Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Futurism: A Jesuit Deception!
The doctrines of the Futurist School of prophetic interpretation have been one of the great hindrances to a correct understanding of prophecy. Many have been blinded by these to the purpose and manner of YEHOVAH God’s dealings with His people Israel as separate and distinct from Judah.
by W. F. Finlayson
One of Satan’s greatest achievements in these last hours of the last days has been his deception of the Evangelical Churches through the Futurist interpretation of Bible Prophecy.
The originator of this false teaching was Jesuit Francisco de Ribera, who published it in 1585 in order to oppose the Historicist interpretation which identified the Papacy as the Antichrist and the Church of Rome as “Babylon.”
The Reformers were inspired by the fact that the prophecies regarding the great Antichrist in Daniel 7:2, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 are TOTALLY FULFILLED IN THE PAPACY.
To oppose the belief of the Protestants (which included the Churches of God) that the popes were Antichrist, Ribera formulated the teaching that Antichrist would appear in the future at the close of the Christian Dispensation -- rebuild the Temple -- abolish Christianity -- be accepted by the Jews -- pretend to be YEHOVAH God and conquer the world in three-and-a-half-years.
Ribera’s false interpretation was unsuccessful with Protestants until the 19th century.
An 18th century Jesuit, Emanuel Lacunza, had carried forward Ribera’s interpretation adding a few further deceptions of his own, publishing it under the title: The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty. To deceive Protestants its author was falsely named Ben Ezra -- supposedly a converted Jew.
In this work Lacuna laid the foundation for the false Futurist teaching that Jesus (Yeshua) is coming again -- twice! Once in secret to rapture the Church and take it to Heaven -- the finally -- three-and-a-half years later to judge the world.
A copy of the book was strategically presented to the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Librarian, Dr. R. Maitland, studied it and was deceived by it and published a series of tracts propagating its errors. Then the famous Scottish preacher, Edward Irving, was likewise deceived and translated it into English and began preaching its errors.
One of the founders of the Brethren Movement, J. N. Darby, was also deceived by it and preached its errors in Britain and America with great success. Futurism also suited the purpose of the Tractarian or Oxford Movement, which was brought into being to bring the Anglican Church back to Rome; and they began propagating it. The well-known Scaffold Bible also became a vehicle for its spread over the churches.
The Great Problem with Futurism
Through these various channels, after three centuries of failure, the Jesuits finally succeeded in infecting Protestantism with the deadly virus of Futurism. It has spread like a plague throughout Protestantism (and the Churches of God), so that today the Historicist interpretation which inspired and guided our Protestant forefathers is rarely heard and, incredibly, Protestants (including YEHOVAH’s people) are believing devilish lies devised by Jesuits for their destruction!
The consequence of this has been a tragic degeneration of Protestantism, so that its leading Churchmen are prepared to unite with the Papacy! The great and noble and sacrificial work achieved by the Reformers in setting us free from the Antichrist is now being undone. What the popes failed to accomplish throughout the centuries by force, is now being achieved by more subtle, insidious means.
Futurism is fatal to Protestantism because:
1). By teaching that Antichrist has still to appear, it is causing Christians to ignore the TRUE Antichrist -- the Papacy, which has bitterly opposed true Christianity for more than fourteen centuries and is still “at it” today.
2). By teaching that the fulfillment of prophecy has ceased over the Christian Dispensation, it is robbing Christians of YEHOVAH’s guidance during the most critical period in the Church’s history.
3). By teaching that the Messiah can come any moment, secretly, it causes Christians to be unconcerned about the evil Satanic systems that are destroying the Nation; and the great prophecies which must yet be fulfilled before the Messiah comes once and for all and YEHOVAH God secures His people and establishes the Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.
Futurism, Christianity and the Identity
Futurism has caused Christians to walk contrary to their Protestant (and Church of God) forefathers. The Bible encourages us to keep to the good, old well-proven paths.
All true Christians ought to appreciate that when the Church achieved its greatest triumphs; experienced its greatest rivals and engaged in its greatest missionary endeavors, it was guided by the light of the Historicist interpretation of Bible Prophecy. Since it embraced the Jesuit-orientated Futurist interpretation, it has sunk to its lowest spiritual state.
It is incredible that Futurism had actually penetrated into some British Israel circles, despite the fact that British Israel Teaching is firmly based on Historicism and, indeed, is a fulfillment of it. Those influenced by Futurism tend to ignore the Papacy and to downgrade the Reformation. Anyone with a reasonable understanding of British History knows that Great Britain’s most persistent enemy over the Christian Dispensation has been the Papacy. As the Papacy is the fulfillment of “Babylon” its consistent enmity against us is yet another confirmation that Britain is indeed Israel. The fact that no other nation benefited so much from the Reformation, becoming -- as one eminent historian put it -- the “Fortress of Protestantism,” is further proof that we are Israel.
Futurism was also welcomed by Christians who were not willing to accept the British Israel solution to the problem of the fulfillment of many prophecies concerning Israel’s destiny -- which has definitely not been fulfilled by the Jews. The Futurist teaching that YEHOVAH God’s “Prophetic Clock” stopped over the Church Age and restarts after the “secret rapture” of the Church, encouraged the ABSURD conclusion that these prophecies would be fulfilled in the Millennium by the Jews. This conclusion ignores the fact that the greater part of those absorbed in world Jewry are not related to all of the biblical tribes of Israel. The prophesied functions of Israel as YEHOVAH God’s Servant Nation were obviously fulfilled by Great Britain during the Christian Dispensation and are unnecessary in a world under the supreme control of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah. All Israelites who accept and obey YEHOVAH God and the Messiah will reign with them during the Millennium, as will those others who, through their acceptance of the Messiah, are welcomed into the completely fulfilled Israel.
Will You be Numbered With Those Who are on the LORD’s Side?
The following great servants of YEHOVAH God are among the countless people who believed and taught the Historicist interpretation of prophecy: Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Latimer, Knox, Sir Isaac Newton, John Foxe, Bunyan, John Wesley, Dr. Hudson Taylor, Bishops Ryle, Barnes, Wordsworth, Principal Candlish... and many others. [While these men didn’t all have the truth regarding the tenets of true Christianity, they were certainly correct in disavowing the Futurist interpretation of prophecy]. Who can walk contrary to men of such stature, let alone YEHOVAH’s Word [the Bible]?
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