Christian Apologetics Study

THE MYSTERY OF THE RAPTURE IN HISTORY AND PROPHECY

Jun
20

The RAPTURE is an eschatological word used to denote the ascension of believers in Messiah Yeshua before His second coming. This supernatural event is clearly mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, where those believers who are still alive when Messiah returns are described as being “caught up” together with their resurrected fellow believers to meet Yeshua “in the air.” This rapture event will cause the sudden transformation of the mortal bodies of all believers, from the past to the present, into immortal bodies when believers meet Yeshua in the air.  Paul probably received the revelation for the Rapture of believers when he was transported to the Third Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-3), which is the supernatural dimension where God and the angels live. While there are differences of interpretation concerning the rapture of believers, the weight of biblical evidence reveal several rapture events before and during the Seven Year Tribulation.

For example, Enoch’s rapture is recorded in Genesis 5:21-23 and Hebrews 11:5-6. Elijah’s rapture is recorded in 2 Kings 2:1-11. Yeshua’s rapture is recorded in Matthew 28:6-7 and Acts 1:9-11.  Paul’s rapture is recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:2-3). The rapture of Church Saints is recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, John 14:3, Revelation 3:10, and Revelation 4:1-4. And the rapture of the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah) is recorded in Revelation 11:1-12.

THE RAPTURE OF ENOCH

Enoch became the first person mentioned to be raptured and taken to be with the Lord, according to the Genesis record. Genesis 5:24 records Enoch’s translation and rapture to heaven. “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). What does it mean that Enoch “was not, for God took Him?” It means that Enoch was translated, without dying, and went directly to be with the Lord. Enoch was raptured, to use the language of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 or he was “taken,” to use the language of John 14:3. That Enoch was raptured or translated to heaven is clear when compared with the dismal refrain “and he died” that accompanies the legacy of the other patriarchs mentioned in Genesis 5.

Enoch’s rapture is confirmed by the divinely inspired New Testament commentary found in Hebrews 11:5 which say, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” The New Testament Christian Scriptures the words “taken up” in Hebrews is the same one selected by those who translated the Old Testament into Greek. This word conveys the idea of being removed from one place to another. Thus, it is clear that both the Genesis passage and the repeated reference to Enoch in Hebrews teach the idea of translation to heaven, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

THE RAPTURE OF ELIJAH

Elijah the first representative of Israel’s post-law prophets. He will reappear in history during the tribulation (Malachi 4:5) and He will be joined with Moses as the two from the past who appeared at Yeshua’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:3). Like Enoch, Elijah was translated to heaven without dying. 2 Kings 2 records this interesting event with an emphasis upon the mode of Elijah’s transportation to heaven. 2 Kings 2:1 says he was taken “by a whirlwind to heaven.” In 2:11 the whirlwind is further described as “a chariot of fire and horses of fire.” No doubt this was an appearance of the Shechinah glory of God since Hebrews 1:7 say, “and of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.’” God objectively marked Elijah as a genuine prophet by identifying him with the glory of God and his rapture to heaven, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

Enoch was raptured to heaven before judgment while Noah remained on Earth and was preserved through the judgment. Elijah was raptured while Elisha remained behind. These rapture events relate to the rapture of the church. Thus, Enoch and Elijah stand as types of the rapture of the church saints, while Noah and Elisha represent Tribulation Saints who are preserved through the seven year Tribulation, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.

THE RAPTURE OF MESSIAH YESHUA

Revelation 12:5 speaks in the form of a symbol that represents important aspects of Messiah Yeshua’s career. Within this picture, Yeshua is called the “male child” who it is said “was caught up to God and to His throne (Revelation 12:5). This picture looks back to Yeshua’s ascension that is described in Acts 1:8-11, where Yeshua ascends to heaven in a cloud. Therefore, because Revelation 12:5 uses the word for rapture, this means that Yeshua’s Acts 1:11 ascension is view as a rapture event, a trip from planet Earth to Heaven, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

THE RAPTURE OF SAINT PAUL

Twice Paul mentions that he was “caught up (raptured) to the third heaven” and received “visions and revelations of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 12:1–4). Paul’s heavenly trip reminds us of Isaiah’s throne room commission (Isaiah 6:1–13). A rapture experience was involved in this incident. Paul, via rapture, received a commission, message, and revelation that became the foundation for the unique purpose for the church during this age, “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5). Apparently, Paul’s heavenly visit was such a heady experience that the Lord gave him “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me to keep me from exalting myself. (2 Corinthians 12:7), according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

THE RAPTURE OF CHURCH SAINTS

The rapture of Church Saints is predicted in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, John 14:3, Revelation 3:10, and Revelation 4:1-4.  According to Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Among all the raptures in Scripture, this is the first time that our Lord and Savior Messiah Yeshua will take a large group to heaven in a single instance, without first facing death. This is such a clear teaching in the Bible that even believers who do not emphasize the rapture as a distinct event, merge it into to the second coming in some way. However, this is the event that will take place before the seven-year tribulation, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

According to Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, the rapture will occur before the seven year tribulation. He said “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, NJKV). Analysis of the Greek and early English Bible translations shows what Paul really wrote “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come until the DEPARTURE AWAY COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition”. The departure away describes the rapture of Church Saints prior to the tribulation, according to Dr. Grant Jeffrey.

The first seven English translations of APOSTASIA all rendered the noun as either “DEPARTURE” or ” DEPARTING.” The word APOSTASIA was translated DEPARTURE in the Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608). This supports the notion that the word truly means “DEPARTURE.” In fact, Jerome’s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of A.D. 400 renders APOSTASIA with the “word DISCESSIO, meaning ‘ DEPARTURE’, according to Dr. Thomas Ice.

THE RAPTURE OF THE TWO WITNESSES

The rapture of the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah) is recorded in Revelation 11:1-12. Reminiscent of Elijah, the two witnesses during the tribulation are summoned “into heaven in the cloud” (Revelation 11:12). Certainly these commissioned and protected messengers fulfill the role as ambassadors for our Lord to the Jewish nation during the tribulation. Along the same line, the “male child” is said to be “caught up (raptured) to God and His throne” in Revelation 12:5.

The Scriptures provide us with significant citations of the rapture of individuals throughout history. This provides a strong support that the church will be raptured in the future as 1 Thessalonians 4 teaches. Some opponents of the rapture seek to suggest that the worldwide disappearance of millions would be too odd to consider as a realistic possibility. Such is not the case if the Scriptures are the criterion for establishing prophecy. In fact, the Scriptures reveal a significant number of raptures or trips directly to heaven that provides assurance that God can and will take many believers in a moment of time.

RAPTURE TIMING ANALYSIS

According to Dr. Thomas Ice, Paul describes New Testament believers as ambassadors for Messiah Yeshua (2 Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is one who represents a dignitary, often in a foreign land. Corresponding with Isaiah’s commission in the Old Testament, the church has been given its Great Commission through Messiah’s apostles (Matthew 28:16–20; Mark 16:14–18; Luke 24:44–49; Acts 1:6–10). The primary issue during the current Church Age involving God and all mankind is the issue of belief in the gospel of Messiah Yeshua. When the world reaches the point of global rejection of Messiah Yeshua, then God will recall His ambassador, the church, before the judgment of the tribulation. Since the church is described as heavenly citizens (Philippians 3:20), it makes sense that she is raptured before God’s war commences against “those who dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 12:12; 13:8, 14; 14:6). This is one of many purposes for the New Testament doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture of the church.

The Church is the salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV). Salt retards corruption and when the salt is removed from the Earth, then corruption will proliferate worldwide. The Church gives light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16) and when the light is removed from Earth, then darkness is everywhere on Earth.  The period between the Rapture and the Second coming of Messiah Yeshua will be like the days of Noah’s generation. The Nephilim (Fallen Angels) will openly walk the Earth again and they will create a new generation of Nephilim Hybrids, which are hybrid humans, part fallen angel and part human. The Nephilim will attempt to manipulate the entire creation on Earth. During this period, the Anti-Messiah will originate from the Eastern leg and toes of the Revived Roman Empire when he rises and conquers the whole world.  Messiah Yeshua will defeat the Anti-Messiah’s 10 nation confederation army at the battle of Armageddon.

We must all be ready

for the rapture because many believers will be persecuted and killed during the seven year tribulation. Preparation for the rapture event begins with accepting Messiah Yeshua as your Lord and Savior and by living your life according to Yeshua’s teachings and by praying always to escape the coming judgments. While persecution from the world and Satan will happen to believers, Messiah Yeshua does not appoint believers to His wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

RELATED SOURCES

Most of the information contained in this article originates from the research papers of Dr. Thomas Ice. Pre-Tribulation Rapture Article; Dr. Thomas Ice; 2010. Rapture Ready Article; Dr. Thomas Ice; 2010. The Islamic Anti-Christ; John Preacher; 2012. God’s War on Terror; Walid Shoebat; 2008. Prophecy Islam and the Bible DVD; Walid Shoebat; 2008. Unleashing the Beast; Perry Stone; 2010. Understanding the Times; Joel Richardson; 2008. The Book of Revelation DVD; Perry Stone; 2013. The Cosmic Conspiracy; Stan Deyo; 2010. Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes; Perry Stone; 2015. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2008. Nephilim Article; Dr. L.A. Marzulli; 2013.

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THE PROPHETIC WORLD EMPIRES

Jun
19

“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.” (Revelation 17:10-11 NIV).

The Holy Scriptures reveal eight world empires before Messiah Yeshua returns to form His millennial Kingdom on planet Earth. These empires are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, the European Union, and the Revived Roman Empire. The Egyptian Empire is recorded in Genesis and Exodus. The Assyrian Empire is mentioned in First and Second Kings and First and Second Chronicles. The Babylonian Empire is recorded in Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The Media-Persian Empire is mentioned in Ezra, Esther, and Daniel. The Greek Empire is recorded in Daniel. The Roman Empire is mentioned in the Daniel and Revelation and throughout most of the New Testament Christian Scriptures. The European Union is mentioned symbolically in Daniel and Revelation. And the Revived Roman Empire is mentioned primarily in Zechariah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, and Revelation.

EGYPTIAN EMPIRE

Egypt has a long and rich history dating back many hundreds of years before Messiah Yeshua. Some of the most significant events in the Bible occurred in and around Egypt. We read that Abraham lived there during a famine (Genesis 12:10). Joseph was sold to Egyptians and his whole family joined him there after he became an Egyptian leader (Genesis 37-50). The Hebrews were enslaved there after Joseph died (Exodus 1:6-11). Moses was born and raised there (Exodus 2:1-10). God led the Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promised Land (Exodus 12:31-42). The prophet Jeremiah went there with a group of Israelites after Jerusalem was destroyed (Jeremiah 43:7). The Old Testament was translated into Greek in Alexandria, a city in Egypt. And Mary and Joseph fled there to protect the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:14).

The Egyptian empire began in northern Africa when King Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt around 3100 BC.  The Egyptians had their own distinct culture because they lived in the Nile Valley. This region was isolated from many surrounding warlike nations. Egypt’s territory in northern Africa surrounds the Nile River, beginning at its delta in the north. In ancient times the country extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the first waterfall on the Nile at Aswan. Later, it expanded to include all of the Nile Valley to the fourth waterfall, and the regions east and west of the Nile.

The Egyptian Empire was grand and it was ruled by powerful kings and famous queens called pharaohs. The pharaohs had great wealth and they commanded much respect. Thutmose III (1450 BC) and Ramses II (1250 BC) were the warrior pharaohs of ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians were the source of much technology and mathematics that were advanced beyond their surround cultures. Imhotep (2600 BC) was the Albert Einstein of ancient Egypt because he became famous for his medical practice and he developed the technology for building the first great pyramids.  The great pyramid building era was from 2600 BC to 2500 BC. Literature, math, and technology prospered during the Middle Kingdom around 2050 BC to 1800 BC. However the great expansion of the nation and the domination of the surrounding areas happened during the Empire period, from 1550 to 1100 BC.

The ancient Egyptians had a successful civilization because they organized their country around a national leader.  This leadership allowed the country to use its resources to develop its land and educational system, military strength, and architecture. The Egyptian dynasties came to an end when Mark Anthony and Queen Cleopatra VII’s naval forces were defeated by the Romans at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.

The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are found in Isaiah 19, Jeremiah 43:8-13, Jeremiah 44:30; Jeremiah 46, Ezekiel 29-32, Obadiah 1:15-21, and Psalm 83. Some of these predictions have been fulfilled, while others will happen within the near future.

ASSYRIA EMPIRE

Assyria was the symbol of terror and tyranny in the Near East for over 300 years. The Assyrians were ruthless warriors who conquered city after city, nation after nation. They gobbled up territory quickly and finally ruling over all of Syria and Babylonia. They conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and took many Israelis captive. Years earlier, the prophet Jonah had told the people in the Assyrian capital city, Nineveh, to change their evil ways. However, they repented only for a short season. They continued their rebellion against God and they eventually suffered the consequences.

Assyria was an ancient empire located in southwestern Asia. It grew from a small region around Ashur to encompass an area stretching from Egypt to Anatolia. Assyria may have originated in the 2nd millennium BC, but it came to power gradually. Its greatest period began in the 9th century BC, when its conquests reached the Mediterranean Sea under Ashurnasirpal II (883 BC to 859 BC), and again 746 BC to 609 BC, during the Neo-Assyrian empire, when it conquered much of the Middle East. Its greatest rulers during the latter period were Tiglath-pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal. The kingdom was finally vanquished in 610BC by a coalition of Media and Babylonia.

The Bible describes the future destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17:1. Assyria will be among the defeated armies described in Obadiah 1:15-21 and Psalm 83 war.  A few eschatology experts believe the Anti-Messiah (Antichrist) will originate from Assyria.

BABYLONIAN EMPIRE

The terms “Babylon” and “Babylonia” have different meanings in different contexts. Babylonia represents the ancient kingdoms that decorated southern Mesopotamia, especially in the seventh and sixth centuries BC. The capital city was Babylon. However, Babylonia has a larger meaning. It describes an entire region we now know today as southeast Iraq. The adjective “Babylonian” has an even looser meaning. It may refer to the land or its inhabitants, to the kingdom or its subjects, or to one of the main ancient languages of that area. The Babylonians were fierce warriors who eventually took God’s people captive. The Babylonians were also creative and intelligent people. The Bible features Babylonia as the arch-rival of God’s people and a feared and much-hated enemy.

The Babylonian Empire began in the ancient cultural region of the Tigris and Euphrates river system. The area was divided into Sumer and Akkad when the first Babylonian line of Amorite kings took power after 2000 BC. Largely because of the efforts of Hammurabi (1792 – 1750 BC), Babylonia gained regional hegemony but declined after his death; the Kassites from the east eventually assumed power (1595 BC) and established a dynasty that lasted some four centuries. After Elam conquered Babylonia (1157 BC), a series of wars established a new Babylonian dynasty whose outstanding member was Nebuchadnezzar I (1124–03 BC). Following his rule, a three-way struggle developed for control of Babylonia among Assyria, Aram, and Chaldea, where the Assyrians ruled the area most frequently (9th–7th century BC). In the 7th–6th century BC the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar II (606–562 BC) instituted the last and greatest period of Babylonian supremacy, conquering Syria and Palestine and rebuilding Babylon, the capital city. It was conquered in 538 BC by the Persian Achaemenian dynasty under Cyrus II.

Babylon is portrayed as the head of gold (Daniel 2) and the winged lion (Daniel 7) in the prophetic Scriptures. Babylon (Iraq) will participate in the Obadiah 1:15-21 and Psalm 83 war against Israel. Babylon will be rebuilt and become the capital city of the Anti-Messiah’s revived Babylonian Empire. Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17 to 18) describes a worldwide religious, economic, and government system. This religion will be a fusion of Christianity and Islam, which is sometimes called CHRISLAM.

MEDIA-PERSIAN EMPIRE

Persia was the country lying just east of Mesopotamia. In ancient times, Persia was called by different names, like Fars or Pars, which came down to us as Persia. People continued to call it Persia until 1935, when it changed its name to Iran. The official modern language of Iran is Persian. In ancient times, Persia was a very powerful nation. They conquered many lands and controlled many different people, including the Israelites. However, most of the time, the Persians were very kind to the people they conquered. For instance, the Persians let the Israelites rebuild their temple and the walls around Jerusalem. The Persians were conquered by Alexander the Great.

The history of Persia begins with the revolt from the Medes and the accession of Cyrus the Great, 558 BC. Cyrus defeated Crœsus, and added the Lydian empire to his dominions. This conquest was followed closely by the submission of the Greek settlements on the Asiatic coast, and by the reduction of Caria and Lycia. The empire was soon afterward extended greatly toward the northeast and east. In 538 BC, Babylon was attacked, and after a stout defense fell into the hands of Cyrus. This victory first brought the Persians into contact with the Jews. The conquerors found in Babylon an oppressed race, like themselves, abhorrers of idols, and professors of a religion where to a great extent they could sympathize. This ethnic population Cyrus determined to restore to their own country: which he did by the remarkable edict recorded in the first chapter of Ezra. He was slain in an expedition against the Massagetæ or the Derbices, after a reign of twenty-nine years.

Under his son and successor, Cambyses, the conquest of Egypt took place, 525 BC. This prince appears to be the Ahasuerus of Ezra 4:6 Gomates, Cambyses’ successor, reversed the policy of Cyrus with respect to the Jews, and forbade by an edict the further building of the temple. He reigned for seven months and he was succeeded by Darius, according to Ezra 4:17-22. Appealed to, in his second year, by the Jews, who wished to resume the construction of their temple, Darius not only granted them this privilege, but assisted the work by grants from his own revenues, whereby the Jews were able to complete the temple as early as his sixth year. Darius was succeeded by Xerxes, according to Ezra 6:1-15. A few scholars believe that Xerxes was probably the Ahasuerus of Esther. Artaxerxes, the son of Xerxes, reigned for forty years after his death and is beyond doubt the king of that name who stood in such a friendly relation toward Ezra, according to Ezra 7:11-28 and Nehemiah. Nehemiah 2:1-9 says he is the last of the Persian kings who had any special connection with the Jews, and the last but one mentioned in Scripture. His successors were Xerxes II, Sogdianus Darius Nothus, Artaxerxes Mnemon, Artaxerxes Ochus, and Darius Codomannus, who is probably the “Darius the Persian” of Nehemiah mentioned in Nehemiah 12:22.  These monarchs reigned from 424 BC to 330 BC. The collapse of the empire under the attack of Alexander the Great took place 330 BC.

Iran is portrayed as the chest and arms of silver (Daniel 2), as a massive bear (Daniel 7), and as a Ram (Daniel 8) in the prophetic Scriptures. A few eschatology experts believe that Iran will participate in the Gog and Magog War described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Iran will be included in the final world Empire, according to prophetic Scriptures found in Daniel chapters 10 and 11 and Revelation chapters 13, 17, and 18.

GREECIAN EMPIRE

The Bible refers to Greece or the Greeks, but sometimes those references are not entirely clear. Within the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, the name Javan, who was the fourth son of Japheth, seems to fit the Greek description (Genesis 10:2; compare Ezekiel 27:13). The terms “Greece” and “Greeks” occur plainly in a few Old Testament verses, such as Daniel 8:21. The term “Greek” appears more often in the New Testament Christian Scriptures, where it is used in a number of different ways.

Classical Greece began to emerge (750 BC) as a collection of independent city-states, which included Sparta in the Peloponnese and Athens in Attica. The Spartans became famous for their military prowess in battle. Spartans were instructed by their commanders to never surrender in battle. Warfare was the profession for all the men of Sparta. King Leonidas became famous at the Battle of Thermopylea when he successfully delayed the Persian advance with his 300 Spartan warriors. Although Leonidas and his 300 Spartans died in battle, they inflicted massive casualties on the Persian Army.  Meanwhile, Athens became famous for its craftsmen, foreign traders, artists, poets, philosophers, teachers, actors, athletes, scientists, physicians, historians, religious teachers, and experts in military and naval affairs-all of whom made their contribution to the city’s glory. The great writers of the fifth and early fourth centuries BC included dramatists like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, historians like Thucydides and Herodotus, and philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It was a golden age of art, thought, literature, and architecture.

The civilization reached its zenith after repelling the Persians at the beginning of the 5th century BC (Persian Wars) and began to decline after the civil strife of the Peloponnesian War at the century’s end. In 338 BC, the Greek city-states were taken over by Philip II of Macedon, and Greek culture was spread by Philip’s son Alexander the Great throughout his empire.  After Alexander’s death in Babylon around 323 BC, the Grecian Empire was divided among four of Alexander’s generals. Ptolemy was given Egypt and adjacent territories. To Seleucas was given Syria, Asia Minor, and the East. Lysimachus took control of Thrace and adjoining territories. Cassander ruled over Macedonia and Greece itself. Eventually Macedonia and Thrace were joined, resulting in the emergence of three strong kingdoms, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt. Political rule was therefore divided until the Roman Empire arose to provide a new unifying political factor after the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC.

The Grecian Empire and Alexander the Greats military career is describe symbolically and prophetically in Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11. The Grecian empire is portrayed as the belly and thighs of bronze (Daniel 2), as the swift moving Leopard (Daniel 7), and as the male goat (Daniel 8). Greece will be included in the future CHRISLAM political and religious system (Revelation 17 and 18).

ROMAN EMPIRE

Rome was a city in Italy founded in 753 BC on seven hills that were about fifteen miles from the mouth of the Tiber River. Rome was not mentioned in the Bible in the Old Testament. However, it was very important to the stories in the New Testament Christian Scriptures. There are nine obvious references to Rome in the New Testament (Acts 2:10, 18:2, 19:21, 23:11, 28:14, 16, Romans 1:7, 15; and 2 Timothy 1:17). The Apostle Paul also traveled there and wrote a letter to the Christians in Rome. Because of this, Rome is important to know about for people who study the Bible.

The Roman Empire was the ancient state that once ruled the Mediterranean world. It was centered on the city of Rome from the founding of the republic in 509 BC through the establishment of the empire in 27 BC to the final eclipse of the empire in the west in the 5th century AD. The republic’s government consisted of two consuls, the Senate, and magistrates, originally all patricians, and two popular plebeian assemblies: the military centurion assembly and the civilian tribal assembly. A written code, the Law of the Twelve Tables, became the basis of Roman private law. By the end of the 3rd century BC, Roman territory included all of Italy; by the late republican period it encompassed most of Western Europe, northern Africa, and the Near East, organized into provinces. After a period of civil war, Julius Caesar took power as dictator. Following his assassination, conflict among the triumvirs, Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian, ultimately resulted in Octavian’s victory and his accession as Emperor Augustus. The imperial government combined aspects of the republic and a monarchy. In AD 395 the empire split into eastern and western regions, with the west under severe pressure from the barbarians. Rome was sacked in 410 by the Visigoths, and the western empire fell to German invaders in 476 AD; the east continued as the Byzantine Empire until 1453 AD when the Ottoman Turkish Empire under Mehmed II defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Constantinople.

The Roman Empire is described symbolically and prophetically in Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11. The empire is portrayed as the two legs of Iron (Daniel 2) and as a powerful non-descripted beast (Daniel 7). Rome will be included in the future Chrislam political and religious system (Revelation 17 and 18).

EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union (EU) is mentioned in Revelation 17 as the nation that will continue for a short seasons before it becomes part of the Western leg of the Revive Roman Empire. The EU is an organization of European countries, formed in 1993 to oversee their economic and political integration. It was created by the Maastricht Treaty and ratified by all members of the European Community (EC), out of which the EU developed. The successful EC had made its members more receptive to greater integration and provided a framework for unified action by member countries in security and foreign policy and for cooperation in police and justice matters. In pursuit of its major goal to create a common monetary system, the EU established the euro, which replaced the national currencies of 12 of the 15 EU members in 2002. Originally confined to Western Europe, the EU enlarged to include several central and eastern European countries in the early 21st century. The EU’s principal institutions are the European Community, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, and the European Central Bank. The EU will eventually collapse and breakup and from this fall five nations will emerge from the ashes representing the five toes of the metallic man in Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dream (Daniel chapter 2).

THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE

The eighth and final world empire will rule over the entire globe. This final empire is sometimes referred to as the Revived Roman Empire. According to John’s classic apocalyptic vision found in the Book of Revelation, the “beast,” also called the Anti-Messiah (Antichrist), will rise out of the sea of nations having seven heads and 10 horns (Revelation 13:1). When we analyze John’s vision with Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:16-24), we realize that some type of global system will exist in the beast’s kingdom. The beast will be the most powerful “horn,” and he will defeat the other nine nations and he will begin to persecute believers worldwide. The 10 nation confederacy is also seen in Daniel’s image of the statue in Daniel 2:36-44, where he pictures the final world government consisting of 10 entities represented by the 10 toes of the statue. Whoever the 10 leaders are and however they come to power, Scripture is clear that the beast will reduce their power to nothing more than figureheads and all 10 leaders will obey the Anti-Messiah.

This empire will be a confederation of 10 nations governing 10 regions of the ancient Roman Empire, which ruled the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  This empire will include, but not be limited to, five powerful Western nations and five prominent Eastern nations. Western nations will originate from the EU, while the Eastern nations originate from a reestablished Islamic Caliphate system. The Anti-Messiah’s supreme government will rule over nine of these nations. The 10 nations will govern the entire planet Earth. This will be the first time that the entire world populations will be unified under a single government since the days of King Nimrod of Babylon (Genesis 11).  The final world empire will be an economic, religious, military, and technological superpower. Few people will be able to escape its global reach. Many believers will be killed for rejecting the mark of the Beast. The mark of the Beast will be associated with a global religious and economic system. A few eschatology experts believe this religion will be a fusion of Christianity, Islam, and new age paganism. The Anti-Messiah’s headquarters will probably be located in the region of Iraq, Assyria, and Iran.

SUMMARY

The prophets Daniel and John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provide prophecy students with very detailed information on the rise and fall major worldly empires until that glorious day when Messiah Yeshua return to reign in His millennial kingdom on Earth. According to the books of Daniel and Revelation, we read that eight major gentile empires will rule on Earth before the messianic kingdom. These empires will be the Egyptian Empire under Thutmose III, the Assyrian Empire under Ashurnasirpal II, the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar II, the Medo-Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great, the Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire under Julius Caesar, the European Union, and the Revived Roman Empire.

Both Daniel and John say there will be a future revival of the Roman Empire in the area of Europe and the Middle East. This revived Roman Empire, the fourth beast of Daniel’s prophetic vision, is portrayed as the 10 toes of the great image in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylonia.  The final form of the Revived Roman Empire will include, but not be limited to, five nations from the West and five nations from the East. The Western five nations will probably include, but not be limited to, England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.  The five Eastern nations will include, but not be limited to, Assyria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

ESCHATOLOGY SOURCES

The Islamic Anti-Christ; John Preacher; 2012. God’s War on Terror; Walid Shoebat; 2008. Prophecy Islam and the Bible DVD; Walid Shoebat; 2008. Unleashing the Beast; Perry Stone; 2010. Understanding the Times; Joel Richardson; 2008. The Book of Revelation DVD; Perry Stone; 2013. The Cosmic Conspiracy; Stan Deyo; 2010. Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes; Perry Stone; 2015. Easton Bible Dictionary. The Smith Bible Dictionary. The Holmon Bible Dictionary. The Enclopaedia Britannica. Ice, Thomas., and Demy, Timohty. “Fast Facts on Bible Prophecy.” Harvest House Publishers. 1997. Duck, Daymond R., and Richards, Larry Ph.D. “Gods Word for the Biblically-Inept Series”. Starburst Publishers. 2000. Prophecy Plus Ministries Daymond & Rachel Duck; Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg; The Next World War by Dr. Grant Jeffrey; and Isralestine by Bill Salus. Unlocking the Bible Code Program; Bible Code 2000 Plus Program. Bible Code Matrix by Eliot Elwar; Torah Code Matrix by Rabbi Galzerson. Revelation Road by Bill Salus; In Defense Of Israel by John Hagee; and Atomic Iran by Mike Evans

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GENETIC MUTATIONS CHALLENGE DARWIN’S EVOLUTION THEORY

Jun
15

The death of Darwin’s evolution theory continues due to the evidence found in genome deterioration, sickle cell anemia mortality, beneficial mutations elusiveness, disease proliferation, and recent genetic mutations.

 
Analysis of DNA/RNA mutations reveals that these genetic transformations cannot offer meaningful new information in significant quantities. Rather, these mutations will generate information degradation in the genome. This scientific observation is against the neo-Darwinian origins predictions and evolution model. The genome degradation is neutralized by natural selection that assists in maintaining the animal population’s status quo.

 

Degradation results for many reasons, two of which are reviewed here. First, there is a tendency for mutations to produce a highly disproportionate number of certain nucleotide bases such as thymine and second many mutations occur in only a relatively few places within the “hot spots genes” and rarely occur in others, such as “cold spots genes.” An exhaustive examination of science literature fails to reveal a single clear example of any beneficial information-gaining mutation. On the other hand, many deleterious mutations exist, supporting the hypothesis that very few mutations are beneficial. These findings support the intelligent design theory and creation model, according to Dr. Jerry Bergman.

 
Beneficial mutations are extremely rare. The few mutations that are considered “beneficial” always involve the loss of genetic information and they generally result in the deterioration of the animal’s health. For example, while sickle-cell anemia is considered a beneficial mutation because it protects many Africans against malaria, sickle-cell anemia is simply a very unhealthy disease, according to the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and the New England Journal of Medicine.

 
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder where the red blood cells have a sickle-like shape rather than the round donut shape of a healthy red blood cell. While this deformity prevents the body from carrying malaria, protecting people in high-malaria areas from dying from the disease, the sickle cell anemia is itself dangerous because sickle cell blood cells transport less oxygen than normal cells. These misshapen cells tend to clump up and get stuck in blood vessels, contributing to organ damage and infection, according to the National Heart Lung Blood Institute. Sickle-shaped cells often die within 10 to 20 days, while healthy red blood cells live on for 120 days before dying. The life expectancy for many suffering with sickle-cell anemia is less than 45 years, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. If sickle cell anemia is the best beneficial mutation out there, our hopes for evolving through mutations are empty and doomed to disappointment. The fact is, examples of truly beneficial mutations are massively lacking.

 
Geneticists Thomas Morgan and Herman Muller conducted a prolonged study of fruit flies (drosophila) looking for traces of evolution. But generation after generation, the uncooperative flies refused to evolve. Eventually they solved the problem, or at least they thought they had. They subjected a pure strain of fruit flies to chemical and radiation treatments. The result was mutilated flies. Flies developed yellow, brown, or purple eyes; or bulging, flat, or dented eyes. Some flies had no eyes. However, despite all the mutated flies that resulted from the experiment no new genetic information evolved and no beneficial mutations occurred and the flies always remained flies. The most important lesson to learn from the fruit fly experiment is the remarkable stability of this species, according to Dr. Jason Richard Boon.

 
Researchers on the 2000 Human Genome Project used genetic data from 179 individuals and found that all had between 40 and 110 potentially disease-causing mutations in their DNA. The individuals had 281-515 actual substitutions each, but the trouble only really started when both parents had passed on a mutation in the same gene. The researchers, estimated, “approximately 400 damaging variants and roughly 2 bona fide disease mutations per individual,” according to the American Journal of Human Genetics.

 
Damaging mutation do not always shows up immediately. Mutations sometimes increase a person’s chances for heart disease. Another might simply weaken the kidneys or slow the production of insulin. The body is also good at covering for an improperly functioning gene, using backup systems or compensating in some way when a gene is not doing its job right. However, when everything fails, mutations tend to cause disease, according to the American Journal of Human Genetics.

 
Science researchers have been working to develop a complete Human Gene Mutation Database with the more dangerous genetic defects, giving doctors a tool in diagnosing inherited diseases. It is distinctly noticeable that while some mutations are not as destructive as others, the researchers are not developing a database of all the improvements made by random changes in the genetic code, according to American Journal of Human Genetics.

 
Many human genetic mutations in human DNA are only 5,000 to 10,000 years old, according to a study by the Exome Sequencing Project at the National Institutes of Health. Nucleotides are biological molecules that form the building blocks of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and serve to carry packets of energy within the cell (ATP), according to the journal Nature reports. Many of the remaining mutations of this nature may have no effect on people, and a few might be beneficial, according to project researchers. While each specific mutation is rare, the findings suggest that the human population acquired an abundance of these single-nucleotide genetic variants in a relatively short time, according to the Exome Sequencing Project at the National Institutes of Health.

 
ANALYSIS

 
Genetic mutations show that macro-evolution cannot and never did happen during life’s history on planet Earth. For evolution to work on a grand scale, where nature transforms a family of animals into a new family of animals, beneficial mutations must appear to add new information to the genetic code. Without mutations, there cannot be any major evolutionary steps. While the weight of scientific evidence demonstrates clearly that the genetic information already existing within a species can contribute variation within animal populations due to natural selection, this process always strains out information and it never adds new genetic information, or previously non-existent coding to the genome. However, while many Darwinists claim that rare, beneficial mutations do exist, the math shows that random mutations result in the net removal of functional programming from the genetic code rather than adding new information to it.

 
Beneficial mutations are extremely rare. The few mutations that are considered “beneficial” always involve the loss of genetic information and they generally result in the deterioration of the animal’s health. We learn in biology class that our genetic code is made up of DNA, the long strands of the nucleotide bases Adenine, Guanine, Thymine, and Cytocine, which are A, G, T, and C for short. These four bases provide the digital code for our system, resembling the way 0s and 1s make up binary code for computers. Within the cell, during the process of translation, these nucleotides are read in groups of three, referred to as codons. Every codon is similar to a small transport vehicle of three letters that code for an amino acid, which go on to make up proteins.

 
Finally, if neo-Darwinian evolutionary model of origins were history, we should expect to discover a number of beneficial mutations that were the result of added genetic information. However, the weight of scientific evidence demonstrates clearly that we all inherited a damaged, deteriorating version of a once perfectly designed and fully functioning genetic code.

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THE GOG AND MAGOG ATTACK ON ISRAEL

Jun
01

Magog is the territory under the rule of Gog as described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Magog was the land of the nomadic Scythians, the region north and northeast of the Black Sea and east of the Caspian Sea, according to the first century historian Josephus. The area would have included territory that is occupied today by Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakhstan populations. Ezekiel 38:2 also speaks of Gog as the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. These entities are Magog’s allies. While the identification of Gog and Magog still remains disputed, the identifications of Meshech and Tubal have for a long time not been in doubt. Since the late 19th century, Assyrian texts have been available which locate Mushku (Meshech) and Tabal (Tubal) in central and eastern Anatolia (Turkey) respectively.

Another key indicator pointing to Russia as Gog coming from the far North is the size of the coalition army. There is Lebanon and Turkey to the North of Israel, but these nations are unable to field a massive army that could threaten Israel. Ezekiel 38:6 says “Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands:  many people with thee.” Ezekiel 38:15 says “and thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army.” Ezekiel 39:2 says “and I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” Today, Russia is to the far north of Israel. If you draw a straight line north of Jerusalem on the map, you will reach Russia. During Ezekiel’s time, Magog was located in southern Russia.

Finally, the fact that the Anti-Messiah is not mentioned in these verses is viewed by some prophecy teachers as a good indication that Russian invasion occurs before he arrives on the scene. If the Anti-Messiah were a great world leader at this time, it is not likely that he would stand on the sidelines and leave Russia unchallenged. If this were the middle of the Tribulation Period, he would be in control of some of these nations and they would not be in Russian coalition. His absence is a good indication of a Pre-Tribulation Period attack.

PRIMARY SOURCES

Ice, Thomas., and Demy, Timohty. “Fast Facts on Bible Prophecy.” Harvest House Publishers. 1997. Duck, Daymond R., and Richards, Larry Ph.D. “Gods Word for the Biblically-Inept Series”. Starburst Publishers. 2000.

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THE BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG

Jun
01

The Battle of Gog and Magog will probably occur after the pre-Tribulation Rapture event and before the Seven Year Tribulation (Daniel 9 and Revelation 6-19). In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, Gog in the land of Magog is the military leader of a coalition force attacking Israel. In Revelation 20:8, Gog and Magog appear again as a massive army attacking Israel after Messiah’s 1,000-year rule on Earth. The identity of Gog and Magog has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of speculation. The weight of biblical evidence indicates that Gog is an end-time enemy of Israel who will be defeated by Yahweh Elohim before the battle of Armageddon.

GOG AND THE ANTI-MESSIAH

The teaching that Gog is the Anti-Messiah is simply wrong for several reasons. First, Gog will die on the mountains of Israel, his body will be devoured by the ravenous birds and beasts of the field (Ezekiel 39:4) and his remains will be buried in the land of Israel (Ezekiel 39:12), but the real Anti-Messiah will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). Second,  God will put hooks into Gog’s jaws and drag him and his army into the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:4), but three unclean spirits from the mouths of Satan, the Anti-Messiah and the False Prophet will gather the Anti-Messiah’s army for the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13). Third, Gog will be the leader of a few nations (Ezekiel 38:5-6) and other nations will question his attack (Ezekiel 38:13), but the Anti-Messiah will be the leader of the whole world (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 13:7-8; Zechariah 14:2) and no one will question his attack. And fourth, there will be a second Battle of Gog and Magog long after the Anti-Messiah is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:8).

THE BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG AND ARMAGEDDON

The Battle of Gog and Magog is not the same as the Battle of Armageddon because God will attack Gog’s troops with rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone and they will kill each other (Ezekiel 38:21-22), but Yeshua will attack the Anti-Messiah’s troops with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:15). Second, the goal of the Battle of Gog and Magog is to take a spoil and a prey; silver, gold, cattle and goods (Ezekiel 38:13), but the goal of the Battle of Armageddon is to destroy Israel (Revelation 12:15). Third, the Battle of Gog and Magog will end upon the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:2), but the Battle of Armageddon will end in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2); Finally, Gog’s army will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel before it ever reaches Jerusalem (Ezekiel 39:2), but the Anti-Messiah’s army will temporarily capture Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1).

ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The Bible teaches that England, the United States, and other Western nations will not help Israel during the Battle of Gog and Magog. Ezekiel 38:13 reads, “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? And to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” Many prophecy teachers identify the merchants of Tarshish as England and many believe the young lions are those nations that came into being out of England such as the United States, Canada and Australia. These nations will question Russia’s invasion, but they will not help Israel. Rather than admitting that Russia is seeking a spoil and a prey; instead of admitting that Islam is a religion of jihad and not a religion of peace; they will resort to political spin and weak diplomacy and they will probably suggest that this war has something to do with poverty and hunger.

RELATED SOURCES

Prophecy Plus Ministries Daymond & Rachel Duck; Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg; The Next World War by Dr. Grant Jeffrey; and Isralestine by Bill Salus. Unlocking the Bible Code Program; Bible Code 2000 Plus Program. Bible Code Matrix by Eliot Elwar; Torah Code Matrix by Rabbi Galzerson. Revelation Road by Bill Salus; In Defense Of Israel by John Hagee; and Atomic Iran by Mike Evans.

 

 

 

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