Hello Straightshot, nice to have a prophecy teacher here.
I don't follow prophecy too closely because it always confuses me. Somebody pushes a particular view that has parts to it I can't justify by scripture for instance. So I just hold all the prophetic teachings I'm aware of rather lightly, figuring they'll sort themselves out when the time comes.
But one thing I've been MOSTLY convinced of is that the Beast of Revelation 13 [Oops, I think I mean Revelation 17] is the Roman Empire part of Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the statue in Daniel. I've been most convinced of the Reformers' interpretation of it as the Roman Catholic Church, which is what became of the Roman Empire after it fell, led by the papacy, the Pope being the "little horn." Since the Vatican is also a nation state this is a political entity.
However, the Reformers also took account of the two legs of the statue, one leg being the western Roman Empire under the Pope and the other leg being Islam, since Islam replaced the eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium.
Details are beyond me at this point so I'll just ask what you think of this general interpretation.
ABE: I should probably stay out of this discussion since I confused Rev 13 with 17 already. But here's a reference on Rev 17:
I reread your post and now find it rather odd. Although I've read prophecy interpretations of the end times that focus on the Middle East, yours is different. Is this just your own personal way of interpreting these things or is there a general school of thought you are reflecting? By the way, what denomination do you belong to?
Here is the human little horn, a king of the northern Middle East who will arise as an Islamic Caliph in the region of Syria/Iraq today [same as the ancient Seleucid Empire north of Israel]
This king will arise during the 70th week decreed for Israel still pending [same as the coming tribulation] .... in the same region that was the core of the earlier ancient Assyrian Empire [Daniel 7:7-25; 8:9-25; 11:36-45; 12;7; Micah 5:5-6]
This much I've seen elsewhere, the antichrist being a political leader of the Middle East. It's one possibility.
The first beast of Revelation is not human, but a fallen angel who does Satan's bidding in the Middle East and rules over 7 human Middle Eastern kingdoms and related king positions there [Revelation 9:11; 11:7; 13:1-4; 17:8-18]
Where do you get the idea the first beast isn't human? "Beasts" in scripture refer to nations. Human nations. Satan is certainly behind it all but he can't be a beast as I understand that term.
5 of these kingdoms are now historical with the 5th ending just before the first century, this kingdom [head of the beast] fell and Abaddon/Appolyon was sent to the abyss .... still there as we speak
I suppose it's possible to sort the nations of the Middle East according to the numbers in Revelation, but the Roman Empire's various caesars can also be sorted according to the same numbers. I never find such reckonings to be completely convincing, but the Roman Empire HAS to be the meaning of the legs of Nebuchadnezzar's statue, and I can see how they represent both east and west of the former Roman Empire. Certainly the Roman Empire currently lives on in the Vatican with its trappings of the old regime still in place, the robes, the pagan headgear etc etc etc.
He will soon be released to rule over the Middle East again for a short time during the coming tribulation period .... a smaller kingdom at first [the 6th], and then the next [7th] divided/expanded kingdom with 10 other human kings, the divided kingdom of iron and clay [Daniel 2:33; 2:40-43]
Abaddon/Appolyon once "was" ruling over Middle Eastern kingdoms ..... and then was "not".... but he is coming to rule there again .... and yet "is
He, i.e. Satan, also rules over the western Roman Empire though. Why do you focus so exclusively on the Middle East?
The prophets are all focused primarily upon Israel and the Middle East, past and future .... important to know this when rendering their visions .... same goes for Revelation's unfolding .... this view given by the Lord Himself is the capstone of His Bible prophets .... all are totally congruent
Some prophecies concern Israel in the last days, but you'd have to specific which ones because there is some ambiguity between "Israel" and "Church" that has to be sorted out. Also most of the prophecies in Daniel concern world empires, Nebuchadnezzar's statue for instance, and Daniel's own vision of the beasts that represent successive empires. You'd have to say why you ignore those prophecies to focus on Israel.
I do know and understand the reformers approach to the interpretation of Bible prophecy and also the later re-constructionist views of the 1800s
I believe that both gave it their best shot, but simply did not understand the prophecies very well, did not have the hindsight of world events that we have today, and were biased toward placing the ancient Roman Empire and related Pope/RCC connection .... I understand why this was done, but I believe their interpretations were well off course
You are entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree. I believe the Reformers made the connection between the Roman Empire and the papacy very well. And it all fits the prophecy of the revival of the Roman Empire.
All of the identifiers contained in the prophetic visions reveal a very different picture
No, "all" do not, though some do refer to other scenarios, this is why you need to be specific about which prophecies you have in mind. There's still plenty that refers to the Roman Empire and to the papacy.
For example, the era of the ancient Roman rule and going forward up to this very day is not recorded anywhere in the scope of the visions
Which visions are you talking about? There's plenty in Revelation and in Daniel that refers to a revived Roman Empire and to the papacy as the woman riding the beast which is the Roman Empire. It has gone through various forms since it fell to the vandals, one of its forms being the RCC that became heir to it. It was and is not in that sense, but is if you see how the RCC continued it.
At the same time there is a definite exegetical framework that does not include the past 2000 years still ongoing
No idea what this means.
I am going to have to come back to this later. But I'll say at this point that I do expect that Israel will play a big part in the unfolding of the last days, a very fitting location for the finale of Planet Earth where God oversaw so much history in His redemptive plan. I also think the seventieth week of Daniel probably is pivotal to the final events, as the first sixty-nine of the seventy weeks did lead up right to the announcement of the true Messiah, and there is still another week to be fulfilled. I don't have a problem with any of that. The drama of good and evil on Planet Earth must be concluded in the Middle East.
But you can't just ignore the prophecies that refer to the Roman Empire and the papacy as representative of the world powers that oppose God's redemptive plan. I think the Reformers got all that right and now we're being asked to bury the truth again, right when all that is about to come to fruition in the One World Order with its world religion.
Continuing with my attempts to answer your posts. I think I'll just leave the Middle East prophecy on the note of general agreement with you about what is to happen in that part of the world, without getting in to details, mainly because I don't study prophecy in such detail. I read various studies of prophecy and get general ideas about it.
It would help for the sake of your credibility though if you had a church affiliation, because lone wolves are generally untrustworthy. But even if you don't belong to a church, being persuaded by a particular line or school of prophetic interpretation would help. My orientation is mostly Calvinist, but all the Protestant Reformers contribute to it. Prophecy is certainly one proof of the authenticity of the word of God.
I see that PaulK points out that you and I would agree on the basics of the truth of the Bible and of Bible prophecy, so that you are not talking to a skeptic here. The questions I raise have to do with the different interpretations of prophecy by a believer. There are lots of prophecy teachers on the internet already, mostly addressing believers. You should get plenty of skeptics here though if it's skeptics you'd prefer to address.
It's hard to know what the trend is at EvC at any given moment. The main debate between evolution and creation has died down more than anything else. This drives people to the faith threads and the politics threads. But even these may not be as active as they used to be. However, someone with a strong point of view could revive things on a given topic. You may yet attract the kind of arguments you prefer.
This site considers itself to be for debate, so coming here to teach but not debate isn't going to be accepted.
I think you should start your own threads for your topics because that way they will stand out. Proposed New Topics is where you do that. Describe how you want to approach the topic and an admin will promote it when it is clear enough. As for this thread, you started out answering the OP (opening post) by jar. I don't know why he hasn't been here for a while but he may come back and respond to your post to him and that discussion could continue here.
You should learn some of the codes for things like creating a quotation box. You can use the "peek" button at the lower right of each post to see how that person used codes for whatever purpose interests you.
Also, you often hit the wrong "reply" button to write your posts: hit the one at the bottom of the post you are replying to so that person's name will show up at the top right of your answer.
EvC really is a beautifully designed site, I agree.
I think it would be interesting to have a good discussion of prophecy here so I hope you will stay a while.
Yeah, you've bought the lies of the modern "scholars" who couldn't believe in prophecy or anything supernatural so redated Daniel to suit their own prejudices rather than the obvious internal evidence of the book itself.
I could probably bury a Preterist myself. I don't recall running across any of those here but you 'll find every kind of unbeliever and apostate or liberal "believer" here otherwise.
Straightshot, again you hit the wrong reply button. It gets confusing. It looks like you are replying to ramoss but the content of your post is a reply to me. You seem to be skipping posts and hitting the reply for the post after the one you intend to answer or something like that.
"Yeah, you've bought the lies of the modern "scholars" who couldn't believe in prophecy or anything supernatural so redated Daniel to suit their own prejudices rather than the obvious internal evidence of the book itself."
UYeah .... you are a very presumptuous dude son
Straightshot, I said that to ramoss so you are calling ME presumptuous. Do you mean to say that to me? Please pay attention to which Reply button you are pressing. You pressed the one to my post thinking you are answering Ramoss.
He was saying that the Book of Daniel wasn't written during the time it claims to be written and we have to take that into account. I said he's bought the lies of the modern scholars who redated the book because they couldn't believe in prophecy. They redated it to AFTER the events it prophesies to eliminate the prophecies.
No trash on my bookshelves .... just the good one
I have lots of stuff on my shelves besides the Bible, but mostly by Christians who are exposing the errors of apostates and modern scholars and cultists.
Tell me about the obvious internal evidence of the "book itself" .... give it your best shot
There's lots of internal evidence that it was written during the time of Nebuchadnezzar and the empires that followed him, and the redating of the modern scholars turns that into garbage.
PLEASE pay attention and use the Reply button to the post you are actually replying to.
Some prophecies have more than one fulfillment. I've always understood this little horn to have two prophetic fulfillments in the future, so I looked up a commentary and found David Guzik agreeing with that understanding, also pointing out that Luther and Calvin disagreed about it. Luther sees two fulfillments, Calvin only one:
b. The vision refers to the time of the end: Gabriel assures Daniel that this vision has to do with end times, with the latter time of the indignation.
i. This is a problem for some, because we see that the prophecy of Daniel 8:1-14 was fulfilled in the days of the Medo-Persian and Greek Empires, especially in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. The terms time of the end and latter time of the indignation commonly refer to what we think of as the end times, not events fulfilled more than a 100 years before the birth of Jesus.
ii. The answer is that though this prophecy is fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes it also has a later fulfillment in the Antichrist, referring to the time of the end. Antiochus Epiphanes is sometimes called the "antichrist of the Old Testament." He prefigures the Antichrist of the end times.
iii. Just like Antiochus Epiphanes rose to power with force and intrigue, so will the Antichrist. As he persecuted the Jews, so will the Antichrist. As he stopped sacrifice and desecrated the temple, so will the Antichrist. As he seemed to be a complete success, so will the Antichrist. "From what Antiochus did to Jews in his day, therefore, one may know the general pattern of what the Antichrist will do to them in the future." (Wood)
iv. "Greece with all its refinement, culture and art, produced the Old Testament Anti-Christ while the so called Christian nations produce the New Testament Anti-Christ." (Heslop)
c. Some see this Antiochus and Antichrist connection, and some do not. Martin Luther wrote, "This chapter in Daniel refers both to Antiochus and Antichrist." John Calvin wrote, "Hence Luther, indulging his thoughts too freely, refers this passage to the masks of Antichrist."
Also, there are two little horns mentioned in the book of Daniel, one in Daniel 7:8 which rises in the fourth empire, the Roman Empire, as well as the one in Daniel 8:9 which rises in the third empire, or Greece founded by Alexander.
Commentary by John Gill identifies the little horn of Daniel 7 as the Pope, following the Reformers:
I considered the horns,.... The ten horns of the fourth beast; these the prophet particularly looked at, took special notice of them, carefully observed them, their number, form, and situation, and pondered in his mind what should be the meaning of them:
and, behold; while he was attentive to these, and thinking within himself what they should be, something still more wonderful presented:
there came up among them another little horn; not Titus Vespasian, as Jarchi; nor the Turkish empire, as Saadiah; nor Antiochus Epiphanes, as many Christian interpreters; for not a single person or king is meant by a horn, but a kingdom or state, and a succession of governors; as by the other ten horns are meant ten kings or kingdoms; besides, this little horn is a part of the fourth, and not the third beast, to which Antiochus belonged; and was to rise up, not in the third or Grecian monarchy, as he did, but in the fourth and Roman monarchy; and was to continue until the spiritual coming of Christ; or, until his kingdom in a spiritual sense takers place; which is not true of him: and since no other has appeared in the Roman empire, to whom the characters of this horn agree, but antichrist or the pope of Rome, he may be well thought to be intended. Irenaeus (k), an ancient Christian writer, who lived in the second century, interprets it of antichrist; of whom having said many things, has these words:
"Daniel having respect to the end of the last kingdom; that is the last ten kings among whom their kingdom should be divided, upon whom the son of perdition shall come; he says that ten horns shall be upon the beast, and another little horn should rise up in the midst of them; and three horns of the first be rooted out before him; and, "behold", saith he, "in this horn were eyes as the eyes of man", &c.; of whom again the Apostle Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 declaring together the cause of his coming, thus says, "and then shall that wicked one be revealed &c."''
and in a following chapter (l) the same writer observes,
"John the disciple of the Lord in the Revelation hath yet more manifestly signified of the last time, and of those ten kings in it, among whom the empire that now reigns (the Roman empire) shall be divided; declaring what shall be the ten horns, which were seen by Daniel; saying, "the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, &c."; therefore it is manifest, that of these he that is to come shall slay three, and the rest shall be subject to him, and he shall be the eighth among them;''
and Jerom on the place says, that this is the sense of
"all ecclesiastical writers, that when the Roman empire is destroyed, there shall be ten kings who shall divide it among them; and an eleventh shall arise, a little king, who shall conquer three of the ten kings; and having slain them, the other seven shall submit their necks to the conqueror:''
who he further observes is not a devil or demon, but a man, the man of sin, and son of perdition; so as that he dare to sit in the temple of God, making himself as if he was God: now to the Roman antichrist everything here said answers: he is a "horn", possessed of power, strength, authority, and dominion, of which the horn is an emblem; a "little" one, which rose from small beginnings, and came to his ecclesiastic power, from a common pastor or bishop, to be a metropolitan of Italy, and then universal bishop; and to his secular power, which at first was very small, and since increased; and yet in comparison of other horns or kingdoms, but little; though, being allowed to exercise a power within others, is, or at least has been, very formidable: this "came up among" the other horns; when the northern barbarous nations broke into the empire and set up ten kingdoms in it, this little horn sprung up among them; and while they were forming kingdoms for themselves, he was contriving one for himself; they rose at the same time and reigned together; see Revelation 17:12,
before whom, there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; before whom three kings or kingdoms fell, and were subdued as in Daniel 7:20 which, according to Mr. Mede (m), were the kingdoms of the Greeks, of the Longobards, and of the Franks; but, according to Sir Isaac Newton (n), they were the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the senate and dukedom of Rome; or, according to the present bishop of Clogher (o), the Campagnia of Rome, the exarchate of Ravenna, and the region of Pentapolis, which were plucked up by Pipin and Charlemagne, kings of France, and given to the pope; and were confirmed to him by their successor Lewis the pious, and is what is called the patrimony of St. Peter; in memory of which a piece of Mosaic work was made and put up in the pope's palace, representing St. Peter with three keys in his lap; signifying the three keys of the three parts of his patrimony; and to show his sovereignty over them, the pope to this day wears a triple crown:
and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man; in some monstrous births there have been eyes in the knees, and in the belly above the navel (p); but never was there known such a monster as this, to have a horn, and eyes in the horn; horns some monsters have but not eyes in them: these may design the pretended sanctity and religion of the pope of Rome or antichrist, who, though a beast, would be thought to be a man, a religious creature; or his pretended modesty, humanity, and courtesy, when he is all the reverse; or rather his insight into the Scriptures he makes pretension to, setting himself up as an infallible judge of them, and of all controversies: though they seem better to design what he really has than what he pretends to; and may denote his penetration and sagacity, his craft and cunning, and sharp looking out to get power and dominion, temporal and spiritual; and his watchfulness to keep it, that it is not encroached upon, and took away from him; and also all means and instruments by which he inspects his own and others' affairs; particularly the order of the Jesuits, which are his eyes everywhere, spies in all kingdoms and courts, and get intelligence of what is done in the councils and cabinets of princes: how many eyes this horn had is not said; nor is it easy to say how many the pope of Rome has; he has as many as Argus, and more too, and these sharp and piercing:
and a mouth speaking great things as that he is Christ's vicar on earth, Peter's successor, head of the church, and universal bishop; that he is infallible, and cannot err; that he has all power in heaven, earth, and hell; that he can forgive sin, grant indulgences, make new laws, and bind the consciences of men; dispense with the laws of God and men; dispose of kingdoms, and remove and set up kings at pleasure, with many others of the like kind; see Revelation 13:5.
(k) Advers. Haeress, l. 5. c. 25. (l) Ibid. c. 26. (m) Works, B. 4. p. 779. (n) Observations on Daniel, p. 75-78, 80, 88. (o) Inquiry into the Time of the Messiah's coming, p. 28. (p) Vid. Schott. Phyica Curiosa, l. 5. c. 25. p. 711, 712.
If the Pope is the antichrist then Straightshot's Middle Eastern antichrist is ruled out. But there is an antichrist figure in that part of the world too. Lot of different things need sorting out.
This thread has become too confused, you again answered someone else by clicking the Reply to me for instance, so I'm not going to get more involved in it.
I agree that there is also an antichrist figure yet to emerge in the Middle East according to other prophecies, but the prophecy of the little horn rising out of the Roman Empire is definitely the papacy. And the papacy does have an army and is a nation unto itself, though if the Pope recovers the power he used to have in the Holy Roman Empire, which is very possible given the development of the EU and the push for a World Order, all the necessary trappings will no doubt be available.
It's ridiculous to call the RCC defunct when it has 1.2 billion members around the world, not quite as many as Islam but close.
Also no Muslim can be the antichrist because the antichrist presents himself as a Christian, putting himself in the place of Christ among Christ's people. That there is to be a Muslim antichrist type I think is also true.
The Reformers did an excellent job of proving from all the relevant scriptures that the papacy is the antichrist system, which I discovered after I'd considered various other interpretations, so you aren't likely to be able to argue me out of it.