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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Church History hermeneutics The Papacy

Martin Lloyd-Jones on the book of Revelation

Some years ago I abandoned my former belief in the Futurist eschatology that most of the evangelical churches believe today. That was what is called the pre-millennial return of Christ and where the 70th ‘week’ of Daniel is pushed off into the distant future. I believed that as I was first taught that as a babe in Christ. But 35 + years later I really started to doubt it, and by about 2013 I discarded it entirely. Instead I studied the Historical interpretation, which seemed to be much better.

I began to accept the Historical: Continuing interpretation, but have to admit that it has its drawbacks. It needs a detailed knowledge of history for one thing, which the average believer does not have. Some of the key time line seems to not match, especially after Napoleon. (This interpretation is what the SDA church promotes).

I never believed in the alleged secret Rapture (also called the pre-Tribulation Rapture), but even the pre-millennial return of Christ has multiple returns of Christ before the Great White Throne Judgement (of Revelation chapter 20).

Anyway the Futurist doctrine was developed in the 17th century by a Jesuit, Ribera and later another Jesuit, Bellamine. It is obvious that this was an attempt to get the protestant churches eyes off the papacy, since the Reformers believed the papacy was the AntiChrist. After 1830 the teaching was added to by John N Darby, who promoted it into the evangelical churches. Nowadays it is widely believed.

Recently I have been listening to sermons by Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones on the books of Daniel and Revelation. As a result, I have now learned that even the Preterist interpretation–that all prophecy was fulfilled by the close of the 4th century–was also developed by a Jesuit in 1603. You gotta admire the Jesuits’ efforts to overturn the Reformation. I have also learned that there are 3 forms of the Historical interpretation.

  1. Historical: Precis (which the Reformers largely believed) – a summary (not detailed) of events from St John’s time to the present. Hence it does not include all events in detail.
  2. Historical: Continuing — a detailed description of historical events that have happened from Christ to the New Heaven and Earth. This requires almost a continuous timeline from Revelation chap 4 through to chap 22. But many times the descriptions hearken back to what appear to be earlier events. Chapter 12 starts with Christ’s first Advent again.
  3. Historical: Spiritual — there are spiritual principles behind the battles and events encountered by Christians through all ages from Christ until the final Judgement, but not that each description in the book of Revelation applies to only one event. Similarly to the 7 churches described in Chapters 2 and 3 applying to many different churches through the ages, also the descriptions in the prophecies could apply to many different agents, battles and events. The spiritual forces, like Satan are clearly identified, which act through many earthly agents.

Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones explains these in the following lectures and gives criticism as he sees it. He promotes Historical: Spiritual as the best interpretation.

In this blog you’ll find many Bible studies that follow the Historical: Continuing interpretation. I still believe a lot of it may be correct but many events could be explained by the same symbolic descriptions in the book of the Revelation. This much better the supports the notion that God gave the final revelations to the Apostle John for the benefit of all believers throughout all ages.

I strongly recommend you take the time to listen to what he teaches. See below.

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Biblical doctrines Christianity Roman Catholic Church The Papacy

Pope warns against direct personal relationship with Jesus Christ

Watch the following embedded video of part of the pope’s speech and read the transcript on a Vatican website. The content of the pope’s speech is irrefutable. There it is written what he said to a general audience in Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 25 June 2014. Here is one excerpt:.

“There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations.”.

Of course by ‘church’ Francis means the Roman Catholic Church, but the true church are all those who are born-again regenerate Christians.

Pope Francis told a crowd of 33,000 in Rome that ‘a personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ must be avoided at all costs.

Pope Francis on camera warning against “having a personal relationship with Jesus” as “dangerous and harmful”. .

In the transcript Francis also says that we should

“… ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for the grace never to fall into the temptation of thinking we can make it without the others, that we can get along without the Church, that we can save ourselves on our own, of being Christians from the laboratory.”

This is Catholic works doctrine and not salvation by grace through the atonement that our Lord Jesus Christ made for all those who trust in Him. There is no grace through Christ’s earthly mother. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

There is nothing you can do to save yourself. No amount of praying to Mary as Queen of Heaven will do. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you.

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

And he continues with:

“On the contrary, you cannot love God without loving your brothers, you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church, and we cannot be good Christians if we are not together with those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus, as one single people, one single body, and this is the Church.”

But thank God you don’t need to belong to any organisation, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Christ can and does save all those who turn to Him, those who repent of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone, not the papacy, the RCC or any church for that matter.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Islam prophecy The Papacy

Warning! prophecy

warning-prophecy

Turn your eyes towards Memphis (Egypt), for out of it shall come the Great Confusion! The author of confusion is even now marshalling his forces for this Great Confusion! He is gathering his forces from a great nation and eastern nations, friends that will join with him. So sudden will be the Great Confusion, that it will cause a mighty widening of the eyes of those who have not discerned the signs of the times. But be ye not deceived! Be prepared! And be not deceived by the great society, for it will come to travail and then bring forth the Great Confusion! Be prepared!  Even now the skies are red, red with warning, and black, black with clouds gathering for the great confusion, which is almost upon you!

In 1965 Virginia Berg received this prophecy, which she called the Warning prophecy. The first paragraph was given to her in the middle of the night. She said that God woke her out of a deep sleep and told her to start writing. She obeyed; the prophecy was the result. Please note the bracketed word Egypt was not part of the prophecy; it is an interpretation that God meant Memphis Egypt.

In 1974 as a young Christian on hearing this prophecy I was spurred on to reach people with the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ. Now 42 years later I have looked at this again. Whether or not this is a true prophecy from God, the message in it I believe is amazingly resonant with our times now.

Back in the 1970’s I was taught and I accepted the notions that are described as part of the futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy. I believed at that time in a rise of a future AntiChrist and that he would sign a 7-year peace pact centred on the Middle East, especially Israel. Eventually he would rule the world. After a period of Great Tribulation, I believed, he would be defeated by Jesus Christ Who returns at His Second Coming.

This tract shown here I used to hand out on the streets in Australia, warning people of the impending peril that was coming. In the 1970’s and 80’s the world went through a great fear of nuclear war, which passed when the Soviet Bloc broke up and the Cold War ceased. Since then also I have come to no longer believe in the Jesuit inspired false interpretation of Bible prophecy (futurism). I never believed in the John Darby Nelson concept of dispensationalism and pre-Tribulation Rapture though that is a branch of futurism.  Now I believe that we are coming towards the end of the “Church Age”, which is symbolised by the 1000-year period in Revelation chapter 20, called the Millennium, except it is much longer than 1000 years. I also believe that we are in the period towards the end of that called by some the “little season”, where Satan is loosed or unbound from the pit he was bound in during the Church Age (see Revelation 20 study for details).

I believe now though that there is an interpretation of this Warning prophecy, which uncannily makes a lot of sense:

Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines prophecy The Papacy

The AntiChrist and Great Tribulation

Chapter 4 of the book “When Jesus Returns —what then?” by Jim Gibson. I have edited the text only where necessary, changed underlining to bold text and used the KJVER Bible version. 

The antichrist. Probably no other personage in all of Christendom, besides the Lord Jesus, has captivated the imagination of both saint and sinner alike. Books and even movies have been produced centering on this one infamous individual. Since the antichrist is such an integral part of dispensational thought, it necessitates some consideration for discussion.

According to the dispensational view, after the rapture of the church, the antichrist will make his presence known in the world’s political scene. He will make a covenant with the Jewish nation, but will break that covenant after 3½ years. Also, he will sit in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be the Jews’ Messiah. The Jews will reject him as their Messiah and, consequently, he will begin to persecute them. This period of “great tribulation” will last for 3½ years ending at the Second Coming, thus precipitating the battle of Armageddon. This is just a brief synopsis of the dispensational teaching regarding the antichrist. There is some variation to this particular interpretation among the dispensationalists, although its basic tenets are the same.

antichrist2

The word antichrist is only found five times in Scripture and only mentioned by one apostle, namely, John. However, Paul explicitly refers to the antichrist calling him the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” in Second Thessalonians. He implicitly references him in First Timothy by ascribing to him certain causal attributes. Thus, these are the only two apostles who even addresses this evil personage, and, the following passages are the only texts that we can rightfully or critically examine in order to glean information concerning the antichrist.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as you 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 [known] that they were not all of us. … Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:18,19,22)

“And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

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.” (2 John 7)

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called god, or that is worshiped; so that he as god sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons]; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

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Biblical doctrines Book of Revelation hermeneutics The Papacy

At the resurrection who is left behind?

Recently I have been studying the book of Luke, and especially the passage on the resurrection “...I tell you, in that night there shall be two men [people] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left” (chapter 17:34-37). I asked myself when one person (note ‘men’ is not in the original) was taken by Christ at the gathering of the saved, the resurrection, and another was left, what happened to those who were left?

6-Left_Behind_DVD_cover

The standard explanation today is that this is a description of the so-called Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the secret Rapture, like portrayed in the “Left Behind” series of books and movies. But that doctrine, which is attributed to John Nelson Darby, an early pioneer of the Exclusive Brethren (early 1800’s), in fact, had its beginnings much earlier with the Jesuit Francisco Ribera and later Cardinal Belamine. And this was independent of those who claim Darby had developed the ideas himself. Maybe he did. He certainly developed the system of theology called Dispensationalism, where he linked the restoration of the land and nation of Israel–God fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–to a scenario of the Church being caught away from the earth, leaving only the Jews as God’s people and that they would fulfil Millennium prophecies (e.g. Isaiah 65:25) during the subsequent 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth. The only part I agree with him on is that God will fulfil His promise to Abraham.

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The Jesuit Francisco Ribera originated the idea to divert attention away from the pope being identified as the AntiChrist, which was the standard belief during the 16th through 19th centuries with protestant Bible scholars. The Jesuits did not hold to the idea of physical Israel being restored nor a Pre-Trib Rapture, but they developed the notion of futurism, that most of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation would come to a future end-time fulfilment in a final AntiChrist figure, who would rule the world from Jerusalem under some sort of 7-year peace agreement. This was to push attention away from the Papacy as the AntiChrist. But then the Papacy had and still does have all the hallmarks of the AntiChrist in the prophecies.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 18

John saw another angel (v.1) bringing an important message that Babylon the great (the whore) is fallen (v.2). Compare this description with Jeremiah 50:39; Isaiah 21:9; 14:23 and 13:21. There is a very strong comparison between the fall of the old Mesopotamian Babylon city and spiritual Babylon the great, the city of Rome. The fall of Babylon has been already declared (Revelation 16:19 and 17:16) but now it is completed. Verse 2 also signifies that the Papacy, Vatican city (and the Roman Catholic Church) has become the habitation of every foul spirit. The false church has made alliances with the nations of the world for commerce and political power, which is signifies by their fornication with the false church (v.3).

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Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury kisses popes ring indicating recognition and subservience
image45252
So-called protestant Billy Graham accepts and
acknowledges the Papacy. He worked with the RCC
in many of his crusades.

Then the Apostle John hears a voice (v.4) calling God’s people to “come out of her.” “Her” is the Romish Church. Be not a partaker of her sins! As God once had a captive people in the old Mesopotamian Babylon, so He also has people in spiritual Babylon. From the time of the Reformation God has been calling His people to come out of her. It cannot be doubted that He has many true and earnest believers inside the Roman Church or at least those seeking the truth of the true living God. The invitation is given to the people of God yet in captivity, lest by remaining they should be involved in her destruction.

They should not to be involved in the ecumenical movement promoted by the Vatican, to so-called ‘unite’ all under one world religion. Their plan for unity between Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and protestants is, “The only true road to unity was for all to admit their errors and return to Rome.”  False prophets, like Billy Graham, Rick Warren and others in the so-called modern evangelical churches promote this dangerous idea of joining with the Roman Catholics as if they are just another Christian denomination. They are in opposition to true faith. Thus I believe these protestant and evangelical pastors are collectively described in the “false prophet” of this revelation.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 17

This is one of the most discussed chapters in the entire Bible. It speaks of Babylon the great, the great whore. But who is she?  What does the great whore in fact symbolise?

In the language of futurist view of Bible prophecy this chapter describes some future world kingdom and its leader, the AntiChrist. For much of my Christian life I was sold that interpretation, and I believed it for a long time. But the interpretation itself was developed and promoted by agents of the real great whore, the Papacy, and the beast, the Roman Catholic Church, which is the false church that has at all times opposed true believers. Do not be deceived and open your mind to the simple straightforward interpretation, which is that the book of the Revelation describes the history of the Church since Jesus Christ formed it and it ends with His second coming.

missions

The preceding chapters have described a series of historical events that led to the overthrow of spiritual Babylon, which is described here as the great whore or harlot. Up to this point in history the interpretation of the revelation has been largely achieved by looking in history for events that have already happened.

With the sixth vial we saw opening of the way for missionary activities spreading the gospel, from the 18th century up to the present time.  The following seventh vial brings on events that are yet in our future so we cannot be too dogmatic about them. But one thing we can be certain of is that the seventh vial brings on the final overthrow of the Anti-Christ power of spiritual Babylon.  This is described in the last verses of chapter 16. Now in chapters 17, 18 and 19 her downfall, the overthrow of the apostate church, the triumph of the Word of God, and the victory of Armageddon, are described in great detail.

This chapter opens (v.1) declaring that it is about the judgment of the great whore. The word ‘whore’ symbolises the false church as a whore is not the true bride (of Christ), but an imposter.

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Belief in God Biblical doctrines The Papacy

C.S. Lewis: A Bridge to Rome

By J. Saunders

“It is largely due to Lewis, an Anglican, that I converted to the Catholic Church…”.1
–Mark Brumley, President of RC Ignatius Press

“Lewis has been credited (or blamed) in recent years with setting numerous people on the road to Rome. Such Catholic converts have included many of the serious scholars and disciples of Lewis, some of whom knew him before he died…”.2
–R.A. Benthall, Professor of Literature, Ave Maria College

CSLews
C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1898 to Protestant parents and, for most of his adult life, was a Tutor at Oxford and a lecturer of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge. He wrote more than thirty books, and his most popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity. At age 32, through the encouragement of his devout Roman Catholic friend and colleague, J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), and after reading The Everlasting Man by Roman Catholic convert, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis converted to Christianity from atheism and returned to his Anglican roots where he remained until his death in 1963. Although Lewis never converted to Roman Catholicism, inwardly he leaned towards certain of its dogmas so that his colleagues considered him to be an Anglo-Catholic.

It is obvious, by the support given C.S. Lewis today by some conservative Christians, great ignorance exists about his life and beliefs. Therefore, we have included several pertinent quotations, individually cited, gleaned from both Lewis’s own writings, and those of his official biographers and personal friends, in order to enlighten and awaken. For, it is an indisputable fact that to those who seek reconciliation with Rome, C.S. Lewis is a bridge.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 16

Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake --- Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS
Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake — Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Continuing on from chapter 15, where we saw seven angels given seven vials full of plagues of God’s wrath, in this chapter God commands the seven angels to go and pour out their vials of His wrath on the earth (v.1).  These vials, a final group of seven, result in a series of judgments upon the anti-Christ powers, the dragon, the beast, the image of the beast, the false prophet, and Babylon. These were seen to symbolise the world-power which found its embodiment in Rome, and then in its papal form. These suffer under the judgments of God.

Under the seven seals, old pagan Rome was judged and brought to an end. Under the seven trumpets, the Roman Empire in its new form was judged and its destruction symbolized. Hence, under the seven vials, we see symbolized a series of judgments, which weaken and destroy papal Rome; and, with the seventh vial, Babylon, the Great City, symbolising the Apostate Church, falls.

First Vial (v.2) – Poured out on the earth. Grievous sores (ulcers) afflict those who follow and worship the Papacy and have ‘the mark of the beast’.

The term ‘earth’ here as before symbolises people, and in particular the Roman world. The expression “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image” refers to the supporters of the worldly power and spiritual claims of Rome. See v.13:14-18. Those who suffer are those who listen to the lamb-like dragon (v.13:11), the AntiChrist, the false spiritual power (v.13:14,15). An ulcer is not only a painful and dangerous sore, but is often malignant and foul with corruption. The term is often used to describe moral corruption, and the ulcers described may be moral or spiritual.

Categories
Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 15

The overthrow of the great city Babylon was seen in chapter 14:8-10, but in chapters 15 and 16, the seven last plagues result in the judgment and wrath of God on the false Roman church system, the great whore. The chapter 14 gave us a summary largely of future events. Chapters 15 through 19 present those same events, but in more detail. These chapters (15-19) are all connected with the fall of spiritual Babylon.

The opening of the seventh seal (chapter 8) resulted in the triumph of Christianity over Roman Paganism. This was followed by seven trumpets (chapters 8 to 11) which led to the overthrow of the western Roman Empire by the Goths, Vandals and Huns, and the ruin of the Eastern Empire by the Saracens and Turks. The seventh trumpet, the last trumpet, takes us to the close of secular history with the trump of the Archangel.

Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake --- Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS
Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake — Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS

The seven vials (chapters 15,16) also give the history of an epoch, and, like each of the series of seven, bring us to the end of that epoch. They present the series of calamities that first weaken and then destroy the power of Papal Rome.

Chapter 15 opens with “And I saw another great sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues” (v.1). That is 7 angels with 7 plagues which are to be poured on the earth by use of 7 vials, but they don’t come out until verse 6.