Luis De Alcazar (1554-1613), wrote a commentary called "Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse", containing about 900 pages. In it he proposed that prophecy should be specifically applied to pagan Rome first and then the first six centuries of Christianity. According to Alcazar (or Alcasar) the correct preterist interpretations should be as follows:
Revelation chapters 1-11 describes the rejection of the Jews and the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Nero is the antichrist and
all of the seals, trumpets, and vials took place before the end of 70AD.
Revelation chapters 12 - 19 were the overthrow of Roman paganism whom he identified as mystery babylon, the great harlot. He describes the conversion of the empire and sets up Rome as the head of the universal Christian faith.
Revelation 20 describe the final persecutions by Antichrist, who is identified as Cæsar Nero (54-68 A.D.), who sets in motion God's judgment on Jews and Jerusalem to be fulfilled in 70AD.
Revelation 21 -22 describe the triumph of the New Jerusalem, the Roman Catholic Church as the preterist climax of the millennial kingdom that began in 70AD.
Alcazar continued the allegorical interpretations of the gnostic Origen and the Platoist Augustine. He rejected any connection of prophecy identifying the Catholic church as the great whore and the daughters as Protestant children. The papacy was totally purified as the holy Vicar of Christ to rule until the end of the world. Alcazar did not invent preterism. It existed all the way back to Clement and Origen who were Egyptians.
Tertullian (145-220) "In such wise, therefore, did Daniel predict concerning Him, as to show both when and in what time He was to set the nations free; and how, after the passion of the Christ, that city had to be exterminated" (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 158).
Clement of Alexandria (150- 215) was head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria greatly influenced by the theories of Tertullian. He refers to Nero in a preterist interpretation:
"And thus Christ became King of the Jews, reigning in Jerusalem in the fulfillment of the seven weeks. And in the sixty and two weeks the whole of Judaea was quiet, and without wars. And Christ our Lord, "the Holy of Holies," having come and fulfilled the vision and the prophecy, was anointed in His flesh by the Holy Spirit of His Father. In those "sixty and two weeks," as the prophet said, and "in the one week," was He Lord. The half of the week Nero held sway, and in the holy city Jerusalem placed the abomination; and in the half of the week he was taken away, and Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius. And Vespasian rose to the supreme power, and destroyed Jerusalem, and desolated the holy place. And that such are the facts of the case, is clear to him that is able to understand, as the prophet said" (The Stromata, Or Miscellanies. Book 1).
"We have still to add to our chronology the following, -- I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to the seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is "the half of the week," as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: "How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away."
"These two thousand three hundred days, then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, "Blessed is he that cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: "And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days" (quoted in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 334, 4th ed).
"But our Master did not prophesy after this fashion; but, as I have already said, being a prophet by an inborn and every-flowing Spirit, and knowing all things at all times, He confidently set forth, plainly as I said before, sufferings, places, appointed times, manners, limits. Accordingly, therefore, prophesying concerning the temple, He said: "See ye these buildings? Verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another which shall not be taken away [Matt. 24:3]; and this generation shall not pass until the destruction begin [Matt. 24:34]. . . ." And in like manner He spoke in plain words the things that were straightaway to happen, which we can now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among those to whom the word was spoken" (Clementine Homilies 3:15).
Origen (c.185- 254) "I challenge anyone to prove my statement untrue if I say that the entire Jewish nation was destroyed less than one whole generation later on account of these sufferings which they inflicted on Jesus. For it was, I believe, forty-two years from the time when they crucified Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem" (Contra Celsum, 198-199). This is the preterist foundation which Origen student of Clement would embellish and develop into a more complex speculative doctrine.
Eusebius Pamphilius (265 - 339) Bishop of Cesarea, in his "Ecclesiastical History", Book 3, Ch 5 and 7; and his "Proof for the Gospel" Book 8 chapter 4; also refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD as the fulfillment of Daniel and Revelation.
" the many great sieges which were carried on against the cities of Judea, and the excessive. sufferings endured by those that fled to Jerusalem itself, as to a city of perfect safety, and finally the general course of the whole war, as well as its particular occurrences in detail, and how at last the abomination of desolation, proclaimed by the prophets, stood in the very temple of God, so celebrated of old, the temple which was now awaiting its total and final destruction by fire,-- all these things any one that wishes may find accurately described in the history written by Josephus" (Book III, Ch. 5).
"If any one compares the words of our Saviour with the other accounts of the historian (Josephus) concerning the whole war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly divine and marvelously strange" (Book III, Ch. VII).
"The lamentation and wailing was predicted for the Jews, and the burning of the Temple and its utter desolation, can also be seen even now to have occurred according to the prediction" (The Proof of the Gospel, Bk. VIII, Ch.4, sect.412).
St. John Chrysostom (347407) "For I will ask them, Did He send the prophets and wise men? Did they slay them in their synagogue? Was their house left desolate? Did all the vengeance come upon that generation? It is quite plain that it was so, and no man gainsays it" (Homily LXXIV).
St. Augustine (A.D. 354 - 430), Bishop of Hippo. Augustine also held to the idealist perspective that the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 referred to the struggle of the Christian life through history. Here are some of his preterist quotes:
" But Luke, in order to show that the abomination of desolation happened when Jerusalem was taken, in this same place gives the words of our Lord, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." [Luke 21:20] (Epist., cxcix, 9)
"And so Josephus [marg. note: B. J. vii], who wrote the Jewish History, relates evils so great happening to this people as to seem hardly credible. Whence it was not unreasonably said, that such tribulation had never been from the beginning of creation, nor should be; for though in the time of Antichrist shall be such, or perhaps greater; yet to the Jews, of whom we must understand this, such shall never more befall. For if they shall be the first and the chief to receive Antichrist, they will then [p. 813] rather inflict than suffer tribulation." (Epist. cic. 30)
"For Josephus, who has written the history of the Jews, relates that such things were suffered by this people, as are scarcely credible, wherefore it is said, not without cause, that there was not such tribulation from the beginning of the creation until now, nor shall ever be. But although in the time of Antichrist there shall be one similar or greater, we must understand that it is of that [p. 262] people, that it is said that there shall never happen such another. For if they are the first and foremost to receive Antichrist, that same people may rather be said to cause than to suffer tribulation" (Epist., cxcix 9).
Preterism an ancient heresy
We can see the preterist doctrine did not begin with Alcazar. Any claim that it did is just a lie! Preterism has been the backbone of the claim claim of the Catholic church that it is the millennial kingdom and the Pope is the Vicar of Christ to rule until the end of the world. This declaration did not begin with Alcazar's update of the Preterist doctrine already existing in the Catholic church. Those of you who claim Alcazar started Preterism just stop the lies.
What of the accusation that other Catholic Jesuits dreamed up a plot to create futurism? This is a lie made up by modern preterist to make dispensationalism and other futurist teachings suspect of coming from a devilish source.
futurism exited all the way back to the early Apostolic Church. Even the preterist who claim all ended in 70AD admit the early Christians were futurist looking for the blessed hope and the resurrection. The agree all prophecy was futurist up to 70AD. That is when their theory demands either all prophecy was fulfilled and nothing was future (full preterist), or that part of prophecy was fulfilled and many other parts still future (partial preterist). What Protestant preterist do not want to admit, is that preterism was a Catholic invented heresy that began with the allegorical interpretations of the gnostic, Origen.
What about Francisco Ribera and Robert Bellarmine, Jesuits, didn't they work together in a plot to invent futurism to delude the nations that the Catholic Church was not the center of prophecy as the beast and great whore which historicists were claiming? There is no evidence either of these men knew each other let alone plotted together to create a futurist interpretation to delude the nations against the year day principle.
What so many fail to realize is that the years between 1400-1600 were times of reformation. Many men, even Catholic priests and monks openly presented different opinions on church traditions and doctrines. Men like Ribera and Bellarmine were reformed writers. Ribera disagreed with the preterist interpretation that made the Catholic church the kingdom of God. He did not see the Catholic church as the millennial kingdom. After all, where was Christ who was to rule and reign in person? He had not appeared and gone to Rome to take over as head of the nations via the throne of Rome. No Jesuit who has taken the oath would ever do anything accused of Ribera. That being he was against preterism and wanted to give the Protestants a reason not to accept the Catholic church as the millennial kingdom and the Pope the Vicar of Christ to rule until the end of the world. There is no evidence that Ribera was a practicing Jesuit when he wrote his futurist opinions. That he was once a Jesuit should not be held against him.
Such was Francisco Ribera. He attacked the year day theory of the historicists in his "In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentari" and for that he was victimized as a Jesuit devil who devised futurism to delude the nations against the historicists theories. In truth, he may be looked upon as a reformation writer whose opinion on prophecy cut hard across preterism and historicistism. Although he was at one time a Jesuit, there is no evidence that the Jesuit order in any way hired him to write a futurist view of prophecy. His being a Jesuit seems to be guilt by association. So, stop all the lies. Futurism is the original faith of the early Church. Preterism and historicistism are later inventions of men. It is in the different branches of futurism that the rapture conflict exists between the pre-tribs, mid-tribs, pre-wraths, and post-tribs. Preterist zero in on the dispensationalist because they are easy targets concerning Israel and the Church. To deceive dispensationalist and non-dispensational post-tribs to accept preterism, preterist will bring up Ribera and Robert Bellarmine being Jesuits, claiming futurism was all a plot.
The revival of Preterism was to attack the Protestant Historicists interpretation. Futurism of the original Apostolic Church was recaptured by Francisco Ribera, a former Jesuit, but now a reformer of prophecy interpretations. He rejected preterism outright and rejected the historicists year day application of the 1260 days. While Ribera is attacked because he was once a Jesuit, his turing back to the futurism and hope of the first Christians was noble and honest. He was not trying to make the Catholic church the Kingdom of God nor was he trying to deny its appearance of being the great whore and the Pope the beast or antichrist. To the contrary, what he wrote appears to give the creedance that the Church of Rome and the Pope where just that. Ribera rejected Nero as the antichrist and placed him into a future three and one-half literal years of a future great tribulation. This was an outright attack on Alcazar's Preterist claim that the Antichrist was Nero and could never be applied to the Pope. Ribera was content to let the antichrist be revealed in his time and refused to write or say it could not be the Pope. The Historicists claimed the antichrist was the Catholic Popes who would reigned for1260 days or prophetic years. They ended the Pope's in the year 1798. They counted 1260 years from 538AD and the fall of Rome and decided the Catholic church would come to its end in the final of the great tribulation to end in 1798. We now know that this interpretation failed. So it was false. No need to resurrect it and change float the 1260 days by some other thimble-rigging of the dates.
Today the clash is between the futurist and the preterist. It is true that dispensational pre-trib futurism is about all we hear. True, all futurist believe the antichrist is yet-to-appear. True we believe he will be revealed during the coming great tribulation. The pre-trib dispensationalist accept the historcists theory the antichrist is the Pope. But, another group of futurist, the post-tribs believe the antichrist will be Jewish. Why would Jews accept a Catholic Pope as their Messiah when only a descendent of David can lay claim to this dignity? These Post-Tribs believe the true identity of the coming antichrist will not be known until that which restrains him is moved out of the way. This cannot be applied to Nero or the Pope.
The preterist, both Catholic and Protestant are pawns of the Pope. They may call themselves by all manner of names, even as Apostolics, but they are spreading a false doctrine. The millennial Kingdom has not come yet and it did not begin in 70AD. The rapture and resurrection have not taken place yet. We should not play into the hands of Rome via preterism nor into the hands of a coming Jewish antichrist system in Israel via dispensational futurism. Historicism does not deserve mention any longer as its 1260 day-year theory turned out to be a bad joke.
Below is a chart I have adapted to show the different views on prophecy interpretation. Pay attention that Protestant Preterism came from the Catholic Church. It was not the doctrine of the Apostles.
Protestant preterist in a shocking reversal have become Rome's greatest tacit supporter of her millennial kingdom. This gave rise to Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich preterist utopia. It is additionally astonishing that Protestants who clearly recognized the Catholic church as a false preterist millennial kingdom, are now going back home to mama Rome. They are forming global ministries to spread preterism. Preterism is the bloodiest heresy to fill the earth. The mass murder of Jews and Christians with Hitler's own twisted version of preterism, should be enough to frighten any honest soul from accepting the 70AD doctrine of the rapture and resurrection.
Click here to read Preterism Hitler