Change! New World, New Ways, New Minds, New Gods
CHANGE! However hollow its promises, this common catchword does bring an illusion of unity. For even the most diverse politicians, pastors, managers and media masters across America seem to agree on this point: Change is essential to their own success. "It's about change!" proclaims the......
"Change" is the current catchword. It has also been so in the past. For those who have nothing very substantive to say to address the times -- be the context contemporary or historic -- simply saying it's time for "change" is a simplistic, safe, very limited, but not very cerebral nor innovative word to introduce into the public arena. It is perhaps the lowest level of appeal possible. Perhaps a "dumbing down" of human discourse. But then again, the politicians of today, one one hand, refer to the phrase "The American People" often with the effect of flattery or feeding the collective ego; while, on the other hand, apparently don't think very highly of them at all. Thus, the "stooping down," as it were, of relatability. The very use of TV and other media-enhanced methodology -- i.e. "the making of a president" attests to this modern day aberration.
(Please note, no one political party is referenced here.)
We'll Get The President We Deserve
Nine times out of ten, you’ll hear some mutterings like: “He’s really conservative” or “We need a Christian in the White House” or “He’s the best qualified.” Ask for some specifics and you’re likely to see eyes shift downward as the subject is changed. The truth of the matter is, most people are woefully uninformed and are buying the lying of ‘front-runner’ candidates and their media sock puppets....... http://www.newswithviews.com/Mary/starrett80.htm
by Mary Starrett
We always get the president we deserve. The congress too. Politicians, directly or indirectly, are a reflection of society at large. Generally speaking, they mirror the manipulated masses. Each party gets their turn at the helm. When society gets sick of one, they go to the other. And when sick of them, back to the one. On and on the pendulum swings..
We grow sick of our politicians because they are just like us ("us" as in We The People). This is not real conscious. We try not to be like them. Yet we expect more of them. Then we despise them when they don't deliver. Then we become like those we despise. (What you focus on, you move towards.)
If we were in office, we think that we would do better than them.. that we would hold pristine principle above political expediency, reason over interest; that we would do it right, and bring about the much needed change. We would prevail above the common temptations which are part of human experience. We would be above human nature. Old faithful us. Unfaithful harlots them.
Most of us wouldn't go into politics because we find the business personally distasteful. Yet we expect the world of those who do. And they go in promising the world. Then they get in and say, "OMG! What did I do!!???" And most of them do not bring change to the system. The system changes them.
Then we, the public, gun them down and demonize them at every turn, as though only their stuff stinks and not ours. And it's equal-opportunity, bipartisan smear, lest anyone should feel left out.
That's because the system is governed/characterized by collective human nature and selfish motives.. virtually everywhere. It's by compromise that they get in. And stay in. Otherwise, they just don't last. As someone said, "Politics is a business wherein decent people are compelled to do indecent things."
Not to suggest that there aren't any genuinely good and bad people. At the extremes, there are indeed some of both. But the main cross-swath of folks are just sucked into a system that succumbs to our lower nature, if you will. Or succumbs to the BEST in us, when we are GOOD. They are a reflection of US. We put them there. They reflect the moral/spiritual condition of society. If you don't like them, then there needs to be a change in those who put them there - in the constituency itself - a grass roots movement for change.
Most politicians wet their finger, stick it in the wind and try to catch the drift of things. Too often they are not the movers & shakers of today, but are themselves moved and shook by popular whim - however right or wrong those whims might be. They are like jello. They lean this or that way, with little spine in the matter. They dance to OUR tune. (AND to the tune of the few and powerful. "He that pays the piper calls the tune." And We The People, We The Ignorant and Apathetic, the weak-minded, media-mesmerized couch-potato society, so passively permit the puppeteers to operate as they will.)
Today, there are fewer true leaders and statesmen than ever before. We have a real leadership crisis in general, amid multiple riptides of special interest and a wild spending that defies description. To leave this nightmare to our children is utterly unconscionable, in a day where the word conscience has all but left our vocabulary. And the fine words and lofty platitudes from conservatives & liberals alike, often ring hollow and disingenuous. Some of these folks mean well. But you can put a happy face on things for only so long, before the truth comes home to roost.
Cause & effect. You reap what you sow.
And what a great harvest it will be.
[I am hesitant to go into the subject of 666 because the concept has been lightly handled, bandied about, commercialized and cheapened to the effect of redundancy and "pop sensation." But it's still a part of the prophetic puzzle, the end times enigma that confronts us. F.G.]
Jack Van Impe Ministries International Newsletter (Excerpts)
July 28, 2003
What is the nature of the "coming world church"? How will this international institution cooperate with the world identification number "666" and the "image of the beast"?
Revelation 13:11 introduces us to a beast who will serve as ally to the infamous Antichrist. This beast is known as the false prophet or leader of the world church of Revelation 17. Closely identified with the religion of the Roman Empire, this beast will influence the nations of the world to worship the Antichrist—to the extent of setting up an image in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus referred to this image as the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15). When this unholy act takes place in the Temple, the true Jewish heart will be broken, because any hint at idolatry flies in the face of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. The second commandment states,
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth" (v. 4).
The false prophet’s religion, however, will have no qualms or conscience with respect to these idols and statues. Thus, the beast will erect an idol in honor of the Antichrist, and the world will be forced to bow to it..
"I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).
The Coming World Number
The false prophet of the coming world church will also issue an international identification number. This is a prophecy that is fast becoming reality:
"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 causeth 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 hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six [or 666]" (Revelation 13:15—18).
What about the Antichrist? Where is he during this time? What connection will he have to the dreaded number 666? I have no doubt that he is alive and presently on the scene, impatiently awaiting his moment to ascend the world throne. When he arises he will set up a world computer system that will keep track of every person on earth, giving each the number 666, according to Revelation 13:6—18. What is the relationship between this number and the Antichrist? Revelation 13:17 states that 666 is the number of his name. Verse 18 adds,
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man."
666 and Gematria
Let us look more closely at this number—particularly at some of the scholarly research done on its future impact on humankind. The Rev. J. R. Church, founder and director of the "Prophecy in the News Ministry" in Oklahoma City, has spent many hours studying the development of the number 666 as it relates to modern society. He says that the word count in Revelation 13:18 comes from the Greek word meaning "to compute." Thus, the verse literally states, "Let him that hath understanding compute the number of the beast." To compute a number from a name, one must devise a system of ascribing numeric values to the letters of the alphabet. This procedure is known as gematria.
In attempting to find a gematria for the English alphabet, Church discovered that the ancient Sumerian civilization of modern-day southern Iraq used a sexagesimal system of numerics. The Sumerians lived in the days of Noah and, therefore, constitute the earliest civilization known to archaeologists. Their numbering system was based on a root of six as opposed to our ten. Thus, the common fractions 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5 would be written 30/60, 20/60, 15/60, and 12/60. In fact, the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume 4, implies the likelihood that the number 6 was the base of civilization’s first system of computation.
Church also discovered that the English alphabet is essentially the same as that of every other language of the world since all tongues found their origin in a common source prior to the tower of Babel. Thus we have a, b, c in English; alpha, beta, and gamma in the Greek; and aleph, beth, and gimel in the Hebrew.
Reasoning that the Antichrist may have an English name, Church used a gematria formed by adding the number 6 to each letter of the alphabet. Thus, A=6, B=12, C=18, D=24, E=30. F=36, etc. He then proceeded to compute the numerical values of various words associated with Scripture. Identical values were found for the following: Lucifer + hades =666; devil + sheol= 666; devil + dragon =666; mark + beast = 666...
Since the image of the beast (Revelation 13:14—15) is undoubtedly a sophisticated computer, Church decided to find the numerical value of the word computer (C=18, 0=90, M=78, P=96, U=126, T=120, E=30, R=108). The total: 666! I first noted that his findings were given credence by a statement in the November 1981 issue of Science Digest. Harvard theologian Harvey Cox wrote, "The true successors of the [ancient] sorcerers and the alchemists are not the priests and theologians but the physicists and the computer engineers." Certainly this will be true in the case of the Antichrist.
Next, Church began searching for a city whose numerical value would indicate it as a possible location from which the Antichrist will arise. Since Rome plays a central role in Bible prophecy, he began there. However, Rome’s gematria totaled only 306. Likewise, the ancient city of Babylon (currently being rebuilt) equals 426 and Jerusalem comes to just 624. Continuing on through the other major cities of the world—London, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, and even Washington, D.C.—each effort proved fruitless— until he came to New York City (N=84, E=30, W=138, Y=1S0, 0=90, R=108, K=66, Total: 666).
Although one cannot conclusively prove that New York is the city that will produce the Antichrist, it is chilling to note that it serves as the home of the current world parliament (the United Nations) and is also a base for the international banking industry. Incidentally, just outside New York City is a suburb by the name of Babylon.
To cement the validity of Church’s research, there was a telephone call from a computer programmer who had been studying the numbering systems of the great empires of world history—Rome, Greece, and Babylon (along with the Medo-Persian Empire, which had the same numbering system as Babylon). The programmer had found that a modern-day name could be formed from the letter values of the number 6 as taken from these three ancient numbering systems.
Note this discovery: The number 6 in Roman numerals is made up of the letters VI. The ancient Greek number 6 was taken from the sixth letter of the alphabet, the letter sigma, which looks like the English letter s. Returning to the Babylonian Empire and its sexagesimal system of numbers, the programmer considered the possibility that its letter A equaled 6. Thus, from the three great world empires of history, he found that the composition of the number 666 spells the word VISA—the precise name of today’s most accepted and popular credit card!
What relationship Church’s unusual finding might have to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy remains to be seen. I do not set dates, nor do I make predictions.. Still, it is both interesting and exciting to see the number 666 exposed in so many ways through this system of gematria.
Last edited by FirstGarden : 02-01-2008 at 06:10 PM.
Number of the Beast
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Number of the Beast is a concept from the Book of Revelation of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The Number is 666 in modern biblical text, although modern studies have shown that the earliest known version of the Book of Revelation (from the 3rd century) used 616. One 11th century manuscript also shows 665. This topic is a source of contention for many church groups and theologians. Some scholars contend that the number is a code for the Roman Emperor Nero.
The Number of the Beast is described in the Book of Revelation 13:18.
The King James translates: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
In the Greek manuscripts, the Number is rendered in Greek numerical form as χξς' or sometimes literally as “six hundred and sixty-six”, “εξακοσιοι εξηκοντα εξ ”. [hexakosioi hexékonta hex, lit. six hundred sixty six]
Scholars such as Dr. Ellen Aitken, Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, have speculated that the reference to this passage was a way of speaking in code about then contemporary figures about whom it would have been politically dangerous to criticize openly.
Many Scholars believe that 666 refers to a Roman Emperor such as Nero (whose name, written in Aramaic, was valued at 666, using the Hebrew numerology of gematria, a manner of speaking against the emperor without the Roman authorities knowing).
In May 2005, it was reported that scholars at Oxford University using advanced imaging techniques had been able to read previously illegible portions of the earliest known record of the Book of Revelation, from the Oxyrhynchus site, Papyrus 115 or P115, dating to the mid to late third century. The fragment gives the Number of the Beast as 616 (chi, iota, stigma), rather than the majority text 666 (chi, xi, stigma) The other early witness Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) has it written in full: hexakosiai deka hex(lit. six hundred sixteen).
Significantly, P115 aligns with Codex Alexandrinus (A) and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) which are generally regarded as providing the best testimony to Revelation. Thus, P115 has superior testimony to that of P47 which aligns with Codex Sinaiticus and together form the second-best witness to the Book of Revelation. This has led some scholars to conclude that 616 is the original number of the beast.
Dr. Paul Lewes in his book, A Key to Christian Origins(1932) wrote:
"The figure 616 is given in one of the two best manuscripts, C (Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Paris), by the Latin version of Tyconius (DCXVI, ed. Souter in the Journal of Theology, SE, April 1913), and by an ancient Armenian version (ed. Conybaere, 1907). Irenaeus knew about it [the 616 reading], but did not adopt it (Haer. v.30,3), Jerome adopted it (De Monogramm., ed. Dom G Morin in the Rev. Benedictine, 1903). It is probably original. The number 666 has been substituted for 616 either by analogy with 888, the [Greek] number of Jesus (Deissmann), or because it is a triangular number, the sum of the first 36 numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6...+36 = 666)".
Professor David Parker, Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham, thinks that 616, although less memorable than 666, is the original. Dr. Ellen Aitken said, “Scholars have argued for a long time over this, and it now seems that 616 was the original number of the beast. It's probably about 100 years before any other version."
The early Church father Irenaeus knew several occurrences of the 616-variant but regarded them as a scribal error and affirmed that the number 666 stood "in all the most approved and ancient copies" and is attested by "those men who saw John face to face".
The difference in numbers has also been explained by the fact that the Greek and Latin spellings of Nero’s name transliterate differently into Hebrew (the language used to create the coded numerology). The Greek spelling, “Neron Caesar,” transliterates into Hebrew as “nrwn qsr,” which equates numerically to 666 (Hebrew letters double as numbers for both practical and theological purposes; see entries at Hebrew numerals and gematria). By contrast, the Latin title for Nero is spelled simply “Nero Caesar,” which transliterates to “nrw qsr,” or 616.
Scholars who believe that the Book of Revelation refers to historical people and events argue that the number represents Nero. In Hebrew gematria, every letter has a corresponding number. Summing these numbers gives a numeric value to a word or name. In Hebrew, "Nero Caesar" is spelled “נרון קסר”, pronounced "Neron Qe[i]sar". Adding the corresponding values yields 666.
The hypothesis that 666 is a code for a Roman emperor seems to have historical support. The emperors were noted for their oppression of both Jews and Christians. Both communities were known to use numerology, codes and symbols (such as the Ichthys) when living under Roman rule to avoid persecution.
David Parker, professor of New Testament Textual Criticism and Paleography at the University of Birmingham said that the correct number, 616, refers to the emperor Caligula. Caligula's attempt to erect his statue in the Temple in Jerusalem may have inspired the author of Revelation to speak against the Roman Emperor. In Hebrew, Gaius Caligula Caesar is גסקלגסקסר (gsqlgs qsr). Adding the values yields 616.
The German Protestant theologian Ethelbert Stauffer, arguing that gematria had been the most popular form of numerology not only among Jews but also in the Graeco-Roman world (Pergamon, Pompeii), conceived a Greek gematrical procedure to explain the number 666. Judging from the precise information that the Book of Revelation gives about the person behind the number 666, Stauffer concluded that the "beast" can in general only refer to a Roman emperor and argued that this Emperor must be Domitian, because he had reigned during the proposed time of origin of the Apocalypse and supposedly was called "The Beast" as a "secret derisive nickname" by Romans, Greek, Christians and Jews. Stauffer computed the Number of the Beast using the short form of Domitian's five titles and names A KAI ΔOMET ΣEB ΓE, as derived from the abbreviations on coins and inscriptions. Domitian's official title in Latin was Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus. This was rendered as Autokrator Kaisar Dometianos Sebastos Germanikos for his Greek-speaking subjects. And in turn, for their coins, this abbreviated to A.KAI.DOMET.SEB.GE which totals 666 in Greek Gematria.
Robert Graves suggested that DCLXVI, 666 in Roman numerals, is an abbreviation for the Latin sentence “Domitianus Caesar Legatos Xti Violenter Interfecit”, or “The Emperor Domitian violently killed the envoys of Christ”.
Some Protestant Bible commentators have equated the "beast" of Revelation chapter 13 with the Papacy. To this end, the letters of a title of the Pope, accepted as authentic from 8th - 16th century, Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of The Son of God), are summed to total 666 in Roman numerals. The earliest extant record of a Protestant writer on this subject is that of Professor Andreas Helwig in 1612 in his work Antichristus Romanus. The title was contained in the Donation of Constantine a forged document of Emperor Constantine the Great, by which large privileges and rich possessions were conferred on the pope and the Roman Church. Although occasionally found in Catholic publications as late as the 19th century, today the title is repudiated by the Vatican.
Mark of commerce
“He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
—Rev. 13:16-17 (NIV)
Futurist Christian eschatology typically holds that the Mark of the Beast is one way in which the Antichrist will exercise power over the Earth during the period of Tribulation, because of the prophetic statement in Revelation 13:16-17 that "the Beast" (θηριον) will require all people to receive the mark (χάραγμα "branded mark or character) in their right hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell, making survival for those on the run much more difficult. A possible translation of the meaning of the number 666 may be: the number 666 will be the number that all currency will be based upon. Exact interpretations of this vary widely. For example:
* Some Christians interpret the mark as a requirement for all commerce to mean that the mark might actually be an object with the function of a credit card (eg. RFID).
* Steven D. Miller proposes that the mark of the beast may refer to a social security number or card.
* Terry Watkins supposes the mark to be a microchip and or barcode on the human body.
Some support this barcode theory through reference to the three elongated end and middle symbols found in some common barcode symbologies; they appear identical to the symbol used to represent the number six on the right hand segment of a barcode—666 is the template from which barcodes are read. Many barcodes are 'written' in a binary system. Each number—and the guardbars—are represented by the black and white spaces. When carefully comparing the codes, the number "6" is written in the code 1010000, seven units. The left and right guardbar are written in three units: 101. Finally, the middle guardbar is written in 5 units, 01010. Although this recurring "101" looks like three sixes the blanks necessary for it to be read as such are not present.
Culture and psychology
The number 666 retains a peculiar significance in the culture and psychology of Western societies, where some perceive it as “the Devil’s number”, even in contexts usually remote from superstition. The fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
* Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) claimed that he was the Beast prophesised in the Book of Revelation and took the name “Το μεγα θηριον” ("To Mega Therion"), Greek for “The Great Beast”, which adds up to 666 by isopsephy, the Greek form of gematria.
* The Gangster Disciples use a variety of symbols and tattoos which are said to have Satanic meaning, e.g. "Devil's pitchforks" (reminiscent of the symbol of King Exu) and other six-stroked figures.
The Number of the Beast is also a popular song by heavy metal band Iron Maiden who incorporate superstitious lyrics based on 666 into their song.
* An apocalypse number is defined as any number having exactly 666 digits.
* An apocalyptic number is any number that follows the formula 2n and contains three sixes consecutively, such as 2157, which is the first one of this kind.
* Apocalypse primes are given by the formula 10665+n for n=123, 1837, 6409, 7329, 8569, 8967, 9663, ... The smallest apocalypse prime containing the digits 666 is 10^(665)+166657 (Rupinski).
* The number 666 is also a triangular number. If the numbers 1 to 36 are added together, the sum is 666.
* BBC News - American town changes '666' phone prefix because of satanic connotations.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Armageddon (Greek αρμαγεδδων; [armageddôn] also spelled as Har-Magedon in some modern English translations; a.k.a Mount of Megiddo), is the final climactic battle (or Campaign) between God (also known as YHWH, El, or Elohim) and the forces of righteousness, and Satan (whose name means 'adversary'), also known as the Devil. Satan will operate through the person known as the "Beast" or the Antichrist, written about in the Book of Revelation in the Christian New Testament. More generally, it can also refer to an apocalyptic catastrophe.
The word Armageddon in Scripture is known only from a single verse in the Greek New Testament, where it is said to be Hebrew, but it is thought to represent the Hebrew words Har Megido (הר מגידו), meaning "Hill of Megiddo" or "Valley of Megiddo". Megiddo was the location of many decisive battles in ancient times.
World War I was commonly referred to in the newspapers and books of its time as "Armageddon", in addition to "the Great War"; this before the Second World War.
In the Book of Revelation, God, ushering in the Great Tribulation judgments, commands seven angels to pour "seven vials of the wrath of God" upon the Earth. Armageddon then follows the pouring of the sixth vial (or bowl):
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
As a historical fact, a gathering of the Roman army had occurred at Megiddo as a staging ground for one of the Roman army's assaults on Jerusalem in AD 67. This is consistent with the preterist interpretation that the seventh bowl of wrat refers to events culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. However, one indication that the book predicts a future event is the mention of an army from the east of 200 million, a number that would not have been possible in any battle of that period.
The Hebrew Bible, The Book of Kings and the Books of Chronicles
The pre-millennial view (which is most common among Evangelical Christians) interprets these passages from Revelation as a reference to a future event that will take place near the end of the Tribulation Period.
The Dispensational viewpoint interprets biblical prophecy literally and expects that the fulfillment of prophecy will also be literal, depending upon the context of scripture.
In his discussion of Armageddon, Doctor J. Dwight Pentecost has devoted an entire chapter to the subject titled "The Campaign of Armageddon", in which he discusses Armageddon as a Campaign and not a specific battle, which will be fought in the Middle East. Pentecost writes:
"It has been held commonly that the battle of Armageddon is an isolated event transpiring just prior to the second advent of Christ to the earth. The extent of this great movement in which God deals with “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (Rev. 16:14) will not be seen unless it is realized that the “battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14 is not an isolated battle, but rather a campaign that extends over the last half of the tribulation period. The Greek word "polemo", translated “battle” in Revelation 16:14, signifies a war or campaign, while "machē" signifies a battle, and sometimes even single combat. This distinction is observed by Trench, (see Richard C. Trench, New Testament Synonyms, pp.301-2) and is followed by Thayer (see Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 528) and Vincent (see Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, II, 541). The use of the word polemos (campaign) in Revelation 16:14 would signify that the events that culminate in the gathering at Armageddon at the second advent are viewed by God as one connected campaign." (p.340)
Dr. Pentecost then discusses the location of this campaign and mentions the "hill of Megiddo", and other geographic locations such as "the valley of Jehoshaphat" using Joel 3:2, 13 as reference; “the valley of the passengers” quoting Ezekiel 39:11; a mention of the "Lord coming from Edom or Idumea, south of Jerusalem, when He returns from the judgment"; and Jerusalem itself (Zech. 12:2-11; 14:2) (p. 341)
Pentecost then continues in his writing to further describe the area involved:
"This wide area would cover the entire land of Palestine and this campaign, with all its parts, would confirm what Ezekiel pictures when he says the invaders will “cover the land”" (Ezek. 38:9, 16). This area would conform to the extent pictured by John in Revelation 14:20.”
In mentioning the “participants in the campaign”, Dr. Pentecost (p.342) lists the following:
1) The ten kingdom federation (see also, European Community) of nations under the Beast
2) The northern federation consisting of Russia (see also, Gog and Magog) and her allies
3) The kings of the East, the Asiatic peoples from beyond the Euphrates
4) The King of the South, a north African power (p. 342)
Dr. Pentecost then outlines the biblical time period for this campaign to occur and with further arguments concludes that it must take place with the 70th week of Daniel. The invasion of Palestine by the Northern Confederacy “will bring the Beast and his armies to the defense of Israel as her protector.” He then uses Daniel to further clarify his thinking: (Dan. 11:40b-45).
Again, events are listed by Pentecost in his book: (p. 356)
1) "The movement of the campaign begins when the King of the South moves against the Beast-False Prophet coalition (11:40), which takes place “at the time of the end.”
2) The King of the South is joined by the Northern Confederacy, who attacks the Wilful King by a great force over land and sea (11:40). Jerusalem is destroyed as a result of this attack (Zech. 12:2), and, in turn, the armies of the Northern Confederacy are destroyed (Ezek. 39; Zech. 12:4).
3) The full armies of the Beast move into Palestine (11:41) and shall conquer all that territory (11:41-42). Edom, Moab, and Ammon alone escape. . . .
4) . . . a report that causes alarm is brought to the Beast (11:44) . . .(Rev. 16:12)
5) The Beast moves his headquarters into the land of Palestine and assembles his armies there (11:45).
6) It is there that his destruction will come. (11:45).
After the destruction of the Beast at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Kingdom is set up, in which Messiah will rule for a literal 1,000 years, along with the Saints. A final test is given. Satan is loosed "for a season" and goes out to deceive the nations, specifically, Gog and Magog. The army mentioned attacks the Saints in the New Jerusalem, they are defeated by a judgment of fire coming down from Heaven. Pentecost describes this thusly:
The last two chapters of Revelation, deal with the New Heavens and the New Earth.
The Next Holocaust And The Refuge In Edom
By Chuck Missler
What is the purpose of the Great Tribulation? What is the prophetic role of Ammon, Moab, and Edom (now known as Jordan)? Where do “those who are in Judea” flee? Where does Jesus return? The Mount of Olives? (Zech 14:4) or Edom? (Isa 63).
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. - Daniel 11:41
Ammon is now Amman, the capital of Jordan. It appears this is one of the few areas that escape the rule of the coming world leader (commonly known as the “Antichrist”).
Jesus warned the dwellers in Judea that when they see the “Abomination of Desolation”—a desecrating idol installed in the Holy of Holies of the Temple—to immediately flee to the mountains. The remnant of Israel will find refuge there for three-and-a-half years while God protects them and provides for them. From other passages, we learn that the remnant will flee to Bozrah in the mountains of Edom.
The Great Tribulation
“The Tribulation” is often used as a generic term for the entire seven years of the 70th Week of Daniel. However, the Great Tribulation is actually defined as the last half of the week: three-and-a-half, not seven years.
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a na-tion even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. - Daniel 12:1
Note too, that although it is worldwide, the focus is on Israel:
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. - Jeremiah 30:7
The Next Holocaust
Some view the Nazi Holocaust in Germany as its fulfillment. However, devastating as that was, it hardly fits the text. It is to be followed by dramatic cosmic signs and the Second Coming of Christ:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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 24:28, 29
This was hardly fulfilled historically. Tortuous attempts to allegorize this text just don’t work. The worst is yet to come. It has been estimated that the Nazi Holocaust killed one Jew in three; it appears the next one will take two out of three:
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. - Zechariah 13:7-9
The Purpose of the Great Tribulation
The purpose of this ordeal, the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” is to drive Israel en extremis, to return to God: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly (Hosea 5:15).
The Armageddon Campaign
And he gathered them together into a place called in the He-brew tongue Armageddon. - Revelation 16:16
The engagement involves a global confederacy led by the coming world leader. The campaign includes the following stages:
1. The Assembly of the Army (Rev 16:12-16): The Valley of Jezreel is the staging area for the armies coming against Jerusalem and, thus, against God the Father and His Messiah. God’s viewpoint is one of mockery (Joel 3:9-11; Ps 2:1-6). This is the “Day of Vengeance” (Isa 61:2).
2. The Fall of Jerusalem (Zech 12:1-9; 14:1-2; Micah 4:11-5:1). More than half the city will be taken into slavery by the Gentile forces from the Valley of Jezreel.
3. The Armies at Bozrah (Jer 49:13-14; Micah 2:12): The world army pursues a faithful remnant, which fled to the mountains of Edom in Jordan.
Bozrah (“Sheepfold”): Bozrah is pinpointed, which was located in the region of Mount Seir, on the western side of Edom in southern Jordan (Micah 2:12). An ancient sheepfold had a narrow entrance so that the shepherd could count his sheep, and, once inside, he could guard a single entrance to contain them. (Cf. “I am the door,” John 10). Sela, now Petra, fits the description, shaped like an ancient sheepfold, with a narrow passageway (the “Siq”) opening up to a spacious city surrounded by cliffs.
4. The National Regeneration of Israel: Israel’s required confession (Lev 26:40-42; Jer 3:11-18; Hosea 5:15) and petitioning the Messiah (Zech 12:10) inaugurates the final three days of the campaign with pleading and petition (Hosea 6:1-3; Isa 53:1-9), fulfilling Romans 11:25-27 (see also Zech 12:10-13:9; Joel 2:28-32; Isa 64:1-12; Ezek 20:33f; Ps 79:1-13; 80:1-19). When the faithful remnant petitions Jesus to return, He comes to rescue them.
5. The Second Coming of Christ (Isa 63:1-6): If this battle wasn’t stopped, all mankind would be destroyed; however, the Lord interrupts it, at Petra in Edom, fighting for His remnant of believers.
6. From Bozrah to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Isa 63:1-4; Rev 19:13; Isa 34:5-6, 8). The Antichrist is powerless be-fore Christ (Hab 3:13; 2 Thess 2:8; Isa 14:3-11, 16-21). His armies are destroyed (Zech 14:12-15; Joel 3:12-13) at Bozrah (Jer 49:20-22), then Megiddo. Bozrah to Megiddo is 176 miles; 1,600 furlongs (Rev 14:20).
7. The Victory Ascent upon the Mount of Olives: (Zech 14:3-4; Rev 16:17-21; Mt 24:29; Joel 3:14-17.) His ultimate victorious return to the Mount of Olives is described in Zechariah 14. That leads to the establishment of the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom on the Earth. Many experts believe the weapons that will be used at Armageddon are in inventory today.
Role and Placement of Ezekiel 38
However, we hold the view (which is disputed by reputable Bible scholars) that Ezekiel 38 is not part of the Armageddon scenario:
1. In Ezekiel, the invasion comes from the north; Armageddon, from the whole earth;
2. Definite armies from the north (Magog); not all nations of the world;
3. Egypt not involved (cf. “King of the South” in Dan 11:40);
4. Russia’s invasion is for spoil; Armageddon, to destroy the Jews;
5. Seven-month cleanup inconsistent with Israel’s flight;
6. Cleansing may be preparation for rebuilding the Temple;
7. Seven years’ energy requirement would carry into the Millennium.
This article was originally published in the
October 2006 Personal Update NewsJournal.
It is tragic that most of the major denominations - Roman Catholic and Protestant - embrace an eschatology ("study of last things") that is amillennial : a view that does not envision a literal rule of Christ on the Throne of David on the Planet Earth.
While there are many different, yet defendable, views regarding many aspects of end-time prophecies, this basic divergence - denying a literal Millennium - is particularly dangerous in that it would appear to be an attack on the very character of God. It does violence to His numerous and explicit promises and commitments that pervade both the Old and New Testaments.
The Old Testament is replete with commitments for a literal Messiah ultimately ruling the world through Israel from His throne in Jerusalem. There are at least 1,845 references in the Old Testament and 17 books give prominence to the event. The ancient rabbinical aspirations were dominated by it. In fact, this obsession obscured their recognizing the Messiah when He made His initial appearance.
There are at least 318 references in 216 chapters of the New Testament and 23 of its 27 books give prominence to the event. The early church looked longingly for His promised return as their "Blessed Hope" to rid their desperate world of its evil rulers. How and where did this skepticism known as "Amillennialism" begin?
Pious, popular, and persuasive, Origen stands out as one of the great figures of the 3rd century church. Even at the age of 18, he stood out spectacularly well as a teacher in Alexandria. (In misguided obedience to Matthew 19:12, he emasculated himself, which he later regretted.) Later, as a prolific writer based in Caesarea, his De Principiis systematically laid out Christian doctrine in terms of Hellenic thinking and set the pattern for most subsequent theological thought for many years. His numerous sermons and commentaries, however, tragically also established an extreme pattern of allegorizing Scripture, which was to strongly influence Augustine in subsequent years.
Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (A.D. 354-430), was one of the most influential leaders of the Western church, living during the turbulent days of the disintegration of the Roman Empire.
He lived a sensuous, dissolute life, but following a dramatic conversion he experienced a total change of character. In 391 he was ordained as a priest in North Africa and four years later was elevated to the Bishop of Hippo. He embarked on a writing career and his extensive doctrinal writings deeply affected the Medieval Roman Catholic Church. Augustine's most elaborate writing, The City of God , was written as the Empire lay crumbling under a siege by half-civilized tribes. It portrayed the Church as a new civic order in the midst of the ruins of the Roman Empire. Augustine died while the Vandals were besieging the very gates of Hippo in A.D. 430.
Although his writings effectively defeated a number of heresies emerging in those turbulent times, the allegorizing influences of Origen left an amillennial eschatology in their wake. As the Church had increasingly become an instrument of the state, it wasn't politically expedient to look toward a literal return of Christ to rid the world of its evil rulers! The allegorical reposturing of those passages was more "politically correct."
The Reformation Shortfall
A thousand years later, under the influences of Martin Luther and others, the Reformation brought an intensive return to the authority of the Scriptures.. However, one of the unfortunate shortcomings of the Reformation was that it failed to also reexamine the eschatology of the Medieval Church in the light of Scripture. Thus, the allegorizing alchemy of Origen, institutionalized by Augustine, left a denial of the Millennium that still continues to pervade the doctrines of most Protestant denominations today.
From Augustine to Auschwitz
One of the derivative aspects of an amillennial perspective is that it denies Israel's future role in God's plans. This also leads to a "replacement theology" in which the Church is viewed as replacing Israel in God's program for mankind. In addition to forcing an allegorization of many key passages of Scripture, this also led to the tragedy of the Holocaust in Europe. The responsibility for the six million Jews who were systematically murdered in the concentration camps has to include the silent pulpits who had embraced this eschatology and its attendant anti-Semitism.
Reality of the Millennium
For anyone who takes the Bible seriously, the numerous explicit commitments of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the Messiah would literally rule from Zion cannot be ignored or explained away. God's explicit and unconditional commitment of the land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the very issue that is being challenged by the world today! And, the resurgence of amillennialism, and its attendant doctrines, are again setting the stage for the next holocaust.
In the New Testament, these commitments are reconfirmed. Every Christmas we are reminded that Gabriel promised Mary that her son was destined to sit on the Throne of David (which did not exist during the days of His ministry). It is yet to be fulfilled. In fact, He taught us to pray specifically for it: "Thy Kingdom come...." What does that mean? The thousand-year reign, from which the Millennium takes its label, is detailed in numerous passages including Revelation 20, Isaiah 65, and Ezekiel 40-48, among others. Ezekiel's detailed tour of the Millennial Temple virtually defies any skeptic's attempt to treat it allegorically. Encompassing a Temple area 50 miles on a side, substantially to the north of Jerusalem, as a source of a river that flows toward both the Mediterranean to the west and the Dead Sea to the east, Ezekiel's description implies a total change of topography, which is explicit in the Scripture.
However, the more we learn about the Millennium, the more questions it raises. It is not heaven: it is clearly distinctive in contrast to the eternal state which follows (Revelation 21). It will be characterized by a limited amount of evil, which Christ will judge perfectly and immediately. Neither is it the "new earth" that God will yet create; for therein righteousness dwells, which is something not true of the Millennium.
A Time to Study
As recent events have so dramatically emphasized to all of us, it is, indeed, a time to reexamine our perspectives, and to acknowledge in our personal priorities that history includes some shocking "non-linearities": even our most cherished presumptions are subject to cataclysmic challenges!
I believe we are rapidly being plunged into a period of time about which the Bible says more than it does about any other period of time in history.
Explore the discovery of a message system of extra-terrestrial origin that we know as the 66 books of the Bible which were penned by 40 authors over several thousands of years, that is from outside the time domain.
In the beginning, I believe, the diet of man and animals was vegetarian. The ancient Genesis record does suggest this.
29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Later man and animals turned carnivorous. When we finally have peace on earth, it is believable that we will be vegetarian again. The animals, too, will be vegetarian and non-predatory.
1) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2) The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge..
3) ... He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4) but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth..
5) Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
7) The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8) The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9) They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
10) In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
11) In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.
Things to watch closely in current & future events:
- Watch for freakish weather patterns, unheard of things, that break all records.
- Watch Russia and Iran. Don't be too surprised if they attack Israel.
- Watch Turkey. She may turn against the West and against Israel.
- Watch Europe form more rapidly into a social/economic/military "Super-State."
- Watch for increasing signs of a quiet formation of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a socio-economic block. Expect the word "Amero" to appear more and more in the news as a new form of currency.
- Watch for increasing trends of suppression, legal & media persecution toward free speech rights, religious rights, against traditional values and our historic freedoms in general. Expect a growing contempt and hatred especially toward Christianity, Catholicism and Judaism. Watch freedom of dissent sacrificed upon altars of political correctness. Even the seizure of property from those deemed by insiders as "enemies of the state."
- Watch for a growing surveillance society and police state, as society continues on its path of moral decadence and lack of self-restraint. (As society moves further & further away from individualized self-government, it must increasingly rely on external regulations, restraints and controls.) Expect occasional periods of martial law during national emergencies.
- Watch for euthanasia on the elderly ("mercy killings") for "social (but really economic) expediency."
- Watch for an increasingly liberal right wing, and an even more liberal left.
- Watch for the socialization of medicine and of America overall, as her financial wealth is gutted out of her.
- Watch for our ports to be dirty-bombed, and other vital infrastructures to be attacked. Watch for shaven Mideast terrorists to come across our porous southern border, looking like Hispanics.
- Watch for new terror tactics like the importation-implantation of disease-carrying insects. Watch for unprecedented and weird strains of flus, viruses and other illnesses.
- Watch for our fractionally-scaled financial institutions to falter and go deeper into foreign indebtedness.
- Watch for increasing trends toward a cashless society. All is trending toward EFT - electronic funds transfer. Watch for a flood of microchips to permeate every corner of society. This will make "perfect sense" to a frightened populace, in the aftermath of devastation, as they forsake (for the moment) their freedoms and privacy rights as they rush with open arms into the perceived "safety" of the state. Devastation can come from terrorism, nuclear and/or an EMP attack, financial & economic collapse..
ID theft will continue to be a nagging problem, overall crime will increase, and the movements of terrorists (sleeper cells) and "enemies of state" will need to be tracked. And millions of illegal aliens will need to be tracked, as part of incorporating them into society. They may also be seen by Government as valuable "tax revenue units."
Chipping people is now nearly unthinkable, but not as much as it was 30 years ago. When REAL tribulation comes, and it will, implanted chips will be as nothing to them. These chips will be very small and painless to implant.
SAFETY <----------I----------> FREEDOM
Safety and Freedom are on opposite ends of the scale. The more freedom you want, the more risks you take to the sacrifice of Safety. The more safety you want, the less risk you take, to the forfeiting of Freedom (and privacy).
And think about it. All transactions are done through microchips, computer networks, electronically. No more pickpockets. Even credit cards will eventually be phased out. No bank holdups. No counterfeiting. No bounced checks. (Just lotsa overdrafts and overdraft fees for happy banks.) All financial movement may now be monitored. No pay under the table. All the more reason to naturalize those illegals! $$$
No more cheating on income tax. Easier tracking of funds from front charitable groups to terrorist organizations. More tax dollars - such as on sales of used goods that are normally not trackable. On and on it goes. They only way around the system is by theft of, or trading in, hard goods. That takes us back to wampum beads and the days of basic bartering -- a small problem, since most people will be paid electronically, and will trade and conduct commerce by EFT, not by hard goods. Multiply these many societal benefits thousands of times, in thousands of directions, and you will get an idea just how much "sense" this all makes.
Ultimately, it plays right into the hands of "Big Brother," if you will -- a centralized control facility that extends great power into the hands of an elite few. One day, a world leader will have global control in a command-computer that fits in the palm of his hand.
Some interpret implanted chips as paramount to receiving the "mark of the Beast." Not all students of prophecy interpret it this way. We should go slow and not rush to conclusions when being presented with ideas... striving to be processors, not concluders, in most areas. Truth will come to us soon enough, if it is truth. We should simply keep our minds open to new light.