Misconceptions In Prophecy: Part 1 :: By Ron Ferguson


This is not an easy subject to address because of its very nature. A subject like this can always be accused of being judgmental, and that is the last thing I want. Occasionally people write to me telling me I don’t know anything, and I have such a superficial knowledge of the Bible; it is obvious they disagree with something I wrote, and I suppose they can have that view. It causes me to delve even further into what the Bible says. Sometimes I think, “Maybe they are right. We do the best we can with God’s help.”

The problem when writing on that subject is that it is so conclusive for people to say, “Who does he think he is, as if he knows it all!” This is the danger in writing this series of articles and is why I am stressing this matter at the start. I know the views of different writers who contribute to RR, and I know I and they can see things differently.

The purpose of writing this series is NOT to try correcting anyone, for that is negative and just not on. What I am doing is selecting certain items that have a prevailing view I don’t support, but I get asked about them. I am defining my position without prejudice, so no one is to be offended. I am hoping instead that we all might examine the scripture more carefully.

Not one of us has the full container of truth.

My own views on a number of prophetic issues have changed over the years, some to the extent that I now hold to the opposite of what I did when I was 20 or 30. That was a long time ago. Research and scripture comparison have changed that. The following are matters I have worked through over the years, and some of these I have already written on. These are misconceptions (in my understanding):



This needs to be refined. Is heaven our home? Yes, and No. Some saints have been in heaven now for almost 2,000 years, but no longer than that.

The Old Testament believers, when they died, went to Abraham’s bosom in Paradise, which was part of Sheol – place of the dead, sometimes translated ‘grave’ (and before Abraham, then just Paradise). The other part was where the wicked dead were in torment. The story of Lazarus and the rich man bears that out.

The reason the righteous were in Paradise was that they were unacceptable for heaven, which is holy. The Old Testament saints had their sins covered, but that awaited the sacrifice of Christ to eliminate and atone for sin completely, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. One important verse bears out that thought – {{2Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1Pet. 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed.”}}

There is the substitutionary exchange. The righteous One took the sins of the unrighteous ones on the cross, becoming sin for them, that in turn, sinners can become the righteous ones through Him. We have His appropriated righteousness and all that is possible after Christ’s sacrifice, not before. Those in Paradise who had their sins covered but not eliminated were recipients of Christ’s righteousness after the cross. Paradise was the comfort for them while they waited for Calvary.

Once that was done, He led captivity captive and took them all to heaven (I think at the ascension). Paradise does not exist anymore. Hell has enlarged itself and now is one.

As I said, some have been in heaven for almost 2,000 years, and when the Rapture happens, ALL the believers since Adam to the exact moment of the Rapture will be in heaven. That makes up The Church, The Bride.

However, all those who are raptured while still living (the mortals of 1 Corinthians 15) who have put on immortality, they will be in heaven for only 7 years. During those 7 years, the events of the Tribulation will rage on earth. Right near the end of that time, the marriage of the Bride occurs (Revelation 19), and the honeymoon is the battle of Armageddon.

At that point, the Bride (no longer called the Church in the Bible) returns to earth with her Groom at the Second Coming and spends the next 1,000 years on earth reigning with Christ through the Millennium. What follows that?

{{Revelation 21:1 “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea, 2 and I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death. There shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. The first things have passed away.’ 5 He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new,’ and He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.'”}}

I believe the New Jerusalem is the home of the Bride, and that will be eternal. There we have it – heaven will not be our eternal home. I suppose the generalist could say, “Well, where God is, is heaven,” but it is not as general as that.


THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE IS NEBULOUS. Some people say to me, “Well, why are you trying to push the Rapture as coming soon? It may be 100 years away?” I find it hard to explain to those people why I believe in an imminent Rapture, as they seem convinced it could be a long way off. Now why would people say such things?

Most readers of RR would also hold to an imminent Rapture, so what are the reasons we hold for this view, and reject the Rapture to be in the future sometime, maybe hundreds of years away? I was saved in a Brethren assembly at the age of 10/11 and spent a lot of time reading the early Brethren writers – views of J N Darby, C H Macintosh, W Kelly, Gaebelein, and a lot more. These men, God used to reinstate the teaching of eschatology that had been generally lost for 1,700 years. There are excellent articles on this site by Thomas Ice (https://www.raptureready.com/thomas-ice/), and one or two cover that point. I would recommend all that Thomas Ice has written. I would judge him as being the best teacher represented on RR.

What those early teachers in the early 19th century held to was an imminent Rapture, and that was nearly 200 years ago.

Well, the early Church did the same, and it is the correct thing to do. However, 1,960 years have passed since that apostolic era of an imminent Rapture, so what is the difference? Why are we now so assertive? Why do quite a number of RR writers agree with an imminent Rapture?

Well, the difference is the signs of the times. For us alive now, we see so much that has now been set in place – Israel has its own land; Europe is readying itself to be the revived Roman Empire; the last day signs of 2Timothy 3 are upon us; the world is getting ready for all sorts of wars which will be set in motion by the rider on the red horse; phone technology is such that the whole world will be able to see the events of Revelation 11 in real-time; God has allowed the world to see what a virus is like (corona/pestilences of Revelation 6), and I am sure there are a lot more such as mandating. As well, there is a “feeling” or conviction among the students of the word that the Rapture is close. If we had to choose just one of the above for proof, it would have to be Israel!

For those reasons, I must reject what people tell me, that the Rapture could be hundreds of years away. Brothers and sisters, it is close!


A POPE WILL BE THE ANTICHRIST OR THE FALSE PROPHET. This is an interesting one and has been around for some time. Some of that opinion has come from anti-Catholic feelings.

Well, is there a possibility that that can happen? In my opinion, and I don’t want to offend Catholics, the pope is antichrist, but he is not THE Antichrist.

The coming world leader (Antichrist if you wish) will be a political figure from some European organization (national political leader, or from the UN or the EU or WEF, etc) (some charismatic figure like Emmanuel Macron). It is possible he could be a military figure, for the world will declare in the Tribulation, {{“Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”}} and that will happen after the wars initiated by the second rider on the red horse.

It could also be related to the first revealing of this evil man – Rev. 6:2 “and I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering, and to conquer.”

In fact, the clearest indication for this Antichrist comes from this verse – {{Revelation 13:1 “He stood on the sand of the seashore, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.”}}

“The sea” in prophetic scripture is always indicative of the Gentile nations, whereas “the land” is always Israel. Just one example of the sea is – {{Daniel 7:2 “Daniel said, ‘I was looking in my vision by night and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea 3 and four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.”}} This world leader arises from the Gentile nations (almost certainly Europe), and the description could indicate he will be an existing political leader. The Pope does not qualify for the world leader. However, will he qualify for the False Prophet?

The Pope is a false prophet because he claims to be the Vicar of Christ carrying the name “Pontifex Maximus,” but THE False Prophet arises from the land – {{Revelation 13:11 “I saw another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon . . .”}} Because this beast springs from the land/earth, it is my opinion that the False Prophet will be an apostate Jew because Israel is always associated with the land. Israel is an earthly people, not a heavenly people – Israel’s blessings pertain to the land, whereas the Church’s blessings are heavenly.

There is talk about a “church” in the Tribulation, but the False Prophet will have the religious worship of the beast well and truly in hand. It will be a satanic church and drug-induced (Revelation 9 v 21). Note – {{Revelation 13:4 “They worshipped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?'”}}

As for drugs, it will be widespread – {{Revelation 9:20 “The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands . . . 21 and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, (φαρμάκων (pharmakōn) nor of their immorality, nor of their thefts.”}} (Sorceries should be translated “drugs.” I and others have written on this that the Greek is actually drugs, often used in Roman times for inducing ecstatic states in pagan worship. In the Tribulation, it will be satanic worship.)

This great apostate “church” will be called by God, “BABYLON THE GREAT,” and its headquarters will be in Rome. We get that in the account of the destruction of this corrupt Babylonian system – {{Revelation 17:9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”}} Rome is the city of the 7 hills – Palatinus, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine.

The Roman Catholic Church, along with all dead Protestantism and probably all other “spiritualities,” will become part of the Tribulation “church” under the False Prophet.

To end, NO, the Pope is neither the Antichrist nor the False Prophet.

That covers 3 of these Misconceptions. There is another article in Part 2 where I address more of these issues.