Daniel 9:26, “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Many have traditionally believed that since the army that destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD was considered Roman then this, therefore, must mean that according to Daniel 9:26 the Antichrist would rise out of Europe. The majority of popular Biblical eschatology teachers today, even in light of events happening on the global stage, still teach an Antichrist who comes out of Europe, a charismatic leader that rises from within the European Union to then lead a One World Government. Writers have published novels such as the “Left Behind” series promoting it, even Christian movies have been inspired and produced by this very idea. However, although the people of the prince to come mentioned in Daniel 9:26 may have been considered “Roman” soldiers merely because they were (supposedly) under the command of Rome, many of these same teachers have either ignored or were just not aware of the following very significant fact. Read more…
NBC’s Engel ‘Worried’ About ‘Ferociously Anti-Israel’ Arab Street and Concludes ‘This Thing Ends in Jerusalem’
NBC correspondent Richard Engel has a feeling that the Arab world is on a collision course with Israel that ‘ends in Jerusalem’ with a major war in a few years. Gee, ya think?
By Brad Wilmouth – “On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that he is ‘worried’ that a major war between some of the Arab countries and Israel could be in the not too distant future because of the ‘ferociously anti-Israel’ sentiment of the ‘Arab street’ that is likely to gain power in countries like Egypt. He ended up concluding: ‘But I think, over time, this thing ends in Jerusalem.’
After host Brian Williams and Engel had discussed the likely prosecution of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and the disappointment of Libyan rebels at the level of assistance to their cause supplied by NATO, Williams posed the question: ‘You’re back here in New York for a few days. The question I’ve seen most people ask you: Where does this all end?’
Engel sounded more pessimistic than he did during the protests in Egypt from January and February. Engel:
This whole movement in the Middle East, and I’m worried about it because while people in the region deserve more rights and they want more rights and they’re embracing more of the will of the Arab street, well, the will of the Arab street is also ferociously anti-Israel, against Israel.” Read more.
Update 4/25/2011 – A clip from NBC’s interview has now been added below. This clip was uploaded to Youtube by a Muslim poster who states, unequivocally, “Yes, insha’Allaah, [Allah willing] just like before, we will get back our Al Quds [Jerusalem].” The Muslim world longs for the battle of all battles to come as soon as possible …
Many Christians today can be eschatologically myopic. This is particularly true for many of us who live comfortably in the West, working comfortable jobs and making enough money to enjoy a fairly comfortable living while Christians in other parts of the world, especially the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia where Islam is the dominant religion, live under the constant threat of persecution and even death simply because of the very fact that they are Christian. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) estimate that approximately 176,000 Christians were martyred between mid-2008 to mid-2009. This, according to the authors, compares to 160,000 martyrs in mid-2000 and 34,400 at the beginning of the 20th century . And it’s getting worse.
I believe that we are in the last of the last days and are about to soon be plunged into a time that Christ described as “great tribulation” in Matthew 24. I do not believe, however, in a seven-year-tribulation nor do I believe that we, at any imminent moment, will be whisked away in a secret rapture to avoid any and all persecution that may be coming to our shores, as much as I would love for that to be the case (read here to find out where Paul and John place the gathering (rapture) of the Church in Scripture, and here to find out what the Church is according to Jesus).
As the end of the age approaches, the picture of radical Islam and its role in the Last Days is becoming increasingly clear (cf Dan 12:4), and just as our Christian brothers and sisters on the other side of the world are today being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, shot, blown up and even beheaded for the faith of Jesus, I believe that we, too, will be present to witness all that is about to take place. As such, I hereby present to you a commentary on Revelation 13 for your consideration that I believe reveals to us the time in which we are now living today, and the time that will soon be upon us.
John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Many have often assumed that the ‘Father’s house’ in John 14 referred to Heaven, and that when Christ says He’ll receive us unto Himself He was referring to a ‘rapture’ of the Church being whisked away to Heaven to live in a “mansion just over the hilltop”. And all of this, of course, before the world is tossed into the abyss of a seven-year tribulation. But is this what Jesus was referring to when He says “My Father’s house”? Was Jesus saying that He would take us to Heaven in saying that He would come again to receive us unto Himself? Let’s take a moment to explore the text and compare Scripture with Scripture to determine if this is the picture that the Word of God paints for us, or if it paints a different picture for us altogether. In the end, I believe we will see that there is more to these three verses than we may think. Read more…
Buy a book written by virtually any popular ‘Bible prophecy teacher’ today and you are guaranteed — at some point within the confines of its pages — to read a sentence or two that sounds a little something like this: “The Bible says that we are not appointed unto wrath, which means that Christians are not destined to suffer the wrath of God. Since the Tribulation is the wrath of God that means, therefore, that the Church must be removed from the earth before the Tribulation begins. Otherwise, the Bible is lying.” You get the idea. Sounds reasonable, right? I mean, if the premisses are true then the conclusion must be sound, correct? In theory, yes, but only if all of the premisses are true. So allow me, if I may, to take a closer look at the ‘not appointed unto wrath’ proposition that leads many of us to conclude ‘removal from the earth’, and join me as together we delve a little bit more into the text in an effort to better understand the wrath that we see in the Book of Revelation, and the wrath that we specifically are not appointed unto. Something very, very important has been lost in translation. Read more…
Many of us have been taught that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 were literally all Jewish virgin men — and exactly 12,000 each from the 12 tribes of Israel — that would “go through the tribulation” in an effort to evangelize an untold number of lost souls to the saving knowledge of Christ after a pre-trib rapture of Christians, and that they would do all of this without the guidance, giftings, empowerment and conviction power of the Holy Spirit (cf John 15:26; 16:8-11). That was pretty much the story I had been given growing up, sometimes with slight variations of the narrative depending on who was teaching or preaching at the time. But have you ever wondered how on earth they could find salvation if they were not saved at the time of a “pre-trib rapture” to be whisked away when, according to many of these same teachers, the Holy Spirit — the One who convicts the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11) — would also be removed from the earth along with all Christians? Well, hold your breath brothers and sisters because some of you may be surprised to hear this — it’s wrong. Oh, it’s all in the text, but many of us haven’t read what’s all in the text. Read more…
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
And there it is. Two of the — if not the – most popular ‘rapture’ passages in the entire Bible. Yet when many Christians read about the timing of this event “at the last trump” they are either unaware, or because of an already preconceived assumption on this very subject, refuse to even consider that this is a direct reference to the 7th and last trumpet that John describes in the 10th chapter of Revelation. But why? Admittedly, even I was not aware of the significance of Revelation 10 for many years, but am now more than convinced that we can corroborate through the context of text that this is indeed the last trumpet that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the church in Corinth.
For a moment, if you will, toss aside any preconceptions you may have on the timing of the rapture and approach the text as if it were for the first time. Approach it with the heart of a Berean so that together we may search the Scriptures. Read more…
Revelation 13:16-17, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The most popular view today regarding the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13 is that it is a literal mark physically placed in the forehead or right hand of those who worship Antichrist. Many teachers of Biblical eschatology will even refer to modern 21st century technology and point to some type of tattoo or implantable microchip under the skin when attempting to explain the mark. But why? What is in the text that leads many to believe that this mark must be physical when, after all, virtually every one of us would agree that while the book of Revelation speaks about the dragon, the Beast, the “Whore of Babylon” or the mark of Christ upon the elect etc. that these descriptions are not referring to a literal dragon, a literal animal, a literal prostitute or a literal seal of Christ? This is obviously figurative language pointing to something completely different. On the other hand, so to speak, is there anything from Scripture to indicate for us that this mark need not be a physical mark at all, but could instead be something else entirely?
After careful consideration, I believe that the Mark of the Beast is very likely a spiritual mark just as the mark of Christ upon the elect is spiritual. Since many will resist the suggestion that a figurative Beast will also have a figurative mark, despite the fact that there is nothing in the text stating that the Mark of the Beast must be physical, it is important to rightly divide the Word of God and study, from the whole of Scripture, the significance of the hand and head and how it often relates to man’s condition in the Biblical text. Read more…
Many Christians today believe that when Antichrist comes on the scene he will be ruling or will soon rule some form of global government. Although there are a few verses in Scripture that may appear to give credence to such a notion at first glance, the whole of Scripture supports neither the idea of a “One World Government” (OWG) ruled by Antichrist, nor the idea of an end-of-days leader who controls every nation on earth.
Many popular teachers of Biblical eschatology who support the idea of a OWG and Antichrist who controls the government of literally every nation on earth will agree, at the very least, that the last portion of Daniel 11 from verses 36 and beyond all refer to the final years leading up to the Second Coming of Christ. What they fail to consider, however, are the following questions that should be obvious to anyone who holds to both of these positions: Read more…
One common misconception, in my view, is that the war described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 — often referred to as the War of Gog-Magog — is a war that happens either just before or immediately after the start of “Daniel’s 70th week”. If we take the time to closely examine the text, however, I believe that we can ascertain that Gog-Magog is a battle that, without a doubt, can only culminate at Armageddon.
Pauly Want A Cracker?
When it comes to the Gog-Magog battle of Ezekiel there seems to be this circle of prophecy teachers who keep repeating the same rehashed theories over and over in an effort to impose a specific preconceived idea or timeline into the text of Scripture, instead of allowing the full counsel of Scripture to speak for itself. They “parrot” one another, as it were, and all too often students of Biblical eschatology who study the positions of a particular author or teacher may then refer to a couple of others who say essentially the same thing for “inquisitive” reinforcement. Subsequently, they are forced to conclude that these authors must be correct because they have “all” arrived at the same conclusion from the text. The conclusion is further strengthened in the student’s mind when the very same teachers also echo similar rebuttals in an effort to show why any opposing position cannot be correct. But as the Bereans in the Book of Acts were called noble because they searched the full counsel of Scripture daily to see if what they were being taught was so, we too also need to mimic the Berean example. Read more…
A thought came to me some time ago with respect to “the temple of God” and how many students of Biblical eschatology expect there to one day be a new Jewish temple built on the Temple Mount before the Second Coming of Christ, one in which the Antichrist himself would eventually stand in and literally claim “I am God.” While an effort does exist by some orthodox Jewish groups to rebuild the third temple, I think it would be wise for all students of Scripture to consider the possibility that this may not have been what the Holy Spirit was referring to in 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24.
The Temple of God in the New Testament
To understand why, we first need to keep in mind that the Apostle Paul and Jesus both pointed to a Last Days event that would take place just before the Day of the Lord (Christ’s post-trib Second Coming). Paul referred to it as the man of lawlessness/man of sin who sets himself up in “the temple of God” (2 Thess 2:4), while Jesus described it as the Abomination of Desolation standing in “the holy place” (Matt 24:15). Many have assumed that the temple mentioned by Paul must be a physical temple in Jerusalem, however according to the verses below we are continually reminded that the true temple of God is no longer a physical temple — after the final sacrifice of Christ the veil was torn and animal sacrifices were no longer of any value — but is instead now a spiritual temple: Read more…