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Topic: The Hidden History of the Apostolic Premillennial Faith

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The Hidden History of the Apostolic Premillennial Faith

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It may be a surprise to Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals alike to realize that the revival of the Premillennial Faith was actually the work of two Catholic Theologians and not Evangelical Theologians.

The Origins for Israel's Eschatology (Study of Last Things), the Rabbis will tell you (Encyclopedia Judaica, Eschatology, Messiah) sprang form their belief in their Election by God, His coming Universal Reign and His gift to them of the Promised Land. With the Establishment of the Monarchy, subsequent captivity and return, combined with the preaching of their Prophets, this Universal Reign took on a decidedly Messianic Mantel and was described as, basically, a Messianic Utopia (Aristotle) complete with a return to the Golden Age and a longed for Wedding Banquet at the end of this Age (Olam Ha Zeh) and start of the Age to Come (Olam Ha Ba) with would be ushered in by, "Cosmic Disturbances" (where Marv Rosenthal go the terminology from in his book, "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church") and the "Birthpains of the Messiah" which Israel, as a Mother, would give 'birth' to, ending in Divine Retribution and Hell's punishment for the wicked and a return to an Edenic Paradise for the Righteous.

Unbeknown to most Christians nowadays is that most, if not all, of these themes came right out of the Apocalypse of Ezra including the Birth Pains and the Two Ages as well as the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church which found its fullest description in the Ephraem Document of the Church circa 300 AD (discovered by Grant Jeffrey) which has a short summary of the Premillennial Faith and a crystal clear description of the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church.

So, this was the social atmosphere in Israel when Y'shua arrived and it was the belief of the Pious Jews of His day including Himself, John Baptist, the Apostles, the Disciples, Simeon and Anna and a large portion (perhaps in their entirety) of the Levitical Priesthood and the Phrases.

The Apostles were specifically called, equipped (by the Holy Spirit) and trained (by Y'shua Himself) to preach this Gospel of the Kingdom of God which they did ("the faith once and all delivered to the saints") successfully handing it to the Church which received it gladly and propagated it and it was the Catholic Orthodox Faith of the entire Church North, South, East and West uncontestedly for three hundred years according to George Peters in his work, "The Theocratic Kingdom" which is still unrefuted to this day.

The Demise of the Premillennial Faith in the Christian Church (not in Judaism which still continues its stubborn belief in God's Word to them) began when Origen (circa 225 AD) decided he didn't like it cause it was "too Jewish" (one can only wonder what he must of thought of Y'shua), but he, admittedly, could not speak against it in public because too many of the Clergy believed in it which explains Irenaeus' words that if you did not believe in the Premillennial Faith you were a heretic. So, instead, He introduced the spiritualization of Scripture at the expense of the Literal Interpretation which then gave rise to a small host of fanciful interpretations and led to the establishment of the Montanist Cult which replaced the Jews with the Church in the Prophecies still unfulfilled.

This Messianic Cult was started by (1) A Charismatic Layman who, (2) Taught Rebellion against the Clergy and, (3) Replaced it with a "Priesthood of Believers" who emphasized, (4) The Quest for the Charismata of the Holy Spirit in order to, (5) Aggrandize Apostolic Power which was, (6) Especially appealing to women and required, (7) Replacing Jerusalem with a Capital City of their choosing (Pepouza in this case), for the location for the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom at a, (8) Time of their choosing (the "third age" in this case), according to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Millennarianism.

These defining characteristics earned them an excommunication from the Papacy and eventual destruction by Justinian (Christianity - The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaia MacCulloch) but not before Tertullian managed to record their belief system for all the Church and World to see and every time their was an attempt to revive the Premillennial Faith, invariably, they would end up reading all about it from him and revive the Montangist Contagion by mistake with, basically, the exact same results (Cathors, etc) which is why the Catholic Church has stated that the Premillennial Faith, "can not be safely taught."

Protestants, Pentecostals, Methodists, Millerites (so MacCulloch), Taborites (with their "third age"), Joachim of Fiore (Clavis Apocalyptica - the Taborites' source), Wycliffe, Hus, Hussites, Moravians (the Baptists with their, now debunked, anticatholic "Trail of Blood" tract traced their lineage to the Moravians) who gave it to the (not-so) Pietists, Puritans, Anabaptists, Lutherans (via the Moravian Zinzendork) and, most well known, Mede.

Mede gave the Montanist Manifesto to the Great Awakening Evangelist George Whitefield, the Quakers, the Seventh Day Adventists and other cults such as the Morons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Irvingites, Christadelphians, etc., all of which manifest most, if not all, of the characteristic symptoms of the Montanist Contagion in one form or another.

Millennial Fever did occur, to a certain extent (contrary to what some revisionists say), at the turn of the first Millennium of this era, being the motivation for the First Crusade as a result of "free lance preachers" stirring up the witless crowds of Europe (sounds familiar doesn't it), from the fertile soil of Constantine's (Montanist) Kingdom (complements of the Amillennialists who embellished his Kingdom in Messianic imagery as did the Post Millennialists). This rehashed delusion of gradeur is probably, ultimately, the real source for the Glorious Revolution in England and in France (in my opinion) and its most recent epidemic outbreak was in Germany under Hitler's Third Reich where millions of people perished. It was combined with Jewish Messianic fever in 1666 AD when Shabbat Tzvi claimed to be the Son of God and so affected all of Europe that Spinoza was known to say that it had the potential to overturn society. Kind of like the Black Plague except different.

A Can of Worms, therefore, was opened up by Augustine (circa 400 AD) following Origen's lead, in reaction to the Montanist Fiasco, when he, as Bishop of Alexandria (who ruled the entire Church at that time up until 451 AD when Rome took the Scepter - so my Coptic Priest), discarded the Premillennial Faith and convinced the entire Church to follow suit (as they had determined all Doctrinal disputes in the first 400 years summed up in the Niacene Creed which they all still use to this day and which was written by Athanasius, then Bishop of Alexandria), which they did so that, for all practical purposes, Premillennialism was dead in the Christian Church, except for the Armenians who held onto it for another 600 years till the days of the Great Schism when the Orthodox Church replaced the Liturgy of Saint James for Chrysostom's Liturgy and effectively removed the last trace of Jewishness from the Premillennial Church Liturgy.

This, however, had an unintended repercussion for, with the advancement of the Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture, you now had anyone and everyone start accusing the Pope of being the Antichrist such as the (Millennialist) Albigenses, Waldenses and Fratecelli which was subsequently popularized by people like Luther, Huss and Wycliffe.

A Fever Pitch was reached with the accusations so the Pope called in one of his Doctors of Theology to set the record straight and he did so, much to the chagrin of the Pope and the Liturgical Churches. Jesuit Francisco Riberia was not your momma's Theologian and he (1537-91) proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that, in fact, the Pope was not the Antichrist (A Commentary on the Revelation) but, the bad news was, that in order to prove this, he had to (surprise, surprise) restore the Literal Interpretation of Scripture that had lain dormant for about a thousand years or so.

His work was so inspiring that it led Jesuit Robert Bellarmine and Domican Thomas Malvenda into Catholic Missions sparking the Great Missionary Movement in the Catholic Church well before its counterpart hit the Protestant Anglo-Saxon World in the 1700's and 1800's. It also, of course, added fuel to the Millennial Fires already burning out of control around the world and that is because there was still one minor detail missing from the Doctrine.

Give me that ole time Religion The actual revival of a Biblical and Apostolical Premillennial Faith (say that ten times real fast) was the work of another Catholic Theologian - this time a Monk from Chile (Chile today hot tamale you might say) by the name of Manuel de Lacunza who took the Scepter of Literal Interpretation from Ribera and (1731-1801) published a book (The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty) that returned to a Futuristic Interpretation of the Prophecies (as opposed to the, then, en vogue Preterism, Historicism and Amillennialism), but, more importantly and uniquely, he returned the Jews to their place in those Prophecies which was an element that had been missing since Augustine's day.

He relied heavily on the Jewish Scholar Abraham Ibn Ezra (whom he used as a pen name) who is considered the greatest Jewish mind of the Middle Ages (1092-1167 AD - Grow Old along with Me the Best is yet to be) who had published commentaries on the entire Hebrew Bible (both of these men, interestingly enough, were actually homeless, suffering from respective persecution in their home countries) and which led Lacunza to say that the Jews, "shall come again into favor with their God" and which was such a novel idea at the time that it lit the Premillennial Fires that are still burning bright to this day in the Evangelical Camps.

It spread like Wildfire upon publication in Spanish (probably via the help of his "good Mulatto" friend Juan Josaffa, his other pen name) and in French, sweeping through both New World and Old.

Dispensationalism Today Now Mede's greatest protege was a guy by the name of Edward Irving, a wanna be Montanist who didn't take a Futuristic approach to the Prophecies but was chasing after the euphoria of the Charismata. He hung out with the likes of the Catholic Apostolic Church and "the first Evangelical Anglican Premillennialists" in their Albury park Prophecy Conferences. He heard so much about Lacunza's work that he actually taught himself Spanish so that he could translate it into English and then hands it to his greatest protege who was a guy by the name of John Nelson Darby who is the 'father' (oops, forgot, we're not supposed to use that word with Protestants) of Dispensationalism which was subsequently popularized by people such as Morehouse, Blackstone, Ironside, Chafer (Dallas Theological Cemetary), Nevinlord and everyone's favorite, Scoffield and it is pretty much embraced by the entire Evangelical World Today.

It was Irving who proposed the Dichotomy between Israel and the Church which Darby included in his work (and which has led to no end of confusion in Ecclesiology and Eschatology), as well as the Secret Rapture Teaching (long before the infamous Rapture Vision of one Margaret McDonald) which he did not get from Mede (or from Baptist Morgan Edwards who, apparently, arrived at this conclusion on his own) but, in fact, his source was Lacunza who mentions it in his work.

And that's how the Catholic Church single handedly revived the Apostolic Premillennial Faith.

And now you know the rest of the story...



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