The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rapture History, Futurism, & the Mark of the Beast


The History of the Pretribulational Rapture Theory
According to historians, the earliest version of the modern pretribulation rapture theory was made in 1812.  Today, this would make the theory approximately 203 years old.  It was set forth by a Spanish Jesuit named Manuel de Lacunza y Diaz in a 900 page two volume work called, The Coming of .Messiah in Glory and Majesty.  The book was originally published in Spanish and was later translated into English by Rev. Edward Irving and published in 1827.

It has been stated that nearly all of the Protestant reformers and Bible scholars, up to the time of Lacunza, interpreted the book of Revelation from a historicist viewpoint.  This viewpoint maintained that the Revelation set forth the history of the Church from the time of John to the present.  The Church being the people or congregation and not the organization or building and property assets. 

Lacunza, in his two volume work, changed the interpretation to one of “futurism”.  Although the reformers historicist interpretation had several flavors, as do futurists today, there was no concept of a “rapture” occurring at the beginning of the Revelation nor was it taught that the vast majority of the Revelation spoke of a future time of “tribulation”.  Rather, they understood the Roman government and later the Roman Church’s persecution of so-called dissidents throughout the Church Age as the persecution of the saints portrayed in the book of the Revelation.  It was commonly believed that the Papal system itself was the "Antichrist," as the "little horn" coming out of the great beast with iron teeth in Daniel 7: 20.

Daniel 7:19-20 NET  "Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet.  (20)  I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others.

It could not be denied the Roman Church was an extension of the Roman Empire for the Church assumed power when the old Roman government fell in 476 A.D. The Protestant reformers were quick to point out the Papal boast of having the power to overrule the precepts of the apostles and of Jesus Christ Himself.  There are many instances of evidential proof written by various popes over the years – below is one example.

Pope Boniface VIII:  became pope in 1294 AD
“All the faithful of Christ by necessity of salvation are subject to the Roman pontiff, who judges all men, but is judged of no one. This authority is not human, but rather Divine... Therefore, we declare, assert, define, and pronounce, that to be subject to the Roman pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation”

Lacunza appears to attempt to deflect criticism from the Roman Church.  He may have assumed the Biblical Church was the Roman Catholic Church from it very beginning and therefore he assumed it could not be the beast system as described by Daniel and Revelation 13.  Lacunza should have understood as we should understand the true Biblical definition of the Church which is the people or the congregation.  It is not the buildings or the system.  People do not attend a Church.  The Church enters a building to glorify God.  Being a Christian is not a matter of having a relationship with an organization or any man. It is a matter of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the New Covenant.

Lacunza's incorrect definition of the Church was perhaps the most basic flaw of all his assumptions. It was what motivated him to invent the pre-tribulation rapture theory in the first place, to take the pressure off the Roman Church and put the Antichrist into the future and away from the current Church organization.

Edward Irving, took the ideas of Lacunza and injected them into Protestantism in 1827. Today, most Christians assume that the futuristic view of Revelation has always been taught in the history of the Church. Yet the leaders of most of today's denominations did not teach futurism, nor did they teach a pre-tribulation rapture.

The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop wrote the Two Babylons which was published as a book in 1858.  The complete title is The Two Babylons; or, the Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife.  Hislop was a historicist and followed the prophetic line of the Roman Empire as the empire of the beast.  However, he sensed the empire of the beast was not a reunification of the old Roman empire but was the second phase of the empire which is called the Holy Roman Empire.  He considered the pope as the beast  of Revelation 13 and an extension of the Roman Empire as the “little horn” in addition to  the Catholic Church system as the beast empire.

From The Two Babylons PDF
When "the deadly wound" of the Pagan beast was healed, and the beast from the sea appeared, it is said that this beast from the earth became the recognised, accredited executor of the will of the great sea beast (v 12), "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him," literally "in his presence"--under his inspection. Considering who the first beast is, there is great force in this expression "in his presence." The beast that comes up from the sea, is "the little horn," that "has eyes like the eyes of man"

Mr. Hislop’s interpretation of the false prophet disagrees with the version of Dr. Jones (which is:  the Rothchild founding of the world banking system) but there is much historical accuracy which could be correct.

The Mark of The Beast
If we assume the Rothchild International Banking system is the false prophet as stated by Dr. Jones (and others) can we discover the mark of the beast?  The banking system deals with money and usuary and of course no one can buy or sell without the Rothchild money.  The problem is that the current money supply is fiat.  Fiat means it has no intrinsic value other than one’s faith in the Rothchild banking system.  All of the world is currently based on a fiat money system, although China has been accumulating vast amounts of gold and is considering a plan to return to the gold backed finance system.

In this scenario the mark is not a tattoo, brand, or a change of the Sabbath to Sunday rather then Saturday.  It can also be said that using fiat money is not necessarily evil but the love or coveting of money is the root of all evil.  The love of money appears to have turned the leaders of the world into the same state as the Pharisees and temple administrators of Jesus’ day.  The Syrian fiasco is about the route of a gas pipeline.

1 Timothy 6:10 KJV  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Spring Feast Days
The Feast of Passover prophesied of Christ's death on the Cross, which was the primary purpose of His first appearance. The New Testament explains it in great detail, showing how He was crucified while the people were preparing the lambs for Passover. He died in the middle of the afternoon, "between the two evenings," precisely as the law prophesied in Exodus 12:6.

Exodus 12:6 CLV  And it will become a charge of yours until the fourteenth day of this month. They will slay it, every assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel, between the evening hours.

Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and presented to the Father as the first fruits of the barley at the time of the Wave Sheaf Offering on "the day after the sabbath". The time of His presentation was at the third hour of the day while the priest was waving the sheaf of barley before God the Father. That lawful act prophesied of His presentation.

Leviticus 23:11 CLV  He will wave the sheaf before Yahweh for acceptance on your behalf. From the morrow after the first sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Seven weeks later, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to the Church (people, not organization) in Acts 2. This fulfilled the prophetic law of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4 CLV  And at the fulfillment of the day of Pentecost they were all alike in the same place.  (2)  And suddenly there came out of heaven a blare, even as of a violent, carrying blast, and it fills the whole house where they were sitting."  (3)  And seen by them were dividing tongues as if of fire, and one is seated on each one of them."  (4)  And they are all filled with holy spirit, and they begin to speak in different languages, according as the spirit gave them to declaim."

The next set of feasts prophesies of His second coming, and will culminate with the Feast of Tabernacles.

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