The July 2012 newsletter, “The Bible Says” calls itself ‘the bible answer to your questions’.
Obviously not every question, like “Daddy, where did we dinosaurs come from?” Because this is one of those things that the bible is rather silent about. I strongly suspect the answer is there, but it probably requires thinking outside the box, and that causes great grief to fundamentalists.
Someone had written in asking, “Will the Antichrist be the 12th Imam (Mahdi) that Shia Muslims, particularly the Iranian leadership, are expecting?”
The answers are a compilation from the World Prophetic Ministry research department, and writings from the late Doctors: Howard C. Estep, Dave Breese, Ed Hinson, and “others.”
I am familiar with these names and have read this newsletter for several years now. I made the assumption that their information was good all the time. I was wrong.
The answer to the question asked was a decisive one, “Absolutely not!” They continue: “The bible indicates the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire, meaning that he will come from an area of the old Roman empire. (Daniel 9:26,27)”
If you know my writings at all, then you know I am not going to respond well to an answer like that. I find it domineering, un-insightful, and narrow-minded. So as usual I am going to tear it up.
They base their immediate response on Daniel 9:26,27, so let’s go there.
Daniel 9:26-27 KJV And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Traditional teachings would have us believe that Caesar, the Roman General, ordered the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. When in fact Josephus, the Jewish historian, recorded this scenario in opposition to tradition. Keep in mind that history is almost always a one-sided recollection, and generally portrays the victor in the kindest light. Josephus had no motivation to make Titus look good. So where did we come up with these “traditions”?
Josephus records that an unnamed young man rush to Titus to alert him that the troops were involved with the destruction of the temple and that they had started a fire. Titus, dressed as he was, ran toward the temple, waving one arm, and seeing that this was a salvageable situation ordered the men to put the fire out, for he knew that this would bring no good.
From Josephus writings: The Wars of the Jews.
Book 6, Chapter 4. “And now a certain person came running to Titus, and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire; after him followed all his commanders, and after them followed the several legions, in great astonishment; so there was a great clamor and tumult raised, as was natural upon the disorderly motion of so great an army. Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire. But they did not hear what he said, though he spake so loud, having their ears already dimmed by a greater noise another way; nor did they attend to the signal he made with his hand neither, as still some of them were distracted with fighting, and others with passion. But as for the legions that came running thither, neither any persuasions nor any threatenings could restrain their violence, but each one’s own passion was his commander at this time; and as they were crowding into the temple together, many of them were trampled on by one another, while a great number fell among the ruins of the cloisters, which were still hot and smoking, and were destroyed in the same miserable way with those whom they had conquered; and when they were come near the holy house, they made as if they did not so much as hear Caesar’s orders to the contrary; but they encouraged those that were before them to set it on fire.”
I have been told that Josephus tells us that by 69AD the conscript troops, taken from surrounding areas, outnumbered the Italians by a 5:1 ratio. These troops according to Josephus were Syrians and Arabians, and demonstrated their hatred of the Jews at every opportunity. The number of Assyrians within the ranks, wearing Roman uniforms, by the time of the temples destruction could have been as high as 60000. Josephus tells us that these troops quickly weighed their punishment for disobedience against their hatred of the Jews and ignored the orders coming from Titus, throwing more fuel on the fire. If we are going to use Daniel to back up our claim of a revised Roman Empire then we really should consider history. Yes, the temple was destroyed, but who destroyed it? Caesar? While not exactly a benevolent ruler by any stretch, it was Assyrians. Instead of merely accepting what tradition has taught us, we need to consider what historical record makes clear. I have yet to find that wording of such an exact nature, but Josephus did make it clear that there were three legions involved in the siege, and another source indicated four legions. Estimates on the number of troops are as high as 80,000.
Keep in mind that the portion of passage the prophecy teachers anchor upon is “the people of the prince that shall come”. While clearly an aspect of what Daniel saw appears to have been fulfilled; but if you have an understanding of end times events to any degree then you should also realize that this is still a future event.
One of the things I have learned is that to the Jewish mind prophecy is pattern, and God spent a tremendous amount of time speaking to a Jewish audience; we just happen to be privileged to be included in that.
Ascribing all these characteristics to Europe does not fit, it never has, and this false assumption has kept the majority of the church in confusion for two thousand plus years. Not to mention that we have not been taught to pray for the correct things, the persecuted church, and restraints against the antichrist and his followers.
A secondary problem I have with the response the authors of the newsletter gave, is that they are all dead. Those that write as staff may be very intelligent, but if they are merely emulating previous leadership then what does that accomplish. We have entire nations that do that; Cuba for example.
If the leadership is good and the information being propagated is sound, then the recipients will be sound, but all you have to do is look around you and you know that is not the case. The church is no more vibrant than it was before; oh sure, there are a handful of people who are consciously trying to maintain the oil in their lamps but the majority do not want to hear that the Lord’s return in imminent.
How, or why would you wish to come off with such an incorrect and closed-minded answer – Note the way they responded to a legitimate question: “Absolutely Not!” Perhaps that is exactly what many of these dead guys would have said, especially if they are going to cling to Daniel 9:26, 27 as the end all to the question. Again, if the those that have passed on left us with good information then let’s continue to use it as our foundation. But if is not right or based in some incorrect logic and a potential lack of understanding then NO!
No one had ever pointed out to me that Josephus had recorded such information about the temple being destroyed by Assyrians within the ranks of the Roman troops. To ignore such information demonstrates an insincerity in proclaiming the truth, and leads to cultish practices in which the followers are kept in the dark trusting in this man alone as the one to regurgitate the necessary information that they think I need.
God gave us brains and logical thought so that we can look around the corner and make sure that there is nothing hidden on the other side of the fence. We are not looking some new and great revelation, I believe that the information is all there, but things in the world have changed so rapidly that we cannot ignore them. When I was a child we did not crawl under desks because of earthquake preparedness, we did drills in case of nuclear war. Why? Because Cuba, 90 miles off our shoreline had nuclear missiles supplied by Russia. Russia and East Germany were scary monsters but then two things happened that seem to change everything. In the late 1970’s Russia seemed to disintegrate, and the Iranian revolution came about. While the tearing down of the Berlin wall was monumental, especially as then President Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” No one seemed to notice or understand what the significance of the Iranian revolution meant. For Iran, and all that eventually followed, it was a return to the effectively dead Caliphate. Mullah’s that lived in secrecy outside of their countries returned as the doors reopened, and in Iran they voted in the Ayatollah Khomeni as the president, or at least ruling authority over it. Those that cleared out of there during those years will tell you how horrible the transition was. Burkhas were not required under the Shah’s rule. Yes it’s true, the Shah was a tyrant in his own right, but he did not force the people to live under sharia law.
Look at another piece of significant information that few of us knew about or understood its significance. The Muslim brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. Why is this significant? Because by treaty the Ottoman caliphate, based in Turkey, was disbanded and outlawed in 1924. The Muslim Brotherhood was instituted to circumvent that. Allow me to give you an overview from Wikipedia.
The Society of the Muslim Brothers (Arabic: جماعة الإخوان المسلمون, often simply: الإخوان المسلمون, “the Muslim Brotherhood”, transliterated: al-ʾiḫwān al-muslimūn) is the Arab world’s most influential and one of the largest Islamic movements, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states.[which?] Founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, by the end of World War II the MB had an estimated two million members. Its ideas had gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work”. Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is “Islam is the solution.”
The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for…ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community… and state” The movement officially opposes violent means to achieve its goals, although it at one time encompassed a paramilitary wing and its members were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents; notably Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha and the movement’s own founder Hassan al-Banna. The movement has been criticized by al-Qaeda for its support for democratic elections rather than armed jihad. The Hamas Party Charter, which describes Hamas as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, ordains that jihad is the individual obligation of every Muslim, that a “peaceful solution” to the “problem” of non-Muslims living in Israel is “inconsistent with the beliefs of the movement”, that infidel (non-Muslim) laws and treaties in Israel are void, and that all Jews and Christians must acknowledge complete Muslim sovereignty over Israel. The charter also states that Zionism is the cause of alcoholism and drug abuse.
The Muslim Brotherhood started as a religious social organization; preaching Islam, teaching the illiterate, setting up hospitals and even launching commercial enterprises. As it continued to rise in influence, starting in 1936, it began to oppose British rule in Egypt. Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the MB of violent killings during this period. After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organization and arrested its members. It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt’s president it was once again banned and repressed. The MB has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre.
The MB is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who work in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries.
Many will read this and think, that doesn’t sound so bad, besides, they have been disbanded several times over. If you think like this then it proves that you live in a hole, or under a rock. Are you not aware that the Muslim Brotherhood just got themselves elected to leadership over Egypt, and that they moved in quickly to fill the void left in Libya after the ouster/death of Muammar Gaddafi.
The brotherhood requires the teaching of the Qur’an, a book filled with hatred and death to all outside of the “religion.” It demands a part of one’s income to finance all actions they take. Though they advocate non-violence on paper, violent Jihad is absolutely a part of who they are, and Taqiya is a way of life and the greatest form of Jihad.
With the obvious changes going on around us, how does one choose to ignore the apparent clarity. You have to choose to not pay attention to details, and choose a level of arrogance that refuses to look outside of your convenient and traditional teaching.
God meant for these things to be understood. The end times are no longer a great mystery. Jesus is Lord and his return is imminent. I urge you find your life in him, for he is hope and salvation, and there is no salvation through any other. Give your life over him and ask him to make himself real to you, and he will.