Tag Archives: Historicism

Iconbusters asks Catholics some questions


Here is an interesting exchange between Iconbusters and a Roman Catholic.  Iconbusters asked questions such as:

(4) If the City of 7 Hills, Rome, is identified in the Revelation as the headquarters of the false church, the Mother of all Harlots, doomed to damnation by the infallible word of prophecy, why on earth did the Roman Catholic Church choose that site for her Holy See and Pontificate?


(8) If the false church, doomed to damnation, is depicted clothed in purple and scarlet in the Revelation, why on earth did the Roman Catholic Church choose those colors for her Pope, Cardinals and bishops?

A Roman Catholic responds.  What do you think?

See the post here:  http://iconbusters.com/iconbusters/htm/false_ch/1_8/part1.htm

The Pedigree of Historicism

Feileadh Mor

Recently I joined a Historicism (Reformed) group on facebook to keep up on the current articles and thoughts of Reformed minded folks. I found a letter by Haynes posted in the group and found it helpful. I pray you do as well. It deals with the history of Futurism, it’s popularity and the history of what is known as Historicism. The full letter can be read here. The portion I quoted gives some names from church history that held to a Historicist point of view.

historicism_timeline(click image to enlarge)

So how about the pedigree of Historicism?

Starting in the second century with the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, Iraeneus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine in the fifth century.

Through the middle ages there were Bede and Ansport, Andreas and Anselm, Joachin Abbas and Almeric.

While it is true that these early expositors did not…

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Postmil & Historicism

Feileadh Mor

A. W. Pink was a Dispensational Premillennialist in his early years. Latter he embraced Amillennialism and wanted all of his earlier Dispensational material burned but his work The Antichrist can still be found online. In it he attacks Historicism and Postmillennialism. pink

“The dominant view which has been held by Protestants since the time of the Reformation is that the many predictions relating to the Antichrist describe, instead, the rise, progress, and doom of the papacy. This mistake has led to others, and given rise to the scheme of prophetic interpretation which has prevailed throughout Christendom. When the predictions concerning the Man of Sin were allegorized, consistency required that all associated and collateral predictions should also be allegorized, and especially those which relate to his doom, and the kingdom which is to be established on the overthrow of his power. When the period of his predicted course was made to measure…

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Historicist Audio

Feileadh Mor

Hey folks, ever wonder what your Protestant forefathers believed about the end times? Those who rejected the authority of Papal Rome for the authority of scripture alone held to what was called THE Protestant interpretation known today as Historicism.

Historicism defined,

that view which regards the prophecy [of Revelation] as a prefiguration of the great events that were to happen in the church, and the world connected with it, from St. John’s time to the consummation; including specially the establishment of Popedom, and reign of Papal Rome, as in some way or other the fulfilment of the types of the Apocalyptic Beast and Babylon (Horae Apocalpticae, Vol. 4, p. 564).

E. B. Elliott writes, in Horae Apocalpticae, that Historicism was the major view of the church centuries,

Victorinus (1st century), Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus (3rd century), Origen, Methodius, Lactantius, Eusebius (4th century), Athanasius, Hilary, Jerome, Chrysostom…

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Historicism’s Pedigree

For eighteen hundred years scholarly Christian men , enlightened by the Holy Spirit, used Bible prophecies to shed light on the historical events engulfing them and to encourage them with the assurance that the same omniscient God Who had foreknown ( actually planned) history so accurately was the same omnipotent God Who was with them through the most severe trials and would bring them through victoriously to present them faultless at Jesus’ coming. This was the message of assurance, hope and victory which enabled and empowered countless thousands of Jesus’ followers to remain faithful through experiences of persecutions, tortures and martyrdoms, so sadistic and beastly that they are no longer even discussed in Christian churches because they are too politically incorrect.

It was their understanding of the key principles of bible prophecy that enabled Godly men “ to understand their times “ in such a way as to recognize and expose “ the man of sin “ and so to lay the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

Read more:  PEDIGREES by Noel J. Haynes, ProphecyBlog, http://035e9af.netsolhost.com/prophecy/2012/01/23/pedigrees/

Historicism Information from Michael Bunker


Here are some links to information on the historicist interpretation of the Bible from Michael Bunker’s ministry, Lazarus Unbound:

  1. The Testimony of the Spirit Concerning Antichrist
  2. The Testimony of History Against Antichrist
  3. The Doctrine of the Papal Antichrist

The Last Pilgrims

The Last Pilgrims is a novel by Michael Bunker, a Christian agrarian and Biblical separatist.  It is set 20 years after the collapse of America and explores the future from a Protestant Historicist perspective.  The author provides a sample novella of the first 1/3 novel for free at http://www.lastpilgrims.com/.

I read the sample novella and found it interesting.  I wouldn’t classify it as some of the best fiction I’ve ever read; however, I did find the author’s perspective instructive and challenging.  For instance, one of the main characters is a pacifist.  He supports pacifism in all situations, and he puts those beliefs into practice with full knowledge of the potential cost of his actions.  His perspective is making me re-examine my beliefs concerning self-defense.  While I don’t think I could ever not defend my children if someone tried to harm them, I do enjoy the process of making sure my beliefs are Biblically grounded.  I look forward to reading more of this series.

You can find a copy of the sample novella here if you are interested in reading it.  You can also purchase an updated, re-edited novella here.  The actual book launch is 11/11/2011.  It is the first book in an intended series.

Check out the book trailer for The Last Pilgrims:

A Historicism Study Plan

In order to obtain an understanding of the historicist school of interpretation, we would recommend the following study plan:

  1. Study the book of Daniel using an inductive Bible study method
  2. Study the book of Revelation using an inductive Bible study method
  3. Study other related eschatological passages in the Bible.  These would include Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2, for example.

Go through the passages first by yourself so that you are not influenced by any author’s particular interpretation.  Then compare your observations and understanding to what others have to say.  In particular, we recommend the works of Rev. Dr. F.N. Lee at Historicism Research Foundation and the sermon series by Bill Mencarow as a starting point.

What is Historicism?

Historicism, or historicalism as it is sometimes called, is an approach to interpreting Bible prophecy that could be described as “prophecy as historical blueprint.”  From a historicist point of view, the prophecies of Daniel, Revelation, and other books related to the end times give a blueprint, or roadmap, for much of history.  Specifically, the book of Daniel is considered to give a blueprint of history from the Babylonian exile to the first coming of Christ and beyond, while the book of Revelation and related passages are considered to give a blueprint of history from the apostolic era to the creation of the new heavens and earth.

While historicists may disagree on the specific details of this eschatological scheme, they generally agree on the following (based on information from the Historicism Research Foundation):

  1. In biblical prophecy, the Year-Day Principle applies, meaning that the word “day’ is generally interpreted as indicating a “year” in real time unless the context of the passage indicates otherwise;
  2. References to “time, times, and half a time,” 3.5 years, 1260 days, and 42 months have already been fulfilled in history;
  3. The Roman Catholic Papal System, ie. the Papacy, is the antichrist (one who comes in place of Christ or Christ’s stead), man of sin, and beast of Revelation; and
  4. Revelation 9 applies to the rise of Islam.

When it comes to the book of Revelation, the approach we will be investigating on this website interprets the seal, trumpet, and vial judgments as occurring in successive order in history.

Interestingly, the historicist interpretation was the standard Protestant interpretation of biblical prophecy for a period of about 500 years, from Wycliffe to Spurgeon.  It can be contrasted with the Futurist (think “Left Behind”) and Preterist (think “The Last Disciple”) interpretations, which were conceived by Roman Catholic Jesuits (members of the Society of Jesus) during the time of the counter-reformation.