Jesuit Origins of Futurism PROVEN

PART eight

EDITED BY Rand Winburn

Revelation 12: The Woman in Heaven and her Seed fleeing to the wilderness
The Controversy:
    (1) Who is the Woman and her seed? Is it Israel, the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Church?
    (2) Is the persecution of the Woman and her seed limited to the last 3 ½ years of the world?
    (3) Does verse five teach the ‘secret’ Rapture of the Church?

Jesuit/ Futurist Interpretation

1582 Jesuit Rheims Bible Annotations:

            (1) “This is properly and principally spoken of the Church: but by an allusion [it also refers to] our Blessed Lady…“[The Dragon’s attempt to devour the woman’s son symbolizes] the Devil’s endeavor against the Church’s children, and especially our Blessed Lady’s only son, their head…..The Church shall flee as to a desert in Antichrist’s time…”

          (2) [Re: 1,260 days & time, times and half a time] “This great persecution that the Church shall flee from is in the time of Antichrist and shall endure but three years and a half…..Antichrist’s reign shall be but three years and a half (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 11:2-3; Rev. 12: 6, 14; Rev. 13:5). These Scriptures prove that the [Protestant] heretics are exceedingly blinded with malice by holding the Pope to be Antichrist, for he has ruled many ages, [not just 3 ½ years as the prophecy teaches].”  [Editor’s note: The Jesuit Bible places the seed of the Woman, the Church, in the wilderness in the last 3 ½ years of the world, during the reign of Antichrist. This is pure Futurism. The Jesuits do not teach the Woman and her seed to be Jews. That teaching is unique to Dispensational Futurism. The Jesuits teach no ‘secret’ Rapture in verse 5.]

1590 Jesuit Ribera Revelation Commentary:

[Pareus on Ribera, re: Rev. 12]:

(1) “Ribera concludes the Woman symbolizes the Church.”

(2) “Ribera concludes that this vision of the Woman refers to the end of the age during the 4-year reign of Antichrist, who is yet to come…..[He understands the battle in heaven between Michael and the Dragon as a future event] taking place between Antichrist and the Saints in the last four years before the end of the world……Ribera views verse 14, a short time, to the last four years of his supposed Antichrist.” [Editor’s note: This teaching is pure Futurism. Ribera teaches no ‘secret’ Rapture in verse 5.]

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

          (1) CHAPTER 12 gives us a brief but all-important summary of the whole course of events……The first symbolical person, subject of the prophecy and result of all God’s ways in it, is a woman clothed with the sun, having a crown of twelve stars, and the moon under her feet. It is Israel, or Jerusalem as its center, as in the purpose of God (compare Isaiah 9:6, and Psalm 87:6)…… But the woman - the Jews - after this fly into the wilderness, where God has prepared a place for them, for the half-week…..the dragon turned to persecute individually the faithful remnant of the seed — the Jews who held fast by the word.”

            (2) Yet it is before the last three years and a half….For the dragon, cast to the earth and unable to accuse in heaven or oppose saints having a heavenly calling…persecutes the Jews, and seeks to destroy their testimony; but God gave…power to flee and escape and find refuge where she was nourished the whole half-week out of the serpent’s reach.”

            (3) But the child, Christ, and the assembly [Church] with Christ, is caught away to God and His throne…..The assembly, or heavenly saints (as Christ, note), go up to heaven to be out of the way. The Jews, or earthly ones, are protected by providential care upon earth….I think verse 11 implies that there are saints killed after the rapture, who yet belong to heaven….Yet it is before the last three years and a half….Now, if the man-child in heaven be, as we have considered it, Christ and the raptured saints….” [Editor’s note: Darby teaches the Woman as Israel, her seed literal Jews, persecution of the Jews during the second 3 ½ year period under Antichrist, and the ‘secret’ Rapture of the Church before Great Tribulation. This is pure Dispensational Futurism.]

1909 Scofield Reference Bible Annotations:

            (1) “The woman: Israel…..[Her seed]: The Jewish remnant.”

          (2) A thousand two hundred and threescore days: [Editor’s note: Scofield lists a footnote to Daniel 9:27, adhering to Darby’s Gap Theory of the ‘lost’ 70th Week of seven years which is now being fulfilled in the Great Tribulation during the last 3 ½ years of the world.]

            (3) [Editor’s note: Scofield is silent regarding a ‘secret’ Rapture of the Church in verse five. He does, however, call the Child, ‘Christ.’]

1973 Hal Lindsey Revelation Commentary:

        (1) (2) “As terrible as Jewish harassment has been in the past, anti-Semitism will reach its most feverish pitch during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. In Revelation 12 we’re introduced to four of the main actors involved in the drama of this awful period of Jewish persecution: (1) the woman, representing Israel, (2) the great red dragon, representing Satan and a final world kingdom which he will control, (3) the male child, referring to Christ, and (4) Michael, representing the angels of God. Around these main characters revolves the astounding drama of the Great Tribulation.”

          (3) [Editor’s note: Lindsey digresses from Darby in his exegesis of verse 5. He does not view it as another proof for the Rapture of the Church. This is because Lindsey views the seven-year Tribulation half over at that point. If the Rapture occurred then, it would be considered ‘Mid-Trib.’ Lindsey is a ‘Pre-Trib’ advocate.]

1982 Jack Van Impe Revelation Commentary:

          (1) “This woman of chapter 12 is a picture of Israel.”

          (2) “During this final forty-two-month period, described as the Great Tribulation (see Rev. 7:14), because of its intensity and immensity, the children of Israel are protected by their God.”

          (3) [Editor’s note: Van Impe follows Lindsey. Verse 5 does not teach the Rapture of the Church.]

1999 Tim LaHaye Revelation Commentary:

          (1) “Many suggestions have been offered as to the identity of this woman clothed with the sun. The Church of Rome has maintained that she represents the Virgin Mary…..Others have proposed that the sun-clad woman is the Church…..Instead, this is a reference to the nation of Israel, which gave birth to the Messiah.”

          (2) “The 70th week of Daniel or Tribulation period is covered in Rev. 6-18……Chapter 12 introduces the second half of the Tribulation period….”

          (3) [Editor’s note: LaHaye follows Lindsey. Verse 5 does not teach the Rapture of the Church.]

Protestant Reformed Historicist Interpretation

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

[Editor’s note: Cartwright only answers the Rheims Bible notes. Thus, he does not address all the issues of controversy.]

          (1) “Here is a manifest allusion to the Song of Solomon 6:9, but none to the Virgin Mary, whom the Jesuits call ‘Our Lady.’ For of her, as a true member of the Church, and among women the most blessed, it is not alluding, but most truly verified, that she [as well as all members of the Church] is clothed with the Sun and has the moon under her feet.”

          (2) “This fable of three years and a half, precisely taken for Antichrist’s reign, here and after reported in the Jesuit Bible, I have already refuted.”

          (3) [Editor’s note: The so-called ‘secret’ Rapture of the Church was never taught in the days of the Reformation or Counter-Reformation. Thus, neither the Jesuits nor the Reformers wrote concerning it.]

1573 William Fulke Revelation Commentary:

        (1) “In this twelfth chapter the Church is brought in, suffering persecution by the Prince of Darkness, who is the head of all her enemies. The state and condition of the Church is described from the first preaching of the Gospel until the end of the world……The Church is described under the form and shape of a woman, who of herself is weak and without force and strength, yet is sufficiently furnished against all enemies with the virtue and strength of her spouse, Christ. She is seen clothed with the sun. Her glorious apparel is Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, who spreads the beams of His light upon the whole Church……Upon her head is a crown of twelve stars…which is the doctrine of the twelve Apostles….Although barren by herself, she is fruitful by her spouse, being in the pains of child birth, bringing forth that which she has conceived by the seed of God’s Word. And this is a true and lively description of the true Church.”

          (2) “John shows that the Church shall be fed and nourished for 1,260 days, or 42 months, which is 3 ½ years, which is one half of a prophetic week of seven years. This short time shall be granted Satan and Antichrist to oppress and afflict the Church and no longer…..Time, times and half a time may be understood as one year + 2 years + ½ year = 3 ½ years. These designations of time seem to be applied to the sense and affection of the Church which was banished to the wilderness. For she thinks the time of her calamity long, but afterward follows two times, which increases her weariness, but at length the ‘half’ time occurs when things seem almost desperate. This manifestly shows that according to the promise of our Savior, the days of our affliction will be shortened.” [Matt.24:22] [Editor’s note: Fulke did not spend time exegeting the Year-Day Principle, or even making a case for it. Instead, he preferred to disregard the literal rendering of 3 ½ years which the Futurists and Jesuits hold, teaching instead an undefined time length during which persecution increases before it abates.]

            (3) [Editor’s note: The so-called ‘secret’ Rapture of the Church was never taught in the days of the Reformation or Counter-Reformation. Thus, neither the Jesuits nor the Reformers wrote concerning it.]

1644 David Pareus Revelation Commentary:

Editor’s note: Pareus was no literalist. See:

1847 E. B. Elliott Revelation Commentary:

        (1) “The meaning of the travailing woman, first exhibited in vision, can scarce be mistaken. She is spoken of in the last verse of this chapter as the mother of those who keep the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ. She was evidently therefore Christ’s true Church on earth: the Church of the 144,000, or first born, whose names were written in heaven: one ever faithful in heart and all essential doctrine…..Here is another character in which the Lord would exhibit the Church’s relationship to him [besides that of it prefigured as the temple, inner court, and Holy City, Rev. 11]; a relation of the closest and most endearing kind, one which was mystically shadowed forth in the marriage-union, instituted for the children of men in Paradise; - I mean that of the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.”

          (2) “For 1260 prophetic days then, or years, the true Church was to disappear from men’s view in the Roman world.”

          (3) [Editor’s note: Elliott taught no ‘secret’ Rapture of the saints in verse 5. Had that erroneous view been prevalent in his day, he would have refuted it.]