Footnote 2 Page 6:— 

An intriguing question is, "Where did Darby get his futurist theories from?" The origin of revolutionary views is often a key pointer to their true character. And evidence of a distressing and challenging nature has been produced to show this strange system of prophetic interpretation arose, not in the hills of true Biblical Protestantism, but in the pool of Jesuitry. Rome, not Plymouth, is the mother of prophetic dispensationalism. Every Bible student should read "Prophecy and its fulfil" ( lectures by Duncan Mcdougall, M.A., ) and "Prophetic Developments" by Roy Coad, a member of the Brethren research fellowship. Let me summarise the evidence produced by these men. The idea of a future anti-Christ was first taught in the 16th century by the Jesuit Ribera, to counteract the counteract the Reformers’ teaching that the Papacy was the anti Christ. In the 18th century these theories were revived and enlarged ( including a two-phased Advent ) in a book "The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty", by an anonymous writer, Ben Ezra, "a converted Jew". It was reprinted in Spain in 1812, and a complete edition published in London in 1816. McDougall asserts that the four volumes appeared in the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that 10 years later, Dr. S. R. Maitland ( who was the librarian ), startled the Protestant world with a series of pamphlets on prophecy that reproduced the Futuristic theories of Ben Ezra, including the postponing of almost the entire Book of Revelation to the future. In 1827, the work was translated into English by the meteoric London Presbyterian preacher, Edward Irving. His amazing eloquence attracted multitudes, and the futuristic theory of the Second Advent became prominent. The theory was also taken up by the notorious Romish-Anglicans ( J. H. Newman, etc. ) in their Tracts that paved the way for the Romeward Movement in the Church of England. The rising interest led to the calling of Conferences at A1bury, near Guildford, with Irving present. They continued till 1830, and from that time the preaching of a Secret Rapture began to spread. In 1831, Conferences were held at Powerscourt in Ireland, attended by the early Brethren leaders and Irvingites. By this time Irving himself was in great trouble as a result of charismatic manifestations in his Church. He was excommunicated by the Church of Scotland in 1833, and died eighteen months later at 33 years of age. His followers separated from the Church, and degenerated into one of the strangest sects known—the Catholic Apostolic Church. But his Advent theories, learned from Ben Ezra, took hold of Darby and his friends. Andrew Miller, an early Brethren leader, wrote of Ben Ezra's book that it was one of the means whereby the Lord revived interest in the restoration of Israel to her own land and the consequent glory of Messiah’s reign. But, who was Ben Ezra? It is now proven history that, being a converted Jew, he was in reality a Jesuit named Manuel Lacunza, ( 1731 – 1811 ). IT IS FROM THIS SOURCE THAT THE PROPHETIC THEORIES OF MODERN DISPENSATIONALISM CAME.


Comments