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Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) was a Jesuit doctor of theology, born in Spain. He began writing a lengthy (500 page) commentary in 1585 on the book of Revelation (Apocalypse) titled In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij, and published it about the year 1590. He died in 1591 at the age of fifty-four, so he was not able to expand on his work or write any other commentaries on Revelation. In order to remove the Catholic Church from consideration as the antichrist power, Ribera proposed that the first few chapters of the Apocalypse applied to ancient pagan Rome, and the rest he limited to a yet future period of 3 1/2 literal years, immediately prior to the second coming. During that time, the Roman Catholic Church would have fallen away from the pope into apostasy. Then, he proposed, the antichrist, a single individual, would:

Persecute and blaspheme the saints of God.

Rebuild the temple in Jerusalemmarker.

Abolish the Christian religion.

Deny Jesus Christ.

Be received by the Jews.

Pretend to be God.

Kill the two witnesses of God.

Conquer the world.

So, according to Ribera, the 1260 days and 42 months and 3 1/2 times of prophecy were not 1260 years, but a literal 3 1/2 years, and therefore none of the book of Revelation had any application to the Middle Ages or the papacy, but to the future, to a period immediately prior to the second coming, hence the name Futurism.


Ralph Thompson, Champions of Christianity in Search of Truth, p. 91.

H. Grattan Guinness, History Unveiling Prophecy or Time as an Interpreter, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1905, p. 289.

The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories, by Dave MacPherson. Omega Publications, Medford Oregon. 1980.

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