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Sermon No: 19951-Overview of Book of Revelation - Part 2 of 3



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SERMON TOPIC: Overview of Book of Revelation - Part 2 of 3

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 15 May 2017

Topic Groups: PROPHECY, REVELATION, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: An overview of chapters 8 to 13 including the 7 trumpets, the third Jewish Temple, the restoration of Israel, the 2 witnesses and the Antichrist.
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The Book of Revelation

PART 2

While most Christians believe in the future return of Jesus, there are several areas which are hot items of debate. These include:

The timing of Bible prophecy

Preterist, Historicist, Futurist

The timing of the Millennium

Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Premillennialism

The timing of the Rapture

Post-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Pretribulation

DIFFERENT VIEWS

Preterism

Fulfilled before 70 AD

Futurism

Historicism

70 AD

70 AD

70 AD

PRESENT

PRESENT

PRESENT

Fulfilled across history

To be fulfilled

TIMING OF PROPHECY

PARABLE

CHURCH

+/ - PERIOD

CHURCH AGE

1

The Sower

Ephesus

AD 30 – 100

Apostolic Church

2

The Wheat and Weeds

Smyrna

AD 100 – 300

Persecuted Church

3

The Mustard Seed

Pergamum

AD 300 – 600

State Church (Constantine)

4

The Leaven

Thyatira

AD 600 – 1500

Papal Church (Roman Catholic)

5

The Hidden Treasure

Sardis

AD 1500 – 1700

Reformation Church (Protestant)

6

The Pearl of Great Price

Philadelphia

AD 1700 – 1900

Missionary Church

7

The Dragnet

Laodicea

AD 1900 –

Apostate Church

The 7 parables of Matthew 13 have a parallel with the 7 churches of Revelation 2 and 3.

THE 7 CHURCH AGES

POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

Present age

7-year Tribulation

2nd Advent

Rapture

PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

2nd Advent

7-year Tribulation

Present age

Rapture

MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

Present age

Rapture

3½ year Tribulation

2nd Advent

3½ year Tribulation

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

Matt 24

V5: False Christs – “For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many.”

V6: “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars”

V7a “There will be famines…”

V7b “… and earthquakes in various places.” (Luke 21:11 “and plagues”)

V9: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

There are parallels between Matthew 24 (“what will be the sign of your coming ”) and the first 5 seals.

THE MATT 24 PARALLEL

Seal

Rev 6

1

V2-3: White horse – ANTICHRIST

2

V4: Red horse – WAR

3

V5-6: Black horse – FAMINE

4

V7-8: Pale horse – DEATH by sword, famine and plague

5

V9-10: Martyred souls under the altar

Do the seals, trumpets, bowls happen concurrently or do the seals occur first, trumpets second, and finally the bowls? In order to solve timing problems with their view, some Post-Trib adherents claim that the bowls are the same as the trumpets and seals, simply restated. Some Pre-Tribbers adopt a similar view.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

The following scripture indicates that the bowls are unique judgments. If the bowls were the last plagues, what were the first ones – if indeed they are identical to the trumpets.

Rev 15:1 I saw in heaven another great and marvellous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.

While the 2nd, 3rd and 4th trumpets and bowls do have similarities, the others don’t. The seals have no similarity to either the trumpets or the bowls.

The view of concurrency is used to make a preconceived interpretation “fit”. It is more reasonable to see these as sequential and consecutive, which is the natural reading of the text.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

CHURCH AGE (TIME OF THE GENTILES)

7 YEAR TRIBULATION

Birth Pangs (Matt 24)

7 CHURCH AGES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

EPHESUS

SMYRNA

PERGAMUM

THYATIRA

SARDIS

PHILADELPHIA

LAODICEA

7 SEALS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

FALSE CHRISTS

WARS

FAMINE

PLAGUE

PERSECUTION

RAPTURE

7 TRUMPETS

7 TRUMPETS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

3RD OF EARTH

3RD OF SEA

3RD OF RIVERS

3RD OF HEAVENS

LOCUSTS

3RD OF MANKIND

7 BOWLS

7 BOWLS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

SORES

SEA BLOOD

RIVERS BLOOD

SUN SCORCHING

DARKNESS

ARMAGEDDON

EARTHQUAKE

CHRONOLOGY OF REVELATION

Rev 8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. * 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, ** and to them were given seven trumpets.

* Silence because the judgment of the 7 trumpets in the 1st half of the Tribulation is about to begin.

** Some believe that these angels are the “seven spirits before God’s throne”. In the extra-Biblical Book of Enoch (quoted in Jude 14-15) there are 7 “holy angels who watch” identified as: (1) Michael - called an archangel [Jude 9] and “one of the chief princes” [Dan 11:13], (2) Gabriel - “stands in the presence of God” [Luke 1:19], (3) Raphael, 1 (4) Uriel or Phanuel, (5) Raguel, (6) Sarakiel, (7) Remiel [1 Enoch 20]

1 Raphael appears in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, where he is described as “one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord of Spirits”.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

Rev 8:3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. 6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets * prepared to sound them.

* Those who hold to a mid-tribulation rapture teach that the seventh trumpet of Rev 11:15 and the last trumpet of 1 Cor 15:52 and 1 Thess 4:16 are identical. The 7th trumpet is not the same as the last trumpet of 1 Thess.

The Bible speaks of different kinds of trumpet calls:

One for gathering the people

One for going to battle (war trumpets)

THE 7 TRUMPETS

Gathering trumpets

Lev 10:1-3 The LORD said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

War trumpets

Lev 10:9 When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

The Rapture is linked to the “LAST TRUMPET”

1 Cor 15:51-52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Rapture (LAST TRUMPET) is a gathering trumpet

1 Thess 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

The 7th trumpet in Revelation is not the “last trumpet” of 1 Cor 15:51 – as the 7 trumpets are war trumpets.

Rev 8:7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. *

* The 1st trumpet judgment affects the earth, trees and grass.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

Rev 8:8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. *

* The 2nd trumpet affects the sea.

THE 7 TRUMPETS

Rev 8:10-11 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water——the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. *

* The 3rd trumpet affects the rivers.

Rev 8:12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. *

4th trumpet affects the solar system and stellar bodies.

See NOTE 3

THE 7 TRUMPETS

Rev 8:13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair * call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” **

* Some manuscript use “angel” (KJV renders as such). Cross-reference with Rev 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people.”

** Woe means “great sorrow, distress or trouble”. The three woes are the 3 last trumpets (5,6 & 7) judgments of God on the evil inhabitants of the earth in order to spur them to repentance (Rev 9:20).

THE 3 WOES

Like the plagues of Egypt, the first 4 trumpets introduce judgments using the very things people have worshipped (nature and the heavenly bodies).

Similarly, with the 5th and 6th trumpets, God judges those who worship fallen angels and demons. We see the release of fallen angels that God has shielded mankind from. Man is now left to experience the true nature of these false gods he has worshipped.

THE 3 WOES

Rev 9:1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star * that had fallen ** from the sky to the earth.

* Angels are often referred to as stars in Scripture.

Job 38:7… while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

In Rev 12:4 Satan “swept away a third of the stars”.

** This is a fallen star – i.e. a fallen angel, most likely Satan.

Isa 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!

Luk 10:18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

So this picture of a star fallen from heaven seems very reminiscent of other Biblical passages regarding Satan.

THE 1ST WOE

Rev 9:1b The star was given the key * to the shaft of the Abyss. ** 2 When he opened the Abyss, * smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

* He is given the key to the Abyss which means he did not have it originally – presumably it was held by God or an angel of God who imprisoned these beings.

** What is the Abyss?

Luke relates how the Abyss was a place that demons feared as a place of punishment. 1

And later during the Millennium, Satan is imprisoned in this same Abyss (Rev 20:1-3).

1 Luke 8:30–31 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

THE 1ST WOE

Rev 9:3 And out of the smoke locusts * came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, ** but only those people *** who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.

* The locusts are not normal locusts, but rather fallen angels (not demons).

They are released from the Abyss, which is the prison of fallen angels.

** Normal locusts attack plants while these “were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree” (v 4).

*** Natural locusts would not physically attack humans, while these locusts are given power “to torture them for five months” (v 5).

THE LOCUSTS

Rev 9:11 They had as king * over them the angel ** of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. ***

* Prov 30:27 says “locusts have no king”, while these locusts “had as king over them the angel of the Abyss”.

** Their leader is an angel because they are fallen angels.

*** Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek) both mean “destroyer”. Apollyon is the leader of the ‘locust’ beings in the Abyss, who are most likely the Watchers of Genesis 6, Jude, 2 Peter 2 and 1 Enoch 21. So indirectly John may have identified Apollyon as the leader of the Watchers, 1 whose sin recorded in Genesis 6 was the direct cause of the Flood judgement.

1 According to Enoch, the leader of the Watchers was a fallen angel known as Samyaza (meaning ‘infamous arrogance’ or ‘infamous rebellion’), so it may be that Samyaza and Apollyon are one and the same fallen angel.

THE WATCHERS

Rev 9:6 During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. * 7 The locusts looked like horses *** prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. ** 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. *** 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. *** 10 They had tails and stings like scorpions, ** and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

* Indicates that this is a spiritual plague, not physical.

** Normal locusts don’t have human faces or scorpion tails.

THE LOCUSTS

Joel 1-2

Revelation 9

1:4 What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten…

9:3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth…

1:6 …it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.

9:8 … their teeth were like lions’ teeth.

2:4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry.

9:7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle …

2:5 With a noise like that of chariots … like a mighty army drawn up for battle

9:9 … the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.

*** There seems to be a parallel between these locusts mentioned here and the ones in the book of Joel. Joel has a prophecy about an army of locusts which is set in the End Times – or the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1).

The parallels with the Revelation passage are striking. In addition, the following verse is particularly interesting:

Joel 2:7 They run like mighty men (Heb: gibborim), They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths. (NASB)

Because of its use in Gen 6:4 ‘gibborim’ is often associated with the Nephilim, who were the giant offspring of the angels (aka the Watchers) and human women.

Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God (Bene Elohim) came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men (gibborim) who were of old, men of renown. (NASB)

THE WATCHERS

The Book of Enoch says that the fallen Watcher angels who “united themselves with women” (from Genesis 6) were imprisoned in the Abyss for their sin.

1 Enoch 9:11-16 And the Lord said unto Michael: Go, bind Semjaza and his associates who have united themselves with women… In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire…

Enoch also speaks of the abyss being “the prison of the angels” (1 Enoch 21:5-6) and of the fallen angels being bound with “fetters of iron of immeasurable weight” (1 Enoch 53:1-5)

PRISON FOR ANGELS

Jude quotes directly from the Book of Enoch 1:9.

Jude 14-15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

And in that context, just before, Jude writes:

Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

PRISON FOR ANGELS

In the context of the Flood judgment, Peter appears to reference what Enoch said as well:

For if God didn’t spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved to judgement (2 Pet 2:4)

The word “Tartarus” is only used once in the Bible. In Greek mythology there is an equivalent story to the Nephilim account in Genesis 6. These offspring of the gods and human women were called the Titans. Tartarus was the place where the Titans were imprisoned. All these beliefs resulted not as mere inventions of fertile human imagination, but as a corruption of antediluvian truths which were distorted as their origins were forgotten over time.

THE TITANS

Irenaeus points out that the word “Titan” in the Greek equates to 666.

THE TITANS

So Enoch tells us that the fallen Watcher angels of Genesis 6 are imprisoned with chains in the Abyss - and is seemingly quoted on this by both Jude and Peter.

The demons feared the Abyss as a place of punishment (Luke 8:30-31). According to Enoch the demons are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim – who were the offspring of angels and men. Thus their fathers are bound in the Abyss.

In Rev 20 Satan will be bound with chains in the Abyss.

Then in Revelation 9 we have creatures who are imprisoned in the Abyss (most likely the fallen Watcher angels of Gen 6, Jude 6, 2 Pet 2:4 and 1 Enoch 9:11-16) released by a fallen angel, presumably Satan.

PRISON FOR ANGELS

Rev 9: 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. 13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. **

* They are bound, implying fallen angels. Once again fallen angels are no longer restrained from harming man.

** around 2 billion people

THE 2ND WOE

Rev 9:16 The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. * I heard their number.

* In John’s time, the Roman army consisted of about 300,000 soldiers. The entire population of the world in 1 AD is estimated to have been 200 million.

All the Allied and Axis forces at their peak in World War II were only about 70 million. 1

Some identify this with the Chinese army, but their army (the world’s largest military force) has around 2.285 million personnel. A 200 million man army would be:

87x bigger than the world’s largest army. (44x bigger if you stretch to include China’s unarmed reserves.)

Almost 10x bigger than all world militaries combined.

1 The World Almanac, 1971, ed. L. H. Long [1970], p. 355.

200 MILLION ARMY

According to General William K. Harrison (an expert in military logistics), an army of 200 million could not be conscripted, supported, and moved to the Middle East without totally disrupting all societal needs and capabilities (“The War of Armageddon,” xerographic copy of unpublished, undated article). As General Harrison brings out on this aspect of Revelation, God has made men with certain limitations; and the actual raising and transporting of an army of the size spoken of in v. 16 completely transcends human capability. 1

1 "http:// www.biblestudytools.com/ commentaries/ revelation/ revelation-9/ revelation-9-16.html

200 MILLION ARMY

China spent $188 billion on their military in 2013: 2.1% of their GDP - $82,275 per member. The US spent $640 billion on their military in 2013: 3.8% of their GDP - $467,312 per member.

So, what would an army of 200 million cost?

200 million personnel, at China’s lower rate of expenditure, would cost $16.455 trillion per year. $16.455 trillion is 178% of China’s GDP. $16.455 trillion is 97% of the GDP of the US (highest GDP in the world)

Even if a country emerges that has both the human resources of China AND the economic resources of the US, the cost of a 200 million man army would be nearly equal to its entire GDP.

https:// tictocministries.wordpress.com/ 2014/ 10/ 27/ isis-prophecy-the-200-million-man-army-2/

200 MILLION ARMY

Rev 9:17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulphur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulphur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury. *

* More likely a demonic army – based on their description and because they are led by 4 fallen angels (along with the previous stated reasons).

200 MILLION ARMY

Rev 9:20-21 The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent ** of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. * Nor did they repent ** of their murders, their magic arts, * their sexual immorality or their thefts.

* It is clear that these judgments are because men have worshipped both demons and idols. This further strengthens the view that the judgment is delivered by means of the false gods and fallen angels that men have worshipped.

** The intention of the judgment is for man to repent. The judgment is God’s way of trying to get people to realise the folly of worshipping man-made things.

NO REPENTANCE

Rev 10:1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. 2 He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. 4 And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” *

* Some have speculated what the 7 thunders said, but it is pure conjecture – because John was told not to write it down. If we needed to know, God would have told us. Paul tells of being caught up into paradise where he “heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.” (2 Cor 12:4)

THE 7 THUNDERS

Rev 10:5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” * 8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”

* A “mystery” is something that was once hidden or secret but is now openly revealed. What is “the mystery of God” announced to his servants?

Eph 1:9-10 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

ISRAEL RESTORED

Another “mystery” spoken of in the NT is the restoration of Israel.

Rom 11:25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

ISRAEL RESTORED

Rev 10:9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” * 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

A similar thing happened to Ezekiel. 1 The fulfilment of these mysteries is a bitter-sweet message. Sweet - because God is restoring his people, bitter - because of the accompanying judgement.

1 Ezek 2:9-3:3 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

ISRAEL RESTORED

Rev 11:1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God *and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. **

* The temple of God is introduced now. This is the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

To those who hold to a Futurist view of prophecy (i.e. most prophecy is yet to be fulfilled) one cannot fail to note the allusions to a Temple in the events which must still unfold. Jesus speaks of the abomination that causes desolation standing in the holy place (Matt 24:15–16). Paul says that the man of lawlessness “sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:3-4).

** 42 months is 1260 days or 3½ years.

THE TEMPLE

With all the prophecies about the Temple, the natural question is – which temple? There is clearly no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem today. Of course, Historicists will say that the Abomination is the pope who sits in a spiritual temple, which they claim is the Church. And while Preterists will accept it as the Jewish Temple they will assign the event to the first century and the destruction of the 2nd Jewish Temple. The Futurist view is that it is a future 3rd Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

WHICH TEMPLE?

Temple

Defiled by

Office

Preterist

2nd Jewish Temple

Titus

A Roman general

Historicist

The Church

The papacy

A Roman Catholic pope

Futurist

3rd Jewish Temple

The Antichrist

A neo-Roman political world leader

What would Paul have understood by the phrase “temple of God” when he used it in 2 Thessalonians, and how would his readers would have understood it.

Paul was educated by Gamaliel in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3) and would have frequented the Temple in his youth.

As the persecutor of the Church, Paul obtained letters of authority to arrest Christians in Damascus from the Sanhedrin (Acts 22:4-5), who convened at the Jewish Temple.

At the outset of his ministry, Paul would pray at the Temple while in Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-18).

At the time Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians (c. AD 52 ), the Temple in Jerusalem was still standing.

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

When Paul himself visited Jerusalem, 5 years after this epistle was written (c. AD 57 ), he went to the Temple to worship (Acts 24:17-18). In fact it was on this

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

occasion that he was attacked by a mob, dragged outside and subsequently arrested by the Romans (Acts 21).

Remember that Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to clear up confusion that existed in their church, caused by some who were teaching that Christ had already returned (2 Thess 2:1-4).

So Paul was not intending to be obscure or figurative when he referred to “the temple of God”. By using the definite article and speaking of “the temple of God” with no further qualification, it clearly indicates that Paul was referring to the Jerusalem Temple.

There is no compelling reason to believe that the Thessalonians would have understood it in any other way. And Paul was intending to clear the confusion that existed in their ranks, not to create additional uncertainty.

PAUL & THE TEMPLE

Author

Lived

Future Antichrist would sit in:

Irenaeus

130-202

Future Jewish Temple

Hippolytus

170-235

Victorinus

d. 303

Cyril of Jerusalem

313-386

Ephraim the Syrian

306-373

Zenobius

337-417

Sulpicius Severus

363-425

John of Damascus

676-749

Adso the monk

d. 992

Anselm

1033-1109

John Chrysostom

349-407

Future Jewish Temple & every church

Augustine

354-430

Future Jewish Temple or the church

John Cassian

360-435

The church

Athanasius

293-373

CHURCH FATHERS

Temple

Built

Destroyed

1st

By Solomon – completed in 957 BC

By the Babylonians (Nebuchadnezzar) – c. 587 BC

2nd

By Zerubbabel (515 BC), renovated by Herod the Great (20 BC-26 AD)

The Romans (Titus) - AD 70

3rd

Still must be built before the middle of the Tribulation

THE TEMPLES IN HISTORY

The First Temple constructed by Solomon in the 10th century BC was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, after the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem and burnt the Temple, along with most of the city.

A portion of the population of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

1ST TEMPLE

After the fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Persians, many of the Jews were still in exile, but now under Persian rule. After 70 years in captivity in accordance with the prophecy of Jeremiah, the Jews received authorisation from Cyrus the Great to return and rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-4).

Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews returning from exile. Construction began in 538 BC at the original site of the First Temple and was completed 23 years later.

2ND TEMPLE

Despite being a cruel dictator, Herod the Great was known for his great architectural achievements, the most famous and ambitious project being the renovation and expansion of the Temple, whereby the area of the Temple Mount doubled in size.

Beginning in 20-19 BC, it was only completed around AD 26.

REFURBISHED 2nd TEMPLE

Herod the Great

Model of the 2nd temple at the Shrine of the Book (Jerusalem)

And it was of this Temple that it was written in Mark 13:1, “As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him:

Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!

In response, Jesus predicted the Temple’s destruction .

Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.

In fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy, the Temple was destroyed about four decades later in AD 70 by the Roman military commander and future emperor, Titus.

Titus (41-81)

TEMPLE’S DESTRUCTION

In the early 2nd century, there were messianic groups in Judea who were hoping to rebuild the Temple.

These hopes were cruelly dashed by the Emperor Hadrian when he decided to build a new Roman city called Colonia Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem.

When a Jewish revolt broke out because of Hadrian’s attempted Hellenization of Judea, Roman armies were sent to crush the resistance. Bar Kokhba, a man hailed by some as Messiah, was the leader of the resistance.

HADRIAN

Hadrian (76–138)

Hadrian’s army eventually crushed the rebellion in AD 135, with overall war operations in Judea leaving some 580,000 Jews dead.

In an act of contempt, Hadrian attempted to erase the memory of Judea by renaming the province Syria Palaestina (the origin of the term “Palestine”). This was a deliberate ploy to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel by naming it after their old enemies - the Philistines.

Hadrian continued his persecution of Jews and defiantly erected a temple to Jupiter on the Temple site. Jews were prohibited from entering Jerusalem on pain of death.

HADRIAN

In the 4th century the first Christian Roman (Byzantine) Emperor, Constantine, destroyed the pagan temple of Jupiter built by Hadrian and renamed Aelia Capitolina back to Jerusalem. 1

Jews were allowed to enter Jerusalem to mourn one day each year, the 9th day of the month of Av – the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction.

BYZANTINE PERIOD

Constantine (272-337)

In AD 637 the Arab Muslims besieged and captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire.

DOME OF THE ROCK

Between AD 688 and 691 the Dome of the Rock was built on the northern part of the Temple Mount.

The Al-Aqsa mosque was completed around AD 705, on the southern side of the former Temple Mount

AL-AQSA MOSQUE

As an ally of Germany, the Turkish Ottoman empire was defeated by the Allied Powers in World War 1 and this resulted in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

This initiated the period of British Mandate (1920-1948) when Palestine was an entity under British administration, carved out of the former Ottoman Southern Syria.

Allenby entering Jerusalem on foot in 1917 to show respect for the holy place

BRITISH MANDATE

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, promised British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine.

After the 1948 War of Independence, Jerusalem became a divided city. Israel only gained control of West Jerusalem, the newer Jewish Section of the city. The Old City of Jerusalem, the Biblical city, fell into the hands of Jordan. Jordan subsequently refused Jews access to their holy sites (including the Temple Mount and Western Wall) in violation of Article 8 of the 1949 Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement.

1 https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mandatory_Palestine

BRITISH MANDATE

On 7 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces took control of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. Chief Military Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall.

MODERN ISRAEL

Rabbi Shlomo Goren at the Western Wall in 1967 shortly after the liberation of Jerusalem

Many Jews saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as an event with messianic significance, while many Christians recalled the words Jesus spoke many years ago:

They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luk 21:24)

The desire by Jews to rebuild their Temple has led to the formation of a number of organizations which have the express goal of realizing the immediate construction of a Third Temple in our modern era.

The Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement states that its objective is to build the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.

Recently an organization known as Revava, ambitious to build the Third Temple, has planned numerous ascensions of the Temple Mount.

Likewise, the Temple Institute, founded in 1987, indicates that it aims to build the Temple on Mount Moriah.

THE DESIRE OF JEWS

Hippolytus saw the Antichrist as building the Temple in order to curry favour with the Jews:

And after that he will build the temple in Jerusalem and will restore it again speedily and give it over to the Jews. 1

Orthodox Jews generally believe that rebuilding the Temple should occur in the era of the Jewish Messiah.

As Futurists generally believe that the Antichrist or False Prophet will be a false Messiah, this seems to strengthen the case for the Antichrist sponsoring the building of the Temple - in order to bolster his claim to messiahship.

1 Discourse on the End of the World 23-25 [A.D. 217]

BUILDER OF 3RD TEMPLE

As Dispensationalists (i.e. Futurist, Premillennialist) believe that the Abomination of Desolation is set up in the Temple (Matt 24:15) and the Antichrist must be able to sit in the “temple of God” in Jerusalem (2 Thess 2:4 = Daniel 11:45), obviously a Temple must be built first.

Besides the rise of the Antichrist world leader, there are currently a few remaining obstacles which stand in the way of the fulfilment of these prophecies.

No Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Muslim control of the Temple Mount

No sacrificial system in place

The missing 10th red heifer

REMAINING OBSTACLES

The most obvious obstacle is that there is no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The 18 July 2010 edition of Arutz Sheva (Israel International News) reported that half the Israeli public wants the Temple to be rebuilt. 1

The general intent of religious Jews is to build the Temple on the original site of the 1st and 2nd Temples.

Because the temple was levelled to the ground by the Romans, and the site has been so extensively modified since then, considerable doubt exists as to where the Jewish temples actually stood. Of course the debate could easily be settled if the Waqf would permit archaeological work by anyone besides themselves.

1 http:// www.israelnationalnews.com/ News/ News.aspx/ 138655

(1) NO JEWISH TEMPLE

There are differing theories as to where the Jewish Temples stood. We will only look at (a) and (c) options.

Where the Dome of the Rock is now located - located (Dr. Leen Ritmeyer - 1984)

North of the Dome - Dr. Asher Kaufmann (1983)

South of the Dome - Tuvia Sagiv (2004)

East of the Dome - Professor Joseph Patrich (2007)

Where the Al-Aqsa mosque is now located - Nathan Kaplan (1998)

One that requires revisionist history assigns the entire Temple Mount to Fort Antonia and the Temple to a mound called Ophel - Dr. Ernest Martin (2000)

LOCATION OF 3RD TEMPLE

N

S

E

W

(3) North

(4) South (El Kas)

(1) Dome of the Rock

(5) Al-Aqsa

(2) East

(6) City of David

THE TEMPLE MOUNT

Some of the proposed locations for the Temple

The traditional view is that the Temple stood where the Dome of the Rock presently stands.

A problem with this view is that the rock on which the Dome of the Rock is built is the highest point or summit of Mount Moriah. But Solomon built the First Temple on the former threshing floor of Araunah (2 Chron 3:1) 1

But research analyst, Harry Moskoff, notes that “threshing floors … are not usually located on the very top of mountains, but a little below so that the wind will carry away the chaff only and leave the heavier grain. This is a hint that the Temple was built close to the summit of the mountain, but not actually on it.” 1

1 2 Chron 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.

DOME OF ROCK SITE

SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

Possibly the most provocative proposal is from Tuvia Sagiv.

This theory focuses on the temple to Jupiter that Hadrian built on the Temple Mount in AD 135. Reference is made to the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon, which is still standing to this day, and which was completed around AD 60. Hadrian visited Baalbek in AD 130 and would have seen this temple to Jupiter 5 years before his own temple to Jupiter would be built in Jerusalem.

As an architect by trade, Sagiv noticed that the Baalbek temple and the Islamic mosques on the Temple Mount today were almost identical in both design and scale. The similarity between a hexagon shaped forecourt with the Dome of the Rock and the temple of Jupiter with the Al-Aqsa mosque is nothing short of amazing.

SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

Al-Kas Fountain

Dome of the Rock

Al-Aqsa Mosque

TEMPLE OF JUPITER BAALBEK LEBANON

TEMPLE MOUNT JERUSALEM

Forecourt

Temple of Jupiter

Altar

The Muslims may have mistakenly assumed that the hexagon-shaped foundations of the forecourt were the remains of the Jewish Temple.

The Dome might well be built on the ruins of Hadrian’s forecourt to the Jupiter temple.

Likewise the Al-Aqsa mosque might be built on the actual ruins of the Temple to Jupiter.

SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

In the style of the day the Jupiter temple in Jerusalem would have had a rectangular building, a polygonal one and - in the open area between - a statue of the emperor on horseback, saluting his god.

C. 388-420 AD Jerome reported that the former Temple had Hadrian’s statue at the Holy of Holies. Based on this, Sagiv believes the Temple was beneath the Al-Kas fountain.

E.g. equestrian statue in front of the temple at the Forum, Rome

N

S

E

W

South (El Kas)

SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

The Lower Aqueduct which supplied the Temple with water is too low to supply the Dome of the Rock.

SOUTHERN HYPOTHESIS

So Sagiv suggests a location to the south of the Dome of the Rock. The Dome of the Rock is not exactly east of the Western Wall. According to Sagiv, the Temple site lies due east of the Western Wall, under the clump of trees between the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa.

Western Wall

The Antonia Fortress was a military barracks next to the Temple, built by Herod the Great. Josephus wrote that the south-east turret “rose to seventy cubits and so commanded a view of the whole area of the temple.” 1

Remember how quickly the Roman soldiers ran down after the commotion involving Paul at the Jerusalem Temple?

Acts 21:31-32 ... news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd.

They would have seen the riot from Antonia’s Fortress. The Fortress was higher than the Temple and so they “ran down to the crowd”.

1 Antiquities of the Jews 18:4:242

ANTONIA’S FORTRESS

The Dome of the Rock is built on a rock which was the summit (i.e. highest point) of Mount Moriah.

Josephus also writes that the Antonia Fortress was on a rock 50 cubits (~23 metres) high: 1

Being about 25 meters high, the rock that the Dome is built on, could be the rock Josephus spoke of.

1 Antiquities of the Jews 18:4:238 “Now, as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; of that on the west, and that on the north; it was erected upon a rock, of fifty cubits in height, and was on a great precipice… ”

ANTONIA’S FORTRESS

Sagiv

Dome

Al-Aqsa

Western Wall

Eastern Gate

Fort Antonia grounds

Sagiv uses infrared photography taken on a fly-by over the Dome which reveals a pentagonal subterranean structure underneath the present Dome which may have been Strato’s Tower, 1 part of the Antonia Fortress.

1 A similar pentagonal structure, also called Strato’s Tower, was part of the Roman buildings at Caesarea, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast…

ANTONIA’S FORTRESS

If the traditional view is correct there would be major political and religious repercussions to building the 3rd Temple as it would require the demolition of the Dome of the Rock. If the Antichrist is the builder or sponsor of the Temple, it’s unlikely he would take this approach. Surely the Antichrist would try appease both Jews and Muslims in order to effect his Middle East Peace Treaty?

In his vision Ezekiel measures the courtyard of the sanctuary and notes that a wall has been constructed across the area to make a separation between the Temple and a “profane place” (possibly Al Aqsa).

Ezekiel 42:20 He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about… to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place. (KJV)

THE PROFANE PLACE

THE PROFANE PLACE

As a master politician and peacemaker, this option seems more likely to be seen as a gesture of peace to both Jews and Muslims (contrasted with destroying the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa and replacing it with a Jewish Temple).

THE OUTER COURT

If Sagiv is correct, it satisfies Revelation 11, because it places Al-Aqsa in the outer court.

Rev 11:1–2 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar… But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles.”

The biggest obstacle to the rebuilding of the Temple anywhere on the Temple Mount is that the site is currently under Muslim administration.

When Israel liberated Jerusalem and regained control of the Temple Mount in 1967, for the first time in millennia, some 200,000 Jews flocked to the Western Wall.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

Iconic photo of Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall after the Six Day War

Then Israeli Minister of Defence, Moshe Dayan, instructed soldiers to remove the Israeli flag which had been hoisted over the Dome of the Rock.

Israeli Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, turned control of the Mount to the Jordanian Islamic Waqf. Yet despite this gesture of peace, Muslims continue to use the Temple Mount as a pretext to muster world support against Israeli ultimate authority over Jerusalem.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

Then-defence minister Moshe Dayan and IDF chief Yitzhak Rabin during the Six Day War (Photo: IDF Archive)

In an attempt to keep the status quo, the Israeli government still enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslims on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount can be accessed by 11 gates, but tourists and non-Muslims are only allowed to enter through the Mughrabi Bridge next to the Western Wall. Security is tight it is not permissible to bring sacred Jewish objects to the area.

(2) CONTROL OF MOUNT

The Mughrabi Bridge

Muslims claim that during the “Night Journey” a winged steed called Buraq carried Muhammad from Mecca to the “farthest mosque”. Many Muslims today identify the “farthest mosque” with the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Based on this bizarre story, Muslims stake a religious claim to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But in fact the Quran never even mentions Jerusalem once and even the story in question does not explicitly state the location, only referring to a place called the “remotest sanctuary”. Placing it in Jerusalem today is an attempt to bolster their claims over the Temple Mount.

The trip is said to take place 10 years after Muhammad became a prophet, but the Al-Aqsa Mosque was non-existent at that stage. Even if a creature like Buraq existed it couldn’t have taken Muhammad to Al-Aqsa.

REMOTEST SANCTUARY?

TEMPLE DENIAL

The Supreme Muslim Council was the highest body in charge of Muslim community affairs in British Mandate Palestine. In 1930, they published an English-language tourist guide to the Temple Mount which stated: “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”

Yet a recent phenomenon is that now many Muslims are trying to either deny the existence of both Jewish Temples, or else relegate them to another area in Israel. This is both anti-intellectual and akin to the related phenomenon of Holocaust denial.

The New York Sun describes the phenomenon as: “… a campaign of intellectual erasure [by Palestinian leaders, writers, and scholars] ... aimed at undermining the Jewish claim to any part of the land.”

TEMPLE DENIAL

Besides the many Greek and Roman historians who mention the Jewish Temple, the Arch of Titus at Rome (built to celebrate the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem) clearly shows a huge golden candlestand taken from the Temple.

The next obstacle is that there is no sacrificial system in place. As Daniel’s prophecy entails the abolition of sacrifices at the time of the Abomination, and there are no sacrifices performed by Jews today, it goes without saying that the sacrificial system must be resumed before it is possible for the Antichrist to stop the sacrifices.

SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

Christian Dispensationalists believe that God has deliberately interacted with mankind in various distinct ages known as dispensations, to each of which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles.

Jesus brought in the Dispensation of Grace or the Age of the Church. This period referred to by Jesus as “The Time of the Gentiles” will end with the Rapture of the Church.

God will then restore Israel as prophesied in Romans 11. But it will be a 2 stage restoration as predicted by Ezekiel in his vision of the valley of dry bones. The first stage will involve the restoration of the form of Judaism practiced in the time of Jesus, which included the priests and Temple ordinances along with animal sacrifice. The second stage will entail the ultimate acceptance of Jews en masse of Jesus as Messiah.

SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

While Christians believe that Jesus did away with the sacrificial system by offering one perfect sacrifice to God, mainstream Judaism rejects Jesus as the Messiah and is still looking for a future Jewish Messiah.

To many practicing Jews, the reestablishment of a Third Temple will necessitate the reinstatement of the sacrificial system in accordance with the Mosaic Law.

As one Jewish website notes:

And when the Messiah comes, the Holy Temple will be rebuilt, and once again we will bring sacrifices on the Holy Altar there, as it says “And the sacrificial offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem, like in the olden days years ago” (Malachi 3:4). 1

1 http:// www.beingjewish.com/ unchanged/ sacrifices.html

SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM

THE VESSELS & ALTAR

The Temple Institute has reconstructed many of the vessels required for the Temple sacrifice rites.

E.g. pictured here is their reconstruction of the golden Menorah (seven-lamp candlestand.

THE ALTAR

In 2014 the Temple Institute completed the construction of the stone altar required for the sacrificial service. According to the Temple Institute, “The people of Israel are required to build an altar exclusively on the site of the original altar on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount. When circumstances become favourable, this new altar can be quickly re-assembled on the proper location, enabling the Divine service to be resumed without delay.” 1

1 SOURCE: http:// www.breakingisraelnews.com

Conservative and Orthodox Jews still acknowledge the division of Israel into Leviim, Kohanim and Yisraelim. 1 Kohanim, priests directly descended from Moses’ brother Aaron, are recognized by the Temple Institute as such if their paternal grandfather observed the tradition. 2

So people who can fulfil the role of priests in the third Temple are already in place in Israel.

1 People with the surname Levi trace their roots to the tribe of Levi who were set apart from the rest of the Israelites to perform religious administrative duties. From the tribe of Levi, Aaron and his descendants were singled out to be the priests and serve in the Temple. A Kohen (plural, Kohanim) is a descendant of Aaron. The Jewish family name, Cohen, usually denotes that its members were priests. Other Jews are assumed to come from one of the other tribes and are called, simply, Yisraelim.

2 http:// www.jpost.com/ Jewish-World/ Jewish-News/ Third-Temple-preparations-begin-with-priestly-garb

THE PRIESTS

The Temple Institute is preparing for the Third Temple by inaugurating a workshop that manufactures priestly garments. Years of diligent research was needed to create the garments in conformance with Jewish law.

Priestly garments have not been worn since the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome in AD 70 and cannot be functional until a Third Temple is constructed.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a Kohen himself, gets measured for his own set of Kohanim garments. Photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski

THE GARMENTS

The Red Heifer was a cow used by the priests as a sacrifice according to the OT law, whose ashes were used for the ritual purification of an Israelite who had come into contact with a corpse. (Num 19:2)

A heifer, by definition, is a young cow which has never borne a calf. The Mosaic Law in Numbers 19 stipulated that the cow must be red in colour, without blemish, and it must not have been used to perform work.

According to Jewish tradition, only nine red heifers were actually slaughtered in the period extending from Moses to the destruction of the Second Temple. Maimonides, one of the greatest medieval Jewish scholars, associated the tenth red heifer with the Messianic era.

THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Many religious Jews see the red heifer as a prerequisite for the dedication of the Third Temple and the purification of the priests who will serve in that Temple.

The search is thus on for the elusive tenth red heifer, whose ashes are believed to be vital for the initiation of the Third Temple.

According to Mishnah 1 Parah, the presence of two black hairs invalidates a Red Heifer. The animal must be entirely of one colour, and there is a series of tests listed by the rabbis to ensure this.

The Temple Institute, has been actively attempting to identify Red Heifer candidates.

1 The Mishnah is the central compilation of Rabbinic Oral Law.

THE 10TH RED HEIFER

The Red Angus is a red coloured breed of beef cattle which is a subset of the Aberdeen Angus cattle. Reverend Clyde Lott, a cattle breeder from Canton, Mississippi in the US, bred red heifers from the Red Angus and exported them to Israel to establish a breeding line of red heifers there, hoping that this would expedite the construction of the Third Temple.

Red Angus heifer and cow

THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Lott attracted the attention of Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute and in the nineties they began to collaborate on a program to raise funds, in order to use modern technology to produce a red heifer that is genetically based on the Red Angus. In the last 2 decades the Institute identified a few candidates, but all were subsequently disqualified.

THE 10TH RED HEIFER

Like Lott, some Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot occur until the Third Temple is constructed in Jerusalem, which requires the appearance of a red heifer born in Israel.

However, for those who believe in a Pretribulation rapture, it is not a prerequisite that the Temple must be constructed before the coming of Jesus at the Rapture.

The temple must be in place in the middle of the 7-year Tribulation, so that it can be defiled by the Antichrist.

However, given modern technology, there is no reason that a modern structure like the Temple cannot be erected in the space of under 3½ years.

THE 10TH RED HEIFER

THE SANHEDRIN

In Jesus’ day the highest Jewish court, the Sanhedrin, was based at the Second Temple, but after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, it was re-established in Yavneh with reduced authority. Since the dissolution of the Sanhedrin in 358 AD, there has been no universally recognized authority within Jewish law.

In 2004, a group of rabbis representing varied Orthodox communities in Israel met in Tiberias, where the original Sanhedrin was disbanded, claiming to re-establish the body. They regard themselves as a provisional body awaiting integration into the Israeli government as both a supreme court and an upper house of the Knesset. 1

1 SOURCE: https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Sanhedrin & https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ 2004_attempt_to_revive_the_Sanhedrin

THE SANHEDRIN

Rabbi Israel Ariel, one of the participating rabbis in this latest Sanhedrin relates that the ultimate aim of the Sanhedrin is to relocate to Jerusalem: 1

Many Futurists see this reestablishment of this former Temple court as yet another step closer to the return of Jesus. By the time the Antichrist is in power it may well relocate to Jerusalem and take its seat once again in the restored Temple.

1 http:// traditioninaction.org

Sanhedrin in session, 2005

Rev 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, * …

Historicist:

The Old and New Testaments (Also some Preterists)

Christian witness during the Dark Ages of papal rule.

Preterist:

The Law and the Prophets

The Church

Peter and Paul

James and Peter

John The Baptist and Jesus

Ananus and Joshua (Jesus)

THE 2 WITNESSES

Futurists generally identify the 2 witnesses as 2 future prophets who will preach in the Tribulation:

No historical character

John Walvoord pointed out that because the passage does not specifically identify who they, it would be safer to conclude that they are not related to any previous historical character.

Enoch and Elijah

Early Christians like Irenaeus, Hippolytus and Tertullian believed it would be Enoch and Elijah, because neither of them died. Enoch was caught up into heaven alive (Gen 5:24) as was Elijah (2 Ki 2:11). The belief is that God preserved them for a future purpose in the end-times.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Moses and Elijah

Both Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration acting as 2 witnesses to the disciples that Jesus was God’s Son.

As ministers to the end-times Jews, Moses is representative of the LAW and Elijah of the PROPHETS, the 2 major divisions in Jewish scripture.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths * and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain * during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood ** and to strike the earth with every kind of plague ** as often as they want.

Elijah is associated previously with the first 2 plagues mentioned:

Fire to devour their enemies (2 Ki 1).

Stopping the rain (1 Ki 17:1)

Moses is associated with the last 2 plagues:

Turning water into blood (Ex 7).

Afflicting the earth with plagues (Ex 7-11).

THE 2 WITNESSES

Most agree on Elijah being one of the witnesses due to:

The Malachi prophecy

Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

The belief of Jews that Elijah will be the forerunner of the Messiah.

At Passover, Jews fill an additional untouched cup of wine for Elijah in case he comes. There is a common tradition to designate a seat for Elijah at a circumcision.

THE 2 WITNESSES

While we are told in Deut 34:5 that Moses died, it is clear from the Book of Jude (v9), that God resurrected him (when Michael disputed with Satan over Moses’ body).

Elijah never died, but was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Ki 2:11)..

Thus Moses also serves as a type of believers who die and are resurrected, 1 while Elijah acts as a type of those who are raptured and never die.

1 Those who argue that then Moses would die twice and Heb 9:27 says “it is appointed for men to die once”, must remember that this scripture is the general rule. Lazarus and all those who were raised miraculously by Jesus and the apostles - died twice, while raptured believers will never die even once.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:3b … and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, * clothed in sackcloth.”

The preach for 3½ years. Opinion is divided as to whether this is in the 1st or 2nd half of the Tribulation. It seems more likely to be the 1st part as the Antichrist has greater power in the 2nd half and appears to be unopposed. It also means that their execution coincides with the Abomination – they most likely preach out against it.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands * that stand before the Lord of the earth.

* Zech 4:11-14 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” … He replied, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I said. So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast * … will … kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. ** 9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.

* i.e. killed by the Antichrist

** i.e. they die in Jerusalem, indicating their ministry is based predominantly to Jews.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, * because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, * and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on. 13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city ** collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

* Their ministry is not well-received by the general population who rejoice when they are killed.

** resurrected after 3½ days.

*** An earthquake in Jerusalem kills 7000 and destroys 1/ 10 of the city.

THE 2 WITNESSES

Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” *

* When Jesus was tempted we read:

Luke 4:5-6 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.”

In Rev 13:2 we see that the dragon (Satan) gave the beast (Antichrist) his throne and great authority (over the kingdoms of this world).

Satan usurped them from Adam, but this is a proclamation that Jesus, as our kinsman redeemer, has won them back

THE 3RD WOE

Rev 11:16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” * 19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

* This is not about the physical earth but the moral corruption in man. God is more concerned about the moral destruction of the earth.

THE 3RD WOE

Rev 12:1-4 A great and wondrous sign * appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads…The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

* Who is the woman who was “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”

We always interpret literally if the passage makes sense literally or we are not clearly told it is figurative. Here we are explicitly told that this was a “great and wondrous sign” (Rev 12:1).

Catholic tradition assigns the identity of the woman to Mary after her assumption into heaven, where she is revealed in all her glory as the “Queen of Heaven”.

However when symbolism is used we must interpret Scripture with Scripture.

Where else in Scripture do we read of the sun, the moon and the 12 stars?

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

Joseph’s dream

Gen 37:9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

In Joseph’s dream the sun, moon and 11 stars symbolized Israel.

Gen 37:10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”

Joseph (who was the 12th star) and his brothers were the forefathers of what became the 12 tribes of Israel. So the woman is Israel.

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

Rev 12:5a She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.

According to Catholics, the woman’s “male child,” is a reference to Jesus (Rev 12:5), since he is destined to “rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Rev 12:5). 1

Commentators who adhere to Reform Theology and are Amillennial in their eschatology identify the woman as the Church, and the man-child she gives birth to are the saints. 1

The Latter Rain heresy, predominant in some Charismatic circles, identifies the manchild as an elite group of Christians who will lead the end-time church.

1 Wikipedia: Woman of the Apocalypse

WHO IS THE MANCHILD?

Futurist (Dispensational Premillennialists):

As the offspring of Israel, some believe it is Jesus. We are also told that the male child “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Rev 12:5) which seems to be a reference to Jesus’ Millennial rule.

Others say it represents the 144,000 Israelites. In Rev 2:26-27 ruling the nations with an iron scepter is also applied to overcomers. 1 Satan’s attempt to “devour her child” then refers to an attempt to destroy the 144,000 elect Jews in the Tribulation.

Still others see the male child as a type of the raptured end-time Church.

1 Rev 2:26-27 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ - just as I have received authority from my Father.

WHO IS THE MANCHILD?

Rev 12:5b And her child was snatched up * to God and to his throne.

If the manchild is Jesus, then it is seen as being a descriptive term referring to his ascension.

If the child does refer to the 144,000 then it is fitting that shortly after (Rev 14:1-3) this ‘rapture’ of the child to “God and his throne” that they are mentioned as being in heaven (Mount Zion) and that they are referred to as “the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth”.

The term “snatched up” is harpazō in the Greek, which is applied to the Rapture of the Church in 1 Thess 4:17, This is a strong point in favour of the identification of the child with the end-time church. The sense of the passage seems to be rescue (from the dragon), not a victorious ascension (like Jesus).

WHO IS THE MANCHILD?

Rev 12:7-8 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels * fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

WHO IS THE DRAGON?

* In Daniel 12, Michael is called the guardian over Israel.

Dan 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. 1 But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.”

So Daniel also indicates how in the end times Michael will arise at that time of Israel’s persecution. The mention of Michael by John affirms that the woman is indeed Israel.

1 Jesus uses similar terminology when speaking of the end-time Abomination of Desolation (Matt 24:21 “For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.”)

WHO IS THE WOMAN?

Rev 12:9a The great dragon * was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.

Rev 12:4a His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky ** and flung them to the earth. ***

* Who is the dragon? The passage tells us it is “ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray”.

** Based on this passage, many believe that a third of the angels have followed Satan in his rebellion. Remember angels are often referred to as stars in Scripture (Isa 14:12, Job 38:7, Rev 9:1-2). This is also consistent with the context which speaks of “the dragon and his angels”.

*** Again the imagery of “fallen angels”.

WHO IS THE DRAGON?

Rev 12:9b He was hurled to the earth, * and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, ** has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” ***

* Satan currently has access to heaven (see Job 1-2, Zech 3:1, Luke 22:31).

** Satan is called our accuser, while Jesus is called our advocate (1 John 2:1).

*** An enraged Satan realises his pending doom, but is bent on causing as much havoc as he can in the time left.

FLEES TO THE DESERT

In the parallel passage in Matthew 24, Jesus warns the Jews (note the references to Judea, the Sabbath and the temple) to flee to the mountains when they see the Abomination of Desolation.

Matt 24:15-20 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.”

FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS

Rev 12:13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle * so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert…

* This speaks of a swift flight. This is the very phrase God uses when he delivers Israel from Pharaoh and the armies of Egypt. He says in Ex 19:4, “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”

FLEES TO THE DESERT

Rev 12:14b … so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time… *

Rev 12:6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

* John tells us that the woman (Israel) will flee to the desert for 3½ years:

Time, times and half a time = 3½ years (2+1+½)

Shown as equivalent of 1260 days

Also shown as 42 months in Rev 11:2.

Refutes Historicist day-year principle.

FLEES TO THE DESERT

Rev 12:15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, * to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.

* The previous deliverance on “eagle’s wings” (in Exodus) was from a pursuing army. This is what the river refers to. Daniel uses a similar analogy with the armies of the “king of the North” (the Antichrist):

Dan 11:10 His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress.

FLEES TO THE DESERT

Rev 12:16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river * that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring— ** those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

* Just as Pharaoh’s armies were stopped by a “natural disaster” (by God’s assistance) with the Red Sea closing on them, so Antichrist’s pursuing army is destroyed (again by God’s intervention).

** An enraged Antichrist will now turn his attention to the Jews who did not escape and persecute them.

FLEES TO THE DESERT

Jesus’ instruction to the Jews to flee is because those who refuse to worship the image are killed.

Rev 13:14-15 He (the false prophet) ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

Matt 24:21-22 “For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

BUT WHERE WILL THEY FLEE TO?

FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS

Based on Rev 12:14 where “the woman was given the two wings of a great eagle so that she might fly to the place prepared for her”, James Mullan believed that that the Jews would flee to the US (as the eagle is normally associated with the US in modern times).

Others believed based on Dan 11:41 which says of the coming prince that “Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand” that they will run to what is modern Jordan (the modern equivalent of these 3 territories).

US OR JORDAN?

Jordan on the far side of the Dead Sea as seen from Masada

PETRA?

Some scholars of prophecy have speculated that the Jewish remnant may flee to Petra in Jordan. This area is both mountainous (Matt 24:16) and a desert (Rev 12:14).

Petra in Jordan (Brakpan AGF tour 2006)

Rev 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.

John identifies the first beast (antichrist) with the leader released from the Abyss. The only reference to a beast coming from the Abyss is earlier in Revelation 9 where Abaddon/ Apollyon and his army of ‘locusts’ are released from the Abyss. So is it possible that the Antichrist is identified by John as Apollyon?

Later when speaking of the beast’s alliance with the harlot, John records the angels words:

Rev 17:7-8 “… Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.”

BEAST FROM THE ABYSS

Apollyon is identified as the “angel of the Abyss” and the king of the “locusts”. In one manuscript, instead of Apollyon the text reads “Apollo”, the Greek god of death and pestilence. But the name Apollo (Gk Apollon) was often linked in ancient Greek writings with the verb apollymi or apollyo, “destroy”. One of Apollo titles in Greek was Parnopius (Παρνόπιος), from πάρνοψ, (locust). In Rev 6:2 the Antichrist was pictured as riding on a white horse (mimicking Jesus), but holding a bow. Also the god of archery, Apollo was often pictured with a bow.

APOLLO

While some try and identify Apollyon with Satan, this is not possible. Apollyon is currently bound in the Abyss while Satan roams freely (Job 1:6-7, Matt 4, 1 Pet 5:8, Eph 2:2). Satan is only cast into the Abyss after the tribulation (Rev 20:1-3).

Enoch also relates that when the Watchers came down to the daughters of men, they descended upon Mount Hermon. (1 Enoch 7:7) Interestingly, the city of “Dan” was located on the southern base of Mount Hermon. Moses prophesied: “Dan is a lion’s cub, springing out of Bashan.” (Deut 33:22) This lion – the Antichrist – will spring from Bashan, the territory east of the Sea of Galilee, extending northward to Damascus and Mount Hermon. This and Rev 9 point to a link between the Watchers and the Antichrist.

APOLLO

3 BEASTS

1) SKY

2) SEA

3) EARTH

3 BEASTS

Holy Trinity

Unholy Trinity

Description

Domain

The Father

Satan

Dragon (i.e. beast from the sky)

has spiritual dominion in the heavenlies

Son

Antichrist

Beast from the sea

has political and military dominion

Holy Spirit

False prophet

Beast from the earth

has religious and commercial dominion

Revelation differentiates between the antichrist (“beast out of the sea”), the false prophet (“beast out of the earth”) and Satan (dragon: beast in the sky), who corporately form an “unholy trinity”.

Rev 13:1 And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. * He had ten horns ** and seven heads, *** with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name

* In Rev 17 the waters represent the nations:

Rev 17:15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw… are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.”

Unlike the dragon, who is a beast from the sky (a spiritual being), the Antichrist is a man.

** Rev 17:12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.”

*** Rev 17:9 “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” Rome is known as the city of seven hills.

ANTICHRIST - NOT SATAN

Rev 13:2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. *

* This beast is a composite of the four beasts of Daniel 7 - the lion, the bear, the leopard and the beast with ten horns. In the book of Daniel, the lion represented the Babylonian Empire, the bear the Medo-Persian Empire, the leopard the Grecian Empire, while the beast with ten horns is the Roman Empire. This final empire will assume characteristics of all of these former world empires.

ANTICHRIST - NOT SATAN

Then we see that there is a “family resemblance” between the dragon and the beast from the sea. While the dragon had seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns on his heads, this beast has seven heads, ten horns, with ten crowns on his horns. So only the number and placement of the crowns vary.

The beast has ten crowns on his horns (a symbol of strength), which is a curious place for them while the dragon (Satan) has them on his heads (12:3). Some believe it is a way of stressing that his dominion (crowns of royalty) rests on force.

ANTICHRIST - NOT SATAN

Rev 13:2b The dragon gave the beast * his power and his throne and great authority. **

* The antichrist (the beast) is distinct from Satan:

And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also… (Rev 20:10 NASB)

** But he gets his authority from Satan (the dragon):

Daniel 8:24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power…

2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders

ANTICHRIST - NOT SATAN

Not only did Irenaeus and Hippolytus (2nd & 3rd generation disciples of John) see the Antichrist as a future man but they believed that he would be of Jewish origin and more specifically from the tribe of Dan.

Dan is missing from the 144,000.

Jacob predicts that: “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.” (Gen 49:16)

Jacob referred to Dan as a serpent. (Gen 49:17)

Moses prophesies: “Dan is a lion’s cub, springing out of Bashan.” (Deut 33:22)

Dan was linked to a false and substitute religion.

Jer 8:16 speaks of horses of war coming from Dan during a time of peace.

The Jewish Midrash claims that the Jewish Messiah will come from the Tribe of Dan as well as the Tribe of Judah.

FROM THE TRIBE OF DAN

Rev 13:2 The beast … had … a mouth like that of a lion. *

*The voice of the lion excels that of any other beast.

In Daniel 7:20 we are told that he has “a mouth uttering great boasts” (NASB).

Like Hitler who mesmerised his audiences, the antichrist will be a great orator and people pleaser.

Dan. 11:21 tells us that “he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries”.

Daniel 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant…

A GREAT ORATOR

Preterist: a 1st Century emperor (Pagan Rome).

Historicist: the medieval Roman Catholic church or Pope.

Futurist: a future (man) political and religious leader of a future revived Roman Empire.

THE ANTICHRIST

Preterist

Historicist

Futurist

The concept of Nero as the Antichrist is often a central belief of Preterist eschatology. 1

While this view is ‘popular’ in some circles today - namely among liberal theologians, and is often presented as the ‘predominant’ view “held by most scholars” on pseudo-documentaries on the History Channel, the Christian apologists who lived close to these times never made this link, but saw the antichrist as a future man. At best, Nero was seen as a “type of the antichrist”.

E.g. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407 AD) in his ‘Homilies on Second Thessalonians’ writes, “For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work.” He speaks here of Nero, as if he were the type of Antichrist.”

1 Wikipedia: Nero

PRETERIST ANTICHRIST

Was John writing about Nero?

Irenaeus (in the late 2nd century) and Hippolytus (2nd/ 3rd century) still refer to him as a future person. Bearing in mind that Irenaeus received his instruction from a man taught by John himself, his thoughts on the identity of Antichrist are most important.

In addition, Irenaeus records that John wrote the Revelation late in the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD), which was long after Nero’s (54-68 AD) reign. As a result Preterists have to try and early-date Revelation, by ignoring Irenaeus and the other early Christian writers.

PRETERIST ANTICHRIST

A distinct feature of Historicism, which makes it very controversial, is the identification of the Antichrist with the Roman Catholic Church, a common position held by Protestants in the Reformation, which is not prevalent today. E.g. According to SDA Historicism… the first beast of Rev 13 symbolizes the Papacy, and the second beast symbolizes the USA.

HISTORICIST ANTICHRIST

Is the Pope or the Catholic Church the antichrist?

2 John 7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

Neither the Papal church nor the Pope ever denied the incarnation (i.e. that Jesus came physically in flesh). This was the heresy of the Gnostics - rejected by the church in the 2nd and 3rd century.

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

Likewise the Catholic Church and the Pope have never denied that Jesus is the Christ (Greek for Messiah).

HISTORICIST ANTICHRIST

The view of a literal future man fulfilling the prophecies of the antichrist was understood from the Scriptures by the early Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian (2nd century), Hippolytus & Cyprian (3rd Century). They interpreted Daniel’s 70th week as a future event, with a future antichrist coming during a final period of tribulation.

Irenaeus identified the Antichrist as the apostate Man of Sin, Daniel’s Little Horn and John’s Beast of Rev 13. He linked the Antichrist to the “king of a most fierce countenance,” in Gabriel’s explanation of the Little Horn in Daniel 8.

FUTURIST ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. * The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

Rev 13:12 ... made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. *

Rev 13:14 … the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. *

* The Antichrist receives some sort of deadly wound - which will appear to have been healed. There is a lot of speculation as to what that means. Will he appear to have died and fake a resurrection to mimic Jesus' resurrection?

Gregory I (540-604 AD), the Bishop of Rome, adapted a view common among Futurists today i.e. that the man Antichrist, as a false or substitute Messiah to Israel, will mimic Jesus’ resurrection. He writes that “… Antichrist… pretends to die and rise again…” [Selected Epistles, bk. 13, Epistle 1, trans. in NPNF, 2d series, Vol. 13, pp. 92, 93.]

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:4a Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast * …

Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast— * all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

* He will exalt himself above God.

2 Thess 2:3-4 … the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Daniel 11:36 The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god… He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:4b … and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” *

* He is a military genius. It said of the rider of the first horse in Rev 6:2 that “he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest”.

He will subdue 3 of the 10 kingdoms.

Daniel 7:8-24 While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it… The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words ** and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. * 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. ***

* Absolute rule for 3½ years.

** He is arrogant.

Daniel 8:25 … he will consider himself superior.

*** He will blaspheme God, heaven and will slander his followers.

Daniel 11:36 The king … will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.

Dan 7:25 He will speak against the Most High…

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:7a He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. *

Rev 13:9 He who has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

* He opposes the saints for 3½ years.

Dan 7:21-25 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them… He will … oppress his saints… The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

Dan 8:24… He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:7b And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

He exercises global authority (leader of a more powerful EU or UN?). Will he be accepted by political leaders? So completely will the world be swayed by the hypnotic spell cast over it by the Beast that the ten kings of the final neo-Roman empire shall “give their kingdoms unto him”. It says of the 10 horns (kingdoms) in Rev 17:17 “For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule…”

The stage is rapidly being set for the world to accept global leadership. Famed British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) was correct when he said, “The nations are ready to give the kingdoms of the world to any one man who will offer us a solution to our world’s problems.”

THE ANTICHRIST

The first president of the UN General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak, who was also a prime minister of Belgium and one of the early planners of the European Common Market, as well as a secretary-general of NATO, affirmed, “We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all the people and to lift us up out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be God or devil, we will receive him.”

THE ANTICHRIST

He brokers a 7-year peace treaty in the Middle East (this alone will endear him to the world).

Dan 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

Daniel 8:25 He will cause deceit to prosper… When they feel secure, he will destroy many …

Deceit: Hebrew - mirmah = fraud; craft, deceit(-ful, -fully), false, feigned, guile, subtlety, treachery.

Breaks covenant

Dan 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.

THE ANTICHRIST

Rev 13:11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. * 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, ** whose fatal wound had been healed.

* Deceit – appears to be a lamb (Jesus), but speaks like a dragon (Satan).

** In the holy trinity the Holy Spirit gives glory to Jesus, who gives glory to the Father. In the unholy trinity the false prophet gives glory to the antichrist, who gives glory to Satan.

THE FALSE PROPHET

Rev 13:13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, * even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived * the inhabitants of the earth.

* Signs and wonders that will deceive most.

2 Thess 2:9-11 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie

THE FALSE PROPHET

Strong deception that could deceive even the elect, short of God’s intervention.

Matt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

Deception will abound:

Daniel 8:12 … truth was thrown to the ground.

Daniel 8:25 He will cause deceit to prosper…

THE FALSE PROPHET

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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Gavin Paynter
10574 download(s)
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9207 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
9107 download(s)
Gavin Paynter
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Gavin Paynter
8688 download(s)
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8452 download(s)
Ken Paynter
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