Sabbath and Antichrist with Hugo Grotius and the denunciation thereof


Koot van Wyk (DLitt et Phil; ThD) Kyungpook National University, Sangju Campus, South Korea, Conjoint lecturer of Avondale College, Australia


Hugo Grotius was a great theologian, jurist and exegete of the 17th century but that century certain individuals, including himself, tried to undo what the Reformers by consensus agreed upon in their exegesis and came to understand: that the papacy is the Antichrist of the Word of God.

He knew the truth about the Decalogue because he made an exegesis of each of the precepts, including a theology of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is since Adam and long before Moses, he correctly concluded from his readings of the Scriptures. Born in 1583 until 1645 he published various works on many aspects of law, theological exegesis and politics. His excuse of keeping Sunday is a misreading of 1 Corinthians 16 about the money that should be kept at their houses when Paul will be on his way to Jerusalem to bring it there.

Syncretism is present already at the end of the 16th century in the work of Calixtus who tried to bend back and unify the separation between Protestants and Catholics. He had his opponents as well in Calov and Musaus and correctly so. Grotius worked with similar tendencies in his writings trying to wit people into liberalism with the Word of God. He admit that the Sabbath is universal and perpetual but is quick later to switch around and support the papacy in their creation of Sunday as a substitute for the Saturday and call it with the same "sabbath" holiness that is due for the Saturday-Sabbath. Grotius does not say it but he must have known of Andreas Helviticus who found out that vicarius filii dei is in Latin 6 hundred and 6ty six. He was in his heyday when Helviticus published this finding. It was the R&D for the true identification of the number of the Beast of Revelation 13. But, he closed his eyes. Both cases are papacy related, the origin of the Sunday is credited by Luther's opponent in court as of Catholic origin based upon the patristics and not the Bible. The same with his apology for the removal of Antichrist identification of the papacy. "Qui cum prudentissimorum virorum usus consilio interdixerit ne quis Papam Antichristum vocet". Andre Rivet and Samuel Desmarets did not believe the ideas of Grotius against the Reformation point of view. How does Grotius counter? Own time connections in the days of John who wrote Revelation and links to that New Testament historical times or the model of preterism. The call for own-time exegesis is constantly laid at the door of historicism in Adventism, not by non-SDA's but by scholars within the SDA tithe-system, salaried blessed ones. They accept what the SDA church say de iure but not de facto. Lipservice. 'They say yes but their hearts are far from Me.'

The Cambridge Platonist Henry More (1614-1687) defended the traditional view of the Antichrist and was against the view of Grotius and Hammond. He was a pupil of Mede.

More's fiercest attack on Grotius occurs in his commentary on Daniel (1681); there he declared that Grotius had excused the Pope from being the Antichrist partly, because of his distaste for the Reformed Church of Holland "for their usage of him," partly to "carry favour with the Pontifician party".

Orthodox Lutherans objected to Grotius' exegesis as Abraham Calovius indicated in his "nugae Grotii de Caio" in his Biblia Illustrata (1676). In his criticism of Grotius, Calovius follows Maresius.

The Remonstrants did not follow Grotius. Pilippus of Limborch in his Theologia Christiana defended the Reformers view: "per Antichristum designari Pontificem Romanum".

Richard Baxter later identified Grotius as a papist and warned everyone about him and then, ironically, followed Grotius(?) independently though with the toning down of the papacy Antichrist identification and refusal to call the Little Horn of Daniel 7:25 as the papacy. His excuse? Everyone brought him in "despair" with their variety of views. Baxter confused. When the lifestyle is not correct, the epistemology is not right, the leadership of the Holy Spirit is problems to proper understanding and in blindness the methodology suffers and finally the endproduct is ironically to be on the wrong side of the issue. Secularism has a price. Minimal religion and maximal error.

John Maitland, the earl of Lauderdaill, agreed with Baxter on Grotius correctly, that Grotius is a papist as they also called Casander, as he indicated in a letter dated 20th of September 1658.

More accused Baxter of a skeptical attitude with regard to the "explanation of prophecy" (More, Some cursory reflexions impartially made upon Mr. Richard Baxter his way of writing notes on the Apocalypse, published in London in 1685 under the pseudeonym Phililicrinis Parrhesiastes).

Drue Cressener wrote about the dealing of the Antichrist by Hugo Grotius: "But when I came to be acquainted with Mr. Mede's Demonstrations and had compared them with the monstrous evasions, and absurd strains of wit, that Grotius and others were fain to flye to, to turn off the force of them, I gave over all thoughts of the comprehending way"

Drue Cressener, A Demonstration of the First Principles of the Protestant Applications of the Apocalypse, London 1690, p. XIII.

Hugo Grotius argued that not the papacy is the antichrist of the Bible but Simon Magus just like Henry Hammond. The beast of Revelation 13:1 was for Hammond heathen worship of imperial Rome (Henry Hammond A Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the books of the New Testament [1653].

Not only was Secularism or Rationalism beginning to put out its head, Grotius and Armenianism are two representations of what is called heterodoxy as some understand orthodoxy to be.

Correctly did C. Bultmann investigated the pluralism of the 17th century in the works of Grotius in his De Veritate Religionis Christianae of 1629.(*) A spirit of Pluralism was sweeping through religion in Europe during this period. He also investigated it in the philosophies and works of contemporaries of Grotius with the same motives: Campanella, Boccaccio, and Lessing.(#)

When the book on the Truth of the Christian Religion was translated in English, the reasons for this was about church and also about politics. A study on this aspect is available.(/) For those who still do not see properly the threads of Satan in each generation spelling out the same message, the papacy operates with a combination of politics and ecclesiology. In fact, the church is just the shoe for the other or the politics is just the shoe for the church. It endeavors to be a spokesperson for the other aspect all the times. Thus, when they make church statements it is to improve their political image and when they make political statements in church it is the same. It is to improve their own image. This is no different in our own age. Many examples can be cited. The political context shape the sermons of the church and the sermons of the church shapes the political agendas. Grotius must thus be seen in this environment. Opportunism can be working behind the scenes without scholars themselves realizing it. They become mere gamepieces of their own time. The true scholar has to pray daily: help me Lord to stand for truth as is in Your Word though the heavens fall. Grotius fell and could not pray this. Regardless of his excellent exegetical style and the same can be said of Hammond. In our times they are calling Grotius attempts to interconfessionalism as “exclusively perfect/correct”. 

Grotius’ style of interpreting the Bible on other places than the Sabbath and Antichrist is not that innocent as well. A study on his interpretation of Song of Solomon indicates that he rejects the literal rendering of the Word of God he tries to white it out or wipe it out.(^). His style is self-substituting.

If one reads for example what Pope Ratzinger wrote on the Sabbath and Lord’s day, it seems as if an Adventist wrote Sabbath for him and he wrote the Lord’s Day. Truth mixed with error. Willfully, decidedly, rationally, persistently, to the point of propagating it and get into trouble for it at times.


In Adventism

The Irene movement also had its inceptors and stage-players in the scholars Froom, Bacchiochi, Rodriquez, Stefanovich and Paulien, in that order. Youtube on Revelation 13 identification by Paulien is evident how far his views have played into a “peace-game” with the papacy.

Coming from scholars that works in an environment of “minimal religion” and secularism as well as pluralism, one can say the chickens are coming back to the hen. It all has to do with lifestyle, epistemology or thought patterns including world and biblical view interacted, methodology and finally endproducts like the Youtube video on Revelation 13 or Stefanoviches Revelation Commentary or Rodriquez Sabbath school treatment of vicarius filii dei in 2000.

Just as the Irene-movement had supporters in 17th century syncretism, so also the attempts to syncretism by these scholars also had supporters in liberal periodicals like Adventist Today and Spectrum earlier. It was the mouthpiece of the Irene-movement syncretistic advocates and probably still is. Increasingly so.

Also, just like Grotius had his opponents in the 17th century calling him a papist, so also Froom, Bacchiochi [especially], Rodriquez, Stefanovich, and Paulien are described in common narratives as “papists”. The issue is not who said it but is it true that when vicarius filii dei is substituted for 6.6.6. not completely seven that one is denying the veracity of what Andreas Helviticus found in 1610, 1618 and 1630 persistently as counting up to the Latin number of 6 hundred and 6ty six? Why cancelling such a clear identification from a power that switched off exactly at the end of 1260 years counting from 538 A.D? If the shoe fits “Cinderella the papacy meditorial substitute system of Christ” so well, why try to sideline the issue or going off-track with poor and faulty arguments?

These had chances to change their views and were corrected by scholars like Edwin de Kock (Bacchiochi) but refuse to let the data override their passion for interfaith cooling down.

Also in Adventism the wooden horse of Liberalism has entered and fan out permissiveness, a-biblical positions or parabiblical doctrines that in Grotius day was grabbed from Philosophers and Patrology but in our day from attitudes to the critical appeal against the Word of God from philosophers of the hermeneutics of suspicion.

Of course, the opponents can also be found expressly clear, simple in logic and detailed scientific explanation to stand the ground, but they are blocked, brushed away of barred from publications by modern journals.

In the Middle Ages a blacklist was created to burn the books but in modern times networks digitally block any upmanship in publications by those who do not support the LGBTQH agenda and liberal biblical views.


Note: The complete bibliographical list will be in the upcoming article and abstract.