Thirty years ago, I attended a theological summit in Washington D.C. Two ministers were there who since have emerged as preeminent publishers for their respective interpretations of Bible prophecy. One was the late Tim LaHaye representing the Futurist scheme, who I confronted; however, his Futurism is not the main subject matter of this article. The other, was the late David Chilton, representing the Preterist scheme, with whom I sat and had lunch.
I asked David a simple question, “By what authority do you interpret the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 a Day-for-a-Year, then turn around and insist that all the other Divine Time Measures in Daniel and the Revelation are literal days?” He had no answer. I went on to remind him that the Preterist scheme was created by the Jesuit Alacazar (irrefutable historic fact), during Rome’s counter reformation, to deflect the accusations of the Reformation fathers. They proved, both by scripture and history, that the Pope of Rome was the Antichrist!
I wrote an article recently that was published in the Truth In History magazine and is also available on the Truth In History website entitled Clarence Larkin’s Charts. Larkin’s book, Dispensational Truth, is famous in the Futurist camp. Nevertheless, he, being revered as a Saint of Futurism, knew and published the truth about the origin of Preterism:
“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…”
Larkin simply published what was known by any credible protestant theologian at the time. What’s amazing is that he admitted that his own school of thought, Futurism, was also a Jesuit counter scheme with the same intent of Preterism:
“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.”
The Pope of Rome thanks you who teach and publish in the name of Preterism and Futurism!
I might as well show you what Larkin had to say about Historicism:
“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.”
So there you have it; Preterism was birthed to protect the man of sin, the little horn of Daniel 7. However, the truth about the “little horn” destroys the Preterist scheme!
In Daniel 7, there is an account of a remarkable prophetic dream which Daniel had in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar. In my book, Seventy Weeks The Historical Alternative, pages 37 – 49, I deal with this prophecy in some detail. It is a prophecy of the sequence of four great empires that lead to the revealing of the “little horn”. Those were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. There we learn that Rome Pagan was to subdivide into “ten Horns” which became the ten Gothic kingdoms in Europe. This is history 101. It was from among these ten Gothic kingdoms that another “little horn” would arise and be challenged by three. History reveals that it was the Lombards, Vandals and Ostrogoths who contested the rise of this “little horn.” I emphasise that all of these things transpired well after the time of Nero (the Preterist’s Antichrist).
Now, I have a question for you Preterists. How can Nero be the Antichrist (little horn) if he was not to appear until after the breakup of Pagan Rome in the west?
Furthermore, a Divine Time Measure is applied to the life of this horn, “a time and times and the dividing of time” Daniel 7:25. These are 1260 prophetic days. By what authority do you apply literal to this and yet day-for-a-year to the seventy weeks?
You have no authority, only Alacazar’s deception!
I appeal to you Preterist brethren, go back and discover for yourself the origin of your error. I understand that for many of you it seems to be an alternative to the blatant foolishness of Futurism, but it isn’t. It’s just a convenient way to avoid having to expose Roman Catholicism!
Whatever Christian teachers do, they never seem to be able to name the man of sin. Call him Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Putin or whoever, but never say who he actually is, as revealed in prophecy and history. For many, who should know better, it has become the way of the Protestant coward.