Key Interpretations

The Psalmist David wrote: “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of Thy strength [Wonder what that is?] out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies [emphasis mine]. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power’…” (Psalm 110:1-3a.)

Unbelievably, in the face of clear scripture, there still is a debate over whether Christ is presently reigning on this earth, and if not, when? And if presently, how? Furthermore, did Jesus “bind” Satan or not? What do the Scriptures say – present or future?

In chapter 20: 1-2 of the symbolic Book of Revelation, we read: “I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” Immediately, most will be entertaining the concept of a futuristic millennium with these verses. That is not my subject matter at present. This is not an article about the millennium and its various schools of thought. However, if you believe it to be a literal thousand years in the future, you are still in eschatological infancy.

“And bound him”: Jesus came first to bind Satan then to destroy him. This binding was for the purpose of restricting his power to totally throw entire nations into complete idolatry. (I am not saying that this stops individual temptation.) History records nation after nation, civilization after civilization which existed under one form or another under Satan’s complete deception, i.e., Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the Romans. The boasting of Satan is clear during the temptation of Jesus. “And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:5-6). However, the Scriptures and history reveal that Christ turned the tables. The great historian, Will Durant, observed:

“There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with a fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating the strongest state that history has known. Caesar and Christ met in the arena, and Christ had won.

The Story of Civilization III, “Caesar and Christ,” p. 652.

Jesus came and demonstrated his commission by signs and wonders, especially by displaying His authority over demons. He said, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matthew 12:28). Jesus proved His kingdom authority by casting out devils. However, the people reacted and accused him of doing these wonders by the authority of the Devil. Immediately Jesus responded, “…how can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house” (Matthew 12:29). The message is clear, first “bind” then spoil the other’s dominion. This, Jesus did. Please note: The word “bind” here is the same word which appears in Revelation 20:2. Christ, in this present reign, has bound the devil. It’s just that simple. (Other verses which vindicate this understanding are: Lk. 10:17-19; Jn. 12:31; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14; Eph. 4:8 and 1 Jn. 3:8.)

God’s true Israel needs to awaken to her identity and to the realization that she has the power to do a better job. Our power has been drastically limited by Dispensationalism’s “other gospel.” This “other gospel” bemoans a concept that evil is becoming stronger. It lies and tries to convince us that the world is coming more and more under the control of the Devil. Wake up! Satan is bound, and we know it not! Christ has given us this great chain of circumstance. We can tighten the chain but do it not!

Now that we are brought into remembrance concerning the binding of Satan and the plundering of his strong house by Jesus, we turn to the concept of reigning. The “my Lord” of David’s Psalm is proclaimed by Scripture to have Zion ruling (reigning) in the midst of her enemies. Remember, “Thy people” are the rulers. Was this authority for only some blissful millennial age in the future, or is it present? I assert that we are reigning with Christ now in the midst of our enemies!

Paul reminded Timothy that “the word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). He went further and proclaimed a “faithful saying” which has major implications concerning our present reign with Christ. “For if we died with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2: 11-13). Have we died; are we living; do we suffer, and are we reigning – presently? What sayeth the scriptures? Did Paul address these situations?

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death…” (Romans 6:3-4a). Yes, we have died. Furthermore, Paul states that we are now living with Christ: “…Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4b). During this living with Christ, we “shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12b). Therefore, the reward of this death, suffering and life: “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

J. Marcellus Kik, in his excellent book, raised the following question:

“An individual Christian may ask himself this question: What more could the popular [futuristic] conception of the millennium give me than I already possess? I have a Savior who is my Prophet, Priest and King. God the Father is my covenant God. I have the forgiveness of sin. I have the promise of eternal life . . . I have the Holy Spirit as my Teacher, Sanctifier and Comforter. I have security against my greatest enemies: Death, Hell and the Devil. I am standing on Mt. Zion and am a citizen of the Holy City. I belong to the commonwealth of Israel and am not a stranger from the covenants of promise. What more does a Christian desire? More material prosperity?  Is not the Lord wealth enough? Perhaps we desire less ‘tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ But are we not in all these things more than conquerors through Him who loves us?”      J. Marcellus Kik, An Eschatology of Victory, p. 206.

“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:9-10).

There are two critical points to be addressed in these verses. First, the word “us” in verse 9 is correctly translated “them.” And in verse 10, “us” again is correctly interpreted as “them,” and “we” should be “they.” Why the reason for this adjustment? Simple, angelic beings have no need of redemption. Angelic beings will not reign upon this earth – we will. Let’s read this with the proper pronouns inserted: “For thou wast slain, and has redeemed them to God. . .and hast made them unto our God, king, and priests: and they shall reign . . .”  Second, the proclamation, “they shall reign upon the earth,” means just what it says. It is our commission to reign, even now, in the midst of our enemies! Christ purchased Israel not only to redeem them from sin but to equip them to fulfill God’s original dominion mandate for His people – ruling upon this earth. And regardless of the destruction still caused by the Devil, we who are in “heavenly places in Christ” rejoice at the self-evident continual growth of the Kingdom of God.     Remember:

Stone…………………………Becomes……………………………….MOUNTAIN

Daniel 2:34-35

The following verses should help you grasp the present reality of Christ’s reigning through Zion and His growing Kingdom. It does not instantaneously appear in total power. Remember Isaiah 9:7, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” Furthermore, Daniel revealed that “there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him [some initially won’t]: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). Now, fundamental question: Has Christ been given this kingdom yet? YES HE HAS! Wash that Dispensationalism out of your minds with the “water of the word.” Luke 22:29 states, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me.”

By Robert Caringola

Clarence Larkin’s Charts : The theology of Ribera, by Larkin’s own admission.

 

By Robert Caringola

 

After thirty years of work, the late Clarence Larkin (1850 – 1924, an American Baptist Pastor) published a work which many in the Futurist School of eschatology refer to as “the dispensationalists’ second bible” and “a standard authority on dispensationalism.” The book is entitled Dispensational  Truth. It is touted by some as the greatest book on bible prophecy in the world! It contains over 115 charts, maps and woodcuts. These are referenced today by a myriad of prophecy teachers. But, I wonder how many of these so-called teachers have read Larkin’s admission of cartooning Francisco Ribera’s catholic counter-reformation prophetic interpretation.

This article is not an explanation of the errors of dispensationalism. Space does not allow for a proper refutation of the Futurist School or a defense of the Protestant Historical School (Historicism). It will simply be, for the most part, the words of Larkin himself. These are found on page 5 of his book, Forty-Sixth Printing. Some of the other printings have it on page 4.

“The glory of a good thing is that it flows to others” Martin Luther. Conversely, the horror of a bad thing is that it not only flows but, at times, floods and drowns. How many, today, are drowning in the tide of dispensational teachings? The book Dispensational Truth furthered the rushing current of futuristic eschatology - Rome’s poisonous waters!

Now, let us read Larkin’s affirmation of the Jesuit origins of Preterism and Futurism. He also identifies the “secret of the martyr heroism,” known as Historicism.

I have added bold emphasis where I felt appropriate.

 

    The “Preterist School” originated with the Jesuit Alcazar. His view was first put forth as a complete scheme in his work on the Apocalypse, published in A.D.1614. It limits the scope of the apocalypse to the events of the Apostle John’s life, and affirms that the whole prophecy was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the subsequent fall of the persecuting Roman Empire, thus making the Emperor Nero the “Antichrist.” The purpose of the scheme was transparent, it was to relieve the Papal Church from the stigma of being called the “Harlot Church” and the Pope from being called the Antichrist…”

    The “Historical School”. . . interprets the Apocalypse as a series of prophecies predicting the events that were to happen in the world and in the Church from John’s day to the end of time. The advocates of the School interpret the symbols of the Book of Revelation as referring to certain historical events that have and are happening in the world. They claim that “Antichrist” is a “System” rather than a “Person,” and is represented by the Harlot Church of Rome. They interpret the “Time Element” in the Book on the “Year Day Scale.” This school has had some very able and ingenious advocates. This view, like the preceding was unknown to the early church. It appeared about the middle of the Twelfth Century, and was systematized in the beginning of the Third Century by the Abbot Joachim. Subsequently it was adopted and applied to the Pope by the forerunners and leaders of the Reformation, and may be said to have reached its zenith in Mr. Elliott’s “Horae Apocalypticae.” It is frequently called the Protestant interpretation because it regards Popery as exhausting all that has been predicted of the Antichristian power. It was a powerful and formidable weapon in the hands of the leaders of the Reformation, and the conviction of its truthfulness nerved them to “love not their lives unto the death.” It was the secret of the martyr heroism of the Sixteenth Century.

    The “Futurist School” interprets the language of the Apocalypse “literally,” except such symbols as are named as such and hold that the whole of the Book, from the end of the third chapter, is yet “future” and unfulfilled, and that the greater part of the Book, from the beginning of chapter six to the end of chapter nineteen, describes what shall come to pass during the last week of “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.” . . . In its present form it may be said to have originated at the end of the Sixteenth Century, with the Jesuit Ribera, who actuated by the same motive as the Jesuit Alcazar, sought to rid the Papacy of the stigma of being called the “Antichrist,” and so referred the prophecies of the Apocalypse to the distant future. This view was accepted by the Roman Catholic Church and was for a long time confined to it, but, strange to say, it has wonderfully revived since the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, and among Protestants. . . ., The “Futurist” interpretation of scripture is the one employed in this book.

Clarence Larkin

Well, there you have it. Larkin is ecstatic because the rejected prophetic counter-scheme manipulations of the Jesuit Ribera have been “wonderfully revived.”





I have written a book entitled Seventy Weeks, The Historical Alternative. In this book, I address, in modest detail, much of the information presented by Larkin. If you want to know more about these schools of thought, I encourage you to read it. In summation, it is the story of the only Messianic Divine time-measure recorded in Holy Writ – Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. The truth of its interpretation begins with a journey back to the Protestant Reformation. It was during this period of Church history that this great prophecy’s commonly understood fulfillment was hermeneutically attacked and distorted. The confusing results of this theological assault are with us to this day. Clarence Larkin’s book Dispensational Truth is a classic example. He teaches that a seven-year tribulation period is yet to come.

What was this doctrinal assault’s ultimate purpose? Who first taught it? Larkin already told you – Ribera!

Why was this new interpretation of Daniel Chapter Nine rejected by scholastic Protestant clergy for centuries? Who were its authors trying to protect? Again, Larkin told you – the Papacy and its identified label - “Antichrist.”

In my book, you’ll have these and many more questions answered. After reading, you will never again, in good conscience, be able to teach the charts of Larkin.

I contend with no man’s person, only that which pertain to the words of truth.

Seventy Weeks the Historical Alternative can be ordered from:

TRUTH IN HISTORY

P.O. BOX 808

OWASSO, OK 74055-0808

(918) 553-6000

www.truthinhistory.org

Where is that 'antichrist' the Futurist teachers keep telling us about? The many speculations about his origin and identity have intrigued Christian people for almost a century, since C.I. Scofield published his commentary notes on the same pages as the sacred text in 1909. A popular view during the 1960's was that the 'antichrist' was a Syrian while others taught that he was a child prodigy from India. The Futurist prophecy experts told us that this child was currently being trained to rule the world, but they never told us who was training him.

One interesting fact a college professor shared with us students were the speculations concerning this mysterious illusive character that have been going on for a very long time. The prophecy gurus during the 1930's proclaimed that Benito Mussolini of Italy was 'the antichrist' until the people hung him and his mistress by their heels in Milan. Other experts were sure they had their 'man" in Adolph Hitler, but he spoiled their theory when he put a bullet through the brain of his consort, Eva Braun and then ended his life by the same means. Other 'antichrist' hunters found their perfect fulfillment in Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were disappointed when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

ATHEIST, CATHOLIC OR JEWISH

After the deaths of these three potential candidates in 1945, the prognosticators soon began to look to the USSR for a living 'boogeyman.' They soon found one in Joseph Stalin, but again their search was forced to continue after Stalin died of a paralytic stroke in 1953. The ruthless plans of the Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev during the Cold War, especially after his emotional "we will bury you" speech before the United Nations General Assembly, made him first choice among most prophecy experts. Among his closest competitors for that most hated position was the Irish Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. Many sermons proclaimed him as the perfect puppet ruler, through which the Pope would rule America and the free world. But again, the choice for the position of 'antichrist' had to be altered due to that fatal rifle sot in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

By this time, after these disappointments of all the major and many minor choices, the experts then decided that 'the antichrist' had to be a Jew. Finally they found their man in Henry Kissinger, a foreign born Jew who had become an advisor to U.S. presidents. But Henry has failed to meet the expectations of the Futurists. One very prominent evangelist published his description of 'the antichrist' as being the world's biggest party man, an intellectual genius in all areas of science and government, a world traveler and an atheist, yet worships at the altar of every religion while flaunting his bisexual lifestyle. At least this evangelist played it safe by not calling any names.

THE LATEST ONE

But here of late some prophecy gurus are at it again. They have pinpointed their latest man of personified evil in the American president, Barak Obama. He has characteristics that no previous choice possessed: both a Caucasian/ Negro ancestry, added to the fact of his Muslin/Christian religion. Surely, he must be their man. But again, time and events will prove the prophecy experts wrong. All of these and many more predictions are a direct result of a false prophetic premise known as Dispensationalism and Futurism. Couple these two false theories with an emotional hype of end time signs that dazzle the uninformed christian public and the prophecy experts reap a large following and an increase of donations.

There have been many attempts to make the "he" of Daniel 9:27, the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8, the "idol shepherd" of Zechariah 11:17, the "man of sin" of II Thess. 2:3 and several other Biblical characters to refer to a one man future 'antichrist' that is to rule the world for seven years. Here of late, some teachers believe that the extent of the reign this end-time 'superman' will be limited only to the land mass of the old Roman Revived Empire. Therefore, he will not exercise any authority in the Western Hemisphere. All of this inconsistency is the result of misinformed teachers attempting to create a human devil incarnate which is nothing more than a theological fathom.

JOHN'S DEFINITION

Nowhere in Scripture does any writer refer to a "one –man antichrist." The term 'antichrist' occurs only five times in Scripture which all are found in the Epistles of John. "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 the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (I John 2:18-19).

In the above two references where the Apostle mentions the word antichrist, there is no implication that it is one individual person. In fact, he says that there are many antichrists. These were people who were once identified with John and the other believers, but discontinued their fellowship with them. There is a possibility these were Judaizers that undermined the ministry of John, then departed fellowship to go elsewhere to continue their devious work of perverting the faith of the saints.

"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also" (I John 2:22-23).

The Apostle John is very emphatic to whom he identifies as being antichrist. From John's statement it is those such as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Jews who were adherents to Judaism that denied the deity of Jesus Christ. The main criterion as to who qualifies as antichrist are those who deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Jews and other skeptics denying that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) are not only antichrist, but liars according to John's declaration.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (I John 4:1-3).

No statement of Scripture could be more clear to any honest reader than is found in the above statement of John. Any person, group or creed that denies Jesus is God incarnate in flesh is under the influence of the 'spirit' of antichrist. It is a Godly spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. It is an ungodly and an antichrist spirit that denies that truth. Antichrist is a 'spirit.' The Apostle Paul made it clear when he said; "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (I Cor. 12:3).

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (II John 7). Again, John declares that anyone who denies that Jesus is not the Messiah (Christ sent from God) is both a deceiver and an antichrist.

Never once in the above five references to antichrist did John refer to: 1) "The" Antichrist; 2) one individual man; 3) or a future appearance of an "antichrist."

John did refer to antichrist as:

  1.  a spirit (I John 4:3);
  2.  a denial of the incarnation of God in Christ (I John 4:2);
  3.  already present in his day (I John 2:18; 4:3)
  4.  liars who denied that Jesus is the Christ (I John 2:22);
  5.  deceivers (II John 7);
  6.  there were many who were antichrist (I John 2:18);
  7.  false believers who left the fellowship (I John 2:19).

wrathMuch discussion has been indulged in respecting these last "plagues," and what facts of history answer to each separate "vial." As they were of no special importance to our main subject we embody our opinions of these plagues in this place simply as confirmatory evidence of the truth of our conclusions respecting the death blow to the Papacy and evidence of the truth of scripture prophecy.

It is to be noticed that the first vial was poured out "upon the earth," from which arose the "beast" of Rev. 13:11 which has generally been held to be a symbol of the ecclesiastical branch of the Papacy.

Hence the "noisome and grievous sore" indicates a pestilential moral atmosphere, and a foul spirit of opposition and infidelity among the adherents of the Church, which could only find its counterpart in the demoniac rage of the Catholic people of France and even the defection of the bishops and clergy, as stated in chap. 10.

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Notice to Readers

In an attempt to provide a wide range of opinions and applications within the bounds of the Historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy, we have utilized the research and writings of a variety of scholars and historians. Being that the material found on this website has been written over a period of several hundred years, there will naturally be a difference of opinions and interpretations on various prophecies. This is due to the experience and knowledge along with the political and religious conditions which existed during the life time of each respective writer. For example; the perspective of John Wycliffe of the 14th century in England as opposed to the perspective of a 21st century writer in North America may somewhat differ on the same prophecy due to their respective vantage points of time, location and development of historical events.

These differences by no means invalidate the truthfulness of the Historicist approach to the all-important subject of Bible prophecy. Even though some teachers and writers may differ on some major beliefs such as the rapture, the nature of the Second Coming of Christ, the identification of Israel, or the modern Zionist state of Israeli, each writer sets forth a traditional Protestant view of Bible prophecy that has been unfolding in fulfillment throughout time extending from the Apostolic age until our present age.

Every opinion and/or interpretation presented on this website may not necessarily be the accepted belief of those who have made this website available.