Will there be billions
behindnot saved? The book
Left Behind explains that a
saved ones occurs before the
Tribulation. Then those Christians who remain get a second
chance to be
saved during the
Tribulation. However, the tragedy is that most people are not
saved and consequently are lost.
Lost, is a
soft euphemism that means going to hell-fire. That is the implied
fate of those
left behind. All Muslims, Hindus and the
thousands of other religions not
saved will be lost to
God forever. That is cruel theology.
Left Behind portrays
God as locked in combat with the devil and his personal Antichrist,
trying to save souls. God succeeds in getting some saved in the
Pre-tribulation and others in the
Tribulation. Sadly, however, God loses out to the devil, and
most unsaved people are
left behind. They teach this
despite of the fact that God
will have all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4). Gods purpose cannot fail. God
has promised to
pour out his Spirit upon all
flesh (Acts 2:17). Jesus returns to receive his
faithful followers to glory, but also to begin
times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the
mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began"
(Acts 3:21). Be assured that no one will be
in Gods Plan.
has experienced phenomenal acceptance in the Evangelical world
because it encapsulates the thinking of most Evangelicals concerning
the end times. That is very much the way they understand prophecy.
However, this concept raises some serious doubts upon its legitimacy
in treating the Word of God.
Two Serious Flaws
Two serious flaws affect their
premise of prophetic interpretation. The first is the idea of a literal
man of sin and the second is that it
takes away seven years from Daniel 9:24 which defines 490 years to
the Messiah and confirmed favor to Israel. Then it also steals
seven years away from Daniel 8:14 of twenty-three hundred years and
leaves both prophesies short seven years. It is like trying
to take seven years of history and transplanting it somewhere else.
Plainly, this violates Biblical exegesis.
A Literal Man of Sin
Why have the Evangelicals
discarded the teachings of nearly all Protestant reformers who
affirmed Papacy to be the Antichrist? Luther was reticent to attack
the mother church until he concluded from his studies about the
little horn, the
man of sin, and the
beast that these prophecies apply to the
Roman Catholic Church. Once he became convinced that the Papacy was
Antichrist, he boldly set out to reform the mother church.
One thing all Protestant
reformers had in common was the belief that Papacy was the
Antichrist. The Roman Church did not like being branded the
In 1590, Ribera published a
commentary on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation
to the prevailing view among Protestants that identified
the Papacy as the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of
Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time
rather than to the history of the Papacy. Antichrist would
be a single person who would be received by the Jews and
would rebuild Jerusalem (George Eldon Ladd, The
Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and
the Rapture. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1956, pp. 37-38).
Ribera denied the Protestant
Scriptural Antichrist (2 Thess.2) as seated in the church
of Godasserted by Augustine, Jerome, Luther and many
reformers. He set on an infidel Antichrist, outside the
church of God. (Ralph Thompson, Champions of
Christianity in Search of Truth, p. 89).
The result of his work [Ribera's]
was a twisting and maligning of prophetic truth
(Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical
Alternative, p. 32).
Subsequently, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
followed Riberas teaching.
The futurist teachings of Ribera were further
popularized by an Italian cardinal and the most renowned
of all Jesuit controversialists. His writings claimed that
Paul, Daniel, and John had nothing whatsoever to say about
the Papal power. The futurists' school won general
acceptance among Catholics. They were taught that
antichrist was a single individual who would not rule
until the very end of time (Great Prophecies of the
Bible, by Ralph Woodrow, p. 198).
Through the work of these two
Jesuit scholars, we might say that the idea of a literal man would
appear at the end time fulfilling the antichrist prophecies.
Francisco Ribera has been called the Father of Futurism.
Thus Jesuit Futurism sweeps 1,500
years of prophetic history under the rug by inserting its infamous
GAP. The GAP theory teaches that when Rome fell, prophecy stopped,
only to continue again right around the time of the Rapture. Thus
ten horns, the
little horn, the
Beast, and the Antichrist have nothing to
do with Christians today. According to this viewpoint no prophecies
were fulfilled during the Dark Ages. This remained a Catholic view
for some 300 years after the Council of Trent. The plan of the
Jesuits was that the Protestants would adopt this idea one day. To
their delight it happened in the early 1800s in England, and from
there it spread to America. The story of how this happened is both
fascinating and tragic.
The Futurism of Ribera never posed a
positive threat to the Protestants for three centuries. It
was virtually confined to the Roman Church. But early in
the nineteenth century it sprang forth with vehemence and
latched on to Protestants of the Established Church of
England (Ralph Thompson, Champions of Christianity
in Search of Truth, p. 91).
Then Dr. Samuel Roffey Maitland
(1792-1866), a lawyer and Bible scholar, became a librarian to the
Archbishop of Canterbury. It is very likely that one day he
discovered Riberas commentary in the library. In any event, in 1826
he published a widely read book attacking the Reformation and
supporting Riberas idea of a future one-man Antichrist. For ten
years, in tract after tract, he continued his anti-Reformation
rhetoric. As a result of his zeal and strong attacks against the
Reformation in England, the Protestantism of that very nation which
produced the King James Bible (1611) received a crushing blow.
Then came James H. Todd, a
professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin. Todd accepted the
futuristic ideas of Maitland, publishing his own supportive
pamphlets and books. Then came John Henry Newman (1801-1890), a
member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford
Movement (1833-1845). In 1850, Newman wrote his
Anglican Difficulties revealing that one of the goals in the
Oxford Movement was to finally absorb
the various English denominations and parties
back to the Church of Rome. Newman soon became a Roman Catholic, and
later even a highly honored Cardinal. Through the influence of
Maitland, Todd, Newman, and others, a definite
Romeward movement was already arising,
destined to sweep away the old Protestant landmarks, as with a
flood (H. Grattan Guinness, History Unveiling Prophecy or Time
as an Interpreter, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1905, p. 289).
was also a Scottish
Presbyterian minister Edward Irving (1792-1834), considered to be
the forerunner of both the Charismatic and the Pentecostal
Movements. He accepted the one-man Antichrist of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine and Ribera. He went a step further and invented a
two-phase return of Christ. A secret rapture prior to the rise of
Antichrist would constitute the first phase. In this first phase the
Lord would rapture all saved Christians. This would be a wake up
call to Christians who had not been saved and these would have to
become saved during the
Great Tribulation. Where this
idea originated is unclear. Journalist Dave MacPherson believes
Irving accepted it as a result of a prophetic revelation given to a
young Scottish girl named Margaret Mcdonald (The Incredible
Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories, by Dave
MacPherson, Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. 1980). In any case,
the fact is, Irving taught it!
This brings us to John Nelson
Darby (1800-1882). He was a bright lawyer, pastor and theologian who
wrote more than 53 books on Bible subjects. Darby defended the
infallibility of the Bible against a tide of liberalism. He became a
leader of a group in Plymouth, England that later were called
Plymouth Brethren. Dwight Eisenhower's father is credited with
associating with this movement as well as with the Bible Students.
Darby was a dispensationalist believing that God deals with mankind
in major time periods called dispensations. He called the Gospel age
the Church age. Darby laid much of the foundation for the present
popular removal of Daniel's seventieth week away from history and
from applying to Jesus Christ in favor of applying it to a future
Tribulation after the Rapture. This locks Darby in with Francisco
Ribera and the Jesuit agenda.
What made John Nelson Darby so
famous was the fact that Cyris Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a
Kansas lawyer, who published his Scofield Reference Bible based
largely on Darby's writings and his Futurism also found in the
writings of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine and Ribera. This greatly
assisted the Jesuits in their endeavor to convince the world that
the Antichrist was a future literal man who would bring about seven
years of tribulation. Wycliff, Huss, Luther, Knox and Wesley all
declared Papacy was the Antichrist. For a list of over eighty
reformers who identified Papacy as Antichrist, check
Interpretations of Anti-Christ.
Daniel's 70 Weeks of Years
Most Bible scholars have
agreed that Daniel 9:24-27 was prophetic when written but historical
now. If it is now history, you cannot remove seven years of history
and put it were you please. Truths of history cannot be removed in
fact. Christians should not try to revise history.
Most scholars recognize
Daniel as prophetic covering from the
commandment to restore
and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince. Thus Daniel
9:25-27 tells us when Jerusalem and its walls were rebuilt in
troublous times to Messiah the Prince would be sixty-nine weeks of
years (483). The wall was rebuilt in 454 BCE to 29 CEhistorically
sixty-nine weeks to the time Jesus presented himself at Jordan as
Messiah then would:
Make an end of sinHe
put away sin by the sacrifice of himself
reconciliation for iniquity
iniquities of the Church were cancelled.
in everlasting righteousness
everlasting justification from sin.
The vision of
the 2300 days (years) the first part of which was the 70
weeks (490 years)literally cut-off from the 2300 years.
This set a
seal upon Daniel as a true prophet.
the Most Holy
anointed the holy remnant at Pentecost.
the covenant with many for one week
with Israel was to be confirmed for the last week and no
Gentiles were to be accepted until this time frame was
completed (29 to 36 CE).
midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
In the middle
of the last week (33 CE) Christ his sacrifice would cease
or be ended.
How can we take this last
week full of historical fulfillment by our Lord and move it to the
end time? To do so violates reason and biblical exegesis. It
precisely fits into the last seven years covering Messiah who was to
be "cut off" in the midst of the week and then the
covenant was to be confirmed for the remainder of the week with
Israel only. This is history.
The Vision of the
Twenty-Three Hundred Days [Years]
Daniel 8:13-16 tells of a vision
2300 days which Daniel did not understand. The angel
Gabriel was commissioned to explain it to him, but the chapter ends
with Daniel saying:
And I Daniel fainted, and was sick
certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the kings business;
and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it
Neither Daniel nor his associates
were able to understand this vision. In Daniel the ninth chapter we
learn that Daniel went back to Jeremiahs writings concerning the
seventy years of desolation. He apparently was wondering if after
the seventy years spent in Babylon Israel might be restored to its
Daniels main interest
was in Israel. Gabriels message left him rather limp perhaps
believing that the sanctuary of the literal temple would remained
defiled until the end of
2300 days [years].
Fearing such a long wait Daniel
then prays to God confessing Israels sins and seeking Gods mercy.
Finally, in Daniel 9:21-27 Gabriel is sent the second time to
explain the vision. The only vision that needed explaining at the
moment was the vision of the
2300 days. The reason it
could not be understood was that the angel had not given a starting
date or a closing date. Without some point to measure from Daniel
2300 days yardstick but no point to measure from.
Gabriel then makes a second
attempt to explain the vision of the
2300 days by adding
another vision of
70 weeks [of years] that would be
determined [literally are divided or cut off from the 2300
days] upon thy people and upon thy holy city (Dan. 9:24). In
other words Gabriel is telling Daniel that four hundred and ninety
will be divided or cut off from the twenty-three hundred years.
Gabriel also provides a time from which to start both the 2300 years
and the 490 years. He says:
Know therefore and understand,
that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and
threescore and two weeks (69 weeks): the street shall be built
again, and the wall, even in troublous times (Dan. 9:25). The
wall was rebuilt in fifty-two days (Neh. 5:15) in 454 BCE. To
2300 Symbolic Days = 2300 Literal
of the 2300 Years
Years = Covenant confirmed
with Israel one week.
Messiah cut off in
midst of week.
You cannot remove seven years
from the 2300 years and still have 2300 nor can you remove seven
years from the 490 historical years and still have 490. To take
seven years of history and transplant it into the future is
untenable. No explanation is adequate and none has been given. Darby
just did it. There is no prophecy that says the
Tribulation is seven years. Seven years was stolen from Daniel
disannulling history. Daniel told us the Messiah
the covenant [with Israel] for one week [seven years from 29 to 36
CE]; and in the midst of the week [33 CE] he [Messiah] shall cause
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [Messiah sacrifice would be
ended on the cross in the midst of the week] (Dan. 9:27). How
can anyone place these seven years of history into the future when
it was fulfilled in the past?
Seventieth Week Last Legacy
The very first scholar to take
Daniels seventieth week away from the sixty-nine weeks was
Francisco Ribera. His primary apparatus was the seventy weeks. He
taught that Daniels 70th week already fulfilled was still in the
It has opened the floodgate of Jesuit futurism that
denies history. Many good Christian people are being deceived by a
Jesuit conspiracy that closes their eyes to the true Antichrist.
This is exactly the scenario used by Hal Lindsey and a
multitude of other current prophecy teachers (Robert Caringola,
Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative, p. 35). It seems that the
Evangelical movement has taken the Jesuit bate and now feature the
Jesuit concepts in placing the seventieth week in a future
tribulation. Why have they laid aside all the teachings of the
Founding Fathers of Protestantism that the Papacy is the Antichrist?
Why have they become bewitched with the Jesuit siren song causing
the world to look for a literal man Antichrist instead of
recognizing the historic Antichrist? Many Evangelicals fail to
recognize they are perpetuating a Jesuit begotten error in the
left behind deception and leaving many Christians
unprepared for the last time deceptions of the true Antichrist.