THE ORIGIN OF DISPENSATIONAL FUTURISM
AND IT'S ENTRY INTO PROTESTANT CHRISTIANITY
Written and Compiled by:
H. C. Martin
33 Elizabeth Street, Parkes, N.S.W., 2870
3rd EDITION, 1973
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Today many Protestants have departed from the Christian interpretation of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, and many other passages in the Word of God. Church history has not left us in ignorance concerning the dispensational interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Every Protestant should know and spread the following startling facts.
Scholarly Dean Henry Alford (1870) informs us the Futurist school of prophecy can be traced to Jesuit Ribera (1590). It was invented for evil purposes e.g. "to protect the Papacy and to confuse the Protestants as to the true meaning of the Revelation. this scheme is not to be commended for obvious reasons.
The great Reformers opened up Revelation chapters 17 and 18 to all Europe and showed the people the great whore and the scarlet woman with disastrous results to the Papacy. In the Book of Revelation God foretold, exposed and denounced the works and doctrine of the great Apostate ecclesiastical system which would rise out of and succeed the wreckage of the Pagan Roman Empire. This apostate system was Papal Rome.
The Roman world had been ruled by Paganism until the 4th and 5th century A.D., but now a change was destined to come to pass; this new found power being clearly symbolized in the Book of Revelation as a religious power by saying that it would be seen sitting in the Temple of God. That is to say in the Church itself swaying the lives of men and nations and ruling with great power from a self appointed pinnacle which it had set up (2 Thessalonians, chapter 2). This Papal power was to emerge after the Roman Empire was removed and would continue until it would be "consumed by the Spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His Coming." (2 Thess 2:8).
As the darkness of the middle ages thereafter began to be lightened by the hard won labours of the Reformation all of the Reformers without exception, believed and taught that Papal Rome filled exactly every detail foretold concerning this new Religious entity and was therefore this apostate and Anti-Christ power which while purporting to be the only true Church of Christ was actually fighting against Him. When this devastating exposure became revealed from the Scriptures themselves the first reaction of Papal Rome was to try to destroy the Bible. They thus gathered all the early English Bibles they could lay their hands on and had public burnings of them. One of these ceremonies was conducted by Bishop Tunshill in A.D 1530, at Paul's Cross, London, when William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament was burnt publicly. However, when this endeavour eventually proved fruitless they began to massacre and burn at the stake the living witness of the Truth, two of the most notable of whom were Bishops Ridley and Latimer who were burnt alive at Oxford in 1555 A.D. during Catholic Mary's reign.
When it was seen that both these drastic measures failed to stem the incoming tide of Truth and of the Kingdom of God on earth the only procedure remaining to the Papal system was to endeavour to misinterpret all such verses of scripture which foretold and condemned it's system making the condemnation contained in these verses appear to fall if possible on some other party instead of themselves. This endeavour however produced two opposing schools of thought even within their own ranks. One of these schools is known as:
Praetorists declared that the anti-Christ power of Scriptures had already come and gone being fulfilled in the Roman Emperors Vesparian and Titus, who had attacked the Jews, ransacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and slaughtered over one million people in the year 70 A.D.
The other school known as the Futurists said that this great power must be future, teaching that it would not appear until the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. The originator of this second erroneous thesis was a Spanish Jesuit priest, Francisco Ribera (1590). As he attempted to advance the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation, Ribera was embarrassed by the persistent Protestant identification of the Papacy with the Antichrist. To counter this he revived a futuristic interpretation for the Book of Revelations (he placed all but the first three chapters in the future). Antichrist was restored to a person and an individual ruler (not the Pope) who would arise in the future. Antichrist would reign for three and one half years and his teaching was embellished with a rebuilding of a temple at Jerusalem, revival of the Levitical Laws and Sacrifices, plus various Jewish aspects in addition to the wholly unfulfilled persecution of the Church. This futuristic interpretation was popularized by Cardinal Bellarmine and became widely accepted within Romanism.
Quite distinct from the two foregoing schools, were the Reformers, who were without exception known as Historicists, that is to say those who believed that the Book of Revelation foretold a perfect sequence of the history of Christendom throughout this present evil age from beginning to end. Also the Book of Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ from his Ascension in power to His Consummation when He returns in Glory. The Book of Revelation as taught by the Reformers exposed with paramount certainty the complete failure of both pagan and papal Rome and especially the utter and complete destruction of the latter (Revelations chapters 17 and 18)
HOW DISPENSATIONAL FUTURISM
ENTERED INTO PROTESTANT CHRISTIANITY
The Reformers to a man, fiercely contested the futuristic thesis propounded by Jesuit Ribera, whose commentary on the Book of Revelation is in the Cambridge Library and all Futurist Commentaries since then are based on it. However it was left to another Jesuit, Emmanuel Lacunza (1731-1801) to complete the deception and through him Dispensational Futurism entered Protestant Christianity. At the time of the overthrow of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Rabbi Jochanon Ben Zakkai was carried from Jerusalem in a casket to Vespasian, who granted him permission to make his abode at Jamnai near the sea. Under his brilliant leadership, Judaism was revived and restored. Jamnai became the headquarters of the world Jewry, and remained such for four centuries when it was transferred to Babylonia where a heavy Jewish population had remained since the captivity. Rabbi Jochanon Ben Zakkai revived the Talmud and his was known as the Palestine Talmud and it's compositors were Rabbi Jochanon Ben Zakkai, Akiba, Meir, Judah the Great, being Rabbi Judah, whose title was "Ha nasi-the Prince". Babylonia remained the center of world Judaism for the next several centuries, but as they became a "state within a state" the Persian kings finally rose against her, some leaders were hanged, Talmudic schools were closed and the striving Talmudists fled, finding refuge in the city of Cordova in Spain. Cordova became the world capital of Babylonized Judaism for several centuries and here Jewry enjoyed her golden age. Jewish influence was felt in both "church and state" and in Spain thousands of Jews called "Marannas" joined the Roman Catholic institution while secretly adhering to Judaism. It was against this background that Rabbi Ben Ezra later wrote his book which altered the whole course of Christian History. Posing as a converted Jew under the name of Rabbi Ben Ezra he was the author of a book called "The Coming Messiah in Glory and Majesty". This book had a profound effect upon prophetic teaching during the early years of the 19th century. Strange of course to relate, he was neither a Rabbi nor a converted Jew for the startling truth is that Juan-Josefat Ben Ezra was the pseudonym behind which hid the Spanish Jesuit Emmanual Lacunza. In his book Lacunza advanced the holy future "Day of the Lord" interpretation of the Apocalypse. (This was similar to the Ribera Futurist scheme in which he had tried spike the mighty guns of the Reformation and was virtually based upon his writings). It was also to Lacunza alias Ben Ezra that the two stages theory of the Second Advent of Jesus Christ owes it's origin and some competent Historians are of the opinion that its twin theory "The Secret Rapture" may yet be traced to him. The London publication in 1816 of a complete Spanish edition was the prelude to the advent of Dispensational Futurism. Not long after Dr. S.R. Maitland, Librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a series of pamphlets assailing the HISTORIC PROTESTANT Interpretation of Prophecy and quite evidently based upon Ben Ezra's book, "The Coming Messiah in Glory and Majesty".
Other members of the Anglo Catholic party such as De Burgh, Newman, and others were naturally attracted to it. In 1827 Edward Irving, a Scottish Presbyterian Minister who was based in London, translated the whole work into English. It is a striking thing that a short time after this the eloquent Irving was stirring the metropolis as with flaming oratory he preached the "Secret Rapture". Later in London, in the congregation of Edward Irving there broke out a serious of emotional exhibitions, which included the communication of ecstatic utterances. One of these was to have widespread results, for soon after 1830, a woman, while speaking in tongues announced "The Revelation" that the true Church would be caught up (Raptured) to Heaven before the tribulation and before Christ's Return to Earth. Edward Irving was deposed from the Ministry and died in 1834, but not before his "Pre-Tribulationalism" had been introduced at the Power Court Meetings. Dr. Tegalies tells us, " I am not aware that there was a definite teaching that there would be a secret Rapture of the Church at a secret coming until this was given forth as an utterance in Mr. Irving's church, from what was there received as being the voice of the Spirit. But what the brilliant though tragically misguided Irving regarded as the voice of the Spirit was nothing more than the spirits of the Jesuit which he himself so lately aroused". Indeed this entire congregation was later to defect to the Roman Catholocism.
Meanwhile the young John Nelson Darby, a former Church of Ireland Clergyman and an extreme Anglo-Catholic, had not remained unaffected by what was happening. At the famous prophetic Conferences first at Albury Park, Dublin, in 1825, then Powercourt House in 1829. Darby met up with the leaders of the Brethren movement, the Irvingites, De Burge and others who had been influenced by Ben Ezra's book. J. N. Darby emerged as a powerful expositor and authority on prophetic matters. The Conferences were unanimous in the expectation of a future Antichrist. Darby, whose course had taken an evangelical turn, was later to succeed in fusing the diverse elements of this new "Futurism" into a scheme of his own, which he liked to call "DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH" But though it is often claimed that he recovered "the truth" of the two stages and the Secret Rapture concept of the Second Advent, the hard fact is that he borrowed these from the Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest, namely Manuel Lacunza, and his eccentric disciple Edward Irving. John Nelson Darby was followed by Dr. C. I. Scofield, who compiled what is known as the Scofield Reference Bible. Dr. Scofield was born in 1843 and entered the legal profession and was a practicing lawyer at the time of his conversion in the 36th year of his age. Three years later he abandoned his work and was ordained by a Congressional Council. Some years later with the assistance of an editorial board consisting of devoted Christian leaders, was produced the Scofield Reference Bible. It was first published in 1909 and revised in 1917, and again in more recent years. It is the Bible of the Dispensationalists and has been criticized by those who labour in the Churches as well as those on the Mission Fields of the world as "theories that are making the oral teaching of our Lord of NO EFFECT and that are BLIGHTING BIBLE STUDY all over the world. Many are forced to leave Prophecy alone for fear of confusing the dispensational applications. Perhaps the worst feature of Dispensationalism is that it looks on all who do not hold it's viewpoint as heretics or religious liberals and modernists who deny the Bible altogether. Godly Ministers have been excommunicated from their denominations, devoted Missionaries have been dropped by Mission Boards and Sunday School Teachers of unquestionable orthodoxy have been dismissed simply because they have come to have reservations about the scriptural soundness of the Darby-Scofield innovations. Little wonder that Alexander Reece speaks of them as "theories that are blighting Christian Fellowship all over the world".
Thus Ribera and Ben Ezra have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams for the attention of thousands of Protestants became deflected from the Papacy and a future infidel Antichrist is looked for and the historic Protestant view handed down by the Reformers is despised by many. These are the hard facts of history and a Protestantism saturated with Ribera's Futurism and Scofield's Dispensationalism, is not the Protestantism of the Reformers, and has thus opened the door to Protestant-Roman dialogue and the return of the Protestants to the Roman fold via the Ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches. The Protestant Churches of this day are not Dispensational-Futurists in their theological makeup, but few will use the Book of Revelation as did the famous Reformers. What a great loss to our cause! The Christian scholar H. Gratten Guinness (1880) said, "The Futurist interpretation is Roman Catholic and unscriptural". Another Protestant Futurist preacher and a D.D. at that, admitted that the Futurist Dispensational school of prophecy was indeed founded by Roman Catholic Jesuits but, says he "What next? Then so are the mass and purgatory scriptural. How unthinkable!
A Welsh Baptist Evangelist, Rev. J. G. Morgans said "Futurism is of the darkness of hell itself." Dr. Howard Taylor, son of J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission said, "How any Protestant preachers can believe the Roman Catholic inspired scheme of Revelation, passes all comprehension.
Dispensational Futurism is a colossal fraud and is still confusing Protestants and sheltering Papacy. Our Lord Jesus said not one word of rapturing the Church away in secret, seven years before his appearing or of His returning the second time to give the world when all will be converted. He did say, "Behold I come quickly and my reward is with Me to give to every man according to his work."( Rev. 22:12). His word tells us that His Second Advent is in Judgment, for He comes in flaming fire taking vengeance on them who know not God and who obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess 1:7-9), and His word also tells us " But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2 Pet. 3:10-12). Our Lord never promised any future glory for this world, but only a fiery bath of destruction when all will be destroyed in readiness for the New Heavens and the New Earth (2 Pet. 3:13).
All Christless doctrines are false, no matter how many good men and "eminent" Bible teachers endorse them. The Canadian I.C.C.C. defender of the faith Dr. T.T. Shields said, "The Futurist-Dispensational doctrines are figments of the imagination. I class them as heresy". Christ is not coming the second time to give the unsaved a second chance, in a second area of mercy for mankind. When Christ comes, The Day of Judgment comes and time ends." (Matt. 13:41-43, Rom. 8:20-26, 9:28, 1Pet 4:5, 2Pet 3:2-16, 1Thess. 1:7-9)
Most of the Reformers with Calvin, the Puritans, Whitfield, Spurgeon, Warfield, Matthew Henry, are all in the company of renowned Christian men who utterly refuted the false theory of an earthly Jewish Kingdom. It was considered that Augustine was the most gifted theologian since apostolic days. In his book "The City of God" he so laid the Jewish Kingdom Ghost that it did not raise it's head for hundreds of years and was not revived until Ribera.
THE REFORMATION AND CONFESSIONS OF FAITH
As the Reformation spread into the various countries of Europe these nations drew up their various confessions of faith:
THE AUSBERG CONFESSION
This German confession was drawn up by Melanchthon and approved by Luther and was submitted to the rulers and emperors of Germany, and the Lutheran Church. it among other things condemned Millenniumism as a Jewish opinion rejecting it along with other Ana Baptist nations.
THE ENGLISH CONFESSION OF EDWARD VI
From this came the 39 articles of the English Church, and also condemned Millenniumism in these terms, "Those who attempt to revive the fable of the Millenarians oppose the sacred Scriptures and throw themselves headlong into Jewish absurdities."
In the chapter on the final resurrection he wrote; "That Satan has endeavoured to corrupt the doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead by various fictions." and adds, "not to mention that he began to oppose it in the days of Apostle Paul and not long after arose the Millenarians who limited Christ's Reign to one thousand years. Their fiction is too purile to require or deserve refutation.
THE BELGIC CONFESSION
This confession was adopted by Belgium and Holland, and regarding the Second Advent of Christ said, "That it will not take place until the full number of the Elect is complete." Thus guard against the pre-millennium scheme, namely that there will be people saved after Christ comes for His own.
THE SECOND HELVIC CONFESSION
Quote: "We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general Resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, when they that are found alive in a moment shall be changed, and the selfsame bodies of the dead which are laid in the grave being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised by the power of Christ. Immediately after the Resurrection shall follow the general and final Judgment of Angels and men, the day and the hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray and be ever ready for the Coming of the Lord." (Acts 24:15, 1Cor.15:51-53, 1Thess. 4:15-17, John 5:28-29)
In the light of the foregoing array of evidences from the Reformation Confessions of Faith it is evident that there is not one line of support for the Dispensational Jewish Kingdom heresy and it is not surprising when its advocates attack the Ministry, the Church or the Denomination to which one may belong. Says one Dispensationalist: "Christendom is dark and a dreadful anomaly; it is the corruption of the very best thing and therefore is the very worst corruption. It is the masterpiece of Satan, the corrupter of the truth of God, and a destroyer of the souls of men. It is a trap, a snare, a stumbling block, the darkest moral blot in the universe of God. It is worse by far than Judaism, worse by far than all the darkest forms of paganism."
Then again referring to the Ministry this same writer says, "We most certainly should keep clear of the evil of Clericalism, against this dreadful thing we solemnly warn our readers. No human language could possibly depict the evil of it." Referring to the Church the same writer says, "The Church has failed utterly. It has fallen from it's high and holp position. It is under Judgment; it cannot be cheered by the churches proper hope, but is threatened by the world's terrible doom." Again "but alas the professing church is sunk lower and become darker than even the world itself." (Quoted from papers of the Lord's Coming by C. H. M. and published by Moody Press, pages 42, 82 and 87). So we see that Dispensationalism is directly opposed to the Ministry of the denominational Church. It is rightly defined by Dr. J. G. Voss, "As that false system of Bible interpretation, by the writings of J.N. Darby and Scofield Reference Bible which divides the history of man into 7 distinct periods of Dispensations, and affirms that in each period God deals with the human race on the basis of one specific principle. Apart from the above, Dispensationalists proclaim the restoration of the State of Israel along with all the trappings of Judiasm. Dr. Patrick Fairbanks states that, "This doctrine was foreign to Christian theology during the first seventeen hundred years of the Churches existence." The fundamental teaching of the New Testament was what lead the Fathers with one voice and all Christian writers down to the 17th century to reject the Jewish expectation, both of a territorial Restoration and a Revived Judaism."
The idea of Israel's Restoration has been injected into Christian doctrine by an extreme literalistic school of Bible interpreters, who, in the words of Gregory of Nyssa have, "enveloped their heart with the Jewish veil." The hope of Talmudic Israel has become the keystone in the prophetic scheme of modern Dispensationalism, as represented by such men as J. N. Darby and C. I. Scofield. The Dispensationalist is blinded to a truth basic in Christian theology, namely, that the Church is the proper sphere of prophecy. The racists among the Bible exegetes make the Church a parenthesis between two Jewish dispensations, namely that of the Law and the Kingdom. A well known American Dispensationalist, Dr. L. Sperry Chafer wrote, "that after the Christian Dispensation has run it course there will be a re-gathering of Israel and the Restoration of Judaism." (From book quoted: Dispensationalism by Loraine Boettner, page 413).
The heresy of Dispensationalism results from the lack of proper understanding of the nature of the Old Covenant and it's relation to the New. The Dispensationalists have never properly evaluated the change of Governments at Calvary. Rev. Clarence Larkin, one of the best known of all Dispensationalists wrote: "The New Covenant has not been made. it is to be made with Israel after they get back to their own land. It is promised in Jeremiah 31:31-37. It is unconditional and will cover the Millennium and the New Heaven and New Earth." (see Dispensational Truth, page 151), and again, "God has been trying to set up a visible Kingdom on this earth ever since the creation of man, but when 600 years of the times of the Gentiles had run their course God again made an attempt to set up His Kingdom on earth and the angel Gabriel announced to many the birth of a King. Thirty years later John the Baptist preached the Kingdom is at Hand! The king manifested did likewise, later by the twelve, then the seventy proclaimed the same thing. But the King was rejected and crucified and the setting up of the Kingdom was postponed." (Dispensational Truth, page 85, part 1)
WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL AND ORTHODOX POSITION REGARDING BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION?
This is well stated in the writings of the following:
DE WITT WROTE: "The Old Testament is a great prophecy. A great type of Him who was to come and has come."
DR. L. BERKHOF WROTE: "The theocratic nation itself was merely a type of the spiritual realities of a better day, and therefore destined to vanish as soon as the anti-type made its appearance. The Restoration of the ancient theocracy in the future would simply mean the recurrence of the type" (The Kingdom of God, page 170)
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON SAYS: "In any part of the Christian Church all National distinctions are swept away and we are no more foreigners and strangers, but Fellow Citizens of the saints and the household of God. (Eph. 2:12-22). God has levelled as the Gentiles. He has given us all blessing which belong to Abraham's seed. Oh! What a blessing it is that all national and ceremonial distinctions have gone down the Jews and made them stand in the same class forever, and Christ is all in all who believe in Him." (Gal. 3:26-29)
DR. G. CAMPBELL MORGAN WROTE: "I am convinced that all the promises made to Israel have found, are finding, and will find their fulfillment in the Church. It is true that in the past in my expositions, I gave a definite place to Israel in the purpose of God. I have now come to the conviction as I have just said, that, it is the new and spiritual Israel that is intended, i.e. "The Church of Jesus the Messiah." "The glorious promises as found in Psalm. 72, Isaiah 60:63, Ezekiel chapters 37 and 38, Zechariah chapters 10 to 14, prefigure the Lord Jesus and His people in the New Israel, the Church, in this Christian Era (Acts 4:24-25, and 2 Cor. 6:12). God has excommunicated the Jewish Nation, and Christ will never again be found within a Jewish Temple."
PROFESSOR J. I. PACKER M.A.D.P.H. of Bristol College says: "Dispensationalism is a monstrosity."
DR H.C. SLADE ex-president of the I.C.C.C. said: "The Dispensational doctrines do indeed present a serious problem to the Christian Churches. Some of these doctrines are nothing short of heresy."
DR. W. PERKISER (The Pasadena Bible Institute) said, " Dispensationalism is one of the most ingenious systems of interpretation ever devised to evade the plain statements of God's Holy Word."
PROF. F. BRUCE M.A.D.D. The open Brethren Evangelical scholar wrote: "The Darby, Scofield influence has not been for the good of the Brethren movement. There are many Brethren today who are neither Futurist nor Dispensationalist. The Scofield Bible is shot through with Dispensationalism."
MR. PHILIP MUORO, an American Lawyer said, "Dispensationalism may be fascinating as a work of art, but as a Revelation it rests upon a foundation of sand. The entire system of Dispensational teaching is modernistic in the strictest sense. It is modernism, moreover of a pernicious sort, such that it must have a Bible of it's own ("The Scofield Reference Bible") for the propagation of it's peculiar doctrines, since they are not found in the Word of God."
It should be quite clear from the above that there is not sufficient Scriptural ground for the expectation of a Millennium, and the Bible favours the idea that the present Spiritual Kingdom of God will be followed immediately by the Kingdom of God in it's consumate and eternal form. The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is represented as an eternal and not a temporal Kingdom. (Isa. 9:7, Dan. 7:14, Lk. 1:33, Heb. 1:8, 2 Pet. 1:11, Rev. 11:15). To enter into the Kingdom of the future, is to enter upon one's Eternal State (Matt. 7:21-22), to enter life (Matt. 18:8-9), and to be saved (Mk. 10:25-26, Jn. 3:3)
This is the most universal and widely accepted view and is the only one that is either expressed or implied in the great historical confessions of the Church, and has always been the prevalent view in Reformed circles.
Therefore, let us earnestly contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints, and we be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Let us not give heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn from the truth, but speak the things which become sound doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, and sound speech which cannot be condemned. Thus we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself, a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Seeing therefore that we are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which doth so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12: 1- 2)
How Dispensationalism Was Born
The individuals named on the last pages of this book all believe or believed that Christ would return after antichrist was revealed, after the Church goes through the persecution of antichrist upon the Church, and after God's wrath upon antichrist.
Some of these men did not believe in a 1,000 year millennial reign. Some were trinitarians. Some were gnostics. Some where Catholics. Some were Protestants. Some are Apostolics. What they were is not as important as the fact that they all were in agreement on the one vital question of the timing of the Lord's Coming. In fact, not a single man existed of any century from the time of Christ until around 1800 that ever knew or thought of a Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pan-Trib, or Pre-Wrath rapture. Mention of any of these four theories is completely missing from the sacred history and from profane history from the very beginning.
The first use of Bible prophecy in any major way to point to or away from the identity of the antichrist system was that of Fransico Roberra, Circa 1534-1591 who wrote a 500 page commentary alleging that the Protestant interpretation of the Catholic Church as the antichrist system and the Pope as the antichrist, was false. It was Roberra's goal to draw heat away from the Catholic Church. To accomplish this, he used the writings of the ancient pre and post Nicene fathers to prove that the antichrist system and the antichrist would rise to power at the last three and one half years of the tribulation period. Roberra correctly theorized that in order for the Catholic Church and the Pope to meet this identity, the last three and one half years of the tribulation must be either imminent, or in process. Although he was guessing, to draw heat away from the Catholic Church, time has proven that his guess was more accurate than that of the Protestants, who believed the tribulation was then upon the world and it would end in three and one half years with the destruction of the Catholic Church and the Pope. This of course did not happen!
Looking back from the year of 1998, we may agree with Roberra's guessing, that if indeed the Catholic Church and the Pope had fit that identity at that time (1590), then the tribulation is totally past and all that is left is the imminent event of the rapture. Some believe this and call it the "historist view" of the Lord's coming. But Roberra was correct in saying that antichrist would rise to power and set up the last three and a half years of the tribulation. The Catholic church had already been set up for centuries. Its existence and power was not limited to three and a half years. Therefore there must come another system that will be set up in the last three and a half years, a system that received a deadly wound which was healed and is resurrected back to power (Rev. 13:1-3). For the Catholic Church to fit this, it would have to suffer a deadly wound, and be incognito until the three and a half years of the tribulation period would begin. No one has come forward to prove this has or will happen to the Catholic Church, in the same measure it has happened to old Israel. Only old Israel as a nation fits this profile and identity. Old Israel received a deadly wound in 70 AD and this wound was healed in 1948 AD. This is a revived system that everyone agrees will birth out of the midst, an antichrist to rule with the power of the first beast and continue for forty two months. This system will inherit that snake throne that ruled out of Mount Moriah, and under whose reign, Christ was crucified. What is not settled in many minds, is if it will be antichrist old Israel revived from a deadly wound, or the Catholic Church revived from a deadly wound. These are the only two we may choose from. Some think the split of the Eastern Catholics from the Western Catholics was the deadly wound. Some think the Protestant reformation was the deadly wound. These explanations fail to meet the test of one or the other being dead or near dead from a wound, to the extent, so as to not exist in public as being alive. Neither Catholic branch fulfills the symbolism of a deadly wound. In spite of the multiple theories existing today, Darby's dispensationalism, improved upon by Larkin, Scofield, Ironside, DeHan, Pentecost, Walvoord, Kirban, Lindsey, et al, still makes the Catholic Church the antichrist. They believe the Pope will prove to be the antichrist and he will move to Jerusalem and take over the world.
It was John Nelson Darby, an outstanding Minister among the Brethren Church, who developed the doctrines now known as dispensationalism. It is claimed that Darby was a lawyer and as such a member of the secret order of Freemasonry. His interest in Bible prophecy came out of what he learned in the lodge from the Jewish interpretation of the ages known as Cabalism. Being an alleged "Christian Mason" he arranged Cabalist theories with prophecy until he forged a new interpretation, unheard of in any previous age of Church history. There is no secret that Freemasonry was anti-Catholic, and fought it at every opportunity. This hatred goes back to the murder of Jacques Demolay, a celebrated French Mason and fellow member of the Illuminati. Freemasonry quickly infiltrated nearly all Protestant groups and they were often the voices who accused the Catholic Church of being Mystery Babylon the Great. These quickly accepted Darby's new revelations and they became entrenched in America at the turn of the twentieth century. The American Baptist picked up the doctrine, and Larkin, Scofield, and Ironside made it famous and accepted. Today, the Dallas Theological Seminary, full of Masonic instructors and having a history of Masonic control, is the world heart of Darby's dispensational doctrine. This is the home of the famous Freemasons, Dwight Pentecost and John Walvoord. These secret Freemasons took teaching positions and became university instructors who later wrote nearly all the commentaries that alleged the Catholic Church was the Great Whore. Freemasonry makes its own boast of having originated and developed out of the Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the Cabalist orders of Judaism. Albert Pike makes the claim that Freemasonry is founded upon the Jewish Cabbalah:
"All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it. Everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the Illuminati, Jacob Boehme, Swedenborg, Saint Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their symbols" (Morals and Dogmas, page 744).
It is within the frame-work of the Cabbalah that dispensationalism has its birth. Darby adapted a Cabalist interpretation to Bible prophecy, and this called for the central idea of Jewish restoration to the Abraham Covenant, and this included the land. All of it was false! For this reason, Darby placed old Israel as the hope and fulfillment of dispensationalism, and not the Church of Jesus Christ. Everything is made to revolve around old Israel instead of the Church. Mount Moriah is the focus instead of Mount Zion, where a precious cornerstone was laid on the day of Pentecost. The Cabalah begins with God and ends in the Malkuth kingdom of restored old Israel as the "shekhinah." Darby begins with God and ends with the restored kingdom of old Israel, the shekhinah returned. The Cabbalah weaves the travels of the shekhinah Jews in exile, through a number of distinct dispensations of achievement, through thirty two paths (degrees) of struggles, finally emerging out of the midst as a nation in which every Jewish person is a part of shekhniah. The godhead of humanism, comes to its greatest personalization in restored Talmudic Judaism, according to the Cabalah. Is this not the real fulfillment of man sitting in the temple as God? Do not the Mormons sit in their temples as little gods? Ask the Mormons where they got the idea of all their males becoming little gods, and they will tell you from the Cabalah and Jewish teachings. Do not the mystics of India, China, and the orient, sit in their temples as little gods on their way to a higher level of god-head? Why do Cabalist compare their secret teachings to those of the Hindu mystics? Does not Cabalism merge this godhead of humanity into Talmudism, and in rejecting Jesus Christ, go and sit in their temples as if they are more holy and greater than GOD himself who came in the flesh? Is it not from this position as gods, that they condemned and continue to do all things to blot out the memory of Jesus Christ from the earth? Is this not the true meaning of sitting in the temple as God? Does this not in a sense mean they make themselves gods when they reject Jesus Christ and become superior to him in their denials?
Each man and woman reaching godhead is the central teaching of Cabalah. In Cabalah, there is no Saviour, no vicarious atonement, and no suffering Messiah who comes to redeem the souls of the lost:
"The mystical ecclesia of Israel, the religious community, is the Shekhinah (Kabalah, Charles Ponce, pg 72."
Most believe the shekhinah is the Spirit of God. This word is not in the Bible and any use of it comes right out of Jewish mysticism. It is owing to our ignorance that we use it because it sounds impressive and has a Jewish twang to it. Talmudic Jews believe that all Jews in exile have a measure of the shekhinah in them. They believe the shekhinah is the wife of God, and that in redeeming harlot Israel, God is really getting back the half of him that he lost, by evicting her into exile out of the land of old Israel. Talmudic Jews believe God is still married to old Israel. Exactly in agreement with Scriptures, they say old Israel is not a widow! They reject the divorce in Jer. 3:8 and what Jesus accomplished on Calvary. They believe that God is incomplete as long as old Israel is not restored as his feminine goddess consort:
". . .the Shekhinah was originally thought of as God=s indwelling or presence. We also mentioned that the Kabalists later took up this idea of presence & made of it a part of God, a feminine part, pointing out that when the Biblical statement was made to the effect that God's Shekhinah went into exile with Israel, a portion of God Himself went into exile. The redemption of this feminine helpmate of God is actually the redemption of a portion of God Himself (Kabbalah, Charles Ponce, pg 219)."
The Shekhinah doctrine in essence, teaches that old Israel is still the wife of God, that she shares godhead, and is a goddess! It teaches that the Law Covenant was not ended on Calvary. The Talmud teaches that there remains an unfulfilled covenant for old Israel to complete. This is the basis of Pre-Tribism and Darby's dispensationalism, and it comes right out of Jewish mysticism (darkness), not your Bible! This doctrine denies that the Church is the wife of God. It totally destroys the New Testament, and Baxter is friends with these seed of the whore, and plays word games with them? If he is looking for a word, why not turn to Jesus Christ, his Church, or her sons (Ministers), why go to the seed of the adulteress, the confessed antichrist, as if they have a private message from God for he and us?
ISA 57:3 . . .ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
Whoever might say anything against the Cabalah or Talmudism, or one of these sons of the sorceress, is said to have commited blasphemy against the shekhinah and is worthy of death! If this is not making man God and then going to sit in the Temple as God, it will never find a greater fulfillment anywhere. Chaim Richman believes he is a son of the whore and thus part of the shekhinah, and this fact of confession makes him an agent of this false female god! He is delighted that Baxter comes to him as a little god, for answers to his dispensational riddles. Richman is a believer in Cabalism and as such believes that:
"The work of redemption is the sole responsibility of man (Kabalah, Charles Ponce, page 228)." (This means Jesus Christ is not needed.)
With the above doctrine taught in a Masonic lodge, the Freemasons believe exactly as the Jews, that they have a greater salvation without Christ through Cabalistic secret teachings. In their beliefs, Jesus was a philosopher, teacher, rabbi, or perhaps a good or bad man, but he is only equal to Nimrod, Osiris, Buddha, Hiram Abif, Solomon, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Euclid, Philo, Einstein, et al. To some, Jesus was only a man from whom God spoke. They believe Christ had no deity. They believe God the father was in Christ, as he was all the above men of intellect and philosophy. How could he be the Lord of Glory if he was only a man (1Cor. 2:8)?
Masons believe that each member must believe in a GAOTU, but this entity need not be the God of the Bible. This god can be a man, a monkey, a snake, an idol, the cosmic mind, the sun, the moon, any of the planets, or any other gnostic object of veneration. Masons are saved by their own works in the lodge, not that of Christ on the Cross. Masons are in "Christian Churches," but they refuse to say a non-Christian Mason is lost and will be damned to hell if they reject Jesus. They do so because many Jews are Masons, many Hindus are Masons, many Buddhist are Masons, many Moslems are Masons, many communists are Masons, many Nazis were Masons, and many perverted college and university professors are Masons! The Masonic lodge teaches Cabalistic Judaism at this very point; That redemption comes through secret knowledge, the fruit of the forbidden tree, and the efforts and works of man, not Jesus Christ. Likewise, the Judiazers think they are saved and obtain righteousness by their human effort of keeping the Law of an abolished system. Paul taught this was a false doctrine. No person is justified by human effort without Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16, 21).
John Nelson Darby borrowed from Masonic falsehood and with their Cabalistic interpretation of Bible prophecy, he invented a way for Jews to be saved without Jesus Christ. He alleged the seventieth week of Daniel was not fulfilled, therefore seven years of Law were not nailed to the Cross. He alleged there was a secret gap between the sixty ninth and the seventieth week. In this secret gap or parenthesis, God put a >secret Church whom he said the old Testaments Prophets never prophesied about or saw by revelation. Then he concluded the present 2,000 year scheme with the seventieth week of Daniel and gets the Jews saved through seven years of restored Law-keeping. In his ignorance however, Darby accepted Cabalism and the Babylonian Talmud as a replacement of the Law. Like most Pre-Tribs, Mid-Tribs, Pan-Tribs, and Pre-Wrath; he believed that the seven years will not be the restored Law of the Pentateuch, but God's alleged acceptance of Babylonian Talmudic mysticism, that interprets the Torah different then Moses taught it. When he felt his new scheme of doctrine was throughly Bible proofed, John Nelson Darby stepped out into the world as a Minister of the Brethren Church, and the Scriptures on the Parousia of Jesus Christ have seldom ever been interpreted Apostolically since. Today, we cannot speak of Bible prophecy without Darby's Cabalistic/Masonic interpretations being spoken by someone in an angry spirit, such as: "I'll die a Pre-Trib."
Solomon's Temple, rebuilt as the Temple on Mount Moriah, is the talk of Freemasons, prophecy dabblers, and deceived Christians. The excitement of a rebuilt Temple is at the very core and expectation of all dispensationalist. Dwight Pentecost and John Walvoord were Freemason sympathizers who advertized this restoration. And many of our Oneness Brethren think these men are Apostles. The dispensational doctrines of these men destroy the teachings of Christ in Matthew 24 and elsewhere. Believing the dispensationalism of these false teachers, along with that of Salem Kirban and Hal Lindsey, Oneness dispensationalist, aid in fulfillment of the Masonic lodge's vision and dream of Babylonian Cabalism being the final religion of all the world. Albert Pike prophesied it and all Masons will work until it is fulfilled. To Masons, this is when their world leader becomes the head of the corner, and when Kabalism through restored Judaism is head of the nations, and the Christ rejecting Talmudic Law goes forth from Jerusalem.
Darby was deceived by these antichrist ideas in messianic Cabalism. Because of this, he continued the Masonic accusation that the Catholic Church was the antichrist system and the Pope the antichrist. Darby did this for a different reason. He saw the Catholic Church and the Pope as the guilty source of hindering fulfillment of Cabalistic prophecy, in not allowing the Jews to return to old Israel and fulfill their special destiny as the chosen people of God. So Darby set the idea that the Jews were a clock and time-piece that God would use to show the time of the end of the Catholic Church and the Pope. The entire scheme of Darby climaxed in the destruction of the Catholic Church. Darby believed there would only be a few alive at the rapture who would be saved. He started the fall away doctrine that sticks with us today. By fall away Darby believed the Church would backslide to the devil. Lets briefly review the text:
2TH 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
The words "falling away," Strong's Greek 646. apostasia, the same as Grk647; defection from truth (prop. the state) ["apostasy"]:-falling away, forsake.
Strong adds his own commentary here that apostasia means defection from truth. Fact is, the word is Greek and they did not attribute apostasia as a departure from Truth. The letter "a" here is a negative in the Greek and means "NO." The word "apostasia" means to stand, and infers to be morally or spiritually upright, or righteous. By placing the "a" in front of the word apostasia it literally means not morally or spiritually upright or unrighteous. Hence, Noah was found RIGHTEOUS in an UNRIGHTEOUS generation. Jesus pointed to this apostasy before his second coming and likened it to Noah's day. The meaning of apostasy, apostate, or apostasia, is immorality or gross wickedness. Departure from the Apostolic truth may lead to a falling from grace, but it is not the fall of the backslider here referenced to, but that into which they fell, the apostasia or general falling away of society, is the true meaning. What Paul is here saying is that the Day of the Lord will NOT COME except there be gross immorality first, out of which the man of sin will himself be revealed. If we say that the falling away is the devil defeating the Apostolic Church, then it is the falling away Apostolic Church out of which the man of sin will be birthed. This is false. The falling away that produces the man of sin out of the midst of it, will be gross immorality of general society. To bear witness to this world-wide gross immorality, falling away, Jesus pointed to the day of Noah as a description of the immoral behavior of the general society, as being parallel to that generation when he returns. The falling away then is not those who have departed from the Apostolic Faith. It is not the backsliding of saints. It is general society no longer standing upright morally and guided by righteousness. Will this affect the Church? Yes, but it will not prevail against or defeat the Church.
Even as Noah finished the work of the ark in the midst of a perverse world, so, the endtime Men of God will complete the work of the Gospel in the midst of a perverse world. Our task does get harder. The temptations are greater. We are faced with more mockers and blasphemers. We do see backsliding. But there will yet be a great and mighty Apostolic revival. In the face of gross immorality, sin will abound, but grace will much more abound. The devil thinks he can invent and multiply sin. The answer of Jesus Christ to these snares, is to forgive them, if people will repent. In this manner, Jesus remains the victor over sin. The power of forgiveness through the shed blood, is power against every device of the devil. Do we want immorality to increase? No! The Church will always be pure, it is imperfect people, being abused by satan through sin, that are impure. It is only when we are willing to fight against the devil's game and reach out for souls, that we stand up against the general apostasy, the falling away, and prove the Church to be on the Rock and victorious. With this in mind, let me encourage you to preach the Apostolic Doctrine, and if a Preacher, Church, or a whole religious organization backslides and joins the general apostasy, the Church will still not end in defeat or become apostate. The Apostolic Church will not be talked out of a mighty Apostolic revival by Pre-Tribs, with their sad-faced theories, brow-beating us, calling us names, and attempting to discourage us that God will not move through us to reach all nations.
The idea that Rome is the falling away, because she departed from the Apostolic Church is false. This is a false doctrine that teaches that Rome was once the true Apostolic Church. The papacy never was a part of the true Apostolic Church! It is a false doctrine to teach that the Catholic Church is represented as the Thyatira Church. Such doctrine teaches that the Divine Truths passed through the Catholic Church, which had a candle on fire, representing the Spirit of God in its midst. I am sorry, but this idea of Church age dispensationalism is a false doctrine. The Catholic Church never had a true messenger of God leading it. If Thyatira was a type of the Catholic Church, had a messenger, or Pastor, in this case a Pope, then someone needs to explain how God accepted the trinitarian papacy as a representative of his Bride, for how ever long it is claimed the Thyatira Church age lasted?
The idea that Protestantism is the falling away, is also false! She never was a part of the Apostolic Church. We do not need to falsify falling away to prove that Rome and Protestantism are false religious systems. These systems will mature out to be whatever seed they are. A seed of corn when planted will grow and mature out to reproduce itself for what it is, in the ear. So Catholicism and Protestantism will mature out to reveal the seed they are. Those who are Spiritual can tell already what seed they are. If they teach the trinity doctrine, they are of Babylon the Great, not of God's Church! Some trinity Protestant groups were never a part of the Catholic Church, but that does not mean they are not of Mystery Babylon. There are Protestant groups that split out of Protestant groups. Not being birthed directly by the Catholic Church, they are still of mystery Babylon. This needs to be clarified because some are teaching that just because a group believes in the trinity, that makes them a daughter of Rome. Is this true? Preaching the trinity makes them all have a Mystery Babylonian association, but this also applies to the Jews.
The ancient Jews believed in a trinity of gods right after coming out of Egypt. Joshua told them to choose, and as for he and his house they would serve the LORD. This was the difference between old Testament true Judaism and the pagan trinity religions. Unknown to many, the trinity doctrine as taught by the Catholic Church, was believed by paganized Jews in the old Testament for centuries. This was in the person of Baal, Ashtoreth, and Tammuz. Millions of Jews died trinitarians. Elijah stood against trinitarianism on Mount Carmel when he defied the godhead of Baal, and all the old Israelites who worshiped that trinity godhead. Scholars recognize Baal, Ashtoreth, and Tammuz as Canaanite copies of Asshur (Nimrod), Ishtar (Semiramis), and Vul (Tammuz). It was not a difficult gap for Jews to bridge in converting the one true God into three god-persons. Once Babylonian mysticism and theory was adopted anything became possible. The Jewish Cabalists, known in Christ's day as Pharisees, held a secret oral doctrine of a trinity in God, many centuries before 325 AD. The use of the triangle to teach a trinity was first used by Jewish Cabalists and borrowed from them by the Catholic Church. In fact, the trinity doctrine came to Nicaea from Alexandria, Egypt. Athanasius learned it from Jewish instructors at the universities there where he studied, who got it from Philo, who got it from a mixture of Babylonianism, gnosticism, and Platoism. The Catholic Church is not the mother of the trinity. Jewish trinitarianism predates the Catholic Church by nearly 1,325 years. The Jewish Kabalah hid the trinity, but it was still secretly believed:
"The Kabalah is important because the Christian
doctrine of the trinity may be found hidden there (Kabalah,
Charles Ponce, pg 228)." A person need not belong to a Masonic
lodge or the Cabalist secret orders, to preach what they
believe! Just preach dispensationalism, and you are in
agreement. Darby and his dispensational doctrines are the
primary reason that many refuse to think of old Israel as the
great whore. What whore could be greater then a former
divorced wife of God? In order for Darby's teachings to gain
acceptance world-wide, he had to distance old Israel from the
identity of being the source out of which the antichrist
system would rebirth, and out of the midst of which antichrist
would be born. It was commonly believed that antichrist would
rule from Jerusalem and Mount Moriah. To remove any idea that
the antichrist might be Jewish, Darby suggested that the
answer to this was that the Pope himself would go to Jerusalem
and set up a throne. It was John Darby, who developed the
theories now preached as dual covenant dispensationalism among
Oneness Churches. It was Edward Irving and a thirteen year old
girl named Margaret McDonald, who around 1830, came up with
the idea of a two-phased, yo yo, split-rapture, to get the
Church out of the way of the Jews and the seventieth week,
which would conclude with the final and fourth rapture. This
is all falsehood!
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