Jesuit Origins of Futurism PROVEN


Edited by rand winburn

7 Letters to 7 churches
The Controversy: Do the 7 Churches represent 7 distinct eras of Church history?

Jesuit/ Futurist Interpretation

1582 Jesuit Rheims Bible Annotations:

“The first [part of five sections which comprise the Revelation] containeth seven Epistles from Christ, now in glory, to seven Churches in Asia, or to the seven Bishops of those Churches; meaning not to those only, but to all His Churches and Bishops throughout the world ….when [John] writeth to seven Churches it is to be understood of all the Churches in the world: as the seven Angels for all the Angels or governors of the whole Catholic Church, and so forth in the rest, because the number of seven hath the perfection of universality in it….” [Editor’s note: The Jesuits did not teach the division of Church history into seven distinct eras, represented by the seven Churches. It was Darby who introduced this teaching when he founded Dispensationalism. This aspect of his teaching is embraced by all Futurists today.]

1590 Jesuit Ribera Revelation Commentary:

          [Editor’s note: Ribera did not use the seven Churches as models to divide Church history into seven eras. Had he done so, Historicist David Pareus, his Protestant adversary, would have refuted him.]    

1867 J. N. Darby Synopsis of the New Testament - Revelation:

“I cannot doubt then for a moment that (while professedly of universal application for every one that had an ear, not an address to the general conscience of the assembly) the seven assemblies represent the history of Christendom, the assembly as under man’s responsibility, the fact of the judgment of the world coming afterwards on its close (the assemblies being “the things that are”) and the character of events, beginning with the assembly leaving its first love, and ending with holding fast till He comes, and with being spewed out of Christ’s mouth. The adoption of the number seven, which cannot mean completeness at the same time because the states are different; the reference to Christ’s coming; the reference to the great tribulation to come on all the earth in the letter to Philadelphia; the clear object of warning the assembly till Christ came, the world being then in scene for judgment: all leave no cloud upon the conclusion that the seven churches are successive phases of the professing assembly’s history, though not exactly consecutive (the fourth going on to the end; new phases then commencing, and going on to the end collaterally also)”…………… “Thyatira, I have no doubt, the Popery of the middle ages, say to the Reformation; Romanism itself goes on to the end [of the Church Age]”……………..“Thyatira goes down to the end and closes ecclesiastically the assembly’s history……”

 “An open apostasy will come. Its date is not revealed; nor is it revealed as to the rapture. But I gather from 2 Thessalonians 2, that the rapture will be before the apostasy. What we have stated then is, that it is after all dealing with the assemblies by Christ is closed, that the subsequent dealings with the world in the Revelation begin. The assemblies are the things that are; what follows, the things after these……..”

“It is promised that He will come quickly; and the assembly is threatened with being spewed out of His mouth. But the fact of His coming for His own, or the assembly’s rapture at any time, is not stated……..”

“Even in Revelation 12, which remarkably confirms what I say, the rapture is only seen as identified with the catching up of the man-child, Christ Himself. Hence we have no specific relative epoch noted for the taking away the saints here, save that they are taken before the war in heaven which leads to the last three years and a half. But on the other hand the saints belonging to the assembly, or before, are always seen above when the epistles to the assemblies are ended. They are waiting for judgment to be given to them for the avenging of their blood; but they are never seen on earth.” [Editor’s note: Darby taught the ‘at any moment’ pre-tribulation Rapture of the saints before the rise of the Antichrist. The Great Tribulation under Antichrist occurs 3½ years prior to the end of the world, he said. Thus, he has Rev. 4 beginning after the Rapture. In his view, the Great Tribulation and Antichrist have no bearing on Christians, for they will have already been caught up to Heaven, escaping the wrath of God which comes upon an unbelieving world. Darby did not openly speak against the Reformers as modern-day Futurists do when applying the Sardis Church to the Reformation. He had no hesitancy in naming the Roman Catholic Church as Thyatira.]

1909 Scofield Reference Bible Annotations:

“…..the things which are, i.e., things then existing – obviously the churches. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the churches. Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters 5-18…….The natural explanation of the [angel] ‘messengers’ is that they were men sent by the seven churches to ascertain the state of the aged apostle, now an exile in Patmos; but they figure any who bear God’s messages to a church.

          “The  messages to the seven churches have a fourfold application: (1) Local, to the churches actually addressed; (2) admonitory, to all churches in all time as tests by which they may discern their true spiritual state in the sight of God; (3) personal, in the exhortations to him to him that hath an ear, and in the promises to him that overcometh; (4) prophetic, as disclosing seven phases of the spiritual history of the church from say, A.D. 96 to the end….These messages must contain that foreview [of church history] if it is in the book at all, for the church does not appear after Rev. 3:22…..

          “…..these messages do present an exact foreview of the spiritual history of the church, and in this precise order:[1]

·        Ephesus gives the general state at the date of the writing;

·        Smyrna, the period of the great persecutions;

·        Pergamos, the church settled down in the world, where Satan’s throne is, after the conversion of Constantine, say, A.D. 316;

·        Thyatira is the Papacy, developed out of the Pergamos state: Balaamism (worldliness) and Nicolaitanism (priestly assumption) having conquered. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel, so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies;

·        Sardis is the Protestant Reformation, whose works were not fulfilled;

·        Philadelphia is whatever bears clear testimony to the Word and the Name in the time of self-satisfied profession represented by Laodicea.”

[Editor’s note: Scofield, like Darby, refrained from openly speaking against the Protestant Reformers when positing the Sardis Church to them. Like Scofield, he names Roman Catholicism as Thyatira.]

1973 Hal Lindsey Revelation Commentary:

   “I personally agree with the four purposes described by the editorial committee of the New Scofield Reference Bible. This group of Bible experts represents a long tradition of scholarly research on Bible prophecy……The whole revelation is addressed primarily to seven local groups of believers of John’s day, although without question the intention of the revealing angel was that all people through all ages should benefit from it……Here in seven typical churches we see the predominant characteristic of seven successive eras of church history……The last division of the Revelation was to contain the things which came after the period of the churches.” [Editor’s note: Lindsey follows Scofield in his divisions.]

·        Ephesus, prophetic application: A.D. 33-100

  • Smyrna, prophetic application: A.D. 100-312
  • Pergamos, prophetic application: A.D. A.D. 312-590
  • Thyatira, prophetic application: A.D. 590-1517 [Editors note: Lindsey follows Darby closely here, yet intentionally omits mentioning the Roman Catholic Church or Papacy by name. He states there are believers within that counterfeit church who will be Raptured.]
  • Sardis, prophetic application: A.D. 1517-1750 [Editor’s note: Lindsey calls this period, ‘dead orthodoxy, and makes this snide and false statement, “The church of Sardis symbolized the Reformation Era. During this period of history the church was reformed, but not revived!”]
  • Philadelphia, prophetic application: A.D. 1750-1925

·        Laodicea, prophetic application: A.D. 1900-Tribulation

1982 Jack Van Impe Revelation Commentary:

          “Chapters 2 and 3 contain seven letters to the seven literal, local churches mentioned in chapter 1, verse 11. These letters have a number of applications. First, they are seven actual letters to seven actual churches situated in seven different cities. Second, they are letters to seven individuals within the seven churches. Third, they are messages applicable to all churches in all ages, for the seven churches picture seven periods, or stages, of church history.” [Editor’s note: Van Impe follows Darby, Scofield and Lindsey.]

  • Ephesus historically represents A.D. 33-100
  • Smyrna historically represents A.D. 100-312
  • Pergamos historically represents A.D. 312-606
  • Thyatira historically represents A.D. 606-1520 [Editor’s note: Van Impe intentionally omits any mention of the Roman Catholic Church or Papacy.]
  • Sardis historically represents A.D. 1520-Tribulation [Editor’s note: Like Lindsey, Van Impe slanders the Reformers. I quote from his book:

“This period of time covers the Reformation (with its dead, lukewarm churches) and is presently part of the Laodicean period as well. The reason for the deadness is that, during the Reformation, entire countries became Protestant without being born again….Thus, Sardis became the mother of dead orthodoxy….The Reformation churches needed to turn back to Christ, seeking His will and His Spirit’s teachings rather than man-made ideas about theological truth.”

·        Philadelphia historically represents A.D. 1750-Rapture

·        Laodicea historically represents A.D. 1900-Tribulation Hour

1999 Tim LaHaye Revelation Commentary:

          “It is generally agreed, however, that these messages can have four applications. (1) The seven churches of John’s day; (2) The seven basic divisions of Church history; (3) The seven types of churches that exist today; (4) The seven characteristics that can exist any church or Christian.” [Editor’s note: LaHaye follows Scofield and Lindsey with his ‘four applications.’ He, like all Futurists, divides the Church Age into seven eras.]

·        Ephesus – Apostolic church (A.D. 30-100)

·        Smyrna – Persecuted church (A.D.100-312)

·        Pergamos – Indulged church (A.D. 312-606)

·        Thyatira – Papal church (A.D. 606-Tribulaion)

·        Sardis – Dead church (A.D. 1520-Tribulation)

·        Philadelphia – Missionary church (A.D. 1750-Rapture)

·        Laodicea – Apostate church (A.D. 1900-Tribulation)

[Editors note: LaHaye follows the typical Futurist divisions of Church history, yet he does name the Papal church. He lists unscriptural pagan practices introduced into the Church from A.D. 300-1965, recounting his own personal experience at the Shrine of Guadalupe. Incredibly, he states the Roman Catholic Church was characterized by ‘a love for humankind, during the Dark Ages, even while the 800-year Inquisition was in full swing! The Sardis Church he posits to the Reformation: “The tragedy of the Reformation churches that earned for them the condemnation by the Lord of being ‘dead’ was twofold. 1.They became state churches…..2.The Reformation churches did not sufficiently change many customs and teachings of the Church of Rome….” LaHaye slanders the Reformers when stating, “The Reformation churches, past and present, believe the Word of God but are not characterized by obedience to it.”

[Editors note: CONCLUSION: Conveniently, all Futurists place themselves in a Church era which is viewed in a ‘good’ light. Thus, they are not the heretics under the wrath and judgment of God.]

Protestant Reformed Historicist Interpretation

1618 Thomas Cartwright, A Confutation of the Rhemists…. :

          “You are also deceived in that by seven Churches, whereunto John wrote, you esteem ‘all the Churches in the world to be understood.’ For he calleth them ‘seven’ because that was the number of principal Churches in Asia Minor. True it is that the doctrine written to them belongeth to all Churches. But that is proven by the admonition for all to hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches, forasmuch as the same doctrine which belongs to one Church belongs to them all. Thus, it is not by any alleged trope whereby the number 7 must represent ‘all.’ Furthermore, the number 7 is used to represent both good and evil. The seven Angels of the Revelation are good, while in Matt. 12:45 the seven devils are evil. What perfection of universality is that?” [Editors note: Cartwright does not divide Church history into seven eras depicted by the seven Churches, nor does he limit it to the first 3 chapters as we will see.]

1573 William Fulke Revelation Commentary:

        “St. John, warned by the Holy Ghost, writeth to seven of the most famous of the Churches of Asia the Lesser, to whose keeping he was commanded to commit the great treasure of this prophecy, that by their faithful ministry it might be preserved and kept, and spread over the whole world.” [Editors note: Fulke does not divide Church history into seven eras depicted by the seven Churches, nor does he limit it to the first 3 chapters as we will see.]

1607 William Perkins Commentary on Revelation chapters 1-3:

          “Now John chooseth rather to write to Churches than to particular men because the matter of this book concerneth the Church, being a prophetic history, touching the state of the Church to the end…….In the dedication of this book, among all particular Churches God directs him to make choice of those seven in Asia: no doubt for special cause. First, because they were most famous Churches then, as the following chapters and histories of the Church do plainly show. Secondly, that the calling of the Gentiles to the light of the Gospel, which long before had been foretold, might be more evident: for here the Jews are passed by and the Gentiles sent unto. Lastly, we may here observe that St. John knew no prerogative of the Church of Rome above other Churches: for if it were the mother Church, whereupon all other Churches should depend, as the Papists would have it, then I ask why John passed it by in the dedication of this book, which contains matters needful for all Churches to know…..This commandment was given to John, first, that he might see the special care of Christ over his Church; that he still continues as its provident Head, for their good care after His ascension. Secondly, that God’s Church in all ages may understand that it is necessary men should know the estate of the Church to be subject unto troubles, that thereby they may better arm themselves against the evils to come……

“In the words of this commandment is contained the division of this whole book: Write the words which thou hast seen; that is, set down what I have showed thee in this vision; And which are; that is, all things which I reveal to thee touching the present estate of the Church; And which are to come hereafter; that is, those things which concern the future estate of the Church to the end of the world, as I will reveal unto thee. Thus, is the whole book distinguished. (1) It contains things touching the present estate of the Church in John’s day; and (2) It entreats of things which concern the future estate thereof from John’s time to the end of the world…..”

“Further, these words, What the Spirit saith to the Churches, contain two reasons to move every man to hear; (1) because they are spoken by the Spirit, that is, the Holy Ghost; (2) because they are not spoken to one man or one Church only, but to all Churches.” [Editor’s note: Perkins does not divide Church history into seven eras depicted by the seven Churches, nor does he limit it to the first 3 chapters. Instead, he acknowledges the entire Revelation to contain the history of the Church until the end of the world.]

1644 David Pareus Revelation Commentary:

[Editor’s note: Pareus did not need to refute Ribera on the theory of seven divisions of Church history because Ribera did not teach it.]

1847 E. B. Elliott Revelation Commentary:

          “With regard to the seven moral sketches of the seven Asiatic churches, the question arises whether these had a prophetic application, besides and beyond their primary and literal application to those Asiatic Churches then existing, and signified seven literal phases that the Universal Church would present to the all-seeing eye in its progress through coming ages, down to the consummation.......To myself the view seems quite untenable. For not a word is said by Christ to indicate any such prospective meaning in the descriptions. On the contrary, in the two-fold division of the Revelations given to St. John, a division noted by Christ himself – the things that are, and the things that are to happen after them – it seems to me clear that the Epistles to the seven Churches were meant to constitute the first division, being a description of the state of the things in the Church as they then were; and that the visions that followed – visions separated with the utmost precision from the former – constituted the visions of the future. Indeed, the summons itself expressly defined it as such: Come up and I will (now) show thee the things which must happen hereafter. With this simple, striking, and strongly-marked division made by the Divine Revealer, the hypothesis of the seven Epistles making seven successive phases of the Christian Church appears to me an interference altogether rude and unwarranted. Besides, it is easy to show how unfitting these several ecclesiastical sketches depicted answer to any seven chronologically successive phases of the professing Church, or Christendom, despite the attempt of human wisdom and research.

          “We admit the universality of application attaching to the moral pictures here set before us. Such is the case with all the historical and biographical sketches in holy Scripture: especially, for example, with the pictures from time to time presented of the moral and religious state of the Jewish people, in the course of their long history…And, thus considered, where is the Church, where is the individual Christian who has not profited, making self-application at one time or another from all the several Churches addressed: with their words of searching and inquiry, of warning and comfort, of reproof and expostulation, of sympathy –exquisite sympathy and compassion – not for the faithful martyr only, but even for the lukewarm and fallen. The words, He that hath and ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, are a direct intention that this universality of application was intended by them…..

          “I must not omit to add further that these descriptive sketches of the seven Asiatic Churches seem to have been intended by its great Head as representative specimens, if I may so say, of the then checkered state and character of the Church in general. And in the admixture which they unfold of the evil intermixed with the good, error with truth, vice with holiness, there is very strikingly set forth to us Christ’s own view of the energizing, even thus early, within its bosom, of the Spirit of the Wicked one, the in-rooting of the tares sown by him among the wheat, and budding of that germ of evil which, as St. Paul had foreshown, was not to cease its working till it expanded into the grand Apostasy.” [Editor’s note: In Elliott’s day the seven divisions of Church history theory had arisen, thus causing Elliott to refute it as erroneous and irreconcilable with actual history.]

[Editor’s note: CONCLUSION: The Reformers did not teach the division of Church history into seven distinct eras. They viewed the Church of Rome as the Synagogue of Satan.]

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him and he with me.
The Controversy: Does this verse teach the ability of man to believe and receive Christ by his own free-will?

Jesuit/ Futurist Interpretation

1582 Jesuit Rheims Bible Annotations:

          “God first calleth upon man and knocketh at the door of his heart; that is to say, offereth his grace. And it lieth in man to give consent by freewill, helped also by his grace.” [Editor’s note: This interpretation is the classic Arminian view of how one is saved; God graciously offers Christ, which man, by his own free-will decision, either accepts or rejects.]

1590 Jesuit Ribera Revelation Commentary:

        [Editor’s note: In reviewing the 1594 edition of Ribera’s Commentary, this present editor saw no indication of Ribera’s positing the doctrine of man’s free-will to this verse. Furthermore, in his Commentary on this verse, David Pareus does not mention Ribera by name, instead refuting the Jesuit Cardinal Bellarmine’s treatise on free-will.]

Circa 1581 Jesuit Cardinal Bellarmine On Free-Will:

        [Editor’s note: Free-will advocate, Bellarmine, is quoted in Pareus’ discourse on Rev. 3:20.] They at whose heart the Lord knocks either have sufficient power to open or not. If they have, then the free will we plead for is granted. If they have not, then why, I pray you, doth the Lord knock? Or is He ignorant they cannot open? Would we not account him unwise, who should knock at his neighbor’s door, knowing in the meantime that there is no one inside to open the door to him?”

1867 J. N. Darby Synopsis of the New Testament - Revelation:

          However, as long as the [Laodicean] assembly subsists, Christ continues to deal in grace, stands at the door and knocks, presses reception of Himself in the closest way on the conscience. If any one, [though]still in[-volved in] what He was going to spew out, heard His voice and opened, He would give him admission to be with Him, and a part in the kingdom.” [Editor’s note: Darby posits free-will to the man who opens the door for Christ.]

1909 Scofield Reference Bible Annotations:

          [Editor’s note: Scofield is silent regarding Rev. 3:20.]

1973 Hal Lindsey Revelation Commentary:

          “The application usually made from this statement of Christ is that He’s waiting at the door of each human heart, seeking to be admitted to the life of each person who senses his spiritual emptiness and invites Jesus to enter and fill the void. This is a perfectly valid application…..” [Editor’s note: Lindsey is an Arminian. He would have a spiritually dead sinner sense his need for Christ. He believes Christ waits patiently at the hearts of the Reprobate. He believes Christ waits patiently for the invitation from the spiritually dead sinner before saving him.]

1982 Jack Van Impe Revelation Commentary:

          “This verse is actually a picture of Christ standing outside the door of the latter-day church rather than the heart of an individual, as we so often hear stated. Presently, entire churches and denominations are barring the Saviour’s entrance. Unbelievable! However, those who listen to His appeal, open the door, and follow Jesus will not be sorry.” [Editor’s note: Van Impe is an Arminian. He fails to realize that churches are comprised of individuals. Van Impe, of course, excludes himself from those professing Christians who bar the true Savior.]

1999 Tim LaHaye Revelation Commentary:

          “The door referred to here is obviously the door to one’s heart, that is, the center of one’s being….Consequently, we find Christ knocking at the door of this emotional center called the heart, asking entrance. He does not force His way, but patiently knocks…..For almost two thousand years our Lord has faithfully, patiently, and wonderfully knocked on the doors of the human hearts……Perhaps you have heard the Lord Jesus knock at your heart’s door……The key question is: Have you opened the door and accepted His promise?....You are incomplete until you have fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, which is only possible by inviting Him into your heart…..If we refuse to voluntarily open the door of our heart, we reject Jesus Christ.” [Editor’s note: LaHaye gives the typical Arminian Gospel – salvation hangs on the spiritually dead sinner’s free-will decision for Christ.]

Protestant Reformed Historicist Interpretation

1618 Thomas Cartwright, A Confutation of the Rhemists….:

          “As the Prophet saith, we shall turn when God hath turned us [i.e., Psalm 80]; so we shall then open unto him when he hath first opened the door himself; for as it is he that beginneth the good work in us, so it is he that perfecteth the same even unto the day of the Lord Jesus, Phil. 1:6. Wherefore, as here he is said to knock, elsewhere he is said to have opened their hearts by his Spirit, at whose doors by the offer of the Gospel he knocked, Acts 16:14, Deut. 29:1-4.” [Editor’s note: Cartwright was a Calvinist who denied man’s free-will cooperation in his salvation.]

1573 William Fulke Revelation Commentary:

          “The gentleness and mercy of the Lord which so willingly pardons injury done unto him by his servant, so that forgetting all injuries, he doth of his own accord offer pardon, and as a sign of perfect reconciliation, he will gently come and sup with him. For it is the custom of men that by such a token friendship may be renewed which had been broken between them. Those whom Christ graciously grants to be partakers of his table (as he graciously grants all the faithful) he feeds their minds with spiritual delicacies, whereby they shall be nourished unto eternal life, namely with righteousness freely given, quietness of conscience, and unspeakable joy, wherewith the godly are fed with the Holy Ghost, whereof also he hath given a most excellent pledge, the holy communion of his body and blood, which when we receive by faith, we have him everlastingly dwelling with us.” [Editor’s note: Fulke was a Calvinist. He did not view this Scripture as one which teaches the way of salvation. Instead, he viewed it as teaching Christ’s merciful forgiveness for His Elect saved Christians who have sinned against Him. Fulke calls the Elect by several names, ‘servant,’ ‘the faithful,’ ‘the godly.’ Christ is always the One who first seeks reconciliation with His servant.]

1607 William Perkins Commentary on Revelation chapters 1-3:

          “These words have been much abused, and therefore I will stand to set down the true use and meaning of the same. Mark that the form of speech is such that it gives unto a man’s will and soul an action in his conversion, whereby he comes to Christ and receives Christ. This may seem strange, but it is for just cause used by the Holy Ghost, for in the conversion of a sinner there are three workers: the Holy Ghost, the Word, and man’s will. The Holy Ghost is the principal agent enlightening the mind with true knowledge, softening the heart, and changing the will from evil to good. The Word is the instrument of the Holy Ghost, for now he worketh not by revelation or special insight, but ordinarily in and by the Word when a man reads, hears or meditates either publicly or privately. For the Word preached is the power of God to man’s salvation from faith to faith. Thirdly, man’s will, though by nature it be evil and dead unto grace, yet being renewed [regenerated] by the Holy Ghost, in the first act of conversion moves and strives to be turned. It is not like a passive piece of wax, which without any action receives an impression, but as fire, burning immediately, and burning immediately it is fire. And likewise the will, though by nature it does not move, yet being renewed [regenerated] by grace it moves, and as soon as it moves is renewed [regenerated]. And here it is that the Holy Ghost ascribes action unto a sinner who is to be converted. This truth does not argue that men by themselves can have a will to be converted, but that [first] being renewed [regenerated]they may will their conversion. And for this cause is the Gospel preached in these terms, Repent and believe: not to show that man by nature can repent or believe, but that God, in man’s conversion, doth give him grace to will and desire the same.

          “Hence it follows that this text has been divers ways abused. First, by the Papists, who hence would gather free will of conversion in a sinner by nature. True it is a man hath free will in his conversion; yet not by nature, but by grace. Neither can anymore be gathered from this, for here it is only said, If any man hear and open when I knock. From this we may gather that a man by nature cannot hear, nor open, because this counsel of Christ is given to those who are poor, blind and naked by nature.

          “Secondly, they also abuse this text that hereby would prove a flexible free will by grace to be in man, which is this: Sundry men think that after the fall of Adam, all being bound in sin, God gave a general grace whereby any man might will and receive that which is good. And this grace, although it disposes the will in some way to that which is good, does not take away its corruption, for it still remains. However, if he will, he may receive Christ by that general grace; or if he will not, he may refuse Christ by his natural corruption which still remains in him. It is said this doctrine may be gathered from Rev. 3:20, but the truth this text does not lay the foundation for the doctrine of flexible free will. What may be gathered from this text is the fact that man hath free will in his conversion, yet not by a general, but by God’s special grace. Nay, Christ’s ministry serves for this purpose: that those which before could not turn of themselves, might by grace be converted. This so-called ‘flexible grace’ is against God’s Word, for Christ saith, Everyone that hath heard and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me, John 6:45. He does not say, ‘may come if he will, but peremptorily cometh. For man’s will cannot dispose and overrule the work of God; but the work of God overrules the will of man. Though man be unwilling, yet when God calls effectually, he cannot but come. For the creature cannot reject or resist the will and calling of his Creator……..

          “Question: How must a man open his heart to receive Christ? Answer: By doing two things. First, he must labor to see his own vileness, that he is unworthy to receive so blessed a Guest. Then he must humble himself and acknowledge his own unworthiness, even as the ruler did when he said unto Christ, Lord, I am unworthy that thou should come under my roof, Matt. 8:8. This humiliation is the beginning of grace. This done, he must by true faith lay hold on Christ; that is, believe that Christ’s death and passion is for the pardon of his sins and for the salvation of his soul…….”

1644 David Pareus Revelation Commentary:

1847 E. B. Elliott Revelation Commentary:

          [Editor’s note: Elliott does not exegete Rev. 3:20.]


[1] Scofield follows Dutch Protestant theologian, professor and expositor, Vitringa, (d. 1722), who posits the seven churches prefigure seven divisions in church history. However, Vitringa’s differs: (1) Ephesus: A.D. 96-250; (2) Smyrna: A.D. 250-311; (3) Pergamos: A.D. 311-700; (4) Thyatira: A.D. 700-1190; (5) Sardis: A.D. 1190-1517; (6) Philadelphia: A.D. 1517-1700; (7) Laodicea: A.D. 1700 - ?, followed by the judgment of the Papal Antichrist. Vitringa, an Historicist, did NOT teach Futurism. Nor did he posit the Reformation in the Sardis Church! [Source: Elliott, Horae Apocalypticae, 1862, 5th Edition, volume 4, p. 507.]