Jesuits Undermine The Truth

The Rev. Joseph Tanner, B. A., says:

     "So great hold did the conviction that the Papacy was the Antichrist gain upon the minds of men, that Rome at last saw she must bestir herself, and try, by putting forth other systems of interpretation, to counteract the identification of the Papacy with the Antichrist.  

     "Accordingly, towards the close of the century of the Reformation, two of her most learned doctors set themselves to the task, each endeavouring by different means to accomplish the same end; namely, that of diverting men's minds from perceiving the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Antichrist in the papal system. The Jesuit Alcasar devoted himself to bring into prominence the Preterist method of interpretation, . . . that the prophecies of Antichrist were fulfilled before the Popes ever ruled at Rome, and therefore could not apply to the Papacy. On the other hand 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 supernatural individual, who is yet to appear, and to continue in power for three and a half years. Thus, as Alford says, the Jesuit Ribera, about A. D. 1580, may be regarded as the Founder of the Futurist system in modern times. 

     "It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy from detection as the Antichrist. It has been well said that 'Futurism tends to obliterate the brand put by the Holy Spirit upon popery.' More especially is this to be deplored at a time when the papal Antichrist seems to make an expiring effort to regain his former hold on men's minds. Now once again, as at the Reformation, it is especially necessary that his true character should be recognized, by all who would be faithful to 'the testimony of Jesus.`" - "Daniel and the Revelation," pp. 16, 17. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1898.  

     To undermine the work of the Reformers, these Jesuits, Alcasar and Ribera, gathered a mass of material from the writings of the Church Fathers concerning Antichrist. This gave their works the appearance of scientific research, which appealed to many Protestant leaders. (An example of this can be seen in Encyclopedia Biblica, art. "Antichrist.") But statements from the Church Fathers which speak of the coming of Antichrist as an event then in the future, could be no proof for Ribera's "futurist" theory, for the reign of the papal Antichrist was then still in the future. The 1260 years of papal persecution, called the Dark Ages, had not yet begun when these Fathers wrote. The theories of Ribera and Alcasar were diametrically opposed to each other, and yet both were taught as Catholic truths, taken from the Church Fathers. From this we see how untrustworthy are these sources. Dr. Adam Clarke is evidently right when he says of the Fathers: 

     "We may safely state, that there is not a truth in the most orthodox creed, that cannot be proven by their authority; nor a heresy that has disgraced the Romish Church that may not challenge them as its abetters. In points of doctrine, their authority is, with me, nothing. The Word of God alone contains my creed." - Commentary on Proverbs 8.

1943 CE, FAFA 201, 202