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casper
11-06-01, 10:07 AM
Okay somewhat heavy but, what is the born again christian stance on the coming of the beast (detailed in revelations)?:
Is noone going to take me up on this one?
confused:

Brandan
11-06-01, 10:14 AM
Is that revelation, or revelationsssssssssss?

Just teasing... I'm sure someone here will be happy to take you up on your discussion invitation.

Brandan
11-06-01, 01:09 PM
Folks, Casper doesn't know much about Christianity, and would like more information regarding this curious topic.

Being partial preterist, I believe the Beast might have been Nero Caesar.... There is a good article at the preteristarchive that expounds upon this idea...

http://www.preteristarchive.com/PartialPreterism/gentry-ken_pp_02.html

The majority of Christians today call the Beast the "antichrist", and believe it will be some charismatic leader who will take over the world. However, I can find no evidence in the Bible that shows this is true...

If you are completely unfamiliar with Christianity, it's nearly impossible to understand eschatology (study of the last days) without truly understanding what makes a person a Christian. If you do not understand basic Christianity, I invite you to stick around these forums and learn.

Your friend,
Brandan Kraft

Odyssey
11-06-01, 05:17 PM
Casper,

Yes, Kermie was correct. The 'beast' in Revelation was Nero. However, there was another aspect to the 'beast' and that is that it was also the Roman Emporers as a whole. In fact, the Peshita text (i.e., the text of the language of the Semitic peoples) states in the note concerning the 'beast' and 'the number of a man' was Nero Caeser.

Grace to you,

jak

PS: I have also written an article on this subject in general called 'The Millennium' and it can be found here (http://www.preteristarchive.com/Journals/Odyssey/0-millennium.html).

Hitch
11-13-01, 01:28 AM
Here I am telling a ghost that, at least on this point, I agree with Batman and a Frog...

I dont know whether to jump in a pond or hide in a cave...

Jep
11-13-01, 03:14 PM
Hi Casper:

The beast to come is Nero, as 666 quite easily adds up to his name to show this will be him. However, I quite disagree that this event has already happened. There are far too many scriptures left unfulfilled.

Many of us believe that the events we are seeing around the world today are quite rapidly advancing us into the tribulation which will be announced by the opening of the first seal, the revealing of Anichrist, the beast.

Odyssey
11-13-01, 03:31 PM
Jep,

I encourage you to check out the other threads in the section (i.e, the Eschatology section). Some relate that the past fulfillment of these things and others to the future.

Concerning 'unfulfilled' prophecies: To which were you referring?

Grace to you,

jak

Jep
11-13-01, 08:30 PM
"I encourage you to check out the other threads in the section (i.e, the Eschatology section). Some relate that the past fulfillment of these things and others to the future.

Concerning 'unfulfilled' prophecies: To which were you referring?"

ME: Most of them, actually. Of course we are all aware that many prophecies have been fulfilled. Hundreds during the life of Jesus, yet many more are to be fulfilled only on his second coming which has not yet taken place. Many prophecies concerning the beast, Antichrist are yet to come. That cannot be overlooked as we study the Bible.

Odyssey
11-14-01, 09:02 AM
Well, as can be guessed, I disagree. For one thing, the apostle John wrote that the 'anti-christ' was already present during the first century (1John 2.18). Many (if not all) of the apostles taught that the 'end of all things (was) at hand' (1Pet. 4.17); that the Second Coming was 'at hand' (Jam.5.8); that the judment and resurrection was 'about to' take place (Acts 17.31; 24.14-15, 25; 2Tim.4.1); that the events of Revelation were to 'come to pass quickly' (Rev.1.1; 22.7) for the time was 'near' (Rev.1.3; 22.6); that 'all things written' would be fulfilled within their generation (Lk.21.22). Either those things happened when they stated they would or they are all false prophets.

Grace to you,

jak

Jep
11-14-01, 10:53 AM
“Well, as can be guessed, I disagree. For one thing, the apostle John wrote that the 'anti-christ' was already present during the first century (1John 2.18).”


ME: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” The apostle John taught us there are many antichrists, but the Bible contextually teaches us that there is but one who will come along during the last 7 years of life as we know it to persecute the saints.

“Many (if not all) of the apostles taught that the 'end of all things (was) at hand' (1Pet. 4.17); that the Second Coming was 'at hand' (Jam.5.8); that the judment and resurrection was 'about to' take place (Acts 17.31; 24.14-15, 25; 2Tim.4.1); that the events of Revelation were to 'come to pass quickly' (Rev.1.1; 22.7) for the time was 'near' (Rev.1.3; 22.6); that 'all things written' would be fulfilled within their generation (Lk.21.22).”


ME: Of course they did. They had no idea when antichrist would come either. They came right out and asked Christ when the time of the end would be and Christ told them no man would know the day or the hour, but only the Father in heaven. Christ had taught us always to be ready, both in that time, and today. The Bible writers were being very wise in instructing their readers to be ever ready. As to your scripture above, Lk. 21:22, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” This should tell you that 70 AD was not the time being referred to because all things that are written were NOT fulfilled. In fact we have witnesses to that event to verify what happened.

“Either those things happened when they stated they would or they are all false prophets.”

ME: The writers were not false prophets, they just had no idea when the events would begin to unfold like the rest of us. I can simply walk with you through the Olivet Discourse to show that the time of the end Jesus was referring to has not occurred. It’s close, though. I hope you’re preparing for it.

Odyssey
11-14-01, 12:22 PM
Jep,

That would be a good idea, i.e., the 'walk through' of Matthew 24. Maybe you should start a new thread.

Concerning 1John 2.18: John wrote that they had heard that 'antichrist' (singular) was coming. However, it was worse than they thought, for there were then 'many antichrists' that was how then knew it was the 'last hour.' Jesus told them in Matthew 24 that when they, i.e., the disciples, saw the things he was describing, that they would 'know that it (some translations have 'He') is near, even at the doors.' Jesus said that they would know--not the exact moment but the time--and John wrote that he knew it was the 'last hour.'

The apostle James wrote the same thing: 'You (i.e., the Jewish Christians of the first century) too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (or near, as some translations have it). Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.'

James did not right that the coming of the Lord might be near. He wrote that the Second Coming was near. In fact, he wrote that he was 'standing right at the door' just like Jesus said. They saw the times they were living in, and through the Holy Spirit, wrote infallable words stating plainly that the Second Coming was 'about to' take place. Jesus told them that, before some of the died and before their generation passed away, 'all these things shall take place.'

It seems rather clear to me. They would be wise if they were telling the first century church to live 'like' or 'as if' his coming was soon. But they didn't. They told them to live right because his coming was soon.

Grace to you,

jak

Debbiek
11-14-01, 02:15 PM
Hello Casper, In line with the original thread here, I will try to answer you. There is a lot of discussion at this site about the "end times', "last days", etc. We all have varying opinions about when the beast already appeared or is to appear soon, as in: some think the last days was 2000 yrs ago. We all base our opinions on the Bible, so obviously some of us are wrong, but that's a different thread. The book of Revelation discusses a beast, says people are forced to take his mark, & those who don't take the mark, can't buy or sell. Those who take the mark can't enter heaven it also says. I suggest you get more than one Bible translation & compare them for good study. Revelations tells a lot about the beast in order for someone to identify him. It also says he pretends to like women. Guess he's going to be gay too. The Bible also tells that there will be many before him. I believe this will occur soon, but regardless of your views, it's best not to take any upcoming mark just in case. The best thing to do to understand is to pray first for understanding, then read it yourself. Ask away.... Debbie

Jep
11-14-01, 04:26 PM
“That would be a good idea, i.e., the 'walk through' of Matthew 24. Maybe you should start a new thread.”

ME: Actually I already did walk through Olivet in another thread with another guy. Now if I could just find it, I would tell you where. :)

“Concerning 1John 2.18: John wrote that they had heard that 'antichrist' (singular) was coming. However, it was worse than they thought, for there were then 'many antichrists' that was how then knew it was the 'last hour.' Jesus told them in Matthew 24 that when they, i.e., the disciples, saw the things he was describing, that they would 'know that it (some translations have 'He') is near, even at the doors.' Jesus said that they would know--not the exact moment but the time--and John wrote that he knew it was the 'last hour.'“

ME: John described that anyone was an antichrist when they met a certain category: 1Jn:2:22: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” They only thought it was the last hour, as every generation has since. I remember being but a wee lad on my grandpa’s knee with him explaining to me that Christ would come any day then. But, He didn’t. The Bible writers did not know when the day of the Lord would occur. They could not have known because Christ refused to tell them. The ultimate high for the Christian is when he will see his Lord with his own eyes. They so badly wanted this to happen. But it didn’t happen.

“The apostle James wrote the same thing: 'You (i.e., the Jewish Christians of the first century) too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (or near, as some translations have it). Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.'“

ME: James did not know either. When the Day of the Lord comes, many things will happen and the whole world will be aware of it. But Paul said that the day of Christ could not come until Antichrist, the son of perdition be revealed. He never was. That will be a future event as the descriptions of the antichrist tell us most precisely what this wicked man will do. None of which Nero did in that life-time.

“James did not right that the coming of the Lord might be near. He wrote that the Second Coming was near. In fact, he wrote that he was 'standing right at the door' just like Jesus said.”

ME: But again. You can’t put too much into this because James did not know the timing nor did anyone else. They were just following the parable in the 25th chapter of Matthew where Jesus teaches us to be prepared and to keep our wicks trimmed and ready. When poor Daniel so wanted to know about these things he was told to go to sleep. This was not for human knowledge. I also like another thing the angel told him: Dan 12:4: "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.'' Does this end time sound more like our internet age and the time of air travel? Or more like 70 AD?

Parousia70
11-14-01, 10:00 PM
Jep,

I'm sorry but I just can't jump on board the idea you seem to have that "the apostles were wrong" when they wrote about such things as the Gospel being preached (past tense) to the whole world, and the nearness of Christs return.

These guys weren't simply jotting down their hopes and wishes, they were human vessles used by the Holy spirit to convey all truth.
When John wrote "Little children, it is the last hour" he wasn't sharing his hope, he was conveying truth by inspiration.
Scripture is the word of God, not the fantasies of men

To say that Jesus led the disciples, (and every subsequent generation) to believe he was coming back in their lifetime just so they would live "rightly" adds up to plain deception any way you slice it. To exhort someone to "WATCH" for something you know will not take place for 2000+ years just so they won't stray is underhanded, sneaky, cruel and blatantly dishonest.
Those are NOT attributes of the Jesus I serve!

I'm preparing a new thread for Matt 24 and I hope you will join!

Peace in the present Christ,
Peter

Jep
11-15-01, 08:23 AM
“I'm sorry but I just can't jump on board the idea you seem to have that "the apostles were wrong" when they wrote about such things as the Gospel being preached (past tense) to the whole world, and the nearness of Christs return.”

ME: You’re not allowed to disagree with me. :) (just kidding). If one just looks at what certain words say in a section of an historical text, one is bound to fail to understand that text contextually. We also have to understand the men and the times. In another thread I pointed out many civilized areas of the world that had not had the gospel preached to them by 70 AD. Paul was speaking only about his “known” world. But Christ created it. When he ordered His followers to spread the gospel throughout the world, He meant the entire world. People of that area didn’t know about the entire world until 1500 years later. And it is quite obvious that the writers never knew when the time of the end would come. Christ refused to tell them! Therefore there was much speculation. And being prepared as if everyday is your last is what Jesus teaches us to do. The writers passed this on to their readers.

“These guys weren't simply jotting down their hopes and wishes, they were human vessles used by the Holy spirit to convey all truth.”

ME: I disagree. The Bible is the inspired word of God. But I don’t believe the Holy Spirit put these writers under some magic spell and caused the text to be written via “automatic writing.” There are some mistakes found in the text. God does not make mistakes. Only men do.

“When John wrote "Little children, it is the last hour" he wasn't sharing his hope, he was conveying truth by inspiration. Scripture is the word of God, not the fantasies of men”

ME: Scripture is the word of God, but it is written by men and interpreted by men. John was expressing his belief as evidenced that it wasn’t the last “hour” by any stretch of the imagination. This was written years before 70 AD showing that, either way, it was not the last “hour.”

“To say that Jesus led the disciples, (and every subsequent generation) to believe he was coming back in their lifetime just so they would live "rightly" adds up to plain deception any way you slice it.”

ME: It is not deception. It’s preparedness. What if you are not prepared to meet the Lord and are hit by a truck this afternoon? Finally, Jesus chose not to know the hour Himself: “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

“To exhort someone to "WATCH" for something you know will not take place for 2000+ years just so they won't stray is underhanded, sneaky, cruel and blatantly dishonest.
Those are NOT attributes of the Jesus I serve!”

ME: Please see above.

“I'm preparing a new thread for Matt 24 and I hope you will join!”

ME: I would be honored to join. No one is allowed to throw rotten tomatoes at me, though. :)

Dr. Szo
12-09-01, 07:40 PM
Another possible view. If one views John's vision of the beast in a symbolic manner as in all other biblical dreams, then we can ask ourselves the following questions:

1. What is the nature of a beast?
2. What does a beast do?
3. What makes this particular beast so dangerous and difficult to understand?

A beast is something that is difficult to bring under control, something that can't be trusted because it behaves in a primitive inhuman manner. What does it do? It attacks; It stalks; It takes life and consumes without conscience. Related to the last question: In this case, this beast is able to manipulate and disguise its nature, giving it a sort of stealthy pattern.

Could it be possible then, that the beast is the gathering forces of man's consciousness expressed in world fear. Think about it. What do demonic spirits feed on? Fear. What did Christ say is capable of casting out "ALL" fear? Love. What is lacking most in today's world? Love. What has increased in today's world? Fear. fear has no conscience for what it destroys, whereas love considers everything.

Blessings to all,

Dr. Szo

Odyssey
12-11-01, 04:56 PM
Well, maybe...

But then again...

The problem with such a generalized view of the 'beast' is that it lacks it's historical setting, i.e., the original seven churches of the first century (1.7). They were going through a tremendous persecution at the time. Furthermore, what with the internal evidence that puts the date of this letter between AD 65-66, the 'beast' is best seen as Nero and Rome.

Grace to you,

jak

Dr. Szo
12-11-01, 08:32 PM
Possible. But Christians are still being persecuted in various parts of the world even today. The evil is still with us, and perhaps in an even worse way. North Korea, for example, possess one of the greatest threats to the world today. They hate Christians, and there is a great fear that they may use nuclear weapons. Historians are in agreement that this communist country has had a mind set for decades from which they have never deviated. This could fit in with what Jesus said about the last days, which tends to project an aspect of the future which did not exist in the times of Nero; that there would be devastation such as has never been seen since the beginning of time or ever will be seen. Such an incident is also placed at a time when Israel would be surrounded by its enemies. That's today, since the state of Israel did not exist until 1946. The seven churches, from what I recall in my studies and research, are symbolic conditions that conditinue to exist even today.

So what we have is something like a continuing disease that plagues the world. Remove the cause and what else could there be but a healing process. the nero's of the past, that kind of mentality, are still with us and always have been since after Nero. Only they are more clever.

Odyssey
12-12-01, 05:53 AM
Doc,

I completely understand where you are coming from. However, there are very specific time statements as to when Revelation and the 'Little Apocalypse' (Matt. 24, Luke 21, Mark 9) would take place; within Christ's own generation. The 'devastation such as has never been seen since the beginning of time or ever will be seen' that Jesus spoke of with his contemporaries, had to do with the loss of their covenant with god, the removal of their system, their status as the people of god. At that time (AD 66-70), they (Israel) were surrounded by armies. They were kept in from all sides. Since that time until now, they, as a people, have been without a covenant. They lost the kingdom for god gave it to another people. There has been nothing more devistating than that. Physical life does not compare with eternity. If they die physically, without covenant, then they lose.

Now, because of the consummation of the OC and the full establishment of the NC, there is but one hope for people, the shed blood of Jesus. Since that time, there is 'no Jew nor Gentile.' In other words, they (the people who practice Judaism) are just like the rest of the peoples without Jesus, they are lost.

There are principles that Jesus spoke that we can use for our times now. However, his primary reference and audience was to the people of his generation when he spoke those words (and when John wrote Revelation).

Concerning the idea of the seven churches being symbolic: This view comes to us because we fail to look at the history of Israel and its use of symbolism within prophecy. In other words, most of time, we look for things to be fulfilled within the natural realm the way they were described. However, over and over again in the OT, those things were symbolic of other things. Furthermore, those churches actually existed when John penned Revelation. To assume that they had no relevace to them, is assuming to much. Why address the letter to just those seven churches if it did not really pertain to them? Because it did pertain to them. The things that John saw and wrote had direct bearing on what they were going through at the time.

Am I stating that Christians will not be persecuted? No. Am I stating that Christians have nothing to stand on? No. We look at what happened to them (the first century church) as examples just as Paul did with OT Israel (1 Cor. 10.1-11).

Grace to you,

jak

Dr. Szo
12-12-01, 08:23 AM
Odyssey, based on your response we now have a very interesting problem with your argument that it was related to Nero's time, etc. Here's why. Nero's life span was AD 15-AD 68), see http://www.roman-empire.net/emperors/nero-index.html. John had been delivered from persecution in Rome and was then sentenced to the mines in the Island of Palmos where he served time. Many years later he was freed. It was on that Island, Palmos, where he lived out the rest of his life and also recieved the prophetic visions which became The Book of Revelations.

Now these are the problems. The time frame of The Book of Revelations is placed by biblical scholars at AD 90-96, written on the island where he lived and died. So the question concerning the beast is this: Why would the apostle John receive prophetic visions of things which already passed by many years, and the threat of Nero is no more? In addition to this fact, the fall of Jerusalem, as Jesus had prophesied, which was a major war between the Jews and Rome, had also passed in AD 70, after the time frame in which The Book of Revelations is placed.

The prophecy regarding the threat of the beast is placed in terms of things yet to be fulfilled, which is what prophetic visions are about: the future. Therefore, it would highly unlikely that the beast issue was relating to the Emperor Nero, who was already dead and gone by many years.

It seems to me that when all is said and done, it is more logical that this beast, whatever one may speculate of it, is placed in a future time that is closer to our own; a time when all events seem to be converging on the prophetic return of Christ. There has never, during any part of biblical history, been a time of rest when prophets were sent to man. It seems to me that John's prophecy was related to this age and time. Most scholars agree with this, and that the beast is yet to be revealed. The way the world is going right now, and it will get worse, it looks to me like the groung work for this beast is being prepared.

The Scriptures did speak of many antichrist in the period apostles, of the, as someone pointed out, 1John 2:18. This is a mindset that reflects evil, and not until there is a transformation of mind can evil be defeated. Paul said, "Do not be conformed to this world, but rather be ye "transformed" by the renewal of your mind." I believe Christ would agree with those words. An unchanged, unrepented, mind always keeps the door to the heart closed to God.

countrymouse
12-12-01, 03:35 PM
Dr. Szo,

All the scholarly evidence for dating the Revelation during the 90's, the reign of Domitian, is based on a quote from the writings of Iraneus, who was not an eyewitness to the events of the first century. Nor did he get his information directly from John. Not only that, but the translation of that particular sentence has been called into question: Iraneus may have been saying that John had been seen during the reign of Domitian, rather than that the Apocalypse was seen by John during that time.

Moreover, there's plenty of early Church evidence that it was Nero who banished John to Patmos, including the title of the Syriac translation of Revelation. You can get more information about this issue at preteristarchive.com.

The textual evidence of the book itself also demands we date it to during or immediately after the reign of Nero, but I'll have to address that later, unless someone else has time before I get back.

Grace to you,
countrymouse

Odyssey
12-12-01, 03:38 PM
Concerning the date of Revelation: The 'late date' theory is speculative to say the least. The date is determined by the following statement by Irenaeus (AD 130 to AD 202), as quoted by Eusebius, the church historian, in AD 325:

In this persecution [of Christians under Domitian], it is handed down by tradition, that the apostle and evangelist John, who was yet living, in consequence of his testimony to the divine word, was condemned to dwell on the island of Patmos. Irenaeus, indeed, in his fifth book against the heresies,…speaks in the following way, 'If, however, it were necessary to proclaim [the name of the Anti-Christ],…it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation, for it is not long since it was seen, but almost in our own generation, at the close of Domitian’s reign.'

There are things about this statement that need to be noted. First, Irenaeus did not witness this. He referred to Polycarp (who supposedly knew the apostle John). Secondly, the key part — 'it is not long since it was seen' — is ambiguous. According to Irenaeus recollection, Polycarp saw 'it' sometime between AD 95-96, during the last part Domitian’s reign. Thirdly, we do not know if the 'it' Polycarp was referring to was John, the visions he saw, the name of anti-christ, or the book itself and we do not know if he meant that the book was written at that time or not. Furthermore, it comes to us through three people separated by three centuries. Simply put, this is hear-say.

This statement, even with all of this uncertainty, is the only evidence used to support the 'late date.' It has been accepted by generations of people without really questioning it or examining it in light of the book itself. The late date has been passed on to us in the same way it was passed on to Eusebius, '…it [was] handed down by tradition…' Tradition is not the way to interpret Scripture.

The internal evidence supports the early date of the writing of Revelation.

Grace to you,

jak

Jep
12-12-01, 04:07 PM
First, I believe I have ascertained through research that John the Revelator and John the apostle were two different John’s. However, that is rather off topic and for a different discussion.

I must agree with the others that the earlier dating of Revelation is the accurate dating. There are two theories that almost everyone adheres to. The book was written between 90-96 AD, during the rule of Domitian, or sometime during the reign of Galba or Vespasian in 68-70 AD.

The great anthropologist Albright, who has excavated many ruins of the Holy Land, says he is convinced no original New Testament manuscript was written after 80 AD. I subscribe to his theory, simply because the comparison of the writings in the book of Revelation must also correspond to secular history.

Domitian did not actively and generally persecute the church throughout Israel. Yes, he did persecute Christians in his hometown of Rome, but nothing to the degree of Nero, and there was almost no persecution outside that area.

But John makes it clear that at the time of his writings, the church was under dire persecution.
In the beginning of his writings John identifies himself as “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation.”

Many who truly study this book recognize it as written during a time of persecution as a message of hope for the suffering Christians. Of course, it is addressed to the seven churches.

And another solid clue comes to us in the 11th chapter when John is given instructions to go measure the temple. The temple is then still standing. Yet we know that the temple was destroyed in 70 AD under Vespasian by his son, Titus.

Jerusalem was also destroyed and the Jews scattered at the time the temple was destroyed. Yet John talks about Jerusalem in chapter 11 as if it were still standing. Wouldn’t John have said something about it, or at least referred to the destruction of the city or asked the angel explaining his vision about it?

Many scholars agree with me on this earlier date. Dr. Carl W Bogue Jr. Thd writes in The Dating of the Book of Revelation “..... a candid look at the evidence requires a date shortly prior to AD 70 when Jerusalem and the temple were utterly destroyed, as Jesus prophesied would happen in the “Little Apocalypse,” Matthew chapter twenty-four.

Then let‘s look at some scripture: Rev 17: [8] The beast that thou sawest was (this beast [antichrist] once existed--once lived), and is not (but now he does not exist--he is dead); and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (not only is he dead, when he died he was sent to hell, where he presently resides, but he will come back to earth from hell someday), and go into perdition (he will eventually be destroyed): and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (the world, or at least those who are not Christians, will be amazed), when they behold the beast that was (when they see Antichrist and realize he once lived), and is not (but then died), and yet is (and is now living again--raised from the dead!).So he once lived but now is dead. With me so far? :)

Rev 17:[10] And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. [11] And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Not only is the man (the beast--the antichrist) the angel is talking about dead, but he was a king.

But what kings could the angel be talking about? This book was written to and for the church, so the only kings to ever have an affect on them were the Roman Emperors. Can anyone argue that point?

Now let’s list them: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, who reigned a very short time before the fight for the throne began in “the year of the four Emperors,” Vespasian emerged the victor and took it from there. Yes, that makes seven.

Then let’s plug them into the scripture. So here goes: Rev 17:[10] And there are seven kings (Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba and Vespasian): five are fallen (yes, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero were dead at this writing), and one is (that would be Galba which tells us that Revelation was written in the years 68 or 69 AD), and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space (that is Vespasian). [11] And the beast that was (once lived), and is not (now he’s dead), even he is the eighth (he is the eighth king who will rule the final earthly kingdom: the antichrist), and is of the seven (but he’s one of these seven kings), and goeth into perdition (he will be destroyed and sent to hell).


But the angel tells us that at the time of the vision Antichrist is dead, and also that he’s one of these kings. If he’s one of these kings, only five of them are dead: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, therefore Antichrist is one of these five men. Would anyone argue that this must be the ultimate Christian hater of all time: Nero? And in fact, Nero’s name adds to 666 in both Aramaic and Hebrew. I have those calculations if anyone is interested.

Dr. Szo
12-12-01, 07:52 PM
"Not only that, but the translation of that particular sentence has been called into question:"

Which particular sentence are you referring to? If you meant 1John 2:18, I was only referring to to point out that evil has one mind and purpose, and it isn't subject to any time frame. Hence I spoke of a condition of consciousness.

"Moreover, there's plenty of early Church evidence that it was Nero who banished John to Patmos, including the title of the Syriac translation of Revelation." I don't believe I gave any indication that it wasn't nero who banished John. All the dates agree that it was Nero who banished him.

You've all made good points and have certainly strived to toward greater understanding; and your perspectives are all just as valid as anyone elses'. Nevertheless, what we are all still working with are many views and interpretations from inconclusive information. This is why the jury is still out in arriving to a definite agreement. It is all still in the catagory of speculative theories because there are no original documents in existence written in the hand of the apostles. I would expect that bible publishing editors would jump at the chance to be the first to revise the dates and new interpretations if all the information was 100% infallible; they would have the number one bible in the market. But this doesn't seem to be the case with any current bible publishing company; and they all have access to the same information produced in this string, and more.

My initial thoughts, before the Nero theory was offerred, concerned the "beast" and the possibilties of having a deeper meaning from a symbol point of view, and that it may mean something else other than what has to this day been speculated, such as the Nero theory. In my opinion, it is a mind working the works of Satan, which represents a frame of consciousness that has not perished with time. If John's vision was in fact referring to Nero, and it wasn't understood that it was he which the vision alluded to as the beast, then what would be the point in disguising it in symbolic terms during his time? The angel could just as easily referred to Nero by name, just as done in times past. And then why refer to Nero as a King rather than the Emperor, or even Caesar? In the Old Testament, didn't God refer to Pharoah by the title he was known by, and not a king? "Go tell pharoah, let my people go." But today, there are kings, and their countries surround Israel on every corner as we speak. And if John "did" understand that the reference of the beast concerned Nero, I believe he would have stated so. But the mark of the beast "666" has not yet been associated in any way, shape, or form to this man Nero. It is written, as you know, "Here is wisdom, let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast...." Has anyone to this day had the wisdom to reveal the meaning of it? No one. Has anyone proved that this number has its true relationship and meaning with Nero? No one. For if this saying is an inspired saying, and its truth a truth, then the person who reveals its true meaning would have to possess the unique and inspired wisdom spoken of in Rev.13:18, and we would all be certain that it was indeed the final word.

Blessing,
Dr. Szo

countrymouse
12-12-01, 08:45 PM
Dr. Szo,

The sentence I was referring was in Eusebius' quote of Irenaeus. Sorry about the confusion!:)

countrymouse

Dr. Szo
12-12-01, 09:31 PM
Thanks!

Odyssey
12-13-01, 07:29 AM
Jep,

I can't believe that we are in agreement here! I am shocked to state the least. The only thing I differ on in the actual Caesar at the time. I place it as Nero. My understanding of the kings would start with Julius simply because he was the first one. Then when we look at the succession, we end with Nero being in power when John wrote Revelation.

Concerning the reason for John writing in 'code' and 666: This is not an isolated passage. The prophet Ezekiel recorded a very similar scene in Ezekiel 8 and 9. Through a series of scenes, God showed Ezekiel the abominations of the people of Israel, from the common man all the way up to the priests in the temple. Then God gave the order for a scribe to go throughout the city and 'put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed' (9.4). After the scribe returned, the 'executioners of the city' went and slaughtered everyone — 'old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women' — who did not have the mark. We understand from this passage that the mark was not a physical mark (for Ezekiel was having a vision). The 'mark' symbolized the spiritual condition of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The ones with the 'mark' were in allegiance with God. The reason this is so important is that Revelation 13.16-18 is based on Ezekiel 8 and 9. However, in Revelation, the mark is reversed. That is to say, the mark was on those who were against God and had allegiance to the 'beast.'

The New International Version translates verse 17 as, 'no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.' This tells us that the mark of the beast was symbolic for the 'name…or number of the beast.' Then John wrote that the number 'is the number of a man; and his number is 666.' This tells us that those who received the 'mark' were actually in allegiance with a 'man,' an actually person of the first century. Because the line of the Roman kings start with Julius, the king that was ruling when John wrote Revelation was Nero.

John used puzzle called gematria in which numbers are used to represent certain letters. John used the puzzle to reveal Nero without actually writing down his name. The early churches were being persecuted during this time—not only from the Jews, but also the Romans.

Nero Caesar fits the gematria code number '666.' Using this code, his name would be rendered as 'NRWN QSR.' (NRWN QSR). The number values are: N = 50, R = 200, W = 6, N = 50, Q = 100, S = 60, R = 200; which when added together equals 666. The fact that Nero fits the description of the 'beast' is well documented. He murdered his parents, wife, brother, aunt, and many others. He was a torturer, a homosexual rapist, and a sodomite. He even married two young boys and paraded them around as his wives. He was truly bestial in his character, depravity, and actions. Nero is relevant to Revelation because he initiated the war against the Jews, and was the first Emperor to persecute the Christians. Under his persecutions, Christians were crucified, beheaded, burnt alive, and used as torches to light the palace gardens.

It should be obvious why John wrote in code. He was protecting the 'seven churches of Asia' (1.7) in particular and the first century church in general. If we take this book out of it's historical setting, then, yes, anyone can come up with their own idea about what it means. Only if we leave it there in history do we find the key to unlocking it's mysteries.

Grace to you,

jak

countrymouse
12-13-01, 11:49 AM
Nero's character, as well as numerology, identifies him as the beast. He was so incredibly evil that he had his own mother murdered, as well as several other relatives. (In fact, after his suicide, his reign was struck from the official record.) His rampant egotism led to his plan to build his golden palace over the ruins left by the infamous fire. This plan aroused the suspicion of the Romans and led them to blame him for starting the fire. Christians were, by then, unpopular because the Jews stirred up conflict with them everywhere, disturbing the Pax Romana, so they made a convenient scapegoat. Anyone accused of being a Christian was condemned to death if he or she would not worship Caesar, bow down to his image, or acknowledge him as Lord and God. Chrisians had to go into hiding, and they experienced extreme difficulty in carrying out the daily necessities of life, such as working and buying food. This "mark of the beast," as Oddysey said, then represents allegiance to Caesar, in opposition to allegiance to Christ.

Jep
12-13-01, 01:29 PM
Doc:

“If John's vision was in fact referring to Nero, and it wasn't understood that it was he which the vision alluded to as the beast, then what would be the point in disguising it in symbolic terms during his time?”

ME: May I suggest that it was necessary for them to speak in riddles because they would have been killed outright if they had openly accused the Roman government of being The Beast--Antichrist? We see this veiled methodology used in other writings as well. Take for example Paul’s “Great Restrainer” passage: 2 Thess 2:5 “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,”

The church has long thought this great restrainer is the Holy Spirit. But is it? Nope, it’s Nero again. And why is Paul now talking in riddles especially after telling his readers that he had already discussed this with them before? I believe because he had to be very careful about what he wrote.

2nd Thess. 2: [6] “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (The iniquity, the antichrist, is already here and already working--but how can that be? Antichrist won’t come for at least another 2000 years): only he who now letteth will let (Please note that this scripture is not referring to an entity that is letting or allowing something to happen. This term, as used here, is a verb from the Old English language meaning “to cause.” He who is letting this iniquity will continue to let iniquity. The Holy Spirit does not let iniquity! The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter. Paul is talking about the person who was presently there letting iniquity at that moment.

History shows at the time of Paul’s writing that this was the one and only Nero Caesar who Paul is associating with the antichrist in these scriptures.) until he be taken out of the way (He will let iniquity until it’s God’s divine plan that he is to stop). [8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed (But it’s not over because Antichrist in his full beastly nature will eventually be revealed), whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (On the Day of the Lord): [9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (This is undoubtedly the end-day antichrist as described in many different verses).”

So we can see that this scripture, very cryptic in its syntax, has nothing to do with a restrainer such as the Holy Spirit. Paul is writing in hidden messages to Christ’s church. They quite obviously knew exactly what he was writing about, as he says in a previous scripture that he had discussed this with them before. But Paul could not come right out and say he was discussing the dictator who ruled over the city of Thessalonica and the entire Roman Empire at that time: the infamous Nero Caesar. He would have been immediately killed. Of course, Nero got him in the end, anyhow.

Jep
12-13-01, 02:27 PM
Hi JAK:

“I can't believe that we are in agreement here! I am shocked to state the least. The only thing I differ on in the actual Caesar at the time. I place it as Nero. My understanding of the kings would start with Julius simply because he was the first one. Then when we look at the succession, we end with Nero being in power when John wrote Revelation.”

ME: We may agree on more than you think, Brother. Our difference here on the kings is that I had to rule out Julius because he never really consolidated power.

In 49 BC Julius Caesar was elected to the position of Consul, and through that office he had an opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream. That dream was to become a general. The mighty Julius was an able conqueror and made many conquests. His famous words “I came, I saw, I conquered” are today taught in every middle school in America.

When Julius finished his battles, he talked the Roman government, which was then a republic, into promoting him to the leadership of the Roman Empire for a ten year period. He quickly attempted to turn that appointment of leadership into a dictatorship, which resulted in civil war and his assassination within two years of taking that post. Julius never consolidated his power over Rome and never gained the true emperor status he so desired.

It wasn’t until 27 BC that Octavian, more commonly known as Augustus Caesar, took power, stopped the civil unrest on a permanent basis, leveled out the economy, strengthened the army and so impressed the Roman Senate that he became the first emperor for life.

Finally, the math doesn’t work out if we consider Julius because the angel makes it clear to John that 5 of the kings were dead at the time of the writing. Now we could regress a year and say that Nero was still alive, yet this doesn’t make sense either because the angel also states that antichrist is one of these five dead kings which would rule out our chief suspect, Nero.

“Concerning the reason for John writing in 'code' and 666: This is not an isolated passage. The prophet Ezekiel recorded a very similar scene in Ezekiel 8 and 9.

ME: Yes, I’m familiar with those books. The similarity is striking. It appears that much of John the Revelator’s work was to expand on Old Testament passages.

Revelation was written in either Hebrew or Aramaic and definitely not Greek ( I have my reasons for that as well, if you want to get into it).

So let’s start with Hebrew.

Theologian Dr. Lee Warren, BA, DD calculates 666 in the Hebrew language.

According to Dr. Warren, Nero is translated Neron and Caesar is translated Kaesar.

Now let’s apply Hebrew numerals to this translation.


N=50
E=0
R=200
O=6
N=50
K=100
A=0
E=0
S=60
A=0
R=200
Total = 666

But what if it is not Hebrew but Aramaic, a language from which Hebrew sprang and that is very similar in structure, but not always exactly so.

The Christian Missionary Society believes the original manuscript was written in the dialect of Aramaic spoken by Jesus. According to their book Soon-Coming World-Shaking Events the translation of Nero Caesar into that dialect of Aramaic is NRON KSR. Now let’s apply the numerals as would be used in Aramaic.

N= 50
R=200
O= 6
N= 50
K=100
S= 60
R=200
Total = 666

The only difference from the Hebrew would be that some of the letters are omitted, and those omitted all have a value of zero, therefore the results are the same.

But one thing has bothered me in this research. My Bible, and probably yours, states in a footnote that some manuscripts use the number 616 instead of 666. What could this mean?

It seems that some scholars (both in the days of the Greek translations of the New Testament and even today) take a model of Nero's name and add an “n”, resulting in Neron Caesar. Then the Latin is transliterated into Aramaic, resulting in nrwn qsr. Observe:

Nun = 50
Resh = 200
Waw = 6
Nun = 50

Qoph = 100
Samech = 60
Resh = 200
Total =666

If you use the same process but without the added “n,” which some add just by speculating the probability of the ancient spelling, the result is 616.

Another scholar, Thomas R. Elliott, IAM Project Manager & ASGLE Web Information Coordinator, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, went beyond the call of duty to help me research and confirm this puzzle in a similar manner.

Tom reports (concerning the 616 question): “This variant is only found in an old (5th century) Greek uncial, in one manuscript of the ‘Old Latin’ (that's what the pre-Vulgate Latin versions of the New Testament are called by many).

“The variant comes from chopping the ‘N’ off the end of ‘NeRON,’ which I suspect would have been done to make the Hebrew align more closely with the Greek/Latin form of Nero's name.”

For you language scholars, Tom also relates he could have used a “Q” in place of the C below. The numerical result would be the same.

Hebrew letter-number correlations (are):

N = 50
R = 200
O= 6 (That "o" is a waw.)
C = 100 (koph)
S = 60 (samek)
R = 200
Total= 616

Yep, it can be none other than Nero. Yet, you as a Preterist (certainly nothing wrong with this view other than I respectfully disagree with it {Gary DeMar actually sent me his last book on the Preterist deal and I‘m still a skeptic :) , will see this as an event that has already transpired. Me as a futurist will see Nero emerge from Hell to rule during the upcoming tribulation. I believe this because the angel quite clearly says that Nero--The Beast--will live again and the world will be amazed--that has not yet happened--to my knowledge.

Jep
12-13-01, 02:44 PM
To all:

Finally, if we are to understand this beast we also need to understand the Harlot that is riding him and the seven mountains where she is from.

This one is easy because the angel flat out tells us: [9] “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

There is only one area of the world where this woman could be sitting and that is the city of Rome, Italy, also known as the city of seven hills or mountains, the historical home of the church.

The book The Two Babylons or Papal Worship (© 1916 Loizeaux Brothers) by Rev. Alexander Hislop states: “… There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman sitting on seven hills, and having on her forehead the name written ‘Mystery, Babylon the great,’ with the Roman apostasy. No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has … for its situation on seven hills (p. 2).”

This author goes on to cite several examples.

The great Roman poet Virgil, AKA Publius Vergilius Maro, who lived well before John the Revelator (70-19 BC), said of Rome, “Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.”

Propertius was another writer who lived well before John the Revelator. He refers to Rome as “the lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world.”

Hislop asks the reader to note the similarities in the statement by Propertius, “governing the whole world,” and the Biblical passage, “which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Latin lyric poet and satirist Horace speaks of Rome, “The gods who have set their affections on seven hills.”

Roman poet Martial refers to Rome as “the seven dominating mountains.”

Symmachus, a pope in the 5th century, sends a letter of introduction with one friend for introduction to another. In that letter he introduces his friend as “D septem montibus virum” or “a man from the seven mountains” meaning a Roman citizen.

Yep, Nero is the beast, the seven mountains are Rome and the Harlot is Babylon. I’ll let you decide what Babylon is. :)

Odyssey
12-13-01, 05:04 PM
The following is from an article I wrote:

The next thing that we need to look at is "the woman" found in chapters 17 and 18. John wrote that he saw "a woman…being drunk from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the witnesses of Jesus" (17:6). The "woman" had this name written on her forehead: "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (17:5). The angel said that "the woman" was a poetic symbol of "the great city" (17:18); in whom "was found the blood of prophets and of saints and all who have been slain on the earth" (18:24; NASV). Then John wrote, "Be glad over her, Heaven and the holy apostles and the prophets, because God judged the judgment of you upon her…Babylon the great will be thrown down, and [it] will never more be found" (18:20, 21). So who was this "woman?" This "great city?"

John gave us a clue in Revelation 11:8, where he wrote, "Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified." This shows us, as we saw above, that John was referring to the Jerusalem of his day.

To prove this assertion, let’s look at the term "Sodom." John wrote that this is a "figurative" name. That means it does not tell us the actual name of the city, but it’s spiritual condition. Once more, in letting the Bible interpret itself, we find this is a reference to Jerusalem. In Isaiah, chapter 1, after declaring that he had a "vision…concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (verse 1), Isaiah wrote, "Hear the words of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom…" (verse 10; NASV). In Jeremiah 23:14, because of the adulterous prophets, God said that Jerusalem and her inhabitants had "become to Me like Sodom."

But what about "Egypt?" No where in the Bible is Jerusalem called Egypt. However, that the first century generation was also in an exodus. While Old Testament Israel’s exodus was from the bondage of Egypt, the New Testament Israel’s exodus was from the bondage of the Old Covenant Law. The most recognizable passage that depicts this "new exodus" is found in I Corinthians 10:1-11. Paul wrote, "And all these things happened to those [as] examples, and was written for our warning; to whom the ends of the ages have arrived." His contextual foundation for this statement was the Old Testament exodus from Egyptian bondage. He wrote that they had passed through the sea (verse 1). They ate manna and drank from the rock (verse’s 3-4). He then relays how they wandered in the wilderness (verse 5), became idolaters (verse 7), tried the Lord and were destroyed by serpents (verse 9). This shows us that, just like the "type and shadow" of the Old Testament and their deliverance from bondage, the New Testament saints were undergoing the same exodus. The only difference was that Paul’s generation was the reality to which the Old Testament example pointed.

Furthermore, in Luke 13:33-34, Jesus said, "[T]oday and tomorrow, and on the following [day], I must travel on, because it is not possible [for] a prophet to perish outside Jerusalem. Jerusalem! Jerusalem! The [one] killing the prophets, and stoning those having been sent to her." Then, in Matthew 23:29-37, Jesus blasted the Jews of His day for killing the prophets and the apostles. He declared that they are the children of their fathers who also killed the prophets. Then in verse 32, Jesus said that they would "complete the sin that your ancestors started" (NCV). But the most crucial evidence is found in verse 35, where Jesus said, "upon you (i.e., the Jews of His day) may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on the earth" (NASV). Then He said, "I tell you the truth, all of these things will happen to you people who are living now. Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone to death those who are sent to you" (verse’s 36-37; NCV). In both passages, Jesus told the Jews of His day that they were guilty of "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth" (see also Acts 7:51-52).

Now let’s put these pieces together. According to the gospels, Jesus said that His contemporary generation and their city would not pass away until they were judged for shedding "all the righteous blood shed on the earth." Furthermore, He said that it was "not possible" for a prophet to perish outside Jerusalem. And in Revelation 17 and 18, John wrote that the "great city" was filled with "the blood of prophets, and saints, and all who had been slain on the earth." Furthermore the "great city" was judged and condemned by God, for God avenged "the holy apostles and the prophets…upon her." Therefore, since both of these passages deal with the same crime and the same judgment, the "great city" of Revelation must be the Jerusalem of Christ’s generation. Which further proves that Revelation was been written before Jerusalem fell in AD 70.

Grace to you,

jak

Dr. Szo
12-13-01, 08:37 PM
Hello everyone. All very interesting. Though I can't argue with those calculations, and the theory may be correct (and who really knows), I'll continue being a little stubborn for the sake of pushing the envelope of creative thinking and brain storming this issue. There are still questions to be asked.

In what manner do these calculation fulfill the words, "Here is wisdom...," because no one deciphered the meaning of the numbers at the time the vision was given, why play the this game, when speaking more directly may have saved many lives from being destroyed by Nero. And if these calculations numeric interpretations are correct, where then is the wisdom of it after the fact?

So we have these Hebrew calculations based on the numeric value assigned to the Hebrew alphabet. Wasn't there a difference, though, between classical ancient Hebrew and modern Hebrew that may alter these values just a bit? I also recall studying many years ago, that Jesus also spoke "Koin," which was a combination of languages which has been lost to time, which means his disciples probably used it as well. Use any language long enough and one begins thinking in that language, which brings up new questions to think about.

In Revelations, it is written, "I am the alpha and the omega; the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the almighty." Does this now signify that the portion stating, "...and which is to come..." is fulfilled with the end of Nero?

And why were Greek letters given to John in this vision, alpha & omega, rather than Aleph & tav? Can we then be 100% certain that the numeric values of 666, and the interpretion that it was Nero, be a correct assessment? How are we then to know which language the vision was communicated to John?

Blessing, Dr. Szo

Jep
12-14-01, 02:07 PM
Dr. Szo:

God bless you on this beautiful, raint afternoon in the Mid-West. :)

“In what manner do these calculation fulfill the words, "Here is wisdom...," because no one deciphered the meaning of the numbers at the time the vision was given, why play the this game, when speaking more directly may have saved many lives from being destroyed by Nero. And if these calculations numeric interpretations are correct, where then is the wisdom of it after the fact? “

ME: And yet I believe it is only us reading this some 2000 years later that are so confused. I believe the early church understood this in its entirety. That’s my take on the matter.

“So we have these Hebrew calculations based on the numeric value assigned to the Hebrew alphabet. Wasn't there a difference, though, between classical ancient Hebrew and modern Hebrew that may alter these values just a bit? I also recall studying many years ago, that Jesus also spoke "Koin,"“

ME: Koin was a venacular Greek. No, I believe Jesus spoke Aramaic. The Aramaic Bible Society writes on their question & answer web site: “We know that Jesus did not speak Greek because the Aramaic speaking people in the time of Jesus considered it sinful to speak any other language. This had to be true because the Aramaic Estrangelo Script was the lingua franca in Palestine at the time of Jesus. Aramaic in this script is similar to Arabic and this was the language of commerce and industry. A growing number of scholars now recognize that Jesus spoke this form of Aramaic, not Greek.”

In a letter from that same organization to me they write, “How can this be true (that the original words of Jesus were in Aramaic)? Was the Bible not written in Greek and Hebrew? This is true because the language of Christ and the Apostles WAS Aramaic, the language of business and commerce that preceded the development of the dialect that came to be known as ‘Hebrew’....”

The web site entitled The Prayer of Jesus in Aramaic: Text, Music and Body Prayers of the Cosmos taken from the book Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz reads: “Jesus spoke a native Middle Eastern language--Aramaic. No matter what version of the Gospels one studies, if Jesus said any of the words attributed to him, he spoke them in Aramaic.”

“In Revelations, it is written, "I am the alpha and the omega; the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the almighty." Does this now signify that the portion stating, "...and which is to come..." is fulfilled with the end of Nero?”

ME: The end of Nero has not happened. This is still to come. Just reflect that Nero will, in all probability, be the antichrist. This is a future event. We know this because the angel specifically states that The Beast is one of the 5 dead kings, yet will come back to life, be brought up from hell to be the 8th and final king, the end-time antichrist. This simply has never occurred in our history.

“And why were Greek letters given to John in this vision, alpha & omega, rather than Aleph & tav? Can we then be 100% certain that the numeric values of 666, and the interpretion that it was Nero, be a correct assessment? How are we then to know which language the vision was communicated to John?”

ME: We must delve into the languages of the time. We know that if this was John the apostle writing this, he suddenly went from an eloquent utilizer of the Greek language, to one who was almost illiterate in the Greek language. We know this by studying the Gospel of John, and the Johannine epistles in the Greek, then comparing it to the Greek used in Revelation.

ME: When we do this several points come to light. The early Greek transcriptions of Revelation exhibit a strange character. The Greek is very poor, as if it had not been written originally in that language.

Martin Luther, when studying the Apocalypse and the earlier writings of John the Apostle, expressed doubt that these men were even one and the same.

Early church father Papias writes of two men named John, one he mentions “with Peter and James and Matthew, and with the other apostles” and another John who is not included in the number of the apostles and is distinguished “plainly by the name of presbyter.” Bishop of Rome Dionysius gives several reasons for his doubt that the two Johns are one in the same. He writes that John names himself several times as the author of Revelation, but the apostle John simply does not seem to do this in his Gospel or his three epistles.

Dionysius also notes there were two monuments to “Johns” in Ephesus, and he mused that the second John was most likely the author of Revelation. Dionysius cites many similarities between the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John and says that the Apocalypse has “not even a syllable in common with them.”

Robert MacKenzie, In The Authorship of the Apocalypse, a revision of his doctoral thesis (McGill University 1992), notes that John the Revelator could not have been dependent on a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible but must have made his own translations from the Hebrew and the Apocalypse's rather unusual Greek is possibly due to the circumstance that John was a bilingual Semite.

If this John was of Semitic (Jewish) origin, his native language would have most likely been either Hebrew or the more ancient Aramaic. MacKenzie uses chapters 4 through 6 and an appendix, addressing the Apocalypse's bizarre Greek. He then concludes that their are several possibilities for this unusual use of language. One of which is “Revelation has been translated from a Hebrew or Aramaic original.”

R. H. Charles (Revelation, 2 volumes, ICC) notes that if this John did write the original manuscript in Greek, he had to have been “thinking in Hebrew.”

Who’s Who in the Bible by Joan Comay and Ronald Brownrigg page 243 notes: “One of the most striking features of this book (Revelation) is the oddness and crudity of its Greek style, completely obscure in the Authorized Version. The spasmodic lack of regard for syntax and grammar in the book of Revelation is in marked contrast with the smoothness and correctness of the Greek of the Fourth Gospel.”

My friend, it becomes a very persuasive argument when this subject is put under a microscope that John the Apostle either suddenly turned from an eloquent master of the Greek language to one very mysterious and incompetent Greek writer, or this manuscript was written in Hebrew, as was Matthew, or in Jesus’ native language, Aramaic, which John would also have spoken if he communicated with Jesus, and he most obviously did. The fact that alpha/omega was used is not surprising since all books in the New Testament were translated into Greek by the third century.

Dr. Szo
12-15-01, 02:41 PM
This is a long one, so be patient. I promise to make it interesting. So you are pretty much certain that the beast issue was settled. Then what is the problem with many Christian leaders who have studied these issue in detail, and sermon after sermon they relate it to prophecy yet unfulfilled? My own perspective, as you already know, is based on what I gather fronm it and also from my own inner spiritual experiences, of which I've said nothing.

Let's take a modern example of how something can be applied, marketed, interpreted, given meaning, and yet have loopholes.

You all by know heard of the "Bible Code." Grant Jeffrey in his book "Signature of God" after studying the work, he believes in it and wrote about it in this above book. Many rabbis and other mathematicians don't agree with the math or what it reveals. I have the code software myself. And what I find is that whatever information comes forth is based on what information is put in. In other words, if someone knows to ask more questions, then more can be squeezed out. Therefore, the code output is based on how creative one can be with what one is asking from it. So here is my point. That the math, the history behind creating the code, the inspiration of how it came to someone's imagination, are all relevent; but from a zero point, one be in the present. move to the past, or to the future. Therefore, the truth of the beast in Revelations could be 100% as most of you have written here, and I'm inclined to concur based on much of what has been presented. Nevertheless, it does not mean that it has ceased to have significance in relation to a future event as well. It is all a matter of how the word of God is understood and who is interpreting it.

I worked with the Bible code, for instance, and received different answers to same problems by simply rephrasing the question in different ways. This is why I believe that Revelations in not stuck in one time period. Individual people can be associated with a time frame and the history of what they do, but God's Revelations may have other possibilities. Hence, the wisdom behind 666 may not be as complete in our understanding as we imagine, or that it only relates to Nero. What if the "wisdom" or u"understanding" of 666 is yet exhausted at all, and has only been applied to one moment in time.

Here's an example of what I mean. One week after the Twin Towers were attacked, I performed an experiment. I first outlined a criteria to eliminate any peripheral useless info. Considering that militant muslims of Afganistan hated the Christian west, and Osama was their leader, I took the name "Osama Bin Laden" to represent the militants, and the name "Jesus Christ" to represent the Christian west. I took out my scrabble game and selected "all the letters" of these two names. Then I began to juggle them around allowing sentences to form themselves. The amount of sentences that came forth from this little experiment were 44, and all were relevent to what what occurred, had not yet occurred, or could occur. Past, present, and future potentials were in them. See below, and if you have a srabble game at home you can see for yourself.

1. I come Tues (I related to 9/11)
2. A heist
3. Hearts die
4. Mothers die
5. The mom cries
6. The cries
7. Sad moms
8. Its a mess
9. A mess has hit
10. Mess has come
11. Home is mess
12. U S trashed
13. US home is dear
14. A missed truce
15. Much tears
16. Mad times come
17. Jihad must come
18. His true Jihad
19. I must hear some
20. More must die
21. Jihad truce
22. He must die
23. I am Jesus come (Bin L thinking he's the messiah maybe?)
24. I am he / I am them
25. His tears come
26. Jesus marches / Must march
27. Air jets come
28. His jets come
29. U S air mode
30. U S hits hard / U S hits me hard
31. U S hems him
32. U S shreads them / U S creams him
33. Must dash him
34. Comets ream him
35. He hides / He hides to see
36. He is jammed
37. He uses atom
38. U S atomic
39. Atom is used
40. Atomic mess
41. Mujahadim SOS
42. Chastise me
43. Theories / Dam theories
44. Steer U S aims

If I had done this years ago I would have had the same results and known the wisdom of all these possibilities and the potentials of the future as a result of these events. But what if this had been given to me in a vision as simply "44;" and in the vision I was told "Here is wisdom, for the name of the beast is "44." The beast in this is not the name which is in conflict with Jesus, but a series of events that will change the world. We should not, therefore, close the on 666 and believe it is related to only one issue in history, or that it's entire meaning has been revealed, that it is a done deal. It could prove to be a big mistake for us Christians.

I will be away from Sunday until nect Friday the 21st and won't be able to respond during the week. See you then. Stay well and be safe.

God bless you all.

countrymouse
12-15-01, 06:37 PM
Hi everybody!

Dr. Szo - ...interesting. I'm only passingly familiar with the "code" system you're talking about. Does Revelation have ongoing significance? I do believe, based on the apocalyptic literary nature of the book, and on the evidence of recorded history, that the prophecies were fulfilled, culminating with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. That doesn't mean that the book has no continuing relevance: God will always come to the rescue of his people when we are in trouble. Have there been, since that time, and will there be, in the future, Nero-like leaders who oppose God? History speaks for itself.

Apocalyptic (revelatory) Biblical literature cannot be understood by taking it at face value. There is a code, and if you study the other prophetic Biblical books, such as Isaiah, Ezekial, and Jeremiah, you'll begin to pick up on how the code works. Apocalyptic, like parable, is metaphor. For instance, the horn that appeared to have the deadly wound but came back to life stands for Nero's desperate position after Rome blamed him for the fire. It looked like Nero was done for. However, he found an acceptable scapegoat, the Christians, and saved his skin for a while. Of course his persecution of the Church incurred God's wrath, and Nero died a violent death at his own hands, having been condemned to crucifixion by the Senate, and abandoned by all but one friend. His suicide ended the Claudio-Julian dynasty, and plunged the Roman empire into civil war. Rome awarded him the dishonor of striking his reign from the official record ("damnatio memoriae"). Thus, he indeed suffered the "Second Death," the "lake of fire," and his dynasty came to a violent and infamous close.

And so the Apocalypse, the book of Revelation, had a comforting message for the generation of Christians to whom it was primarily addressed, and all its prophecies were fulfilled in their generation, within a very few years. I don't believe there is another future fulfillment as such, because its fulfillment marked the close of the Old Covenant Age and the full establishment of the New Covenant Age, which will never end. However, this book will always comfort the Church in times of trouble, because we can turn to its pages, remember what God was willing to do to establish us, and know he will always do whatever is necessary to preserve us!

Blessing to all of you this Christmas,
countrymouse

Odyssey
12-16-01, 08:43 AM
Dr.,

Concerning the futher application of fulfilled prophesy: Of course there is continued application. The birth, life, death, resurrection, and assencion of Christ still has on going application. That is not what we are saying. Are we saying that there are hidden codes like the ones you suggested? I am not. As you have shown, anything can be put in and get something out of it. Does that make it Bible prophesy? Absolutely not. It makes it speculation plain and simple.

Grace to you,

jak

Dr. Szo
12-17-01, 08:05 AM
I'm very aware of metaphoric use in the Bible, especially in relation to spiritual interpretations, metaphysics, and dream interpretation, which is where my strength has been in understanding the deeper meaning of spiritual things. This subject, of course, is a different monkey. And I concur with you guys, you've done more homework on Nero in relation to Scripture than I have, but I also agree with other views as well. Remember, the best scholars during the time of Jesus thought they had all the answers, they were so absolutley certain about the messiah to come that they failed to recognize him when he was standing right before their very eyes.

There's a man today. His name is Major Ed Dames, a former master spy for the CIA. Some of you may have never heard of him. This man's entire job over 17 years with the Pentagon was involvement in a secret project called "Stargate," which ended in 1995 after the cold war was over. He and his crew now operate as consultants and trainers. Our government had reached a point where certain scientist found a way of training and testing certain people in "seeing." This is not psychic stuff. It is called "Remote Viewing." One of the projects this man and his team worked on in the past was to see what the Beast and "666" was about. The results were that it concerns an antibiotic that will be developed for a specific disease, one that exist today, and that it will be given to the population in the near future, just like the flu shots; and I know of patients who have died after taking flu shots or became severly ill. This particular antibiotic, however, will be an antibiotic that will go wrong and people will develop erruptions on the skin and become diseased by it. Prior to this happening, however, the results pointed out that an ID card would be given to the population, and that this card will have a code that will identify the individual and who has or has not received this innoculation.

My friends, this ID business is being talked about today, and the government is on the way to making it a mandatory requirement for every citizen. In time, more info will be inserted into these ID cards about us. It wasn't too long ago that we had privacy. Today anyone can get any personal info about anyone through the internet if he knows how. Being a naturopath myself, who works with physical healing as well as spiritual healing of clients, I can see the possibility in this future problem. Some antibiotics, for instance, are made from the "pus" and "urine" of animals and other elements that in time actually produce health problems. It's called the "Time Bomb Effect."

So here we have a senario of presented, something entirely different; something someone saw by vision; something the government and pharmaceutical industry is working on, and something which many of us in the health industry actually see happening all the time. Much of the health conditions we have today are due to the fact that we consume "death" (the flesh of animals) in high volume, and these food sources are contaminated with antibiotics which is an FDA requirement. In the Scripture we find that God required fasting from animal flesh before joining to Him through spiritual prayer. Why? Because the purity of God's nature cannot in any way comingle with the vibration of death.

Now suppose that we saw only one side of the Beast 666 issue we have been discussing and not other possibilities outside the envelope, such as I have presented to you. Christians would be totally unprepared to see the danger they faced ahead.

Of course I can point out other views from Christian authors who believe that the Beast and 666 is more than just Nero. Some have related parts of the Beast info to the creation of the common market and a new Roman Empire. But what I've written above serves to make my point outside of traditional religious scenarios related to the Beast. No doubt that the Nero theory is very valid indeed, as most of you have so well pointed out. But this other view of the Beast, and what Major Ed Dames spoke of, is no less valid. It is one I have both seen, witnessed, and experienced happening throughout my years of experience. And it was one I understood as another Biblical perspective before I ever heard of Major Ed Dames. This was why I spoke of a change in consciousness, meaning to be illuminated to the truth around us. In truth, people devour the beast, and the beast becomes the man.

I'll be back next Friday the 21st. Stay well.

God bless you all,
Mel

Odyssey
12-17-01, 09:09 AM
Dr.,

Can't the same speculations be given to the prophesies of Messiah? I mean, as you pointed out, the Jews of Jesus day had no idea that he was the Messiah. We (i.e., Christians) claim that all of those prophesies were fulfilled in Jesus, son of Joseph. What's to stop us from speculating that there is more to those prophesies? That there is another interpretation or fulfillment of those prophesies? The result of this type of study is that the prophesy means nothing. It has no real merit because it can mean anything. For prophesy to work, it has to have a fulfillment. Has the beast of Revelation been fulfilled? Certainly. As we have shown it was Nero. Does that mean we can't learn from Revelation or the persecution of the first century church? No. We learn by their example (see 1 Cor. 10.1-11). That does not mean that there is another fulfillment of the prophesy.

Grace to you,

jak

Dr. Szo
12-20-01, 09:13 PM
Jak. In what I have been arguing with regard to the beast and 666, my main point has been that what has been thus far presented in this string may not be correct at all, but only one view from many other views. If it is in fact referring to the future, then other theories such as the one's presented in this string, the Nero theory, would be wrong. While visiting family 400 miles away in the past days, I set aside several hours to do more research on this issue to make my point.

Jak, you wrote the following, "For prophesy to work, it has to have a fulfillment. Has the beast of Revelation been fulfilled? Certainly. As we have shown it was Nero."

Following is what my research led to, which to my surprise agreed with what I have been saying. This information I provide comes from an author and authority on Bible prophecy, John F. Walvoord. He is one of the preeminent Bible prophecy scholars in the world and Chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. His current book, "Every Prophecy of The Bible;" published 1999; first publishing 1960 under the name "The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook." He has authored various other books on the subject of Bible prophecy. The references I present below are from his research and knowledge on the subject of John's Book of Revelations, whcih begins on page 542. This covers everything we've disagreed on.

He states, "The message of the churches (which was agreed to on this string to related to Nero's period) refers to the present age; and then 'what will take place later.' The confusion in interpreting Revelations stems from failure to observe this devine outline. The opening of Chapter four with the phrase "After this..." refering to the churches, should make it clear that from Chapter four on, The Book of Revelations is referring to future events."

"The historical school of interpretation which regards the Book of Revelations as being fulfilled in history has been unable to provide any any concern on the interpretations and offers only confusion."

"There has been no majority view on interpretation that is coherent, and each of the major views--allegorical, the pretist, and the historical views--when applied to this book, yield entirely different answers according to the person doing the study."

"Only the futurist views provide any reasonable coherence between what the book states and what the fulfillment of the prophecy would indicate."

The author also states that John "was" in the isle of Patmos when he received Revelations, and, that he received the Revelations "after" he had been exiled; that it was given to him at that location (which agrees with one of my earlier points in this string).

The words which begin Chapter four, "After this" becomes a key. The author says, "The voice of invitation, according to John, is the same voice he heard in 1:10. His natural body is still in Patmos, he has not been raptured."

"The word "church" prominent in Chap 2-3, does not reoccur until 22:16."

Referring to the four living creatures covered with eyes in front and back, he states, "Some interpreters say they represent aspects of God, others say they represent the four gospels, others say angels who's ministry it was to worship God and never stopped saying..."Holy, holy, holy..." (v:8).

This is why the futurist views of unfulfilled prophecies of Revelations, according to the author, offer coherency which other views do not offer.

1. Rapture of the church (1Cor 15:51, Thes. 4:13-18).
2. Revival of the Roman Empire--a ten nation confederacy (Dan 7:7, 24, Rev. 17:3, 12:13)
3. Rise of the Antichrist; The Middle East dictator (Dan. 7:8, Rev. 13:1-8).
4. Seven year treaty with Israel consumated before Christs' return (Dan. 9:27, Rev. 19:11-16).
5. Establishment of a world church (Rev. 17:1-15)
6. Russia springs a surprise attack on Israel four years before the coming of Christ (Ezek. 38-39).
7. Peace treaty with Israel is broken after three and a half years (Dan. 7:23, Rev. 13:5-8, 15-17, 17:16-17)
8. Many Christians and Jews are martyred who refuse to worship the dictator (Rev. 7:9-17, 17:15).
9. World War breaks out, Armageddon (Dan. 11:40-45, Rev. 9:17-21, 16:13-16)
10. Babylon destroyed: my note-I beieve is modern Iraq. (Rev. 18)
11. Second coming of Christ
There are 8 more prophecies with this list.

Now letus go to the Beast isue. Was it Nero? What are the contradictions that should cause doubt?

The author point out the following: "In the description of the white horse, it is believed to be someone who conquers without war, who has risen to such power politically that no one is able to stand against him. In Revelation 13 the question is asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" (Rev.13-14).
The answer is that no one can."

"John points out, the Dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. He also writes that "one of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a "fatal wound," but the fatal wound healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. There have been discussions over this healed beast. The question arises, can Satan raise one from the dead? Debates on whether God would allow this, since there have been so many antichrists, go on. One view is that God would allow it, or does it, to fulfill a role he is to play."

"Daniel says that this beast will be a "world ruler" who will devour the whole world; and that "All" inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast, Rev. 13:8. Something which occurs before the second coming of Christ." (my note: none of this fits in with Nero's life, neither has it happened). Also, the beast is a "false prophet" (v:13) who convinces the whole world to follow him. (My note: Nero did not accomplish this).

Lastly, the issue of 666. The author states the following: "The Bible does not interpret, leaving it to others to speculate on." He brings up the subject of languages with numeric value, which has been duscussed in this string several times. The author said that some felt it pointed to someone in the past who's name yielded this number;" probably Nero as we've discussed. But the problem is, according to the author, that many other names also yielded the same numeric value of 666. This information places a cloud over "any" seeming conclusive answer to 666 solely referring to Nero.

So there you have it from an expert on prophecy. Make of it what you will. I did a lot of work on this and I'm exhausted. You can read the book for more extensive details.

One last thought which comes to mind is that Peter says, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking which he may devour (this, in my view, refers to the true beast who uses men in every era hoping to thwart God's will. And the day of Isaiah 11:6, when opposites can exist in peace, is yet to be fulfilled.

God Bless you all. Dr. Szo

Parousia70
12-20-01, 11:32 PM
Hi Doc,

I couldn't help but interject a question here regarding the following statement from your prevoius post:

"The opening of Chapter four with the phrase "After this..." refering to the churches, should make it clear that from Chapter four on, The Book of Revelations is referring to future events."

First of all, the Book of RevelatioN *no S* (sorry, a pet peeve of mine. Like Saying *Nucular* instead of of *Nuclear* when you should know better. no matter how knowledgable a scientist is on the subject, the minute he says "nucular" he just sounds dumb and for some reason it's hard for me to take anything he says after that seriously. I am similarly affected when "bible Scholars" say "the Book of Revelations")...but I digress.........anyway, as I was saying, the Book of Revelation is written entirely about "future events" Future to the time it was written, but not necessarily future events to US today.

My question would be;
Can Revelation chapters 4 and beyond be divorced from Revelation 1:1-3?

Is Revelation Chapter 4 part of "The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave to Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place" or is it something different? Should Revelation Chapter 4 and latter actually be a different "Book" alltogether? or does it in fact belong to "the Revelation of Jesus Christ" set forth In Chapter 1?

If Chapter 4 and beyond do in fact belong to "The revelation Of Jesus Christ" then Chapters 1-22 must describe events that were ordained By God to take place "Shortly" after John wrote the Book and therefore can not be future to us today.

your thoughts?

Odyssey
12-21-01, 07:20 AM
Doc,

First, Mr Walvoord is basing his 'professional' view on Jesus (and therefore god) and the apostles (and therefore the Holy Spirit) being wrong. Since the events that those men spoke and wrote about did not take place the way Mr. Walvoord understands them, then they are still to take place in our future. This view is based on Jesus and the apostles being wrong. There is no other way to state it. Therefore, on these grounds alone, his view must be rejected. I believe that it was impossible for both Jesus and the apostles to be wrong.

Second, based on the premise above, I will not address his 'theories.' As you pointed out, this book first appeared in the 60's and has been revised to look at current events. He is always changing his view and reproducing his books (along with many others) and making tons of money.

Third, I want to address the idea of his being an 'expert': I just have two things to state: BIG DEAL. The 'experts' of Jesus day did not even recognize the Messiah when he was standing right in front of them. They spent their whole lives studying the prophesies about the Messiah, but when the fulfillment walked down their streets, the didn't see him. He was not what they expected, therefore, he was not 'it' (in their view). And because of this, people who practice Judaism today are still looking for Messiah. They don't want Jesus, son of Joseph. The want the mighty millitary leader they think Messiah is supposed to be.

Lastly, the problem with all future views of the return of Christ is faulty. They are not based in the Scriptures or the history in which they were written. They are based on assumptions. Assumptions that bring damaging effects to the Christian faith. To even hint that Jesus and the apostles were wrong makes Christianity a false religion and we among all peoples should be pitied. I am sorry, but I cannot, nor will not, accept a view that brings into question Jesus, the apostles, god, the Holy Spirit, and the bible. As Jep pointed out in another thread, a prophet who is wrong about when something was to happen did not speak from god. He should not be feared for he spoke his own thoughts and concerns.

Grace to you,

jak

PS: May I make a suggestion? Read the bible and not books about the bible. Put yourself in the audience of it's recipients. Ask yourself these simple questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how. If you were standing with the other disciples in the city of Jerusalem, and Jesus said something to you and the others, what would your first thought be? That he was speaking to you or to others thousands of years in your future?

Jep
12-21-01, 06:26 PM
Hi Doc, my friends JAK and Parousia: May God richly bless you and your families as Jesus’ birthday approaches.

“Jak, you wrote the following, "For prophesy to work, it has to have a fulfillment. Has the beast of Revelation been fulfilled? Certainly. As we have shown it was Nero."“

ME: Yet we have not shown that all the prophecies concerning Nero have been fulfilled. Nero was the king who was (once existed--once lived), and is not (but now he does not exist--he is dead); and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (not only is he dead, when he died he was sent to hell, where he presently resides, but he will come back to earth from hell someday), and go into perdition (he will eventually be destroyed): and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (the world, or at least those who are not Christians, will be amazed), when they behold the beast that was (when they see Antichrist and realize he once lived), and is not (but then died), and yet is (and is now living again--raised from the dead!).

So people, this could not have been a fulfilled event. Nero was never raised from the dead and brought up from hell to amaze the world. Nero has been dead ever since the day he died. It was not Nero who destroyed the temple in 70 AD but Titus under his father Vespasien. These have to be future events!

In fact, when we analyze Daniel, we can easily see that Nero will come out of a revived Roman Empire in the very last days. In Daniel Chapter 2 we read of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which only Daniel could interpret. In this dream, Nebuchadnezzar had seen an enormous statue of a man. Its head was made of pure gold, its chest and arms were made of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron and its feet of a mixture of iron and clay. Then the king saw a rock, cut out without human hands, which hit the statue on the feet and crushed them. The remains of the statue were crushed to dust and were blown away by the wind.

Daniel realized through divine revelation that God had given one of the greatest and most powerful kings in history a prophetic dream of how the mighty kingdoms of the earth would shape up in the future. In fact, God blessed Daniel with a gift of prophecy enabling him to see, through dreams and visions, to the very ends of the earth.

Daniel explained to the king that the various parts of the statue represented kingdoms of the world: gold represented Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom of Babylon. Silver was an inferior kingdom that Bible historians trace to the next empire to rule (at least part of) the world, the Medo-Persian alliance. Bronze would be yet another kingdom, which other Bible scriptures tie to the next empire to conquer civilization, the Greek empire of Alexander the Great. And iron, which to them of that time was the strongest material known, also represented the most powerful kingdom to have ever ruled the world. History documents this could only be the potent Roman Empire.

Iron and clay in the feet stood for that same empire of iron, but the iron now mixed with clay, indeed indicated an empire divided. One empire, but really two? How confusing. Also note for later reference that the feet would have ten toes of iron and clay.

Strange that God would choose to portray that most powerful kingdom in two, and possibly even three, separate stages of time, i.e., first as two legs, then as two feet, then ten toes each successively growing out of the other.

Daniel went on to explain that the rock stood for the strongest kingdom of all which would come along at the very end of time: the kingdom of almighty God, that would crush the others to dust. This will be Jesus Christ riding His horse on the Day of the Lord into the battle of Armageddon.

It becomes transparent upon examination of this prophecy that the scripture is giving us the future, not of individual nations such as the United States, Russia, China or the lot, but of united major world empires that will rule or partially rule the earth from the time of Daniel and the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to the end of the ages when the Kingdom of God will rule the last earthly empire in the millennium.

Then in Daniel chapter seven, almost 60 years later, Daniel himself is given almost the same vision but with more detail.

Nebuchadnezzar is dead and a new king, Belshazzar, has taken reign over Babylon: “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and till I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.”

In this dream, God left no doubt in the mind of Daniel as to its meaning. He sent an angel to interpret it.

15: “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”

CONTINUED

Jep
12-21-01, 06:27 PM
The angel had told Daniel that he was seeing four kings arising out of the earth just as had seen Nebuchadnezzar.

1.) (The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings.) This first king was Nebuchadnezzar who had been the first to invade and capture the people of Judah in Daniel’s day.

The Israelites were captives in Babylon from 605 BC to 536 BC. Also note that ancient Babylon used the lion and eagle as common symbols.

2.) (And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it.) This second was the Medo-Persian Empire which conquered part (but not all) of the world under King Cyrus.

The Medo-Persian empire occupied Israel from 536 BC to 333 BC. The second beast looked like a bear which raised itself up on one side and had three ribs between his teeth. Many eschatologists believe the bear raised itself up on one side because the Persians would become the more dominant of the two allies and, in fact, had conquered Media. Between the years of 547 BC and 545 BC, the Medes and Persians defeated Egypt, Lydia, and Babylon. Hence the bear is shown with three ribs between its teeth.

3.) (and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.) This third beast was the empire of Alexander the Great who died very young by drinking himself to death and, having no heirs, left his empire to his four top generals. When Alexander died, his empire was divided up among the generals into four smaller kingdoms: Ptolemy in Egypt; Seleucus in Syria; Cassandra in Asia Minor; and Lysimachus in Macedonia. Therefore the leopard is described as having four heads.

Alexander initiated a forceful military drive that, in approximately ten years, conquered the world from Greece to India and occupied Israel from 333 BC to 167 BC. This Greek king conquered the world very quickly for the war technology that existed during this era of our history; therefore the leopard is seen as having four wings representing the lightning deeds of his four generals.

4.) (After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it;)

Here’s that iron again. The dreadful fourth beast represents the fourth kingdom that was to arise. This one is easy.

History quickly identifies Rome as becoming the fourth world empire (and also the last to effect the country of Israel as a nation) by defeating the Greeks in 168 BC.

The Roman Empire lasted from about 753 BC, with the founding of the city of Rome, to around 476 A.D in its original form. At its height it encompassed a massive amount of territory, including lands across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the legs of iron turned into a similar representation in the feet, but mixed with clay to show division. The statue had two legs, which may be another clue that leads us to believe there may be two sections of this particular kingdom.

When the Roman Empire split in 395 AD, the western part was called the Roman Empire, lasting until 476 AD, then turning into the Holy Roman Empire and finally into Europe. The eastern part of the split became the Byzantine Empire, lasting until 1453 AD.

How interesting: two empires, consisting of the same foundation of iron, seemingly existing in at least two time frames, with the second empire represented as mixed with clay to show that it will not be identical to the first. But why would this be important enough for God to send visions to his people about it? And what does this have to do with the end days?

And similar to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel’s empire takes a strange turn. Instead of having ten toes of iron and clay, it grows 10 horns, also representing ten kingdoms, and from those 10 horns, a smaller, downright nasty horn arises. What could this mean?

The angel then tells us, “And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

In other words, from this kingdom of Europe will come 10 more kingdoms and from these 10 kingdoms will come the little horn, i.e., a man called Antichrist. Nero, straight up from hell! This beast will war against the saints until God defeats him and will rule “a time and times and the dividing of time,” or three and a half years. Finally, Daniel has seen the fifth kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar saw in the form of a rock: the kingdom of God Almighty which will defeat the antichrist and deliver the world to the saints.

It is also suggested in the preceding scripture that three of these countries do not fully support antichrist and will be subdued militarily by him. And, taking this scripture into context with several others, one must keep open the possibility that antichrist may actually rule for seven years but terrorize the populace of earth for only three and a half of these seven.

In Daniel chapter 8:19 concerning a very similar vision, the angel makes it clear these visions are about the very last days of earth. “And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.”

The latter stage of this Roman Empire, the feet of iron in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the beast with the massive teeth of iron, the Roman Empire in Daniel’s dream is shown to be the last, powerful but divided kingdom to effect the Jews, before the final kingdom, the Kingdom of God is to rule the earth during the last 1000 years of time.

God is also communicating to us that out of this revived Roman Empire, from somewhere, 10 countries will arise, and from those ten countries the little horn, or the antichrist will arise and then be thoroughly defeated by the kingdom of God.

Got your families ready? Nero, the most vile Christian hater of all time is about to make a second appearance. I say bring it on. Come soon, Lord Jesus!

Dr. Szo
12-21-01, 08:58 PM
A long time ago, I was an instructor in Gung Fu martial arts and taught oriental philosophy. There is an ancient Chinese saying, "Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt." I feel we've reached this point on the subject at hand and may perhaps be going around in circles. The final truth is, in my opinion, that the answer to this entire issue remains with God alone, and not with our theories and speculations. God crafted the door and holds the key to its absolute meaning.

I've enjoyed the discussion with all of you very much. At this point I'll move on. I plan to begin a thread on a metaphysical subject I have in mind. Hope to see some of you there.

Don't burn yourselves out too much on this issue.
Bless you all. Dr. Szo