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Is God’s Word Taking a Back Seat to Scofield’s?

Is God’s Word Taking a Back Seat to Scofield’s?

By Kathy Beardsley edited by John Beardsley – April 30, 2016 /Revised March 3, 2018
(All Bible verse references are from the King James Version)

Table of Contents

PREFACE. 1

1- Whose Foundation Is It? – The Rapture/Tribulation Theory. 1

2 – A Brief History of Pretrib Beginnings PRETRIB DIEHARDS An Article by Dave MacPherson. 1

3 – Darby’s Pedestal 1

4 – God’s Word vs Scofield’s Notes. 1

5 – Rightly Defining the Truth. 1

6 – The Simplicity of Daniel – Is Also the Hub of the Controversy. 1

7 – Take another Look at Daniel Twelve. 1

8 – What Is “The Blessed Hope?”. 1

 

PREFACE

 

There are differing views concerning end-time eschatology—when prophesies of Jesus’ return, the final judgment, and living eternally with Christ in Heaven, or without Him in Hell, will be fulfilled.

 

The purpose of this book is to show through history, written documentation, and Scripture in its proper context the error that must be corrected for the sake of redirecting the misguided, and wandering souls back to the straight and narrow path. The error to which I am referring is that of a false doctrine (teaching) of the “rapture”—a secret (seen and heard only by those who are saved) return of Jesus in the clouds where the saints (those who believe in Jesus and the gospel of his death, burial and resurrection) are caught up to meet him, and “tribulation”—a seven-year period of time in which the Antichrist will show up on the scene to usher in peace from the chaos created by the rapture and sign a peace treaty with Israel which he will break 3½ years into the seven. The second 3½ years designated the “great tribulation” is when the Antichrist persecutes all who do not worship him and receive his mark. This seven years is also referred to as Daniel’s seventieth week from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, particularly chapter 9, verses 24-27. The danger in this teaching is that it convinces people they will have a second chance at salvation during the tribulation if they are unlucky enough to miss the rapture. The term “pretrib” or “pretribulation” comes from the theory that the rapture occurs just before the tribulation.

You will be shown why and how this teaching is wrong, and that it was created through private interpretation and grievous mishandling of God’s word.

Before anything else, seriously consider the truth in the following statement: If there are alleged to be several supporting points to prove one theory or belief, then it makes sense that removing the hub causes the whole wheel to fall apart for lack of support. Scofield, though not the first to teach the rapture/tribulation theory, is the most well-known teacher of it because of the notes he added to the King James Bible. Since his Bible was published in 1909, it has become the single most relied upon version for explanation of end-time prophecy. Not all, but many Bible scholars have taken his interpretation as the gospel truth and have taught it as such, by one means or another.

One might look at it as an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) scheme. Scofield is at the top level, followed by some of his peers who are pastors, professors, theologians, and scholars. These men then teach the next level incorporating students, Sunday school teachers, then all the different ages of the congregation. But, the only ones to truly benefit from this scheme is Scofield and those who took to writing books on the subject because financial gain is all this theory can produce.

The objective of this book is: 1) to present findings of eschatology as a result of reading God’s word alone, 2) to show that the simplicity of God’s word is all that is needed, 3) especially since 1909, relying so heavily on one particular man’s interpretation of prophecy is in great part why there is a falling away from the church, and 4) denying the rapture/tribulation theory is NOT denying Christ’s return—only the definition and timing of it.

Thankfully, there are churches still existing in this Sodom and Gomorrah world we live in today who are succeeding in reaping new souls into God’s kingdom. But sadly, most believers of this theory have become complacent rather than fired-up because they believe they will be taken away before any real persecution happens so they have nothing to worry about. The evidence of that mindset speaks for itself.

If you are in Christ, you should keep in mind that truth never fears examination, neither should you fear acknowledging it.

1-    Whose Foundation Is It? – The Rapture/Tribulation Theory

 

Theory: philosophy, concept, system, scheme, idea, notion.

Belief: confidence, trust, credence, certainty, acceptance.

 

The watchman simply issues the warning. Whether you decide to heed that warning or ignore it is your decision. But I plead with you to heed the warning. Willful ignorance will do nothing but hold you captive to a blind faith on this subject, and make you a participant in spreading the error.

 

Ezekiel 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”

 

The message to the people of Israel was basically, if the watchman sees danger coming and warns the people, their blood is not on his head if they ignore the warning. Likewise, if the watchman sees the danger coming but does not warn the people, their blood will be on his head. Both the watchman and the people are warned of the consequence should they choose to ignore the coming danger. This is a lesson we can learn from and as Christians should practice, both in heeding and doing. Many say we (any Bible believing Christian) have no right to expose error, dishonest character, and so forth because it is unloving. On the contrary, it is the most loving thing we can do. Every Christian should earnestly contend for the faith! Consider this is yet another blow of the trumpet to sound the warning.

In order to build and stand on a solid foundation, one must first use the proper material capable of bearing the weight it was professed to hold. What I have learned through many hours of studying Gods’ word, and doing my homework with the help of others who have spent years researching public records, written documentation, family records, etc., is that “the rapture” (explained in more detail in chapter 5) and “the tribulation” is an event and title created to build the foundation of the pretribulation “doctrine”—a foundation that has been built upon with a misguided sense of duty ever since. John Nelson Darby and Cyrus Ingerson Scofield are the two earlier most recognized names in connection with this theory, but they are not the originators. Rather they have believed and adopted this theory and successfully propagated it to their followers who in turn have passed it on and so forth. What would you say if you found out these men grafted in ideas foreign to scriptures with the intention of building their own egos and prestige? God’s word became the best and fastest way to spread their private interpretation, and for Scofield held a higher priority for financial gain. For example: Just prior to the release of Scofield’s Bible, and in reference to it, Scofield writes a letter to his daughter Helene, whom since her childhood, had very little contact with stating;

 

“When I get rich I am going to have 3 homes—one in a winter apartment on Washington Heights, N.Y. City, one at Crestwood, one at Sorrento, Italy.J. M. Canfield, The Incredible Scofield and His Book pg. 278.

 

This quote raises the question of where Scofield’s priorities were—did he care more about spreading the gospel, or making a profit from it? Supported by public documentation (which you will read in detail later), his life appears to be filled with lies and cover-ups—much of it having to do with money.

 

1 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

 

Darby’s and Scofield’s purpose of introducing their belief of dispensationalism and pretribulationism into their Bible versions was to influence conclusions that likely would not have been reached otherwise. Revelation 22:18, 19 is very clear about adding to and taking away from God’s word:

 

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

 

Darby’s choice was accomplished by writing his own new translation of the Bible, which was published in 1890, wherein he adds and subtracts to the text causing it to read with his belief imbedded into it. Unless the reader is paying attention, he or she may skip right over it. Revelation 7:14 is a key example: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (KJV) Within the text, Darby adds the word the before great tribulation. That one change may seem insignificant but it makes a world of difference for the support of the pretrib theory! I have witnessed more times than I can count the reading of this verse from several other translations in which the word the does not appear in the verse but when read aloud the is almost always inserted.

If you are wondering why this is so important consider the following: God’s word never uses or defines tribulation as a title of a specific number of years, it is only ever defined as affliction, persecution and troubles. This is why these words are not capitalized in the verse; they are adjectives not nouns. By inserting the before great tribulation the meaning changes from great persecution to a specific period of time entitled The Great Tribulation. We cannot allow ourselves to be blinded from the true context of God’s word. Darby not only inserted a word, he inserted a false doctrine.

Also, in keeping with the context of the surrounding verses, great tribulation in Rev. 7:14 is not referring to one specific event at the end of time, but rather it is speaking of all who have died for their faith in the one true God since time began and up to the point that we are all together with Him. Verse nine verifies this because of the number of people—a great multitude which no man could number. These are people who have died through the ages in Christ, and not because of end-time judgment or wrath. We can and do number ourselves through a census and even though some countries do not count their people, there is a general estimate. If the multitude came from the pretrib’s three-and-a-half year Great Tribulation, the number would be significantly lower since by this time the population would have been reduced because of the rapture. Reduce the number again because as the theory goes, only those left behind who do not take the mark of the Antichrist will be saved and martyred for their faith. For these reasons alone it is mathematically impossible for the great multitude which no man can number to come from The Great Tribulation.

The context of Rev. 7:9 to the end of the chapter is simply a description of the innumerable multitude crying with a loud voice unto the Lamb followed by the angels, elders, and four beasts praising God, and ending with the answer to the question of who the multitude is and what they get to enjoy for eternity.

Mr. Dave MacPherson is one of the men who provides quite an exhaustive breakdown and history of how the pretribulation theory began. In chapter two, you will be privy to his condensed version of the details he compiled which includes corresponding dates and key documentation. John Darby has for many years been given the credit for the pretribulation theory, but as you will discover in Mr. MacPherson’s exposé, it is credit undeserved (not that a deception is anything to boast about). For the full history, see Mr. MacPherson’s book The Rapture Plot.

Aside from the pretrib theory, Darby held to more grievous errors which noted Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon thought it important enough to publish.

For readers not familiar with Pastor Spurgeon, here is a link to part of his biography http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/aboutsp.htm. The interview (you will read in chapter 3) by Mr. Grant was published in Spurgeon’s June 1869 issue of The Sword and the Trowel vol. 2 concerning The Darby Brethren. In that interview, you will read about Darby’s denial of the atonement on the cross among other things. The interview is very enlightening and provides a better understanding of Darby’s character. Following, are just a couple examples of Darby’s mishandling of God’s word.

 

Darby’s new translation: Colossians 1:14

In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

 

Darby’s new translation: John 7:

16 Jesus therefore answered and said, My doctrine is not mine, but that of him that has sent me. 17 If any one desire to practise his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is of God, or that I speak from myself.”

 

KJV

16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

 

Aside from the obvious number of added words, there is a big difference between If any one desire to practise his will,” and If any man will do his will.”

 

Darby omits verses such as: Acts 8:37 and Matthew 23:14

 

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.”

 

Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”

 

Charles H. Spurgeon’s opinion of the Darby Bible speaks volumes—“a faulty and pitiable translation of the sacred book.” The Sword and the Trowel 2:287, 5:196, note 144.

 

Spurgeon also states:

 

We don’t even mention the other renderings in his new Bible, just as serious and erroneous… much less notice the transposition of tenses and prepositions, or the awkward English diction throughout. Suffice it to say, that some renderings are good, and some of the notes are good; but taken as a whole, with a great display of learning, the ignorance of the results of modern criticism is almost incredible. And the fatal upsetting of vital doctrines condemns the work as more calculated to promote scepticism than true religion–the most sacred subjects being handled with irreverent familiarity. ‘Darbyism and Its New Bible,’ The Sword and the Trowel (London, W. Macintosh, 1874) p. 18.

 

Scofield also took the avenue of publication, not within the Bible text, but by adding his notes (portions of which were plagiarized from Darby’s Bible) within the pages of the Bible. The most damaging evidence of his mishandling God’s word and application of it, or lack thereof, is mirrored in his personal life which you will read about in more detail in chapter 4.

 

2 – A Brief History of Pretrib Beginnings PRETRIB DIEHARDS An Article by Dave MacPherson

 

Since the 1970’s stunning new data has been surfacing about the pretribulation rapture’s long-covered-up beginnings in the 1800’s. In recent years several persons associated with Dallas Theological Seminary (which had long been pretribized) have reportedly gone to Britain to check on my research sources and then write books opposing my claims. In 1990 an Ohio pastor told me that Dr. _____ _____, the most qualified DTS prof, traveled there and came back and wrote nothing! The pastor added that he and some others had a good laugh. But change was coming. In 1993 Chuck Swindoll, who became DTS president after John Walvoord, stated: “I’m not sure we’re going to make dispensationalism [the chief attraction of which is a pretrib rapture] a part of our marquee as we talk about our school.” When asked if the word “dispensationalism” would disappear, he answered: “It may and perhaps it should” (“Christianity Today,” Oct. 25, 1993)! But a few diehards (with the stubbornness of Iraqi insurgents and New Orleans looters) keep on milking their cash cow while continuing to cover up and twist the following historical facts about their latter-day, cult-like belief:

1825: British preacher Edward Irving revealed that he had been teaching some of dispensationalism’s key aspects as early as late 1825. (John Darby-exalter R. A. Huebner has never even claimed to find any original prophetic idea in Darby before late 1826!)

 

1827-1830: Darby was still posttrib during these years. His 1827 paper had him waiting for only the posttrib “restitution of all things.” After discussing in 1828 the “unity” of the church, he looked for only the Rev. 19 coming in 1829 and 1830.

 

1830: During the spring a young woman in Scotland, Margaret Macdonald, declared that she had discovered in the Bible what had never been seen by others: a rapture of “church” members described as a “pre-Antichrist” (or pretrib) event. Her words: “one taken and the other left” before “THE WICKED [Antichrist] be revealed.” She was a partial rapturist seeing only part of the “church” raptured and the rest of the “church” left on earth. When she wrote that the “trial of the Church is from Antichrist,” she meant the part of the church not included in her pretrib rapture. Leading partial rapturists including Pember and Govett have always applied the word “church” to the ones “left behind.” Robert Norton, Irvingite historian and on-scene witness of Margaret’s utterances, wrote that Margaret was the “first” to privately teach pretrib.

A September article in “The Morning Watch” (Irvingite journal) saw the “Philadelphia” church raptured before a “period of great tribulation” and the “Laodicea” church left on earth. Huebner’s “Precious Truths” claimed that Philadelphia was seen raptured before only the “seventh vial” and not before “the great tribulation” even though the article writer added twice on following pages that this “period” was indeed “the great tribulation”! In the previous (June) issue the same writer had seen Philadelphia on earth until the final posttrib advent. In between these two issues, TMW writers had visited Margaret who explained her new “revelation” which was soon reflected on TMW pages without giving her credit!

In December a published article by Darby was still defending the posttrib view!

 

1833: British lawyer Robert Baxter, an ex-Irvingite, wrote that the pretrib “delusion first appeared in Scotland” before it began to be taught in London the following year.

 

1834: A Darby letter referred to the new pretrib rapture view, stated that “the thoughts are new,” and advocated the subtle introduction of it by writing “it would not be well to have it so clear”! Darby also called it the “new wine.” Others who knew that pretrib was then a new view included other Plymouth Brethren, Irvingites, Margaret, and later 19th century historians such as Margaret Oliphant who referred to “a new revelation” in 1830 in western Scotland where Margaret Macdonald lived.

 

1837: Years after Darby supposedly had derived a distinction (or separation) between the “church” and “Israel,” his 1837 article saw the church “going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews”!

 

1839: The first year Darby was clearly pretrib. His pretrib basis then (and during the next three decades) was Rev. 12:5’s “man child” that is “caught up.” But this “new” Darby teaching was actually a plagiarism of Edward Irving who had been using this verse for the same (pretrib) purpose since 1831!

 

1843: In a letter written from Switzerland, Darby referred to “the dissemination of truth and blessing…thus spreading on the right hand and on the left, without knowing whence it came or how it sprung up all of a sudden….” Here he gloated that others didn’t know “whence” pretrib came or that he had advocated the subtle sneaking of the new pretrib view into existing groups (see “1834” above)!

 

1853: Darby’s book “The Irrationalism of Infidelity” recalled his visit to Margaret Macdonald and her brothers in mid-1830. He remembered 23 minor details but carefully omitted the most important one: Margaret’s teaching of a coming of Christ that would exempt believers from the great tribulation “judgments”—-a detail that all others who visited her and then wrote accounts could easily remember! (It’s obvious that Todd Strandberg’s mother didn’t soap his mouth enough because even though he knows better after the airing of “Open Letter to Todd Strandberg” on the internet, his falsehood-packed “Margaret MacDonald Who?” article on his “Rapture Ready” site continues to pollute minds by stating that I “have never been able to prove that Darby had ever heard of MacDonald or her vision”!)

 

1855: An article by eminent Brethren scholar S. P. Tregelles tied “Judaisers” to pretrib. But in an 1864 book he tied “Irving’s Church” to pretrib. Both Huebner and Walvoord claimed that Tregelles contradicted himself, and Huebner charged Tregelles with “untruth and slander.” But even William Kelly, Darby’s editor, saw no contradiction and wrote, concerning “Judaising,” that “nowhere is this so patent as in Irvingism”!

 

1861: Robert Norton, medical doctor and Irvingite, wrote that the “true origin” of pretrib had been “hidden and misrepresented.” (This was about the time that Kelly was working towards the goal of elevating Darby and giving the false impression that Darby should be credited with the pretrib view.) Several pages later, in the same book, Norton revealed Margaret as the true originator of pretrib.

 

1863: In his “Five Letters” leading Brethren scholar Tregelles wrote that some Brethren had been unscrupulously issuing tracts by the thousands in which they changed the “words and doctrines” of “the Reformers and others” to give the impression that those ancient writers had actually been teaching the novel doctrines that some Darbyist Brethren were then circulating in the 1800’s!

 

1864: Brethren scholar Tregelles charged fellow Brethren with changing even the words in ancient hymns: “Sometimes from a hymn being altered, writers appear to set forth a secret rapture of which they had never heard, or against which they have protested.” I should add that in an 1865 letter Darby asked his editor to preserve the newer (pretrib) hymns and “correct the others,” that is, the older (posttrib) ones!

 

1860’s: From the 1860’s to the 1880’s William Kelly, editor of Darby’s works, was busy putting together some volumes known as “The Collected Writings of J. N. Darby.” Opposition to Darbyism had been increasing and Kelly was determined to fight it and continue to exalt Darby. His goal was to present a Darby that was prophetically “mature” long before he actually matured. He achieved this dishonesty with misleading words in brackets inside sentences in Darby’s early works, and with footnotes that he “borrowed” from Darby’s much later works when he was obviously more developed! Darby even gave this deviousness his blessing. In an 1865 letter to Kelly he wrote: “I should think that some of the Notes would require some revising….Even the sermons contain things I should not accept….” Kelly even flaunted his shameful manipulation in a footnote to Darby’s 1830 article; the note said that “it was not worthwhile either suppressing or changing it.”

Interestingly, since the Irvingites were clear (and clearly first) when it came to public pretrib teaching, they didn’t need later “fixers” to dishonestly correct their original statements!

 

1872: In an article in “The Princeton Review,” Thomas Croskery of Ireland listed beliefs of the Plymouth Brethren including these: “That the moral law is of no use at all to believers” and “that believers have nothing to do in the way of keeping themselves from sin for God must look to them if He will….” He said that “Mr. Darby” pursues his opponents” with a virulence that has no parallel in the history of religious controversy.”

 

1877: A medical doctor, James Carson, wrote that “the Darbyites have managed to cloak their opinions by using language in a Jesuitical sense….” He added: “Unless a person makes himself properly acquainted with the opinions” of Darbyites and argues “with the utmost precision on every point…it is impossible to manage such wily and slippery customers.”

 

1879: A later work by Thomas Croskery declared that “Brethrenite doctrine…clearly tends to immorality.” He then quoted Darby’s editor, William Kelly, who stated: “I am no longer, as a Christian man, having to do with the responsibility that attaches to mortal man, but am passed now into a new state, even while I am in the world.” Rev. Frederick Whitfield spoke of “the flagrant immoralities among the Plymouth Brethren” while James Grant commented: “Darbyism is the most selfish religious system with which I am acquainted.”

 

1880: William Reid’s work on Brethrenism revealed that “no other sect was, perhaps, ever so fruitful of divisions” and referred to “the novel doctrines propounded by some of its leaders.” He quoted Lord Congleton, a leading Brethren member, who asked: “Have you tried these Brethren—-the Darbyites?….They are false in what they say of their brethren, they are false in doctrine, and they are false in their walk.”

And Henry Craik, a colleague of George Muller, was also quoted: “The truth is, Brethrenism as such, is broken to pieces. By pretending to be wiser, holier, more spiritual, more enlightened, than all other Christians; by rash and unprofitable intrusions into things not revealed; by making mysticism and eccentricity the test of spiritual life and depth; by preferring a dreamy and imaginative theology to the solid food of the Word of God….” (Leading Brethren scholar Harold Rowdon’s 1967 book “The Origins of the Brethren,” p. 253, quoted earlier Brethren member Lord Congleton who was “disgusted with…the falseness” of Darby’s narratives. Rowdon also quoted a historian of the Brethren, W. B. Neatby, who wrote that “the time-honoured method of single combat” was as good a method as any “to elicit the truth” from Darby!)

 

1880’s: In 1880, a year after his Christian conversion, C. I. Scofield was in the St. Louis jail for forgery because he’d stolen his mother-in-law’s life savings in a real estate scam. In 1883 his first wife divorced him (for desertion) and he remarried three months later. Although he had no formal theological training, he began putting a non-conferred “D.D.” after his name in the 1890’s. In 1899, when he preached D. L. Moody’s funeral sermon, he still owed thousands of dollars that he had stolen from acquaintances 20 years earlier. (In 1921 he advised his daughter, who then had financial problems, to pray to an ancient Catholic saint; at the same time his Scofield Bible, p. 1346, was predicting a future reign of “apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy”!)

 

1889: Aware that for 60 years the leading historians—-whether Brethren or Irvingite—-had been crediting someone in Irving’s circle (and not Darby’s circle!) with the pretrib rapture, Darby’s editor William Kelly embarked on a sinister plan to discredit the Irvingites (and their female inspiration) and belatedly (and falsely) give credit for pretrib to Darby. He achieved this in 1889-1890 in a series of articles in his own British journal while analyzing the Irvingites in a supposedly fair and honest manner. Let’s see a few of the many examples of his clever dishonesty:

When quoting early Irvingites like Baxter and Norton, Kelly would consistently skip over their clear pretrib teaching but quote just before and after it! And he was a change artist. When Irvingites would write about their pretrib “rapture,” Kelly loved to water it down into only their belief in the “Second Coming”! If the Irvingites expressed their belief in an imminent pretrib catching up, Kelly revised it into their “constantly to be expected Lord”! When Irving’s followers hoped to escape, by rapture, the coming “tribulation,” their “tribulation” was changed by Kelly into only “corrupt or apostate evils”! My 300-page book “The Rapture Plot” has 16 pages (!) of glaring specimens of short quotes exhibiting Kelly’s shameful revisions of Irvingite doctrine!

 

1918: A prophetic book by E. P. Cachemaille discussed the pretrib origin, tied it to the 1830’s, then added: “There has since been much scheming to give the doctrine a reputable origin, scheming by those who did not know the original facts, not being contemporaries of Dr. Tregelles.”

 

1942: Noted prophecy teacher H. A. Ironside, who had a Brethren background, dared to assert, minus evidence, that what early Brethren taught re the rapture was “so contrary” to what the Irvingites had been teaching, adding that no links had existed between the two groups!

 

1960: After mentioning that the claim that Darby originated pretrib “is certainly open to question,” evangelical scholar Clarence Bass wrote: “More probably, however, its origin can be traced through the Irvingite movement.” But he failed to elaborate, evidently aware that he would be opening a can of you-know-what!

 

1973: Darby worshiper R. A. Huebner wrote that “The Irvingites (1828-1834) never held the pretribulation rapture or any ‘any-moment’ views.” He was aware that many couldn’t know how close he had repeatedly come to clear pretrib teaching by Irvingites and then had covered up everything while using the same devious tactics his inspiration William Kelly had used a century earlier while analyzing the same Irvingites!

My “Plot” book has a 31-page chapter of many quotes from the earliest Irvingites showing that they repeatedly and clearly taught pretrib as well as imminence. For example, in 1832 the Irvingite journal said that “some” will be “left in the great tribulation…after the translation of the saints.” We’ve already seen clear pretribism in the Sep., 1830 issue of the Irvingite journal. It’s bad enough that Huebner (who never attended seminary, college, or even Bible school) has mind-poisoned his tiny circle of Darby-idolizers, but disastrous that pretrib leaders like Walvoord, Ryrie, LaHaye, and Ice were apparently “too busy” to check Huebner’s sources and later on too proud to admit they’d been taken in by him!

The parallels between Huebner and his two inspirations, Darby and Kelly, are astounding. Like them, he easily applies “demon” to opponents and their beliefs. Like them, he exaggerates and even purposely muddies up Darby’s earliest pretrib development and Darby’s later reminiscences. And like them, he can deftly dance around pretrib “cobras” in Irvingism (and its female inspiration) without getting bitten! In his 1973 book, Huebner had 95 copying errors when quoting others including pretrib leaders! (For more shocks on the internet, type in “Humbug Huebner.”)

 

1989: Thomas Ice, one of the biggest pretrib diehards, doesn’t have favorites when he discusses the pretrib origin; he can use deviousness as well as sloppiness. When he reproduced Margaret’s short “revelation” account he somehow left out 48 words! As if his carelessness wasn’t bad enough, his reproduction also included four distinctive errors that Hal Lindsey had made in his own reproduction of it in 1983—-what Ice chose to do instead of going to the original 19th century sources! (See my internet piece “Thomas Ice – Hired Gun” if you are shockproof.)

 

1990: A year after his “rapture” of 48 words from Margaret’s handwritten “revelation” account, Ice was elevated all the way up to Dallas Seminary’s journal which published his article on pretrib history. In it he had some copying errors when quoting John Bray, Huebner, and Walvoord. Even worse, when he quoted the same Margaret Macdonald account, he skipped right over what he knew was her main point (a catching up of church members just before the Antichrist is revealed) even though he quoted shortly before and after it! And when quoting present-day Brethren scholar Harold Rowdon, he used an ellipsis to cover up Rowdon’s evidence in his 1967 book that Irvingite development preceded Darby’s!

1991: After many objective, no-axe-to-grind scholars had publicly endorsed my research (which emphasized Margaret, the Irvingites, and 1830), R. A. Huebner, aware of the same objective scholarship and determined to negate it, came out with a book in which he claimed to find Darby teaching pretrib in 1827—-that is, three years before Margaret etc. But halfway through his book (which had more than 250 copying errors!), he admitted that his 1827 “proof” could refer to something completely different! Nevertheless, diehard Thomas Ice, after admitting to me that he was indeed aware of Huebner’s change, continues to declare publicly that Huebner’s 1991 book “proves” that Darby was pretrib as early as 1827!

 

1992: When Tim LaHaye’s “No Fear of the Storm” reproduced Margaret’s short account, he “left behind” 48 words—-the same 48 words that Ice had left out in 1989! In the same book LaHaye made 84 other copying errors when discussing pretrib beginnings! Although he had a whole chapter focusing on my origin research, un-scholar LaHaye didn’t list any of my books in footnotes or bibliography which kept readers from being able to find out what I had actually written! And LaHaye based his analysis on inaccurate secondhand sources and also made many copying errors when quoting them.

For many years Tim and Beverly LaHaye’s “conservative” organizations have raked in millions of dollars while telling folks to vote for only “moral” political candidates, and while appearing to be very pro-family and anti-gay. What they haven’t revealed is that their son Lee LaHaye has long been the Chief Financial Officer of Concerned Women for America and that Lee is openly gay! Can we be sure that “Left Behind” Tim isn’t just as hypocritical with his pro-pretrib stance? (If you’re man or woman enough, warm up your computer and type in “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “LaHaye’s Temperament,” “Tim LaHaye’s gay son,” “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” and “Thieves’ Marketing”—-for starters!)

 

2005: In the August “Pre-Trib Perspectives” Thomas Ice again had the audacity to claim that the late Prof. Paul Alexander saw a “pretribulational translation” in Pseudo-Ephraem’s now famous Medieval sermon. But Ice has known since 1995 that Alexander’s 1985 book has textual as well as outline summaries of P-E’s chronological order of end time events—-both summaries showing only one final coming of Christ that follows the great tribulation and not even a hint of a pretrib coming in either summary! Is it possible that Ice knows more than the professor whose book somehow inspired one of the desperate pretrib diehards? As Eph. 4:14 puts it, Ice knows how to “lie in wait to deceive.” And lie and lie! (See my internet paper “Deceiving and Being Deceived” and discover the calculated dishonesty in the Pseudo-Ephraem and Morgan Edwards claims plus other dishonesty including massive plagiarism in some of today’s leading pretrib diehards! Type in my name and see all of my internet items. Since Ice and LaHaye are associated with the Pre-Trib Research Center which has its own site, you may feel inspired to write them, ask them some blunt questions, and even send them a copy of this paper.)

3 – Darby’s Pedestal

 

2 Corinthians 4:2 “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

 

Because John N. Darby and C. I. Scofield did not renounce the things listed in the above verse, they cannot claim manifestation of the truth or that they commended themselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. What you will read as you continue is the result of their actions. They are guilty of ensnaring those who were clean escaped from their example of living in error. If you just cannot or do not want to believe this, the proof is easily found in the biographical history of these men’s lives as well as through men who lived contemporary with them. Charles H. Spurgeon printed the following excerpt in his publication of The Sword and the Trowel.

 

Mr. Grant on “The Darby Brethren”1

By C.H. Spurgeon

June 1869 The Sword and the Trowel—vol. 2

 

Mr. Grant has with very great diligence collected much valuable information as to that section of Plymouth Brethren who follow Mr. Darby. As on all hands, with a diligence never exceeded, and a subtlety never equaled, they are laboring to seduce the members of our churches to the subversion of the truth and the overthrow of the needful order and discipline of our Zion, it may be well to disseminate information concerning their sentiments and tactics. There is nothing which they have so much to dread as being thoroughly unearthed and exposed; for their grosser errors are not generally made known to their dupes until they are fairly in their meshes. Mr. Grant has done real service to the churches by his treatise on “The heresies of the Plymouth Brethren,” which we trust he will publish in a separate form. It is almost impossible for even his heavy hand to press too severely upon this malignant power, whose secret but rapid growth is among the darkest signs of the times. Our large extracts are meant to stimulate a desire for the entire work. 0n their errors, Mr. Grant says:—

“Mr. Darby maintains that a part of Christ’s sufferings on the cross, were what he calls ‘non-atoning,’ that is, that in ‘smiting’ him as the shepherd on the cross, God did not do so with a view to an atonement for our sins, until a particular point of time, while Christ was hanging on the tree, and that then the wrath of God, in its atoning character, coalesced with his legal wrath. In association with the doctrine that much of the sufferings of Christ on the cross were without any atoning object or effect, Mr. Darby, advancing a step farther, denies that the atonement for our sins consisted even in Christ’s death. But as it is probable some persons will find it difficult to believe that any man, professing to hold evangelical principles, and especially the leader of an important religious sect, also professing to be sound in the faith, could entertain such notions, and that I must have misunderstood Mr. Darby’s meaning—it is due to him, and may be desirable for the reader, that I should quote his own words. They are given, in substance the same as in his monthly organ, ‘The Present Testimony,’ for August, 1866, a later date than that in which his other publication, ‘The Sufferings of Christ,’ made its appearance, and, therefore, notwithstanding all the remonstrances addressed to him by some of his followers against that dreadful doctrine, they are proved to have been without effect. He then stands before the religious world as still adhering to these fearful doctrines:—

“‘There was, too, to him,’ says Mr. Darby, ‘in addition to the pain of the death, the legal curse appended, by God’s righteous judgment as King of Israel, to the form of the death; as it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree.’ But this curse of the law was not the same thing as the wrath, when he cried out, ‘My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?’ The thieves bore it as he did; that thief, too, who went with him to paradise the same day, and who could go there to be with his Lord, because he, the Prince of Life, had borne the wrath due to sin in his own body on the tree. But the cross had been endured by many an unrepentant rebel against man and God; and the cross in itself would not take away sin. Yea, more, while the time in which he endured the cross was the period in part of which the wrath came on him (when he endured the wrath of God’s judgment against sin), he only of the three that were crucified together, could or did bear the wrath; and the agony of that wrath, if his alone of the three then and there crucified, was distinct from, though present to him at the same time as the agonies (infinitely lesser) of the cross of wood!’

“The italics are not mine; they are those of the Rev. W. H. Dorman, who was for twenty-eight years the friend and admirer of Mr. Darby, and resigned the pastorship of a Congregational church in Islington to join his section of the Plymouth Brethren.

“The same sentiments are expressed in various other portions of Mr. Darby’s writings; and even in some respects in language more objectionable still. That part of his theory, that Christ suffered much and long on the cross before there was anything of an atoning nature in his agonies, and simply as lying under the wrath of God in his character as King of Israel, is brought out more fully and more plainly than in the extract I have given. This is, in effect, to say that Christ actually had sins of his own in virtue of the relation which he sustained to the Jewish nation, as their king or head. There is something inexpressibly painful in the idea that our Lord suffered on the cross in any other capacity than as the Substitute or Sin-bearer for us. There is not a sentence in the word of God which gives the slightest sanction to it, but the contrary:—’While we were yet sinners Christ died for us;’ ‘He was made sin for us who knew no sin.’ Mr. Darby says he did know sin as the King of Israel. ‘He died for our sins and rose again for our justification; he died for our sins according to the Scriptures;’ ‘Who gave himself for our sins;’ ‘He is the propitiation for our sins;’ ‘Who bore our sins in his own body on the tree;’ ‘Who washed us from our sins in his own blood,’ etc.

“The effect of this fearful theory of Dr. Darby, believed in and taught, be it remembered, by all the Brethren of his party, would be (?) as is well remarked by the author of a pamphlet written in reply to the theory, in the following words:—’Let the reader distinctly notice that in place of the single view of Christ’s obedience unto death which the apostles set before us, who see God in the cross only as the smiter of his own fore-ordained Lamb, the sufferer is, by this teaching, placed under a triple necessity of dying under the hand of God. He kills him as Messiah; he smites him as the companion of others on the cross, and apart from atonement; and he makes him also an atoning substitute.’ What a strange theological jumble, to say nothing of its pernicious tendencies wherever adopted.

    “To say that our Lord suffered on the cross in any other way than as our sin-bearer, or as paying for us the debt which we owed to the justice of God, would be, to the poor law-condemned and self-condemned sinner, to divest the sufferings of Christ on the cross of much more of the grace and glory of his atoning sacrifice than language can express; while it would be to deprive the believer in them, in a corresponding measure, of that supreme comfort which he derives from looking back to the cross, and feeling that all that Christ suffered on the cross was solely for his disciples. . .

“There is one of their doctrines which I regard as so vital that it appears to me it would, were it true, prove fatal to the whole scheme of man’s redemption.

“The doctrine to which I allude is, that Christ’s obedience to the law was not vicarious—was no part of the work which he wrought out for those for whom he became surety; in other words, that believers are in nowise interested in his obedience. Until Mr. Darby advanced this astounding doctrine, I am not aware that the notion was ever before even hinted at. The fathers, in the second, third, and fourth centuries, did entertain doctrines which were equally novel, astounding, and pernicious; but I am not aware that any of their number ever dreamt of advancing the notion that we had no interest whatever, directly or indirectly, in the obedience of our Lord when on earth. Yet there is not one single follower of Mr. Darby that does not unhesitatingly—I might almost say indignantly—repudiate the idea that our Lord obeyed for a single individual that ever lived, or now lives, or that will hereafter live, till the end of time. Were they right, the obedience, or the spotless life of Christ would, so far as relates to believers in him, be no part of the work which his Father gave him to do, and which he himself came to accomplish. This extraordinary notion involves an entire and lamentable misunderstanding of the whole scheme of man’s redemption. The law demanded obedience to its requirements, just as inexorably as it exacted the infliction of penalties because of its violation. And, therefore, it behoved him, who became our Substitute, to render obedience on our behalf, as well as to suffer in our stead the punishment to which we had, because of our violation of the law, rendered ourselves liable.

“In connection with the Plymouth Brethren’s rejection of the doctrine—most surely believed by all evangelical denominations in every age of the church’s history—of the vicarious purpose of Christ’s obedience, there is the equally unreserved rejection of another doctrine which the great bulk of believers regard as one of vital importance. I allude to the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Not contented with pronouncing this doctrine as entirely unscriptural, the Plymouth Brethren seem to regard it with special aversion. . . .

“With the deadly heresies entertained and taught by the Plymouth Brethren, in relation to some of the most momentous of all the doctrines of the gospel, and to which I have adverted at some length, I feel assured that my readers will not be surprised at any other views, however unscriptural and pernicious they may be, which the Darbyites have embraced and zealously seek to propagate. Among these, is the doctrine that the moral law is a thing with which believers in Christ have nothing to do, not even as a rule of life. This doctrine pervades the writings of the Darbyites, as well as their oral ‘teaching.’

“As the Plymouth Brethren will not use the Lord’s Prayer because it contains the expression ‘forgive us our trespasses,’ so they make no confession of their sins in the sense in which the words are usually understood. In acting thus, they are, at least, entitled to the credit of consistency. If one has no sins to be pardoned, it logically follows that he can have none to confess. The Brethren will, it is true, admit in general terms that we are all ‘poor weak creatures,’ but when they do so, they attach no definite meaning to the phraseology. It was but a few weeks ago that I had some conversation on this very point with one of the most intellectual and spiritually-minded lady members of the Darbyite party. In answer to my statement that the Brethren did not make any confession of sin, she said, ‘Where is the use of always looking at or confessing our sins, when we have Christ to look to?’ If, indeed, we had not Christ to look to, there would be no ‘use in looking at and confessing our sins,’ but it being our mercy to have Christ to look to, we shall all the more clearly discern his preciousness the deeper our sense of our sins and sinfulness. And unless we have vivid perceptions of the greatness of our guilt, we shall never sufficiently appreciate the merits of the Savior, to lay hold of his finished work for our salvation. Job and Moses, and David and Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and all the most eminent Old Testament saints of whom we read, had views on this point which were the opposite of those of the Plymouth Brethren, as is abundantly testified by the frequency and depth of their confessions of sin. Job could say, ‘Behold! I am vile, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’ And David had such a sight and sense of his sin that his Psalms are full to overflowing with heartfelt confessions of them. ‘Mine iniquities,’ he says, in one place, ‘have taken hold on me, so that I am unable to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart faileth me.’ In another place we hear him saying in his address to the throne of grace, ‘I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.’ No Plymouth Brother would adopt this language of either Job or David. Nor is that of Isaiah ever heard in their assemblies, as applicable to those who compose them, when he says:—’Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips.’ Neither did Paul’s sentiments accord, in relation to this point, with those of Mr. Darby and his disciples. Paul could say from the depths of his soul, in the overwhelming sense which he had of his guilt in the sight of God, notwithstanding the abundance of grace given him: ‘I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this sin and death?’ I cannot doubt that if the question were put to Plymouth Brethren, they would admit that Paul was at least as good a Christian as they. And yet no one ever heard a Darbyite employing this language as being applicable to himself.”

As to their modes of action and general spirit Mr. Grant writes largely, and we believe from correct data. Many facts which have come under our notice are confirmatory of Mr. Grant’s severe criticisms; we only hope none of our brother ministers may experimentally have so clear a revelation of the Darby spirit as has occurred to us. “Let me, then, first of all mention that, though as I have before stated, their numbers in London and the suburbs do not exceed 1,600, and their numbers throughout Great Britain do not exceed 20,000, they are so very active in their endeavors to make proselytes, and are so continually involved in controversies and quarrels among themselves, that they are more frequently before the public than sects of Christians who are more numerous. Take the sect called Bible Christians, for example. Their numbers in this country exceed 20,000, if, indeed, they be not considerably more; and yet for once that the name Bible Christian meets the eye we see that of the Brethren half-a-dozen times. The Plymouth Brethren, meaning the Darby section, are, indeed, at once the most active and most noisy sect of Christians of which we have any record in the annals of Christianity. And yet they have no missionary institutions, no organized propaganda of any kind; but what, I have no doubt, they find answer their purpose much better—they have their individual aggressive agents. They are first-rate tacticians. They have an intuitive perception as to who ‘among those who are without,’ to whom they have access, are likely to make the best ‘Brothers’ or ‘Sisters,’ and that conclusion come to, all their appliances are brought to bear upon them. And they are singularly happy as to the way in which they go about the work of proselytizing. But before I proceed farther, I ought to remark that, with very few exceptions, the women are the great propagandists of Plymouth Brethrenism. And, as a natural consequence, women are almost invariably the parties whom they seek to ‘convert.’ They are wise enough in their generation to know that if a man’s wife is got over, she will give her husband no rest until she has made a resolute effort to prevail on him to join the ‘gathering’ along with her. Of course, it will be understood that I do not mean it to be inferred that there are no exceptions to this, but I do say—and I speak with no small knowledge of the philosophy and history of Plymouth Brethrenism—that the exceptions are rare indeed. In fact, I will go so far as to affirm that it would be almost incompatible with Plymouth ‘Sisterdom’ not to be a zealous and unwearied laborer in the field of proselytism. It is as true of them as a body as it was of those women to whom Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy alludes when he represents them as creeping into houses. Their favorite plan is to single out the best members of other evangelical churches, and endeavor to get them over; and when they have succeeded in inoculating them with Brethrenism, they are advised not at once to leave the church of which they are members, but to remain for a time, in the hope of being able to convince others of the error of their way in ‘sitting under such teachers.’ The new convert to Darbyism is carefully instructed as to the way in which he or she is to proceed. They are not to seem to obtrude their denominational views on those at whose ‘conversion’ they aim, but to appear deeply grieved that so few ‘excellent Christians’ see, because they have never been taught by their ministers, the whole truth; and that this is all the more to be deplored because if they—the parties addressed—saw the truth in all its blessedness and fullness ‘they would be able to teach others also.’

Of course, in many cases this ingenious mode of propagating Plymouth Brethrenism fails, but in many it succeeds. And the proselyte, fired with a zeal, which is proverbial in new converts, to bring others to embrace the new views which he or she has just adopted, applies him or herself at once to the task of bringing over others to the new fold which he or she has just entered. The new ‘Sister’ commences with certain stereotyped phrases in endeavoring to bring over the party aimed at, by remarking that the pastor of the particular congregation is a good man—a very excellent man according to the amount of his knowledge of the truth—but that he is not sufficiently taught of the Spirit on certain important points of doctrine. His deficiencies are specifically pointed out. On the next Sunday the device is to say to the party whose conversion to Brethrenism is sought to be accomplished, something to this effect: ‘That was, in some points, a very good sermon of Mr. Smith’s yesterday morning, but there was something wanting. At any rate, I was not fed. Mr. Smith has not got the same clear view of the truth which Brother Black at the gathering at Blank Street has. I should like you to hear him a few times.’ The other agrees; and the chances are that in a month or so she comes out a full-fledged Darbyite, accompanied by expressions of wonder that she should have been so blinded as not sooner to have seen such important truths, mingled with thanksgivings at being now mercifully brought into the light of the glorious gospel—as, of course, understood and taught by Mr. Darby. And, while the process of proselytism is going on, the kindest words are spoken, and the most winning manners practiced, on the part of the domestic missionary. A minister of the gospel, who knows from painful experience what these proselytizers are, assures me that he was personally cognizant of one instance in which a Plymouth ‘Sister,’ in her anxiety to make another ‘Sister,’ spoke to her within a few minutes of their meeting, though they had never seen or heard of each other before, in terms of endearment as strong and as frequently employed as if they had been sisters in the flesh. ‘Oh, yes, my dear sister;’ ‘oh, no, my dearest sister,’ were phrases spoken in the most tender tones, and were among the weapons which were liberally employed with the view of ensuring another recruit to the Darbyite army.

“What I have said will give some idea of the stereotyped way in which the Plymouth Brethren proceed to work in their mission of seeking to make proselytes to Darbyism. Other plans, varying according to circumstances, are resorted to. No one outside their circle can have any idea of the zeal and ingenuity which they display in their endeavors to bring other Christians over to Darbyism. The words of our Lord may, in a sense, be applied to them—’They would compass sea and land to make one proselyte.’ That one object consecrates every expedient to which they resort, no matter what it may be, to accomplish it. They may not be able to deny that a particular person is an eminent Christian, but still the party is not a Darbyite, and that is enough to justify whatever means they may have recourse to bring the particular party within the fold of Brethrenism.

“It matters not to them that, by going into churches or chapels in this way, in parts of the country where the minister, owing to the smallness of the number of his congregation, has the greatest difficulty imaginable to continue to maintain the Christian ministry. That does not cause them the slightest compunctious visiting, even though he may be a man eminent for his personal piety and his devotedness to the cause of Christ. The minister, with his wife and family, may he thrown destitute on the world. The minister’s heart, indeed, may be literally broken—still that will not cause them to experience a momentary pang. No amount, indeed, of misery they may have brought on God’s faithful ministering servant will give them even a moment’s uneasiness. On the contrary, they will rejoice at the ruin they have wrought in breaking up a church, because believing they are thereby doing God service. Many a provincial minister’s heart have they literally broken, while hundreds of others have been made miserable for life by the dissensions which these ‘troublers in Israel’ have occasioned in their churches, and the dissatisfaction they have caused in the minds of many members who have not left, with the same kind of preaching to which they had for years before listened with pleasure and profit.

“A Congregational minister in the country, writes to me on this matter as follows:—’What the Plymouth Brethren have done in country towns no one but those who are intimate with the life of country churches can tell. There is no Congregational minister, either Baptist or Independent, who is not ready to denounce them as the greatest troublers of the peace of Israel since the days of Ahab. Much in these days is said about the Jesuits, but the Plymouth Brethren will compare with them, both in respect to stealthy slyness and persistent effort to make converts. There are always in every church a few disaffected spirits, who only need the voice of the tempter to make them cantankerous. These are so much tinder to the spark of the Plymouth Brethren’s tongue of fire, and straightway we have the following results:—The minister does not preach the gospel—the poor people are perishing for lack of food—another minister in the town cannot give it them; only let us get away from all this, and have no church, but just read the Bible for ourselves. A division ensues, and soon, instead of reading the Bible for themselves, one man gets the whole thing into his own hands, and another church is formed, virtually where there was to be no church and no minister.’

“This witness is true, and his testimony will be endorsed by hundreds of other ministers of the gospel in the country, all, like him, speaking from what they have seen and felt. . . .

“Plymouth Brethren have no feeling wherever their principles are concerned. I know indeed of no sect or denomination so utterly devoid of kindness of heart. It is the most selfish religious system with which I am acquainted. It is entirely wrapped up in itself. It recognizes no other denomination, whether the Church of England, or either of the Nonconformist denominations, as a church of Christ. Mr. Darby has again and again said in print, as well as written in private, that those who belong to his party in the metropolis, constitute the only church of Christ in London. . . .

“No one ever saw a Darbyite at any of our Bible, or Missionary, or other Evangelical Society meetings. The Brethren look upon all other denominations, however evangelical in sentiment, and however high their standard of personal religion, as so largely infected with error in doctrine, as well as wrong in relation to church government, that they believe it would be sinful to associate with them for the promotion of religious ends. And this conviction, which is never absent from their minds, naturally has the effect of puffing them up with spiritual pride. Believing that they alone of all religious bodies have attained to the knowledge of the truth, it could hardly be otherwise than that they should look down on every other Christian sect with supreme pity, mingled, even according to the admission of some of their own number, with contempt. . . .

“With this feeling is naturally associated an amount of arrogance in the assertion of their own views, which those who differ from them often find to be unbearable. And in this respect their leader, Mr. Darby, sets them an example. In his case it assumes the form of infallibility. Mr. Darby is, to all intents and purposes a thorough Pope, though under a Protestant name. He will never admit that he is in error; and therefore very naturally declines to argue with those who controvert the soundness of his views. How, indeed, could it be otherwise? If Mr. Darby holds, which he does, with a firm grasp, the principle that whatever conclusions he and those acting in conjunction with him may come to, express beyond all question the mind of the Spirit; and if those Darbyites who gather together in London, can go so far as to exclude all other denominations, even the most godly among them, ‘believing themselves to be the one or only, assembly of God in London,’ how need we feel surprised that Mr. Darby, as the ‘prophet, priest, and king’ of the party, should exercise a perfect despotism within the domains of Darbyism?. . .

“I have before glanced, but barely glanced, at the intensely controversial spirit which is a universal characteristic of the Plymouth Brethren. I say universal, because though I know much of them personally, as well as through the testimony of others, I know not a single instance where this controversial spirit did not exist in greater or less force. It is not for me to say that there are no exceptions to this rule; but I do advisedly say, that I am unacquainted with any single case to the contrary. This controversial feeling, often degenerating into something resembling regular quarrels, is the chronic condition of Plymouth Brethrenism. They are in a state of constant antagonism with the Bethesda party;2 and a minister of the gospel, who has seen much of them, seriously assures me that when they have no one of the opposite party to quarrel with, they will disagree among themselves. I can verify this statement, to a certain extent, from my own personal knowledge. . . . So great, indeed, is their disposition to engage in controversy, often ending in something like a quarrel, that it would be a thing quite new to see two of their number remain together for many minutes without a decided disagreement on some one point or other.

“Their quarrels, too, occasionally acquire an intensity which bring them before the public. In the year 1860, they had what they call a Conference at the London Bridge Hotel, met together for the purpose of examining certain charges preferred by Mr. William Kelly, ‘pastor of the assembly’ in Guernsey, against a Mr. Havent, of the same island. Many of the ‘Brethren’ came from all parts of the country to this Conference. Referring to this great gathering, in connection with the leaders of the Darby party, by whom it was called, and by whom it was carefully packed, Mr. Culverhouse, a man of standing among the Brethren, says in his published ‘Statement of the Guernsey and London Case:’—’It is impracticable to describe the true state of things, either in the gatherings or at the Conference. Every remonstrance is unheeded; and the simple fact of the services being conducted chiefly by these Brethren is of itself appalling. Insinuations, slanders, insolence, threats, and violence are resorted to for the maintenance of their position. At a meeting of Brethren, held at the Hoxton Assembly on the 25th instant, our brother, Mr. Lean, publicly avowed, in answer to inquiries by myself, that the London Bridge Conference is a ‘private’ meeting. This being so, and regarding the character of its acts and usurpations, I designate it an ‘Inquistion.’ At the meeting of the 21st instant, the doors were guarded and locked. A Brother, on applying for entrance, was seized by the throat and thrust back. The fact of the doors being guarded and locked excludes, as you see, even the ordinary excuse of ‘excitement.’ Surely, ‘these things ought not so to be.’ Do you sanction, my Brethren, such a state of things? Will you, my Brethren, submit to be governed by an Inquisition?’

“‘Behold,’ says David, ‘how good a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’ Behold a picture of the unity of Plymouth Brethren as drawn, printed, and published by one of themselves! It is a sorrowful description of the spirit and conduct of men who call themselves Brethren. Certainly this is not ‘Brethrenism’ according to what is usually understood as the scriptural meaning of the word. . .

“So late as March last one of the most extraordinary scenes of religious discord ever witnessed took place in the Freemasons’ Hall. Between four and five hundred Brethren were asked to come from all parts of the country to hold a conference together. The Darbyites and Bethesdaites were equally invited. Those who invited them did not mention for what special purpose they were to come. It was simply said it was desirable they should assemble together, and that the Holy Ghost would direct them as to what they should say and do when they met together. The expenses of the poorer Brethren were paid by some unknown and wealthy Brethren. They had only been met an hour or so before they were found controversially fighting with each other with a fierceness which could hardly be believed. And this state of things lasted four or five hours for three successive days. It by-and-by transpired that the real purpose for which the Conference was called was to endeavor to bring about a reconciliation between the Darby and Bethesda sections of Brethrenism. The very idea was enough to plunge the Darbyites into a state of something more than indignation. Scenes of indescribable uproar, mingled with expressions of the very worst feelings, took place on each of the three days. And I am assured by one who was present, who does not belong to either the Darbyite or Bethesda section of the Brethren, that not only the prime, but the sole movers in these most unseemly scenes were the Darbyites. What the exhibitions were which occurred may be inferred from the fact that a lady who was present said she could have wept tears of blood at what she saw and heard; and a gentleman of education and social position, who also witnessed these lamentable scenes, remarked to me that it was enough to have made even angels weep. This may seem incredible, but it is nevertheless the fact.

“But the saddest of all in connection with these deplorable scenes is that they are actually, in effect, represented as the results of the guidance of the Holy Ghost. There is no principle which the Darbyites more firmly hold, or to which they give greater prominence in their ‘teaching,’ than this—that the Holy Ghost is with them in all their assemblies, and that whatever conclusions they come to are the result of his special guidance. . . .

“But I may be asked by some one incredulously, can it really be possible that the Darbyites should ascribe the distressing scene at the London Bridge Hotel as the result of the special guidance of the Holy Spirit? Deplorable as is the fact, it is even so. The question, as stated in Mr. Grove’s pamphlet, entitled ‘The Exclusive Brethren,’ meaning the Darbyite section of the Brethren, was put to some of the leaders of the Darbyite part in reference to this very meeting, and an affirmative answer was at once given. The question was put in various forms, that there might be no mistake in the matter, and the answer was in every instance unhesitatingly and explicitly in the affirmative. One of the forms in which the question was put was this: ‘Suppose an assembly err, what should then be done?’ The answer was, ‘Still, while you acknowledge it as an assembly, you must accept its action as that of the Holy Ghost.’ Then, continued the querist, ‘Is it the Lord’s mind that I should accept an error of judgment?’ Answer, ‘Yes.’ Again, ‘Then you would rather accept an official blunder, knowing it to be so, than act upon what you believe the Lord had shown you to be the truth?’ Answer, ‘Certainly.'”

The effect of Darbyism upon family life is perhaps its most awful feature. With a passage upon that point we close our extracts.

“There is just one point more to which I wish to advert for a moment before I conclude. It refers to the influence which Darbyism exerts on the social comfort of families. I shall be fully borne out, by the concurrent testimony of thousands of persons, all of them speaking from painful experience, when I say, that no tongue can tell what an amount of domestic unhappiness has been caused by the circumstance of some leading members of a family adopting Darbyite opinions, when the other members of the family were opposed to those opinions. I could unfold specific tales of this kind which could scarce be credited; but that would not be expedient. It might be attended with unpleasant consequences to individuals, even without mentioning names. Parties might be supposed to be pointed at in the cases in question, which I had not at all in my eye. Indeed, a greater or less number of persons, of whose names I never even heard, would imagine that either themselves or some members of their families were alluded to. I will content myself, therefore, with stating the broad fact, and giving three illustrations—that Darbyism, as a rule, changes one’s whole character, as regards the social relations of life, where a leading member of a family has plunged over head and ears into it. The former geniality, however great it may have been, disappears. The party, indeed, is no longer, as regards what is called amiability of manners, the same as before. It is a curious fact that a generous, open, agreeable Darbyite is very rarely to be met with. Plymouth Brethrenism changes the most kind, courteous, and winning manners into the opposite. And this is the case even where the family previously lived in perfect Christian harmony and happiness. I can testify from personal knowledge to an illustrative case of this kind which took place not, long ago. A gentleman of high rank in the army lived for years in as great happiness with his wife as perhaps any husband ever did. They were both eminent Christians. In an evil hour, the wife, one of the most amiable of women, fell into the hands of a Plymouth Sister, and the result of the intercourse was, that in a few weeks she became a thorough proselyte to Darbyism. The very firstfruit of her ‘conversion’ was her refusal to join in social worship with her husband and the other members of the family. Nor did the consequences of this lady’s ‘conversion’ to Darbyism end even there. She would no longer even kneel with her husband alone in prayer before retiring to rest—a practice which they never omitted from the day of their marriage until the unhappy hour in which she was entangled in the meshes of Brethrenism. None but a truly godly man can form any conception of the misery of which this change in the opinions, the feelings, and the conduct of this lady, proved productive in a formerly happy household.

“Another illustration of the estrangement which Brethrenism causes in families, consisting with my own personal knowledge, presents itself at this moment to my mind. A Plymouth Sister, whose family do not share her views, cannot help expressing her dissent from any and every act of worship in the family. She even turns away her face when the head of the house asks the divine blessing on the meals of which they are all about to partake. Is not this sad? Does it not display a lamentable state of feeling on the part of the individual, and gives a deplorable view of the denominational system that could produce it.

“I am also acquainted personally with another case, in which it happened that a mother and daughter had adopted the opposite views on Brethrenism. The result was, that the two would not sit down together at the same Lord’s-table. What an unhappy condition it must have been, for each to be living together in this state of antagonism in relation to religious matters!”

 

1 From “The Religious Tendencies of the Times.” By James Grant. W. Macintosh.

2 This party differs as much from the Darbyites as the day from the night. We do not admire their peculiarities, but they are usually a fraternal, evangelistic race, with whom communion is not difficult, for their spirit is far removed from the ferocity of Darbyism.

 

4 – God’s Word vs Scofield’s Notes

 

God is the author of the Bible! By means of inspiring the men who wrote the Scriptures He preserved what He wanted to preserve for our sake.

 

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

 

C. I. Scofield’s legacy is known worldwide because of the notes. The suppositions created from them based on his private interpretation as well as those from whom he acquired counsel is paramount to the reason the pretrib theory continues to this day. His legacy is one of deceit that has been: covered up by his partners in crime, lauded by some of those contemporary with him who were also ignorant of his true character, and denied by those since who have placed him on such a high pedestal no one dare question his error. Many wonderful, unsuspecting people have been successfully indoctrinated into believing he has rightly divided God’s word. These same people do not realize they are following an unrepentant forger, and divorcee who abandoned his wife and children.

Though the context of 1 Timothy 5:1-15 speaks to the proper care of widows, I believe verse 8 (following) would be the general consensus of us all when it comes to the care of our families.

 

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

 

Well before his Bible came into print, and after his alleged conversion in 1879, evidence appears to show Scofield never repented, but instead went to great lengths to cover up (among other things) the fact he was a divorced man with children to whom he occasionally sent a pittance while he grew in popularity and in wealth. If Scofield’s divorce and abandonment of his family had been discovered, he would have been immediately disqualified as a spiritual authority of any kind. The divorce decree dated December 6, 1883 stated, “…the Court does find that the defendant has been guilty of willful abandonment of the plaintiff for more than one year prior to the commencement of this action.”

To this day in fundamental churches, even if a divorced man had repented and proven himself to be a changed man, he would not be allowed a pastorate. It has been many years since the truth of Scofield’s life has come to light. This begs the question, why has Mr. Scofield been allowed a pass for so long? Wouldn’t he in today’s vernacular be labeled a deadbeat dad? Even now, so many years later the evidence is undeniable, yet the truth is denied, the exposers of the deception are scorned and Scofield has continued to be praised as a great and godly man. No one, regardless of how highly esteemed they are, is above the status of accountability.

 

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

Being as the Bereans means to thoroughly study if these things are so (in this case, pretrib teachings), and if found to be questionable, we should look more closely at the author and or propagator. Many generations have staunchly taken up Scofield’s defense unwilling to see the proof for fear the pedestal they raised him up on would come crashing down. The well documented personal history tells a great deal about: his character, his hypocrisy, deceit, and the life long effort made to cover up his indiscretions, etc. Darby was not successful in pushing his belief of dispensationalism and eventual belief in pretrib, so Scofield and his wealthy underwriters stepped in and incorporated it into the notes of his Bible. Though it was not his first choice, he followed the advice of his publisher at Oxford University Press, and chose the King James Version for the best avenue in selling his Bible and receiving the highest profit from it.

Thankfully, God’s word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11) regardless of how man misuses it, but the ends will never justify the means.

If Scofield’s personal life, before and after his alleged conversion, was known his notes would not have been given a second look let alone be allowed to occupy the same space as the Scriptures. Nor would he have been hailed today as a great and mighty man of God. If you take the time to read about the real life of C. I. Scofield, you may find yourself asking, how can a man with that kind of unrepentant reputation his entire life be given a pass while others who have repented of far less in their lifetime are looked on with scorn and forced to step down? The following is the true historical biography of C. I. Scofield.

 

[The following is taken from J. M. Canfield’s book The Incredible Scofield, condensed by Emma Moore Weston. A partial list of Canfield’s vast resources vindicating his thorough research is at the end of this article.]

 

In 1833, Elias and Abigail Scofield moved to Lenawee County, Michigan to help her father operate a sawmill on the Raisin River. Their home was on a cleared farm along the river.

They had four daughters from three to seventeen years of age. Their last child, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, was born August 19, 1843. His mother died three months later. Not long after, Elias married again.

The older sisters soon married. Emeline married Sylvester V. Papin, from a prominent French family of St. Louis, March 19, 1850. He was a law student and became a clerk in the City Assessor’s office and later became head of the department. In 1855, Laura married a young dentist, William Eames. They moved to Lebanon, Tennessee. Cyrus’s sister, Victorine, was listed in the 1860 Census in Tennessee, as living with Laura and William.

Cyrus was not listed in the census records in either state. By April 1861, when Fort Sumter was fired upon, Cyrus was visiting his sisters in Tennessee. He never returned to Michigan.

Though not yet eighteen, Cyrus gave his age as twenty-one and enlisted in the Seventh Regiment of the Tennessee Infantry. In April 1862, he was listed as a patient in a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. There was no mention of a wound, so he may have become ill.

In July, he wrote to the Confederate Secretary of War asking for exemption from further duty stating that he was a minor and a citizen of Michigan. He also claimed that he had been visiting his sister in Tennessee when he enlisted, that he had never voted in the South and that his health was broken by exposure and battle fatigue. He promised that in a short time he would enter the militia in Tennessee.

On September 5, 1862, Cyrus was with the Tennessee Regiment when they crossed the Potomac during heavy fighting. A discharge was issued for Private Scofield in 1862 after one year of service. There is no definite record of where he was for the next four years.

Among the refugees forced out of the South by the war were the Lames family and Victorine Scofield. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1863 where Sylvester Papin helped Lames open a dentistry office. Victorine married and settled there so that was also the place Cyrus settled. Sylvester placed Cyrus in his office in the Assessor’s Department and directed his training in law.

While working in this office, Cyrus studied to become familiar with the law regarding land grants, titles, and deeds. He got his law education on the job rather than in school. His name is listed in connection with a case in Circuit Court of St. Louis County, December term, 1866. This is the first definite date that appears in Cyrus’s life after the Civil War.

There were dinners, dances and parties in the French society and Cyrus met Leontine Cerre, a Catholic society lady. She seemed taken with the dashing young man from Tennessee. Cyrus married her on September 21, 1866 when he was twenty-four. Daughter Abigail was born July 13, 1867. Marie Helene was born in October 1869. The family then moved from St. Louis to Atchison, Kansas.

Kansas politics was viciously crooked at that time and anyone in Kansas politics was suspected of corruption. Cyrus was deeply involved in it. Some of the problems involved his brother-in-law’s interests and squatters being ejected from illegally-occupied land. Cyrus had engaged a lawyer, John J. Ingalls, as legal counsel to serve the family interests. Ingalls later became State Senator and had to be aware of the corruption and bloodshed. Scofield had some sort of law partnership with lngalls who seemed to sponsor him.

In 1871, Cyrus was elected Representative to the Lower House of the Kansas Legislature from the Fourth District for one term. Re-nomination from that District was blocked, so he filed from Nehama County and was elected from the Eighth District. There is no record to show he ever lived there during that period. The Atchison Directory for 1872-73 lists the same addresses as before. In June 1872, Scofield’s first son, Guy Sylvester was born.

Though Ingalls served three terms in the Senate, he was very immoral and had no concern for the truth. He recommended his friend Scofield to President Grant for U.S. District Attorney for the Federal Judicial District of Kansas. Cyrus gave up his seat in the Legislature and took the oath of office on June 8, 1873. This ex-Confederate soldier solemnly swore that he had “never born arms against the United States.”

That was rank perjury. We know he did military service in the South. Evidently in 1873, he was not concerned about perjury. However, a legal conflict of interest brought his term as District Attorney for Kansas to a sudden end in less than six months.

An article on December 14, 1873 in the Daily Times of Leavenworth suggested something was amiss in the D.A.’s office. A case was pending against ex-Senator Pomeroy, and there were hints that Pomeroy paid Cyrus to keep the case from coming to trial.

A later Daily Times item reported that Pomeroy, Scofield and Ingalls were involved in “the most infamous of all infamous political bargains ever transacted in Kansas.” The reporter suggested that Ingalls and Scofield had received pay-offs from railroad officials and settlers in South Kansas. Cyrus resigned on December 20, 1873 and was not involved in politics again.

Now there is another mysterious time in Scofield’s life. Though he was responsible for the support of a family of four, he disappeared for a period of three to five years. One acquaintance said, “Scofield had a bad reputation, and he just skedaddled out of town.” In his story of Scofield’s life, Trumbull gets around this by stating Cyrus did not like the type of life, associates, and activities related to the D.A.’s office.

Leontine Scofield had problems of her own in this period. The son, Guy Sylvester, died in December 1874, a year after Cyrus resigned from the D.A.’s office. In the Atchison City Directory for 1872-73 Cyrus’s residence is still listed there. The St. Louis Directory for 1877 lists “Scofield, Cyrus I., lawyer. Res. 3029 Dickson, St. Louis, Missouri.” This means Cyrus had written Kansas off–along with Leontine.

Mr. Trumbull’s story states that Cyrus returned to St. Louis to practice law. But the publication, The Bench and the Bar of St. Louis County shows no evidence that C. I. Scofield was ever a member of the St. Louis Bar in the nineteenth century. Mr. Trumbull’s story of a successful law practice is in question since the Court Records of St. Louis show that at one point Cyrus badly needed a lawyer of his own.

According to the court records, Cyrus had signed a note for a $200 loan, which was to be repaid within sixty days. The note also bore the alleged signatures of Emeline Papin and C. E Betts. When the borrower tried to collect on the note after sixty days, however, he was unable to locate either Cyrus’s home or office. Between closing date for the 1877 City Directory and August, the “law” office had apparently been closed.

Both Cyrus’s sister Emeline and Betts declined to pay the note. A Sheriff’s Deputy stated that a petition was served to Betts on Sept. 14, 1877, although the other defendants could not be found in St. Louis. Emeline was later served a petition in Webster, Missouri. She claimed, though, that she had never seen nor signed the note and asked to be dismissed from the suit. In preparation for the hearing on March 1, 1878, Emeline’s attorney subpoenaed Charles Bass, a teller at the Boatman’s Bank, to testify on her behalf. After that, Simpson withdrew the action against Cyrus and Emeline, leaving Betts as the sole defendant with $219.30 owed–with the interest still accruing. There is no record of payment.

Scofield must have needed funds badly. On May 28, 1877, he took out a ninety-day note for $900, again with the supposed signature of Emeline Papin. This was case 46333. Again there was no payment. Emeline denied endorsement, and Scofield could not be located. A “successful lawyer” does not “blow town” to avoid a process server. It seems probable that Cyrus forged her name. There was a hearing on May 6, 1879, but the papers noted, “Dismissed on motion of the plaintiff.” There is no evidence that the man involved ever got his $900 or that Cyrus made any effort to pay.

Another case strengthens the belief that Scofield was quite active in forgery. Case 44326 involved another note with Emeline E. Papin’s signature for $250 on June 28, 1877. Emeline admitted later that she knew this note was a forgery. Her testimony on May 10, 1878 read: “Mr. Vollmer came out to the house and handed me a letter… I understood that there was a note due and that my brother was in great danger.” It is hard to know whether she was a willing collaborator or if she was unaware her name was being used. According to the understanding in dispensational circles, Cyrus was by this time in the Kingdom and starting on the road to righteousness.

There is no evidence that Cyrus was a successful lawyer serving a respectable clientele. There were periods unaccounted for in his life at this time. It has been assumed that Leontine decided to leave Cyrus at the time and returned to Atchison. In fact, she had never left Atchison. Cyrus’s role as husband and father had been irregular ever since he entered politics. Without regular employment and income, he wandered. As Trumbull tells it, he led the life of a bachelor.

The charges in the forgery lawsuits were dropped without proper adjudication, suggesting that Scofield’s career was in the hands of someone with greater “clout” than Pomeroy or lngalls had ever known. However, that career meant Leontine, the Catholic wife, had to go. According to the Scripture (1Ti 5:8), a man who does not provide for his own household is worse than an infidel, although that did not appear to phase Cyrus; he never made any effort to clean up the black marks on his record.

The 1912 edition of Who’s Who in America places Scofield’s conversion sometime in 1879, and Trumbull indicates as much in his biography. However, the only definite dates in 1879 tend to raise doubts about what happened and when.

When did the conversion occur? Scofield says he was converted at the age of thirty-six, and it has been assumed the event did take place sometime before D. L. Moody’s 1879-80 Evangelistic Campaign. This places the conversion sometime after his thirty-sixth birthday on August 19, 1879 and before the first meeting of Moody’s ministers in St. Louis on November 25, 1879. As late as November 6, though, Cyrus was still involved with a forgery charge, and that case’s records do not agree with the picture of a new convert trying to right matters of the past. Of course, God forgives the past and changes a man into a new creature if he is really born again (2 Co 5:17), but one expects to see a change of behavior. The details of Cyrus’s conversion are not supported by public records, so we do not know the whole truth about the conversion of a man who has profoundly influenced the church.

As the forgery cases were being dismissed with unseemly haste and without fair settlement, Cyrus entered his new role as a worker at the Moody meetings. Of course, until 1879, Cyrus was close to illiterate in things Christian, so it is unclear what role he could have played in Moody’s campaign.

Scofield’s Christian service was sponsored by Reverend James Brookes, the pastor of St. Louis’s Walnut Street Presbyterian Church. As Scofield’s ideas on prophecy began to take shape, they were sparked by the teachings of his sponsor who was in turn influenced by John Nelson Darby. About 1850, Darby began publishing his dispensationalist writings in Europe, and from 1862 to 1877, he made seven lecture trips to America and Canada to promote his teachings. Brookes’s views of a failing church were also influenced by other theologians who wanted the same prophetic view taught and accepted.

Remarkably, with such limited theological background and training, as well as little real scholarship, Scofield was able to profoundly alter Christian theology. Indeed, the shape of fundamentalism, which has claimed to be Orthodox Christianity, has been determined by the influence of dubious characters like Scofield.

During this time, Friedrich A. Tholluck was teaching something more apostolic. In his study, Light From The Cross, he states his belief in a triumphant church prevailing on earth against Satan (Moody Press, Chicago, 1852.) He places the “Great Tribulation” in A. D. 70, rather than modern doomsday prophecies which foresee freeways littered with driver-less cars. The failure of Tholluck’s views to remain prevalent in this country is largely due to the activities of Darby, Brookes and Scofield.

While involved in Moody’s campaign, which remained in St. Louis until April 1880, Cyrus avoided the reality of securing an income for himself or support for his family left in Atchison, Kansas. He paid his room rent, but sent very minimal amounts of money to his wife, and only occasionally.

After the Moody meetings, Cyrus became Acting Secretary of the St. Louis Y.M.C.A. in August 1880. If he still had a law practice, it did not intrude on his Y.M.C.A. duties.

In July 1880, Cyrus joined the Pilgrim Congregational Church of St. Louis. Rev. D.C. Goodell, the pastor, was a personal friend of Brookes and apparently agreed with Brookes’s views on prophecy. The church issued Scofield a license to preach. He organized and pastored the Hyde Park Congregational Church of St. Louis, where he continued until the summer of 1882. Then someone suggested that he might be the man to fill a vacancy in their Dallas, Texas church.

On July 28, 1881, about the time Cyrus was licensed, Leontine Scofield had divorce papers drawn up, although case number 2161 was not filed until December 9, 1881. Leontine charged that Cyrus had absented himself, abandoned the family, and neglected his duties. Further, she charged that he had failed to contribute to the family’s economic well-being. Scofield denied each and every allegation. The Court issued a decree for Leontine, but somehow the divorce never became final. In March 1882, Cyrus’s lawyer requested a dismissal, which was granted. The case remained in limbo.

Cyrus never disclosed that he had a wife to his congregation; in fact, he gave them the impression that he was a bachelor. In 1883, Leontine became a librarian at the Atchison Public Library. On October 1, 1883, she filed a second divorce petition, and on December 8, 1883 the divorce was granted. Divorce papers deemed Cyrus unfit for custody of the children.

It is assumed that the character of a candidate for a pastorate would be carefully evaluated. No such evaluation could have been made by the church in Dallas, Texas. Converted for less than four years at the time, Cyrus had no theological training and limited formal schooling. He had been admitted to the Bar in Kansas, but had abused that privilege. He was separated from his Catholic wife and family without the benefit of a divorce.

Scofield had received a fair amount of publicity during his political life in Kansas. His sudden disappearance at the beginning of 1874 left editors wondering. The contrast between the politician of 1873, the scalawag of 1874, and the minister of 1881 was too profound to ignore. So we find a Scofield story in the Atchison Patriot that was picked up by the Topeka paper, August 27, 1881. It follows, with the journalist’s misspelling of Scofield’s name intact:

 

CYRUS I. SCHOFIELD [sic] IN THE ROLE

OF A CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER

 

“CYRUS I. SCHOFIELD [sic], formerly of Kansas, late lawyer, politician and shyster generally has come to the surface again, and promises once more to gather around himself that halo of notoriety that has made him so prominent in the past. The last personal knowledge Kansans have had of this peer among scalawags was when about four years ago, after a series of forgeries and confidence games, he left the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada. For a time he kept undercover; nothing being heard of him until within the past two years when he turned up in St. Louis, where he had a wealthy widowed sister living who has generally come to the front and squared up Cyrus’s little follies and foibles by paying good round sums of money. Within the past year, however, Cyrus committed a series of St. Louis forgeries that could not be settled so easily, and the erratic young man was compelled to linger in the St. Louis jail for a period of six months.

“Among the many malicious acts that characterized his career was one peculiarly atrocious that has come under our personal notice. Shortly after he left Kansas, leaving his wife and two children dependent upon the bounty of his wife’s mother, he wrote his wife that he could invest some $1,300 of her mother’s money, all she had, in a manner that would return big interest. After some correspondence, he forwarded them a mortgage, signed and executed by one Charles Best, purporting to convey valuable property in St. Louis. Upon this, the money was sent to him. Afterwards the mortgages were found to be base forgeries, no such person as Charles Best being in existence, and the property conveyed in the mortgage fictitious.

“In the latter part of his confinement, Schofield, under the administration of certain influences, became converted, or professedly so. After this change of heart, his wealthy sister came forward and paid his way out by settling the forgeries, and the next we hear of him he is ordained as a minister of the Congregational Church, and under the chaperonage of Rev. Goodell, one of the most celebrated divines of St. Louis. He causes a decided sensation.

“It was known that Schofield was separated from his wife, but he had said that the incompatibility of his wife’s temper and her religious zeal in the Catholic Church was such that he could not possibly live with her.

“A representative of “The Patriot” met Mrs. Schofield today, and that little lady denies, as absurd, such stories. There were never any domestic clouds in their homes. They always lived harmoniously. As to her religion, she was no more zealous than any other church member. She attended service on the sabbath and tried to live as becomes a Christian woman and mother. It was the first time she had ever heard the objection raised by him. As to supporting herself and children, he had done nothing. ‘Once in a great while, say every few months, he sends the children about $5, never more. I am employed with A. L. Gignac and Co. and work for their support and mine. As soon as Mr. Schofield settles something on the children to aid me in supporting them and giving them an education, I will gladly give him the liberty he desires. I care not who he marries, or when, but I do want him to aid me in giving our little daughters the support and education they should have.'”

 

If the Dallas church officials had read the newspapers there might have been a different outcome to this story. The Scripture says, “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (1Ti 3:7.)

Cyrus had a terrible report with the public but was on his way to take a pastorate. He seemed to arrive in Dallas with little luggage. New books came regularly and were used in preparing sermons. If Scofield began “cramming” for ordination as early as April 1882, either Goodell with Brookes’s assistance, was doing a “snow job” among the Congregationalists or else someone not yet discovered had chosen Scofield for a ministerial role, as a step to something else.

On his first full day in Dallas, he spoke twice to small crowds. After one year, the membership was up to seventy-five, including, as new attendants, the VanWark family. Hettie VanWark and her sister joined in December 1883. Cyrus began paying attention to Hettie. Their marriage certificate is dated March 11, 1884, but Cyrus gave the date as July 14, 1884.

Scofield started cottage prayer meetings that were popular and added members to the church. His call as pastor for a one year term came October 22, 1882. In June 1883, his salary was set at $1,500 a year. His ordination to the ministry in October 1883 was conducted while he was a defendant in the second divorce proceeding, which became final in December 1883.

His ordination statement, read in part: “I hold that such faith is always accompanied by that sincere repentance which involves a change of mind toward God, and in respect of the guilt of sin.” His “repentance,” however, did not include restitution to the men involved in the forgery cases or making up for the neglect of his family.

God seemed to bless Cyrus as his church grew numerically. After four years, the church was able to assume its own support. The American Home Missionary Society offered Cyrus the position of Superintendent for Louisiana and Texas. He accepted and served for many years. It meant that he would be absent from July to October to minister at Bible conferences. He also taught classes at the Y.M.C.A. and training classes for ministerial students.

By 1888, the church had 250 more members and built a new church. Hettie was pregnant then and their son, Noel Paul, was born December 22, 1888.

A Southern Baptist minister, J. R. Graves, published a book, The Work of Christ Consummated in Seven Dispensations in 1883. It has a dispensational scheme quite similar to the one which Cyrus used later in the Scofield Reference Bible. Of course, both were similar to the writings and lectures of J. N. Darby of a few years earlier. This work of Graves was circulated in Scofield’s area. Judging from his later dispensationalism, Darby, Graves, Trotter and Kelly must have contributed a great deal.

In 1888, Scofield printed Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth to teach his classes the dispensational view. In 1856, a godly Scot named Patrick Fairbairn wrote a scripturally-based refutation of the whole dispensational business. Unfortunately, Scofield was not enlightened on the matter. The Dallas church agreed to lengthy vacation periods so Cyrus could minister wherever called, carry on the Home Missionary Society work and speak at conferences. They wanted to keep him as their pastor, so they willingly let others fill in for the five months of the year during his absence. These Bible conferences were to reshape a significant part of American Protestantism.

During this time, Scofield was the head of Southwestern School of the Bible in Dallas, the forerunner of the Dallas Theological Seminary. This school is now a major center for spreading Scofield’s views.

The heart of Scofield’s system is the teaching of prophecy that proponents claim restores “lost truth,” which has been lost since the early days of the church. These were actually the heresies lost since Cerinthus in the first century and Ribera in the sixteenth century. Darby’s dispensational schemes were promoted at Bible conferences, particularly the ones at Niagara Falls. The leadership was in the hands of James H. Brookes until his death in 1897. Later, A. C. Gaebelein took the lead but was unable to keep it going. There was “rupture over the rapture” as differing views were held.

As one early writer said, “There is not a Bible teacher or anyone else living in the world today, who has found a secret rapture in the Bible by his own independent study of the Bible itself. These teachers come to the Bible with cut and dried theories which they have learned elsewhere, and twist and torture texts to fit the theory.”

This Scofield teaching is concerned with a literal Jewish kingdom to last for a millennium. It was first brought into the early church by some Jews who still could not give up the hope taught to them by the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible does not teach it, and the disciples who had been taught it, rejected it after Pentecost. Jesus warned about it in Mt 16:6-12. Scofield’s work was calculated to promote certain ideas. We must ask ourselves if Jesus ever offered or announced himself as an earthly King or claimed David’s throne? Had he ever in any way suggested he was going to set up an earthly kingdom? He said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (Jn 18:36.) They could not prove him guilty before Pilate of any offense against Rome.

Philip Mauro, author of numerous books on prophecy in the 1940s, has pointed out that in the New Testament the kingdom is mentioned 139 times. But Scofield avoids comment on 118 of them because they will not sustain the postponed kingdom theory.

In 1890, Scofield started a Bible Correspondence Course which he directed until 1914 when it was taken over by the Moody Bible Institute. Tens of thousands of students scattered over the world were indoctrinated with his dispensational ideas.

Dwight L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts and in his later years made his home base there. In 1895, Moody’s home church called Scofield to be its pastor for a year which meant Cyrus had to leave Dallas and sever connections with the Missionary Society.

In January 1896, Cyrus submitted his final report for his ministry in Dallas reviewing his fourteen years there. Membership had grown from 14 to 812. The active membership was 533. He sent the report from Northfield, where he was already at work. He arrived there early in 1896, but there was no mention of Hettie or son Noel.

At the end of the year, the Dallas Church called for him to return at a salary of $2,400 a year with two months annual leave. He declined the offer as two months would not be enough time for his wider ministry. He suggested that they seek another pastor and moved his membership to the Northfield church.

In April 1897, Cyrus received word that Dr. James Brookes had died. Later Scofield wrote of him, “My own personal obligations to him are beyond words. He sought me in the first days of the Christian life and was my friend and first teacher in the oracles of God.”

Moody also established the Northfield Summer Conferences for Scripture searching and heart searching. These continued for many years. Robert Scott of Morgan and Scott, a British publishing house linked with the Plymouth Brethren, met Scofield there. That played a role in Cyrus’s later life.

Friends raised money in 1898 to build a chapel on the Northfield campus for Moody’s sixtieth birthday. It was finished in 1899, shortly before Moody died. The chapel was organized as a church in November 1899 and held its first service. Cyrus Scofield was called as pastor. He remained there three more years.

In 1901, several men wanted to revive the Niagara Conferences. A[n] estate was made available at Sea Cliff on Long Island. Arno Gaebelein was at one of the first conferences. Cyrus took leave of his church in Northfield. He reported later that he and Gaebelein walked on the shore until midnight, and Cyrus told him of his plan to produce a reference Bible.

At this time, Scofield purchased eight and a quarter acres of land in the village of Ashuelot, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. He was eager to erect a building on it.

In 1901, Scofield was admitted to membership in the Lotos Club in New York City. This is an exclusive club founded by prominent New Yorkers such as Whitelaw Reid of the N.Y. Tribune and Samuel Untermeyer, the notorious criminal lawyer. Untermeyer was on the Club’s Literary Committee when Scofield’s application was presented. “The club was to promote social intercourse among journalists, artists and members of musical and dramatic professions and representatives, amateurs, and friends of literature, science and the fine arts. At least one third of the members shall be connected with said classes.” Someone must have thought Cyrus could qualify in the literary category. Scofield’s “postponed kingdom” teaching was most helpful in getting Fundamental Christians to back the international interest in the Zionist movement.

Scofield kept up his Club membership until his death. The selection of Scofield for admission to the Lotos Club strengthens the suspicion that someone was directing his career by concerns remote from fidelity to the truth of Jesus Christ.

Because Cyrus was in poor health, he resigned from the Northfield pastorate. By early February 1903, he had settled affairs in Northfield and returned to take up his duties in Dallas. He still covered his summer circuit. Later that year, he realized he must either give up the church or the work on the Bible.

By early 1904, a trip to Europe was planned for research. (No mention is made of Noel on this trip that lasted nine months.) As Trumbull describes it, research there was presumably necessary for a full rounded understanding of all view points.

Mr. Scott, the Morgan and Scott publisher who first met Scofield at Northfield, took the Scofields to his home near Dorking. As Trumbull reports the story, the men discussed a publisher. Mr. Scott took Cyrus to see McHenry Frowde, head of the Oxford Bible Publishing House of Great Britain. He was interested and said he would consult Mr. Armstrong, head of the American Branch of Oxford University Press. And so it happened that the great publishing house of the English speaking world would publish the Scofield Bible.

After about two months in England, the Scofields went to Switzerland, settling at Montreux where Cyrus planned to work on the Bible. However, he was sick and unable to work for four months. Either Scofield or Trumbull slipped up on the story, though, for two pages later Trumbull reports that Scofield spent nine months at Montreux in uninterrupted labor. Gaebelein states that this illness was in 1906, although other sources have Cyrus in Michigan at that time.

Scofield had a supply of large page, wide margin notebooks purchased for the Bible work. While Cyrus was sick, Hettie cut up an entire Bible and pasted it page by page in the notebooks. Later, Cyrus put his notes beside the text.

Before that time, though, the Scofields returned to Dallas because of lack of funds. It was 1905. The church still wanted him for its pastor, but it needed more attention than he could give and work on his notes. The church called Reverend Irving Carrott as associate pastor at a salary of $1,500 yearly and retained Scofield as pastor with a salary of $1,000 a year. That hardly seems enough to support a family and pay his Lotos Club dues. In January 1906, though, the church raised the salary to $3,000 a year, and gave him his freedom to travel.

Cyrus became ill again and went to a sanitarium in Clifton Springs, New York to gain strength and to work on his notes. It appears that they went by way of New York for he wrote to Gaebelein on Lotos Club stationery dated 2 Sept. 1905: “By all means follow your own views of prophetic analysis. I sit at your feet when it comes to prophecy and congratulate in advance the future readers of my Bible on having in their hands a safe, clear, sane guide through what to most is a labyrinth.” Many believe Gaebelein had much to do with the shaping of Scofield’s dispensational prophetic views.

Miss Ella Pohle, who had helped with the Bible Correspondence Course, joined the Scofields to help with the work for the next year. By May 1906, the three went to New York City with the notebooks. While Cyrus stayed at the Lotos Club, Hettie and Ella stayed some place where work was continued on cross references. Later in May, they moved to New Hampshire to the Crestwood Camp where they stayed in tents–one large one for living and a smaller tent for working.

Scofield’s biographers do not agree on this period. Gaebelein has Cyrus going to Europe in 1904 for two years, falling ill in Montreux for four months in 1906 and arriving back in New York on May 27, 1906.

He supports this by a letter dated May 27, 1906 from Crestwood Camp. If that letter is valid, ship arrivals should show one which fits the travel story. Of the eleven ships arriving that day, none fit the story.

The Bible work continued through 1906, and Cyrus was in constant contact by mail with his seven consulting editors: Arno C. Gaebelein, Henry G. Weston, James M. Gray, Arthur T. Pierson, W. G. Moorhead, William Erdman and Elmore Harris.

In September 1906, Scofield wrote to the Dallas church of his need to go to London for more study. Again the notebooks went to Europe with the Scofields. Once more the biographers are mixed up. Trumbull states that the Scofields stayed in Europe for two years, but this conflicts with church records. Trumbull writes, “The treasures of the Oxford libraries were fully at the disposal of the man who was making himself a Bible scholar by mastering the Bible scholarship of the world…He covered the whole field of such scholarships whether friendly or unfriendly–to the Bible.” (To cover the whole field is patently impossible in the time available.) He did not give a lifetime to study as real scholars have done.

There are so many discrepancies in the stories of this trip, which brings up the suspicion that the trips were for effect and publicity. Finally, in less than one year, the Scofields were back at Crestwood Camp and were again joined by Ella Pohle. The manuscript boxes were stored in a small workshop and the work was done in a small tent. A fire burned the living quarters, but the work tent and shed and all the notebooks were unharmed.

In June, they left Ashuelot and went to Lake Orion, Michigan to do the work. En route, Cyrus went via New York and, on June 5, 1907, signed the contract with the Oxford University Press for publication of the Scofield Reference Bible. It was officially published on January 15, 1909.

Harry Ironside, a dispensationalist and pastor of Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, said, “Alas, how ready are well-meaning people to put the ministry of human teachers in the place of the Holy Scriptures and almost unconsciously begin ‘teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’ never realizing his indictment could be applied to the very system he spent his life defending and propagating.”

One wonders why Scofield’s work took seven years. His ideas had been formulated (or handed to him) early in his ministry. His teaching and correspondence course had followed along the same lines. The Plymouth Brethren, his spiritual forebears, had extensively published Darby’s writings, which he could have culled.

Trumbull said, “Scofield was concerned to find and state exactly what the Bible itself had to say on any and every point.” But there are gaping omissions. Scofield does not comment on verses dealing with divorce, family responsibilities and breaches of moral and/or civil law:

 

His own litany of such breaches:

1873 –false oath of office

1874 –taking bribes

1874 –failure to provide for family

1877 –fraud and forgery

1879 –failure to pay notes

1883 –divorce

1909 –adding to the Word of God

 

When Scofield received a request from Chicago’s Marquis Publishing Co. for information for an entry in Who’s Who in America. Vol. 7, Cyrus filled it in and returned it. In this 1912 entry, year 1912, we note the following on page 1850:

A. Misstatements or inaccuracies

1. Reared in Wilson Co., Tenn.: no contact before 1858

2. University studies interrupted: no evidence

3. Served in Confederate Army to end of war: discharged 1862

4. Decorated for valor: utterly false

5. Wedding day, July 14, 1884: correct dates are Sep. 21, 1866, and March 11, 1884. Certificates available.

 

B. Omissions

1. Wife: Leontine

2. Children: Abigail, Marie Helene, Guy Sylvester

3. The divorce proceedings of 1882-83.

C. Items omitted but circulated in areas of his ministry

1. Story of birth in Tennessee

2. Existence of son, Noel

3. The law practice in St. Louis, Missouri

 

Some readers may feel that too much has been made of discrepancies in Scofield’s stories. Some could have been through carelessness or misunderstanding, but that is not possible with this entry in Who’s Who. The story of the law practice has no support in official records. It seems that whoever prepared this data was very selective and calculated the deception. Can the system be credible if its “patriarch” uses calculated falsehood?

In Trumbull’s biography there are 38 errors in 130 pages. Some could be caused by careless editing or condensation, but there are discrepancies for which the most ready explanation is deliberate fabrication. If Scofield appeared to have a clear mind and memory in 1919, then he must be responsible for being inaccurate. What Trumbull related may be what Scofield wanted known. Trumbull, with Scofield’s assistance, used a pitchfork to do a cover up.

The Scofields moved to Douglaston, in the borough of Queens, N.Y. His only guaranteed income was $600 yearly from Dallas. How did they live, keep a son in school, buy a home, and keep up the dues in the Lotos Club? Scofield and others organized the Community Church of Douglaston. The first meeting was held May 2, 1915 in a store on Main Street leased for services. Their first social affair was a reception honoring Dr. and Mrs. Scofield on February 9, 1916, when he was seventy-three years old.

In 1917, Oxford University Press published a revised edition of the Scofield Reference Bible. The 1909 edition disappeared, and the most widely circulated issue is the one revised in 1917. The greatest change was in placing a date on each page of the text.

Scofield and Charles Trumbull met at the Southfield Bible Conference in Crescent City, Florida and were photographed together. In the winter of 1919, the two met for several days at a home that was made available to Cyrus at Crescent City. Trumbull stayed a while to interview Scofield to get material for a series of articles for the S. S. Times that appeared between May and September that year.

In 1920, the Oxford University Press issued the articles in the book, The Life Story of C. I. Scofield. These books seem to be almost unobtainable today. Trumbull was a competent and experienced journalist, but this writing differs from other writing that bears his name because of inaccuracies. The facts he wrote down do not agree with official public records.

Cyrus last attended service at the Douglaston church on May 22, 1921. In July, one month before his seventy-eighth birthday, the fierce heat of summer distressed him, and there were hours of intense suffering. The family realized recovery was impossible. He was unconscious for two days before the intense pain passed and he fell asleep for good. He passed away at 11:00 A.M. on July 24, 1921 as church bells were ringing. Cause of death: cardio vascular renal disease.

The funeral was on Wednesday, July 27 at the First Baptist Church in nearby Flushing. Several ministers spoke and praised the life and work of Cyrus I. Scofield. He was buried at Flushing.

The Scofield will, drawn up in May, was presented for probate in Queens County on August 2, 1921. Cyrus noted he had provided good and comfortable homes for his wife and son. The entire estate, estimated at $23,004, was left to Hettie and Noel. There was no mention of his first family.

Value judgments are unpopular, but we have a statement from Scofield himself that offers its own judgment: “Character is what we are. Conduct is what we do. Reputation is what is said about us. Character is what we are. A bad man does not habitually do good actions, or a good man habitually do evil actions. We all know these things.”

The most reasonable interpretation of the work of Scofield is that it is neither honest nor valid. As such, it should have the whistle blown, for it is properly outside the line of valid Christianity. It seems many evangelicals are trying to disengage themselves from what now appears to be a tottering wreck, a wreck erected by Darby, Arno Gaebelein and C. I. Scofield. The Scofield Reference Bible did, and is doing, a great disservice to the Kingdom of God.

Thorough research was begun in 1984 by Joseph M. Canfield to compile his book, The Incredible Scofield. His information was gleaned from many sources. Genealogical data was supplied by Ruth Scofield Kennedy from a branch of the Scofield clan.

 

Other records come from:

University of Michigan Historical Society.

Episcopal Historical Society.

Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.

Kansas Historical Society.

U.S. Department of Justice, National Archives.

U.S. Census for Michigan 1869, Lenawee County.

U.S. Census for Tennessee, Wilson County.

Confederate Research Center.

 

City Directories, court records, newspaper articles of the period, both American and British, ship sailings, etc. Information was obtained from the papers of Emeline Papin’s Estate, Cyrus’ sister, on file in St. Louis County Courthouse, Clayton, Missouri. Some facts were gleaned from Laura Scofield Lames, another sister, St. Louis Directory, 1877, public libraries, and many other sources too numerous to mention.

 

 

What I learned from my own study of Scofield’s Notes

 

This set of C. I. Scofield’s notes is taken primarily from Revelation chapter 7. In them one can find the entire rapture/tribulation theory. Although Scofield refers to various specific points about this subject throughout his notes, it is here that the whole eisegesic, privately interpreted picture is shown.

The indented passages are directly from his notes, followed by my commentary and Scriptural opposition to his interpretation. Blue indicates some of the key points about this theory. I refer to those who believe in the rapture/tribulation as “Rapturists”, simply as an identifier. (All emphasis is mine.)

 

Pg 1337: Revelation Chapter 7 (Scofield’s pocket size study Bible)

 

1tribulation (7:14) The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from Ps. 2:5 to Rev. 7:14 and described in Rev. 11-18.

 

There are no predictions alluding to a rapture, or seven-year tribulation at the end of this age or any other age in any verse in God’s word! ALL verses referring to Christ’s return are speaking to his Second Coming at the end of the world. Scofield made great use of proof-texting and planting presuppositions within his notes.

 

Now, the verses to which he refers. Revelation 7:14 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The word “the” does not appear before the words “great tribulation.” Scofield causes the reader to proof-text, that is, read into this verse by inserting “the” before “great tribulation” when he again quotes the reference Rev. 7:14 later in his notes and assigns a three-and-a-half-year period to it. Psalms 2:5 “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” This Psalm of David IS speaking of wrath in the future—their future, as indicated by the last three verses (10-12) of the chapter. 10 “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” David is basically issuing a warning to the kings; be wise now to avoid wrath later. The only way Scofield can claim the three-and-a-half years is to proof-text and join verses together through that process.

 

Involving in a measure the whole earth (Rev. 3:10), it is yet distinctively “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

 

His statement here is in complete error! Rev. 3:10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This verse is one of John’s letters to the seven churches, specifically, the church at Philadelphia. It has nothing to do with “the great tribulation”, or “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” John was not telling the people there may be a rapture in their lifetime, which Scofield and Rapturists believe “the hour of temptation” is. In my old Bible which still has all the cross references before the newer versions were stripped of so many, there are three for Rev. 3:10. They are: 2 Peter 2:9; Luke 2:1; Isaiah 24:17. Scofield, not God’s word, connected Rev. 3:10 with Jer. 30:7. If there is any connection to Jer. 30:7 it is as 2 Pet. and Rev., that God will deliver the godly out of temptation, or in these verses translated trial. The other two references are simply noted for similar wording.

“All the world” does not necessarily mean literally the whole world as we know it. For that time, as in Luke 2:1, all the world was all the people under Caesar Augustus’ rule. The only future wrath involving literally the whole world is the consummation—the end of the world at Jesus’ Second Coming. All other mentions of wrath are for specific times and events at the Lord’s sole discretion that does not involve the whole world. ALL references Scofield uses in attempt to prove the rapture and tribulation are cleverly separated with his interpretation read into them to make it seem as if there are two appearances—two more comings by Jesus. God’s word specifically tells us of two Advents (using this word in connection to Jesus’ appearance). The first is completed, the second is yet to come. If there was a third, it is probable that it too would be specifically mentioned. Scofield’s interpretation allows for three appearances, which by the rules of logic means three Advents. I have yet to find three Advents mentioned in God’s word, how about you?

Scofield’s interpretation of Jer. 30:7 is why those who believe in the rapture believe they will be taken out of this world before any real persecution is poured out. Scofield has done such a masterful job of twisting God’s word that if it weren’t for God’s promise that HIS word would not return unto Him void, everyone would be in an unrelenting state of blindness, whose leader (Scofield) is not only blind, but deceased which has seemingly earned him a loyalty and devotion that can’t be explained. Jer. 30:7 “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Again, this is for that time only. It has long since been fulfilled, but Scofield has singled out these verses, and applied a type—a parallel future prophecy to them. None of the verses he quotes above cross reference each other—it is only because of his private interpretation that they connect.

 

It involves the people of God who will have returned to Palestine in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27, note; Rev. 11:2, 3).

 

This first statement refers to the scattered Jews returning to Israel. That was fulfilled after the captivity. It does not refer to 1948, when Israel was officially made a nation again. Scofield died before 1948, so it is his groomed readers who applied that event to the words based on his erroneous dual prophecy foundation. Scofield, not scripture, says “the great tribulation” is the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week. Notice he refers to HIS note in the Daniel reference for the explanation of the verses; this he does throughout his notes 450 times (I counted every one of them) in order to reinforce presuppositions in the reader’s mind. This is known as self-plagiarizing.

 

The elements of the tribulation are: (1) The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1), who, at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have reestablished the temple worship, Dan. 9:27), and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God (Mt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4).

 

Dan. 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Tell me, where in this verse does it say, temple worship is reestablished? The sacrifice and oblation were still in practice at the time of Daniel, but ceased when Jesus died on the cross. Scofield took it upon himself to create a future event, namely a third temple being built and the temple worship being reestablished. Then he turned it into a future prophecy for our time. There will be more on Dan. 9:24-27 in chapter 6 “The Simplicity of Daniel”. Matt. 24:15 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matt. 24:15 has a cross reference to Dan. 9:27 because Daniel is specifically mentioned and that is as far as that goes. Scofield takes it further to insinuate that the “abomination that causes desolation” and “stand in the holy place..” is the Antichrist setting himself up in a physical temple, and cross references it to 2 Thess. 2:4 for proof. 2 Thess. 2:4 “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

There are examples throughout God’s word of heathen kings trying to exalt themselves in this way, but the ultimate Antichrist setting himself up in the temple (the church; the hearts of individuals) is Satan.

 

(2) The active interposition of Satan “having great wrath” (Rev. 12:12), who gives his power to the Beast (Rev. 13:4, 5). (3) The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev. 9:2, 11); and (4) the terrible “bowl” judgments of Rev. 16.

 

The elements of the tribulation in Scofield’s list are in error since “the tribulation/great tribulation” is scripturally nonexistent. When one reads Dan. 9:27 alone, and also in context with the rest of the chapter, the Antichrist breaking a covenant with the Jews, or reestablishing temple worship is nowhere to be found. But again, Scofield does not have the reader read the verses, he has them reading his notes—HIS interpretation of the verses. At least the first 26 verses of Matt. 24 is occurring in A.D. 70 and the abomination is (as recorded by Josephus 6.316-322) “Romans carry standards into the sanctuary at the east gate and sacrifice to them.” Scofield acknowledges the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, but as he does throughout his notes, assigns a dual prophecy to our, or a future generation.

 

The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation. An election out of Israel is seen as sealed for God (Rev. 7:4-8), and, with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles (Rev. 7:9), are said to have come “out of the great tribulation” (Rev. 7:14)

 

I have heard varying opinions on the timing of when a person who misses the rapture can still be saved. 1) Whoever is left has a second chance during the seven years. 2) Of all who are left, only those who do not take the mark will be saved. They may be martyred, but they will go to heaven. 3) Of all who are left, only those who haven’t yet heard the gospel of Christ will still have a chance for salvation. Except for the fact that all of these are unscriptural, they are also in contradiction to the theory itself. At least the theory I was brought up to believe, which is that Jesus won’t be returning at all until there is no one left to be saved.

Scofield connects The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation to the above in an attempt to prove its truth. One has nothing to do with the other. Revelation 7:4-8 is nothing more than a list of the twelve tribes, and twelve thousand out of each totaling 144,000 will be sealed. Verse 9 is a separate scene indicated by “After this…” “After this, I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands” But Scofield doesn’t stop there. He claims the innumerable multitude comes “out of the great tribulation” and cites Rev. 7:14 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came from great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Do you see something missing? Is the word “the” before “great tribulation” in this verse? That one cleverly planted seed within his notes has helped to cultivate one of the most dangerous theories in all of mankind—that being, a false hope for a second chance of salvation.

 

They are not of the priesthood, the church, to which they seem to stand somewhat in the relation of the Levites to the priests under the Mosaic Covenant. The great tribulation is immediately followed by the return of Christ in glory, and the events associated therewith (Mt. 24:29, 30). See “Remnant” (Is. 1:9; Rom. 11:15, note); “Beast” (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 19, 20, note); “Armageddon” (Rev. 16:14; 19:17, note).

 

This, along with the Scofield’s reference in chapter twelve below, absolutely cannot happen. Christ’s return will be once, at the consummation (end) of the world.

 

1kingdom (12:10) The Dispensation of the Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16, refs.) begins with the return of Christ to the earth, runs through the “thousand years” of His earth-rule, and ends when He has delivered up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24, note).

 

2 Sam. 7:16 “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” This verse is in the middle of a vision in which the word of the Lord came to Nathan to tell to David. It is foretelling the eternal establishment of Christ’s kingdom through Jesus, God’s Son, being born in the line of David. It has nothing to do with the future return of Christ. But again, Scofield is not referring the reader to the verse (which he takes out of context) as much as he is to HIS reference note.

This scenario of Jesus ruling on the earth for the thousand years after a rapture, and before his final return cannot happen simply because sin is still in existence. When Jesus was on the cross, he was heard saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken (abandoned) me?” God the Father, being in Heaven could not be in the presence of sin. When Jesus rose from the grave he instructed some who saw him not to touch him for he has not yet ascended into heaven. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and therefore needed to remain spotless. Now that Jesus is ascended into heaven, he, like his Father, cannot be in the direct presence of sin, which means the earth must be cleansed first. That takes place at the harvest—the Second Coming, when the wrath is poured out after the saints are caught up, and the elements are burned with a fervent heat. 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

 

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. [not a rapture] 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

 

Scofield singles out the reference for verse 24, but he directs the reader to see HIS note. It is long in interpretation; it includes more references, some directing the reader to see more of HIS notes; and most of the references are taken out of context to reinforce HIS interpretation. When the verses above are read together, an order of events is clearly seen. (1) Christ ascends to Heaven first (2) then they that are Christ’s at his coming (not the first, or second phase of his coming) (3) then comes the end when he delivers up the kingdom to God the Father (4) then the last enemy (death) is destroyed. If there was to be a rapture and a seven-year tribulation, followed by a thousand-year reign on earth, one would think it would have been included in this list. But notice, it goes straight from “they that are Christ’s at his coming” to “then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God.”

If you haven’t already been tempted to ask, “but what about…?” I’m sure you are by now. But, something you need to know (if you don’t already) and keep in mind as you study God’s word, is that much of the Bible is not chronological, and there is imagery and symbolism which you must learn to discern from the literal, particularly the book of Revelation. I can only encourage you to go back and read God’s word without “notes” and preconceived ideas to see if you interpret the verses the same as Scofield did.

 

5 – Rightly Defining the Truth

 

A very important fact I ask you to keep in mind before you read further: Jesus (the groom) returns for his bride—his whole bride (the church), one time! Ask yourself, when have you ever seen a groom come for part of his bride and return for the rest of her later? Never? Me neither. But that is exactly what Scofield—this theory, convinces you to believe if you take to heart any of what he says as truth.

 

“…I have suffered so much myself by a misplaced confidence in the erudition [knowledge; education; intellect] of writers; I have so often embraced errors which it has cost me more labor to unlearn than to learn;…” Noah Webster [definition in brackets and bold emphasis added by me]

 

Reading into Scripture versus Receiving Understanding from It

 

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” [written by Paul approximately A.D. 52]

 

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” [written by Peter approximately A.D. 63]

 

These are the only two verses that speak of the “day of the Lord” described by the phrase “as a thief in the night” followed by complete destruction. Paul is describing one detail of the Second Advent/Coming, and Peter is describing another, but they are both speaking of the same thing. If “as a thief in the night” is supposed to refer to a secret rapture only seen by believers, and followed with seven years of tribulation, then why do these same verses speak of sudden destruction that cannot be escaped, and the heavens passing away with a great noise, and the elements melting with fervent heat? They certainly are not describing the rapture and the Second Coming in the same verse. It is only by a great lack of understanding scripture that they have been separated into two different events—one (rapture) privately interpreted theory; the other (Second Coming) described in God’s word. Their cross references are:

 

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

 

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

 

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” [Luke is basically repeating what Matthew said]

 

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

 

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

 

All of these verses warn of being “unexpectedly” caught off guard for lack of watching. Neither secrecy nor only a certain group of people being able to see what is taking place is referred to. The parable of the ten virgins is one example that all will see.

 

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”

 

The five who were ready [representing the saved] were taken into the marriage; the five who were not [representing the unsaved] were shut out. This parable goes hand-in-hand with the others concerning the separation of the saved from the unsaved—wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goats, the fish in the net. They are all symbolically speaking of the one-time separation at the Second Coming.

 

This is reinforced with Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

They knew not because they were indulging in their sin-filled lives too much to heed Noah’s warning. But notice it says until the flood came and took them all away.” They ignored the warning because of their carrying on, but they saw the flood waters coming when it was too late to do anything about it. So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Christ’s return will be seen by all—some will be ready; some won’t.

 

Ac 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Rev. 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

 

THE CORRECT DEFINITION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

 

The following (true) definitions are those NOT taught. These are necessary to show how they have been redefined to manipulate the meaning of Scripture and make erroneous connections so that dual prophecy scenarios sound like truth. For example: the difference between the words “caught up” (in the Bible) which speaks for itself is in the Greek harpazo, and “rapture” – raptus, rapio, rapeer (not in the Bible) is neither Greek nor Hebrew, but Latin. Caught up is not defined the same as rapture yet the two are made to be synonymous.

 

American Dictionary of the English Language – Noah Webster 1828

 

Latin = Rapture = raptus; rapio

Extreme joy or pleasure; seizure by violence; violence of a pleasing passion; carried away [with emotion.]

 

Latin = Rap = v. t. To seize and bear away, as the mind or thoughts; to transport out of one’s self; to affect with ecstasy or rapture; as rapt into admiration

 

Latin = Rapt = v. t. To transport or ravish [Not legitimate or in use] (words in brackets from dictionary, not me)

Rapt = n. An ecstasy; a trance

 

Notre Dame Dictionary:

Rapture = insania -ae f. [madness, frenzy, senseless excess, extravagance; poetical rapture or inspiration].

 

Oxford Exhaustive Dictionary ©2013:

Rapture: Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈraptʃə/, U.S. /ˈræp(t)ʃər/

Forms: see rapt v. and -ure suffix1.

 

Etymology: 1. Compare post-classical Latin raptura poaching, rape (8th cent. in British sources) and Middle French rapture abduction (late 15th cent. in an apparently isolated attestation). Compare capture n. Compare earlier rapt n. and raption n.

 

With sense 4a compare the note at rapt adj.

4a. The act of conveying a person from one place to another, esp. to heaven; the fact of being so conveyed. Obs. [obsolete] [bold mine]

 

In Christian eschatology (see sense 4b) after the use of classical Latin rapere rape.2 in the Vulgate (1 Thessalonians 4:17), where it translates ancient Greek ἁρπάζειν to snatch away, to seize (see harpy n.).

 

The above definition makes it abundantly clear that rapere is the root origin for rape not rapture. This is how 1 Thess. 4:17 was erroneously translated in the (Latin) Vulgate. Any and all Bible versions adopting that definition are also in error. Rapere is often used interchangeably with raptus and rapio as the pretrib proof to define rapture. We as Christians should be appalled to use that term to describe our meeting with Jesus in the clouds. Perhaps that is why for many generations the word rapture has been obsolete in reference to end-time eschatology. That is until Scofield gave it new life.

I have heard several Rapturists use the argument that the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible either but that it is implied in phrases such as “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”; “Let us make man in our image” and so forth—this implication IS clear! The definition for rapture however, is misconstrued to mean caught up and therefore, a false implication is applied and erroneously assigned to certain verses. This has been done with “tribulation” and “dispensation” as well.

 

According to Strong’s Dictionary

 

tribulation/great tribulation: 06869 צרה tsarah tsaw-raw’ from 06862; n f;

 

AV-trouble 44, distress 8, affliction 7, adversity 5, anguish 5, tribulation 3, adversary 1; 73

1) straits, distress, trouble

 

NOT titles of 7 or 3½ year periods.

 

dispensation: 3622 οἰκονομία oikonomia oy-kon-om-ee’-ah from 3623; n f; TDNT-5:151,674; {See TDNT 539} AV-dispensation 4, stewardship 3; 7

 

1) the management of a household or of household affairs

1a) specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of other’s property

1b) the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship

1c) administration, dispensation

 

NOT a description of ages—the seven created and titled by Scofield in his note 5, and the more commonly known in today’s teaching of eschatology are the seven church ages based on the churches listed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In fact, dispensation is used only four times in the whole Bible, 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25 and all four are in the Greek oikonomia. It is never defined in relation to a period of time in any way, shape, or form.

 

Pg 5 Scofield Study Bible: Genesis 1:28

 

4Dispensation (1:28, heading [he added]) A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. See note 5. [underline and brackets mine]

 

5And God blessed them (1:28) The first Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man, deliberately (1 Tim. 2:14). God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion (Gen. 3:24). See, for the other dispensations: Conscience (Gen. 3:23); Human Government (Gen. 8:20); Promise (Gen. 12:1); Law (Ex. 19:8); Grace (John 1:17); Kingdom (Eph. 1:10).

 

Revelation 1:20 note 3:

 

3churches (1:20) …“(4) prophetic, as disclosing seven phases of the spiritual history of the church from, say, A.D. 96 to the end…”

 

Because Scofield assigned prophecy to the seven churches, he erroneously proclaims the church does not exist after chapter 3 verse 22.

 

Concerning John’s visions of the seven churches: The following paragraphs are taken from the 1881 Oxford Sunday School Teacher’s Edition Bible (KJV).

 

“These predictions have long been fulfilled; but much of the book is still a mystery, though generally regarded as prophetic of the history of the Church from the close of the first century to the end of time. By some the major part is considered to have had its fulfillment in the early ages of the Church; by others to have been gradually realized by successive religious revivals and persecutions; by others it is regarded as a picture of the historical epochs of the world and the church.”

 

Concerning the book of Revelation:

 

“The whole of this book is a reflex of the prophetic visions of the Old Testament. It contains pictures of that heavenly form of worship divinely manifested to Moses (of which the Tabernacle ritual was only a pattern), reproduced, and further developed, by its fulfillment in the Atonement of Christ; while it also repeats the mysterious predictions, uttered by Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, portraying the philosophy of history, the recurrence of its cycles, and the supremacy over all other powers of the kingdom of Christ. It is, therefore, full of references and allusions to the writings of Moses and the prophets, too numerous to be tabulated, and often allusive rather than literal; but the marginal references will better aid the reader in working out the connection between this Revelation, which closes Holy Scripture, and the inspirations vouchsafed to the earlier dispensation [management, economy], which prepared the way for the fulness of the glory of Christ.” [brackets mine]

Unfortunately, it has been my experience when talking with a person who believes in the rapture, etc., regarding the truth of a definition and how it originated, that they aren’t interested in hearing it. It is often said, “Well that’s the way we’ve always been taught,” or “what makes you think you know more than the scholars and theologians who have degrees on the subject?” I’m wondering where it is written that a degree must be earned in order to study and learn the truth? Are they not mere men? Are not the teachers they learned from also mere men? As all of us, they are just as susceptible to being deceived into believing a false doctrine. The guilty ones are those who know it’s false and teach it anyway.

Whether it is for gain, and or notoriety, making merchandise of God’s word is an easy source of income for them. Regurgitating the same material under new titles, plagiarizing from each other, and puffing themselves up for the number of followers is like a game to see who can outdo everyone else. The guilty teachers of this false doctrine are easy enough to pick out of a crowd. Their character speaks volumes. They tend to be arrogant, at minimum slightly less than dishonest (as was shown in ch. 2), and lash out at anyone they deem as threatening to their livelihood. They will often retaliate by trying to discredit their opponents and labeling them as haters of truth. As you read in previous chapters both Darby and Scofield are guilty of more than one of these.

The word rapture used to be an everyday word uttered to describe an emotion of excitement, pleasure, great joy, etc. Over time it has been equated to mean caught up. You may ask, what difference does it make whether the word(s) rapture or caught up is used when referring to Jesus’ return? It makes a great deal of difference because the word rapture does not appear in the Bible directly or indirectly, and the proof is in the definition for those who would argue that this word is synonymous with caught up. My question is, why is it necessary to replace simple wording with something else? Maybe to confuse the facts to make it easier to insert foreign doctrine?

People were just as apt to redefine words for various reasons in the past as they are now but it does not change the origin, or etymology, of the word. Based on the origin, it is a fact that rapture in any form of the word is not defined as caught up. There are plenty of examples of words that have taken on new definitions over time. Below are a few of those examples:–take into consideration that most people today more commonly know a word by the use of it in everyday language rather than the use of a dictionary.

 

Gay: originally “a happy, merry countenance.” Now, a homosexual.

 

Christian: originally “one who follows Jesus Christ” of the Bible. Now, a generic term for almost anyone considered religious.

Conviction: originally (concerning spiritual matters) the state of being convinced or convicted by conscience; the state of being sensible of guilt; by conviction, a sinner is brought to repentance. Now, too often these days the word conviction is used in a sentence similar to “that’s just your conviction,” meaning “that’s just your opinion or perception of the truth.”

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “if you believe something long enough it becomes the truth.” In this case, it is not only the long-term belief, but the rapture theory has been the only scenario taught in fundamental Christian Universities and churches, thereby reproducing a new generation of believers to propagate the teaching. An analogy to this would be; when parents allow their children to mispronounce words, initially because they think it’s cute, but for too long never correct them. Those children grow older believing they are saying those words correctly. Then when the parent or school teacher tries to tell them the correct way to pronounce the word, it is very difficult to get them to believe they have been pronouncing it wrong all along and they often become agitated and refuse to hear the true pronunciation. They may even purposely pronounce the word wrong from that point forward using the good ol’ “well, this is the way I’ve always been taught”, “It’s close enough, people know what I mean”. If you’re saying the word wrong, or in the parallel point, teaching a doctrine that doesn’t belong, are you absolutely sure they know what you’re talking about and will gain truth from what you’re teaching them?

We have all taken assessment tests at school which are administered to ascertain our level of understanding. Besides spelling, knowing parts of speech, etc., in the English portion, there is a section for a group of words similar to the key word called synonyms with one word being an antonym. The instructions were to circle the word that did not fit with the rest of the group. The groups of words I’m showing you are categorized to define the main word, except these groups of words do not contain any that are out of place with the rest. Rapturists like to take carried away from the group defining rapture in Latin and make it synonymous with the group defining caught up in the Greek. How many times have you heard someone say “I guess I just got carried away?” Would you believe they were meaning caught up in the air or carried away with their emotions?

Since the pretrib theory does not teach the rapture without it also being imminent, all discussion on the matter of imminence is immediately rendered non-existent as well…for the Christian.

 

 

 

 

Im’minent, a. [L. imminens, from immineo, to hang over; in and minor, to threaten.

Literally, shooting over; hence, hanging over; impending; threatening; near; appearing as if about to fall on; used of evils; as imminent danger; imminent judgments, evils or death.

 

2. The show of a probable evil or catastrophe to come.

 

This definition clearly shows that imminence refers to an impending threat and not a joyous anticipation of the rapture. So it is more accurate to apply imminence to the wrath that will be poured out on the Day of Judgment which is the same day as the Second Coming. Most people view imminence as something they can see is on the verge of happening; that there is no question of it taking place any second. God tells us we will not know the day or the hour (let alone a split second) so how can the rapture that pretribbers have been waiting for (for centuries) be imminent? As you continue reading you will see that the harvest of the saints will occur just before the judgments of the wrath are poured out. Therefore, the danger of the wrath for the unsaved is hanging over them unless or until they get saved, and the imminent, inescapable danger of the wrath will go into effect the second the harvest has taken place.

So why did the word rapture get chosen to define this event? It is an added event by the first pretribulationists that had to be given its own time frame, therefore a new name was necessary to describe it. Caught up means caught up, and there is no reason to use another word for it. The common denominator (translated word) for gather, caught up, and reap used in Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and Revelation 14:15 is HARVEST—all of which refer to one event taking place at the end (consummation) of the world; the “Second Coming.”

 

1 Thess. 4:16, 17 is one of the key passages Scofield proof-texted to support the pretib theory.

 

16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

 

The theory is: Jesus returns in the clouds and goes no further because we meet him in the air. Therefore, this has to be the rapture, then He physically returns to earth again after seven years to rule for a thousand years with the saints at his side; so this has to be the Second Coming followed by the final judgment—the battle of Armageddon. Actually, it is the battle at Armageddon because it is a place, not a title of the war.

God’s word says: The Second Coming is the harvest. Matthew 13:30; 13:39; Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15, the last day/ the day of the Lord/the day of judgment 2 Peter 2:9; John 12:48; Romans 2:5; Jude 1:6; Revelation 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10. Jesus returns in the clouds, retrieves the saints just before God the Father’s wrath is poured out 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 11:18; 15:1, 7; 16:1 and the judgment of separating the godly from the ungodly/sheep from the goats/the believers from the unbelievers/wheat from the tares, etc., is carried out Matthew 13:30, 47-50; 25:32, 33.

But Rapturists don’t quote Rev. 14:14, 15 which also speaks of the Lord (Son of man) coming in the clouds and reaping his saints.

 

14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

 

Both descriptions, by Paul in the book of Thessalonians and by John in the book of Revelation, are of the Second Coming. Paul is more straight-forward while John is symbolically speaking; much like the parable Jesus told his disciples:

 

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”

 

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

 

“Appear the second time.” Since we are intended to know Jesus will return a second time, does it not make sense that if it was supposed to be a two-phase event that a clear detail like that would also be made known? Also, bear in mind that His appearing and coming are one and the same. More on this in chapter 8 “What is the Blessed Hope?”

 

Revelation 14:16 “And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

 

Verse 16 shows quite clearly that the harvest has taken place (was reaped; past tense) then the wrath begins (the third woe that cometh quickly).

The only verses you will see the definition for “harvest” with the following meanings are:

 

1)    The gathering of men into the kingdom of God. (Going into all the world and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ).

2)    Referring to the time of reaping; the final judgment when the righteous are gathered into the kingdom and the wicked are cast into Hell forever.

 

Definition 1:

 

Matthew 9:37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

 

Luke 10:2 “Therefore he said unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

 

John 4:35 “Say ye not, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already for harvest.”

 

Definition 2:

 

Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” 39 “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world: and the reapers are the angels.” (the word “end” in this verse is translated “consummation.”)

Mark 4:29 “But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle because the harvest is come.”

 

Revelation 14:15 “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”

 

The reaping (catching up) at the harvest takes place just before the wrath, on the same day. Contrary to the pretrib teaching that “the tribulation” is God’s wrath, these verses clearly show God’s wrath is the last seven plagues at the end of everything.

 

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.”

 

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

 

This is a picture of the third woe (God’s wrath) that comes quickly after the harvest.

We are told in 2 Peter 3:10 “that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” This is not inferring secretly, but rather, unexpectedly. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” But wait a minute; I thought the pretrib theory claims the rapture will happen as a thief in the night and the day of the Lord is the time of Jacob’s trouble during “the great tribulation.” Pretrib separates the two while God’s word says it is one and the same (minus the titles and dual prophecy of Jacob’s trouble). The day of the Lord is the day of wrath set into motion with the harvest. The verse says, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, etc. It seems the evidence weighs on the side of the harvest occurring at the Second Coming just before the wrath. Secret and quiet it will not be. All of the verses giving the example of coming as a thief in the night refer only to it being unexpected not silent.

To clarify further what is entailed in the third woe; the same hour the two witnesses ascended back to heaven and a tenth of that great city (Jerusalem) fell. Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.Rev. 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe [wrath] cometh quickly.” Jerusalem, not Rome, is the Babylon that falls. Rev. 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.” Rev. 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” The Pope and Roman Catholicism have been the only voices heard in Rome, not the bridegroom and the bride!

So, when do you suppose would be a time for such an unexpected event to occur? Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” My guess would be when all is well or peaceful. 1 Thess. 5:2, 3 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, [unsaved] as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” The last thing expected is judgment during peace because people would be happy-go-lucky and not looking for it. As in the days of Noah and Lot; they ate, drank, and made merry, oblivious to the coming destruction (such an hour they thought not, and were destroyed).

Even if Matthew 24 was prophecy for our generation, pretribbers leave out what comes after “wars and rumors of wars,” etc.,…but the end is not yet and verse 8, All these are the beginning of sorrows.” If the sorrows are just beginning with no timetable as to how long they will last, how can the rapture be imminent?

Some people understandably confused by all of this, believe the rapture and the Second Coming to be the same thing. Not so! As I have presented, the rapture does not exist and is definitely not another name for the Second Coming. This is made clear by the parable of the harvest. This example lacks nothing to define or clarify. Simply read it for what it says.

 

Matthew 13:37 “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

 

Another example of the pretrib theory doing an injustice to scripture is, twisting the phrase Let both grow together until the harvest—referring to the saved (those who reject the mark) and unsaved during the seven-year tribulation period after the rapture and culminating with the Second Coming’s harvest. The theory is, only the Christians ready at that time will be raptured and therefore, don’t enter into the equation—that way the rapture can be separate from the harvest. I have heard more than one view. Some say there won’t be anyone getting saved during the tribulation, and others say there will. So, the gathering and separating doesn’t apply to some Christians, but does to others. God’s word does not support any of this. This is another subtle presupposition inserted in the teaching to support itself in the creation of the rapture and separating it from the Second Coming.

How do pretribbers reconcile the verse above with verses 37-43? The angels are the reapers and when they are given the command (vs. 41) they will gather all that offend (unsaved) first, and cast them into the fiery furnace (Hell). Revelation 11:18 says: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. The unsaved dead are the tares to be first separated, and then judged; the unsaved living are destroyed in the wrath. All who are in Christ are not judged/punished, but caught up to Jesus at the Second Coming to be judged/rewarded according to what they’ve done for Christ’s sake while on this earth.

Following, are the only verses in which the word end pertaining to our future is defined as consummation.

 

Matthew 13:39 “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,”

 

Matthew 24:3 “And he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of the coming, and of the end of the world?”

 

Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

 

Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Everywhere else in which the word end is used in the Bible, is as a generality of the term or utter destruction in reference to that particular time, event or future prophecy for those living then and NOT our future prophecy. It is important to keep the distinction separate when applying the proper time-frame to the corresponding events.

Matthew 24:1-31 is commonly known as the Olivet discourse. In A.D. 33, Jesus is foretelling the destruction of the temple (by Titus; thirty seven years in their future; A.D. 70) in verses 1 and 2, then in verse 3 his disciples are asking when shall these things be, what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus describes in detail the things they need to watch for (concerning Titus) in verses 4-26, and continues to describe the sign of his coming in verses 27-28, and the end of the world in 29-31.

Verse 15 is the verification to the latter part of Daniel 9:26 concerning Titus. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)The abomination of desolation were the Roman’s image crowned standards that were set up. Jesus was telling his disciples the sign to look for prior to fleeing into Judea, etc.

It is easy to see that the verses correspond with the questions asked to the answers Jesus gives, with the exception being the first question when shall these things be is answered last in verses 32-34. He chooses first to forewarn the people of what to expect over the next thirty seven years, (though, the exact number of years was unknown to them) ending in great suffering from various tribulations, i.e. persecutions (verses 4-26). The two questions concerning the sign of his coming and of the end of the world are answered in verses 27-31.

It is important to note that the word end in verse three is translated from “sunteleia” soon-tel’-i-ah meaning consummation, the end of the world. The same word in verses 6, 13, and 14 is translated from “telos” tel’-os meaning termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time.) Strong’s Concordance # 4930 and #5056.

Because the word end in verse 14 does not mean “end of the world” at this point, it is in error to say this is when the alleged “rapture” occurs and the “great tribulation” begins (SRB notes pg. 1033). The first line on the same page of his notes, Scofield quotes the last two questions of verse three changing “end of the world,” to “end of the age” to make it fit with his dispensational teaching.

Also, according to the Strong’s Concordance immediately in verse 29 is not indicative of an action, but rather it is simply used as a primary article meaning: but, moreover, and, etc.

The Second Coming is not until verse 30 and 31. It is after the signs of the sun, moon, stars, and powers of the heavens being shaken, that the Son of man in heaven appears. That is when the saints will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air.

Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things [vs 4-26] be fulfilled.”

 

Strong’s Concordance: #Matt. 24:34 “This generation” = the persons then living contemporary with Christ.

 

35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour [Heaven and earth passing away, not the rapture] knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

 

The fig tree parable was a simple analogy for the apostles to know the approximate timing of things. When ye shall see all these things [verses 4-26], know that it [complete and utter destruction by Titus] is near…,” and This generation shall not pass, till all these things [verses 4-26] be fulfilled.” Done!

 

Another Misnomer:

 

The first few verses of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 is commonly cited by Rapturists to support their view that the early Christians not only believed in the rapture, but were looking for the rapture to occur at any moment.

 

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 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; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

 

Matthew 4:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” In verse 25 of Matt. 4, Jesus is reminding his disciples that he has told them this before. If he had to remind his own disciples about false Christs, prophets, etc., and to beware of their deception, it makes perfect sense that they in turn would be warning others as well. The closer they got to A.D. 70 the worse things became.

Paul was simply following Jesus’ example; pleading with his brethren, because they have gathered unto Jesus who came into their midst at one time or another, not to be soon shaken in mind etc. This was at a time only sixteen years prior to Titus destroying the temple—tensions were mounting. The number of false Christs, and prophets showing great signs and wonders was probably growing because it was lucrative. Remember Paul being angry with the people because the false prophets charged for their services. But, they did not know then, any more than we do now, what the day or the hour of Jesus’ return would be, but they were encouraged to live as if it were at any moment. I can only imagine that while he was telling them, Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” that he was frustrated at how easily they were being taken in by the deception. I share that frustration when it comes to Scofield notes and this false doctrine.

 

Matthew 16:12 Then understood they [disciples] how that he [Jesus] bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

 

They redefined God’s word to suit their own purpose as have so many pastors, elders, teachers, leaders since.

BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN

 

C. I. Scofield, among others is no different than the Pharisees and Sadducees who drew rebuke from Jesus for mishandling the scriptures. Jesus told his disciples to beware of their doctrine; how much more should we beware of Scofield’s erroneous private interpretation?

Also like the Pharisees and Sadducees, Scofield and the current well-known pretrib propagators have reaped generations of devotion, misguided reverence, and for those still living, millions of dollars which perhaps has given them that sense of arrogance discussed earlier. This pride may make these men believe they are untouchable and likewise, make their followers believe it as well. I say this because it seems from my own observations over the years that for many, there seems to be an unwritten rule in which a person is forbidden to question or oppose well-known scholars, theologians and such. Whatever happened to, be as the Bereans, searching the scriptures daily to see if these things are so? If any man accepting the responsibility of teaching God’s word refuses to be questioned or be held accountable for his teaching, then he is either, not trustworthy, completely drawn in to the web of deceit, or just plain prideful.

Sadly, Scofield has so deluded his followers they read the alleged supporting scriptures with deceptive assurance that they are rightly dividing the word of truth.

The pretrib inventors and propagators have grasped at many straws in an attempt to piece the rapture theory together, and frankly, it is partly because of a continuous push by past and current prominent teachers to accept this theory along with a lack of study on the people’s part that so many fall prey. Add to that the marketing of pretrib through books and movies such as the acclaimed Left Behind series which does nothing other than evoke emotions of panic or mockery, or, desensitized people will blow it off as just another disaster story.

In reference to the book of Daniel and its counterpart—Revelation, I have heard it said more than once that it was in the 1800s when knowledge and understanding of these two books gained momentum. Apparently it is not well known that the 1800s is when the pretrib inventors conceived the theory for the rapture and gave Daniel’s prophesied seventieth week the title The Tribulation (coincidentally, this is also when Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, and the Seventh Day Adventists among others were born). So it was not knowledge and understanding that was gaining ground but rather, deception—false teaching, that spread like wildfire in the discontented hearts of people looking for a blessed hope that would take them out of the path of persecution. It has been a fire burning ever since, kindled by new generations of believers who accept the teaching without rightly dividing the word of truth for themselves, or searching the scriptures daily (minus Scofield’s notes) to see if these things are so.

Character matters! Scofield was labeled a “shyster” and “a peer among scalawags” in a newspaper article because of his documented lack of character. He had no formal theological training, yet he assigned himself the title of “D.D.” If we as Christians are to be a testimony to others, what does this say about Scofield? John Darby had just as critical characterization of him.

Despite the preponderance of evidence showing their personal lives to be a deluge of various deceptions, people choose to forgive and forget their ‘indiscretions’, or deny them altogether while at the same time accept whole-heartedly their interpretation of doctrine. What’s wrong with this picture?

 

6 – The Simplicity of Daniel – Is Also the Hub of the Controversy

 

Daniel 9:24Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

 

#Da 11:31 in that section of his prophecies which is generally interpreted as referring to the fearful calamities that were to fall on the Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, says, “And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Antiochus Epiphanes caused an altar to be erected on the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were offered to Jupiter Olympus. (Comp. 1 Macc. 1:57) This was the abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem. [Antiochus was also some 300+ years in Daniel’s future] The same language is employed in #Da 9:27 comp. #Mt 24:15 where the reference is probably to the image-crowned standards which the Romans set up at the east gate of the temple (A.D. 70) and to which they paid idolatrous honours. “Almost the entire religion of the Roman camp consisted in worshipping the ensign, swearing by the ensign, and in preferring the ensign before all other gods.” These ensigns were an “abomination” to the Jews, the “abomination of desolation.” [Easton – Online Bible Edition 4.41. 01] [brackets and underline mine]

 

The “judgments” or “desolations” in verse 26 is generally agreed upon to be referring to Titus (A.D. 70) only. “Desolate” in verse 27 is clear that not only have the people already been subjected to judgments (chastisements), but will continue to be even until the consummation—in this context, complete destruction fulfilled by Titus. None of these verses have anything to do with the particulars of this prophecy taking place because of the Antichrist.

According to Scofield, the “he” in Dan. 9:27 refers to the Antichrist. If that is the case, then there is a conflict with the rest of the verse. 1) the Antichrist is not holy; he is an abomination (NOT the abomination of desolation). Because of who he is, the Antichrist would not pour desolations on himself or the people who worship him, nor, because of his arrogance would he cause sacrifice and oblation to himself to cease. 2) So far as I can find, whenever abominations have been addressed, it has always been in one direction—God the Father is the only perfect and righteous one to be offended by an abomination, and He is the one identifying what the abominations are, and warning his people not to idolize, participate in, or practice them, but if they choose to do so anyway consequences would follow. There is no Scripture that even hints that an unbeliever has ever referred to Christ, his gospel, or Christianity in general as an abomination. Even the devils, who knew exactly who He was, never made such a claim. So why should we expect the Antichrist to do so!?

Because of this, it is in error to believe the Antichrist has the power to make anything desolate due to the overspreading of abominations and cause them to cease. Also, the Antichrist cannot be the one to pour out the desolations on the people; for one, because the desolations are determined by God the Father only, and against the disobedient Jew. The Antichrist wouldn’t punish, but would instead encourage those who are already in rebellion against his rival—God, to continue rebelling. The Antichrist is never given indefinite power to do anything, let alone make it desolate until the consummation—not even Satan (the ultimate Antichrist) has that kind of power.

This means the “he” is God the Father not the Antichrist. The sacrifices and oblations did indeed cease when Jesus died on the cross, and regardless of what one chooses to believe, the sacrifices will not be reinstated in the future, nor will a physical third temple be built—at least not by a true Christian, because he or she will understand the significance of the following:

 

Jesus is the personification of the rent veil.

 

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;”

 

The physical veil that was rent (torn; Matthew 27:51) separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple which was for the sole purpose of communication with God, and to be carried out by the High Priest only.

 

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

 

Direct communication with God the Father (residing in Heaven; the holiest tabernacle) through prayer was made possible when Jesus, the final perfect sacrifice paid our debt in full on the cross. To say sacrifices will need to be once again reinstated is to say His sacrifice wasn’t good enough!

 

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calvesbut by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

 

Because of this we should not be participating in the abominable act of building a third temple and reintroducing sacrifices, nor should we support in any way those who are trying to bring it about—the perfect sacrifice has been made. The physical died with Christ; the spiritual lives on until his return. The church—the body of believers IS the third temple.

 

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

 

Spiritually speaking, what makes more sense than Satan being THE Antichrist, setting himself up in the temple (church; individual believers and the whole) as if he is God. After all, he was already booted out of Heaven for thinking he was God’s equal or better. It explains the hearts of the people waxing cold and apostasy seemingly out of control. It also explains the ever-increasing number of TV shows, movies, video games, etc., filled with sorcery, witches, the paranormal, etc. Just look at the increase of liberal teachings coming into churches, promoted by some who are partners with New Agers. Many so-called Christian leaders are teaching doctrine completely opposite to God’s word.

 

LET’S GO CHERRY PICKING

 

Dan. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”

 

The phrase in verse 26 and the end thereof shall be with a floodis metaphorically speaking of Titus’ army flooding in to put an end to the war—end in this verse is commonly taken out of context to mean the end of the world. It is in fact connected to the next phrase which is continuing the subject, and unto [or until] the end of the war desolations [or chastisements] are determined.” The ultimate end, the destruction by Titus, was spoken of first in the first phrase followed by a comma, and continued by what was going to be happening in the meantime.

 

Scofield says in his notes on pg. 914, ““unto the end” is a period of time not fixed but has already lasted 2000 years.” Am I missing something? Scofield cherry picked three words out of a sentence and planted a suppositional meaning to them. The sentence is: “unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Sounds like a fixed time to me. These particular desolations are clearly speaking about Titus’ war. There is nothing in these verses to show future tense beyond A.D. 70. Therefore, since the sentences in verse 27 are connected, and refer to the same person, “he” is not the Antichrist, but God the Father. This example of Scofield’s “cherry picking” of words and assigning nonexistent meaning to them is only one of many, and yet it is preached from the pulpit time and again.

When I read what Noah Webster said (see pg. 4) I had to quote him because that summed up what I am still learning—that is, a misplaced confidence. For me, though, it was not so much because of studying Scofield’s notes because I did not own a Scofield Bible, but rather, it was a matter of unquestioningly accepting what I was being taught since I was eight years old. That’s not to say that the intentions of any of the people in my life who had a part in teaching me this belief weren’t for the best. That said, I have come to the realization that they and the teachers they learned this theory from were also unwittingly deceived, and I still find myself having to make a course correction—steering away from the points of interest on Scofield’s map through Scripture so I can follow the straight and narrow path of God’s word.

 

Here is another example:

 

While reading through Daniel 9:24-27 a simple truth was revealed. It was the final piece of the puzzle that slipped right into place and completed the whole picture regarding the seventy weeks. I have said, “unless I am shown in Scripture otherwise, I believe the 3½ years in the book of Revelation are the second half of the seventieth week yet to be fulfilled (the first half being Jesus’ three-and-a-half-year ministry which ended on the cross).” Now I know that is not the case, and in fact those 3½ years in the book of Revelation have nothing to do with the seventieth week. They do have a very strong resemblance to Daniel chapters 7, 8, 10-12—recalling the events concerning Antiochus Epiphanes. But that’s another study. This is proof to myself that I continue to relate certain passages to a particular ideology just because that is what I was taught for so long.

 

 

FYI—FOR YOUR INFORMATION

 

An important fact to consider; as time has gone on, much of the original references, dates, and translator notes (which are literal translations of certain Hebrew or Greek words) in the margins have been left out which robs the studying process of necessary information. The translator notes are not to be confused with the commentary notes. Because of the decrease in reference material, and the fact we read the books of the Bible in the order of placement, we have come to believe that is also the order of events. Many of the books are not in chronological order, and so, it is very important to know and keep in mind that all of the New Testament books except for 1-3 John and Revelation were written before the war of Titus in A.D. 70. That does not mean that all of the content in those books specifically refer to Titus and the events foretold to occur up to that point in time, but when you look at the whole picture, much of it does.

Jesus’ forewarning in Matthew 24:4-24 of what was to come was, I imagine, heart-wrenching to hear. As the signs of Jesus’ prophecy started to reveal themselves, and because they believed who Jesus was, that was enough for the apostles to willingly suffer whatever was necessary while they fulfilled their commission to spread the gospel of Christ during that thirty-seven years. Think about it; if you knew the physical and eternal welfare of so many hung in the balance, and the destruction of your home city was going to happen preceded by many trials, deceivers, and various perils, wouldn’t you do everything you could including bearing whatever persecution came your way in order to save as many as possible?

As you read the New Testament, you are reading the apostle’s stories of that time frame until God’s timing was complete and his plan for Titus to destroy the city was carried out. In light of this, let me show you how I came to the conclusion of the seventy weeks. Daniel 9:24 is the list (next page) of what is to be accomplished within the seventy weeks.

Number 5 was the first to be fulfilled, followed by #6—Jesus rebukes those who were upset with the woman for, in their opinion, wasting the expensive ointment, and tells them: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.” #2-4 were simultaneously fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross—in the midst of the final/seventieth week, and finally, #1—was completed by the total destruction of the city etc.; punishment due to the disobedience of the people [Jews] of the prince [Messiah] to come.

 

 

 

 

1)    finish the transgression (wrongdoing, misbehavior, disobedience)

2)    make an end of sins

3)    make reconciliation for iniquity

4)    bring in everlasting righteousness (1-4; Is. 53:8-11; Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:19)

5)    seal up the vision and prophecy (or in Heb. prophet, Dan. 12:9)

6)    anoint the most Holy (Mark 14:8)

 

Note: prince in v. 26 is a common noun related to the proper noun Prince in v. 25. They are the same person. “…build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;”

 

The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem by Flavius Josephus:

 

Preface – Section 4. [In reference to Titus and the destruction of the Temple 70 A.D.]

 

“However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans, nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy. Yet I shall suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentation upon the miseries undergone by my own country; for that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it; and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us,…” [underline mine]

 

Verse 25 covers the sixty-nine weeks: “…from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem B.C. 536 unto the Messiah the Prince A.D. 29 shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (69 weeks +) Done!

 

B.C. -536—-0—-+29 A.D. = 565 years. This time-frame includes the streets and wall and troublous gaps of time when the work was forcibly stopped. SRB pg 915; Scofield asserts that this timeline starts with Artaxerxes because the book of Ezra only speaks to the building of the house of God. First, the sixty-nine weeks is 483 years so this cannot be the case for the math does not add up: -445 B.C—-0—-+29 A.D. = 474 years. Second, just because the focus was the building of the house of God, this does not mean that work in restoring or building other parts of the city was not also in progress. The book of Ezra concentrates on the house of God, the people involved, and other various details, while Nehemiah 1-7 focuses on the wall and the fact it was again in need of repair. The wall was completed in 52 days in the year B.C. 445, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign. The people’s houses were not yet built but the houses of the priest’s and other ranking leaders were, as were assorted buildings such as the armory, towers, and so forth. All this work was already finished at this point in time so for Scofield to suggest that the building of the city was just getting started in B.C. 445 is incorrect.

Verse 26 tells us after the sixty-two weeks (the seven already being complete) Messiah will be cut off. Herod finished the restoration of the temple sometime in A.D. 29 allowing for Jesus to come to a cleansed temple in A.D. 33 at the end of his three-and-a-half-year ministry—the first three-and-a-half years of the 70th week when He is then cut off (crucified).

The rest of verse 26 and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined foretells the coming destruction by Titus in A.D. 70—the seventieth week is now complete! Verse 27 is simply a summarization of the one (70th ) week.

“And he [God the Father with His people; not the Antichrist with the Jews] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: [Done! Is. 42:1-6; Jer. 31:31; Malachi 3:1] and in the midst of the week he [God the Father] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, [Done! Ending the Old Covenant in order to begin the New. Heb. 10:9, 10. Jesus was the ultimate and final sacrifice Heb. 9:14-16] and for [or because of] the overspreading of abominations [statues of false gods, unclean sacrifices, idol worship, etc.] he [God the Father] shall make it desolate, [Done! Matt. 23:38, 39] even until the consummation [in this context consummation is from the Hebrew kalah meaning complete destruction—fulfilled in A.D. 70 according to verse 26] and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. [and it was until the end of Titus’ war; “desolations” or “judgments” since that time are not related to this prophecy]

Another revelation I discovered was my assumption that the word consummation automatically meant “end of the world.” I was wrong. When I studied the definition of the word end in its various forms, I discovered in certain key verses such as Matt. 24:3, it was defined consummation as in “end of the world”, but it is not defined that way in Matt. 24:14. There, it is the end of the seventy-week prophecy—Christ is foretelling what’s to come (in A.D. 70) and at the same time he is confirming Daniel’s vision. But, I automatically assumed when I read consummation in Dan. 9:27 that it was meaning the end of the world. That is not its definition as I have just explained. As a result, my conclusion concerning the fulfillment of the seventy weeks was affirmed and solidified.

 

7 – Take another Look at Daniel Twelve

 

Studying Daniel chapter twelve a bit more closely brings me to yet another conclusion I had not seen before. It reads like a summary of the total of Daniel’s visions culminating at Jesus being cut off in Dan. 9:27. Those days were the “last days” of the Old Covenant which Daniel would not live long enough to see; therefore, the visions were given to him to know the end of those days, but also the future of his people.

Below is an excerpt from the summary of the book of Daniel found in the “Helps” of the 1880’s Sunday School Teacher’s Edition Bible. In this summary it is explained very plainly that the visions and prophecies seen and spoken of by Daniel were for his time. It took approximately seventy-two years for Daniel to finish writing his book as it was started in the year B.C. 606 and finished B.C. 534. Doing the math according to the information below, Daniel was 12 when he was captured in B.C. 606, making his birth around B.C. 618. He died when he was a little more than 90 putting the year of his death around B.C. 528. This means he was 80 when visited by the angel Gabriel in B.C. 538, and 84 in B.C. 534 when the last chapter of the Book of Daniel was written. At the time of Gabriel’s visit to Daniel he only had a little more than 10 years, give or take, before his death.

 

DANIEL. (God’s Judge) was one of the princes of the royal family of Judah. He was made a eunuch in the palace of the King of Babylon, and rose to be chief of the wise men, and “ruler over the whole province of Babylon.” Carried captive at the age of from twelve to eighteen, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (eight years before Ezekiel), he prophesied during the whole period of the Captivity, and even two years after the Return. He did not accompany the Jews back to Jerusalem, but died in exile when more than ninety years of age. In B.C. 603 he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which brought him into notice. Twenty-three years later, the Three Children were in his absence, saved from the fiery furnace. Ten years afterwards he interpreted the king’s second dream, and acted as viceroy during the seven years of that monarch’s madness. He lived in retirement during the reign of Belshazzar, who preferred younger counselors, till the writing on the wall called him forth (B.C. 538). Afterwards he was promoted to the highest post of government by Darius, which he retained under Cyrus (536), thus serving under three dynasties–the Chaldean, the Median, and the Persian.

His book consists of two distinct volumes, the prophecies of the latter being synchronous with some of the historical events narrated in the former: e.g. the first vision occurred in the first year of Belshazzar (B.C. 555); the second in 553; the third in the first year of Darius (538); the last in the third of Cyrus (534). The historical part (chaps. 2:4-ch. 7) is in Chaldee; the prophetical in Hebrew [historical; contrary to Scofield saying ch.7 is fulfilled in our future pg. 915 notes].

Ch. II [2] predicts the course of the Five Great Empires of the world, which should succeed each other in supremacy—viz. the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, Roman, and Christian. In chap. vii [7] the four worldly empires, under the figure of four beasts, are viewed in their religious aspect. In chap. viii [8] is predicted the struggle between the Persian and Grecian powers, and the rise of the corrupting influence of Antiochus Epiphanes (“the little horn”), which prepared the way for the final overthrow of the Jews by the Romans. ….Chap. x [10] foretells the opposition of the Persian power to the restoration of the Jews; while chap. xi [11] more minutely predicts the history of the four Persian kings, that of Alexander and his successors, till the conquest of Syria by Rome,….” [bold, underline, and brackets mine]

 

The fifth and final kingdom (Christian)—Christ’s kingdom, came into being when He came in the flesh in the days of those kings according to Dan. 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…”. Scofield’s insistence on the Gentile world dominion and Rome continuing to be the center of it is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Consider the next paragraph which is a continuation from the previous excerpt. I believe it describes Scofield and some of those with whom he chose to consult for his note material, two of which are Westcott and Hort.

 

This traditional interpretation (which dates back as far as the Second Book of Esdras and the Epistle of Barnabas) is rejected by some modern commentators, because it is thought to lose sight of the cyclic development of history; so that the Divine utterance, which has its first fulfilment in one period, receives a further and more complete one in the corresponding part of some other period [dual prophecy]. According to them, the four empires are, the Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Greek; while the fifth (the Christian), striking the feet of the composite image, crushed the foundations of them all (viz. heathen mythology), and prepared the way for its own supremacy over all future dominions. Each of these has its antitype in the Christian era—Babylon in Rome, Media in Byzantium, Persia, with its divided power, in the Teutonic races, while the great Northern nations may hereafter rival the conquests of Alexander;–all these being eventually superseded in the triumph of Christ’s second Kingdom, as the former empires were by His first Advent. In this way the Book of Daniel is both a prophecy and a revelation. [brackets and bold emphasis mine]

 

This paragraph epitomizes how and why Scofield believed in and added a dual scenario for Jesus’ return. He rejected the original interpretation and embraced a mythological one! Need more proof?

Scofield’s notes in the book of Daniel, ch. 2, on pgs 900, 901 of the Pocket Size Scofield Study Bible:

 

The monarchy-vision. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as interpreted by Daniel, gives the course and end of “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24; Rev. 16:19, note), that is, of Gentile world-empire. The four metals composing the image are explained as symbolizing (vs. 38-40) four empires, not necessarily possessing the inhabited earth, but able to do so (v. 38), and fulfilled in Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece (under Alexander), and Rome. The latter power is seen divided, first into two (the legs), fulfilled in the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and then into ten (the toes) (see Dan. 7:26, note). As a whole, the image gives the imposing outward greatness and splendor of the Gentile world-power.

 

Scofield continually harps on his “Gentile world-power/dominion” interpretation throughout his notes. Because of his private interpretation and lack of understanding scripture, he introduces a prophetic link between the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and “the times of the Gentiles”, which in turn, have been made even more popular thanks to Clarence Larkin’s drawings and charts in his book, “Dispensational Truth” published in 1918. It is in Mr. Larkin’s biography that he was influenced by C. I. Scofield (a Zionist), William E. Blackstone (a Zionist) and John N. Darby (Plymouth Brethren), all of whom are also Dispensationalists. To reinforce his interpretation, Scofield takes it a step further than “the modern commentators” by naming Rome as the fifth empire. When God’s word speaks of a house divided it is not referring to Rome. Jeremiah 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.” Ten of the twelve tribes under the house of Israel, and two under the house of Judah.

 

 

The twelfth chapter was written near the end of Daniel’s life in B.C. 534. The angel Gabriel is charged with helping Daniel understand the meaning of his visions—“…the prophecies of the latter being synchronous with some of the historical events narrated in the former:…”. Instead of recognizing this truth simply for what it is, Scofield reinterpreted it to enable him to find a dual prophecy where he deemed necessary. Chapter twelve is focused primarily on Antiochus with a couple references to what will occur at the end of the Old Covenant days when Jesus is crucified and resurrected.

 

I’d like to quickly emphasize that the cross references are taken from the old Bible which still contains them, and the translator notes in the margins—and, are not necessarily found in the margins of modern Bibles.

 

Dan. 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

 

Cross reference:

 

Dan. 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”

 

Dan. 11: 21-45 (too many to print out, please read for yourself)

 

These verses are more detailed than chapter eight in describing Antiochus who in verse 21 is called “a vile person” who obtained the kingdom by flatteries. In these verses are described the atrocities he committed against the people, the temple, and God—“…a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. He died of a loathsome disease (broken without hand)

 

Dan. 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

 

Cross reference:

 

Matt. 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

 

I believe this is the first resurrection spoken of in Revelation 20:5, 6. Notice, in both references it says “some”, and “many” not “all” who slept arose out of the graves. According to Rev. 20:5, 6 the rest of the dead were awakened when the thousand years were finished. Exactly when that is/was, is not revealed, but it is not the “millennial” thousand years that pretrib teachings place after the Second Coming. It doesn’t make sense to say no one can be saved during the tribulation and then prolong the inability to do so another thousand years. Just as the rich man was told when he wanted his brethren still living to be warned of what awaits them if they choose to reject Jesus; so shall the same be for those who reject Jesus today.

 

Luke 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

 

Jesus’ Second Coming is the ultimate and final END—nothing remains but eternity with Him.

 

An interesting tidbit to think about: The first and second resurrection are also known as the early and latter rain. Remember Jesus’ parable about the harvest in Matt. 13:39? Well, James 5:7 says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” The early rain—Old Testament saints who were raised after Jesus’ resurrection are received. We, the latter rain—New Testaments saints are awaiting the final word to be given for Jesus to receive us at his Second Coming.

 

Dan. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”

 

I believe verses 1-3 are a condensed version of the whole picture—possibly more detail given between 1 and 2 that Daniel wrote about, but that is why Gabriel tells Daniel in verse 4 to shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end(of the Old Covenant days) because, to paraphrase the end of verse 4, many people will be running to and fro and the knowledge of what’s to come concerning that particular prophetical vision will be increased. In verse 5, Daniel’s attention turns to two others who speak to a man clothed in linen (Jesus who is not yet come in the flesh) and hears the question, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”

 

Dan. 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”

 

Cross reference:

 

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

 

Antiochus is guilty of all the above. Roughly the last half of his reign (approx. 3½ years—time, times, and a half) he committed the atrocities listed in chapter 11:21-45 fulfilling the prophetic scattering of the power of the holy people (those who watched and fled).

 

Dan. 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

 

Here, Daniel lacks understanding, but instead of answering his question of what shall be the end of these things?” Gabriel tells Daniel to Go thy way, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” “end” in Daniel’s question is from the Hebrew ‘achariyth akh-ar-eeth’ meaning; 1) after part. Daniel is basically asking, “What happens afterwards?” Gabriel tells him the words are sealed until the time of the end, or qets kates; meaning; 1a) end, at the end of (of time). The time allotted to complete the vision. [definitions from Strong’s dictionary)

 

Then Gabriel continues,

 

Dan. 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

 

Cross reference:

 

Dan. 11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end [of the vision]: because it is yet for a time appointed.” [300+ years in Daniel’s future]

 

We see this even today—they that understand sound the alarm to warn others of the danger (false doctrine) but rather than heed the warning the people would prefer to continue cleaving to them (false teachers) that spout the flatteries—or for our modern times; the no accountability, we just need to love each other, whatever feels right to you psychobabble.

 

Dan. 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

 

Cross reference:

 

Dan. 8:11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.”

Antiochus (the little horn) is he who took away the daily sacrifice and magnified himself to the prince of the host, identified in 12:1 as the great prince Michael. This daily sacrifice being taken away is not to be confused with the sacrifice and oblation being caused to cease when Jesus dies on the cross. From the time the daily sacrifice is taken away to the time the abomination (idol on the altar) is set up is 1,290 days. No other interpretation needed!

 

Dan. 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”

 

Cross reference:

 

Dan. 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

 

We are told in verse 14 above that Antiochus was given 2,300 days start to finish for his role in the vision. After that the sanctuary was cleansed. We already know about the 1290 days so what about the rest? 1290 plus 45 equals the 1,335 mentioned in verse 12. Those who endured everything in verse 13 and waited to the end (1,335th day) were blessed to see the sanctuary cleansed and made ready for the saints to once again worship the one true God. Keep in mind, the sanctuary was only cleansed at this point; it was not fully restored until A.D. 29.

In the days prior to the 1,335, Antiochus began his reign by seducing the people with flatteries to gain their compliance. We can assume this to be a slow and calculated plan for he had plenty of time to work with. By our calendar 2,300 days equals a little more than six years. Antiochus continued to conspire and do battle with other kingdoms while at the same time prop himself up and enforce his own laws and idol worship on the people. All who resisted were punished, taken captive or killed. It was only a remnant who endured to the end.

 

Dan. 12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

 

Cross reference:

 

Psalms 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”

 

The Israelites were given a portion of land according to the number in their tribe as part of their inheritance. The land divisions were also known as lots. There are two eternal lots; Heaven and Hell. The inheritance of all believers of Jesus Christ will be to stand in their lot (Heaven), and all who reject Jesus will stand in their lot (Hell).

But go thou thy way till the end be:” this end being the end of Daniel’s life, followed by rest in death, and finally being resurrected from the grave at the end of the Old Covenant days. The end of the days is not translated consummation which means this verse is referring to the end of the “Old Covenant” days and not to the end of the world. Therefore, verse thirteen is saying that Daniel will live out the rest of his life (at this point not long), rest in death, then at the end of the “Old Covenant” days when Jesus dies on the cross, he will be among those saints who rise out of the grave to stand in his lot (Heaven) with the rest of the righteous. Refer above to Dan. 12:2 and Matt. 27. All who believe on the name of Jesus Christ will share that lot with Daniel at the end of their days whether it is by death or by the Second Coming; then it will be forever!

 

8 – What Is “The Blessed Hope?”

 

Strong’s definition for hope: in the Christian sense: joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.

 

This definition does not give the indication that a rapture has anything to do with hope, blessed or otherwise. I have heard, and been taught for years, that the blessed hope is the coming rapture. Since I have studied and come to the conclusion that the rapture is an invented occurrence I wanted for my own clarification to study further the subject of the blessed hope.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

 

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration [new birth], and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

 

Verse eleven gives the answer based on the definition of hope and it is followed by how we should be living in this present world until then. Titus 3:5-7 affirms the hope of eternal life is through new birth i.e. salvation. 1 Cor. 1:7, 8; Phil. 3:20, 21; 2 Peter 3:10-14; and 1 John 3:1-3 are some of the direct cross references to these verses. All of these verses are connecting our waiting for our Lord’s return with the manner in which we should hope to be found.

As you see above in verse 13, there is a comma between Looking for that blessed hope and and the glorious appearing. The comma is separating two things being looked for; hope and appearing. If the blessed hope is the rapture, then there should be no comma and the sentence should read something similar to: Looking for that blessed hope in the glorious appearing, or, of the glorious appearing.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Jesus’ birth) is the first appearing which brought us blessed hope in eternal salvation. And the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is His second and final appearing. Until that time, we must honor our heavenly Father to the best of our ability and live in a manner that will glorify Him.

 

1 Corinthians 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

 

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

 

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

Many people, particularly unbelievers, see hope as being defined as a questionable thing; for example, the typical response “I hope so,” with the underlying meaning being “I don’t know.” A Christian’s joyous assurance of salvation and anticipation of the Lord’s return does not include the uncertainty of “I hope so” or “I don’t know.” So ask yourself, where do you want your hope to lie, in eternity or in question?

 

 

 

 

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