The “Left Behind” Deception
The false rise of Futurism in America
One of the most important figures in this whole Futurism drama is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a Kansas lawyer who was greatly influenced by the writings of Darby. In 1909, Scofield published the first edition of his famous Scofield Reference Bible. In the early 1900's, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that it was necessary to print literally millions of copies. Yet, in the much-respected footnotes of this very Bible, Scofield injected large doses of the fluid of Futurism also found in the writings of Darby, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera. Through the Scofield Bible, the Jesuit child reached young adulthood. The doctrine of an Anti-Messiah still to come was becoming firmly established inside 20th-century American Protestantism.
The Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary have strongly supported the teachings of John Nelson Darby, and this has continued to fuel Futurism´s growth. Then in the 1970's, Pastor Hal Lindsey, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, released his blockbuster book The Late Great Planet Earth. This 177-page, easy-to-read volume brought Futurism to the masses of American Christianity, and beyond. The New York Times labeled it “The number one best-seller of the decade.’ Over 30 million copies have been sold, and it has been translated into over 30 languages. Through 'The Late Great Planet Earth,' Jesuit Futurism took a strong hold over the Protestant Christian world.
In the 1990's, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins took the future one-man Anti-Messiah idea of Hal Lindsey, Scofield, Darby, Irving, Newman, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, and turned it into “The most successful Christian-fiction series ever’ (Publishers Weekly). Hal Lindsey´s book, 'The Late Great Planet Earth,' was largely theological, which limited its appeal, while Left Behind is a sequence of highly imaginative novels, “overflowing with suspense, action, and adventure,’ a “Christian thriller,’ with a “label its creators could never have predicted: blockbuster success’ (Entertainment Weekly). The much-respected television ministries of Jack Van Impe, Peter and Paul Lalonde, and Pastor John Hagee, have all worked together to produce LEFT BEHIND: The Movie. The entire project has even caught the attention of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, resulting in an interview of LaHaye and Jenkins on Larry King Live. The Left Behind books have been made available on displays at WalMart, Fry´s Electronics, and inside countless other stores.
Again, let me clarify, I am not judging the genuineness of the authors of Left Behind and the leaders of these television ministries. They may be sincere, and have their own walk with God. But they are deceived into wrong ideas concerning Bible prophecy. God may even use Left Behind to influence people for Yahshua Messiah. But, in the full light of Scripture, prophecy, and the Protestant Reformation, something is terribly wrong. Left Behind is now teaching much of the same Jesuit Futurism as Francisco Ribera, which is hiding the real truth about the AntiMessiah. Through Left Behind, the floodgates of Futurism have been opened, unleashing a massive tidal wave of false prophecy which is now sweeping over America. Sadly, it is a false “idea whose time has come.’
The Prophetic Foundation
The theological foundation for the entire Left Behind series is the application of the “seven years’ of Daniel 9:27 to a future period of Tribulation. Are you ready for this? Guess who was one of the very first scholars to slice Daniel´s 70th week away from the first 69 weeks, sliding it down to the end of time? It was Francisco Ribera! “Ribera´s primary apparatus was the seventy weeks. He taught that Daniel´s 70th week was still in the future. . . It was as though God put a giant rubber band on this Messianic time measure. Does this supposition sound familiar? This is exactly the scenario used by Hal Lindsey and a multitude of other current prophecy teachers.’12
When most Christians look at the last 1,500 years, how much fulfilled prophecy do they see? None, zero, because almost everything is now being applied to a future time period after the Rapture. As we have seen, this GAP idea originated with the Jesuits, and its insertion into the majority of 21st century prophetic teaching is now blinding millions of hearts and eyes to what has gone before, and to what is happening right now inside the Church. “It is this GAP theory that permeates Futurism´s interpretation of all apocalyptic prophecy.’13 In love and in the Spirit of Yahshua Messiah; someone should publicly appeal to the major prophetic television ministries of today to re-evaluate their positions. Hopefully, like noble ships with a new command from their captain, they will yet change their course.
Jesuit Futurism has almost completely changed the beliefs of Protestant Historicism. “The proper eschatological term for the view most taught today is Futurism, which fuels the confusion of Dispensationalism. The futuristic school of Bible prophecy came from the Roman Catholic Church, specifically her Jesuit theologians. . . However the alternative has been believed for centuries. It is known as Historicism.’14 “It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy from detection as the AntiMessiah.’15
Who Had It Right?
Who had the right theology—those who were burned at the stake for Yahshua Messiah, or those who lit the fires? Who had the true Bible doctrine—the martyrs or their persecutors? Who had the correct interpretation of the Anti-Messiah? Dear friend, Jesuit Futurism is now at war with the Protestant Reformation by denying its power-packed application of prophecy to the Vatican. “The futurist school of Bible prophecy was created for one reason and one reason only: to counter the Protestant Reformation!’16 In fact, Jesuit Futurism is at war with the prophecies of the Word of God itself! And if that´s not enough, consider this. Jesuit Futurism originated with the Roman Catholic Church, which makes it the very doctrine of the AntiMessiah! And when Christian ministries and movies like A Thief in the Night, Apocalypse, Revelation, Tribulation, and Left Behind, proclaim an AntiMessiah who comes only after the Rapture, what are they really doing? I shudder to even say it. Are you ready for this? They are sincerely and yet unknowingly teaching the doctrine of the AntiMessiah!
Now you know why “truth has been left behind.” You are now able to see The Left Behind deception. I appeal to you,—Don´t fall for it.
1 H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, p. 122
2 Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome, Dorchester House Publications, Dorchester House, England, 1991,
pp. 202, 203
3 H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 136, 137
4 Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative. Abundant Life Ministries
Reformed Press, 1991, p. 31
5 George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of the Second Advent and the Rapture. Grand Rapids, MI:
Eerdmans, 1956, pp. 37-38
6 Ralph Thompson, Champions of Christianity in Search of Truth, p. 89
7 Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative, p. 32
8 Ralph Woodrow, Great Prophecies of the Bible, p. 198
9 Ralph Thompson, Champions of Christianity in Search of Truth, p. 91
10 H. Grattan Guinness, History Unveiling Prophecy or Time As an Interpreter, New York:
Fleming H. Revell Co.,
1905, p. 289
11 Dave MacPherson, The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories.
Medford Oregon, 1980
12 Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative, p. 35
13 Ralph Thompson, Champions of Christianity in Search of Truth, p. 90
14 Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative, p. 6
15 Joseph Tanner, Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place in It, A
Study of the Historical and
Futurist Interpretation. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, p. 16
16 Robert Caringola, Seventy Weeks: The Historical Alternative, p. 34
By Steve Wohlberg
Pastor Wohlberg currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. This article is adapted from his recent books, Truth Left Behind and The Left Behind Deception.
Martin Luther, as well as all of the other Reformers, was unanimous in their interpretation of the AntiMessiah as the papacy. Luther never felt strong and free to war against the Papal apostasy till he recognized the pope as AntiMessiah. Up to this point, Rome´s main method of attack had been largely frontal—the open burning of Bibles and of heretics.
At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant Reformation, specifically, the application of the biblical AntiMessiah to the Roman Catholic Church. Francisco Ribera and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, two Jesuit scholars, published works that taught that the Scriptures written by Paul, Daniel, and John had nothing whatsoever to say about the Papal power. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who helped popularize and propagate the futuristic interpretation of biblical prophecy. Thus Jesuit Futurism sweeps 1,500 years of prophetic history under the proverbial rug by inserting its infamous GAP. The Futurism of Ribera never posed a positive threat to the Protestants for three centuries it was virtually confined to the Roman Church.
When Irving turned to the prophecies, he eventually accepted the one-man AntiMessiah idea of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, yet he went a step further, adding to the Futuristic interpretation of prophecy, John Nelson Darby added the theory of dispensationalism, or the idea that God deals with mankind in major dispensations or periods of time.
Cyrus Scofield, the famed publisher of the Scofield Reference Bible, liberally interspersed the footnotes of his Bible with large doses of Futurism. These footnotes are still widely accepted by many theologians today.
Left Behind is now teaching much of the same Jesuit Futurism as Francisco Ribera, which is hiding the real truth about the AntiMessiah. Jesuit Futurism has almost completely changed the beliefs of Protestant Historicism who had the right theology—those who were burned at the stake for Yahshua Messiah, or those who lit the fires?
Steve Wohlberg's books are available from the Laymen Ministries bookstore. Exploding the Israel Deception takes a look at the current popularity of seeking fulfillment of prophecy in the Middle East, and shows what the Bible indicates about these prophecies. The Left Behind Deception is select chapters from Truth Left Behind. These books will give you the history of the teachings of the Rapture, and show you the truth of what the Scriptures say about it. The Left Behind Deception is a great gift for one who has questions on the Rapture, but isn't so in depth as to be overwhelming.
Presented for Truth, by the The Assembly of Yahweh, Cascade