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Pitfalls Found in Biblical Research Materials, Part 1 with Clifton Emahiser
Last August Clifton Emahiser, being 90 years old at the time, had taken a bad fall in his home. At that time he realized that he really could not live alone safely any longer, and we brought him here to Florida to stay with us. In the meantime, just before his accident Clifton had sent me three new short essays to proofread, which I never got to until now. So we will begin trying to make that up to him with this evening’s presentation. Here we have Clifton Emahiser with us once again, to present and discuss one of those short essays, which he had titled The Pitfalls Found In Biblical Commentaries, Lexicons & Dictionaries.
It seems to me that Clifton may have planned for this to be another multi-part series, since while the title is broad in scope, here he mainly focuses on the rather recently-developed denominational doctrines of Futurism and Preterism, and how they have affected modern Christian thinking which is reflected in their inclusion in certain popular Study Bibles and Commentaries. While Clifton has treated this topic in the past, here it is presented in a somewhat different context, and he goes further to show how recent these and other ideas about Scripture have been developed by certain denominations.
So now we shall present Clifton’s essay, along with our own comments and discussion:
The Pitfalls Found In Biblical Commentaries, Lexicons & Dictionaries, by Clifton Emahiser
While some of these Biblical helps are better than others, even the best have some serious errors! For instance some Bible cross-references can lead one astray, so let’s consider some of the better center-references found in a few Bibles:
If you have a King James Version Bible with the proper center reference, you can very readily prove Two Seedline teaching with it, for it will take you from one supporting verse of Scripture to another almost endlessly on the subject. (Not that the King James Version is an especially advisable Bible to use for study, as it is alleged to contain approximately 27,000 translation mistakes.)
That assertion is often repeated in Christian Identity circles, that there are 27,000 translation mistakes in the King James Version. Comparet made the assertion inn part 8 of his Revelation series. Swift may have also made it. It is hard to fathom, however, because there are only 31,102 verses! However perhaps the assertion becomes more plausible when things are pointed out such as the substitution of the name Yahweh with the phrase “the Lord”, which happened on over 7,200 occasions in the Old Testament alone. So in effect that alone would be 7,200 mistranslations.
The King James Version center reference system I am referring to was produced by the opinions of many contributing scholars and theologians. Most of the older Bibles have this proper center reference system. I have a King James Version published by The World Publishing Company during the mid 50’s which has the proper center reference system. I checked a World Bible recently at a Christian bookstore, and it had been corrupted from the former one I have. I also have a large Southwestern Bible which has the desirable center reference system. I understand some of the Bibles printed by Dove Inc., Nashville, TN, have this preferred center reference also. Twenty years ago, one could purchase a King James Version Zondervan Classic Reference Bible with this more satisfactory center-reference system.
The cross-reference system to which Clifton refers here is better than most, but it is not perfect, as it falls short of teaching Israel Identity. But at least it does not make the common mistake of connecting Matthew 21:43 with Acts 18:6, which many references connect taking Paul’s statement about taking the gospel to so-called “gentiles” entirely out-of-context to promote their false replacement theology. Paul continued to visit synagogues long after he made that statement, so it cannot be justly interpreted in the manner of the denominational churches. Instead, this system Clifton refers to only connects Matthew 21:43 with Matthew 8:12. In my opinion, Matthew 21:43 should instead be cross-referenced to Micah 4:8, and Matthew 8:11 to Isaiah chapter 43, but only an Identity Christian can understand that.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
This verse should be cross-referenced to:
Micah 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
But Matthew 8:11-12 are speaking of something else.
Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 8:11 may indeed be a secondary reference to Matthew 21:43 and Micah 4:8, but it should be referenced primarily to Isaiah 43:3-7 which is a prophecy of the regathering of scattered Israel:
Isaiah 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
Then Matthew 8:12 should be cross-referenced to Jude 4-6:
Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
If our cross-reference system made these steps, then it would be nearly perfect, because what it does do well is connect John 8:44 to Jude 6 and Jude 6 to John 8:44. From there it also connects John 8:44 to Matthew 13:38 and the parable of the Wheat and the Tares. So it teaches Two-Seedline. But if it only went one step further, readers would see in Matthew 8:12 where the sons of the kingdom being tossed out are the “men crept in unawares” of Jude, the children of the devil of John 8:44, and the tares of Matthew 13. Then if it took just one more step, it would connect Matthew 8:11 and Isaiah 43:6, and readers may realize that those gathered from east and west in Matthew 8:11 are the dispersed Israelites of Isaiah chapter 43. So even the best of the cross-reference systems printed in various Bibles does not have quite the whole story, but at least it got a significant portion of it right.
Many years ago Clifton wrote an in-depth essay titled A King James Version Bible With A Good Center Reference Teaches And Proves Two Seedline, describing the cross-references with which we would agree. Now he continues by describing another pitfall found in a Bible edition which uses that reference:
While the Zondervan Classic Reference Bible has this better than usual center-reference system, their later King James Version Study Bible seems to have the same center-references, but is quite difficult to use, and much of their commentary is misleading, especially [at] Genesis 3:15 where they state in part: “The antagonism between people and snakes is used to symbolize the outcome of the titanic struggle between God and evil …” However, most translations render the snake word as “serpent”, as we see in the Enhanced Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary:
“5175 שחנ [nachash /naw-khawsh´]; 31 occurrences; Authorized Version translates as ‘serpent’ 31 times. 1 serpent, snake. 1a serpent. 1b image (of serpent). 1c fleeing serpent (mythological).”
Or in the Enhanced Strong’s Greek Dictionary:
“1404 δράκων [drakon /drak·own/] noun masculine. Probably from an alternate form of derkomai (to look); 13 occurrences; Authorized Version translates as “dragon” 13 times. 1 a dragon, a great serpent, a name for Satan.” In fact, the word “snake” is not found in the King James Version!
From the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Gerhard Kittel & Gerhard Friedrich under the word “dragon” at Rev. 12:7:
“Δράκων, which the ancients derived from δέρκομαι,1 means ‘serpent,’ 2 especially ‘dragon’ 3 or ‘sea-monster.’ 4 In Rev. it is a distinctive term for Satan (12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4; 16:13; 20:2).
“Of all beasts, the serpent was regarded as demonic in antiquity, thereby revealing the duality of the ancient conception of demons. It plays a great part in Persian, Babylonian and Assyrian, Egyptian and Greek mythology, and in essence this role is always the same; it is a power of chaos which opposes God either in the beginning or at the end of things, or both. Thus in Parseeism there is the serpent Azi-Dahaka (both at the beginning and at the end), in Babylonia Tiâmat and Labbu with many similar figures, in Egypt Apophis, the main symbol of the Typhon with many others like the crocodile, in Greece the Python which Apollos defeats, the serpent which Kadmos slays and many mixed figures like Typhoeus/Typhon. There seems to have been a similar general estimation of the red colour ascribed to the serpent in Rev. 12:3. On Greek soil the significance of the fight against the serpent as the original battle of deity against the power of chaos is greatly obscured by the lowering of the stories to the level of sagas. On the other hand, the other aspect of the serpent as a demonic beast emerges more strongly in Babylon and Egypt, namely, that it is a sacred animal. This dual capacity reveals the dual nature of ancient demonology generally.”
We would cross-reference the dragon of the Revelation to Isaiah 27:1 which states: “1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
Then we would cross-reference Isaiah 27:2, which says “In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine”, to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation chapter 19. That is because the serpent and dragon described as being in the sea in Isaiah 27:1 is not a literal serpent or dragon in a literal sea, but rather it is the collective Satan mingled into the sea of the peoples of the world.
Since the dragon, or serpent, is mentioned here in connection with Babylonian and Egyptian religion, maybe we should discuss that briefly before we continue. I perceive that these uses of the words in those pagan myths fit very well with the biblical accounts.
In the Sumerian and Babylonian legends, which have among themselves divergent versions, Tiamat, a great serpent is a primordial being and creator god of this world, although Tiamat is feminine. She brought forth the other pagan gods of the Babylonian pantheon, which were monsters. She also wrought chaos and war, so she was ultimately killed by Marduk, the storm god and son of Enki, who in turn was the son of the supreme god of heaven, Anu. Here we see some Christian truth. The gods of this world are devils, and they were created by a mortal and corrupt being. Those responsible for creating them would be slain by the son of the god of heaven. To a great degree, this accords with the teachings of the New Testament, only from the opposite perspective, which is what we should expect from pagans.
In Egyptian legend, the serpent in the night sky attempted to devour the sun god each evening as it passed into the netherworld. But the sun god was always successfully defended by his son, Set, who defeated the dragon, and the sun god emerged from the netherworld to arise again the next morning. The Christian implications here are several, which I will not discuss at length, but which I have already discussed several years ago in a presentation titled Primordial Two Seedline, the last parts of my Pragmatic Genesis series.
The legends of the Greeks regarding the serpent are much too late for our consideration, since we can ascertain that the Greeks were influenced by Hebrew Scriptures even before any of their legends were set down in writing. However they told of a serpent cast down from heaven. They also attributed the origins of the powers of divination, or sorcery, to that serpent.
So it is our assertion that all of these legends, which ultimately had a common origin in the most ancient mythos of our Adamic race, agree in one way or another with the Biblical accounts, and they actually help to establish that both our Bible and our Christian Identity perspective is true, since the other Adamic nations of the Near East had similar themes woven into their own elaborate legends. But to properly understand them, and not be led astray by the denominational commentaries, the Identity understanding of Scripture is a necessary prerequisite. Now after several digressions, we can continue with Clifton’s essay, where he continues to discuss Genesis 3:15:
The King James Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson does, though, make a better than average observation on Genesis 3:15, which supports Two Seedline doctrine thusly (and it will be edited out of necessity):
“3:15. This verse has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Thus, it also contains the first glimpse of the gospel (protoevangelium). It reveals three essential truths: (1) that Satan is the enemy of the human [sic White Adamic] race, explaining why God put enmity [related to the word enemy] between thee [Satan] and the woman; (2) that He would place a spiritual [sic racial] barrier between thy seed (Satan’s people) and her seed (God’s people); and (3) that the representative seed of the woman[‘s collective seed] (i.e., a human being: Christ) would deliver the deathblow to Satan, but in so doing would be bruised Himself. It [or ‘He,’] shall bruise [literally, ‘crush’] thy head, but thou shalt bruise his heel refers to Christ’s bruising on the cross, which led [sic will lead] to the eventual crushing of Satan and his kingdom.”
[Note: the very statement: “… thy seed (Satan’s people) and her seed (God’s people) …” warrants my editing of “collective seed”! C.A.E.]
By saying “Satan’s people” and “God’s people” they admit there are two collective groups, while at the same time they nevertheless attempt to limit the woman’s seed to a single individual. Then they also attempt to deny the racial nature of those groups, claiming it is only “spiritual”, and denying the natural meaning of the word for seed.
I know that you esteem Genesis 3:15 to be an allusion to Christ, and that is fine, but I have a slightly different idea. Christ Himself informs us that when we die in this world, we actually pass into life. If the Adamic man is eternal, then pursuing and persecuting him in this world may be represented by a bruising of his heel as he does pass into life. That is true of Christ, who was resurrected from the dead, but in the end it is true of every Adamic man and woman, since they shall ultimately also be resurrected. The bruising of the heel is symbolic of the escape of the prey.
Clifton now discusses the same Bible edition in regard to the Revelation:
While The King James Study Bible, marketed by Thomas Nelson Publishers did better than average on Genesis 3:15, they really botched up, and went far astray on Revelation 12:7-9, stating:
“12:7-9. The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan’s exclusion from ‘heaven’ and his restriction to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of God’s holy angels (cf. Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). Satan is the chief of the fallen angels. At the middle of the Tribulation period, God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven, so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere. He is given four designations: (1) dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God; (2) serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3; (3) Devil means ‘slanderer’ (cf. v. 10); (4) Satan means ‘Adversary’ (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8). He also deceiveth the whole [Adamic] world (cf. 20:8).” [brackets mine]
This is of course only part true. Notice how the verse discusses the text of the passage from Revelation 12, but it does not follow the text itself. The plain language of the Revelation does not merely connect Satan with the clever deception of Genesis chapter 3, but rather, it explicitly identifies Satan as the serpent of Genesis chapter 3. Therefore it could not describe something which is to happen in the future, it must instead be describing something which happened in the past, just as other things described in that same chapter had clearly happened in the past. A little further on in your reply to this statement, you elaborate on that, but I think we could also discuss it here.
Mark Downey was a good friend, and I really believe he did his best to understand us, but he still never quite got Two-Seedline. While he recently passed and I do not want to tear him apart, I must mention this. In his very last sermon, titled Eyes That See, Mark insisted that the vision of Revelation chapter 12 must describe something yet to happen in John’s future, meaning future relative to about 90 AD when the Revelation was written.
But if the events described in that vision in Revelation chapter 12 did not happen in John’s past, then two things become evident: First, the child which the dragon attempted to slay cannot be the Christ child, and we must look for another child to eventually rule all nations and occupy the throne of God, which borders on blasphemy. Second, if the woman with the twelve stars, which can only represent the twelve tribes of Israel, does not flee to the wilderness in John’s past, then we cannot be Israel, and our Christian Identity perspective is false. If I had seen Mark one more time, I would have had this discussion with him, but Yahweh had other plans…
Of course, the commentary which Clifton is addressing here projects all of Revelation chapter 12 into a seven-year period of tribulation which is yet in the future, and confuses Jews for Saints, among other errors.
Now Clifton responds to the comments in the Thomas Nelson King James Study Bible on Revelation 12:7-9 and says:
Inasmuch as the Thomas Nelson King James Study Bible later also mentions the “antichrist” in connection with this passage, we must establish just who such an antichrist is, or even who they are! 1st John 2:22 explains it quite well: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahshua is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” Also, 1st John 2:18 clears up the “how many” and “when” thusly: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is [already] the last time.” [brackets mine]
Once one realizes that John is identifying the Jews as the antichrists, using the plural, and even the cross-references in certain King James Bibles connect the Jews back to the Satan, or serpent, of Genesis chapter 3, then one can understand that the antichrist has always been here, and is not merely an individual who is going to suddenly appear at some far-off time in the remote future. There is no excuse for not cross-references John’s antichrists to the Jews who were denying that Jesus is the Messiah, but that is what the supposedly Christian commentators do, thereby allowing the to Jews escape their deserved label of antichrist.
But neither does the cross-reference system which Clifton had mentioned earlier and which teaches aspects of Two-Seedline do well concerning this subject. It connects the singular antichrist of 1 John 2:18 to the beast of Revelation 13:11 and the little horn of Daniel chapter 7, and then it connects the plural antichrists of 1 John 2:18 to the false Christs of Matthew 24, verses 4 and 24. However in that passage Christ was speaking of others who would pretend to be Christ, and not of the Jews who were denying that He is the Christ, which is how John used the term. Clifton continues:
The King James Study Bible, sold by Thomas Nelson Publishers, thus wrenched this passage into an unrecognizable, grievous falsehood. How could Satan still be in heaven when Jude 9 states?: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, Yahweh rebuke thee. Sure, Moses antedates Christ’s Second Advent [and His First Advent as well]! Besides, the “Satan” of Rev. 12:9 was Herod the Great, and his Edomite family. (cf. v. 4) Additionally, the “serpent” that deceived Eve at Gen. 3:1-6 antedates by far Rev. 12:7-9!
Moses died and was buried without any recorded disputation, so I must imagine that Jude is being allegorical here. So I understand Michael to be used as an allegory for Christ, and devil to be an allegory for the Jews in control of the temple, who disputed with Christ over the law and the Scriptures, which are the allegorical body of Moses.
Even though we could not avoid having already raised the subject, now you turn to discuss one of the biggest pitfalls in the modern biblical study materials, which is futurism, the idea that all of the prophecy relating to the end times will not be realized until some far-off time in the future.
As we proceed, we will find there are two different entities who have been, rightfully or wrongly, identified as “antichrist”. We will find these two entities were/are (1) the Edomite Herod the Great and all of his co-religionist countrymen down to the present day, and (2) the office of the Pope of the Catholic Church. I am now prepared to discuss one of the greatest religious frauds ever perpetrated in all of the history of churchianity!
From the History Of The Church by Philip Shaff … under the heading “Notes: … The Number 666.” We are informed:
“Paul designates the Antichrist as, ‘the man of sin,’ the son of perdition who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4). But he seems to look upon the Roman empire as a restraining power which, for a time at least, prevented the full outbreak of the ‘mystery of lawlessness,’ then already at work (2:6-8). He thus wrote a year or two before the accession of Nero, and sixteen years or more before the composition of the Apocalypse.”
Here Shaff had followed the flawed supposition that Nero was the antichrist, even though his resulting estimate of the dating of the writing of the epistles to the Thessalonians is correct. Nero ascended to the position of emperor in 54 AD, and Paul wrote both 1 and 2 Thessalonians while Paul was in Corinth, in 50 or 51 AD. So Shaff’s chronology is close, although for the wrong reasons. Also, Shaff evidently thought that the Revelation was written around 70 AD, although many early Christian testimonies place its writing around 90 AD, or maybe a little later. In any event, Paul’s “man of sin” is not some far-off-in-the-future antichrist.
This is because Paul had used present tense verbs in his remarks concerning the “man of sin” in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and therefore he was certainly not referring to some individual who would arise in the future, but rather he was describing someone who was functioning as he wrote. In that same passage, Paul also explained that apostasy had already come, and that “the man of lawlessness… the son of destruction” had already been revealed. Of course, these things happened as the ministry of Christ had come to its conclusion. So Paul could not have been speaking of a future post-millennial antichrist, and he could not have been speaking about Nero. Instead, Paul was referring to the same collective antichrist to which John had referred: to the Edomite Jews.
Clifton now quotes from another source concerning the method of Biblical interpretation which these errant sources employed to arrive at their many false doctrines:
From LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, Prophetic Interpretations, Vol. 2, Review & Herald, Washington, D.C., 1948, excerpted pp. 464-532:
“Jesuits Introduce Futurist Counter-Interpretation
“… For some time following the launching of the Reformation, Roman Catholic leadership carefully avoided exposition of the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse. They seemed unable to parry the force of the incriminating Protestant applications of the prophecies concerning Antichrist, which were undermining the very foundations of the Catholic position. Upon the first outbreak of Luther’s anti-papal protest two Catholic doctors, Prierias and Eck, in the true spirit of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-1517), had boldly reasserted the Lateran theory and declared the papal dominion to be Daniel’s fifth monarchy, or reign of the saints, and identified the existing Roman church with the New Jerusalem.
Johann Eck was a frequent adversary of Martin Luther, notably in the debates concerning indulgences, which were Luther’s primary motivation for his 95 Theses and his ultimate break with the Roman Church. Sylvester Prierias was also one of Luther’s theological opponents, and wrote one pamphlet against Luther titled ‘on the Pope as an infallible teacher.’ Continuing with Clifton’s citation:
“But the reformers, with declarations by pen and voice, forcefully stated that the Papacy was the specified Antichrist of prophecy. The symbols of Daniel, Paul, and John were applied with tremendous effect. Hundreds of books and tracts impressed their contention upon the consciousness of Europe. Indeed it gained so great a hold upon the minds of men that Rome, in alarm, saw that she must successfully counteract this identification of Antichrist with the Papacy, or lose the battle. The Jesuits were summoned to aid in the extremity, and cleverly provided the very method needed both for defense and for attack.
We would not consider the papacy to be the antichrist. However we have demonstrated that the office of the papacy fulfilled the prophecy of the second beast of Revelation chapter 13, as well as the little horn of Daniel chapter 7. Clifton continues his citation:
“From the ranks of the Jesuits two stalwarts arose, determined to lift the stigma from the Papacy by locating Antichrist at some point where he could not be applied to the Roman church. It was clearly a crisis of major proportions.
“Two Conflicting Alternatives Brought Forth
“Rome’s answer to the Protestant Reformation was twofold, though actually conflicting and contradictory. Through the Jesuits Ribera, of Salamanca, Spain, and Bellarmine, of Rome, the Papacy put forth her futurist interpretation. Almost simultaneously Alcazar, Spanish Jesuit of Seville, advanced the conflicting preterist interpretation. These were designed to meet and overwhelm the Historical interpretation of the Protestants. Though mutually exclusive, either Jesuit alternative suited the great objective equally well, as both thrust aside the application of the prophecies from the existing Church of Rome. The one (preterism) accomplished it by making prophecy stop altogether short of papal Rome’s career. The other (futurism) achieved it by making it overleap the immense era of papal dominance, crowding Antichrist into a small fragment of time in the still distant future, just before the great consummation. It is consequently often called the gap theory ….
The gap theory is a reference to a corrupt interpretation of Daniel’s 70 weeks, which actually once again relieves the Jews as being the subjects of Yahweh’s wrath. It breaks Daniel 9:27 and the 70th week of his prophecy away from the initial 69 weeks and projects it far into the future as part of a final week of tribulation under a superhuman antichrist. This is the so-called “gap”, between week 69 and week 70 of Daniel’s prophecy, which clearly betrays the context of the passage itself. Clifton continues his citation:
“Roman Catholics as well as Protestants agree as to the origin of these interpretations. The Roman Catholic writer G.S. Hitchcock says:
“‘The Futurist School, founded by the Jesuit Ribera in 1591, looks for Antichrist, Babylon, and a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, at the end of the Christian dispensation.
“‘The Preterism School, founded by the Jesuit Alcasar in 1614, explains the Revelation by the Fall of Jerusalem, or by the fall of Pagan Rome in 410 A.D.’ (G.S. Hitchcock, The Beasts and the Little Horn, p. 7.)
“Similarly, Dean Henry Alford (Protestant), in the ‘Prolegomena’ to his Greek Testament, declares:
“‘The founder of this system [Futurist] in modern times … appears to have been the Jesuit Ribera, about A.D. 1580.’ (Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, vol. 2, part 2, p. 351.
“‘The Preterism view found no favour, and was hardly so much as thought of in the times of primitive Christianity … The view is said to have been first promulgated in anything like completeness by the Jesuit Alcasar … in 1614.” (Ibid, pp. 348, 349).
Alcasar was more fully known as Luis del Alcázar. His book, Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi or An Investigation of the Mysterious Sense of the Revelation, which set forth the Preterist view of prophecy, was first published in 1614. Returning to Clifton’s citation:
“Francisco Ribera (1537-1591).
“Since its inception his basic thesis has been virtually unchanged. He assigned the first few chapters of the Apocalypse to ancient Rome, in John’s own time; the rest he restricted to a literal three and a half year’s reign of an infidel Antichrist, who would bitterly oppose and blaspheme the saints just before the Second Advent. He taught that antichrist would be a single individual, who would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, abolish Christian religion, deny Christ, be received by the Jews, pretend to be God, and conquer the world – all in this brief space of three and one half years!
Francisco Ribera also wrote a book, a commentary on the Revelation (In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij), which was written in 1585.
In contrast to these attempts by the Jesuits, Martin Luther had said in August of 1520 that “the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist.” Notice that it took the Roman Church 65 years from that statement to come up with the false doctrine of Futurism, and 95 to come up with Preterism, as a counter to the Reformer’s accusations, which actually go back a lot further than Luther’s statement. However at Christogenea we have reproductions of woodcuts and other artwork depicting the pope as antichrist, some of which date back to the 1400’s. Continuing with Clifton, he cites yet another source, to explain how Futurism made its way into Protestant theology even though it began as a heresy contrived in order to counter Protestant truths:
“Futurism first entered Protestantism in nineteenth-century England by two apparently widely separated developments. The first was the appearance of a Romanizing tendency in the Church of England. Briefly, the development was as follows:
“Dr. Samuel R. Maitland (1792-1866), curate of Christ Church at Gloucester and later librarian to the archbishop of Canterbury, was the first notable Protestant scholar to accept the Riberan interpretation of Antichrist. Maitland held the Reformation in open contempt and freely admitted that his view of prophecy coincided with Roman Catholic interpretation. His views were first published in 1826 and received widespread study and interest. James H. Todd (1805-1869), professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin, studied and accepted Maitland’s futuristic views. He strongly attacked the Reformers’ historical system of prophetic interpretation. Todd’s views were published and widely circulated among the theologians of his time.
“John Henry Newman (1801-1890), famous high church Anglican who converted to Rome and became a cardinal, was one of the leading spirits in the Oxford, or Tractarian, movement. Five years before he joined the Roman State-Church, Newman advocated Todd’s futurism in a tract called The Protestant Idea of Antichrist. Newman wrote:
“‘We have pleasure in believing that in matters of Doctrine we entirely agree with Dr. Todd … The prophecies concerning Antichrist are as yet unfulfilled, and that the predicted enemy of the Church is yet to come.’
So essentially, Identity Christians are the closest of all Christians to the method of prophetic interpretation used by the Reformers, and we are the closest of all Christians to the identity of the antichrist set forth by the apostles.
“Through the publication and dissemination of thou sands of tracts, the Oxford Movement leavened English Protestantism with the idea that the Reformers’ understanding of Antichrist was untrustworthy. It effectively diverted attention from Rome to some unknown person to come in the future.
“About the same time as the development of the Oxford Movement, there was another development in England which played a decisive role in bringing futurism within the Protestant movement. There was a growing disenchantment with the deadness of the established churches, a reaction against the spiritualizing tendency of post-millennialism (with its tendency toward modernism and preterism), and a revival of hope in the soon coming of Christ and the last things. Two religious leaders played an important role in these developments: Edward Irving (1792-1834), born in Scotland and a brilliant Presbyterian preacher, became a noted expositor in the British Advent Awakening. At first a historicist in his approach to the prophecies, Irving came to adopt futuristic views. He despaired of the church being able to complete her Gospel commission by the ordinary means of evangelism and began to believe and preach about the miraculous return of the gifts and power of the early church.
“In 1831 the ‘gift of tongues’ and other ‘prophetic utterances’ made their appearance among his followers, first in Scotland among some women and then in London. Irving never detected the imposture and gave credence to these new revelations. [An imposture is an instance of pretending to be someone else in order to deceive others. - WRF] Under the influence of these revelations of ‘the Holy Ghost’ ‘by other tongues,’ a new aspect was added to the expectation of a future Antichrist – the rapture of the church before the advents of Antichrist and Christ. The origin of this theory has embarrassed some of its advocates, and the defenders of this novel theory have tried to deny its historical beginning. But the discovery in a rare book by Dr. Robert Norton entitled The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets: In the Catholic Apostolic Church, published in 1861, establishes the origin of this innovative doctrine beyond all question. Norton was a participant in the Irvingite movement.
“The idea of a two-stage coming of Christ first came to a Scottish lass, Miss Margaret MacDonald of Port Glasgow, Scotland, while she was in a ‘prophetic’ trance. Norton actually preserved Miss MacDonald’s pretribulation vision and ‘prophetic’ utterance in his book. He wrote:
“‘Marvelous light was shed upon Scripture, and especially on the doctrine of the second Advent, by the revived spirit of prophecy. In the following account by Miss M. M. –, of an evening during which the power of the Holy Ghost rested upon her for several successive hours, in mingled prophecy and vision, we have an instance; for here we first see the distinction between that final stage of the Lord’s coming, when every eye shall see Him, and His prior appearing in glory to them that look for Him.’
“A little later the idea of the secret pretribulation rapture was adopted and polished by the Plymouth Brethren in their founding Powercourt Conferences of the 1830’s. S.P. Tregelles, who participated in the Powercourt Conferences, admitted that the Brethren obtained the idea of the rapture from the Irvingite movement. He wrote:
“‘I am not aware that there was any definite teaching that there should 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 then received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether anyone ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose.’ (The Hope of Christ’s Coming, 35; cited by George L. Murray, Millennial Studies – A Search for Truth [Baker Book House, 1960], 138).
“John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), one of the prominent founders of the movement often known as Plymouth Brethren, was not only an ardent futurist, but he added another new dimension to the futuristic scheme – dispensationalism. Oswald T. Allis wrote in his book, Prophecy and the Church:
“‘The Dispensational teaching of today, as represented, for example, by the Scofield Reference Bible, can be traced back directly to the Brethren Movement which arose in England and Ireland about the year 1830. Its adherents are often known as Plymouth Brethren, because Plymouth was the strongest of the early centers of Brethrenism. It is also called Darbyism, after John Nelson Darby (1800-82), its most conspicuous representative. The primary features of this movement were two in number. The one related to the Church. It was the result of the profound dissatisfaction felt at that time by many earnest Christians with the worldliness and temporal security of the Church of England and of many of the dissenting communions in the British Isles. The other had to do with prophecy; it represented a very marked emphasis on the coming of the Lord as a present hope and immediate expectation. These two doctrines were closely connected’….”
There is much more that could be discussed concerning the subjects of Futurism and Preterism. However, one should be starting to grasp the danger these satanic heresies propagate, and are now widespread amid about 99.9% of Judeo-churchianity today! Do not take my word for all of this, but prove it for your self! We can now comprehend why we must be guarded in using Biblical Commentaries, Lexicons & Dictionaries, as they can seriously damage or destroy one’s intellectual ability!
So now we can see how an anti-Reformation lie has come to be accepted as doctrine by Protestants world-wide, and the irony is strong enough to make one scream in frustration, because it has had the added effect of blinding Christians everywhere as to the true nature of the true antichrist, which is the Jews.
There are many other pitfalls to be wary of when using Bible Commentaries, Dictionaries and Lexicons, and I pray that Clifton and I are able to discuss more of them in the future. Clifton should know many of them much better than I, as he has read a plethora of such works which now occupy the shelves here in our home…