I hold to the Historical view of Bible prophecy. Most protestants have been deceived into believing the Futurist view, which was developed and promoted by Jesuits, even though a slightly different form of it was developed and promoted by John Nelson Darby, one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren denomination. Defenders of Darby deny any connection to the Jesuit formulation.1,2 The difference being Darby promoted his doctrine of Dispensationalism, which included the restoration of the land of Israel to its rightful owners the Jews, whereas the Jesuits were strongly anti-Israel. Darby linked the alleged secret Rapture of the Church to the restoration of Israel because once the Christian believers were gone before some Great Tribulation, he reasoned, then God could fulfill prophecy to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, giving Israel a millennium of peace on Earth under Christ’s rule. (I don’t hold to the millennial rule of the kingdom of the Jews that most futurists promote.)
However, the Jesuit doctrine and Darby both falsely teach that Jesus will return in a secret Rapture just before the AntiChrist rises to power and rules for 3½ years. Others teach the Preterist view that all prophecy has already been fulfilled within the first few centuries of the Christian era. Both of these latter two methods of interpretation are false and deprive the Church of God’s word in understanding history over the past 1800 years, where the true Church has been oppressed by the false church, the Church of Rome and the real AntiChrist, the Papacy. This article is a repost from James Japan.
Out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and even before, there developed three distinct schools of Biblical prophetic interpretation. A close examination as to the origins of these different views shall undoubtedly uncover which position is correct. I hope and pray that this information will help the reader to make a stance for the side of Truth and give strength to take those first steps “out of the midst of Babylon.”
Let us take a look at what several well known authors, who lived while the more modern views were becoming prevalent, had to say on the subject.
“There are three methods of interpreting the book of Revelation– the Praeterist, the Futurist and the Historical (or continuous). The Praeterist maintains that the prophecies in Revelation have already been fulfilled– that they refer chiefly to the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and paganism, signalized in the downfall of Jerusalem and of Rome. Against this view it is urged that if all these prophecies were fulfilled some 1400 years ago (the Western Roman Empire fell A.D. 476), their accomplishment should be so perspicuous as to be universally manifest, which is very far from being the case. The Futurist interpreters refer all the book, except the first three chapters, to events which are yet to come. Against this view it is alleged that it is inconsistent with the repeated declarations of a speedy fulfillment at the beginning and end of the book itself (I.3; xxii.6, 7, 12, 20). Against both these views it is argued that, if either of them is correct, the Christian Church is left without any prophetic guidance in the Scriptures, during the greater part of its existence; while the Jewish church was favored with prophets during the most of its existence.