2/10/09

IS THE EUROPEAN ANTICHRIST A SATANIC MYTH?

By Bill Salus

It sounds like Satan has created a counterfeit Antichrist so the Church would be misled into believing this European Antichrist myth.Rodrigo Silva

This powerful quote was subtly inserted in a lengthy article entitled “Debunking the European Antichrist”. The article was written to rebut an article I had written entitled, “Does Daniel Debunk the Antichrist”. The Daniel article advises that the Antichrist arises out of the Roman Empire. The rebuttal to this article, which was issued by Rodrigo Silva, suggests that the Antichrist will be a Syrian, rather than Roman. The two respective articles are linked below in order of chronological issue.

Does Daniel Debunk the Antichrist by Bill Salus
http://prophecydepot.blogspot.com/2009/01/does-daniel-debunk-assyrian-antichrist.html

Debunking the European Antichrist by Rodrigo Silva
http://raptureready.com/soap/zz-silva.html

The Silva article suggests that the Syrians rather than Romans fulfilled the all - important Daniel 9:26 prophecy. This prophecy deposits the primary clue as to the ancestral origin of the Antichrist. It declares that he will come from the people who would ultimately destroy the city of Jerusalem, and the second Jewish Temple therein. Both Silva and I concur that event was fulfilled in 70 A.D.

The Silva rebuttal states in part that although the Legion X Fretensis, which was partially instrumental in the destruction of the Jewish temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. were subject to Roman command, it was primarily comprised of a Syrian component. Therefore he suggests that the people Daniel referred to were not Romans, rather they were Syrians.

Below are several concluding statements made by Silva in his article evidencing his Syrian Antichrist view.

Now, the fact that the Roman legions that destroyed the city and the Temple (mainly legion X Fretensis) comprised of Syrian soldiers lead us to identify the people of the Antichrist as Syrians, therefore the Antichrist must be a Syrian.

All these historical accounts point to the Syrians of Hellenistic (Greek) and Roman times as Assyrians. Since that is indeed the case, then the people of the prince that shall come, namely the Antichrist were Assyrians so the idea that the Antichrist will be a Roman or European is pure speculation based in assumption and not on Biblical and historical facts.”


I have documented in other articles that the antichrist will be of Assyrian nationality. Bible prophecy leaves no doubt for those who take prophecy literally. Probably the reason this (Assyrian Antichrist) idea has been rejected by almost every prophecy teacher is that most teachers wait for the facts to begin to unfold before they dare to speak.”

Despite all these Bibllical and hitorical facts pointing to the Assyrians in the Roman legions as the people who destroyed the Temple, people still try to find arguments that ''prove'' their point.”

Amidst the backdrop of the above opinionated statements, Silva suggests:

It sounds like Satan has created a counterfeit Antichrist so the Church would be misled into believing this European Antichrist myth.”

My concerns about subjective statements like these above are that they have the inherent potential to cause new and non-believers to stumble. Bear in mind that the Roman Antichrist model has been widely espoused throughout the Christian Church for centuries. Furthermore it still remains the predominant view among many learned Christians. In my estimation Christian conclusions are better presented in a conciliatory objective fashion. This approach tends to promote further investigation into the subject matter by interested parties.

Since Silva draws some of his powerful conclusions from his belief that Legion X Fretensis, although operable under Roman command was comprised of Syrians, I provide the following research links below that positively identify their Roman connection. These links illustrate that Legion X Fretensis had Roman roots, coins, and more, and operated under Roman dominion in 70 A.D. Although Silva is correct in his assertion that Legion X Fetensis has had a minor Syrian connection, the questions one must ask themselves are, was Legion X Fretensis a legion under the command of the Roman Empire at the time of the fulfillment of Daniel 9:26, and were they the only legion involved in the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy?

In the end the goal of this article is not to belittle Rodrigo Silva, who I consider a friend and Christian brother in the LORD, rather it is intended to stimulate readers to open their minds and their Bibles and do their own biblical and extra-biblical research.
………………………………………………………………………….

Rebuttal links for further Legion X Fretensis investigation:

Some Thoughts on "Debunking the European Antichrist" by Rodrigo Silva
Sean Osborne the Associate Director of the Northeast Intelligence Network
http://eschatologytoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-thoughts-on-debunking-european.html

Legion Ten Fretensis Fulfills Bible Prophecy
Sean Osborne the Associate Director of the Northeast Intelligence Network
http://eschatologytoday.blogspot.com/2009/02/legion-ten-fretensis-fulfils-bible.html

STUDIES OF THE HISTORIC LEGIO X FRETENSIS
Terry Nix
http://www.legionten.org/Studies/LXFstudies/LXFstudies.htm

Legion X Fretensis
Jona Lendering
http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/x_fretensis.html

Marcus Ulpius Trajanus – Background of Emperor Trajan
http://www.roman-empire.net/highpoint/trajan-index.html

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your scholarly approach to this debate. I believe the Salus conclusion is far more supportable that Silva's. In fact, it is the remark from Silva that links any conclusion contrary to his as from Satan that will cause readers to discount his thesis from the start. That is not scholarship, it is not supportable and it distracts from an honest examination of ideas. It is a tactic we have seen throughout history--secular and from the church--to eliminate potential debate. It didn't work here and we should call it as it is: poor scholarship presented in a non-Christian manner.
I believe we should do as much as we can to uncover the truth in scripture. Which view will be the correct view? I plan on being in the company of Jesus and fellow believers at a banquet when the answer is revealed.
Ranger Don

Sean Osborne said...

From my perspective there are three basic avenues of approach to investigating or researching the context of the attributes of the Antichrist as prophetically given by the Lord to the prophet Daniel. That Jesus Himself referenced Daniel in His own dialogs on
the subject of the "last days" speaks volumes to the absolute validity of the prophecies
Daniel has provided us. Therefore the Biblical text of Daniel speaks
for itself and is interpreted without error via the Holy Spirit.

The other two avenues are to,(a) search for secular historical records such as those created by the Roman Empire partisan and Jewish eyewitness Flavius Josephus, and (b) those which rely upon Satanically-derived false prophecy from the false religion of Islam.

Regarding the latter, I would like to challenge anyone to find reference within Biblical text that Satan has the same omnipresent, omniscient or omnipotent power of God Almighty.

Those who disagree are invited to tell us where it is stated within the text of the Bible that Satan knows the future in detail or bestows the gift of inerrant prophecy? The answer to this question should be as obvious as brilliant day light as opposed to a moonless and cloud-filled sky at night. It's a no-brainer.

Regarding the secular historical sources cited. Those texts are not under the spiritual admonition as is the text of the Revelation of Jesus Christ... meaning that they may well have been edited or added to, or changed in unknown ways or manners, (i.e. partisan pro-Roman views) which we could not possibly be aware of without direct sourcing to those potential edits or changes to the text. So, those sources of information are taken at face value by the secular world. Yet we all know they are not Biblical, and therefore are
not inerrant. This speaks for itself, and my citing of these secular sources is merely to
"fight fire with fire," so to speak, in that the "eastern leg" proponents rely so heavily
upon these two sources because the Biblical text does not contain such details.

Nevertheless, the secular historical record does contain much supporting information as
to firmly confirm the national or continental identity on the origin of the coming Antichrist and his "Beast" system of global governance.

It is not in the "eastern leg" alone, nor centered on the false Islamic religion, but rather within the sum of both legs and all ten toes of the feet seen in the vision as recounted by Daniel.

It is a resurgent world empire that absorbed the world empires before it in Babylonia (Lion), Medo-Persia (Bear), the Macedonian-Greek Empire of Alexander (Leopard) and then, finally, Rome (Beast).

Why else would the Lord have had Daniel had so explicitly describe to the rise and ultimate division into four part of Alexander the Great's Empire were it not a key
component of the "last days" empire of the Antichrist? This goes without saying that the
template or precursor prototype antichrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, was an ethic
Greek-Macedonian; a direct Greek-Macedonian descendant of Seleucus I Nicator. In modern terms of ethnicity this indicates he will be a European.
Sean
Associate Director
Northeast Intelligence Network
http://www.homelandsecurityus.com
--
non sibi, sed patriae

Nathan Jones said...

Well stated, Bill! Why people get so bent out of shape over the Antichrist's origins, which isn't even secondary doctrine much less primary, is surprising.

For me, the Assyrian Antichrist Theory skates on very thin ice when it bases it's assumptions on the small segment of Syrian soldiers that made up the Roman forces that destroyed the Temple, and then leaps across the pond concluding the Antichrist therefore will be Assyrian and therefore a Muslim. It's like saying the Japanese in WW2 thought they were at war with Nigeria because some of the U.S. troops had ancestry there!

Michael G. Mickey said...

Hi Bill,

Once again, I'm with you on this topic.

God bless you.

In Christ,
Mike
www.rapturealert.com

HammondHank said...

Why not an American AC, since the USA is a direct outgrowth of Europe, founded and populated by Europeans, and modeled laregly upon the roman Republic? We have the world's reserve currency, our military is all over the globe, and we've armed most of it as well. Like Mystery Babylon in Revelation, we have become a corrupt harlot, and export our corruption more than Christianity. What say the rest of you?

Joel Richardson said...

Hi guys,

I just have to chime in again. First I would like to highlight that discussing what the Bible says about these things is critical in this hour. It is all of our duties. As far as any personal attacks, so far, I have been called very misleading and a gnostic who should be kicked out of the Church. I have to chuckle at these things. I think that we can discuss the facts without getting personal or crazy as some seem to militate toward. So Amen to civility. The Body of Christ deserves as much.

Now to the issues: regarding Daniel 9:26, you all (my Roman End Time Theorist brothers)seem to be purposefully ignoring the historical record. Josephus makes it quite clear that the MAJORITY of the soldiers stationed in Judea roughly two years before the Temple was destroyed were Syrians. I am not sure how it could have been stated any more clearly:

The greatest part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it. - The Wars of The Jews: History of the Destruction of Jerusalem By Flavius Josephus Trans.William Whiston BOOK II: CHAPTER 13:Para 7

Now, Josephus is not talking here about the auxiliaries but the actual legions. The majority of the legions were Syrians. The auxiliaries who made up an even greater portion of the armies that destroyed the Temple were virtually all Syrians and Arabs. There were more Arabs (over six thousand) than an entire legion (usually around 5,000). So the overarching vast majority of the "people" that destroyed the Temple were in fact Syrians. Please, lets at least stick to the facts. There is not need to tweak the historical record to suit an argument. Otherwise we become like these snake handlers who claim that it was Satan that planted Dinosaur bones in the earth so as to deceive mankind. No need to fight against the clear historical record. Remember, as Dr. Fruchtenbaum accurately highlights in his recent interview with Bill, the Hebrew word in the verse is "am". This refers to the ethnic makeup of the people. If for instance a group of Arab Americans attacked a Jew, and the police asked what "ethnicity" the attackers were, he would say that they were Arabs. He would not say that they were Americans and that is that. The word used is not Mamlakah Nagiyd (Nation of the Prince) but Am Nagiyd (People of the Prince). We need to submit to the language in the passage, not demand that it say what we wish it to say. Of course, the Middle Eastern Antichrist theory is not at all rooted in one or two passages as is the European Theory. But this verse along with Daniel 2, are the sole supporting pillars of Roman position. The Middle Eastern End Time Paradigm is founded on wealth of passages that all point in the same direction. The Roman End Time position is founded on a misinterpretation of two passages and then demands that the multitude of conflicting passages conform to (a misinterpretation of) these two passages. That is how cults form false doctrines, but it is not responsible hermeneutics.

Beyond this, Rodrigo I think handily disproved Dr. Reagan's (and thus also Bill's) claims that it was the Roman Generals who ordered and carried out the destruction. Likewise I quite thoroughly showed that Dr. Reagan majorly missed it in his claim that no Sunnis look for a Mahdi. Yet instead of simply admitting that you were wrong, intead I see a greater effort to go after us as in this article. Humility goes a long way with God and man. We all make mistakes. As I have been telling my eight year old, just admit it and move on. I do it all the time. No biggy.

Many Blessings, Joel Richardson

Bill Salus said...

Joel thanks for chiming in. I appreciate the fact that you are attempting to keep the dialogue alive and that you are taking the more conciliatory civil approach. However I do think your comment, “That is how cults form false doctrines, but it is not responsible hermeneutics”, is borderline and hardly constructive. Also schooling scholars with PhD’s and / or other degrees of higher education as if they know no better than an 8 year old lacks wisdom and appears sarcastic rather than scholastic.

You mention Dr. Fructenbaum in your blog; it is my understanding that he espouses the European Antichrist. In fact I have a confidential email from him that was issued to me in response to some Walid Shoebat dialogue once upon a time telling me that Walid’s eastern Antichrist argument was errant in his estimation. In this email in concert with his books, lectures, tapes and other methods of teaching Dr. Fruchtenbaum confirms his view that the antichrist will be of Roman descent.

I can appreciate your commitment to your Islamic view of the Antichrist and realize that you have invested numerous hours of study time to this postulation, for your camp’s sake I hope this time was well spent. However from my perspective being a Pre-Tribber I don’t find this topic to be, as you suggest, “critical in this hour”. I don’t expect to be here during much of this Beast’s time of tenure. Furthermore your camp absolutely has to argue a Syrian fulfillment of Daniel 9:26 since it this the most pivotal passage within the entirety of scripture that informs us of the origin of the Antichrist.

In the past I answered your Micah question, so if I may, let me ask you where do you put the Psalm 83 Arab Confederacy upon the prophetic time line, and where do you put the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1, Obadiah 1:18, Ezekiel 25:14, Ezekiel 37:10, and Jeremiah 49:2, all of which I believe could be connected to a Pre-Trib fulfillment of Psalm 83? If you believe Isaiah 17:1 the destruction of Damascus, the capitol of Syria, occurs prior to the Tribulation and / or the Armageddon campaign wouldn’t this stumble your Assyrian Muslim Antichrist perspective slightly?

Lastly, I have enjoyed your Jewishvoice.org (JV) television panel sessions with Jonathan Bernice. All of you do bring a gift to the table, not that I agree entirely with your personal views of end time Islam, however I do recognize and appreciate your and Walid’s insights into the subject matter. Israel from JV tells me that book sales of God’s War on Terror are going well. I just got back from filming on JV television myself and I believe the segments will air in April. Don’t worry my program didn’t refute yours, however perhaps our differing views will cause people to inquire more deeply into Islamic and Mideast prophetic matters.

Blessings from Isralestine my brother in Christ
Bill

Rapture Forums said...

Hi Bill,
Keep up the good work on your articles. I think you and Dr. Reagan have hit the head on the nail with your articles. I don't see any support for a "eastern" antichrist figure either. Most verses thrown out as support for an "eastern" antichrist figure have been fulfilled prophecy in the past.

Keep up the good work and God bless you.

Chris

Joel Richardson said...

Bill,

Thanks as well. First, regarding my comments to the effect that relying on one or two verses to support such a massive world view is "irresponsible" I simply have to stand on. What else could i be called? Let me give you an example: Years ago I used to deal a lot with the Boston Church of Christ movement / cult. Among their aberrant doctrines was the claim that it is the actual act of Baptism that saves someone - specifically into their group of course. But they would always cite 1 Peter 3:20-21 stating that "Baptism now saves you". If you only read this one verse, you could say that it emphatically settles the issue. One could say that it is pivotal. But as a student of the Word, I looked up 72 other verses from Genesis to Revelation that state quite clearly that we are saved through faith. Now, responsible hermeneutics says that we must reconcile these two seeming contradictions, but that the 72 verses certainly weigh more heavily than does the one verse in 1 Peter. Likewise, with the discussion of the end times, one cannot base an entire end time world view on two highly debate-able passages. Particularly when the overwhelming abundant evidence throughout the Old Testament points to the Middle East. So my use of "irresponsible" I simply have to stand on. Likewise the refusal to acknowledge that I corrected Dr. Reagan's claim regarding Sunnis not looking for a Mahdi or Rodrigo's correction of Reagan's or your claim that it was in fact the Roman generals that both commanded and carried the Destruction of Temple and also my correction of the notion that it was Italians that made up the bulk of the armies when the contemporary historical sources clearly show that they were Syrians is a problem. Personally I hold the responsibility of being a teacher very seriously. The Bible says that we will be judged more harshly. That should scare the tar out of anyone who presumes to be a teacher.

Now, back to the issue at hand. I am well aware of where Dr. Fruchtenbaum stands. I am confident that I could change his mind if we had the opportunity to chat as he knows his Scriptures and I believe that he is humble. But that issue aside, my reference to Fruchtenbaum was to cite the fact that Daniel 9:26 is referring to ethnicity and not the hegemony of which Empire the peoples were under. Now, in order to hold to the position that you hold on this verse, you must either one; deny Josephus' very direct statement that "the greatest part of the [Roman] Garrison was raised out of Syria" and that the peoples were of Syrian ethnicity or you must deny Fruchtenbaum's claim that the passage is even referring to the ethnic make-up of the peoples. So would you at least be willing to acknowledge that this verse at best is debate-able and that upon further investigation actually is not the best support for a European Antichrist after all? Would you at least acknowledge that it is debate-able?

Now, regarding your questions, I will gladly answer them if you would first address some of the questions that I have posed to you which have as yet gone unanswered. Earlier I asked you that if you believe he Gog Magog coalition of Ezekiel 38 is utterly destroyed prior to the trib (or sometime early on) then will any of the Gog Magog nations survive to be followers of the Antichrist and His coalition? Do you now admit that it was not in fact the Roman Commanders that ordered and carried out the destruction of the Temple but rather the soldiers who acted apart from the orders of Titus because of their hatred of the Jewish peoples? In other words, do you acknowledge that Rodrigo's article corrected your and Reagan's claims on this issue? For me personally, I need to see some evidence of a willingness to seek truth rather than defend one's position before I will answer someone's questions. I hope you understand.

Cheers, Joel

Joel Richardson said...

Chris (Rapture Forums),

Hi Bro. I do not know you but if you would allow me to take up your challenge. Let's just pull one verse out randomly:

And now, behold… I will advise you what this people (the Hebrews) will do to your people (Midianites / Moabites) in the days to come (literally “the End-Times”)… I see him (Jesus), but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong. - Numbers 24:14,17-19

What's your take? A Messianic Propehcy or not? Fulfilled in History or not? Moabites, Midianites: Allegorical of Europe or not?

Forgive me for asking, but I have simply never heard anyone walk through any of these kind of passages. I could cite dozens.

Anyway, Bless ya, Joel

SeanOsborne said...

First of all, I have to concur with Bill Salus opening statement concerning the demeaning and dismissive tone of Joel's comment above. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

I also have to take issue with this blatant error of omission:

" Now to the issues: regarding Daniel 9:26, you all (my Roman End Time Theorist brothers)seem to be purposefully ignoring the historical record. Josephus makes it quite clear that the MAJORITY of the soldiers stationed in Judea roughly two years before the Temple was destroyed were Syrians. I am not sure how it could have been stated any more clearly:

The greatest part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it. - The Wars of The Jews: History of the Destruction of Jerusalem By Flavius Josephus Trans.William Whiston BOOK II: CHAPTER 13:Para 7
"

Talk about ignoring the historical record... C'mon Joel, why the need to be so selective and exclusionary in your citing of Flavius Josephus???

In the same text of CH II Para 7 that you cite Josephus clearly stated that the garrison he was making note of was in the town of Caesarea - not Jersusalem. The title Josephus gave to that 7th Para was "THE JEWS AND SYRIANS HAVE A CONTEST AT CESAREA."

So now we see come to learn the events in Caesarea are the focus of that entire paragraph. So yes, please, let's stick to the facts. They do just fine by themselves when quoted in the context of the entire paragraph.

For eveeryone's benefit here's a good link to read the works of the Roman partisan Flavius Josephus for yourselves.

But there's a larger issue invloved here, and my research makes a very specific point that is grossly overlooked by "eastern leg" proponents, and is also directly related to the out-of-context point you tried and failed to make above.

Your error is due to a critical lack of diligent research. Had you conducted such research you would know that the towns of
Raphanae and Caesarea were garrisoned by the remnants of Legio XII Fulminata (Thunderbolt) - the most disgraced legion in the Roman Army during the era of which we are concerned 60-70 AD.

This Legio XII was so disgraced that it was not permitted to take part in the second phase of the war against Armenia and Parthia in 62/63 AD because the Parthians had defeated them so soundly in the initial battles and ultimately forced the Legio into total surrender.

Then just three years later, in 66 AD, at the battle of Beth Horon against the Jewish army led by Eleazor ben Simon, the LXIIF was all but virtually annihilated and their prized aquila (eagle standard) was taken as a war prize by the victorious Jews.

This is the garrison Of which Josephus is speaking in the text cited above.

It was the LXF, as correctly cited by Rodrigo Silva, which was freshly re-levied and manned by native Italian soldiers from Venice, that came out of its exclusively Macedonian/Greek/Roman garrison town of Cyrrhus along with Legio V and Legio XV who bore the brunt of the ground combat in the sack of Jerusalem and the Temple between 66 and 70 AD.

This "Syrians and Arabs" nonsense is actually becoming quite laughable even when placed in the light of the secular historical records, and none of which, I remind you, are the Gospel truth about anything regarding Bible prophecy.

What the Bible does say is that the last days Beast empire is comprised of two legs and ten toes. How you "eastern leg" proponets think you can stand tall on just one leg and five toes is truly a feat of amazing exegetical acrobatics. That you teach this kind of nonsense is what I stand against because it leads to bigger problems down the prophetic road.

Joel Richardson said...

Sean,

With all due respect, I was speaking with Bill not you. But because our posts were all posted at the same moment, I can only assume that Bill sent you my comments last evening and that you worked on this in Bill's proxy last evening. You couldn't have written your post instantaneously without having first read my comments. All said, I do not at all sense that you are being reasonable or in a spirit of seeking truth but are rather simply determined to defend your position and throw out some jabs in the process. Maybe the old military guy in you? But seriously, you've called me a Gnostic and yet you try to correct me for my "tone"? What can I say?

All said, you have continually moved the goal posts. First you adamantly stated that only Italians could be legionnaires. I assume you are finally willing to admit that that was wrong? I have shown that virtually all of the auxiliaries (that far outnumbered the Legions) were Syrian and Arab. I have shown conclusively that at least one of the Legions that was stationed in Judea during this period were primarily Syrians. Any research will show that the other Legions that were also stationed either in Judea or Syria at the time were also Syrian. Yet you keep fighting on as if this is a fight at all. We should have the same goal, which is truth. I'm glad that you are at least finally willing to admit that at least one of the main legions that sacked J'lem was Syrian. So thus far, we agree that of the roughly 60,000 troops that sacked J'lem, including the legions and the auxiliaries, at least the roughly 37,000 auxiliaries were Syrians and Arabs. And now you are also willing to at least admit that one of the legions (another roughly 5,000) were Syrians. So thus far you are at least willing to admit that well over 2/3 were Syrian and Arab. Despite what your ever changing research is now telling you, keep studying and please pray as you do so. I assure you that eventually you will at least secretly agree that this alleged pillar of the Roman Paradigm is very week at best. You are on your way my stubborn brother. :)

The Bible says to bless those that curse you.

Bless you Sean,

Joel

Bill Salus said...

Joel Richardson – as always, thanks for blogging. Due to February radio and writing deadlines, I will likely have little time left to continue this discussion, so let me end in candor. I will however attempt to post the conciliatory formatted blogs to this article that come in during the month of February. All I ask from everyone is that the blogs are tasteful and not demanding of my moderation time.

I admire your zealousness to change Dr. Fruchtenbaum's view of the origin of the Antichrist, but you have failed to move me into your camp, and will likely experience a greater degree of difficulty in attempting to move my friend Arnold. Additionally I admire and respect you and do not consider you a misleading Gnostic who should be kicked out of the Church. As you know from your blog review of the blogs posted under my Does Daniel Debunk the Assyrian Antichrist article that I always attempted to keep bloggers on the fair and balanced side.

Regarding your Gog Magog coalition questions: I apologize I don’t recall receiving your request, however below is my answer to your blog question. Sequentially I subscribe to Psalm 83 occurring prior to Ezekiel 38 & 39, and then Ez. 38 & 39 occurring at least 3.5 years before the 7 year Tribulation period. I have numerous articles that can be viewed regarding my reasons at http://isralestine-blog.blogspot.com/2009/01/psalm-83-prophecy-arab-israeli-war-is.html

I do believe that the Magog coalition is divinely decisively defeated, however the Bible doesn’t tell us if the entireties of the nine populations are entirely annihilated. If not then some of those citizens could enjoin with the Antichrist. However I, like Joel Rosenberg, see Islam beginning to decline rapidly after the defeat of the Magog coalition. I add to this the sentiment that the decline of Islam begins in the aftermath of the Israeli Conquest over the Psalm 83 nations prior to the Magog invasion. With the decline of Islam in motion prior to the Tribulation, I don’t see the Harlot of Revelation 17 as being the magic carpet that some Islamic Antichrist rides in upon.

Regarding my view on the debate-ability of our differing perspectives: First let me state that it is my personal researched view that the Assyrian Antichrist advocates tend to err on the side of being obstinate in their opinion of the origin of the Antichrist. I understand the likely reason for this is that the Assyrian camp is attempting to change a century old way of paradigm thinking. I don’t fault them for that if they feel they are right.

However I have generally seen no inkling from the Assyrian camp toward humility, rather it is all about argumentative victory. I have recently turned down a second invitation to debate Walid Shoebat through Ray Gano because I have no interest in debating, nor do I think it would be fruitful. Unfortunately Walid has recently reduced himself to name-calling. In my estimation this was a sad turn of events since Walid should be highly revered for his conversion to Christianity and his Islamic – Terrorism – Jihad expertise. You can read his recent “Pin-Head” comments all over the Internet by simply google searching “Sean Osborne Walid Shoebat pinhead”.

To answer your question I think all things excepting Christian doctrinal issues are debatable however my concerns are the way many debates are conducted. Let me give you the classic example:

Mr. Debater: The moon is made of cheese.

Anonymous: No it's not.

Mr. Debater: Can you prove it, Mr. Anonymous?

Anonymous: Everyone accepts the fact that the moon is made of rock.
Mr. Debater: Just because everyone accepts that view, does that prove it is right, Mr. Anonymous?

Anonymous: No, but I accept that view.

Mr. Debater: What color is the moon, Mr. Anonymous?

Anonymous: White.

Mr. Debater: Exactly! And milk is made from cream and so is cheese and milk is white. Therefore you would have to admit that there is the possibility that the moon is made of cheese if you have an open mind. Right?

Anonymous: Just because the moon is white and milk is white does not mean it is made of cheese.

Mr. Debater: You yourself admitted that the moon was white and that just because others share a common view that it is made of rock, does not make a fact. You admitted that in your own words. If you cannot admit that my view is not possible because it does not go along with many others, you are proving my point that you are not open minded!

Anonymous: I am very open-minded!

Mr. Debater: So you admit that other people’s views can be just as valid, that is if you keep an open mind?

Anonymous: Well, yes.

Mr. Debater: I WIN!

In closing perhaps someday we can spend more time sharing our and others interpretations of prophetic scriptures like Ezekiel 25:14, 37:10, Psalm 83, Isaiah 17:1, Obadiah 1:19, Jeremiah 49:2, 49:23-27, Amos 1:3-5, and Numbers 24:14,17-19, but for now God bless and keep pressing on. As you can see your efforts do have people stimulated to be like Bereans.

Blessings from Isralestine
Bill

Bill Salus said...

Joel - A quick note. I don't send Sean Osborne your blogs prior to posting. The Osborne blogs you are addressing came in unsolicited.

Anonymous said...

It is time to put this to rest for awhile while all sides re-examine their positions in light of counterarguments. Emotions are running high and this is getting divisive.
As for the debate, I have not changed my mind since the first comment was published above. Joel, you are losing more points than the others based on your confrontational style. That doesn't mean you are wrong in your ultimate conclusion. I am the least among you in terms of scholarly knowledge, but I am trying to study both sides with an open mind and a Biblical approach.
At this point in the debate I am relying on my 22 years as a military officer and combat veteran to state that I could care less if they were 100% Syrian, Ethiopian or Eskimo. What matters is what/who was the final authority? All of the debaters have rightly concluded that Rome is the answer. Roman Legion. Relying on my military background is certainly not Biblical, but you will have to convince me that the chain of command is irrelevant and that the original language clearly ignores that principle that the Roman Legions clearly adhered to and is specific in stating the Syrian makeup of the unit is the singular focus.
I'll see all of you at the banquet.
Ranger Don

Sean Osborne said...

Joel,

With all due respect in return, anything blogged in this very public venue can be responded to by anyone. So, no sir, you were not having a private conversation by any stretch of the imagination.

You are incorrect in your assertion that Bill sent me anything and that my blog above was a proxy response. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I come here on a routine basis to read ALL comments. Your comments I found to have the obvious and subsequently responded to flaws. Please do not be so quick to arrive at hastily and completely unfounded conclusions.

My response was quite simple to craft as it was composed of research I've completed over the past several weeks and includes new data just recently acquired. Most, if not all, of the sources of this data are included in Bill's article above, others are on my blog.

And I didn't call you a "gnostic". I agreed completely with our dear sister from across the pond that first used that term. I then made specific reference in how I apply a particular definition of that term to the manner in which most of the "eastern leg" proponents conduct themselves.

I am not here to defend anything but sound, Bible-based exegesis. It is your 'eastern leg' clique which has gone to great lengths to cite beau coup extra-Biblical sourcing in a vain attempt to defend an indefensible exegesis.

That I apply every microgram of training, research and analysis tool as bequeathed by Uncle Sam's finest instructors is a testament to the God-Honor-Country brand of professionalism members of the US Armed Forces and the public-at-large hold as near-sacred. That I use these tools in the service of the Lord should come as no surprise to anyone. That you would attempt (and fail) to cheapen this also comes as no surprise.

As for what "you" have shown - you have shown no such thing. The secular historical data in my responses refute these claims soundly. LXF was composed of fresh troops from the Venice region of Italy; it was garrisoned in Cyrrhus, an exclusive, over three-hundred0year old Macedonian/Greek/Roman colony whose ruins are found about 14 km northwest of Kilis, Turkey, near the Syrian border.

I have also further demonstrated that the historical record show that after the sack of Jerusalem and after Masada, the LXF deployed further to the south, to the ancient Roman town of Aila, whose ruins have been discovered within modern day Aqaba, Jordan. LXF was specifically deployed to Aila at the end of the third century AD to ward off any possible Arab invasion. How ludicrous is the proposition that a Roman legion comprised, as you claim, of "Syrians and Arabs" would be deployed to ward off an invasion by their ethic Ishmaelite brethren?

There was nothing ethnically "Syrian" or "Arab" about Legio X Fretensis.

It was purely a Roman legion commanded by purely Roman combat commanders and it marched under Roman Empire banners. This goes for Legio V Macedonica and Legio XV Apollinaris. Both of these legions were levied staffed by soldiers from Illyricum (area of the former Yugoslavia) and Oescus (modern day Moesia/Bulgaria).

And here is a not-so-subtle hint for you... all of these ROMAN legions were staffed by soldiers who were ethnic Europeans.

Using the convoluted logic applied in this discussion by 'eastern leg' proponents, American forces coming out of Saudi Arabia in 1991 and out of Kuwait in 2003 in the invasions of Iraq, would not be seen as American soldiers under American commanders flying an American flag, but as "Arabs." That would be an absolutely preposterous position to take, would it not?

Roman legions of that era operated in the same manner. To suggest that Roman citizen soldiers, under Roman commanders, fighting under their Roman Aquila eagle standards coming into Judea from an adjacent Roman province would be "Arab" is just as preposterous.

As far as I am concerned the 'eastern leg' proponents don't have a "leg" to stand on, never did, and never will. You simply cannot amputate the world empires vision statue interpreted by Daniel and expect any true believer buy into such nonsense.

Go with God,
Sean

Joel Richardson said...

Bill,

A few quickies before I take my Sunday afternoon nap:

"Roman records of identification for Legio X cover a time period of 250 years... Shortly [after 58], Legio X was moved to Cilicia (now located in southeast Turkey). Then in 63 AD Legio X was ordered to return to Syria. In 66 AD, the emperor Nero had planned an expedition against the Ethiopians in Africa. Thus Legio X, along with the Legio V Macedonia, found themselves stationed in Alexandria, Egypt. But a Jewish rebellion necessitated their deployment into Judaea. At first they were to set up a winter camp at Ptolemais. Due to the large number of legions being mobilized here, Legio X relocated to the port city of CAESAREA, in Samaria...

Vespasian departed for Judaea. In the campaign to capture Jerusalem, Vespasian had gathered together squads of cavalry from CAESAREA AND SYRIA...

[in 67 A.D.] Vespasian made haste to return to CAESAREA, for his winter headquarters with two of his legions, Legio X and Legio V"

Okay now, in the few years leading up to 70 A.D., we know that both Legio X Fretensis and Legio V Macedonia were garrisoned in... CAESAREA.

Speaking of those Roman Soldiers garrisoned in Caesarea during these exact years, Josephus tells us that "the greatest number of the Roman Garrisons were raised out of Syria"... exactly where they had been garrisoned for the previous few decades...

Blessings, Joel

P.S. Sean, Despite my previous somewhat testy early morning post, having now returned from Church, I will just say that if I ever get ahold of you, I'm going to effortlessly twist your arm behind your back and force you to sing worship songs with me just to put things into their proper perspective. :)

Mike L. said...

lol. Go get em' joel. Good sport in the Lion's den.

Sean Osborne said...

Joel,

Please check your calendar and your beloved Roman partisan Josephus' records again.

The disturbance in Caesarea that you cited from Josephus Book II Ch 13 Para 7 is easily dated by reading the first nine (9) words of the first sentence of the following Chapter 14, wherein Josephus states:

"NOW it was that Festus succeeded Felix as procurator..."

Clearly the disturbance in Caesarea occured some time prior to Felix' replacement by Porcius Festus, and the year of this change of Roman procurators occured in 58 AD.

How is it possible that Legio X was in Cilicia and Caesarea before or during c. 58 AD?

Simply put, you've made yet another glaring error. Vespasian and his Roman legions would not move into Caesarea on the winter-over occasion that you cite until a good eight (8) years later.

Joel, we can sing praises to the Lord God together and I look forward to such a time, however my brother, the historical facts continue to point west in the European direction.

In Jesus Name,

Sean Osborne

Bill Salus said...

Joel Richardson– Ray Gano sent me his PZ newsletter and I noticed you labeled me as a student of Dr. Reagan’s. I’m honored but that is not the case. In fact Dr. Reagan has commended me for my Isralestine discoveries, which he has stated contains “NEW INSIGHTS” and he has endorsed whole-heartedly. Additionally you say that I’m writing negative articles about the subject matter. When will you realize that not everyone is fond of your teaching, nor do they believe your exegesis is sound?

My articles aren’t negative, they are sound, and my blog responses to your blog comments have been fair, balanced and kind. I conclude herein that you seek to stand tall by making others look small, and that rather than pulling the speck out of your own eye, you seek to poke out the eye of those who disagree with your teaching.

You require a Muslim Messiah to come around the prophetic corner or else the majority of your teaching, as I understand it, will become void. This is not the case for me. Besides the fact that I don’t believe I will be here when he arrives in his beastly power, his origin is irrelevant to the discoveries contained in Isralestine. Sit tight and watch Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 unfold and your teachings will likely evaporate in the aftermath.

Bill

Joel said...

Sean,

Ready for this? You are almost right. I am off a few years. As are you. Festus succeeded Felix in 60, not 68 as I claimed, nor 58 as you claimed. So this was eight years before the troops started gathering in Judea to quell the revolt... However... this does not erase the fact all four of the legions including Fretensis were garrisoned in Syria during this whole time period. And that is the elephant in the room. In the end, we still have the indisputable fact that well over 2/3's of the soldiers (including both Auxiliaries and Legionnaires) were Syrians and Arabs. Again, anyone can Google any number of articles that will clearly show that Fretensis, and the others were garrisoned in Syria for many years before this event. Fretensis from 6-66 A.D. And anyone can study the reforms of Augustus in the early part of the 1st Century to deal with the fact that there were not enough Italians to man the fringes of what had become by then such a vast empire. As such, (as is clearly evident with the Legions in Caesarea (as mentioned by Josephus, your enemy) the bulk of the soldiers during this period on the eastern front were recruited from among the eastern locals. Its actually quite simple. No where can you show me a reference that states that these were Italians. Not one. Zero. Repeatedly stating that they were "Romans" is a complete red herring because I fully agree with you. This is not disputed. But Roman is not an ethnic identity, anymore than identifying someones American citizenship can identify their ethnicity. My grandmother on my mothers side was an American. Tell me what her ethnicity was. Bingo. She was Polish. This is actually a fairly simple issue.

So we have come a long way from your initial claims that every soldier was strictly Italian. I am doubtful that you will ever acknowledge this, but at least I believe that we are in agrement that the majority of the soldiers were Syrians with more than an entire legions-worth of Arabs swelling their ranks. Throughout the litearture, we read over and over about the hatred that existed between the Syrians, Arabs and the Jews. The picture that is painted is a farily straight forward one. They chose their hatred of the Jews over their fear of obeying Titus. But again, in the end, far more importantly, I'm glad that you would worship together with me. If we ever end up at some conference, I'm sitting next to you. Truth is critical. But without His Love we are both just clanging symbols.


Bless You, Joel

Rapture Forums said...

Joel,
Hi! Nice to meet you. :-)

To answer your question, I thought I'd randomly refer to two noted Bible teachers that are not in the current East vs. West debate and see what they said on those verses.

In regards to your Numbers 24:14,17-19 verses Dr. John MacArthur notes that "All incidents recorded in 1:1-14:45 occur in 1444BC, the year after the Exodus. Everything referred to after 20:1 is dated ca. 1406/1405 BC, the fortieth year after the Exodus. The laws and events found in 15:1-19:22 are undated, but probably all should be dated ca. 1443 to 1407 BC. The lack of material devoted to this 37 year period, in comparison with the other years of the journey from Egypt to Canaan, communicates how wasted these years were because of Israel's rebellion against the Lord and his consequent judgment."

So, from Dr. MacArthur's commentary it appears that these are events that occured in the past.

Dr. John Walvoord, in his book "Every Prophecy of the Bible", states for Numbers 22:1-24:25 "The Prophecies of Balaam" that "Balak, who was king of Moab, attempted to hire Balaam, a prophet, to curse Israel. Balaam was induced to attempt to prophecy curses on Israel. He was kept from doing so and, instead, prophesied blessings upon them as recorded in 23:7-10, 23:18-24; 24:3-9, 15-19, 20-24. This prophetic utterance described the greatness of Israel, her power as a nation, the blessing of God upon her land, and the prediction that she would conquer the Moabites. This was fulfilled in history."

I would agree that it was fulfilled in history. At first glance, I don't see any relation to the AC or eastern leg theory.

As I said before, any attempts to place the AC coming out of the Eastern leg is IMHO just not scripturally sound. Most of the attempts to do so are examples of people unintentionally using the scriptures out of context or out of timeframe to justify a theory that just can't stand upon closer examination. As I noted previously, most popular scripture verses (such as the Assyrian ones) used to promote this theory are from fulfilled prophecy. Which is kind of what you did when you inserted "literally the End Times" into the verses. The end times in those verses does not appear to be in view, but rather it was the current time/events around 1406/1405BC as MacArthur noted.

You might want to pick up a copy of Walvoord's book when you have a chance. It has been a real big help to me in understanding things. It might help you. :-)

God bless.

Chris

Bill Salus said...

Joel - my email is info@isralestine.net for any personal contact you care to make with me. By reducing me to a student stature, it becomes obvious that you are attempting to elevate yourself to the superior teaching status. We both have books released with content that people study, and hence both of us are teachers in that respect. Student or teacher feel free to consider me what you wish. Either shoe fits, I study God's word guided by the Spirit, thus I'm a student and I write what I understand and others learn from it, thus I'm a teacher.

You obviously were belittling Thomas Ice, myself and others in your PZ newsletter article. This is becoming characteristic behavior from your camp. Walid Shoebat is name calling, Rodrigo Silva is labeling European Antichrist advocates as Satanic myth propigators, and now you are belittling scholars. It appears to me that makes three shots in the Eastern Antichrist foot. This type of behavior will soon have a crippling effect.

AUTHOR / LECTURER said...

Sean it is obvious from Joel Richardson's blogs that he will never admit that the Roman Empire was calling the Syrian shots when the Jewish temple and Jerusalem were destroyed. He can't, because his teachings will begin to crumble. At this point I believe your research has given all interested parties much valuable information to learn from and I thank you for that. with that said I encourage you to move on. Should Joel seek to further debate you on the matter I will encourage him to submit his blogs to your site directly.

SeanOsborne said...

Bill,

Indeed I have moved on. The "eastern leg & five toes" theorem has been Biblically and secularly refuted at length. There is no need at this point to beat upon a non-existent Islamic antichrist's corpse.

I have moved on to the technological aspects and supporting structures of the Western-based constructs which will support and serve the Beast in his global domination.

Joel Richardson said...

Chris,

Thanks for your response. I do have Walvoord's book - great book. But it appears that I may not be welcome here any longer. Feel free to e-mail me at menosabe@hotmail.com

Bless You, Joel

Mitchell said...

I wouldn't say that the European Antichrist idea is a satanic myth, if it is incorrect it is just human error. I do admit that after extensive study of Islam and arguments from both sides that there are good points from both camps. HOWEVER, I must also admit that when all is said and done the Islamic Antichrist position is very solid and well articulated imho, and it does make a lot of sense. In fact both positions may seem that way. Each of us need to decide for ourselves what position to hold.

In my case, when studying this topic and coming across books written by Muslim scholars such as "Al Mahdi and the End of Time" (1997), which claims that the Christian Antichrist is their Mahdi from the Book of Revelation, it gives me pause.

On page 16 the writers state, "I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets ... For instance, the Book of Revelation says: 'And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him ... went forth conquering and to conquer.'... It is clear that this man is the Mahdi who will ride the white horse and judge by the Qur’an (with justice) and with whom will be men with marks of prostration (zabiba) on their foreheads.... The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed."

http://store.islamicplace.com/bok634.html

They even claim that this Islamic "Messiah" figure will rule for seven years. Makes you wonder just what other things these Islamic writers/teachers/Imams are preaching to the masses. It ain't pretty folks.

This is a good topic however, but let's please all be kind to one other and defend whatever position we hold with gentleness and with respect. May each of us be willing to receive the Word with all readiness of mind and search the Scriptures daily for the Truth (Acts 17:11). Iron sharpen iron.

Bill Salus said...

Mitchell thanks for the concilliatory blog. Remember that Islam was primarily an invention of the 7th century and is a counterfeit religion. Mohammed attempted to get Jews and Christians to buy into his nonsense. Therefore prophecies already in existence in the Bible were likely discovered by him and interpreted from his misguided mindset with the intent of sounding authoritative and to entice Christians and Jews to come on board with Islam.

Thus any prophetic connections found in the Quran, and / or any facets of Islam are not to be connected to the prophecies of the Bible. This is not to say that Bible prophecy fails to identify the religion of Islam, rather that nothing about Islam has any prophetic creditility. For anyone to connect the Antichrist with Islam through the venue of any Islamic teaching has no merit whatsoever. At best should the Antichrist be a Muslim and, I don't believe he will be, from any Islamic stretch of the imagination this would be a lucky guess.

SeanOsborne said...

Mitchell wrote:
I wouldn't say that the European Antichrist idea is a satanic myth, if it is incorrect it is just human error. I do admit that after extensive study of Islam and arguments from both sides that there are good points from both camps.

Mitchell,
Just when I thought there might be nothing further to discuss on this topic, you raise a new issue that begs to be addressed. Bill’s comments above on the nature of Islam; on the Mohammedan theft and twisting of the God-given Judeo-Christian prophetic texts and all things related to it are absolutely correct from my perspective, and I speak from a position of one who has devoted years of study on the origin of Islam (Submission), it’s theology and resultant ideology.

The point I would like to make with respect to your first sentence is that “just human error” does not fully account for any incorrect exegesis of Bible prophecy. Correct exegesis is provided directly from the text of God’s Word as no part of His Word contradicts any other part of His Word. There is also the interpretive guidance provided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

From this position I hold that incorrect exegesis is impossibility.

The second point I would make is with respect to your second sentence. An extensive study of Islam, and this goes along with what Bill has already stated in part, would result in the knowledge that Islam (Submission) is a false religion based upon impossible lies and absolute satanic deception and forgery of the Judeo-Christian faiths. Not so much as one iota or jot from any Islamic (Submissive) source is worth the ink or media it is transmitted in. Nothing!

The Islamic (Submissive) claim that Gabriel visited Mohammed in the cave of Hira outside Mecca is absolutely false from the get-go.

To contrast this let’s just briefly cite that Moses did in fact receive a direct call from God. On the other hand, Mohammed received a visitation from an impostor, demonic spirit that has been falsely attributed by Islamic (Submissive) sources to have been the angel Gabriel.

The bottom line on the origin of Islam is that in every Biblical account of Gabriel personally delivering a message from God to a human being this angel’s invariable first words to that human being are “do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid, period.

In the visitation to Mohammed the demonic impostor spirit nearly choked or squeezed the young, illiterate Arab to his death and so completely terrorized him that Mohammed fled to his wife Khadigah and begged her to hide him while he trembled uncontrollably, thinking he was possessed. The truth is he was possessed by a demonic spirit.

At this point Khadigah took Mohammed to her cousin, Waraja ibn Nawfal, a priest of the ancient Amunite religious cult in Mecca, who heard the account and promptly proclaimed Mohammed to be a prophet of “Allah,” the equally ancient and false deity of the Arabs.

My the sum of the points I am making here is that there is no way a believing Christian can cite Islamic (Submissive) sources and be able to discern “good points” or any validity whatsoever to the demonstrably false claims of the Islamic Antichrist camp.

Rapture Forums said...

I'd like to say that I completely agree with Bill and Sean here. The Koran and all the related islamic writings are simply the result of a false pagan religion. The Koran is a satanic knock-off of the Bible. Whatever prophecies that maybe in the Koran is simply satanic twisting of God's Word and prophecies from the Bible.

I agree that we should not place a single iota of importance or relevance into the islamic propehcies. Satan wants us to take our eyes off God's word and instead focus on his word which is Islam and every other false pagan religion out there. Satan is the father of lies and that is exactly what pagan religions and their so called holy writings are. Lies!!

We need to keep our eyes and attention solely on the Lord's words contained in the Holy Bible.

God bless you all. :-)

Chris

Joel said...

Bill, Sean, Mitch, Chris,

I am in full agreement regarding the nature and origins of Islam. I cite extensive Islamic source texts to show what Muslims believe, period. After having been an evangelism / missions guy for years, I am well aquainted with Islam teaches and what Muslims believe and only for that reason. Satan is certainly not all-knowing, but he certainly knows what the Bible says about the End times. He has literally set up Muslims to recieve the Antichrist as their Messiah through manipulating the development and evolution of Islamic End time belief.

Chris,

The reason that I inserted "End Times" into the passage is because if you look up the original Hebrew, that is literally what it says: "The End of Times" Most commentaries are clear that the Scepter / Ruler that wil arise from Jacob, in this passage is ultimately a Messianic prophecy and of course, the statement that the prophecy is concerning the End of Times confimrs this.

Bless ya, Joel

Mitchell said...

Bill Salus wrote, "Mitchell thanks for the concilliatory blog. Remember that Islam was primarily an invention of the 7th century and is a counterfeit religion... any prophetic connections found in the Quran, and / or any facets of Islam are not to be connected to the prophecies of the Bible. This is not to say that Bible prophecy fails to identify the religion of Islam, rather that nothing about Islam has any prophetic creditility."

Hi Bill, thank you for your reply. I think that we would all definitely agree with this completely. Though, let me make an additional point or two in this regard if I may -- those who hold the position of an Islamic Antichrist do not give credence to Islamic "prophecy" in the sense that it is divinely inspired. Far from it. As you've alluded to, Islam's eschatology borrows bits and pieces from true Biblical prophecy, but is corrupted with twisted Islamic teachings and is, in fact, antithetical to what the Bible is telling us. I don't think, however, that just because we know that Islam is a false religion that we should arbitrarily ignore what it teaches the masses of Muslim followers, especially in terms of their eschatology. As Christians, we can see Biblical prophecy unfolding before our eyes, such as the creation of Israel in 1948, but since Islam borrows those bits and pieces of true Bible eschatology Muslims will view it as "proof" of their own "Islamic eschatology", and some will even attempt to hasten fulfillment of their twisted beliefs. For instance, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated publicly many times that he wishes to hasten the return of the promised "Rightly Guided One" and is seeking to create the conditions necessary for the return of this Mahdi figure.

It is not the Islamic "prophecies" that Richardson or Shoebat or anyone else gives credence to. From what I have read it is the true prophecies of God-breathed Scripture within the Bible they give credence to. One does not connect Antichrist to Islam because of what Islamic eschatology teaches, but rather because of what Biblical eschatology teaches about the Antichrist.

SeanOsborne said, "The point I would like to make with respect to your first sentence is that “just human error” does not fully account for any incorrect exegesis of Bible prophecy. Correct exegesis is provided directly from the text of God’s Word as no part of His Word contradicts any other part of His Word. There is also the interpretive guidance provided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit."

I think it all depends on the text one is attempting to exegete - what translation, for instance, and are they delving into the original text itself, paying attention to who the author is, etc. I'm not sure that I would say that correct exegesis is always provided directly from the text, because there can always be "sloppy" exegesis and even outdated translations in a few cases (the English language has changed over time, and look at Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses. Their exegetical interpretations are severely lacking). However, I would certainly agree with the second statement of your point in the Scripture does not and cannot contradict Scripture -- and proper exegesis and hermeneutical application of the text bears this out consistently.

I wholeheartedly agree with your second point regarding Islam. It is not God-breathed. It is inspired of devils. It is not Truth. It is poison. It is not prophetic. It is the antithesis to Biblical prophecy. But as I've written above, I do not believe this means that we should therefore arbitrarily turn a blind eye to what this anti-Christ and anti-Truth religion of nearly two billion people strong is indoctrinating within its followers. Its ultimate mission is to spread its ideology throughout the world, to destroy Christianity, to destroy the Jewish nation and take over the Holy Land, until only Islam is left. No wonder why many former Muslims who convert to Christianity and read the prophecies of the Bible often recognize Islam in true Biblical eschatology. The fact that the nations/regions listed in the Bible that Christ destroys when He returns is today an Islamic nation only helps to solidify it for many.

Good discussion friends!

Mitchell

Rapture Forums said...

Joel,
After going back and looking at the Concordance, the word "latter" in the Numbers 24:14 is NOT saying "the end of days" as in reference to the end times. While that is one of the possible meanings depending on the context of the word "latter", I'm afraid you've applied the wrong meaning to the word. Here's the Strong's Concordance definition of the word:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H319&t=KJV

Numbers 24:14 is associated with definition 1b (or term latter - prophetic for future time). This would mean that the word "latter" should actually be translated as "in future days" NOT "the end of days" as you've applied it. This is why some versions of the Bible use the term "in the days to come". The meaning "in future days" could apply to any time period in the future and in this case was fulfilled during the time period of David.

Now, when we apply the appropriate definition to the word, we see why the vast majority of Bible scholars agree that these verses are fulfilled in the past by David.

Further, Jamieson, Fausett, and Brown also concur that it is fulfilled in the past. See this link:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=7&contentID=2022&commInfo=6&topic=Numbers

God bless.

Chris

Watchman Rayburn said...

I believe that both sides of this debate have varying degrees of merit to them. I can say this because history tells us that the Roman Empire was at one time comprised of two regions--the West (Roman) and the East (Byzantine) Empires. Roman territory stretched from as far west as Spain to as far east as Syria, as far north as the British Isles, and as far south as Egypt--including the land of the Greeks.

Various verses in the bible link the origin of the Antichrist to the tribe of Dan. The tribe of Dan being linked as the Spartans/Lacedemonians by a letter from King Arius of Sparta to Onias the High Priest of the Jews [Found at: First Maccabees 12:1-23] and confirmed by Josephus [Found at: Antiquities of the Jews , XII, iv, 10]. The Spartans (Dan) mingled with the Greeks whose empire included Syria.

Verses in the bible allude to the Antichrist coming from the tribe of Dan. One example is below:

"For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. For, behold, I will send serpents, cock-atrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD" [Found at: Jeremiah 8:11-17].

And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan" (Deuteronomy 33:22).

Bashan is the territory east of the Sea of Galilee and northward to Mount Hermon and Damascus (capital of Syria) which is ancient Greek conquered territory.

So, by the way of Dan mingling with the Greeks (including Syria), and later the Greeks mingling with Romans (West and East) we can say that the seed of the Antichrist, by way of the tribe of Dan, is in the people of the Roman Empire including the people of the area of Syria and Bashan.

An excellent and more detailed version of this can be found at: http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/articledetail.asp?Article_ID=185

Joel said...

Hi Chris,

I have the NASB Study Bible which in my footnotes says "Lit: End of Times" So please do not think that I am trying to pull this out of a hat. It is literally "acharyith yawm" the same phrase used in multiple passages throughout the Bible that do (though not always) refer to the ultimate Last days:

Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Dan 8:19 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].

Dan 10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days.

Hsa 3:5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

Etc etc etc.

Many commentaries say that this verse is where the whole Star of Bethlehem prophecy is rooted in and the references to Christ as the Morning star etc come from. So most non prophecy related commentaries do state that this is partially fulled in David, but ltimately in Christ as a Messianic prophecy. A position which I as a futurist that recognizes the partial and ultimate fulfilment of many passages hold to. Anyway, Bless ya, Joel

Rapture Forums said...

Joel,
I am not saying that there is not a messianic type prophecy in the verses we have been talking about. There is a hint of it as Matthew Henry noted that the prophecy had both a "type and anti-type" fulfillment. The type fulfilled by David and the anti-type to be filled later in Christ.

However, outside of that messianic prophecy, the verses and events around it are concerned with events that were fulfilled in David's time, not the future time. As was confirmed by 2Sa 8:2.

While I do agree that "achariyth" yawm can refer to the end times, BUT it's proper use is determined by context. In this case the historical context and other Bible passages (2Sa 8:2) indicated that it was fulfilled in the past.

Latter can mean several things as was illustrated by my previous links I supplied. Those came from Strong's Concordance. This is why the "type and anti-type" teaching is very important to understand. The NIV for example says the proper rendering is "in the days to come". It is just my opinion that after looking at the other Bible translations and the commentaries I have seen from reputable sources, that "future days" is the best interpretation rather than "end of days" that you subscribe to.

God bless.

Chris

Rapture Forums said...

Joel,
Just a quick note to add that 2Sa 8:2 is all paired with 2Sa 8:14 to show that Edom and Moab's fate was fulfilled in the past and is not a future prophecy when taking into the historical context. I forgot to mention that in my post above.

God bless.

Chris

Joel said...

Chris,

In the end, I think it is fair to say that we are in fairly close agreement. I love the Blue Bible website by the way. If the lights ever go out, my ability to study the Bible will be greatly diminished. :( Our mild disagreement is ultimately only in the degree to which this passage is emphasizing Christ. I generally am fond of the Old Rabbinic saying, that "Scripture does not speak unless it speaks of Messiah." Within limit of course. But regardless, it is both David historically and the Messiah ultimately who would "crush the foreheads of Moab." Moab is hard to allegorize as referring to Germany or France etc. :) Especially if we hold to a face value approach to interpreting Scripture. And do keep in mind that this is only one of about twenty passages that we could look at that which portray the Messiah judging and destroying Middle Eastern nations. In fact, the description of the Messiah destroying specifically the Edomites, Moabites, etc is such a common OT prophetic theme that the Jewish interpreters often interpret "Edom" and "Moab" etc as being symbolic of the greater End Time enemies of Israel and God.

Again, please know that I have no real interest in "converting" anyone to my position. I am satisfied if folks simply acknowledge the paradigm as having equal validity. My concerns are far more pastoral and pragmatic than theoretical. I simply would be happy if much of the watching Church acknowledged the idea that none of us can afford to be too overly limited and rigid in our outlook regarding these things. If there is one arena of theology that we must remain somewhat less rigid regarding, it is the finer details within our common premillenial eschatology. Can I get an amen... ? :)

Bless you, Joel

Donald Dolmus said...

Hello everybody.

This comment is made from a Spanish speaking Nicaraguan.

I only want to congratulate Bill Salus because his responses were given as a real gentleman and Christian.

I think that when we are discussing our different points of view regarding any biblical matter, we should be respectful.

I don't think that is a good idea to begin my argument saying that everyone that doesn't agree with me is following a satanic doctrine.

God bless you all.

(I hope you can forgive my grammar mistakes)

Donald Dolmus

SeanOsborne said...

Joel,

"acharyith yom" literally means "future day" with common transliteration often rendering as "back" or "last."

This is consistent with the term "et-achorai" fround in Exodus 33:23 where the Lord allowed Moses to see his "back part." It wasn't so much the Lord's back as it was the direction.

The root word is "achor" and denotes the concept time from the Lord's perspective. He's already been in the future, and even gone past that particular point of reference as He exists in all places at all times. The Lord is timeless. He is eternal. So the use of this particular word renders the best possible concept for human comprehension of the concept of timelessness.

Anonymous said...

“It sounds like Satan has created a counterfeit Antichrist so the Church would be misled into believing this European Antichrist myth.” Rodrigo Silva

One can not blame Satan for this one - It is partly God's doing, but it is mostly due to our own ignorance.

God has a part in that the book of Daniel was sealed to our understanding till the "last days", and to most, even to the "experts" of today, it still is sealed. Until it has been opened to you, you can not correctly understand much of the prophecy concerning the last days.

The ignorance on our part concerning the E.U. is that we have forgotten that the Word of God focuses on Israel, its people and their promised land.

The E.U. is an example given to us by God of how a group of nations who have been bitter enimies for centuries can come together in a confederacy for their common good.

Other that being an example as such, can anyone tell me what the E.U. has to do with Israel?

hmlegare

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

I have a question. If we are waiting to see maybe Isaiah 17 and then Psalm 83 and then Ezekiel 38 sometime later after Israel is living securely, then does this eliminate the idea of immanency? At least until after these things happen?

pecoslc said...

Is the antichrist a Roman or an Assyrian? It might be that he is or has been both. I hope that I am not misrepresenting Patrick Heron or Tom Horn but both men come to the conclusion that the antichrist is Nimrod/Osiris/Apollo - Tom Horn in his new book "Apollyon Rising 2012" and Patrick Heron in his book "The Return of the AntiChrist".