritualist (timeless)- This view believes the prophecies in Revelation are only good illustrations or examples for us to follow and does not interpret most of the book literally. The idealist view also normally believes there are no unfulfilled prophecies left in the book of Revelation
James Utter 12/2010