The Catholic Origins of Futurism and Preterism

I was driving down the road today and heard a short commentary on the radio about C.I. Scofield, his study system, and a Jesuit connection. I have a Scofield study Bible, and at one time in my walk after my conversion, I studied it faithfully. At that time, I was influenced by a heavy Fundamentalist, KJV-Only, Dispensational, Good Ole Boy Baptist Theology. By default I was a futurist pre-tribber when it came to my eschatology. Since then I have changed my view to some degree.  I fell back on my Lutheran roots, and the teachings of the reformers and many modern Calvinists; but, most of all, I fell back on the clear teaching of the Bible and Church History. There are many things that have been forgotten or just overlooked, but I can say that all Christians need to be familiar with the history of the Church. It will broaden your appreciation and perspective.

I haven't read all of it, but there are two links below that refer in depth to the subject of the Catholic Church, Eschatology, C.I. Scofield, and the Reformers. All of the reformers like Luther, Zwingly, Calvin, Tyndale, and Beza thought the Catholic Church to be part of the anti-Christ as referred to in Daniel and Revelation. They were believed to be the "little horn." I know many in the Romish Church that are wonderful individuals, but just like many Protestants, they don't know much of their own history or Theology. I encourage you to check this out mainly from a historical point of view, but there may be some good Theological points to gain as well. I am an Amillenialist by the way when it comes to my eschatology. What would I call myself? I am a Reformed Baptist, Byzantine text preferring, amillenialist. You can just call me a Christian or a follower of Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Origins of Futurism and Preterism

 Early Church Fathers on the Timing of the Rise of Antichrist


  1. [Wilderness Road, may I have your reaction to this recently found web bit? Arthur]

    Futurism Was, Is, and Is To Come

    Preterists claim that the "Antichrist" and the "great tribulation" were fulfilled during the 70 AD period.
    If so, why do we find that the arrival of the Antichrist was regarded as a future event by writers who lived during and after 70 AD?
    Polycarp (70-167) wrote that "He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead."
    Justin Martyr (100-168) said that "[Antichrist] shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians...."
    Irenaeus (140-202) wrote that the ten kings (Rev. 17)"shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight."
    It's not true that Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) "revived" futurism because it was never lost during the Middle Ages or prior to that period of time.
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) stated: "There remains only one thing - that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear."
    Roger Bacon (1214-1274) spoke of "future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist...."
    John Wycliffe (1320-1384) referred to "the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii."
    Martin Luther (1483-1546): "[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future...."
    (Google or Yahoo "Famous Rapture Watchers" to see quotes from many Christian leaders throughout the Church Age which prove that they expected a future Antichrist and a future great tribulation.)
    Preterists use Matt. 24:34 ("This generation will not pass....") to try to prove a 70 AD fulfillment of "Antichrist." Since many of them see "these" (Matt. 25:46) fulfilled in the future in Rev. 20, why can't they apply futurism as easily to Matt. 24:34? After all, the word "this" is the singular form of "these"!
    To see something that preterists, historicists, and futurists can all agree on, Google "Pretrib Rapture Secrets."

    1. Thanks for sharing. I will check it out.

    2. I have to admit that I am not well versed in the end times prophecy texts. However, I do think that the Amillenial view is the best and most historical. Augustine was an Amillenialist. Check out:

    3. I apologize for taking so long to respond. I have just looked at all of the info, and wanted to get back with you concerning your response. First of all, I do want to let you know that I do not necessarily agree with the opinions of the writer; however, the historical information is accurate as far as I can tell. I don't personally agree with the Catholic Church on most issues of doctrine either, but I do agree with them on abortion and life issues.

      The point of the first article has to do with the view of Historicism held by the Protestants during the Reformation and the efforts of the Catholic Church to counter that view. After the beginning of the Reformation, the Catholics launched a Counter-Reformation. The Historicists thought the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation referred to the Catholic Church from the Dark Ages to the present. They believed the Catholic Church to be the "little horn" of the "Ten horned beast." These interpretations were gaining traction. To counter those views, the Catholics tried to divert this by coming up with an alternative. Two alternatives resulted: Futurism & Preterism.

      Even though the Reformers held to the Historicism view about the Roman Catholic Church, they believed there would be other antichrists if the Lord tarried(1 John 2:18-22/4:3 & 2 John 7). However, many such as Martin Luther thought that the end of time was near (Just like we do today). The view of the Reformers was gaining traction and the Catholics needed to find a way to defend themselves. First they tried killing the Protestants, but they kept multiplying. Therefore, the Roman Church had to find another way to stop the Protestant movement. Many things came out of that effort, and one of them was the Jesuit order. The purpose of the Jesuits were to infiltrate the efforts of Protestants. It appears that the Futurist and Preterist doctrines were formulated as an attempt to specifically counter the Protestant view of Historicism. The Council of Trent determined how this Counter-Reformation would be done, and the addition of the Apocrypha to the Bible was also made.

      The author of the article did state that he thought "Francisco Ribera may be regarded as the founder," but I believe that is his opinion based on the specific views of Futurism Ribera was espousing. I think the writer was aware that others had a type of Futurist view and knew of a future coming antichrist (Augustine was an Amillenialist and he lived in the 4th century). Since many people in Europe were beginning to buy into Historicism, Ribera, along with the others were trying to get the proverbial monkey off of the Roman Church's back. What is particularly interesting to me is that Futurism and even Preterism are now two predominant views of Protestant believers today. I know more Futurists, but I do know a few Preterists. I don't know many Amillenialists other than myself.

      I hope that is helpful. Based on the historical facts, I truly think it is interesting to see the origins of Pre-Tribulation Futurism and Preterism. I didn't know they had Catholic origins, but now I do. Thanks for your thoughts.


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