11. Pinning The Tail On The Beast
"Our enemies laugh among themselves."
One of the cardinal beliefs of the "rapture" cultists is that the Antichrist is about to make his appearance. Although they expect to be "raptured" before the Antichrist begins his evil reign (the "tribulation"), their belief that the "rapture" is imminent necessitates a belief also that the Antichrist is waiting in the wings, almost ready to reveal himself. Therefore, there has been continual speculation about the identity of the Antichrist.
Margaret Macdonald, on the same evening in 1830 when she first put forth her new pre-tribulation "rapture" idea, also mentioned that the Antichrist was Robert Owen (1771-1858).1 Owen, one of the leading Insiders of his day, was indeed an evil man.* Many of his writings are included in "The Life and Ideas of Robert Owen",3 published in recent years by International Publishers, the openly Communist publishing house in New York City. Present day Communists revere Owen as the father of modern Communism.4 He did not, however, make the grade as Antichrist.
MacPherson quotes Robert Baxter of Doncaster, England, who wrote in 1833: "The person who should be so energized of Satan, and be set up as his Christ, was at a subsequent period, declared to be young Napoleon."5 This, of course, referred to Napoleon III (1808-1873), not to the famous general. Baxter was a former member of the Catholic Apostolic Church who, by 1833, had become "completely convinced that the Irvingite movement in London was not of God."6
During World War I many Christians thought they had identified the Kaiser as Antichrist. During World War II many were equally certain about Hitler. The most popular modern candidate for Antichrist, until just recently, was Henry Kissinger.7 Now that Henry seems to have exited, or at least has left the center of the stage, it will be most interesting to learn who inherits his mantle as Antichrist Presumptive. Perhaps it may be Ralph Nader, who was suggested recently by one lady who should have been a prospect for Birch membership, but who was too preoccupied with speculation about whether the beast would be a Jew or an Arab. She seemed to favor the latter, hence her interest in Nader, a Lebanese.**
Naming of Antichrists has not been confined, of course, to these cultists, since it was being done long before their time. Many of the early leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed that the Papacy was the Antichrist.8 During the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, many thought Napoleon was the Antichrist." There have been many other candidates throughout Christian history, as described by Foy E. Wallace, Jr. in his monumental "The Book of Revelation".10 "There have been almost a legion of names in many different languages that have been deciphered in the efforts to find the solution for Code 666, ranging from the merest conjecture to a frantic religious fanaticism that borders on lunacy. The names of ancient political war lords, medieval papal pontiffs, together with nineteenth and twentieth century dictators, have been juggled to yield the sum 666."11
Some cultists, in the past, have given definite dates for the fulfillment of various events in their prophetic scheme of things to come. During World War II, for example, the Rev. Frank Hamilton,12 who believed some of the "tribulation" would occur before the "rapture", predicted "tribulations" extending from 1952 or '53 through the summer of 1955 or '56,13 forecast that the "rapture" would occur in the late fall or early winter of 1959 or 1960,14 and saw the "millennium" beginning in the spring of 1963 or '64.15 §
Modern-day seers are more wary about setting dates and frequently caution one another against doing so, although occasionally one will still yield to the temptation. One such is the Rev. Arnold Murray, who advises on one of his cassette tapes:16 "If you understand Hebrew, in the fortieth chapter of Ezekiel it also says that this dispensation will come near an end somewhere around the year 1982." To observe an example of just how far some of these modern "prophets" will stretch the Bible, the reader is urged to read the fortieth chapter of Ezekiel and to try to ascertain where the Rev. Murray discerns this "prophecy"! Evidently he did not expect any of his listeners to take the trouble to consult the Bible, but for any who might do so he included the proviso that they must "understand Hebrew."
If the Christians of the British Isles in the mid-nineteenth century, instead of cringing before Robert Owen, hoping for an imminent "rapture", had organized themselves into a movement to expose Owen and his evil associates, we might today live in a much better and saner world. Robert Owen was indeed a great influence for evil, and his exposure might have set back the Conspiracy immensely. Similarly, if those Christians who recognized Henry Kissinger for the evil influence he has been during the past few years had joined in the effort to expose him and his fellow conspirators, the Conspiracy would today be much less advanced than it is. Let us hope that, in the days ahead, a significant number of Christians may face up to their moral responsibilities on this earth, leaving the cosmic decisions to the Lord Almighty. Then, the Lord willing, the descendants of present-day Christians may be able to look upon their ancestors with gratitude and pride, rather than with chagrin and despair.
It should be emphasized that not everyone who uses the Scofield Bible, or who believes in similar doctrines, is neutralized in the struggle against evil. There are many Christian patriots who do hold this belief but who also feel they have a responsibility to uphold the civilization they inherited from their forefathers, a civilization which, imperfect though it may be, still is based upon Christian principles. These, perhaps, are as good a proof as we have of the truth of one of Robert Welch's favorite sayings, "Morality sees farther than intellect." To these, at least as much honor is due as to the patriot who looks upon the struggle as a matter of life or death, freedom or slavery, civilization or dark ages, in a future whose duration is to him not a matter for speculation. As much honor is due the former, that is, if he works with equal fervor and dedication. Unfortunately there are almost-neutralized Birchers who, as they began to believe that the Second Coming would soon solve all their earthly problems, reduced the intensity of their activity from "full speed ahead" to "I'll go through a few motions." It might be said that these have joined the "rapture chapter." Sadly, the motivation provided by a desire to do what is morally right is, with all too many of us, not a strong driving force. The weaknesses of human nature are ever with us in this struggle; we all have them and we all need to overcome them.
REFERENCES, CHAPTER 11
* In the opening address of the Campbell-Owen Debate held in Cincinnati, Ohio in April, 1829, Owen called for the abolition of marriage and the family, abolition of religion, abolition of private property and the establishment of an entire new order of things.2
** On an unsolicited cassette tape mailed from Macon, Georgia to numerous Birch Society leaders in the Southeast, the speaker confirms that he has identified the Genuine Beast a computer located in Belgium!!
§ The Rev. Hamilton lists in his book the following colleges which at that time taught the Scofieldian doctrine: "This view is held by Faith Seminary; some teachers at Princeton Seminary; Wheaton College; Maryville College: Dallas Theological Seminary; Columbia Bible College; Davidson College; Wilson College; Beaver College; Asbury College; William Jennings Bryan College; Bob Jones College; Union Bible Seminary."17
1 MacPherson, Dave "The Incredible Cover-Up" (see Ref. (1), Chapter 6) pp. 156-157.
2 Campbell-Owen Debate on the Evidences of Christianity, McQuiddy Printing Co., Nashville, Tn. 1957, p. 3
3 Morton, A. L. "The Life and Ideas of Robert Owen" International Publishers, 381 Park Ave. South, New York, 1962 & 1969.
4 The New Encyclopedia of Social Reform, Third Edition Funk and Wagnalls Co., New York and London, 1910, p. 859.
5 Baxter, Robert "Narrative of Facts", etc., (see Reference (4), Chapter 6) as quoted by MacPherson, Op. Cit., p. 88.
6 MacPherson, Op. Cit., p. 89.
7 Clark, Doug "Amazing Prophecies of the 70's It's Super K!" Amazing Prophecy Center, Orange, Calif. 92667, 1975.
8 MacPherson, Op. Cit., p. 25.
9 Ibid., p. 26.
10 Wallace, Foy E., Jr. "The Book of Revelation" The Foy E. Wallace, Jr. Publications, P.O. Box 1301, Nashville, Tenn., 1966.
11 Ibid., p. 300.
12 Hamilton, Frank "The Bible and the Millennium" Rev. Frank Hamilton, 6701 Atlantic Ave., Ventnor, N. J. No date given, but the text indicates the book was written during World War II.
13 Ibid., pp. 21-24.
14 Ibid., p. 34.
15 Ibid., p. 42.
16 Murray, Arnold, Rev. "Answers" cassette tape American Christian Congress, Gravette, Ark. 72736, Side 2 (Advertised in "The Spotlight", $4.00).
17 Hamilton, Op. Cit., Preface, p. i.
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