A Warning From Messiah Jesus
“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or “There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:23-24).
There is a wise saying, “Be careful what you wish for….”
Down through the years, various endings to this adage have been inserted. Such as, “…it might not turn out how you think.” With the most popular warning: “…you just might get it.”
The idea, of course, is wanting something that might cause you harm or someone who isn’t really good for you. In the worst case scenario, getting what we want instead of what we really need can result in a ruinous end to relationships, goals, careers, security, tranquility, or to life itself.
In the Eye of Prophecy article, The World Wants a Messiah … But Needs The Messiah (posted in January, 2017), I wrote (excerpt in italics):
There have been a few messiah-types down through the ages. Whether their methods and eventual legacy turned out to be benevolent or malevolent, they used the same kind of passionate language that we just read from Geert Wilders of The Netherlands; or like Winston Churchill who motivated the minds and stirred the hearts of England during World War II. Or the opposite evil extreme of Hitler’s diabolical rhetoric that hypnotized millions of Germans. And tyrannical messianic figures like Joseph Stalin, who made grandiose promises that could only be kept through suppression of his own people and subjugation of surrounding peoples…
By and large, people want and/or need to be told what to do and how to do it; as long as they can trust the one who is leading them to know and accomplish what’s best for them.
It all began with God, who created us to fellowship with him, but also to obey him out of complete trust that he knows beyond all doubt what’s best for individuals and for governments. That to trust and obey him would mean eternal life through a paradise on this earth. Or to wrongly exercise the free will he gave us by choosing to go our own way and do our own thing if that’s what we really wanted. Not the least of which is trying to govern ourselves without God’s absolute standards of truth and the freedom that comes from that truth.
We failed; human governments of all kinds have failed. There simply cannot be peace and security between peoples until we first have peace with God through a change of the human heart and destiny—possible only through believing and receiving God’s solution to the human problem of sin and evil … God’s Son, THE MESSIAH.
…Moreover, the destiny of nations (both good and bad) has often been determined by the benevolence or malevolence of rulers … the laws they make and enforce, the decrees they issue, decisions they make, benefits they provide, and goals they aspire to. As the leaders go, so go the people. A ruler with integrity, compassion, and wisdom can be, and often is, a moral compass to the entire nation. Conversely, a selfish, deceitful, evil ruler can bring an entire nation down. Even the United States of America, which many contemplate to be the greatest nation of all time (at least the greatest Republic), relies heavily on its President—considered by some as the most powerful position in the world—to lead … economically, socially, militarily, legally, and morally.
The rise and fall of great leaders, noble and ignoble; of great nations, moral and immoral, is the stuff that legends are made of….
In that same article, I quoted from another Eye of Prophecy article, Kingdom of God (published January, 2015). As follows:
Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom of God; for example, comparing it to a mustard seed … the smallest of seeds that when planted grows into an enormous tree. Which is exactly what has happened to the body of Christ; an exponential growth down through the ages, to now consist of believers from virtually every nation and language on earth. It is the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and minds of those who have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ. Next, will come the final physical Kingdom of God on this earth; at which time all people, all governments, all nations will be brought under the authority of God’s magnificent Son. He will rule the nations with firmness, but fairness.
Isn’t that what most people want? They want: law, order, equality, safety, peace. And they want someone who has the kind of authority to realize those dreams, but also someone who is kind and considerate with that authority. One who truly cares about people and what’s best for them; who can rule and judge with impartiality and kindness. A truly wise and benevolent King whose attributes perfectly reflect who and what he is: Love, Truth, Justice, Mercy.
In the article, The World Wants a Messiah … But Needs The Messiah, I went on to say:
Tragically, this waiting and watching and increasingly wicked world of ours will embrace one last time a man more devious, deceitful, deplorable, and destructive than they can imagine. They will choose to believe the lie that this final false messiah is Messiah, instead of Christ Jesus—the true Messiah. Though only for seven years, the anguish experienced because untold millions will follow (to the point of worship, including many of the intellectuals of today’s world) the Antichrist will result in death and destruction that will make World War II seem like a small skirmish with only a handful of casualties. (See Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation, posted 6-6-15).
(Arlington National Cemetery … A Reminder of the Price of Freedom)
Brief Review of Last Week’s Article
First, the premise and purpose for listing four examples last week and three more in this week’s article, as stated in the previous Eye of Prophecy post:
“Today the how of his arrival is focused on his actual bodily reappearance, with parallel Biblical examples given to demonstrate that Nero’s return from a 2000-year absence is not nearly as far-fetched as it may sound. That it is fact, not fantasy…”
Later in that article:
“Those left behind at the Rapture will be mesmerized by a man who returns from the grave (as they see it … actually from the Abyss). Their initial incredulity will soon yield to the reality of what they are seeing; in part, because of the fictional fantasy images of paranormal phenomena being portrayed as almost routine in today’s New Age, literary, and entertainment circles…
“To remind us that many of God’s sovereign plans for the human race are achieved through supernatural events—past, present, and future—and, therefore, not to be so skeptical about a two-thousand year old man (Antichrist Nero) returning to earth in the same body in which he departed…”
Then summarized with:
“Please don’t miss next week’s article in which three more parallel examples will be given to illustrate comparatively that Nero’s actual reappearance on Planet Earth will be in the same body in which he died. As opposed to an imposter or some sort of virtual reality made possible by super technological special effects like holograms or whatever. Among other things, Nero will arrogantly flaunt the scars of his deadly wounds as proof of his return from the grave; in order to imitate and supersede the true risen Messiah Jesus who lovingly invited Thomas to see and touch the nail prints in his hands and the spear wound in his side.”
The first four examples were:
Fact #1: The Antichrist Had Already Lived and Died Before the Book of Revelation Was Written
Fact #2: In Order to Come Up Out of the Abyss, the Antichrist Must First Be Confined to the Abyss
Fact #3: Only Embodied Beings Inhabit the Abyss
Fact #4: The Bodily Resurrection of Messiah Jesus
Now let’s pick it up with the next precedent to further illustrate that the physical return of Nero in the same body in which he was confined to the Abyss is every bit as conceivable and possible as:
Fact #5: The Bodily Resurrection of the Dead in Christ & Transformation of Living Believers
I and others have written much about this phenomenal promise, predicated on and made possible by the powerful prototype resurrection of Messiah, himself. This staggering event, later called the Rapture, was first disclosed by the Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians Chapter 4 … then to the believers in Corinth.
“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 (the transformation, not the entire sequence of events as portrayed in I Thessalonians 4), 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. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (I Corinthians 15:51-53, parenthesis obviously mine).
If God can raise his Son from the dead with a body that was even better than the one Jesus was born with—a human body subject to earthbound dimensional limitations such as space and time and, for example, fatigue that we all experience, and also the need to open doors instead of gliding through them as Jesus did after his resurrection!—then nothing is impossible for God. Then, at the Rapture, to raise the dead in Christ and transform them to new eternal spiritual bodies along with the living believers and literally lift believers into the air and take them to heaven, then is anything too hard for the Lord?
Certainly not the revival of Nero, confining him to the Abyss alongside of very wicked embodied angels, and releasing him from the Abyss in the same body to give Satan and millions on this planet one last chance to prove that they are greater than God. The lies of Satan and his man of sin will be believed for two reasons: (1) the perceived miracle that Nero arose from the dead; (2) the fact that they hated God, Christ, and the truth to begin with.
“This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles (most of which will be done by the False Prophet … see Revelation 13). He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth” (II Thessalonians 2:9-12, parenthesis mine).
The biggest lie of all is that Nero by his own ability and/or Satan’s power arose from the dead.
The world at large will believe this lie because they will wish for (something like) it to happen, without any remorse or second thoughts as to the consequences. And they will get what they want!
But then, Jesus of Nazareth who is the real everlasting, “Way, Truth, and Life,” will return to make all things right!
Fact #6: Appearance of Satan in Bodily Form During the Great Tribulation
Although Satan’s appearance is not a resurrection or return phenomenon as such, the fact that he will greet Nero upon his ascent from the Abyss (see Revelation 13:1), then be thrown (bodily) into the Abyss during the Millennial Reign of Messiah Jesus on earth (Revelation 20), is another parallel to the physical reappearance of Nero.
When Satan is referred to as the dragon in Revelation, it is an intentional and specific reference to his existential (space/time) appearance. Please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Satan in Bodily Form … When and Why? Part I & II, posted in November, 2016. These articles provide compelling evidence based on Scripture to confirm that Satan will, indeed, be seen in an earthly dimensional form during the Great Tribulation.
(Artist Rendition of Satan Chained in the Abyss)
Fact #7: Moses’ and Elijah’s Appearance with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration & Future Appearance as the Two Witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11
Much of an entire chapter in my book, Out of the Abyss, was devoted to Moses’ and Elijah’s (bodily) appearances with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and what will be a reappearance (in those same bodies) as the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. More information was presented in the trilogy of Eye of Prophecy articles, The Two Witnesses, Part I, II, & III. Posted 6-7, 6-14, & 6-21-14.
Most, if not all, believers know of Elijah’s famous chariot ride when he was taken alive from the earth directly to heaven. Many unbelievers have also heard this story, the text of which (II Kings 2) was partially quoted in last week’s article under the heading of Things to Ponder (which is found at the end of every Eye of Prophecy article).
However, I would venture to say that fewer believers are familiar with the account of Moses’s departure from earth … a mysterious passing and an even more mysterious burial. Still fewer remember—or if they do recall, are profoundly perplexed by—a puzzling verse in a one-chapter book of the Bible that not too many Christians read or quote … at least in comparison to other New Testament books.
“But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) (Jude 1:9, parenthesis in the text).
Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss in quotation marks (You might want to first read the account of Moses death and burial in Deuteronomy 34):
“Why was Satan so bent out of shape over the body of Moses? The only rational, logical explanation is that Michael, on orders from God, had arrived to take the body of Moses directly to heaven. In fact, can you think of any other reason? This may also explain why no one knew where God had buried Moses. For that matter, how often does God directly bury someone himself, let alone conceal the burial site?
“Moses would be raised from the grave with his original body intact, and this didn’t set well with Satan … It’s entirely credible that Satan reminded Michael (and God) that the curse of sin was physical death and bodily decay. God had no right to make an exception to this rule, as it was God’s decree in the first place that Adam and Eve would surely die if they sinned…
“In no uncertain terms, Michael reminded Satan that God is in control … If the Lord wanted to take Enoch from the earth directly to heaven and later Elijah, then the Lord would do just that. Same thing with Moses; the only difference is that Moses had died, but that’s a mere technicality with God” (Page 244).
(Michael Will Again Do Battle With Satan At the Outset of the Great Tribulation … See Revelation Chapter 12)
A few paragraphs later in that chapter, I explained why both Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus in their original earthly bodies, instead of spiritual bodies that will be given to Old and New Testament saints beginning with the Rapture resurrection.
“Remember, too, the Mount of Transfiguration. Who were the two prophets who miraculously appeared and conversed with Jesus? Right: Moses and Elijah. Since Christ had not yet died and arose from the grave, neither Elijah nor Moses would yet possess the resurrected new body given to all believers. The only explanation is that both prophets still inhabit their original bodies, albeit through some special divine preservation, not known to us this side of eternity.
“…Thus, a strong case could be made that God, through the Archangel Michael, took Moses bodily from the grave. Whether God restored him to life before, during, or after his escort from the grave … well those of us going to heaven can ask Moses when we get there. Why else would only God know the exact burial place of Moses in Moab? You would think that such a great prophet would be buried in a conspicuous place like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph—where anyone in Israel could visit and venerate the grave” (Out of the Abyss, pages 245-246).
God had a special prophetic plan and purpose for Moses and Elijah, beyond their ministries while on the earth the first time. First to appear with Jesus on the mountain and witness a preview of Messiah’s soon to come glorified body when he would arise from the dead. Then to be seen by Antichrist Nero and the whole world as the Two Witnesses during the Great Tribulation. In both events, these two mighty prophets appear in their natural bodies, with the second appearance resulting in their death (Elijah’s first death, Moses’ second), only to be raised to life 3 ½ days later; this time taken to heaven in what will be their transfigured resurrected bodies.
*Note: The very fact that Moses and Elijah are killed by Antichrist (Nero) 3 ½ years after they begin their second magnificent mission on earth, leads to the inescapable conclusion that they will appear (as they did with Jesus on the mountain) in their earthly bodies.
Once again: The purpose of this illustration that Moses and Elijah, to this day, possess their original bodies—Elijah through direct conveyance to heaven by chariot while he was still alive and Moses (soon after he died) resuscitated and taken to heaven by Michael—is to demonstrate that the Lord has done the same thing with Nero … revived him after death and kept him alive in the Abyss (certainly not in heaven!).
Which brings us to what is probably the most obscure yet intriguing prophetic preview of the Antichrist, also called the little horn, ruler, king, man of lawlessness, and beast. In the passage about to be quoted, he is labeled as a, worthless shepherd. What we’re going to see is that:
The Physical Wounds That Lead to the Death of Antichrist Nero Were Portrayed in the Old Testament!
Factoring in the length of the book—proportionally word for word—the book of Zechariah contains more Messianic prophecies than any other book of the Bible. Chapter 11 is no exception. However, the first part of this chapter is similar to Isaiah 53 and a handful of other Messianic passages that foretold the suffering and death that Messiah would experience because his own people, the Jews, rejected him as Lord and Savior. In fact, Zachariah 11 precisely predicted that Messiah (the Good Shepherd) would be sold for thirty pieces of silver, which is exactly what happened when Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders.
Then Zechariah switches from playing the role of the good shepherd, whom the Jews would deny as Messiah, to an evil shepherd that God would allow to deceive and attempt to destroy Israel.
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. This illustrates how I will give this nation (Israel) a shepherd who will not care for those who are dying, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves” (Zechariah 11:15-16, parenthesis mine).
In the context of but also contrast to prophecies concerning Israel’s final restoration and the role that Messiah (Jesus) will play in Israel’s ultimate reconciliation back to God, the above passage graphically depicts what this “worthless shepherd” (Nero) would do to the Jews after he breaks the seven-year treaty with Israel halfway through that pact (See Daniel 9). God’s reason for allowing a counterfeit Messiah to betray Israel in the end times is a stark reminder that Israel spurned their true Messiah two thousand years ago. Not until they suffer one last time under a false shepherd, would they come to their senses and fully realize that Jesus of Nazareth was and is their true Shepherd.
Zechariah ends the chapter with an amazing prediction of what will happen to this worthless shepherd (when he was killed by the divine sovereignty of Jesus, then placed into and subsequently would reappear from the Abyss).
“What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind” (Zachariah 11:17).
Compare this astonishing prophecy with the return of the Antichrist beast.
“And he (the False Prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life” (Revelation 13:14, NASB, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).
A few contemporary scholars, including me, are convinced that the sword in the above two verses is literal, not figurative. Neither Zechariah nor John uses metaphorical imagery by saying or implying, “like that of a sword.” The best application for any Biblical passage is to read it literally unless the context of the word or phrase clearly indicates otherwise.
John, the author of Revelation, first saw the Antichrist beast as recorded in Revelation Chapter 13. And the very first thing he observed about the beast above all else was that, “…the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshipped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast…” (Revelation 13:3-4).
The entire globe will see the aftermath of these 2000-year old wounds which rendered Nero’s arm useless and completely blinded his right eye.
Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss: (In italics)
Historians tell us that Nero tried to commit suicide but couldn’t finish the job. He may have stabbed himself in the neck, but his servant Epaphroditos assisted him in finishing the task…
With the aid of Zechariah Chapter 11, let’s do a little visualizing. Picture, if you will, Nero on his knees, as it’s highly unlikely he would have been standing. In both the ancient world and even the more modern world, those who wanted to end their life with a sword would first kneel…
The servant, Epaphroditos, raises the sword above his head to ensure a powerful and fatal blow. With all his strength, he thrusts the sword downward. At that very instant, Nero reflexively or instinctively lifts his arm to deflect the strike (Zechariah doesn’t tell us which arm was wounded). The sword partially slices through Nero’s arm and penetrates his right eye. Depending on the angle of the blow and how Nero had knelt, he could have raised either arm…
Yet Nero’s hands would not have been tied, as are the hands of people who are being executed by a sword or whose heads are waiting the fall of the guillotine blade … so the victim can’t deliberately or reflexively raise hands and arms to deflect the blow.
If you like, kneel to the floor … and do your own simulation. Have your wife stand to one side and then the other, pretending to be Nero’s servant … Give her a nice, soft, rolled or unrolled hand towel so she won’t hesitate to finish her action and strike the blow, yet an object that will probably make you flinch. Ask her to swipe a descending blow and see how natural it is for you to instinctively ward off this blow. Try to figure out on which side of Nero his servant may have stood, to have inflicted a wound to Nero’s right eye and one of his arms. See how real this is and how it matches so well with Zechariah Chapter 11 and the historical records of Nero’s final minutes…
Zechariah vividly depicts this “worthless shepherd” as a ruthless, but also a pathetic figure. It’s entirely feasible that Nero will be self-conscious of these wounds; though he will make the most of the fact that he died from these wounds, and then returned from the dead. His physical appearance in the tribulation and the historical evidence that Nero was not that great of an orator, explain why the False Prophet will do most of the talking for the beast…
Search the Scriptures. You will not find any direct evidence that the beast is a great orator, statesman, or consummate genius as modern-day views characterize him. He is clever; he is a braggart and a blasphemer, but that doesn’t make him charismatic. Antichrist’s accomplishments and “charisma” are attributed to his miraculous resurrection, the statue, and the persuasive ability of the False Prophet, including, but not limited to “astounding miracles” (Pages 247-249).
The world continues to look for messiahs in all the wrong places. They search anywhere and everywhere except the Scriptures, which impart absolute truth and tell us that the one and true living God has, indeed, given us a Messiah … a Savior.
This obsession to emulate and even worship a man who will identify with their decadent desire to break all chains from God and Biblical morality and truth, will result in unrepentant defiance of God and Messiah Jesus (See Psalm 2 & Psalm 75).
“But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God … And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21).
They will stubbornly continue to indulge themselves in these wicked pursuits in the midst of catastrophic carnage all around them, right up to the point of death and eternal destruction (separation from God) in the Lake of Fire.
The super heroes portrayed in contemporary books and movies are priming the world with a type of messiah different than the historical megalomaniacs who promised but didn’t deliver utopia. Instead they deceived their followers and even turned on them. Unlike the messiah-like tyrants of the 20th century, people are now looking for a man who will have a supernatural origin and paranormal abilities to give the people what they really want. And that’s exactly what and who they will get.
A man who returns after 2000 years.
A man who will take to diabolically new heights what he specialized in during the first century … murder, sorcery, sexual immorality, and thefts (including unlawful seizure of the Roman throne).
(Depiction of Nero Using Christians as Human Torches)
Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics):
When Nero appears on the scene, he will mesh perfectly with the wickedness of this world. The world will embrace him as a leader who allows, endorses, and even initiates this immoral, ungodly, and contemptuous fist shaking at Almighty God (Page 213).
Ignorantly and ironically, many left behind after the Rapture will experience the same devastating results through Nero like those (only far worse) caused by Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo of Japan, Mao Tse-tung, Saddam Hussein, and lesser known but, nonetheless, deadly despots. And this time not only man-made catastrophes, but also the apocalyptic divine wrath of God will be poured out on the pure evil of a corrupt world gone mad.
“We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come … It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth” (Revelation 11:17-18).
“…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. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath…” (Revelation 14:9-10).
Things to Ponder
As stated in Out of the Abyss and a few Eye of Prophecy articles: Scripture is crystal clear that the first century church and all believers thereafter were meant to know the identity of the Antichrist. There are only two verses in Revelation, indeed in all of Scripture that actually challenge the reader to solve the mystery of what’s being said. Both of these relate directly to identifying the Antichrist beast (his number and his geopolitical, biographical origin). They are found in Revelation 13:18 and Revelation 17:9, respectively.
As I’ve said before, but which bears repeating:
The main benefit of and purpose for knowing that Nero was the man of lawlessness who was killed by the providential will of Christ Jesus and will return from the Abyss as the Antichrist beast is that (now and especially after the Rapture) some people will NOT be so, “…amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8).
If you do not know Messiah Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, please don’t delay the decision that will change your heart, your life, and your eternal destiny: “…Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).
To wait until the Rapture and Great Tribulation is to wait too long. It will be extraordinarily and painfully (literally … pain of torture and death) difficult to believe the truth and choose the true Messiah, Jesus, over the lies and deception of the false Messiah, Nero; whose reappearance will cause many to blindly accept what they will see as a resurrection from the dead—instead of a return from the Abyss as providentially permitted by God.
Does anyone know for a fact they will be alive tomorrow? Then waiting that long is too long.
“That is why the Lord says, ‘Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish’” (Joel 2:12-13).
“The Lord … does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (II Peter 3:9-10).