Prophecy: A History of the Future
Robert A. NELSON
Copyright 2000: All rights reserved
1. Judaeo-Christian Messianism
2. Jesus Christ
3. The Resurrection & Rapture
9. Epistle of the Apostles
10. Epistle of James
11. Apocalypse of Thomas
12. The Revelation of John
13. Esther of Sidon
14. The Bible Code
15. The Millennial Kingdom
1. Judaeo-Christian Messianism ~
Beginning with Genesis and continuing through the Revelation of St. John, the Hebrew prophets spoke forth in Jehovah's name to promise their downtrodden countrymen divine deliverance from their oppressors.
The Bible contains 1,817 predictions in 8,352 verses; the Old Testament includes 1,239 predictions in 6,641 verses, and the New Testament contains 578 predictions in 1,711 verses, for a total of 27% predictive material. This multitude of prophecies assures the Jews and Christians that God will deliver Israel from its enemies and itself and build it into a glorious empire to which a conquered world will be subject.
Christians hold the Bible to be the infallible word of God, but several passages in the book caution against taking prophecies as gospel: I Samuel 9:9; Jeremiah 23:11, 14, 16, 25-28, 30-32, 40; Deuteronomy 18:22; Matthew 7:15-23; ibid., 13:57; ibid., 24:5, 23, 24. Ezekiel 3:17-19 defines the prophets' task:
"Son of Man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
"When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die: and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked ways, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
"Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."
Insanity is often concomitant with prophetic ability. According to Hosea 9:7, "The prophet is a fool, and the spiritual man is mad." Jeremiah 29:26 described his fellow prophets as "every man that is mad", and in II Kings 9:11, the prophet Elijah is called a "mad fellow" for his bizarre behavior. Yet there is method in their madness: the whole of Jewish and Christian belief predicts a personal, enlightened, and divinely appointed king --- the Messiah --- by whom the Holy Kingdom of God will be established.
"Messiah" is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew word Mashiah (anointed). The use of the word derives from its reference to Aaron and his sons, who were anointed with oil and consecrated to the service of Jehovah (Exodus 28: 41). The High Priest of Israel was titled "The Mashiah of God" (Leviticus 4: 3, 5, 16) and the Jewish kings were "the Anointed of the Lord" (I Samuel 2: 10, 35, etc.). Some of the prophets also were anointed (I Kings 19: 16). The prophetic concept of a Messiah first appears in Isaiah 11: 1-12:
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
"And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
"And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
"But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
"And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
"And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den.
"They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious.
"A shoot out of the stock of Jesse" refers to a genealogical or spiritual descendant of the royal Davidic lineage.
The Jewish Messianic program calls for two Messiahs. The first, Messiah ben Joseph, will be killed in Jerusalem by Armilus (the Antichrist). He will be resurrected by Messiah ben David, who will kill Armilus in turn.
In Sefer Ta'am Z'qenim, Eliziezer Askenazi transmitted an explicit Jewish prophecy, first recorded by Hai Gaon (938-1038 AD), which describes to the two Messiahs:
"When eight years will be left of the years of the end, which are the years of the beginning of the redemption... a man will rule over Israel for not less than nine months and not more than three years. At that time a man will arise from among the Children of Joseph... and he will be called Messiah of God. And many people will gather around him in Upper Galilee, and he will be their king... But most of Israel will be in their exile, for it will not be clear to them that the end has come. And then Messiah ben Joseph, with the men who rally around him, will go up from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they will slay the procurator of the king of Edom, and the people who will be with him... And when all the nations hear that a king has risen among the Children of Israel in Jerusalem, they will rise up against them in the other countries and will expel them, saying: "Until now you were with us in faith, and so that you should have neither king nor prince; but now that you have a king you must not dwell in our land."
"And many of Israel will go out into the desert... and will dwell there in tents, and many of them will lack bread and water... and they will suffer in accordance with their deeds. And many of them will leave the covenant of Israel, for they will become weary of their lives...
"And when Messiah ben Joseph and all the people with him will dwell in Jerusalem, Armilus will hear their tidings and will come and make magic and sorcery to lead many astray with them, and he will go up and wage war against Israel, and will defeat Messiah ben Joseph and his people, and will kill many of them, and will capture others, and divide their booty.. And he will slay Messiah ben Joseph and it will be a great calamity for Israel... Why will permission be granted to Armilus to slay Messiah ben Joseph? In order that the heart of those of Israel who have no faith should break, and so they will say: "This is the man for whom we have hoped; now he came and was killed and no redemption is left for us." And they will leave the covenant of Israel, and attach themselves to the nations, and the latter will kill them.
"And to those who are left in the land of Pathros, Messiah ben David will reveal himself...
"And most of the slain will be in the land for forty days. When Messiah ben Joseph is killed, his body will remain cast out for forty days, but no unclean thing will touch him, until Messiah ben David comes and brings him back to life, as commanded by the Lord. And this will be the beginning of the signs he will perform, and this is the resurrection of the dead which will come to pass. And then Messiah ben David and Elijah and Israel, who come from the deserts to Jerusalem, will sit in peace and safety for many days, and will build houses and plant vineyards, and they will succeed in herds and property, until Gog will hear their tidings... And the Land of Gog and Magog is of the Land of Edom... And they will come to fight and they will wage war against Jerusalem and Messiah ben David, and Elijah and all the people who are in it..."
The Jewish Sephir Zohar (2:7b) contains a similar prophecy:
"Sufferings will overtake Israel, and all the nations and their kings will consult together against her, and many evil decrees will arise and will bring trouble upon trouble, and each subsequent one will cause the earlier to be forgotten. And then a pillar of fire will appear, positioned from Above to Below for forty days, and all the nations of the world will see it. At that time King Messiah will be stirred up to come forth from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called Bird's Nest. And he will arise in the Land of Galilee. And on the day on which he comes there the whole world will tremble, and all the children of the world will hide in caves and crevices, and will think that they cannot be saved... The Messiah will arise and reveal himself in the Land of Galilee because that was the first place to be destroyed in the Holy Land; therefore he will reveal himself there of all places, and from thence he will stir up battles in the whole world. And after the forty days in which the pillar of fire will stand from the earth to heaven in the sight of the whole world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, there will arise from the east a star flaming with all colors. And seven other stars will surround that star and attack it in battle from all sides, three times every day, for seventy days, and the children of the world will see it. And that star will wage war against them with arrows of flaming fire which will erupt on all sides, and it will crush them until it swallows them every evening. And in the morning it will disgorge them, and they will again wage war against it in the sight of the whole world, and thus every day for seventy days. And after the seventy days that star will be hidden, and the Messiah will be hidden for twelve months. And that pillar of fire will return as before, and in it the Messiah will be hidden, and that pillar will not be visible. After twelve months they will raise the Messiah in that pillar to the firmament, and there he will receive power and the crown of kingship. And when he descends, that pillar of fire will again be visible as before to the eyes of the whole world. And thereafter the Messiah will be revealed, and many nations will gather against him, and he will stir up wars in the whole world. And at that time the Holy One, blessed be He, will manifest His power against all the nations of the world, and King Messiah will become known in all the world, and all the kings of the world will rise up to wage war against him. And many of the wicked among the Jews will join them and come with them to wage war against King Messiah. And then the whole world will darken for fifteen days, and many of the People of Israel will die in that darkness..."
2. Jesus Christ
In the Bible, Jesus never called himself Messiah, except once by implication (Matthew 22: 41). Although Jesus often spoke of God as Father and himself as the Son, he never used the expression Son of God as a title for himself. Evangelists, however, use the term freely when referring to Jesus.
As the Suffering Messiah, as he is so often described, Joshua of Nazareth or Jesus Christ fulfilled many prophecies in the Old Testament. Jesus also prophesied at length and in detail concerning the "latter days" of civilization. The prophetic message of the New Testament is to announce His imminent return to redeem the prodigal family of humanity after it has been tested and purified in hell on earth.
The time preceding the return of Christ will be characterized by degeneracy and apostasy. Unbelievers will mock the promise of Christ's Second Coming. (I Timothy 4:1; II Timothy 3:1 & 4:3; II Peter 3:3; II Thessalonians 2:3, and Luke 17:26). Christ will appear in the spirit before doing so in the flesh.
The first mention of the Second Coming of Christ is found in Psalms 96:13. It is also mentioned or described in the following citations:
Acts 1:11; I Chronicles 16:33; Colossians 3:4; I Corinthians 1:7 and 15:23; Daniel 7:13; Hebrews 9:28; Isaiah 2:2, 4:1, and 26:21; James 5:7; John 2:28 and 14:3; Jude 1:14; Luke 9:26 and 17:20; Zephaniel 1:12 and 3:8; Malachi 3:1; Mark 8:38; Matthew 16:27 and 24:30; I Peter 1:7; Revelation 1:7, 12:5 and 19:11; I Thessalonians 1:10, 2:19, 3:13, 4:15 and 5:23; II Thessalonians 2:1; I Timothy 6:14; II Timothy 1:10 and 4:1; Titus 2:13; Zechariah 14:5; and Zechariah 1:12 and 3:8.
Jesus' own prophesies about the Apocalypse are recorded in Mark 13, Matthew 24:1, and as follows from Luke 21:
"And he said, take heed that ye be not deceived, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
"But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified, for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
"Then he said to them, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
"And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences: and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
"And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Jesus elaborated further in Luke 12:11 and in Matthew 10:16:
"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you they shall cause to be put to death.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
"But there shall not an hair of head perish.
"In your patience possess ye your souls.
"And when ye shall see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
"And let them which are in Judea flee into the mountains: and let them which are in the midst of it depart out: and do not let them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
"But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon the people.
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring:
"Mens' hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
"And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, till all be fulfilled.
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away..."
3. The Resurrection & Rapture
The Advent of the Messiah, the Great Day of Judgment, and the Resurrection of the Dead are cornerstones of the Jewish and Christian faiths. Ideas about the Resurrection began to develop from a possible misinterpretation of Ezekiel 37. However, his vision of the Dry Bones restored to life more properly symbolizes Zionism, the Restoration of the Jews to Israel. This prophecy was transformed and projected into a necromantic hope for the revival of the righteous dead so that they too can enjoy the good life on Earth with Jesus. The idea of the Resurrection goes to show that people will believe anything, provided it's incredible. Yet it may well happen anyway, for nothing is impossible to God:
"Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2)
"The dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing ye that dwell in the earth... and the earth shall cast out the dead." (Isaiah 26:19)
Another important element of New Testament prophecy is called the Rapture or Translation, in which event faithful Christians will be removed from the Earth. Many Christians believe that the Rapture will be timed to rescue them from the misery of the Apocalypse. But according to Matthew 24:31, the Rapture follows the Apocalypse:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days... then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven... and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other".
This promise is reaffirmed in I Corinthians 15:51-52:
"Behold, I show 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 up incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
There is no difference between the Resurrection and the Rapture except that one refers to the dead and the other to the living. Both the dead and living in Christ will be transformed into immortal bodies. The Rapture of the living Christians is prophesied by other Bible authors. Mark 13:27 merely repeats Matthew 24:31; Luke 17:34-36 is more original:
"I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left; two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other one shall be left.
"The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an 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 in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4:16 )
The Biblical Rapture has taken on a modern form in the Great Exodus or World Evacuation project that is planned as a mission of mercy by extraterrestrials to rescue some earthlings from harm in the event of a global disaster. The Space Brother Kuthumi explains it thus through a human channel:
"The situation is greatly related to international affairs. It cannot be dogmatically determined the exact nature of the event that will precipitate these crucial events. Whether a panic button reaction or a polarity that cannot be maintained, when a certain critical point is reached in planetary affairs, the changing of the auric color and magnetic field surrounding the earth will automatically trigger the plan into action.
"The unpredictable element of human action must be considered. The freedom of will of humanity prevents any actual knowing of the moment and time when these things will occur, for the action and reaction of humanity to given influences and situations are a key factor. The onset of war on a devastating level would be a crucial incident, which would then precipitate intervention of a cataclysmic nature. Geological factors taking place within the orb itself are an intricate part of the triggering action. The combination of both of these events would trigger the first two phases of evacuation immediately in a secret manner. The third phase would follow shortly thereafter. For the third phase is a public occurrence, while the first two are covert maneuvers, to insure their completion...
"The Space Confederation has announced that the coming evacuation will not necessarily involve landings except in rare isolated areas. They have measured the hostility factor within the core of your protective forces... It was determined that in most cases, a large majority of these forces would openly attack us and fire upon us in the event of our appearing. This they would do even in disastrous circumstances and disrupt rescue, thinking it to be some form of invasion.
"We are therefore forced to forsake almost all landings... and to resort to the invisible levitation plan...
"As the scenario reaches its final stages it will be experienced as a great time warp. Time will appear to stand still in some experiences and in others, to feel like entire lifetimes in hours, moments, or days...
"The Great Evacuation will come upon the world very suddenly. The flash of emergency events will be as lightning that flashes in the sky. So sudden and so quick in its happening that it is almost over before you are aware of its presence. And so it will be when events that warrant this action have come to this planet. It is not possible to totally describe these events, but it is possible to instill at this time into the hearts of humanity the hope and the knowledge of our vigilance and emergency actions on their behalf." (8)
When the Jews returned to Israel after World War II, they fulfilled several prophecies of the rebirth of that nation: Obadiah 17; Isaiah 11:1 and 35:10 and 36:8-12, 24. Ezekiel's famous vision of the Dry Bones restored to life (37:1-12, 21) has been interpreted as foretelling both the restoration of the Jews to Israel and the Resurrection of the Dead.
Ezekiel also had a vision of "Gog and Magog." The name Gog is the Hebrew equivalent of the Assyrian Gugu (Gyges, king of Lydia, ca. 670-653 BC) in the extreme north of Asia Minor. Noah's sons Mesech and Tubal settled there after the Deluge (Genesis 6-10). Today the area is part of Russia. Gog, Mesech, and Tubal are the prophet's symbolic names for Russia, Iran, Turkey and Armenia as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39:
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Mesech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.
"And say, thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against thee, O God, the chief prince of Mesech and Tubal.
"And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horse and horsemen, all of them clothed in all sorts of armor....
"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them... Gomer and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarter, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
"Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
"And after many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have always been waste; but it is brought forth out of all nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
"Thus saith the lord God; it shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
"And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.
"To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey, to take away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; in that day when my people in Israel dwelleth safely, shall thou not know it?
"And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
"And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
"Thus saith the Lord God; art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
"And it shall come to pass at the same time when God shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
"For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken; Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
"So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
"And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God; every man's sword shall be against his brother.
"And I will plead with him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone.
"Thus I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
"Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Mesech and Tubal:
"And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause you to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.
"Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thine bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the fields to be devoured.
"And I will send a fire upon Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles; and they shall know that I am the Lord.
"And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth and set on fire and burn the weapons, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
"So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any of the forests, for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I shall give unto Gog a place there of graves, a place of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea, and it shall stop up the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and his multitude; and they shall call it the valley of Hamon-Gog.
"And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
"And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it; after the end of seven months they shall search.
"And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-Gog.
"And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land."
In short, if the Russians and allies invade Israel, they will be destroyed. Eighty per cent of the invaders will be annihilated. The Israelis will burn captured weapon stocks instead of cutting down trees for firewood. The dead will be buried in the valley of Hamon-Gog; the undertakers will be at the task for several months.
The prophet Joel lived in the 8th century BC. Prophecies make up 68% of his 73 verses, warning us of these latter days (Joel 2:1-11, 20, 21, 28-31 & 3:1-2, 9-21):
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
"A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not ever been the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
"A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
"The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
"Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
"Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
"They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
"Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his own path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
"They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: and the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
"And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible...
"But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savor shall come up, because he hath done great things.
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions:
"And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour my spirit.
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
"And it shall come to pass, that whomsoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and
"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land...
"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up!
"Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
"Assemble yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.
"Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehosaphat: for there will I sit to judge the heathen round about.
"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
"The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from, Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel...
"Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they had shed innocent blood in their land.
"But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
"For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion."
This prophecy is attached (but not attributed) to Zechariah (13:8, 9& 14:1-9):
"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 part 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: and 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.
"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee.
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
"Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
"And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark;
"But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go forth from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter it shall be.
"And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one.
"And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth."
The prophet Daniel lived in Babylon during the Jewish exile about 600 BC. Daniel's book contains four apocalyptic visions that describe the rise of four beasts that symbolize the successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The vision describes Rome as a beast with ten horns. In recent years, this symbol has been interpreted to mean the European Common Market or NATO.
Many Bible scholars affirm that the prophecies of Daniel were fulfilled long ago, and they have presented sound arguments supported by history. For example, in the Sibylline Oracle 3:381-400, written ca. 140 BC, the ten horns (Daniel 7:7, 20, 24) are recognized as the ten kings preceding Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 BC). The historian Josephus identified the "little horn" (Daniel 7:20-27) with Antiochus Epiphanes. In the 4th century AD, the Neo-Platonist philosopher Porphyry in his Arguments Against the Christians showed that Daniel 11 is not a prophecy, but a history of the Seleucids and Ptolemies. However, history seems to repeat itself with new actors, so some of Daniel's history may well be prophecies that apply to the Antichrist. The following are genuine prophecies pertaining to these latter days:
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
"And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and holy people.
"And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace he shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times.
"After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that come shall destroy the wall and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even unto the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 8:23-25)
In other words, the Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel, but he will break it by desecrating Solomon's Temple, which will be rebuilt by that time. The Tribulation shall begin immediately thereafter. Biblical exegetes hold that David's "weeks" are "weeks of years" (seven years), if not also of days. Concerning the Tabernacle, see also Ezekiel 41-43, Malachi 3:1, Haggai 2:9, and Amos 9:11. The following are from Daniel 11:21-45; ibid., 12:1:
"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom, but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
"And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
"He shall enter peaceably even unto the fattest places of the province; he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers: he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil and riches;
"Yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the stronghold, even for a time.
"Then he shall return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
"At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south, but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
"For the ships of Chittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant; so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt by flatteries; but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits;
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoils, many days.
"Now when they fall, they shall be helped a little bit, but many will cleave to them with flatteries.
"And some of them understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed.
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of Gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done.
"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god, for he shall magnify himself above all.
"But in his estate he shall honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
"And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
"He shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
"But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
"But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
"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 nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written within the book."
The apocryphal author Esdras suffered through long fasts and other penances to induce his visions of the apocalypse and human destiny, but the editors of the Bible did not find his writings worthy of inclusion in the good book:
"There will come a time when the inhabitants of the earth will be seized with panic. The way of truth will be hidden from sight, and the land will be barren of faith. There will be a great increase of wickedness, worse than anything you now see or ever have heard of. The country you now see ruling the world will become a trackless desert, laid waste for all to see. After the third period (if the Most High grants you a long enough life) you will see confusion everywhere. The sun will suddenly begin to shine in the middle of the night, and the moon in the day-time. Trees will drip blood, stones will speak nations will be in confusion, and the courses of the stars will be changed. A king unwelcome to the inhabitants of the earth will succeed to the throne; even the birds will all fly away. The dead Sea will cast up fish, and at night a voice will sound out, unknown to many but heard by all. Chasms will open in many places and spurt out flames incessantly. Wild bests will range far afield, women will give birth to monsters, fresh springs will run with salt water, and everywhere friends will become enemies. Then understanding will be hidden, and reason withdraw to her secret chamber. Many will seek her, but not find her; the earth will overflow with vice and wickedness. One country will ask another, "Has justice passed your way, or any just man?", and it will answer, "No." In those days men will hope , but hope in vain; they will strive, but never succeed." (II Esdras 5:1-13)
"The time draws near when I shall come to judge those who live on the earth, the time when I shall inquire into the wickedness of wrongdoers, the time when Zion's humiliation will be over, the time when a seal will be set on the age about to pass away. Then I will perform these signs: the books shall be opened in the sight of heaven, and all shall then see at the same moment. Children only one year old shall be able to talk, and pregnant women shall give birth to premature babies of three or four months, who shall live and leap about. Fields that were sown shall suddenly prove unsown, and barns that were full shall suddenly be found empty. There shall be a loud trumpet-blast and it shall strike terror into all who hear it. At that time friends shall make war upon friends as though they were enemies, and the earth and all its inhabitants shall be terrified. Running streams shall stand still; for three hours they shall cease to flow.
"Whoever is left after all that I have foretold, he shall be preserved, and shall see the deliverance that I bring and the end of this world is mine. They shall all see the men who were taken up to heaven without ever knowing death. Then shall men on earth feel a change of heart and come to a better mind. Wickedness shall be blotted out and deceit destroyed, but fidelity shall flourish, corruption be overcome, and truth, so long unfruitful, be brought to light." (II Esdras 6:18-28)
9. The Epistle of the Apostles
The apocrypha includes the so-called Epistle of the Apostles, which contains this prophetic warning and advice:
"In the last days the kinsman shall show no favor to his kinsman, nor any man to his neighbor. And they that were overthrown shall rise up and behold them that overthrew them; and men shall take from one and give to another... But they that are deceivers in the world and the enemies of righteousness, upon them shall come the fulfillment of the prophecy of David, who said: Their feet are swift to shed blood, their tongue uttereth slander, adder's poison is under their lips. I behold thee companying with thieves, partaking with adulterers, thou continuest speaking against thy brother and puttest stumbling blocks before thine own mother's son... And there shall be many that believe on my name and yet follow after evil and spread vain doctrine. And men shall follow after them and their riches, and be subject unto their pride, and lust for drink and bribery, and there shall be respect of persons among them... There shall come forth another doctrine, and because they shall strive after their own advancement, they shall bring forth an unprofitable doctrine. And therein shall be a deadly corruption, and they shall teach it, and shall turn away from eternal life. But woe unto them that falsify this my word and commandment, and draw away them that hearken to the commandment of life; for together with them they shall come into everlasting judgment."
10. The Epistle of James ~
This apocryphal Epistle from the Nag Hammadi scrolls is purported to be a prophecy by Jesus:
"There shall be wonders and strange appearances in heaven and on earth before the end of the world comes. "Tell us now, how shall we perceive it?"
"And he answered us: "I will teach it to you that believe, as wellas them who shall hear that man and believe in me. In those years and days it shall come to pass. The sun and moon fighting with the other, a continual rolling and noise of thunder and lightning, and earthquake; cities falling and men perishing in their overthrow, a continual dearth for lack of rain, a terrible pestilence and great mortality, mighty and untimely, so they that die lack burial: and the bearing forth of brethren and sisters and kinsfolk, nor any man to his neighbor.
"And they that were overthrown shall rise up and behold them that overthrew them, that they lack burial, for the pestilence shall be full of hatred and pain and envy: and man shall take from one and give to another, and thereafter shall it wax yet worse than before.
"Then shall my Father be wroth at the wickedness of men, for many are their transgressions and the abominations of their uncleanliness weigheth heavy upon them in the corruption of their life.
"Lord, will not then the nations say: "Where is their God?"
"And he answered and said unto us: "Thereby shall the elect be known, that they, being plagued with such afflictions, come forth." We said: "Will then their departure out of the world be by a pestilence which giveth them pain?" He answered us: "Nay, but if they suffer such affliction, it will be a proving of them."
"In those years and days shall war be kindled upon war, the four ends of the earth shall be in commotion and fight against each other. Thereafter shall be quakings of clouds, and dearth, and persecutions of them that believe in me and against the elect. Thereupon shall come doubt and strife and transgressions against one another..."
11. The Apocalypse of Thomas ~
"Hear thou, Thomas, the things which must come to pass in the last times: there shall be famine and war and earthquakes in divers places, snow and ice and great drought shall there be, and many dissensions among the peoples.
"At that time shall be a very great rising of the sea, so that no man shall tell the news to any man. The kings of the earth and the princes and captains shall be troubled, and no man shall speak freely. Grey hairs shall be seen upon boys, and the young shall not give place unto the aged. After that shall rise another king, a crafty man, who shall hold rule for a short space: in those days there shall be all manners of evils, even the death of the race of men from the east even unto Babylon. And thereafter death and famine and sword in the land of Canaan even unto Rome. Then shall all the fountains of waters and wells boil over and be turned into dust and blood. The heaven shall be moved, the stars shall fall upon the earth, the sun shall be cut in half like the moon, and the moon shall not give up her light.
"On the fourth day at the first hour, the earth of the east shall speak, the abyss shall roar: then shall all the earth be moved by the strength of a great earthquake. In that day shall all the idols of the heathen fall, and all the buildings of the earth. These are the signs of the fourth day. And on the fifth day, at the sixth hour, there shall be a great thundering suddenly in the heaven, and the powers of light and the wheel of the sun shall be caught away, and there shall be a great darkness over the world until evening, and the stars shall be turned away from their ministry. In that day all nations shall hate the world and despise the life of this world. These are the signs of the fifth day.
"After a little space there shall arise a king out of the east, a lover of the law, who shall cause all good things and necessary to abound in the house of the Lord: he shall show mercy unto the widows and to the needy, and command a royal gift to be given unto the priests: in his days shall be abundance of all things.
"In the last times there shall be many dissensions among the peoples, blasphemy, iniquity, envy, and villainy, indolence, pride and intemperance, so that every man shall speak that which pleaseth him. And my priests shall not have peace among themselves, but shall sacrifice unto me with deceitful minds: therefore will I not look upon them. Then shall the priest behold the people parting from the House of the Lord and turning unto the world, as well as transgressing in the House of God... The House of the Lord shall be desolate and her altars be abhorred.. The place of holiness shall be corrupted, the priesthood polluted, distress shall increase, virtues shall be overcome, joy perish, and gladness depart. In those day evils shall abound: there shall be respecters of persons, hymns shall cease out of the House of the Lord, truths shall be no more, covetousness shall abound among the priests: an upright man shall not be found."
12. The Revelation of John ~
The Revelation of St. John is the 66th and last book of the Bible. It is one of the most prophetic and controversial. Although it is attributed to St. John, who allegedly received this knowledge when he was imprisoned at Patmos, there are many indications that the book actually is a plagiarized Mithraic document. The ancient mystery cult of Mithra was the official religion of Rome and Christianity's chief competitor for men's souls. Eventually Christianity dominated and destroyed Mithraism. In the process, the Church adopted much of Mithraic doctrine and symbolism into Christian dogma and rituals.
The extensive editing suffered by the book (and the entire Bible) is highlighted in the closing words of Revelation 22: 18-19:
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God will add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecsy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, from the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book."
The above is from the Authorized King James and other versions. Older versions read: "...if any man shall take away an jot or tittle from the words of this book.." Jots and tittles are the Hebrew equivalent of periods and commas. If this prophetic curse is effective, then the editors of the Bible are in serious trouble.
We are not concerned here with the fate of editors, however, but with Revelation's prophetic message. Therefore, as John tells us in Chapter 2:7, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches":
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.
"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." (Revelation 6:12-14 )
Apparently, one of the first signs of God's wrath will be a mighty earthquake. The sun's light will be darkened, and the moon will be reddened. These effects could be caused by volcanic dust. The heavens will be deranged, possibly because of a shift of the earth's axis. "The stars of heaven fell to earth" may describe a huge meteor shower.
"And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood;
"And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships ere destroyed.
"And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
"And the name of the star is Wormwood; and the third part of the waters becamewormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." (Revelation 8: 8-12 )
Revelation 17 and 18 describe the "Mystery Babylon", a symbolic scenario that continues to fascinate exegetes of prophecy:
"And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sittest upon many waters:
"With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
"And I saw a woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
"And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
"And here is the mind that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
"And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
"And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
"And the ten horns which thou saweth are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is the Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
"And he saith unto me, "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
"And the ten horns which thou saweth upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
"For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his wish, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
"When the woman which thou saweth is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:1-8)
Scholarly exegesis has determined that apart from the Resurrection, Tribulation and Millenium, St. John's vision of the Apocalypse refers to leading historical events of his time. Since then, theological and political editorialists have variously identified the Beast and Harlot as Mohammed, the Papacy, Napoleon, Hitler, etc.. An acceptable historic interpretation, free of theological odium, suggests that the beast from the sea (Revelation 13:1) is the Roman Empire. The Mark of Beast (Revelation 13:16) is the emperor's image on the coin of the realm. The abomination of desolation was fulfilled by Caligula, who confiscated several Jewish synagogues and defiled them by installing his own statue. The historian Josephus (Antiq. XIII, viii, 2) noted that Caligula even sought to have a statue of his image erected in the Temple of Jerusalem.
The seven heads of the beast were seven emperors, five of whom had fallen by St. John's time: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, who died in 68 AD. The sixth one was Vespasian (70-79 AD), and the seventh, "yet to come," was Titus, who reigned a mere two years (79-81 AD): "But when he comes he must continue a short space" (Revelation 17:9-11). The eighth emperor-head was Domitian (81-96 AD), who was identified with the beast "which was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit... And the beast which was and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." This mysterious language can be explained by thewidespread contemporary belief that Nero was still alive (as documented by Tacitus: Hist. II, 8and the Sibylline Oracles V, 28-33). In the opinion of pagan authors such as Juvenal (IV, 38), Domitian was a second Nero and thus "the one that was, that is not, and that is to return."
In this scheme of interpretation, the ten horns (Revelation 17:12-16) represent the vassal rulers under Rome's supremacy. The second beast, the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11), signifies the apostate Christians who tried to corrupt their fellows into adopting heathen practices such as Christmas (Mithra's birthday) and the Eucharist sacrament (another Mithraic ritual). The woman in travail (Revelation 12) is the Church, whose child is Christ.
This summary interpretation suffers from two difficulties: (1) its enumeration passes over three emperors (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius), but they may be discounted since each one reigned but a few months; (2) the prophet assigned his work to the reign of Vespasian, who was "the one that is," rather than Domitian as suggested above. However, it was customary for apocalyptic authors to predate their writings to give them the appearance of being older and thus more accurately prophetic. John followed this practice. No fraud was intended by this literary device; it was merely a peculiar stylistic convenience suited to the subject matter.
The Antichrist legend is the biblical and medieval anthropomorphictransformation of the ancient Babylonian Dragon myth, adapted to Christian apocalyptic purposes. Tiawat ("Sea"), the Dragon of Chaos, was a myth among the Akkadian founding fathers of Babylon some 6,000 years ago. Tiawat, a crocodilian female monster, presided over the confusion of waters prior to the creation of the other Babylonian gods. Tiawat rebelled against the new gods, but was defeated and imprisoned. Tiawat in fact represented the estuary of the Euphrates River, which raged out of control until it was confined somewhat and diverted by a vast system of dikes and irrigation canals. Wilhelm Bousset explains the matter in The Antichrist Legend: A Chapter in Christian and Jewish Folklore. (9)
The words "Mystery Babylon" and the Roman numerals DCLXVI (666) appear on the hat worn the Pope. This has led some people to speculate that the Catholic Church is the Mystery Babylon and the Beast.
The entirety of Revelation 18 is a description of a great city on seven hills, obviously Rome. The ten horns or kings may represent the member nations of the European Common Market.
Revelation 9 describes monstrous creatures which combine characteristics of locusts, scorpions, horses and men. These probably refer to modern military equipment. They could also be the products of genetic engineering, if not an act of God:
"And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
"And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
"And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh man.
"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
"And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle, and on their heads were as it were crowns of gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
"And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
"And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
"And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months." (Revelation 9:3-10)
Thereafter, the sources of the Euphrates River will dry up. This will facilitate the invasion of a huge army from Asia:
"And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
"Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
"And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
"And the number of the army of horsemen were two myriad myriad [myriad = 10,000]; and I heard the number of them.
"By these was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths." (Revelation 9:13-16, 18)
The prophets Malachi (4:5, 6) and Zechariah (4:14) wrote that God would send the prophet Elijah to earth before the Battle of Armageddon. John also foretells the appearance of two great prophets in the latter days:
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
"These are the two olive branches, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
"And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
"These have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
"And when they have finished their testimony, the beast shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
"And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
"And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
"And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell upon the earth.
"And after three days and an half the Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them.
"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
"And at that hour there was an earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake there were slain of men seven thousand, and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:3-8, 11-13 )
The Two Witnesses will be murdered at the behest of the Beast, whose appearance is described in Revelation 13:1-8. Authors of the Bible call this evil personage by different names: Little Horn (Daniel 11:21); Assyrian (Isaiah 10:5); Chaldean (Habukkuk 1:6); Nebuchadnessar (Ezekiel 29:19); Man of Sin and Son of Perdition (II Thessalonians 2:3-9); Beast 666 (Revelation 13 & 17); Antichrist (I John 2:18), and Armilus (Sephir Zohar). The first use of the popular term Antichrist occurs in I John 2:18, 22. However, in these instances the term is merely applied to anyone who refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.
Because Habukkuk calls him the Chaldean, and Isaiah named him the Assyrian, some exegetes think that the Antichrist will be a Muslim leader. Others claim that he will be from the Jewish tribe of Dan. He will rise to power through diplomacy and intrigue, supported by Arab oil money and the European Common Market. He will be assassinated but will revive from a fatal neck wound in a "miraculous" manner (and with the aid of modern medical science). He will be "born again" and thereafter exert enormous charismatic power and demonstrate phenomenal magical effects with the aid of his propagandist, the False Prophet. Together they will deceive many people (even some Christians) into thinking that the Beast is Messiah. He will make a covenant with Israel, but will break it after three and a half years of relative peace. For another three and a half years humanity will live and die in utter misery, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. During the tribulation the corrupt Christian Church will suffer terrible martyrdom, horror with grace.
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him power, and his seat, and great authority.
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast.
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given unto him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
"If any man hath an ear, let him hear.
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and spake as a dragon.
"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men.
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image of the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and did live.
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
"And he 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 that 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." (Revelation 13:1-8 )
The number of the Beast, 666, can be understood as a credit card number without which people will unable to buy, sell, bank or hold employment. Such technology exists today and awaits implementation, probably in the form of subcutaneous microcircuit implants. Other interpretations have been advanced based on a cabalistic translation of the alphabet into numbers. For example, if 6 is added to each successive number, so that A=6, B=12, C=18, and so on, then "computer" equals 666. So does "Kissinger", who meets several of the Biblical qualifications for the Man of Sin. Henry received the "wound of the sword" (Revelation 13:3, 12, 14) by undergoing open-heart surgery in 1982. His diplomatic career produced a "covenant" (the Camp David Treaty) with Israel and Egypt. His success has been "conquest by flattery" (Daniel 11:21). According to the Sephir Zohar (v.i.), the Son of Perdition is a Jew; so is Kissinger. At his advanced age, however, it is quite unlikely that he is the person in question.
The thrall of Antichrist will last for less than four years; then the wrath of God will be loosed upon mankind:
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your way, and pour out the vials of wrath of God upon the earth.
"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
"And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
"And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became as blood.
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
"And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
"And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
"And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
"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 unto the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done.
"And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
"And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
"And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceedingly great." (Revelation 16:1-21)
The Seven Judgments (the plague of sores, the poisoned waters, extreme heat, and giant hail) will drive the Beast and his subjects to desperation. They will vent their frustration against Israel in the Battle of Jehosaphat or Armageddon. The Beast and company will be defeated and killed by Messiah Jesus, as described in Revelation 19.
13. Esther of Sidon ~
Esther of Sidon was an Essene who chronicled the life of Jesus (whom she never knew) after interviewing many of his disciples. She was martyred in Athens in 86 AD. Her writings were collected by Emperor Vespasian, and were preserved in the Vatican archives. They emerged in 1997. Esther recorded the "Ten Final Messages of the Savior" which he allegedly gave as promises while he was in the Garden of Gethsemene. These promises are to be fulfilled in the Latter Days. Esther states:
"All that the Lord promised will come to pass in the end times, when men will count on their fingers and marvel that 2,000 years have passed since his death. In those days the gates of Heaven will be opened wide for the angels to carry within the righteous hosts of the Rapture."
The Ten Great Promises of Jesus are said to be: (1) an herbal panacea, (2) the Rapture, (3) a last chance to repent on Judgment Day, (4) signs in the sky will warn of the Second Coming, (5) angelic guidance for humanity, (6) eternal life, (7) the gospel of Christ will be spread throughout the universe, (8) the Second Coming, (9) Heaven will be located in space by astronomers, (10) a divinely inspired system of space travel will be discovered.
Esther also is attributed with numerous predictions about modern medicine, world finance and human welfare, war and peace, extreme weather conditions before and during the Apocalypse, the reigns of Satan and of Christ.
14. The Bible Code ~
In the 1990s, Dr. Eli Rips, a leading expert in group theory, used computer analysis to discover a prophetic code hidden in the Old Testament. He published his study of "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis" in the mathematical journal Statistical Science (1994) in collaboration with physicist Doron Witztom and cryptologist Harold Gans. According to Rips, et al., "When the Book of Genesis is written in to-dimensional arrays, letter sequences spelling words with related meanings often appear in close proximity... Randomization analysis shows that the effect is significant at the level of 0.00002..." The odds against the code being random are so high as to be impossible; the code appears to be genuine, but its origin remains a mystery, apparently divine.
Rips, et al., found dozens of prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled. Several warn of disasters in our near future. For example, they found the words "Hitler", Nazi and enemy", "Evil man", and "Slaughter" in Genesis 8: 17-21; "Shakespeare", "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" in Leviticus; "Wright brothers" and "Airplane" in Genesis 30-43; "Edison", "Lightbulb", and "Electricity" in Numbers 11-14; "Newton" and "Gravity" in Numbers 18 and 19; "Einstein" and "Science" in Numbers; "Atomic holocaust", and "World War" encoded with "in the End of Days" in plain text; "Man on Moon" and "Spaceship" in Numbers; "President Kennedy", "to die", "Dallas", "Oswald", "Ruby", etc., in Genesis and Numbers.
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was mentioned, and the name of his assassin, "Amir". The prophecy was dated "In 5756" (September 1995) and located ("Tel Aviv"). The Gulf War was foretold: "Fire on 3 Shevat" (18 January 1991, the date of the first Scud missile attack) and "Hussein picked a day" (Genesis 14: 6-17).
The code also predicts the murder of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but no date is given. Furthermore, the code warns of "Holocaust of Israel", "the next war" with "Libya"; "It will be after the death of the Prime Minister" (Genesis 25: 11).
According to the Bible Code, Armageddon will occur "in 5760" (2000) and "in 5766" (2006). In the year 2113, Israel will be "empty, depopulated, desolated" (Deuteronomy 33: 14); "For everyone, the great terror, fire earthquake" (Deut. 34: 12). A "Great Earthquake" is repeatedly mentioned, scheduled for the years 2000 and 2006. Los Angeles will be destroyed by a quake in 5770 (2010); China and Japan also will be struck thus. A comet will strike the earth in 2012. (7, 8)
15. The Millenial Kingdom ~
When Christ returns, hewill be accompanied by an army of saints (Joel 3:11; Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 16:27 and 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 8:26; Thessalonians 1:7) He will also bring the raptured Christians with Him (Isaiah 27:13; Joel 2:32; Micah 2:12; Revelation 14:1). The wrath of God will be temporarily suspended (Revelation 8:1). Many Jews will repent and convert to Christ (Hosea 1:11, Zechariah 12;10; Luke 13:35; Matthew 23:39; Joel 2:2; Romans 11:26). The converted Jews will escape from Jerusalem by way of a valley which will be created by an earthquake when Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 47:1-5; Acts 1:1-12; Zechariah 14:4,5). Jews will join the Christian forces (Zechariah 12:5; ibid., 14:14). According to Leviticus 26:8, the strength of the Jewish soldiers will be made superhuman by divine grace: "And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword." See also Zechariah 17:8 in this regard.
The Jewish and Christian forces will recapture Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:5 and 14:11) and rebuild the city (Zechariah 12:6 and 14:11). The wrath of God will resume (Revelation 7 and 8; Isaiah 8:7; ibid., 13:9-10; ibid., 19:1-10, 17-20, 22-24; Joel 3:19). The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers will dry up to prepare the way for the invasion of the Middle East by the Chinese army (Revelation 9:14). The Nile River also will cease to flow. Concerning the fate of Egypt, see also Jeremiah 46:7-9; Deuteronomy 26:68; Isaiah 19:1-5, 17-25; Ezekiel 29:15; ibid., 20:36, 37; ibid., 30; Isaiah 11:15; Zechariah 1:11). The Antichrist will gather his armies at Har-Megiddo (Mt. Megiddo), also known as Armageddon. Har-Megiddo is about 55 miles north of Jerusalem, on the southern rim of the Valley of Jehosaphat (Joel 3:2, 9-14). It has been an important battlefield throughout Jewish history. Jehosaphat means "judgment of Jahweh" or "judgment of the Eternal."
Jehosaphat and Armageddon also are referred to in Numbers 24:17; Deuteronomy 28:7; ibid., 30:7; I Samuel 2:10; Daniel 11:45; Revelation 16:16; Zephariah 3:8; II Thessalonians 2:8; Joel 13:16; ibid., 14:17-20; and Zechariah 14:1-4.
According to Daniel 7:11 and Revelation 19:20, the Antichrist and his followers will be cast into a lake of fire.
There will be a period of darkness in which the sun, moon and stars are obscured (Joel 2:2, 10, 31 & 3:15; Revelation 8:12; Isaiah 24:23 & 13:10; Zechariah 14:6; Mark 13:24; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:19-20; Revelation 6:12, 14).
Christ will then rule the earth (Genesis 49:10; Psalms 2:6; ibid., 22:28; ibid., 72:10; I Chronicles 16:33; Isaiah 2:4; Revelation 11:15; Zechariah 9:10; I Samuel 2;10; Ezekiel 21:27; Daniel 7:14, 27; Micah 4:3; II Timothy 4:1; Psalms 72:8; Luke 1:32; I Corinthians 15:24-25; Hebrews 1:13).
All violence will be restrained by God's presence (Leviticus 26:6-8; Isaiah 2:4; Hosea 2:18; Deuteronomy 18:7; ibid., 30:7; Micah 4:3).
There will be abundant crops and general prosperity (Exodus 23:25; Leviticus 26:5-6; Hosea 2:21; Joel 3:18; Psalms 72:7,16; Isaiah 4:2; ibid., 61:4; Genesis 8:21, 22; Amos 9:13,14; Deuteronomy 28:11,12).
There will be no diseases, and people will enjoy extended lifespans (Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 7:15; Isaiah 35:5-6).
Fertility and birthrates will increase (Exodus 23:26; Deuteronomy 7:14; ibid., 28:4,11; Isaiah 9:3).
After 1,000 years, Satan will be released to deceive the nations and test their faith, but he will be defeated (Jeremiah 25:29-38; ibid., 45:5; Revelation 11:18; ibid., 20:3,7-9).
Heaven and Earth shall pass away; there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Malachi 4:1; Matthew 24:35; Isaiah 66:20; ibid., 65:17; ibid., 60:19-20; Revelation 20:11; ibid., 21;1; Mark 13:31; Hebrews 1:10-12; ibid., 12:26,27; II Peter 3:7, 10-12).
Then comes the Final Judgment of all men (Ecclesiastes 3:17, 18; Matthew 25:31-33; II Timothy 4:1; Revelation 11:18; ibid., 20:13; Acts 10:42; Romans 2:5,6,16; ibid., 14:10-12; Hebrews 6:2; ibid., 9:27; I Peter 1:3,4).
After the Final Judgment, God's Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem, will descend to Earth (Revelation 3:12; ibid., 21:2, 10-27).The Righteous will gather there (Isaiah 60:21; ibid., 65:17-19; Matthew 13:49; ibid., 24:34, 46; Revelation 22:3-5). There will be a healing of nations (Revelation 22:1-3). God and Christ will rule forever (II Chronicles 9:8; Ezekiel 37:25; Daniel 2:44; ibid., 7:14, 18, 27; Micah 4:7; Luke 1:33; Psalms 72:17; ibid., 102:26, 27. (1, 2, 4-6)
19. References [Not available in the Internet Edition]
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