Is Jack Van Impe Right About the Millenium?


Did St. Augustine change church teaching from believing in the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth to the current teaching which does not accept the 1000 year reign?

Jack Van Impe (a prominent televangelist) teaches there will be a Rapture, Tribulation, and then Christ will rule on earth for 1000 years. My question is about the 1000 years of Christ’s rule on earth.

On his television show on 5-7-08, Jack Van Impe (JVI) stated that there were 21 Early Church Fathers who agreed with the 1000 year reign of Christ after the Tribulation. JVI said the following Early Church Fathers agreed with this teaching: St. Barnabas, St. Bartholomew, St Irenaeus, St. Justin Martyr, St. Lactantuus, and St. Methodious, and others.

Then in 431 AD, according to JVI, St. Augustine changed the church teachings of these 21 Early Church Fathers to a position which says the 1000 year reign is not valid. JVI states that Ambrose & Origen (who were “Jew Haters”) convinced St. Augustine to drop the idea of Christ’s reign of 1000 years because this teaching was too close to the Jewish teaching of end times.


Jack has been preaching that the rapture would be happening any minute now for 40 years. He’s adjusted his biblical support for that innumerable times. He is sincere, i will give him that. If you check his sources, like when he sites scriptural verses as proof of just about anything, you will more often than not find that has taken extreme liberty with his interpretation. He is wont to say these days that Catholic popes agree with him. They do not as far as I know. He overstates most everything he says. He’s a delightful man and Roxella is just as cute, but they are kind off in their own land of OZ.


Although St. Justin Martyr said that he personally believed in a literal 1000 year reign, he said that there were other Christians who didn’t believe in it. (, chap. 80Dialogue with Trypho)

Eusebius Pamphilus didn’t believe in a literal 1000 years reign. ( book 3; chap. 39History of the Church,)



Do you have a timeline for those ideas from Jack Van Impe?



Have you heard of “Apologies for the Christian Religion”, by Justin Martyr? I’d love to read it. I only have a quote from it that reads.

For out of Zion shall go forth the law . . . And He shall judge among the nations. . . and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, , and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. And it did so come to pass, we can convince you.

It appears he has a view point that contradicts itself. He sees the benefit of the Millenium as a present reality, but is holding on to the Jewish Apocalyptic mindset without thoroughly Christianizing it.


Ryan :slight_smile:


I actually heard him few days ago saying that the Pope Benedict XVI and the CCC agrees with him:eek:

Then the proceeded to say that rapture is coming soon…

I guess the CCC is becoming popular and making its own authoritative way, soon like the Bible it will be cited and manipulated by new’ protestants’…just wait until those who contributed to it are no more… in few decades perhaps, and then …

I still can’t believe I heard him doing that again, I had heard him once before.

God bless


Yes. I have heard of them. St. Justin Martyr is actually rather dear to me because it was while I was reading his First Apology that I came to the conviction that the Catholic Church is truly Christ’s Church.

You can access his apologies, his other works and the works of a large number of Church Fathers online at and The quote you mention is from St. Justin Martyr’s First Apology, chapter 39.


I am not sure which timeline you are asking about, End Times timeline or Early Church Fathers timeline?

He does not state specifically when the End Times will happen but just that it is coming soon. As far as the Rapture, he says it will happen in a blink of an eye. The Tribulation will last 7 years, and then the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth.

As far as the Early Church Fathers, JVI says this happened before St. Augustine around 431 AD. The saints mentioned lived between the 1st and 4th centuries.


How reliable and accurately translated are these documents from Christian Classics Ethereal Library?


the whole ante-nicene, nicene, post-nicene series is actually fairly reliable. at the time they were translated, the people doing the translations were the scholars at the top of their field. the language will seem a little (sometimes a lot) old fashioned now, but the translations are still very serviceable, and even in hardcover they are now cheap because they have been replaced (in many cases) by new translations.

with that said, justin martyr and augustine have been the two figures most discussed on this thread, and there are much more readable and fairly inexpensive translations of both available.

  1. It’s interesting that the original Catholic Encyclopedia didn’t even have an entry for ‘Rapture’. The new CE has one, I suppose so that Catholics will have some idea of what some Protestants are talking about.

  2. I’m not sure how sincere he is, I’ve always regarded him as a showman, but he is certainly entertaining and they are a beautiful couple.



I want JVI’s timeline for the end times.

I do not want actual dates, but the sequence of events–tribulation, rapture.

What is the order? How many steps?

I want a general list–don’t cause yourself too much work.



The things I have read by Van Impe and other modern eschatologists are all reliant on the fact that the state of Israel that exists today in the middle east represents the coming home of the Israelites.

I believe that Van Impe is sincere but he is mistaken.

The vast majority of the members of the Judaic religion of today are converts and descendants of converts or descendents from the line of Abraham other than Jacob (Israel).

So being that as it may, we are in the end times but interpretation of prophecies should not be centered around whatever happens to the state of Israel in the middle east.

What scares me is that some who are declaring this form of dispensationalism are also meeting with and advising heads of state on governmental policies, in particular Mr. Jonah Goldberg. This is very disturbing.


The Millennium, Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Premillennialism, The Rapture, and the Catholic Position is discussed in this article.

I have some general observations when Protestants quote the Church Fathers:

*]they tend to use snippets as proof-texts to support their own agenda, using the same Nominalist approach they use for the Bible.
*]they think that all Catholics are bound to each and every word that the CF wrote, or
*]they think we think all their writings are infallible
*]they have a poor concept of development of doctrine, if any
*]they have no concept of the relationship of ECF writings to the final rulings of the Magisterium
*]they disregard or ignore historical context, i.e.: a CF’s opinion can be erroneous BEFORE a dispute is settled by the Church. (such snippets are popular with anti-Catholics)
*]they disregard “general consensus” as a reliable indicator of Catholic orthodoxy (true Christianity)[/LIST]A simple method of dealing with abusers of CF writings is to ask for one CF who rebelled after a dispute was settled by the Church. There are none, for the simple reason that one cannot be called a Church Father and oppose Church teaching after the fact.


I don’t remember exactly word for word but I think he states the following:

  1. Rapture, coming soon, he states that the Rapture was believed by many Christians from the early church.
  2. Tribulation, divided into two 3 ½ year segments
  3. Christ’s reign of 1000 years on earth
  4. There are many other details for which I can’t recall his exact words and I don’t want to mis-quote him

I like Jack and his wife. They are interesting to watch. I think they are sincere and honestly teaching what they believe.

However, I don’t accept many of their interpretations of Sacred Scripture. I watch them if there is nothing on EWTN that I am interested in.


*“The millennium is a golden age not when compared to the glories of the age to come, but in comparison to all prior ages of human history, in which the world was swallowed in pagan darkness. Today, a third of the human race is Christian and even more than that have repudiated pagan idols and embraced the worship of the God of Abraham.” * from the link as provided in the quote.

I am trying to figure out what the underlined statement implies.


You gave me the kind of answer I wanted, thanks!

I was not trying to put you on the spot.

I just wanted to know how they see the rapture etc.

I do not know about those things.

I merely wanted information.



This is an excellent point! I will use this approach for sure.



Thank you very much for the links. I just bookmarked them.

So, did Justin Martyr believe in a earthly 1,000 year reign? (In your opinion) I’ve only read bits a pieces from him.


Ryan :slight_smile:


Yes. St. Justin Martyr’s opinion in favor of a literal 1000-year reign can be found in his , chapters 80-81Dialogue with Trypho. He says that he himself and many other Christians share this opinion but he admits that there are many true Christians who think otherwise.

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