The Prophetic Panorama

Protestantism's Prophetic Apostasy Part 1

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TPP

Program Code: TPP000004A

00:10 Well, welcome again.
00:12 This is our second presentation this evening
00:16 and the title of our study
00:18 is "Protestantism's Prophetic Apostasy,"
00:22 and this will be part one.
00:25 In our next presentation we will do part two.
00:29 Before we begin though,
00:30 we do want to have a word of prayer
00:32 to ask the Lord to bless our study together
00:34 and help us see its importance.
00:37 So I invite you to reverently bow your head as we pray.
00:41 Father in heaven, what a joy it is to be here.
00:44 How wonderful it is to have Your Word,
00:47 a sure guide,
00:50 an anchor that holds
00:53 in this world that is so confused.
00:56 Father, we hid the message under a bushel.
01:00 We've hid the light under a bushel.
01:02 I ask Lord that You will help us
01:03 to announce it from the rooftops
01:06 that people might know
01:07 what the final events will be like.
01:09 They will make a total and complete commitment
01:11 to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
01:14 We ask that You will bless our study,
01:16 You will be with us, open our minds and hearts
01:19 and give us Your power to proclaim
01:21 that which we learn.
01:23 We pray this in the precious name of Jesus,
01:25 amen.
01:28 Before we actually begin our study,
01:30 I would like to mention a book
01:31 that I wrote just a brief few years ago.
01:35 It's called Futurism's Incredible Journey.
01:40 And you know, some people have asked
01:42 whether Ellen White was aware
01:44 of the dangers of preterism and futurism,
01:48 whether Ellen White knew that there were individuals
01:51 who were trying to project
01:52 the fulfillment of prophecy to the past
01:55 and project the fulfillment of prophecy to the future.
01:58 And Ellen White definitely did know
02:02 about the two different systems.
02:05 In this book, I've included an appendix
02:08 at the end of the book,
02:10 where you have a two part article
02:12 written by Ellen White,
02:15 and this article is actually a testimony to John Bell.
02:19 He was a school teacher.
02:22 And he was delving into futurism.
02:25 He was a Seventh-day Adventist
02:27 but he was taking prophecies
02:28 that had been fulfilled in the past
02:30 that he was projecting them to the future.
02:32 And he was taking prophecies that were still future
02:35 and he was saying that
02:36 they were fulfilled in the past.
02:38 And Ellen White had some really
02:39 interesting things to say about that,
02:42 and about the importance of understanding prophecy
02:45 as a prophetic chain, one link after another
02:48 without any parentheses, without any interruption.
02:52 Also in this book, we have at the end of the book,
02:57 the tremendous implications of abandoning historicism
03:02 and embracing preterism and futurism.
03:06 I'm not gonna cover all of those points here,
03:08 but I specifically show how preterism and futurism
03:13 not only destroy the reformers' view
03:16 of Bible prophecy
03:18 but actually destroys every distinctive truth
03:21 of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
03:23 And so this I consider it to be an extremely important book.
03:27 And you might want to obtain a copy
03:29 and read the book to see the extreme importance
03:32 of what we are studying here.
03:35 Now we want to study about Protestantism's
03:39 prophetic apostasy.
03:42 And actually, most of our study is going to deal
03:46 with the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation.
03:49 In other words,
03:50 where the Roman Catholic churches attempt,
03:52 the papacies attempt to overthrow
03:56 the Protestant interpretation of Bible prophecy,
03:59 to overthrow historicism or what I like to call
04:02 the historical flow method.
04:05 Within a relatively short period,
04:08 the Roman Catholic Church,
04:09 as I was mentioning at the end of our last study,
04:12 lost thousands of members to Protestantism.
04:17 In fact, the Roman Catholic Church
04:19 lost entire nations in Europe to the Protestant Reformation.
04:26 And so the Roman Catholic papacy
04:29 reached the conclusion that
04:30 somehow they had to deflect the accusing finger,
04:35 the incriminating finger from the papacy
04:38 as the fulfillment of the Antichrist prophecies
04:42 to other individuals.
04:45 You see, the biblical evidence, as we've noticed,
04:48 was extremely compelling.
04:51 The reformers could see the sequence of Bible prophecy
04:54 and they could see that the actions
04:57 of the Roman Catholic papacy
04:58 was a precise fulfillment of what we find
05:02 in the different passages about the Antichrist.
05:05 And so the Roman Catholic Church
05:07 prepared a strategy to a no historicism
05:13 as the prophetic method of interpreting Bible prophecy.
05:18 After the Protestant Reformation,
05:20 not long, actually,
05:21 after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation,
05:24 which most scholars believe is what was it 1517
05:29 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses
05:32 to the cathedral door in Wittenberg.
05:34 Not long after that, actually, in the year 1545,
05:38 the Roman Catholic Church actually convened
05:43 in the city of Trento, we know it as Trent
05:47 and they celebrated an ecclesiastical council.
05:50 The purpose of that council was to reaffirm the theology
05:54 of the doctrines, the dogmas,
05:55 the Roman Catholic Church calls them
05:57 dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church
05:59 to counteract the Protestant teachings,
06:03 doctrinal teachings
06:04 that arose during the Reformation.
06:06 And so they had this very important council.
06:11 It's the longest council
06:13 in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
06:14 It lasted for 18 years from 1545 to 1563.
06:21 And the evolved purpose was to reaffirm
06:24 the dogmas of the church and to pronounce an anathema
06:29 that is a curse upon everybody who did not agree
06:33 with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
06:36 Now the Council of Trent did not as far as I know,
06:40 I haven't read all of the councilor declarations
06:43 of the Council of Trent.
06:44 But as far as I know, they did not reach
06:47 any firm conclusions
06:49 on the interpretation of Bible prophecy.
06:51 At that point, they had not established preterism
06:54 or futurism as a method of interpreting prophecy
06:57 to counteract Protestant historicism.
07:01 You see, 11 years approximately before this council began,
07:06 in the year 1534,
07:09 an individual whose name you probably will recognize,
07:13 you definitely will recognize
07:15 the society that he established.
07:17 His name was St. Ignatius Loyola.
07:21 In 1534, he founded the Jesuit order.
07:25 It's actually called the Society of Jesus.
07:28 And the purpose of the Society of Jesus
07:32 was clearly to overturn the Reformation.
07:36 The entire purpose was to crush the Protestant Reformation.
07:40 In fact, even to this day,
07:42 if you visit St. Peter's Basilica,
07:45 I was there several years ago.
07:47 Actually, I've only been there once.
07:49 But when you go into the Basilica,
07:51 there's this big area beyond the entrance
07:55 that goes to the very front to the symbolic people throne.
07:59 There is a boy up high,
08:01 and you have a statue of St. Ignatius Loyola,
08:06 and Loyola, it has his foot on the head of a Protestant.
08:11 In fact, what that is saying is that the purpose
08:15 of the Jesuit order was to crush Protestantism.
08:19 And the Jesuit, they were the most
08:21 well-trained of all the Roman Catholic scholars.
08:25 Now, Ellen White had something very interesting to say
08:29 about the Jesuits.
08:31 We find in the book Great Controversy,
08:33 pages 234 and 235,
08:36 Ellen White's description of the purpose
08:39 why the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus was established.
08:46 Here is what she wrote
08:47 and I'm not reading the entire statement.
08:49 I'm reading only the portions
08:51 that deal with what we're talking about.
08:53 Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced
08:59 by formidable foes.
09:02 The first triumphs of the Reformation past,
09:06 Rome summoned new forces
09:10 hoping to accomplish its destruction.
09:14 So why was it rallying its forces?
09:17 To destroy what? Protestantism.
09:21 She continues writing.
09:22 At this time, the order of the Jesuits was created,
09:27 the most cruel, unscrupulous,
09:31 and powerful of all the champions of popery.
09:37 Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility,
09:40 it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power
09:46 to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism,
09:50 and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.
09:54 So what was the purpose of the establishment
09:56 of the Jesuit order or the Society of Jesus?
09:59 Once again, to overthrow Protestantism
10:03 and reestablish the papal supremacy.
10:07 And then she ends the quote by saying,
10:10 "The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe,
10:14 and wherever they went,
10:16 there followed a revival of popery."
10:21 Now, popery is an expression that was used in the times
10:24 of Ellen White to describe the papacy.
10:27 So, if you're wondering what the word popery means,
10:30 it basically means the papacy,
10:33 and so we find that the Jesuit order rises.
10:36 And by the way, these days the Jesuit order
10:39 is the most powerful order in the Roman Catholic Church.
10:45 You're all aware of the fact that Benedict XVI
10:48 resigned as pope.
10:52 You know, many people think that the reason why Francis I,
10:55 I mean, why Francis I took the place of Benedict XVI
10:59 before Benedict's death
11:01 was because Benedict was all caught up
11:03 in this child abuse, sexual abuse thing.
11:08 But there's something far deeper.
11:10 And that is that the Jesuit order
11:13 actually manipulated things
11:15 so that a Jesuit would become pope,
11:18 the first Jesuit in history.
11:20 And by the way, I don't have time
11:22 to get into this right now.
11:23 But Secrets Unsealed has published
11:25 a series of articles,
11:27 I write long articles for our newsletter.
11:29 And in two of those articles,
11:31 I show very clearly what this pope's strategy is
11:35 to destroy Protestantism
11:38 and to recover the power
11:40 that the Roman Catholic papacy lost
11:42 when it received the deadly wound.
11:44 It's an interesting story, this pope is a different pope
11:46 than any other one that we've had before.
11:49 His talking points are different.
11:51 You know, Benedict XVI and John Paul II,
11:55 you know, they spoke about against abortion
11:57 and they spoke against gay marriage
11:59 and they spoke against euthanasia,
12:01 you know, all these social issues.
12:03 This pope doesn't deal with those issues.
12:06 This pope deals with issues such as climate change,
12:11 such as immigration,
12:14 such as, you know, helping the poor.
12:18 He says virtually nothing about abortion,
12:20 or euthanasia, or gay marriage.
12:22 And there's a strategy behind that.
12:24 You see, the civil powers of the world
12:27 do not like any talk about abortion,
12:31 and gay marriage, and euthanasia,
12:34 because they're in favor of it.
12:36 And the papacy wants to, they have to win over
12:39 the political powers of the world
12:41 in order to regain the power that they lost,
12:44 because the deadly would
12:45 is the loss of the support of the civil power.
12:48 So this pope is talking about things
12:51 that interest the political leaders of the world
12:54 so that he can win them over
12:56 and he can once again use their sword
13:00 to recover the power that he lost.
13:03 Now, this is kind of a side light
13:05 of what we're studying
13:06 but the fact is that, you know, the Roman Catholic papacy
13:10 has allowed the facts to guard the in-house,
13:16 and that is a very dangerous thing,
13:18 as you can surmise.
13:20 Now, the Jesuit order actually spawned
13:25 two very notable scholars that would write documents
13:32 or books to attempt to overturn
13:35 the prophetic method of the Protestant Reformers.
13:39 The first of these, his name was Luis Del Alcázar,
13:44 or as the Spaniards would probably properly pronounce it,
13:48 Luis Del Alcázar.
13:51 That's the way the C and the Z is pronounced
13:55 in the Spanish from Spain.
13:57 But anyway, this individual had great theological cunning.
14:02 It was his intention to overthrow
14:05 the Protestant method of interpreting Bible prophecy.
14:09 He wrote a 900 page Bible commentary
14:13 on the Book of Revelation.
14:14 The name of that commentary was "An investigation
14:18 of the hidden sense of the apocalypse."
14:22 In this volume, Alcázar affirmed
14:26 that the Antichrist prophecies of Daniel
14:29 and Revelation
14:31 found their fulfillment long before his time.
14:36 This system of interpretation is known as preterism,
14:40 the idea that the Antichrist prophecies
14:43 were fulfilled in the past.
14:46 Alcázar believed
14:48 that the little horn of Daniel 7
14:52 represented a nasty individual
14:55 that arose in the Maccabean period.
14:59 His name was Antiochus Epiphanes.
15:02 In fact, he ruled from 171 BC to 164 BC.
15:07 You know, he sacrificed a pig in the Jewish temple,
15:11 he persecuted the Jews,
15:13 he suspended the sacrificial system
15:16 and so they say the little horn of Daniel 7
15:21 that did all these things was Antiochus Epiphanes.
15:25 Now when it comes to the Book of Revelation,
15:27 this is different because
15:29 Antiochus Epiphanes had passed away
15:32 and so now, Alcázar had to find a way
15:35 to interpret the prophecies of Revelation.
15:38 And basically what he said is that the Book of Revelation,
15:41 everything in the Book of Revelation
15:43 was fulfilled by the 6th century AD.
15:48 In fact, he believed that the Antichrist
15:52 of Revelation Chapter 13, the beast of Revelation 13
15:56 was probably Nero,
15:58 because there was this tradition
16:00 supposedly in Rome,
16:02 that Nero was going to resurrect
16:06 or come back from the dead
16:08 and he was gonna do what the Bible says
16:11 about the little horn
16:13 after it recovered from its deadly wound.
16:16 And so he established this counterfeit system
16:19 of interpreting prophecy.
16:21 Of course, if the little horn and the beast were fulfilled
16:26 way back in the Old Testament period,
16:29 and early in the Christian period,
16:33 these prophecies were not fulfilled
16:34 with the papacy.
16:36 Are you understanding what he's trying to do?
16:39 He's saying, "No, the little horn?
16:41 No, that's not us. That was Antiochus Epiphanes.
16:45 Oh, no, beast, no that has nothing to do
16:47 with the Roman Catholic papacy, the beast, that was Nero."
16:51 You know, when he passed away that prophecy was fulfilled.
16:55 And so by projecting the Antichrist prophecies
16:59 to the past,
17:00 both to the Old Testament intertestamental period,
17:03 and the early period of the Christian church,
17:07 as well as the times of the fall
17:10 of the Roman Empire.
17:12 He deflected the finger from the papacy
17:15 to these individuals in the past.
17:20 Now, it's interesting that today,
17:24 the choice method of the Roman Catholic Church
17:27 of interpreting prophecy is preterism.
17:31 I don't know of very many Roman Catholics
17:34 that are futurists,
17:35 we're gonna come back to talk about futurism
17:37 in a few moments.
17:39 Roman Catholics if you read their commentaries,
17:41 and I'm gonna give you some examples,
17:43 these days are preterists.
17:46 Not only are Roman Catholics preterists,
17:49 but we're gonna notice in our next presentation,
17:52 that the great Protestant mainline churches
17:57 like for example, the Lutherans,
17:59 the Methodists, the Presbyterians,
18:03 those churches have also imbibed
18:06 the preterist method of interpreting Bible prophecy.
18:09 And I'm going to show you from several commentaries
18:11 in our next presentation how Protestantism,
18:15 the mainline churches of Protestantism
18:18 have imbibed preterism as their choice method
18:23 of interpreting Bible prophecy.
18:25 Let me just give you a few examples here.
18:29 The New American Bible,
18:31 which is a Roman Catholic Bible,
18:34 has a very interesting translation
18:37 of Daniel 7:25.
18:41 Daniel 7:25 is translated in this Roman Catholic Bible
18:44 and by the way, folks,
18:46 many of the modern Protestant Bibles
18:49 translated in the same way.
18:52 This is the translation.
18:54 "He shall speak against the Most High
18:57 and oppress the holy ones of the Most High,
19:01 thinking to change the feast days and the law."
19:07 Interesting.
19:09 And Protestant versions translate in the same way.
19:13 Not all of them, but many of them do.
19:16 I'm gonna give you several examples.
19:19 Now concerning the times and the laws,
19:22 that the little horn attempted to change,
19:25 this is the interpretation that the Jerusalem Bible gives.
19:28 The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic Bible.
19:30 Now notice how this Roman Catholic Bible
19:32 in a footnote explains the times
19:36 in which, the times which
19:39 the little horn attempted to change,
19:41 I read, "The Hellenizing policy
19:46 of Antiochus Epiphanes
19:49 included a ban
19:51 on the observance of the Sabbath
19:53 and the feast days."
19:56 So in other words, he's saying, "You know, this idea of,
20:00 you know, changing the times.
20:02 Well, that has to do with the feasts."
20:04 And by the way, the word shaman,
20:06 the word time is used to refer to the feasts.
20:11 But to translate the word time with feasts
20:14 is an interpretation.
20:16 It is not a translation.
20:18 Now, there's more.
20:21 How does that preterist's view
20:23 explain the four beasts of Daniel 7?
20:26 This is very interesting.
20:30 In a footnote of the Jerusalem Bible,
20:33 we are told that the first beast of Daniel 7
20:36 represents Babylon, so far so good.
20:41 The second beast, the bear represents the Medes.
20:48 The leopard represents the Persians.
20:52 And the dragon, listen carefully,
20:55 represents the empire of Alexander the Great,
21:00 and the 10 horns are the 10 kingdoms
21:02 of a Seleucid dynasty.
21:07 Interesting.
21:09 So the dragon beast according to preterism
21:12 is Greece
21:15 and the 10 horns are the 10 Seleucid kingdoms of Greece.
21:20 And then it says, "That the little horn,
21:23 there rises among the 10 and above the 10
21:26 is Antiochus Epiphanes."
21:29 That is the preterist's interpretation.
21:31 What does that do?
21:33 It totally eliminates the Roman Empire
21:36 from Bible prophecy.
21:38 It eliminates the 10 horns
21:40 being the divisions of Western Europe.
21:42 And it eliminates also the idea that the little horn
21:46 that rises among the 10
21:48 represents the Roman Catholic papacy.
21:52 How in the world can the preterist's
21:56 Roman Catholic Jerusalem Bible
21:58 say that the first kingdom is Babylon,
22:00 the second kingdom is the Persians, and the third,
22:04 the Medes and the third kingdom are the Persians,
22:08 and the fourth kingdom is Greece.
22:10 It doesn't fit with history,
22:12 because Revelation Chapter 12 tells us
22:14 that the dragon beast represents Rome.
22:16 It's the power that tried to kill
22:18 the child that the woman was gonna have.
22:21 And so we know that the dragon beast
22:22 with 10 horns represents Rome.
22:25 But preterism says, "No, it represents Greece
22:27 and the 10 horns are 10 divisions,
22:29 the 10 kingdoms of the Greek dynasty,
22:33 and the little horn represents Antiochus Epiphanes."
22:36 Now, how does preterism
22:39 interpret the three and a half times,
22:40 the time times and dividing of time?
22:44 Once again, I'm reading from the Jerusalem Bible,
22:48 three and a half years, the approximate duration
22:53 of the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes
22:56 but the fact is,
22:58 and I learned this from Dr. Waterhouse and his classes,
23:02 the fact is that Antiochus Epiphanes
23:04 only was there for three years, not three and a half years.
23:09 So you notice the statement says
23:11 three and a half years the approximate duration,
23:13 God doesn't deal in approximations.
23:17 When He gives time prophecies, He's precise and exact.
23:22 But it says three and a half years
23:23 the approximate duration
23:25 of the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes,
23:29 but this period of time, also expressed as 42 months,
23:35 stands for a temporary time of persecution,
23:38 with a limit set by God's providence.
23:41 It waters away the idea
23:43 that the three and a half times are precise.
23:46 They begin at a certain date, and they end at a certain date.
23:51 Now, the Roman Catholic Church has a commentary,
23:54 a renowned commentary called the Jerome Bible Commentary,
23:58 and I want you to notice how they interpret
24:01 the three horns
24:04 that are uprooted in Daniel 7,
24:09 you remember the little horn uprooted three horns.
24:11 We believe that those are the Heruli, the Vandals,
24:14 and the Ostrogoths, the three kingdoms
24:16 that the papacy used the civil power to uproot
24:19 so it could rise to unopposed power.
24:22 But notice what preterism says in the Jerome Bible Commentary.
24:27 This translation is based on the interpretation
24:33 supposing that three of Antiochus IV Epiphanes'
24:38 predecessors died violent deaths
24:41 so that he could succeed to the throne.
24:43 So the three horns are three opposers
24:46 of Antiochus Epiphanes.
24:48 So what does preterism do?
24:50 It's projecting the fulfillment
24:52 of all these prophecies to where?
24:54 To the past.
24:56 And do you know why they do this?
24:58 Because most of the individuals who embrace preterism,
25:01 they use a method of Bible study,
25:03 which is called the historical critical method.
25:07 They don't believe that God can predict the future.
25:11 They study the Bible like any other document.
25:14 They don't believe that the Bible
25:16 is able to predict long range
25:19 what is gonna happen in the future.
25:20 So it's much easier to simply say that these things
25:24 were fulfilled in the past, and they're passed off
25:27 as if they were history.
25:29 But they're not really history.
25:31 Incidentally, this is the reason why
25:33 liberal scholars say that Daniel was not written
25:36 in the 6th century.
25:37 Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC.
25:41 In that way, they can say, see,
25:44 Daniel was actually written
25:45 after all these things have taken place,
25:48 and the writer wrote it to make people think
25:51 that he was prophesying things
25:53 that were going to happen from the time of Daniel 1.
25:56 That's the liberal method of interpreting Bible prophecy.
26:00 That is the preterist method of interpreting prophecy.
26:03 Now, how does the Jerome Bible Commentary
26:06 explain the beast's deadly wound?
26:09 Once again, I read from the Jerome Bible Commentary,
26:12 Roman Catholic Commentary.
26:14 "This passage may be
26:18 a reference to some definite event,
26:21 such as the murder of Caesar
26:24 and the healing of the Emperor under Augustus,
26:28 the legend of Nero redivivus,
26:31 which means resuscitated,
26:34 or any of several imperial misadventures."
26:39 So in other words, it refers to things that happened
26:42 in ancient Rome.
26:43 It has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic papacy.
26:47 So what does preterism do? Very simple.
26:51 By saying that these prophecies
26:52 were fulfilled in the distant past,
26:56 it deflects the finger from the fulfillment
26:58 of the Roman Catholic papacy.
27:00 Because if the prophecies concerning the little horn
27:03 and the beast
27:04 were fulfilled with Antiochus Epiphanes,
27:07 and with the early Roman emperors,
27:09 then it has nothing to do
27:11 with the Dark Ages or the Middle Ages
27:13 because it happened back then.
27:15 It didn't happen during the period
27:17 of the Christian church.
27:19 So let me ask you, did preterism attempt to change
27:24 God's times?
27:26 Did it tried to change the sequence of events
27:29 in God's calendar?
27:31 Yes, very similar to what Nebuchadnezzar did,
27:34 in principle, at least.
27:37 But there's another school.
27:39 There was another scholar, his name, Francisco Ribera.
27:45 He lived from 1537 to 1591.
27:49 He was a brilliant student.
27:52 He knew Latin, he knew Greek, he knew Hebrew.
27:57 He actually taught at the University of Salamanca
28:01 in Spain.
28:03 And, by the way, I failed to mention
28:06 that Luis del Alcázar was a Jesuit.
28:10 And Francisco Ribera also was a Jesuit.
28:14 In fact, he joined the Jesuit order in 1570,
28:18 when he was only 33 years old.
28:23 Now, what did Ribera teach?
28:27 Basically, Ribera teach
28:29 that the prophecy of the little horn
28:32 had not been fulfilled yet.
28:34 It was going to be fulfilled in the distant future.
28:39 Now, he also taught some very interesting things.
28:44 He actually accused the Protestants
28:46 of being inconsistent in their interpretation
28:49 of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation
28:51 and we'll explain how.
28:53 The early church fathers,
28:58 now when I say early church fathers,
28:59 I'm not talking about the Bible writers.
29:02 I'm talking about individuals like Tertullian and Origen
29:06 and all the early church fathers.
29:10 They taught certain futuristic elements
29:13 in their eschatology.
29:15 They taught, for example, that the Antichrist
29:19 was going to be an individual
29:22 and they taught that individual
29:25 was going to rule in as the Antichrist
29:30 for three and a half literal years.
29:32 So the early church fathers had this idea that
29:36 the Antichrist was gonna be a nasty individual,
29:40 and he was going to rule
29:42 for three and a half literal years.
29:44 We can't deny that they believe that.
29:47 Now, it's interesting to notice
29:50 that even though the early church fathers
29:52 believed this,
29:53 we can understand the reason why,
29:55 there are actually two reasons why they believe this.
29:59 Number one, the early church fathers
30:01 did not expect the world history
30:03 to last another 2000 years.
30:07 You see, they were living in the time
30:08 of the Roman Empire
30:10 and some of them were starting to see
30:12 the Roman Empire disintegrate
30:14 and so as they looked at the living
30:18 in the time of the Roman Empire,
30:20 and some of them in the latter part,
30:22 they see the Roman Empire starting to disintegrate,
30:25 they say "This must mean
30:26 that the Antichrist is imminent.
30:28 He's gonna come right now."
30:31 But, of course, they did not really understand
30:34 that the Antichrist
30:36 was not going to arise until later
30:39 and that he was not going to rule
30:41 for three and a half literal years.
30:43 He was going to rule for 1260 years.
30:46 They didn't understand that the time period
30:48 was not to be taken literally.
30:51 Secondly, the Bible clearly tells us
30:56 that individuals
30:57 do not understand prophecy fully
31:00 until the times when the prophecy
31:03 is fulfilled or is about to be fulfilled.
31:06 Jesus actually said in John 14:29,
31:11 "And now, I have told you before it come to pass,
31:16 that when it is come to pass, ye might believe."
31:21 So Jesus says, "I told you what's gonna happen
31:24 before it happens,
31:25 so that when it does happen, you might believe."
31:28 Now what does this have to do
31:30 with the view that the early church had?
31:35 You see, the early church fathers
31:36 lived in the period of the fourth beast of Rome
31:40 when the empire had not yet crumbled
31:43 into 10 kingdoms.
31:45 There was starting to be some fissures,
31:47 but the empire was still united.
31:51 The little horn had not yet risen,
31:54 and therefore the best
31:55 that the early church fathers could do
31:58 was to guess about the identity of the Antichrist.
32:03 So they concluded that he was gonna reign
32:05 for three and a half years
32:06 and he was gonna be an individual
32:07 because they did not live
32:09 in the times of the fulfillment.
32:11 As you reach the times of the fulfillment,
32:13 Bible prophecy becomes much clearer.
32:18 But the Protestant Reformers didn't have to guess.
32:21 You see, the Protestant Reformers
32:23 were not living in the time of the Roman Empire.
32:26 The Protestant Reformers were not even living
32:29 in the time when the 10 kingdoms existed.
32:32 The Protestant Reformers were living in the period
32:35 when the little horn rose to power.
32:37 And so the Protestant Reformers could see
32:40 what the early church fathers could not see.
32:43 The early church fathers, you know,
32:45 they lived in the period of the Roman Empire,
32:47 and they read about a little horn
32:49 rising among 10 horns,
32:51 the 10 horns were not fully there,
32:53 the little horn had not risen,
32:54 so they assume that the little horn
32:56 was an individual
32:57 that would rule for three and a half literal years.
33:00 But once the empire is divided into 10 kingdoms,
33:04 and the little horn rises among them,
33:07 suddenly what was not clear to the early church fathers
33:10 now becomes very clear to the Protestant Reformers.
33:15 Thus the reformers had the benefit
33:18 of historical hindsight,
33:22 they could see back to what was happening,
33:26 what had happened and what was happening
33:28 at their time.
33:30 Now, Francisco Ribera wrote a commentary,
33:34 a 500 page commentary on the Book of Revelation.
33:38 It was actually published in 1590
33:41 posthumously because he had already died.
33:45 Now, Le Roy Froom describes Ribera's method
33:50 of interpreting prophecy.
33:52 I'm gonna read how Froom describes it.
33:56 Ribera's eschatology are ascribed
34:01 to a literal three and a half years
34:04 reign of an infidel Antichrist,
34:07 who would bitterly oppose and blaspheme the saints
34:11 just before the second advent.
34:14 Now, that's important.
34:15 I'm gonna read that again.
34:18 He said the Antichrist was going to reign
34:22 a three and a half literal years.
34:26 And he was gonna be an infidel person
34:29 who would bitterly oppose and blaspheme the saints
34:32 just before the second advent.
34:34 So the Antichrist is an individual
34:37 who's gonna persecute God's people
34:39 for three and a half literal years,
34:41 just before the Second Coming of Jesus.
34:43 Does the little horn have anything to do
34:46 with the past history of the Roman Catholic Church?
34:49 Absolutely not.
34:50 Because he's projecting the fulfillment to the future.
34:54 Froom continues, "He thought that antichrist
34:58 would be a single individual
35:01 who would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem,
35:04 abolish the Christian religion,
35:07 deny Christ, be received by the Jews,
35:12 pretend to be God, and conquer the world,
35:16 and all this in a brief three
35:20 and one half literal years."
35:24 So what did Ribera do?
35:26 He said, "No, the little horn prophecy."
35:29 No, no, no, that wasn't fulfilled in the past
35:31 like my colleague Alcázar had to say.
35:35 No, the little horn refers to a future Antichrist,
35:41 that's going to, it's gonna be an individual
35:43 who's going to rule for three and a half literal years
35:45 and he's gonna persecute the literal Jews,
35:47 is gonna rebuild the temple.
35:49 Does that sound familiar?
35:51 Have you heard that on television on Sundays?
35:53 Have you heard conservative Protestant ministers
35:56 speak about the rebuilding of the temple
35:58 and the persecution of the Jews
36:00 for three and a half literal years
36:02 by this nasty individual who is the Antichrist?
36:06 Where did they get it from?
36:08 They got it from Francisco Ribera.
36:11 Where did the mainline Protestant denominations
36:14 get preterism from?
36:16 They got it from the Roman Catholic papacy.
36:19 In other words, Protestants
36:20 have made an image of the beast.
36:23 Not only does prophecy tell us
36:26 that there's gonna be an image of the beast,
36:27 which means that the papacy
36:29 is gonna join church and state.
36:31 The United States is gonna join church and state
36:34 by instigation of the papacy,
36:36 that's gonna be the image of the beast,
36:37 but also the Protestants today are an image of the beast
36:42 in their prophetic interpretation,
36:44 because Protestants are either preterists,
36:47 the liberal ones, or they are futurists,
36:50 the more conservative Christians
36:52 like Evangelicals, Pentecostals,
36:54 and Charismatics.
36:56 Now Ribera was a brilliant researcher
36:59 and writer,
37:00 but he was not an outstanding lecturer.
37:04 Furthermore, he died at a very early age,
37:06 he died when he was only 54 years old.
37:09 So Ribera's views needed an articulate, shrewd,
37:14 and dynamic champion
37:17 to proclaim his new found views concerning Bible prophecy.
37:23 And, of course, that shrewd
37:24 and articulate champion was found.
37:27 His name was Cardinal Robert Bellarmine.
37:32 And he actually was born in 1542 and he died in 1621.
37:39 So the evangelist for Ribera's views
37:42 was Robert Bellarmine.
37:44 So we need to take a look at who Robert Bellarmine was.
37:49 He was actually an Italian cardinal.
37:53 And one of the most shrewd
37:54 and intelligent Jesuit apologists.
37:58 Isn't that interesting that all these individuals
38:01 were Jesuits.
38:04 You know, Ribera was a Jesuit,
38:06 Alcázar was a Jesuit
38:09 and now Bellarmine is a Jesuit as well.
38:13 This is a Jesuit agenda.
38:15 By the way, this is no Jesuit conspiracy.
38:18 You know, there are some Adventists
38:19 that see a Jesuit behind every stone.
38:22 And they have a lot of conspiracy theories
38:24 about the Jesuits.
38:26 And some of them might be true, but this is not conspiracy.
38:31 This can be proved historically,
38:33 that preterism and futurism comes
38:35 from the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation
38:39 directly from the Jesuit order.
38:42 Now, let me read what Froom had to say
38:45 about Bellarmine.
38:49 "He insisted
38:51 that the prophecies concerning Antichrist
38:54 in Daniel, Paul, and John,
38:57 had no application to the papal power.
39:00 This formed the third part of his Polemic Lecture
39:04 Concerning the Disputed Points of Christian Belief
39:07 against the Heretics of this Time."
39:09 That's the name of the document that Bellarmine wrote,
39:12 "published between 1581 and 1593."
39:16 That's a work that Bellarmine wrote
39:18 to defend the views that Ribera had come up with.
39:22 Now, Froom continues writing,
39:25 "This was the most detailed apology
39:28 of the Catholic faith ever produced
39:31 and became," listen carefully now,
39:33 "and the work of Bellarmine
39:35 became the arsenal for all future defenders
39:41 and expositors."
39:44 So who was the source of futurism?
39:48 It was Ribera and Bellarmine, of course,
39:52 he continued Ribera's views, and he proliferated them
39:55 as it says here,
39:57 it became the arsenal for all future defenders
40:00 and expositors
40:02 because Bellarmine wrote prolifically
40:04 defending the views of Ribera.
40:08 He ends the quotation by saying,
40:11 "It called forth a host of counter writings
40:15 from Protestant leaders, who considered him
40:19 their greatest adversary."
40:21 So the Protestants wrote document after document
40:24 against Robert Bellarmine's views,
40:26 which shows that Bellarmine was of great influence
40:30 in the Counter Reformation
40:32 in spreading the views of Ribera.
40:37 Now basically, Bellarmine repeated the views
40:42 of Ribera,
40:44 but he fine tuned several other details
40:48 with an evangelistic zeal worthy of admiration.
40:54 He used certain arguments against the Protestants,
40:56 and I'm going to share those arguments with you.
40:59 The first argument was against Luther.
41:03 He says Luther claims
41:06 that the papacy is the Antichrist.
41:09 And yet, Luther doesn't even believe
41:13 that the Book of Revelation belongs in the biblical canon.
41:18 So if one authority can lose their talk
41:20 about the Antichrist
41:21 when he doesn't even believe that the Book of Revelation
41:24 should be in the Bible.
41:25 And by the way, that's true.
41:27 Martin Luther did not like the Book of Revelation.
41:31 He said, "All I find in Revelation are beasts
41:33 and mysterious numbers and symbols."
41:36 He says, "I can't find Christ in the Book of Revelation."
41:40 He also did not like the Book of James,
41:42 he call it the epistle of straw.
41:45 And so basically,
41:47 Bellarmine turns the thing against Luther.
41:49 He says, "You know, I'm writing about the Book of Revelation.
41:53 Luther doesn't even believe that the Book of Revelation
41:55 belongs in the Bible."
41:58 He also showed that the reformers
42:01 did not always agree with one another.
42:04 For example, about the period in which the Antichrist rose,
42:09 some Protestant Reformers said that the Antichrist
42:13 or the little horn rose in the year 400 AD,
42:17 that's with the fall of Rome.
42:19 Others thought that it was in the year 600 AD
42:22 when Pope Gregory rose to the papal throne.
42:25 Other reformers believed that the Antichrist arose
42:29 in the year 200, 773,
42:32 the year 1000 or the year 1200.
42:36 So basically, the Protestant Reformers,
42:38 they did not have a standard date
42:40 for the beginning of the Antichrist,
42:42 the rule of the Antichrist.
42:44 And so Bellarmine said,
42:45 "The Protestants can't even agree
42:47 as to when the Antichrist began.
42:50 So how can we trust what they teach?"
42:53 Once again, we need to understand
42:55 something very important.
42:57 And that is that the Protestant Reformers
43:00 did not have all of the information
43:03 that we have.
43:04 The Protestant Reformers did not know about 1798.
43:09 You see, we have two ways of studying the 1260 years.
43:14 We can begin in the year 538 and then move forward,
43:20 or we can go to 1798 and we can move backwards.
43:25 You see the Protestant Reformers,
43:26 they had to determine what the beginning was,
43:29 but they didn't know what the end was,
43:31 because the end was gonna come in 1798.
43:34 We live after the papacy was wounded in 1798.
43:40 So we have a firm period
43:42 where the Roman Catholic papacy ruled,
43:45 538 to 1798.
43:48 So he shouldn't have been too hard
43:49 on the Protestant Reformers
43:51 because the reformers did not know the ending date.
43:53 I'm sure that if they had live
43:56 at the period of the ending date,
43:58 they would have said 538 to 1798
44:01 because in 1798,
44:03 the papacy received its deadly wound,
44:05 the pope was taken prisoner.
44:07 France as a nation turned against the papacy.
44:10 And shortly thereafter, all of the nations in Europe
44:13 followed the example of a papacy
44:15 in forsaking the papacy.
44:18 And so, Bellarmine, you know, the Protestant Reformers
44:21 obviously did not have
44:23 a very good response at that point.
44:25 But they would have had a good response
44:27 if they had lived today.
44:30 He also said to the Protestants,
44:34 "Hey, you know,
44:36 you interpret symbols differently.
44:39 Everybody has a different interpretation of symbols.
44:42 So how can we trust your interpretation of symbols,
44:46 when each reformer has a different way
44:48 of interpreting certain symbols?"
44:50 So basically, what Bellarmine was doing
44:53 was he was using arguments to try and cloud the issue
44:58 so that people would distrust
45:00 what the Protestant Reformers were saying.
45:03 Now, Bellarmine also used a very interesting argument
45:07 that Protestants would later pick up,
45:10 conservative Protestants.
45:11 That would be Pentecostals,
45:13 Charismatics, Evangelicals, etc.
45:16 Basically, it's the idea that the Roman Empire
45:22 was never divided into 10 kingdoms.
45:26 Bellarmine taught that,
45:28 Ribera didn't teach that specific point,
45:30 but Bellarmine said,
45:32 "When you look at the history of the Roman Empire,
45:35 it was never divided into 10 kingdoms
45:37 like the prophecy of Daniel 7 says."
45:41 Now in our study tomorrow, our next study,
45:44 I am going to show you
45:46 from the writings of a futurist,
45:48 he passed away a few years ago.
45:50 His name is Dave Hunt.
45:53 He wrote a Book called "The Woman Rides the Beast,"
45:56 and also another one that is called "Global Peace."
46:00 And in his exposition of Daniel Chapter 7,
46:04 he says that there's a gap between the fourth kingdom,
46:08 the Roman Empire, and the 10 nation federation
46:12 that will rise in the future,
46:15 that the 10 horns did not come out
46:17 of the head of the fourth beast,
46:19 immediately when the empire fell,
46:21 but there was a gap of over 2000 years
46:24 between the fourth kingdom and the rise of the 10 horns.
46:29 Where did Dave Hunt get that from?
46:32 From the Roman Catholic papacy's Counter Reformation.
46:35 The argument was used first by Bellarmine
46:39 where he says that the Roman Empire
46:41 was never divided,
46:42 according to the specification of Daniel Chapter 7.
46:46 Now, Bellarmine believed
46:50 that the Antichrist would be a nasty individual.
46:55 He believe that the time of rulership of this Antichrist
47:01 was a literal three and a half years.
47:04 And he believed that the Jerusalem temple
47:08 or the temple where the Antichrist would sit
47:10 was the literal Jerusalem temple.
47:13 Let me just read you three statements
47:15 from Bellarmine himself.
47:18 First of all, about the facts according to him,
47:22 that the Antichrist will be an individual
47:25 that will rise in the future.
47:27 It's not a system, it's an individual.
47:29 He wrote in his famous document
47:33 which took years to put together.
47:36 I quote, "For all Catholics think, thus,
47:41 that the Antichrist will be one certain man
47:47 but all heretics teach," now he's gonna contrast,
47:51 "all heretics teach that Antichrist
47:55 is expressly declared to be not a single person
47:59 but an individual throne or absolute kingdom,
48:03 an apostate seat of those who ruled over the church."
48:09 Are you catching what he's saying?
48:11 In other words, Protestants believed
48:12 that the Antichrist is a system
48:16 where as he says, as Catholics, we believe
48:19 that the Antichrist is an individual
48:21 to rise in the future,
48:23 whereas Protestants think
48:24 that it's our system that exists now.
48:27 What did Bellarmine have to say
48:29 about the three and a half years
48:31 that the little horn would rule?
48:33 I read once again from Bellarmine.
48:36 "Antichrist will not reign
48:39 except for three years and a half.
48:44 But the pope has now reigned spiritually
48:47 in the church more than 1500 years,
48:51 nor can anyone be pointed out
48:54 who has been accepted for antichrist,
48:57 who has ruled exactly three in one half years,
49:00 therefore, the pope is not Antichrist.
49:03 Then Antichrist has not yet come."
49:08 Are you understanding his argument?
49:10 What he's saying is that Antichrist was going to reign
49:14 three and a half years.
49:16 And there's no pope, that you could show ruled
49:20 for three and a half literal years,
49:23 because if it's the papacy,
49:25 he says the papacy has ruled
49:26 for over 1500 years in his time,
49:29 not three and a half literal years.
49:31 So it can't refer to the papacy.
49:34 And then what did he have to say
49:36 about the temple,
49:38 Antichrist sitting in the temple?
49:40 Once again, I read from Bellarmine's writings,
49:43 "The pope is not antichrist
49:48 since indeed his throne is not in Jerusalem,
49:53 nor in the Temple of Solomon,
49:55 surely it is credible that from the year 600,
49:59 no Roman pontiff has ever been in Jerusalem."
50:05 Are you understanding his argument?
50:08 He is literalizing what the Apostle Paul says
50:11 in 2 Thessalonians 2
50:13 where it says the Antichrist will sit
50:15 in the temple of God showing himself to be God.
50:18 And he says, "Well,
50:20 the temple is the Jewish temple."
50:22 But he says, "No pope is now sitting
50:24 in the Jewish temple."
50:26 So the pope cannot be the fulfillment
50:28 of the Antichrist prophecy.
50:32 What he doesn't say is that when the Apostle Paul
50:36 uses the word temple Naos, in his writings,
50:41 he always applies it to a spiritual temple
50:45 that is as a symbol of the Christian church.
50:49 An example of that is found in Ephesians Chapter 2,
50:52 where it says that the church
50:55 is built upon the foundation
50:59 of the apostles and the prophets.
51:02 Those are the foundations.
51:04 Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.
51:08 And the believers are the stones
51:11 that are built up on the cornerstone
51:14 and the foundation stones.
51:17 And then the Apostle Paul says
51:20 that it grows to be a temple in the Lord.
51:24 And it is filled with the Holy Spirit,
51:27 which is the Shekinah.
51:31 So in other words, the Apostle Paul,
51:32 whenever he uses the word temple,
51:34 he uses it in a figurative sense.
51:37 By the way,
51:40 even if a Jewish temple was rebuilt,
51:43 it would not be the temple of God.
51:46 Because Jesus, you remember, He went into the temple
51:50 at the end of the triumphal entry
51:52 and it says there in Matthew Chapter 21
51:57 that He entered the temple of God.
52:01 And the money changers went there
52:03 and Jesus cast out the money changers.
52:06 And Jesus says, "You have defiled My house."
52:10 So when He goes into the temple,
52:12 it's called the temple of God.
52:14 And He says, "This is My house."
52:17 But then in the next chapters,
52:19 the rest of Chapter 21, 22, and 23,
52:22 Jesus carries on a dialogue with the Jewish leaders.
52:26 He tells several parables
52:28 and one Jewish sect after another
52:30 rejects the teachings of Jesus Christ in the temple,
52:34 because He's teaching in the temple
52:35 in Matthew 21, 22, and 23.
52:38 And He ends in Chapter 23 with the woes upon the scribes
52:41 and of Pharisees.
52:43 And then Jesus leaves the temple.
52:45 We're going to study this a little bit more
52:46 a little bit later on
52:48 when we talk about who is Israel,
52:50 because we're gonna deal with all of the issues
52:52 that are presented by futurists.
52:54 And so Jesus when He finishes
52:56 His encounters with the Jewish leaders,
52:58 and they totally reject Him,
53:01 we're told in Matthew 23:38, for the last time,
53:06 Jesus leaves the temple, and He says,
53:09 "Your house is left unto you desolate."
53:13 It was no longer the Lord's house.
53:16 And then immediately afterwards,
53:19 in Matthew 24:1-3,
53:21 Jesus speaks about the destruction of Jerusalem.
53:25 Are you with me?
53:27 So the Jewish temple, even if it's rebuild,
53:29 it's not the temple of God.
53:33 The temple of God is the church,
53:36 which means that the Antichrist was going to rise where?
53:39 He was going to rise and sit
53:42 in the spiritual temple, the church.
53:45 In other words, we're supposed to look for the Antichrist
53:48 sitting somewhere in the Christian church,
53:51 more specifically in Rome,
53:54 because the Bible tells us that the little horn
53:56 rises in the midst of the 10 horns
54:00 from the head of the dragon beast,
54:02 which represents Rome.
54:05 Now for 200 years
54:08 after the Protestant Reformation,
54:10 the Protestants withstood
54:13 the Roman Catholic papacy's onslaught.
54:16 They remained faithful to their principles.
54:21 But then, in the early 1800s
54:26 in Britain,
54:29 Protestants began to forsake historicism
54:33 as the governing principle
54:35 for the interpretation of Bible prophecy.
54:39 It's a sad story.
54:41 We will take quite an extensive period
54:43 in our next presentation
54:45 to study how preterism and primarily futurism
54:51 entered Protestantism
54:53 through the door of the Anglican Church,
54:56 through the door of the Church of England in the early 1830's.
55:01 And then we're gonna see that it was transplanted
55:04 to the United States by John Nelson Darby
55:08 and C.I. Scofield, the famous preparer
55:12 of the Scofield Reference Bible.
55:14 And since then, Protestantism has eaten up,
55:20 has imbibed the Roman Catholic system
55:24 of interpreting Bible prophecy.
55:27 As I mentioned last night,
55:29 they have swallowed
55:30 the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation views,
55:33 hook, line, sinker,
55:36 fisherman, boat, and everything else.
55:40 They bought it all.
55:42 These days, the mainline Protestant churches
55:46 teach preterism.
55:49 The little horn is Antiochus.
55:53 The beast is Nero.
55:57 When it comes
55:59 to the conservative Protestants,
56:00 which are the Evangelicals, the Pentecostals,
56:04 and the Charismatics.
56:06 They say, "No, the Antichrist is a future Antichrist."
56:12 They will arise and sit in the Jewish temple,
56:14 he'll build a great big statue of himself,
56:17 which is the image of the beast.
56:19 He will command all the Jews
56:20 to worship the image that he raised up,
56:22 and he will place this tattoo on the forehead
56:25 or on the right hand,
56:27 and everybody will have to fall down and worship,
56:29 literalizing everything,
56:31 and projecting it to the future.
56:35 In other words, Protestantism has apostatized
56:41 from the correct way of interpreting Bible prophecy.
56:45 No wonder Protestantism is so weak today.
56:49 No wonder, folks, that even within
56:51 the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
56:54 we become very weak
56:55 in the teaching of Bible prophecy.
56:58 We don't say much about Bible prophecy anymore.
57:02 We hardly ever refer to the writings of Ellen White
57:05 in the interpretation of prophecy,
57:07 because we have also been influenced
57:11 by these views of the Roman Catholic
57:13 Counter Reformation.
57:15 And so, in our next study, we will talk about
57:19 the Great Apostasy of Protestantism
57:24 from the correct view of interpreting Bible prophecy.
57:29 I hope you're planning on being here
57:31 for the next presentation, because it's a sad story.
57:35 But it helps us explain the reason why Protestantism
57:39 no longer has any power
57:41 to bring about a change in people's lives,
57:44 and why there is so lack of power
57:47 also in our very own Seventh-day Adventist Church.
57:52 So I hope that we're all planning on being here
57:54 for our next presentation,
57:56 where we will deal with this very important topic.


Revised 2019-09-30