Dr. Desmond Ford

“Dr. Des Ford returned from England with new ‘Theology’. His favoured new word was: “Apotolesmatic”. In England, he discovered pretorism which he now tried to marry with his Seventh Day Adventist beliefs.
To bridge the gap, he now uses what he calls the ‘Apotelesmatic principle, that is, of prophetic times to double or triple in occurrences.
First a little background to pretorist view of prophecy. In 1520 A.D. at the greatest height of the Protestant Reformation, the Reformers in all different parts of Europe unitedly recognized in the Papacy the man of sin and the biblical anti-Christ. To counter the protestant Reformers, the Roman Catholic Church set up a Counter-reformation teaching by the Jesuit priestcraft called ‘preatorism’ and ‘futurism’ re-directing the last day prophecies regarding anti-Christ far away from Rome and the Pope into the distant past to Nero or Antiochus and the distant future all at the same time.
When Des Ford arrived back here in Australia, it became apparent that what he learned at Manchester with Professor FF Bruce is pure Roman Catholicism. Ford went on record with Wikipedia saying that it was the book “The Great Controversy” between Christ and Satan by Ellen G. White [which is full of meat from the Word of God], that brought him to Christ. Now Ford denies sanctification and has gone back onto the milk of the Word [ Hebrews 5:13-6:2] fooling himself and his followers that this can save them. But the Bible tells us otherwise. While Ford says he blows it regularly, Jesus says that He saves us not in but from sin [Matthew 1:21]. Following Jesus Christ, the Saviour from sin is giving us victory over sin while following Desmond Ford means defeated by sin.
Here is the proof of the pudding: “Outline
The following is an outline of the theological steps which Dr. Ford has taken, as well as the main reasons for his taking those steps, although not necessarily in the order in which he has taken them. The reasons given are his; the comments are mine. The footnoted references to Ford’s three major works appear at the close.”

A. The doctrine of the “Investigative Judgment” has no scriptural support
Reason: 1 We are judged individually as we accept Christ. 2 Only the wicked are judged, not the righteous. 3 Judgment for the righteous is equated with justification by faith. Christ bears our judgment for us.

My comment: This is Dr. Ford’s starting premise, his major thrust, and the ultimate goal which he hopes to establish this one point. Ford contradicts the Bible: “Judgment must begin in the house (or household) of God.”–1 Peter 4:17,18.
There is no place for the wicked (from weak) because by their sins declare themselves as guilty rebels.

B. Daniel 8:14 Must Be Viewed on the Basis of its Inspired Interpretation Found in Mark 13. [3] Reasons: 1. Christ’s reference to the “desolating sacrilege” in Mark 13:14 [cf. Matt 24:15] points to the fulfillment of the “transgression that makes desolate” in Daniel 8:13 and the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14.
2. This fulfillment took place, according to Dr. Ford, in AD 70 when the Roman general Titus invaded and destroyed the Temple.
3. The time aspect of Daniel 8:14 would be confined to the first century exactly how the Roman church teaches it.

My comment: Note how points C and D logically follow point B.

C. Mark 13 Limits All Prophetic Interpretation to the First Century AD [4]

Reasons: 1. Christ says, “This generation will not pass away before all these things take place,” which refers to the generation of the apostles.
2. The whole New Testament pictures Christ’s advent as being imminent and urgently.
3. The New Testament does not present a 2000 year gap between the advents.

My comment: 4. Christ fully intended to return in the first century, thus no OT or NT prophecy could extend beyond the 1st century?
Does Ford call Jesus a false prophet here for not turning up on time?

D. The Prophecies of Daniel Must End by the First Century AD [5]

Reason: It would be inconsistent to have prophecies of Daniel extend to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries if the prophecies of the New Testament [including those of Revelation] do not extend beyond the first century.

My comment: It should be noted that Dr. Ford’s interpretation of Mark and of Daniel 8:14 is essentially that of the preterist [6] school of interpretation in his line of thought here. Note that in C4 he claims that no prophet could extend beyond the 1st century and yet he contradicts himself by using his apotelesmatic principle here.

E. The Apotelesmatic Principle Bridges the Gap Between the First Century and the Twentieth Century and Provides for Multiple Fulfillments. [7]

My comments: At this stage, Dr. Ford is in a quandary because his doctoral dissertation implicitly favors a preterist view of prophecy while his church teaches a historicist view. He attempts to wed these totally unlike views by means of the apotelesmatic principle. [This simply states that all prophecies may have two or more fulfillments.] to make his interpretation of Daniel palatable to the church at large, Dr. Ford offers the apotelesmatic principle as a means of harmonizing the first-century and 20th-century fulfillments for prophecy. In other words, Daniel’s prophecies have all met their fulfillment by the end of the first century as well as having a recurring fulfillment in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

F. The Year-Day Principle is Not a Biblically-Derived Principle, But Merely a Tool of Prophetic Research Developed Providentially by Human Thought Long After New Testament Times. [8]

Reasons: 1. The usual “proof texts” for the year-day principle, Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, do not state this in the form of a principle, nor do they state that “each day for a year” should apply to the biblical prophecies in general.

My comment: The year-day principle is not very conducive to the apotelesmatic principle; in fact, the two are incompatible. There simply is not enough time between Daniel’s day and 1844 for two or more fulfillment of the 1260 days, of the 1335 days, and of the 2300 days, if these refer to 1260 years, 1335 years, and 2300 years. However, it would be inconceivable to have any number of literal 3 1/2 year periods matching the description of Daniel 7:25, if the year-day principle were abolished. [Note: It would seem that if the year-day principle is to be abolished because of the lack of explicit Scriptural support, then the apotelesmatic principle must be abolished because of the lack of both explicit and implicit support in Scripture.] The 2300 days of atonement do not need the year-day principle because the day of atonement occurs one the day of the year which makes the 2300 period or occurrences 2300 years. Even in the New Testament, we find proof of the year-day principle. In Revelation 2:10 it says that the early church will have tribulation for ten days. History confirms that the tribulation by Emperor Diocletian from 303 to 313 AD was the most severe persecution. –http://en/wikipedia.org/wike/Diocletianic Persecution

G. The Abolishment of the Year-Day Principle Necessitates a Change in the Usual Interpretation of the 70 Weeks’ Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. [9]

Reasons: 1 If these are viewed in the usual way as literal weeks, then this time prophecy cannot be pointing to Christ without the aid of the year-day principle. 2 It is obvious that this prophecy does not indeed point to Christ, since it mentions Him as the Messiah (literally, “the anointed one”) and mentions His atoning sacrifice that puts an end to all sin. 3 Therefore, a novel interpretation must be derived for Daniel 9:24, which suggests that the word “seven” and not the word “week” is meant. Also, the word “years” should be added to the original meaning, so that it is now translated as “seventy sevens of years,” or in other words 490 years. With this novel translation, the year-day principle is not needed in Daniel 9:24-27, and in the KJV translation of “seventy weeks” is considered outmoded.

My comment: Dr. Ford recognizes that the word “years” is nowhere to be found in the original Hebrew of Daniel 9:24.

H. The 2300 Days of Daniel 8:14 Find Their First Important Fulfillment in the Time of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian King Who Desecrated the Temple in the 2nd Century B.C.
Reasons: 1 Without the year-day principle the 2300 days must be interpreted literally. 2 The 2300 days are said to cover the period from 171 to 165 B.C. when Antiochus was invading Palestine. 3 The 2300 days of literal time do not fit the period when the Romans invaded Jerusalem in 66 to 70 A.D. climaxing in the destruction of the temple.

I. The 1260 days of Daniel 7:25 Find their first Important Fulfillment Also in the Time of Antiochus Epiphanes Starting With the Destruction of the Temple in 168 B.C. and Ending with Its Restoration in 165 B.C.
Reasons: According to the Pretorist school of interpretation, the “little horn” of Daniel 7 and 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes, a view substantiated by the books of I and II Maccabees.

My comment: Because Dr. Ford did not view the year-day principle of prophetic interpretation as having biblical support, he cannot apply the 1260 literal days to the papacy of Roman Catholicism. The papal period of dominance is obviously much longer than a literal 3 1/2 years.
Quoting Pretorist school, Antiochus and the Maccabees shows us his love for the Jesuits.

J. The judgment described in Daniel 7:9-14 is not the Investigative Judgment as SDA’s Have Traditionally Interpreted It is Being, but the judgment of the “Little Horn,” Antiochus Epiphanes.
Reasons: 1 There is very close link between Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 7. 2 If Daniel 8:14 denotes a work of “vindicating” or “judging,” then it refers back to the judgment of the “little horn” in chapter 7 and the vindicating of God’s people the Jews, in the 2nd century B.C.
3 It is unbiblical and theological unsound to view the judgment of Daniel 7 as applying to the sins of the saints in any sense.

My comment: As already stated above, the judgment must begin at the house of God. The main support for point A is found under this very point Ford’s exclusion of Daniel 7 as applicable to a judgment of the saints. Ford here contradicts the Bible which says that the little horn power is seen to continue until the judgment (Daniel 7:11,21, 22.).

K. Major fulfillment of Daniel 8:14 is That of the Antitypical Day of Atonement Beginning at the Cross According to Daniel 9:24-27.
Reasons: 1 Daniel 9:24-27 is seen as an exact parallel of Daniel 8:14 and provides the inspired interpretation of Daniel 8:14. 2 Daniel 9:24 is packed with Day of Atonement language, using five Hebrew words are also found in Leviticus 16. 3 Daniel 8:14 likewise must refer to the antitypical Day of Atonement and thus finds fulfillment in 1st century A.D.

My comment: The time aspect of 2300-day prophecy has no fulfillment in the life of Christ on earth; therefore, only the cleansing of the sanctuary finds fulfillment then.

L. The Book of Hebrews Teaches That the Antitypical Day of Atonement Was Fulfilled at the Cross.
Reasons: 1 Hebrews portrays Christ as being in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary in the 1st century A.D. 2 Hebrews does not explicitly mention the heavenly sanctuary as having two apartments; therefore, therefore there cannot be two phases of Christ’s work as our high priest in heaven.

My comment: The book of Hebrews abounds with the Day of Atonement language and imagery, and thus describes the fulfillment of the Antitypical Day of the Atonement. Jesus Christ is seen in heaven to continue making reconciliation for the sins. (Hebrews 2:17) Contrary to Ford.

M. The Book of Revelation Supports a 1st Century Fulfillment For The Day of Atonement.
Reasons: 1. The opening verse of Revelation states that this book is a revelation [literally, “unveiling”] of “what must soon take place.” The word “soon” denotes the 1st century AD.
2. Revelation has several prophecies which utilize Day of Atonement imagery; therefore, the antitypical Day of Atonement was fulfilled in the 1st century.

Comment: The book of Revelation would then have to be interpreted from the standpoint of the preterist school of interpretation.

N. The Main Support for the Apotelesmatic Principle is Found in the Writings of Ellen G. White. [16]


The whole thrust of the Glacier View manuscript on Daniel 8:14 is to dispel what Dr. Ford feels is the myth of the investigative judgment. For him, the investigative judgment has no basis in history, in theology in the Bible, or in the re-interpreted writings of Ellen White. For him, the investigative judgment is an enemy to the Seventh-day Adventist because it robs him of the peace introduced into the heart through the message of justification by faith. If we are justified, then we need not face the judgment, according to Dr. Ford’s thinking. The quickest way to dispense of the idea of a pre-advent judgment commencing in 1844 is to usher in the preterist approach to prophetic interpretation. In my analysis, Dr. Ford is a preterist wearing the hat of a historicist and the cloak of a futurist. The hat and cloak are mere “trimmings” and can be laid aside or taken up at will or in a moment’s whim.

Dr. Ford’s doctoral dissertation, The Abomination of Desolation in Biblical Eschatology, which he wrote while at Manchester University in 1971-72, reveals the true preterist position of his theology and especially his eschatology. First, we must distinguish between the three schools of interpretation: the preterist [liberal Protestant and Roman Catholic]; the historicist [SDA’s and evangelical Christianity], and the futurist [conservtive Protestant and Roman Catholic]. The SDA Bible Students’ Source Book [vol 9 of the Commentary Reference Series], p. 769, has an interpretation, not Revelation alone:

the Preterist says that almost everything in the book of Revelation was fulfilled long ago, the Historicist, that it has been fulfilling all the time, and some of the things foretold are happening in our own day, the Futurist that nothing of that which is prophesized from the beginning of chapter four on has yet taken place, nor can take place until just before the end.

[Editors’ Note: The preterist would place the fulfillment of practically all, if not all, of Daniel’s prophecies in the past, assigning the book most probably to the time of Antiochus IV in the 2nd century BC.]

The preterist view is highlighted in Dr. Ford’s doctoral thesis, which is a discussion of Mark 13 as it relates to the book of Daniel when it comes to his choice of the four possible interpretations of Mark 13.

My comment: 1. Dr. Ford does not offer a Scriptural basis setting forth the reasons why the apotelesmatic principle is a valid biblically-derived principle.
2. Nor does he seek to show how Daniel and Revelation explicitly teach the apotelesmatic principle as a tool of interpretation.
3. Therefore, the only independent support he seeks for the apotelesmatic principle is from the writings of Ellen G. White.
4. He suggests that Ellen White has two or more interpretations for Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, Matthew 25:1-13, Joel 2:28, Malachi 4:5,6, Daniel 8:14, Leviticus 16, Revelation 7:1-4, and other passages in Revelation.

O. The Authority of Ellen G. White is Pastoral, Not Doctrinal. [17]

Reasons: 1. If it can be said that the writings of Ellen White are not to be used in settling doctrinal disputes and discussions, then it follows that what she says about a doctrinal matter, namely, the investigative judgment, has little or no relevance for us today.
2. Dr. Ford views her prophetic role on the basis of 1 Corinthians 14:3: “He who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” [RSV]. No mention of the establishing of doctrine is made here.

My comment: If Dr. Ford finds his main support for the apotelesmatic principle from the inspired writings of Ellen G. White, then he must protect himself from the following charge: “Is not Dr. Ford being inconsistent when he accepts everything Ellen White has to say when it comes to supporting his apotelesmatic principle, but when he rejects everything she has to say concerning the investigative judgment commencing in 1844? He defends himself by suggesting that her authority is limited to the sphere of counsel, edification, consolation and upbuilding and that her writings are not to be used as a basis of authority in the area of doctrines.

P. The Conclusion is That an Investigative Judgment Beginning in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary in 1844 is a Non-Event and That Nowhere Does Scripture Teach an Investigative Judgment of the Saints. [18]

My comment: By eliminating the year-day principle, by installing the apotelesmatic principle, and by limiting Ellen White’s authority to non-doctrinal matters only, Dr. Ford has come to the conclusion that no celestial event occurred in 1844 and that the traditional SDA teaching on the “investigative judgment” is non-historical as well as non-biblical.

Note: positive feedback is welcomed. Insults will be ignored.