The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (Part II)

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A Brief Review

Let’s begin this week’s Eye of Prophecy post with a quote concerning the enormous significance of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (In italics):

At that time, the Balfour Declaration was the single greatest event in history since the tragic dispersion of the Jews from Israel when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the beginning fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies guaranteeing the final restoration of Israel and salvation of the Jews. Accordingly, it was also the beginning of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus that involves the entire world as found in his amazing disclosure of the end times while on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

If you at least vaguely recognize this statement, then you read last week’s Eye of Prophecy article; it is an excerpt from that post! If you haven’t yet read that article, I would encourage you to do so. Though every Eye of Prophecy article that is a Part II (or III) stands alone, a much better understanding of the main theme comes with reading Part I.

The quoted excerpt was a summary conclusion predicated on three monumental milestones of Israel’s 20th and 21st century history in the context of the unfolding end-times prophecies. They are: (1) The Balfour Declaration of 1917; (2) the UN Resolution for Israel’s statehood in 1947, followed by the rebirth of the Sovereign State of Israel in 1948; (3) the reclamation of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Then I quoted the passage in which Messiah Jesus identified the final generation that is part and parcel of those three extraordinary events discussed last week and again this week.

Said Jesus: “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34).

Followed by the next two (the first in quotation marks, the second italicized) excerpts from last week’s article:

“Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.”

Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning.

Then an excerpt near the end of the Part I article (in italics):

Certainly, the Balfour Declaration was the “right and moral thing to do.” But it was more than that. Whether Lord Balfour realized it or not, his courageous initiative to speak for both Britain and the Jews was an acknowledgment and affirmation of God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations. One that absolutely will come to pass including the fall of nations who seek to harm Israel, and the success of those who support Israel in the journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.

Before we examine more amazing prophetic implications of the Balfour Declaration, the rebirth of Israel, and reunification of Jerusalem to Israel, let’s analyze, “God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations” in the:

Historical Context and Assessment of the Balfour Declaration

To Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, God said:

“…Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).

God’s collaboration with the Jews—beginning with choosing Abraham to be the progenitor of the Jewish race and the Lord’s subsequent interaction with Gentile nations—is centered entirely on his sovereign purpose first for Israel, then for the nations. The Old Testament is replete with events experienced by the Lord’s chosen people during their tumultuous times of rebellion, discipline, restoration (return from Babylonian captivity) then more rebellion and apathy, resulting in 400 years of silence by the Lord after he last spoke to Israel through the prophet Malachi.

Those four hundred years of silence ended abruptly with God’s next prophet, John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Messiah, announcing to all who would listen as Jesus came toward John one day:

“…Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me’” (John 1:29-30, italics for emphasis).

With these words of acclamation for Messiah Jesus (Son of God, Son of David, and Son of Man) John reverberated the words of the prophet Micah written some 700 years earlier:

Before the Balfour Declaration there was no indication that the Diaspora dream of Jews the world over, “Next year in Jerusalem” would or could really happen.

For nearly two thousand years, most Jews had resigned themselves to be forever the “Wandering Jew” with no national homeland, no way to defend themselves against brutal persecution, and seemingly no realistic hope of God’s prophetic promises ever coming to pass. Two thousand years is a very long time … as long as the time from Abraham to the Great Diaspora. Two millennia had made even the most optimistic Jews doubt if another Jewish homeland was possible anywhere. Let alone the Promised Land that had been overrun, ruled, and stripped almost bare (literally and figuratively) of anything Jewish by the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, and the Ottoman Turks for so long.

The Balfour Declaration changed all that.

Listen to one of hundreds of promises given directly by God to his prophets concerning the seemingly impossible, but from God’s vantage point a sure thing. This prophecy begins with a direct reference to Ramah, the deportation point of Jewish exiles to Babylon under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. It is one of several prophecies that had both near future and distant future application; in this case the distant future slaughter of male children in Bethlehem so ordered by Herod in order to kill the prophesied Christ-child, Jesus. It also applied to Jesus’s prophecy that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed (by the Romans), with the horrific result of a second Jewish exile from Israel … this time indefinitely as opposed to the 70-year discipline of the Babylonian captivity God imposed on Judah in 586 B.C.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘A cry is heard in Ramah—deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted—for her children are gone.’ But now this is what the Lord says: ‘Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come again to their own land’” (Jeremiah 31:15-17).

Then a few verses later: “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child? Says the Lord. I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here” (Jeremiah 31:20-21, italics for emphasis).

The Balfour Declaration was THE historical catalyst that providentially precipitated the return of the Jews to the Promised Land, followed by the United Nations Resolution affording statehood to Israel. Both (along with the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967) were and still are: “road signs, guideposts, and path” marking the final generational path of the last days, because this road sign passage has everything to do with the Jews’ return to Israel.

Jesus addressed his end-times prophecy of the final generation primarily (first and foremost) to Israel. The true Church (Messianic Jews and we Gentile believers in Messiah Jesus) were obviously meant to know the signs of the last days. Yet other than witnessing the pre-Rapture birth pangs foretold by Jesus and as found in other places in Scripture, we believers will not experience the traumatic events of the Great Tribulation … which is the final phase of this Omega generation. The Rapture will spare us from God’s second universal judgment of this wicked world we live in. We will, however, be with our Lord when he triumphantly returns to rescue Israel at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.

Thus, the “return to your (Israel’s) towns” corresponds to and matches the generational time-frame identified by Jesus: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34). This generation applies almost exclusively to Israel’s ultimate restoration beginning with the Jews return to Israel and culminating in Israel’s final redemption, spiritually and physically. If we don’t make this connection, then we are not seeing the “guideposts” nor are we, “marking well the path by which you (Israel) came.”

A Remarkable Correlation of Virgin Births!

Regarding the italicized portion of the Jeremiah Chapter 31 passage (my virgin Israel) here is another excerpt from last week’s article (in italics):

Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.

As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.

(Back to this week’s article. Are you keeping up? The above italicized excerpt was from last week’s article in partial preparation for this week’s article. Just kidding … of course you are!)

In this same 31st chapter of Jeremiah we have one of the greatest prophecies in all of Scripture. I have quoted these verses in a few prior articles. Because of the universal impact of this prophecy—God’s New Covenant with Israel (one in which Gentiles have been “grafted in”) instituted and implemented with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus—it merits repeating.

“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” Jeremiah 31:31-33).

On the eve of the Passion of Christ—with every event of the Passion prophesied directly or indirectly by Old Testament prophets and/or by Jesus, himself; his false arrest, illegal trial, brutal and unlawful (the Roman Governor himself said that Jesus was innocent but still handed him over for execution) crucifixion, and burial in a rich man’s tomb (Joseph of Arimathea)—Jesus ate the Passover supper one last time with his disciples.

This is what happened and what he said:

“He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.’ After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you’” (Luke 22:19-20).

Three days later Messiah Jesus arose from the dead to validate that he was/is Messiah, the Son of God, and to seal the New Covenant God promised through Jeremiah some 600 years earlier. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact. He was seen by hundreds of witnesses during the forty days after he arose from the grave, and then ascended to heaven from where he will soon return to the earth, “…with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

This is not the covenant message of the Mosaic Law that was written on tablets of stone, the one that God’s people could not and would not keep.

This is the message of the New Covenant.

Said the Apostle Paul, formerly the Pharisee Saul who persecuted and killed early Christians until his marvelous life-changing encounter with the Risen Messiah:

“…And that message is the very message about faith that we preach. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord who gives generously to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:8-13, italics for emphasis, last sentence is a quote from Joel 2:32).

I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts (Jeremiah 31).

The Remarkable Results of the Balfour Declaration from a Broader Prophetic Perspective

In the context of and correlation with Messiah Jesus’s astounding announcement that the generation alive when he returns will (begin to) experience the end-times events he described (and by obvious inference all of the other last day prophecies of Scripture), the Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by the UN Resolution in 1947 and Israel’s subsequent declaration of statehood in 1948 are staggering in their relevancy to this (our) generation.

Later this year, November 2, Israel—hopefully joined by many Western nations, especially Great Britain the very source of the Balfour Declaration—will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this famous decision, which was and still is the “right and moral thing to do.”

The 70th year anniversary of the UN Resolution of 1947 will also occur in November of this year. This is the second definition or time-frame of a Biblical generation, a generation within the 100-year generation. Next year, 2018, will be the 70th anniversary of Israel’s Statehood rebirth (May 14th) in the family of nations on earth, to be celebrated on April 19th. Israel uses the Jewish calendar when it comes to their national holidays.

Then the crowning point of Israel’s rebirth in the land sovereignly promised to them by God was the stunning reclamation of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967—what many Rabbis and Evangelical scholars, including me, consider to be a year of Jubilee.

The 50-year Jubilee memorial of the consolidation of Jerusalem will take place this coming Wednesday (May 24th), the day after President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to Israel. We, who love Israel and support Israel’s right of existence and God-given mandate to possess all of the boundaries of the Promised Land, can only hope and pray that President Trump keeps his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be a strong symbolic and also powerful physical (real-time and space) acknowledgment of Jewish rightful claim to Jerusalem as the undivided eternal capital of Israel.

(The Latest Word is that President Trump Will Not Announce A Decision On the US Embassy Move During His Trip to Israel … See Eye of Prophecy Article, “Is President Trump Wavering on The Waiver?” Posted 2-4-17).

Let’s look again at the Biblical meaning of a generation and a Jubilee in the inescapable context that virtually all end-times prophecies are centered exclusively on Israel. The only direct involvement of the true Church is that of being whisked away at the Rapture, which is the “first day” of the Day of the Lord (Tribulation, physical Return of Jesus to earth, and then the Millennium).

Here, I will defer to the Eye of Prophecy article The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14), excerpts of which were also quoted in a subsequent article written almost two years later, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! (1-23-16).

It’s been over three years since The Omega Generation article was posted. We have reached the pivotal year of 2017 (Gregorian calendar; with, as we will see, the Jewish calendar the more Biblically accurate measurement of the two generational time-frames as all Scriptural references to days, months, and years relate to the 30-day month of the Jewish calendar). Based on Biblical and historical evidence—particularly the three 20th century momentous milestones of Israel’s modern history—I’m proposing that this year is the beginning of a two or three-year prophetic window of the final generation Messiah Jesus spoke of in answer to his disciple’s question: “…Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3, NASB).

In italics, here is a segment from The Omega Generation:

If Jesus is referring specifically to the last generation, and I believe the text/context is crystal clear that he is; then this generation must have a designated start-up date or dates. Without an actual event (which can be identified by a specific calendar year) to begin the generation, the 70-year or 100-year generational time frame is much too vague … meaning there’s too much overlap or ambiguity as to the actual decades involved. If you were explaining your generation to someone, what would be your reference point? How would you describe it? Wouldn’t you say, “In my generation….” Essentially, then, your reference or starting point is the date of your birth!

Using our first example of four generations of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, God gave Abraham the point-in-time commencement of this 400 hundred years (four generations) captivity, i.e. from the time that the Jews no longer enjoyed freedom in Egypt, which was not too long after Joseph died.

Is it, then, possible to select or identify events/dates in Israel’s contemporary history that correspond to the Biblical definition of a generation … that is one hundred years and/or seventy years? The answer is a resounding, YES.

So, let’s look again at the three monumentally crucial events of the last 100 years, relating to the return of the Jews to Israel.

(A) Balfour Declaration of November, 1917:

Recognizing this very important event/date, we can then apply the Biblical generational measurement of 100 years. Once again, however, we need to convert Roman calendar years to Jewish years. Doing the math we come up with 101.4 Jewish years which translates to 101 years and 5 months. From November, 1917, this would take us to March or April, 2019.

(B) United Nations Resolution of November, 1947:

This was the 2nd significant milestone in fulfillment of hundreds of Biblical prophecies concerning the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e. the physical restoration of Israel. Most Bible scholars and historians select the statehood date of May 14, 1948 as the historical landmark, which it certainly is; however, the actual declaration of statehood was almost anticlimactic. Reason: officially, the British Mandate (rule) over Palestine expired on that date. But it was the UN Resolution that delivered the pivotal turning point or breakthrough. Without the UN resolution of November, 1947, there would have been no recognized Israeli State in May, 1948. Yet, there is only a period of 6 months separating these two events; thus, selection of either one would be a legitimate application to the 70-year generational measurement of time.

Again, doing the conversion math, we arrive at a total of 70.97 or (rounding it off) 71 Jewish years. Adding 71 years to November, 1947, we arrive at November, 2018. If we utilize May, 1948 as the benchmark date, the 71 years would take us to May, 2019.

(C) June, 1967 Six-Day War (Jubilee Years):

In addition to the two Biblical measurements of a generation (100 years and 70 years), what happens if we also select the Jubilee time-frame of 50 years? As stressed in the previous Seven Times Seven articles, the 50-year Jubilee was part of God’s formula for disciplining Israel, as the Jews also failed to keep the Jubilee. Consequently, I believe the Jubilee will also be a component part of God’s magnificent restoration of Israel.

In this instance, we will use the next epic milestone in Israel’s brief modern-history … that of the June, 1967 Six-Day War. We talked about this at great length in last week’s article, to include the fact that it occurred 50 years (not coincidentally, a Jubilee period of time) from the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Once again we convert 50 Roman calendar years to Jewish time and we come up with: 50.7 years which is 50 years and 8.4 months (8-9 months). From June, 1967, this would take us through February or into March, 2018.

Combining All Three Events

None of these three possibilities give us an exact day/hour of Christ’s return that begins with the first phase which is the Rapture and ends with his physical return at the end of the Tribulation. And that’s good. Why? Because Jesus, himself, said that no one can possibly know the day or hour of his return. I emphasize that almost to a fault in my article, When the Rapture? Therefore, I wouldn’t even pretend to know the exact date of Christ’ return, nor would I ever venture a guess. Forget it!

On the contrary, Jesus did advise us to recognize the seasons, the times, the signs, and the symptoms if you will, of his glorious return. If he didn’t want us to put 2 and 2 together, then why did Jesus provide so many clues and signals? Why would he have even used the metaphor of the fig tree in bloom? Even more challenging: Why would he have selected a time-measured or time-dedicated point of reference (generation), if he didn’t want us to identify the noteworthy bench mark events of the final days, aligned alongside the pre-Rapture birth pains and post-Rapture (Tribulation) incidents that he describes.

With these questions in mind, what other specific events have occurred relating to Israel during the 20th or 21st century that would surpass or supplant the 1917, 1947 (48), and 1967 highlights that we’ve selected as commencement dates for both the 100 and 70-year generations, as well as the equally important Jubilee? In answer to this question, I’ll give you a hint: There are NO other events that even come close to these historical mileposts…

Summary

Here’s what we find when we combine all three projected dates of generational or Jubilee time-lapse… meaning 100 years, 70 years, and 50 years (Roman calendar). From our three (four, if we also use Israel’s statehood of May, 1948) examples, we will select the earliest possible month/year all the way to the latest month/year.

It’s conceivable that we will hear the blast of the last Rapture trumpet: BETWEEN FEBRUARY, 2018 and MAY, 2019!!

(Note for Today’s Article: In hindsight I certainly could have and probably should have included the (this) year, 2017. Actually, it was a foregone conclusion that 2017 could be the beginning of the Day of the Lord, as I and others are convinced this is a Jubilee year. See aforementioned article, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted January, 2016, for the time of year when the Jubilee was to be announced and the time of year it actually began).

Returning to a final excerpt from The Omega Generation (posted in February, 2014):

Of course, Christ may Rapture the Church any day between now and the above listed dates, or even after those dates. For the following reasons: God will determine the next Jubilee in Israel’s history. Concerning a generation (whether 70 or 100 years): unless the prophecy specifies actual periods of time such as found in Daniel 9, there is normally some flexibility built-in to God’s use of numbers in Scripture. For example, there are, relatively speaking, a handful of people on the earth who live to be 105 or 110, or whatever. Also, the average life expectancy in many developed countries is in the vicinity of 76, 77, or 78 years.

But, if the Lord decides to combine all three time-frames, then I would be very surprised if we Christians are still on this earth after the year 2020. Although that is a speculative statement, I believe that it is a sanctified speculation! Meaning that it is based on some solid evidence from Scripture, particularly the passages quoted in this article and prior articles.

The Day of the Lord is so very near. As selected by God to be the heart and soul of God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the eternal capital of the Promised Land of Israel, Jerusalem’s (the City of God) time has come.

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy….” (Isaiah 60:1-5a).

I, for one, will echo and support and participate in the prophet’s passionate plea for Israel:

“Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory…” (Isaiah 62:1-2).

Things to Ponder

My maternal grandfather fought in World War I and was alive when the Balfour Declaration marked the beginning of the 100-year generation. Although relatively few compared to the world’s population, there are still many people over one hundred years old or who will turn 100 this year; some of whom will in all likelihood witness the beginning of the Day of the Lord.

My father fought in World War II. He is gone now as is my mother. I am 70 years old, born 14 months before the UN Resolution of 1947 and 20 months before the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Tens of millions of Baby Boomers are still alive (including me or you wouldn’t be reading this article!).

Millions upon millions more born in 1967 (Jubilee year) or thereabout are still on Planet Earth. In all probability, they will either be taken in the Rapture (if they have believed and received Messiah Jesus as Personal Savior) or left behind to experience the horrendous Great Tribulation.

Not since the First World War and more so the Second World War have world conditions been as ominous as they are right now. In fact, I believe the perils facing the earth’s population are more apocalyptically threatening than pre World-War II.

The geopolitical and military global balloon is saturated to the bursting point with wars and rumors of war and with world-wide imminent threats, ultimatums, and accusations against Israel like never before in world history. The chain of alliances in the Middle East (especially Syria)—where coalition A is fighting coalition B which is fighting coalition C, which in turn is fighting A—is a brittle cord ready to snap. The fragile tightened skin of the balloon is about to explode.

Something has to give, and it will give … soon.

Even more alarming than before the two World Wars of the 20th century, the prophetic pace of the 21st century is far too hectic, confusing, and relentless to allow time for anyone or any nation to pause long enough to effectively stop the doomsday clock from reaching the midnight hour. All the while, people “party” to escape today; hoping the next day brings them more time to ignore and delay their eternal destiny as they eat, drink, and be merry just in case tomorrow they die.

If anyone would chalk such an observation up to “doomsday melodrama” or flippantly brush aside the obvious warnings that come our way virtually every day, then they obviously prefer to sail on the same (imaginary) cruise ship of those in Noah’s Day—who after it was too late wished they had their own ark. With Noah and his family safely aboard the real boat of God’s protection and deliverance.

Here’s what Jesus said:

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).

If you don’t know Messiah Jesus as Lord and Savior, please don’t wait until it’s too late. You truly need and want him as your Savior, not your judge.

“The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:35-36).

One day soon the Lord will judge the earth with perfect justice. Righteousness will reign. Truth will triumph. Peace will prevail.

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God! All praise to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (Part I)

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Renewed Controversy over the Balfour Declaration

During an address to the United Nations last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that Great Britain issue a formal apology for the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

About three weeks ago Palestinian officials made the same demand, this time in the form of an ultimatum. Unless England disavowed Lord Balfour’s famous decree, cancel plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that historic milestone later this year (November 2), and recognize a State of Palestine—with the obvious implication that if Britain unilaterally accepted a Palestinian State, other nations would follow—the Palestinian Authority would file a lawsuit against Great Britain.

Presumably this pathetic petition would be filed with the International Court of Justice, more commonly called The World Court, ICJ or just The Hague, as this judicial branch of the United Nations is headquartered in Hague, Netherlands. The Palestinian Authority is not a nation; it only has “observer” status (along with the Vatican) in the United Nations. Thus, their lawsuit would have no legitimacy, i.e. one nation’s grievance against another nation. But such things have never deterred Mahmoud Abbas or his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, from their twisted short-term agenda to delegitimize the State of Israel and their warped long-term intent of replacing the State of Israel with yet another Middle East Arab state.

Any such spurious litigation would be akin to the eleven southern states in America that succeeded from the Union—which precipitated the American Civil War—now demanding that the United States Government apologize (tantamount to a retraction) for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. After the Union won the Civil War, that amendment was finally ratified December 18, 1865 as constitutional recognition and support of President Abraham Lincoln’s now famous Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

The 13th Amendments stipulates: “neither slavery no involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Contrary to Palestinian deceptive distortion of the Balfour Declaration, it was the Emancipation Proclamation of its time. It was a Declaration to officially end Jewish servitude to the Ottoman Empire that ruled Palestine for 400 hundred years. But not only for the Jews; also for the Arabs! However, the Arabs didn’t want freedom and self-governing autonomy if it meant living next to even more Jews who would come to Palestine following the Balfour Declaration.

From its inception the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO founded in 1964)—later named the Palestinian National Authority (since the miserably failed Oslo Accord of 1993)—has sought the destruction of Israel, as found in its Charter, and also contained in the Hamas Charter for the Gaza Strip. Most refer to the Palestinian National Authority as just the Palestinian Authority and rightfully so; there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation or state.

When the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq suffered a resounding defeat in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49, the Six-Day war of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, they came to the stark realization that the Arabs couldn’t conquer the Jews by conventional military warfare. So they turned to unconventional methods, which disgustingly have become all too conventional: BDS, planned terrorist attacks; spontaneous lone-wolf killings of innocent Israelis spawned by incitement from Abbas himself; rockets launched from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip into Israel; elementary and high-school curriculum propagandizing their children to kill Jews and “liberate” Palestine; and rewriting of history with false claims maliciously supported by UNESCO that the Jewish (and even Christian) sacred sites of Israel are Islamic holy sites to include Temple Mount and even the Western Wall.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel, Resolution 2334, posted 1-7-17).

More Repugnant Rhetoric from the Palestinians

Although criticism of the Balfour Declaration has been going on periodically for some time, P.A. President Abbas in the past couple of years has taken his lie-laced vendetta directly to the United Nations. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Tell a Big Lie Long Enough and More Palestinians Lies, posted 10-10-15 & 2-20-16, respectively).

This is an offshoot of another disturbing phenomenon that has taken place in the recent past. From slightly less provocative but still harmful false accusations that the Jews are “illegally occupying” land that “rightfully” belongs to Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas has upped the ante by brazenly suggesting the elimination of the State of Israel altogether. Which has been the real agenda of the Palestinian Authority and even more so of their bitter rival Hamas from the beginning. This is glaringly evident when Abbas speaks in Arabic to his own people and to Islamic nations that hate Israel.

Whereas, in his United Nations speeches and when talking to dignitaries of democratic nations, he tempers this offensive oratory under the guise of more diplomatic, but, nevertheless, ridiculous boasts such as made during his recent meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies, “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Seriously?

Less than two years ago, Abbas incited dozens of lone-wolf attacks against innocent Israelis by declaring that Palestinians must not allow the “filthy feet of the Jews” to walk on Temple Mount. In September, 2015, Abbas said that he, “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” Not long afterward the “Knife Intifada” began that also included shooting and car-ramming murder of Israelis.

(Another Example of Mahmoud Abbas’s Duplicity: It’s He Who Issues Threats and Ultimatums)

Regarding a Palestinian State that Abbas really doesn’t want unless Israel capitulates to every single one of his demands, such as East Jerusalem (there is no such thing as east Jerusalem) as the Palestinian capital—when such a capital would more easily and with much less adversarial results be placed in Ramallah—or the return of millions of Arabs currently restricted to so-called refugee camps, here’s what Abbas said not too long ago:

“A Palestinian State like Iraq, Saudi Arabia & other Islam countries, will not have or allow a single Jew to live there.”

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda, published 9-17-16).

Put that in the context of Israel allowing 1.8 million Arabs to live in Israel. That’s 21 % of Israel’s population of 8.7 million—which does not include Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who have refused citizenship in Israel—who have Israeli citizenship with all the rights of Jewish citizens. Privileges such as voting, serving in the Knesset, owning their own businesses, free movement through the land, and many more autonomous liberties.

Do you think that Abbas would tolerate or agree to a reciprocal action by Israel should a Palestinian State be negotiated; that all Arabs citizens of Israel must leave their homes if they are in whatever new boundaries Israel might end up with. I think not. Nor would the Israelis ever do such a thing. Nor would the majority of those 1.8 million Arabs (citizens of Israel) want to be relocated to or live in a Palestinian State.

As written by Bassam Tawil in his article, Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace” posted in the online Op-Ed news source, Gatestone Institute on May 8: “Apparently, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is convinced that Palestinians can fool ‘all of the people, all of the time’ about their true goals and intentions. Arafat lied to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when he told them that he and the Palestinian Authority were promoting peace and coexistence with Israel.”

Bassam Tawil concludes his article with, “Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists, a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” what, one wonders, would he consider a culture of war?”

If nothing else (there is virtually nothing of any redeeming value within his insidious goals and sinister strategies), Abbas is both clever and brash. He now boldly brandishes a double barrel shotgun. He aims and constantly fires one barrel directly at the Jews; with hammer cocked and the other barrel pointed menacingly at democratic counties such as Great Britain, threatening them with justice under his version of international law … in this case demanding an apology for the Balfour Declaration.

Make no mistake; this is much more than a simple apology. He fully understands that an “apology” would be tantamount to British (and world-wide) sanctions that the Jews don’t belong in Israel … they never had a right to be there in the first place. That the very state of Israel is illegitimate and should give way to a “Palestinian State.”

What Exactly was the Balfour Declaration?

What historical significance does it have, then and now?

Lord Balfour and a handful of others who understood world history in general and Middle East heritage in particular, realistically and accurately identified the ancient hostility between Arab and Jew. To some extent or another, they also grasped or at least sensed the longing of and need for the Jews to once again have a homeland of their own. A few realized that this home must be the Promised Land given to the Jews by God, himself. Accordingly, the Balfour Declaration was the first meaningful attempt to resolve those issues. Which is why Palestinians and Muslims everywhere loathe this historical milestone, one that eventually led to Israel’s Statehood in 1948. Followed by the still ongoing Second Exodus of Jews—this time from nations all over the earth, especially countries to the north of Israel—and Aliyah (ingathering of Jews) to Israel.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Second Exodus, posted 5-10-14)

Before we examine the Balfour Declaration more closely, on the authority of Scripture and the clear evidence in secular history that God’s plan and purpose for Israel (and the resulting effect it has had and will have on Gentile nations) has been unfolding precisely according to the Bible, I’m going to make this assertive, yet historically accurate statement … in italics for emphasis:

At that time, the Balfour Declaration was the single greatest event in history since the tragic dispersion of the Jews from Israel when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the beginning fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies guaranteeing the final restoration of Israel and salvation of the Jews. Accordingly, it was also the beginning of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus that involves the entire world as found in his amazing disclosure of the end times while on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

Said Jesus: “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34).

Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.

Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning. (Italics, also for emphasis).

Scripture is replete with examples of God’s sovereignty in providentially using even tragic events to accomplish his majestic plan for the human race. This plan focuses predominately on Israel and her Messiah (Jesus, who is also the Savior of the Gentiles), beginning with Abraham and continuing until all of Israel acknowledges her Messiah who will return to establish his Kingdom of justice and peace on this earth.

Specifically, I’m talking about World War I (prematurely labeled “The War to End All Wars”) which led directly to the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 issued about one year before the war officially ended on November 11, 1918. God’s sovereign hand was extraordinarily evident in this dramatic declaration, as evidenced by the British forces under Sir Edmund Allenby taking Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks just a few weeks later on December 11, 1917 (on Hanukkah no less)! The British were victorious in this final “battle” of their campaign in Israel with hardly a shot fired, and with no casualties (military or civilian) or damage to Jerusalem that would have been inevitable if the Turks had defended their stronghold in Jerusalem. Instead, the Turks surrendered without a fight. This marked the end of the Ottoman Empire.

(Sir Edmund Allenby Entering Through the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem in December, 1917)

(Sir Edmund Allenby)

Despite the horrors of World War I, the Balfour Declaration was the conception point of Israel’s gestation that would take another 30 years to grow within the womb of history.

Then God turned Jewish anguish and ashes from a Second World War (the horrendous Holocaust that resulted in the slaughter of six million Jews) into the miraculous beautiful birth of Israel. In November, 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution granting the Jews a homeland to call their own. Followed by the (re)birth of the Sovereign State of Israel on May 14, 1948. That was also the beginning of another generation (within a generation) both of which correspond to the final generation mentioned by Jesus.

*Note: There are two time-parameters of a generation found in Scripture. (1) One Hundred Years—see Genesis 15:12-16; (2) Seventy Years—see Psalm 90:10.

Amazingly, the Balfour Declaration was a single paragraph written on November 2, 1917 by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, addressed to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. The letter was to be transmitted to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Here it is (in italics):

His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Nearly five years passed by before this noble proclamation would be officially endorsed by the victorious World War I Allies (including the U.S., Great Britain, and France). On July 24, 1922, this approval was extended by none other than the newly formed League of Nations. The Balfour Declaration was also adopted as official policy by the British Mandate, which gave the United Kingdom jurisdiction over what was still called Palestine. There were Arab attacks and hostile actions against their Jewish neighbors during that time.

What contemporary Muslims and Palestinians (especially the Palestinian Authority and its President Abbas) will rarely mention is that the Arabs, who lived in and outside of Palestine after the implementation of the Balfour Declaration as international policy, flatly rejected the idea of co-existence with Jews in Palestine. On the other hand, the Jews welcomed their Arab neighbors with open arms, and in no way (then or now) violated the terms of the Balfour Declaration that stipulated no “prejudice (against) the civil or religious rights of non-Jewish communities…” Although Lord Balfour didn’t specifically mention Arabs, that’s precisely who he meant.

Time/space doesn’t permit in this week’s article to elaborate on other pre-existing conditions that led to the Balfour Declaration. Except to say that Zionism (the Biblically driven precept that the Jews had every right to and would return to their God-given Promised Land) had been underway for a few decades under the leadership of such visionaries as Chaim Weizmann and Theodore Herzl.

Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.

As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.

The True Agenda of the Palestinians & Muslim Nations & God’s Warning Against Such Plans

Not often does Mahmoud Abbas or Muslim nations hostile toward Israel (which is the vast majority) challenge the UN Resolution of November, 1947, which called for Israel’s acceptance into the family of nations alongside of an Arab State. To do so would be to bite the United Nations hand that feeds and fuels their hostility. They wouldn’t want to risk their incessant use of the United Nations (especially UNESCO) to pass one anti-Semitic resolution after another against the only free, democratic state in the entire Middle East.

Instead, they rail against the Balfour Declaration, the historical catalyst of Israel’s rebirth. To them it’s a much softer target, one that enables them to tell more lies. Such as Britain didn’t have the authority to partition Palestine in 1917. England certainly did have that right. I could write an entire article or two on the subject of post-World War I (and post-World War II) formations of new nations and territories in Europe and the Middle East. And those articles would pale in comparison to the number of historical volumes already written.

(Lord Arthur Balfour)

As with the Balfour Declaration, the Arabs in Palestine rigidly rejected the UN Resolution of 1947 which afforded them another opportunity to create a state of their own next to the State of Israel, after the British Mandate of Palestine expired in May, 1948. These are absolute historical facts that most heads of state and people all over the world either don’t understand or choose to ignore. Plus the fact that nothing has changed with the Palestinian and Muslim mindset toward Israel.

To wit: They don’t want a state next to Israel. They want a state in place of Israel. It’s as simple as that. Yet, what do we hear frequently from world leaders including U.S. Presidents? We hear practically nothing except a two-state solution. That is absolutely the worst thing that could happen. The repercussions would be devastating. Through Scripture, God is crystal clear on that subject.

Listen to God’s stern warning to those who have harmed the Jews and who seek to take away the land he has given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:

“…There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land” (Joel 3:2).

The Promised Land MUST NOT BE DIVIDED.

“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel” (Joel 3:16).

Britain’s Response to Palestinian Authority Demands to Rescind the Balfour Declaration

During the last part of April, 2017, the British Foreign Office representative reaffirmed the British Government’s official response to the absurd Palestinian demand that England, “…openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration.” Based on the preposterous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”

Britain refused to apologize, stating: “We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel.”

Followed by their explanation: “The Declaration was written in a world of competing imperial powers, in the midst of the First World War and in the twilight of the Ottoman Empire. In that context, establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution. Of course, a full assessment of the Declaration and what followed from it can only be made by historians.”

My response to that response: “Amen! Way to go Great Britain!”

However, my enthusiasm is tempered, because the U.K. statement went on to say that the Balfour Declaration should have done more not to “prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This originated first from Lord Warner, member of the House of Lords, who several weeks ago (before the Palestinian Authority regurgitated Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the United Nations) said that Britain should apologize for the Balfour Declaration. He contended that Britain had failed in that endeavor not to “prejudice … rights of the Palestinians” and should apologize for, “…the suffering that failure has caused and try to make amends … with a clear commitment to recognition of a viable independent Palestinian state.”

This never came to a vote in Britain’s Parliament and obviously Britain’s State Department overruled Lord Warner’s slanted sentiment to side with the Palestinians’ demands.

To reiterate: At no time after the League of Nations ratified and implemented the British Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, did the Jews prejudice (and certainly didn’t violate) the civil and religious rights of “non-Jewish communities of Palestine…” Just the opposite occurred when several pogrom style persecutions were launched by the Arabs against the Jews in the 1920s. And, as previously indicated: all-out war was hurled at the reborn State of Israel in 1948.

Concerning the Palestinian Authority’s outrageous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation,” in addition to what I’ve already said regarding the Balfour Declaration, consider the following:

There was no—I repeat for emphasis—absolutely no “Palestinian nation” in 1917 or 1947-48; nor a “Palestinian” people. There were Arabs and Jews living in Israel, the land that a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century capriciously changed from Israel to Palestine for no other reason than to mock the Jews who remained in Israel after the Great Diaspora, by a name that sounded like or resembled Israel’s ancient mortal enemy, Philistia … the Philistines. Not until the PLO was formed in 1964 then even more after the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, did Arabs began referring to themselves as Palestinians. Prior to that if anyone referred to a Palestinian or lawful resident of Palestine, they were referring almost exclusively to the Jews.

When the United Nations passed Israel’s Statehood Resolution in November, 1947, it also included land for an Arab State. Jews reached out to their Arab neighbors and asked them to stay. Their sincere gesture was met with Arab attacks on Jewish villages throughout Israel. This guerilla fighting (at the provocation of the Arabs) continued off and on until Israel became a state on May 14, 1948. One day later, five Arab nations attacked Israel. Arab government and military leaders told the Arabs to evacuate Israel in great numbers, with rationale that the Arab armies would have more room to maneuver and territory to fight the Israelis.

(Original Partition Nearly Equal Between Israel and an Arab State, However, the Judea/Samaria Area–Commonly Called the West Bank–Middle of Map in Yellow, Is Some of the Choicest Land)

Thus, hundreds of thousands of Arabs were “displaced.” Not by the Jews, not by the British, not by the UN Resolution to replace Palestine’s British Mandate with Arab and Jewish States (a two-state solution!); but by direct orders of their leaders who could have accepted a new Arab State rather than immediately attacking the Jews with the express purpose of wiping new-born Israel from the face of the earth.

Other Arabs left to escape the fighting, but mostly because they could not and would not tolerate living alongside Jews … just in case the Jews won the war.

These are the historical facts that so many liberal politicians (and even some conservative) in governments the world over have ignored or simply don’t care to consider as a balance to their tunnel vision effort to eliminate Islamophobia and/or to create a Palestinian State—no matter the cost to Israel’s security and the potential for even more war and bloodshed in the Middle East. As well as Europe and other western nations where Islamic terrorists have transported jihad from the Middle East.

Once again: the Palestinians do not want a state alongside Israel; they want a state instead of Israel. That’s why they rejected the Balfour Declaration, the UN Resolution of 1947, and two generous (but misguided) land offers from former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert early in the 21st century.

(See, A Palestinian State … No, Say Many Arabs! Posted 4-11-14. And, Peace or a Palestinian State … Which Will It Be? Posted 2-27-16)

For all practical purposes, the Palestinians already have a territorial state. In fact, they have two states: one in the West Bank, the other in the Gaza Strip. At the very least they are self-governed to the extent of conducting elections, providing their own police force, and other administrative, economic, social, cultural, and political privileges associated with a self-determining people.

Then there are the 1.8 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel. The vast majority of them don’t want to live in a Palestinian State. They don’t want to give up the liberties and exceptional advantages that Israelis provide through such things as sophisticated electric-power grids, advanced agriculture techniques including incredible drip-systems, excellent and balanced education, technologically progressive medical care, state of the art infrastructure, and a thriving society that provides jobs and a higher standard of living than the average Arab has in virtually any Muslim nation in the Middle East.

(Shaare Zedek Hospital Complex in Jerusalem, Considered One of the Best Treatment Centers in the World. Israel Also Provides Medical Care to Palestinians, Syrians Wounded in Their Civil War & Arabs From Surrounding Nations)

Certainly, the Balfour Declaration was the “right and moral thing to do.” But it was more than that. Whether Lord Balfour realized it or not, his courageous initiative to speak for both Britain and the Jews was an acknowledgment and affirmation of God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his powerful plan for Israel and the nations. One that absolutely will come to pass including the fall of nations who seek to harm Israel, and the success of those who support the Jews in their journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.

Please, don’t miss next week’s Part II article. You’ll see more astounding implications of the Balfour Declaration from a broader prophetic perspective … a vista to show that we are living in the last days of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus, himself.

Things to Ponder

The world’s attention on Israel is absolutely amazing. Never in world history have so many nations been so passionately focused (positive or negative, for or against) on one tiny country. Hardly a day goes by without a prominent leader from countries both big and small spouting rhetoric and rendering opinions about Israel and her place on planet Earth.

For example: In just the past few days, Germany’s President Frank Steinmeier echoed the uninformed but, nonetheless, persistent verbiage of many other dignitaries, saying that a two-state solution was “truly urgent.” U.S. President Trump, known world-wide for making deals, declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be the “ultimate deal.”

Read with me three of many Bible prophecies written long ago regarding Israel’s destiny and the fate of nations and peoples opposed to her:

“And give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all…” (Ezekiel 37:21-22).

Through another prophet, God declared:

“…This message is from the Lord who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

“For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9, italics for emphasis).

I am convinced beyond any doubt that we are living in the Omega (last) Generation. A generation destined for such a time as this … “that day” which is the soon-to-come great and glorious Day of the Lord.

(*Please take a few more minutes to watch this stirring video of our United States Marines singing along to one of the greatest modern Christian songs ever composed.)

To Be Or Not To Be … In Heaven? (A Revisit)

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Preface to This Week’s Article

Once before it was necessary to repost a prior Eye of Prophecy article, due to the sudden demise of my laptop hard drive. The time it took to start all over again that week with a brand new engine prevented writing of a new article. Still, the repost included pictures and captions not part of the original article.

Well, it has happened again. Not because my computer hard drive dropped dead, but because my left eye began flashing little bolts of light, surrounded by mysterious shadows. This is not metaphorical!

After several medical examinations, there is good news and not so good news.

Good News: No retinal detachment.

Not So Good News: Somewhat favorable prognosis, but with precautionary conditions that I am susceptible to a retina tear and detachment from such simple things as a sneeze? I must learn to sneeze better. And when I shake my head, “no”; it must be a gentler shaking.

Medical procedures take time, as does dodging flashes of light while looking at words appearing on the screen from my keyboard. Thus, a new article this week did not happen.

Not to worry. You were worried, weren’t you! Not about me, about the article.

A prior Eye of Prophecy article is ready and waiting! With added photographs and captions and also with this unusual but necessary introduction.

I don’t know what the near or long-term medical future holds for yours truly or for continuance of new articles on this website. The condition of my eyes will determine that, but I know one thing for sure: God is in control and whatever happens will be according to his purpose and plan. My life and my eyes are in his hands. Weekly articles may continue; or it could be that articles will be posted every other Saturday instead of every week. These old eyes of mine may demand more rest.

If new articles must be discontinued for a while or indefinitely, there’s still positive news for those who visit Eye of Prophecy website on a regular basis and for those logging on for the first time.

In the three years, nine months since the first article was published, there have been 197 consecutive weekly articles, not including today’s post. If one a day is read, it would take about 6 ½ months to read them all. Based on the estimated average word count for all of these articles and the average word count in an average book, this would be 7 or 8 books. For example, my second book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved, 666? contains 111,740 words (286 pages).

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article, To Be or Not To Be … In Heaven? was originally posted November 1, 2014. November 1st happens to be my youngest son’s birthday. The word count is 3,777 (Microsoft Word count). I had forgotten or didn’t realize that until now. Three and seven are my favorite numbers as both are Divine numbers throughout Scripture. I chose this article because it is one of the author’s (my) favorites. Yes, authors have their favorites.

With much appreciation for those who visit (from 165 nations to date) the Eye of Prophecy website, I hope you enjoy today’s article … whether you’re reading it for the first time or vaguely remember reading it before.

With added visuals, here is: To Be Or Not To Be … In Heaven?

Heaven & Eternal Life: Same Thing or Different?

“Do you know if you’ll go to heaven when you die? Where will you spend eternity?”

These are questions that sometimes a minister or an evangelist will pose to their audience. Or that a Christian will ask of a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger. In part it is a challenge designed to stimulate some serious self-examination; but mostly, it’s is a genuine heartfelt concern for the eternal destiny of someone who does not know the Lord. As believers in Christ, we want those who are dear to us, even those who may be hostile to us, to be forever with the Lord and with the host of heaven.

But did you know that even some Christians don’t understand that there is a difference between heaven and eternal life? For sure, one goes with the other, but they’re not exactly the same thing. For example: What do you think of when someone mentions everlasting life? Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is Heaven. As well it should, because the very idea of eternal life is practically synonymous with never-ending existence in glory. But the fact remains: Every person is eternal. Every soul will continue into and throughout eternity.

According to Scripture, every person was born (created) to live forever. That is what is meant when God breathed life into Adam (and Eve) and they became a “living soul.” (Genesis 2:7, KJV). Other translations read, “A living person” or “a living being.” Soul, person, being … all convey the idea of infinity, of time without end. That’s one reason we’ve conceived the expression human being. We don’t say that about animals, i.e. animal being. But a human is a being, made in the image of God. Part of that image is the eternity breathed into us by our Great God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.

Shakespeare’s statement of, “To be or not to be; that is the question,” is, indeed, a profound reflection. A living soul will always “be.” To be born is to be, and be, and be….

However, there is a dissimilarity where someone will spend that eternal existence … heaven or hell. Thus, there is a distinction whether a person will experience eternity in life or eternity in death. Indeed, there is an existence of eternal life and the equally clear Biblical teaching of eternal death, which is not an oxymoron. Death means departure—the body from the soul at physical death and subsequent separation from God forever, which is called the second death in Scripture.

We are all born spiritually dead. The only way we can pass from that spiritual death to life is to be born-again, which is accomplished when we believe and receive Christ Jesus, who IS life.

“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (I John 5:11-12, italics for emphasis). Please take special notice of the italicized possessive present tense verbs in this remarkable passage, as we will elaborate on this concept shortly.

The Word of God teaches us that everyone who has been redeemed by the sacrificial atonement of Jesus on the Cross will live forever (in heaven). Although the Right to Life comes from God alone, because God is the author of life itself (creator of every person ever born), God does give each person the right to choose where he or she will spend eternity. Thus, if a person rejects God’s invitation to believe and receive the pardon purchased by Jesus, they have chosen (eternal) death … to remain forever separated from God. But even that death is a continuation of existence.

This is more than just semantics. Meaning that everlasting separation from God is not really (any kind of) life at all. It is miserable perpetual existence in darkness … literally and figuratively. When we read passages in Scripture that guarantee eternal life to those to believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah, the Son of God, we think, say, and mean that the believer will live forever in heaven. Likewise, the unbeliever will live forever, but not in heaven. But, as indicated, it’s not really life at all. It’s a death-like absence from all that is right and good and beautiful.

So, then: What is the difference between everlasting life and heaven? And then: What are some of the things that we will never see in heaven?

Even though we think of heaven and eternal life as being one and the same thing—in principle they are interwoven—let’s take a look at Scripture to see the fundamental difference between the two. When we do that, I believe you’ll see that:

Everlasting Life is a possession. Heaven is a place.

The Possession of Eternal Life

The Bible contains several passages of promises that confirm the awesome gift of eternal life to all who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. One is the very authority of God’s Word commensurate with the awesome fact that every promise ever made by God is true. What he says will happen, happens. What he says he will do, he does. For example: The Lord assures us through the apostle John, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:13, italics for emphasis).

There is no doubt whatsoever. We never need to wonder or question or be uncertain that our salvation might be lost or otherwise jeopardized by things we do or don’t do. Because salvation is not contingent on our performance either before or after we’re saved. Rather, it is based on the finished work of Christ and on God’s promises that salvation is a permanent possession of the believer. We can no more keep our salvation than we could gain salvation by good works or self-worth or any other religious system. The apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle on this subject. (See the Book of Galatians, but for a condensed version, Galatians 3:1-14).

According to the Bible, it is a done deal! We can know that we know! Once we believe in Christ, we HAVE eternal life … all-inclusive forgiveness of our sins—past, present, and future. Complete assurance of eternal life is such a permanent condition for believers that Jesus, himself, used the analogy of being born-again. I repeat: Christians didn’t coin the term, born-again. Jesus did!

Said Jesus to Nicodemus: “…I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Even a well-educated man and religious leader like Nicodemus couldn’t get a handle on this one. Thus, he replied: “What do you mean? … How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” (John 3:4). So, Jesus explained in more detail that he was talking about a spiritual birth, from above. That this phenomenal rebirth was possible only by believing/receiving Jesus himself.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

No wonder this verse is the all-time favorite of so many Christians. In one verse we are told:

  1. How much the true and living God of the universe loves each one of us (the world, which is comprised of every person ever born). Enough to give the precious gift of his Son as the required offering and solution for sin.
  2. The means of receiving God’s pardon … simply believe in the Son.
  3. The result of that belief and acceptance: Will not perish (eternal death/life in hell); rather eternal life is the immediate result of believing in Christ.

One of the reasons Jesus compares the spiritual birth to the physical birth is to demonstrate the finality of both births. Once a person is born physically, there’s no retroactive process that can return the person to the mother’s womb or otherwise alter the fact that a brand new human being has entered the world. Think about it: Once you’re born nothing can cause you to be unborn. Furthermore, you will always be a child of your parents, even if they disown you for bad behavior or whatever. Same thing with the spiritual birth: Once born from above, there’s no way you can ever be unborn. Birth is birth. Whether physical or spiritual, it is quite permanent. However, God will never disown his children. Once a child of God, always a child of God. Even more: his heirs!

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs….” (Romans 8:15-17).

Everlasting Life … Present Tense Possession

These and other passages explain the fact that everlasting life is freely given by God, a wonderful gift that can never be taken from one who has placed their complete faith/trust in Christ. One that is the exact opposite of everlasting death (which is existence but not really … for what kind of life is it that spends eternity in hell separated from God).

So, the Lord gives us life, then he gives us life again … everlasting life. We are born, then we can be born again. Eternal existence without Christ is no existence at all. In fact, it’s (literally) hell. Do we really realize what we’re saying when we tell someone, “Oh, the hell with you.” Or worse, “He can go to hell.” A cause for pause, don’t you think?

(Why Would Anyone Stake Their Eternal Destiny on the Presumption That Hell–or Heaven is not Real? Jesus Spoke More About Hell Than Heaven)

But the most incredible feature of these and other passages that speak of eternal life is what also clarifies the variance between everlasting life and heaven. Both eternity with the Lord and heaven are virtually inseparable; however, the distinction is when and where they begin.

As indicated, Everlasting Life is a Possession! What is meant by that or when is it possessed?

I’m glad you asked, because here is where we sometimes get a little confused and equate heaven with eternal life. Meaning we think everlasting life begins when we get to heaven. Not so! Here’s why.

We could use either one of the previously quoted verses in John or I John, but let’s select another verse just to show how God, through his Word, validates that eternal life is a God-given gift that the believer possesses the very moment of the second birth. Listen to the words of Jesus:

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24, italics for emphasis).

The message of Christ is clearly explained by Jesus himself, and by the New Testament epistles; indeed, even from passages in the Old Testament pertaining to the Messiah. As summarized in I Corinthians 15:3-4, “…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

The italicized emphasis in the earlier verse from John Chapter 5, clearly states that we HAVE eternal life and will never be condemned for our sins if we believe in Christ. Unbelievers (most of whom do believe in an afterlife, per various polls taken) normally think that eternal life begins only after death; furthermore, that they need to earn or merit or become worthy of that life by doing good, at least more good than bad things they do.

Christians know the difference between good works and salvation through grace by faith alone as the means to salvation; but they, too, sometimes equate the commencement of eternal life with entrance into heaven after death. As indicated, among other things, this has led to lack of trust or confidence in what Christians call eternal security. Through a system of legalism—essentially defined as doing or not doing things to merit God’s favor—they unfortunately believe that their salvation can be lost or entrance into heaven revoked if they don’t perform well as a Christian or if they fail (deliberately or inadvertently) to confess any given sin or sins.

The first chapter of I John clearly shows us that confession of sin for the believer is a means of restoring broken fellowship with the Lord, not to reinstate or otherwise keep or regain our salvation.

As alluded earlier, the Bible tells us that we possess eternal life the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, through the use of present tense verbs … has or have. Right then and there we hold everlasting life, even while we await our passing from this earth either through death or the Rapture. Everlasting life is a present tense possession that can never be taken away from us by another or even by ourselves. We immediately have eternal life because we have Christ and he has us in his possession. Jesus IS eternal life. If we are “in Christ,” we have eternal life.

Speaking of Jesus, the apostle John states: “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life….” (I John 1:2).

Then, Jesus speaking about his sheep (believers who have been born again by faith in Christ): “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me … No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

Both the English word, “give,” and the Greek word from which it is translated mean a present tense ongoing possession (eternal life). The text doesn’t say that Jesus will (someday … maybe) give eternal life to his sheep. Rather, eternal life is given the instant we believe in him.

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life….” (John 3:36).

Once again, we read the present tense word has in this incredible promise. Thus, eternal life is not something we wait for until we die and go to heaven. Instead, it is an immediate present tense, right here and now gift from God the instant we place our personal trust in Jesus Christ as the only one who can save us from eternal death.

Eternal Life is a Possession … Heaven is a Place

“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said. ‘Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!’” (Acts 1:7-8).

Before his crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven, Jesus told his disciples and all future believers: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 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” (John 14:1-3, NASB).

Not only does the Lord assure us that heaven will be the perpetual home of the believer, he even tells us that each one will have a specific dwelling place prepared just for us … and prepare a place for you.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

First, we have present tense (right now on this earth) eternal life the nanosecond that we place our faith in Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross. No one, including ourselves by way of wrong behavior, mistakes, failures, or anything that we think may jeopardize our eternal security, can take away or change our new birth and the God-given gift of everlasting life. Next, we are guaranteed a dwelling place in heaven prepared by our Awesome Lord and Savior, ready to be occupied the moment we leave this earth. Thus, the eternal life we have right now will continue after our address change from earth to heaven. But with a far superior, resurrected body to enable us to live in God’s presence forever.

(During the Millennium, Believers Will Reign on Earth with Messiah Jesus, Followed by Our Dwelling Place in the New Jerusalem Which Will Be Part of the New Earth and Heaven … We Will Come & Go Freely Between These Three Places … See Also Revelation 21:1-4).

I trust that this little study exercise will enable us to better understand both the similarities and the contrast between eternal life and heaven. With the goal of helping all, but especially believers (and unbelievers) who may doubt or not fully understand their destiny. At birth, we all began our eternal existence separated from God. When we accept Christ as Savior, we pass from everlasting death to everlasting life. When a person dies who has Christ, that person goes to heaven (a place of perfect peace where God dwells). When a person dies who does not have Christ, they go to hell (a place of terrible torment where God does not dwell).

Speaking of heaven, the Bible tells us a little of what we we’ll see and experience when we get there. Such as the very presence of Jesus and God, reunion with believer family and friends who have gone before us, and other wonderful blessings.

Heaven is a Place, but Not for Some Things!

Have you ever thought about what we won’t need in heaven? Yes? No? Let’s take a look at some things that will never be seen in heaven. No need to leave a forwarding address from earth to heaven, as there will be no postal service or freight lines to heaven.

“…He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4). Which means there will be:

  • No more undertakers, funeral homes, coffins, crematoriums, or cemeteries.
  • No more facial tissue, sympathy cards, condolences, get-well greetings, or grieving.
  • No more back or knee braces, moans or groans, spills or chills or pain killing pills.

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). Which means there will be:

  • No more hospitals, old-folks homes, doctors, nurses, pharmacies, drugs, or faith healers … the fruit of the month and leaves from the trees are more than enough!

“And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). And, “On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light!” (Zechariah 14:6-7). Which means there will be:

  • No need for the sun or for lamps and light bulbs. (Isn’t that what it says!)?
  • No more tyrannical or terroristic oppression, suppression, or even hostility towards God’s people. Instead, we will, “reign forever and ever.”

“Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.’ And to the man he said, ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it … By the sweat of your brow you will have food to eat until you return to the ground….’” (Genesis 3:16-19).

But in heaven: “No longer will there be a curse upon anything….” (Revelation 22:3). Which means there will be:

  • No more farmers, construction workers, factory assembly lines, ditch diggers, or any other back-breaking labor; or even a woman’s painful labor to give birth (or birth at all!).
  • No more male chauvinism trying to put women in their place! Likewise, no need for a man to listen to his wife! Seriously, there will no longer be a battle of the sexes. There will be perfect harmony between men and women. Now that’s something to look forward to!

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshipped” (Zechariah 14:9). Which means there will be:

  • No more religious leaders who deceive or religious differences to dispute; because there will be no more religions. Only one Lord, one Name—the Name above all names. Jesus Christ is Lord!

“Its gates (the New Jerusalem) will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there … Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:25-27). Which means there will be:

  • No more police officers, judges, prisons, because there will be no more crime, whatsoever, in heaven. Thus, no more locks or even closed doors.

On the earth there will still be those who will turn against the Lord, but not in heaven. Because only those who have been redeemed (born-again), whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will inherit heaven and dwell there.

Things to Ponder

More proof of a permanent relationship with God through Christ:

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (spiritually dead). And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation” (Romans 5:8-9).

Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have in Common?

Anzio and Antichrist?

Are you already shaking your head or wondering out loud, “I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of Anzio and I know I’ve heard the name Antichrist? Whether Anzio is what I think it is or not, what’s it got to do with the Antichrist?”

For those who know what and where Anzio is and maybe even remember its historical significance, you may still be befuddled as to why there would be any connection with Antichrist.

(Short Pause: I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word befuddled. Mostly because it’s a silly sounding word which reminds me of the cartoon character Elmer Fudd who was always being outwitted by Bugs Bunny. Nevertheless, befuddled is a synonym of confused, baffled, puzzled, bewildered, and so forth)!

Well, I hope to calm your curiosity and clarify your confusion by establishing a convincing correlation between Antichrist and Anzio. The best way to do that is to take a brief historical trip to Anzio, Italy of the 20th century, then to go back even further in time to the 1st century. Then back to the future to confirm the connection between Antichrist and Anzio.

Fasten your seatbelts; it’s a titillating but turbulent trip.

First, an introduction to 21st century Anzio, direct from Wikipedia:

“Anzio (‘antsjo) is a city and commune on the coast of the Lazio region of Italy, about 51 kilometers (32 mi) south of Rome. Well known for its seaside harbor setting, it is a fishing port and a departure point for ferries and hydroplanes to the Pontine Islands … Anzio’s population: 54,115.”

(Modern-Day Anzio)

Continuing in Wikipedia: “The city bears great historical significance as the site of Operation Shingle, a crucial landing by the Allies during the Italian Campaign of World War II.”

You most likely knew about Anzio. Like me, however, you probably identified it not as just Anzio, but as Anzio Beach. Along with Salerno, Anzio Beach was one of the largest amphibious assaults undertaken by the Allies in World War II. With, of course, the biggest of all at Normandy Beach in France (D-Day, June 6, 1944). Historians agree that the seaside landings in both the European and Pacific theatres of World War II played a major role in the ultimate Allied victory. And some historians have pointed out strategic flaws in Operation Shingle. But the fact remains: it led to a decisive defeat of German troops in southern and central Italy followed by the exhilarating liberation of Rome.

General Dwight Eisenhower announced the surrender of the Italian Armies on September 8, 1943. Italy dropped out of the war, except for forced conscription of some Italian battalions by the Third Reich. Soon thereafter, Germany responded with Operation Axis. The Germans swept in and occupied most of Italy, including Rome. The Allies countered with Operation Avalanche. Most Italians switched allegiance and embraced the Allies especially the American soldiers; many Italians had relatives or friends in America, via considerable Italian immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries.

After the Allies invaded Italy in 1943, the Germans stopped them cold at what was called the Gustav Line at Cassino, Italy. Winston Churchill came up with an idea to attack the line from behind it (from the south). This would require an assault from the Mediterranean Sea. Anzio was selected as a beachhead and the landing took place on January 22, 1944.

Time/space does not permit more details of battle defeats and successes, or the Allied good and bad decisions of Operation Shingle. Bottom line is that American soldiers of the 5th Army entered Rome late on June 4; the following day, June 5th, German troops withdrew from the city. Romans wildly celebrated their liberation from German tyranny, even though just a few months earlier their soldiers had been fighting on Germany’s side. The very next day (D-Day, June 6th, 1944) the Allies stormed several beaches at Normandy, France. This triggered the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

During the four-month bloody battle for Italy, German troops actually pushed the Allies back to the beachhead in February, 1944. After a change in command (generals), the Allies regained the offensive including breach of a German line of defense between Rome and Anzio.

The name of that defensive line: Caesar Line!

(The “Hitler Line” on the Map was Another Name for the Caesar Line)

After the fall of Rome to the Allies, some German forces remained in northern Italy until May 2, 1945. American Commander Mark Clark was criticized for “grandstanding” with his main objective of liberating Rome at the expense of what might have been a complete expulsion of German troops from all of Italy. Nonetheless, the Italian Campaign was a major success for the Allies and, ironically, for Italians whose victory was with and from the Allies not against them. The “eternal city” of Rome was liberated with minimal damage to buildings or loss of life to Rome’s civilians.

(Liberation of Rome, Coliseum in Background)

Dozens of World War II movies have been made including one released in 1968 simply called, Anzio. Although the cast was mostly non-Italian actors such as Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, and Robert Ryan, it was produced by Italian Dino de Laurentiis, and shot mostly in Italy by an Italian film crew.

From Anzio to Antichrist

Stay with me while we continue this mysterious journey between Anzio and Antichrist a little longer, so as to peak your interest. Also, in summary fashion, to once again disclose the identity of Antichrist, as established from the astounding evidence found in Scripture and 1st century history. Those who have read my second book, Out of the Abyss and/or just a few articles in the category of Antichrist on the Eye of Prophecy website, will know that the Antichrist revealed in the 1st century and also—because of his incredible reappearance in the near future—the 21st century is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.

By means of meticulous documentation of Scripture and accurate correlation with secular history, we know that Nero was the Man of Lawlessness exposed by the Apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2. He was the Roman Caesar who personally ordered several of his legions under Generals Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish uprising in 66 AD, which led directly to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple as prophesied in Daniel Chapter 9. His name in Hebrew gematria spells six hundred, sixty-six as found in Revelation 13. He had already lived and died before John was given the visions of the Antichrist beast in the book of Revelation (Revelation 17:7-8 & 11; Revelation 13:3, 12, 14).

Thus he (Nero) is not only one of the seven (five who died) kings (Roman emperors) of Revelation 17, he is also the composite beast himself (Antichrist). In that same 17th Chapter of Revelation, we are told that the Antichrist beast who had already lived and died would reappear from the Abyss to the amazement of those left behind at the Rapture. That same shock and awe is described in Revelation Chapter 13. All of these correlations (and more) between Antichrist and Nero are presented in enormous detail in Out of the Abyss and in various Eye of Prophecy articles.

The following passage is John’s first comprehensive vision of the beast of Revelation (called Antichrist only by the Apostle John as found only in his epistle of I John). The second major revelation of the beast is found in Revelation Chapter 17. In my book and some Eye of Prophecy articles, you’ll find extraordinary evidence to show the Abyss is under the oceans or seas. Such as: Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss, Part I & Part II. (Posted 8-20 & 8-27-16).

“Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns … I saw that one of the heads seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon (Satan) for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” Revelation 13:1-4).

(Note: One reason masses of people will ask those two questions will stem from the thought: How can you fight against or kill someone who came back from the grave 2000 years later? Their answer: You can’t. Though they won’t know until it’s too late, Nero will not be killed again. He will be thrown into the Lake of Fire alive along with the False Prophet. See Revelation 19:20).

Nero is one of the seven heads (kings-Roman Emperors) and like Revelation 17 he is also the composite beast itself. He lost his empire on June 9, 68 AD, when he was killed (fatal wound) by his servant. Nero preferred death over being captured and tortured by Roman soldiers, but he didn’t have the courage to do himself in. His recovery from that deadly blow and return (reappearance) to earth will captivate those left behind to the point of yielding their complete allegiance to this vile man.

Mostly, however, I want to direct your attention to the first few words of the just quoted passage: “Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea…” (Revelation 13:1). Which tracks with the Antichrist beast (Nero) coming up out of the Abyss in Chapter 17, as the Abyss is beneath the sea.

(Fairly Accurate Depiction of the Beast in Revelation 13:1-2)

As also established in my book and some prior Eye of Prophecy articles with Scriptural and cogent reasons given, the sea here is literal … not figurative. The sea is not the mass of humanity, no more than is the Abyss in Revelation 17 (a very real place, different from Hell).

Nero & The Remarkable Revival of His Name

This heading is actually the title of the Eye of Prophecy article posted recently on April 1, 2017. In that article, some fascinating facts were presented reflecting a prominent surge of Nero’s name in just the past few years. Trust me, that article was no April fool’s joke or ruse.

If you’ve ever bought Nero bottled water, Nero tile floor covering, Nero tires, Nero video games, Nero watches and handbags; if you’ve heard about or maybe you’re driving a brand new Kia NIRO or watched the now famous Super bowl automobile commercial earlier this year about NIRO; if you’ve ever purchased software from Nero AG; if you’re tuned in to the music of the rock band NERO; if you’ve seen or belong to one of many organizations whose name is an acronym for N E R O; then you’ll know how prevalent his name is in mainstream media and every-day products.

(Kia Is Now the Official Sponsor of the NBA … The Playoffs Are Currently in Progress)

There’s more: A phenomena of late 20th and now 21st century thinking and rethinking of Nero by many people … including professional writers, artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, professors, archeologists, as well as “common” people.

Here are excerpts (in italics) from my article, Nero & The Remarkable Revival of His Name, which quotes from and comments on a National Geographic article published in September, 2014 entitled Rethinking Nero, written by Robert Draper:

In general the article was about Nero himself; one that included information about partial restoration of Nero’s Golden Palace (Domus Aurea) subsequently opened to the public, but shut down in 2010 due to partial collapse of its roof. (Note: I have no doubt that this exhibit will be reopened before the Rapture or most likely when Nero reappears … he’ll see to it.

“The world-famous amphitheater (Colosseum) … was apparently named for the more than 100-foot-tall bronze statue of Nero depicted as the sun god—the Colossus Neronis—that once loomed over the valley.

“Just to the west of the Colosseum sprawl the lavish imperial ruins on the Palatine Hill. In April 2011 the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome opened an exhibit at the Palatine and other locations nearby devoted to the life and works of Nero … The exhibitors knew that any show about the notorious Nero would attract visitors.”

Then Robert Draper quotes a well-known biographer of Nero whom he had interviewed in preparation for his article:

“Well, he’s a good box office,” observes Roberto Gervaso, the bald and hawk-eyed 77-year-old author of the 1978 biographical novel Nerone. ‘They’ve made lots of films about Nero, but they couldn’t resist making a caricature of him. Such picturesque depravity attracts a biographer. I could never write a biography of St. Francis. And I would certainly rather go to dinner with Nero than Hadrian.”

Draper continues to quote Gervaso:

“He (Nero) was a monster. But that’s not all he was. And those who came before and after him were no better. The true monsters, like Hitler and Stalin, lacked (Nero’s) imagination. Even today he would be avant-garde, ahead of his time.”

Then Roberto Gervaso concludes his remarks to the article’s author Robert Draper with these chilling words:

“I wrote my book 35 years ago precisely because I wanted to rehabilitate him (Nero). Maybe you could do more.”

What this biographer said about Nero is absolutely unmistakable, as is the nostalgic way in which he said it. He wants Nero, his name, and his image to be redefined and readjusted to be more (different) than just a “monster.” To be the avant-garde Renaissance type man who Gervaso believes Nero really was. With the obvious inference that the “good” in Nero far outweighed the bad.

That’s exactly what is happening the world over, sometimes subtlety with such things as tires and tiles. But more overtly with such things as cars and video games and people like Roberto Gervaso who want Nero back in the limelight … apparently, you would think, to the point of wishing he would return! Little do they know that they will get their wish. And when they take the mark of the beast they will go down in flames along with their hero.

It is truly remarkable in an adversely twisted way that the name of Nero has reappeared in the 20th and 21st centuries and in mainstream media and products at that. That cannot be said of any other ruler, especially one from the ancient 1st century AD. We still hear or read the name of Hitler, but always in a negative way and rightfully so. And we see things named after famous leaders who are characterized as good figures of history. Such as JFK airport in New York. Or the Lincoln Town Car.

But not of sadistically immoral, brutal tyrants such as Nero. Not, that is, until our generation.

I firmly believe that the resurgence of Nero and his name is no mere coincidence. Instead, it is a Satanic driven preparation to the reappearance of this evil man, himself.

More Startling Evidence of the Revival of Nero and His Name

In the context of today’s article—that of conveying a little known fact about the 1st century Roman Emperor Nero, then determining its connection to his reappearance from the Abyssal Sea soon after the Rapture (Antichrist’s link to Anzio)—let’s look at additional content of Robert Draper’s article, Rethinking Nero.

What you’re going to see is more alarming authentication that a cross-section of people and professionals from all walks of life are not only trying to “rehabilitate” Nero’s despicably infamous persona and portray him in a much more favorable light, but also (deliberately or inadvertently) reviving the 1st – 5th century belief that Nero would return.

Please see Eye of Prophecy article, The Legendary Return of Nero (Posted 4-4-15). Also, the Nero Redivivus Legend was summarized in my article, Nero & the Remarkable Revival of His Name.

(One of Hundreds of Nero Coins in Existence … The Term “Legend” Originated from Coinage Mostly of Rulers)

In his article, Robert Draper quotes a well-known Italian archaeological journalist Marisa Ranieri Panetta who is referring to Nero:

“… Not to suggest that Nero was himself a great emperor—but that he was better than they said he was, and no worse than those who came before and after him.”

Draper then commented on Panetta’s complimentary observations of Nero:

“Ranieri Panetta is among the energetic and multiplying voices who have spurred a reappraisal of Nero.”

Robert Draper does try to balance the “multiplying voices who have spurred a reappraisal of Nero” by giving a couple of examples of those who still hold Nero in historical contempt. However, the entire gist of Draper’s article is the astonishing 20th and 21st century resurgence of not only keen interest in Nero but also the desire to radically change the historical perception that Nero was only bad.

For example, Draper quotes Princeton University Professor Edward Champlin’s revisionist book, simply entitled Nero. Champlin describes Nero as, “…an indefatigable artist and performer who happened also to be emperor of Rome … a public relations man ahead of his time with a shrewd understanding of what the people wanted, often before they knew it themselves….”

Then Draper quotes archaeologist Heinz-Jurgen Beste who extolled Nero’s avant-garde creation of “Neronia” an Olympic style poetry, music, and athletic contests.

“It was something new, like young people today with their social media, where suddenly everything personal is on exhibit … He’d created something no one had seen before: a light-flooded public place not just for hygiene but also where there were statues and paintings and books, where you could hang out and listen to someone read poetry aloud. It meant an entirely new social situation.”

Robert Draper then comments on his visit to Rome:

“Spending time in the still great but recession-battered city of Rome and discussing the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors with scholars and political figures, one is tempted to compare the grandiosity of Nero to the showmanship of a more recent fallen Italian leader.”

Draper is referring to Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was convicted in 2013 of tax fraud and who had served as Prime Minister for nine years (over staggered terms), resigning in 2011.

Then Robert Draper quotes archeologist Andrea Carandini, who is still critical of Nero, but who is in the minority contrasted to those who seek to restore Nero in an entirely favorable light:

“Nero was a fool and a megalomaniac, but a fool can also be charming and interesting. The thing he invented, which all demagogues after him repeated, was that he cherished the masses. He made a gigantic thing of inviting the whole city inside his Domus Aurea (Grand Palace), which was one-third of the city, and making a gigantic show. This is television! And Silvio Berlusconi did exactly the same thing, using the media to connect with the plebes.”

(3-D Image of Domus Aurea, Nero’s “Grand Palace)

(Part of the Original Domus Aurea)

Next, Draper cites Rome’s former mayor who was also Italy’s former minister of culture, Walter Veltronie, stating that Veltronie “rejects any comparison between Nero and the scandal-ridden former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.”

Said Veltronie: “Berlusconi had no interest in archaeology—the word was simply not in his head … for me, Nero’s Domus Aurea is the most beautiful place in the city—the most mysterious, where different periods of history weave together. When I was minister of culture in the late 1990s, I took Martin Scorsese to see it, who was so impressed with the grotesques. And I also took Ian McEwan into it—he wrote about the Domus Aurea in his novel Saturday.

Draper then quotes Professor of Greek and Roman architecture Alessandro Viscogliosi who Draper says, “designed a remarkable 3-D computerized reconstruction of the Domus Aurea.”

Said Viscogliosi about Nero: “He wanted to be close to the people … But as their god, not as their friend.”

From Antichrist Back to Anzio

There are other examples of the reprehensible rehabilitation of Nero’s so-called respectable even admirable attributes, but let’s look at the chilling conclusion to Robert Draper’s article, Rethinking Nero.

Regarding a statue of Nero, built and unveiled in 2010, Robert Draper writes:

“Today it sits at the edge of the sea, a rather stunning representation of the emperor in his early 20s, well over six feet tall, standing in his toga on a pillar, his eyes intent as his extended right arm points toward the water in all its splendid mystery. The plaque gives his full ruling name in Italian—Nerone Claudio Cesare Augusto Germanico…. Then, after describing his lineage, it says, ‘During his reign the empire enjoyed a period of peace, of great splendor, and of important reforms’” (Italics for emphasis).

(Anzio’s Statue of Nero, Erected 2010)

Note that I stopped at the end of Nero’s full name, and resumed with, “Then, after describing his lineage…” Why did I stop there?

Answer: For the suspenseful reason of saving the most astonishing feature of not only the purpose of this statue, but also the climax to what is happening in Italy and the entire world concerning the extraordinary revitalization of Nero and his name. And to answer the question posed in this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have In Common?

By doing so, to provide yet another milestone marker and fascinating feature of Scripture’s amazing prophecy that the Antichrist beast will reappear from the Abyss/Sea, having already died before John saw the beast himself (Revelation 13:1 and 17:7-8).

Here is the full sentence in Draper’s article, beginning with what I’ve already quoted:

“The plaque gives his full ruling name—Nerone Claudio Cesare Augusto Germanico—and memorializes his birth here in Anzio on December 15, A.D. 37” (Italics for emphasis).

That is what Antichrist and Anzio have in common … Nero’s birth place!

Modern-day Anzio occupies a portion of the ancient Roman territory called Antium. Nero was born in Antium. Several wealthy Romans built vacation style villas along Antium’s shore line, the most famous of which was the Villa of Nero, spread over nearly one-half mile of seafront property.

Just a few sentences before that, Robert Draper wrote: “In all of the former empire, there is one locale that has elected to celebrate Nero: Anzio, the famed beachhead for American troops in World War II. This is where Nero was born and where he kept another villa—now mostly underwater, though numerous artifacts from the complex are housed at the local museum. In 2009 Anzio’s new mayor, Luciano Bruschini, declared his intentions to commission a statue of the town’s infamous native son. The statue was unveiled in 2010…”

*Note: That is the statue mentioned/pictured just a few paragraphs ago.

Later, Draper quotes Anzio’s Mayor Bruschini:

“When I was a boy, I used to swim among the ruins of the villa. As children, we were taught that he was evil—among the worst emperors of all. Doing a little research, I came to conclude that it’s not true. I consider Nero to be a good, even great emperor, and maybe the most beloved of the entire empire. He was a great reformer. The senators were rich, and the owned slaves. He took from them and gave to the poor. He was the first socialist!

“After I was elected, I decided to do this rehabilitation of Nero. We put up posters that said, ‘Anzio, City of Nero.’ Some people said, ‘But Mayor, he killed lots of Christians.’ I told them, ‘Only a few—nothing like the thousands of Christians who were killed later in the empire.’ We received proposals from two different sculptors. One of them portrayed Nero as a lunatic. We got rid of that one and used this other artist, which is the statue you see today. It’s now the most photographed place in the city. In summer big crowds congregate.”

The last sentence of Robert Draper’s article says, “The boy king was home now in Anzio, surrounded by the masses once again.”

A Pathetic Attempt by Anzio’s Mayor to Claim Nero Killed Only a Few Christians

A pause here to comment on the Mayor of Anzio’s statement that only a few Christians were killed by Nero (as if “only a few” would exonerate Nero’s cruel and callous culpability). This is not historically accurate. The number of Christians killed in the first century will never be known for sure. Some historians postulate that the estimated 20,000 Christians killed during Emperor Diocletian’s reign (81-96 AD) exceeded the thousands killed by Nero.

Yet, one fact is certain: The mass slaughter of Christians including the Apostles Paul and Peter began with Nero. Nero’s sordid savagery was so excessive that some of the Roman citizens who loved Nero were embarrassed if not shocked that their beloved Caesar could do such a thing. Even then it wasn’t that Christians were being killed in great numbers; it was the gruesome means Nero used to murder them.

I mentioned one horrifying way in my book Out of the Abyss, and subsequently in a couple of Eye of Prophecy articles. You may or may not remember this from history. To convince his admiring and devoted Roman citizens that the Christians started the great fire of Rome (most historians agree that Nero had ordered the fires set and was conveniently at his villa in Antium as a personal alibi); but also to mercilessly mock both the Christians and Christ himself, Nero had Christians placed on poles throughout his Grand Palace courtyard. He then ordered them to be covered in pitch/tar and set on fire to provide light for his guests. While the Christians suffered a slow agonizing death, Nero taunted them with these words: “Now you are truly the light of the world.”

(Depiction of Nero Burning Christians to Provide Light for His Parties)

In terms of the “numbers” of Christians killed by Nero, here is an excerpt from Roman historian Tacitus in his book, Annals:

“Accordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were Christians; next on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of ‘hating the human race’” (italics for emphasis).

I highlighted vast multitudes to demonstrate that considerably more than “only a few” (phrase used by Anzio’s mayor) Christians and those accused of being Christians were “convicted.” If they were convicted, you can bet that most of them were executed.

To rationalize his obvious fondness of Nero and to be one of many wanting to change Nero’s image from a sadistic dictator to a benevolent monarch, it appears that Anzio’s mayor either deliberately or inadvertently (though some ignorance of history) tried to defend Nero’s brutality by comparing it to another Roman emperor.

The persecution of Christians begun by Nero continued, off and on with varying degrees of severity, until the Roman Emperor Constantine actually declared Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century A.D. From that came the Roman Catholic Church which not long thereafter (continuing for hundreds of years) killed more true born-again Christians (and Jews) than did its predecessor, the political Roman Empire.

The Return of the Antichrist Beast (Nero) From the Abyss/Sea

Very soon after the Rapture, God will release Nero from his 2,000-year confinement in the Abyss. This “miraculous” reappearance from what the world will consider a resurrection from the grave will stun many left behind on earth … to the point of complete allegiance to and worship of both Nero and Satan.

In my book and several Eye of Prophecy articles, I’ve provided extensive documentation from Scripture and from history to show the beast who had died would “come up out of the Abyss” (Revelation 17) and will “rise from the Sea” (Revelation 13).

Because Nero is the Antichrist beast, that Sea will be the Mediterranean.

Granted, the following proposal is speculation, but a supposition based on compelling correlation between Biblical prophecy and 1st century history as related to the near future reappearance of the Antichrist.

Proposal: Nero will arise from the sea near Anzio (what he will call Antium), his place of birth. His spectacular reappearance and triumphant arrival will be jubilantly celebrated first by the citizens of Anzio, then by all of Italy upon his grand entrance into Rome. Then by the entire world. It’s one of several ways in which he will imitate (in a mocking sarcastic way) the things that Messiah Jesus said and did. Jesus told his disciples to spread the Gospel—Good News of God’s salvation offered through the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son—first to Jerusalem, then Judea/Samaria, finally to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

For the counterfeit Messiah, anti-Christ Nero: first in Anzio, then in Rome/Italy, then over the entire planet.

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss Part II (Posted 8-27-16) … In italics.

For those left behind at the Rapture, some will actually witness Nero’s ascent from the Abyss/Sea and many others will watch on video replay from those who captured it on their smart phone cameras. Don’t roll your eyes at that scenario! There even may be television crews alerted ahead of Nero’s ascent from the Sea, by some mysterious things going on such as smoke billowing from the surface of the sea. Did you know that there are huge subterranean volcanoes and rock structures that include chimney-like formations in these underwater fissures? Geologists call the ocean floor, The Abyssal Plain! They call these open vents in subterranean rock formations, Black Smokers. We looked at the embodied beings (fallen angels) that come from the Abyss (Revelation Chapter 9). Here is John’s description: “When he opened it (the Abyss), smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke” (Revelation 9:2). This 2000-year old description matches recent 20th & 21st century geological discoveries and vernacular—dark, smoke, furnace, shaft, poured out!)

Things to Ponder

When Nero returns he will strike up a liaison with the Holy Roman Empire (Roman Catholic Church). Soon, thereafter, he will replace this brief partnership with his ten-nation coalition; he will annihilate what he considers to be the usurper (Holy See) to the true Roman Empire. Then he will resume his savage persecution and killing of Tribulation saints (Revelation 13:7), and also launch a Tribulation ending assault against Israel. That final attack on the apple of God’s eye will seal Nero’s fate.

“He (Antichrist) will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall … He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape … He will stop between the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem) and the sea (Mediterranean) and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:41-42 & 45, parenthesis mine).

(Har Megiddo and Surrounding Valley in Israel … I’ve Been There! Har means Hill or Mount in Hebrew, Which Yields the Name Armageddon)

During that final battle of Armageddon when Messiah Jesus returns physically to earth, all Raptured believers and resurrected Tribulation saints will be with him.

“Together (the Antichrist beast and his ten-nation confederation) they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his chosen and faithful ones will be with him” (Revelation 17:14, parenthesis mine). Also, see Revelation 19:11-21.

The Day of the Lord is near … so very near.

Scan the globe. What do you see? Are you facing reality? If so, then you can’t help but notice that Planet Earth is enveloped in physical terror and spiritual/moral darkness … teetering on an axis of evil, ready to fall into an Abyss of destruction.

I’m sorry, but a head-in-the-sand optimism for a human solution isn’t enough to change the irreconcilable divisions we see all over the world. Left against the right; rich and poor; black and white; freedom vs. totalitarian Islamic subjugation; nationalism opposed to globalism; and any other polar divisions you can think of.

Messiah Jesus will soon return to make all things right. He will bring truth, justice, and Shalom (peace).

Are you ready?

“For the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: The LORD is Our Righteousness. In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

The Shout Heard Around the World

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The Shot Heard Round the World

What is the shot heard round the world? If your answer is the first rifle shot of the American Revolutionary War, you would be right … sort of! Because, in part, it was a trick question. Tricky? Yes, there have been several shots that have found their mark in history.

According to Wikipedia: “The Shot heard round the world continues to be a stock phrase in the 21st century, widely used to refer to extraordinary events in general.” Then Wikipedia notes that the phrase has been, “applied to several dramatic moments in sports history.”

Some examples are given such as New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thompson’s game-winning walk-off home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant in 1951. Or Gene Sarazen’s memorial golf shot on the 15th hole of the Masters Tournament in 1935, a double eagle (a score of 2 on a Par 5) which propelled him to a play-off win. Although not listed in Wikipedia, I would add my favorite golfer, Tom Watson’s incredible final round chip-in on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach to guarantee a win over Jack Nicklaus in the 1982 U.S. Open.

In terms of historical precedent and prominence, the most famous “Shot Heard Round the World,” took place at the battle of Concord where the first British soldiers were killed at the outset of the American Revolutionary War. It was this first real battle of our War of Independence that inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson’s opening stanza of Concord Hymn written in 1837 that produced this iconic phrase.

(The Minute Man statue at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts)

The second most recognized shot heard round the world is attributed to the (two) shots fired in 1914 by a Serbian, Gavrilo Princip, when he killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This assassination was considered to be the main catalyst of World War I. The first shot actually hit Ferdinand’s wife, the second struck the Archduke himself.

Until the advent of modern-day sports, “shots” obviously came from guns and artillery. Well, maybe a shot of whiskey! In addition to golf and baseball, we now have a shot on goal (hockey and soccer), a shot in basketball, a shot in tennis, and I’m sure others that I can’t think of right now.

For what it’s worth, I thought the “Shot(s) Heard Round the World” would be a good lead-in to this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, if for no other reason that a play on the word shot exchanging it for “Shout.” And for a little titillating piece of history, with emphasis on little for those who have minimal interest in things historical. Contrasted to some of us (like me) who can’t get enough of history for an abundance of reasons. I suppose that’s one of those: to each his own.

Whichever Shot Heard Round the World is the most well-known or however many others are worthy of such iconic reminiscence or how many more may come along in the future, there is one thing for certain: The “Shout” Heard Around the World will be part and parcel of the greatest event since the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, himself.

This stupendous shout combined with a series of titanic trumpet blasts will electrify the world and abruptly launch Planet Earth into the end-times Day of the Lord. Although the magnitude of the shout and trumpet calls will be like none ever heard before or after, there are Old Testament Biblical precedents of shouts and trumpets that portray and pattern integral features of the Rapture. Followed by more shouts and trumpets during the terrible seven-year Tribulation, culminating with the triumphant return of Jesus to this earth to usher in the Millennium.

I initially wrote about this sequence of events in the fifth article ever posted on Eye of Prophecy website, How the Rapture? Posted 8-24-13. And did so through a meticulous examination and comparison of the two main Biblical passages about the Rapture—I Thessalonians Chapter 4 and I Corinthians Chapter 15. I would encourage you to read that article; and, if time permits, the first four articles on the Rapture, posted in July and August, 2013.

How Will the Rapture Actually Take Place

Let’s begin with a premise supported heavily by Scriptural evidence as well as common sense application to unfolding of the Rapture itself.

Premise: Contrary to the prevailing notion even among well-known students of prophecy, this shout and series of trumpet calls will be heard by the entire world, not just believers taken to heaven in the Rapture. And, all of the sights and sounds of the entire sequence of the Rapture will last for several minutes. Only the transfiguration of the bodies of both the dead in Christ and believers alive at the Rapture will take place in “the blink of an eye.”

Here is the Apostle Paul’s first introduction to the astounding event we call the Rapture:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up (harpazo) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17, parenthesis mine; harpazo is the Greek world for “caught up” from which we get the Latin term Rapture).

Next is Paul’s second (chronological) explanation of the Rapture, which provides additional information to I Thessalonians 4:

“But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, How the Rapture? (in italics):

For the past several decades, every commentary, sermon, book, or article that deals with this passage–at least everything I’ve heard and read–consolidates, by default, the dynamics of this passage on the Rapture with the other main passage found in I Thessalonians Chapter 4. With a resulting conclusion that the entire scope or sequential events of the Rapture will transpire at warp speed … blink of an eye. For sure, the two passages are intricately related; but there is also a specific variance found in I Corinthians 15 that is profoundly distinct from the companion passage in I Thessalonians Chapter 4.

In I Corinthians 15, what is it precisely that takes place in the nanosecond blink of an eye? A little hint: To one thing only, which (blink of an eye) doesn’t apply to the rest of the Rapture events described in I Thessalonians 4, in terms of those events also taking place in a split-second.

Another excerpt from How the Rapture? Pertaining to I Corinthians 15:

Here is where we students of the Bible (I’m including myself) overlooked or took for granted one little (impersonal) pronoun. Because we skimmed over this two-letter word, we missed or dismissed the important textual relationship of this pronoun to the antecedent that immediately precedes it….

First defining “antecedent.” Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines antecedent as: “One that goes before … a substantive word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun …a word or group of words replaced and referred to by a substitute…”

The substitute is almost always a pronoun found immediately after the “substantive word or phrase”, which is the case in I Corinthians 15: 51-52. So let’s break it down.

First, the phrase in this passage: “…but we will all be transformed!”

Second, the pronoun, “It“, which begins the very next verse, “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye….” Can you make the connection? What specifically is “it” referencing or taking the place of in the text? You got it: It is referring to and the same thing as what Paul just said would occur which is, “…but we will all be transformed.”

The Apostle Paul further explains “it” (meaning the actual transformation itself, which is the astonishing change of our earthly body to that of our brand new heavenly body) by explaining how “it” (the transfiguration) will take place. “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye.”

When will it happen?

Answer: “…when the last trumpet is blown.”

Continuing with another excerpt:

In the New American Standard translation, we read, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet….” (I Corinthians 15: 51-52). Notice, that the pronoun (it) is not found in this translation. Why? Because the connection between the action of “changed” (transformed) and the how of the change (twinkling of an eye) is inseparable, irrefutable, and exclusive. Both passages contain essentially the same composition; with the New Living Translation and other translations (such as the Jewish Bible) accurately and emphatically reinforcing the translation from Greek to English, by use of a pronoun that substitutes for the mystery of the transformation itself.

I hope you see this as much more than just a boring exercise in grammar and syntax. It is exceptionally significant that we understand what is going on in this passage. Saying it another way: The only thing that will happen in a moment or blink of an eye (at the instant the last trumpet is blown) is the actual physical transfiguration of our earthly bodies. The “it” does not apply to anything else in this passage; nor can “the transformation” specifically apply to the events so majestically portrayed in I Thessalonians Chapter 4. In fact, I Thessalonians 4 doesn’t say anything about the blink of an eye transformation at all. But we’ve inadvertently extended or expanded the instantaneous change found in I Corinthians 15 to include the entire sequence of events described in I Thessalonians 4.

Coordinating I Thessalonians 4 with I Corinthians 15

Now let’s interconnect the events from both of the above Rapture passages. This will enable us to understand clearly that the entire episode of the Rapture is progressive and will take place in real-time and space. Only the actual transformation of believer’s bodies, both dead and living, will occur in the blink of an eye; yet even that is a measure of time. As you will see, the only speculation that I will engage in is the approximate (if not actual) length of time (minutes) over which the Rapture will unfold. However, that “speculation” has a Biblical precedent. We’ll get to that later. For now, think Walls of Jericho!

We’ll begin again with I Thessalonians Chapter 4 which, as indicated earlier, is the first systematic revelation of the Rapture which immediately precedes the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation. In the subsequent disclosure of the Rapture to the Corinthian believers, the Apostle Paul provides two additional features for a comprehensive grasp of everything taking place. Those two aspects not found in I Thessalonians: (1) the Last Trumpet call which obviously implies there will be more than one (a series of trumpet blasts); (2) The split-second (blink of an eye) transfiguration of our dead or dying earthly bodies to our eternal spiritual bodies.

Then we’ll weave in I Corinthians 15 with I Thessalonians 4 to complete the prophetic tapestry of the monumental Rapture event that will liftoff what Scripture often refers to as the Day of the Lord (Rapture, Tribulation, and Millennium).

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves” (I Thessalonians 4:16).

STOP.

The trumpet call of God and Christians who have died will rise from their graves, requires us to now switch over to I Corinthians for amplification.

“…We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It (the transformation) will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (last trumpet as Paul has already stated, with clear inference that there are several trumpet blasts) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52, parenthesis mine).

Paul begins the Corinthians’ passage with: “We will not all die…” Which is a direct reference and connection to I Thessalonians 4, thus, we’ll resume with I Thessalonians: “Then, together with them (those who have been resurrected from the grave), we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” I Thessalonians 4:17).

Stay with me, and you’ll see how this works.

The Syntax Sequence:

Once again, here is the wording succession in I Thessalonians 4: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God…” (Verse 16).

These three particulars (shout, voice, trumpet call) of the Rapture have obviously been quoted in the sentence sequence order in which they are presented in I Thessalonians 4. However, with one significant observation (commentary): The Lord’s commanding shout, accompanied by the voice of an archangel are linked to the “trumpet call” by the connective word and; rather than “then” or “when” which are terms used to demonstrate sequence, i.e. first this, then that.

And is defined in Webster’s Dictionary: “used as a function word to indicate connection or addition of items within the same class or type; used to join sentence elements of the same grammatical rank or function…”

In other words, the main purpose and use of “and” is to connect the elements (separate parts) of a single sentence together in/with equal “rank or function.” As opposed to stating or even suggesting that there is a progression in which the events will or should unfold.

What I’m saying is that the Lord’s shout, the angel’s voice, and the trumpet call(s) are all component parts of the beginning phase of the Rapture … the means that will get the attention of the entire world, both believers and unbelievers. Followed by the reason/purpose for this majestic introduction and attention grabber, which is the transformation of the dead to resurrected bodies. Then the transfiguration of living believers, resulting in our joint ascension to meet the Lord in the air/clouds.

Which, in turn means that the trumpet calls could (and I believe will) actually be the first thing people will hear, followed by or alongside the archangel’s voice, then the Lord’s commanding shout to “Come up here.” Which is in reverse order of the sentence structure, but with recognition that the connective word “and” isn’t demanding or even suggesting that they are progressively or sequentially in that order. Only that each one of these features combined together will commence the catching up (Rapture) of believers, both dead and living, “when the Lord himself will come down from heaven…”

The Actual Sequence

(1) A Series of Trumpet Blasts: Again deferring to Paul’s elaboration (clarification) in I Corinthians 15, the actual transformation of believers—spectacular resurrection of dead Christians immediately followed by an astonishing change of the bodies of living believers—will take place when the last trumpet is blown. “Last trumpet” implies unmistakably that there will be a series of trumpet blasts preceding the final trumpet call. This is precisely the pattern of trumpet blasts throughout Scripture, a sequence that took several minutes to conclude.

(2) Resurrection of Believers from Their Graves, With New Instantaneously Transformed Spiritual Bodies: The blink of an eye change in I Corinthians 15 logically must precede the “rise from their graves” as recorded in I Thessalonians 4. There must first be the transformation of dead believers to a brand new spiritual body before they can escape the confines of their graves or from wherever they were entombed (such as the ocean or even scattered ashes).

Recreating their bodies will be absolutely no problem for God. He is, after all, the Creator of all living things. He has ultimate power over life and death. However, the implication is crystal clear here. There will be another lapse of time (perhaps a minute or two) when all dead saints will “arise from their graves” after the blink of an eye transformation of their bodies—which will take place when the last trumpet is blown.

(3) Followed By Transfiguration of Believers Who Are Alive: I’m convinced that there will be a few minutes for living believers as well as unbelievers the world over to see some of those raised from the dead before believers who are alive will be transformed.

There is a precedent to this:

“…The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’s resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52-53).

This was a special preview—privilege granted by God to some believers when Christ died and arose to conquer death itself—of the Rapture resurrection of the dead in Christ. The “many people” that saw them would have been composed of both believers and unbelievers.

(4) A Commanding Shout from Messiah Jesus: The Shout Heard Around the World.

As stated in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I firmly believe this shout will either be the exact words or something similar to what Jesus said to John of Revelation which began the series of Tribulation revelations to John. It was a microcosm representation of the Rapture itself, when John was taken to heaven to watch and record, but not actually experience all of the Tribulation events.

“Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before (referring to Jesus speaking to John as found in Revelation 1:10 in a “loud voice like a trumpet blast”) spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, ‘Come up here’…” (Revelation 4:1, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Once again, I Thessalonians:

“…with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel…” (I Thessalonians 4:16). Here it is not clear whether Jesus’s shout will be in or with or like the voice of the archangel (there are several instances of angels shouting before some of the Tribulation judgments are unleashed), or if the archangel (possibly Michael) will shout along with Jesus. However, the way the word “with” is used in this passage strongly suggests that an archangel will also shout in addition to and before the initial command from Jesus for believers to, “Come up here.” That Jesus won’t be shouting like or in the same manner or with the same voice as an angel (would shout).

(5) The Final Phase of the Rapture: “Then (after everything already described in both passages takes place), together with them (the resurrected dead in Christ) we who are alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” (I Thessalonians 4:17, parenthesis mine).

Which means after the living believers have had the awesome privilege of watching the dead in Christ rise from their graves (perhaps even departed family or friends or acquaintances), those same resurrected believers will observe the sudden transformation of the living! That’s why Paul emphasizes in both passages that the dead in Christ will arise first. But they can’t arise from their graves until/unless they are first transfigured—in the blink of an eye. THEN living believers will “also be transformed” and “together with them … will be caught up in the clouds…”

For unbelievers these sights and sounds will be a source of shock and awe. For believers, a scene of pure joy and ecstasy (which is part of the meaning of the world Rapture).

It simply doesn’t get any better than that!

The Use of the Shofar and Trumpets in Scripture

Throughout the Old Testament we find many examples of patterns or types of people, places, and things that foreshadow New Testament and end-times fulfillment or completion.

Such as: Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, only for God to provide a substitute (ram), just as God provided the ultimate once for all substitute (for sin) through the sacrificial atonement of His Son, Messiah Jesus; much of the life and achievements of Joseph representing Jesus’ life; the Levitical Sacrificial System as a model of redemption through the shedding of innocent animal blood—to be set aside in favor of the New Covenant of Grace; the seven Jewish Festivals foreshadowing the first and second advent of Messiah Jesus; Enoch suddenly taken from the earth alive to spare him from the Great Flood, depicting the Rapture of believers—sparing us from the Great Tribulation. There are many others.

For purpose of today’s article, it is the use of trumpets in the Old Testament to announce important events such as the Jewish Festivals or warnings to the Jews of impending danger or attack. Or in the case of our specific example: the blowing of the shofar/trumpets that signaled God’s direct intervention in Israel’s first victory over her enemies after entering the Promised Land.

The Walls of Jericho

“Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests again carried the Ark of the Lord. The seven priests with the rams’ horns (shofar) marched in front of the Ark of the Lord, blowing their horns. Again the armed men marched both in front of the priests with the horns and behind the Ark of the Lord … They followed this pattern for six days.

“On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout!’ For the Lord has given you the town!” (Joshua 6:12-16).

You know what happened next:

“When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it” (Verse 20).

The capture of the city was an anticlimactic foregone conclusion. The victory had already been won; it was just a matter of following God’s battle plan. March around the city, blow the shofar, shout like never before, and watch God supernaturally open Jericho by bringing down the walls.

In like manner, Christ has already won the ultimate battle by conquering death itself. Because he is the “resurrection and the life” he was the first to arise from the dead with a glorified body. Messiah Jesus will open the tombs of those who have been redeemed by believing and receiving him as their personal Savior. It’s just a matter of (a short) time before our actual physical victory over death (those already departed) and decaying bodies (those believers still alive) will be finally achieved.

God ushered his people into the Promised Land of Israel through a supernatural victory over their enemies by breaching the walls of Jericho. How was this done? With trumpets and a loud shout. Likewise, Messiah Jesus will breach the graves of fallen believers and along with living believers usher them into a Land of Promise … Heaven! And what will precede this final victory over our archenemy death? Easy answer: Trumpets and the Shout Heard Around the World!

“Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54-57).

The Whole World Will See and Hear the Sights and Sounds of the Rapture

Here is another excerpt from How the Rapture? (In italics):

Normally, the blowing of the shofar wasn’t a simple quick, one-time burst of sound. Rather, it entailed a series of blasts lasting several minutes, with each part of the series different from the others, and sometimes each component part repeated again.

Nowhere in Scripture do we find that only God’s people heard trumpet calls or the blasts from a shofar. All within earshot, including their enemies, heard the shofar sound. In the Bible, we also see events in which God’s prophets and sometimes the people saw and heard angels or the pre-incarnate Christ, but so did unbelievers. Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Those three were thrown into the hotter-than-hot furnace, but how many men did Nebuchadnezzar see when he peered into the furnace? That’s right: Four. And the fourth was none other than the pre-incarnate Messiah.

Was it only Saul who heard the voice of Jesus on the road to Damascus? No, his accomplices also heard the sound of the voice that spoke to Saul. They didn’t actually see Jesus, but then neither did Saul; he only saw the blinding light that caused him three days of blindness. My point and premise: I’m wondering how we ever arrived at the notion that those left behind at the Rapture won’t hear the trumpet calls, and not see perhaps a flash of light or afterglow or radiance or some tangible evidence at the precise spot where a believer miraculously changed in front of them when the final trumpet call was sounded. Why would God close the ears or the eyes of the unsaved? Seeing and hearing is often times believing.

With the Biblical precedents and parallels to support the premise that the entire world will hear the trumpets and, conversely, the lack of reference in Scripture to say otherwise, why wouldn’t God want the world to see and hear the Rapture? I’m convinced that many will immediately fall down on their knees and call upon the name of the Lord to save them. This applies not only to the trumpets, but also to the Lord’s shout and the voice of the archangel. Why wouldn’t they be heard the world over?

This literal lapse of time needed for a literal series of visual and audio events to occur will NOT take place in a blink of the eye.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more inclined I am to propose that those left behind may even witness our newly resurrected (the dead) and transformed (the living) bodies ascend to heaven. Why not? Isn’t that part of the whole sequence? We’ve mistakenly (meaning without any direct support or evidence from Scripture), assumed that the microsecond change of our bodies’ means that those bodies instantly vanish or disappear from sight. Since the blink of an eye phenomenon relates only to the actual transfiguration itself, why do we also equate that with a split second disappearance?

I Thessalonians 4 tells us that we will be “caught up” in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Why would caught up necessarily equate to an instant vanishing? Remember how Jesus ascended to heaven as described in Acts 1: 9-11? All who were with him saw him rising into heaven, until they could no longer see him. One of the two angels who showed up even said, “Why are you standing here staring into heaven?” There was no vanishing going on. Picture watching a hot-air balloon ascending. Why wouldn’t our meeting Jesus in the clouds be just like His ascension to heaven? Our transformed bodies will be like his … why not our rising to meet him be similar or identical?

How Long Will This Take?

Many people, even unbelievers have heard of know about the divine significance of the number seven in Scripture as related to the completion of God’s plan for the human race. The Bible is replete with the number seven, especially in the book of Revelation. Realizing that we can’t know for sure how long the Rapture sequence of events will last, I would, nonetheless, propose (beyond mere speculation) that it will last for seven minutes.

When something as incredibly dramatic as the Rapture begins to unfold, seven minutes will seem like … well, a lot longer than seven minutes.

Just imagine a seven-minute grand finale of a 4th of July fireworks display. It seems like it takes much longer, because of the continuous exploding action (pun intended) going on around and above us.

Not only the number seven in general throughout Scripture, but especially because of the striking parallel between the victory over Jericho for the Lord’s physically chosen people (national Israel) and the ultimate victory over death and the grave by God’s spiritually chosen people (individual Jews and Gentiles) at the Rapture resurrection and transformation of believers.

How many days did the people trek around Jericho with shofar blaring?

Answer: Seven.

How many priests marched in front of the Ark of the Covenant each of the seven days?

Answer: Seven.

How many times on the seventh day did the armies of Israel march around the city?

Answer: Seven.

How many Seal, Bowl and Trumpet Judgments in Revelation? Seven of each set of judgments.

And, for the purpose of this week’s article, I found there are fourteen loud shouts (described as a shout, great shout, mighty voice, a loud voice, a voice like thunder, or what sounded like a trumpet blast) in Revelation, from either Jesus or an angel or one of the four living beings—cherubim who are a higher rank of angels!

They are: Revelation 1:10; 4:1; 6:1; 10:3; 11:12; 12:10; 14:7; 14:8; 14:9, 16:1; 16:17; 18:2; 18:21, and 21:3.

Excluded is an eagle “crying loudly,” the shouts of the hosts/crowds of heaven, and one angel shouting to other angels. We’re looking at just those shouts from the Lord or angels directed to the tribulation saints or to unbelievers left behind on earth. Of special note is Revelation 11:12, where the same phrase that Jesus uttered to John is repeated to resurrect the two mighty witnesses (Elijah and Moses) from the dead.

“Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets. ‘Come up here!’ And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.”

Amazing!

Fourteen shouts … seven twice over to reinforce the number of completeness, wholeness, and finality of the Lord’s ultimate triumph over Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, and all those who follow and even worship this evil trio.

Two sets of seven to validate the Shout Heard around the World. Which will begin the Day of the Lord culminating in the Millennial Reign of the King of all kings, our Lord and Savior Messiah Jesus.

Things to Ponder

Whether the entire Rapture sequence takes seven minutes or fourteen or somewhere in between, I’ll close with one last excerpt from the previously identified Eye of Prophecy article:

This will allow time for such things as: pulling cars over to the side of the road; awaking in the middle of the night from a deep sleep; turning off the T.V or loud music; stop the yelling at someone; hugging your un-believing spouse or friend good-bye; the short, but most intense praise and worship ever experienced by Christians on this earth; and, hopefully, a few minutes for some foxhole conversions all over the world.

Do you see what difference it would make and how it could enhance and expand our view of and increase even more our enthusiasm for the Rapture, if the order of events in the Rapture took place over several minutes? It would be far more than just a “poof” one second here, next second gone type of experience. Next to the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ, it will be the greatest celebration of joy ever experienced by believers in Christ. And in real-time and space no less; no special effects, no suspension of time, no virtual reality … just the real thing. None of which (except for the transfiguration of our bodies) can or will take place in the twinkling of an eye.

Now that’s something to shout about!

 

Israel Is Here To Stay … Forever!

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Passover, Then and Now … Life or Death!

Earlier this week, from sundown on Monday to sundown on Tuesday, Israel and Jews the world over celebrated Passover which is considered the greatest of all the Jewish Festivals. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, a seven-day extension of Pesach (Passover), will end this coming Tuesday. Passover was not only the first God-ordained Festival, it also heralded the renewal of God’s national destiny for Israel and Abraham’s descendants.

Passover is Israel and Israel is Passover. The two are inseparable. Before Passover, the Jews were a people but not a nation. They had lost their identity; they had no land of their own and little hope for a future. When God spared his people from judgment on the entire land of Egypt and by mighty miracles delivered them from 400 years of slavery, the nation of Israel was born. That was nearly 3,500 years ago. Two thousand years ago, a Passover of even greater (eternal) significance took place. A Passover that most of Israel missed because they could not see who Messiah would be and what he came to do.

(80,000 at the Western Wall To Receive Priestly Blessing During Passover This Week)

Despite the people’s disobedience which caused a 40-year delay and the passing of an entire generation, the Lord brought their descendants to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Just before Moses died and Joshua led the Hebrews into the Promised Land that would be called Israel (after Jacob whose name God changed to Israel), God through Moses told the people:

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.

“But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

God knew that his people would not listen to and faithfully follow him. In the very next chapter we read:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘…After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will blaze forth against them. I will abandon them…’” (Deuteronomy 31:16-17).

Just a few decades after Moses, then Joshua died, that’s exactly what the Jews began to do. Yet God was patient with them. Off and on for some three hundred years the Lord delivered them (through judges) from surrounding enemies that God had allowed to defeat the Jews when they rebelled against him.

Then for a period of 120 years (1050 BC – 930 BC) during the reign of Israel’s first three kings—Saul, David, and Solomon, each of whom ruled for 40 years—Israel prospered like never before or since, especially during the 80 years of King David and King Solomon. In those glory days, Jerusalem was established as the eternal capital of Israel. That fact will never change … God will see to it.

Israel’s downfall began when Solomon, during the latter part of his reign, allowed his wives to set up and worship pagan gods. Upon his death, Israel split into two kingdoms and she was never the same after that. Slowly, surely, and sadly not only the people but the kings and even the priests of Israel and Judah began to abandon the Lord their God. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel fell in 722 BC to Assyria. Because there were a few kings of Judah (the southern kingdom) who restored worship of and devotion to the Lord, they were spared the same fate of the northern kingdom for another 136 years.

Just prior to the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah was the primary prophet. He issued warning after warning for the people to turn back to the Lord; including the inevitable fall of Judah, destruction of the Temple, and exile to Babylon if they didn’t heed these warnings. Still, the Lord was merciful and set the length of their captivity at 70 years. Once again God was absolutely true to his Word. The prophetic promise of the people’s deliverance came to pass when some of the Jews began to return to Israel and the 2nd Temple was built 70 years after Judah was crushed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

A New Covenant

It was also through Jeremiah that another stunning prophecy came to Israel. One that was incomprehensible to the Jews, particularly after the temple and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt and the Levitical sacrificial system reinstated in Israel. God had punished them severely for their idolatry and disobedience, but he had graciously returned them to their beloved land. Thus, they were incredulous that the Lord would even consider, let alone declare, a New Covenant to replace the Covenant of Law given through Moses. To confront their denial that such a covenant was necessary, the last prophet Malachi presented God’s reasons why something as drastically different as announced by Jeremiah (also Isaiah and Ezekiel) would be the basis for a new relationship between God and his people.

Listen to the Lord’s astoundingly strong statement to his people:

“How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and I will not accept your offerings” (Malachi 1:10).

Wow! That would have crushed me. At least I hope it would have (gotten my attention).

Instead, the people argued with God and disputed the validity of his indictments against them.

There is no indication, whatsoever, that God ever again accepted their rote, heartless offerings. In fact, until John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Messiah (Jesus), God did not speak at all to his people for another 400 years.

To this day Jews are still in denial that the Covenant of the Law could be, has been (which it has), or will be replaced with a New Covenant. This despite the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple in 70 AD, cessation of the sacrificial system, and dispersion of the Jews to the four corners of the earth where they would remain until the 20th century.

(I would encourage you to read a trilogy of Eye of Prophecy articles, entitled: Where is the Temple? I, II, III. Posted 11-29, 12-6 & 12-13-14).

Under the Mosaic Law and the Levitical Sacrificial System, sacrifices for individual sins were offered daily and for the sins of the nation, annually (Yom Kippur). But no more. Not with the New Covenant. Not only would their sins be forgiven forever, the Lord would remember them no more. Unheard of! Inconceivable! Impossible!

Through what Scripture says and clearly infers, the people’s response was then and is to this very day: A better way? Maybe? Really? Not really. No way! Why would God do such a thing … to alter and actually annul the very foundation of the traditions given to us by God in the first place?

Here’s why. Read with me the amazing announcement of the New Covenant and the reason God would initiate this ground-breaking and life-changing agreement with his people; one that was unconditional … unlike the conditional Mosaic covenant that the people would not and could not keep.

“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the Land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people … And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Now listen to the words of Jesus of Nazareth spoken just a short time before he was crucified on a cruel cross: “…This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:20).

Three days later Jesus arose from the dead to eternally seal this covenant, to prove he was who he said he was (Messiah, Son of God), and to forever forgive and even forget the sins of Jew and Gentile alike, who would:

“…confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord who gives generously to all who call on him. For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-13, last sentence quotes Joel 2:32).

The Old Covenant had been written on tablets of stone, commandments which could not save the people because they could not and would not keep them.

The New Covenant would be written on the hearts of all who believe and receive Jesus as Savior.

The New Covenant of Grace does not abolish the moral foundation of the Law (represented by the Ten Commandments). Rather it sets straight the bent notion that the Law could redeem (make right with God) anyone who at least tried to keep it; or even that the sacrificed blood of innocent animals could take away their sin and guilt permanently.

Concerning the limitations of the sacrificial component of the Mosaic Law, we read:

“The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshippers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared” (Hebrews 10:1-2).

And, “Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest (Jesus) offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time…” (Hebrews 10:11-12, parenthesis mine).

This new relationship with God requires a new (spiritual) birth, which is what generates eternal life from spiritual death (see John Chapter 3). This is what will make possible the national salvation of Israel which began with individual Jews in the first century, and with the physical restoration of Israel that began 70 years ago next month (May) when Israel was reborn as a sovereign nation. And fifty years ago this coming June when Israel reclaimed Jerusalem in the Six-Day War as the eternal capital of Israel.

(If you want to learn more about the potentially stunning significance of this year, 2017, please read Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation, posted 2-15-14. Also, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted 1-23-16).

In the first century A.D., thousands throughout Israel believed Jesus was the Messiah. Tragically, most of the religious leaders and many people did not—despite the dozens of miracles they witnessed or heard of first hand. Even after Jesus arose from the dead, most did not believe in him. Then, just as Jesus predicted, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans less than 40 years after he ascended back to heaven. This happened because God’s own people rejected Messiah, just as Jesus said would happen with these poignant words:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37-39).

A New Beginning … A New Israel

God withdrew his protection of Israel. He would leave them to their own fate until the appointed time when the Lord would unilaterally initiate the completion (fulfillment) of his covenant with Abraham. Which was the sovereign possession of the Promised Land forever by the Jews.

That appointed time has come.

Despite 1,900 years of exile and persecution at the hands of many nations and peoples (even by Christians … with the vast majority Christian in name only, not true born-again believers), culminating in the unimaginable Holocaust perpetrated by a perverse man and his equally sadistic Third Reich, Israel is alive and well. According to the sure word of Biblical prophecy, the Jews will never again be uprooted from their Promised Land. They will never again be decimated, dominated, or defeated by Gentile nations.

I repeat with Biblical authority for emphasis: NEVER AGAIN.

Persecuted, yes. Attacked, also yes—by the Gog/Magog coalition in the first half and by the ten-nation confederation of Antichrist Nero in the second half of the Great Tribulation. But not destroyed.

Only those who oppose Israel will be soundly defeated and destroyed. That should be a cause for pause for peoples or nations that would seek to harm the pupil of God’s eye.

Presently, there are tens of thousands of Jews all over the world who have placed their trust and eternal destiny in Messiah Jesus (called Messianic Jews), and thank the Lord for them. But it won’t be until Jesus returns near the end of the Great Tribulation that the vast majority of Jews will reach out to him and say, Baruch haba beshem Adonai (blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord).

Despite our many individual and national faults, I love the United States of America. And I love Israel and the Jews. They are God’s special possession, chosen to give the world God’s awesome Word, including the Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus. With the Apostle Paul (once named Saul, once a devout Pharisee and defender of the Mosaic Law who was changed forever by a direct encounter with Jesus), I also say:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).

Easter Sunday

Yesterday, Christians all over the world remembered the ultimate Passover (Good Friday).

Tomorrow we will celebrate Resurrection Day.

We’ll express our gratitude for so great a salvation purchased by the supreme sacrifice of our Passover Lamb, God’s own Son. We’ll rejoice that our sins are forgiven, and God will pass over (spare) us during the time of His final judgment of this earth. A judgment on those who have passively ignored or cultishly twisted the redemption that God has freely offered to them. And God’s final punishment for those who will aggressively make a final attempt (as has been done down through the ages) to disrupt, distort, despise, and defeat God’s two magnificent plans for the human race: (1) the perpetual physical possession of Israel by the descendants of Abraham. (2) The Kingdom of God on earth composed of both Jew and Gentile who have been redeemed spiritually by belief in the Jewish Messiah, Jesus.

The treacherous idea of Replacement Theology is once again rearing its ugly head, sadly, even in some Evangelical circles. They are those who believe that the Jews and Israel are irrelevant to God’s plan for the fast approaching last days, because they (erroneously but also arrogantly) think that the Church, not Israel, is the beneficiary of God’s promises to Israel.

There are so many Scriptural facts and principles to easily refute this fallacy; I’ll mention only one: Since when was the Church exiled to the four corners of the earth directly from Israel? Such an easy answer to this rhetorical question. Therefore, how can the Church be brought back to Israel? There is absolutely no way under God’s heaven that the Lord would simply ignore or forget or replace (with the Church) this promise that was made directly to Abraham and his descendants. Remember, we’re talking about the physical return of the Jews and the physical restoration of Israel, not about God’s 2nd plan for mankind which is the New Covenant wherein Jew and Gentile alike are spiritually one in Christ.

I’m going to get a little blunt here: Frankly, these people, Christian or not, have little or no understanding of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel, prophecies that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church. In fact, it’s the true Church (body of Christ currently consisting of far more Gentiles than Jews—but that will change) that will benefit greatly from the final restoration of Israel and the ultimate salvation of the Jews. Not the other way around. If some may have taken offense at my suggestion that they are basically ignorant of Old Testament prophecy then let’s switch to the New Testament and see what they might say about the following passage.

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s dramatic description of what actually happened and why:

“Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery! Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it. I am saying all this especially for you Gentiles…” (Romans 11:11-13a).

Paul goes on: “For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead! … For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.

“But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.

‘Well,’ you many say, ‘those branches were broken off to make room for me.’ Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either…

“You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong” (Romans 11:15-21).

Paul then concludes by saying:

“I want you to understand this mystery … so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say, ‘The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness. And this is my covenant with them, that I will take away their sins’” (Romans 11:25-27, quoting Jeremiah 31, which as noted earlier in this article is the announcement of the New Covenant).

God’s Two Majestic Plans: (A) Abrahamic Covenant; (B) Mosaic Covenant Yielding To the New Covenant of Grace

The New Covenant of Grace has replaced the Covenant of the Law, but only that Covenant.

God’s Covenant with Abraham is independent of the Mosaic Covenant. Like the unconditional Covenant of Grace, the Lord’s covenant with the Jews giving them the land of Israel forever is totally unconditional, meaning that one day it would be fulfilled no matter what the Jews did or didn’t do.

“Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith” (Romans 4:13).

Paul further explains: “This is what I’m trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised… (Galatians 3:17-19).

When the Apostle Paul uses Abraham and God’s covenant with him as a prototype example of faith as the only means of apprehending God’s salvation (given by God’s grace), the illustration is the principle of faith—in the once for all sacrificial atonement of Messiah Jesus—versus keeping the law as the way of salvation. Paul is NOT equating or attaching the essence or object of the Abrahamic Covenant itself (which is the ultimate inheritance of the Promised Land to Abraham’s physical descendants, the Jews) to or with the benefit of becoming a spiritual descendant of Abraham by one and only one means: Faith in, “…the coming of the child who was promised…” Galatians 3:19).

Do you see the difference? That is why there are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that exclusively apply to the physical restoration of Israel, through return of Jews from all over the world to Israel. I have quoted dozens of these passages in prior Eye of Prophecy articles. It is from Jerusalem, Israel that the (our) Jewish Messiah Jesus will rule and reign forever.

Whereas, the spiritual descendants of Abraham are both Jew and Gentile who, like Abraham, have been counted as righteous because of our faith in the Promised Child. For Abraham, the first child of promise would be his son, Isaac; who would then be the progenitor of the final Child of Promise, Jesus of Nazareth.

But the spiritual inheritance that both Jew and Gentile will receive when Messiah returns is not Israel itself. Rather it is the awesome privilege of being sons and daughters in the family of God, join-heirs with Messiah Jesus in the Kingdom of God on earth and in the New Jerusalem for all eternity. With the earthly Jerusalem and the land of Israel home to succeeding generations of Jews forever.

Repeating for emphasis: The New Covenant of Grace replaced the Mosaic Covenant of the Law, not the Abrahamic Covenant. God’s covenant with his people through Moses was completely conditional, contingent on whether the people continued to keep that covenant. Not so with God’s unilateral covenant with Abraham. Thus, those of us who have been saved by the grace of God (both Jew and Gentile for there is only one salvation for all peoples) through simply accepting it as a free gift (God doing for us what we could not do for ourselves), have been given eternal life and will live with our Lord and the host of heaven forever.

The spiritual restoration of Israel began when thousands of Jews in the first century believed and received Jesus as their Messiah and Savior, both before and after he was crucified. However, because the vast majority including the religious and political leaders who represented the nation of Israel refused to acknowledge that Jesus was Messiah, God once again abandoned them by withdrawing his protection. The result: Roman conquest of Israel and Jerusalem, destruction of the Temple, mass dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, and finally the incomprehensible evil of the Holocaust.

But that is all behind God’s chosen people. In our lifetime, many have witnessed the miraculous rebirth of Israel as a nation (1948) and the return of millions of Jews to Israel. From less than 700,000 Jews in Israel in 1948 there are nearly 6.5 million Jews (75 % of the total population of Israel) in Israel today.

(Aliyah, Ingathering of Jews to Israel … Photo Shows Some of the First Jews to Return to Israel)

We have witnessed the extraordinary agricultural, economic, scientific, cultural, medical, and military growth of the only democracy in the Middle East. Along with that we have seen world-wide attention focused on Israel and surrounding countries like never before in history. This is far beyond mere coincidence. This, folks is the end-times unfolding of Biblical prophecies given thousands of years ago. This is what Scripture both states and implies. Which is:

AS ISRAEL GOES SO GOES THE WORLD

As God declared to Moses long ago, a promise that was delayed for thousands of years because God’s own people turned away from him; a promise, nevertheless, that the Lord would keep and fulfill unilaterally through his grace and mercy:

One day, “…the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13).

This would happen…

“Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors! The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!” (Deuteronomy 30:4-6).

As already seen, this individual change of heart began with the New Covenant and will continue progressively until all of Israel is saved (changed forever).

Israel is alive and well!

God will fulfill his promise to Abraham. Not only to give the Promised Land in perpetuity to the Jews, but to also richly bless the Gentile nations from the land where Messiah himself will one day (soon) live and rule. We would do well as individuals and as a nation to support and defend Israel, both in word and deed. At least don’t harm her as do those who recklessly promote Replacement Theology. They do so by boycotting Israeli goods, supporting UN Resolutions against Israel, siding with her sworn enemies including Palestinians at the expense of Israel, falsely (with little or no real understanding of either ancient or modern history) claim that the Jews are illegally “occupying” Judea and Samaria (West Bank), and any number of other activities that are in direct contradiction of the Scriptures and history.

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Dr. Haim Shine (an observant Jew wounded while serving in the IDF) posted in Israel Hayom this past Monday on the eve of Passover Seder:

“One of the most chilling poems I have ever heard is the last Seder in the Warsaw Ghetto about a Jewish boy, one of the last who survived in the Ghetto, who sings his version of Ma Nishtana? (A four-question Passover poem recited around the Seder dinner table) and asks his father, ‘why is this night so long and more terrible than any nights before? And will there be any Jewish children left to ask the Ma Nishtana?’

“Tonight, on the 74th anniversary of that bleak Seder in the Ghetto, my mother, who as a young girl stood humiliated and degraded at the Auschwitz-Birkenau train platform, will get to hear her great grandchildren sing Ma Nishtana? loud and clear in the independent State of Israel. No more dark nights, but rather a bright light of redemption and victory.

“Indeed, the fate of the Jews has changed beyond recognition. The State of Israel, which had risen like a phoenix from the ashes, is now a global military power, recognized and respected by many countries worldwide. Finally, after thousands of years, we are no longer slaves to the Pharaohs. We are now the masters of our own destiny.”

*Note: As I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I also pray that many Jews like Dr. Shine will recognize that the true master of their destiny is none other than Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).

A final excerpt from his article:

“The sense of freedom that has animated our souls since the Biblical exodus from Egypt is still alive and there isn’t a force in this world that could ever crush the spirit of our people. Against all odds, we are still alive and kicking, our heads held high, while great, tremendous empires have faded away…

“And here we are singing in Jerusalem. We lived to see our dreams become a reality…”

SONY DSC

(There’s Also Dancing in Jerusalem!)

Things to Ponder

Against impossible odds, the Jews have returned to Israel; Hebrew has been resurrected from a dead language; Israel is once again a sovereign nation among the family of nations on this earth. This has never happened to any other people or nation. There is one and only one reason for it: The sovereignty of the one and true living God. What the Lord says he will do, he does. What he says will happen, happens.

Recording and reviewing history without including the God of the Bible—a timeless book, past, present, future—is like pretending that a watch doesn’t have a watchmaker. Or that the watch was not created to measure and tell time. None of us looks constantly at our watch. We do so periodically, which is what the Bible does. It is not only the measure of universal divine truth, it is also a historical timeline of timely events integral to God’s prophetic plan.

True history is His Story … the Jewish Messiah Jesus, who is the very essence of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).

One day soon many more Jews, including Orthodox Rabbis, will embrace Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, when he returns in great glory and power to rescue Israel for the last time. First they will look on him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn. Then they will say, Baruch haba beshem Adonai. Blessed is He (Messiah Jesus) who comes in the name of the Lord (God the Father).

And they will rejoice.

Says Almighty God to Israel:

“Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel … Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there” (Isaiah 60:15-16 & 18).

Yes, Israel is alive and well. Through her nations have been blessed and these blessings will be multiplied exponentially during the Millennium and throughout all eternity.

Long live Israel!

Long live her great and glorious King!

What Is The Unpardonable Sin?

A Sin That Cannot Be Forgiven?

Why would or should the Son of God be born into this world for the specific purpose of dying for the human race? But he was and he did. This astounding historical fact is movingly expressed in the words of the song: “Amazing love how can it be, that thou my God should die for me.”

Christians reading this article would undoubtedly think or say, well, of course that’s why our Lord came to earth, to die for my sins, for the entire human race. That is as basic as it gets. And they would be right. The very foundation of the Christian faith is built on the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, as the Son of God and also the Son of Man. Scripture is replete with passages such as: “…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

And, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:7).

The coming of Messiah through a Virgin Birth, where he would be born, and what he would do for Israel but also for the Gentiles was prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

There are dozens of passages in the Bible where the word sin, sins, sinned, sinning, sinner, or sinful is found. Dozens more that clearly show there is a solution for the sin problem. We must acknowledge we are sinners, believe that the sinless Son of God Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, then simply receive him as Personal Savior. Then, ALL of our sins are forgiven and we immediately have eternal life. Our bodies will be literally raised from the dead at the Rapture, with immediate transformation of the earthly bodies of those still alive at the Rapture.

Concerning the title of this week’s article: What Is the Unpardonable Sin? I could have changed the question to, “Is There an Unpardonable Sin?” That question could have been posed or juxtaposed in the Biblical context which clearly assures believers in Messiah Jesus that all of their sins have been forgiven, forever. That when Christians sin, their fellowship with the Lord is broken (interrupted) until the sin is confessed, but their salvation remains secure.

But I chose to go directly to the heart of the matter and, therefore, on the authority of Scripture provide clear-cut evidence as to what this unpardonable sin is. We’ll get to that by articles’ end. However, most unbelievers and even some Christians would challenge this answer with the rebuttal, “If the Bible clearly claims God’s grace can and will forgive all of our sins the moment we place our trust in Messiah’s redemptive death, burial, and resurrection, then how can there be a sin that the Lord won’t forgive.”

What Is Sin?

It’s abundantly clear throughout the Bible that sin is breaking God’s universal moral and spiritual laws. That when we transgress God’s immutable laws, we sin first and foremost against God.

King David fully grasped this truth. When he committed adultery with Bathsheba and ordered her husband Uriah killed to get him out of the way so David could have Bathsheba as his own, David knew that he had inflicted great harm to both Bathsheba and her husband. But he understood that his sin was ultimately against God. So he pleads with the Lord:

“Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:2-5).

The Apostle Paul then tells us (the whole world): “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

This verse makes two powerful statements: (1) Every single person who has ever lived (save one … Messiah Jesus) has sinned against God; (2) Sin, what some theologians call “missing the mark,” is falling short of God’s rightful (He is the Creator, we are his creation) expectations when he gave mankind (Adam and Eve) the capacity to choose right from wrong. To love and obey the Lord willingly, not through coercion; or to disobey him because they chose not to believe, obey, love, and serve him.

Paul quotes King David (Psalm 53) “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God … no one does good, not a single one” (Romans 3:10-12).

Then Paul explains the purpose of the Mosaic Law; that it was not the source of salvation—for no one could keep the Law in its entirety.

“Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned…” (Romans 3:19-23).

Thus, we see that everyone from Adam and Eve to the 21st century (and beyond) have sinned against God. Although it only takes one sin, nearly all people have sinned many times … some of us in one day’s time alone! We sin because we were born sinners.

The chicken and the egg question (which came first) is indisputably answered in Scripture both in terms of creation and the fall of man from the perfectly moral and spiritual condition in which Adam and Eve were created. The chicken came first. The created existence of the chicken led to eggs produced by the chicken. Likewise, our sin nature produces many wrongs things that we think, say, and do. We all have laid a chicken coop full of sinful rotten eggs!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

We all look forward to receiving compensation for the hard work we do. But physical death (and eternal death—if we die in our sins without Christ as Savior) is one paycheck none of us wants. According to the Bible, however, we have earned the wages of sin and we will get paid for it. Unless, that is, we receive “the free gift of God … through Christ Jesus…” This is our Creator’s solution to the sin problem, a free gift that cancels our sin debt. But like all gifts, we must receive it (by simple faith).

Not only was Messiah Jesus’s death on the cross the supreme once for all redemptive sacrifice, his atonement applies to ALL of our sins, even those we commit after we have accepted him as Personal Savior. If that were not true, then Christ would need to die again and again for all the wrong things that Christians do after being born again; in fact, for all those born after Christ arose from the dead in the 1st Century.

“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God…” (I Peter 3:18)

If, then, all sins can be forgiven and have been forgiven for those who have placed their personal trust in the redemptive sacrifice of the Son of God, why does the Bible say there is one thing that cannot be pardoned?

Before we look at the answer to that perplexing question that troubles both believers and unbelievers alike, let’s look at how unbelievers (remember that true born-again believers in Jesus were once unbelievers) view sin and redemption.

Prevalent World-Views on Sin

Those Who Don’t Believe Sin Is Really (Ultimately) a Transgression against God, or in a Divine Penalty for Sin

As Scripture says, “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God…’” (Psalm 53:1).

Then in the New Testament:

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). The first and greatest reward is redemption and all of God’s marvelous promises that go with Biblical salvation.

When the Bible refers to God, with an upper case “G” or The LORD, it, of course, is always identifying God, himself. Even more obvious: the God of the Old Covenant and New Covenant Scriptures has revealed himself generally through nature and specifically through the Bible as the ONLY God. All of the names that God has given us to describe himself (like El Elyon, Most High God, or the sacred name of God, YHWH, translated in capital letters LORD throughout Scripture) are also the ONLY names of God. Right up front that excludes all other unnamed gods or those named, such as Allah. Hence, those whom God calls “fools” are many more than just atheists.

(Another Name of God in Scripture)

Down through the ages right up to the present time, most people on Planet Earth have believed in to the point of worship many (man-made) gods, many of which are deified parts of nature, e.g. stars, sun, moon, mountains, rivers, seas and the like. But also so-called gods of fertility, harvest, life, prosperity, and even death. And in our post-modern times: gods of pleasure, power, prestige, and money.

This includes most world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism. Other than the Judeo-Christian faith, Islam is the only other monotheistic religion; however the Muslim god was selected by Muhammad from the pantheon of gods worshipped by Arabs before he decided that the moon-god Allah would be the god of Islam. This was done deliberately to copy, counterfeit, rival, and replace the God of the Bible. Whereas, the God of Scripture dogmatically declares that He is the only true and living God, and backs up this assertion with powerful prophecies that come to pass (all of them) and mighty miracles that no other god or religion can do or boast of. The greatest of which is the prophesied and fulfilled birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus.

Still others through cultic deviation from and twisting of Scripture (such as Mormonism or Catholicism), have distorted, falsified and replaced the Christian faith and true salvation with ecclesiastical creeds that directly contradict Biblical Christianity.

Virtually none of these religions or cults believe people sin because they were born sinners, i.e. their very nature. On the contrary, they think that all but the most evil of people (with even the concept of “evil” placed on a sliding scale) are inherently and innately “good.” That when people do something “wrong” it’s because they make a “mistake” in choice or judgment. Which is true. But according to God’s view as so very evident in Scripture, the wrong things we do is still sin directly against the Lord, no matter how we rationalize or what we call them.

Even those who profess that the wrong things they do is actual sin (against God), one way or another believe that God will overlook most if not all their sins by merely balancing the “good” things they do against the “bad.”

In short they do not believe the Bible when it says, for example:

To a man or woman, if you ask a Mormon or a Catholic (and other similar religions including some Protestant denominations) they will tell you there’s no way to know for sure if they’ll make it to heaven. The reason for this: so many people believe that they must do something to earn salvation. Yet, they never know if what they’ve done or think they’ve earned is enough for God to overlook their faults and allow them entrance into heaven. At the very best this is wishful thinking.

Personally, I refuse to risk or stake my eternal destiny on this kind of uncertainty. Especially, when the true and living God says he loves me enough to have sent his Son to die for my sins, and will pardon me forever if I simply believe and receive his Son. He also tells me that I can trust him beyond any doubt whatsoever that I will live forever with him in heaven.

Therefore, for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ, there is no such thing as an unpardonable sin!

(Stay with me, because this is not a contradiction to what was said earlier: yes, there is an unpardonable sin. We’ll soon see why and for whom).

Those Who Think Their Sins Are Too Many or Too Great for Even God to Forgive

Sadly, many hundreds of millions of unbelievers are living under a heavy conscience that the sheer number of their sins or perhaps one or two really horrible sins are too much for God to forgive. To them, these sins are unpardonable.

Let me repeat on the authority of Scripture: There is no sin—past, present, or future—that cannot be pardoned when we accept Messiah Jesus as Personal Savior, with two mighty but sometimes misunderstood Biblical truths: (1) For born-again believers that includes the unpardonable sin, because there is no such sin for those who have placed their trust in Christ Jesus before they die.

(2) For the unbeliever, the unpardonable sin is the one and only offense that will ultimately seal one’s eternal destiny in the Lake of Fire.

God’s Laws and Commandments

Through their world-view or belief system or through their conscience, hundreds of millions accept at least the morality of God’s Law through, for example, the Ten Commandments.

Unfortunately many reduce or equate violation of God’s laws to breach of civil laws of the city, state, or country in which they live. Most don’t think about or even care that the vast majority of laws originated directly or indirectly from God, himself, as first given to Moses and the Israelites.

Nations enforce laws by punishing those who break those laws. Such as: assault, theft, perjury, extortion, or fraud. There are literally hundreds of these laws all the way from murder to traffic tickets. Many of us rank these crimes on a sliding scale of severity, which we should but only in the context of Biblical principles that the punishment must fit the crime. Yet billions of people make the mistake of thinking that God also grades on a curve when it comes to sin. God does not view sin that way; when we break one of his laws, we break them all.

Thus, many people equate sinfulness to commission of crimes, both felonies and misdemeanors. Not just a few believe that if they don’t break the law, or if they do and it’s just a small infraction (like cheating on taxes), then they have an excellent chance of getting to heaven, for that reason alone.

Let’s look at the Ten Commandments. By and large, in the last generation or two, there are only three of these commandments that the world (even those in Judeo-Christian civilizations such as America, most of Europe, Canada, Australia, and a few other counties) actually consider to be sin. And mostly because they are “against the law.”

They are: “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:13). “You must not steal” (Verse 15). “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor” (Verse 16 … this refers primarily to lying under oath).

The other seven commandments are not considered by most unbelievers to be sin at all. Or if they do think infringement of these (and other commandments in Scripture not part of the Ten) as wrong, it’s only when they get caught.

The other commandments found in Exodus Chapter 20 are:

No other gods but the Lord God himself. (That means you, too, Allah).

No idols or images of “anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea … you must not worship them…” (Verses 4-5).

Using the name of God vainly, i.e. in a profane or even irreverent way.

Routinely failing to worship and honor and remember God on the Sabbath (whether Saturday or Sunday, does not matter in the Age of Grace).

Not honoring your father and mother, and all that entails.

“You must not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). If there are still laws in some countries against adultery, they are weakly enforced or not at all. Certainly not in the United States. So does that make adultery okay? Is it no longer a sin against God? Does it no longer have devastating consequences?

“You must not covet your neighbor’s house … wife … or anything else that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17). That, too, is no longer considered as sin by the majority of people on this planet. We can lust after anything we want; even brag about it when the opportunity arises, and we do what we desire or get what we want by living out our fantasies. Coveting is greed, pure and simple. According to Scripture, greed is idolatry because we’re consumed with someone or something that will not only take the place of God, but cause us to do many other wrong things in the process.

Jesus said that there is only one way to God in order for God to pardon the penalty of our sins. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

And it was Jesus who also said there was one sin that God would not forgive.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit … The Unpardonable Sin

Yet that act is one that is not considered sin by God until either one of two things transpires. (1) For all those who die without Christ as their Savior before and after the Rapture (2) For those who worship the Antichrist (Nero) and/or take the mark of his name during the Great Tribulation, which is soon to come.

“…Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger … And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb … They will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

Said Jesus to the teachers of religious law, “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences” (Mark 3:28-29, italics for emphasis).

The italicized words emphatically assures us that ALL sin and blasphemy can be forgiven.

Scripture is equally clear that all of a person’s sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven only when that individual accepts Messiah Jesus as personal Savior. That is possible because God declares us “not guilty” when we place our faith in Jesus who died in our place to remove the penalty and guilt of all the wrong things we’ve done.

(Jesus Said These Words on the Cross Just Before He Died, They Mean “The Debt Has Been Paid … For Our Sins)

“Yet, God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:24-25).

However, even some Christians have been troubled with Jesus’s words that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit could void their salvation with the eternal consequences … meaning hell instead of heaven. As said earlier in this article, that is not possible.

For two reasons: (1) once a person is saved by believing and receiving Christ as their Redeemer, his/her eternal destiny has been sealed forever. And no less than by the Holy Spirit!

“…and he (the Lord) has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (II Corinthians 2:22).

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God’” (John 3:3).

And, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:6-7).

Jesus used the analogy of human birth to illustrate that a person must be reborn spiritually to inherit eternal life. With the parallel truth that a person can no more be unborn spiritually than they can be unborn physically.

(2) For reason number one, the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit can never be committed by a born-again believer in Messiah Jesus. That would be impossible, because anyone who has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior did so by listening and yielding to the convictions of the Holy Spirit; the Third Person of the Great Triune God, who plants the seed of the Gospel (Jesus saves) in our mind, heart, and spirit that “gives birth to eternal life.”

To better understand what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, let’s look at its definition. Then we’ll examine exactly what the Holy Spirit does to and for unbelievers.

Blasphemy:

From Webster’s Dictionary: Blaspheme (verb), “to speak of or address with irreverence. Revile. Abuse. To utter blasphemy.”

Blasphemous (adjective): “impiously irreverent. Profane.”

Blasphemy (noun): The act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God. The act of claiming the attributes of deity. Irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.”

Thus, all those who trivialize, ignore, demean, disregard or flatly refuse the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to God and salvation, do so because they resist, rebuff, reject, and sometimes even ridicule the promptings of the Holy Spirit at a certain time or times in their lives. That is the blasphemy that Jesus is talking about.

Jesus Teaching about the Holy Spirit

In John Chapters 14 and 16, Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to his disciples. Including the amazing fact of something that had never occurred before in the history of mankind: The Holy Spirit would be sent to dwell in them (and all believers). Some of his teaching relates to what the Holy Spirit would do for believers in Christ. But the following passages provide some perceptive insight regarding the work of the Holy Spirit to and for unbelievers, with the ultimate goal of saving as many as would believe in Messiah Jesus.

“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you” (John 14:17).

Then a short time later Jesus told them what the Holy Spirit will, nonetheless, do for a world that “doesn’t recognize him.”

“And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refused to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged” (John 16:8-11).

What the Holy Spirit does first and foremost is to convict the minds and hearts of unbelievers to fully understand that Messiah Jesus is their only hope for salvation. Beginning with realization that God loves them more than they’ll ever know, but that sin is a barrier between them and God, because God is Holy and Righteous and cannot tolerate sin. That it’s God’s righteousness freely given to us when we accept his Son, not self-righteousness (good works, self-virtue) that saves us from the coming judgment day of God.

Notice, however, the startling statement of Jesus concerning sin (singular not plural in this case, meaning one sin in particular). Messiah Jesus said that ultimately the overriding, all-encompassing, ultimate sin is the world’s (which means every individual, just as John 3:16 says that God so loved the world, and whosoever—each person—believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life) deliberate decision not to believe in him.

That is the Unpardonable Sin!

Earlier Jesus said this to the religious leaders of Israel: “That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins’” (John 8:24).

Thus, the unpardonable sin is that anyone would “die in their sins.” The reason: Refusal to believe and receive Jesus as Messiah, Son of God.

But it begins with “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit;” the One who stirs and “speaks to” to the heart and mind of individuals the world over of and through the absolute everlasting truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thus, it’s not technically the many sins that we’ve all committed that will condemn us to eternal separation from God. The (Scriptural) reason I can say that is because the Bible is crystal clear that every person who has ever lived on this planet has sinned, some more than others, but God doesn’t keep a comparative count of how many sins or which ones are worse than others when it comes to salvation. Only when it comes to the sentencing at the final Great White Throne Judgment, which is already too late for those being sentenced, will there be different levels of punishment (as indicated in other parts of Scripture).

If you’ve been tried and convicted for murder and the sentence is death, but the President of the United States offers you a complete pardon with only one condition, wouldn’t you accept the pardon no matter the condition. But especially if the President told you that the condition was this: “Someone else has already taken your place and died for you. All I expect you to do is believe that and gratefully accept the fact that this person’s sacrifice has saved you.”

However, any similar analogy, including this one, doesn’t go far enough to totally explain Messiah Jesus’s redemptive sacrifice. The difference is that Jesus AROSE FROM THE DEAD. So we not only believe that fact; we also believe IN the One who made the sacrifice. He said he was/is God (the Son). He said he was/is Messiah. He said that he is the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in him, they will live (forever) even when they die.

Thus, when a person rejects Jesus Christ as their only source of redemption, they do so by “blaspheming” the Holy Spirit.

I’m not saying (nor did Jesus) that people go around daily saying irreverent things about the Holy Spirit. In fact, unbelievers (the world) don’t know or even care about someone or something called the Holy Spirit. Nor (until one believes in Christ for salvation) does anyone really understand that the Holy Spirit is the Person of the Triune God that stirs their heart and mind to listen to the truth of the Gospel as found in the Bible. But they know enough to realize that they need to make a decision, one way or another. To believe or not to believe (In Christ): that is the question that everyone must answer in his/her lifetime.

God is so willing to forgive and pardon everyone for their sins … forever. But he cannot and will not issue this pardon to those who ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit by rejecting the redemption offered by Jesus’s sacrifice at Calvary. This (deliberate) decision is unpardonable.

Unpardonable because that is the ultimate (and only) sin by which they have condemned themselves to God’s final judgment and the imposed sentence of eternal separation from God. It is not failure to ask forgiveness of one or more sins throughout a person’s lifetime. Many people ask forgiveness from a person or even from God. Yet, asking for forgiveness does not guarantee a punched ticket to heaven.

Certainly, that’s what happens when someone says, yes, to Jesus and accepts what he did on the cross as the only way to be saved. We are forgiven … forever!

But the repentance that the Bible emphasizes is “changing our mind” (which is what repent means) about Jesus Christ as the Way, Truth, and Life. The Bible is talking about a one-time repentance in accepting the once for all sacrifice of Christ Jesus; the righteous for the unrighteous, the just for the unjust, the Godly for the ungodly.

Things to Ponder

The Bible absolutely assures that all born again believers in Christ have eternal life the moment we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. In many passages, the present-tense verb have (meaning right then and there) or has is used. Such as:

“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:13, italics for emphasis).

Not think, or hope, or wish that we will someday qualify for heaven. Rather, we can know beyond all doubt the moment we make that decision. Heaven is the place we one day will spend eternity with our glorious God, but eternal life begins the moment we choose Christ as Savior and Lord.

When believers sin, our confession (remorse) is not to reinstate our salvation, but to restore our fellowship with the Lord. (See I John 1:9)

Not so for unbelievers, as succinctly stated by the Apostle Peter in the very first Gospel message preached after Jesus ascended to heaven. Speaking to a large crowd (3,000 of them accepted Christ that very day), Peter said:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’

“Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:36-38, NASB).

The context is crystal clear as to what they were to repent of: that they (we all) repent or change their mind as to who Jesus of Nazareth really was/is. None other than God’s Son who purchased redemption for all who would believe in him. Baptism would then be a physical demonstration of their spiritual union in Christ Jesus … just as a ring is evidence that someone is married.

Then forgiveness of sin (that precludes the unpardonable sin, because the Holy Spirit is given as a gift who would never leave the believer—see John 14:16—and, thereby, could not possibly be blasphemed) is a result of repentance.

How good is that!

NERO & The Remarkable Revival of His Name

What’s In a Name?

In the late 20th century and throughout the 21st century, there has been an unmistakable resurgence of the name of Nero. We see this phenomenon in mainstream media, marketing, and merchandise outlets, also in entertainment and scientific circles. That cannot be said of any other figure in history; certainly not an ancient Roman Emperor who used to be remembered more for his cruelty, especially to Christians, than his popularity with the average Roman citizen.

This is no coincidence. There is a Biblical prophetic reason for this unprecedented revival of Nero’s name in our generation. It fits with many other “signs of the times” most of which are predicted in Scripture and some of which are derivative of and associated with Biblical prophecy.

In this week’s article we’ll examine some surprising but woeful ways in which Nero’s name has been promoted prominently by a variety of sources. Some of these people and organizations have deliberately used Nero’s name and others may have done so inadvertently. Either way, this monstrous man and his notorious name has been contemporarily characterized (even celebrated) in a positive, if not favorable, light. It’s the kind of veneration that should be reserved for honorable rulers and leaders of the past and present. It is word association and name tagging at its worst.

Nero was deposed as Caesar primarily because he fell out of favor with the Roman Senate that had grown seriously tired of his immoral excesses and what they perceived as his political ineptness, both of which exemplified the latter part of his reign. Yet, the average Roman lauded him for the “good” things he had done for them in the early years of his reign, such as lowering taxes. More than anything, it was a treaty that Nero orchestrated between the Roman Empire and Rome’s mortal enemy, Parthia (63 AD), which at that time endeared him to the Roman Senate, the Roman Legions, and the common Roman citizen.

Let’s begin with a brief review of this despicable tyrant’s legend, as presented in Chapters 19 & 20 of my second book, Out of the Abyss; as touched on in a few Eye of Prophecy articles; and as covered exclusively in the Eye of Prophecy article, The Legendary Return of Nero, posted in April, 2015.

(One of Many Coins Showing the Image of Nero. The Term “Legend” Was Originally and Literally Derived From Notable VIPs Stamped on a Coin)

Many in the Roman Empire Believed that Nero Would Return

From the 1st century AD well into the 5th century AD, both Christians and the secular populace of the Roman Empire persistently believed that Nero would return as Caesar after he was killed in June, 68 AD. It was such a prevalent conviction that historians gave it a name: Nero Redivivus Legend.

Redivivus is a Latin term meaning: “revived, restored, living again.”

Christian Concession of Nero’s Return

Here’s an excerpt from The Legendary Return of Nero, beginning with a quote from the 5th century Christian apologist and historian, Saint Augustine (in italics):

“Others, again suppose that he is not even dead, but that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been killed, and that he now lives in concealment in the vigor of that same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished, and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to his kingdom. But I wonder that men can be so audacious in their conjecture.”

Readily apparent in the last line of this quote is Augustine’s personal opinion that the Nero Redivivus Legend was just that: a (very questionable) supposition that Nero was not dead … he either didn’t die or had been revived after death. That he had been (bodily) concealed and preserved at the very age at which he died. With the most amazing feature of this pervasive, already centuries-old belief: he would return and be restored to his kingdom!

Notice two things here: (1) Even though Augustine did not subscribe to the prevailing Christian belief that Nero was the man of lawlessness and would return as the Antichrist beast, he did objectively report that this was still a wide-spread, well-known view held by believers … some three centuries after Nero had died!

(2) Nor is there any indication that Saint Augustine disputed (by virtue of not even commenting on the veracity of it) the clear evidence of Revelation 17:7-8, which unequivocally states the beast (Antichrist) had already lived and died before Revelation was written, and that he would reappear from the Abyss. The only doubt held by Augustine was that all of the prophecies about the Antichrist applied to Nero. Yet, by his own report, it’s crystal clear that many Christians firmly held to that belief. The accuracy of their understanding would have been even more evident to believers when Roman Legions led by Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. They knew that it was Nero who had personally commissioned Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish uprising.

This fits perfectly with Daniel’s famous prophecy: “…the Anointed One will be killed … and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26).

The contextual and grammatical possessive attachment (whose) between the ruler who would arise (after Messiah Jesus was killed) and the ruler’s armies that would destroy the Temple is overwhelmingly clear. The ruler was none other than Nero, and it was his (“whose”) armies that demolished the Temple.

(Depicts Roman Destruction of Jerusalem & The Temple in 70 AD, Which Jesus Predicted Some Forty Years Earlier … Matthew 24:1-2)

The astounding fulfilment of this prophecy was lost to believers sometime during the Dark Ages and subsequently misunderstood by prophecy scholars to this very day. Including the indisputable fact that Antichrist lived and died before the book of Revelation was written, but that he would reappear from the Abyss at the outset of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 17:7-8).

That is why the Lord gave me these disclosures which led to the writing of Out of the Abyss and then to the Eye of Prophecy website. These are certainly not some off-the-wall speculations. However, to determine that for yourself, I would encourage you to read Out of the Abyss, or at least several Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist.

As I have said before and will repeat for emphasis: My discernment of Antichrist’s identity was not new; rather it is a rediscovery of what early Christians knew to be true (in their time).

Secular Endorsement of the Nero Redivivus Legend

As indicated, Nero had been wildly popular throughout most of the Roman Empire. The common people passionately adored him for several decades after his death as did some of the nobility including a few Caesars, and also (though lessened by the passage of time) for centuries thereafter.

Here is another except from The Legendary Return of Nero:

Not only did Christians subscribe to this Biblically supported premise of Nero’s return; so did thousands upon thousands of non-Christians throughout the Roman Empire as well as in Parthia, a nation descended at the time from the ancient Persian Empire. They longed for and actually expected Nero to return as Emperor; that his reinstatement as Caesar would magnify and realize their ardent desire for a Pax Romana (world peace and utopia) beyond their wildest dreams.

Naturally, the secular populace didn’t tag Nero as a man of lawlessness or a beast; those labels would have been fighting words to them. However, I don’t think the appellation of anti-Christ would have bothered them in the least. Until the Roman Emperor Constantine turned Christianity into the state-religion in the 4th century—that morphed into the cultic Roman Catholic Church—they would have applauded the idea of Nero as the “Antichrist.” For the reason that most Romans and people from other nations had little toleration for Christians, to the extreme that many hated these Christ followers.

Between Nero and Vespasian, three pseudo-emperors (who many historians do not accredit as bona-fide Caesars due to the civil-war upheaval in Italy) assumed the throne: Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. The latter two lauded Nero far beyond what any normal successor would do, to the extreme of divine eulogies of Nero, rebuilding his statues, and staging his Greek plays during their coronation and very brief reigns.

Some thirty years later in further honor of Nero, the Emperor Domitian ordered the execution of Nero’s servant, Epaphraditos, who struck the fatal blows with a sword that killed Nero—because Nero was too cowardly to take his own life. During that same thirty-year period of time, three impersonators claimed they were Nero, with one of them taken very seriously by many in the Roman Empire, enough to start an uprising against Rome that was quickly crushed.

There were some who believed that Nero had not died (despite credible evidence to the contrary). Whether they thought he had died or not, many expected him to return and reclaim the Roman throne.

Imagine if 20th century despots like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, or (going back a little farther in history) Napoleon were to suddenly return from their graves. Though there are a few “Neo-Nazis” in Germany and the world at large, the greater populace of Germany and all over this Globe would do anything possible to prevent Hitler from returning to power, no matter how amazed they might be at his reappearance. The same with Russians (Stalin) and the French (Napoleon).

Not so had Nero returned in the first few centuries after his death. And not so in today’s world!

“I saw that one of the heads of the beast (Antichrist) seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon (Satan) for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’ Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God…” (Revelation 13:3-5, parenthesis mine).

All that is being made possible by the shocking modern-day recovery of Nero and his name.

(“Hail Caesar” Will Be Heard the World Over Upon Nero’s Reappearance)

Another excerpt from The Legendary Return of Nero:

Historian Lactantius contended that the circumstances surrounding Nero’s death were such that Nero suddenly disappeared; that even the burial site was nowhere to be found. He suggested that with reasonable speculation it was conceivable that Nero might have been transported to a distant region, preserved and reserved for a future purpose.

In Out of the Abyss, I commented on Lactantius’ historical report on Nero: One can only wonder whether Lactantius was completely serious or partially facetious; however, little did he realize that he had tapped one of the most fascinating reservoirs in the Bible… Here I was referring to the Scriptural fact that the Antichrist beast would reappear from the Abyss, with the all too obvious conclusion that he had to have been placed in the Abyss (by Christ) before he could be released from such a distant region.

Another ancient historical quote, this time from the Greek philosopher and historian Dio Chrysostom: “Seeing that even now everybody wishes (Nero) were still alive. And the great majority do believe that he still is, although in a certain sense he has died not once but often along with those who had been firmly convinced that he was still alive.”

This account strongly reflects the general mentality of Roman citizens as having been quite pleased with Nero; that they would have permitted him to reign indefinitely. Moreover, did you catch his phrase, the great majority?

A List of Fifteen Contemporary People, Places, and Things with the Name of Nero

The first five articles posted on the Eye of Prophecy website (beginning in July, 2013), were about the Rapture. Shortly thereafter, a series of five articles on the Antichrist, beginning with Modern Day Antichrist (posted 9-7-13) and ending with The Beast And His Name (10-5-13). In preparation and research for that fifth article, I was surprised to find five entities that bore the name of Nero.

In preparation for this week’s article, I was stunned to discover many more than five, some of which have their inception after my 2013 article. In chronological order, including the five mentioned in the 2013 Eye of Prophecy article, The Beast and His Name, let’s take an up close and personal look at fifteen (there are more) of them and their start-up year.

(1) Nero Larp – 1986:

Yes, you read that correctly! Here is the introductory statement of this organization as found on their website in 2013:

“Welcome to NERO LARP! We are the premier Live Action Role Playing (LARP) organization in North America—since 1986. In Live Action Role-playing, you become the character of your fantasies, and, acting out the action, solve the mysteries and defeat adversaries with wit, intelligence, and/or sword & sorcery. At NERO events, you will use skills that your character has earned….”

There have been at least nine editions of their Rule Book.

Astonishing! I have no idea what’s involved in LARP fraternities or what kind of games they play; nor do I really care to know. Obviously, my interest pertains to a “role-playing” group that uses the name of Nero. I’m sure that someone involved in these LARP clubs would ask me what planet I live on, because I know virtually nothing about the 50 plus NERO LARP chapters in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. And, I’m sure I’d get in trouble if I changed the acronym of LARP to Laughing at Role Players. Because it sounds like Larpers play some pretty serious games.

Yet, here we have a fairly large establishment dedicated in some fashion to the arts, to the new age (sorcery), to acting out fantasies (I would hope their rules limit what they can do or say), and to defeating all adversaries with either the sword or sorcery. Undoubtedly, Nero (self-acclaimed artist extraordinaire) would have reveled in such company, although he would have written the rules himself!

(2) N E R O – 1991

Primarily an online retail store based in Australia, specializing in N E R O clocks and N E R O steel watches. Also handbags and accessories, home furniture, and “eco-friendly stationary.”

Here is an excerpt from this company’s (which simply goes by N E R O) Website About page:

“N E R O is an Australian brand inspired by nature with natural textures of Italian leather and canvas combined with classic lines in a modern twist … Our N E R O trademark watches and stationary are renowned for innovative high quality design and have an avid cult following world wide.”

Extracting key words and phrases from this short company profile alone, it’s not at all speculative to see why the founders of this company may have called it, N E R O. Actually, the very fact that they used the name of Nero says volumes.

Notice the mention of “Italian” (leather) and “classic lines” in a “modern twist.” Playing word association, the connection is quite apparent … Nero, the Roman (Italian) Emperor from (classic) antiquity. Add to that the Biblical prophecy that Nero will return with a “modern twist,” meaning a reappearance of this “twisted man.” for equally twisted Satanic purposes (See II Thessalonians 2:9). And did you notice the company profile boasts that their watches and stationary … “have an avid cult following world-wide.” Nero will certainly do and have that upon return.

Am I reading too much into these seemingly innocuous words?

If this or maybe just one other global organization named their company after Nero, then the answer to this question would be, “Probably … yes.”

Let’s continue.

(3) Nero AG1995:

The founders of a computer software business that began in 1995 with the organizational name of Ahead Software inexplicably changed the name of this company to Nero AG or Nero, Inc. in 2005. It grew from a handful of employees to a staff of 500 employees in 2009, and still growing. Product sales number in the hundreds of millions world-wide. Their products include all-in-one burning software to enable electronic writing of audio, video, and data for CDs or DVDs. Although speculation, it’s likely the name of Nero was chosen to represent the main product of the company, i.e. new technology in the burning of CDs and DVDs.

Why? Whatever else people the world over remember about Nero, most recall his main epitaph: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Of course, the fiddle wasn’t even invented until hundreds of years after Nero died, but who cares about the facts!

The main purpose of Nero AG’s service and products is to create and manage digital media on any device, with interchangeable flow between such things as smart phones, I pads, and computers. Part of the Nero Quality Statement reads: “Nero wants to help you produce content for your home entertainment….”

Did you pick up on how the author of this promo personalized the name of Nero? Such as, “Nero wants to help you….” Or a spookier phrase found in the promo: “…based on face recognition similar to facial tagging….”

It wouldn’t take much imagination to visualize how Nero, himself, could and probably will use a company like this to manipulate the media. Since his last words reportedly were (paraphrasing), “The world is losing such a great artist,” he very well could manipulate such technology to compose and transmit “content for your home entertainment.” This entertainment could be another play that he might write (he wrote and performed several plays during his reign as Emperor) or images of beheaded Christians, once he resumes the savage vendetta that he initiated against Christians in the first century.

(4) NERO … The Band (Rock music) – 2004:

A British electronic music duo, then trio has risen to fame in the 21st century. Their single, Doomsday, was a big hit and is featured in the trailer for a movie, The World’s End, released in 2013. In 2011, this rock group’s production of Welcome Reality won the award for Best Album. One can only wonder why the two young men who started this band chose the name of Nero. But when was the last time a rock group named their band after a long-dead Roman Emperor … and why Nero?

As indicated earlier, Nero Caesar was a self-proclaimed artist who, during the final years of his reign, was far more interested in flaunting his artistic genius (Nero’s own opinion of himself) throughout the civilized world than in running the Roman Empire. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why he fell out of favor with the Roman Senate and subsequently the Roman Generals. They didn’t like the idea of a “god-like” Roman emperor spending all his time in Greece and making a fool of himself while spouting poetry and playing the lyre in Greek theatres.

History tells us that he desperately wanted to be popular throughout his entire empire; later in his reign he wrote and performed plays (in Greek) to promote this recognition. And what a head start when he returns from the Abyss: a rock-group that already bears his name!

(5) River World – 2004

River World is the title of a science-fiction movie starring Brad Johnson, who was also one of the main actors in the Left Behind movie and the sequel. The main plot of River World involves people who are brought back to life, but with the same age-old struggle of good versus evil. In both movies Brad plays a good guy, but exceptionally intriguing is the identity of the antagonist.

In Left Behind, the arch-enemy is the Antichrist given the name of Nicolae Carpathia, from the novels written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. In River World, the adversary who seeks to dominate all those “reborn” in this new world is none other than Nero … played by Jonathan Cake!

It’s highly unlikely that the author or producers of River World had any interest in Biblical end-times prophecies, although most people on Planet Earth have heard or read the term Antichrist. In the movie those who were allowed to return to earth did so by coming up out of the sea (in some sort of cocoon-like tubes). The depiction of this Back to the Future-like return was eerily akin to the soon-to-come reappearance of the Antichrist beast from the Abyssal Sea.

According to Revelation 13:1, the Beast will arise from the Sea. Then Revelation 17:8 states he will come out of the Abyss. In my book Out of the Abyss, I provide compelling Biblical and modern-day geographical documentation and analysis to show that the Abyss is beneath the oceans (seas).

(6) NerO (A Product of FTDI Chip) – 2015

On FTDI’s website, we read:

“FTDI Chip develops innovative silicon solutions that enhance interaction with the latest in global technology.” The major objective from the company is to ‘bridge technologies in order to support engineers with highly sophisticated, feature-rich, robust and simple-to-see product platforms.”

Although that’s a mouthful, the terminology is intriguing, especially in the context of their latest product, NerO, which was designed to enhance the operation of circuit boards. Among many other things Antichrist Nero will undoubtedly undertake (The False Prophet will order it done) is the creation of a body chip—already in prototype existence—specifically designed for his diabolical scheme to literally embed his name or number on the forehead or right hand of many people left behind at the Rapture (Revelation 13:16-18).

(7) N.E.R.O. (Nothing Ever Remains Obscure) – 2016

As alluded to earlier, it’s possible that some of the organizations or entities bearing the name of Nero (listed in today’s article and those not listed) may have arrived unintentionally at the appellation of Nero, such as this electronic video game released last year. However, it’s much more likely that the name of Nero was first chosen, with the actual title of the game created to fit his name … in other words not an accidental acronym that just happened to spell NERO.

The developer of this video game is listed as: Storm in a Teacup. The publisher is: SOEDESCO Publishing.

Here is an excerpt from their website synopsis: “It is a wonderful journey in a world of incredible beauty, a story … connected to the characters and their past. The world of N.E.R.O. is magical…”

Two of the Key Features of the game as shown on the website: “N.E.R.O. is a mystery, nothing is as it seems.” And, “N.E.R.O.’s story is complex and cryptic.”

Those left behind at the Rapture will learn very quickly and all too well that the infamous number of the beast (six hundred and sixty-six) is the decoded gematria representation of Nero’s name. And the occult “magic” of the statue erected that literally speaks for Nero will be more than enough for people to worship him and also his statue (see Revelation 13).

(8) Kia Niro – 2016

The rejuvenation of Nero’s name in everyday life is nowhere more globally conspicuous than the automobile Niro, introduced in 2016 by Kia Motor Corporation of South Korea. Never mind that the spelling is one letter different. The connotation and association with Nero is obvious. I’m guessing that the owners of Kia wanted a world-famous figure attached to their new model, but possibly cringed a little at the thought of using the actual spelling of such an infamous name. Whatever their rationale, hundreds of millions of people all over the Globe have heard or will soon hear about the Kia Niro—whether they buy one or not.

Millions more (like me) first found out that there was an automobile named after Mr. Six Hundred and Sixty-Six while watching the now famous Super Bowl commercial just a few weeks ago. Have you seen it? It’s still being aired world-wide. I’m talking about the 60 second commercial featuring well-known comedian Melissa McCarthy. It is flat-out funny, probably one of the best car commercials ever made. In fact, it won the award for best Super Bowl Ad this year. As many people know (even those who don’t normally follow football), the Super Bowl has gained a reputation for some of the best TV commercials anytime, anywhere. For an advertiser to win this award is as big as or bigger for them than victory is for the team who wins the Super Bowl.

Yes, even an automobile has been named after Nero, along with all of the other people, places, and things that bear the disreputable name of this atrocious autocrat. By the time he reappears from the Abyss (which is soon) billions on this planet—in addition to their amazement at his return from the grave—will already be attuned, adjusted, and otherwise acclimated to the current resurrection of his name in byword or buzz word fashion.

(9) Network for Education & Research in Oregon (NERO)

I couldn’t locate a start-up date for this company, which is why I’ve placed it last in line of the dated Nero affiliates and the first in line for other (non-dated) products that bear his name.

It began as a research project in Oregon by an Engineering Graduate School that wanted to develop high-speed internet for education and research. One can only speculate if the founders deliberately chose Nero’s name, then used the acronym to come up with the organization name. However, if they had simply omitted Oregon, then the acronym NERO wouldn’t fit. Thus, it appears that they purposely wanted the abbreviated version of their group to bear the name of Nero. Either way, it’s yet another instance of this evil man’s name rising to pathetic prominence in just the last three-four decades.

*Note: because of the undue length of time to find (even on the internet) the start-up date of the following businesses or products, the date has been omitted. I’m assuming that most or all of them are somewhat recent. Nevertheless, they will be numbered to further demonstrate the startling number of entities bearing Nero’s name.

(10) Nero Tile

Below is a photo taken directly from the website of Home Depot which is just one of many retail outlets for Nero Tile … marble, porcelain, ceramic and glass tiles. *Note: the word nero in Italian means, black. It just so happens that the tile depicted is mostly black. But there are many more colors, shapes, and sizes of Nero tile available. Hence, the dubbing of Nero for this product is clearly linked to his name (the Roman Emperor), not just the color black. Nero’s Grand Palace and other structures he built were replete with expensive and exotic tile.

(11) Nero Tires

Manufactured by the internationally acclaimed company, Pirelli in Milan, Italy.

(12) Nero Restaurants

Not only are such common products like floor coverings, watches, and tires named after Nero, so are food establishments. Such as:

Nero’s Pizza in Jacksonville, FL; Nero’s Tuscan Steakhouse in Atlantic City, N.J.; Nero’s Grill in Livingston, N.J., and Nero’s Steakhouse in Windsor, Ontario (and others).

(13) Nero Bottled Water & Nero Reusable Sports Bottles

That’s right, even bottles and bottled water named after this wicked dictator. The “reusable” feature grabbed my attention, conjuring up images of Nero being reused by Satan to complete what Satan started in the 1st century with Antichrist Nero, and will try to finish when the Lord allows this (recycled) megalomaniac to return from the Abyss.

(14) Nero’s Air Conditioning (A Company Located in the State of Connecticut)

Only comment here is that Nero will need a ton of air conditioning when he ends up for all eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).

(15) Other N E R O Acronyms or Abbreviations

There were some twenty of these found on the internet (there are probably more). For sake of space/time, I will list only six, particularly those companies which more likely than not chose the name of Nero, then named their company as an acronym or abbreviation of his name.

This becomes even more apparent when at least one of the component parts of the company name could have easily been substituted for another word. Such as Institute, Company, Establishment, Club, Society, or Association in place of Organization. These have been grouped as the last number in our total list of Nero named entities.

As follows:

New England Role Playing Organization (NERO)

National Emergency Relief Organization (NERO)

Neuro-Evolving Robotic Operatives (NERO)

National Egg Regulatory Officials (NERO) *I’m not making this up! There is such an organization. Yet, even this will fit with what Nero is capable of and may very well do upon his return. Meaning possible reproduction control of certain ethnic or racial groups, or particularly of the Tribulation saints.

Neutron Emission Ratio Observer (NERO) *I didn’t make this one up either!

National Emergency Response Operations (NERO)

Rethinking Nero (An Article)

Although not a product or company or group as such, the above titled article written by Robert Draper was published in the world-famous National Geographic Magazine in 2014. I’ve taken this out of chronological order simply to save it for the last reference in this week’s Eye of Prophecy article regarding the extraordinary exposure and remarkable resurgence of Nero’s name. In general the article was about Nero himself; one that included information about partial restoration of Nero’s Golden Palace (Domus Aurea) subsequently opened to the public, but shut down in 2010 due to partial collapse of its roof. (Note: I have no doubt that this exhibit will be reopened before the Rapture or most likely when Nero reappears … he’ll see to it.

(Artist rendition of Colossus of Nero … Colossus Neronis. *Note: I believe the Statue of Nero During the Tribulation Will Be More Gigantic Than the Original)

Sufficient for purpose of today’s Eye of Prophecy articles are the following excerpts from Draper’s article, beginning with a reference to the historical Colosseum built by Vespasian just a few years after Nero’s death:

“The world-famous amphitheater (Colosseum) … was apparently named for the more than 100-foot-tall bronze statue of Nero depicted as the sun god—the Colossus Neronis—that once loomed over the valley.

“Just to the west of the Colosseum sprawl the lavish imperial ruins on the Palatine Hill. In April 2011 the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome opened an exhibit at the Palatine and other locations nearby devoted to the life and works of Nero … The exhibitors knew that any show about the notorious Nero would attract visitors.”

Then Robert Draper quotes a well-known biographer of Nero whom he had interviewed in preparation for his article:

“Well, he’s a good box office,” observes Roberto Gervaso, the bald and hawk-eyed 77-year-old author of the 1978 biographical novel Nerone. ‘They’ve made lots of films about Nero, but they couldn’t resist making a caricature of him. Such picturesque depravity attracts a biographer. I could never write a biography of St. Francis. And I would certainly rather go to dinner with Nero than Hadrian.”

Draper continues to quote Gervaso:

“He (Nero) was a monster. But that’s not all he was. And those who came before and after him were no better. The true monsters, like Hitler and Stalin, lacked (Nero’s) imagination. Even today he would be avant-garde, ahead of his time.”

Then Roberto Gervaso concludes his remarks to the article’s author Robert Draper with these chilling words:

“I wrote my book 35 years ago precisely because I wanted to rehabilitate him (Nero). Maybe you could do more.”

(*Note: I didn’t read this National Geographic article until all of this week’s Eye of Prophecy article had been written up to the point of “Rethinking Nero.” Although I deplore what Roberto Gervaso thinks and says about Nero, I found it interesting that he also referred to Hitler and Stalin by comparison to Nero, as did I earlier in today’s article. However, my comparison was in a different context and for a different reason).

What this biographer said about Nero is absolutely unmistakable, as is the nostalgic way in which he said it. He wants Nero, his name, and his image to be redefined and readjusted to be more (different) than just a “monster.” To be the avant-garde Renaissance type man who Gervaso believes Nero really was. With the obvious inference that the “good” in Nero far outweighed the bad.

That’s exactly what is happening the world over, sometimes subtlety with such things as tires and tiles. But more overtly with such things as cars and video games and people like Roberto Gervaso who want Nero back in the limelight … apparently, you would think, to the point of wishing he would return! Little do they know that they will get their wish. And when they take the mark of the beast they will go down in flames along with their hero.

Things to Ponder

It is truly remarkable in an adversely twisted way that the name of Nero has reappeared in the 20th and 21st centuries and in mainstream media and products at that. That cannot be said of any other ruler, especially one from the ancient 1st century AD. We still hear or read the name of Hitler, but always in a negative way and rightfully so. And we see things named after famous leaders who are characterized as good figures of history. Such as JFK airport in New York. Or the Lincoln Town Car.

But not of sadistically immoral, brutal tyrants such as Nero. Not, that is, until our generation.

I firmly believe that the resurgence of Nero and his name is no mere coincidence. Instead, it is a Satanic driven preparation to the reappearance of this evil man, himself.

Yet, God’s plan and purpose will prevail, as found in the truth of Scripture. Jesus Christ is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. He came first to the earth as the Son of God and the Son of Man. He was crucified and buried for our sins. He arose from the dead and ascended back to heaven just 3-4 years before Nero was born. Christ was the first … the only true Messiah. Jesus will return to earth after Nero is given 42 months to convince the world that he is their superman savior. Jesus will be the last. He will have the final say, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Daniel 2:44).

As stated in a few Eye of Prophecy articles, the purpose for knowing the identity of Antichrist both now and especially for people left behind at the Rapture is so as not to be amazed at the reappearance of Nero. (Rev. 17:8 and 13:4).

And to choose Jesus as their true Messiah Savior, now. If you are among those left behind, the choice will be so much more agonizingly difficult. Somewhat like the choice of Christians in today’s world upon pain of torture and death at the hands of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups in Africa and the Middle East. But after the Rapture it will be globally multiplied exponentially.

“For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it” (Words of Jesus, Matthew 24:21-23).

Please don’t wait until it’s too late.

Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence (Part II)

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Let’s Make a Deal

“Come on Down,” and see if, The Price is Right!

Or would you rather hear, Let’s Make a Deal. If so, then is it, “Door Number One or Door Number Two…?”

Do you recognize these iconic lines and the two longest running game shows in television history? You don’t have to be a baby boomer to remember; both programs are still aired on television.

The Price is Right originally aired in 1972, hosted by Bob Barker until 2007. Not long ago, TV Guide named it, “the greatest game show of all time.” The contestant who could most accurately estimate the price would win the merchandise being offered.

I’m using the analogy of this game show as an introduction to this week’s article, but with a twist on the name of the show to: The Prize is Being Right. This is no small prize, especially if you’ve wondered about or wanted to know whether you can know the identity of the Antichrist.

We were meant to know his identity, beginning with the 1st century Christians who expected Messiah Jesus would take them home to heaven at any moment (Rapture), and then the anti-Messiah to reappear soon thereafter. In all of Scripture, there are only two passages that challenge the reader to solve the mystery of the revelations underway. Both are in the book of Revelation and both apply directly to the identity of the Antichrist.

“Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, His number is 666” (Revelation 13:18).

“This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast … also represent seven kings” (Revelation 17:9).

Let’s Make A Deal originally aired in 1963, conceived and hosted by Monty Hall. To begin the show something of value was offered to the contestants. They could either keep the prize or trade it for something unknown, which could be of higher value or of lower value (or virtually no value … a booby prize). There were three curtains or boxes from which to choose.

The contestant who advanced the farthest was eligible to participate in the “Big Deal.” This was the grand finale to each show and also involved three choices, but this time each surprise was hidden behind a door. Almost all contestants would risk what they had already won for something they hoped would be of greater value. When they agreed to make a deal, Monty Hall would say something like, “Is it door number one, door number two, or door number three?”

Though I rarely watched either of these game shows, I do recall more than a little suspense created in the live audience and I assume the T.V. audience while the finalist was agonizing over which price to quote or which door to choose.

Three Historical Doors to Choose

In my book Out of the Abyss, I used this analogy of which door to choose in order to solve the dilemma that Bible scholars have debated for decades, if not centuries. Some 40-50 years ago, the discussion virtually ended as nearly all Bible commentators decided that the only solution was to make kingdoms out of kings in Revelation 17. The 7th kingdom would be a Revived Roman Empire. Recently, some students of prophecy have abandoned a Revived Roman Empire in favor of an Islamic Caliphate as the seventh kingdom and a Muslim Imam as the coming Antichrist.

In the form of a question here’s why practically all Bible scholars inappropriately and inaccurately replaced kings with kingdoms:

Can Scripture possibly be accurate by saying there are seven kings when historically there were more than seven Roman Emperors from the time of Julius Caesar to the time of Domitian whom they maintain was the Emperor when John the Apostle wrote Revelation? In last week’s Eye of Prophecy article, we covered in great detail the compelling evidence to show that another man named John was the author of Revelation. With, however, the clarifying condition that no matter which John wrote Revelation (or when), the seven heads of the Antichrist beast are still seven kings, not kingdoms.

There are three historical doors (options) to choose from. Yet each one, when opened, will unmistakably show us that there are still seven kings behind each door.

Consequently, Bible scholars can and should safely trade in their mistaken application of the seven kings as kingdoms for the prize of knowing that the Antichrist beast of Revelation is Nero, the man of lawlessness first exposed by the Apostle Paul. Of course, I’m not equating Nero to the prize itself. Rather the prize is the understanding that the mysteries of Revelation 13 & 17 were unveiled and the cryptic codes that partially concealed the Antichrist’s identity can be declassified. With a “mind of understanding” and “wisdom” we can know just as the believers of the first few centuries AD knew who Antichrist was (is, because he will return from the Abyss).

Today we’ll examine more evidence to demonstrate that the sequence of Roman emperors in the first century credibly allows for seven of them to be the seven kings of Revelation 13 and 17; five of them had already died before John saw the beast of Revelation and one of the five was Nero.

“Why are you so amazed? the angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (abruptly, at any moment) come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world (those left behind at the Rapture) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, parenthesis mine).

If Revelation 17 as a whole or these verses just quoted in particular were the only references to Antichrist in the Bible, it would be sufficient to validate that the Antichrist beast was a first century man who would reappear from the Abyss at the outset of the Tribulation. This passage stunningly seized my attention in November, 2008 and completely changed my previous view (the same view still held by Bible scholars) that the identity of Antichrist couldn’t be known until after the Rapture.

This disclosure propelled me on an unforgettable voyage to the ancient Roman world, to the very origin and lair of the beast, to the Abyss and back again, to the pre-emptive death of the man of lawlessness, and then reappearance of this evil tyrant as the Antichrist beast. As a result, Out of the Abyss was published in February, 2011.

The angel continues to unveil the mystery:

“This calls for a mind with understanding. The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:9-10).

As indicated in the About page on the Eye of Prophecy website, all of my Scripture quotes are taken from the New Living Translation, unless indicated otherwise.

Now let’s quote the next verse from the New American Standard Bible:

“The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction” (Revelation 17:11).

Notice that the verse says the beast is “also” an eighth. Also is emphasizing that the beast, besides being one of (from) the seven kings, is the composite beast himself. It’s not saying that the Antichrist (beast) is an additional king, who when added to the seven kings makes a total of eight (different) kings; because the rest of the passage unquestionably states there are only seven kings. Thus the beast is one of the seven but will (future tense when he returns) also be an eighth king because he will resume his reign as one of the seven when he reappears from the Abyss.

Please understand: The composite beast as a whole is a man, the Antichrist (Nero), because the beast is referred to by the personal pronoun “him” in Revelation Chapter 17 and “he” in Chapter 13.

Before we open the three doors that will all lead to the same room full of seven Roman Emperors, let’s examine two more significant reasons why the seven heads of the Antichrist beast are kings (Roman emperors) not seven kingdoms, which students of prophecy identity as: Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and a so-called Revived Roman Empire.

Seven kingdoms are in direct contradiction to two prophetic passages in Daniel (Chapters 2 & 7) that incontrovertibly tell us there would be only four World Empires—Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome—in the prophetic context of how these kingdoms interacted with God’s plan for Israel, including the Messiah.

(Four World Empires as Seen by Nebuchadnezzar)

(Depiction of The Same Four World Empires As Seen by Daniel)

Reason Number One: Personal Pronouns Ascribed to the Kings

Of paramount importance is that the seven heads of the beast—explained by the angel as seven kings—are referenced by the singular personal pronoun of “his” (the seventh king, Revelation 17:10). Then, the ten horns (ten kings of the Tribulation period) also are referred to by a personal (plural) pronoun … they.

“The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. They will agree to give him their power and authority. Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is the Lord of all lords and King of all kings…” (Revelation 17:12-14).

Although the seven (heads) kings were 1st century Roman emperors and the ten (horns) kings to come will be rulers of ten nations during the Tribulation period, all of them are kings, not kingdoms.

Grammatically and contextually, there’s no way to circumvent these pronouns. These masculine personal pronouns cannot and would not (certainly not in Scripture) be used in place of kingdoms. Sometimes in English, we use the personal plural pronoun “they” as a substitutional reference to places or things, but it is not an accurate use of the word.

For example, if we first identify the seven kingdoms by name (Babylon, Persia …) then refer to them in the plural, we might say or write, “They.” However, if we do, the personal plural pronoun is specifically identifying the people of those kingdoms. For kingdoms, the accurate grammatical term would be the adjective “These (plural of this) … kingdoms. Or just, “these.” Or “those” (plural of that) … kingdoms.

Bottom line: personal pronouns used in place of the noun kings in the Biblical text could stand alone as a reason not to substitute kings with kingdoms. Yet, there is another substantial reason why kings must be kings and kingdoms must be kingdoms.

Reason Number Two: Greek Words for Kings and Kingdoms

It’s logical that a kingdom should have a king (or queen) and a king should have a kingdom, but throughout history kings have been without kingdoms and kingdoms have been at one time or another without kings. Not only grammatically, but also experientially, kings do not equate with kingdoms and the two words should not be used interchangeably at whim, or at all. The same goes for the Greek language in which the New Testament was written.

The Greek word for kings is basileus: defined as leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king. This is the word used in Revelation 17:9: “…they also represent seven kings.” And it’s the same word used each time in this Revelation passage translated “kings.” It is also the Greek term used numerous times throughout the New Testament, translated king or kings.

Furthermore, the Greek word for king is a masculine noun, which makes sense because kings are men. Just as queens are women. Do I hear a, “duh?”

Just like the English word for king and kingdom are similar in spelling and pronunciation but quite different in their meaning and application, so is the Greek word for kingdoms, which is: basileia. The meaning: a territory or dominion or base of royal power, subject to the rule of a king or queen or prince or whatever. However, the Greek word for kingdom is a feminine noun, which also makes sense. Although there are rare exceptions, nearly all nations (kingdoms) are referred to by the feminine pronoun when substituted for the name of the country.

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Or, she is the land of the free… I love America. Or, I love her (which would be expressed even by a woman using the personal pronoun).

More Conclusive Evidence in the Passage

The very fact that the author John employs both Greek words for kings and kingdoms in Revelation 17 makes for an unambiguous grammatical distinction between the two.

“The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast” (Revelation 17:12, italics for emphasis).

I think this was best summarized in my book Out of the Abyss, so permit me to quote from it (in italics):

All scholars agree that the ten horns are just what the text states … basileus or ten kings. Although the same word for kings is employed for the seven heads in verse 9, they substitute kings with kingdoms. At the very minimum that seems to be inconsistent. At the maximum, it’s simply not grammatically accurate.

…the fact is that the Greek words used for king(s) and kingdom(s) are precise definitive words that delineate and distinguish between the two.

Both Greek words are utilized in the same revelation scene given to John; hence, it’s even more imperative that there is no confusion generated by liberally substituting the actual Greek word for kings with a kingdom interpretation. I believe this would be a violation of the textual and contextual language and meaning.

Please understand, it must be one or the other; it can’t be both king and kingdom. The rest of Scripture that deals with the Antichrist hinges on the proper application of kings to the word kings versus kingdoms.

To a great extent, one could make a strong case that the Greek words alone would decide the issue here. It is a case that probably would stand the test of any formal debate, in any etymological or linguistic court, as it were.

Footnote: The application of kingdoms to the Greek word for kings is not entirely new to modern prophetic study, although the magnitude of this application became much more evident shortly after the resurgence of prophetic studies in the 20th century. (Pages 124-125).

Is It Door Number One, Two, Three or All Three?

Before we can make a deal (agreement) that there are, with historical 20/20 hindsight, three doors (options) that can and will lead to seven Roman Emperors to precisely match what John is telling the first century believers and all believers thereafter, let me repeat why this is necessary.

We need to fully comprehend that the Antichrist will not be a modern-day born man—as clearly controverted by Revelation 17:7-8, which states the Antichrist had already lived and died BEFORE John even wrote Revelation, and that his identity can be known (Nero). Therefore, there will be a Revived Roman Emperor (an eighth but also one of the seven) not a Revived Roman Empire as the seventh kingdom … when, in fact, those seven are kings not kingdoms. Even though there were more than seven Roman emperors in the first century, there were only seven of these emperors who match and, therefore, confirm the seven kings of Revelation.

The following is a list of Caesars in the first century. Beginning with the first Caesar whose reign actually started in the 1st century BC. … before the birth of Messiah Jesus.

Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD)

Tiberius (14 AD – 37 AD)

Caligula (37 – 41)

Claudius (41 – 54)

Nero (54 – 68)

Galba, Otho & Vitellius (68 – 69)

Vespasian (69 – 79)

Titus (79 – 81)

Domitian (81 – 96)

Nerva (96 – 98)

Later, you’ll see why I’ve lumped three emperors together and why the emperor after Domitian is listed. The vast majority of Bible commentators believe the author of Revelation is John the Apostle, written during the reign of Domitian. Thus, the total number of “kings” would be twelve, not seven. Thirteen, if Julius Caesar is included—who many students of prophecy have (erroneously) classified as a (the first) Caesar. Hence, the substitution of kingdoms for kings.

Time and space in today’s article does not permit detailed elaboration, so I will simply relay the position of most historians who contend that Julius was not actually one (the first) of the Caesars, even though his name is linked to the title of Caesar. Some members of the Roman Senate murdered him before he could proclaim himself as Caesar and/or before he could be acknowledged as the first Roman dictator. In fact, history strongly indicates that Julius, himself, was undecided whether to proclaim himself as Caesar when he went to the Senate on that fateful day.

When you examine virtually any historical account, you will find the first Emperor listed as Augustus who was recognized by the Senate and affirmed by the Roman citizenry as the first Roman Caesar, nearly two decades after Julius was assassinated.

 So Who Were the Seven Kings (Emperors) and Which Door Is Each Set of Seven Behind?

*Note: Doors number one and two are for those who believe that another believer named John wrote Revelation, not John the Apostle. Door number three is for those who adamantly contend that the Apostle John authored Revelation and did so during the reign of Domitian. But what you are about to discover is that it doesn’t matter which door you open; they all lead to the convincing conclusion that there were, indeed, seven 1st century Roman Emperors to match the seven kings as stated in Revelation. Thereby, historically confirming the amazing accuracy of Scripture and the fallacy of switching seven kings to kingdoms.

Door Number One

First, a review regarding the status of the seven kings as relayed by John, at the very time he received these revelations on the isle of Patmos: “Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:10).

We’ll scrutinize the term fallen in more detail; for now sufficient to know that, in its broadest application, it simply means, died. Five of the seven kings had already lived and died (INCLUDING THE ANTICHRIST HIMSELF … as stated three times in Revelation 17 and three times in Revelation 13).

Some scholars who believe that another man named John wrote Revelation place the time of authorship shortly after Nero’s death, during the brief tenure of Galba between June, 68 AD and January, 69 AD.

Accordingly, the five Caesars who had already died were: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. Galba would be the sixth king who “now reigns” with the seventh king to follow but “his reign will be brief.” Sure enough, Otho succeeded Galba and lasted as Emperor for a whopping three months. Now that is a short reign!

So, the first door easily opens to a room of the first seven Roman Caesars (kings) to perfectly match what the angel is telling John the Revelator. Yet we must begin with Augustus, not Julius, which is historically accurate because Julius was never a Caesar in the first place.

Door Number Two

Although they are few compared to students of prophecy who ascribe authorship of Revelation to the Apostle John, the majority of Bible scholars who believe another John wrote Revelation believe the preponderance of evidence shows that Revelation was written during the reign of Vespasian, 69-79 AD.

Nevertheless, this door will also lead to a room occupied by seven Roman emperors!

If Vespasian was the sixth king reigning when John received the revelations, then his son, Titus, would be the seventh. By referring again to the list of Roman Emperors, we see that Titus was only Caesar for two years (79 – 81 AD). In contrast to Vespasian and the first five Caesars, the reign of Titus would certainly qualify as brief.

Now then, you’re probably asking the question, “What about Galba, Otho, and Vitellius? Wouldn’t they be numbers six and seven, (and eight) … with Vespasian number nine and Titus the tenth? Those numbers don’t fit with seven kings of Revelation 17.”

Ah, but Vespasian and Titus could be numbers six and seven. And were, in fact, if door number two is the historical explanation for the seven kings. Reminder: all three doors lead to seven kings. The only difference in the three doors that lead to the same room of seven Caesars is which seven are they. Moreover, there will be no cheating in order to make Door Number Two a viable option to explain the succession of emperors when Revelation was written! Here’s why and how.

*Note: A pause here to explain that if even one of these three historical options couldn’t fit with seven Roman emperors, then I wouldn’t have allowed my book Out of the Abyss to be published. In fact, I wouldn’t have even continued writing the book. Nor would many of the articles in Eye of Prophecy (category of Antichrist) have been subsequently written to further affirm that Nero is the Antichrist.

In order for Vespasian to be the sixth king and Titus the seventh, we need to eliminate Galba, Otho, and Vitellius as (genuine) Roman Emperors. “Really?” you reply. “How is that possible?”

Because the vast majority of historians have done exactly that. They have catalogued these three emperors as illegitimate usurpers to the Roman throne after Nero’s death, during an 18 month time of civil war upheaval in the Roman Empire. Please refer to, Out of the Abyss (Chapter 17) for a more detailed explanation, as time/space doesn’t permit in today’s article. The longest “reign” of these three pseudo pretenders to the throne was Vitellius … for only nine months.

(Some Historians List the First Five Roman Emperors as Claudian Dynasty or Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Either way, Julius Is Not Considered One of the Caesars)

(The Next Historical Dynasty Is Labeled The Flavian Dynasty. Notice That Galba, Otho, and Vitellius Are Not Listed in This Dynasty Or Any Other)

Another excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

A modern-day comparison would be if the President of the United States died in office, the legal and proper succession would flow to Vice President. But let’s say that the Speaker of the House, or a senator, or perhaps a three-star general decided to be President. Likely, there soon would be civil war; at the very least disorder and unrest would be rampant throughout the country. No matter how long anyone stayed in office, few would ever consider them to be the legitimate President of the United States. Likewise, neither the Romans as a whole nor history acknowledged these three men as bona fide emperors. And, neither did the angelic messenger of Revelation 17, if he gave the visions to John of Patmos during Vespasian’s reign (Page 152).

In order to fully grasp that both of these first two doors are viable options (explanations) we need to place ourselves in the 1st century alongside of the believers who were reading Revelation for the first time. Most Christians would have been fully aware of the exact sequence of Roman emperors, including whether or not Galba and Otho would be the sixth and seventh kings (Door One); or whether those two and Vitellius would be disqualified and Vespasian would then be the sixth king and his son, Titus, the seventh. They would most certainly have known which emperor was the “sixth (who) now reigns” and the seventh in the event some believers didn’t read Revelation until the seventh Caesar began his reign, or any time thereafter.

This premise will also apply to Door Number Three.

Door Number Three

If, in fact, John the Apostle wrote Revelation and did so during Domitian’s reign, then a third door is necessary as an (accurate) alternative to accommodate seven Roman Emperors. Once again, as presented in last week’s article, we still do not know for sure which John authored Revelation. Yet, it was necessary to show—which was done through much evidence and analysis of that evidence—that another believer named John could certainly have been the author.

If Revelation was written during Domitian’s tenure as Emperor, then he would be the sixth king and Nerva, his successor, the seventh. We see that Nerva was on the throne for only two years so that would definitely qualify as a brief reign. The biggest hurdle for scholars who maintain Revelation was written during Domitian’s reign is the verse declaring that five kings had already “fallen.” At face value that is a huge problem; by the time you get to Domitian, the previous ten Emperors had already died … seven if you eliminate Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. Either way it’s more than five.

During my extensive study, research, and writing of Out of the Abyss, this was also my biggest prophetic puzzle to solve … one of the toughest pieces to refit, or so I thought. However, the last thing I would or could do was to force this door open with mere supposition or some flimsy hypothesis for the sake of trying to prove my premise that Nero was the first century man of lawlessness (Antichrist) and will return as the 21st century beast (the same Antichrist).

In order to successfully enter this door without forcing it open, I needed to more closely examine the Greek word for “fallen.” Obviously it means death (died), but could it have a more specific meaning? The answer: Yes, could and does!

Here is another excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

First, we need to scrutinize the Greek word translated “fallen” in Revelation 17:10. The Greek word is pipto. In the broadest sense it means to perish, to come to an end, to cease. But it also conveys a more specific meaning; that of being thrust down, to be removed from power by death at the hand of another. In the immediate context of Revelation 17:10, the angel could certainly have been referring to five kings who had been killed (removed or toppled from power) by someone else, as opposed to a natural death.

…If, in fact, the angel used the Greek word pipto (fallen) in the more contracted but nevertheless equal meaning of the word, then we should discover five Roman emperors who were assassinated, murdered, or killed by someone else (Page 153).

History shows us that four of the ten Roman Emperors from Augustus through Titus died of natural causes … Augustus, Tiberius, Vespasian, and Titus. Otho committed suicide which doesn’t qualify as being killed (eliminated) by someone else. That leaves five emperors.

To successfully open door number three, we’re going to allow Galba, Otho, and Vitellius back into the equation. Why? Because Scripture could certainly have included these three. As said in Out of the Abyss: “This is not an arbitrary manipulation of history; rather, we have a feasible application of more than one option with respect to the angel’s sequential choice of the seven emperors. Conversely, if even one of these doors doesn’t open, then the foundational options collapse and I suppose we return to kingdoms instead of kings—despite the Greek word for kings and the deference to personal pronouns” (Pages 153-154).

Here is the amazing fit: We do find that the remaining five emperors who had “fallen” (pipto) died at the hands of another. They are:

Caligula: Assassinated by the Praetorian Guard.

Claudius: Murdered by his wife, Agrippina (with assistance or at least collusion of Nero).

Nero: Killed by his servant. Some accounts indicate he committed suicide, but suicide was only his idea. History clearly shows he couldn’t go through with killing himself so his servant, Epaphroditos, ended up striking the fatal blows.

Galba: Murdered in favor of Otho assuming the throne.

Vitellius: Assassinated by Roman soldiers.

Summary

Door Number One:

If Revelation was given to John the Revelator during Galba’s tenure, then (the first) five kings had already died …by using the broader application of pipto (fallen). With the seventh king to come (Otho) having a very brief reign. Result: A perfect fit for the seven kings.

Door Number Two:

If John of Patmos or even John the Apostle received the revelations during Vespasian’s reign, the same five emperors had died (Augustus through Nero); however we—as historians have done—can exclude Galba, Otho, and Vitellius Why? Because they were temporary fill-in rulers generated by chaos in the Roman Empire after Nero’s death. Result: A very nice fit.

Door Number Three:

If the book of Revelation was written by John the Apostle during Domitian’s reign, we simply apply the Greek word pipto (fallen) in its more restricted usage … meaning forcible removal from power at the hands of another. But also to include the three quasi-emperors specifically in the context of how they died. Result: An equally fine fit.

In final summary, here is one last excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

The book of Revelation was not written exclusively for … whatever generation would be on earth when the end times arrived. In hindsight, we in this generation look back and subconsciously, even unintentionally or subliminally think that the Book of Revelation is applicable only to our age. But that is rear-view vision only, simply because Christ hasn’t yet returned. Obviously, the unfolding prophecies of Revelation will be applicable to the generation alive at that time; however, Revelation was first and foremost written to and for the 1st century believers as much as 2nd century, 5th century, 10th century, and so on. That is why Jesus told John, “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen” (Revelation 1:19).

Essentially, all but two things are future when it comes to end times prophecies culminating with the Day of the Lord, whether the future was the 1st century or the 21st century. Those two exceptions are men: the Messiah and his antithesis, Antichrist. Since Jesus could have returned in the first century, then there must also have been a first century man who would immediately precede Christ’s return! That is exactly what Revelation Chapter 17 is telling us (Page 155).

Adding to this excerpt, we can even better understand that a first-century Antichrist was necessary by realizing that this same man (Nero) has been confined to the Abyss and will reappear shortly after the Rapture. This sure prophecy could have taken place anytime since the first century to this very day.

Although all three doors are legitimate scriptural and historical options, which one would you choose? Whichever door you open you will have traded up for the prize of being right! And that’s a pretty good deal!

Things to Ponder

The price will seem right to those left behind when they choose Antichrist and refuse to trade up for the True Messiah, Jesus. But it will be a horribly heavy price to pay and there will be no turning back once they accept the mark or name of Nero in their right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-18).

They will have literally made a deal with Satan when they take the mark of the beast, and they will have sealed their eternal destiny (Revelation 14:9-10).

(What Many Forget Is That People Will Also Choose the Name of the Beast–Nero–Instead of His Number)

But for those who will not be amazed at the reappearance of a 2,000 year-old Roman Caesar because Scripture had predicted this long ago, they will choose (even on pain of torture or death) the true Messiah, Jesus.

And their reward will be very great.

“…They had not worshipped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4b).

For those of us who will be taken in the Rapture because we have already believed and received Jesus as Messiah:

“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4).

Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence (Part I)

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Which John is the Author of Revelation?

From where does the contemporary idea of a Revived Roman Empire come? Why do the vast majority of Bible scholars substitute kingdoms for kings in Revelation Chapter 17? Why is it that most teachers and students of Scripture adamantly maintain that only the Apostle John could have written the book of Revelation? How could so many students of Bible prophecy (including me at one time) miss the stunning evidence clearly conveyed in Revelation?

“The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now…” (Revelation 17:7).

My second book (Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666, published in 2011) originated directly from the dramatic discernment given to me in November, 2008 regarding the staggering implications of this passage. Subsequently, several Eye of Prophecy articles have expounded on the above quoted verse and several other Biblical passages to affirm the identity of Antichrist—none other than the Roman Emperor, Nero.

But not to reinforce the misguided view of the Preterists who also point to Nero as the Antichrist. Because the Preterist maintain that the Great Tribulation occurred in the first century; which any number of Bible scholars have robustly refuted with clear Scriptural and historical documentation. As I’ve stated before, with abundant reasons given, the simple fact remains that the Great Tribulation is yet to come, preceded immediately by the Rapture, which unequivocally undermines the unscriptural and illogical premise advanced by the Preterists.

Yes, Nero was the Antichrist of the first century. But what the Preterists missed entirely is the astonishing disclosure in Revelation 17: the Antichrist had already lived and died BEFORE John saw this man in the form of a beast … as just quoted in the above verse. The few who believe that Nero was the Antichrist, do so primarily because the number of the beast through gematria (six hundred, sixty-six) corresponds to the name of Nero. Which it does, but that’s only one of many prophetic passages in Scripture that match Nero to Antichrist; some coming to pass in the first century, but most to be fulfilled during the Great Tribulation soon to come when Nero reappears from the Abyss.

Just as clearly and convincingly in this same passage, the angel who is revealing the mystery of the beast to John goes on to say that the Antichrist beast (who had already lived and died) would then, “…come up out of the bottomless pit…” And that the world (those left behind at the Rapture), “…will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8).

This mind boggling fact was completely missed by the Preterists. But the same Bible scholars who astutely disproved the inaccurate claim by the Preterist that the Tribulation took place in the first century have also thrown out the baby with the bath water. Although I don’t like the analogy of comparing Nero to a baby, nearly all (if not all) students of prophecy have dismissed Nero as the Antichrist because the Tribulation has not yet taken place. Thereby, missing the extraordinary evidence in Revelation 17 that the Antichrist beast (Nero) will have reappeared from the Abyss when he arrives on the Tribulation scene.

(The Greater Majority of Evangelical Students of Prophecy Subscribe to Futurism Application of Revelation. I Would Add a Fifth Option: Partial Fulfillment in 1st Century–Nero Revealed, Complete Fulfillment in 21st Century)

Reasons Why Bible Scholars Changed Kings to Kingdoms in Revelation 17

A few previous Eye of Prophecy articles (see category of Antichrist) covered in part what was dealt with as a whole in Out of the Abyss. Such things as Antichrist (Nero):

Lived and died before John saw him (the beast) arise from the Sea (Abyss), thus the Antichrist could not be a modern-day born man (Revelation 13 & 17); the ruler who would arise shortly after Messiah was killed, whose armies would destroy the Temple (Daniel 9:26, 27); Nero was the man of lawlessness and the restrainer was the Roman Government and Claudius Caesar, not the Holy Spirit (II Thessalonians 2); suddenly (not gradually as would a modern-day born man) reappearing to the post-Rapture world (Daniel 7, Revelation 13 & 17); one of, out of, and from the seven kings who are seven Roman Emperors of the 1st century and not kingdoms as proposed by most Bible scholars (Revelation 17); and other passages.

In next week’s article we’ll see more compelling evidence to demonstrate that the beast/king of Revelation (Antichrist) was certainly known by the first century and subsequent century Christians to be a Roman Emperor … Nero Caesar. That there were seven Roman emperors who matched the seven kings of Revelation 17.

But first, in this week’s article, we need to examine evidence as to which John wrote the book of Revelation, as this issue is a formidable obstacle to correctly understanding that there were, in fact, seven kings (Roman Emperors) and not ten or more. Returning to the questions that opened today’s article, answers will be given this week and next regarding the two reasons why students of prophecy replaced seven kings with seven kingdoms. With the 7th kingdom purported to be a Revived Roman Empire instead of the clear textual reference to and meaning of all seven kings as men—by the use of personal pronouns and the Greek word for kings, not kingdoms as found in Revelation Chapter 17.

Reason #1: The prevailing view that the book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John in the mid-90s AD, not another John.

Reason #2: For reason number one, students of prophecy contend that there would be ten or more kings, not seven; thus, the only alternative for them was to (erroneously) replace the Greek word for king with kingdom.

“This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast … also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:9-10).

If you haven’t read Out of the Abyss, what you’re about to discover is that no matter which John (the Apostle or who some call John the Revelator) wrote Revelation, first century history perfectly matches what the angel is telling John in the above quoted verses. We’ll see how that works in next week’s article. Therefore, there’s no reason to change seven kings to kingdoms just because there are ten or more Roman emperors up to the time that John the Apostle may have written Revelation (if he did), which is thought to be around 95 AD.

Why can I say that? Because, when we peer into the first century with historical hindsight (20/20 vision), we’ll plainly see that there’s more than one way (retroactively) to positively match what actually happened in the 1st century to what Scripture is telling us.

Please understand: The first part of Revelation 17:8, then all of verse 9 and most of verse 10 are not future tense (prophecies). They are, in fact, past and present tense (what had happened and was happening in the Roman Empire at the time), with only a slight future tense reference to the 7th king (Roman Caesar) who hadn’t yet begun his reign when the revelations were given to John.

If you’re confused or at least puzzled, that’s not all bad! Because you’re more likely to continue reading both this week’s article (Part I) and next week’s (Part II).

There’s nothing like solving a Whodunit mystery!

Let’s set the stage with an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics):

The main reason that Bible scholars have discounted the seven heads as seven kings stems from the difficulty of sequentially selecting these emperors in the context of when John wrote Revelation. Why? The prevailing view ascribes authorship to the apostle John during the reign of Domitian (81 to 96 AD).

I will give you both sides to this issue, including compelling evidence to make the following assertion: No matter who wrote Revelation or when it was written, as applied to the five fallen kings, the 6th now reigning, and the 7th to follow with a short reign, Revelation 17 allows both views to fit! (Page 140).

(This Accurately Depicts the Four World Kingdoms of Daniel 2 & 7. But There Were Only Four, Not Seven. Which Is Another Reason That the Seven Kings of Revelation Are Kings, Not Kingdoms)

In Out of the Abyss I present the reasons that most Bible scholars and teachers insist that John the Apostle wrote Revelation; however, time/space in today’s article doesn’t permit elaboration on those explanations.

Nonetheless, I will quote another excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

Unfortunately, however, we cannot stake our theological lives on an unequivocal decree that John the Apostle authored the book of Revelation. I wish I could, as I have always been taught that, and always accepted it without reservation. By far, John (the Apostle) is my favorite choice (page 141).

Instead, we’ll look at reasons why the Apostle John may not have been the author; it very well could have been another Christian believer named John to whom Messiah Jesus and angels disclosed the awesome revelations as recorded in the Book of Revelation.

Reasons Why a Handful of Bible Scholars Believe That John the Apostle Did Not Write Revelation

John Identified Himself in Revelation

John the Apostle is correctly credited with authorship of the Gospel of John and the Epistles I, II, & III John. Although the Apostle John does not identify himself by (the author’s) name, I am in full agreement with all of the evidence to convincingly conclude that he did author these four books of the New Testament. Yet one of the reasons to question the Apostle John’s authorship of Revelation is the very fact that he doesn’t name himself in the above listed books.

Whereas, in the book of Revelation, the writer identifies himself no less than four times! Beginning with, “This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia…” (Revelation 1:4).

When you think about it, the author of Revelation naming himself not just once, but four times, is a substantial departure from the Apostle John not identifying himself in his Gospel and Epistles. It is also baffling because the Apostle John would have even less reason to identify himself as the author of Revelation. Why? If he did write Revelation during the reign of Domitian, he was already well-known in Christian circles. Likewise, if the Apostle John wrote Revelation, it would be more logical and consistent to refer to himself as a disciple or as an elder as he did in the Gospel of John and II & III John, respectively.

Differences in Writing Style & Semantics

Some scholars cite the substantial differences between the near flawless Greek of John’s Gospel with the more unpolished style and unrefined syntax of the book of Revelation. Their conclusion: these books were not authored by the same man. *Note: this observation must be given serious consideration. Nearly all authors, if not all, maintain the same basic style of writing, even if their works are both fiction and non-fiction. And especially if they are of one genre (non-fiction as is the case with all books of the Bible). Although the Holy Spirit inspired all authors of Scripture, he nevertheless utilized the individual literary talents, traits, and tendencies of each writer.

Persecution of Christians in the First Century

Another primary reason in contending that the Apostle John wrote Revelation (around 95 AD) is the presumption that Christians were more heavily persecuted during the reign of Emperor Diocletian than under any other Caesar. Hence, John the Apostle’s exile to the isle of Patmos. The view that Revelation was written by the apostle John during the 90s AD is still prevalent and predominate despite the indisputable historical evidence that Christians suffered and died much more extensively under Nero (including the execution of the Apostles Paul and Peter during Nero’s reign).

(Strong Church Tradition Indicates the Apostle Peter Was Crucified Upside Down At His Request … As He Didn’t Consider Himself Worthy of Dying Like Messiah Jesus)

Reasons/Evidence from My Own Study of Revelation

My fairly extensive research and preparation for writing Out of the Abyss involved a thorough study of first century history and all Biblical passages on the Antichrist, not the least of which was the book of Revelation. Because authorship of Revelation is one of the main reasons Bible scholars cannot reconcile the number of kings (seven) with the historical number of 1st century Roman Emperors to the time they believe Revelation was written (95 AD), I conducted my own scrutiny of Revelation’s authorship mostly from the text itself.

First, as indicated earlier, to emphasize that we really don’t know with concrete certainty who wrote Revelation. Which doesn’t detract in the least from the fact that this book (like the unknown composition of Hebrews or Esther or many of the Psalms) was/is just as powerful and true as any other book of the Bible, whose author is known.

Let’s look at seven more reasons why another John may have written Revelation, as developed during my examination of Revelation’s authorship.

(1) The Name of John

From the first century down to our 21st century, John has been a common name. As recently as 1923, it was the most common name given to newborn boys. Although slowly declining in popularity (what with the growing number of very unusual names all over the world), in 2015 the name John still ranked 26th in popularity. Hence, the distinct possibility that John of Patmos was other than the Apostle John. Also it’s entirely feasible that both had been exiled to Patmos, perhaps at different times.

(2) The Term Antichrist

I’ve asked the following question is a previous Eye of Prophecy article or two:

Where in the New Testament do we find the appellation of Antichrist? I would venture to say that nearly all unbelievers (those who know some of the names of the books of the Bible) but even a great many believers would answer: The term Antichrist is found in the book of Revelation.

Is that your answer … Revelation?

No, not in Revelation. Antichrist is found in only one book, I John, written by John the Apostle.

Yet, most of the Biblical passages about Antichrist are found in Revelation, however, by employing the terms beast and king. The other books of the Bible that refer to this evil man use the designations of little horn, ruler (prince), king in Daniel; man of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2); worthless (foolish) shepherd (Zachariah 11).

(Please see Eye of Prophecy trilogy, A Beast by Any Other Name … Is Still a Beast, posted 3-14, 3-21, & 3-28-15).

If John the Apostle wrote Revelation to include two entire chapters (13 & 17) and parts of other chapters on the Antichrist, then why wouldn’t he have used the same term Antichrist that (only) John himself used in his first epistle? That is a question that cannot be brushed aside trivially or glossed over dismissively. You would expect the Apostle John (if he authored Revelation) to utilize the label of Antichrist at least once. But he doesn’t. Whereas, if Revelation was written by another John (who, for example, had not yet read I John or more likely because I John had not yet been written), he would and did refer to the man—called Antichrist by the Apostle—as a beast and a king, which are the descriptions of this tyrant in Revelation.

(3) John’s Exile to Patmos

“I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus” (Revelation 1:9).

(Depiction of John and an Angel on Patmos)

If not all, then at least the greater majority of 1st century believers—especially while the Apostle John was still alive—would have known beyond any doubt that this beloved apostle was their brother (in Christ) and why he would be suffering (for preaching the Gospel). If the Apostle John wrote Revelation, I suppose it’s possible that he would have cited these reasons perhaps for emphasis; although it was the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter who talked much more about suffering for the sake of Messiah Jesus. However, the Apostle John says virtually nothing about suffering for Christ in his epistles and very little in his Gospel. Whereas, another (less well-known or not known at all) John of Revelation would want and need to emphasize to the churches that he was a fellow believer in Messiah. And that’s why he had been exiled to Patmos and why he was being persecuted … because he, too, was a brother and partner in suffering.

(4) John’s Intriguing Description of Messiah Jesus

“When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man…” (Revelation 1:12-13).

Two things caught my attention in this passage: (A) it’s clear that John did not recognize Jesus or didn’t know for certain if the man was the Lord. It’s also evident that John was amazed at the appearance of the man standing before him. Among other descriptions of what he saw: “…And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance” (Revelation 1:16). If John the Apostle wrote Revelation, his amazement at the man’s appearance wouldn’t preclude him from recognizing the man as his risen Savior, Messiah Jesus.

(B) Nor would John the Apostle (if he wrote Revelation) have described the person he saw as, “…someone like the Son of Man?” He simply would have said, The Son of Man. I draw that conclusion because the Apostle John knew Jesus as the Son of Man, a term that Jesus used himself to emphasize that he was the Messiah. Whereas, the Apostle John’s definitive emphasis is that Jesus is the Son of God.

The prophet Daniel also saw Messiah Jesus, in one of Jesus’s pre-Incarnate appearances.

Here’s what Daniel wrote: “As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven…” (Daniel 7:13).

Daniel’s description of Messiah is strikingly similar to that of John’s account. Both were amazed, but neither Daniel (before Jesus first came to earth) nor John of Patmos (after Jesus returned to heaven in his glorified body) knew for sure that they were looking at Messiah. So they both said someone “like the (a) Son of Man.”

Here is my conclusion as stated in the following excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

The disciple John would certainly have recognized Yeshua, even in his risen and glorified body and despite the glorious description of this man who stood before John. Not only had the apostle John been a constant companion to Jesus for well over three years; he was one of three disciples afforded the wonderful privilege of watching the awesome pre-crucifixion, pre-ascension transfiguration of Jesus (Page 144).

In the first chapter of his Gospel, John writes: “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14).

The Apostle Peter also wrote about this exceptional experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.

“…We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father…” (II Peter 1:16-17).

Who are the “we” referred to by Peter? You know the answer: Peter, James, and John!

Had not John the Apostle seen Jesus in his glorified essence (even before the Resurrection), it would make more sense for him to not know for sure if Messiah Jesus was standing in front of him on Patmos. On the other hand, it makes a great deal of sense that another John was looking at Christ Jesus for the very first time in his life. The best description he could muster was based on what Daniel had said (I’m confident that John of Revelation was a Messianic Jew who knew his Old Testament quite well) when Daniel saw “someone like the Son of Man.”

(5) Messiah Jesus … The First and the Last

Immediately after the author of Revelation, John, saw the dazzling appearance of “someone like the Son of Man” the man (Jesus) spoke to him:

“…Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).

As already alluded, the Apostle John had been an eyewitness to Messiah’s life, transfiguration, death, burial, resurrection, and return to heaven. If the Apostle had learned nothing else, he knew that Jesus was the Son of God, born as the Son of Man—from everlasting to everlasting. In fact, John begins his wonderful Gospel with this magnificent statement in which, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he refers to Jesus as the (living) Word:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NASB).

Jesus would know that John the Apostle needed no reminder or assurance that he (Christ) had died, was now alive, and would live forever.

To the contrary, it would be completely plausible for Jesus to triumphantly declare, reinforce, reestablish, and otherwise bolster this tremendous truth to a man who had trusted Christ as Savior, but had never seen Christ before. It’s much like the touching scene (a small pun intended), in which Jesus invites the apostle Thomas to touch the nail imprints in his hands and feet, and the spear print in his side. Jesus effectively told Thomas: You followed me, you believed in me, but to eliminate all doubt, touch the wounds. How did Thomas respond? By proclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” And where is this passage in the Bible found! It is recorded in the 20th Chapter of the Gospel of John! The apostle John witnessed this poignant scene, one that I’m sure he would never forget.

It’s entirely sensible that we have another John, a believer, like many believers who have never seen Jesus, needed these words from Messiah to reinforce the undeniable, everlasting truth that Jesus is alive. He has risen! He has risen, indeed! (Out of the Abyss, page 146).

Let’s look at another incident, which actually occurred twice during the astonishing revelations given to John. If just these incidents were the only passages, they alone would provide persuasive evidence to suggest that another John (not the Apostle) was selected by Jesus to write the book of Revelation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But when combined with the reasons already given … well, you decide.

(6) John Fell Down and Worshipped the Angel

There are three sources of the revelations given to John: (A) Jesus, himself; (B) viewing what is taking place as a bystander; (C) from angels.

Most of the revelations are from angels, including the dramatic disclosure in Revelation 17 of the woman (city of Rome, which later morphed into the Holy Roman Empire … now headquartered in the Vatican) and the geopolitical and biographical origin of the beast (Antichrist).

The first incident in which John falls to the ground in awe (of the angel) was toward the end of his visions after all twenty-one seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments are finished. Upon seeing some spectacular sights of the heavenly host and hearing magnificent words of praise to God and the Lamb, John wrote:

“Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, ‘No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus’” (Revelation 19:10).

Just as the Apostle John would have recognized Jesus in the opening scene on Patmos and just as the Apostle (he if was the John of Revelation) would not need to be told—either for the first time or even as a reminder—that Jesus had died and rose again, I’m firmly convinced that the Apostle John would not have fallen at the feet of the angel, let alone worshipped the angel. In fact, as amazing as the scene John had just witnessed in heaven and as splendid as God’s angels are in appearance and power (given to them by their Creator), he more than all of the apostles would have known better than to worship an angel. He would have clearly comprehended that you don’t worship the angelic messenger; you worship the King who sent the emissary.

Alas, so many of us are slow to learn! A short time later we see John of Revelation again bowing before the angel, this time at the very end of the revelations given to him as recorded in the last chapter of the book of Revelation. Then, for the fourth and final time, the author identifies himself as John. Read with me his words:

“I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said, ‘No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!’” (Revelation 22:8-9).

Permit me to quote again from Out of the Abyss (in italics):

Even if the apostle John had been caught up in the splendor of the moment the first time he fell at the angel’s feet, would he have made the same mistake twice? Anything’s possible, but my guess is that the consensus answer would be a resounding, “No way” (page 147).

This conclusion is even stronger considering that the Apostle John would have been much older and more mature during the time Revelation was written than he had been as a young man (disciple) when Jesus was on earth. He wouldn’t have fallen at the angel’s feet even once, let alone twice; as he might have done as an impetuous young man who (along with his brother, the Apostle James) persuaded his mother to ask Jesus permission for them to sit on either side of Jesus in the Kingdom of God!

Before we look at one last reason in this study of the authorship of Revelation, I need to reemphasize that next week’s article will provide captivating confirmation to show that no matter whether the Apostle John or another John wrote Revelation and when it was written, the succession of seven Roman emperors still fits. This fit will, in turn, prove that the Antichrist (who had already lived and died before John wrote Revelation) was one of the seven kings of Revelation 17. Consequently, there was no need for Bible scholars to substitute seven kings with seven kingdoms because they couldn’t reconcile the number of Roman emperors. Or to maintain this hypothesis because of their contention that Revelation was written by John the Apostle around 95 AD.

(7) Was John of Revelation an (the) Apostle or a Prophet?

Included in the angel’s admonition (I believe it was a gentle reprimand!) to John’s second mistake of worshiping the angel was, “I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets.”

By the sheer number of prophetic revelations given to John (of Revelation), it’s obvious that he was a Prophet. Though the majority of prophets in Scripture lived in Old Testament times, there were some believers in the first century who had been called by God to be prophets. Even though both Paul and Peter had been given a couple of prophetic revelations, their commission and function was that of an apostle. Likewise with the Apostle John and all the apostles.

For example, Paul goes to great length to explain that each believer is bestowed a specific gift to serve the Lord (Romans 12). Also, God had given the Church specific administrative positions to serve the body of Christ. Those are listed in I Corinthians 12:28 beginning with:

“…First are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers…” And so forth … there are eight specific roles listed, but Paul said these eight are only, “some of the parts God has appointed for the church.”

Then Paul asks a rhetorical question: “Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? … Of course not!” (Verses 29-30).

As such, none of the apostles were prophets, in the sense of being called and designated by the Lord to do the work of a prophet as demonstrated by the Biblical concept, definition, and performance of what a prophet does.

With Scriptural understanding of these specific roles, I believe we can safely and surely state the following: If John of Revelation was the Apostle John, then the angel would not have referred to him as “you and your brothers the prophets.” Instead the angel would have said something to the effect, “I am a servant of God, just like you and the other apostles.”

Things to Ponder

In closing, I’ll cite an excerpt from Out of the Abyss that also summarized that particular chapter concerning Revelation’s authorship.

I trust that you have accepted this textual exegesis for what it is: a possible alternative to the apostle John as the author of Revelation. One that is not intended to absolutely declare that another John was the author; or to patently prove that John the Apostle did not write Revelation (page 148).

To also express my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ and gratitude to the students of prophecy who have correctly put together much of the prophetic puzzle … but not all of it. That was part of my purpose in writing Out of the Abyss as well as many of the Eye of Prophecy articles to date.

That purpose is: clarification and correlation. But also correction … to accurately refit some pieces of the prophetic puzzle. In this case to demonstrate that the Antichrist was revealed in the 1st century as the man of lawlessness, and will reappear (return) as the beast of the (21st century) Tribulation. That he is one of the seven kings, specifically one of the five who had died before John wrote Revelation, and that ALL Biblical passages dealing with the Antichrist fit together in amazing fashion. To such an extent, when aligned with first century secular and church history, they show convincingly that Nero matches each and every passage.

Some of the passages in Daniel (the little horn, ruler, king), in II Thessalonians 2 (man of lawlessness), and in Revelation 13 & 17 (the beast who had already lived and died) were fulfilled in the 1st century when Nero unlawfully ascended (usurped) the Roman throne as Caesar. Then later the Roman Legions, personally dispatched by Nero, destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (Daniel 9:27).

The remaining prophecies in these same books of the Bible will be completely fulfilled when Nero reappears (returns) as the beast/king of Revelation, called by the Apostle John as the Antichrist in I John.

“Why are you so amazed? the angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (suddenly at any time) come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, parenthesis mine).

The ultimate goal of Out of the Abyss and some Eye of Prophecy articles is to prepare people now and especially after the Rapture, so they will not be so “amazed” at the reappearance of the beast … Antichrist Nero.

Instead, they will be amazed at the accuracy of Scripture and the everlasting truth that Jesus is the Messiah. To then embrace him as Lord and Savior!

“But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…” (Joel 2:32).