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Monthly Archives: October 2011

AN INTRODUCTION TO PROPHECY

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST                      5. THE MOSAIC COVENANT                         9. TWO THREADS OF BIBLE PROPHECY
2. THE CENTRALITY OF ABRAHAM                 6. THE DAVIDIC COVENANT                        10. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
3. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT                      7. DANIEL AT THE CROSSROADS
4. A BIBLICAL TIMELINE                                   8. DANIEL SEES A NEW BEGINNING

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

To understand Bible prophecy, two things must be kept in mind:

      1)The centrality of Jesus Christ.
    2) The centrality of Abraham.

THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST

In Revelation 19 the apostle John was receiving a message from God through an angel, and he fell down at the feet of this angel to worship him. In response, the angel said….

“See that you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 19:10

The angel was telling John that the purpose of Bible prophecy is to make known to us…

      1)Who Jesus Christ is.
      2) What He has done in the past.
    3) What He will do in the future.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is a member of the divine Family, known as the Trinity (see God Is a Family Called the Trinity). He is the Child in that Family, and the Creator of the universe.

What has He done in the past? He has left heaven above, taken on Himself the body of a man, lived a sinless life, and then allowed Himself to suffer the death of a criminal on a cross in order to make the forgiveness of our sins possible. Having accomplished that task, He was raised from the dead by His heavenly Father and placed at His right hand upon the throne of the universe.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be clung to to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

What will Jesus do in the future? He will come back to this planet a second time to establish the kingdom of God on earth.

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:30

Many people take an interest in prophecy because it intrigues them. They want to know about such things as ‘the end times’, ‘Armageddon’ and ‘the Antichrist’. I have tried to address many of these subjects in this web site. But in the grand scheme of things it is not what we know, but Who we know that matters. It is impossible to truly understand anything about Bible prophecy, if we do not know Jesus Christ personally as Our Redeemer. It is through His cross that Christ has been able to ‘open the seals’, and to make the Father’s plans a reality (Revelation 6). I believe that the “sign of the Son of man” that Jesus spoke of (in the verse above) is the cross. This was the apostle Paul’s only priority in evangelism. If one has not come to see his need for a Savior, one cannot possibly appreciate what that Savior will do in the days ahead.

For I determined not to have anything known among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2
cross

THE CENTRALITY OF ABRAHAM

To gain a broad understanding of Bible prophecy, we need to go back to the days of a man named Abraham. In Genesis 11:27-32 we are told that Abraham traveled with his father, Terah, from Ur (a Chaldean city in what is now southern Iraq) to Haran (a city near the border between modern-day Syria and Turkey). After Terah died in Haran, Genesis 12:1 tells us that God told Abraham to move to another country that He would show him; the land of Canaan.

abrahams_journey

As God instructed Abraham to move, He also told him that all of the families of the earth would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:3). This promise referred to the fact that it would be through Abraham’s family, the people of Israel, that the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, would come into the world and accomplish redemption.

In you (Abraham) all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 12:3

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying “In you shall all nations be blessed”.

Galatians 3:8

Upon his arrival in Canaan, God made another promise to Abraham; that He would give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s ‘Seed’:

And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said “Unto your seed will I give this land”. And there Abram built an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 12:7

The apostle Paul tells us that, in the original Hebrew, the word ‘Seed’ is singular, and does not refer to the many offspring of Abraham, but to one particular person within his family:

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not ‘And to seeds’, as of many; but as of one; “And to thy seed”, which is Christ.

Galatians 3:16 (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:5, 17:8, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14)

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

God’s two promises to Abraham (that His ‘Seed’ would be a blessing to all the nations of the world, and that his ‘Seed’ would possess the land of Canaan forever) have come to be known as the Abrahamic Covenant. The word ‘Seed’ referred to Abraham’s sperm, or semen, and spoke of the physical connection between Abraham and the coming Messiah. For this reason God imposed the rite of circumcision upon Abraham and all of his male offspring. Each of them was to have his penis circumcised as a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham; a reminder that it would be through their family that the promised Savior of the world, and future Owner of Canaan, would come (Genesis 17:10-11).

Abraham went on to father several sons, but God told him that it would be only one son, Isaac, through whom the promised ‘Seed ‘ would come. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, but God told him that it would be through Jacob, rather than Esau, that the Messiah would be born. And so God began, from that time onward, to identify Himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”.

When one takes a close look at the Bible, one finds that the Abrahamic Covenant dominates the scriptures from Genesis 12 to the end of the book of Revelation, where the New Jerusalem is described as having twelve gates, named after the twelve sons of Jacob (Revelation 22:12). Over 99% of the Bible focuses on God’s promises to Abraham, and His fulfillment of those promises. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, God said two very important things to him:

And Moses said unto God “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them ‘The God of your fathers has sent me unto you’, they shall say to me ‘What is His name?’; what shall I say unto them?” And God said unto Moses “I AM who I AM”. And He said “Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel; ‘I AM has sent me unto you'”. And God said moreover unto Moses “Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me unto you’: this is My name for ever (I AM), and this is My memorial unto all generations.

Exodus 3:13-15

In this passage God revealed two things to Moses:

      1)That His name is ‘I AM’ (in Hebrew ‘YHWH’, transliterated into English as ‘Yahweh” or ‘Jehovah’).
    2) He is to be remembered forever by the people of Israel as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

God’s covenant blessings were to extend far beyond the nation of Israel, to include millions from all nations who would become the offspring of Abraham through their union with his Seed, Jesus Christ. This is why the apostle Paul borrowed from the words of Moses, and taught that circumcision of the heart makes one a true descendant of Abraham:

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed (children), to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

Deuteronomy 30:6

Therefore if the uncircumcised keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge you who by the letter and circumcision do transgress the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart; in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not from men but from God.

Romans 2:26-29

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

God told Abraham that his one ‘Seed’ would at the same time be as numerous as the sand by the seashore. This is true because the total number of those who will ultimately be saved through Christ will be impossible to count:

Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one (Abraham), and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith (believers), not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

Hebrews 11:11-13

After this I beheld; a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and with palms in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice, saying “Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb”.

Revelation 7:9-10

One further point needs to be emphasized here. God’s two promises to Abraham were not given side-by-side, as independent equals. The second promise was dependent upon the first. Without the forgiveness and mercy that would be made available to Abraham through God’s blessing upon all of the nations of the world, it would have been impossible for Abraham hope for a nation of his own, and a great King to rule over it.

A BIBLICAL TIMELINE

God’s covenant with Abraham lies at the heart of Bible prophecy because it is, essentially, the ‘testimony of Jesus’. Although God’s promises to Abraham were initially simple, He gave more detail about them in two later covenants that He made with Israel through Moses and King David. The Mosaic Covenant explained how the coming Savior would bless mankind; as an atoning sacrifice which would free men from the penalty and power of sin. The David Covenant explained how Abraham’s Seed would possess the land of Canaan forever; as a great King.

Abraham never saw the promised Savior, and never took possession of the promised land (except for a piece of property that he bought as a burial place, Genesis 23). In the timelines below, I am attempting to display the unfolding of the Abrahamic covenant. The yellow line represents the first half of the Abrahamic Covenant; the ‘golden’ promise of salvation, made available to the whole world. The green line represents fertile land, promised to Abraham and to his Seed; the second half of God’s promise to Abraham. Both of these promises are initially represented by dashed or intermittent lines, because although Abraham received these promises, he never lived to see them fulfilled. In the following timelines, these dashed lines will become solid as the promises are at least temporarily fulfilled.

I have placed a date of 1910 BC on God’s covenant with Abraham. This is based upon a date of 1000 BC for Solomon’s building of the first Temple in Jerusalem. This date for the first Temple is not the result of careful study on my part, but is rather chosen because it is a nice round number, and allows me to illustrate simply the relationships between the historical events of the Bible.

1 Kings 6:1 tells us that Solomon began to build the Temple 480 years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. This would put the Exodus at 1480 BC The apostle Paul wrote that the giving of God’s Law (through Moses) occurred 430 years after God established His covenant with Abraham:

And this I say, that the covenant (Abrahamic) that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the Law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot annul, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Galatians 3:17

When we go back an additional 430 years from the Exodus date of 1480, we get a date of 1910 BC for God’s covenant with Abraham. Again, I must point out that I am not a scholarly student of Israel’s history, and have simply chosen the date of 1000 BC for Solomon’s Temple because it makes it convenient for me to set an understandable timeline before my reader.

Some have understood the Bible to say that the Israelites spent 430 years in Egypt. This is based upon the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament, which says:

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:40-41

However, two older and more reliable Old Testament texts (the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Alexandrian Septuagint) read as follows:

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers, which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt, was 430 years.

Exodus 12:40-41

As we look at God’s original covenant with Abraham, where God told him that his offspring would be strangers without a land of their own for four hundred years, we see that God did not say that this landlessness would all be experienced in one particular place (Genesis 15:13-16). He merely told Abraham that his people would be wanderers who would ultimately end up in subservience to a particular nation, and that God would deliver them from that nation. In addition, God told Abraham that the Israelites would come out of that nation in the ‘fourth generation’. Moses was a fourth-generation Israelite in Egypt. Jacob was the first generation that came to Egypt, and Moses’ mother was a daughter of Levi, Jacob’s son. Moses was a great grandson of Jacob.

It may not seem possible that a great grandson of Jacob could lead several million Israelites out of Egypt, given the relatively small family that Jacob first brought there, but several things must be remembered. First of all, the Israelites began to reproduce at amazing rates; they were extremely fertile. The book of Exodus emphasizes this. Secondly, Levi lived for some time after he came to Egypt. Moses’ mother may have been his last child. This idea makes sense, given the fact that though she was a third generation Israelite, she married a fourth generation Israelite. In addition it should be remembered that Moses was her youngest child, and that he himself did not return to lead the people out of Egypt until he was 80 years old. Given these variables, and the other statements from God’s word, I believe it is clear that the total period of time from God’s covenant with Abraham until the Exodus was 430 years.

Abraham's Journey

THE MOSAIC COVENANT

True to His word, God fulfilled the timetable He announced to Abraham, empowering a man named Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt 430 years later. While He was delivering the children of Israel, God established a covenant with them known as the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was really an extension of the original Abrahamic Covenant, because it revealed how God would fulfill the first promise of the Abrahamic Covenant; to bring blessing upon all the nations of the world. It would be accomplished through the shed blood of a spotless sacrifice. Hence, the Mosaic Covenant is represented by a ‘blood red’ line in the graphics below.

The Mosaic Covenant addresses the two needs of a rebellious human race;

      1)Deliverance from the

penalty

      of sin.
      2) Deliverance from the

power

    of Sin, thus enabling men to keep God’s Law.

Through its many animal sacrifices and other ritual practices, it presented a picture of how the true sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, would die in order to make God’s blessing available to mankind. It is important to note that the Mosaic Covenant not only addressed the need for forgiveness, but also the need for a positive righteousness. Along with the system of animal sacrifices, God gave the 10 commandments and other laws to the Israelites, as a testimony to all mankind of the personal righteousness that Christ empowers us to achieve, and that is required for entrance into heaven.

moses graph

THE DAVIDIC COVENANT

Approximately 440 years after the Exodus, God established another covenant with King David. God promised him that some future Son in his family would establish David’s throne and his kingdom in Israel forever. Again, like the Mosaic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant is really an extension of the original Abrahamic Covenant. It tells us how Abraham’s Seed would possess the land of Canaan. He will be a great King who will not only rule Israel forever, but the entire world as well.

When David died, his son Solomon continued the family dynasty. It it could be said that, as long as David’s family remained in power, God was fulfilling the Davidic Covenant. Therefore, in the illustration below, the Davidic Covenant is initially presented as a solid ‘royal’ blue line.

david graph

DANIEL AT THE CROSSROADS

Four hundred years after king David, in approximately 600 BC, the people of Israel had strayed from their God, worshiping idols and committing great sins. At that time God raised up a prophet named Jeremiah to warn them of coming judgment. Jeremiah’s message was that Israel would soon be conquered by a Gentile King, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and that their only hope of escaping this coming destruction would be to go out and surrender to him, leaving their nation and possessions behind. Jeremiah’s message was hated, and he was considered a coward and a traitor to his country, but those who knew that God must judge sin realized that his message was divinely inspired. They went out and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, escaping with their lives.

One of the Jewish people who was taken to Babylon was a young man named Daniel. While in Babylon, Daniel watched Nebuchadnezzar return to Israel and completely crush his beloved people, destroying Jerusalem and the Temple, removing David’s family from kingship, and either killing or scattering many of the remaining Israelites from the land.

daniel graph

It is important to realize what a profound development this was for Daniel and the Jewish people. Their forefather, Abraham, had left the region that would eventually become Babylon, and had journeyed to the land of Israel, where he had received God’s promises. Now, because of their sins, all of God’s promises had apparently been nullified, and the Jewish people had been dragged back to Abraham’s starting point.

abrahams_journey

Daniel could not help but wonder what would happen concerning God’s covenant promises to Israel. God gave Daniel answers to his questions. Those answers are found in the book of Daniel, and are the subject matter of the following pages in the prophecy section of this web site. Daniel was a faithful servant of God, but his book is not only important to us because of who he was, but because of where he was when the covenant promises of God came face to face with the rise of Gentile world power.

DANIEL SEES A NEW BEGINNING

The prophet Jeremiah had foretold that the land of Israel would lie desolate for 70 years before the people of Israel would be reestablished in their country (Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:10). Israel’s first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, and true to God’s word, King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to their land in 536 BC, and a new Temple was dedicated exactly 70 years after the first one was destroyed, in 516 BC. This return of the people to their land, and restoration of Temple worship is represented in the graph below, which shows that with the revival of Mosaic worship there came also the renewed hope of God’s blessing upon all mankind. We know that Daniel lived to see the day when King Cyrus authorized the rebuilding of the Temple, because Cyrus gave his authorization in the first year of his reign, and Daniel’s final prophecy was received from God in the third year of Cyrus’ reign (Daniel 10:1).

Although the Jewish people had been allowed to return to their land, they had not yet become a nation again. Cyrus only granted permission to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem; not to rebuild the city of Jerusalem itself (with its walls and gates). This is an important point, because the timetable for the Messiah’s first and second coming (Daniel 9) begins with the authorization to rebuild the city, not the authorization to rebuild the Temple. God made this clear both to the Jews, and to the entire world, when He providentially delayed the rebuilding of the Temple. The Jews had been accused of attempting to rebuild the entire city (Ezra 4:12,21), and they were ordered to stop their work on the Temple when that accusation was made. They did not renew their work on the Temple until it had been made very clear that this was the only construction that had been authorized.

For the Persians to permit the rebuilding of Israel’s fortified capital city would have amounted to granting them a large portion of independence and nation-status. It would be another 70 years after the dedication of the Temple, in 445 BC, when the Persian king Artaxerxes would grant that permission to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-8). With the rebuilding of Jerusalem came the hope (among the Jewish people) that someone from David’s family would again rule in Jerusalem as Israel’s king. This hope is represented by the dashed royal blue line in the timeline below. This is a promise and a hope that has still not been fulfilled, 2450+ years later. When Jesus came, His disciples called Him ‘Son of David’, and hoped that He would restore David’s kingdom immediately. They did not realize that He would He would have to fulfill the Blessing/Atonement aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant first.

Ever since Israel’s conquest by the Babylonians, it has been ruled by Gentile powers. When the Jews of Nehemiah’s time had restored the Temple and rebuilt Jerusalem, they confessed the past sins of their nation against God, and described the bondage their disobedience had brought them to; a servitude that left them ‘renters and tenant farmers’ in their own land. This is why their return to the land is represented by a dashed line below; though they lived in the land, they did not possess it:

Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that You gave unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it. And it yields much increase unto the kings whom You have set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests seal it.

Nehemiah 9:36-38

We see that this Gentile domination of Israel was still in effect four hundred years after Nehemiah, when Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem in order to be registered in the census, and to pay the taxes ordered by Caesar Augustus of Rome (Luke 2:1).

ezra graph

THE TWO THREADS OF BIBLE PROPHECY

In this “Introduction to Prophecy” I have sought to explain the two major threads that characterize Bible prophecy; God’s promises to Abraham of Blessing/Atonement and Land/Kingship. As my reader proceeds to the following web pages, he will find that four of Daniel’s prophecies, about the four beasts (found in Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 10-12)), are Land/Kingship prophecies and point to Israel’s final possession of the promised land, and the coming of David’s promised Son to crush Babylon and rule the world. These prophecies describe what will happen, but they do not tell us when things will happen.

The great ‘Timetable Prophecy’ of Daniel 9 provides us with two timetables; a timetable for the Messiah’s first coming to fulfill the Blessing/Atonement promises to Abraham, and a second timetable for the Messiah’s second coming to fulfill the Land/Kingship promises. This prophecy was very accurate, but incomplete. Daniel’s timetables could not be understood until additional clues were provided. In the case of the first timetable, one needed to know when the authorization to rebuild Jerusalem would be given. This is found in the book of Nehemiah. To rightly understand the second timetable, one would have to wait for the Messiah Himself, and for the book of Revelation He gave to His apostle, John.

POSTSCRIPT

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

Because some people come to this web site through prophecy searches, often asking about things like ‘the Antichrist’ and ‘the last days’, it has seemed useful to set forth a summary of who the ‘prophetic players’ of the Bible are. Therefore I have included this section at the end of each of my web pages on prophecy.

My reader must first realize that my entire view of prophecy is defined by my understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel. I believe that this week is the great ‘Week of the Abrahamic Covenant’, beginning 4000 years ago with Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ending with the second coming of Christ. I believe that the ‘Great Tribulation’ is the second half of this week, from 70 AD to the present. It is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) because it is the period of time after Satan has been cast out of heaven and down to earth in defeat. He is enraged because he knows that he only has a short time until his eternal fiery destruction (Revelation 12:12).

During the ‘Great Tribulation’ Satan’s violent frustration has been vented, first and foremost, against the Jewish people and against protestant Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). In addition, however, Satan is determined to drag all of humanity down to eternal damnation with himself if he can. The Pharaoh of Egypt whom Moses confronted (in the book of Exodus) is a picture of Satan, willing to see his kingdom and his people destroyed rather than to ‘let his captives go’. All of the ‘players’ on my list, and all of history since 70 AD, must be understood in the light of Satan’s angry presence here on earth. If you are coming to this list from a Dispensational or Postmillennial background, and have not yet read my first three pages on prophecy (Introduction, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return), then the things that I am saying here may not make much sense to you. I would encourage you to examine these three web pages before making any final decision concerning the validity of this list.
1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION(discussed in The Timetable for Jesus’ Return)

This is the ‘Beast from the Sea’ in Revelation 13:1-10, and is also the Beast upon which the Woman rides in Revelation 17. This Beast will become increasingly ‘Eastern’ in its makeup and form an alliance with 10 kings in the last prophetic hour, and these kings will burn the Woman with fire (Revelation 17:12-18).

Some Dispensationalists believe that the Beast is an individual human being. This is not so. This Beast has its roots in the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is an organized political entity, just as they were. In addition, the Beast continues in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 13:5, a period of roughly 2000 years), and thus cannot be a person. Lastly, the Woman who rides the Beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and she has ridden this Beast for centuries.

Prior to 70 AD, this Beast existed simply as the Roman Empire. But in 69 AD, when Satan was cast down to earth, he reorganized the Roman Empire into an international ‘Beast’ of militant humanity, and a city (Rome) that would ride upon the Beast’s back (through the ‘destruction and resurrection’ process of a Roman civil war, during ‘the year of the four Emperors). Since 70 AD the Beast upon which Rome has ridden has come primarily from the original Roman Empire; Western Europe and then the United States. The Beast’s religious roots have been mostly Roman Catholic. But over the past 60 years this Beast has been increasingly comprised of people throughout the world. The primarily western and Roman Catholic Beast of the past has mutated since the end of World War II into a broader coalition, incorporating the military forces of Russia, China and the Muslim world, and is represented by the United Nations. In the final prophetic hour I believe that the United Nations will turn its back upon the Western world (where it was first chartered and established), and look to China and the East. This, I believe, will be followed by the East’s surprise nuclear destruction of western, Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’.
2) THE WOMAN (HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON) OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 17 & 18(discussed in The City of Rome)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:18, where she is described as ‘that great city’ which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation. Prior to the Roman civil war of 69 AD (the ‘Year of the four emperors’), the city of Rome had been the seat and governing power of the Roman Empire. During this civil war, however, Rome watched helplessly as the generals and armies of the Empire fought for supremacy. Since that time the city of Rome has been powerless militarily. This explains the fact that the final form of the Roman Empire (its feet) are described in Daniel 2:33 as being comprised of iron and clay. It is this ‘mixed’ Empire, comprised of a ‘clay City’ and various ‘iron’ military powers, that Christ will destroy and replace at His return (Daniel 2:34).

Revelation describes Rome in a most negative way. She is an extremely wealthy whore, given to fornication and blasphemy against God, who is drunk with the blood of His people. She is described as the “Mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). In short, she is wickedness itself. How did she get this way?

The key to understanding Rome, is to understand the angry archangel, Satan, who made her what she is. For 240 years, after 70 AD, pagan Rome did everything within its power to exterminate Christianity. Many thousands of Christians were impoverished, enslaved or killed. This was the official policy of Rome, all done in subservience to the ‘Dragon’, Satan. Around 310 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine announced that he had seen a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer under the banner of the Christian cross. Constantine proceeded to ‘legalize’ Christianity, and to make it a part of his empire. He convened ‘ecumenical councils’ to define what Roman Christianity would be.

Hence Rome went, practically overnight, from persecuting the Christian church to declaring ‘I am the church!’. In reality what Rome had become was a religious institution that would not only continue persecuting Christianity, but would also deceive millions of others into embracing a counterfeit Christianity, sending them into eternity with false hopes. Rome became a three-pronged weapon in Satan’s hands; killing some, deceiving others, and turning the rest of the world against Christianity because of Rome’s greediness, bloodshed and hypocrisy. Constantine and his militant church are the first ‘seal’ of Revelation 6:2; a ‘white’ conqueror followed by the four seals of war, famine, pestilence and the persecution of Christians. The final, sixth seal, represents the ultimate end of Rome; a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack.

Rome’s destruction is described in Revelation chapter 18, where ‘Babylon’ is destroyed by fire in one hour. After this destruction, the kings and merchants of the earth are shown, mourning over the loss of their wealth and keeping their distance from her because of the fire of her torment (and its radioactive fallout). I do not believe that this mourning will result simply from the destruction of the city of Rome itself, but from the destruction of the greater ‘Roman Catholic world’; in other words, ‘the West’. This may include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe and Australia, and is represented by the destruction of 1/3 of the earth in the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-13. The ‘Roman Catholic world’ does comprise roughly 1/3 of the landmass of the world, but much less than 1/3 of the world’s people. At the very moment when the nuclear weapons detonate, as Revelation chapter 7 reveals, God will ‘seal’ 144,000 young Jewish men for leadership in Israel, and will ‘rapture’ true Christians off of the planet.
I am confident regarding my explanations of the Beast and the Woman (Babylon) above. I am not dogmatic, however, about the following three ‘players’ on the prophetic stage; the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet), Paul’s Man of Sin, and the Antichrist. They can, it seems to me, be understood in different ways. Each one can be understood either as a single person, or as a group of persons. Beyond that, it is possible that all three are referring to the same person or group. It is important that I be honest with myself and my reader, about what I know and what I don’t know. Given the gravity of these times and of God’s warnings, it is important that my reader embrace the liberty as well as the responsibility to reach conclusions for himself. With that in mind, I share my own thoughts.
3) THE BEAST FROM THE LAND (or THE FALSE PROPHET)

This is the second of two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13, the first being The Beast from the Sea, or simply ‘The Beast’ (explained above). The first Beast is described as coming ‘from the sea’ because, like the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7, it arises from the great sea of humanity. I do not know why this present beast is said to come from ‘the land’. Some have wondered if it indicates that this it will come from God’s land; the ‘holy land’ of Israel. This Beast from the Land has three primary traits:

      A)It is ‘lamblike’ in its appearance (possibly a reference to the ‘Lamb of God’, Christ), and yet speaks the words of the Dragon, Satan. This is consistent with God’s description of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). This Beast also works powerful miracles to deceive people; a trait that Jesus warned about in regard to future false prophets (Matthew 24:24).
      B) It derives its authority from, and directs everyone’s worship and obedience to the first Beast, and the ‘image’ of the first Beast. It will cause those who refuse to worship the Beast to be put to death. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s order to kill those who would not worship his image (Daniel 3:1-6).
      C) It introduces something called ‘the Mark of the Beast’ to the world, without which no one may buy or sell. This ‘Mark’ may be worldwide, and could possibly be a mark implemented by the United Nations.

We see this ‘duo’ of two Beasts elsewhere in the book of Revelation, where they are referred to as ‘the Beast and the False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). It should be observed that the number ‘666’ is not associated with this second Beast, but with the first Beast whom he serves. The miracles and the ‘Mark’ that coincide with the False Prophet remind me of present day technology. The ‘image’ that breathes, speaks, and causes the persecution of those who refuse to take the ‘Mark’ could be modern media such as television, movies and the Internet. The calling down of fire from heaven may be a reference to the drones and other ‘smart’ weapons that we see today. And the ‘Mark’ itself may be some kind of computer chip, placed under the skin, that will facilitate human organization, tax collection and crime control in unprecedented ways. To many people the ‘Mark’ will represent the only hope for the survival of the human race, and those who oppose it will be viewed as foolish and essentially ‘anti-human’.

Some may point out that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be thrown, alive, into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20), and therefore suggest that these two must be persons, and not kingdoms, organizations or ‘generic groups’. I respond by pointing out Jesus’ description of this same judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). He said that, when He returns, He will sit upon His throne and the nations will be gathered before Him. They will be separated to His left and to His right, like a shepherd divides sheep from goats. At that time He will banish those on His left directly into a fire that has been prepared ‘for the devil and his angels’. This can only refer to the Lake of Fire, since Satan is never described as inhabiting Hades. Hence, while Revelation describes two beings being cast alive into the Lake of Fire, Jesus describes a judgment where many are cast into the Lake of Fire alive. To me this suggests the possibility that the Beast is comprised of all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.

How can this be? The secret lies in observing the increasing ‘solidarity’ of the human race against God. Throughout the world men are talking about the ‘oneness’ of mankind, and the necessity of international unity. It may be that those who take the Mark of the Beast will ‘become the Beast’. It is not coincidence that this rising religious ‘oneness’ is accompanied by an increasingly united worldwide animosity toward Israel. Satan is working behind the scenes to bring the human race, all the nations of the world, to Jerusalem to do battle against God. Satan has no illusions about how things are going to work out. He knows what awaits. But he is focused upon deceiving and taking as many into the Lake of Fire with him as he can. That is why he is called ‘the evil one’.

Jesus said that how He judges those who stand before Him will be determined by how they treated His ‘brethren’. Many believe that Jesus’ brethren are simply those who are Christians, whether Jew or Gentile. This is true. But it may be that, in the context of this particular judgment, as Jesus sits upon the throne of His fathers Abraham and David in Jerusalem, that His brethren may be, more specifically, those Jews who were mistreated by the world in the time leading up to His second coming. Those who are joining the present worldwide chorus to criminalise Israel and divide God’s land might do well to consider this. God’s judgment in this case may be instant and everlasting torment.

 

4) THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ‘MAN OF SIN’

It is my personal belief that the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet) is also the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians chapter 2:1-12). Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ is also endued with Satanic miracle-working power, and he also is described as being directly and personally destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the False Prophet will be. Here again, however, I do not feel obligated to believe that Paul is speaking of a single man.

Paul speaks of a ‘great falling away from the Christian faith’ that will precede the appearance of this ‘man’. He also speaks of him as one who will ‘show himself as God, standing in the temple of God’. For centuries many Protestants have viewed these words as a description of the Roman Catholic priesthood, which claims to do what the Bible says Jesus alone can do; stand in God’s true Temple above (in heaven) and intercede for sinners. The gospel message is that people must come to Jesus directly, and know Him personally in order to be saved. Jesus says to the world ‘Come unto Me and be saved’, while Rome’s priests say ‘Come unto Rome and be saved’. Hence both Paul’s ‘man of sin’ and Revelation’s Beast from the Land could be a ‘type of man’, rather than an individual man.

Over the past few decades the Roman Catholic church has drawn closer and closer to the other religions of the world, seeking common ground. Rome now declares that it does not matter what one’s religion is, as long as one loves one’s neighbor. Rome now calls Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and snake worshippers her ‘brothers’. This represents Rome’s attempt to continue riding upon an increasingly international ‘Beast’. Rome is attempting to bridge the gaps between her ‘western children’ and the other nations of the world through talk of peace and religious ‘tolerance’. Hence in these last days we are seeing Roman Catholic leaders who are increasingly given to Eastern mysticism and ‘transcendental’ attempts to connect with the occult spirit world, seeking a ‘higher spirituality’ that will bring all men and religions together as ‘one’. It is in this light that we can understand how a man may soon arise who is a pope to the Catholics, a ‘christ’ to false Christians, a Mahdi to the Muslims, a Messiah to the Jews, and a wise soul to those of India and the Orient. Again, it may be one man, or it may be a cadre of men and women who, together, constitute the Man of Sin / Beast from the Land / False Prophet of the Bible.

Personally I do not believe that every unsaved person will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Depending upon how wicked they have been, I believe that many will spend time in the Lake of Fire before being consumed and ceasing to exist (see Original Sin ). But there are three beings who are specifically described in the Bible as being tormented forever and ever. This fate is reserved for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 20:10). I believe that God’s warning about the Mark, given in Revelation 14:9-12, may actually be a warning about ‘becoming the Beast’ through taking the Mark, and thus joining Satan in a torment that will never end. This is a dreadful thought to contemplate. God is telling us that we need to take the warnings of His prophecies very seriously.

The contention around this issue, between believers and unbelievers, will be very sharp in the last days, and those who refuse to worship the Beast and his image will be put to death. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will feel compelled, because they have no confidence about their fate beyond the grave, to take the Mark in order to extend their lives. The only way for a person to overcome in these last days will be to ‘not love their lives unto the death’ (Revelation 12:11), and this will only be possible for those who have tasted the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life that Jesus alone can give.
5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word ‘antichrist’ never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John’s words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

      A)Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
      B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John’s description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link ‘the Antichrist’ with any other passage of scripture. The term ‘antichrist’ is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have been able to plug the Antichrist freely into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is ‘the Prince who is to come’ (of Daniel 9:26), the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, Paul’s ‘man of sin’, and ‘the Beast’ that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire together with the False Prophet. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John’s very limited words about ‘the Antichrist’, today’s ‘Left Behind’ series being only one of many.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, ‘the Antichrist’, who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. If I had to choose, I would consider Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but blatantly denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was ‘Emmanuel’; God in flesh. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam (unless it is Judaism). Muslims have written ‘God has no son’ inside their mosque, the ‘Dome of the Rock’, sitting on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and the possession of the Temple Mount by Gentiles, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque.

Could the Antichrist be the False Prophet, and/or Paul’s Man of Sin? Yes, I suppose so, but there is nothing in John’s words that requires us to reach that conclusion.
While I am cautious in my identification of ‘Players’ 3-5 above, I am confident in my conclusions about ‘Players’ 6-9 below.

6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION(Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return for a discussion of Titus).

7) THE ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’ OF DANIEL 9:26- also the Roman general Titus.

8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8The United States of America

9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God’s host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel’s transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome’s history can be found.

AN INTRODUCTION TO PROPHECY

TOP OF PAGE

1. THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST                      5. THE MOSAIC COVENANT                         9. TWO THREADS OF BIBLE PROPHECY
2. THE CENTRALITY OF ABRAHAM                 6. THE DAVIDIC COVENANT                        10. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
3. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT                      7. DANIEL AT THE CROSSROADS
4. A BIBLICAL TIMELINE                                   8. DANIEL SEES A NEW BEGINNING

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. INTRO: TWO TIMETABLES                                   8. DANIEL & THE RESURRECTION          15. DISPENSATIONALISM’S PRINCE
2. DAN 9:24, ALL FULFILLED IN 70 WEEKS            9. EXAMINING THE LAMB                        16. ANTIOCHUS IV:  DISP. PROTOTYPE
3. DAN 9:25, 69-WEEK TIMETABLE                       10. COMING DESOLATION                         17. MISSING THE TURNING POINT
4. O HAPPY DAY!                                                    11. ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES                18. EXTREME PRECISION OF DANIEL
5. IF ISRAEL HAD WATCHED                                  12. COMPARING THE 3 VERSIONS           19. DESOLATION vs. DESECRATION
6. DAN 9:26, 3 HISTORICAL EVENTS                     13. WHAT IS DISPENSATIONALISM?         20. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
7. DAN 9:27, SAME 3 EVENTS, GOD’S VIEW         14. REACTING TO THE MAJORITY

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

INTRO: TWO TIMETABLES

In Daniel chapter 9 (verses 24-27), God gave the ’70-Weeks Prophecy’ to the world. In that prophecy God gave two timetables; a 69-week timetable for the first coming of the Messiah, and a remaining 70th week that would end with His second coming. After the first 69 weeks, the Messiah would die as the Lamb of God to fulfill the Blessing/Atonement promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. In His second coming, the Messiah would fulfill the remaining Land/Kingdom promises made to Abraham.

Although each of these timetables was reliable, each one required an ‘informational key’ to unlock its understanding, and those keys would not be given during Daniel’s lifetime. The key to the first timetable was based upon a specific starting point; permission being given to the Jews to rebuild their capital city of Jerusalem. We find that permission being given by the Persian King Artaxerxes in Nehemiah chapter 2. The first timetable was to last 69 weeks of years (each ‘week’ being 7 years long). And so, once Artaxerxes’ permission was given, the first timetable was ‘unlocked’ and it became possible to predict when the Messiah would come. I suspect that the ‘wise men’ of the Christmas story (Matthew chapter 2) paid attention to this timetable, and this is why they were watching for a sign of the Messiah’s coming.

Jesus fulfilled the ’69-week’ timetable when He entered Jerusalem on ‘Palm Sunday’, four days before His crucifixion. Two days later, as He sat with His disciples on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple, He gave a prophetic message that has become known as ‘The Olivet Discourse’. In that message Jesus gave His disciples the ‘informational key’ to the second timetable of Daniel chapter 9; the 70th Week.

On the Mount of Olives
ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

That ‘key’ was Jesus’ identification of the ‘Abomination of Desolation’; an event that marks the middle of the 70th Week, dividing it into two equal halves. It is clear, when all three versions of the Olivet Discourse (from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) are compared side-by-side, that the Abomination of Desolation is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. The key to understanding the first timetable was tied to Jerusalem’s reconstruction. The key to understanding the second timetable would be Jerusalem’s second destruction.

This web page looks at Daniel chapter 9, Jesus’ fulfillment of the first ’69-week’ timetable, and His giving of the Olivet Discourse. In the process I also address one of the great errors in the history of the Christian church; the mishandling of the Olivet Discourse by Christians who refer to themselves as ‘Dispensationalists’. It is necessary to expose the errors of Dispensationalism in order for people to properly understand God’s second timetable.

This page is followed by a second web page; the Timetable for Jesus’ Return . In that page I take my reader beyond the Olivet Discourse to examine the apostle John’s ‘Little Book’ of Revelation 10-13. In that ‘Little Book’ we are given five visions of the 70th Week; some visions describing one half of the Week, and some describing both halves. Through this ‘Little Book’ God not only enables us to understand when Jesus will come again, but also to survey the entire sweep of history from Abraham to the present, and to see it as God sees it.

I would like to acknowledge my indebtedness to Sir Robert Anderson for much of my understanding and confidence regarding the first 69 weeks of this prophecy, obtained through his book The Coming Prince. Although I do not agree with Anderson’s views on the 70th Week, I must acknowledge that his book has been a source of blessing and inspiration to me. The entire book is available for reading online (free of charge). And now, please join me in looking at Daniel chapter 9 and the Olivet Discourse.

DANIEL 9:24 – EVERYTHING FULFILLED IN 70 WEEKS

Daniel was an elderly man when he received the ’70 Weeks’ prophecy. He had been taken captive to Babylon as a young man, had witnessed the destruction of his nation (Israel) by the Babylonians, and had then lived to see the downfall of the Babylonian Empire itself, and its replacement by the Persian Empire. As he studied the book of Jeremiah, he discovered (in Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10) that the land of Israel would lie desolate, and that the Jewish people would not be allowed to return there, until 70 years had passed.

Since the 70 years were almost completed, Daniel began to pray to God, confessing his sins and the sins of his nation, and asking God to graciously allow them to return to their homeland. God sent an angel to him to reveal His schedule for the complete fulfillment of all of the promises that He had made concerning Israel. As Daniel prayed about Jeremiah’s ’70-Years Prophecy’, God gave him the ’70-Weeks Prophecy’, recorded for us in Daniel 9:24-27.

In the first verse, God told Daniel that all of the ‘visions and prophecies’ concerning the nation of Israel would be completely fulfilled in 70 weeks of time:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy.

Daniel 9:24

God measures time in groups of 7 units, called weeks. It can be a week of 7 seconds, 7 minutes, 7 days, 7 years, or whatever. This is because God created the earth in 6 creation-days, and rested on the 7th day. He measures time in ‘sevens’, and this reminds us that He is the Creator.

The ‘sealing-up’ of vision and prophecy means the ‘fulfillment’ of God’s prophecies; closing the book on unfinished business so to speak. The anointing of the ‘most holy’ has been interpreted differently by various Bible scholars. Some think that it refers to the anointing of Christ at His second coming. Just as the Israelites anointed their priests and kings under the Mosaic system, Jesus would be anointed as Israel’s King.

Other scholars think that this anointing points to the fact that the Israelites used to anoint their Tabernacle (their most Holy place) with a special oil, making it fit for God Himself to dwell there. Whatever this ‘anointing of the most holy’ means, it points to the day when God Himself will once-again dwell within the nation of Israel, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

DANIEL 9:25 – THE 69-WEEK TIMETABLE

In verse 25 God gave Daniel a 69-week timetable for the first-coming of Israel’s Messiah:

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two (62) weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Daniel 9:25

In this verse the Lord Jesus is called “the Messiah, the Prince”. The Hebrew word ‘messiah’ means ‘anointed one’, which is equal to the Greek word ‘Christ’. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1-2 in proclaiming that He had been ‘anointed’ as the Savior of the world. Jesus is also called ‘the prince’, because He is the promised ‘Son of King David’.

When Daniel received this prophecy, the people of Israel had been removed from their land, and were waiting for permission to return there. The Jewish people were given two separate permissions. First, they were permitted by King Cyrus (536 B.C.) to return and rebuild the Temple. When they began to rebuild the Temple, their enemies accused them of seeking to rebuild the city. God providentially clarified, both for the Jews and the world at large (Ezra chapters 4 through 7) that the permission to rebuild Jerusalem had not yet been given. The permission allowing the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem was given later by the Persian King Artaxerxes in 445 BC. That permission is recorded in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.

O HAPPY DAY!

The 69 weeks of this verse are weeks of years, each week being a period of 7 years; for a total of 483 years. If we stretch these 483 years forward in time from the day that the permission was given to rebuild Jerusalem, it brings us to the day in 32 AD when the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, in fulfillment of Zechariah, which reads…

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 9:9
Palm Sunday
Behold, your King!

That day has since come to be known throughout the Christian world as ‘Palm Sunday’, and is observed every year exactly one week before Easter Sunday. Up until that day, Jesus had always suppressed the open proclamation of Himself as Israel’s promised Messiah and Prince. But on Palm Sunday He not only allowed it, He encouraged it. It is interesting to note His response to the Jewish leaders who told Him to suppress the praise of His followers:

And as Jesus went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when He was come near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying “Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” And some of the Pharisees from among the mutitude said to Jesus, “Master, rebuke your disciples.” And He answered and said unto them “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Luke 19:36-40

IF ISRAEL HAD WATCHED

Not only can we know that Jesus fulfilled the 69-week timetable by measuring the days; we can also know it by listening to His words on that day. They are recorded for us:

And when He had come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying “If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to your peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall build a trench about you, and surround you, and keep you in on every side, And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.

Luke 19:41-44

In this passage, the Lord Jesus was telling Israel that if they had paid attention to the timetable that began with the permission to rebuild their destroyed capitol city, they would not now be confronting the re-destruction of that city.

I believe that the wise men of the Christmas story did pay attention to this timetable. They came from a part of the world that was familiar with Daniel and his prophecies. I suspect that they were looking toward the west for a sign of the Messiah’s coming when they saw His star.

You may have noticed that God divided the 69 weeks into two periods; of 7 weeks and 62 weeks. This is because it took the Jewish people approximately 7 weeks of years to complete the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The book of Nehemiah tells us that they were able to get the walls and gates of the city up fairly quickly. But it was one thing to get the walls up, it was another thing to complete the fortifications around the walls, to reconstruct the streets and buildings within the walls, and to then repopulate the city and get it up and functioning as a national capital. History tells us that it took the Jews approximately 49 years to accomplish that task.

DANIEL 9:26 – THREE EVENTS THE WORLD WILL SEE

In this verse God told Daniel 3 things that would happen after the Messiah came. These 3 things would be events or changes that the whole world would be able to observe:

And after threescore and two (62) weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:26
      1)The Messiah would be put to death. Daniel would not have been surprised by this. All of the Old Testament pointed to the fact that ‘Abraham’s Seed’ would die in order to bring blessing on the nations of the world. The Mosaic animal sacrifices symbolized this, and many other prophecies, such as Isaiah 53, pointed to it also.
      2) The Temple (sanctuary) and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed with overwhelming force (like a flood) by the Romans. The ‘prince who is to come’ would be Titus; son of the Roman emperor, Vespasian.
    3) The people of Israel would experience ongoing war and the continuing desolation of their Temple.

These things have all been fulfilled in the crucifixion of Christ in 32 AD, the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by the armies of Rome in 70 AD, and the subsequent dispersion and persecution of the Jewish people throughout the world, while the Temple mount has remained desolate since that time.

DANIEL 9:27 – THE SAME THREE EVENTS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

In verse 27 Daniel was given a behind-the-scenes, heavenly view and explanation of the events of verse 26. In this verse he was told what the Messiah would do after His death:

And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9:27
      1)Because of what He had achieved through His death upon the cross, the Messiah would be able to confirm (ratify, fulfill or establish) the Abrahamic covenant.
      2) In the middle of this 70th Week the Messiah would bring an end to Mosaic sacrifices and offerings.
    3) The Messiah would use ‘one who makes desolate’ as the appointed means to bring desolation upon the Temple until a divinely determined end or ‘consummation’ is reached.

DANIEL’S EXPECTATION OF THE RESURRECTION

‘Now wait a minute’ you might say, ‘do you mean that after being told in verse 26 that the Messiah would be put do death, Daniel would have expected this same Messiah to confirm a covenant in verse 27?’ Yes, that is exactly what Daniel expected, and no other thought would have crossed his mind!

Daniel knew that King David had foretold, in Psalm 16:10, that the Messiah would die someday, but that His soul would not be left in the place of the dead and His body would not experience corruption (decay). In addition, Daniel would have been aware of the famous 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah not only foretold the death of the Messiah, but also foretold the glory, honor and blessing that would be bestowed upon Him for having sacrificed Himself for sinners (53:12), thus also foretelling His resurrection from the dead.

Not only that, but Daniel himself had already received two prophecies, Daniel chapters 2 & 7, describing the coming of Israel’s Messiah to crush Babylon and establish the Kingdom of David forever. Daniel knew that if the Messiah was put to death at the end of the 69 weeks, He would have to be raised from the dead in order to fulfill or ‘seal up’ the prophecies that Daniel himself had already received. Given the fact that this entire prophecy (Daniel 9) is focused upon the Messiah and His fulfillment of God’s promises within 70 weeks, Daniel would have had no reason to think that verse 27 would be referring to anyone else.

There is no reason for anyone to think that this verse is focused on anyone other than the Messiah. To think otherwise is to downplay the most essential and glorious truth of the entire Bible; the resurrection of the Messiah from the dead. It is at this point, however, that Dispensationalists make one of their several errors. Dispensationalists teach that the ‘he’ who confirms a covenant and brings sacrifices to an end in verse 27, is the ‘prince that shall come’ of verse 26. I will address Dispensationalism and its errors after I finish discussing the Olivet Discourse.

EXAMINING THE LAMB

When Jesus entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in 32 AD, He was fulfilling more than the 69-week timetable of Daniel 9. He was fulfilling a much older prophecy; the Passover prophecy. When God first gave Israel the Passover sacrifice, He instructed the Jews to choose a spotless Lamb on the 10th day of the first month of the year, and to keep it in their homes until the 14th day of that month, when they would kill it so that the angel of death would ‘pass-over’ them (Exodus 12). They were to keep it in their homes for 4 days in order to make sure that it didn’t have any flaws, and so that they could become attached to it, thus appreciating the fact that something precious and lovable was being sacrificed on their behalf.

In fulfillment of these instructions, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month of the year, and lived in the very heart of the nation of Israel for four days, allowing Himself to be cross-examined and tested by her greatest religious and political leaders. While Jesus was being examined, He also announced that God was examining Israel, and that judgment would be falling on that nation. He clearly and forcefully warned the Jews of coming judgment during those four days.

COMING DESOLATION

I would encourage my reader to examine the various Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem, beginning on Palm Sunday. We have already seen, in Luke 19:41-44, that Jesus began His warnings about the destruction of the city before He entered it. Those warnings continued in the following passages:

      1)The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers (Matt. 21:33-44).
      2) The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt. 22:1-14).
    3) The denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23).

The culmination of Jesus’ public warnings is found in His statement that He would be sending godly men (the apostles and others) to proclaim the gospel to the Jews, and that through their persecution of these men the Jews would bring the wrath of God upon themselves:

You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

Matthew 23:33-36

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, you shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord”.

Matthew 23:37-39

When Jesus said that Israel’s ‘house’ would be left desolate, He was referring to the Temple. The Jews called their Temple ‘the House of God’. That had been King David’s purpose in planning a Temple; to build a ‘house’ for God (2 Samuel 7:1-13). In Matthew 23:36, Jesus warned that the judgment of God would fall upon the very generation that He was speaking to. For the Jews a generation was 40 years. That was how long God waited for the first generation of those coming out of Egypt to die off in the wilderness, before allowing the next generation to enter the promised land. Speaking in 32 AD, Jesus was saying that the destruction of the Temple would occur before 72 AD, which is what happened.

ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

On Tuesday of this important week, Jesus was walking near the Temple with His disciples, when they pointed out the awesome splendor of that structure. In response He said….

“See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Matthew 24:2
The Temple
NOT ONE STONE OF THE TEMPLE WOULD BE LEFT UPON ANOTHER

As Jesus and His disciples sat on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple, they pressed Him for more information, asking Him two questions:

      1)When would the destruction of the Temple occur?
    2) What would be the sign of Jesus’ second coming, when God’s judgment on Israel would be fulfilled or completed, and thus Jesus would be able to restore the Kingdom of David?
On the Mount of Olives

Jesus’ answer has come to be known as “The Olivet Discourse”. There are three versions of this event recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (Matthew 24:1-44, Mark chapter 13, and Luke 21:5-36). In Matthew chapter 25 we find additional warnings and instructions from the Lord Jesus concerning the need for people to watch and be ready for His second coming.

I would encourage my reader to take a look at these passages. I have provided a link at the end of this sentence for reading, downloading and printing PDF versions of these three passages so that it is easy to compare them side by side (OLIVET PDF).

In the first portion of the Discourse, Jesus gave a general description of world history between the approaching destruction of Jerusalem (in 70 AD), and His second coming. This period might well be labeled ‘the Gospel age’, because it is characterized by the proclamation of the Gospel to the entire world. In the second portion of the Discourse, Jesus described the approaching destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. In the third portion of the Discourse Jesus described His second coming at the end of the ‘Gospel age’ to restore the Kingdom of David. In the final portion, through His ‘parable of the fig tree’, Jesus indirectly answered the disciples’ first question about when these things would commence; He told them that it would all come upon the current generation of Jews (within 40 years).

COMPARING THE 3 VERSIONS

Below are the 3 portions of the Olivet Discourse containing Jesus’ description of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is here that Jesus mentions Daniel’s ‘Abomination of Desolation’; the thing that divides Daniel’s 70th Week into two halves. Matthew and Mark’s versions are very similar to each other, but notice the difference in Luke’s version.
Matthew 24:15-22When you therefore shall see theabomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that nurse children in those days! But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mark 13:14-20But when you shall see theabomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that reads understand), then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains. And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house. And let him that is in the field not turn back again to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that nurse children in those days! And pray that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom He has chosen, He has shortened the days.

Luke 21:20-24And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that its desolationis nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into. For these are the days of (God’s) vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that nurse children in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Matthew and Mark were writing as Jews, and for a largely Jewish audience. The Jews understood what an ‘abomination of desolation’ was. To the Jews, anything that entered into the sacred Temple area that didn’t belong there was an abomination. If this abomination destroyed the Temple, then it was an abomination which caused desolation.

Luke, however, was writing as a Gentile to a Gentile audience, which would not have had as much exposure to the Jewish concepts of abomination and desolation. Luke was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul, the ‘apostle to the Gentiles’, and so was very sensitive to the needs of the Gentile world, and quite possibly had discussed with Paul the challenge of making the Olivet Discourse understandable to them. But whether he had discussed the matter with Paul or not, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Luke presented the Olivet Discourse in words that the Gentiles could easily understand. This is why Matthew and Mark had to warn their readers to carefully understand their words, whereas Luke’s very plain and straightforward version required no such warning.

It is clear that Luke was describing the rapidly approaching destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD at the hands of the Romans; an attack which drove the Jewish people “into all nations”, and left Jerusalem to be “trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”.

Temple mount before 70 AD          Temple Mount after 70 AD
THE TEMPLE MOUNT BEFORE AND AFTER 70 AD

When we compare the three versions of the Olivet Discourse side-by-side, the only reasonable conclusion to reach is that Matthew and Mark’s ‘Abomination of Desolation’ and Luke’s simple ‘desolation’ are all referring to the same event.

The temple mount today.
THE TEMPLE MOUNT TODAY, STILL TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT BY THE GENTILES

Although the Jewish people have reclaimed the entire city of Jerusalem since the end of the 1967 war, the Temple Mount is still ‘trampled underfoot’ by the Gentiles (occupied by two Muslim mosques; Al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock).

WHAT IS DISPENSATIONALISM?

Dispensationalism is the belief that the 70th Week of Daniel is a period of 7 literal years, but that it is separated from the first 69 weeks by a time gap (or Dispensation) which is called ‘The Church Age’. The idea is that Israel’s ‘prophetic timeclock’ stopped with the destruction of Jerusalem, and will not begin again until the ‘Church Age’ is over and Israel’s Temple has been rebuilt. In order to support this theory, Dispensationalists have had to explain how the “Abomination of Desolation” which divides the 70th Week in half, and which the gospel of Luke clearly places in 70 AD, could also be a far-future event.

In his study-Bible notes on Luke chapter 21, the great Dispensationalist, Dr. C. I. Scofield, taught that Luke was indeed describing the approaching destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but that Matthew and Mark were talking about a completely different event in the distant future. Dispensationalists maintain that in the three versions of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus was describing two different ‘Abominations of Desolation’ at the same time. This is a concept which they call ‘dual fulfillment’. This approach, attributing ‘double-talk’ to the Son of God, represents the shaky foundation upon which Dispensationalism stands.

In fairness, it should be acknowledged that there are passages in the Bible that represent possible examples of dual fulfillment. I refer to passages in the Old Testament that speak of Babylon’s judgment and destruction, and of Israel’s glorious restoration. The Bible speaks of Babylon’s destruction by the Persian Empire, and also of its destruction at the second coming of Christ. There are two biblical ‘Babylons’: the historical Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar, and Babylon in its final Roman Catholic form, seen riding upon the back of the Beast in Revelation 17, and destroyed in Revelation 18. The Bible also refers to the restoration of Israel under the Persians in Old Testament times, and Israel’s restoration at the second coming of Christ. It often seems, in both cases, that as God describes the historical event He is also alluding to the future event, and that He may intend it to be understood in this way. But this does not justify Dispensationalism’s mishandling of the Olivet Discourse.

Dispensationalists have taken the few passages where God may be alluding to future events when He describes historical events, and have made them the fundamental basis of their approach to the most important prophetic passage in the entire Bible. Allowing scripture to interpret scripture is one of the foundational principles of Biblical analysis. This principle is useful when comparing various passages which discuss theological principles. But it goes beyond ‘useful’ to ‘mandatory’ when talking about historical facts, where two passages represent parallel accounts of the same event. Yet Dispensationalists make Jesus talk out of both sides of His mouth, instead of acknowledging what any simple ‘Galilean Christian’ can see; that Luke clarifies Matthew and Mark for the non-Jewish reader. The entire Olivet Discourse was prompted by the disciples’ primary question about when the coming destruction of Jerusalem would occur. If Jesus’ words in Matthew and Mark about the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ are not a description of that dreadful event, then there are no other words in Matthew and Mark which could possibly relate to it.

In some cases dual fulfillment has infected Dispensationalist thinking regarding other prophetic passages as well. Both Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, as well as Revelation 20:7-9 speak of an attack by ‘Gog and Magog’ upon Israel. Revelation describes it as occurring at the end of the Millennium, while Ezekiel describes it as an attack upon Israel when it is existing in complete peace and safety, without need for walls, bars or gates (Ezekiel 38:11). And yet some Dispensationalists insist that a ‘Gog-Magog’ war against Israel is close at hand. I asked a Dispensationalist how this battle could occur now, when Revelation places it at the end of the Millennium and Israel is presently surrounded by vicious enemies and dependent upon walls and other security devices to insure its survival. His rather flippant answer was ‘Oh, there will be two Gog-Magog wars’. The idea of dual fulfillment had become a ‘habit’ for him, allowing him to take the same liberties with Ezekiel that he had taken with the Olivet Discourse.

Having based their entire prophetic viewpoint upon a ‘church age’ Dispensation between the 69th and 70th weeks, Dispensationalists have gone on to develop an elaborate systematic theology, called Dispensationalism, which divides all of God’s dealings with mankind, throughout history, into ‘Dispensations’. This has allowed them to mask the centrality of their ‘church age’ idea, making it appear as only one small part in a larger seamless whole, rather than what it really is; the starting point and foundation of everything else. This ‘systematic theology’ of Dispensationalism has been greatly promoted and popularized through The Scofield Reference Bible, and has been a central doctrine of the Dallas Theological Seminary that Scofield founded, as well as many other prominent Protestant schools. Hence it is widely known and respected.

Dispensationalism has also been popularized by many books, including Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth, and the Left Behind books and movies by Tim LaHaye. This vast, all encompassing systematic theology is intimidating to many ‘lay Christians’, who feel confused by its complexity and unqualified to challenge its claims, or to question the many scholars and pastors who support it. Hence many Christians sit silently in their churches, afraid to ask questions because it might reveal their ignorance or expose them to ridicule. Scofield was a great man, and his work has been a blessing to many, myself included. Most of the Dispensational Christians that I have known are sincere, God-loving people. But elders and teachers in God’s church must supply more than good intentions; they must also supply good scholarship.

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

REACTING TO THE MAJORITY

The majority of professing Christians over the past 2000 years have understood the Olivet Discourse as I have explained it; that the Abomination of Desolation was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Dispensationalism is a relatively recent idea, first promoted by a man named John Darby in the mid-1800’s. But while the majority has been correct about the Abomination of Desolation, many within this majority have gone on to reach erroneous conclusions about the 70th Week. These conclusions are based upon an assumption that the 70th Week is also a period of seven literal years, and that it followed closely after the first 69 weeks. Thus they believe that the 70 Weeks are over. Knowing that the Millennium is the next item on God’s prophetic agenda, they have concluded that we are in the Millennium right now, and that Christ will come at the end of the Millennium. This is a perspective known as ‘Post-millennialism’.

Without going into too much detail, let it suffice to say that Postmillennialists believe that Christ already came a second time (invisibly) to destroy Israel and usher in His kingdom. Postmillenialists believe that God now expects his followers to ‘Christianize’ the world in order to make it ready for Jesus’ visible return to earth. Hence there is a worldview known as ‘Dominionism’ which proposes that Christians are commanded by God to conquer the world and make it better and better in preparation for Christ’s return. This ‘Dominionism’ has often been the underlying rationale for a union between ‘church and state’ in various parts of the world. Those who embrace Dominionism might well be described as ‘Christian Jihadists’ (‘crusader’ being the western term for ‘Jihadist’).

In addition, many Post-millennialists believe that the nation of Israel came to its ultimate and final end in 70 AD, and that it has now been replaced by a new ‘spiritual’ Israel; the Christian church. Jews can still be saved, but Jewish Christians are to be swallowed up within the larger ‘Israel’ of the church. Biological Jewishness, and the nation of Israel, no longer hold any significance in the sight of God. This is a viewpoint known as ‘Replacement Theology’. Those who embrace this perspective believe that the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland, and the ‘resurrection’ of the state of Israel in 1948 are illegitimate. They deny that the nation of Israel will be the focal point of God’s activity when Christ returns, despite all of the prophecies in God’s word that declare otherwise.

Given these errors by ‘the majority’, it is easy to understand why Darby and others might have sought other explanations of God’s word. Dispensationalists may have been partly motivated by a well-meaning and justified desire to counter the errors of Postmillennialism, and its accompanying Dominion and Replacement ideas. Dispensationalists are correct in their belief that the second coming of Christ will be Pre-millennial. And although Postmillennialists deride Dispensationalists as being too pessimistic, the Dispensationalists are also correct in their belief that Christ willl return to conquer an increasingly decadent world; not a Christianized one. And they are correct, as well, about the fact that Jesus will rule the world from His throne in a very Jewish nation; Israel. But as I will demonstrate in my next web page on the 70th Week, the Dispensationalists are hampered by the same error that the Postmillennialists have embraced; the belief that the 70th Week is a period of seven literal years. If it were not for John’s Little Book, I myself would reach the same conclusion, and would feel compelled to choose between Postmillenialism and Dispensationalism. But such a choice is not necessary; God has spelled everything out plainly.

DISPENSATIONALISM’S ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’

Dispensationalists teach that the ‘he’ of Daniel 9:27 (who establishes a covenant, brings an end to sacrifices and causes desolation) is not the Messiah, but rather ‘the Prince who is to come’ mentioned in Daniel 9:26. They say that this ‘Prince’ is the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Dispensationalists teach that the ‘Man of Sin’ will establish a covenant with Israel in the future, for one week of 7 years. He will supposedly allow the Jews to rebuild their Temple and re-establish animal sacrifices. But after 3.5 years (in the middle of their 70th Week) he will enter the Temple and declare himself to be God, and will become the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ that Daniel described, and that Jesus referred to in the Olivet Discourse. Then aggression against Israel will ensue until Christ comes back to rescue Israel and rule the world.

These Dispensationalist claims need to be examined in the light of scripture. In describing the ‘Man of Sin’, Paul said nothing about a covenant, about ending sacrifices, or about the desolation of the Temple. None of the Bible’s references to the Antichrist (1 John 2:18,22, 4:3, 2 John 1:17) say a word about him claiming to be God, being in the Temple of God, establishing covenants, ending sacrifices or desolating anything. So how have the Dispensationalists managed to turn Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ into an ‘Abomination of Desolation’ and the ‘Antichrist’? By finding a man in the past who serves as a precedent for their claims; another man who once stood in God’s Temple while calling himself God, and whom Dispensationalists claim was an ‘abomination of desolation’.

ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANES: DISPENSATIONAL PROTOTYPE

Who was this man who is the ‘prototype’ for Dispensationalism’s future Man of Sin – Antichrist – Abomination of Desolation? Antiochus IV Epiphanes (A4E). A4E was a leader in the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until 164 BC. The Seleucid Empire was one of four regions that had previously been united within the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. A4E’s second name, ‘Epiphanes’, means ‘God revealed’. A4E claimed to be God, or at least to be the representative or manifestation of God on earth. Such self-deification is not new; many people have imagined that they are divine throughout history. In fact, it might be said that self-deification is a fault found to some extent in all human beings.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes is famous for attacking the Jewish people, and for converting their Temple to his own pagan worship and sacrifices. Thus for murder, rape and pillage, as well as for proclaiming himself ‘God’ while he stood in the Temple of God, A4E truly was an abomination in God’s sight. But being an abomination in the Temple is not the same as desolating the Temple. The Bible describes many things that are abominations, from homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13) to worshiping idols (Deuteronomy 7:25,26), and from offering one’s children as burnt sacrifices to false Gods (Deuteronomy 12:31) to offering blemished sacrifices to the true and living God (Deuteronomy 17:1); all are abominations in His sight. But the Bible nowhere states that being an abominable person in the Temple, or committing abominable acts in the Temple, results in the desolation of the Temple.

DISPENSATIONALISM IS BASED UPON THE CLAIM THAT STANDING IN THE TEMPLE AND CALLING ONE’S SELF ‘GOD’
AMOUNTS TO DESOLATING THE TEMPLE

Dispensationalists have heard all of these arguments, and are unmoved by them, because they believe that God Himself called Antiochus IV Epiphanes an ‘abomination of desolation’. Hence they believe that if God called this man, who proclaimed himself God while he stood in the Temple of God, an ‘abomination of desolation’, then they are justified in believing that Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (who will do the same thing) will be an ‘abomination of desolation’ also. In order to move Daniel’s 70th Week into the future, Dispensationalists must have an ‘abomination of desolation’ that marks the middle of that future Week, and divides it into two halves. Thus they have latched on to the idea that Paul’s future ‘Man of Sin’ will be a ‘desolator’, and that God’s statements about Antiochus IV Epiphanes justify reaching this conclusion. Dispensationalists have one problem, however; God did not call A4E an ‘abomination of desolation’. Dispensationalism’s misunderstanding of A4E is based upon two errors:

      1)They have misunderstood Daniel 11:31
    2) They have confused desolation with desecration

MISSING THE TURNING POINT

The primary reason that the Dispensationalists mis-identify A4E as an ‘abomination of desolation’ is found in the 11th chapter of Daniel, verses 29 through 31:

29 At the time appointed he (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

30 For the ships of Chittim (from Rome) shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant. And so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.

Daniel 11:29-31

Dispensationalists believe that all three of these verses are describing Antiochus Epiphanes. By contrast, I have divided the passage into brown verses describing Antiochus, and green verses describing the Romans.

Verses 29 and 30 are a description of A4E’s last military passage through Israel, when he moved south against the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt to take possession of it. A4E was confronted outside of the Egyptian city of Alexandria by the Romans, and told to go home. When he hesitated to give his answer to their ultimatum, one of their ambassadors (Gaius Popillius Laenas) drew a circle around him in the dirt, and told him to declare his decision before he stepped out of the circle.

A4E knew all about Rome’s power because his father, Antiochus III (‘the Great’), had been conquered by the Romans. As a result of that Roman victory, Antiochus IV himself had lived in Rome as a hostage. Thus when he was confronted, Antiochus IV Epiphanes submitted to Rome, effectively transferring sovereignty over everything that he possessed to Rome. It was at this very moment that Egypt, Syria and A4E’s own Seleucid kingdom became Rome’s. As he returned home A4E was enraged “against the holy covenant”, and vented his wrath upon the Jewish people, desecrating their Temple. When he first passed through Israel on his way toward Egypt, someone may have told A4E that his humiliation at the hands of the Romans had been foretold by Daniel. This may explain some of his rage against the Jews and their God as he returned.

It is possible that all of verse 30 refers to Antiochus’ behavior as he returned to Israel.  It may indeed describe the cooperation that some Jews, who despised God’s ‘holy covenant’ with Israel’, gave to A4E. But these words also accurately describe the approach that Rome took with the Jews as it began to exert influence over them. Rome established its control over Israel by putting rulers over the Jews who came from their part of the world, and were biologically related to them as ‘family’, and yet had no regard for God’s covenants with Israel. I am referring to the Idumeans (from Edom, south and east of Israel). The Idumeans were the descendants of Esau, the brother of Israel (Jacob). The first of these men whom Rome supported as a ruler over the Jews was Antipater I, the father of Herod the Great, and founder of the Herodian dynasty.

Verse 31 is definitely not a description of Antiochus Epiphanes. Arms (military might) were not caused to ‘stand’ (be established) on his behalf at that point in time. It is a description of Rome’s rise to worldwide military supremacy, and its subsequent destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. After his confrontation with the Roman ambassadors, military power departed from Antiochus. Even though he had enough military strength to assault the Jewish people and desecrate their Temple during his return home, Antiochus was a weak and defeated man, and he passed promptly from the stage of history, dying four years later in 164 BC.

In fact, verse 31 is a restatement of something that had already been foretold in Daniel chapter 8:

Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Daniel 8:12

These words about an army being given to the ‘horn’, and the words in Daniel chapter 11 that “arms shall stand on his part”, are referring to the same thing. The transgression mentioned in Daniel 8:12 is the rejection by the Jewish people of their Messiah; a rejection that Jesus warned about just prior to His crucifixion. Dispensationalists insist, however, that the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 8 is not Rome, but Antiochus IV Epiphanes, even though Daniel 8:9 describes the little horn as becoming “exceedingly great”, while in Daniel 11:21-24 God describes Antiochus IV Epiphanes as a vile person who came to power through bribes, rather than through manly courage and strength. This idea of ‘exceeding greatness’ is consistent with the Bible’s description of Rome throughout the book of Daniel.

Dispensationalists are compelled to equate the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 8:9 and its desolation of the Temple with Antiochus IV Epiphanes, because if they acknowledge that God is describing Rome in Daniel 8, then they must acknowledge that He is probably also describing Rome in Daniel 11:31. In Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 11 Daniel’s prophecies follow through to the end of all four Gentile empires, Rome being the last of them. Yet the Dispensationalists claim that in the vision of Daniel 8 God makes no mention of Rome. This is convenient for them, but inconsistent with the rest of Daniel.

Daniel 11:31 is God’s description of the transition from Greek dominance to Roman dominance over Israel. Daniel hints at this transition by saying that it occurred “at the time appointed” (verses 27 & 29), indicating a significant change in affairs predestined by God long ago. Notice also that in verses 29 and 30, God refers repeatedly to what ‘he’ (Antiochus) will do, while in verse 31 God says that ‘they’ shall pollute the sanctuary, take away the sacrifices and place the ‘abomination of desolation; clearly indicating a change in subject regarding who will perform the desolation of verse 31.’

This transition from Greek power to Roman power had already been foretold three times in Daniel chapters 2, 7 & 8. In Daniel 8:9, God began to describe the rise of the Roman Empire from within one of the four divisions of the Greek world (Macedonian). This little horn (a single city) first became great through its wars against Carthage to the south (the Punic Wars), then eastward in its wars against the Greek world, culminating in its victory over Antiochus III (also known as Antiochus the Great, who was the father of Antiochus IV Epiphanes). Finally Rome established power over ‘the Glorious Land’ of Israel itself. Daniel 8:11 then goes on to describe Rome’s involvement in the crucifixion of Christ, and its subsequent destruction of the Temple, described in Daniel 8:13 as the ‘transgression of desolation’.

THE EXTREME PRECISION OF DANIEL 11:4-30

In Daniel 11:4-30 God gave a very precise description of 155 years of Greek history contained in 26 verses. Beginning with verse 31 He began describing 2000+ years of Roman history in just 15 verses. This is an interesting transition on God’s part, from minute detail to a much broader, generalized view of events. Why would God be so specific about Greek history, and not about Rome’s? I believe that it was to strengthen the Jewish people during one of the most difficult times in their history; a spiritual strength seen in the Maccabees. God also wanted to confirm the reliability of His word not only to the people of Israel, but to a much broader Gentile world that had been increasingly exposed to the scriptures, and had been watching the events of Daniel 11 unfold. This was a period of time in which Israel had no prophets. Daniel was their prophet, guiding them toward the day when their promised Messiah would appear (69 weeks of years after the date when they were authorized to rebuild Jerusalem). This is the reason why, when the Christ-child did come into the world 160 years later, there were wise men from the East (Gentiles from Babylon and Persia) who were anticipating His coming.

Perhaps God’s abrupt transition from being very specific to very general can be described with a word-picture. I live in the southwestern United States, near where the Colorado river enters Mexico. The Colorado River begins in the Denver area and flows southwest through the Rocky Mountains toward Las Vegas. As it comes down through the mountains it drops very steeply, presenting many life-threatening challenges to anyone who tries to raft on it. The powerful force of this rapidly falling river is what carved out the Grand Canyon. Just east of Las Vegas, however, the river leaves the mountains and empties out onto a plain, widening and slowing down as it flows into Lake Mead. I would suggest that the first part of Daniel 11:5-30 is like the steep part of the Colorado River, describing the many hazards that lay ahead for Israel during the relatively short period of time that it struggled with Greek domination, culminating in the persecutions under A4E. But when Antiochus Epiphanes was finished, the river of Israel’s history left the steep rapids and gorges of Greek dominance to cross the broad plain of Israel’s long history under Roman domination; a history that continues to the present day.

Whatever God’s reason was for this abrupt transition from the ‘specific’ to the ‘general’, I believe that it is the Dispensational failure to recognize this transition point, and their belief that the ‘abomination of desolation’ in Daniel 11:31 refers to A4E rather than to Rome, that represents a fundamental mistake on their part. At his worst, Antiochus Epiphanes did not desolate the Temple; he desecrated it.

DESOLATION VS. DESECRATION

Dispensationalists teach that ultimately the Temple in Jerusalem will have been ‘desolated’ 4 times in the course of Israel’s history; once in Daniel’s time (by Babylon in 586 BC), once by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 B.C., once by the armies of Rome in 70 A.D., and once again in the future by the Antichrist. But the biblical definition of ‘desolation’ is very clear; it is a judgment sent by God resulting in complete destruction. Noah’s flood is a practical example of desolation, as is the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible is also clear that the destructions of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and Romans were desolations sent by God. The Bible also warns of future desolation coming upon the Gentile world (Jeremiah 25:29, Revelation 17:16, 18:19).

A word study regarding the words ‘desolate’ and ‘desolation’ in the Bible, reveals one consistent meaning; punishment of such an overwhelming nature that it makes the hairs stand up on the back of one’s neck. By mishandling the concept of desolation, insisting that it will happen to Israel four times, rather than twice, Dispensationalists have ‘cheapened the currency’ of the word, and obscured its meaning.

Dispensationalists teach that Antiochus IV desolated the Temple in 168 BC by entering it and converting it to his own use. However, A4E did not destroy the Temple; he merely desecrated it. He made it unclean and unfit for worshiping the true God. Desecration refers to the pollution of the Temple . This is what Antiochus IV did. He promoted obscene behavior in the Temple, offered pigs as sacrifices upon its altar (forbidden by God), and changed its furnishings to honor Greek gods rather than the God of Israel. He rendered the Temple useless for proper worship until the Jewish people cleaned it up, restored its original furnishings, and kicked out the pagans. To this day the Jewish people celebrate the fact that God did not allow the light to go out in their defiled Temple after A4E departed. They commemorate the cleansing and restoration of the Temple every year at Hanukkah; their ‘Festival of Lights’. The Jews did not have to rebuild a desolated Temple after Antiochus; they only had to cleanse a desecrated one.

In their eagerness to make Antiochus Epiphanes a prototype for their future Antichrist, turning desecration into desolation, Dispensationalists have rejected the testimony of the Jewish people themselves regarding Antiochus Epiphanes, and have simultaneously blinded themselves to the meaning of Jesus reference to Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation in the Olivet Discourse. I have felt it necessary to go beyond a simple presentation of the Olivet Discourse to criticize Dispensationalism also, because I know how strong a grip Dispensationalism has upon evangelical Christians around the world, and I have felt that it is important to release that grip.

I encourage my reader, now properly informed about the Abomination of Desolation which marks the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week, to join me in looking at God’s explanation of the entire Week.

POSTSCRIPT

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

Because some people come to this web site through prophecy searches, often asking about things like ‘the Antichrist’ and ‘the last days’, it has seemed useful to set forth a summary of who the ‘prophetic players’ of the Bible are. Therefore I have included this section at the end of each of my web pages on prophecy.

My reader must first realize that my entire view of prophecy is defined by my understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel. I believe that this week is the great ‘Week of the Abrahamic Covenant’, beginning 4000 years ago with Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ending with the second coming of Christ. I believe that the ‘Great Tribulation’ is the second half of this week, from 70 AD to the present. It is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) because it is the period of time after Satan has been cast out of heaven and down to earth in defeat. He is enraged because he knows that he only has a short time until his eternal fiery destruction (Revelation 12:12).

During the ‘Great Tribulation’ Satan’s violent frustration has been vented, first and foremost, against the Jewish people and against protestant Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). In addition, however, Satan is determined to drag all of humanity down to eternal damnation with himself if he can. The Pharaoh of Egypt whom Moses confronted (in the book of Exodus) is a picture of Satan, willing to see his kingdom and his people destroyed rather than to ‘let his captives go’. All of the ‘players’ on my list, and all of history since 70 AD, must be understood in the light of Satan’s angry presence here on earth. If you are coming to this list from a Dispensational or Postmillennial background, and have not yet read my first three pages on prophecy ( Introduction, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return), then the things that I am saying here may not make much sense to you. I would encourage you to examine these three web pages before making any final decision concerning the validity of this list.
1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION(discussed in The Timetable for Jesus’ Return)

This is the ‘Beast from the Sea’ in Revelation 13:1-10, and is also the Beast upon which the Woman rides in Revelation 17. This Beast will become increasingly ‘Eastern’ in its makeup and form an alliance with 10 kings in the last prophetic hour, and these kings will burn the Woman with fire (Revelation 17:12-18).

Some Dispensationalists believe that the Beast is an individual human being. This is not so. This Beast has its roots in the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is an organized political entity, just as they were. In addition, the Beast continues in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 13:5, a period of roughly 2000 years), and thus cannot be a person. Lastly, the Woman who rides the Beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and she has ridden this Beast for centuries.

Prior to 70 AD, this Beast existed simply as the Roman Empire. But in 69 AD, when Satan was cast down to earth, he reorganized the Roman Empire into an international ‘Beast’ of militant humanity, and a city (Rome) that would ride upon the Beast’s back (through the ‘destruction and resurrection’ process of a Roman civil war, during ‘the year of the four Emperors). Since 70 AD the Beast upon which Rome has ridden has come primarily from the original Roman Empire; Western Europe and then the United States. The Beast’s religious roots have been mostly Roman Catholic. But over the past 60 years this Beast has been increasingly comprised of people throughout the world. The primarily western and Roman Catholic Beast of the past has mutated since the end of World War II into a broader coalition, incorporating the military forces of Russia, China and the Muslim world, and is represented by the United Nations. In the final prophetic hour I believe that the United Nations will turn its back upon the Western world (where it was first chartered and established), and look to China and the East. This, I believe, will be followed by the East’s surprise nuclear destruction of western, Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’.
2) THE WOMAN (HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON) OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 17 & 18(discussed in The City of Rome)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:18, where she is described as ‘that great city’ which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation. Prior to the Roman civil war of 69 AD (the ‘Year of the four emperors’), the city of Rome had been the seat and governing power of the Roman Empire. During this civil war, however, Rome watched helplessly as the generals and armies of the Empire fought for supremacy. Since that time the city of Rome has been powerless militarily. This explains the fact that the final form of the Roman Empire (its feet) are described in Daniel 2:33 as being comprised of iron and clay. It is this ‘mixed’ Empire, comprised of a ‘clay City’ and various ‘iron’ military powers, that Christ will destroy and replace at His return (Daniel 2:34).

Revelation describes Rome in a most negative way. She is an extremely wealthy whore, given to fornication and blasphemy against God, who is drunk with the blood of His people. She is described as the “Mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). In short, she is wickedness itself. How did she get this way?

The key to understanding Rome, is to understand the angry archangel, Satan, who made her what she is. For 240 years, after 70 AD, pagan Rome did everything within its power to exterminate Christianity. Many thousands of Christians were impoverished, enslaved or killed. This was the official policy of Rome, all done in subservience to the ‘Dragon’, Satan. Around 310 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine announced that he had seen a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer under the banner of the Christian cross. Constantine proceeded to ‘legalize’ Christianity, and to make it a part of his empire. He convened ‘ecumenical councils’ to define what Roman Christianity would be.

Hence Rome went, practically overnight, from persecuting the Christian church to declaring ‘I am the church!’. In reality what Rome had become was a religious institution that would not only continue persecuting Christianity, but would also deceive millions of others into embracing a counterfeit Christianity, sending them into eternity with false hopes. Rome became a three-pronged weapon in Satan’s hands; killing some, deceiving others, and turning the rest of the world against Christianity because of Rome’s greediness, bloodshed and hypocrisy. Constantine and his militant church are the first ‘seal’ of Revelation 6:2; a ‘white’ conqueror followed by the four seals of war, famine, pestilence and the persecution of Christians. The final, sixth seal, represents the ultimate end of Rome; a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack.

Rome’s destruction is described in Revelation chapter 18, where ‘Babylon’ is destroyed by fire in one hour. After this destruction, the kings and merchants of the earth are shown, mourning over the loss of their wealth and keeping their distance from her because of the fire of her torment (and its radioactive fallout). I do not believe that this mourning will result simply from the destruction of the city of Rome itself, but from the destruction of the greater ‘Roman Catholic world’; in other words, ‘the West’. This may include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe and Australia, and is represented by the destruction of 1/3 of the earth in the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-13. The ‘Roman Catholic world’ does comprise roughly 1/3 of the landmass of the world, but much less than 1/3 of the world’s people. At the very moment when the nuclear weapons detonate, as Revelation chapter 7 reveals, God will ‘seal’ 144,000 young Jewish men for leadership in Israel, and will ‘rapture’ true Christians off of the planet.
I am confident regarding my explanations of the Beast and the Woman (Babylon) above. I am not dogmatic, however, about the following three ‘players’ on the prophetic stage; the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet), Paul’s Man of Sin, and the Antichrist. They can, it seems to me, be understood in different ways. Each one can be understood either as a single person, or as a group of persons. Beyond that, it is possible that all three are referring to the same person or group. It is important that I be honest with myself and my reader, about what I know and what I don’t know. Given the gravity of these times and of God’s warnings, it is important that my reader embrace the liberty as well as the responsibility to reach conclusions for himself. With that in mind, I share my own thoughts.
3) THE BEAST FROM THE LAND (or THE FALSE PROPHET)

This is the second of two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13, the first being The Beast from the Sea, or simply ‘The Beast’ (explained above). The first Beast is described as coming ‘from the sea’ because, like the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7, it arises from the great sea of humanity. I do not know why this present beast is said to come from ‘the land’. Some have wondered if it indicates that this it will come from God’s land; the ‘holy land’ of Israel. This Beast from the Land has three primary traits:

      A)It is ‘lamblike’ in its appearance (possibly a reference to the ‘Lamb of God’, Christ), and yet speaks the words of the Dragon, Satan. This is consistent with God’s description of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). This Beast also works powerful miracles to deceive people; a trait that Jesus warned about in regard to future false prophets (Matthew 24:24).
      B) It derives its authority from, and directs everyone’s worship and obedience to the first Beast, and the ‘image’ of the first Beast. It will cause those who refuse to worship the Beast to be put to death. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s order to kill those who would not worship his image (Daniel 3:1-6).
      C) It introduces something called ‘the Mark of the Beast’ to the world, without which no one may buy or sell. This ‘Mark’ may be worldwide, and could possibly be a mark implemented by the United Nations.

We see this ‘duo’ of two Beasts elsewhere in the book of Revelation, where they are referred to as ‘the Beast and the False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). It should be observed that the number ‘666’ is not associated with this second Beast, but with the first Beast whom he serves. The miracles and the ‘Mark’ that coincide with the False Prophet remind me of present day technology. The ‘image’ that breathes, speaks, and causes the persecution of those who refuse to take the ‘Mark’ could be modern media such as television, movies and the Internet. The calling down of fire from heaven may be a reference to the drones and other ‘smart’ weapons that we see today. And the ‘Mark’ itself may be some kind of computer chip, placed under the skin, that will facilitate human organization, tax collection and crime control in unprecedented ways. To many people the ‘Mark’ will represent the only hope for the survival of the human race, and those who oppose it will be viewed as foolish and essentially ‘anti-human’.

Some may point out that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be thrown, alive, into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20), and therefore suggest that these two must be persons, and not kingdoms, organizations or ‘generic groups’. I respond by pointing out Jesus’ description of this same judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). He said that, when He returns, He will sit upon His throne and the nations will be gathered before Him. They will be separated to His left and to His right, like a shepherd divides sheep from goats. At that time He will banish those on His left directly into a fire that has been prepared ‘for the devil and his angels’. This can only refer to the Lake of Fire, since Satan is never described as inhabiting Hades. Hence, while Revelation describes two beings being cast alive into the Lake of Fire, Jesus describes a judgment where many are cast into the Lake of Fire alive. To me this suggests the possibility that the Beast is comprised of all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.

How can this be? The secret lies in observing the increasing ‘solidarity’ of the human race against God. Throughout the world men are talking about the ‘oneness’ of mankind, and the necessity of international unity. It may be that those who take the Mark of the Beast will ‘become the Beast’. It is not coincidence that this rising religious ‘oneness’ is accompanied by an increasingly united worldwide animosity toward Israel. Satan is working behind the scenes to bring the human race, all the nations of the world, to Jerusalem to do battle against God. Satan has no illusions about how things are going to work out. He knows what awaits. But he is focused upon deceiving and taking as many into the Lake of Fire with him as he can. That is why he is called ‘the evil one’.

Jesus said that how He judges those who stand before Him will be determined by how they treated His ‘brethren’. Many believe that Jesus’ brethren are simply those who are Christians, whether Jew or Gentile. This is true. But it may be that, in the context of this particular judgment, as Jesus sits upon the throne of His fathers Abraham and David in Jerusalem, that His brethren may be, more specifically, those Jews who were mistreated by the world in the time leading up to His second coming. Those who are joining the present worldwide chorus to criminalise Israel and divide God’s land might do well to consider this. God’s judgment in this case may be instant and everlasting torment.

 

4) THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ‘MAN OF SIN’

It is my personal belief that the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet) is also the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians chapter 2:1-12). Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ is also endued with Satanic miracle-working power, and he also is described as being directly and personally destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the False Prophet will be. Here again, however, I do not feel obligated to believe that Paul is speaking of a single man.

Paul speaks of a ‘great falling away from the Christian faith’ that will precede the appearance of this ‘man’. He also speaks of him as one who will ‘show himself as God, standing in the temple of God’. For centuries many Protestants have viewed these words as a description of the Roman Catholic priesthood, which claims to do what the Bible says Jesus alone can do; stand in God’s true Temple above (in heaven) and intercede for sinners. The gospel message is that people must come to Jesus directly, and know Him personally in order to be saved. Jesus says to the world ‘Come unto Me and be saved’, while Rome’s priests say ‘Come unto Rome and be saved’. Hence both Paul’s ‘man of sin’ and Revelation’s Beast from the Land could be a ‘type of man’, rather than an individual man.

Over the past few decades the Roman Catholic church has drawn closer and closer to the other religions of the world, seeking common ground. Rome now declares that it does not matter what one’s religion is, as long as one loves one’s neighbor. Rome now calls Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and snake worshippers her ‘brothers’. This represents Rome’s attempt to continue riding upon an increasingly international ‘Beast’. Rome is attempting to bridge the gaps between her ‘western children’ and the other nations of the world through talk of peace and religious ‘tolerance’. Hence in these last days we are seeing Roman Catholic leaders who are increasingly given to Eastern mysticism and ‘transcendental’ attempts to connect with the occult spirit world, seeking a ‘higher spirituality’ that will bring all men and religions together as ‘one’. It is in this light that we can understand how a man may soon arise who is a pope to the Catholics, a ‘christ’ to false Christians, a Mahdi to the Muslims, a Messiah to the Jews, and a wise soul to those of India and the Orient. Again, it may be one man, or it may be a cadre of men and women who, together, constitute the Man of Sin / Beast from the Land / False Prophet of the Bible.

Personally I do not believe that every unsaved person will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Depending upon how wicked they have been, I believe that many will spend time in the Lake of Fire before being consumed and ceasing to exist (see Original Sin ). But there are three beings who are specifically described in the Bible as being tormented forever and ever. This fate is reserved for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 20:10). I believe that God’s warning about the Mark, given in Revelation 14:9-12, may actually be a warning about ‘becoming the Beast’ through taking the Mark, and thus joining Satan in a torment that will never end. This is a dreadful thought to contemplate. God is telling us that we need to take the warnings of His prophecies very seriously.

The contention around this issue, between believers and unbelievers, will be very sharp in the last days, and those who refuse to worship the Beast and his image will be put to death. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will feel compelled, because they have no confidence about their fate beyond the grave, to take the Mark in order to extend their lives. The only way for a person to overcome in these last days will be to ‘not love their lives unto the death’ (Revelation 12:11), and this will only be possible for those who have tasted the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life that Jesus alone can give.
5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word ‘antichrist’ never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John’s words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

      A)Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
      B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John’s description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link ‘the Antichrist’ with any other passage of scripture. The term ‘antichrist’ is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have been able to plug the Antichrist freely into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is ‘the Prince who is to come’ (of Daniel 9:26), the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, Paul’s ‘man of sin’, and ‘the Beast’ that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire together with the False Prophet. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John’s very limited words about ‘the Antichrist’, today’s ‘Left Behind’ series being only one of many.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, ‘the Antichrist’, who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. If I had to choose, I would consider Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but blatantly denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was ‘Emmanuel’; God in flesh. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam (unless it is Judaism). Muslims have written ‘God has no son’ inside their mosque, the ‘Dome of the Rock’, sitting on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and the possession of the Temple Mount by Gentiles, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque.

Could the Antichrist be the False Prophet, and/or Paul’s Man of Sin? Yes, I suppose so, but there is nothing in John’s words that requires us to reach that conclusion.
While I am cautious in my identification of ‘Players’ 3-5 above, I am confident in my conclusions about ‘Players’ 6-9 below.

6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION(Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return for a discussion of Titus).

7) THE ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’ OF DANIEL 9:26- also the Roman general Titus.

8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8The United States of America

9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God’s host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel’s transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome’s history can be found.

THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

TOP OF PAGE

1. INTRO: TWO TIMETABLES                                   8. DANIEL & THE RESURRECTION          15. DISPENSATIONALISM’S PRINCE
2. DAN 9:24, ALL FULFILLED IN 70 WEEKS            9. EXAMINING THE LAMB                        16. ANTIOCHUS IV:  DISP. PROTOTYPE
3. DAN 9:25, 69-WEEK TIMETABLE                       10. COMING DESOLATION                         17. MISSING THE TURNING POINT
4. O HAPPY DAY!                                                    11. ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES                18. EXTREME PRECISION OF DANIEL
5. IF ISRAEL HAD WATCHED                                  12. COMPARING THE 3 VERSIONS           19. DESOLATION vs. DESECRATION
6. DAN 9:26, 3 HISTORICAL EVENTS                     13. WHAT IS DISPENSATIONALISM?         20. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
7. DAN 9:27, SAME 3 EVENTS, GOD’S VIEW         14. REACTING TO THE MAJORITY

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

ISRAEL IN PROPHECY

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. ATTENTION ISRAEL                                 8. JEWISH HOLOCAUST DENIERS                        15. HUMAN RIGHTS vs. GOD’S RIGHTS
2. DEFINING JEWISHNESS                          9. SATAN IS THE PERSECUTOR                           16. GOOD COP, BAD COP
3. SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION                   10. TO THE JEW FIRST                                           17. JESUS REVEALED TO HIS BROTHERS
4. JEWISH PRIDE                                       11. BLESSED FIRST, JUDGED FIRST                     18. WHAT WILL THE KINGDOM BE LIKE?
5. DEBATE ABOUT CIRCUMCISION          12. SOLD FOR ALCOHOL & SEX                            19. A WARNING TO GENTILES
6. TWO ISRAELS                                        13. WATCHING ISRAEL TWIST IN THE WIND          20. AN INVITATION TO JEWS
7. TWO ERRORS IN THE CHURCH            14. JEWISH RACISM?                                              21. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

ATTENTION ISRAEL: YOUR BROTHER IS NOT DEAD!

Before beginning this web page, I need to say one thing to my Jewish visitor: ‘You think that Jesus is dead; He is not! Jesus is your ‘Joseph’. Some of the sons of Israel turned their Brother over to the Gentiles to be put to death 2000 years ago. Now most Jews believe that He no longer exists.

Jesus, like Joseph, suffered patiently for crimes which He did not commit. Also, like Joseph, He was ‘resurrected’ from the ‘prison’ of His sufferings. He is now seated at the right hand of His Father, the great ‘Pharaoh’ of the universe, and is working behind the scenes as Joseph did, using the world’s animosity toward the Jews to bring His brethren to their senses. Jesus has put His ‘cup’ in Israel’s sack (Genesis 44).

Joseph and his brothers
JOSEPH HATED BY HIS BROTHERS, CAST INTO A PIT (Genesis 37:24)

Each one of us, as individual men and women, must account for our own sins and crimes, and not the sins of our ‘fathers’. But Israel, as a nation, will not know peace and the blessings of Abraham until it has ‘connected the dots’, going back to its ‘Book’ in humility, and acknowledging that all of the curses that Moses and the prophets warned about, have been poured out upon the Jewish people over the past 2000 years. You need to stop talking about the horrid crimes of the ‘Christian world’, and take an honest look at the original roots of your national dilemma.

I know that I will be rejected by Jews, Christians and others for saying these things; but the words of Moses and the prophets, and of Jesus and His apostles, stand out like a mighty rock that has stood the test of time, and will prevail in the end. The Jewish nation that Jesus will save when He returns will be a humble nation, looking upon the One whom they have pierced and mourning over their past treatment of Him (Zechariah 12:10). Given the stiff-necked refusal of the Jewish people to obey their God throughout their history, continuing in to this day, it will be a wonder to the whole world that the God of Israel will restore their nation at all. Israel’s deliverance will be a testimony to God’s unspeakable grace; not to any inherent Jewish worthiness.

I know that you are tired of hearing this. I realize that it has often been professing Christians who have called you ‘Christ-killers’ as they have impoverished you, tortured you and killed you. But just as there are evil Jews who will be damned, so also there are evil Christians who will be damned. You need to get past this, and not let their hypocrisy turn you away from your own Messiah. If you fail to exercise discernment here, these enemies of Christ will have managed to curse you twice over; first to desolate your country and shed Jewish blood for 2000 years, and then secondly, to deceive you about Christianity and damn you eternally. Such is Satan’s ‘diabolical’ way. It’s your choice.

I know that my words will fall upon many deaf Jewish ears. That does not trouble me. Your Brother will not fail. All of the wisdom, power and wealth of the universe are at His disposal, just as they once belonged to Joseph. Just as Joseph blessed his brothers because they were Jacob’s children, so Jesus is going to bless Israel and many Jews because they are the children of Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah (as well as many other faithful Jewish ‘fathers’ from Israel’s past). The only unanswered question is ‘Will you be a part of that blessing, or will you exclude yourself from it?’ Will you take it upon yourself to learn more about Jesus, or will you let the excuse of Christian falsehood drag you down to eternal damnation with it. It is time to stand up, to read your book with open eyes, and to be honest with yourself. Your fate lies in your own hands.

 

DEFINING JEWISHNESS

The Bible speaks of two kinds of Jewishness:

1) Physical Jewishness  This is genetic, biological descendance from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God established a Covenant with Abraham in which He promised him that one Person, whom God called Abraham’s ‘Seed’, would accomplish two things: 1) bring blessings upon all the nations of the world, and 2) give a specific piece of land to Abraham as an everlasting possession. That land is the land of Israel. For a fuller explanation of the Abrahamic Covenant, see my Introduction to Prophecy.

God gave Abraham a physical sign in his body, and in the bodies of every male in his family, as a reminder of this unique Covenant. Every male in Abraham’s family was to be circumcised in the penis as a reminder of the promise that it would be through their reproductive organs that the promised ‘Seed of Abraham’ would come. Any male who refused circumcision, or whose parents refused it for him, was to be excluded from Israel. Circumcision is the outward sign of physical, biological descendance from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Today this rite is still observed by many Jews, although they may not fully appreciate the fact that it points, in a very down-to-earth way, to the promise of one very special ‘Seed’.

Where does the term ‘Jew’ come from? As I understand it, it is derived from the name ‘Judah’, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and Abraham’s great-grandson. These twelve sons went on to father the twelve tribes of Israel. Israel’s great King, David, was from the tribe of Judah, as was Jesus. In 722 BC, ten of Israel’s twelve tribes were removed from the land by the armies of Assyria. Prior to that time the citizens of Israel were often referred to as Hebrews or Israelites, but after the dispersion of the ten tribes, the remaining Israelites were dominated by the tribe of Judah. Only the kingdom of Judah remained, and so the citizens of Israel (who continued to be a mixture of people from all 12 of the original tribes) came to be called ‘Jews’.

Although circumcision was a God-given commandment to the Jewish people, and defined them physically as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it could not guarantee that a little Jewish boy would grow up to be an obedient, God-fearing Jew. It was a physical sign, reflecting genetic traits and pointing to a future Messiah, but did not necessarily mean that the circumcised person would enjoy the blessings that the Messiah would bring. To enjoy the blessings of the Messiah, one would also have to be a spiritual descendant of Abraham, following in the spiritual footsteps which brought Abraham into God’s blessings in the first place.

2) Spiritual Jewishness The Bible talks about Israel as one nation physically descendant from Abraham. But it also speaks of Abraham as a father of many nations:

And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 (18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14)

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you.

Genesis 17:4-5

And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice.

Genesis 22:18

Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you (Isaac), and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your seed, I will give all these countries. And I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham your father. And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Genesis 26:3-5

And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you (Jacob) shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 28:14

Who was this ‘Seed’ of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed? The apostle Paul answered that question:

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He (God) said not ‘And to seeds’, as of many (plural) but as of one; ‘And to thy seed’, which is Christ.

Galatians 3:16

How are we to understand this broader ‘fatherhood’ of Abraham? Paul described this spiritual descendance from Abraham in terms of being ‘one with Christ’, united with the promised ‘Seed’ of Abraham, and thus a partaker of the blessings originally promised to Abraham:

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed. Not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. As it is written “I have made you a father of many nations“, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.

Romans 4:16-17

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

This inclusion of the Gentiles in the Messiah’s saving work was foretold by Israel’s prophets:

Rejoice, O nations (Gentiles) with His people (Israel): for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.

Deuteronomy 32:43

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and His rest shall be glorious.

Isaiah 11:10

I the Lord have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:6

And He said “It is a light thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give You for a light to the Gentiles, that You may be My salvation unto the end of the earth.

Isaiah 49:6

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof. And I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called by my name (Gentile Christians)” says the Lord that does this.

Amos 9:11-12 (Acts 15:16-17)

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen” says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 1:11

SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION

What is it that defines this ‘spiritual descendance from Abraham? It is an inward ‘circumcision of the heart’, where a person’s ‘old man’ is ‘cut off’, and he becomes a new person inside. This spiritual circumcision was described by Jesus to a leader of the Jews, a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Jesus described this inward spiritual change in terms of being ‘born again’:

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night and said unto Him “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that You do, except God be with him”. Jesus answered and said unto him “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Nicodemus said unto Him “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you ‘You must be born again’. The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell from whence it comes, and where it goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit”. Nicodemus answered and said unto him “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said unto him “Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?”

John 3:1-10

Moses spoke of this circumcision of the heart, and the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel also spoke of a profound inward change that God would achieve within those who are His:

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

Deuteronomy 30:6

“Behold, the days come” says the Lord, “that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the (Mosaic) covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them”, says the Lord. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days”, says the Lord: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

Jeremiah 31:31-33

“And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you (Israel) have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord” says the Lord God, “when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Ezekiel 36:23-27

So what is this ‘spiritual circumcision’ that the Bible speaks of? What is this ‘spiritual heart transplant’ all about? It is first a repentant change of heart and mind, where we judge ourselves for our sins and look to Christ alone to save us. This repentance and faith is then recognized by God, and He unites us with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection (see Why God Requires Our Faith and Forgiveness). It is a rejection of our self-righteous ‘works of the Law’, and a turning to the way of faith that God originally commanded in Eden. Abraham is one of the Bible’s great examples of the righteousness of faith, and the new heart that comes with it:

Abraham believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.

Genesis 26:5

For circumcision truly is profitable if you keep the law. But if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keeps the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge you, who by the letter and circumcision do transgress the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart; in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Romans 2:25-29

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. For Moses described the righteousness which is of the law, ‘That the man which does those things shall live by them’. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks in this way: “Say not in your heart ‘Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or who shall descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead)”. But what says it? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach: ‘That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved'”. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says “Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed”. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile); for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:1-13

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Galatians 6:15

For we (Christians) are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Philippians 3:3

In Whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:11-12

JEWISH PRIDE

John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ work among the people of Israel. John was a Levite, the son of a priest, and had a deep knowledge of the Mosaic laws and sacrifices. He was sent by God to proclaim the transition from the old Mosaic system to the New Covenant foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-33 (quoted above). Hence when this Levite saw Jesus, he said “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). John was not only foretelling Jesus’ fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover sacrifice, but was also pointing out that this sacrifice would extend beyond the Jewish people to the entire world.

Many of the Israelites of John’s day were proud of their biological Jewishness, and felt that they were uniquely blessed and pleasing to God. Though physically circumcised, they were essentially ignorant of the spiritual circumcision that God requires. Because he loved his countrymen, John confronted these Jewish illusions head-on:

But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them “O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves ‘We have Abraham to our father’: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”.

Matthew 3:7-9 (Luke 3:7-8)

Jesus also warned the Jews about placing false confidence in their biological Jewishness. Just as Paul taught in Romans 2:25-29 (above), Jesus taught that righteousness constituted true descendance from Abraham. He challenged the Jews regarding whether or not Abraham was truly their father. He taught that God prefers righteous Gentiles to unrighteous Jews, and when He said this in His hometown of Nazareth, they sought to kill Him:

And Jesus said unto them “You will surely say unto Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your country (Nazareth)'”. And He said “Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you a truth, that many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But unto none of them was Elijah sent, except unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman (Gentile) that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian (a Gentile)”. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.

Luke 4:23-30

When Jesus heard the words of the Centurion (a Gentile), He marveled and said to them that followed “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. And Jesus said unto the centurion “Go your way, and as you have believed, so be it done unto you”. And his servant was healed in the same hour.

Matthew 8:10-13

They (the Jews) answered and said unto him “Abraham is our father”. Jesus said unto them “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father”. Then said they to him “We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God”. Jesus said unto them “If God were your Father, you would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? even because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe Me not.

John 8:39-45

The apostle Paul also confronted this false Jewish pride. As he described his conversion to Christianity to the people of Jerusalem, they listened attentively until he spoke of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles:

And it came to pass that when I (Paul) was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance. And saw Jesus saying unto me “Make haste and get quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me”. And I said “Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those that believed in You. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him”. And He said unto me “Depart, for I will send you far hence unto the Gentiles”. And they (the Jews) gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices and said “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live”, as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air.

Acts 22:17-23

THE CHURCH DEBATE ABOUT CIRCUMCISION

The idea that physical Jewishness somehow confers favor before God was not unique to unbelieving Jews. The apostles, who were Jews who founded the early Church, also struggled with the idea that the Gentiles could be partakers of the grace of God without becoming Jews (being physically circumcised). Although Peter knew about Philip’s ministry to the Samaritans, and possibly about the Ethiopian eunuch as well (Acts 9), it was not until God sent him to speak to the household of Cornelius (Acts 10) that he and the other Jewish leaders of the Church were confronted directly with the fact that Gentiles are as fully able to become Christians as Jews are. We see Peter’s discovery in the book of Acts:

Then Peter opened his mouth and said “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears Him and works righteousness is accepted with Him.

Acts 10:34-35

While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:44-45

With this entry of the Gentiles into the Christian church, there came questions about whether or not they should be circumcised physically, and whether or not they must keep the Mosaic laws. There was much conflict and confusion around these questions throughout the apostolic era, as seen in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), and in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul dealt with each of these two questions by looking back at Abraham, and the fact that Abraham entered into God’s blessings 1) before he was circumcised, and 2) before the Law of Moses was given:

Comes this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it reckoned then (in Abraham’s case)? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he (already) had being yet uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them (the Gentiles) also. And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only (Jews), but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Romans 4:9-12

Brethren, I speak after the manner of men. Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He (God) said not ‘And to seeds’, as of many, but as of one: ‘And to your seed’, which is Christ. And this I say, that the (Abrahamic) covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, the (Mosaic) law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot annul, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Galatians 3:15-18

Paul’s point was, first of all, that Abraham’s righteousness consisted of his faith, and that circumcision followed and resulted from this righteousness, rather than being a part of it. Paul taught that we should look at Abraham’s character, rather than his circumcision, as the basis of his acceptance by God. In addition, Paul pointed out that Abraham’s ‘righteousness of faith’ preceded the Mosaic Law by over 400 years, and therefore the Mosaic Law could not annul its validity. Hence, no Gentile who came to righteousness in the same way Abraham had was bound by the legalism of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law merely symbolized or foreshadowed Christ, while the Gentile believer had the very substance of the Law; Christ Himself. Rather than run from the Jews, Paul pointed to the father of the Jews and answered them with their own scriptures.

TWO ISRAELS

As I pointed out in the first part of this web page, physical-biological descendance from Abraham (and physical circumcision) does not guarantee that the person will grow up to obey God. The Old Testament clearly points to a distinction between the physical posterity of Abraham, and those who will actually enter into the Kingdom of God:

Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us (Israel) a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom; we would have been made like Gomorrah (utterly destroyed).

Isaiah 1:9, Romans 9:29

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

Isaiah 10:20-23, Romans 9:27

The apostle Paul wrote at length about God’s dealings with biological Israel in Romans chapters 9-11. He pointed out that while it has on occasion seemed as though no Jew was obedient to God, even then God had a people from among the Jewish nation who were faithful to Him:

I say then, has God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people which He foreknew. Know you not what the scripture says of Elijah? how he made intercession to God against Israel, saying “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, and torn down Your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” But what says the answer of God unto him? “I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Even so then at this present time also there is a (Jewish) remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:1-5

In his letters Paul talked about two Israels; an Israel comprised of the physical descendants of Abraham, and a ‘spiritual Israel’ comprised of those Jews who are Abraham’s children through union with Christ. Paul distinguished physical Jews from spiritual Jews by calling spiritual Jews ‘children of the promise’, and ‘the Israel of God’:

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but in Isaac shall your seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Romans 9:1-8

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:15-16

God is going to honor His Blessing/Atonement promises to Abraham, while at the same time He will fulfill the unique Land/Kingdom promises made to Abraham and his Jewish descendents. God will show His great love and faithful regard for physical Jewishness from within the larger context of His worldwide grace.

For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Romans 11:25-27

“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob” says the Lord. “As for Me, this is My covenant with them”, says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your children, nor out of the mouth of your children’s children” says the Lord, “from henceforth and for ever.”

Isaiah 59:20-21

So where does this leave a Jewish person today? How are we to perceive Israel in this time of tremendous world events, as history moves rapidly toward the fulfillment of God’s promises? It leaves each Jewish person right where Nicodemus was when he came to Jesus during the night (John 3:1-21). Jesus told Nicodemus that a person cannot see or enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless he is ‘born again’. I describe this new birth in my web page on Forgiveness. Jesus also told Nicodemus that the salvation of God was not limited to Jews, telling him that “God so loved the world” that He was giving His only Son (John 3:16).

The Blessing/Atonement thread of the Abrahamic Covenant does not run side-by-side with the Land/Kingdom thread, as though they are two separate sets of promises independent of each other (see my Introduction to Prophecy for an explanation of these two threads). The Blessing/Atonement promise completely envelops and gives birth to the Land/Kingdom promise. The Land/Kingdom promises are dependent upon the Blessing/Atonement promises, and are impossible without them. No Jew can enjoy the Kingdom of David who has not first addressed the problem of sin that plagues all of us as human beings. Jesus is the promised Son of David, but more importantly He is the Lamb of God whose atonement will ‘lift all boats’; that of Israel as well as the rest of the nations. Although there may be some aspects of the Jewish experience that are unique to them, all blessed people will have equal access to God as His children, and will enjoy eternal intimacy and bliss with Him, through the shed blood of Christ.

TWO ERRORS IN THE CHURCH

I have witnessed two errors within the Christian church today:

      1)Not enough respect for the Jews
    2) Too much respect for the Jews

The first error that I have observed within the Christian church is the belief that God has cast the nation of Israel off forever. They claim that Israel does not have a unique place or identity in God’s future plans. This view is known as ‘Replacement Theology’; the belief that the Christian church has somehow replaced Israel in God’s sight, and that all of the promises found in the Bible regarding the future blessing of Israel are actually descriptions of the church. Those Christians who have chosen to ‘write the Jews off’ would do well to pay closer attention to the apostle of the Gentiles. We see Paul’s respect for biological Jewishness in his circumcision of Timothy (Acts 16:3), his observance of the Jewish traditions (Acts 20:21-26), in his special love for his Jewish brethren (Romans 9:1-5), and in his warnings to Gentile Christians that it was a ‘Jewish Tree’ that supported them rather than the other way around. Most of all we see it in his joyful declaration that the Jews as a physically identifiable people and nation will someday be restored to a right relationship with God (Romans chapter 11).

Replacement theologians are guilty of the Gentile arrogance that Paul warned against in Romans 11:18-27. This arrogance has led some, down through the centuries, to join in the persecution of the Jews, when they should have been recognizing Jews as ‘spiritual relatives’ who are beloved of God, pitying and supporting them. I fear that such Christians have put themselves under God’s everlasting curse.

Israel and its Patriarchs represent the foundation of Christianity, and the original ‘Olive Tree’ that all Gentiles have been grafted into (Romans 11:17-18). Gentiles must not forget this, and that there is a special place for the nation-state of Israel in God’s future plans. Many Gentile Christians are excited about this, and have been stirred spiritually as they have seen the Jews returning to Palestine, and the rise of the nation of Israel. But Gentiles must also remember that, underneath it all, no Jew is inherently different or better in God’s sight than any Gentile. We are all, first and foremost, sons of Adam.

The second error that I have observed within the Christian church, I would describe as ‘fawning’ over Jews. Any Jew who has become a Christian is somehow assumed to be spiritually superior to a Gentile Christian. Some Jews have established Christian ministries, and travel from church to church enjoying this special respect, while they have nothing especially unique or valid to say, and in many cases teach error. I have also attended local ‘Messianic’ fellowships where Jews expect special treatment.

One Jewish leader demanded that I call him ‘Rabbi’, even though Jesus commanded that we are to call no one ‘Rabbi’ except Himself (Matthew 23:8). When I pointed this commandment out to him, he mentioned that John the Baptist’s followers called him ‘Rabbi’, as though this somehow invalidated Jesus’ command. Apparently he thought that, because the greatest prophet ever born of a woman (Matthew 11:11) was called ‘Rabbi’ by fellow Jews (this being done under the Old Covenant and before Jesus had given His commandment on the subject), that he was entitled to require Gentiles to call him ‘Rabbi’ as well. It was this same kind of ‘Judaizing’ that the early church had to battle constantly, as various false apostles and prophets, trading on their Jewish heritage, sought to lead the early church astray. This is why Paul, more than once, was compelled to magnify his own Jewishness in order to counter the influence of other Jews, and why Jesus censured them as well:

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation (circumcision)! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

Philippians 3:2-7

I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:9

Biological Jewishness counts for nothing in the sight of God if that person is not in Christ, circumcised in the heart and bringing forth the fruits of Holy Spirit. If such a person truly is abiding in Christ, he will exalt his spiritual Jewishness over his physical Jewishness, as Paul did; especially if he wants his fellow Jews to rightly understand God’s way of salvation.

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

Some Gentile Christians accord such special status to the Jews, and are so afraid to confront them with the Gospel, that they even teach that Jews can receive God’s salvation without repenting and trusting in Christ (John Hagee comes to mind). Others are afraid to tell Jews that the past 1900 years of Jewish dispersion and suffering are the direct result of their nation’s opposition to God. They are afraid that the Jews will lump them together with all of the false Christians who persecuted them down through the centuries, and shrink before the potential accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’. Anyone who truly loves the Jews, however, will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

Some have understood the apostle Paul to say that when Jesus comes back, the every Jew in the nation of Israel will either already have repented and believed in Him, or will be instantly converted upon seeing Him:

For I wish not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

Romans 11:25-27 (Isaiah 59:20-21)

I do not believe that this is what Paul was saying. Jesus is going to come back to judge the world. That judgment will include Jews. Those Jews who have repented of their sins and turned to Him will become citizens of Israel. Those who have opposed Him, and have done things like taking the Mark of the Beast, will suffer the same judgment as anyone else. What Paul is saying is that, when Jesus re-establishes the Kingdom of David, it will be inhabited by Jewish Christians only. There will not be one unrepentant Jew in the land. To say otherwise contradicts the truth of the Bible, and runs counter to the best interests of Jews by misinforming them. God has indicated that a nation of Israel will come into existence that is (I believe) largely organized and run by 144,000 young Jewish men who will be of the same caliber and devotion to God that Daniel was in his day (Revelation 7:1-8, 14:1-5). This nation will not be established, however, without some serious ‘house-cleaning’ having been done first.

JEWISH HOLOCAUST DENIERS

It is hard to believe that anyone denies that the Holocaust occurred, it is such a widely and clearly documented historical event. There are people and even entire nations, however, that choose to foment lies. But just as there is a denial of the Holocaust among its perpetrators, there is also a denial of the Holocaust among its victims; the Jewish people. They do not deny that the Holocaust occurred, but they deny the underlying reason for it. Often they point to the perpetrators of the holocaust, sometimes focusing on Christianity as the cause of their suffering (because so many false Christians were their primary persecutors down through the centuries), rather than asking why God abandoned them into the hands of such enemies in the first place. The reason they were expelled from the land is writ large across the Old Testament.

When God promised the land of Israel to Abraham, He told him that possession of the land is directly tied to the moral state of its occupants. God told Abraham that his family would not be able to take possession of the land for 400 years; until the wickedness of the Amorites would ‘become full’:

But in the fourth generation (of the Israelites living in Egypt) they shall come here again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 15:16

This principle, that living in God’s land is conditioned upon obedience to God, permeates the entire Old Testament. The entire Jewish Torah is saturated, in both the Law and the Prophets, with the warning that God would not allow the Israelites to remain in the land if they disobey Him. Below are some of those warnings:

And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the its iniquity upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourns among you. For all these abominations have the men of the land (the Amorites) done, which were before you, and the land is defiled. That the land not spit you out also, when you defile it, as it spit out the nations that were before you.

Leviticus 18:25-28

You shall therefore keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: that the land where I bring you to dwell spit you not out. And you shall not walk in the manners of the nation which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that flows with milk and honey”. I am the Lord your God, Who has separated you from other people.

Leviticus 20:22-24

When you shall beget children, and children’s children, and you shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger: I (Moses) call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over Jordan to possess it. You shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, where the Lord shall lead you.

Deuteronomy 4:25-27

But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods and worship them, then will I pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them. And this house (Temple) which I have sanctified for My name, will I cast out of My sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passes by it, so that he shall say “Why has the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?” And it shall be answered “Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshipped them, and served them: Therefore has He brought all this evil upon them”.

2 Chronicles 7:19-22

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.

Jeremiah 9:15-16

And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen where they come; and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 12: 15-16

God did more than forewarn that the people of Israel would be removed from the land if they sinned; He also explained (through King Solomon) how they might be restored to the land. Solomon proclaimed the formula for restoration when he dedicated the first Temple. His words were heeded by Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel and other Jews, and thus the people of Israel were allowed to return from the Babylonian captivity:

If they sin against You (for there is no man who sins not,) and You be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near: yet if they bethink themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto You in the land of their captivity, saying “We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly”; if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which You gave unto their fathers, and toward the city which You have chosen, and toward the house (Temple) which I have built for Your name; then hear from the heavens, even from Your dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people which have sinned against You.

2 Chronicles 6:36-39

And at the evening sacrifice I (Ezra) arose up from my heaviness. And having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God and said “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day: and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands; to the sword, to captivity, to a spoil and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

Ezra 9:5-7

I (Nehemiah) beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments: Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I beseech You, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying “If you transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations. But if you turn unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them; though some of you were cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set My name there.

Nehemiah 1:5-9

And I (Daniel) set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession and said “O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and from Your judgments. Neither have we hearkened unto Your servants the prophets, which spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs unto You, but unto us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries where You have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against You.”

Daniel 9:3-7

This prayer of Daniel was heard and honored by God, and in direct response to this prayer God gave him a prophecy that contained schedules for both the first and second comings of Israel’s Messiah. I have explained these schedules in my web pages titled The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return. In these web pages I explain how Jesus came, the first time, exactly when Daniel foretold He would. I also explain when Jesus’ will come again to restore the Kingdom of David and rule the world. I also describe how the Jews failed to heed Daniel’s prophecy, and how Jesus warned them that their rejection of Him, His apostles and His Gospel would render them and their nation guilty of all the righteous blood ever shed upon the earth up until that time. It is Israel’s crucifixion of Jesus, its persecution of His disciples, and its opposition to the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel of God that has led to 1875 years of dispersion, persecution and suffering. It is imperative that the Jewish people understand this; in fact it is impossible for them, as a nation, to be fully restored and see the promised Kingdom of David fulfilled until they do.

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Leviticus 26:40-42

Finally, I close with these words from Moses himself. Moses taught that it is not enough to be a Jew; one must obey Israel’s greatest Prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ:

The Lord thy God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him you shall hearken. According to all that you desired of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying “Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not”. And the Lord said unto me “They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put my words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19

SATAN IS THE PERSECUTOR

Genuine Christianity is not the source of Israel’s sufferings. Jesus loved His Jewish brethren deeply, and the apostle Paul, that great Pharisee who became the apostle to the Gentiles, was deeply devoted to Israel:

And when Jesus was come near, he beheld Jerusalem and wept over it, saying “If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong unto your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and compass you around, and keep you in on every side. And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.

Luke 19:41-44

I (Paul) say the truth in Christ, I lie not; my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit: that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites, to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Romans 9:1-5

There has always been a special place in God’s heart for Israel, and a special place in His future plans for Israel as well. Every true Christian, who has studied and is obedient to God’s word, knows this.

John’s Little Book, found Revelation chapters 10-13 (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return) shows us who the real force behind Israel’s sufferings is. Revelation 12:7-17 depicts what happened in heaven, and then on earth shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Israel is a player in a much greater battle between good and evil that extends out into the universe. Until the Lord Jesus died on the cross and made the unmerited mercy and grace of God available to men, Satan had always been able to come before the throne of God, accusing sinful men before Him and asking Him how He could sacrifice His own Son in order to provide forgiveness for such wicked people. Satan had a valid point, and hoped that God would come to a moral compromise with him, sharing power over the world with him.

But the Father didn’t listen to Satan’s accusations against man, and did forfeit His Son for our salvation. Satan no longer had any moral position before the throne of God. Hence he was cast out of heaven and down to earth shortly before 70 AD, knowing that his ultimate destination would be the Lake of Fire. In his rage Satan set out to attack Israel (because it had brought the Messiah into the world), Christians (because they are the direct offspring of Israel), and ultimately the entire human race (because Satan is a relentless ‘Pharaoh’ who will not let his captives go, and who intends to plunge as many of them into the ‘Red Sea’ of eternal judgment with him as he can. This is what has been happening ‘behind the scenes’ over the past 1940 years, as the Jewish people have fled from one persecution to another. It also explains the relentless animosity that still exists against Israel throughout the world today.

Satan is delighted when the Jewish people think that Christianity is the cause of their sufferings. It suits his purposes well. It turns them away from their Messiah. But genuine Christians have never been the persecutors of the Jews. They have suffered down through the centuries right along with the Jews.

ISRAEL’S PREDICAMENT TODAY

TO THE JEW FIRST

As I pointed out in my Introduction to Prophecy, God has used the family of Abraham (the people of Israel) to bring the Savior of mankind into the world. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise that Abraham’s ‘seed’ would bring blessing upon all the nations of the world (Genesis 12:3). In the process of providing a Savior, God has also used the Jewish people to give the Bible to the world. These two things, God’s Word and His Savior, represent blessings that Israel has been the first to enjoy:

What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles (the word) of God.

Romans 3:1-2

>Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Romans 9:4-5

The apostle Paul continued this divine pattern in his own ministry. In city after city he proclaimed the Gospel of Christ to the Jews first, before presenting it to the Gentiles:

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.”

Acts 13:45-46

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus “whom I preach unto you” is Christ.

Acts 17:1-3

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Romans 1:16 (Romans 2:9-10)

BLESSED FIRST, JUDGED FIRST

Long ago God cautioned the Jewish people against thinking that they are better than the other people of the world. Moses warned Israel that its blessings would be tied to righteousness, and that curses would follow disobedience:

If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make your plagues awesome, and the plagues of your offspring; even great plagues and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses and of long continuance. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other.

Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 63-64

I have written about God’s fulfillment of these warnings to the nation of Israel, beginning with Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon in 586 BC (see Introduction to Prophecy ), and then through Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (see Olivet). Because Israel was the first to hear God’s word and learn about the coming Savior, she has been the first to suffer punishment for disobeying God’s word and rejecting His salvation. But Israel’s punishment is more than justice; it is also a warning to the world. When God allowed the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, He warned the Gentile nations that Israel’s punishment indicated that theirs would surely follow:

“For behold, I begin to bring evil on the city (Jerusalem) which is called by My name, and should you (Gentile nations) be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth” says the Lord of hosts.

Jeremiah 25:29

Today a memorial to the second desolation of Israel, by the armies of Rome in 70 AD, still stands in the city of Rome. In its stone carvings are depictions of the Roman soldiers carrying off the 7-candle Menorah from Jerusalem’s Temple. This monument stands as a timeless testimony to the Western world that the Jews were indeed prior inhabitants of Palestine, that it was their Roman ancestors who removed the Jews from their land, and that God always fulfills His words and warnings.

SOLD FOR ALCOHOL AND SEX

In 1945 the people of the Western ‘Christian’ world witnessed events of Biblical proportions unfold. They saw World War II end with the use of nuclear weapons, and saw the Jewish survivors of Hitler’s camps streaming toward Palestine. They also knew about God’s promise that He would restore the Jewish people to their land someday:

“Comfort, comfort my people” says your God. “Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

Isaiah 40:1-2

Therefore thus says the Lord God “Now will I bring again (reverse) the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name. After that they have borne their shame and all their trespasses, whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen. But I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel” says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 39:25-29

Despite their knowledge of these promises, the leaders of the ‘Christian world’ decided to betray the Jewish people and divide God’s land in order to enrich themselves. How did they do this? By making a large portion of the land west of the Jordan River (the West Bank) autonomous, instead of giving Israel sovereignty over it. This has allowed murderous terrorists like Yasser Arafat, and groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to achieve dominance over their own people by terrorizing them, while obtaining a base of operations against Israel itself. Instead of empowering the Jews to expel belligerent Palestinians from the land, the West has maintained the security of these vicious people, who are usually advised, armed and financed by foreign powers.

Jerusalem and the West Bank were the heart and capitol of ancient Israel. Dividing that land has been like giving the Jews a house to live in, but telling them that their worst enemies would have the key to the front door and possess the living room. Instead of partitioning the land cleanly and fairly along the Jordan River, allowing Israel defensible borders, the West has set up a situation where murderous terrorists could kill any Palestinian willing to cooperate with the Jewish state. There are Palestinians who want to live peacefully within Israel, but that they have been afraid to say so for fear that they and their families will be killed. The West has allowed the Palestinian people to become a pawn used by Iran, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Israel to prevent peace. The lies told by Israel’s neighbors and the Western world in support of this injustice have now sunk to the level of calling Israel evil, oppressive, racist and the enemy of peace; some even liken Israel to the German Nazis. This is an evil that God will address soon.

Why is the Western world dividing God’s land and giving His people to their enemies? In order to please the Arabs and Persians (Iran), and to insure the flow of cheap Middle-Eastern oil to the West. Just as God faithfully watched over Abraham’s son, Ishmael, and provided him with a well that preserved him when he and Abraham parted company (Genesis 21:19), so today the sons of Ishmael have been given abundant wells to meet all of their needs. Those oil wells have left the Arab world incredibly wealthy, and more than able to absorb any Palestinians who might not choose to live peaceably under Israeli governance. Today oil is the foundation of every industrial nation. Whoever controls the world’s oil controls the world. America and her allies wanted to dominate the world’s oil supplies in order to enrich themselves and enjoy a decadent lifestyle. God has described the Western world’s betrayal of the Jewish people in its pursuit of sex and alcohol:

For, behold, in those days and in that time, when I shall bring again (reverse) the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (meaning ‘the valley of judgment’). And I will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

Joel 3:1-3

Forever consistent with themselves, Western media organizations (who gather much of their profits through the promotion of sex and the sale of alcohol) continue to promote the dividing of ancient Israel, portraying the Jews as ‘oppressors’ and the ‘poor Palestinians’ as victims. As far as God is concerned, U.S.A. stands for ‘Unrestrained Sex and Alcohol’.

WATCHING ISRAEL TWIST IN THE WIND

In 1917 England declared its willingness to assist the Jews in re-establishing their ancient homeland (the Balfour Declaration). In 1922 England was given international authority to achieve that goal through a League of Nations Mandate. England promptly used a majority of the mandated land to establish the Arab nation of Jordan, and then resisted Jewish immigration into the land that remained. The Arab people were eager to block the return of the Jews, and to establish the existence of a large ‘Palestinian’ population in the Jewish portion of the Mandate. In cooperation with this goal, Great Britain placed tight quotas on Jewish immigration to Palestine, while they turned a ‘blind eye’ to Arabs entering the region.

In the 1930’s thousands of Jews sought to escape Hitler and enter Palestine, but Britain blocked them, allowing them to be systematically murdered by the Germans. The British thought their policies would secure Arab cooperation and oil during and after WW II, but the Arabs liked Hitler more. Britain’s treatment of the Jews was acceptable as far as it went, but Hitler’s policies were more to Arab liking. With the end of World War II, the surviving Jews of the world clawed their way back into their ancient homeland, seeking a place of safety in an overwhelmingly hostile world. The ‘Palestinians’ had been allies of Adolf Hitler during WW II, and supported him in his effort to exterminate the Jews; America’s leaders were well aware of that. But western leaders only acknowledged the State of Israel begrudgingly, dominated by their desire to please the oil-rich nations of the Middle East.

JEWISH RACISM?

Many people throughout the world describe Israel as a ‘racist’ state. This is because the Jews have resisted assimilation by the rest of the world for 2000 years, and remain a distinct, unique and identifiable people. The world hates this because Jewish survival represents God’s fulfillment of His words in the Bible, and the possibility that all of His other words will be fulfilled as well. Now the Jews have separated themselves from the Palestinians and are seeking to define Israel as a ‘Jewish state’. The simple demographic fact is that the Palestinian birth rate is higher than the Jewish one. Therefore, if Palestinians are allowed to be citizens of Israel, they will ultimately dominate Israel’s population, and the Jews will cease to have a nation that protects them and represents their interests.

Critics of Israel, like President Jimmy Carter, call this Jewish focus on their identity ‘racism’, and liken it to the South African apartheid of the past. Carter, and others who share his views, hide behind the outward veneer of justice and ‘racial equality’ while they are in fact pursuing the destruction of the Jewish people. For one who once taught Sunday school in a Baptist church to do this, is reprehensible. The key to Israel’s survival is twofold: 1) a recognition of their right to preserve their Jewish identity and, 2) the right to do so in the land of their ancient heritage. The rest of the world may blur its racial distinctions if it chooses. God Himself has stamped the Jews with an identity that is connected to His own, and will never be erased.

HUMAN RIGHTS OR GOD’S RIGHTS?

Today the Israeli-Palestinian problem is constantly described in terms of human rights, and conflicts among various groups of people. The Jews are frequently portrayed as aggressors, and as unfair to the Palestinians. But this is not about human rights, it is about divine rights; the right of the one true living God to place whatever people He chooses in His own land. Those who fail to recognize this will remain in darkness regarding what is really happening in the Middle East. Israel is not about men vs. men, but about mankind vs. God.

Four thousand years ago God intimated to Abraham that the right of any people to live in Canaan would be directly connected to their behavior (Genesis 15:16). Four hundred years later God used Moses and Joshua to destroy the wicked inhabitants of Canaan militarily, replacing them with the Israelites. Today people still criticize God for doing that (particularly the atheists). Seven hundred years later God punished the Israelites in two stages, first removing ten tribes of Israel from the land through the Assyrian army, and then later removing the remaining Jews through the Babylonian army. Seventy years later God used King Cyrus of Persia to allow the Jews to return to their land. Then, several hundred years after Cyrus, God used the armies of Rome to punish the Jews again, dispersing them throughout the world (in 70 AD). Now, after nearly 2000 years of dispersion, God is bringing the Jewish people back to the land forever.

Today’s conflict is not between nations or races, but between the nations of the world and God. The problems in the Middle East do not revolve around questions of human rights, but around God’s rights, and mankind’s opposition to those rights. God is going to place His King, the Lord Jesus Christ, upon David’s throne in Zion (Jerusalem), and restore a repentant Jewish nation to a special relationship with Himself.

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us.” He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His strong displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion (Jerusalem).”

Psalm 2:1-6

Satan is using talk about fairness and Palestinian rights to stir up the nations in opposition to God, but God will not be defeated. When this conflict comes to a head, the Lord Jesus will return and destroy those who said ‘We do not want this man to rule over us’ (Luke 19:14,27).

‘GOOD COP, BAD COP’ MUSLIM STYLE

The Muslim nations have been defeated repeatedly in their wars against Israel. Now they are trying to conquer Israel by turning the western world, and particularly the United States, against her. Through a two-pronged approach of sweet talk and terror (good cop, bad cop) they seek to accomplish by cunning what they could not achieve by the sword.

While one group of Muslims terrorizes the West, the other group pretends to love the West and detest violence, all the while pressing the claim that terrorism would disappear if the West would stop showing Israel ‘favoritism’. This is their attempt to move the cart of western public opinion by pushing as well as pulling. This constant ‘whipsaw’ of Islamic ‘love’ and ‘hate’ has worn away at American support for Israel over the years. American news organizations are aiding the Muslim world in pursuing their agenda. Their ultimate message is that ‘Israel is a major cause of the world’s unrest’. Many Americans do not understand what’s happening in the Middle East, but they know that they are tired of hearing about the trouble there; and through media bias they are slowly being convinced that the problem is all Israel’s fault.

I have identified who is ultimately behind these lies. It’s the same defeated and enraged Archangel (Satan) whose twisted propaganda dominated Nazi Germany 75 years ago, and led to the holocaust. Now this liar has led the world to redefine Yasser Arafat (a murdering terrorist) as a freedom fighter, awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize. Israel may eventually knuckle under to world pressure one more time, in a last-ditch effort to achieve peace, but God says that her days of humiliation will come to an end:

Thus says your Lord, the Lord, and your God that pleads the cause of His people “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; you shall no more drink it again. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you; which have said to your soul “Bow down, that we may go over.” And you have laid your body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

Isaiah 51:22-23

JESUS REVEALED TO HIS BROTHERS

I do not believe that the Jewish people, as a whole, will come to their senses until they have been brought to the utmost extremity of peril. This is not to say that such an extremity is to be prayed or hoped for, but rather that just as Joseph’s brothers had to be brought to disaster, so the Jewish nation will also refuse to face reality until total annihilation threatens it. This stubbornness is not unique to the Jews; I believe that most people who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ have only done so after they have reached the end of themselves. I know that was true for me.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Zechariah 12:9-13:1

WHAT WILL DAVID’S FUTURE KINGDOM BE LIKE?

Many have wondered what life in the nation of Israel will be like after David’s promised Son, Jesus Christ, comes back to re-establish David’s kingdom and rule the world. Who will live there? Normal human beings, or glorified saints? Will only Jews live there, or will there be Gentiles also? What will Jesus look like when He dwells in the midst of the people of Israel? Will God the Father be there too, or will He remain in heaven above? Until recently I had not realized that God has given us a revelation about what that kingdom will be like.

As Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem for the last time, knowing that He would be crucified there, He began to tell his disciples what would happen. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him for such thoughts, saying that such a thing should not be allowed to happen. Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him ‘Satan’, and then explained to His disciples that unless a person follows Him to the Cross, he cannot be Jesus’ disciple (Matthew 16:21-28, Mark 8:31-38, Luke 9:22-27)

Immediately after Jesus commanded His disciples to recognize the necessity of His coming death, He told them that there were some there among them who would not die until they had seen His glorious second coming:

Verily I say unto you, there are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.

Matthew 16:28 (Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27)

Personally I had always thought that Jesus was referring to the fact that most of these same disciples (except Judas Iscariot) would live to see Jesus after His resurrection, and would experience the power of His coming kingdom at Pentecost. I also suspected that John’s reception of the book of Revelation fulfilled this prediction by the Lord. But now I have come to believe that Jesus fulfilled this promise much more quickly; in fact six days later, when He was transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James and John.

Right after Jesus’ prediction, each of the Gospels takes us immediately to the mountaintop where Jesus was transfigured before His disciples and talked with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36). But what reason do we have, apart from its close proximity to Jesus’ promise that some would see His coming Kingdom, to think that Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain fulfills that promise, and is a picture of David’s coming kingdom? I believe that Peter himself tells us:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory; “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.

2 Peter 1:16-18

Here Peter says that he had made known the “power and coming” of Jesus to his readers, having seen it himself on the mountain as an eyewitness to “His majesty”. Peter had seen a representation of what people in the coming kingdom of David will be like. So what can we gather from Peter’s experience? There will be four types of persons represented in David’s Kingdom:

      1)Normal flesh-and-blood human beings, like Peter, James and John. I believe that these people who will be living in Israel will be almost exclusively Jewish. There will be representatives of the Gentile nations who will come to Israel to worship Israel’s God and King, but the citizens of Israel themselves will be Jewish. I think this continuation of the human race, reproducing and repopulating the world during the Millennium, is clearly foretold in God’s word.
      2) There will be glorified saints, represented by Moses and Elijah on the mountain, who will be present in David’s earthly kingdom, and whom the people of earth will be able to see, and with whom they will be able to talk. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ’s saints will return to earth with Him, to rule the earth, and that they will have glorified spiritual bodies like His.
      3) Jesus Himself will be physically present in Israel, and His glory will be radiant, like the glory exhibited upon the mountain before His disciples. It is this glory that will shine from one end of heaven to the other when He returns, and it will be this “brightness of His coming” which shall consume Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Peter, James and John were given a very accurate picture of what their Messiah will look like when He comes.
    4) Lastly, God the Father will not be physically present in Israel. He will remain in heaven, glorifying His Son and communicating with His people from above. I think this is indicated by the fact that when Satan, Gog and Magog attack Israel for the last time, fire will come down from ‘God in heaven’ and consume them. We do not see the Father dwelling with His saints until a new heaven and earth are established, along with a New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).

It is important to observe that Jesus appeared with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Moses and Elijah were the greatest of men to the Jewish people, and they also represent God’s word, known to the Jewish people as ‘The Law and the Prophets’. God the Father was telling Jesus’ disciples, and the rest of Israel, that Jesus’ words are to be considered not only equal to those of Moses and Elijah, but superior, because whereas Moses and Elijah were God’s servants, Jesus is His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2, 3:3).

One of the most precious things about this transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is seen in the words of Peter. The Gospels tell us that the disciples were overwhelmed by the vision, and that Peter didn’t even know what he was saying. Yet Peter, by the grace of God and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said exactly what he was supposed to say:

Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

Matthew 17:4

Why were Peter’s words appropriate? Because the Jewish feast of Tabernacles or Booths, comes in the seventh month of the Jewish religious calendar, and is symbolic of that day when the Jewish people will be restored finally and forever to the Land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter’s words represented exactly what the Jewish people will be saying and doing when their Kingdom is gloriously restored:

Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land (symbolizing the great ingathering of the Jewish people to their God), you shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And you shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days. All that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

Leviticus 23:39-44

It is interesting to note that it will be the Feast of Tabernacles that the nations of the world will be commanded to come to Jerusalem and observe during the Millennium (Zechariah 14:16-19). Zechariah chapter 14 gives a detailed description of Jesus’ second coming to Jerusalem, and the glorious future of that city and the land of Israel. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 also describe the future glory of Jerusalem, its Temple and the division of the land among the tribes of Israel during the Millennium.

A WARNING TO GENTILES

If you are a Gentile, I would simply tell you that Jesus is going to do what He said He will do in Joel 3; enter into judgment with the nations. Over the past 1900 years, those professing Christians who have persecuted the Jews have allied themselves with Satan himself. It is true that the Jewish nation rejected its Messiah, and has brought judgment upon itself. This is an unavoidable message throughout the Bible, beginning with Moses and the prophets, and continuing with Jesus and His apostles. But it is one thing to recognize this truth and to humbly and fearfully ponder it; it is another to join with those who oppress the Jews and shed Jewish blood.

Jesus is going to address this issue, restoring His erring family, while taking vengeance upon those who have abused them. If you have been a faithful Christian this should cause you to rejoice, just as Joseph’s wife (and the household of Pharaoh) rejoiced when Joseph and his family were reunited. If it doesn’t cause you to rejoice, or if you don’t believe it’s going to happen, you might want to re-examine the scriptures. God never intended that the fall of the Jews should end in their total destruction. It was meant as an opportunity for the Gentiles to hear the Gospel (Romans 11:11-36), to demonstrate the certainty of God’s judgments, and to allow Gentiles to pray for and seek the restoration of the Jewish people to their God.

Thus says the Lord of hosts “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the nations that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased (with Israel), and they helped forward the affliction (of Israel). Therefore thus says the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, says the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying “Thus says the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem”.

Zechariah 1:14-17

AN INVITATION TO JEWS

I am not speaking to you as a member of any Christian denomination. I am an independent. For many centuries false Christians have impoverished Jews and shed their blood. Now, with their weak apologies, they would invite you to join in their ‘ecumenical movement’, as they use religion to pursue a false world peace. In addition, after having called you ‘Christ-killers’ for hundreds of years, they would say it was all a mistake, and exonerate you. They would deceive you if possible, and cheat you out of your portion in the rapidly approaching kingdom of David.

Whether or not you choose to listen to their words (versus their actions) is up to you. I would simply encourage you to ‘go over their heads’. Read the New Testament for yourself, and reacquaint yourself with the Old Testament. Let Jesus speak to you directly. You will find that He is nothing like those who have abused you in His name. I speak as a Biblical Christian. I know that I am a wild ‘Gentile branch’, grafted by God’s mercy into a ‘Jewish tree’ (Romans 11:17-22). In light of that I would plead with you; discover what the incredible wealth of your Jewish heritage is really all about.

POSTSCRIPT

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

Because some people come to this web site through prophecy searches, often asking about things like ‘the Antichrist’ and ‘the last days’, it has seemed useful to set forth a summary of who the ‘prophetic players’ of the Bible are. Therefore I have included this section at the end of each of my web pages on prophecy.

My reader must first realize that my entire view of prophecy is defined by my understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel. I believe that this week is the great ‘Week of the Abrahamic Covenant’, beginning 4000 years ago with Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ending with the second coming of Christ. I believe that the ‘Great Tribulation’ is the second half of this week, from 70 AD to the present. It is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) because it is the period of time after Satan has been cast out of heaven and down to earth in defeat. He is enraged because he knows that he only has a short time until his eternal fiery destruction (Revelation 12:12).

During the ‘Great Tribulation’ Satan’s violent frustration has been vented, first and foremost, against the Jewish people and against protestant Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). In addition, however, Satan is determined to drag all of humanity down to eternal damnation with himself if he can. The Pharaoh of Egypt whom Moses confronted (in the book of Exodus) is a picture of Satan, willing to see his kingdom and his people destroyed rather than to ‘let his captives go’. All of the ‘players’ on my list, and all of history since 70 AD, must be understood in the light of Satan’s angry presence here on earth. If you are coming to this list from a Dispensational or Postmillennial background, and have not yet read my first three pages on prophecy ( Introduction, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return), then the things that I am saying here may not make much sense to you. I would encourage you to examine these three web pages before making any final decision concerning the validity of this list.
1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION(discussed in The Timetable for Jesus’ Return)

This is the ‘Beast from the Sea’ in Revelation 13:1-10, and is also the Beast upon which the Woman rides in Revelation 17. This Beast will become increasingly ‘Eastern’ in its makeup and form an alliance with 10 kings in the last prophetic hour, and these kings will burn the Woman with fire (Revelation 17:12-18).

Some Dispensationalists believe that the Beast is an individual human being. This is not so. This Beast has its roots in the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is an organized political entity, just as they were. In addition, the Beast continues in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 13:5, a period of roughly 2000 years), and thus cannot be a person. Lastly, the Woman who rides the Beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and she has ridden this Beast for centuries.

Prior to 70 AD, this Beast existed simply as the Roman Empire. But in 69 AD, when Satan was cast down to earth, he reorganized the Roman Empire into an international ‘Beast’ of militant humanity, and a city (Rome) that would ride upon the Beast’s back (through the ‘destruction and resurrection’ process of a Roman civil war, during ‘the year of the four Emperors). Since 70 AD the Beast upon which Rome has ridden has come primarily from the original Roman Empire; Western Europe and then the United States. The Beast’s religious roots have been mostly Roman Catholic. But over the past 60 years this Beast has been increasingly comprised of people throughout the world. The primarily western and Roman Catholic Beast of the past has mutated since the end of World War II into a broader coalition, incorporating the military forces of Russia, China and the Muslim world, and is represented by the United Nations. In the final prophetic hour I believe that the United Nations will turn its back upon the Western world (where it was first chartered and established), and look to China and the East. This, I believe, will be followed by the East’s surprise nuclear destruction of western, Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’.
2) THE WOMAN (HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON) OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 17 & 18(discussed in The City of Rome)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:18, where she is described as ‘that great city’ which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation. Prior to the Roman civil war of 69 AD (the ‘Year of the four emperors’), the city of Rome had been the seat and governing power of the Roman Empire. During this civil war, however, Rome watched helplessly as the generals and armies of the Empire fought for supremacy. Since that time the city of Rome has been powerless militarily. This explains the fact that the final form of the Roman Empire (its feet) are described in Daniel 2:33 as being comprised of iron and clay. It is this ‘mixed’ Empire, comprised of a ‘clay City’ and various ‘iron’ military powers, that Christ will destroy and replace at His return (Daniel 2:34).

Revelation describes Rome in a most negative way. She is an extremely wealthy whore, given to fornication and blasphemy against God, who is drunk with the blood of His people. She is described as the “Mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). In short, she is wickedness itself. How did she get this way?

The key to understanding Rome, is to understand the angry archangel, Satan, who made her what she is. For 240 years, after 70 AD, pagan Rome did everything within its power to exterminate Christianity. Many thousands of Christians were impoverished, enslaved or killed. This was the official policy of Rome, all done in subservience to the ‘Dragon’, Satan. Around 310 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine announced that he had seen a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer under the banner of the Christian cross. Constantine proceeded to ‘legalize’ Christianity, and to make it a part of his empire. He convened ‘ecumenical councils’ to define what Roman Christianity would be.

Hence Rome went, practically overnight, from persecuting the Christian church to declaring ‘I am the church!’. In reality what Rome had become was a religious institution that would not only continue persecuting Christianity, but would also deceive millions of others into embracing a counterfeit Christianity, sending them into eternity with false hopes. Rome became a three-pronged weapon in Satan’s hands; killing some, deceiving others, and turning the rest of the world against Christianity because of Rome’s greediness, bloodshed and hypocrisy. Constantine and his militant church are the first ‘seal’ of Revelation 6:2; a ‘white’ conqueror followed by the four seals of war, famine, pestilence and the persecution of Christians. The final, sixth seal, represents the ultimate end of Rome; a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack.

Rome’s destruction is described in Revelation chapter 18, where ‘Babylon’ is destroyed by fire in one hour. After this destruction, the kings and merchants of the earth are shown, mourning over the loss of their wealth and keeping their distance from her because of the fire of her torment (and its radioactive fallout). I do not believe that this mourning will result simply from the destruction of the city of Rome itself, but from the destruction of the greater ‘Roman Catholic world’; in other words, ‘the West’. This may include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe and Australia, and is represented by the destruction of 1/3 of the earth in the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-13. The ‘Roman Catholic world’ does comprise roughly 1/3 of the landmass of the world, but much less than 1/3 of the world’s people. At the very moment when the nuclear weapons detonate, as Revelation chapter 7 reveals, God will ‘seal’ 144,000 young Jewish men for leadership in Israel, and will ‘rapture’ true Christians off of the planet.
I am confident regarding my explanations of the Beast and the Woman (Babylon) above. I am not dogmatic, however, about the following three ‘players’ on the prophetic stage; the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet), Paul’s Man of Sin, and the Antichrist. They can, it seems to me, be understood in different ways. Each one can be understood either as a single person, or as a group of persons. Beyond that, it is possible that all three are referring to the same person or group. It is important that I be honest with myself and my reader, about what I know and what I don’t know. Given the gravity of these times and of God’s warnings, it is important that my reader embrace the liberty as well as the responsibility to reach conclusions for himself. With that in mind, I share my own thoughts.
3) THE BEAST FROM THE LAND (or THE FALSE PROPHET)

This is the second of two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13, the first being The Beast from the Sea, or simply ‘The Beast’ (explained above). The first Beast is described as coming ‘from the sea’ because, like the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7, it arises from the great sea of humanity. I do not know why this present beast is said to come from ‘the land’. Some have wondered if it indicates that this it will come from God’s land; the ‘holy land’ of Israel. This Beast from the Land has three primary traits:

      A)It is ‘lamblike’ in its appearance (possibly a reference to the ‘Lamb of God’, Christ), and yet speaks the words of the Dragon, Satan. This is consistent with God’s description of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). This Beast also works powerful miracles to deceive people; a trait that Jesus warned about in regard to future false prophets (Matthew 24:24).
      B) It derives its authority from, and directs everyone’s worship and obedience to the first Beast, and the ‘image’ of the first Beast. It will cause those who refuse to worship the Beast to be put to death. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s order to kill those who would not worship his image (Daniel 3:1-6).
      C) It introduces something called ‘the Mark of the Beast’ to the world, without which no one may buy or sell. This ‘Mark’ may be worldwide, and could possibly be a mark implemented by the United Nations.

We see this ‘duo’ of two Beasts elsewhere in the book of Revelation, where they are referred to as ‘the Beast and the False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). It should be observed that the number ‘666’ is not associated with this second Beast, but with the first Beast whom he serves. The miracles and the ‘Mark’ that coincide with the False Prophet remind me of present day technology. The ‘image’ that breathes, speaks, and causes the persecution of those who refuse to take the ‘Mark’ could be modern media such as television, movies and the Internet. The calling down of fire from heaven may be a reference to the drones and other ‘smart’ weapons that we see today. And the ‘Mark’ itself may be some kind of computer chip, placed under the skin, that will facilitate human organization, tax collection and crime control in unprecedented ways. To many people the ‘Mark’ will represent the only hope for the survival of the human race, and those who oppose it will be viewed as foolish and essentially ‘anti-human’.

Some may point out that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be thrown, alive, into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20), and therefore suggest that these two must be persons, and not kingdoms, organizations or ‘generic groups’. I respond by pointing out Jesus’ description of this same judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). He said that, when He returns, He will sit upon His throne and the nations will be gathered before Him. They will be separated to His left and to His right, like a shepherd divides sheep from goats. At that time He will banish those on His left directly into a fire that has been prepared ‘for the devil and his angels’. This can only refer to the Lake of Fire, since Satan is never described as inhabiting Hades. Hence, while Revelation describes two beings being cast alive into the Lake of Fire, Jesus describes a judgment where many are cast into the Lake of Fire alive. To me this suggests the possibility that the Beast is comprised of all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.

How can this be? The secret lies in observing the increasing ‘solidarity’ of the human race against God. Throughout the world men are talking about the ‘oneness’ of mankind, and the necessity of international unity. It may be that those who take the Mark of the Beast will ‘become the Beast’. It is not coincidence that this rising religious ‘oneness’ is accompanied by an increasingly united worldwide animosity toward Israel. Satan is working behind the scenes to bring the human race, all the nations of the world, to Jerusalem to do battle against God. Satan has no illusions about how things are going to work out. He knows what awaits. But he is focused upon deceiving and taking as many into the Lake of Fire with him as he can. That is why he is called ‘the evil one’.

Jesus said that how He judges those who stand before Him will be determined by how they treated His ‘brethren’. Many believe that Jesus’ brethren are simply those who are Christians, whether Jew or Gentile. This is true. But it may be that, in the context of this particular judgment, as Jesus sits upon the throne of His fathers Abraham and David in Jerusalem, that His brethren may be, more specifically, those Jews who were mistreated by the world in the time leading up to His second coming. Those who are joining the present worldwide chorus to criminalise Israel and divide God’s land might do well to consider this. God’s judgment in this case may be instant and everlasting torment.

 

4) THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ‘MAN OF SIN’

It is my personal belief that the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet) is also the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians chapter 2:1-12). Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ is also endued with Satanic miracle-working power, and he also is described as being directly and personally destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the False Prophet will be. Here again, however, I do not feel obligated to believe that Paul is speaking of a single man.

Paul speaks of a ‘great falling away from the Christian faith’ that will precede the appearance of this ‘man’. He also speaks of him as one who will ‘show himself as God, standing in the temple of God’. For centuries many Protestants have viewed these words as a description of the Roman Catholic priesthood, which claims to do what the Bible says Jesus alone can do; stand in God’s true Temple above (in heaven) and intercede for sinners. The gospel message is that people must come to Jesus directly, and know Him personally in order to be saved. Jesus says to the world ‘Come unto Me and be saved’, while Rome’s priests say ‘Come unto Rome and be saved’. Hence both Paul’s ‘man of sin’ and Revelation’s Beast from the Land could be a ‘type of man’, rather than an individual man.

Over the past few decades the Roman Catholic church has drawn closer and closer to the other religions of the world, seeking common ground. Rome now declares that it does not matter what one’s religion is, as long as one loves one’s neighbor. Rome now calls Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and snake worshippers her ‘brothers’. This represents Rome’s attempt to continue riding upon an increasingly international ‘Beast’. Rome is attempting to bridge the gaps between her ‘western children’ and the other nations of the world through talk of peace and religious ‘tolerance’. Hence in these last days we are seeing Roman Catholic leaders who are increasingly given to Eastern mysticism and ‘transcendental’ attempts to connect with the occult spirit world, seeking a ‘higher spirituality’ that will bring all men and religions together as ‘one’. It is in this light that we can understand how a man may soon arise who is a pope to the Catholics, a ‘christ’ to false Christians, a Mahdi to the Muslims, a Messiah to the Jews, and a wise soul to those of India and the Orient. Again, it may be one man, or it may be a cadre of men and women who, together, constitute the Man of Sin / Beast from the Land / False Prophet of the Bible.

Personally I do not believe that every unsaved person will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Depending upon how wicked they have been, I believe that many will spend time in the Lake of Fire before being consumed and ceasing to exist (see Original Sin ). But there are three beings who are specifically described in the Bible as being tormented forever and ever. This fate is reserved for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 20:10). I believe that God’s warning about the Mark, given in Revelation 14:9-12, may actually be a warning about ‘becoming the Beast’ through taking the Mark, and thus joining Satan in a torment that will never end. This is a dreadful thought to contemplate. God is telling us that we need to take the warnings of His prophecies very seriously.

The contention around this issue, between believers and unbelievers, will be very sharp in the last days, and those who refuse to worship the Beast and his image will be put to death. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will feel compelled, because they have no confidence about their fate beyond the grave, to take the Mark in order to extend their lives. The only way for a person to overcome in these last days will be to ‘not love their lives unto the death’ (Revelation 12:11), and this will only be possible for those who have tasted the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life that Jesus alone can give.
5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word ‘antichrist’ never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John’s words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

      A)Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
      B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John’s description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link ‘the Antichrist’ with any other passage of scripture. The term ‘antichrist’ is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have been able to plug the Antichrist freely into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is ‘the Prince who is to come’ (of Daniel 9:26), the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, Paul’s ‘man of sin’, and ‘the Beast’ that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire together with the False Prophet. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John’s very limited words about ‘the Antichrist’, today’s ‘Left Behind’ series being only one of many.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, ‘the Antichrist’, who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. If I had to choose, I would consider Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but blatantly denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was ‘Emmanuel’; God in flesh. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam (unless it is Judaism). Muslims have written ‘God has no son’ inside their mosque, the ‘Dome of the Rock’, sitting on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and the possession of the Temple Mount by Gentiles, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque.

Could the Antichrist be the False Prophet, and/or Paul’s Man of Sin? Yes, I suppose so, but there is nothing in John’s words that requires us to reach that conclusion.
While I am cautious in my identification of ‘Players’ 3-5 above, I am confident in my conclusions about ‘Players’ 6-9 below.

6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION(Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return for a discussion of Titus).

7) THE ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’ OF DANIEL 9:26- also the Roman general Titus.

8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8The United States of America

9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God’s host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel’s transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome’s history can be found.

ISRAEL IN PROPHECY

TOP OF PAGE

1. ATTENTION ISRAEL                                 8. JEWISH HOLOCAUST DENIERS                        15. HUMAN RIGHTS vs GOD’S RIGHTS
2. DEFINING JEWISHNESS                          9. SATAN IS THE PERSECUTOR                           16. GOOD COP, BAD COP
3. SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION                   10. TO THE JEW FIRST                                           17. JESUS REVEALED TO HIS BROTHERS
4. JEWISH PRIDE                                       11. BLESSED FIRST, JUDGED FIRST                     18. WHAT WILL THE KINGDOM BE LIKE?
5. DEBATE ABOUT CIRCUMCISION          12. SOLD FOR ALCOHOL & SEX                            19. A WARNING TO GENTILES
6. TWO ISRAELS                                        13. WATCHING ISRAEL TWIST IN THE WIND          20. AN INVITATION TO JEWS
7. TWO ERRORS IN THE CHURCH            14. JEWISH RACISM?                                              21. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. FOUR O.T. PROPHECIES                                  10. FOUR N.T. PROPHECIES                          19. CHRISTIANITY = KNOWING CHRIST
2. #1 ROMAN LEGS AND FEET                             11. #1 SIX TRAITS OF THE TRIBULATION      20. HOW CAN WE KNOW CHRIST?
3. #2 FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7                     12. #2 SIX SEALS OF REVELATION 6             21. ROMAN PHARISEES
4. #3 LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8                         13. #3 WOMAN WHO RIDES THE BEAST        22. CHILD ABUSE
5. #4 FROM GREECE TO ROME TO THE END     14. #4 BABYON DESTROYED                         23. FORBIDDING TO MARRY
6. TRANSITION FROM GREECE TO ROME          15. THE RELIGION OF ROME                         24. THE PROBLEM WITH CELIBACY
7. CHRISTIANS UNDER ROME                              16. PROPHET                                                   25. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
8. ROME’S NEW RELIGION                                   17. PRIEST
9. ROME’S WARS AND ULTIMATE END                18. KING

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

 

FOUR OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES ABOUT ROME

God gave the prophet Daniel five prophecies that are recorded in the book of Daniel. One of these, found in Daniel chapter 9, gave Daniel two timetables for the first and second comings of the Messiah. These two timetables are explained in my web pages titled The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return.

In the other four prophecies, God focused more narrowly upon His promise to King David that his throne would be established forever. When Babylon desolated Israel and Jerusalem in 586 BC, it removed David’s family from power, and David’s kingdom came to an end. The Jewish people have not had a Jewish king since that time. God informed Daniel that the Jewish people would be dominated by four successive Gentile empires, until David’s promised Son would return to fully restore the Kingdom. These four empires would be Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. This Gentile dominance is represented by the phrase ‘Servitude to the Gentiles’ in the timeline below.

ezra graph

These four prophecies, found in the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and the combined 10th through 12th chapters of the book of Daniel, describe a relationship between Israel and the Gentile world that continues to this day; a period of over 2500 years. Looking at these four prophecies is like looking at something under a microscope and clicking up the power with each successive prophecy, because each one becomes more specific as it describes these Gentile empires, and the events that would take place as one empire fell and the next one rose to power..

O.T. PROPHECY #1: THE ROMAN LEGS AND FEET OF DANIEL 2

The prophecy in Daniel 2 was not actually given to Daniel; it was given to king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream in which he saw a great statue comprised of 4 parts; a head of gold symbolizing Babylon, chest and arms of silver symbolizing Persia, a stomach and thighs of bronze symbolizing Greece, legs of iron symbolizing the first phase of the Roman Empire, and feet comprised of a mixture of iron and clay representing the second and final phase of the Roman Empire.

Nebuchadnezzar watched God cut out a stone and cast it on the feet of this statue, destroying the entire statue. Then the stone grew larger, filled the earth, and ruled the world forever. This stone represents the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring an end to the Gentile domination of the world, and to re-establish the kingdom of David.

image

 

There are two things that we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. First of all, God sees all four of these Gentile empires as one thing; they are all Babylon in His eyes. This is why He portrayed them as one statue. Persia, Greece and Rome are merely an extension of what Babylon started. Babylon brought an end to the kingdom of David. There has not been another king from David’s family ruling over Israel since that day. In God’s eyes Babylon is the obstacle preventing David’s Son from possessing the Promised Land and ruling the world. This is why, when we read about Babylon in the book of Revelation, we can understand that God is really talking about Rome. Why? Because when the apostle John received the book of Revelation, Rome had already risen to power and the ‘Roman phase’ of Babylon had already begun.

Secondly, we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur late in the history of Rome. Since time moves forward as one moves from the head of the statue to it’s lower parts, the stone falling upon the feet of iron and clay signifies that the second coming of Christ will occur late in Rome’s existence, and will bring Rome’s dominance over Israel and the world to an end.

What does the change from legs of pure iron to feet of iron and clay signify? It represents the change that occurred in the Roman Empire in 69 AD. That year has become known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, because the Roman Empire experienced a civil war in which the various generals and armies of Rome fought for rulership of the empire, and four different men claimed the Emperorship within roughly one year’s time. Prior to that year, the city of Rome had been the seat of power in the empire, and Emperors had always come from Rome. But during the civil war the city of Rome became powerless bystander as it waited to see which general would prevail. That General was Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty. At that point Rome changed from being a single iron Beast, to becoming the combination of a ‘clay’ woman riding upon the back of an international ‘iron’ Beast in Revelation 17.

O.T. PROPHECY #2: THE FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7

In Daniel 7 these same four Gentile empires are presented as four separate beasts. Babylon is symbolized by a lion, Persia by a bear, Greece by a leopard, and Rome by a beast unlike any known animal; dreadful, terrible and powerful, having great iron teeth and trampling and devouring the whole earth. The iron teeth of Daniel 7 correspond to the iron legs of Daniel 2.

lion          bear          leopard          fourth beast

 

Daniel observed that this Roman beast had 10 horns. He was told that these 10 horns represent 10 kings (or kingdoms) that wouldl arise out of the original Roman Empire (Daniel 7:24). Then the original 10 horns are followed by a ‘little horn’ that displaces 3 of these first 10 horns.

It is my belief that the 10 horns of Daniel 7 are 10 major world-colonizing kingdoms that would arise from the original Roman Empire. These could be Portugal, Spain, France, England, the Dutch Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Venice and the Ottoman Empire. I suspect that the Little Horn is the the United States, which displaced France, England and Spain in the process of establishing its territory in North America. As a democracy the United States might well be described as being different from the 10 monarchies preceding it, and as having the ‘eyes of a man’ (Daniel 7:8,24).

Both because of its Roman political heritage (see The United States in Prophecy), and its close connections with the Roman Catholic church, I believe that the United States represents the epitome of Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’ in these last days, and is therefore the primary target in the fiery destruction of Babylon described in Revelation 18.

O.T. PROPHECY #3: THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8

Daniel chapter 8 contains a prophecy that was given shortly before the fall of the Babylonian Empire. Therefore this prophecy says nothing about Babylon, because there was no Babylonian Empire to look forward to. Instead, it concentrates on Persia, Greece, and especially Rome.

The ‘little horn’ of Daniel 8 is not the same ‘little horn’ seen in Daniel 7. In Bible prophecy horns symbolize power, just as the horns on a bull, ram or rhino represent strength. In Daniel 7 the ‘little horn’ is a small world power; possibly the early United States. Here, in Daniel 8:9, the ‘little horn’ represents early Rome, a single city which began its rise to power from within the Greek sphere of influence. Rome established its independence from Greece by first defeating king Pyrrhus and establishing its dominance over the Italian Peninsula. Rome then went on to conquer its enemy farther to the south, Carthage, in the Punic Wars. Next, Rome turned its attention to the east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor and ultimately the ‘Glorious Land’ of Israel itself, just as Daniel 8:9 tells us.

In Daniel 8:11 God describes Rome’s eventual crucifixion of Christ (exalting itself against the Prince of the Host, the Son of God), along with its ending of the sacrifices and ‘casting down’ of the Temple in Jerusalem (the place of God’s sanctuary) in 70 AD. In verse 12 Daniel goes on to tell us that, because of Israel’s transgressions, God would authorize Rome’s continuing military power so that the restoration of Jerusalem and its sacrifices would not be allowed to occur. This divine authorization of Rome’s continuing power is also presented in Revelation 13:5, and I explain it in my web page on The Timetable for Jesus’ Return.

Another aspect of Rome’s character is mentioned here. After destroying the Temple in Jerusalem and being divinely empowered to prevent the restoration of sacrifices in Jerusalem, Rome will proceed to ‘cast truth down to the ground’, and to prosper while doing so. I believe that this is a picture of Rome’s initial persecution of Christianity, followed by its subsequent claim (after Constantine) to actually be the true Christian Church. I will discuss Rome’s ‘casting down’ of truth later in this web page.

Daniel 8:23-25 describes Rome again. It states that Rome’s rise and dominance over Israel will occur when ‘transgressors have reached their fullness’; an allusion to the judgment upon Israel that Jesus warned about, when God would hold Jerusalem guilty for all of the righteous blood shed upon the earth up until that time (Matthew 23:35). This is what is meant by ‘destroying the holy people’ (of Israel, vs. 24). Verse 25 says that Rome will ultimately be destroyed without ‘human hand’; a view consistent with both Daniel chapter 2 (destruction by the divine Stone; Israel’s Messiah), and Daniel 7 (destruction by flame, also see Revelation 18:8).

Dispensationalists teach that the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes IV, but this is untrue. In Daniel 8:9 God says that this little horn would become ‘exceedingly great’, whereas in Daniel 11:21 Antiochus is described as a vile person, who would not be respected as royalty, and who would achieve his limited results through deception and intrigue. The exceeding greatness mentioned in this passage harkens back to the exceeding strength and dreadfulness of fourth Beast in Daniel 7:7&19, and bears no resemblance to Antiochus Epiphanes. I explain Dispensationalism and its errors in my web page on The Olivet Discourse.

O.T. PROPHECY # 4: DANIEL 11 – FROM GREECE TO ROME, AND FROM ROME TO THE END

All of God’s prophecies are precise, but Daniel chapter 11 contains some unusually specific details. This prophecy, like those in chapters 2,7 and 8, continues the theme of the four Gentile empires, but Daniel received this prophecy during the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, and so Babylon is not mentioned. God quickly dispenses with His comments about Persia in the first two verses of the chapter, and then proceeds to describe Alexander the Great (the first Greek king) in verse 3, and the subsequent division of his Greek empire into four smaller kingdoms in verse 4; Macedonia (Greece), Asia Minor, Seleucia and Egypt (the Ptolemaic dynasty).

From verse 5 through 30 God very accurately described specific persons who would be involved in the constant struggle between the two Greek kingdoms to the north and south of Israel; the Seleucid kingdom to the north and the Ptolemaic kingdom (in Egypt) to the south. God described how both of these kingdoms would trample over Israel in their conflicts with each other, sometimes dragging the Jewish people into their turmoil. Why would God supply this very precise information ahead of time? For two reasons; to authenticate the book of Daniel, so that the Jewish people and the rest of the world would recognize its reliability, and listen to it. Secondly, because God wanted to warn the Jews about what was coming, to assure them that He was aware of their hardships, and to encourage them to turn to Him in their times of trouble.

Some of Israel’s most profound struggles against the Greek world involved the ‘vile person’ of verse 21. This was Antiochus Epiphanes IV (AE4). AE4 was the son of Antiochus the Great, a Seleucid king who had been conquered by the Romans in 188 BC. As a result of that defeat, AE4 was sent to Rome as a political hostage, and his father was compelled to pay heavy tribute to Rome. When Antiochus the Great died, AE4’s brother, Seleucus IV Philopater became king in accordance with the treaty (covenant) that had been established with Rome earlier. At that time Seleucus IV’s son, Demetrius, was sent to Rome as a hostage, and AE4 was released. Because of the heavy Roman tribute requirements imposed upon him, Seleucus IV became the ‘tax imposer’ of verse 11:20.

Seleucus IV was eventually murdered by one of his staff, a man named Heliodorus, and AE4 then killed Heliodorus and assumed the throne illegally. This is why the Bible says that he would never be accorded the honor of royalty (vs. 21). AE4 claimed that he was assuming power on behalf of another son of Seleucus IV (not Demetrius who was still in Rome, but an infant son also named Antiochus), planning to hold the throne for him until he came of age. But AE4 eventually murdered this rightful ‘prince of the covenant’ (vs. 22), and claimed the throne for himself. It is against this backdrop that AE4 began to attack the Ptolemaic (Egyptian) kingdom to the south of Israel.

What does all of this have to do with Rome? Antiochus Epiphanes IV (AE4) was the last Greek ruler to dominate Israel before Rome became Israel’s overlord. The Bible hints at God’s sovereign control over these events when, in verse 24, it says that AE4 would only be able to pursue his goals ‘for a time’. After a victory in Egypt, the Bible says that AE4 made further plans, but that they did not prosper, because God had already ordained his end ‘at the appointed time’ (verse 27). Verse 29 describes that divinely ‘appointed time’, 168 BC, when AE4 made his final trip to Egypt.

THE TRANSITION FROM GREECE TO ROME

Daniel 11:30 describes the transition point between Greek dominance over Israel, and a new Roman dominance over the Jews. In the first half of the verse the confrontation between AE4 and the Romans outside of Alexandria, Egypt is described (in 168 BC), together with AE4’s angry return to Jerusalem and his murderous rampage there (in 167 BC). It may be that some of the Jews actually told AE4, before he went south and was confronted by Rome, that God had foretold his humiliation. Or he may have vented his rage upon Jerusalem simply out of frustrated ambition. Whatever the case, historians tell us that when Antiochus Epiphanes IV (AE4) returned to Jerusalem in 167 BC, roughly 40,000 Jews were killed, another 40,000 were sold into slavery, and the Temple was desecrated (polluted and made unfit for worship, due to God-forbidden changes that Antiochus had introduced). AE4 then lived for three more years, dying in 164 BC during a military campaign in the eastern region of the Seleucid kingdom.

The second part of verse 30, however, together with verse 31, begins a description of Rome’s relationship with Israel:

So shall he (Rome) do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.

Daniel 11:30-31

This brief passage describes the ensuing relationship between Israel and Rome up until Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Rome’s initial domination over Israel was exercised through proxies; people who would rule over Israel on behalf of Rome. These were people who were native to the region, and thus were familiar with the Jews and partially acceptable to them, but who were not loyal to Israel’s God or religion, despising ‘the holy Covenant’ between God and Israel. One of the most prominent of these rulers was Antipater II (the Idumean). He gained authority over Israel by befriending the Roman Generals Pompey and Julius Caesar. Antipater II was the father of Herod the Great (who sought to derail God’s covenants by murdering the Christ child in His infancy, Matthew chapter 2), and the grandfather of Herod Antipas (who killed John the Baptist and the apostle James).

Dispensationalists claim that Daniel 11:30b-31 is a further description of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, but this is untrue. After his humiliation by Rome outside of Alexandria, arms (military might) no longer ‘stood’ for (belonged to) Antiochus IV. He surrendered sovereignty over the entire Middle East that day outside of Alexandria, lost all historical significance, and died three years later in 164 BC.

In addition, AE4 never desolated the Temple; he desecrated it. This is an important distinction that Dispensationalists ignore, because they are eager to establish AE4 as the precedent / prototype for a future Antichrist whom they claim will desolate God’s Temple again. Their claim that AE4 desolated the Temple by entering it while proclaiming himself to be God, means that Paul’s ‘man of sin’ can also be construed as desolating the Temple when he does the same thing (2 Thessalonians 2:4). There is only one problem with this line of thinking; it is unscriptural.

In the Bible ‘desolation’ means total destruction because of God’s anger and judgment. It is never used in any other way. Babylon desolated Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 B.C., and Rome desolated them again in 70 A.D., but AE4 did not. The Jewish people themselves testify that Antiochus only desecrated the Temple, as they remember its cleansing in their yearly celebration of Hanukkah. I address this mishandling of Daniel 11:29-31 by the Dispensationalists, along with their mishandling of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, in my web page on The Olivet Discourse.

DANIEL 11:31-35 – THE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE UNDER ROME

Daniel 11:31-35 gives a description of the Christian experience under Rome, from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD until the second coming of Christ (the “time of the end”).

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries. But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many. Yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help, but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed.

Daniel 11:31-35

Verse 34 may be a description of Constantine’s so-called ‘conversion’ to Christianity, when Christians who had suffered under Roman persecution for over 200 years received some ‘help’. But this change also meant that many false Christians joined the professing church, embracing Christianity for political and financial gain by flattering the rulers of Rome. The words above actually describe the repeated experience of Biblical Christians down through the centuries, as the true church has been ‘helped’ by the grace of God at various times, and yet has also had to deal with those who would take advantage of it through ‘flatteries’.

DANIEL 11:36-39 – ROME’S NEW RELIGION

Verse 36 through 39 is a description of Rome’s new version of Christianity:

And the king shall do according to his will. He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation (against Israel) be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces. And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory. And he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

Daniel 11:36-39

Verse 36 repeats what Daniel 8:12 and 9:26-27 have already told us; that Rome will continue to prosper and dominate Israel and the Jews until God’s wrath upon the Jews has been fully poured out. Verses 36 and 37 also tell us that the king of Rome will blaspheme the true God, and exalt himself above every known God. Verse 38 tells us that Rome’s kings will worship a god that their forefathers did not know; a militant God that they will glorify with silver, gold, gemstones and many other beautiful things. Verse 39 tells us that Rome will use this God to advance into the strongest nations, allowing them to rule over many people while dividing up the lands of the world for gain.

Who was this new Roman ‘God of forces’? It is the militant Jesus of Constantine, who instructed him to wage war under the banner of the cross. It is not the Jesus of the Bible, who was so meek and mild that He is called ‘the Lamb of God’; who patiently endured the brutality of Roman soldiers and poured Himself out to the point of death in order to make forgiveness possible for them, and who taught His disciples to bless their enemies. It is the war-making Jesus of Rome, providing Rome with ‘divine authority’ for its worldwide wars and conquests over the past 1700 years.

DANIEL 11:40-45 – ROME’S WARS AND ULTIMATE END

Verses 40-45 give us a brief description of Rome’s history after embracing Constantine’s militant Christ; a period of time which verse 40 describes as ‘the time of the end’.

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships. And he (Rome) shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape out of his hand; even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him. Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away (annihilate) many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

Daniel 11:40-45

Verse 40 describes an attack upon Rome, first from the king of the south, and then from the king of the north. It helps to remember that the Bible often describes things geographically in terms of their relationship with Israel. Thus the kings in this verse may be described as originating south and north of Israel. It seems to me that this verse may be describing the two major Muslim assaults against Europe. The first assault extended south of Israel from Egypt across North Africa, and then up into Spain. The Roman Catholic world responded to the Muslim conquest of Spain with the Crusades. Then the Ottoman Empire attacked Europe from north of Israel, advancing all the way to Austria. The Ottoman Empire also enjoyed naval dominance over the Mediterranean Sea, and over all of the lucrative trade routes to the East.

I understand the last part of verse 40, where it says that ‘he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over’, together with verses 41-43, to be a description of Rome’s response to these Muslim assaults, and to the Ottoman Empire’s domination of the Mediterranean. The Crusades helped to organize and strengthen the Roman Empire religiously and militarily, but Roman Catholic Europe could not yet open up the great trade routes to the east that were essential to financial gain. In response, seafaring explorers from Portugal and Spain began to seek alternate routes to the east. In the process they not only discovered new routes, but also many previously unexplored regions of the world. Rome then proceeded to ‘enter, overflow and pass over’ the entire world, using its armies, navies and Roman Catholic priests to conquer people worldwide both militarily and spiritually. These conquests (particularly in Central and South America) left Rome rich with “the treasures of gold and of silver”, and this relentless colonization of the world ultimately came around full circle with Europe’s domination, after World War I, of the Muslim Middle East.

Verse 44 refers to events in the east and the north, and Rome’s furious reaction to them. Again it must be remembered that when the Bible speaks of the east and the north, it is talking about that which is east and north of Israel. Russia is the major world power that lies north of Israel, and China lies to the east. This verse may be a description of Rome’s response to the Communist revolutions that first arose within Russia, and later within China.

Throughout its history the Roman Catholic Church has allied itself with the rich and powerful. It has supported the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few, because that has enabled Rome to share in that same power and wealth. The natural reaction of any institution that allies itself with the rich will be to oppose the socialist redistribution of wealth, and this is what Rome has done most vehemently. The Roman Catholic Church was instrumental in bringing the fascist regimes of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler to power, directing their anti-Socialist activities. Hitler went on, with the encouragement of Rome, to attack Russia, with the resultant death of 20 million Russians. To this day Rome, despite its public posturing, continues to oppose any movement that seeks to reverse the concentration of wealth in the hands of those allied with her.

Verse 45 tells us that Rome will ultimately plant its tents between ‘the sea and the glorious holy mountain’. This geographical description again must be understood in reference to Israel. The glorious holy mountain is Mount Zion, or Jerusalem. These are the terms that God often uses to describe His holy city. The sea, then, is the Mediterranean Sea. Verse 45 tells us that Rome will ultimately come to Israel and ‘plant its tents there’. This may be a reference to a possible occupation of Israel by NATO or U.N. forces, as peace keepers between the Palestinians and the Jews, or it may be a reference to the coming battle between the Beast and Jesus Christ described in Revelation 19:19. Whatever the case, this entrance by Rome into Israel in the last days will be followed by the end of its existence.

FOUR NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECIES ABOUT ROME

There is a period of time mentioned in the Bible called ‘the Great Tribulation’. It is the period of time between Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the second coming of Christ, which lies in the near future (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return ). In other words, we are living in the Great Tribulation at this present time. The Great Tribulation is characterized primarily by the fact that Satan, having lost all moral standing before the throne of God, has been cast down to earth. He is now filled with blind, frustrated rage because he knows that his fiery destruction is certain, and that he only has a short time left (Revelation 12:12).

Since his fall to earth, Satan has been pursuing the destruction of Jews, Christians, and ultimately of the entire human race. One of the primary tools that Satan has used, and continues to use, is the ‘clay’ city of Rome, and the various ‘iron’ military powers of the world which have continued as ‘the Beast’ until this day. There are four prophecies in the New Testament that, together, provide us with a picture of Rome’s activities until its final destruction.

N.T. PROPHECY #1: SIX TRAITS OF THE TRIBULATION

In His important prophetic message given on the Mount of Olives shortly before His death, Jesus described six things that would characterize the Great Tribulation right up until His second coming (the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24:4-10, Mark 13:6-13, Luke 21:8-19):

      1)Many will come in My name, saying that I am the Christ, and will deceive many (Matthew 24:5).
      2) War, and rumors (threats) of war (verses 6 & 7)
      3) Famine (verse 7)
      4) Death from pestilence and disease (verse 7)
      5) The persecution of Christians (verses 9 & 10)
    6) The sun and moon darkened, stars fall from heaven, removal of God’s people from the earth (verses 29-31).

Jesus’ words regarding ‘many coming in His name and deceiving many’ was reference to the coming religion of Rome; Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism began when the Emperor Constantine declared that he had seen a vision authorizing him to wage war under the banner of the cross. This is the most overt and blatant sign that Roman Catholicism is not genuine Biblical Christianity; its promotion and participation in the last activity that the gentle, self-sacrificing, peace-loving Son of God would ever take part in.

The logical consequences of claims are shown above; war, famine, pestilence, the persecution of genuine Christianity, and ultimately the judgment of God as the Roman Catholic world suffers nuclear attack. This nuclear attack coincides with the instantaneous removal of God’s people from the tremendous plagues that will follow.

N.T. PROPHECY #2: THE SIX SEALS OF REVELATION 6

In another passage of scripture, we are presented with the exact same sequence of six things. The six seals of Revelation chapter 6 represent Jesus’ repetition of His words in the Olivet Discourse. The only difference here is that the Roman Catholic church is portrayed as a horseman dressed in white who goes forth to conquer. The white clothing of this horseman corresponds to Jesus’ words about people coming in His name, and yet being deceivers. And the use of the word ‘conquer’ corresponds exactly with Constantine’s words. He claimed that God had told him to ‘conquer’ under the banner of the cross.

      1)The first seal: a conqueror dressed in white, riding on a white horse (Revelation 6:1-2).
      2) The second seal: a red horse and rider of war (verses 3 & 4)
      3) The third seal: a black horse and rider of famine (or starvation, verses 5 & 6)
      4) The fourth seal: a pale horse and rider of death (through disease and pestilence, verses 7 & 8)
      5) The fifth seal: the persecution of Christians (verses 9-11)
    6) The sixth seal: earth shaken, sun and moon darkened, stars fall from heaven, men hide from the judgment of God (verses 12-17). All of this is accompanied (in Revelation chapter 7) by God’s sealing of 144,000 Jews for protection, and His removal of all Christians from earth.

Since the rise of Constantine, Rome’s ‘Conquistadors’ have gone on to wage countless ‘holy’ wars, inquisitions and persecutions in the name of Jesus Christ. Worldwide bloodshed, famine, pestilence, and many Christian martyrdoms have been the subsequent result. Now, at the last hour, Rome portrays itself as the champion of religious harmony and world peace, but behind Rome lies a long trail of religious intolerance, deceit, blood and death.

The Roman Catholic Church is an instrument that Satan has created for attacking the human race. Rome has been a potent tool in his hands that has been destructive in three ways:

      1)Rome’s pseudo-Christianity has sent millions of deceived people to eternal damnation with false hope and confidence.
      2) Rome’s persecution of Christians has suppressed genuine Christianity by killing faithful Christians and terrorizing others into silence.
    3) Rome’s greed, bloodshed and religious hypocrisy have prompted countless others throughout the world to reject Christianity.

Truly Rome is, as Revelation 17:5 says, the “Mother of whores, and of the abominations of the earth”.

four horsemen
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF ROMAN CATHOLIC MILITANCY

Satan doesn’t care whether he destroys people with the sharp point of a sword or the soft point of a lie, just as long as they join him in his eternal doom. He, like the Pharaoh of Egypt that Moses confronted in the book of Exodus, continues to resist God even after he has been defeated, taking as many people with him into the ‘Red Sea’ of God’s judgment as he can. Satan’s wickedness was described by the prophet Isaiah:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High”. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying “Is this the one that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Isaiah 14:12-20

Christianity is, indeed, a militant religion, but it is a spiritual militancy exercised in a battle against Satan. Christianity does not fight against men, but fights to deliver men from Satan (Ephesians 6:12). True Christians reject war (Matthew 26:52, Revelation 13:10), which is fought primarily for worldly wealth (James 4:1-4). Instead they strive spiritually and suffer patiently in order to bless a deceived humanity, while seeking to overcome the deceiver. They hope, by patiently sharing in Jesus’ own sufferings and hardships, to be worthy to accompany Him when He comes back to earth to reign.

Jesus is the only One who can wage war righteously, and vengeance belongs to Him alone. He will ride a white horse, like Rome’s conquerors do, but His clothing will not be white; it will be blood-red. And unlike the false conqueror in Revelation 6:1, this Conqueror will have a name:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He that sat upon him was called ‘Faithful and True’, and in righteousness He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but he Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called ‘The Word of God‘. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16

N.T. PROPHECY #3: THE WOMAN WHO RIDES THE BEAST

The third prophecy about the city of Rome is found in Revelation chapter 17. In that prophecy Rome is called the ‘Woman’, the ‘Whore or Harlot’, and ‘Babylon’. She is portrayed as riding upon a Beast; the seven-headed, ten-horned Beast of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13:1-10. Here again we see the ‘clay’ woman and the ‘iron’ Beast together. The Beast is militant humanity, mostly Roman and then Western European throughout the history of its relationship with the woman, but now increasingly international in these last days.

It is important to observe that God calls the city of Rome ‘Babylon’ in this chapter. Here, and in Revelation chapter 18 we see the Roman Catholic church, and the Beast upon which she has ridden, going in separate directions. Revelation 17:12 speaks of 10 ‘kings’ who will ally themselves with the Beast for one hour. When they do so, they will then turn upon Babylon and burn her with fire (verses 16 & 17). This is the sudden nuclear destruction described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse(the stars falling from heaven being thermonuclear weapons), and also described in the sixth seal of Revelation 6. It is also described most vividly in the following prophecy.

N.T. PROPHECY #4: BABYLON DESTROYED IN ONE HOUR

After telling us, in Revelation 17:9 & 18 that Babylon is the city of Rome (Rome is known as ‘The city of seven hills’, and was that ‘great city’ that ruled over the earth when John received Revelation), Revelation chapter 18 proceeds directly to describe God’s final punishment of Babylon. It is destroyed in one day. I will simply leave my reader to examine the chapter for himself.

Babylon’s destruction is described as falling upon the greatest and richest economic empire in the world. Revelation describes kings, merchants and ship captains around the world mourning over the loss of their business, and keeping their distance from Babylon’s torment. It is not possible that the destruction of a single city could bring about such economic upheaval. I believe that Revelation 18 is describing a sudden, nuclear attack upon the Western, Roman Catholic world. This could possibly include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe, and such places as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines; all regions of the world with a significant Roman Catholic heritage.

It is possible that this fiery destruction of Babylon is also, at the same time, the giving of the ‘Little Horn’ of Daniel 7 (possibly the United States) to the ‘burning flame’ (verses 11 & 26). As the main representative in the world of all things ‘Roman’, both religious and political, the United States would most certainly, if not preeminently be the target of this attack.

THE RELIGION OF ROME

WHY ROMAN CATHOLICISM IS NOT BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY

Some of the prophecies that I have presented above allude to Rome’s religious wickedness. But it is important to be more precise about the errors of Rome’s religion; Roman Catholicism. Many people who say the things about Rome that I am saying in this web page are labeled ‘Catholic Bashers’. This is a common tactic that many groups use (Palestinians and the ‘gay rights’ movement for instance) to portray themselves as victims and those who oppose them as evil persecutors, when in fact the opposite is true. It is Rome that has been bashing people worldwide for centuries. In any case, my criticism is not leveled against Roman Catholic people, but against the religion of Roman Catholicism. My hope is that many Roman Catholics who are struggling in darkness (as we all do before coming to know Jesus personally) will be brought to the light of God’s word.

Recently I watched a travelogue on TV, where a man was taking people on a tour of Israel. As I listened to him express his belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and his clear enunciation of the doctrine of the Trinity, I wondered if I was listening to an evangelical Baptist. But eventually the man made a reference to the ‘blessed virgin’, and ultimately revealed his belief that Rome is the one true church. Just as it was initially difficult for me to determine where this man was ‘coming from’, it has also been hard for many to discern the difference between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity, because Rome truly does come to people ‘in the name of Christ’ (Matthew 24:5). But God condemns Rome for three very simple reasons.

Rome has sought to steal the three divine offices that belong to Jesus Christ alone:
Prophet, Priest and King

PROPHET

When Constantine first legalized Christianity, he discovered that Christians were divided over what the Bible teaches. He could not use Christians as a powerful, cohesive political force if they were not united. So Constantine began the tradition of convening ecumenical councils in order to define ‘catholic’ Christianity (the word ‘catholic’ means pure, genuine or ‘orthodox’). Constantine’s final product would be ‘Roman’ catholicism. The first such council occurred at Nicea in 325 AD. Apparently Constantine didn’t think that the Bible was an adequate expression of truth, or that God is an able communicator. The fact is, Constantine’s supposed zeal for Christian truth masked his real agenda; to make the Bible serve Rome.

Ever since that time Rome has claimed sole authority to interpret the Bible, as well as the authority to add to it (through her traditions and the proclamations of her councils and Popes). Rome does not define faith as believing God; Rome defines faith as ‘believing Rome‘. In doing this they have denied the prophetic authority and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, of His apostles, and of the Bible itself. While claiming apostolic authority from the apostle Peter, Rome has trashed all true apostolic authority. A simple Bible in the hands of common men, written by God’s original apostles and prophets, has always been Rome’s greatest fear. She has done everything within her power to suppress or destroy it, because through the Bible God speaks directly to people, opening their eyes to the truth, drawing them directly to the Savior, and exposing Rome for what it really is. That is why the invention of the printing press sparked the Reformation, and caused so much trouble for Rome.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book; “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelation 22:18-19

PRIEST

Constantine feared that if he sinned after being baptized, he would go to hell; so he put off his baptism until he was on his deathbed. This approach to baptism was not uncommon in his time, but it reveals two serious errors. First, Constantine apparently believed that the sacraments have saving power in and of themselves. This idea is known as ‘sacramentalism’. Secondly, he seemed to think that a person can do whatever he wants throughout life, and then use a sacrament to cover his tracks and enter heaven. These ideas remain hallmarks of Roman Catholicism to this day. Rome teaches that her priests have the ability to infuse saving power into the sacraments, and that these sacraments can be used to change the eternal destinies of people’s souls, even after they are dead and buried, through sacrifices (Masses) offered on behalf of the dead.

The only sacraments of biblical Christianity are baptism, and communion (or the Lord’s Supper). They were given to instruct and remind mankind concerning God’s way of salvation, by symbolizing unity with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Both of them were introduced by men who made it clear that they were only symbolic, and did not have any saving power. Baptism was introduced by John the Baptist, who said that one must be baptized by the Holy Spirit, not water, in order to be saved (Matthew 3:11-12). Jesus introduced communion, and said that the bread and the wine should be eaten ‘in remembrance’ of Him (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25). There is not a single hint in the Gospels, the book of Acts or in any of the letters of the Apostles, indicating that communion or water baptism were ever viewed as having any saving power (seeBaptism and Pentecost). It is only a ‘new birth’ through union with Christ, preceded by repentance and faith, that saves a person (seeForgiveness).

The author of the New Testament book of Hebrews went to great lengths to contrast the Old Testament priests of Israel (from the tribe of Levi), and the new priesthood of Jesus Christ that has replaced them (Hebrews 6:19-10:18), pointing out the shortcomings of the old system.

MANY DYING PRIESTS vs. ONE ETERNAL PRIEST (Hebrews 7:23-25)
MORALLY IMPERFECT PRIESTS vs. A TESTED AND PROVEN PRIEST (Hebrews 7:26-28)
AN EARTHLY ALTAR AND TEMPLE vs. A HEAVENLY ALTAR AND TEMPLE (Hebrews 8 & 9)
MANY POWERLESS SACRIFICES OFFERED REPEATEDLY vs. ONE POWERFUL SACRIFICE OFFERED ONCE
(Hebrews 9:25-28, 10:10-14)

As one looks at this list, it is obvious that Rome’s priesthood is very similar to the Old Testament Levitical priesthood, with all of its shortcomings. There is one important difference between Israel and Rome however; Israel was authorized by God to institute its priesthood as a foreshadowing of the coming Savior. Rome, however, has no such authority. In fact Rome has instituted its priesthood in direct disobedience to God, willfully ignoring the fact that the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem marked the replacement of the old Jewish priesthood with Christ’s new and eternal priesthood in heaven (Hebrews 8:13).

The Old Testament animal sacrifices were offered over and over again. The author of Hebrews wrote that this repetition was a clear indication that they were not working. Rome’s repeated sacrifices reflect the same powerlessness. Jesus has taken His own blood into God’s true Temple in Heaven, and there it has been offered once for all, effective for all eternity (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 9:26,28,10:12,18).

Rome has entered into direct competition with God for the souls of men. God says that we must come directly to Jesus, and know Him personally, to be saved. Rome’s priests say that we must come to them to be saved. It is for this very reason that many Protestants, down through the centuries, have believed that Rome’s priests represent Paul’s ‘man of sin’. Paul said that this man’s coming would be preceded  by a great ‘falling away’ from the true Christian faith, and that he would display himself to the world as God in the Temple of God. When one claims to be performing priestly work that the Bible has reserved for Christ alone in God’s true Temple above, is one not claiming to be God in the Temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:4)? Can there be any greater blasphemy against God?

It is for this reason that God has portrayed the Roman Catholic Church as a whore with a golden cup in her hands (Revelation 17:4). He says that this cup contains her filthiness and abominations. It is the cup (or chalice) that Rome’s priests use in their Mass. Rome’s priests claim to have the power to change the wine (or grape juice) of this cup into the literal blood of Christ (they call this ‘Transubstantiation’), which they then claim to offer to God for the forgiveness of people’s sins. It is this attempt to replace the priesthood of Christ, and to interfere with people coming directly to Jesus through simple prayer and the reading of God’s word, that has prompted God to reserve a fiery judgment for the Roman Catholic world (Revelation 17:16-17).

cup                                                  The Mass

 

KING

Constantine’s first and most famous claim was that God showed him a vision of a cross, and said “Conquer under this sign”. In claiming to wage war for God, Constantine was fulfilling Revelation:

And I saw, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 6:2
in this sign conquer          crosses in cemetery
IN HOC SIGNO (IN THIS SIGN YOU WILL CONQUER), CEMETERY FOR ‘CHRISTIAN’ WARRIORS

Constantine was the first of many ‘Holy’ Roman emperors and Popes who would claim a divine right to rule over the other kings of the world, making themselves ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords’. But consider the contrast between Constantine and the true Jesus, who taught His disciples to love their enemies, who rebuked Peter for taking up a sword to defend Him, who forgave His enemies even while they were killing Him, and who, in the book of Revelation, warns that true Christians will be characterized by their refusal to wage war:

You have heard that it has been said ‘You shall love thy neighbor, and hate your enemy’. But I say unto you “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven”. For he makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

And, behold, one of them (Peter) which were with Jesus (when He was arrested) stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and cut off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him “Put up back your sword into its place, for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Do you not know that I could now pray to my Father, and he would presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Matthew 26:51-54

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”.

Luke 23:33-34

If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:9-10

Did Constantine really see a vision telling him to conquer under the sign of the cross? The Christian historian Eusebius thinks that he did, and has reported that some of Constantine’s followers may have seen it also. But the fact that Constantine and his followers may have seen a miraculous vision does not mean that it was a divine vision, and the fact that Constantine obtained great power does not mean that it was divine power.

For over 200 years, beginning in 70 AD, Rome attempted to completely destroy the Christian religion. With the arrival of Constantine, Rome went from persecuting the church to saying ‘I am the church!’. From that time until now, Rome has sought to destroy Christianity from the inside out, like a worm ruining a piece of fruit, while at the same time continuing to persecute God’s people when they point out Rome’s falsehood. It is Rome’s diabolical claim to be the one true Christian church, and to be establishing God’s Kingdom on earth that has prompted God to label her “The Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5).

TRUE CHRISTIANITY: KNOWING CHRIST

The one thing that characterizes true Christians is that they have come to Jesus Christ directly, because of His all-sufficiency as Prophet, Priest and King. There no longer are any prophets, priests or kings on earth who can stand between us and God. The Bible’s message is clear; God has replaced the Old Testament priests with a better One. Jesus is the only Priest who can save our souls. God requires that we come directly to Him, and know Him personally in order to be saved.

Many people don’t want to know Christ personally. They would rather let somebody else interpret the Bible for them, and stand between themselves and God. They prefer rituals and ceremonies over real substance. The Bible defines faith as ‘believing God’, but Roman Catholics define faith as ‘believing Rome’. This is the distinction between Roman Catholicism and biblical Christianity, but those who substitute the traditions and authority of men for a personal relationship with Jesus will be regret it in the end:

“Behold, the days come” says the Lord, “that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them” says the Lord. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days” says the Lord “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord’: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Not every one that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity’.

Matthew 7:21-23

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

John 10:27

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

HOW CAN WE KNOW CHRIST?

We can begin to pursue a direct relationship with Jesus Christ by reading God’s word. Jesus is fully revealed in the Bible; especially in the four gospels left to us by His apostles. We can also speak directly to Him through prayer. Though it takes some effort, and may take some time, this is the only way to draw near to God, and to know Him “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). The Holy Spirit can use the Bible in a powerful way to impact our hearts and minds. The word of God is called the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), and God tells us that it is…

…living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Rome puts on a great outward show, but God works quietly and effectively through His Book. Jesus said “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). That narrow way begins with a willingness to look directly into God’s word for ourselves.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:17

ROMAN PHARISEES

If my reader is impressed by the elaborate costumes, rituals, buildings and spectacles of Roman Catholicism, I would invite him to study the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. I would particularly direct him to Jesus’ description of the Pharisees (especially in Matthew 23), and His condemnation of them. Jesus’ words are a perfect description of Rome. Roman Catholicism is simply Gentile Phariseeism; a repetition of the same errors that the Jewish religious leaders committed centuries ago, only on a much larger scale, and with full knowledge of the Pharisees’ past mistakes.

The thing that Jesus criticized most about the Pharisees was their hypocrisy. In ancient Greece the actors in a drama were called ‘hypocrites’. A hypocrite is an actor who puts on a mask, pretending to be something that he is not. Jesus’ description of the outward religion of the Pharisees fits Roman Catholicism perfectly. Just like the Pharisees of Israel, Rome puts on an elaborate outward display of religious piety, broadcast around the world on TV at Easter and Christmas. But this outward show masks an inward perversity, just as it did for the Pharisees.

robes  marketplace  holy father
ELABORATE COSTUMES, GREETINGS IN THE MARKETPLACE, BEING CALLED ‘FATHER’

They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called by men ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ (meaning ‘teacher’). But do not yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’, for one is your Master, even Christ, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, Who is in heaven.

Matthew 23:5-9

 

priest and child          abuse headline
LIKE A GRAVE SITE:  BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE, ROTTEN INSIDE

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto white sepulchers (tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

Matthew 23:27-28

 

peter's tomb          Paul's tomb
THE SUPPOSED TOMBS OF THE APOSTLES PETER & PAUL, BOTH IN ROME

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say ‘If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets’. Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets.”

Matthew 23:29-31

 

Mother Teresa          Pope praying
CHARITY AND PRAYER AS PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOLS

Take heed that you do not your charity before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you have no reward from your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your charity, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when you do charity, let not your left hand know what your right hand does, that your charity may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret Himself shall reward you openly. And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet. And when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.

Matthew 6:1-6

Another thing that Jesus condemned about the Pharisees was their substitution of human traditions for the word of God (Matthew 15:1-9, Mark 7:1-13, Colossians 2:8). This also describes Rome. Rome tells people that its traditions are ancient, are handed down from the apostles, and are equal in authority with the Bible; but God encourages us to examine every tradition and claim of apostolic authority closely:

Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying “This people draws near unto Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

Matthew 15:6-9

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars.

Revelation 2:2

In Jesus’ day the Pharisees were so highly respected and had such a stranglehold on Jewish life, that if they kicked someone out of the synagogue it was like a death sentence; it was an exclusion from society. Nobody wanted to tangle with the Pharisees. Rome has exercised that same power for centuries, terrifying people with threats of excommunication from the church and society (along with the financial ruin that this can bring). Further threats have included torture, death and eternal damnation. How can someone overcome such terror? Only with the help of God, and by getting a Bible and reading it.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him “If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

John 8:31-32

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 12:11

CHILD ABUSE

Recently there have been sex scandals in the United States and Europe regarding the RCC. There are allegations of child abuse by priests, and its cover-up. Because it claims to be holy, and to possess divine authority and infallibility, Rome must cover-up these sins. Rome also covers these crimes in order to minimize their financial impact (lawsuits, and the loss of financial support from church members).

This situation prompts important questions. Is it possible for a man to be a priest of God, and to be molesting children at the same time? What does that say about the Roman priesthood, and about the legitimacy of the Mass and Rome’s other sacraments? How many other crimes have priests committed down through the years? Of course some priests are better than others, but we are talking about our souls here. Should we believe Rome’s claim that celibacy is equal to holiness? Should we trust our eternal souls to men that we don’t really know, or instead to a Priest who has been openly tested and proven, and then raised from the dead and exalted to heaven?

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5

For such a high priest is appropriate for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.

Hebrews 7:26

FORBIDDING TO MARRY

Rome claims that Peter is the founding apostle of the Roman church. The Bible clearly states that Peter’s apostleship was to the Jews, and that Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-10). Paul himself said that his divinely-authorized mission to the Gentiles was the basis of his letter to Rome, and of his approaching journey to Rome (Romans 1:13-15). The book of Acts (chapters 27 & 28) describes that journey. The Bible says nothing about Peter in Rome.

Rome has claimed Peter as its founder because it has desired to use his supposed apostolic supremacy (Matthew 16:17-19) to establish the tradition of its own supremacy over the Christian church. Rome also prefers Peter because Paul had some things to say that are not flattering to Rome:

Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils: speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by them which believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Paul’s words describe the false doctrines and hypocrisy of Rome, and also touch on Rome’s practice of forbidding its priests and nuns to marry. While Paul told Christians that they might be happier and more effective servants of Christ if they remained single, he also told them that marriage was an honorable thing, and that they had not sinned if they married (1 Corinthians 7, see also Hebrews 13:4). In 1 Timothy Paul also taught that Bishops and Deacons should be married to one wife, and should be able to demonstrate capable leadership in a family as a qualification for leadership in the church:

This is a faithful saying; if a man desires the position of a bishop (elder), he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife; temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable and able to teach. He must not be given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle; not quarrelsome, not covetous. One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 3:1-5,12

Ironically, although the Bible informs us that Peter was the married apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the celibate apostle to the Gentiles, Rome has gravitated toward Peter as its founding apostle, because it has wanted to transfer Peter’s supposed supremacy to itself.

THE PROBLEM WITH CELIBACY

Rome has rejected the words of Paul, and has decided that all of its priests and nuns must be celibate. One of the advantages of this is that a single person can serve Rome with undivided attention, and is often willing and able to work for ‘peanuts’ in exchange for the prestige of his office and the promise of eternal life. When a single person is working for you, you don’t have to pay a wage adequate to support a spouse and children. The requirement of celibacy has provided vast amounts of cheap and dedicated labor for Rome down through the centuries.

But Rome’s insistence upon celibacy has tended to recruit people who place less value on heterosexual relationships, on homes and families, and on the procreation of children. In fact, it has tended to recruit people who are relatively ignorant about these things, and who have lived outside of the mainstream of human experience. It has recruited many who are confused about their sexuality, who are homosexual, who are child abusers, or who have simply pretended to be celibate while secretly pursuing a heterosexual life. Given its emphasis on winning the trust and confidence of children from the earliest age, it is not surprising that child abuse has flourished in the Catholic Church. When you recruit people who are willing to swear off on heterosexual relationships, and then direct them to win the confidence and trust of children, what should you expect? What job could be more attractive to a pedophile?

In the Old Testament God told the people of Israel not to have sexual intercourse with close relatives, with members of the same sex, or with animals (Leviticus 18). Those things were all abominations. But God never bothered to warn against having sex with children. Why?

BECAUSE SUCH A THING WAS SIMPLY UNTHINKABLE!

But instead of exposing and condemning it, and addressing its own perversity regarding marriage and the family, Rome has covered it up and refused to clean its house.

People trust Rome’s clergy because they claim to know what the Bible teaches; for that reason their condemnation will be more severe. It will be a terrible thing to be a Roman Catholic priest in the day of judgment, explaining to the Son of God why you contradicted the Bible, steering people away from a direct relationship with Him and toward empty rituals and falsehoods. Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they not only refused to enter heaven themselves, but also prevented others from entering it as well (Matthew 23:13). He also pronounced grave judgment upon those who cause children to stumble spiritually (Mark 9:42). What a horrid position to be in!

POSTSCRIPT

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

Because some people come to this web site through prophecy searches, often asking about things like ‘the Antichrist’ and ‘the last days’, it has seemed useful to set forth a summary of who the ‘prophetic players’ of the Bible are. Therefore I have included this section at the end of each of my web pages on prophecy.

My reader must first realize that my entire view of prophecy is defined by my understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel. I believe that this week is the great ‘Week of the Abrahamic Covenant’, beginning 4000 years ago with Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ending with the second coming of Christ. I believe that the ‘Great Tribulation’ is the second half of this week, from 70 AD to the present. It is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) because it is the period of time after Satan has been cast out of heaven and down to earth in defeat. He is enraged because he knows that he only has a short time until his eternal fiery destruction (Revelation 12:12).

During the ‘Great Tribulation’ Satan’s violent frustration has been vented, first and foremost, against the Jewish people and against protestant Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). In addition, however, Satan is determined to drag all of humanity down to eternal damnation with himself if he can. The Pharaoh of Egypt whom Moses confronted (in the book of Exodus) is a picture of Satan, willing to see his kingdom and his people destroyed rather than to ‘let his captives go’. All of the ‘players’ on my list, and all of history since 70 AD, must be understood in the light of Satan’s angry presence here on earth. If you are coming to this list from a Dispensational or Postmillennial background, and have not yet read my first three pages on prophecy ( Introduction, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return), then the things that I am saying here may not make much sense to you. I would encourage you to examine these three web pages before making any final decision concerning the validity of this list.

 

1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION(discussed in The Timetable for Jesus’ Return)

This is the ‘Beast from the Sea’ in Revelation 13:1-10, and is also the Beast upon which the Woman rides in Revelation 17. This Beast will become increasingly ‘Eastern’ in its makeup and form an alliance with 10 kings in the last prophetic hour, and these kings will burn the Woman with fire (Revelation 17:12-18).

Some Dispensationalists believe that the Beast is an individual human being. This is not so. This Beast has its roots in the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is an organized political entity, just as they were. In addition, the Beast continues in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 13:5, a period of roughly 2000 years), and thus cannot be a person. Lastly, the Woman who rides the Beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and she has ridden this Beast for centuries.

Prior to 70 AD, this Beast existed simply as the Roman Empire. But in 69 AD, when Satan was cast down to earth, he reorganized the Roman Empire into an international ‘Beast’ of militant humanity, and a city (Rome) that would ride upon the Beast’s back (through the ‘destruction and resurrection’ process of a Roman civil war, during ‘the year of the four Emperors). Since 70 AD the Beast upon which Rome has ridden has come primarily from the original Roman Empire; Western Europe and then the United States. The Beast’s religious roots have been mostly Roman Catholic. But over the past 60 years this Beast has been increasingly comprised of people throughout the world. The primarily western and Roman Catholic Beast of the past has mutated since the end of World War II into a broader coalition, incorporating the military forces of Russia, China and the Muslim world, and is represented by the United Nations. In the final prophetic hour I believe that the United Nations will turn its back upon the Western world (where it was first chartered and established), and look to China and the East. This, I believe, will be followed by the East’s surprise nuclear destruction of western, Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’.

 

2) THE WOMAN (HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON) OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 17 & 18(discussed in The City of Rome)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:18, where she is described as ‘that great city’ which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation. Prior to the Roman civil war of 69 AD (the ‘Year of the four emperors’), the city of Rome had been the seat and governing power of the Roman Empire. During this civil war, however, Rome watched helplessly as the generals and armies of the Empire fought for supremacy. Since that time the city of Rome has been powerless militarily. This explains the fact that the final form of the Roman Empire (its feet) are described in Daniel 2:33 as being comprised of iron and clay. It is this ‘mixed’ Empire, comprised of a ‘clay City’ and various ‘iron’ military powers, that Christ will destroy and replace at His return (Daniel 2:34).

Revelation describes Rome in a most negative way. She is an extremely wealthy whore, given to fornication and blasphemy against God, who is drunk with the blood of His people. She is described as the “Mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). In short, she is wickedness itself. How did she get this way?

The key to understanding Rome, is to understand the angry archangel, Satan, who made her what she is. For 240 years, after 70 AD, pagan Rome did everything within its power to exterminate Christianity. Many thousands of Christians were impoverished, enslaved or killed. This was the official policy of Rome, all done in subservience to the ‘Dragon’, Satan. Around 310 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine announced that he had seen a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer under the banner of the Christian cross. Constantine proceeded to ‘legalize’ Christianity, and to make it a part of his empire. He convened ‘ecumenical councils’ to define what Roman Christianity would be.

Hence Rome went, practically overnight, from persecuting the Christian church to declaring ‘I am the church!’. In reality what Rome had become was a religious institution that would not only continue persecuting Christianity, but would also deceive millions of others into embracing a counterfeit Christianity, sending them into eternity with false hopes. Rome became a three-pronged weapon in Satan’s hands; killing some, deceiving others, and turning the rest of the world against Christianity because of Rome’s greediness, bloodshed and hypocrisy. Constantine and his militant church are the first ‘seal’ of Revelation 6:2; a ‘white’ conqueror followed by the four seals of war, famine, pestilence and the persecution of Christians. The final, sixth seal, represents the ultimate end of Rome; a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack.

Rome’s destruction is described in Revelation chapter 18, where ‘Babylon’ is destroyed by fire in one hour. After this destruction, the kings and merchants of the earth are shown, mourning over the loss of their wealth and keeping their distance from her because of the fire of her torment (and its radioactive fallout). I do not believe that this mourning will result simply from the destruction of the city of Rome itself, but from the destruction of the greater ‘Roman Catholic world’; in other words, ‘the West’. This may include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe and Australia, and is represented by the destruction of 1/3 of the earth in the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-13. The ‘Roman Catholic world’ does comprise roughly 1/3 of the landmass of the world, but much less than 1/3 of the world’s people. At the very moment when the nuclear weapons detonate, as Revelation chapter 7 reveals, God will ‘seal’ 144,000 young Jewish men for leadership in Israel, and will ‘rapture’ true Christians off of the planet.

 

I am confident regarding my explanations of the Beast and the Woman (Babylon) above. I am not dogmatic, however, about the following three ‘players’ on the prophetic stage; the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet), Paul’s Man of Sin, and the Antichrist. They can, it seems to me, be understood in different ways. Each one can be understood either as a single person, or as a group of persons. Beyond that, it is possible that all three are referring to the same person or group. It is important that I be honest with myself and my reader, about what I know and what I don’t know. Given the gravity of these times and of God’s warnings, it is important that my reader embrace the liberty as well as the responsibility to reach conclusions for himself. With that in mind, I share my own thoughts.

 

3) THE BEAST FROM THE LAND (or THE FALSE PROPHET)

This is the second of two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13, the first being The Beast from the Sea, or simply ‘The Beast’ (explained above). The first Beast is described as coming ‘from the sea’ because, like the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7, it arises from the great sea of humanity. I do not know why this present beast is said to come from ‘the land’. Some have wondered if it indicates that this it will come from God’s land; the ‘holy land’ of Israel. This Beast from the Land has three primary traits:

      A)It is ‘lamblike’ in its appearance (possibly a reference to the ‘Lamb of God’, Christ), and yet speaks the words of the Dragon, Satan. This is consistent with God’s description of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). This Beast also works powerful miracles to deceive people; a trait that Jesus warned about in regard to future false prophets (Matthew 24:24).
      B) It derives its authority from, and directs everyone’s worship and obedience to the first Beast, and the ‘image’ of the first Beast. It will cause those who refuse to worship the Beast to be put to death. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s order to kill those who would not worship his image (Daniel 3:1-6).
      C) It introduces something called ‘the Mark of the Beast’ to the world, without which no one may buy or sell. This ‘Mark’ may be worldwide, and could possibly be a mark implemented by the United Nations.

We see this ‘duo’ of two Beasts elsewhere in the book of Revelation, where they are referred to as ‘the Beast and the False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). It should be observed that the number ‘666’ is not associated with this second Beast, but with the first Beast whom he serves. The miracles and the ‘Mark’ that coincide with the False Prophet remind me of present day technology. The ‘image’ that breathes, speaks, and causes the persecution of those who refuse to take the ‘Mark’ could be modern media such as television, movies and the Internet. The calling down of fire from heaven may be a reference to the drones and other ‘smart’ weapons that we see today. And the ‘Mark’ itself may be some kind of computer chip, placed under the skin, that will facilitate human organization, tax collection and crime control in unprecedented ways. To many people the ‘Mark’ will represent the only hope for the survival of the human race, and those who oppose it will be viewed as foolish and essentially ‘anti-human’.

Some may point out that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be thrown, alive, into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20), and therefore suggest that these two must be persons, and not kingdoms, organizations or ‘generic groups’. I respond by pointing out Jesus’ description of this same judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). He said that, when He returns, He will sit upon His throne and the nations will be gathered before Him. They will be separated to His left and to His right, like a shepherd divides sheep from goats. At that time He will banish those on His left directly into a fire that has been prepared ‘for the devil and his angels’. This can only refer to the Lake of Fire, since Satan is never described as inhabiting Hades. Hence, while Revelation describes two beings being cast alive into the Lake of Fire, Jesus describes a judgment where many are cast into the Lake of Fire alive. To me this suggests the possibility that the Beast is comprised of all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.

How can this be? The secret lies in observing the increasing ‘solidarity’ of the human race against God. Throughout the world men are talking about the ‘oneness’ of mankind, and the necessity of international unity. It may be that those who take the Mark of the Beast will ‘become the Beast’. It is not coincidence that this rising religious ‘oneness’ is accompanied by an increasingly united worldwide animosity toward Israel. Satan is working behind the scenes to bring the human race, all the nations of the world, to Jerusalem to do battle against God. Satan has no illusions about how things are going to work out. He knows what awaits. But he is focused upon deceiving and taking as many into the Lake of Fire with him as he can. That is why he is called ‘the evil one’.

Jesus said that how He judges those who stand before Him will be determined by how they treated His ‘brethren’. Many believe that Jesus’ brethren are simply those who are Christians, whether Jew or Gentile. This is true. But it may be that, in the context of this particular judgment, as Jesus sits upon the throne of His fathers Abraham and David in Jerusalem, that His brethren may be, more specifically, those Jews who were mistreated by the world in the time leading up to His second coming. Those who are joining the present worldwide chorus to criminalise Israel and divide God’s land might do well to consider this. God’s judgment in this case may be instant and everlasting torment.

 

4) THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ‘MAN OF SIN’

It is my personal belief that the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet) is also the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians chapter 2:1-12). Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ is also endued with Satanic miracle-working power, and he also is described as being directly and personally destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the False Prophet will be. Here again, however, I do not feel obligated to believe that Paul is speaking of a single man.

Paul speaks of a ‘great falling away from the Christian faith’ that will precede the appearance of this ‘man’. He also speaks of him as one who will ‘show himself as God, standing in the temple of God’. For centuries many Protestants have viewed these words as a description of the Roman Catholic priesthood, which claims to do what the Bible says Jesus alone can do; stand in God’s true Temple above (in heaven) and intercede for sinners. The gospel message is that people must come to Jesus directly, and know Him personally in order to be saved. Jesus says to the world ‘Come unto Me and be saved’, while Rome’s priests say ‘Come unto Rome and be saved’. Hence both Paul’s ‘man of sin’ and Revelation’s Beast from the Land could be a ‘type of man’, rather than an individual man.

Over the past few decades the Roman Catholic church has drawn closer and closer to the other religions of the world, seeking common ground. Rome now declares that it does not matter what one’s religion is, as long as one loves one’s neighbor. Rome now calls Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and snake worshippers her ‘brothers’. This represents Rome’s attempt to continue riding upon an increasingly international ‘Beast’. Rome is attempting to bridge the gaps between her ‘western children’ and the other nations of the world through talk of peace and religious ‘tolerance’. Hence in these last days we are seeing Roman Catholic leaders who are increasingly given to Eastern mysticism and ‘transcendental’ attempts to connect with the occult spirit world, seeking a ‘higher spirituality’ that will bring all men and religions together as ‘one’. It is in this light that we can understand how a man may soon arise who is a pope to the Catholics, a ‘christ’ to false Christians, a Mahdi to the Muslims, a Messiah to the Jews, and a wise soul to those of India and the Orient. Again, it may be one man, or it may be a cadre of men and women who, together, constitute the Man of Sin / Beast from the Land / False Prophet of the Bible.

Personally I do not believe that every unsaved person will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Depending upon how wicked they have been, I believe that many will spend time in the Lake of Fire before being consumed and ceasing to exist (see Original Sin ). But there are three beings who are specifically described in the Bible as being tormented forever and ever. This fate is reserved for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 20:10). I believe that God’s warning about the Mark, given in Revelation 14:9-12, may actually be a warning about ‘becoming the Beast’ through taking the Mark, and thus joining Satan in a torment that will never end. This is a dreadful thought to contemplate. God is telling us that we need to take the warnings of His prophecies very seriously.

The contention around this issue, between believers and unbelievers, will be very sharp in the last days, and those who refuse to worship the Beast and his image will be put to death. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will feel compelled, because they have no confidence about their fate beyond the grave, to take the Mark in order to extend their lives. The only way for a person to overcome in these last days will be to ‘not love their lives unto the death’ (Revelation 12:11), and this will only be possible for those who have tasted the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life that Jesus alone can give.

 

5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word ‘antichrist’ never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John’s words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

      A)Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
      B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John’s description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link ‘the Antichrist’ with any other passage of scripture. The term ‘antichrist’ is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have been able to plug the Antichrist freely into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is ‘the Prince who is to come’ (of Daniel 9:26), the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, Paul’s ‘man of sin’, and ‘the Beast’ that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire together with the False Prophet. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John’s very limited words about ‘the Antichrist’, today’s ‘Left Behind’ series being only one of many.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, ‘the Antichrist’, who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. If I had to choose, I would consider Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but blatantly denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was ‘Emmanuel’; God in flesh. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam (unless it is Judaism). Muslims have written ‘God has no son’ inside their mosque, the ‘Dome of the Rock’, sitting on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and the possession of the Temple Mount by Gentiles, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque.

Could the Antichrist be the False Prophet, and/or Paul’s Man of Sin? Yes, I suppose so, but there is nothing in John’s words that requires us to reach that conclusion.

 

While I am cautious in my identification of ‘Players’ 3-5 above, I am confident in my conclusions about ‘Players’ 6-9 below.

6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION(Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return for a discussion of Titus).

7) THE ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’ OF DANIEL 9:26- also the Roman general Titus.

8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8The United States of America

9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God’s host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel’s transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome’s history can be found.

 

THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

TOP OF PAGE

1. FOUR O.T. PROPHECIES                                  10. FOUR N.T. PROPHECIES                         19. CHRISTIANITY: KNOWING CHRIST
2. #1 ROMAN LEGS AND FEET                             11. #1 SIX TRAITS OF THE TRIBULATION     20. HOW CAN WE KNOW CHRIST?
3. #2 FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7                     12. #2 SIX SEALS OF REVELATION 6             21. ROMAN PHARISEES
4. #3 LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8                         13. #3 WOMAN WHO RIDES THE BEAST       22. CHILD ABUSE
5. #4 FROM GREECE TO ROME TO THE END     14. #4 BABYON DESTROYED                        23. FORBIDDING TO MARRY
6. TRANSITION FROM GREECE TO ROME          15. THE RELIGION OF ROME                        24. THE PROBLEM WITH CELIBACY
7. CHRISTIANS UNDER ROME                              16. PROPHET                                                  25. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
8. ROME’S NEW RELIGION                                   17. PRIEST
9. ROME’S WARS AND ULTIMATE END                18. KING

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR
 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. GOD REVEALED FROM ‘A to Z’                    8. PREACHER & SALOONKEEPER               15. DAYS 5 & 6
2. GOD SEEN IN HIS WORD & WORLD            9. THE ‘YEC’ PERSPECTIVE                          16. NOAH’S FLOOD
3. I BELIEVE IN ‘INTELLIGENT DESIGN’         10. WHY EVENINGS AND MORNINGS?         17. BIG AND SMALL
4. TWO KINDS OF EVOLUTION                       11. DAY 1                                                        18. OTHER LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
5. CHRISTIANS DIVIDED                                  12. DAY 2                                                        19. THE MIRACLE OF LIFE
6. WHY I AM AN ‘OEC’                                     13. DAY 3                                                        20. THE TRUTH IS AS CLOSE AS A BOOK
7. A POLARIZED DEBATE ABOUT TIME          14. DAY 4

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

GOD REVEALED FROM ‘A to Z’ (EVERYTHING FROM WHO GOD IS TO WHAT GOD IS)

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, he told them that everything there is to know about God is revealed to all of us, every day, through the things that He has made. This revelation includes what God is (such as eternally powerful), and Who God is (conveyed in the word ‘Godhead’).

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 1:19-20

Paul was repeating a message that is also found in the Old Testament:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

David’s Psalm 19:1-4

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.

Isaiah 6:3

This web page, along with my first page titled ‘God is a Family Called the Trinity ‘ , are the ‘bookends’ of this site. The first page discusses the personal aspects of Who God is (the Trinity), and this final page discusses the impersonal aspects of what God is (wise, good, powerful).

GOD REVEALED THROUGH BOTH HIS WORD AND HIS WORLD

Although Paul taught that the created world clearly reveals God to us, he did not limit the revelation of God to creation alone. Paul taught that the Bible contains the direct, verbal communication of God to mankind. Therefore in each of my web pages about the nature of God, I refer not only to the general revelation of God in the world around us, but also to the special revelation of God found in His word. Christians call this concept ‘dual revelation’. Both of these things, creation and the Bible, come from the same God. Therefore it is my challenge, as a Christian, to both understand and explain to others how they are consistent with one another.

Unlike my first web page on the Trinity, I am not dividing this page into separate sections regarding what the Bible says about God, and then what everyday observation (science) tells us. This page is less formal. In this page I am simply diving into my subject; discussing what I think science tells us, as well as what the Bible tells us, more or less at the same time.

I BELIEVE IN ‘INTELLIGENT DESIGN’

I think it’s important, right from the beginning, that my reader know what I believe and where I am coming from. With the rise of Darwinism and the Theory of Evolution in the 1800’s, along with advances in Geology and Astronomy, many fundamental Christian beliefs about God and the Biblical account of creation began to be questioned. The Genesis account of creation was widely seen in the eyes of the world as a myth. Many Christians, like myself, did not know how to answer these challenges except to say ‘The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!’. For over 100 years after Darwin, the profound discoveries of scientists elevated them to a kind of ‘priesthood’ where whatever they said about the world and the history of man was considered ‘sacred truth’. When I became a Christian in 1975, I knew that I had met God, but I did not know how to answer this ‘high priesthood’ of science.

It was not until 1992, when I read a book from my local city library titled Evolution: Theory in Crisis by Dr. Michael Denton, that I began to realize that evolution was invalid. Dr. Denton was not a Christian; he was an agnostic and a microbiologist who loved truth. He exposed two major flaws in the theory of evolution:

      1)Large gaps in the fossil record where ‘transitional forms’ between species are missing.
    2) The inability of evolution to explain the highly organized and extremely complex mechanisms that define life at the cellular level.

Not long after I finished Denton’s book, I discovered Dr. Hugh Ross and his organization; ‘Reasons to Believe’. Dr. Ross is an evangelical Christian and an astrophysicist. I began to read his materials, and my ability to reconcile modern scientific discovery with the Bible has grown ever since. I do not agree with Dr. Ross on everything (his theology and views on Noah’s flood are different from mine), but his work has been a blessing to me. In more recent days I have discovered other organizations like ‘Illustra Media’, which produces effective DVDs presenting the argument for Intelligent Design.

What is important to recognize here is that Dr. Denton did not reach his conclusions based upon religious beliefs; he had no religious beliefs. He reached his conclusions upon the basis of scientific fact. He could not help but infer that the complexity of life within the living cell might suggest the possibility of a ‘Designer’; but he had no opinion about Who that Designer might be. This defines the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement; a willingness to consider the possibility of a Designer/Creator, based upon scientific discovery, without specifying who this Designer/Creator is. As such, the Intelligent Design movement, while supported and promoted by many Christians, is not affiliated with a particular religion. Those who try to discredit Intelligent Design, seek to characterize it as the product of fundamentalist Christians, but the concept stands scientifically on its own two feet, and will continue to do so.

I believe that science’s increasing knowledge has been a source of encouragement for all evangelical Christians. I expect that most would consider themselves believers in ‘Intelligent Design’. The Christian believes that the ‘Intelligent Designer’ is the Trinity, and more specifically Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But Intelligent Design theory does not require one to embrace the Bible. I can foresee a time in the near future when the whole world will acknowledge the truth of Intelligent Design, and will earnestly seek the Designer. But this ‘seeking’ will not necessarily lead to the true ‘Designer’. My expectation is that, as the ‘spirituality’ of Intelligent Design displaces the ‘materialism’ of evolution, we will see a rebirth of mysticism, occultism and paganism that has not been seen in many years.

TWO KINDS OF EVOLUTION

It is important to point out that scientists have proposed two different kinds of evolution:

      1) General Evolution:The theory proposed by Darwin, that one species can evolve into another. The premise of General Evolution is that life began as the chance interaction of energy and chemicals in some swamp somewhere, and that life somehow spontaneously self-organized and began without any outside intervention. From that early beginning, single-celled organisms eventually evolved into all of the different species of plants and animals on the earth today.
      2) Special Evolution: The idea that various species undergo change

within themselves

      over time, in order to adapt to their environment. That in any given group of offspring (dogs for instance) there will be a certain amount of variation within the group (some puppies will have long hair, and some shorter, some darker and some lighter) that will give some offspring certain survival advantages over the others, thus insuring the survival of

the species as a whole

    in changing environments.

It was this ‘evolution within a species’ that Darwin observed in the Galapagos Islands. Darwin himself had been a pigeon collector, and knew very well that human beings could change the characteristics of the pigeon species by favoring certain pigeons while rejecting the others. As he travelled to South America, he was looking for evidence that natural forces could have the same effect upon animal populations. When he discovered that nature could indeed favor certain changes ‘within a species’, he chose to expand his discovery, proposing that nature could cause one species to change into another. He argued that the existence of Special Evolution supported the theory of General Evolution.

Most informed people know that Special Evolution is a valid concept. We humans apply artificial ‘pressures’ to bring about changes in species all the time. But those changes remain within the species. Much of the variation amongst dogs is the result of human breeding choices. We apply similar pressure to plants, seeking for the largest or best tasting fruits through cross-pollination. The human race itself is an example of Special Evolution. Black people have more skin pigment because the intense sun of Africa has favored offspring who have more Melanin in their skin. Nature has favored other traits amongst the white people of the north, and the Asiatic people. Yet all of these people can give blood transfusions to one another, because they are of the same species.

Back in the 1970’s the U.S. government passed a law requiring that all cars have 5 mph bumpers; bumpers that could withstand hitting a light pole in a parking lot at 5 mph without sustaining any damage. In my mind’s eye I can still see Volkswagen Rabbits driving around with what looked like shock absorbers holding up their bumpers. Special Evolution is very similar to this. It is God’s 5 mph bumper within the species, allowing it to run into any number of various environmental changes over time, and still ‘survive the impact’, because the minor variations within offspring guarantee that some members of the species will survive. In my opinion Special Evolution is just one more argument in favor of an ingenious ‘Intelligent Designer’ of life.

It has been my concern that many people, as they have listened to discussions about evolution, have not understood that these two kinds of evolution are involved. Thus those who have argued in favor of General Evolution have, just as Darwin first did, been able to use Special Evolution as the supposed proof of General Evolution, and many people have not been able to discern the weakness of their argument. Dr. Michael Denton did see the weakness of General Evolution, and in Evolution: Theory in Crisis, one of his major points was that the expected transitional forms that would be found if one species mutated into another, are absent from the fossil record. Denton also pointed out that many supposed examples of transition from one species to another are not truly transitions at all.

CHRISTIANS DIVIDED

While I think it’s safe to say that all fundamentalist, evangelical Christians rejoice over what science is discovering through the microscope, they are divided over what science claims to see through the telescope. Scientists are telling us that our universe may be 14.5 billion years old, and that our solar system is 3.5 billion years old. Christians are divided over whether or not these ‘insights’ are valid. All evangelical Christians are ‘creationists’, and believe that God created the universe and everything in it; but they differ regarding how old God’s creation is.

One group of Christians believe that our earth and solar system are ‘young’; a mere 10,000 to 20,000 years old (more or less). I will call this group the Young Earth Creationists (YEC’s for short). Their belief is based upon two basic things:

      1)An understanding of the Genesis account of creation, and its associated genealogies of the human race, that indicates (to them) that the earth is relatively young. They believe that the creation ‘days’ of Genesis were 24-hour days.
      2) A reaction against the Theory of Evolution; a theory that is based upon the idea that,

given enough time

    , all life can be explained as the product of chance interactions between matter and energy without any supernatural intervention.

When one asks the YEC’s how they reconcile the apparent great age of the universe with their belief in a young earth, they generally give one of two explanations:

A) They say that the earth and universe are indeed very old, but that the earth was wiped clean by a major traumatic event a few thousand years ago (Catastrophe theory), and Genesis describes God’s creative work after this catastrophe

B)God created the earth and universe to ‘look old’ (the appearance of age), when in fact they are not.

The second group of Christians believes that what the scientists are saying about the age of our universe and solar system is correct, and that these perspectives can be reconciled with the Bible. I will call this group the Old Earth Creationists (OEC’s). Their beliefs are based upon two things:

      1)A belief that the creation days of Genesis were not 24-hour days, but ages or epochs of God’s creative work, performed in the order that they are described in Genesis, but not in 24-hour periods.
    2) That the universe is as it appears to be to the scientist, and that Christians are obligated to bow to the truth whenever and however it presents itself.

Sadly, although there are many fine, good and God-fearing Christians in each of these groups, their differences over Genesis divide them. Many of these folks share one of the most profound things that a human being can know; a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ. But they feel obligated, by doctrinal differences, to separate themselves from one another. Not to put too fine a point on it, the YEC’s think that the OEC’s are heretics who have abandoned the divine inspiration of the Bible. For their part, the OEC’s believe that God’s truth is found both in the Bible and in the created world, and that the YEC’s ‘believe that the earth is flat’, and stubbornly refuse to open their minds. I have no problem with the fact that Christians are separated over these issues; this is as it must be. But at times these disagreements have become rancorous on both sides.  This ought not to be.

Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself and is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, and thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

WHY I AM AN ‘OEC’

For me, one of the most important truths of the Bible is found in the apostle Paul’s words:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20

God has revealed His eternal power through the things that He has made. In my opinion a 14 billion year-old universe, millions of light years across and containing millions of galaxies, does a good job of that. If I bench press 500 pounds, that’s power. If I press that 500 pounds over my head with one arm all day long, and twirl it around like a marching baton, that’s impressive sustained power. If I cram a universe full of fusion-powered stars into a space the size of an atom, and then cause it to constantly expand outward over 14 billion years, that’s divine ‘eternal power’. In doing this, God has made a statement that we cannot ignore. I believe the scientist when he tells me about the size, age and nature of the universe. God prophesied long ago that in these last days human knowledge would be increased.

But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:4

I know in my heart, when I look up into a starry sky at night, that almost everything that the astronomer and physicist are telling me is true. When someone I love is injured, I run to the hospital for a CT scan to find out what’s wrong. For me to question the findings of a scientist who measures the universe using much of the same technology found in that CT machine, is an internal contradiction and intellectually dishonest. Like it or not, Christians must realize that they do not have a corner on the truth. Those who study the material sciences possess truth that is just as valid as biblical truth; in fact it is biblical truth. Herein lies the problem with some Christians; they cannot acknowledge that knowing the Creator does not necessarily make them experts regarding His creation.

POLARIZING THE DEBATE: MAKING IT ABOUT TIME

As I stated above, the second reason that the YEC’s insist upon 24-hour creation days is their belief that, if they allow for a longer period of creation time, they will have yielded to the evolutionists, and the evolutionists will have won the argument. Whether they realize it or not, those YECs who oppose longer creation days for this reason are really ‘closet evolutionists’. They believe that, if there was a longer period of time involved, evolution really could take place. They have not yet fully grasped that it doesn’t matter how much time evolution is given, it never has and never could happen.

For decades the fundamentalist Christians and the scientific community have fought back and forth with each other. Their disagreement has centered solely around the issue of time. Evolutionists have claimed that, given enough time, everything could be explained without God. Fundamentalists, as though in a tug of war with evolutionists, have pulled equally hard on their end of the rope, insisting that God requires no time.

YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISTS SAY GOD MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT TIME
EVOLUTIONISTS SAY THAT TIME MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD

The problem has been this; that the scientists and the YECs have defined the discussion so thoroughly in terms of time, that people have been prevented from approaching the issue from any other direction.

THE PREACHER AND THE SALOONKEEPER

Actually, although they despise each other, the evolutionists and the YECs have been in a symbiotic kind of host/parasite relationship for some time. By agreeing that their argument can be about time, and only about time, they have helped to insure each other’s continuing prosperity.

The ongoing disagreement between YEC’s and evolutionists might be likened to an agreement between a saloonkeeper and a preacher in an old wild-west town. One day the saloonkeeper and the preacher got together and decided that, in order to insure that each of them had steady business, they would pass a law stating that people may meet in only one of two public places; the saloon or the church. No public meetings or discussions would be permitted anywhere else. People could go about their business, visiting the various stores and shops, but when it came time to discuss important public issues, the saloon and the church were the only public forums where this could be done.

With this monopoly on public discourse, the preacher and the saloonkeeper gained tremendous influence and wealth in the community. They were one another’s avowed enemies, but their agreement insured that each enjoyed a substantial audience. The saloonkeeper could warn his patrons that their only other option for them was that ‘ignorant, superstitious church’. The preacher could warn his congregation that their only other option was the ‘godless saloon’.

Then one day along came an Intelligent Design guy, who suggested opening up the conversation in town. In order to keep his customers, the saloonkeeper denounced the Intelligent Design guy as the Preacher in disguise, because he had ‘religious’ ideas. At the same time the Preacher warned his congregation about the Intelligent Design guy because he held those ‘godless OEC’ ideas about Genesis. This is the battle that Intelligent Design advocates and OEC Christians have had to fight; a turf war for a place where ideas can be openly and respectfully presented.

In my hometown of Detroit there is a huge hotel/office complex originally called the Renaissance Center (now the GM center). To anyone who looks at it, it is obvious that it was designed and built by people who are very intelligent. People in Detroit don’t stand around debating whether or not it was built in 3 days, or evolved over 3 million years. Both notions are patently ridiculous. It is obvious that it was built, but that it took some time to build it. It is also obvious that anyone smart enough to create such buildings was also probably able to build them in an efficient and timely manner. If the evolutionists and YECs had their way, however, we would all have to choose between 3 days or 3 million years.

THE ‘YEC’ PERSPECTIVE

The YEC worldview closes its eyes to reality. It may have had some credibility in days gone by, when we thought that earth was the center of the universe. Now we now know that our planet is simply a speck of dust in a much larger debris field orbiting our sun. We know that our sun is just one of millions of stars in our galaxy, and that our galaxy is only one of millions in the universe. The universe is so large that it would take us 4 years, if we were traveling at the speed of light, just to reach our nearest next-door neighbor star (Proxima Centauri) right here in our own galaxy. This is the universe that the God of the Bible has created and governs.

YECs ask us to believe that this infinite God did all of His creative work on this speck-planet during 6 consecutive rotations on its axis; that each of the major changes that the book of Genesis describes in its sequence of creation ‘days’ was accomplished in 24 hours. They would tell us that the sun fired up on Day 1, that earth’s atmosphere and water cycle were fully established on Day 2, that the land appeared and was filled with plants on Day 3, the sun, moon and stars appeared on Day 4, the birds and fish arrived on Day 5, and the land animals and mankind were all created and established on Day 6 (Adam was shown all the animals on the planet on day 6 as well, he named them all, and Eve was then created and brought to him before the day was over). It all occurred in 144 hours, and every living thing was settled in its place before Day 7 arrived. Such a perspective conjures up a picture of God putting a Styrofoam ball on a stick, and then spray- painting it a different ‘creative color’ on it with each successive rotation. Could God have done it that way? I suppose so. Do I have to believe it in order to be a genuine Christian? No. Do I have to believe in 6 creation ‘days’ to be a Christian? Yes. Do they have to be 24-hour days? No.

When one thinks about how vast the universe is, and about how miniscule the earth is in the overall scheme of things, it really doesn’t make much sense to insist that the Creator of the universe governed His work by the rotations of this planet. Such earth-centric thinking harkens back to those who forced Galileo to retract his claim that the earth revolves around the sun. The problem for the YECs is that they are unable to step away from this planet and look at it in the context of the infinite time and space of the universe; in other words, from God’s point of view.

WHY DID GOD SPEAK OF DAYS WITH EVENINGS AND MORNINGS?

YECs will respond to me by asking ‘Why did God describe His work in terms of earth days, comprised of evenings and mornings?’ To me the answer is simple. God inspired Moses, the great lawgiver, to write Genesis. God wanted to establish a 7-day week for mankind, with 6 days of work and 7th day of rest, as a pattern that we would observe in remembrance and honor of His work as the Creator. God described His work in earthly terms as a way of stooping down and relating to us. It’s as simple as that. Outside of Genesis chapter 1 there are no other passages in the Bible, in the Old Testament or the New, which either insist or imply that God’s creation days must be understood as 24-hour days. There are examples, however, where God uses the word ‘day’ to describe periods of time that are greater than 24 hours.

As I understand it, 14 billion years ago God set a universe in motion, and then roughly 3 billion years ago He began a special project here. The earth on which we live reveals an ancient material canvas of geological and atmospheric processes initiated by the Creator and continuing over vast periods of time. Upon this ancient canvas God has placed the brushstrokes of instantaneously created life, when and where He has seen fit. There is no need to choose between the ‘infinite time’ and ‘no time’. Both time frames are valid. We simply need to recognize that one applies to geology, and the other to biology. The material universe reveals God’s eternal power and wisdom, while the living world reveals His incredible instantaneous creative genius.

The simple fact is that, when we leave the question of time out of the discussion, we find that Science and the Bible are in striking agreement about the earth’s chronological history (its order of events). Personally only two things are ‘givens’ for me;

      1)That the universe is extremely old; as old as time itself.
      2) That God created the human race and united us within a man named Adam

in the relatively recent past

    .

I am open to many possibilities regarding the age of the earth and its history otherwise. I listen to many different views and ideas, aware that both scientists and Christians tend to interpret findings in terms of their preconceived notions. Truth that is both scientifically and Biblically accurate is so precious that one must look everywhere and be open to every perspective in order to find it.

DAY 1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said “Let there be light”: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5

Some people understand the words ‘in the beginning’ to simply mean ‘the first thing that God did regarding the earth’. Personally, I take them further. When God says ‘in the beginning’, I understand Him to mean in the beginning: in other words, in the beginning of time itself.

It is my personal belief that time is a created thing. It is my understanding that when the ‘Big Bang’ occurred, time, space, matter and energy came into existence for the first time. I believe that the universe is infinite, and therefore reveals a Creator who transcends the infinite. So I understand Day 1 as follows: In the beginning of all time, God created the stuff (the molecules) that would eventually comprise the earth. 11 billion years later the earth had come into existence, but was without form and void. It contained significant amounts of water over which the Spirit of God was taking a special interest, and at which time God ordered the ignition of our 3rd generation star (the sun). And because it was a revolving planet, every portion of it began to experience day and night (the length of our days and nights playing a critical role in the future stability of the planet).

DAY 2

And God said “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters”. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Genesis 1:6-8

This is a description of the earth’s atmosphere. Here we find God working with the water that He had carefully preserved, establishing earth’s early protective atmospheric covering and a water-cycle between the clouds above and the seas below. This is all very much in keeping with what scientists tell us occurred in the early days of this planet.

The Bible calls our atmosphere ‘heaven’. The Bible refers to 3 heavens. The first heaven is earth’s atmosphere, the second is outer space or the universe, and the third is a ‘spiritual heaven’ which transcends all, where God dwells. As far as I am concerned, as I think back upon the awesome cloud formations, sunsets, storms and migrating birds that I have seen in my life, I’m convinced that ‘heaven’ is a perfect description of earth’s atmosphere. It is indeed heavenly.

DAY 3

And God said “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear”: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth”: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Genesis 1:9-13

Here we see the onset of Plate Tectonics. This passage explains why most of our land, including our highest mountain ranges, is comprised of sedimentary rock; those sediments were all initially laid down under water, and then thrust up out of the water through Tectonic processes powered by the heat of the earth’s core.

In this passage we find the first mention of created life; plant life. I believe that simple animal life also existed at this time. I expect that the early seas were teaming with single-celled organisms, and maybe more complex life. The Bible does not give us a detailed account of all life on this planet; it hits the high points. It describes the plants, the fish and birds, the land animals, and lastly mankind, all in the same order that paleontologists tell us they arrived.

Genesis 2:5-6 tells us that, prior to the advent of plant life, earth’s water cycle did not include rain. It says, rather, that a mist (dew) fell upon the ground every night, watering the earth. As we shall see, before Day 4 the earth was enveloped by clouds, so that the sun, moon and stars were not visible on the surface of the planet. This was the nature of the earth when God placed plant life on it. The planet was universally warm, the atmosphere was rich in Carbon Dioxide, and plant life was richly and evenly sustained from pole to pole through regular nightly watering. This is why we find coal, oil and natural gas deposits in every part of the earth today. They are the deposits of ancient plant life that dominated this planet early on, for millions of years, converting the earth’s atmosphere to an oxygen-rich one while enriching the soil for future generations, laying a foundation capable of sustaining the many life forms that would follow. This is the Carbon Dioxide-rich world that so many fear global warming will lead us back to.

DAY 4

And God said “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth”: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 1:14-19

There is controversy and confusion surrounding this Day. Many YECs understand this passage to say that God created the sun, moon and stars on Day 4. They claim that the light that God caused to shine on Day 1 was some supernatural temporary light source that He established for the planet, while the sun, moon and stars did not come into existence until 3 ‘days’ later. Naturalists and evolutionists love this YEC interpretation of the passage, because it puts the Bible on a collision course with what we know about the history of our solar system.

The whole passage hangs on the words ‘in the firmament of the heavens’. God did not create the sun, moon and stars on this day, but He broke the earth’s cloud cover and allowed them to appear in the sky (the firmament) to anyone who might be looking up from the surface of the earth below. Why is this significant? Because the disruption and opening of the cloud cover represents the advent of weather and seasons on this planet, and the means for future animal survival. God was preparing for the animal life whose daily lives, reproductive cycles and migratory patterns would be driven by precise timekeeping, weather, seasons and celestial navigation. This advent of weather, seasons and celestial visibility was not only initiated for animals, but for mankind also.

Despite the fact that the King James version of the Bible says that God ‘made’ the two great lights (the sun and moon) on Day 4, the original Hebrew version of Genesis conveys a different idea. The original Hebrew word translated ‘made’ can also be translated ‘set’, ‘placed’ or ‘established’; the idea being that God said ‘Let celestial lights appear in the sky’, and that He then proceeded to establish them there. It is here that we see the radical difference between where the YECs and evolutionists would take us (with their misunderstanding of Day 4), and where the Bible really leads. The Bible and science are in much greater agreement with each other regarding the earth’s chronology, than either the evolutionists or the fundamentalists would have us believe.

Days 5 & 6

I do not wish to go into great detail about God’s work on these 2 ‘days’. Suffice it to say that He introduced life to the waters, to the skies and then to the land. The question of whether or not this is really true is addressed very adequately by Intelligent Design advocates. Ultimately God finished His work with the creation of mankind.

Paleontologists tell us that roughly 500 million years ago there was a sudden (geologically speaking) explosion of animal life on this planet. This is known as the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. I am comfortable with that time frame. This sudden presence of a broad variety of animal species in the fossil record agrees fully (as far as I am concerned) with the Genesis account, and runs directly counter to the theory of evolution.

500 million years is a frightening number to many Christians. They fear that if we begin talking about such time scales, the Bible will be discredited and evolutionary thought will prevail. 500 million years does not trouble me, however. First of all, 500 million years may dwarf me, but it does not dwarf my God. The Bible says that for Him one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day (2 Peter 3:9). I also find it helpful to put things into perspective by using the ‘paper towel’ illustration that some schoolteachers use. If you unravel 14 connected sheets of paper towel and lay them on a floor, you have a time line of 14 billion years, with each towel representing one billion years. The beginning of the towel-line represents the Big Bang start of the universe. Our solar system begins 11 billion years later, with the 3rd towel from the end, and the Cambrian Explosion occurs half way through the last towel. This illustration helps me to realize how relatively recent the advent of advanced life on this planet really is.

Secondly, evolution’s theory of the spontaneous development of life in primordial swamps has been discredited, both by the fossil record and cellular biologists. The transitional forms between species that Darwin expected to find have not been found. Moreover it has been ably demonstrated, by Molecular Biology, that even the simplest living things are complex machines far too intricate to have arisen spontaneously. They bear the marks of a Designer, no matter how old the earth is, or how long they have existed. Is there evolution within a species? I believe so. But one species does not evolve into another. Dinosaurs do not become chickens, and monkeys do not become men.

Thirdly, I have discovered personally that I existed as an individual within the Father of the human race, Adam. Everything that the book of Genesis says about the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is true. I have proved that for myself, and my reader can do so as well (see Testing Christianity).

NOAH’S FLOOD

I believe that the Genesis flood was a genuine, worldwide event, just as described in the Bible. I am intrigued by the possibility that the ‘Younger Dryas Event’ (YDE) was the Genesis Flood. There is abundant information about the YDE on the Internet, and I would encourage my reader to check it out. It seems to possibly coincide with the sudden disappearance of the Sabretooth Cat, the Woolly Mammoth, the Giant Sloth, and other species. When the Bible says that all of the mountains were covered with water (Genesis 7:20), I simply understand the water at those altitudes to have been snow.

Scientists tell us that the YDE was a sudden, but temporary advance of snow and ice fields over the earth which occurred around 8000 years ago. They conjecture that this sudden shift in worldwide climate was precipitated by a sudden influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic, disrupting the ocean salinity and deep sea currents that play such an important role in the stability of the earth’s atmosphere. These sea currents are like conveyor belts that transport the earth’s heat and energy around the planet. I am inclined to believe that these conveyor belts truly were disrupted. The Bible says that God broke up the great fountains of the deep in order to initiate the flood (Genesis 7:11). I believe that the recent movie entitled The Day After Tomorrow might provide us with something of a picture of the nature and scope of Noah’s flood.

BIG AND SMALL

Someone might ask ‘Don’t you think that an infinitely large universe makes you and your God irrelevant?’ My answer to that is ‘No’. Our size reflects God’s special interest in us. God has placed us at the crossroads of size. We are uniquely positioned to investigate the inner world as well as the outer one. I would be willing to bet that mankind has spent the same amount of money, and has achieved the same degree of progress in investigating the atom as we have in studying the universe. Some ‘scientists’ talk about possible ‘parallel’ universes; they need not wonder about it. There are millions of universes within and around us. God is big and small. He can hop from galaxy to galaxy, as if they were stones in a river, if He wishes. And yet He puts His ‘wrenches’ on molecules, and can ride on the back of a butterfly.

Physical size, for all its range, is ultimately insignificant. Who would be willing to trade his children for the sun, the moon, or any of the planets? That is why Jesus could ask “What shall it profit a person if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). God sees size in spiritual terms, and so should we.

OTHER LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

Scientists tell us that the universe is so large, and physical beings are so limited by the laws of physics, that any meaningful travel for mankind, even within our own solar system, is a practical impossibility. Star Wars and Star Trek are pure fantasy. However, this does not rule out the possibility that there are non-physical beings who travel freely about the universe. I am referring to what the Bible calls ‘angels’.

It makes perfect sense to me that any person capable of traversing the universe would have to be spiritual, and not constrained by physical laws. I am inclined to think that angels were brought into existence shortly after the ‘Big Bang’, and that God has used them as His administrators of the universe ever since. Are there other physical beings out there? The Bible does not speak to that question. The variety of plants and animals on this planet demonstrates that anything is possible. Ultimately, however, the life on this planet should not move us to wonder about other creatures, but to seek the Creator who has already fully revealed His glory to us right here on earth.

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

There is a personal observation regarding the complexity of life that I would like to share with my reader. Up until recently I had thought of the human genome (our chromosomes) as simply a blueprint for the human body. But recently it has occurred to me that it is much, much more than that. If a person were to pour a concrete foundation, take all the lumber and other necessary materials for a house and place them on a building site, and then place a blueprint along side of those materials, nothing would happen. The house would not self-construct. Yet when a male and female set of chromosomes combine, that ‘human building’ does ‘self-construct’.

Human chromosomes are much more than a blueprint. They are an instruction set that drives that first cell to selectively choose fuel and materials from the mother’s bloodstream, and then build a human being from the ground up. And not only do those chromosomes contain the information for the self-construction of an incredibly complex organism, but they also control the operation of that human being for the rest of its life, from the cradle to the grave. In that single tiny first cell exists all of the information for the immune system, the brain, the eye, the heart, the blood with it’s clotting mechanisms; everything that allows a human body to function, self-repair and change throughout the various stages of life. When I think about it, such technology stuns me into silence. As far as I am concerned, every time a human being is conceived in the womb, a Big Bang as awesome as the beginning of the universe occurs.

I could try to duplicate the thoughts found in some of the great books and articles that have been written regarding Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, but I could never do justice to the subject. I received my first real exposure to these issues when I read Dr. Michael Denton’s book Evolution: Theory in Crisis. I recommend it to my reader. Denton’s work has inspired much thought and many other good books on this subject, such as Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe, and Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson. In addition, I would encourage my reader to view two great DVDs; The Privileged Planet and Unlocking the Mystery of Life, both from Illustra Media.

THE TRUTH IS AS CLOSE AS A BOOK

As scientists become more clear about the supernatural nature of our world, many are searching for the God behind it all. But an understanding of creation can only take us so far. As I have pointed out in Justification by Faith, God is not found through our wisdom, but through acknowledging our lack of wisdom. The first step in approaching God is to realize that we are mere children before Him. In the light of that truth, He has chosen to hide Himself from those who are ‘wise in their own eyes’, and to reveal Himself to ‘babes’. It is only as we despair of our own intellectual power, and turn from our books to His book (the Bible), that we can meet this Creator who humbled Himself and became a man, born in a stable in Bethlehem.

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:21

The Bible tells us that we are to love God with our minds as well as our hearts (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30). I am so glad that this is true, and that God values our minds and our intellectual capacities. Ultimately, however, it is not through the mind alone, but more importantly through the heart  and the conscience that we find God. God doesn’t care if we have a Nobel prize in physics or not. He has all the wisdom in the universe; He is not impressed with ours. He cares about how we view Him, and how we treat our fellow human beings. It is only in wrestling with these issues, and with how we come to deal with our guilt and failure in these personal areas, that we can truly and fully come to see and know Him.

SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE

TOP OF PAGE

1. GOD REVEALED FROM ‘A to Z’                    8. PREACHER & SALOONKEEPER               15. DAYS 5 & 6
2. GOD SEEN IN HIS WORD & WORLD            9. THE ‘YEC’ PERSPECTIVE                          16. NOAH’S FLOOD
3. I BELIEVE IN ‘INTELLIGENT DESIGN’         10. WHY EVENINGS AND MORNINGS?         17. BIG AND SMALL
4. TWO KINDS OF EVOLUTION                       11. DAY 1                                                        18. OTHER LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
5. CHRISTIANS DIVIDED                                  12. DAY 2                                                        19. THE MIRACLE OF LIFE
6. WHY I AM AN ‘OEC’                                     13. DAY 3                                                        20. THE TRUTH IS AS CLOSE AS A BOOK
7. A POLARIZED DEBATE ABOUT TIME          14. DAY 4

 

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR
 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS’ RETURN

THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS’ RETURN

HEADINGS ON THIS PAGE

1. SHORT VERSION                            10. THE SEVEN HEADS                                       19. IDENTITY OF THE COVENANT
2. RECEIVING THE BOOK                  11. METAMORPHOSIS OF ROME                       20. JESUS, CONFIRMER OF THE COVENANT
3. MEASURING THE TEMPLE            12. SATAN’S ROME: IRON & CLAY                      21. ENDING THE SACRIFICES
4. THE TWO WITNESSES                    13. THE 10 HORNS                                              22. COVENANT COLORS
5. THE SEVENTH TRUMPET               14. THE BEAST TURNS AGAINST ROME?          23. THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME
6. WOMAN, CHILD & DRAGON          15. BEAST FROM THE LAND                               24. THE STORY OF TWO PRINCES
7. WAR IN HEAVEN                             16. TECHNOLOGY OR TRUE MIRACES?            25. ANTICIPATING CHRIST’S RETURN
8. THE GREAT TRIBULATION             17. WHY ‘FROM THE LAND’?                              26. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
9. THE BEAST FROM THE SEA          18. BEAST IS NOT A MAN, BUT MANKIND

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

SHORT VERSION

Jesus told His disciples that no man (or angel) knew the day or hour of His second coming (Matthew 24:36). He also told them, however, that if they heeded the Bible and watched, they would see His return approaching and not be caught unprepared. God has given mankind a prophetic timetable for the second coming of Christ. This timetable is Daniel’s 70th Week. It is the great Week of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Timeline graph

This ‘Week’ began roughly 4000 years ago with Abraham. It is divided in the middle by the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ (Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD), and will end at the second coming of Christ. It does not reveal the day or the hour of Jesus’ coming, but it is very precise and gives us clear insight regarding not only when Jesus will return, but also regarding world history over the past 2000 years. Understanding this timetable requires an examination of three passages of the Bible:

      1)Daniel 9:24-27 (the 70-Weeks Prophecy)
      2) Jesus’ Olivet Discourse
    3) John’s Little Book (Revelation chapters 10-13).

The Olivet Discourse is the ultimate key to everything, because in it Jesus’ identifies the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ which marks the middle of the 70th Week. It is easily understood when we compare the ‘Jewish versions’ of the Discourse (from the gospels of Matthew and Mark) with Luke’s ‘Gentile version’ of the same event. Under divine inspiration, Luke has clarified Matthew and Mark’s versions for us, making it clear that the Abomination of Desolation is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. I have explained Daniel 9:24-27 and the Olivet Discourse in the web page prior to this one, titledThe Olivet Discourse. I would encourage my reader to examine it.

In this page I explain John’s Little Book, and the way in which God reveals to us when Jesus will return, and explains the world today and over the past 2000 years. Below is a diagram, drawing upon illustrations that I have used in myIntroduction to Prophecy, which presents the 70th Week of Daniel in light of the five ‘visions’ of John’s Little Book. These five visions are…..

      1)Temple & Court
      2) Two Witnesses
      3) Woman & Child
      4) War in Heaven
    5) Two Beasts
johns litte book illustration

PART 1 – JOHN’S LITTLE BOOK

RECEIVING THE BOOK

Revelation 10 describes the apostle John’s reception of a ‘Little Book’. He was told to eat it. It was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. Then John was told that he must prophecy ‘again’; in other words, give an additional prophecy, above and beyond what he had already received. The ‘Little Book’ contained that additional prophecy, and its contents are revealed to us in Revelation 11-13.

John’s Little Book sits in the larger book of Revelation, much like the little advertising or other ‘special inserts’ that we find in magazines like Time or National Geographic. It is held in place, and connected to the rest of Revelation, by the ‘staple’ of the 7th Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-19). John’s Little Book provides us with 5 visions of Daniel’s 70th week. Each vision describes that Week in terms of one or both of its halves.

MEASURING THE TEMPLE

In this vision John is told to measure the Temple and the Jewish people who worship there, but to leave out the court (the Temple Mount), because it will be given to the Gentiles for 42 months (42 months is 1/2 of 7 years).

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying “Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is outside the Temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under footforty and two months”.

Revelation 11:1-2
Temple before destruction          Temple mount after destruction of the temple.
THE TEMPLE MOUNT BEFORE AND AFTER 70 AD

The measuring of the Temple, altar and Jewish people may represent God’s judgment upon them. We see judgment depicted as a measurement in the downfall of King Belshazzar (he was weighed and found wanting, Daniel 5:27), and in Jesus’ warning that we will be measured with the same measure that we apply to others (Matthew 7:2). Having been completely fulfilled by the death of Christ, the animal sacrifices of the Old Mosaic Covenant no longer had any purpose. In fact, their continued offering by Israel’s priests represented a denial that the Messiah had already come. The Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were driven from Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Temple was burned by the Romans, and then the debris was removed. The ‘court’ has been trampled by the Gentiles ever since. This suggests that John’s ’42 months’, and the past 1940+ years, may actually be the same period of time. In other words, the 70th Week is not a period of 7 literal years.

Temple Mount today
THE TEMPLE MOUNT TODAY, OCCUPIED BY TWO MUSLIM MOSQUES
IT IS STILL TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT BY THE GENTILES, ’42 MONTHS’ LATER

This vision is one of 3 passages within the book of Revelation (the others being Revelation 3:9 and 17:10), indicating that the book of Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem. If John had received the Little Book after the fall of Jerusalem, there would not have been a Temple, altar or people for him to measure.

THE TWO WITNESSES

These 2 witnesses perform the same miracles that Moses and Elijah performed, but they are not Moses and Elijah. These witnesses symbolize the name that the Jewish people gave to the Bible; “The Law and the Prophets”. This is a vision of God giving the Bible to the world; an activity which ended before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy athousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Jerusalem).

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodiesthree days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And afterthree days and an halfthe Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them “Come up here”. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were frightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

(Revelation 11:3-14)

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus explained His relationship to ‘the Law and the Prophets’. He said that His work was a continuation and fulfillment of them:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:17

In the transfiguration on the mount, Jesus appeared to His disciples with Moses and Elijah, and God the Father spoke from heaven:

Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if You will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him”.

Matthew 17:4-5

Here the Lord Jesus was not only identified with ‘the Law and the Prophets’, but also given preeminence over them, since Moses and Elijah were servants of God, while Jesus was identified by the Father as His Son (Hebrews 3:1-6).

In the second half of this vision, the witnesses lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem. This symbolizes the fact that God has held Jerusalem responsible for their deaths. It represents the fulfillment of the words of the Lord Jesus, when He warned the Jewish leaders that He would be sending more messengers to them (the apostles and disciples), and that their mistreatment would result in terrible judgment upon Israel:

Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the Temple and the altar.

Matthew 23:34-35 (also see the apostle Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2:14-16)

There should be no doubt that the many sufferings of the Jewish people, from 70 AD up to the present time, represent the fulfillment of Jesus’ words. Again we are talking about a period of time much longer than half of 7 years. In this vision God describes the first half of the 70th week as a period of 1260 days (3.5 years), while twice He describes the second half as lasting 3.5 days. Here God is clearly indicating that the 70th Week is not to be understood as seven literal years.

THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

This trumpet is a continuation of the trumpets of Revelation chapters 8 and 9. John’s Little Book sits inside the larger book of Revelation, much like the ‘inserts’ that are often found in the center of today’s magazines. These often contain a special informational or advertising supplement that is added to the magazine, and can be removed and read separately. The 7th Trumpet is the ‘staple’ that attaches John’s Little Book to the rest of the book of Revelation.

And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken your great power and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 11:15-19

The 7th Trumpet’s placement here (at the resurrection of the Two Witnesses) is appropriate, because it dovetails perfectly with the promised bodily resurrection of all of God’s ‘faithful witnesses’ at the sounding of the last Trumpet, as foretold by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

THE WOMAN, THE CHILD, AND THE DRAGON

The woman in this vision is the nation of Israel, struggling down through the centuries to successfully bring Abraham’s promised Seed into the world. The Child is born and Satan tries to devour Him. This may represent Herod’s attempt to kill the Christ-child at His birth, or it may represent Satan’s frequent temptations of the Lord Jesus, to keep Him from succeeding in His work of salvation.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there athousand two hundred and sixty days.

Revelation 12:1-6

The flight of the woman into the wilderness represents the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world, beginning with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Not only is the destruction of Jerusalem a judgment from God upon Israel; it is, at the same time, the means of Israel’s deliverance. This vision tells us that, if the Jewish people had not been dispersed throughout the world for the second half of the 70th Week (1260 days), they might not have survived as a nation. The next vision will confirm this.

The sun, moon and 12 stars are a reminder to us of Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37:9-10). Joseph is symbolic of the Lord Jesus. Both men were betrayed into the hands of the Gentiles by their brothers. Both men were thought to be dead. Jesus is now working behind the scenes, as Joseph did, to bring His Jewish brethren to repentance. Someday this greater ‘Joseph’ is going to reveal Himself to His people in a tearful reunion that will save their nation and bring them into everlasting blessing (Zechariah 12:6-13:1).

As I see it, this vision presents a problem for the Dispensationalists. How do they incorporate Israel’s giving birth to the Messiah, and His subsequent resurrection, into their future 70th Week? The woman flees into the wilderness after her child’s resurrection, and is fed there for one half of the 70th week (1260 days). Which half of their 70th Week is this?

WAR IN HEAVEN

This passage is a continuation of the woman-child-dragon vision, and is one of the most powerful lessons in all of the Bible. First of all it explains Satan’s work as mankind’s accuser. Until Jesus had accomplished our salvation on the cross, Satan had always been able to come to the Father and point out how undeserving we are of His mercy. I believe that, as Jesus hung upon the cross being tormented by His enemies, Satan was shouting in the Father’s ear, asking ‘How could you let your Son die for such wicked people as these?’. His accusations were valid and had merit. But once the Father forsook His Son, abandoning Him to death, our salvation was accomplished and mercy triumphed over judgment. Satan had no more business before the throne of God.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time“.

Revelation 12:7-17

The judgment and ‘casting out’ of Satan is central to the Christian message. Jesus twice referred to it in the gospel of John. God wants all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, to understand what happened to Satan just prior to 70 AD, and the implication of these things for us down here on earth.

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out (of heaven).

John 12:31

And when the Holy Spirit is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:8-11

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Satan has now been cast down to earth, a tremendously angry, bitter and frustrated Archangel. He is like Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Though he was defeated, Pharaoh chose to pursue Israel into the Red Sea, rather than acknowledge his defeat and let his captives go. Satan also knows that He has lost, but that will not stop him from hardening his heart and deceiving mankind until the very end; plunging headlong into The Lake of Fire. Soon that Lake will close over him, as the Red Sea closed over Pharaoh.

Next God explains the persecution of the Jewish people, since the first ‘flood’ of destruction hit Jerusalem. Satan has been pouring out his fury upon the people who brought his nemesis, the ‘Seed of Abraham’, into the world.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished fora time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:13-17

Repeated waves of persecution have pursued the Jews since 70 AD, but the Jewish ‘Diaspora’ throughout the earth has caused these floods to fall short of their ultimate aim. Once again we see that God’s scattering of the Jewish people has been an act of mercy, preserving them down through the centuries. Now we can understand the spiritual reality behind the scenes of history, and who it was working within men like Hitler to seek the destruction of the Jewish race. Satan is still at work today, seeking to rally mankind against Israel and the Jewish people. These verses also tell us that faithful Christians will be found suffering with the Jews, rather than persecuting them.

This passage describes the second half of the 70th Week in very grim terms. It is the time of Satan’s wrath, and is the ‘Great Tribulation’ spoken of in Revelation 7:14. It is the second half of Daniel’s 70th Week, stretching from the destruction of Jerusalem to the second coming of Christ.

I believe that the 6th Seal represents the Day of the Lord, the onset of nuclear war, and the point in time when God will remove His people from the planet, while He simultaneously ‘seals’ a portion of the Jewish people for preservation during the events that follow. At that point God will take this wave of destruction, that Satan and mankind have set in motion, and use it to punish a wicked human race. When God says ‘Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea’ (Rev. 12:17), He is referring to a Satanic rage that first expressed itself against Jews and Christians beginning in 70 AD, but will culminate in the destruction of the planet as foretold by Isaiah:

They that see you (Lucifer) shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof? That opened not the house of his prisoners?”

Isaiah 14:16-17

For those of us living comfortably in America, the idea that we are in the Great Tribulation seems inappropriate. But it is not a strange concept for much of the rest of the world. American Christians are drunk with wealth. They need to wake up and to realize that it is American militarism that has made them wealthy; a militarism that I believe has earned America enemies that will destroy her with nuclear weapons in the last days.

Earlier in this vision, the woman was fed in the wilderness for 1260 days. Now, as God describes the same events, she is nourished in the wilderness for 3.5 times. Again, God is showing us that the 70th Week is not a period of 7 literal years.

THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

In Revelation 13 the first of two Beasts is revealed to us:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Revelation 13:1-5

Several things must be observed about this Beast. I will list them in order:

      1)This Beast comes up out of the great ‘sea of humanity’ and it has ten horns, just like the 4th Beast of Daniel chapter 7. Verse 2 confirms that this Beast is a continuation of Daniel’s four Beasts, as we are told that it also has some of the traits of the first three Beasts; of a lion, a bear and a leopard.
      2) There are significant differences between this Beast, and Daniel’s 4th Beast. This Beast has seven heads. In addition it also has 10 crowns upon its horns. When we look at Revelation 12:3, we see that the Dragon, Satan, also has seven heads and ten horns, the only difference being that Satan has crowns upon his heads instead of upon his horns. Thus, while this Beast is identified with Daniel’s four Beasts, it is now very closely identified with Satan as well. In fact, in the passage above, we are told that the Dragon gives the Beast all of his own power and authority.
      3) One of the seven heads on the Beast has received a mortal, deadly wound; a wound that was healed.
    4) This Beast is very militant; so much so that the rest of the world asks ‘who can make war with him?’.

So what is this ‘Beast from the Sea’? To understand the answer to this question, one must take a look at Roman history, and at world history as Revelation chapter 17 explains it to us.

THE SEVEN HEADS

The Roman Empire of Old Testament times was monolithic; the city of Rome and the Empire were one and the same. The Roman Empire began in Rome, was governed completely by Rome, and derived its identity from Rome. Daniel chapter 8 describes a ‘little horn’ (a single city) that initially arose on the edge of the Greek Empire, conquered the Italian Peninsula, waged war southward (against Carthage in the Punic Wars), and then eastward against the Greeks, before it established its sovereignty over the ‘Glorious Land’ of Israel (Daniel 8:9). This horn would then proceed, ultimately, to destroy the Temple in Jerusalem and bring an end to the Mosaic sacrifices (verse 8:11).

The seven heads that are added to Daniel’s fourth Beast in Revelation chapter 13, are explained in Revelation chapter 17. For the first time we see not only a great Beast, but also a Woman riding upon the back of that Beast. Revelation 17 tells us that the Beast’s seven heads represent two separate things. First, they represent seven mountains upon which the Woman sits. Rome has been known throughout history as the ‘City of Seven Hills’. It is not the only city in the world with seven hills, but Rome is famous for its seven hills. These hills have individual names, as shown in the illustration below:

7 hills

This understanding is confirmed, as we are told in Revelation 17:18 that woman who sits upon those seven hills is that ‘great city’ of the apostle John’s day, which ruled over the kings of the earth. This is undoubtedly the city of Rome. Thus, firstly, the seven heads on the Beast inform us that the Woman on its back is the city of Rome.

THE METAMORPHOSIS OF ROME

God told John that, beside symbolizing seven mountains, the seven heads also symbolized 7 kings. These kings are the kings (or Emperors) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, beginning with Julius Caesar. When John received Revelation, the 6th king, Nero, was reigning. He had been preceded by Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. In June of 68 AD Nero committed suicide, and was legitimately succeeded by a General named Galba. Galba is the 7th ‘King’ or head of Revelation 17, and he only continued in power for a short time (7 months). With the murder of Galba began a Roman civil war, sometimes referred to as ‘the year of the four Emperors’, because within a little more than one year’s time four separate men claimed the Roman Emperorship. Galba was succeeded by two successive Generals, Otho and Vitelius, each of whom had come to power through the murder of his predecessor. The Bible does not recognize either of them as legitimate, and thus they are not counted among the 7 heads. The Roman Empire would not be stabilized, and peace restored, until the Roman General Vespasian conquered the city of Rome and established himself (and his family, the Flavian dynasty) as the 8th Emperor in the series described by God in Revelation 17:11.

What needs to be observed here is that throughout this Roman civil war the city of Rome and its Senate stood powerless as the various armies of the Empire vied for supremacy. Never again would the city of Rome determine who the Emperor would be. The Emperorship would forever after be determined through military might that was no longer under the city of Rome’s control. Until this war, all Emperors had come from Italy. Within 30 years of Vespasian’s victory, an Emperor from Spain would rise to power (Trajan in 98 AD). It was in 70 AD that Rome changed from being the Empire, to riding on the back of an independent, international military Beast.

This vision presents ‘the year of the four emperors’ as one of the most significant points in history. When the great Julio-Claudian dynasty came crashing down, and the armies of Rome fought each other, the Roman Empire suffered a mortal wound, inflicted upon its seventh head; Galba. It was a miracle that this vast Empire remained intact. The Empire survived this fatal blow, and Revelation 13:5 tells us why; God authorized it.

SATAN’S REORGANIZATION OF ROME: IRON MIXED WITH CLAY

Historians have written about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, but the Bible describes the fall and rise of that Empire, and its continuing existence until the second coming of Christ. This fall and rise (or death and resurrection if you will) coincided with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Roman Civil war was the result of Satan reorganizing the Empire to suit his own purposes and plans. He divided the once monolithic Empire into two parts; the city of Rome as a religious center, and a militant Rome comprised of citizens from throughout the world who had joined Rome’s armies. This new two-part nature of the Roman Empire is depicted, in Daniel chapter 2, by feet comprised of both iron with clay.

This is why Revelation describes the Beast as possessing all the power and authority of the Dragon; it is Satan’s chosen tool for accomplishing His purposes, ruling the world and dictating the course of events.

THE 10 HORNS

In addition to explaining the seven heads of the Beast, Revelation 17 also provides information about its 10 horns. These 10 horns are 10 kings (or kingdoms) that will ally themselves with the Beast in the final prophetic ‘hour’ (Revelation 17:12). These 10 kings will burn the city of Rome (the Harlot) with fire (Revelation 17:16). I believe that these 10 kings are ten powers from the Eastern Hemisphere who will submit themselves wholeheartedly to the United Nations and its anti-Christ agenda in the last hour, and then will destroy the entire western, Roman Catholic world. These 10 kings may send the huge army seen in Revelation 9:16, and may be the ‘kings from the east’ referred to in Revelation 16:12. This destruction of the Roman Catholic world (Babylon) is described in Revelation chapter 18.

Although the 10-horned Beast of Revelation 17 represents the continuance of Daniel’s 10-horned Beast from Daniel 7, I believe that the 10 horns in each of these passages symbolize different things. In Daniel they represent predominantly European powers closely tied to Rome, whereas in Revelation 17 they represent 10 anti-Roman powers. I believe that this is an appropriate conclusion for three reasons:

      1)We are told that the seven heads of the Beast in Revelation 17 represent two different things; mountains and kings. This suggests the possibility that the 10 horns in Daniel and Revelation 17 may also represent distinct things. It seems to me that this is a particularly reasonable conjecture, given the fact that 10 horns of Revelation now have 10 crowns upon them, possibly signifying additional information distinct from that of Daniel chapter 7.
      2) The 10 horns in Revelation 17 are on the scene for ‘one hour’, whereas no such limitations are placed upon Daniel’s 10 horns.
    3) Daniel’s 10 horns are eclipsed in their power and significance by a ‘little horn’ that eventually becomes bigger and stronger than they are. There is no reference to this ‘little horn’ and these interactions among the ‘horns’ in the book of Revelation.

If my reader has read my web page on The United States in Prophecy, then he knows that I believe that the ‘little horn’ of Daniel chapter 7 is the United States, which established its national boundaries by pushing the three ‘horns’ of France, Britain and Spain out of its way. And yet here, in Revelation I find 10 horns that will eventually destroy the western world. I have considered the apparent contradiction in proposing that the 10 horns of Daniel 7 and Revelation are very different things, and the above explanation is the best one that I can offer. It seems to me that if the seven heads of the Beast can be explained in one passage as representing two different things (Revelation 17:9-10), then the 10 horns presented in two different passages written more than 600 years apart can also represent different things.

THE BEAST TURNS AGAINST ROME?

One might wonder about how a Beast that was initially and for many centuries very ‘Roman’ in character, could manage to detach itself from the western ‘Roman world’, and then ally itself with ten kings who would destroy that ‘Roman world’. Perhaps Revelation gives us some insight into this. Revelation chapter 17 not only tells us that the Woman rides on the Beast, but also that she sits upon many waters:

The waters which you saw, where the Harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.

Revelation 17:15

God may be telling us that, though the Beast was initially very Roman in character when it recovered from ‘the year of the four emperors’, it has become increasingly international down through the centuries, so that in its final stages it might best be described by the very broad phrase ‘militant humanity’. I have begun to consider the possibility that the Beast, in these last days, has ‘morphed’ into the United Nations. The U.N., which was initially conceived and established in the West, is increasingly taking on a life of its own, and often aligning itself with non-Western perspectives.

Today our world is more polarized between East and West. Western citizens are uneasy about incursions by Muslims, and many are calling for a return to their ‘Christian heritage and roots’. Turkey, once hoping to be included within the European Union, is now turning toward other Muslim nations and alliances in the East. The West and the East are squaring off in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the West has stirred up tremendous animosity toward itself as it has demonstrated its willingness to intrude into the heart of the Eastern Hemisphere in its pursuit of energy resources, limiting access to those resources by China and others. It doesn’t help America’s relations with the rest of the world when it has managed to foul the Gulf of Mexico with its own oil, while seeking to commandeer the oil resources of the rest of the world. The West has a long history of conflict with the East, going back to the Crusades, and then followed by its worldwide colonial conquests, often encouraged and facilitated by the Roman Catholic Church.

Revelation’s warnings about the future of the Roman Catholic world are consistent with today’s headlines. This is one of the reasons why Rome and the nations of the West are so ready to malign Israel and betray her into the hands of her enemies; it is expedient for them strategically and economically to mollify the Middle Eastern nations that they have offended with their rapacious aggression and Predator drones. The West’s willingness to divide the land of Israel and put the Jews at risk does not flow out of any real concern about human rights. Ironically, it represents a betrayal of any genuine Christian heritage that it ever truly had. It is in this context that God will put it into the heart of wicked Eastern people to destroy more wicked Western people (Revelation 17:17), before the 10 kings launch their attack upon Israel itself.

THE BEAST FROM THE LAND

The Beast from the Sea has a partner; the Beast from the Land. The second part of Revelation 13 describes him:

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth ‘that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live’. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (666).

Revelation 13:11-18

God describes several distinct traits about this second Beast, and it is helpful to list them:

      1)Looks like a lamb, speaks like a dragon (typical of false prophets).
      2) Derives authority from the Beast, and causes mankind to worship the Beast.
      3) Performs great signs, calling fire down from heaven (smart weapons) and causing an image to live, breathe and speak (television, movies, internet video) resulting in the persecution of God’s people.
      4) Causes all mankind to take the Mark of the Beast.
      5) 666 is

not

    the number of this second Beast, but of the first Beast whom he serves.

This Beast from the Land is also referred to in three other passages from Revelation (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10), where he is called the ‘False Prophet’. Revelation 19:20 describes the False Prophet with the same words that are used to describe the Beast from the Land here in Revelation 13.

There should be no doubt that the Beast from the Land and the False Prophet are the same person.

The Beast from the Land also bears a striking resemblance to the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’, described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

And now you know what withholds, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now hinders will continue to hinder until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked One be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

TECHNOLOGY OR MIRACLES?

Romans chapter 13 is very specific about the miracles that this ‘Beast from the Land’ will perform. He will give life to an image, causing it to breathe and speak. In addition, he will cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. I am increasingly inclined to believe that this is a reference to today’s modern technology. Today we are seeing ‘living’ 3D images through television, movies, the internet and on cell phones. We also see nations call down fire in the sight of men, as we watch fighter planes and drones guide their ‘smart’ weapons to direct hits on target. Indeed, since 1945 and the end of World War II, we have witnessed nations calling down the very fire of heaven on television; in the form of thermonuclear weapons that unleash the power found within stars.

In 2 Thessalonians (above) Paul said that the ‘man of sin’ would exercise demonic power and provide signs and ‘lying wonders’. I expect that the False Prophetic will be Satanically as well as technologically empowered . But here in Revelation 13 I believe that God is alluding to technological advances that will capture the world’s admiration. Romans 13 is also specific about a ‘Mark’ that the Beast from the Land will impose upon the world. I believe that this mark will be another technological advance; a computer chip placed under the skin, that will be an identification required in order to buy or sell anything.

WHY ‘FROM THE LAND’?

Why does Revelation 13 refer to this person as coming from ‘the land’? Actually this phrase may have very little meaning at all. God may simply be saying that this second Beast will arise from somewhere on earth. It is interesting to note that in Daniel 7:3, the four beasts are described as arising from ‘the sea’. In Daniel 7:17 these same four beasts are described as arising from ‘the earth’. The distinction between ‘sea’ and ‘land’ (or earth) in Revelation may not have any more special significance than it does in Daniel 7.

Others have suggested that Revelation 13 is hinting that the second Beast will come from the land of Israel. In the Bible the phrase ‘the land’ often refers to God’s land, or the ‘holy land’; that portion of the world that God originally promised to Abraham. It is possible that this false prophet will come from Israel, and that he may be Jewish, Palestinian, or the offspring of a mixed marriage and religious heritage. He could be a Roman Catholic as well. Given his supernatural Satanic empowerment, he may also represent a Messiah to the Jews, a Mahdi to the Muslims, and a ‘Christ’ to professing Christians. If this is true, he may also represent the promise of untying the ‘Gordian Knot’ of middle eastern conflict, and the false promise of world peace.

THE BEAST FROM THE SEA IS NOT A MAN; IT IS MANKIND

Dispensationalists teach that the Beast from the Sea is a man; the Antichrist (I have already addressed the fundamental errors of Dispensationalism in my web page titledThe Olivet Discourse). The Dispensationalist view seems to be justified because of the following two passages which refer to the Beast as though it was a single person:

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (before the Millennium).

Revelation 19:19-20

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (after the Millennium), where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10

It would seem that, if the Beast can be taken and thrown into the Lake of Fire, that he must be a specific person. But a look at Jesus’ own description of the judgment that will occur at His second coming sheds light on this.

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:31-33

Notice the punishment that will befall those on Christ’s left hand; direct entry into the Lake of Fire:

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Matthew 25:41

The Bible describes two places where the enemies of God are punished;

      1)Hades (or Hell), where those

who have died

      are staying until the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.
    2) The Lake of Fire, where all of God’s enemies will ultimately end up.

Thus Jesus is describing (in the verses above) bringing a living, surviving humanity before His throne in Jerusalem when He comes to earth. This is a judgment completely distinct from the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20, which occurs at the end of the Millennium.

Among those appearing before Christ will be many who will have taken the Mark of the Beast, having joined themselves together against the Lord Jesus in a ‘pact of death’. They will be the ‘united humanity’ that King David described 3000 years ago in his second Psalm:

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Messiah (Christ) saying “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

Psalm 2:1-3

It is this ‘Beast’ of disobedient humanity, that will have wilfully ignored God’s prophetic timetable explained in this web page, that will have trampled upon His warnings about the ‘Mark’ in Revelation 14:9-11, and that will also have blatantly declared war against Him with their eyes wide open, that will receive an equally blatant sentence; being cast alive directly into the Lake of Fire to be tormented eternally. This will be the fulfillment of Jesus’ own words:

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Luke 19:27

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 14:9-12

There are many in the professing Christian church today who say that Bible prophecy is superfluous to the Christian faith; that it is either too difficult to understand or is not practical for everyday life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is why God has emphasized the importance of Revelation:

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:3

And he said unto me “Seal (close) not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation 22:10

For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelation 22:18-19

PART 2 – SUMMING THINGS UP

THE IDENTITY OF THE COVENANT

I stated that, once we had considered the Olivet Discourse and John’s Little Book, we would be able to identity the Covenant that is confirmed for one week (Daniel 9:27).

As we recognize that 70 AD marks the middle of the Week, when the Roman armies brought Jerusalem and its Temple to desolation, and then realize that the second half of the Week is characterized by a desolate Temple mount, a condemned, scattered and persecuted nation of Israel, and a continuing Satanic Empire, it becomes apparent that we are living in the second half of the 70th Week right now. The second half of this Week has continued over the past 1935+ years.

If we extend the first half of the 70th Week backwards 1935 years from 70 AD, it takes us to 1865 BC. This is near the time of Abraham. It takes us back to the point when God established His covenant with Abraham. The 70th Week is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning with God’s promises to Abraham, and ending in their final and complete fulfillment at the second coming of Christ.

JESUS: MESSENGER, PERFORMER AND CONFIRMER OF THE COVENANT

In Daniel 9:27 it says “he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.” Many have understood this to mean that someone would make or establish a new covenant. This is not the case. In the original Hebrew version of Daniel 9:27, the word translated ‘confirm’ expresses the idea of honoring or enforcing a covenant that already exists. God was talking about someone fulfilling a covenant that had already been made. The explanation is as follows:

When God made His covenant with Abraham it was like an ‘I-O-U’. Although God’s gracious promise was trustworthy, it existed only on paper; ‘the money had not yet been put in the bank’ so to speak. The actual work of redemption for sinful mankind had not yet been done. But when the Lord Jesus came into the world and died on the cross, He paid the price to bring God’s blessing on all the nations of the world. This is what Jesus meant when He said “It is finished” just before He died. He was saying ‘It is paid!'(John 19:30). He confirmed the Abrahamic covenant. Jesus further fulfilled this covenant when He ascended into heaven, and presented His own blood before His Father as proof that our sins had been atoned for (Hebrews 9:12,24).

This is what Daniel 9:27 is telling us; the Messiah would confirm a covenant for one Week. Through His death, Jesus confirmed the Abrahamic covenant backward in time to all those, like Abraham, who had looked forward to its fulfillment, and forward in time, to all those who would look back to His finished work upon the Cross.

In Malachi chapter 3 the coming Messiah was called “the Messenger of the Covenant”:

“Behold, I will send my messenger (John the Baptist), and he shall prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom you delight in. Behold, He shall come” says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 3:1

In Luke chapter 1, Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist) described Christ’s coming as God ‘remembering His Covenant’ and ‘performing the mercy’ which He had promised:

Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He swore to our father Abraham.

Luke 1:67-73

The Apostle Peter alluded to Christ’s confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant, telling the Jews in Acts 3:25-26 that they would be the first to be offered the blessings of that confirmation:

You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham “And in your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed”. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Acts 3:25-26

Paul also described Jesus as a covenant-Confirmer in Romans 15:

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.

Romans 15:8

Not only would Daniel have been open to the idea of the Messiah confirming a covenant, but no other idea would have occurred to him! The Messiah’s confirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham is the central focus of the 70-weeks prophecy, and of the entire Bible.

ENDING THE SACRIFICES

If Jesus is the Person who confirms a covenant for a week, then is He also the One who would bring an end to the Old Testament sacrifices in the Temple? The answer is ‘Yes’. Jesus announced the coming of the New Covenant at the ‘Last Supper’ (Matthew 26:28), and its replacement of the Mosaic covenant was foretold more than 500 years earlier in Jeremiah 31:31-34. As Jeremiah warned the people about the first destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, he foretold a day when the animal sacrifices would be replaced forever. This idea is supported elsewhere in the Bible (John 4:21-24, Hebrews 9:15, 12:24), and the approaching end of the Mosaic Covenant was foretold by the author of Hebrews:

In that he says ‘a new covenant’, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:13 (see also Hebrews 10:1-10)

The Jewish people hated the idea that the Messiah would bring an end to the sacrifices, even though Daniel had clearly foretold it. The approaching destruction of the Temple, and the ending of animal sacrifices, was a major point of contention between the Jews and the Christians. Stephen, the first martyr, was killed for declaring this truth. Paul was hounded by the Jews because he was accused of disrespecting Moses and the Temple.

Jesus accomplished two important things with the destruction of the Temple. First, He openly fulfilled His warnings to the Jews. The destruction of the Temple confirmed that He had been sent by His Father, and that His words are the word of God.

Secondly, Jesus revealed that the animal sacrifices had been replaced by a better Priesthood and Sacrifice; one that can really save people. If the Temple had not been destroyed, there might still be people sacrificing bulls, sheep and goats in Jerusalem today. This would have been truly dishonoring to Moses, because Moses wanted to glorify Christ, not himself. The destruction of the Temple has revealed the Mosaic covenant for what it really was, and still is to this day; a schoolmaster to point us to Christ (Galatians 3:24-25).

It is Jesus, seated at the right hand of His Father as the Sovereign of the Universe, who has both confirmed the Abrahamic covenant and brought an end to the Mosaic sacrifices.

COVENANT COLORS

As I have already pointed out, there is a direct correspondence between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27. Daniel 9:26 describes actual historical events visible to the human eye, while Daniel 9:27 describes each of those events in terms of what God is accomplishing through each event. In the following presentation of these verses I have used the colors gold, red and blue to point out these direct correspondences between each of the three items in these two verses.

      Verse 26 And after threescore and two (62) weeks shall Messiah be cut off (be put to death), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    Verse 27And He (Messiah) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ,and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

These colors represent more, however, than a correspondence between these two verses/ They also symbolize the covenants that God made with Abraham, Moses and David, as well as the New Covenant that would replace the Mosaic one.. Gold represents God’s golden promise to Abraham that his ‘Seed’ would bring the blessing of life upon all the nations of the world. Red is the color of blood, and points to the end of the Mosaic animal sacrifices, and their replacement by the shed blood of Christ; the foundation of the New Covenant. Royal blue points to David, and both of these verses point ahead to the fact that the restoration of David’s kingdom will have to wait until God’s judgments upon Israel have been fully carried out.

As I consider this correspondence between Daniel 9:26-27 and God’s covenants, I cannot help but remember the words of the apostle Paul, as he also contemplated God’s broad plan for the world combined with His love for the people of Israel:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be repaid to him. For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen

Romans 11:33-36

THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME

We know that the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple were the Romans. But who is the “prince that shall come” mentioned in Daniel 9:26? It is the Roman General Titus, the man who led the armies of Rome in the destruction of Jerusalem. God makes mention of this ‘prince’ because it is important for us to understand his unique role in biblical history.

The people of Israel rebelled against Roman rule in 66 AD, and a Roman General named Vespasian was sent to crush this rebellion. As Vespasian began to conquer Israel and close in on Jerusalem, civil war broke out back at home in Rome. Late in 68 AD the emperor Nero committed suicide, and he was legitimately succeeded by a man named Galba. But Galba only lasted in office for a short time before he was murdered by a Roman general (Otho), who was seeking the emperorship for himself. And so the Roman Civil War began.

Vespasian had to halt his advances against the Jews until he could be certain about the future of his own nation. Ultimately Vespasian’s allies and armies convinced him that he should return to Rome and become the next emperor, which he did. And when he left Israel, Vespasian put his son, Titus, in charge of the Roman armies there. So when Vespasian became the new Emperor, Titus became a prince of Rome, and ultimately went on to become the next emperor of Rome.

Many of the Jewish people probably thought that the Roman Civil War signaled God’s deliverance of their nation, but in reality it was the worst thing that could have happened to them, for two reasons. First of all, once Rome got back on its feet it became necessary to demonstrate to the entire world that the Empire was just as much to be feared and obeyed as ever before. The Jews became this great public example. Secondly, both Vespasian and Titus had a personal interest in making sure that their victory over the Jews was impressive, because they needed to demonstrate to the Roman world that their family deserved to become the next ruling dynasty of the Roman Empire.

And so, as Daniel 9:26 tells us, the destruction of Jerusalem happened as though a flood had hit it. The historian Flavius Josephus tells us that upwards of a million Jews died in the siege of Jerusalem, and as many as one hundred thousand more were taken captive and sold as slaves throughout the Roman world. To this day there is an ancient structure standing in Rome, called the Arch of Titus, which depicts (in its carvings) the victorious Roman soldiers carrying away the furniture of the Temple.

THE STORY OF TWO PRINCES

In Daniel 9:26 God is presenting us with the story of 2 princes; the prince of Israel (Jesus, the Son of David) and the prince of Rome. The prince of Israel came to His own nation and was put to death by the Jews and the Romans, and received nothing of the glorious kingdom that had been foretold for Him. By contrast, the prince of Rome rose to supremacy over Israel, crushing its people, its capitol city and its Temple, while his people (the Romans) would go on to dominate the Jews for the next 1900+ years.

We have seen (in John’s Little Book) that it was at this very point in history, as Rome was caught up in civil war, that almighty God gave His permission allowing the ‘Beast’ of organized, militant humanity to continue its dominance over Israel until the second coming of Christ. When Jesus returns, the fortunes of these 2 princes will be reversed. The princes of Rome and the Beast will be crushed and destroyed forever, and the Prince of Israel will establish a kingdom that shall never end. This is why God has emphasized the fact that a ‘prince’ would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple.

ANTICIPATING CHRIST’S RETURN

Given what God has revealed to us about the 70th Week of Daniel, it is possible to have a fairly accurate idea of when Christ will return. Jesus said that no one but the Father knows the hour and the day of that event, but He has also told us to be watchful, and has promised to bless those who pay close attention to the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:3, 20:7). The following chart summarizes the visions of John’s Little Book, placing them in the 70th week of Daniel. It puts a date of 1910 BC on God’s covenant with Abraham. This is based upon 3 things:

      1)An approximate date of 1000 BC for the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
      2) The Bible’s statement that Moses led the Hebrew people out of Israel 480 years before Solomon began construction of the Temple (1 Kings 6:1); therefore in approximately 1480 BC.
    3) The Bible’s placement of God’s covenant with Abraham 430 years before the Exodus (Genesis 15:13, Exodus 12:40, Galatians 3:17); in approximately 1910 BC.

Some have understood Exodus 12:40 to state that the Hebrews dwelt in Egypt for 430 years, but this understanding is based upon the unreliable Masoretic text of the Old Testament. Both the Samaritan text and the Septuagint version of the Old Testament state that the combined pilgrimage of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) in the promised land, together with the time that their offspring spent in Egypt, was 430 years. This is confirmed by the apostle Paul in Galatians 3:17, and by the statements in Genesis 15:16 and Exodus 6:16-20 which indicate that Moses was a 4th generation Israelite in Egypt (Jacob was the first generation in Egypt, Moses’ mother was a daughter of Levi, and therefore Moses was Jacob’s great grandson).

This illustration is not meant to be precise. Since I do not know exactly when construction began on Solomon’s Temple, I cannot date God’s Covenant with Abraham with exact certainty either. I have assigned the convenient round figure of 1000 BC to Solomon’s Temple to illustrate my point, and to emphasize the fact that Christ’s return is close at hand. If the Abrahamic Covenant was established in 1910 BC, then the first half of the week lasted for 1,980 years (1910 years BC + 70 years AD). If we add this many years to 70 AD, it brings us to the year 2050 AD; a time close at hand. If the construction of Solomon’s Temple is more recent than 1000 BC, for instance in 980 BC, then the second half of the Week would shrink by 20 years also, and the projected date for the second coming would be 2030 (rather than 2050). Daniel 12:4 tells us that Christ’s second coming will occur when human knowledge is increased, and people will be running to and fro. What an accurate prophet Daniel was, and what an important time to be alive!

johns little book graph

POSTSCRIPT

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS

Because some people come to this web site through prophecy searches, often asking about things like ‘the Antichrist’ and ‘the last days’, it has seemed useful to set forth a summary of who the ‘prophetic players’ of the Bible are. Therefore I have included this section at the end of each of my web pages on prophecy.

My reader must first realize that my entire view of prophecy is defined by my understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel. I believe that this week is the great ‘Week of the Abrahamic Covenant’, beginning 4000 years ago with Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ending with the second coming of Christ. I believe that the ‘Great Tribulation’ is the second half of this week, from 70 AD to the present. It is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14) because it is the period of time after Satan has been cast out of heaven and down to earth in defeat. He is enraged because he knows that he only has a short time until his eternal fiery destruction (Revelation 12:12).

During the ‘Great Tribulation’ Satan’s violent frustration has been vented, first and foremost, against the Jewish people and against protestant Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). In addition, however, Satan is determined to drag all of humanity down to eternal damnation with himself if he can. The Pharaoh of Egypt whom Moses confronted (in the book of Exodus) is a picture of Satan, willing to see his kingdom and his people destroyed rather than to ‘let his captives go’. All of the ‘players’ on my list, and all of history since 70 AD, must be understood in the light of Satan’s angry presence here on earth. If you are coming to this list from a Dispensational or Postmillennial background, and have not yet read my first three pages on prophecy ( Introduction, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus’ Return), then the things that I am saying here may not make much sense to you. I would encourage you to examine these three web pages before making any final decision concerning the validity of this list.
1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION(discussed in The Timetable for Jesus’ Return)

This is the ‘Beast from the Sea’ in Revelation 13:1-10, and is also the Beast upon which the Woman rides in Revelation 17. This Beast will become increasingly ‘Eastern’ in its makeup and form an alliance with 10 kings in the last prophetic hour, and these kings will burn the Woman with fire (Revelation 17:12-18).

Some Dispensationalists believe that the Beast is an individual human being. This is not so. This Beast has its roots in the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is an organized political entity, just as they were. In addition, the Beast continues in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 13:5, a period of roughly 2000 years), and thus cannot be a person. Lastly, the Woman who rides the Beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and she has ridden this Beast for centuries.

Prior to 70 AD, this Beast existed simply as the Roman Empire. But in 69 AD, when Satan was cast down to earth, he reorganized the Roman Empire into an international ‘Beast’ of militant humanity, and a city (Rome) that would ride upon the Beast’s back (through the ‘destruction and resurrection’ process of a Roman civil war, during ‘the year of the four Emperors). Since 70 AD the Beast upon which Rome has ridden has come primarily from the original Roman Empire; Western Europe and then the United States. The Beast’s religious roots have been mostly Roman Catholic. But over the past 60 years this Beast has been increasingly comprised of people throughout the world. The primarily western and Roman Catholic Beast of the past has mutated since the end of World War II into a broader coalition, incorporating the military forces of Russia, China and the Muslim world, and is represented by the United Nations. In the final prophetic hour I believe that the United Nations will turn its back upon the Western world (where it was first chartered and established), and look to China and the East. This, I believe, will be followed by the East’s surprise nuclear destruction of western, Roman Catholic ‘Babylon’.
2) THE WOMAN (HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON) OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 17 & 18(discussed in The City of Rome)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:18, where she is described as ‘that great city’ which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation. Prior to the Roman civil war of 69 AD (the ‘Year of the four emperors’), the city of Rome had been the seat and governing power of the Roman Empire. During this civil war, however, Rome watched helplessly as the generals and armies of the Empire fought for supremacy. Since that time the city of Rome has been powerless militarily. This explains the fact that the final form of the Roman Empire (its feet) are described in Daniel 2:33 as being comprised of iron and clay. It is this ‘mixed’ Empire, comprised of a ‘clay City’ and various ‘iron’ military powers, that Christ will destroy and replace at His return (Daniel 2:34).

Revelation describes Rome in a most negative way. She is an extremely wealthy whore, given to fornication and blasphemy against God, who is drunk with the blood of His people. She is described as the “Mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5). In short, she is wickedness itself. How did she get this way?

The key to understanding Rome, is to understand the angry archangel, Satan, who made her what she is. For 240 years, after 70 AD, pagan Rome did everything within its power to exterminate Christianity. Many thousands of Christians were impoverished, enslaved or killed. This was the official policy of Rome, all done in subservience to the ‘Dragon’, Satan. Around 310 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine announced that he had seen a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer under the banner of the Christian cross. Constantine proceeded to ‘legalize’ Christianity, and to make it a part of his empire. He convened ‘ecumenical councils’ to define what Roman Christianity would be.

Hence Rome went, practically overnight, from persecuting the Christian church to declaring ‘I am the church!’. In reality what Rome had become was a religious institution that would not only continue persecuting Christianity, but would also deceive millions of others into embracing a counterfeit Christianity, sending them into eternity with false hopes. Rome became a three-pronged weapon in Satan’s hands; killing some, deceiving others, and turning the rest of the world against Christianity because of Rome’s greediness, bloodshed and hypocrisy. Constantine and his militant church are the first ‘seal’ of Revelation 6:2; a ‘white’ conqueror followed by the four seals of war, famine, pestilence and the persecution of Christians. The final, sixth seal, represents the ultimate end of Rome; a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack.

Rome’s destruction is described in Revelation chapter 18, where ‘Babylon’ is destroyed by fire in one hour. After this destruction, the kings and merchants of the earth are shown, mourning over the loss of their wealth and keeping their distance from her because of the fire of her torment (and its radioactive fallout). I do not believe that this mourning will result simply from the destruction of the city of Rome itself, but from the destruction of the greater ‘Roman Catholic world’; in other words, ‘the West’. This may include the entire western hemisphere, western Europe and Australia, and is represented by the destruction of 1/3 of the earth in the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-13. The ‘Roman Catholic world’ does comprise roughly 1/3 of the landmass of the world, but much less than 1/3 of the world’s people. At the very moment when the nuclear weapons detonate, as Revelation chapter 7 reveals, God will ‘seal’ 144,000 young Jewish men for leadership in Israel, and will ‘rapture’ true Christians off of the planet.
I am confident regarding my explanations of the Beast and the Woman (Babylon) above. I am not dogmatic, however, about the following three ‘players’ on the prophetic stage; the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet), Paul’s Man of Sin, and the Antichrist. They can, it seems to me, be understood in different ways. Each one can be understood either as a single person, or as a group of persons. Beyond that, it is possible that all three are referring to the same person or group. It is important that I be honest with myself and my reader, about what I know and what I don’t know. Given the gravity of these times and of God’s warnings, it is important that my reader embrace the liberty as well as the responsibility to reach conclusions for himself. With that in mind, I share my own thoughts.
3) THE BEAST FROM THE LAND (or THE FALSE PROPHET)

This is the second of two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13, the first being The Beast from the Sea, or simply ‘The Beast’ (explained above). The first Beast is described as coming ‘from the sea’ because, like the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7, it arises from the great sea of humanity. I do not know why this present beast is said to come from ‘the land’. Some have wondered if it indicates that this it will come from God’s land; the ‘holy land’ of Israel. This Beast from the Land has three primary traits:

      A)It is ‘lamblike’ in its appearance (possibly a reference to the ‘Lamb of God’, Christ), and yet speaks the words of the Dragon, Satan. This is consistent with God’s description of false prophets, who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). This Beast also works powerful miracles to deceive people; a trait that Jesus warned about in regard to future false prophets (Matthew 24:24).
      B) It derives its authority from, and directs everyone’s worship and obedience to the first Beast, and the ‘image’ of the first Beast. It will cause those who refuse to worship the Beast to be put to death. This is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s order to kill those who would not worship his image (Daniel 3:1-6).
      C) It introduces something called ‘the Mark of the Beast’ to the world, without which no one may buy or sell. This ‘Mark’ may be worldwide, and could possibly be a mark implemented by the United Nations.

We see this ‘duo’ of two Beasts elsewhere in the book of Revelation, where they are referred to as ‘the Beast and the False Prophet’ (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). It should be observed that the number ‘666’ is not associated with this second Beast, but with the first Beast whom he serves. The miracles and the ‘Mark’ that coincide with the False Prophet remind me of present day technology. The ‘image’ that breathes, speaks, and causes the persecution of those who refuse to take the ‘Mark’ could be modern media such as television, movies and the Internet. The calling down of fire from heaven may be a reference to the drones and other ‘smart’ weapons that we see today. And the ‘Mark’ itself may be some kind of computer chip, placed under the skin, that will facilitate human organization, tax collection and crime control in unprecedented ways. To many people the ‘Mark’ will represent the only hope for the survival of the human race, and those who oppose it will be viewed as foolish and essentially ‘anti-human’.

Some may point out that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be thrown, alive, into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20), and therefore suggest that these two must be persons, and not kingdoms, organizations or ‘generic groups’. I respond by pointing out Jesus’ description of this same judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). He said that, when He returns, He will sit upon His throne and the nations will be gathered before Him. They will be separated to His left and to His right, like a shepherd divides sheep from goats. At that time He will banish those on His left directly into a fire that has been prepared ‘for the devil and his angels’. This can only refer to the Lake of Fire, since Satan is never described as inhabiting Hades. Hence, while Revelation describes two beings being cast alive into the Lake of Fire, Jesus describes a judgment where many are cast into the Lake of Fire alive. To me this suggests the possibility that the Beast is comprised of all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.

How can this be? The secret lies in observing the increasing ‘solidarity’ of the human race against God. Throughout the world men are talking about the ‘oneness’ of mankind, and the necessity of international unity. It may be that those who take the Mark of the Beast will ‘become the Beast’. It is not coincidence that this rising religious ‘oneness’ is accompanied by an increasingly united worldwide animosity toward Israel. Satan is working behind the scenes to bring the human race, all the nations of the world, to Jerusalem to do battle against God. Satan has no illusions about how things are going to work out. He knows what awaits. But he is focused upon deceiving and taking as many into the Lake of Fire with him as he can. That is why he is called ‘the evil one’.

Jesus said that how He judges those who stand before Him will be determined by how they treated His ‘brethren’. Many believe that Jesus’ brethren are simply those who are Christians, whether Jew or Gentile. This is true. But it may be that, in the context of this particular judgment, as Jesus sits upon the throne of His fathers Abraham and David in Jerusalem, that His brethren may be, more specifically, those Jews who were mistreated by the world in the time leading up to His second coming. Those who are joining the present worldwide chorus to criminalise Israel and divide God’s land might do well to consider this. God’s judgment in this case may be instant and everlasting torment.

 

4) THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ‘MAN OF SIN’

It is my personal belief that the Beast from the Land (or False Prophet) is also the apostle Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ (2 Thessalonians chapter 2:1-12). Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’ is also endued with Satanic miracle-working power, and he also is described as being directly and personally destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the False Prophet will be. Here again, however, I do not feel obligated to believe that Paul is speaking of a single man.

Paul speaks of a ‘great falling away from the Christian faith’ that will precede the appearance of this ‘man’. He also speaks of him as one who will ‘show himself as God, standing in the temple of God’. For centuries many Protestants have viewed these words as a description of the Roman Catholic priesthood, which claims to do what the Bible says Jesus alone can do; stand in God’s true Temple above (in heaven) and intercede for sinners. The gospel message is that people must come to Jesus directly, and know Him personally in order to be saved. Jesus says to the world ‘Come unto Me and be saved’, while Rome’s priests say ‘Come unto Rome and be saved’. Hence both Paul’s ‘man of sin’ and Revelation’s Beast from the Land could be a ‘type of man’, rather than an individual man.

Over the past few decades the Roman Catholic church has drawn closer and closer to the other religions of the world, seeking common ground. Rome now declares that it does not matter what one’s religion is, as long as one loves one’s neighbor. Rome now calls Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and snake worshippers her ‘brothers’. This represents Rome’s attempt to continue riding upon an increasingly international ‘Beast’. Rome is attempting to bridge the gaps between her ‘western children’ and the other nations of the world through talk of peace and religious ‘tolerance’. Hence in these last days we are seeing Roman Catholic leaders who are increasingly given to Eastern mysticism and ‘transcendental’ attempts to connect with the occult spirit world, seeking a ‘higher spirituality’ that will bring all men and religions together as ‘one’. It is in this light that we can understand how a man may soon arise who is a pope to the Catholics, a ‘christ’ to false Christians, a Mahdi to the Muslims, a Messiah to the Jews, and a wise soul to those of India and the Orient. Again, it may be one man, or it may be a cadre of men and women who, together, constitute the Man of Sin / Beast from the Land / False Prophet of the Bible.

Personally I do not believe that every unsaved person will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Depending upon how wicked they have been, I believe that many will spend time in the Lake of Fire before being consumed and ceasing to exist (see Original Sin ). But there are three beings who are specifically described in the Bible as being tormented forever and ever. This fate is reserved for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 20:10). I believe that God’s warning about the Mark, given in Revelation 14:9-12, may actually be a warning about ‘becoming the Beast’ through taking the Mark, and thus joining Satan in a torment that will never end. This is a dreadful thought to contemplate. God is telling us that we need to take the warnings of His prophecies very seriously.

The contention around this issue, between believers and unbelievers, will be very sharp in the last days, and those who refuse to worship the Beast and his image will be put to death. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will feel compelled, because they have no confidence about their fate beyond the grave, to take the Mark in order to extend their lives. The only way for a person to overcome in these last days will be to ‘not love their lives unto the death’ (Revelation 12:11), and this will only be possible for those who have tasted the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life that Jesus alone can give.
5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word ‘antichrist’ never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John’s words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

      A)Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
      B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John’s description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link ‘the Antichrist’ with any other passage of scripture. The term ‘antichrist’ is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have been able to plug the Antichrist freely into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is ‘the Prince who is to come’ (of Daniel 9:26), the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, Paul’s ‘man of sin’, and ‘the Beast’ that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire together with the False Prophet. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John’s very limited words about ‘the Antichrist’, today’s ‘Left Behind’ series being only one of many.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, ‘the Antichrist’, who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. If I had to choose, I would consider Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but blatantly denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was ‘Emmanuel’; God in flesh. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam (unless it is Judaism). Muslims have written ‘God has no son’ inside their mosque, the ‘Dome of the Rock’, sitting on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and the possession of the Temple Mount by Gentiles, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque.

Could the Antichrist be the False Prophet, and/or Paul’s Man of Sin? Yes, I suppose so, but there is nothing in John’s words that requires us to reach that conclusion.
While I am cautious in my identification of ‘Players’ 3-5 above, I am confident in my conclusions about ‘Players’ 6-9 below.

6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION(Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Timetable for Jesus’ Return for a discussion of Titus).

7) THE ‘PRINCE WHO IS TO COME’ OF DANIEL 9:26- also the Roman general Titus.

8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8The United States of America

9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God’s host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel’s transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome’s history can be found.

THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS’ RETURN

TOP OF PAGE

1. SHORT VERSION                            10. THE SEVEN HEADS                                       19. IDENTITY OF THE COVENANT
2. RECEIVING THE BOOK                  11. METAMORPHOSIS OF ROME                       20. JESUS, CONFIRMER OF THE COVENANT
3. MEASURING THE TEMPLE            12. SATAN’S ROME: IRON & CLAY                      21. ENDING THE SACRIFICES
4. THE TWO WITNESSES                    13. 10 HORNS OF THE LAST ‘HOUR’                  22. COVENANT COLORS
5. THE SEVENTH TRUMPET               14. THE BEAST TURNS AGAINST ROME?          23. THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME
6. WOMAN, CHILD & DRAGON          15. BEAST FROM THE LAND                               24. THE STORY OF TWO PRINCES
7. WAR IN HEAVEN                             16. TECHNOLOGY OR TRUE MIRACES?            25. ANTICIPATING CHRIST’S RETURN
8. THE GREAT TRIBULATION             17. 666, NUMBER OF THE POPES                      26. IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS
9. THE BEAST FROM THE SEA          18. BEAST IS NOT A MAN, BUT MANKIND

BIBLE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE OLD KING JAMES VERSION, WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THE PROMISE OF VICTORY – WE ARE GOING TO WIN IN THE END !

 – by Dr. David R. Reagan –www.lamblion.com
 
In his great novel about the French Revolution, called A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens began his story with some of the most memorable words in all of English literature:
 
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
 
These words have never been truer than they are today. Everywhere we look, in every direction, the world appears to be falling apart.
 
•We are racked by wars and rumors of wars.
 
•Immorality and violence are rampant.
 
•Our money is being devalued and debased.
 
•Our educational systems have been hijacked by Humanists and Atheists.
 
•Our political systems are gridlocked by value wars and corruption.
 
•All of nature seems to be reeling out of control, producing one calamity after another.
 
•Our churches are being destroyed by rampant apostasy.
 
•True Christianity is under attack from all sides, and Christians are being marginalized as intolerant bigots.
 
Yet, despite all this economic, social, political and religious chaos, it is the best of times because all these developments are a fulfillment of end time prophecies that point to the imminent return of Jesus!
 
Jesus Himself said that society would become as immoral and violent as in the days of Noah. And He said that when we see that happening, we are to “look up and be watchful, for our Redemption will be drawing near” (Luke 21:28).
 
Those of us who have committed our lives to Jesus may see all that is dear to us disintegrate before our very eyes, but we are going to win in the end.
 
We may suffer terrible persecution, but we are going to win in the end.
 
We may see the collapse of the dollar and the fall of the United States as a world power, but we are going to win in the end.
 
How can I be so confident? Because the Bible promises us ultimate victory, and I know for certain the Bible is true.
 
Our Promised Victory
 
What is our promised victory? Let me summarize it for you.
 
1.We are promised that at any moment now we will be taken out of this world in the Rapture of the Church.
 
2.We are promised that God will then pour out His wrath on the wicked world leaders who currently thumb their noses at Him.
 
3.We are promised that Jesus will then return to reign over all the world in glory and majesty from Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and all the earth will be flooded with peace, righteousness, and justice.
 
4.We are promised that we will ultimately be given an eternal home on this planet after it has been refreshed and perfected by God.
 
5.We are promised that we will live eternally on that new planet in glorified, immortal bodies in the presence of our Creator and Savior.
Again, how can I be certain of these victorious promises? Because the Bible tells me so. And the Bible can be trusted as the infallible Word of God.
 
How do I know that?
 
Because it is the only book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecies.
 
And, because all the prophecies concerning the First Coming of the Messiah were literally and precisely fulfilled, we can be confident that all the prophecies about the Messiah’s return and triumph will be literally and precisely fulfilled.
 
Let’s take a quick, overview look at God’s Plan for the Ages. There are four major prophesied triumphal events on the horizon that we as born again children of God can look forward to: The Rapture, The Second Coming, The Millennium, and Heaven.
 
The Rapture
 
Our first promise of victory is the Rapture of the Church.
 
This is an event that is often confused with the Second Coming — but they are not the same. A careful study of the Scriptures reveals that the return of Jesus is going to be in two stages — first, the Rapture, and then later, the Second Coming.
 
The fact that these are two separate events can be easily demonstrated.
 
There are only two detailed descriptions of the Lord’s return in the New Testament — 1 Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 19.
 
And these two passages are as different as night and day. The two passages have nothing in common except that they both focus on Jesus Christ.
 
How can these passages be reconciled? I believe the only way to reconcile these two accounts is to conclude that they are talking about two different events and that the Lord’s return will be in two stages — first, the Rapture, and then the Second Coming. First Thessalonians 4 describes the Rapture of the Church. Revelation 19 presents the Lord’s return to this earth.
 
Solving Another Problem
 
This reconciliation solves another problem.
 
The Bible says repeatedly that the Lord’s return is imminent — that is, it can happen at any moment (Matt. 24:36 & 44). But how can it be imminent if there is only one future coming?
 
The Point: If there is only one future coming, then the Lord’s return is not imminent because there are many prophecies that must be fulfilled before He can return to earth:
 
•7 Years of Tribulation
•The Rebuilding of the Temple
•The Revelation of the Antichrist
•The Killing of the Two Witnesses
•The Desecration of the Temple
•The Institution of the Mark of the Beast
•The Salvation of the Jewish Remnant
 
The Point Again: The only way the Lord’s return can be imminent is for there to be a Rapture that is separate and apart from the Second Coming — and which can occur at any moment, without the fulfillment of any prophecies.
 
Another Problem Solved
 
This reconciliation also solves another problem.
 
The Bible says that no one can know the date of the Lord’s return. But the date of the Second Coming can be calculated precisely. The book of Revelation says it will take place exactly 2,520 days or 7 prophetic years from the day the Tribulation begins.
 
Therefore, the statement about not knowing the date must apply to the Lord’s appearing in the Rapture. Again, the solution is two future comings — an Appearing and a Return.
 
The Second Coming
 
This brings us to the second great prophetic event of triumph that we can look forward to — the Second Coming.
 
The Bible says Jesus will return to this earth at the end of the seven years of the Great Tribulation. He will return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem from which He ascended into Heaven (Zechariah 14:1-9).
 
This will occur when the Jewish people have come to the end of themselves through the persecution of the Antichrist, motivating them to turn their hearts to God (Zechariah 12:10).
 
When Jesus comes, they will look upon Him whom they have pierced, they will recognize Him as their Messiah, they will repent of their rejection of Him, and they will cry out, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 23:39).
 
At that point Jesus will speak a supernatural word and the Antichrist and his forces will be instantly annihilated in the Valley of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Jesus will then resurrect the Old Testament Saints (Daniel 12:1-2) and the Tribulation Martyrs (Revelation 20:4), giving them their glorified bodies.
 
He will proceed to judge all those still living, both Gentiles and Jews (Matthew 25:31-46 and Ezekiel 20:33-38). The Saved will be allowed to enter the Millennium in the flesh. The Unsaved will be consigned to death and Hades.
 
The Millennium
 
This brings us to the third great triumphal event Christians should be looking forward to — the Lord’s Millennial reign.
 
The Bible says that those of us in glorified bodies will reign with Jesus over those in the flesh for a thousand years, during which time the earth will be flooded with peace, righteousness, and justice.
 
During those thousand years, God is going to fulfill four promises He has made, as outlined below.
 
1) To Jesus — God has promised that the day will come when Jesus will receive honor, glory, and power.
 
Jesus was humiliated the first time He came. He was rejected by His own people. He was mocked, scourged, and murdered.
 
During the Millennium He will receive the honor He is due, and He will be glorified in history.
 
Isaiah describes it this way (Isaiah 24:23):
 
Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before His elders.
Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 1:10, makes the same point:
 
[Jesus is returning] to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…
 
2) To the Creation — Restoration to its original perfection.
 
Repeatedly in the Hebrew Scriptures, the promise is made that God will one day redeem His creation. Isaiah 11 says the wolf will dwell with the lamb and the lion will eat straw with the ox (Isaiah 11:6-9).
 
Peter affirmed this promise in his sermon to the Sanhedrin Council when he declared (Acts 3:19-21):
 
19) Repent… in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
 
20) and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
 
21) whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
 
God is going to redeem all of His creation, returning it to the original perfection that existed when He created it.
 
3) To the Nations — Peace, Righteousness and Justice.
 
Again, the Hebrew Scriptures speak of this promise many times. One example can be found in Micah 4:3 where the prophet emphasizes that the Messiah will bring peace:
 
He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.
The prophet Isaiah emphasizes the righteousness and justice that the Messiah will bring to the world (Isaiah 11:4-5):
 
4) But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth…
 
5) Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.
4) To the Jews — Primacy among the nations.
 
God will regather all the believing Jews in the world who are left alive at the end of the Tribulation, and they will be established as the prime nation of the world (Deuteronomy 30:1-9). He will then fulfill all the promises He has ever made to them.
 
Consider, for example, the incredible promises of Isaiah 60 which God made to the Jewish people — promises that have never yet been fulfilled:
 
2) The glory of the Lord will appear upon you [Israel].
 
3) And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
 
5) The wealth of nations will come to you… And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet.
 
15) Whereas you have been forsaken and hated… I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation.
 
20)… the days of your mourning will be finished.
 
21) Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever.
The prophet Zechariah describes the Millennial glory of Israel with some remarkable imagery (Zechariah 8:22-23):
 
22) Many peoples and many nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.
 
23) Thus says the Lord of hosts, “In those days, ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'”
What a statement that is! It means the centuries of persecution of the Jews will finally come to an end. No longer will they be the butt of jokes or the target of harassment or the victims of murder.
 
5) To the Church Age Saints (you and me) — Ruling power over the nations.
 
This is a promise made many times in the Scriptures, both in the Old Testament and the New.
 
Here is one example from Daniel 7:27 in the Old Testament:
 
Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
And here is confirmation in the New Testament (Revelation 2:26-27):
 
26) He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;
 
27) and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as I also have received authority from My Father…
 
Heaven
 
The final stage of God’s Plan for the Ages will come at the end of the Millennium, when we will be presented with our Heavenly home.
 
The Redeemed will be removed from this planet to the New Jerusalem which Jesus has been preparing for us. And I suspect that from that vantage point, we will be able to watch the greatest fireworks display in history as God superheats this earth to burn away the pollution of Satan’s last revolt.
 
Out of that fiery inferno will come a new heaven and a new earth that will serve as our eternal abode.
 
That’s right, Heaven will be on a new earth. We will be lowered down inside the New Jerusalem to the new earth, and God Himself will come to earth to live among us.
 
Here’s how it is described in Revelation 21:
 
1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…
 
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) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,
 
4) and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
 
5) And 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.”
 
6) Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
 
7) “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”
 
Notice the one to whom all these promises are made: the overcomer. In 1 John 5 we find a definition of an overcomer:
 
1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…
 
5) And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
 
If you have put your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are an overcomer, and you are an heir of all these promises.
 
According to Revelation 22:4, we will “see God’s face” — which means we will have intimate fellowship with our Creator eternally.
 
And Revelation 22:3 says we will “serve Him forever.” Yes, we are going to have meaningful and fulfilling things to do in service to our Creator.
 
Conclusion
 
In summary, let’s look at an overview of God’s Plan for the Ages:
 
•The end times began on Pentecost in about 30 AD when the church was established.
 
•We have now been in the Church Age for 1900 years plus.
 
•The Church Age will come to a halt with the appearance of Jesus in the heavens, followed by the Rapture of the Church Age Saints, both the living and the dead.
 
 
•The Church Age will be followed by the Great Tribulation which will last 7 years.
 
•We will be in Heaven with the Lord during the Tribulation, but we will return with Him at the end of the Tribulation to reign with Him over all the world.
 
•Then will come the Millennial reign of Jesus, lasting 1,000 years.
 
•The final stage of history will be the eternal state or Heaven when we will live eternally in glorified bodies in a New Jerusalem located on a New Earth.
 
The Glory of the Victory
 
Now I hope you can better understand the meaning of two great passages written by the Apostle Paul.
 
First, Romans 8:18: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
 
He repeats this sentiment in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 where he writes: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of Man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But in the next verse, he adds that these glorious things have been revealed to us through His Spirit — speaking, of course of His Word.
 
In like manner, the Apostle Peter referred to the events we have surveyed as “God’s precious and magnificent promises” (2 Peter 1:4).
 
Application
 
When you consider the details of God’s Glorious Plan for the Ages, how can you possibly be passive or apathetic?
 
We are promised victory, and it will be achieved with: The Rapture, The Second Coming, The Millennium, and Life Eternal with God in Glorified Bodies on a New Earth.
 
Clouds of darkness may be gathering around us, but the Light is about to break through.
 
It is the worst of times, but it is the best of times, for the signs of the times are shouting the good news that Jesus is coming soon!
 
In response, you and I should be shouting, MARANATHA! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
 
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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized