Tag Archives: Thomas Newton

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 6

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See also:

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 1

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 2

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 3

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 4

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 5

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 7

The AntiChrist : Some Helpful Resources

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Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 5

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See also:

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 1

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 2

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 3

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 4

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 6

Identity of “Temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 – Part 7

The AntiChrist : Some Helpful Resources

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Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 7

While looking for some videos for my recent post on AntiChrist I providentially found some which deal with Revelation 9’s vision and which promote the interpretation I have promoted and godly Protestant teachers of the past have promoted (locusts = Muslim Saracens) in the previous 6 posts of my “Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles” series of posts.  I provide here the links to the Youtube videos (each around 8-10 minutes each). By watching those videos (just 30 minutes of your time) or reading some of the eminent Protestant commentators of the past you will better understand the prophecy of Revelation chapter 9 than more than 95% of today’s professing Christians who prefer the porous presuppositions of preterism and the fantastic fables of futurism. Once you understand that the predicted historic events symbolized in Rev. 9 happened centuries after 70 AD and centuries before this modern era then you must automatically reject preterism and futurism if you would properly understand the blessed Book of Revelation.

Please note that my encouraging the viewing of these 3 videos does not mean I necessarily approve of other videos done or promoted by the same author – 1st Thessalonians 5:21 (“prove all things”). I have not checked out all his videos so there may be some points of disagreement. I will mention that one of the videos I quickly skimmed through seems to teach the error of soul sleep.  Please use caution and discernment.

video : The 5th Trumpet : Rise of Mohammed and Islam – Part 1

video : The 5th Trumpet : Rise of Mohammed and Islam – Part 2

video : The 5th Trumpet : Rise of Mohammed and Islam – Part 3

See also:

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 1

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 2

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 3

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 4

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 5

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 6

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The Millennium : Some Helpful Resources

As I mentioned in a recent post about the AntiChrist my views on eschatology have changed over time (from dispensationalism to Protestant historicism) through reading certain documents and hearing certain sermons. Let me not forget to mention Bible study, meditation upon the Scriptures and fervent prayer as other means which brought about the change. My views on eschatology (AntiChrist, Millennium) changed during a period in my life which I would consider the most fruitful/fervent in terms of prayer, Bible study, evangelism, service and sanctification (2004-2009). I mention it so that no one may falsely think I became an amillennialist while being in a state of personal spiritual declension.

Premillennialism is one of the three great positions held on the Millennium with Postmillennialism and Amillennialism being the other two. In each of the three positions there are different views. In 2005 I had exchanged a more recent form of premillennialism (dispensational premillennialism) for something I believed was closer to the truth (historic premillennialism). Historic premillennialism sees the Book of Revelation as spanning the entire period of the Church age while dispensational premillennialism sees most of the things foretold in Revelation as occurring within a short period of time in the future. Great writers of the past held to historic premillennialism (e.g. John Gill, Joseph Mede, Thomas Newton, Isaac Newton, E. B. Elliott, H. Grattan Guinness) and it is believed that the Prince of Preachers himself, Charles Spurgeon, was a historic premillennialist (read here). For the first few years of my Christian life (2001-2007) I had prejudice against amillennialism and had not really bothered until the fall of 2007 to look at why godly and orthodox amillennialists held to that position on the Millennium. I thought one reason why amillennialists rejected premillennialism was possible racism toward racial Jews. Yes it is a sad fact that there have been some amillennialist Christians in the past who expressed contempt for non-Christian Jews (e.g. Augustine of Hippo) but not all amillennialists have been anti-Jew racists. Let us avoid blind generalizations. I am an amillennialist Christian and I am not anti-Semitic. I don’t know of any amillennialists personally who are anti-Semitic. Even the best of men under God’s grace still remain sinners (Ecclesiastes 7:20) so even one who may be right on a great number of fundamental Biblical doctrines may sadly be guilty of racism toward a particular racial group. That does not excuse the racism of course. And yet that does not mean all of the doctrinal positions of such a man are automatically incorrect either. Let us be noble Bereans (Acts of the Apostles 17:11) and look at how a doctrinal position stacks up Biblically. Let us lay aside strawman argumentation and labels (e.g. “you don’t take the Bible seriously”, “you spiritualize everything”, “you don’t take the Bible literally”**, “you teach replacement theology”***, etc…) and look at the Scriptures. Sola Scriptura. Acts 17:11. I hold to an amillennial understanding of the Book of Revelation because I believe the Biblical evidence points toward what has been historically labelled amillennialism*. It’s about grace. Not race. It’s about hermeneutics plain and simple. It’s about looking at how Christ and His apostles interpreted the Old Testament prophecies/promises. Does not the Christ teach us all things (John 4:25)? Should not the clearer light of the New Testament (John 1:17b; Matthew 13:16-17) help us interpret the figurative prophetic passages and dark sayings (Hosea 12:10; Numbers 12:6-8) of the Old Testament? Should not the Book of Hebrews be considered a surer guide for us than the harder-to-understand Book of Ezekiel?

* the term “a-millennial” would mean “no millennium” (just like “a-theist” means “not a theist”) but that’s not a fair and correct view of our position… we believe there is a Millennium but not in the way the premillennialists conceive it to be… I use the term because for better or worse that’s the name that has been attached to the position

** There are different styles found in the Bible : historical narrative (e.g. Genesis 6-day Creation account of events that happened close to 6000 years ago), poetic passages (e.g. Psalms, Song of Songs), parables, similitudes, proverbs, figurative prophetic passages (Hosea 12:10), etc… that means we can’t spiritualize away historical events which occurred in this physical realm (e.g. 6-day Creation account with “days” actually meaning literal days and not millions of years) or apply a wooden literalism to prophesies which were delivered in figurative language… to each its own… were not the Jews in the days of Jesus guilty of carnally interpreting His words which were meant to be taken figuratively (Jesus : “I am the bread of life”) with a wooden literalism (Jews: “how can he give us his flesh to eat?”)? I prefer saying that I take the Bible SERIOUSLY rather than using the term “literally”

*** I hold to EXPANSION theology not REPLACEMENT theology

Like in my previous post on the topic of AntiChrist I will present here a list of documents and audio sermons which helped me come to my present understanding of eschatology. I would say the first document which seriously led me to reconsider historic premillennialism was a very good book written by Patrick Fairbairn, a postmillennialist, called “Prophecy viewed in respect to its distinctive nature, special function, and proper interpretation (1866)” which can be downloaded for free here. (Note : Charles Spurgeon, thought by some to be a historical premillennialist, had recommended the book.) I had decided to read it because it dealt with hermeneutics and the author was well-reputed for his published works on Biblical typology. I didn’t read the book because the author was promoting at the end of his book a postmillennialist view of Revelation chapter 20. In fact I only became aware of the author’s postmillennialism when I got near the end of the book. In the part of the book dealing with the Millennium issue he brought up good arguments against premillennialism which bothered me at the time (around the beginning of the fall of 2007). Yet I was not convinced enough to adopt the postmillennial view of the author. I thought within myself that it would be good to find a prophecy book written by an orthodox Protestant amillennialist in order to look at the Biblical arguments put forth in support of amillennialism. I forget if I audibly prayed to God at that time in order to find the right book on the topic. Whether or not I did so at the time the Lord knew my thoughts and He knew my sincere desire to adhere to a correct understanding of the Millenium.

Patrick_Fairbairn

Patrick Fairbairn

Approximately 2 weeks after having for the first time a desire to read a prophecy book written by an amillennialist I was sent by a Pentecostal brother-in-Christ a book dealing with the Millennium issue…. written by an amillennialist! The book was written by W. J. Grier and called “The Momentous Event” (in French : “Le grand dénouement”). I had not told my Pentecostal friend or anyone else for that matter that I was having questions concerning the Millennium issue itself. He already knew I had rejected the secret rapture teaching 2 years earlier. This same brother-in-Christ had tried years earlier (months after my conversion) to convince me that the secret rapture teaching was false but I was not mature enough spiritually at the time to calmly consider his arguments. It would be another 4 years (early 2005) before I would completely reject the secret rapture teaching. My friend seeing my initial resistance to his warnings concerning the secret rapture teaching thought it was best to send me the aforementioned book at a later time. His timing could not have been better… I believe it was not a happy coincidence… God led me to question the premillennial position and also led my friend who was living in another city (and as I mentioned before unaware at that time that I was reconsidering the Millennium issue) to send me the book shortly after.

http://www.amazon.com/Momentous-Event-W-J-Grier/dp/0851510205

I read the book (about 120 pages) and finally came to the conviction that amillennialism was the correct view of the Millennium of Revelation chapter 20. I enjoyed the book and have recommended it to others. I think the book is a good starting point for looking at the Millennium issue.

historic model for amillennialism, source : http://www.genevaninstitute.org

historic model for amillennialism, source : http://www.genevaninstitute.org

source : http://www.genevaninstitute.org

futurist model for amillennialism, source : http://www.genevaninstitute.org

After reading Grier’s book I desired to learn more about what amillennialism generally teaches so I subsequently read more documents and listened to sermons. Here are the TEXT DOCUMENTS I remember reading after receiving amillennialism :

Philip Mauro, “The Hope of Israel, What Is It?”

General outline for “The Gospel Millennium” series of sermons (source : www.LetGodBeTrue.com)

George B. Fletcher, “The Millenium : What It Is Not”

www.LetGodBeTrue.com : “What About the Land?”

www.LetGodBeTrue.com : “Who Is The Seed of Abraham?”

Anthony Hoekema, “Amillennialism : Introduction”

Cornelis P. Venema, “Revelation 20: Part I – The Premillennialist Case”

Cornelis P. Venema, “Revealtion 20 : Part II – The Millennium is Now”

Cornelis P. Venema, “Revelation 20 : Part III – The Binding of Satan”

Cornelis P. Venema, “Revelation 20 : Part IV – The Believer’s Reign with Christ”

Philip Mauro, “Things Which Must Soon Come to Pass”

Tony Warren, “Amillennialism : A Word Direct From the Scriptures”

http://www.amazon.com/Revelation-International-Greek-Testament-Commentary/dp/080282174X

Ralph Woodrow, “His Truth is Marching On” (sold here)

David J. Engelsma, “A Defense of (Reformed) Amillennialism”

Philip Hughes, “The Millennial Reign”

David L. White, “My Shift to Covenant Theology and Amillennialism”

Lewis Neilson, “Why Not Postmillennialism?”

Philip Mauro, “The Gospel of the Kingdom”

Mark Alvis, “Ezekiel’s Temple”

Here is a list of known amillennialist authors : L. Berkhoff, A. Kuyper, W. Hendriksen, O.T. Allis, D.H. Kromminga, G.C. Berkouwer, A.A. Hoekema, G. Girod, H. Hoeksema, R.C.H. Lenski, J. Adams, G. Voss, A. Pieters, F.E. Hamilton, G. Murray, W. Rutgers, M.J. Wyngaarden, W. Messelink, W.J. Grier, W. Cox, T. Graebner, A. Hughes, Kliefoth.

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Here is a list of AUDIO SERMONS/INTERVIEWS teaching/promoting the amillennialist view of Revelation:

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 1”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 2”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 3”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 4”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 5”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 6”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 7”

http://www.LetGodBeTrue.com : Mr. Crosby, Sermon : “The Gospel Millenium – Part 8”

Chris Hand, “Are the 1000 Years of Revelation 20 Literal? Revelation 20:1-15”

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=1130217042

Chris Hand, “Amillennialism Described and Defended Matthew 24:1-51”

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=12402191718

Chris Hand, “Amillennialism (continued) & Historic Premillennialism Revelation 20:1-15”

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=320255628

Chris Hand, “Dispensationalism Defined”

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=3902103021

Chris Hand, “Dispensationalism – It’s Doctrine Examined”

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=3230216251

Kim Riddlebarger’s Lectures on Amillennialism :

http://christreformedinfo.org/mp3s-and-real-audio-of-academy/

Art Azurdia, “The Anticipation Of The Consummation (Revelation 20:1-3)”

Art Azurdia, “The Anticipation Of The Consummation (Revelation 20:4-6)”

Art Azurdia, “The Last Battle Take 2 (Revelation 20:7-10)”

Sam Waldron on Chris Arnzen show (“Iron Sharpens Iron”) : “The End Times Made Simple”

http://sharpens.blogspot.ca/2008/03/dr-sam-waldron-end-times-made-simple.html

Sam Waldron on Chris Arnzen show (“Iron Sharpens Iron”) : “Amillennialism Defended”

http://sharpens.blogspot.ca/2010/02/blog-post_22.html

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The AntiChrist : Some Helpful Resources

666-number-of-the-beast

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the physical, visible Return of Christ mentioned in chapter 1] shall not come, except there come a falling away [great religious apostasy within professing Christianity] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4)

[Note : I will mention here that I am not a Seventh Day Adventist or a Christadelphian; I am Calvinistic in terms of the doctrine of salvation; Ellen G. White was a plagiarist and a false prophet; if she said anything right about the AntiChrist it was only because she plagiarized Baptists and Protestants]

How can I have a blog with the word “prophetic” in the title and not talk about the AntiChrist (a.k.a. “the little horn”, “the son of perdition”, “the man of sin”)? I thought it would be good today to mention some of the resources which helped me years after my conversion to understand and receive the historic Baptist/Protestant view on AntiChrist which I believe without apology to be the correct teaching as opposed to the prophesy pontifications of the preterists (e.g. Gary Demar, David Chilton, Kenneth Gentry) and the prophetic speculations of the futurists (e.g. Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Jack Van Impe).

What is the historic Baptist/Protestant view on AntiChrist which just happens to be found in different historic confessions of faith? Let me quote from one of those confessions. This is what is written in the Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter XXV, “Of the Church”, Point number VI):

“There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can THE POPE OF ROME, in any sense, be head thereof; but IS THAT ANTICHRIST, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.”

Title page of a 1647 printing of the Confession (source : Wikipedia)

Title page of a 1647 printing of the Westminster Confession (source : Wikipedia)

The historic Baptist/Protestant view is that the papacy, the succession/dynasty* of popes, is the man of sin. One man at a time fulfilling the characteristics of the son of perdition sitting as a false apostle/bishop within the “temple” of professing Christianity. The Greek word “naos” which is translated “temple” in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 is used elsewhere by Paul for the Church. Please read carefully : “Know ye not that YOU [plural, together] are the [definite article] temple [singular not plural, Greek word “naos”] of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you [plural]?” (1st Corinthians 3:16) Did not Paul write to Timothy that a local, visible assembly of believers was “the house of God” (1st Timothy 3:15)? Did not Paul instruct us that the “temple of God” (interpreted as a local group of believers) could be soiled and defiled by a man (like the son of perdition that was to come for example)? Please read carefully : “If any man defile the temple [Greek word “naos”, singular not plural] of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple [singular not plural] of God is holy, which temple [singular not plural] YOU [together, plural] are.” (1st Corinthians 3:17; the immediate context is about teachers and Gospel workers so the one who can defile the temple of God would firstly refer to a false teacher within a local assembly) Please notice that in that verse it basically said “you are the temple” and not “you are the temples”. When Paul spoke of the literal temple of Jerusalem Paul used another Greek word (see 1st Corinthians chapter 9, verse 13) and he did not call it “the temple of God” but merely “the temple” because it no longer was God’s temple (see Matthew 23:38; Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24; John 4:20-21) since at least after Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice (or some time before that). When it comes to determining the “temple of God” of 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 let us be guided by the Scriptures. If one wants to take the “temple of God” as referring to an individual believer then that also fits the popes historically who sought to govern the consciences of men and women and to know the secrets of their hearts through their abominable confessional system.

Apostle Paul to Timothy, an elder : "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in THE HOUSE OF GOD, which is THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1st Timothy 3:14-15)

Apostle Paul to Timothy, an elder : “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in THE HOUSE OF GOD [referring in the context to a local, visible assembly of Christians], which is THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1st Timothy 3:14-15)  I would add that “house of God” and “temple of God” are synonymous terms.

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours... Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1st Corinthians 1:2,3:16)

Apostle Paul : “Unto THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth [a local assembly of believers], to THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST JESUS, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours… Know ye not that YOU [plural] ARE THE TEMPLE [singular] OF GOD, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1st Corinthians 1:2,3:16)

St. Peter's Basilica : a professing Christian church in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica : a PROFESSING (but apostate) Christian church in Rome, the city sitting on seven hills (Revelation chapter 17); the Church of Rome was truly Christian in the early centuries of Christianity (read Paul’s epistle to the ROMANS) but it grew more and more apostate as time went on; like the church of Thyatira, owned and not initially repudiated by Jesus Christ, it is guilty of spiritual fornication and has been given “space to repent”… but sadly the Bride-turned-Whore hasn’t repented of her blasphemies, murders, false doctrines and idolatry (Revelation 9:20-21)… her final judgment is still to come (Revelation chapter 18)… God is calling His elect who still remain within her to “come out of her” (Revelation 18:4)

lateran cathedra benedict

Did you know that a cathedral is a church which contains the SEAT of a bishop? Did you know that “ex cathedra”, a term associated with the pope claiming to be an infallible RELIGIOUS TEACHER, literally means in Latin, the official language of the 4th beast empire in both its united and divided forms, “from the SEAT”? The Pharisees and scribes were said to be SITTING in the SEAT OF MOSES as RELIGIOUS TEACHERS of the people (Matthew chapter 23:1-12). 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 : “… the son of perdition … SITTETH in the temple of God…” Anyone ever hear of the pope of Rome being associated with the (supposed) “SEAT of Peter” or “CHAIR of Saint Peter”? How much more plain can it be? (“Temple of God” = church) + (“son of perdition” = false apostle/bishop) + seat of teaching authority within church + Rome (city sitting on seven hills) + apostasy = papacy

The “man of sin” like the “man of God” (2nd Timothy 3:17) does not necessarily refer to one single person* in human history. Just like the first son of perdition, Judas Iscariot (John 17:12), who fooled the apostles for a time the son of perdition that was to come fooled true Christians (e.g. Martin Luther) for a time. Being a deceiver WITHIN the “temple” of professing Christianity, the son of perdition cannot in any way refer to a Muslim or atheist or some New Age guru (e.g. Lord Maitreya) or some 1st century Jewish high priest. The son of perdition which is a title used for the first apostate ecclesiastical leader/elder within professing Christianity, Judas Iscariot, can only refer to a false Christian teacher/apostle/leader and not to some political figure no matter how wicked that person may be. There many antichrists (1st John chapter 2) who oppose the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be they Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Hindoos, Buddhists or any other non-Christians but only one of the many antichrists of History fulfills the prophetic descriptions of THE AntiChrist (capital A) and THE son of perdition (Daniel chapter 7, 2nd Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, Revelation 17).

* “For MANY shall come IN MY NAME, saying, I am Christ…” (Matthew 24:5a)

BenedictoXVI

“… and SHALL DECEIVE MANY.” (Matthew 24:5b)

la-thousands-jam-st-peters-for-popes-last-gene-001

What about the “showing himself that he is God” part? The pope claims to forgive sins which only God can do (Mark 2:7). The pope claims infallibility in matters of faith and practice when he teaches “ex cathedra” and he also claims to be the “vicar of Christ”. Those 2 claims show him usurping the place of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the true “vicar of Christ”. Jesus Christ : “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15:26) The pope is called “Holy Father”, a term used only in the Scriptures for God the Father (John chapter 17), and thus usurps a title of God the Father. What about the pope usurping Christ’s place? The word “anti” can be “against” or “in the place of”. The word “antipope” means someone in the place of the true pope.  A false pope in other words. Antipope = someone in the place of the true pope. AntiChrist = someone in the place of the true Christ = a vicar of Christ = a false Christ. Anyone claiming to be “vicar of Christ” is an “AntiChrist”, someone in the place of Christ. Let us not forget that the pope claims to be the head of the Church while the Scriptures teach that Christ is the true and sole head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23).

Let us hear a “humble” pope of the 19th century speak for himself:

“But since WE HOLD UPON THIS EARTH THE PLACE OF GOD ALMIGHTY, Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth, and now that Our advanced age and the bitterness of anxious cares urge Us on towards the end common to every mortal, We feel drawn to follow the example of Our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ, Who, when about to return to Heaven, implored of God, His Father, in earnest Prayer, that His Disciples and followers should be of one mind and of one heart: I pray . . . that they all may be one, as Thou Father in Me, and I in Thee: that they also may be one in Us.  And as this Divine Prayer and Supplication does not include only the souls who then believed in Jesus Christ, but also every one of those who were henceforth to believe in Him, this Prayer holds out to Us no indifferent reason for confidently expressing Our hopes, and for making all possible endeavors in order that the men of every race and clime should be called and moved to embrace the Unity of Divine Faith.” (Pope Leo XIII, “The Reunion of Christendom”, Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII, June 20th, 1894)

Pope Leo XIII in 1894 : "We hold the place of God on earth"

Pope Leo XIII in 1894 : “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty”

We know from Daniel chapter 7 that the AntiChrist could only be revealed after the 4th Roman empire (“beast” symbol), the western portion of it which contained the city of Rome, the city on seven hills (Revelation 17), came to be divided into 10 main kingdoms (symbolized by “horns”) which did not occur prior to the coming of Christ (Antiochus Epiphanes is certainly not intended here) or prior to 70 AD (Nero and Vespasian are certainly not intended here) but rather after the Gothic invasions. Ever hear of Europe’s Holy Roman Empire which followed the fall of the pagan Roman empire (its Western section)? Let us remember that the feet of the great statue described in Daniel chapter 2 were connected DIRECTLY to the legs meaning historical succession and continuity. The legs represented the first form of the fourth empire and the feet with the ten toes (corresponding to the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7) represented the divided, weaker form of the fourth empire. There was no air gap whatsoever between the legs and feet meaning that after the fall of Pagan Rome we were to shortly expect the rise of the last divided form of the Roman empire.  That is what early Christian writers believed (e.g. Tertullian) and History has shown that that was the case. Just as the Persian empire shortly followed the Babylonian empire and just as the Greek empire shortly followed the Persian empire and just as the Roman empire shortly followed the Greek empire the last form of the 4th empire (Roman) would shortly follow its first form which fell in the 5th century (Barbarian Invasions). I would add that the AntiChrist could not be fully revealed to true Christians until only after the given marks of the great apostasy that was to come – imposed celibacy of teachers/bishops and abstaining from meats – became visible (1st Timothy 4:1-3) in the Middle Ages. Once that is understood and the connection is made with the Roman apostate church that was to come (symbolized by a whore sitting on seven hills in Revelation chapter 17) then the number of AntiChrist suspects is limited to one man/office and one very important city in Europe.

Map of the boundaries of the western and eastern Roman empires after the death of Theodosius I, in 395 AD. (source : Wikipedia)

Map of the boundaries of the western and eastern Roman empires after the death of Theodosius I, in 395 AD (source : Wikipedia). In red : the Western Roman empire containing Rome, the city sitting on seven hills (Revelation chapter 17). The Western Roman empire would come to be divided into 10 main kingdoms after the Barbarian Invasions of the 5th century. Only after this division took place could the little Roman horn (a.k.a. “the AntiChrist”) of Daniel chapter 7 come to power. In purple : the Eastern Roman empire which continued as the Byzantine empire till 1453. Let us remember that the TWO legs of the 4th empire represent a prophetic hint for us that the 4th empire would be first split in two parts (East and West) before the 10 part division of the portion (West) containing Rome, “that great city”. The prophetic hints given narrow things down for us. Rome remains the main focus.

Up until early 2005 I was still clinging to a futurist-dispensationalist view of eschatology (secret rapture, 7-year tribulation, one-man-AntiChrist, return of animal sacrifices, physical temple rebuilt in Jerusalem, etc…) having imbibed those ideas over 10 years earlier (while still a Roman Catholic) by sometimes watching made-for-tv dispensationalist sensationalists (e.g. Jack Van Impe). Being in a dispensationalist church assembly in the first years of my Christian life (which began in February 2001**) did not help matters. I thank God for granting me curiosity and leading me to documents which opened my eyes concerning the AntiChrist.

** As a sincere Roman Catholic having doubts concerning whether or not I was in the right church I prayed in early 2001 to the Lord concerning the identity of the Whore church of Revelation chapter 17 which is associated with Rome, the city sitting on seven hills, and I believed the Lord answered my sincere prayer in accordance with His Word (James 1:5) because of the accompanying spiritual fruit which I experienced (true and profound repentance, a new and strong hunger for the Word, a new zeal for prayer, a peace in my heart I had never had before) after leaving Roman Catholicism and embracing the true Gospel of God’s grace (unmerited favor). The more I have studied Revelation chapter 17 and the use of symbols by the prophets the more I am convinced that the Baptists and Protestants of past ages properly understood the prophecies concerning AntiChrist (the papacy) and the Whore (the Roman Catholic Church). Still tainted by dispensationalist futurism and not being entirely consistent I still had for a time a one-man view of AntiChrist and only saw the pope as one of many possible suspects. I had even for a time early in my Christian life bought into the idea that Prince Charles as some future head of the European Union was going to become the AntiChrist.  Nobody’s perfect!

papal throne in colour ii

One document which started opening my eyes (in the summer of 2004) was Duncan McDougall’s “The Rapture of the Saints”*** which shows Roman Catholic Jesuits involved (for obvious reasons!) in spreading false views on AntiChrist (futurism, preterism) which would eventually come to be imbibed by a large number of Baptists and Protestants (see also my “Oxford Movement” post). Mr. McDougall’s document can be read here. Did not Paul warn us in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 (verses 2 and 3) concerning the circulation of false ideas about the end times? Should we be surprised then by the diversity of prophecy teachings promoted in our day and age? Many sincere Christians have been misled and some true teachers of the Word, people more zealous than myself in many respects, have sadly contributed to spreading prophecy errors.

*** the author was rather harsh when it came to talking about the Plymouth Brethren but I believe he (like Charles Spurgeon) was right in many of his criticisms of certain men within the movement – 1st Thessalonians 5:21

The burning of Thomas Cranmer, one of many martyrs who boldly declared that the Pope was the man of sin

The burning of Thomas Cranmer, one of many Holy Spirit filled martyrs (Matthew 10:18-20) who boldly and without error declared that the Pope was the man of sin (please read John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs for other examples)

Mr. McDougall’s book had bothered me but I was not yet ready at that time to embrace Protestant historicism (meaning the contents of the Book of Revelation span all of the Christian era as opposed to being confined to a narrow period of time like the preterists and futurists teach). In early 2005 I found a recording (in MP3 format) of a relatively recent sermon (2003) preached by a no-nonsense-tell-it-like-it-is American Calvinist (Michael Bunker) on the topic of AntiChrist. The sermon titled “The Doctrine of the Papal AntiChrist” was about 2 hours long. After listening to it a few times and meditating upon his arguments (and of course praying to God for wisdom and discernment) I finally came to reject the false teaching of the secret rapture and came to embrace the view that the papacy, the line of popes, was THE AntiChrist. That sermon can be downloaded here and the transcript of the sermon can be read here. He also wrote “The Testimony of the Spirit Concerning AntiChrist” and “The Testimony of History Against AntiChrist”.

papal throne

***** TEXT DOCUMENTS *****

Here are other documents I read in the following months and years which I found to be very helpful in solidifying my understanding of eschatology:

“Romanism and the Reformation” by H. Grattan Guinness

“The Papacy is the AntiChrist” by J. A. Wylie, author of the excellent 3-volume “History of Protestantism” (which can be downloaded here, here and here)

“Horae Apocalypticae, or A Commentary on the Apocalypse” by E. B. Elliott (free downloads of 1862 edition : volume 1, volume 2, volume 3 and volume 4)

“Making Sense of Daniel – Chapter 7 : The Little Horn of Rome” (found on www.LetGodBeTrue.com website****)

**** the website also offers a good document refuting full preterism (and consequently its false view of AntiChrist) which can be read here

“Great Prophecies of the Bible” by Ralph Woodrow***** (sold here)

***** written decades ago when the author was more reliable in matters of faith, discernment and practice

Mark of the Beast Powerpoint presentation (part 1 and part 2) and discussions about Mark of the Beast between Rand Windburn and Roman Catholics on Catholic Message Board found on www.iconbusters.com website (Rand Windburn)

“Dissertations on the Prophecies” by Thomas Newton

“Forensic Science and the AntiChrist” by Rand Windburn

“Is Popery the AntiChrist?” by Patrick Fairbairn

“AntiChrist Exposed – the Reformed and Puritan View of the AntiChrist” (2 volumes) by Ronald N. Cooke (sold here)

“The Puritans and the Promises” by Erroll Hulse (read Promise number 3)

“The Roman Pope is the AntiChrist” by Gavin McGrath^

^ I certainly do not agree with the author’s views on race; I do not believe that it is forbidden in this New Testament era to marry a believer of another race (1st Corinthians 7:39b); grace is more important than race in this dispensation; even in the Old Testament, the commandment to not marry someone of another race was for a religious reason ultimately: practically everybody outside of Israel in the Old Testament era was an idolater and hence there were no proper marriage candidates for the Israelites; did not Boaz of the tribe of Judah marry Ruth the Moabite who had already embraced the true God? is there any hint in the Bible that God had frowned upon that marriage?

“Is Not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” by Christopher Wordsworth

Thomas Manton’s “Eighteen Sermons on the Description, Rise, Growth, and Fall of AntiChrist” found in volume 3 of “The Complete Works of Thomas Manton”

Sermon outline for 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 (www.LetGodBeTrue.com website)

Francis Turretin’s 7th Disputation (“Whether It Can Be Proven the Pope of Rome is the AntiChrist”) made available on the www.iconbusters.com website

Charles Spurgeon’s exposition of 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2

John Calvin’s commentary on 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2

One could also add commentaries on pertinent passages (Daniel chapter 7, 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, Revelation chapters 13 and 17) by John Gill, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole and John Wesley.

Pope John Paul II kissing the Quran (Islam), a book which denies the deity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

Pope John Paul II kissing the Quran (Islam), a book which denies the deity, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

I would also mention another helpful prophecy book. It is called “The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation” and it was written by Philip Mauro. While it does not directly address the identity of the AntiChrist it does show Biblically and historically that Daniel chapters 9 and 11 have nothing to do with the AntiChrist. Even worse than mishandling passages which deal with the AntiChrist is wrongly applying passages to the AntiChrist that have nothing to do with the AntiChrist (e.g. Daniel chapter 8, Daniel chapter 9, Daniel chapter 11). We must avoid both errors. (I have written two posts about prophecies contained in Daniel chapter 11 here and here)

I also recommend the following documents because they also show that the AntiChrist has nothing to do with Daniel chapters 8, 9 and 11:

“Making Sense of Daniel – Chapter 8 : The Little Horn of Greece” (found on www.LetGodBeTrue.com website)

“Making Sense of Daniel – Chapter 9 : Seventy Weeks of Messiah the Prince” (found on www.LetGodBeTrue.com website)

 “Making Sense of Daniel – Chapter 11 : Kings of the North and the South” (found on www.LetGodBeTrue.com website)

Another book which I enjoyed and found to be quite helpful was John Dowling’s “The History of Romanism : from the earliest corruptions of Christianity to the present time ; with full chronological table, indexes and glossary ; and fifty illustrative engravings (1853)”. The book deals with the development of Roman Catholic dogma (up until the mid-19th century). It can be downloaded for free here.

 ***** AUDIO FILES *****

Here are a few of the available audio messages dealing with the topic of the Papal AntiChrist:

Ian Paisley : “1988 Talk Back Catholicism Radio Debate”

Stephen Hamilton : “AntiChrist : The Pope? – The Historic Protestant View”

Stephen Hamilton : “Why No Hope for the Pope?”

www.LetGodBeTrue.com (Mr. Crosby) : “The Rome Connection”

www.LetGodBeTrue.com (Mr. Crosby) : “Is Catholicism the Anti-Christ?”

Former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett : “A Biblical Uncovering of the Pope & Papacy”

Ian Brown : “New Pope? Ultimate Usurper!”

Ian Brown : “Reformed Christianity vs. Roman Catholicism”

John Greer : “The Great Whore of Revelation 17”

John Greer : “The Man of Sin Part 1”

John Greer : “The Man of Sin Part 2”

Alan Cairns : “Mystery Babylon”

Another pope who likes the Quran

Another pope who likes the Quran, the holy book of the false religion of Islam

***** VIDEOS *****

Here are a few online videos dealing with the topic of the Papal AntiChrist:

Former priest Richard Bennett : Biblical Uncovering of the Pope and the Papacy

Mark of the Beast (Not a Microchip! Not your VISA card!)

Revelation 17 – Part 1~

Revelation 17 – Part 2~

Jerusalem is Not the Whore of Revelation 17~

The Scarlet Threat Montage

Explanation of the 1260 prophetic “days”~

The Beast of Revelation 13 Has A Number : 666 – AntiChrist, Vatican Triple Crown~

Ash Wednesday, Step Forward and Receive Your Mark of the Beast~

~ Please note that my encouraging the viewing of some of these videos does not mean I necessarily approve of other videos done or promoted by the same author – 1st Thessalonians 5:21 (“prove all things”). I have not checked out all his videos so there may be some points of disagreement. I will mention that one of the videos I quickly skimmed through seems to teach the error of soul sleep.  Please use caution and discernment.

 666 : Number of the Beast^^

^^ since the last empire is Roman/Latin I believe the use of Latin to identify the name of the Beast is warranted; Greek is the original language the Book of Revelation was written in and we also find some Hebrew words in the book so the use of Greek and Hebrew to identify the name of the Beast is warranted as well; everything else (e.g. binary codes, English) must be discarded by serious Bible students

The Last Two Beast Empires Part 1^^^

^^^ I am not presently sold to the idea that the United States is the “false prophet” beast which is promoted in part 2 (click here) of that video but I could be wrong… I did think the first part was good… I haven’t checked out the other videos of the author so I may not necessarily agree with everything taught by the author – 1st Thessalonians 5:21 (“prove all things”)

SEE ALSO :

The AntiChrist Part 2 : additional resources

English: By Lucas Cranach the Elder. It is a w...

English: By Lucas Cranach the Elder. It is a woodcut of people kissing the pope’s feet, from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist Deutsch: Ein Mann küssten den Fuß des Papstes, aus Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Prophecy, Revelation

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 5

locust-rev9Different learned Protestant commentators of the past have understood the important prophecy of the Revelation chapter 9 locust invasion as pertaining to Islam in its initial rise :

Albert Barnes : “All that is necessary to say further on this point is, that on the supposition that it was the design of the Spirit of inspiration in the passage before us to refer to the followers of Muhammed, the image of the locusts was that which would be naturally selected. There was no other one so appropriate and so striking; no one that would so naturally designate the country of Arabia.”

Jonathan Edwards : “First, the Saracens, who were some of his followers, and were a people of the country of Arabia, where Mahomet lived, about the year 700, began dread- fully to waste the Roman empire. They conquered a great many countries belonging to the empire, and continued their victories for a long time. These are supposed to be meant by the locusts that we read of in the ninth chapter of Revelation.”

Adam Clarke : “Locusts – Vast hordes of military troops: the description which follows certainly agrees better with the Saracens than with any other people or nation, but may also apply to the Romans.”

Thomas Coke : “The Arabians likewise are properly compared to locusts, not only because numerous armies frequently are so; but because swarms of locusts often arise from Arabia. In the plagues of Egypt, to which constant allusion is made in these trumpets, the locusts are brought by an east wind (Exodus 10:13), that is, from Arabia, which lay eastward of Egypt; and in the Book of Judges, the people of Arabia are compared to locusts or grasshoppers for multitude; for, in the original, the word for both is the same. As the natural locusts are bred in pits and holes of the earth, so these mystical locusts are truly infernal, and proceed with the smoke from the bottomless pit.”

John Gill : “The eastern locusts are the Saracens, and who are chiefly designed; and who were to harass and distress the eastern empire, and prepare for its ruin, which is brought on under the next trumpet by the Turks. These are fitly signified by locusts, because the locusts generally come out of the eastern parts: it was an east wind which brought the plague of locusts into Egypt, Exodus 10:13; and the children of the east, the Arabians, are compared to grasshoppers, or locusts, in Judges 7:12; and one of the names of a locust is “Arbeh”, not much unlike in sound to an Arab. To which may be added, that it is a tradition of the Arabians, that there fell locusts into the hands of Mahomet, on whose backs and wings were written these words: “we are the army of the most high God; we are the ninety and nine eggs, and if the hundred should be made perfect, we should consume the whole world, and whatever is in it.” And it was a law established by Mahomet, ye shall not kill the locusts, for they are the army of the most high God”

Matthew Poole : “I therefore rather agree with the learned and judicious Mr. Mede, with whom I also find John Napier and others agreeing, that by these locusts are meant the Turks and Saracens. 1. Their time agreeth; for they first appeared formidably to the world about the year 620. 2. They were always very numerous. 3. They came the locusts’ road, from Arabia, and the eastern parts. The Arabians (which the Saracens are) are called the children of the east, and said to be like grasshoppers for multitude.”

Thomas Newton : “At the sounding of the fifth trumpet (ver. 1 3.) a star fallen from heaven, meaning the wicked impostor Mohammed, opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, and the sun and the air were darkened by it ; that is, a false religion was set up, which filled the world with darkness and error; and swarms of Saracen or Arabian locusts overspread the earth. A false prophet is very fitly typified by a blazing star or meteor. The Arabians likewise are properly compared to locusts, not only because numerous armies frequently are so, but also because swarms of locusts often arise from Arabia : and also because in the plagues of Egypt, to which constant allusion is made in these trumpets, the locusts, (Exod. x. 13.) are brought by an east-wind, that is, from Arabia, which lay eastward of Egypt: and also because in the book of Judges (vii. 12.) the people of Arabia are compared to locusts or grasshoppers for multitude, for in the original the word for both is the same. As the natural locusts l are bred in pits and holes of the earth, so these mystical locusts are truly infernal, and proceed with the smoke from the bottomless pit. It is too a remarkable coincidence, that at this time the sun and the air were really darkened. For we learn from an eminent Arabian historian, that ” in the seventeenth year of Heraclius half the body of the sun was eclipsed, and this defect continued from the former Tisrin to Haziran, (that is, from October to June) so that only a little of its light appeared.” The seventeenth year of Heraclius coincides with the year of Christ 626, and with the fifth year of the Hegira ; and at this time Mohammed was training and exercising his followers in depredations at home, to fit and prepare them for greater conquests abroad.”

H. Grattan Guinness : “The next two trumpets give events in the East instead of the West, the fifth predicting the Saracenic con- quests of the seventh and eighth centuries (symbolized as the ravages of an army of locusts), and the sixth the Turkish invasions of eastern Europe, which extended from the middle of the eleventh century to the middle of the fifteenth. These, and the intolerable misery they occasioned to the Greek Churches of the East, are symbolized under the sixth trumpet by the career of the Euphratean horsemen in the ninth chapter of the book. This vision brings down the prophetic history to the fall of Constantinople, the capital of the eastern empire of Rome, before the Turks in A.D. 1453; and the remainder of the fifteenth century seems covered in the prophecy by the statement that ” the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood.” This description of continued obdurate and inveterate apostasy and idolatry applies both to eastern and western Christendom at that time.”

E. B. Elliott : “Next I shall expect that he will take up the first or scorpion-locust Woe; and distinctly encounter my main argument, from the asserted fact of all the characteristics of that symbol answering to the Mahomedan Saracens of the seventh century, so as they can be shewn to answer to no other nation that ever existed on the face of the earth…. First, and chiefly, the locust, the ground- work of the symbol, is peculiarly Arabic. So the sacred history of ancient times informs us. ” It was the east wind,” it says, “which brought the locusts” on Egypt from which the inference arises, that the country they issued from must have been that which, in all its extent, lies east of Egypt, that is Arabia. Such too, in modern times, is the testimony of Volney ; ” the most judicious,” as Gibbon calls him, “of Syrian travelers.” “The inhabitants of Syria,” he observes, ” have remarked that locusts come constantly from the desert of Arabia.”… Again, as of the locust, so of the scorpion, the native locality was by the Jews considered the Arabian desert. Witness Moses’ own words to the Israelites, on emerging from it, after forty years wandering ; ” that great and terrible wilderness wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions.” — And who knows not, if facts so notorious be worth mentioning, that it is Arabia, still Arabia, that is regarded by naturalists as the original country of the horse*…”

Thomas Scott : “There can scarcely remain a doubt, in the mind of an attentive enquirer, who has competent information on the subject, that these verses predict the rise and progress of Mohammed and his successors, as ruling over the Arabians or Saracens.”

Joseph Mede : “The first woe trumpet is long since passed. It sent forth those horrid troops of locusts, issuing from the smoke of the Tartarean abyss, now opened by the work of Satan, to devastate the globe; that is, the Saracens, or Arabs, (a nation as populous and numerous as locusts), were excited to the destruction of so many nations, by the astonishing false prophecy of Mohammed.”

Christopher Wordsworth : “This Vision of Locusts, is, I believe, rightly interpreted as representing the rise and progress of the Arch-Impostor of Arabia (A.D. 611); and the fierce retribution which was executed by God through him on degenerate and idolatrous nations. Mahometanism was, and is, a scourge on the world for its neglect and abuse of Christianity. It was a child of hell; but it avenged the cause of Heaven.”

Alexander McLeod (or M’Leod) : “Truth is light. Error is darkness. A system of misrepresentation and falsehood, originating from the father of lies, and deceiver of nations, is the smoke of the pit by which the sun and the air were darkened. Such are the doctrines of the Koran…. The symbolical locusts under consideration, issued from the figurative smoke, that is, were excited to their destructive excursions by hellish delusions. We are, therefore, to look for the fulfillment of this prophecy, to some fierce and barbarous people, who appear after the close of the 6th century, in the eastern empire, influenced to cruel warfare in immense multitudes, under the auspices of a system of false doctrines contrived by the instrumentality of some “fallen star”. The history of Arabia, the natural seat of the locusts, furnishes the interpretation of the prophecy in the conduct of the Saracens.”

Louis Gaussen : “These three woe trumpets are described so fully and exactly, that it is one of the best understood parts of the Apocalypse, and that almost all interpreters are agreed in recognizing, at least, in the fifth, the trumpet of the Saracens, and in the sixth that of the Turks.—Observe the beautiful accuracy of the symbols of the fifth trumpet, which point out Arabia, its clouds of fierce horsemen, its diabolical fanaticism, and its vast ravages!—A cruel and unnatural religion, “a smoke arising out of the bottomless pit” has given them birth; they fall upon Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Africa, Persia, Asia Minor, like those clouds of devouring locusts, which each year are brought from Arabia by the strong winds of the desert, and which, after hiding the light of the sun, carry desolation alternately into all the countries of the East. The description is so accurate, that one seems to see these terrible horsemen of the desert, with their “long hair like women’s,” floating on the shoulders, their “faces as those of men,” bearded and moustached (the Goths also let their hair grow, but, contrary to the Arabs, shaved their faces, except perhaps the Lombards; I inadvertently spoke of their beards in a former lesson, I ought to have remembered the passage where Jerome describes them, “with their women’s face, pursuing sword in hand the bearded Romans;”) the national diadem on their heads, their cuirasses, or coats of mail, celebrated in history, their long teeth of dazzling “whiteness like those of jackals or ounces,” says Chateaubriand; and especially their fierce fanaticism, and the deadly poison which they left upon their tracks. How can we mistake these children of Mahomet, when everything is described, even to the duration of their invasion, and of their devastating progress—150 prophetic days, that is to say 150 years, from the year 612, when their false prophet publishes his mission, to the year 762, when these devouring locusts settle themselves, lay their eggs, lose their wings, and build upon the Tigris, Bagdad, their city of peace, as they have called it ?”

William Cunninghame : “It will scarcely be disputed by those who have given a close attention to the analogies of the language of symbols, that the universal prevalence of the false doctrines [within professing Christianity inside the bounds of both the Western and Eastern Roman empires], which are described in the foregoing extracts, might be fitly symbolized by a black smoke rising out of the pit of the abyss, or the infernal regions…. An army of locusts, in the language of symbols, signifies an army of hostile invaders. The locusts mentioned in the prophecy of Joel were so understood by the ancient Jewish interpreters, who were well qualified to judge of the meaning of their own symbols. In the present instance, no doubt is left on the subject, as we are informed afterwards, that “the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle”… The whole of this highly hieroglyphical description is exactly applicable to the rise of the Mahommedan religion and power; and it is very remarkable that Mr. Gibbon, in describing these events, makes use of language, with respect to the state of the Christian Church, at the time when Mahomet appeared, which might almost be supposed to have been borrowed from the Apocalypse. “The Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of paganism; their public and private vows were addressed to the relics and images that disgraced the temples of the east: The throne of the Almighty was darkened by a crowd of martyrs, and saints, and angels, the objects of popular veneration ; and the Collyridian heretics, who flourished in the fruitful soil of Arabia, invested the Virgin with the name and honours of a goddess.”… It may be affirmed, almost without the danger of dispute, that Mahomet could not have succeeded in his imposture in an age of light; and that if superstition and gross darkness had not previously overspread Christendom, either his impious fraud had not been attempted, or had been destroyed in embryo. It is, therefore, quite agreeable to the nature of the symbolical language and style, that the army of locusts should be represented as issuing out of the black smoke which had previously pervaded the symbolical atmosphere.”

Joseph Benson : “All these circumstances are suitable to the character of the Arabians, the history of this period, and to the particulars of this prophecy.”

Thomas Goodwin : “In c. ix. 4, when these Saracen-locusts, under their ring-leader Mahomet, were first set loose, and had their commission, then comes in this clause of exception, “That they should hurt only those men that were not sealed,” which privilege of sealing, then and there only mentioned, argues the chief intent and accomplishment of their sealing to have taken place under the blasts of these locusts, though in the vision it comes in here beforehand.”

Charles Daubuz: “Locusts fly in such prodigious numbers, as that they form a great cloud, and darken the sky, and then falling upon the earth, make a most terrible havock of all the fruits thereof; and so are a proper symbol to signify and army of enemies coming in vast multitudes to make an excursion, in order to plunder and destroy a country: and therefore very properly represent here the Arabians or Saracens…”

Pierre Jurieu : “The sequel of the history, and the characters of this prophecy, persuade me, that by the locusts we are to understand the Arabians (who made no figure in history until the year 622, when, under their new name of Saracens, they followed Mahomet, as their prophet and general, and made considerable conquests); for after the great decline, or almost total eclipse of the Imperial dignity in Italy, the greatest event which next happened (with respect to the fourth monarchy and to religion) was the Arabians, who seemed to be raised up by Providence (for one purpose at least) to harass and torment the Western Roman empire, which was already very much disjointed or unhinged; but more especially for the punishment and degradation of the Eastern Empire at Constantinople. We are now to see, how well the words of the prophecy agree with those modern-named people, the Saracens.”

James Bicheno : I shall only observe, that by these locusts we are to understand the Saracens, the disciples of Mahomet, who, for so many years, were the scourge of the Greek and Latin churches, Asia and Europe.

Robert Fleming : The locusts that came out of this smoke were the Saracens, that followed Mahomet, who compiled the model of his religion, by the help of Jews and Christian heretics, especially of Sergius a Nestorian monk, whom the Arabian and Turkish writers call Bahira. These Arabian locusts, (whose Hegyra is dated from Mahomet’s flight from Mecca, an. dom. 622, a little after the Pope got the title of universal bishop, an. dom. 606,) did in a little time so increase, that they conquered or over-run a great many countries in a very little time.

James Frere : “The fifth, or first woe trumpet, begins with the irruption of the Saracens into the territories of the eastern Roman empire, in 632, the figure of locusts being used to designate armies from the east, or country of locusts. The sting in the tail is the emblem of false doctrine, “the prophet that speaketh lies, he is the tail”…”

Edward Bickersteth : “Sounding of the fifth trumpet : Locust, or Saracen woe, Revelation 9:3”

John Cumming : The birth-place of these locust propagandists must be the East; we read in Exodus, “the east wind brought locusts” into Egypt. Volney says, “The locusts come from the deserts of Arabia,” and Arbe, the Hebrew [word] for an Arab, is almost the same as arba, the Hebrew [word] for a locust. Hence, as in Judges vi. 5, “they come as arba, or locusts.” The scorpion, in the next place, is always traced in Scripture to Arabia. Moses says, “the wilderness, where fiery serpents and scorpions are.” The horse, I need not say, is popularly an Arab symbol. Arabia is his home. We read of the Arab steed, as the model of a horse. The whole zoology of the symbol is strictly Arab.

George Stanley Faber : “As that devastating insect the locust was brought by the east wind out of Arabia, to constitute one of the plagues of Egypt; so a swarm of locusts is employed by the prophet, with the strictest hieroglyphical decorum, to represent those innumerable hosts of destructive Saracens, which, under the guidance of Mohammed and his successors, alighted upon the apocalyptic earth or the territorial Roman Empire.”

Drue Cressener : “The Saracen troubles must then have been the first woe [in other words: the fifth trumpet]”

David Steele : “Locusts constituted one of the plagues of Egypt, and they are the emblem of a destroying army. (Exod. x. 14-19; Joel i. 4-6.) And this is their import here. They represent the deluded and destructive followers of Mahomet, who in vast multitudes laid waste the nations of western Asia, southern Europe, and northern Africa. The Saracens, originating in Arabia, the national locality of the literal locusts, in great multitudes like clouds, laid waste the fairest and most populous portions of the earth for a succession of ages. These symbolic locusts have also the property of scorpions, a poisonous reptile, resembling in some degree a lizard combined with a lobster, armed with a sting in the end of its tail. Wicked and impenitent men are compared to scorpions. (Ezek. ii. 6.)”

* Wikipedia : “With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE OLDEST BREEDS, with archaeological evidence of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years.”

My comment : is it just a coincidence that the same prophecy would contain the symbols of horses, locusts** and scorpions which together fittingly point to Arabia?  The Book of Revelation was written hundreds of years before the 7th century rise of Islam.  Was there anything in the 1st century AD when the Roman empire was dominant to suggest that Arabia would become a great world power through the spread of a new religion?  No one could have foreseen that except by revelation of God.

** NASA : “Rain falling on the arid soil of the Arabian Peninsula brings a brush of green to the landscape. It also provides the key ingredient in initiating an outbreak of desert locusts.”

Though John Wesley , Matthew Henry and Johann Bengel did not believe the locusts at the beginning of Revelation chapter 9 specifically referred to Islam they all believed that the latter part of the same chapter pointed to Islam (Wesley and Bengel : Saracens, Henry : Turks).

Isaac Newton, the famed scientist, also held the same view. He wrote the following concerning Revelation chapter 9 : This plague began with the opening of the bottomless pit, which denotes the letting out of a false religion: the smoke which came out of the pit, signifying the multitude which embraced that religion; and the locusts which came out of the smoke, the armies which came out of that multitude. This pit was opened, to let out smoke and locusts into the regions of the four monarchies, or some of them. The King of these locusts was the Angel of the bottomless pit, being chief governor as well in religious as civil affairs, such as was the Caliph of the Saracens. Swarms of locusts often arise in Arabia and from thence infest the neighbouring nations: and so are a very fit type of the numerous armies of Arabians invading the Romans.”

Francis Nigel Lee in the following message does give a list of Bible teachers who did interpret the prophecy of chapter 9 as pointing to the historic rise of Islam :

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9130243446

Though William Kelly of the Plymouth Brethren believed there was still a second fulfillment to come of the fifth trumpet he did agree with the application made by past Protestants of the locust symbol to Muslim Arabs… at least as a first fulfillment of the prophecy according to his view of the Book of Revelation : “For my own part, I do not doubt that the common application of the locusts to the Saracens and of the Euphratean horsemen to the Turks is well founded.”

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Before I end this post I want to ask a few questions and I also want to talk about the historical fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 – QUESTIONS TO MOSLEMS:

a) The Quran teaches that Allah gave the Bible (Judeo-Christian Scriptures) according to Sura 2:136 and Sura 3:65 of the Quran for example.  In the Torah, it says that new revelation cannot contradict previous revelation (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).  The Gospels testify that Jesus was crucified while the Quran denies this (Sura 4:157).  Even the Jewish Old Testament predicted the sufferings of the Messiah (Psalm 22, Isaiah chapter 53, Daniel chapter 9) hundreds of years before the crucifixion of Jesus. There are other examples where the Quran (supposedly a new revelation from God) contradicts the Judeo-Christian Bible.  How then in light of these facts could Mohammed be considered another prophet of the God of the Bible? How could it be believed that the Allah of the Quran and the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible are the same being? How can the Quran be trusted? Was Allah unable to make sure that the new revelations of the Quran would not contradict previous revelations?

b) The Quran calls the Bible the “Word of God” (Sura 2:75).   The Quran also teaches that the words of Allah cannot be altered (Sura 10:64).  If the Bible has supposedly been corrupted by Jews and Christians as Moslems claim then does that not mean necessarily that the Allah of the Quran was not powerful enough to prevent his words being altered? If the Bible has not been corrupted and if the Quran contradicts the Bible then how can the Quran still be true?  If the claim that the Bible was corrupted is true then that creates a problem for the reliability of the Quran because the same Allah who could not prevent the Bible from being corrupted (if the Moslem claim is true) is just as likely to not be able to prevent the Quran from being corrupted.

c) If the Allah of the Quran is unknowable then how can one know this?

d) God is holy and just and He must punish sin.  How can you erase all of your past evil works? How can you have perfect and lasting peace with Allah? How can you have peace in your conscience knowing that you have done evil works that you cannot erase? No one can pay off a debt with money that is already owed. Good works are already required of us by God so we cannot erase sins with what we already owe God (good works).

e) If the theory that Judas Iscariot was crucified instead of Jesus is true then does not that imply that the Allah of the Quran willingly deceived the disciples of one of his prophets (Jesus)? Isn’t that self-contradictory behavior?  Could you trust a god who lied to the sincere believers of one of his prophets? How do you know that the Allah of the Quran is not deceiving you right now?  Would Judas (a traitor) on the cross have cried out the following words: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)?

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2 – THE HISTORICAL FACT OF THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST

The historical event of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a strong proof of the deity of Christ.  All of the counter-theories (e.g. Christ survived the crucifixion, the apostles stole His body) that have been brought forth in the past to explain away the resurrection are not able to give a coherent answer which can plausibly explain everything that happened after the resurrection (e.g. appearances of Christ, rapid spread of the Gospel).

If the resurrection was just a carefully crafted lie invented by the apostles then how can anyone explain that the apostles (and disciples of the centuries preceding the Constantinian corruption of the Church) chose to die atrociously (e.g. devoured by lions, burned, crucified) rather than renounce their faith in Jesus Christ?  Who would want to die ignominiously and very painfully for something they know is a lie?

If no resurrection happened then how does one explain the appearances of Jesus Christ before many witnesses at the same time (e.g. over 500 witnesses at the same time – see 1st Corinthians chapter 15) and at different settings during the 40 days after His resurrection? Not only the apostles saw Jesus but they also touched Him and saw Him eat food. If those appearances of Christ were merely “collective hallucinations” (as if it were possible that many different people could simultaneously hallucinate about the same thing at the same time!) then how does one explain that the “hallucinations” ceased suddenly after 40 days?

How does one explain the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul before his conversion) who was a fierce persecutor of the early apostolic Church?

How does one explain away all of the many lives transformed (i.e. ex-alcoholics, ex-junkies, ex-prostitutes, ex-thieves, ex-occultists, etc…) throughout the centuries, in different cultures and on different continents by the Gospel message which is founded on the resurrection of Christ if Christ did not rise from the dead but was merely a man?

The empty tomb was never contested by the Jewish enemies of the Church in the first century because their accusation that the apostles had stolen the body of Christ presupposes an empty tomb. If the Romans and the Jewish enemies of the Church had wanted to destroy Christianity they needed only to present the dead body of Christ publicly to the people of Jerusalem if they had had it in their possession.  If the apostles had truly stolen the body then one would have to believe the testimony of the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb of Christ who had to be asleep at the time of the supposed “theft”. How could someone who was asleep be a good eyewitness when his eyes were shut?!

Can someone seriously believe that after all the torture Christ endured over many hours He survived it all and had enough strength to remove the large stone in front of the tomb’s door and then overpower many Roman soldiers?

Even a counter-theory widely spread amongst Moslems that Jesus had not really been crucified but had been secretly delivered by the Allah of the Quran (who is NOT the triune God of the Bible who saves sinners by grace) and which teaches that Judas Iscariot or someone else, who resembled Jesus or had been made by Allah to resemble Jesus (I forget the exact details of this theory), had been crucified instead of Jesus is even more problematic for the people who promote it than other counter-theories:

First of all, the Quran does not EXPLICITLY teach this “substitution” theory. This theory is based upon a questionable interpretation of an obscure verse of the Quran.

Secondly, in Sura 19 of the Quran, Jesus predicted His death.

Thirdly, Judas Iscariot (or someone else crucified in Christ’s place) would have made a great effort to tell the public that they were crucifying the wrong person. Who would want to be crucified for 3 hours?! Think about it!  I would have screamed at the top of my lungs!

Fourthly, the mother of Jesus being near the foot of the Cross would have surely discovered that it wasn’t Jesus being crucified but another person.   That person had spoken to the mother of Jesus and told her the following words which Judas Iscariot (or another person) would not have pronounced: “Woman, behold thy son!” (John 19:26)  The mother of Jesus would have surely recognized the face and voice of her son.  Let us not forget that the enemies of Christ who are also near the Cross had a great interest in Jesus being the one crucified and not some other person. The apostle John, who knew Christ more intimately than the other disciples, was also near the foot of Cross and had heard the voice and seen the face of the person being crucified. Were they all simultaneously fooled?  Did Allah allow Mary the mother of Jesus to be fooled? That’s what one needs to believe prior to believing this “substitution” theory.

Fifthly, Joseph of Arimathaea, one of the disciples of Jesus, took time to cover the body of Jesus with linen clothes.  Shouldn’t he have been able to recognize Jesus up close? Again, for the theory to be true, one must believe that the Allah of the Quran deceived Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of one of his prophets (Jesus)?

Sixthly, if it’s true that the Allah of the Quran kept Jesus from being crucified then it means that Allah DECEIVED the disciples of one of his prophets (Jesus) if Islam is true!!! It also means that Jesus Himself would have participated in this DECEPTION if the theory was true. Why would the Allah of the Quran deceive followers of one of his prophets?  Isn’t that incoherent behaviour?  If this “substitution” theory is true then how can one know with certainty that the Allah of the Quran has not also deceived the disciples of his prophet Mohammed in the past? How could I trust such a god who has already deceived followers of his own prophet if Islam is true? If this theory is true then why did the god of Islam wait almost 6 centuries to reveal this so-called “work of deception” when this same “work of deception” led men to believe Jesus Christ is God which Islam strongly and ferociously denies?  If this theory is true then Christianity was a result of an “imposture” brought about by the actions of the Allah of the Quran and it would imply that the Allah of the Quran acted incompetently, having by his actions given birth to a rival religion.

Seventhly, this theory offers no answer to the appearances of Jesus to His disciples after the resurrection and it does not explain the empty tomb.

Eighthly, some of the words pronounced by the person being crucified would not have been pronounced by the traitor Judas Iscariot (or anyone else for that matter): “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46), “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) and “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Ninthly, the death of Jesus was prophesied by Old Testament prophets (i.e. Isaiah chapter 53, Daniel chapter 9, Zechariah chapter 12, Psalm 22).

Tenthly, very early New Testament manuscripts mention the death of Jesus so the whole theory that the Scriptures were tampered with in order to teach the death or resurrection of Jesus is bogus.

Eleventhly, non-Christian historians such as Josephus (1st century AD) and Tacitus mention the death of Jesus.

Twelfthly, the Jews who are enemies of Jesus and Christianity mention the death of Jesus in the Talmud despite the fact that they would have a great interest in denying the existence of Jesus, His crucifixion and their participation in His crucifixion because of all the persecution the Jews have faced throughout the centuries mainly by Roman Catholics.

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See also:

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 1

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 2

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 3

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 4

Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 6

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Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Part 4

Jacob on his deathbed

Jacob on his deathbed

A prophecy concerning the Coming of Messiah had been given by God to the patriarch Jacob.  Jacob/Israel spoke these words concerning Judah and the one who would be his greatest descendant, the Messiah (“Shiloh”), near his death:

“Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.  Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  THE SCEPTRE SHALL NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH, NOR A LAWGIVER FROM BETWEEN HIS FEET, UNTIL SHILOH COME; AND UNTO HIM SHALL THE GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE BE.” (Genesis 49:8-10)

The Anglican Thomas Newton wrote centuries ago a large book called “Dissertations on the Prophecies” which was his attempt at the time to take all of the Bible prophecies starting from Genesis chapter 3 (the seed of the woman prophecy) to Revelation chapter 22 and interpret them with his then-present historical perspective.  I found it through the providence of God a few years ago.  Many interesting facts. Some prophecy interpretations I would disagree with but on the whole quite enlightening.  Here are some notes taken from the 19th century Southern Baptist R.B.C. Howell’s book “The Covenants” (chapter 5)  who quotes Thomas Newton’s interpretation of the Shiloh prophecy:

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” The sense of the covenant in the form which it here assumes, need not be mistaken, and yet it has been somewhat embarrassed, partly perhaps, because the authors of our common version of the scriptures seem not to have understood it; and partly because expositors generally, appear not to have comprehended its true relations. A few remarks in explanation from me, is therefore necessary. I may just observe that the word translated scepter means literally a rod, and does not, as so many have imagined, refer here to the regal rule of Judah, but is used metaphorically, to represent the tribe.”

“The substance of this part of the passage is therefore, an assurance that whatever may become of the other tribes, the rod, or tribe of Judah, shall endure in its distinct, and separate, and full existence, until the Messiah promised, the Shiloh springing from that tribe, shall come and accomplish his mission upon earth. I may also remark that the term rendered Lawgiver here means simply, a teacher, or prophet, and nothing more. With these corrections, the whole text will read truly, and plainly thus:- FROM JUDAH HIS DISTINCT EXISTENCE AS A TRIBE SHALL NOT DEPART, NOR AMONG HIS OFFSPRING SHALL A TEACHER BE WANTING, TILL MESSIAH COME, AND UNTO HIM SHALL ALL PEOPLE BE GATHERED. God here pledges that he will himself watch over and preserve this tribe, until “the desire of all nations shall appear.” And how faithfully, in his good providence, this pledge was redeemed, is in the subsequent history of his people, familiar to all who study the sacred records.”

“The other tribes, as is well known, fell into the grossest idolatry, from which no admonitions, or judgments, could recall them. They were at length abandoned to the fury of their enemies, by whom they were overcome, and carried into hopeless captivity. More than seven hundred years before Shiloh appeared, they were all irrecoverably lost, among the nations of the east. Judah by the evident intervention of almighty power, was indestructible, until the promise in this covenant, was gloriously accomplished.”

Here are some interesting remarks concerning “the throne of David” :

“It is necessary to pause here, until I have justified the remark made a moment since, that “the throne of David” upon which Christ is to sit, is employed always, as a metaphor to represent his spiritual reign. A mistake on this point has led to a false philology in religion, by which a full impression of the sense of the covenant with David, has been turned aside, and painfully weakened. It has been supposed to be, not what it really is, the repetition and transfer to him of “the covenant of promise” to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Judah, but another and distinct covenant, which they have been pleased to call “The Covenant of Royalty!” And what do they mean by “the covenant of royalty?”If simply that David had the promise of God, that Messiah who will reign over spiritual Israel forever, should come of his family, and consummate the covenant, then they but perplex the subject by new, and unexplained terms, without any corresponding advantage. But if they mean, as I understand them, that this covenant guaranteed to David the occupancy of his throne, by one of his own descendants, until the coming of Messiah, and that Christ at his second coming, or at some other period, would occupy it literally, their interpretation is contradicted by the facts in history, and by the explanations of both Christ himself, and of his apostles.”

“The facts in history contradict this interpretation. David transmitted the kingdom of Israel to Solomon, and Solomon to Rehoboam. This last king, by he haughtiness of his bearing, and the cruelty of his measures, forfeited the attachment of his people. Ten of the tribes revolted under Jeroboam, became completely dissevered from their brethren, and were never afterwards recovered to the government. Here the reign of the family of David over all Israel, actually, and forever ceased. Indeed, from beginning to end, it continued at most, but three generations, or about one century. Over Judah alone, his descendants continued to reign for several centuries more. At length however Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered the nation, destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple, carried the people into captivity, and desolated the whole land. With this overthrow, which occurred five hundred and eighty nine years before the coming of Christ, ended finally, the reign even over Judah itself, of the family of David. His literal throne existed no more. It is true that after the Babylonish captivity, which continued seventy years, a remnant of the people returned, and Judah was ruled a hundred and twenty eight years, by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The first of these was of the house of David, but both the others, were of the tribe of Levi. None of them however, were kings in any sense, but simply governors under foreign authority. During the two hundred and forty two years next succeeding, Judah was governed by her High Priests, all of whom were of the house of Aaron. Mean time the nation was tributary successively, to the Persians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Syrians. From the close of this period until Judea became a Roman province under Herod, and Christ was born, the Jews were under the government of the Asmonean family, known as the Maccabees, all of whom belonged to the priestly tribe. History thus rebukes the interpretation in question. Does the covenant promise David, that his natural sons should reign upon his literal throne, until the coming of Messiah? If so, then it was not fulfilled. But “God’s word cannot be broken.” It was fulfilled. Therefore the promise is to be understood not in a literal sense, but as a metaphor.”

source:

R.B.C. Howell, “The Covenants”

http://www.founders.org/library/covenants/

Here’s a link for downloading Thomas Newton’s book (public domain, free to download):

http://archive.org/details/a599492700newtuoft

I found the picture at this website:

http://bibleencyclopedia.com/pictures/Genesis_49_Jacob_on_his_deathbed.htm

See also:

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Part 5

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Part 3

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Part 2

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Part 1

Blog Intro : The Gospel of Jesus Christ

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