WHO IS C. I. SCOFIELD AND HIS REFERENCE BIBLE?
Scofield’s life reads like a bad soap opera. He was a liar, scoundrel and con-artist. He was consumed by his own importance and showed no repentance to the end of his life for all his bad deeds.
During the early 1890s, Scofield began styling himself Rev. C. I. Scofield, D.D.; but there are no records of any academic institution having granted him the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
He is not a theologian. He was a lawyer, highly intelligent but well-known as a master self-promotor. These characteristics led him to his career as a politician. Soon he was forced to resign "under a cloud of scandal" because of questionable financial transactions, that may have included accepting bribes from railroads, stealing political contributions and securing bank promissory notes by forging signatures.
Jailed on forgery charges he was sent to prison where he became a Christian but even after he became a Christian, he took possession of his mother’s house by falsifying his mother’s deeds.
He deserted his wife and two little girls (he was a heavy drinker) and refused to support them or acknowledge their existence when he became a pastor at the congregational church in Dallas. Thanks to the assistance and encouragement of some powerful preachers he produced His reference Bible with footnotes despite his lack of formal theological training.
It is this reference Bible with footnotes which have been the cause of the concept of the spreading of “premillennialism”.
WHAT IS PREMILLENNIALISM?
Premillennialism means that the true believers will not be tested during the time of tribulation. Instead BEFORE the time of tribulation they will be “raptured” or fly up to meet Jesus on the cloud. It is called pre-millennialism as they believe that after the wrath of God there will be the Armageddon which is "won" by Christ and the start of a millennium or thousand years of Peace.
WHAT IS POSTMILLENNIALISM?
This was a great change from the understanding of Christians during the first 1900 years who believed in post-millennialism which means everybody will suffer during the time of tribulation and AFTER (post) that time Jesus would return.
It was largely through the influence of Scofield's notes that premillennialism became influential among fundamentalist Christians in the United States, and these notes became a significant source for popular religious writers such as Hal Lindsey.
WHO IS HAL LINDSEY?
Harold Lee Lindsey (born November 23, 1929) is an American evangelist and Christian writer. He is a Christian Zionist and an author and television host. He is most famous for writing a series of popular apocalyptic books suggesting that “the end is near” and “the rapture of the church” was likely to occur in the 1980s. His books were translated into 54 languages and sold more than 35 million copies. His books helped expanding the evangelical churches with more than a million of newly saved/reborn believers.
THE GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT
Hal Lindsey’s, The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), was not the first book on Bible prophecy to assert that we are living in the last days. For centuries, Christian writers have used the Bible to predict the Return of Christ. The Seventh Adventist Church was established thanks to Miller who calculated based on that the Return of Christ would come in 1844. By 1844, over 100,000 people were anticipating what Miller had called the "Blessed Hope". On October 22 many of the believers were up late into the night watching, waiting for Christ to return and found themselves bitterly disappointed when both sunset and midnight passed with their expectations unfulfilled. One of the Adventists, Hiram Edson (1806–1882) wrote "Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept, and wept, till the day dawn” This event later became known as the Great Disappointment.
To summarize, we explained how an initially obscure network of preachers and their followers reshaped American beliefs. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces they took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God's final judgment.
Following 9/11, the politics of apocalypse continued to resonate with an anxious populace seeking a roadmap through a world spinning out of control. Premillennialist evangelicals have erected mega-churches, divided Chrsitianity further and brought focus of the millions of believers not on Jesus’ main teachings of love, forgiveness, and mercy but on elitism, a kind of special salvation for themselves alone.
White evangelicals have played a major role in recent political campaigns.
Despite their impact in American politics their attitude does very little to deal with the real problems, global warming, racial prejudice, the enormous inequality between rich and poor, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other problems we are facing in this century.
The Rapture, a term nowhere found in the Bible, is believed to be the return of Christ at which time he raises only the sainted dead and takes them to heaven with the Christians who are living at the time. The Tribulation is a seven-year period of fierce wrath upon the earth. Annihilation of the planet narrowly is averted by the Revelation of Christ in which evil is destroyed and a 1000 year reign on earth ensues. (1000 years = millenium)
As we will see in the next article, pre-millennialism and the rapture is an intricate twisting of the scriptures in general and the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation in particular to make this preconceived story seem plausible.
We find already a warning about twisting the epistles in II Peter 3:16 " …in almost all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, among which are some things that are hard to understand, which those that are ignorant and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" .
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Note: Baha’i history proves that 1844 is not the time of the GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT but a TIME OF REJOICING as it is the beginning of a new era, initiated by the BAB in Shiraz, Persia in 1844 In Christianity Renewed Volume 3 we explain in detail the following verse (Matt: 24) where Jesus speaks about His Return:
“Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”