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Antichrist and Babylon

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Question #1:   I've got a question about your translation of Daniel 11.37 in regards to how the antichrist will view other gods. You said that the desire of woman would be best translated as the wive's interest in whatever god they worshiped. (paraphrasing). I've heard lots of people suggest that this verse means the antichrist will be gay since it suggests he has no desire of woman. but seeing as how the verse lists his view towards other gods and throwing in a quick little thing about his desire for woman, it just doesn't fit. But I've also read a different possible meaning and was wondering your opinion of it. I read someone else suggest that in this verse, 'the desire of woman' was referring to the Messiah. How in that time frame many woman were hoping that they were going to be the mother of the coming Messiah long prophesied to them, and this is the desire the antichrist will regard. Does that fit as well, or no?

Response #1:    This of course is one of the most highly debated phrases in Daniel. While I can't say dogmatically that this particular interpretation you report is wrong (since the Hebrew phrase chemdath nashiym, "delight of women" is so ambiguous as to allow at least the possibility of many interpretations), there are a couple of things that would draw me away from that one if it had occurred to me. First, there is no indication from scripture that any Jewish woman thought she was going to birth the Messiah or hoped to do so. Indeed, the very fact that the Messiah was born at all is part of the stumbling block with which Jews have to contend (the tendency having been to see Him simply as arriving from heaven in glory). Extra-biblical Messianic ideas have varied over time and what they were in the sixth century B.C. is very hard to say absent biblical commentary on the subject. As I read Daniel and the other prophets in the neighborhood of this time frame, I don't find any great anticipation of the Messiah's coming from those who are not believers. That sort of religious apostasy comes later, after the return from Babylon (where we do find Jesus' contemporaries, for example, looking for "the crown without the cross"). In Daniel and Isaiah and Jeremiah's day, Jewish apostasy was pagan, idolatrous and sensual (rather than traditional, legalistic, and ascetic). So if it were the case that Daniel 11:37 were referring to a general desire on the part of women to give birth to the Messiah, we would only be able to say so on the basis of this one verse alone, and I really don't think it can be made to bear that meaning all on its own. Secondly, in the context, lodged between "God of his fathers" and "all other gods", having this phrase refer to a middle ground between the God on the one hand and clearly foreign gods of any stripe on the other makes the most sense.

He will have no regard for the God of his fathers (i.e., the Lord), nor those favored by their wives, nor will he have regard for any god [at all], for he will exalt himself above them all.
Daniel 11:37

Solomon's wives led him astray and generally speaking we see the institution of some foreign gods becoming common place in Israel and Judah through similar influence (cf. Jezebel and also Jer.44:19). Thus the context and the likely meaning of the verse in it (i.e., a progression from the God to familiar pagan gods to all other pagan gods) seems to me to be the most likely answer.

Thanks for your question!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

I've heard from so many Christians on how the Antichrist will be indwelled or possessed by Satan. Is this true because there seems to be some passages to suggest otherwise. The Bible states that Satan will be released from the abyss while the Antichrist and the False prophet are in the lake of fire. If the Antichrist is possessed by the Satan, then how can Satan be released and free to deceive the world in the Antichrist is in the lake of fire? Also, this passage below describes 3 different spirits coming from Satan, the Antichrist, and the False prophet:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. - Revelation 16:13,14

And this verse below states that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire where the Antichrist has been for over 1,000 years, so I find it odd how the Antichrist could have been possessed by Satan.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. - Revelation 20:10

To me there seems to be 3 distinct spirits (an unholy trinity). I believe that Satan will give power to the Antichrist so they can glorify each other, but I don't believe that the spirit of Satan will possess the Antichrist as the bible seems to state. Are those who say that the Antichrist is possessed by Satan incorrect? Thanks in advance!

Response #2: 

A couple of points to clear up before we get to your question. First, the release of Satan from the Abyss will happen at the end of the Millennium, after the Tribulation is long past and after, as you point out, antichrist and the false prophet have already been thrown into the lake of fire – forever. When the devil (or any other fallen angel, for that matter), possesses someone or some animal, it is not a permanent state of affairs. Indeed, it is a monstrous violation of everything God ever intended and has much to do with the original fall of Satan and the destruction of the world before the seven days (please see the link: in SR 1, "Satan's Revolutionary Platform"). Satan possessed Judas, for example, but only for a time. Judas has long been in torments, but the devil is still "prowling about, looking for someone to devour" (1Pet.5:8). So the fact that the beast will, after Christ's return, be thrown to his eternal death, and that the devil will thereafter be "loosed for a little while" does not in my view affect this question one way or another.

Secondly, the "three unclean spirit" actually come from the false prophet alone, not from antichrist and the dragon/devil too. The text most versions translate here is late and incorrect (explaining why you do find this incorrect reading in most if not all other versions). One can see why it is that some scribe during the middle ages would have wished to "correct" something that seemed odd to him: Why three spirits from the false prophet? Someone came up with the idea of a "false Trinity" and the suggestion, no doubt penned only originally in the margin of a manuscript, was adopted as "part of the text" by later copiests. But the true text reads as follows:

(12) And the sixth [angel] poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water dried up in order that the way of the kings of the orient (lit., "sun's rising") might be prepared. (13) And I saw [coming] out of the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits like [unto] frogs. (14) Now these are spirits of demons which produce "signs": they will go forth to the kings of the entire earth to gather them together for the war of the great day of God the Almighty.
Revelation 17:12-14

The false prophet is the beast's herald and he is the one who is said to produce "signs" such as these demons and their helpers will produce for the final battle. It is thus fitting for the call to assemble for Armageddon to come from him alone. The reason for the "three" is to show that all three of world's four remaining biblical quadrants will be summoned to their demise to fight against Jesus Christ. The fourth quadrant, the west, is ruled by Babylon, but Babylon is about to be destroyed and so will not participate – hence three spirits instead of four (see the link: in CT 5, "Judgment on Babylon").

As to your actual question, I am not able to say from scripture whether or not there will be a "possession", but I do think it is fair to say that because antichrist will do the devil's bidding more than anyone else who has ever lived, that fact does seem to argue that a possession is unnecessary. Here is what I have written about that specifically in Coming Tribulation part 4 (see the link):

It is an open question whether the beast, ever of one mind with his father the devil as far as we can tell, will at this point also be possessed by him. Scripture does not say for certain, but it is clear enough that Satan, now expelled from heaven and consigned to the earth, does at this point empower the beast and his kingdom as never before, even going so far as to "give to him his power and his throne and great authority" (Rev.13:2b), with the picture given by scripture going forward emphasizing the complete unanimity of purpose between the devil and his antichrist (cf. Rev.16:13-14). Furthermore, the "summoning" of the beast out of the sea by the dragon seems to indicate a large degree of control. Compare the fact that Gen.49:17, which speaks of antichrist, recalls Gen.3:15, which speaks of Satan. Consider also the scriptural parallel noted in part 3B between antichrist and Judas (who was possessed by the devil). In any case, the unbelieving world will certainly see no great distinction between the two, worshiping antichrist as the Messiah and the devil as God (2Thes.2:4; Rev.13:4; 13:11-17; cf. Dan.11:38-39).

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Who is the Antichrist? Many are studying the Bible trying to find out who the Antichrist will be. Has the Antichrist arrived ? The "Beast" or the "beast from abyss" is the Antichrist. Antichrist is one single person.

"The beast (Antichrist) that you saw , was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast (Antichrist) that was, and is not, and yet is.

9: And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth

10: And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space.

11: And the beast (Antichrist) that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

12: And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.(Antichrist)

13: These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.(Antichrist)" Revelation 17

I think George Walker Bush will fulfill this prophecy.

Written while George Bush was still in office:

"We have had a period in recent history, from 2001 to 2004, when there were six living presidents, five of whom had fallen from office, and the sixth was then - and still IS now - our acting president, President George W. Bush. If he is the one that is, then we are talking up-to-the-minute current events here, and the person who is elected president in 2008 will be number seven, the one who will preside for a little while.

Response #3:    

Dear Friend,

Antichrist will not be revealed until the Tribulation begins. Given what scripture has to say about his tremendous charisma and unique powers, it is safe to say that no human being in historical memory has yet come close to "filling the bill".

Please see the link: Antichrist and his Kingdom: The Coming Tribulation: A History of the Apocalypse Part 3B.

Question #4:  

Hello again.

The 6000 years are soon at the end. I have studied your very good pages carefully and Modern Babylon must be USA and the Antichrist is the King or president of USA. I am sure George Bush will fulfill these prophecies. He is nr 8 who is also one of the 7.

In 2001 these presidents were alive: Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton

Who will take the office of president when something happens to number 7? None other than the one Revelation identifies as the Beast, himself. (GEORGE WALKER BUSH )

Clue, Part Three: "The beast, who once was (president),

and now is not, is an EIGHTH KING - GEORGE WALKER BUSH

(he resumes the office of president once again!).

He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction." Rev. 17:11 "

Antichrist will meet his destruction when Jesus returns.

That will occur after 6000 years. Then the millennium will start.

Response #4:     

Dear Friend,

While I certainly agree with you about the six thousand years (please see the link: The Seven Days of Human History), I must respectfully disagree with your identification. The seven kings are the six Julio-Claudian emperors of Rome to which antichrist forms the final and complementary seventh (number six, after all, was still alive when John wrote Revelation, so that this can only mean Nero; see the links: "The Seven Kings", and "The Kingdom of the Beast" in CT 3B).

As much as we may dislike, despise, or suspect contemporary political figures, the uniqueness of antichrist as described by scripture will be unmistakable (see the link: CT 3B "Antichrist and his Kingdom"), so that attempting to link up present day celebrities with him and his coterie is bound to produce incorrect and misleading results. Gorbachev was a fine candidate for antichrist: he controlled an empire and was for a time suspected of promoting "openness" only for the sake of becoming emperor of all Europe (and he has what looks to be a map of Italy as a birthmark on his forehead: i.e., a 'mark' and a connection with Rome). Mussolini, head of revived "Roman empire" of sorts was widely also suspected by some to be antichrist. The same is true of Hitler and Stalin. None of these candidates panned out, and after the fact it is crystal clear that they lacked the requisite uniqueness, despite whatever power, position, and evil genius they deployed. Antichrist will be the devil's son and empowered by Satan as no other person in human history. So much so that the devil is said to bestow upon him "his power and his throne and great authority" (Rev.13:2). So while your identification has the virtue of finding an American source for antichrist, and like you I see tribulational (not the present) US as Babylon, no one on the political scene at present comes anywhere close to rating even possible identification with antichrist in my view (it is also too early; please see the link: "The chronology of the date 2026").

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

You'll love the latest nut cake info at this link:

Obama as antichrist (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105527)

Response #5:   

You have to hand it some people! Really inventive stuff. I was particularly interested to learn that "Aramaic is the most ancient form of Hebrew". It takes a pretty studied ignorance of language (there is a big difference between a caph and a qoph) and of hermeneutics (using this method, I could prove you were Peter and I was the apostle Paul) to think you're onto something with this sort of thing. This is a great example of what we have been talking about: putatively "Christian" people so involved in their politics and their hatred of a particular politician that distorting the Bible in the name of the cause is no problem for them.

Thanks for keeping me entertained!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

My question to you is what do you think about Barack Obama being the antichrist. Personally I believe he is. This guy is very cunning and very manipulative and I believe everything he does is for his own gain.

Response #6:    

I think it extremely unlikely. For one thing, the Tribulation is still some good ways away (as you may know, my projection for its commencement is 2026: please see the link "The Chronology of the End"). Also, antichrist is "anti" in the sense of "substitute for" just as much as in the sense of "against" (see the link: Antichrist and his Kingdom). The beast will claim that he actually is Christ, and, in my explication of scripture, will lead what amounts to a "crusade" against the opponents of Israel. Thus, he is going to fool a good many people, and is more likely to be someone whom "conservative" Christians admire (at least initially), if they are not very closely attuned to the Bible in this respect. History has provided many likely looking possibilities which none the less proved to be false. Mussolini, for example, actually ruled from Rome, donned Roman trappings, and, in combination with his close ally Hitler (the false prophet?) came to control most of what the actual beast will begin with in terms of revived Rome. Yet this was a false alarm. So it's always good to keep one's eyes open, and to remember what Jesus said that "even the elect" are going to vulnerable to deception about who the beast really is.

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob Luginbill

Question #7: 

Hello Mr. Luginbill and thank you for responding to my question. I respect you very much for your writings. I read your whole writing on the tribulation, but I just have to disagree with you and think you are ten to twelve years off on your date for the commencement of the Tribulation. Obama is the rider of the white horse and here to conquer which he is so cunningly doing. Everything is playing out perfectly as you wrote in your tribulation article. Obama became president as someone who should not have been able to falsify a baptism paper. He is not Christian but Muslim most likely, and now he has almost conquered America in just eight months which I believe the signing of the healthcare reform bill is the nail in the coffin for conquering America and then he will spend next year seizing the ten nations. Thank You and God bless.

Response #7:   

Thank you for your e-mail. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, especially in situations where we are applying what scripture has to say to the real world (rather than discussing how it is to be interpreted, where we are of course necessarily on firmer ground). As to the particular identification of antichrist, it is probable that he will indeed be on the scene before he can be properly identified (even if some do correctly guess his identity). In my own personal consideration of these matters, it seems more likely to me that the beast will be more of a Hitler-type than a Stalin-type. For he will represent militarism (cf. the bow he carries and conquests), and religion (as opposed to true Christianity). He will be the "best friend" the secular state of Israel has ever had – at first (later her worst enemy). And he will build his meteoric rise to international power based upon the need to lead a Middle-East crusade. Thus, from what I can glean from scripture, antichrist is much more likely going to lead a reaction to left-wing success and excess, rather than come from that persuasion. Of course, since this is extra-biblical application we are talking about, I could certainly be wrong. Given that a key characteristic of the beast will be his deceptiveness, "deceiving even the elect" where that is possible, it seems prudent to consider that antichrist will probably not be a person whom one would suspect of being so at first, or even at second, or even, sad to say in the case of many lukewarm Christians, ever at all.

The case for 2026 has been made by me rather forcefully (see the link: "The Date of the Tribulation"), and I would see no reason to change my thinking on this, even were I to be confronted with all sorts of dire events which were not unquestionable tribulational in nature. As I point out in "Signs of the Coming Tribulation" (in part 2B of the CT series), there is really nothing a person will be able to put their finger on as a "sign" that the Tribulation is close or to demonstrate how close it is before it begins. However, when it begins, it will be unmistakable.

And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel with a golden censer came and stood by the altar, and much incense was given to him so that he might offer it for the prayers of the saints on the golden altar in front of the throne. And smoke from the incense went up from the hand of the angel before God for the prayers of the saints. Then the angel took the incense holder and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there occurred thunderous voices and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:1-5

The earthquake mentioned here, the first in a series of ever intensifying temblors which will hit the earth during the Tribulation (see the link: Tribulational Earthquakes), is described as a worldwide event. Along with the voices and flashes of thunder, these phenomena will be visible and palpable around the globe – everyone will know the Tribulation has begun (everyone, that is, who is reading the Bible) – and it hasn't begun yet, ipso facto.

So while you are entitled to your opinion, prudent common sense leads me to urge all my Christian brothers and sisters to keep an open mind on this subject – not so much to spare someone they suspect is the beast, but rather to spare them from being seduced by the real beast in reaction to someone they falsely assume is the beast (no matter how vile or dangerous they may judge that person to be).

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus, who is the true and only Christ.

Bob L.

Question #8:  

Hi Dr Luginbill,

I wanted to explore this point we have been discussing on the vehement rejection of the Genesis gap on the part of so many Christians. Lately, the past year or so, I've asked Jesus to help me truly open my eyes, to not be afraid to see everything He truly wants me to see, because I became aware (I'm sure it was the Holy Spirit bringing this to the fore of my understanding) of a fear in me to truly see the truth about everything....as long as it was in "realms of conjecture" it was "safe" but to truly see, to have an understanding that truly sees where the rubber meets the road, that takes it out of that nebulous realm of "just a thought" to what is real and tangible and actual, and no longer "safely controlled" by my "just hypothesizing" ...

Then I began looking at what the conspiracy theorists were saying, and although I often do not agree with their thoughts on how to react to these things (with revolutions, or food and ammo hoarding, or letters to congressmen, etc, faith in God does not require any of these maneuverings) I finally saw what evidence they gave for the atrocities that are being orchestrated, even by our own govt, as very credible, and realizing for really the first time, just how true the Bible is about how evil all the kingdoms of the earth truly are. It only confirmed the truth of the Bible in a way that completely took it out of the ethereal realms of fantasy, and into a stark, harsh reality.

I also noticed that it was exactly at that point that people became hostile to things I say, and accuse me of arrogance, insensitivity, evil speaking of "brethren/sisters" (that teach deliberate falsehoods) and superstitions/unwarranted outrageous conspiracies, etc. At first I thought it was all innocent misunderstandings, but more and more came to see, it was deliberate rejection of what was so clear and open to me, like having pulled my head out of a fog....and at times, I just wanted to agree with everyone, and for the sake of getting along, shove what I see aside.... but I see that is exactly what will be required by the antichrist, and that is exactly the position and procedure we are not to take.

We are to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, taking everything good about God, contrasted with everything evil of this world, that is the WHOLE TRUTH, not eliminating the one and accepting only the other, because a half-truth is a lie. We are not to "have a form of holiness (religion) but deny His power", which I would have to do to deny the whole of what is evident, by comparing what is in this world, with what we see in scripture.

But I wished to encourage you, we might be in the minority, but we are by God's mercy and grace, here, and having our eyes opened to seeing as He sees, trusting and knowing He will safely bring us through all these hazards.

God bless you,

In Jesus,

Response #8:    

I certainly agree with your very perspicacious analysis of how a superficial approach to scripture and the truth within it is going to make the church visible particularly blind and vulnerable to antichrist's identity during his ascendancy to power. And that is going to be much more of a problem than it needs to be because of the blindness to all the truth of all things eschatological being suffered by much of the church visible on account of their stubborn reliance on the pre-tribulational rapture theory. That is another "litmus test" area although of a slightly different ilk. The Genesis gap is a case of something clearly being present in scripture but deliberately ignored by many for whom, as you put it so well, engaging with the truth is uncomfortable on a number of levels. The pre-tribulational rapture theory is a case of many of our brothers and sisters accepting something they have been taught and defending it with Roman Catholic-like zeal despite the fact that there is absolutely no place in scripture where it is taught (see the link: The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory.).

Two other small points I'd like to make here:

1) Truth has to be believed to be of any use. I think that is what you are describing here in your personal experience. It is one thing to explore "hypotheses" from an academic perspective. It is quite another to search the scriptures, seek out substantive teaching, pray, confront the issues, and put your faith in what you become convinced the Bible really says. Only this "truth" is usable by the Holy Spirit and valuable for spiritual growth and application (see the link: "Believing and Spiritual Growth").

2) Assessment of politics is useful; obsession with politics is dangerous. I think your conclusion is exactly correct. Christians who put their faith in governments or political systems or leaders of any stripe in any country are going to very disappointed of necessity. Fixing the devil's world is impossible, and the idea that the world is somehow making some kind of "progress" is not only delusory but downright dangerous. In fact, things are getting worse by every objective Christian measure, and in this country especially, assuming that Christians can "make a difference" through political involvement has passed the point of merely wasting one's time and resources and begun to enter the area of outright spiritual risk. We are not there yet, because at this point the Tribulation is still future, but since in my view there is very little question about where Babylon is/will be, getting caught up in her prostitution, even at the incipient stage, cannot result in any good (see the link: "Antichrist's National Origin").

Thank you for dedication to the truth and for your dedicated faith in the Lord - keep fighting that good fight of faith.

In our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have e-mailed you before, a couple of years ago, and still enjoy your studies but I had a question regarding Babylon. Obviously no one knows what this will be but don't you think that America fits the description well? You say in your writings that you believe this Babylon spoken of in the Bible does not exist yet. Also, what do you think about the part where it talks about being destroyed in 'one day'?

In Christ,

Response #9:   

Good to hear from you again. I very much agree. On this point please see the following links:

The probable identification of Mystery Babylon (in CT 3B)

Mystery Babylon

As to the "one day" of Revelation 18:8, I take it literally, meaning that the campaign against her launched by antichrist will be a rapid "blitzkrieg" type of affair for which she has no time to prepare. On "D-Day" all of the ills described in Revelation will be heaped upon her at once. While I do not see from scripture that the campaign to destroy and loot her will be long-lasting (indeed, it must be very quick since immediately thereafter antichrist summons all of the world's armies to Armageddon), the wording "in one day" does not constrain us to understand that the attack itself will last only one calendar day, but rather that all of her misery and destruction will commence at the same time and be concluded in an extremely rapid fashion. On this please see the link in CT 5: "Babylon Invaded".

Thanks much for your continued interest!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Given what Revelation says about her fiery and rapid destruction, do you think Babylon will be destroyed by a nuclear attack?

Response #10:    

That would certainly explain the fire et al., as well as the deserted nature of Babylon thereafter. I have three problems with seeing Babylon's destruction as coming from a nuclear conflagration:

1) The indications are that there will be massive troop deployments as part of the sack of Babylon (impossible and unnecessary if it is destroyed by nuclear weapons, and counterproductive as it unnecessarily then complicates antichrist's logistical buildup for Armageddon). Please see the link: in CT 5: "Babylon Invaded".

2) The Jewish haven problem. Babylon will apparently be a protected place for unbelieving Jews during the Tribulation (see the link: in CT 5, "Flee Babylon"). But as one of the Spartans captured on Sphacteria remarked in typical Laconic fashion when it was suggested to him that the really brave Spartans had died in the fighting under a hail of Athenian arrows, "T'were a clever shaft to choose between the brave and the cowardly". Nothing is impossible for God, but if New York, for example, were destroyed by nuclear weapons, I would imagine that the number of Jews preserved would be minimal and with little discrimination as to their spiritual status.

3) There is also the problem of Isaiah 47:3; in that prophesied judgment against Babylon the Lord says something a bit difficult to interpret:

Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one. NIV

Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. KJV

Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame also will be exposed; I will take vengeance and will not spare a man. NASB

What the KJV reveals is a difficulty in the text which the other two versions sweep under the rug. The passage actually states in literal Hebrew "I will not touch a man". And the preferable way to translate the context in its entirely because of an adversative waw construction is "I will take vengeance, but I will not touch a man". There have been many attempts to waltz around this fairly clear expression since the context seems so clearly to demand the precise opposite of what it actually says. But "I will not spare anyone" is not justified by this phrase (nagh'ah means "touch") and it seems inconsistent with other passages which do talk about captives and survivors. To my mind this phrase can only mean one of two things: either 1) "I will not touch a man" in that the Lord will spare the population's lives even though their country will be plundered; or 2) "I [Myself] will not touch a man" in that the Lord will leave the destruction to others. In this latter case, I would translate the whole "I will indeed take vengeance, although I Myself will not lay a hand on anyone". Inasmuch as the Lord is the One who has "put it into the hearts" of antichrist and his minions "to do His WILL" in destroying Babylon (Rev.17:17), it may be possible to take the verse in both these senses. The Lord is clearly working through human agencies to destroy Babylon, and if vengeance comes through this intermediary means, it may not be complete in the sense of destroying all human life (only in devastating the physical country of Babylon itself). Either way, this would seem to preclude a nuclear attack.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:  

Shalom Bob,

Over and over again I keep hearing from prophecy teachers that the former Roman Empire, what I call Daniel's 4 great Beast, is never once mentioned in Scripture - I know you must have as well. Be that as it may, what I cannot understand with respect to this logic, if there is any to such a theology, is WHY would God who has willing obligated Himself to a Chosen People, the Jews, and prophetically warned them of ALL of the other impending Daniel Empires, fail to prophetically warn them of the most brutal Empire of them ALL, the Roman, which they were to initially encounter before the coming of His Son Jesus, and to the matter of this fact, the Empire that would literally Crucify His Son? Why would God remain so-called prophetically 'silent' on this dreaded Kingdom? While I readily admit the Roman Empire is not actually called by name in Daniel's prophecy, but rather called the Undescript Beast (Why?), in my feeble opinion, the Jews would indeed have a cause against God here if this was NOT the Roman Empire, which was the next in the successive order of Empires to persecute and captivate the Jewish people. Nonetheless, it is at this crucial point, Daniel's 4th Empire, that a plethora of prophecy teachers take a critical turn in the prophetic road, which leads to compounded eschatological conflicts.

Also, there seems to be a much-to-do made about the 'Two Thighs' of Daniel's great image with respect to the Grecian Empire - what is this all about?

Response #11: 

The fourth beast of Daniel 4 is Rome (it crushes the previous three kingdoms just as Rome occupied the territory of Greece, Persia and Babylon), so Rome is mentioned before her historical appearance. And in Daniel 9:26 we are told that the "people of the prince who is to come" will destroy Jerusalem. That means that Rome (which did destroy the city) is the city/people of antichrist (the "prince to come"), and this must necessitate a revival of the empire under antichrist at some future time for this prophecy to be true in every respect. Also, it is clear (to me at any rate) that the descriptions of the beast as given in Revelation could not fail to have been seen by John, living in the Roman empire, as referring to that empire (the only major military-political force of note known to him at the time, all other contenders being far inferior by every measure). Finally, there is no other candidate that passes biblical muster which might be seen as a beast/empire which "was, is not, and will be". Whatever other candidates may be put forward will fail to meet the tests of Daniel 4 and 9:26, and will not have the contemporaneous identification of Rome to John which the Roman empire did and does. To this we may add that beast and his cohorts attack the land "from the north" and that he is the "king of the north" which is, in biblical terms, Europe (see the link: in CT 3B "The Probable Identification of Future Mystery Babylon"). Finally, since Babylon has to be in the west, only a European alliance with Babylon fulfills the "two leg" part of the prophecy et al. (that is how I read the "thighs"; please see the link: in CT 3B "The Kingdom of the Beast"). Moreover, this is one of those instances where the whole of the interpretation is more than the sum of its parts. The fact that this interpretation sews everything up together perfectly without leaving anything out counts for something. This is, admittedly, a very brief revision of the first five parts of the Coming Tribulation series (see the link). As I often say, I like to think that readers who begin at the beginning (preferably with the five part "Satanic Rebellion" series) will see this cohesion of prophecy and argument even though a paragraph long synopsis may fail to persuade.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

 

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