Tag Archive: PROPHECY


Evangelicals who discuss different angles of Bible prophecy often consider apparent references to the necessity of a Jewish temple being rebuilt before the start of the Tribulation. Here’s my own view…

REMAINS OF THE SECOND JEWISH TEMPLE, WITH ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK BEHIND IT
All evangelical prophecy “experts” and buffs who are not amillennial see in Scripture talk of a rebuilt temple, which Antichrist will one day enter and claim to be God. I’ve struggled with the idea that there could be a rebuilt temple, given the firm Muslim control of the temple mount in our day, the unwillingness of most Israelis to upset the Muslim world by even considering a temple, and the total unwillingness of the US and Europe to aid those wanting a temple for the same reason. Be assured that I’m convinced God is fully able to bring his Word to fulfillment against all the odds, but I have considered alternative possibilities to a rebuilt temple.
Since Jesus said that the “abomination of desolation” would stand in the holy place and didn’t say “temple” (Matthew 24) I wondered if it may be that simple: that there will be no temple, but just AC standing on the spot where the holy of holies was situated. Not even Jews of today will stand on the spot for fear of desecrating it, even though there’s no temple there.
However, Paul’s reference to the event (2 Thess. 2:4) contains the word “temple”. It seems that all translations use the word “temple”, and the original Greek does say “temple”, not “holy place”. Evangelical Christians of past centuries believed that the word “temple” here refers to the hearts of members of the true Church, the Church being deceived by the Pope who, they were convinced, was Antichrist. But the elect cannot be deceived, and this interpretation necessitates allegorizing most or all Last Days prophesies, making them all unsure and intangible.

THE WESTERN WALL
It seems then that there are three remaining alternatives. One is that Paul was mistaken. He only thought that the prophecy Jesus mentioned, originally in the book of Daniel, with AC standing on the holy place, spoke of the literal temple which was still standing in Paul’s day. He should instead have directly quoted Jesus who said “holy place”. Paul, in this scenario, expected the destruction of the temple to come at the same time as the AC is revealed, when in fact its destruction by the Roman army came not long after his death, and the AC is yet future.
So was Paul mistaken? If so the entire New Testament on shaky ground. If Paul was wrong about this then the Holy Spirit did not breathe Truth into the Words of our NT as it claims; Paul’s letters are not Scripture as Peter said they were; Peter was wrong to say they were Scripture, and it’s all unreliable. It appears that there must be a temple on the temple mount in order for Biblical integrity to be maintained, and for prophecy to be fulfilled.
The temple likely cannot be built anywhere else without defying Scripture. The Temple Mount Faithful state that the spot where the holy of holies was is currently smack-dab in the middle of the Dome of the Rock, built seven hundred years after the temple was destroyed. The Dome is one of the most revered shrines in Islam. Indeed, any attempt to replace the Dome with a Jewish temple in present conditions would likely start WWIII.
The second possibility is propounded by Amir Tsarfati among others, which is that the Gog-Magog war spoken of in Ezekiel will be the next fulfillment of prophecy. The Islamic world will be greatly weakened by its defeat foretold in chapters 38 and 39, and the Israelis, finding their Bible to be coming to life once again, will be inspired and emboldened to build a temple on the spot where the Islamic Dome of the Rock now sits.
A third possibility to my mind is that AC will be somehow acceptable to the Muslims-possibly himself a Muslim-and will enter the Dome, stand on the spot where the holy of holies was, and make his “I am God” speech. This possibility fits with the present-day Islamification of Europe, also desired in the US by some on the left of the political spectrum. Could this scenario fit Islamic eschatology of the coming Mahdi? That’s a subject for another post.
NOTES
STRONG’S CONCORDANCE:
The word used by Paul here, and subsequently in the NT (3724) is defined thus:
…of the temple in Jerusalem; it generally denotes the temple building. Also used figuratively for the church as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
Many of the remaining uses of 3724 in the NT do refer to non-corporeal temples: the Church, the temple in heaven, etc.
THE VIEW OF THE TEMPLE MOUNT FAITHFUL:
1,932 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, there are various theories as to the location of the Temple and the Holy of Holies. Some believe that the Temple was located north of the Dome of the Rock while others believe that it was south of the Dome of the Rock. Some of these theories are an attempt at compromise because of the actual situation that the rock is today located under the Dome of the Rock and because of a fear that the removal of the Dome of the Rock and the building of the Temple on this place could cause World War III. These theories do not take into account the fact that no compromise can be made with the Word of Gd Who assigned the location of the Temple and showed it in prophecy to King David.
The Third Temple can only be built on the same location which the Gd of Israel indicated to King David in prophecy and where the First and Second Temples were built. The Third Temple and the Holy of Holies cannot be relocated by even one centimeter to the north or south. Only Gd controls war and peace and the destiny of Israel. There is no doubt that Gd is testing Israel today on the Temple Mount, which is the key place in the world. Gd expects Israel to rebuild His house on the correct position on the Temple Mount with no fear of the Moslem enemy which, at the end of the seventh century CE, built the Dome of the Rock on the most holy place of the Gd and people of Israel and desecrated the hill of Gd and revolted against the Word of Gd. Gd promised the people of Israel that in the endtimes He would redeem His holy hill and Jerusalem together with the people and land of Israel and He would protect them and fight for them against the enemies who would try to prevent His prophetic endtime plans for Israel.
http://www.templemountfaithful.org/articles/temple-location.php

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Those of you who hate politics, who hate a certain current president of the United States, who hate the idea of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and who recoil at the rantings of some obscure, half-mad Christian, be warned that you’ll probably hate this post too!

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Fifty years ago or so the “grandfather of Bible prophecy”, Hal Lindsey, wrote his book “The Late Great Planet Earth”, and became one of the men who led many millions of people to conclude that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ was just around the corner. I was one of them (though not fifty years past). The “stage was being set” for the grand finale of history, they said, and continue to say.

However, half a century later here we all are on the same old planet earth, and we may well ask ourselves if what some of us were led to believe either wasn’t true, or at best that it was rather premature. After all, it was many hundreds of years ago in northern Europe that people were saying, with the dark dawn of the Black Death, the threat of the Turks from the East, and the onslaught of the Pope’s church against non-conformist believers, that the end of the ages was surely upon them and the return of Christ could not be far off. They were longing for his appearing, but they were wrong about a few things. Are we similarly wrong?

Past prognosticators considered the people of ancient Israel to be guilty of murdering the Messiah, and believed that as judgment Israel had been judged and destroyed forever, in the first century destruction of Jerusalem and Israel by the Roman armies. Consequently they totally missed the fact that a literal nation of Israel must have a central role in last days events. Prophetic references to “Israel” and “Zion”, they were convinced, were addressing the Church. They didn’t understand that the nation had to be reborn and once again in possession-a very tentative and hotly contested possession-of the physical city of Jerusalem: present-day realities.

REMAINS OF THE SECOND JEWISH TEMPLE, WITH ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK BEHIND IT

This leads me, indirectly, to our modern day political scene. I say “political scene”, but it really isn’t accurate to refer to it solely as a political scene: there’s an additional dimension to it all. What we see appears to be political, but what’s behind it, driving it all along, is spiritual.

There are some of us out here who were wondering during the last US administration’s two terms whether we would all be led within a year or so into that final showdown of the ages as spoken of in the Bible. Truth was being thrown to the ground; sacred institutions were being trashed, so that schools were being ordered to open restrooms to anyone deciding to belong to a different gender for the day; Israel was being shunned, shamed and threatened, and pressured into handing over Jerusalem. Power was being centralized, nationally and internationally, and we were being surreptitiously ushered into a global society.

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A certain religion wishing, one way or another, to convert the world, was being favored and facilitated, and the faith of our founding fathers was being muzzled and demoted. But with the coming of a new administration in recent months, has the West seen a reprieve, a turnaround and a backing away from the precipice and from the end of the world as we knew it?

I would love to say that yes, we in the West are returning to our right minds: we’ll be keeping our own identity, our own traditional understanding of faith, and our own God’s view of right and wrong. Perhaps we will hang onto it all, for a time-I hope so. I pray so. It may even be that the US will dissent from the foretold international assault on Israel, but scripture says that “all nations” will descend on Jerusalem.

“None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10).

However, we see daily in our “news” reports the desparate efforts going on to destroy or emasculate, in any way possible, the new administration, and most particularly, the new President. Even before he was elected; even when he’d barely started campaigning for nomination, his opponents the world over were accusing him of just about everything negative and hateful that they could cook up. What he didn’t say they attributed to his words and actions anyway, and what he did say was ignored, distorted or edited for the most damaging effect possible. Among the accusations was the idea that he would start a nuclear war as soon as he possibly could.

Don’t look now, but it hasn’t begun yet. They said the same about Reagan thirty years ago, because they hated him equally. I was one of those partially convinced at the time that Reagan was an evil, rich warmonger who was going to start a nuclear war against those poor peace-loving communists.

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Trump was being viciously attacked by media people, sports commentators, college professors, so-called “comedians” and pro-abortion advocates right out of the gate. He’s hated. And it’s not just he who’s hated, it’s all those who voted for him. There’s an inexplicably rabid, unreasonable and frantic movement against all that he stands for-even before his opponents know what it is he stands for. Why? What’s the goal? What will be the outcome?

And what, you may be wondering, does hatred for Trump have to do with last days things? To begin my answer, no I don’t think he’s going to start Armageddon, and no, I don’t think he’s the antichrist. What’s most telling is the vehement opposition to him and his supporters. Trump will not be around for long: hatred for what he stands for will. What will happen when they eventually-one way or another-get rid of Trump? I’ll tell you what I think.

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Considering the world’s obsession with reborn Israel’s possession of Jerusalem, and its determination to divide it as the Bible predicts, Bible prophecy must really be on the verge of fulfillment, be it a few years or decades. I don’t see how it can be coincidence. The world hasn’t changed its direction permanently with the election of Mr. Trump: some trends have just been slowed or postponed. As surely as the pendulum of politics swings, and as surely as Bible prophecy of the first coming of the Christ was fulfilled, so the march towards the world’s destiny will continue, and the second coming is certain. I’m no prophet, and I would never say “The Lord told me”, but I can still tell you what to expect…

The push for globalism and the end of the values of the West will return with a vengeance, with growing support among those who believe we should have no borders. The one-world crowd will almost get their way:

“All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast…” (Revelation 13:8).

The slide into moral lawlessness will surge:

“Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts” Revelation 9:21)

Anti-Christian sentiment, only being held in check now by the Holy Spirit and a few law-respecting leaders of the world, will vent itself freely:

He opened his mouth to blaspheme God ,and to slander his name…He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them (Revelation 9:6-7).

Pressure upon Israel to hand over Jerusalem to enemies of all that the West once stood for-at work today even in the West-will turn into action:

I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured…Half of the city will go into exile…Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations…(Zechariah 14:2-3).

And in that last phrase is the good news: the good news that those who are intent on trashing all godly institutions, and all true faith, and all right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will, just as they think they have won, be stopped in their tracks…dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN RESOLUTION: REVELATION?

Unnoticed by most people, the world may have just taken one more step towards the conflagration to end all conflagrations, spoken of in the book of Revelation and other Bible books…

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Rejecting a decades-old US tradition of defending Israel at the UN, the Obama administration refused to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which insists that Jewish settlements, including those in “East” Jerusalem, are occupied territories. It includes in its “occupied” status the Jewish holy place known as the “Western Wall”, or “Wailing Wall”- part of the retaining wall of the second Jewish temple mount destroyed by Roman armies in the first century. I’ll discuss the prophetic significance of this in a minute.

This resolution increases the perpetual threat to the existence of Israel and to seven million people living in the land, and to any hope of peace in the middle east. It takes away from Israel the bargaining power it had for a genuine agreement. In this resolution the Palestinians have made huge gains in principle without offering anything in return-such as peace. Why would you make peace if you can get your own way through forced political arrangements?

My wife and I spent six months in Israel. When one day we walked from where we were staying to the coast, we were told that we had just walked what was the width of Israel before the six-day war. How do you defend a nation nine miles wide at its narrowest point and seventy at its widest-particularly in modern warfare-against numerous enemies, the leader of which may soon be a nuclear powered Iran?

The intention, on the face of all such resolutions and campaigning, is to give the Palestinians a state. The UN can’t give the state back to Palestinians, because there never has been one. The concept of a Palestinian state has been accepted by Israelis, but they require reciprocal sacrifices and assurances of safety-things which can only be arranged by negotiation and not by one-sided international resolutions. This intended state includes the eastern half of Jerusalem and what the Bible calls Judea and Samaria, or what is today called the West Bank. How often has the UN insisted upon dividing a city?

THE WESTERN WALL

Israel existed in what is now called “Palestine” for thousands of years before Islam came along. I’ve discussed the true and provable history of Jerusalem and Israel in previous posts*. The Romans removed Jews from their land, demolishing Jerusalem in 70AD, and re-naming the land “Palestine” after Israel’s long-term enemies the Philistines. Titus’ arch, still in Rome today, commemorates the Roman massacre, clearly demonstrating Jewish artifacts from the temple mount being carted off as booty.

So how does this resolution bring Revelation closer into view?

One of the most significant Bible prophesies not yet fulfilled concerns an international attack on Jerusalem leading to a forceful (but ultimately unsuccessful) division of Jerusalem! The invasion forces will meet a sorry end:

I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it…Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…” (Zechariah 14: 2-4).

Israel became a nation once more-via the United Nations-after almost nineteen hundred years in 1948, and after Hitler had attempted to wipe out all Jews on earth. Note the reference to “all nations” again:

In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land(Joel 3:1-2).

Notice the words “my land” in that last verse. The land of “Palestine” belongs to God, and he can lease it out to whoever He wants…without any reference to the United Nations.

Relevant past posts:

https://nickyfisher.com/2011/08/31/israel-the-main-sign-of-the-return-of-jesus-christ/ https://nickyfisher.com/2012/04/20/jerusalem-and-you-choose-wisely/

 

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What in the world will the prophesied kingdom of the Beast look like? From where will it originate? Can we identify it now? Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy? Herein are my own answers to these questions…

(BLAERG- “The Chattering Cyclops”)

DISCLAIMER

This is not a “prophecy”. The Lord has not “told me” what’s about to happen. I don’t claim to have any special fool-proof knowledge or insight into Bible prophecy, and I don’t want any money out of you. I’ll try not to use the word “scenario” even once.  What follows is my current view of the kingdom of the Beast of Revelation and Daniel, based on many years of Bible study and observation of world events and trends. I’m sorry it’s rather long, but I have sub-headings here so you can scroll down and skip parts you aren’t interested in. In case anyone is uninitiated into these things, I must declare that I have no intention to incite any kind of rebellion or opposition movement against the government or international organizations, or against any religion or belief system.

INTRO

As I’ve written before, considering the predicament that the nation of Israel is in along with its recent history and very likely near future, it seems that either we are witnessing an incredible set of simultaneous coincidences, or the prophesied events of “End Times” are nearly upon us (you can search for my posts on Israel and Jerusalem and how Bible prophecy is seen to be fulfilled in its ancient and recent history). With that in mind, I’ve been considering prophesies of the kingdom of the Beast.

Looking closely at the prophesies, we find that the beast will be a kingdom but also a man who will ascend to almost unstoppable world power.

Daniel’s prophesies and those of Revelation depict a series of world empires affecting the nation of Israel from ancient times up to the future coming of the Jewish Messiah, (actually the second coming), this time to judge the earth. Without attempting to explain the related prophesies I’m hoping that either you know something about them or that what I have to say will make sense and be of some help.

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WHO THE BEAST IS NOT

Over the last several decades most prophecy “experts” within the evangelical Christian world (I mean those who don’t go along with “replacement theology”) have clung doggedly to the conviction that the kingdom of the Beast will be a “Revived Roman Empire”, with the European Union as its likely immediate progenitor. Enthusiasts have watched the Union get stronger and more unified politically, but there’s been something missing: a considerable lack of unity and a total lack of willingness to dominate and subjugate the rest of the world. Perhaps a far more radical union will form in the future.

A few commentators believe that the Antichrist will be a Jew. This idea is immediately demolished by realizing that the Islamic world would never follow or worship a Jew, miracles or not: they would be far more likely to want to kill him.

For centuries the Roman Catholic Pope has been seen by many in Europe and the US as the Antichrist or his predecessor. At least one prophecy “expert” today even claims that the “Holy Roman Empire” has been reborn in the form of the EU with the Catholic Church. I can’t help seeing this as a silly idea. The Pope has little influence in Europe except with his own committed followers, and the Islamic world, the Hindu world and so-on will never willingly worship the head of a long-distrusted Christian organization, even if he could manage to perform some miracles, and even if the latest pope has been photographed kissing the Quran (yes he has).

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THE ONCE-UNLIKELY ALLIANCE

Within the last fifteen years or so a few brave commentators, namely ex-Muslims, have stuck their necks out (imagery intended) and suggested or insisted that according to Scripture the Beast will be a Muslim, and his kingdom the Islamic world, or part of it. This leads me to my own suspicion bordering on conclusion which goes one step further: the kingdom of the Beast will consist of some of the Islamic world in an alliance with the West. That doesn’t mean that I expect everyone in the West to be reading the Quran and kneeling towards Mecca five times a day (yet), but that public opinion is warming to the Islamic world and agreeing with its views on Israel and the rest of the world. Some top politicians are reaching out to the Muslim world and turning their backs on Israel. What was unthinkable a few decades ago is happening.

I’m not the only one beginning to connect the dots to produce this picture. I’ve noticed that perhaps the most famous figure in the prophecy world who once taught the “Common Market” theory is becoming more and more wary of the Islamic world and its actions and intentions. Below are some of the reasons, from Scripture and from my own observations, why I’ve come to my conclusion.

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TARGETS OF THE BEAST

The Bible, and particularly Revelation, makes very clear the fact that the kingdom of the Beast will have two declared targets for extinction: Christians and Jews. The Beast will increasingly persecute these two groups and ultimately seek to destroy them totally. There is one religion today, and one only, whose most committed followers have this very same stated goal. Its founder had the same approach in his day towards the “people of the book”, and the Turks in the Middle-Ages, having occupied the “Holy Land” and claimed it as their own, attempted to purge the Middle East and then Europe of Christianity. Today the more radical groups in the Middle Eastern countries have been and are working to eliminate Christians. The same has been happening in parts of Africa, such as Sudan.

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(2LOUD “Aero”)

SUBMISSION

Today we see the West submitting to Islam. How can I say that: the West is free, isn’t it?

Well, Islam is all about submission to Allah, and now that in the very Western nations where millions fought for freedom of thought and speech we have a virtual ban on any criticism or scrutiny or questioning of Islam, it seems to me that the submission has already occurred. Islamic movements within our nations are asserting their rights and spreading their message, and everyone else is afraid to disagree, or else those who try to disagree are castigated by their own courts and governments. More than that, Muslims are winning over many to their way of seeing the world, particularly in regard to Israel.  While the nominal, peaceful Muslims just want to live out their lives and get along within the nations they’ve settled (and the same applies to their nations of origin), radicals work to drive the rest on to deeper commitment and radicalism. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog, and the dog is afraid or unwilling to resist.

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THE CAPTURE AND DIVISION OF JERUSALEM

One of the central aims of the Beast, according to Scripture in several prophesies, will be the capture and division of Jerusalem, and the destruction of Israel as a nation. Don’t look now, but this is the dream and the stated goal of most of the Islamic world (see my post “Israel and the Sound of Gnashing Teeth”). The United Nations, including the European Union and the United States, are in declared agreement that at least half of Jerusalem must be given to Israel’s enemies, and while the West is currently willing to tolerate the existence of Israel in a greatly diminished form, that’s going to change. According to United Nations “law”, Israel is an illegally occupying presence in much of the little land they possess, and something must be done to extract it. Until a few years ago, the United States was known to be the protector of Israel, but the will to alter that position has been apparent.

While Jerusalem is mentioned well over seven hundred times in the Bible as Israel’s capital and home, it is not mentioned once in the Quran-written several hundred years later. The kingdom of the Beast is going to aid Islam in its assault on Jerusalem, and the world’s stated decisions and proclamations to date are undeniable evidence that the Kingdom of the Beast and Islam will be in agreement over this matter.

ISRAEL IN PERSPECTIVE

ISRAEL IN PERSPECTIVE

WHERE IS THE U.S. IN BIBLE PROPHECY?

For a long time people have been asking the question, “Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy?” Of course, the name “United States” would not have been used in Bible prophesies made many centuries ago, in fact the known names of that time were given so that people of all ages, not just ours, could make some sense out of them.

As an example, Persia is named in the Bible as being the member of an alliance against Israel (Ezekiel 38). In the early 20th century, the name of the nation “Persia” was changed to Iran, a country whose spiritual leader has said that the only solution to the problems of the Middle-East is the destruction of Israel.

Various answers are given to the “U.S.” question, including one which involves the Revelation reference to the “wings of a great eagle” which will rescue the remnant of Israel from the onslaught of the Antichrist. Proponents of this idea believe that the US will come to the aid of Israelis and air-lift them to safety.  I personally see this as a hopeful guess at best, particularly as Old Testament references to the “wings of an eagle” always refer to God’s own miraculous deliverance, not to the national symbol of a nation:

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).

There are a couple of interesting terms used in the Bible which suggest a reference to the US, such as the “young lions” and the “coastlands” (Ezekiel 38).

It seems to me that the most logical conclusion that the US does not seem to be specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy is that it will be a part of the global problem-and perhaps even the driving force of it. The kingdom of the Beast will be an overpowering military force, according to Scripture. Among other reasons the clincher, for me, is the fact that “all nations” will be involved in the attack on Israel and Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). The word “all” seems to suggest “all” doesn’t it? The US in this case would be just a part the United Nations or the “international community” invasion force, or else the US will stand back and watch it happen. Israel will be alone against the world, and their rescuer will not be a post-Christian, ungodly culture, but the Lord Himself:

“I have trodden the winepress alone, from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath…For the day of vengeance was in my heart…” (Isaiah 63:3-4).

IRON MIXED WITH CLAY

Daniel’s prophecy of the feet of iron and clay at the bottom of a statue, depicted as the last world empire before Judgment (Daniel chapter 2, and mirrored in Revelation) is commonly interpreted by evangelicals as lingering remnants of the empire of ancient Rome which will soon evolve into the last world empire-that of the Beast. This is why the European Union has been so fascinating to prophecy students. It did seem for some time that the forming Union was going to realize all that Napoleon, Charlemagne and Hitler had tried but failed to do by force. Here’s the Roman Empire:

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In recent years those who insisted that Islam would be the kingdom of the Beast drew attention to the fact that ancient Rome became divided between East and West. Therefore, they say, if we must see the legs as remnants of ancient Rome, one of the legs as represented in Daniel’s vision must be the Eastern leg, consisting of much of what later became the Ottoman Empire-that is, the Islamic world, which almost succeeded in conquering Western Europe.

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This leads me to my “one-step further”.  While it’s true that Roman boots never occupied American soil (as far as we know), not only is Western Europe culturally and politically a legacy (excuse the pun) of ancient Rome, and “out of” Rome, but the United States is “out of” Western Europe. It was founded and settled initially by Europeans. It too has Roman roots culturally and politically. The US is a part of that iron-and-clay mix: the US is as much descended from ancient Rome as Europe is.

In Daniel’s vision the iron and clay of the legs represent peoples groups which join together as an empire, but are essentially so different that they cannot become truly one. Europe and the US are composing themselves as much as possible of a mixture of peoples groups, with some successes and with some problems. I see the iron and clay mix as the mingling of races and the attempted union of nations which are really too different to merge. I’m not at all prejudiced against any race or ethnic group: we’re all members of the same human race. However, it’s painful to see that while many of the millions of Muslims moving into Europe want to assimilate and get along, many others have no intention of blending, and cannot because of their beliefs or because of the extremists among them. Countries such as the US and the UK are now producing home-grown Islamic Jihadists.

Not only this, but it’s clear that their presence is helping to turn the people of Europe against Israel, so that politicians of all persuasions are increasingly blaming tiny Israel for the ills of the world, just as they did in pre-war Germany. It’s political correctness to bash Israel. The same mentality is flowing through the media into the minds of Americans, including some Christian denominations. Currently the attempts of Israel to reign in the violence of Hamas, an organization which has in its charter the destruction of Israel, is producing large-hate filled demonstrations across Europe, organized by angry Muslims and supported by large numbers of sympathizers. Meanwhile the media whips up more hatred with their biased, one sided reporting.

WAR IN-A BABYLON

Revelation tells us of a war which will affect the entire world beginning at the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:13-16). This river runs through present-day Iraq, currently wracked by violence and the gains of the Islamic State, which with many other factions has as a stated goal the destruction of Israel. Another prophecy speaks of an invasion of Israel by several nations identifiable today, which include Iran and Turkey, both very much opposed to Israel’s existence (Ezekiel 38 and 39). The Euphrates region has already been plagued by war for many years.

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THE KINGDOM WILL HAVE UNMATCHABLE MILITARY POWER

“Who is like the Beast? Who can make war against him?” (Revelation 13:4).

At the present time this could not be said for the European Union, but it could be said for the West led by the US, which together has been the policing force of the most of the world for some time. The undisputed military super-power has for decades now been the US along with its allies in Europe. No, they haven’t been fighting under any Islamic banner, but they have been fighting for the cause of various Islamic groups, and/ or funding them.

ARAB SPRING?

About the beheading of an American reporter and other evil actions of ISIL/ISIS/ the Islamic State, President Obama claimed just this week that:

“ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents”.

There’s an apparent intention on the part of the US administration to ignore the fact that the “I” in “ISIL” stands for “Islamic”. The IS has been targeting Christians for extinction, and killing them in the most horrific ways they can think of-including crucifixion and burying them alive. And perhaps members of the administration have not read the parts of the Quran which teach the faithful to:

Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day…. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!”  (Sura 9:5,29,41).

Mohammed said:

“I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” (Al Bukhari vol. 4:196).

The US and NATO aided, provided weapons, and trained fighters for the Al-Qaeda take-over of Libya and the brutal murder of Qaddafi. The US, talking about an “Arab Spring”, aided the Moslem Brotherhood’s take-over of Egypt, deposing its President of thirty years, and one who had been almost a friend to neighboring Israel. The US administration, led by President Barak Hussein Obama, arranged for the new Moslem-Brotherhood government-which openly declared its violent intolerance of the existence of the state of Israel (2)-to be given as a gift twenty F-16s and two hundred Abrams tanks (3). Only the opposition of some US congressmen and senators and the return of the military in Egypt to the scene prevented most of the gift from being delivered.

When Egyptian citizens and the military saw that they were going to be put under strict Sharia law by the Muslim Brotherhood, which even as Muslims they rejected, they managed to take their country back, to the howls of disagreement from the media and various top politicians in the West. I personally spoke to some Coptic Christians who were horrified at the Moslem-Brotherhood’s US-backed ascension to power, because they were aware that Christians, tolerated by Mubarak, were being attacked and murdered by the Moslem Brotherhood, and ancient churches destroyed.

The West has been funding and giving weapons to those rebelling against President Assad in Syria, in a war which up until April of this year had resulted in the deaths of almost two hundred-thousand people, with the number still climbing. Assad was known to tolerate and accommodate Christians in his country, and the ancient churches there were relatively safe: the rebels-Islamists-have the opposite view and have been killing Christians, driving them from their homes and destroying the churches. For a sizeable part of the world, the kingdom of the Beast has already arrived.

Barring a successful political firestorm, Hamas, whose charter calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel, is now to be funded to the tune of over 400 million US taxpayer dollars a year with the blessing of President Obama (4).

Yes, the West went into Iraq and Afghanistan-seen by some as an attack on Islam, but look at the result: extremists have gained the upper hand. American troops there have had to burn their Bibles (5).

THE METHOD OF EXECUTION

Revelation tells us that the kingdom of the Beast will execute its enemies-those who refuse to convert, by beheading. There is only one movement whose extremists have this approach today, and whose founder had the same approach:

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands” (Revelation 20:4b).

THE HARLOT

The harlot of Revelation chapter 17 is generally recognized to be false religion in some form. The Harlot “rides” the Beast, meaning that false religion is a major part of, and perhaps the controlling factor in the kingdom of the beast. Old Testament imagery depicts false religion as a harlot on many occasions. The kings and leaders of all of history are said to have “committed fornication with her”, and the people of the earth had become “drunk” with her adulteries” (verse 2).

THE LAST HUMAN EMPIRE: NOT TOTAL WILLING COMPLIANCE

This may seem like an insignificant point, but while the last human empire will become world-dominant in many ways, there are texts which show that not all nations will be willing to join the alliance (for example, see Daniel 11:40-42). When “experts” speak about world government they often lead us to think that there will be one big, happy world State with everyone in agreement: this is not the case at all.

THE ACCEPTABLE BEAST

The world of the End Times is going to give its allegiance to the Beast-either willingly or having been forced to, while at the same time agreeing that Jerusalem must be wrested from the Israelis. Prophecy experts have noted that according to Scripture (Bible) the Beast himself will deliver some amazing signs, spectacles and achievements. They believe that this will be enough to win over the peoples of all faiths to him,. It seems to me that signs or not, the Islamic world will never give its allegiance to anyone who is not himself a Muslim, or who at least does not support their claims upon the world.

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ANTICHRIST: THE PEACE MAKER?

A dominant characteristic of the man known as “Antichrist” will be his masterful deception. Antichrist will talk peace but wage war, perhaps including “proxy war”. Whoever Antichrist may be, he will have to be in a very influential position to persuade the Israelis into the prophesied “covenant”, an agreement which he will have no intention of keeping. Antichrist will double-cross the Israelis, and must be someone in a position to double-cross them, i.e. someone they are willing to trust or someone they have no alternative but to trust.

There’s a very determined drive towards a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians at this time (along with necessary agreements in a wider context) involving, “coincidentally”, the division of Jerusalem and of the “West Bank”. The West Bank was spoken of by Jesus in his account of Tribulation and Armageddon events as “Judea” (Matthew 24).

The West, and particularly the US, has shown ongoing determination to be the peace-brokers in Israeli-Palestinian discussions.

RELIGION AND THE BEAST

The kingdom of the Beast will be marked by a strict requirement to adhere to the worship of its leader as enforced by his very own prophet (Revelation 13). So this is not a kingdom without any religious worship.

The Antichrist will be presented to the world as a deliverer: the wonder-man who has come to save humanity from itself. He may be labeled a “prophet” or the latest incarnation of a prophet.

WILL REGARD NO GOD

The fact that Antichrist-the Beast-“will not regard any God” does not mean that he will be averse to Islam. He may say something like “we do not regard ourselves as a world of Christians or Hindus or Buddhists, but as a world of citizens.” His own intentions will be uppermost in his mind, and he may seem to have no belief in a real god. He may well present himself as a secularist or even as an atheist, but at the same time shape his policies and aims upon an affinity for one religion in particular.

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LAWLESSNESS AND IMMORALITY

The West is arguably the most immoral empire on earth, and the US leads in this regard.  The Antichrist is described as a man of “sin”, or as the NIV translates it, “lawlessness”. This does not mean that he will not have his own set of laws-he will. It means that he will be in defiance of the ways of God as defined in the Bible. The Beast and his kingdom will promote sin and call it “good”. He will “try to change the set times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). He may well be a law-breaker in his own political context too, doing what he pleases despite what the laws of the land or constitution may say. A mark of the end-times, according to Scripture, is total immorality as God sees it. We live in that kind of world now.

While Islamic law counsels certain self-controls and standards of right and wrong, and while Sharia law can be very strictly interpreted, the reality of its front-line extremists as demonstrated by IS, for just one example, is murder, kidnapping, rape and slavery: total lawlessness and immorality. Anything goes when it comes to dealing with their perceived enemies.

REPORTS FROM THE EAST, NORTH AND SOUTH

Daniel tells us that “at the time of the end” the Beast will be engaged in battle by the “king of the North” and the “king of the South” (Daniel 11:40). Not only that, but having gained the upper hand against these powers, and being situated in the “Beautiful Land” (most likely a reference to Israel), he will receive worrying reports from “the east and the north”. Who knows what jockeying for power is going on here, and remember that often-times Muslims are in violent opposition to Muslims, as in Syria at the present time:  he could conquer or be allied with some forces in the Middle East and still have some against him. But the interesting thing to note is that only three of the four points of the compass are accounted for as the origins of his enemies. The one remaining direction from which enemy forces do not come against him is the West. Could this be because he himself is from the West? At the least, it seems like the US and the EU-the West- will not be against him.

IS THE LAST CHRISTIAN NATION TURNING AGAINST CHRIST?

We expect atheists to try to rid their country of the message of the cross, but this aversion to the Christian faith has been manifesting itself more and more in the courts, the government and the military in recent years, in the US and in Europe. Some prominent and trusted ministers and organizations are speaking of the growing trend of opinion against Christians, and the prospect of persecution in the United States is a lot more believable now than it was just ten or twenty years ago. The US is a “post-Christian” culture, where prayer in the name of Jesus is banned in schools and government offices, where speaking about one’s Christian faith at work can lose you your job, where the government and the media dictate what you must believe about origins, where Christians are taken to court and put out of business for refusing to bake someone a cake, and where the IRS focuses on obstructing Christian and conservative organizations.

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In the nominal Church “Chrislam” attempts to convince us that Muslims and Christians are really worshipping the same god. There are so many ways of showing that this is not true, but as an example, compare what the Quran says about Jesus Christ with what the Bible says:

“Allah is only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son…” Quran [004.171 ]

“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them”. Quran [005.073]

In contrast as stark as it could be, with the term “antichrist” being used, the Bible, written centuries before, says:

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

OUTTRO

Please let me know if you have good arguments or evidence against what I’ve written-I would not at all mind being wrong.

NOTES

1: http://spectator.org/blog/60285/obama-isil-speaks-no-religion

2: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/07/219272.html

3: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/arnold-ahlert/obamas-billion-dollar-giveaway-to-the-muslim-brotherhood/

4: http://aclj.org/radical-islam/88-senators-gravely-concerned-over-obama-administration-funding-of-hamas-terrorist-led-palestinian-government

http://online.wsj.com/articles/why-should-americans-fund-hamas-1401913021

5: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/02/day-us-military-burned-bible-in-afghanistan/

August 2013 012

IS THE SECOND COMING LATE?

When I became a Christian over thirty years ago, I was expecting to be “snatched up” in the Rapture of the Church at any moment. I had read and re-read Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth”, digested every word, and  began to study world history and current events with passion and vigor, just as probably millions of others did upon reading his book. According to Hal and several other prophecy teachers, the “stage was being set” and made ready for the major actors of Bible prophecy to venture forth and fulfill all that was written.

Please don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Hal Lindsey. I believe he’s a genuine man of God. However, here we all are, about forty-five years after “The Late Great Planet Earth” was written, and the stage is apparently still being set. It’s no wonder that many people, when you mention the Second coming, will say words to this effect:

“People have been talking about that for a long time…”

I’ve been through some pretty big challenges to my faith in thirty-two years.  I look around at the world I live in, and I see all the suffering and evil that there is, and I see what a struggle life can be, and what a struggle it is for many millions of people around the world, and I want some real, hard answers, as do many others.  I have no trouble believing that there’s a God: the alternative, the theory of the evolution of life from rock, is ridiculous (and where did the rock come from?).  I have no trouble believing that the Bible is true and that the gospel is true: men don’t give themselves to persecution as the apostles and the prophets did for something they know to be false. I have no trouble believing that Christ died for my sins: the gospel makes perfect sense to me, and I’ve experienced the presence and the work of God in my life. But sometimes, I have to admit, I’ve said out loud (very loud sometimes), “Where are you Lord? Are you going to do anything about this sick world of yours, or did you give up on it and leave it for another galaxy?”

In my more collected moments, I realize that a God who would create such a world and then send His son to die for it, is not going to leave it alone to rot. He’s not going to tell the world how holy and righteous He is, and then hand it over to be destroyed by sin and by enemies. He’s not going to leave His own promises un-kept. He’s not going to be a liar and deny himself. It makes no sense to say that as he hasn’t returned yet he’s not going to. Christ will judge the earth! He will come back!

August 2013 010

So the only remaining question is, “when?”

Here is my own way of understanding the timing issue. I imagine a hair-pin shape as an intersection on a graph. One line represents what the Bible says about “last days” things: what will happen and how. The other represents actual events in our day, and those in the past and in the future. Intersecting lines are not parallel: they will meet at some time in the future. But since the only mention of actual time periods the Bible gives us concern the very last seven years before Christ’s return, and parts of that period, there is no clear time scale that we can apply to the rest of the graph – the part of the intersection we’re in now. There are only Scriptural pointers and clues to the kind of world that will exist at the beginning of the seven year period, and it’s my opinion that the two lines are obviously getting close together in our generation. That is, certain events and conditions in our world mirror those Scriptural pointers and clues, to give me the sense that the meeting point of the intersection cannot be far off. As time goes on the convergence will become more noticeable-to those who are looking. The passing of time does not make our view of the intersection fade – it makes it clearer.

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The mistake which Bible prophecy-watchers of past centuries made was in isolating some prophecies, and trying to apply only those to what they saw around them in their day. This is understandable: they were unwilling to imagine that the return of Christ depended on events and circumstances which would clearly not transpire in their lifetimes. They wanted a quick fix to their sufferings and their mortality.  For example, the persecution of European believers carried out by the Roman Church seemed in that day like the clear fulfillment of passages of Revelation, and the Pope a dead ringer for antichrist or the false prophet. What they did not want to consider was that the fulfillment of most of the  important pieces of that prophetic “puzzle” were nowhere in sight.

The mistake that Hal Lindsey and others have made, and which I have made, is in seeing the lines of our intersection coming together, and then expecting and wanting those lines to meet sooner than they actually will. It’s an honest and sincere case of over-excitement, causing premature or faulty judgment-perhaps not such a bad thing since we are supposed to be “longing for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8)..

SKEPTICS

What else can we expect from skeptics but skepticism? Christ said that the events of the Last Days are going to come upon the world like a trap (Luke 21:34-35). Peter warned of the prevailing attitude of unbelief in that time:

“…in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is the coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it  has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4, and read further).

CHRISTIAN SKEPTICS

Here are some more things professing Christians will say about the Second Coming:

“We aren’t supposed to think about such things”

“Nobody can understand the prophecies”;

“If you’re too heavenly minded you’re no earthly good”.

To such comments I will reply with the words of Scripture:

When he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (JOHN, 1 John 3:2-3);

“Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (JESUS CHRIST, Matthew 24:42-44);

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord…will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearing” (PAUL, 2 Timothy 4:8);

“None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10).

There are plenty more similar references I could give.

So, according to the words of the founders of our faith, we are supposed to know, we are supposed to think about it, and we therefore can understand at least something of what we’re supposed to be looking for.

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A large portion of the Bible concerns “Last Days’ events. What would be the point of Bible writers writing these things if we “aren’t supposed to know” and if we “can’t understand”? What would be the point of the Holy Spirit of God inspiring such passages of Scripture and then expecting us to ignore them?

THE “IF”s OF THE PROPHECY TEACHERS

We commonly hear words of vagueness preceding predictions, such as “if”, “probably”, “could” and “likely”. Even worse are the predictions of certainty which are totally un-Biblical and which never come to pass, even including date-setting. Some people have lost faith, hope or interest in the Second Coming due to the expectations given them by teachers who have thereby made their names and perpetuated their ministries and careers.  Claims can often be just guesswork: questionable or fanciful interpretations of Bible imagery, shaky extrapolations, or predictions of political events or technological trends which may or may not happen and which really have nothing to do with Bible prophecy anyway.

Self-professed “experts” or “prophets” can say the most outrageous things, sometimes out of ignorance or over-enthusiasm, and sometimes for the motive of making money. One of the silliest claims I’ve heard in my time was that Prince Charles is/was the antichrist. Almost as silly was the claim that there were aliens – demon spirits disguised as humans – running the Whitehouse (though that one is quite thought-provoking).

Other claims of prophecy fulfillment are simply sincere but highly questionable and unfounded. For example, one I heard recently was that some of the “trumpet” judgments of Revelation were fulfilled by the likes of Saddam Hussein. Another is that  “God foretold the United States’ “Declaration of Independence”. Such claims involve the stretching of Scripture to an unrecognizable degree.

There have also been outright inventions or fabrications: lies.

Plenty of people are willing to believe such claims. In fact, multitudes gravitate towards the sensational without taking the time to scrutinize. Such things unnecessarily discredit Bible prophecy in the eyes of thinking people and, eventually, in the minds of the more gullible.

I’ve had enough of the nonsense and the vague and the unreliable and the fabricated. I want truth and substance, as many people do.

It’s my intention in this series to avoid the “coulds” and the “ifs’ of Bible prophecy as much as possible, and instead to clarify what we can clearly know and expect according to the actual prophecies and not the speculations and the ramblings of men.  There really are some very clear indications that the”Last Days” are near. I’ll endeavor to admit when I’m giving my own opinion. In fact the final part of my series will likely consist of personal expectations: you can take them or leave them, but please do not consider them to be prophecies – they will only be my ideas and surmising. I have nothing to gain from this – no money, no fame, no book or DVD sales.

Part 2 will consider some of the prophecies…

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