. When I was studying church history, I was interested in finding out the opinion and the understanding of the early Christians in regard to the anti-christ. This was back in the second, third and fourth century after Christ. It was before the full development of the papacy as we understand it. Christians knew about the anti-christ because the apostles warned them and they studied the prophecies.
I was so interested to read from a Christian writer in about the second century who said, "Well, right now we are in the time of the legs of Daniel 2 or in the time of the fourth beast in Daniel 7? Would you agree with that? Did he understand the times in which he lived? Yes, he did. He understood that he was living in the time of the fourth kingdom predicted in Daniel.
He said, "Now after the fourth kingdom, it's going to be divided into ten kingdoms? Would you agree with that? That was still future when he was talking; the Roman Empire was still a world empire.
He said, "Then after Rome is divided up into these ten kingdoms, the anti-christ is going to appear and it's going to grow up among those ten kingdoms." Now would you agree with that? Did he have his prophecy figured out? He did. The early Christians taught about that They taught that they were living in the time of the fourth beast and that after the fourth beast, it would be divided up into ten kingdoms and then among those a little horn would arise, and that would be the anti-christ that would grow up among the ten kingdoms.
Well, time went on and the papacy was developed; Rome was divided. There were Christians living in those times that realized that prophecy was being fulfilled. One of the reasons that history is so boring to most people in school today is because they're not taught history in connection with prophecy. When you study prophecy and then you study history to find out how prophecy is fulfilled, then, very suddenly, history becomes very interesting.
During this time, there were Christians, for example, John Chrysostom , who lived in Constantinople and was a Christian pastor. This was during the time when the apostasy was developing, and John Chrysostom was a very careful Bible student of Matthew 24. He was persecuted so much that because of the hard-ships that came upon him because of persecution, he died before he was sixty years of age. But John Chrysostom said, "Now you need to be careful because what you think is the church could become the anti-christ." He told people that!
And he said that when he studied Matthew 24, he said, "Matthew 24, when it talks about the destruction of Jerusalem, the primary picture of this great tribulation is not talking so much about the literal destruction of Jerusalem, it's talking about the Christian church, the spiritual church, spiritual Jerusalem. And there's going to be a great tribulation like there's never been before." Do you think he had things figured out? When it came to prophecy, he had things figured out pretty clearly. That was around the end of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth century.
Around 1,000 A.D. there was a bishop that reported that "the common people in this country (Germany), they think that the pope is the anti-christ" There was one of the bishops in France around the same time, and he said, "I believe from studying the Bible that the pope is the anti-christ."
When the Protestant reformers came on the scene of action, every single one of them believed that the pope was the anti-christ. And the belief that the pope was the anti-christ was one of the greatest stimuli that brought on the Protestant reformation. The Protestant theologians and preachers taught the people, "You have been thinking all along that this was the church, but this is not really the church, it's the anti-christ power. You need to get out of it."
Martin Luther read from Revelation 18 where it talks about Babylon, and it says, "Come out of her, My people." That's what it says in the Protestant Bible. The Roman Catholic Bible says, "Go out of her, My people." Martin Luther preached on that and he told the people, "You had better get out of Babylon. The pope is the anti-christ and you better get out of Babylon if you're going to have salvation." And 50,000,000 people walked out of the Catholic church.
Now that was the culmination of events that had occurred over a period of a couple hundred years. Two hundred years before Martin Luther's time, in the sixteenth century, there was John Wycliffe, whom Ellen White calls the "Morning Star of the Reformation." How a person could grow up in such stygian darkness as he grew up in and learn the Bible and refute the entire religious belief of all of Europe and have such a clear understanding of the plan of salvation is a marvel to me.
During John Wycliffe's time, they had a schism, a division, in the Roman Catholic church. The reason they had a schism was because there were two people that claimed to be the pope at the same time. And so each one of them said that the other was the anti-christ. John Wycliffe said, "I think that they are both right." That had a tremendous impact on the people in England and the people in Europe. And so all the Protestant reformers taught that the papacy was the anti-christ.
Now before we continue, I want to mention a few things that I read as a young man from the writings of Ellen White. Number one (this is about page 50 of The Great Controversy), Ellen White says that the papacy is the devils masterpiece. Do not think, friends, that the religion of the papacy is unreasonable or doesn't make sense. From a philosophical point of view, if you accept certain basic foundation principles, it is very logical. There have been brilliant minds for hundreds of years that have been in the Catholic church and believed in the system because it is a very logical religion if you accept certain basic foundation principles. Ellen White says that the papacy is the devil's masterpiece.
Then she writes that ages ago, sometimes she sounds like it was thousands of years ago, the devil was planning for his last campaign against the church-- thousands of years ago he was planning.
Now what has he been planning? What has the devil been planning for thousands of years? Look in your Bible in Revelation 12:9. This is a statement about the end of the world. It says, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him." He deceives how much of the world? The whole world.
Now we will not understand, until the end of all things, how many different machinations the devil has to deceive the world.
It's not just one system. There are many systems that the devil works through to deceive the world. And he is working so that if you figure out that this system is wrong, then you can get shifted to that system, or this system, or another system. That's really true. We'll look at a couple of them tonight. We're going to look at how the Protestant world got mixed up about who the anti-christ is. Almost the entire Protestant world today is mixed up, and I mean really mixed up. It is having consequences that even thirty or forty years ago we never imagined it would have, except for those people who read the Spirit of Prophecy and the book of Revelation.
And so fifty million people at least walked out of the Roman Catholic Church. I don't know what it is now, but when I was a boy, in the entire world there was between two and three hundred million Protestants. I don't know how many Protestants there are in the world now. That's a lot of people. The Catholic church would have liked for all those people to stay in their church.
In addition to that, we don't know how many millions of Greek Orthodox people there are. The Catholic church would have liked for all those people to stay in their church too. That happened as a result of a great schism also that began in 1054. There was a split off of the church in the East from the papacy, the church in the West.
Now when fifty million people walked out of the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic church called a Council. Some of you have studied a little bit of history. The Council of Trent began in 1545 and went for eighteen years until 1563. Can anyone tell me what the primary purpose for which the Council of Trent was called? Now remember the date--1545. What was the purpose for which it was called? To defeat Protestantism and figure out how to get these people back into the Catholic church!
The Protestants were all believing and teaching and it was going out all over the world that the pope was the anti-christ. And in order to get these people back, some way the thinking of the people of the world had to be changed so that they would not think that the pope was the anti-christ. So there were some Roman Catholic clergymen that were given an assignment And their assignment was simply this: You figure out a way to interpret the prophecies so that the pope won't come out being the anti-christ That was the assignment.
There was more than one hypothesis that was offered. One hypothesis that was offered, and is still accepted by some in the theological world today, was by a man by the name of Alcazar. He was a Roman Catholic priest and he said, This is what we're going to do: we're going to take these prophecies about the little horn and we're going to say that those refer back to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (that's about two hundred years before the time of Christ) and to Nero.-- he was the anti-christ. We're going to interpret it that they came to pass back there.
That teaching over a long period of time infiltrated into many seminaries so that there are Protestant scholars today that teach this. When I taught in Fort Worth, I went to the Baptist's Theological Seminary bookstore and they had some books there on prophecy. I knew where to look and I took some books and quickly looked to see what they said about the little horn and about those prophecies in Daniel, and they said, Well, that applies to Antiochus Epiphanes.
If you have studied the little horn in Daniel and checked all the texts very carefully in the Hebrew text that is utterly ridiculous--that's impossible! I document, in the book God Predicts Your Future, that it's impossible that the little horn could refer to Antiochus Epiphanes. It would make the Bible self-contradictory.
But that was not the most successful theory. A more successful theory about how to take the pressure from off the pope was suggested by a Jesuit by the name of Ribera . As I have studied this, I have thought to myself, When I look at everything that I have seen that has happened, it is impossible that this is just chance. The devil had to be at work in developing this system, because this is a complete system of interpretation of prophecy. It is a complete system. And once a person is inoculated and believes this complete system, they're drunk on the doctrine, and let me tell you, if you don't know what you're dealing with, you can't win them to the Lord or to keeping His commandments or the Three Angels Messages or anything. You cannot touch them, unless you know what you're doing.
I'll just tell you a story. My brother Marshall was holding his first series of meetings in Pennsylvania and he hadn't studied this thing out yet that we're going to study tonight, and so he just started preaching the truths of the Bible. He preached to the people about the second coming, and do you know what happened? He lost almost his whole crowd! Almost nobody came back. Now the few people that did come back, he baptized almost all of them. Eventually they accepted the three angels messages and became part of God's remnant people. But most of them he lost right there. So then he started studying why he lost all those people all of sudden when he started talking about the second coming.
The reason was that they had accepted this theology that Ribera had developed. And that's why, if you look at our Prophecy Seminar, we don't start off talking about the second coming. In fact, we spend about three evenings just working on the rapture theory, because if you don't do that, you lose the people. You need to know that if you're giving Bible studies to somebody, you need to find out if they believe in the rapture. Most Christians do; and if they do, you had better know what you are doing when you introduce the subject. You can't go immediately to the subject of the second coming or you'll lose them.
We don't have time this evening to explain how this system is all interlinked, but we will look at a few things. First I'd like to just mention for you in a nut-shell what Ribera taught. What Ribera taught was introduced at the Council of Trent, and this has infiltrated almost the entire Protestant world today. Here is, in a nut-shell, what Ribera came up with.
The Protestants were taking the prophecies in Daniel 7, and they said the little horn was the pope and that's the anti-christ. And the Protestants read 2 Thessalonians 2 and they said that the man of sin is the pope and that's the anti-christ. They read about the beast power in Revelation 13 and they said that is the papacy and that's the anti-christ. The Protestants read about Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 and they said that is the papacy and that's anti-christ. All the sixteenth century reformers taught that.
And so Ribera said, Here's what we're going to do: we're going to introduce the teaching that all of these prophecies about the great tribulation, the 1260 days, the anti-christ, all of that is going to be fulfilled right at the end of the world during a seven year period of tribulation.
Have you ever heard of the seven year period of tribulation? Has anybody ever talked to you about that? There is going to be a seven year period of tribulation right at the end of the world; and an atheist is going to come and he's going to take over the world. It's going to be a terrible time and that's going to be the anti-christ!
Now that was clear back in the sixteenth century when Ribera introduced that. But obviously, what a Jesuit priest said didn't have any affect on Protestants, they just went on preaching that the papacy was the anti-christ. When you go clear up to the seventeenth century, even at the end of the seventeenth century, Protestants were still teaching all over the world that the papacy was the anti-christ.
In fact, in the early part of the nineteenth century, most Protestants still believed that the papacy was the anti-christ, and all Protestants in the early part of the nineteenth century still believed the Biblical teaching about the second coming of Christ in glory. But in the nineteenth century something happened. The devil had been working on this now for hundreds of years and he hadn't been successful yet. But in the nineteenth century something happened.
Now this whole business is called dispensationalism today. It comes from the teachings of Ribera and it involves the teaching of the secret rapture and the seven years of tribulation; then after that there'll be the second coming of Christ.
But before we look at that, I want to ask you a question: Do you believe that God knows the end from the beginning? Since God knows the end from the beginning, do you think that a development this dramatic, something that would deceive, and it has deceived right now almost all the Christian world, do you think it's possible for that to happen and for God not to have known about it? Well then, if God knew about it, do you think that He would have said anything about it?
Turn in your Bible to Matthew 24. It's an amazing thing, in this chapter Jesus puts His finger right on the problem and He gives some very straight counsel. You cannot believe in dispensationalism or the secret rapture or any of those things if you believe what Jesus said. The problem is, a lot of people haven't studied the Bible closely.
Now let's turn to Matthew 24 and see what Jesus said about it. Obviously Jesus knew what was going to happen. Jesus says in Matthew24:24, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive if possible the very elect." Well now, what are these signs and wonders that they're going to show that if possible they would deceive even the very elect?
Look back at verse 21. "For then there will be great tribulation." Now we need to know that, because the dispensationalists say, Well there's going to be a rapture before the tribulation. But notice here that there's going to be great tribulation, that's verse 21. So there's the tribulation.
And in verse 22, "And lest those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened." So verse 22 says that for the elect's sake the tribulation will be shortened. Now, if you've studied Bible prophecy, verse 22 of Matthew 24 gives you a time. There's the tribulation, but the tribulation is going to be shortened. When's the time? The time of the great tribulation came to an end in 1798, but the tribulation was to be shortened. And the best records we have, the tribulation, the persecution of Protestants by the papacy, had almost totally ended by 1772. So does this give you a time? That's a time.
Now look at verse 23. "Then." What does the word then mean? At that time. The great tribulation has come, but it's been shortened, so when would the at that time be? That would be at the latter part of the eighteenth century, the early part of the nineteenth century, right in that period of time. That's when it would have to be. "Then," at that time, "if anyone says to you, Look, here is the Christ or there, do not believe him."
And then in verse 25, "See, I have told you beforehand, therefore if they say to you Look, he is in the desert, do not go out or look he is the secret rooms, do not believe it, for as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of man be."
Jesus said, When you look down at the end of the time of the great tribulation (that would be the latter part of the eighteenth century), about that time there's going to develop a teaching. And what's that teaching Jesus warned us not to believe? The teaching about a secret coming of Christ.
And the interesting thing is when you study church history that just happens to be the time when the whole theory of the secret rapture came into Protestantism. It was the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century. Before that time it hadn't taken root Right at the exact time that Jesus specified, the teachings of dispensationalism began to become prominent.
Let me just read to you a statement about Ribera . It says, "The Jesuit Ribera tried to set aside the application of these prophecies to the papal power by bringing out the futurist system which asserts that these prophecies refer properly, not to the career of the papacy but to that of some future super-natural individual who is yet to appear and to continue in power for three and a half years. Thus, as Alfred says, the Jesuit Ribera, about A.D. 1580 may be regarded as the founder of the futurist system of modern times." So this futurist system of interpreting prophecy wasn't catching hold in Protestantism, they still believed in the second coming of Christ; they still believed that the pope was the anti-christ. In 1830, though, there was a young lady by the name of McDonald and she said, I have had visions and revelations of the Lord. There was a man who went to visit her, his name was John Darby. And he visited her and he found out something very interesting that she had come up with. Some 1 people believe, that haven't studied their history closely enough, that she was the founder of dispensationalism. But actually it was Ribera, the Jesuit priest
But look at what she did. She took the second coming and she $ split it up into two things. She said, The second coming is right here, this is the second coming of Christ in glory. But she said, before the second coming, seven years before-hand, there's going to be a secret coming--a secret rapture. All the saints are going to be raptured away with the Lord and they're going to be taken to heaven. And so the Lord is coming for the saints here; He's coming with the saints there.
All right, between here and here there's going to be seven years of tribulation. Now what's going to happen in this seven years of tribulation? Remember, Ellen White said that the devil has been planning for thousands of years a way to deceive the whole world during his last campaign against the church. Well, here's what's supposed to happen during the seven years. They said, This seven years of tribulation, this is the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy in Daniel9. Have you ever heard that idea? This is the seventieth week; the seventieth week is seven years.
Now the interesting thing about this, if you've studied carefully, it doesn't make sense. On the one hand a week is how long? Seven years. But yet within this they have for half a week, you have 1260 days of persecution! In the middle of the week the anti-christ comes and stops the people from sacrificing. And so they say that during this time you're going to have a hundred and forty-four thousand Jews and they're going to go all over the world and preach the gospel and they're going to win lots of converts. But in the middle of the week the anti-christ is going to come and stop them from sacrificing.
The trouble is, I've never figured out how you get seven years out of one week, but you only get three and a half years out of 1260 days! There is something that just doesn't make sense. Either this should just be one week or else the 1260 days should be 1260 years--one or the other.
Another thing that doesn't make sense about this is that many Protestant scholars that 1 have checked this out have found and they say that after the sixty-nine weeks the gospel went to the Gentiles, but then here in this seventieth week it's going to go to the Jews. Well what does the Bible say about the Jews and the Gentiles? The whole seventy week period is for the Jews! And where is the evidence in the Bible that there is a gap between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week?
And so what you have is this: here's the prophet Daniel, and here's what he sees--he sees the cross and he could see the rapture, the second coming, and down here is the gap. This is the age of the church for about two thousand years, and the prophets couldn't see anything along in there during those two thousand years--that's the gap, what is sometimes called the gap theory.
Now what's the purpose of the gap? What is the bottom-line purpose? Why was Ribera interested in introducing this? It takes the pressure off of the peope.
Now we'll go a little further in history and then I'll explain to you how well this thing has taken hold. In 1833 in England, almost all the people still believed that the anti-christ was the papacy. But in 1833 you have the beginning of the Oxford movement which was actually infiltration by Roman Catholics into the Church of England's education system. And fifty years later most of the people didn't believe that the pope was the anti-christ anymore! And the reason was because of the teachings of futurism--the introducing of the teachings of dispensationalism which is what it is.
And so today, the vast majority of Protestants, when you go to give Bible studies to somebody, this is what they believe.
And if you look at books like The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, or many other books that have been written, they teach that someday, sometime, there's going to be airplanes and subways and some way the pilot's just going to disappear and a whole bunch of people are going to disappear in the trains and the cars!
And then after they disappear there's just going to be seven years of the worst tribulation that there's ever been. They say that it's going to make all the rule of Stalin, the Genghis Khan, ,and all that will be like child's play compared to what this is going to be. It's going to be the worst time of tribulation all over the world for over seven years. During that time the anti-christ is going to come and the anti-christ is going to be an atheist dictator. Many people believe that this will be a Jewish atheist dictator who will rule in Jerusalem, and he will go to Jerusalem and stop the 144,000 from offering the sacrifices.
By the way, if the 144,000 are converted Jews, what would they be offering sacrifices for? Have you ever tried to figure that out?
Well, this theory needed a way to catch on in the United States. John Darby was promoting it. But it wasn't catching on in the United States until there came a man to Kansas. Did you know that the most influential person in introducing dispensationalism in the United States came from Kansas? He's a Kansan. And you've heard of him. His name was Cyrus Schofield.
Let me read to you a little bit about Cyrus Schofield. In Matthew 7 Jesus said that we're going to know them by what? Their fruits. You have a right, if somebody is a religious teacher, to ask about that person's private life. Is their life in harmony with the teachings of Jesus? You have the right to ask that. Does their teaching bring forth good fruit?
Now there was a man who claimed to be a prophet a while ago in Adventism, and wherever he went homes started breaking up--husbands and wives started leaving each other as a result of accepting his teachings. Is that good fruit? It's not good fruit!
Now I want to read to you about Cyrus Schofield so you can see if this man had good fruit in his life. This is what was written in the Topeka Kansas Daily Capitol, August 27, 1881. "Cyrus Schofield, formerly of Kansas, late lawyer, politician and shyster generally, has come to the surface again. The last personal knowledge that Kansans have had of this peer among scally-wags was when about 4 years ago, after a series of forgeries and confidence games he left the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada. 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 $1300 of her mothers money."
Now how much would $1,300 then compared to now be? How much would that money be worth today?
"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."
Well, Schofield spent some time in jail and the newspaper went on to show how that when he was in jail, he got acquainted with a young lady and fell in love with her and went and married her and left his former wife and children destitute. This man went on to become notorious, because this is the man that went on to write the notes in what came to be known as the Schofield Bible.
Now the Schofield Bible was published in 1909 and it has sold well over 2,000,000 copies. And what the Schofield Bible has in it is notes. So you have the texts and then off to the side of the bottom it has notes on the text. And these notes were notes written by Schofield. He tells you what the texts mean. And if you go and read the notes, one person said all you need to figure out prophecy and the rapture is to just take the Schofield Bible and read it for six months and it will convert you and indoctrinate you and you'll have it figured out
The Schofield Bible has been adopted by hundreds of Bible institutes in America as the Bible for teaching Bible prophecy. When I was a boy in Colorado, there was a Bible college just a couple of miles from town. I didn't know anything about the rapture much at that time, didn't know anything about this history. There was a student of this Bible college who came and visited our church, so I started talking to him. We got to talking about prophecy and about the -seventieth week, and when I heard what he thought about the seventieth week I said, No that's not the way it is. And we got into an argument. He was so gullible that I said, How could '1 anybody be so mixed up? Well, .1 what he had been imbibing was futurism.
As a result of the Schofield Bible being accepted into many Bible colleges all over America, in the majority of Protestant pulpits today, this theory that Ribera, in the counsel of Trent, first introduced is being taught all over Protestantism today.
So what does it do? Well one of the things that it does when you believe it, you talk to one of these people about the gospel and about the law of God and they say, Well that doesn't mean anything to me, that's for the Jews! Well, then the Old Testament? Well that's for the Jews! One person said, Well people that believe in the rapture ought to just publish a Bible just for them. It would be a little tiny Bible! You look at the book of Revelation past chapter three and they say that's all after the tribulation. You talk to them about the mark of the beast and they say, Well that's after the tribulation, I won't even be here, I don't need to worry about the mark of the beast!
And so you study Bible prophecy, it doesn't apply, it's going to all happen after the rapture. You see, that's what Ribera had in mind. Shall I say that's what the devil had in mind--to put people to sleep. So you have almost the entire Protestant world today, as well as the Catholic world, believing and teaching this. Have you seen Catholic advertisements for meetings of late? They're teaching people to watch out! The anti-christ is going to come soon! Some people have gone so far as to think that the next pope might be the anti-christ.
Now along with this there is this teaching of the literal Jews. So there needed to be a development to make it seem like it was going to workout. For ever since the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and then again in 135 A.D. Jerusalem had been controlled by foreign powers, it wasn't controlled by the Jews. But the devil needed a way to make his ideas of prophecy look like they were going to be fulfilled.
Part of the rapture theory is the idea that these prophecies of the Old Testament apply to the literal Jews, that they're God's chosen people and a 144,000 are going to be literal Jews. It talks about the different tribes in Revelation 7 and they're going to go all over preaching and teaching. The temple in Ezekiel 40--that has got to be established back again in Jerusalem. So how is this going to happen?
Well, Judaism was almost to completely die out in the seventh century A.D. But then there was a heathen nation, they eventually settled in the area that we call today the Ukraine. You don't hear very much about them. They're called the Chazars. They were a heathen nation. They became so degraded that we cannot talk about their worship, it's too foul, too awful. They became so degraded that one of the kings decided that they had to have a different religion. Well he was right on that account, the religion they had was destroying them.
He said, We've got to have another religion. He decided that they were going to adopt a mono-theistic religion. Now there were mono-theistic religions in the world at that time. There was Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. They didn't call it Judaism then, they called it the Talmud or Talmudism.
And so this king looked at these three different religions and he said (I do not know all the reasons), The religion that we're going to accept as our national religion is going to be the Talmud religion. And so they went down to the Middle East and they brought in Jewish rabbis and they built synagogues and they built schools and these Jewish rabbis started teaching the people the Jewish religion from the Talmud. Now remember, the religion of the Talmud is not the religion of the Old Testament at all. They started teaching these people the religion of the Talmud and these people did not even have writing.
In English there was a time when those of us who speak English, we didn't have writing either. And the time came that we needed writing so we took the Latin alphabet. And the sounds of English words we made it according to the Latin alphabet and we developed writing in English. That happened over a several hundred year period. The French did the same thing. The French writing is based on the Latin alphabet. The 1 German writing is based on the Latin alphabet.
These people didn't have writing either, but they took the Hebrew alphabet and they reduced their language to writing with the Hebrew alphabet And 1 that's a modern language today. Have you ever heard of the language called Yiddish? That's the language that's spoken by many millions of people today and that was the language of the Chazars reduced to writing with the Hebrew alphabet. Now Yiddish has no relationship whatsoever to Hebrew just like English really isn't related to Latin although it may have borrowed some words.
These people then, within a generation, became known and have called themselves ever since Jews. Now they are not blood descendants of Abraham, but they call themselves Jews. Among the Jews, as we're lately finding out more about Africa, they have different groups of Jews. And these Jews that descended from the Chazars are called Ashcanazi Jews. They do not like Jews that are the blood descendants of Abraham, so we have tribal jealousies among the two different groups of Jews, the blood Jews and these people that accepted the Jewish religion. You have that even in the nation of Israel today.
This heathen tribe that became of the Jewish religion is the majority of the people in Europe and in the Middle East today that claim to be Jews. It has been estimated by some historians that as much as ninety percent of the people that call themselves Jews are not blood descendants of Abraham like most people think, but are actually people that have been converted to the Jewish religion.
Now these people, the Ashcanazi Jews, have wanted for a long time to have a territory. If you study history, they were conquered, they had a kingdom for a while down in southern Russia, but they were conquered by the Russians. So they were absorbed by the nation of Russia. They were forced by Christian rulers to at least confess that they were Christians. You had to believe like your ruler did in those days, they didn't have religious liberty. And so they developed something very interesting customs that they still have today and this is one of the reasons that people like Hitler and others hated the Jews so much.
They developed a vow that ii they would say at the Day of Atonement, and this vow, was a prayer, that they said that negated any vow that they would make during the next year until the next Day of Atonement. So if a ruler came and said that you had to vow allegiance to your ruler they could take any vow they wanted to, they'd already negated it by the vow they'd taken the previous Day of Atonement, and it would be negated again on the next Day of Atonement for the next year. This is one of the reasons that people came to distrust and hate these people so much, it's not the only reason but it's one of the reasons. They said, They could vow anything, you can't trust them.
Great Britain said, Yes we know that you would like to have a territory for a kingdom; we can get you some territory probably in Africa.
And they said, No, we don't want territory in Africa.
Well, where do you want it?
We want Palestine! That's our country and that's what we want
Now actually it had never been their country, they weren't blood descendants of Abraham. But they said, That's ours and that's what we want.
Let me tell you something that a lot of people don't know. This has been taught in Protestant pulpits all over the world. You see, this development fits perfectly with the teachings of the secret rapture and dispensationalism and it makes it look true. Remember, the devil has been planning for thousands of years to figure out a way to! make his idea of the prophecies come true.
Well they couldn't get any territory so finally, shortly after World War II they took terrorists and they went into Palestine where there were both blood descendants of Abraham and Arabs that were living. They went and they massacred people in villages. Then they got in cars and they went through the streets of the town, and people knew that a whole group had been massacred, and they said, Look, if you don't get out of here, you're going to get massacred too! What do you suppose the native population did? They fled. That's the way the nation of Israel was established.
They went and massacred people by the hundreds and they got up with loud speakers and went around the territory and said, If you don't get out of here, you're going to get massacred too. And people fled. That's the way they got control of a little piece of Israel and established a nation in 1948. Then people said, Oh, see! God is returning the land of Palestine back to the Jews!
However, if you've studied history, it wasn't anything that God would have anything to do with. And that's the way that things have developed ever since then.
Now in Texas and some other places do you know what they're planning to do now? They want to destroy the Mosque of Omar Why do they want to destroy that? They want to build a temple there. And when they build a temple there, what do they plan to do? They plan to start offering animal sacrifices again. Because you have to be offering animal sacrifices so that when the anti-christ comes he can make you stop offering animal sacrifices!
The average Protestant in America today is expecting all of this to happen. By the way, none of this could have happened without the United States. The nation of Israel never could have gotten going without the United States. I could show you material to show evidence that they're a communist country. Most people don't know that, they think they're a democracy, but that's just in name only. They're also a fascist country. And in name they're also a democracy.
They're a little bit of everything. They are run and operated by the Ashcanazi Jews. It's an absolute dictatorship. Did you know that according to the Talmud it's the death penalty if you become a Christian? That will give you just a little bit of a flavor for that country. If you're a Jew and you go to Israel and you become a Christian, it's the death penalty according to the Talmud.
Why has the Middle East been a powder-keg for the last forty or fifty years? It's because of these terrorists activities. The Jews developed a nation by terrorism and it's essentially a nation that's run by organized crime. They would have gone bankrupt a long time ago except for foreign aid coming from guess who? The United States.
Well why are we willing to send so much foreign aid? Be-cause there is a strong constituent of what is called Zionists in New York city, and they're powerful enough to influence our national elections! They're powerful enough, for instance, to influence Harry Truman, who was president when this all happened, to read the Talmud. Did you know that Harry Truman was an avid reader of the Talmud (which is an anti-christian work)?
So what is the purpose of all this? The purpose of all this is that the devil is diverting the worlds attention from reality, the real anti-christ, the real issue. What is the real issue? The real issue, friends, look at Revelation 16:15. Jesus is speaking, it talks about Armageddon and Jesus said, "Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
What does it mean to keep you garments or to walk naked? What does clothing represent all through the Bible ever since Genesis 3? It represents character. Look in Revelation 19:7, 8. You see the fine linen that the church has. The church is the bride of Christ. What is that fine linen? It's the righteous acts of the saints.
The devil wants to keep peoples minds diverted so that they're trying to figure out when the anti-christ is going to come to stop the people sacrificing in Jerusalem. What's going to happen? The devil's trying to keep people diverted off of this so that they won't see what's really happening.
I've had some very interesting experiences. I've talked to people who have studied this rapture theory their whole life in church and in the Bible, and they've come to me and said, after they've come to our prophecy seminar, This is the first time anybody explained the prophecies so that they made sense!
Why are Protestants so mixed up? Because the devil doesn't want the Protestant world to know who the anti-christ is, be-cause if they knew they wouldn't enter into the ecumenical movement. And in order for the Protestants and the Catholics to join hands, the Protestants have to forget who the anti-christ is so that they can join up to the anti-christ to further the devil's program at the end of time.
The Bible says in Revelation! 12:9 that the devil deceives how much of the world? The whole world. And Ellen White says he's been planning on doing this for how long? For thousands of years! He's been planning and developing and working on all of these plans.
Now before we close, let's just go through very quickly (we won't try to prove it). Let's go though, this is not exhaustive, there's at least twenty points that could be given. But let's go through very quickly who the Bible says the anti-christ is. We will not try to prove it, you can look up the texts.
1) The anti-christ will develop out of the ten divisions of the Roman Empire. Is that what it teaches in Daniel 7? So it's going to develop out of the ten divisions of the Roman Empire, it's going to develop in Europe, not in Jerusalem! Jerusalem was not part of the ten divisions of the Roman Empire. Anti-christ is not going to appear in Jerusalem, it's going to appear in the ten divisions of the Roman Empire according to Daniel 7.
2) The anti-christ is both a religious and a political power. How do we know that? Because it says in 2 Thessalonians 2 that it sits in the temple of God. It couldn't sit in the temple of God if it didn't have anything to do with religion could it? So it's a religious power because its in the temple of God and it is worshipped. But it's also a political power, because Daniel 7 says that it is the little horn, and the horns all represent what? Kingdoms. So it is a religious power and it is a kingdom--it is both.
3) The anti-christ power, according to Daniel 7, in the process of arising, it is to destroy or uproot how many kings? Three.
4) The anti-christ power (according to 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 7; and Revelation 13) is going to speak great things. Now Daniel says he's going to speak great things against God. Paul says he's going to exalt himself above everything that's worshipped. He's going to speak great things.
Has the pope ever fulfilled that? The papacy has claimed for hundreds of years, not just the ability to forgive sins, but they say, We have the very place of God on earth. Do you remember when Pope John Paul II was shot and it appeared in the news that somebody said, That's like trying to kill God! He will speak great things.
Has the pope tried to do anything that God Himself won't do? What did God say about His law in Psalms 89:34? He says, I won't change it. Jesus wouldn't change it. God the Father wouldn't change it. The apostles never changed it The pope says, I'll change it. That's exalting yourself greater than the God of heaven when you say that you can change somebody else's law.
Does the governor of Kansas call Bill Clinton and say, Look I'm going to change the law you signed yesterday? Does he do that? He'd be in big trouble if he tried it. But the pope says, I will change God's law. God says, I won't change.
5) The anti-christ is to be a persecuting power. That should hardly need mentioning if you've read any Protestant history books. How many people were killed by the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, which was the massacre of Protestants in France, in 1572? We don't know because we don't have accurate records, but it was somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000-- just that one massacre. In the crusade against the Waldenses in 1208, around 900,000 men were killed in one year. The Huguenots, in a one hundred year period, they know of 600,000, now that's Huguenots, that's in one country in Europe. That's not all over the world. That's just in one country in a one hundred year period.
Lecky said "that the Roman Catholic church has shed more innocent blood than any other organization in history will be doubted by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history."
6) The anti-christ will think] to change times and laws, Daniel 7:25.
7) The anti-christ will have special power for 1,260 days. And that's such an important time period, it's mentioned at least six times in Bible prophecy. The 1,260 day period is going to extend to the time of the end, so you know it's a time prophecy, it's a 1,260 year period that extends to the time of the end. And then the anti-christ is to have a special number, the number of a man. The number is 666. This is a very significant number, because it is specifically mentioned in the third angels message. It's a number that goes all the way back to Nimrod.
We're living in the time predicted in Bible prophecy when the devil is going to deceive almost the whole world. Do you see how it's happening? Almost the whole Protestant world, almost the whole Catholic world, is deceived tonight. They're not looking for the second coming of Christ. They're looking for a secret rapture, the very thing Jesus said to look out for! Then after that they're looking for the anti-christ to come.
I don't know what the Lord will allow the devil to do, I'm not a prophet, the Lord hasn't told me. But I'll tell you something, if the Lord allows it to happen, do you think the devil has the ability to bring the whole thing off so it will look like it happened?
Your only safety against not being deceived is to study this book on your knees and say, Lord, help me to understand the truth and to follow it. The prophecies of this Book will prepare you for the end so that you'll be ready.
You see, people are going to be waiting for something and it's going to be all over. The Great Controversy says the end will come sooner than people think! They're going to be waiting and saying, Well this is going to happen and that is going to happen. I suppose there will still be some people waiting for the secret rapture and they'll see the Lord coming in the clouds of heaven, and it'll be too late.
This Book will not only teach you how to be ready for the future, but to also solve problems in your personal life and in your family life right now. You need to be studying this Book every day and say, Lord, teach me the truths. Don't just look around at what other people are teaching and believing, because almost the whole world today is deceived. What Revelation said is coming to pass right in front of yours eyes. Almost the whole world today is deceived by the rapture theory.
It is so bad, this happened in j another country, there was a Catholic priest and a group of Protestant ministers. Evan Sadler and Doug Hurley had passed out the Protestant magazine and had aroused a real ruckus in this town, and so the Protestant ministers and a Seventh-day Adventist minister and the Catholic priest were all there.
So they were talking about how terrible this magazine was because it said that the pope was the anti-christ! And so finally, the Roman Catholic priest asked the Seventh-day Adventist minister, Who do you believe the anti-christ is? So he had to tell him, The pope. Do you know what happened? That group right then passed a sanction because he had said something so awful!
This theory has taken control of the Christian world. What the Protestant reformers believed and taught, the Protestant churches today don't believe at all. They're not even Protestants anymore! We are living in the time when the devil is going to deceive the whole world. And your only chance, friend, is to take the Bible and to study it and say, Lord lead me to the truth so that I won't be deceived.
There's going to be a few people when Jesus comes that are going to be ready to meet Him. I want to be part of that group, do you? And you can be, you don't have to be deceived by all this if you'll open your Bible and say, I'm yielding my will, I'm yielding my mind to You; please teach me what the Bible says. If you do that, and read it, the Lord will teach you from His Word the truth so that you won't be deceived.