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Nineveh, the Beast, Tongues, Demons, and Saddam

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Question #1:  Is the Nineveh of Jonah and Nahum the same, if so what is the time frame?

Response #1:  Yes, it's the same Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire. Neither Jonah nor Nahum have internal markings of year-specific dates, but we do have a few things to work with:

    1) Nineveh was destroyed in 612 B.C. as the Assyrian empire fell to the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian empire, so both books would precede that date.

    2) In 2nd Kings 14:25-27 we find Jonah the prophet, the son of Amittai (this is almost certainly the same Jonah - cf. Jon.1.1) connected to the reign of Jereboam II of Israel, circa first half of the eighth century B.C.;

    3) in Nahum 3:8-10, Nahum seems to be relating the fall of Thebes at Assyria's hands in ca. 663 B.C.

So it would seem that Jonah's ministry precedes by several generations the Assyrian conquest of Israel in ca. 712 B.C., while Nahum's prophecy comes roughly a century and a half later than Jonah, presaging the destruction of Assyria which, this time, would not repent as their ancestors had done.

Yours in Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

I am reading a book which claims that the Antichrist is "Gog" of Ezekiel 38-39, and that he cannot be Jewish (because Dan.11:37 uses the word Elohai for God - not the Jewish term). What is your opinion?

Response #2: 

Actually, Daniel 11:37 has "Elohey", the construct of "Elohiym" or the normal Hebrew word for God. On the positive side of things, it is true (and generally misunderstood) that "Gog" is antichrist, and that Ezek.38-39 does harmonize with other accounts of the end (esp. Revelation). But it is also the case that much work has to be done on these verses and the verses in Daniel to understand them aright. Especially in Daniel, the Hebrew is very difficult to interpret and in a number of places (because of the rapid shifts in this section between third person subjects, i.e., "he #1" and "he #2", but without the numbers) has been interpreted incorrectly in almost all the versions. To take one notable example of a passage commonly misunderstood for just such reasons, the "Chittim" passage is particular worthy of mention. Daniel 11:30 says "ships of Kittim will come with him (antichrist), and [so] he (southern king) will lose heart". Therefore this verse is an explanation for the fact that in the second encounter between north and south there will be an overwhelming northern victory that will remove the last substantial barrier to antichrist's military power. The concluding part of the verse gives the subsequent actions of antichrist in retaliation to his former ally (Israel)'s betrayal and support of the southern confederacy, and does so in a swift, synoptic fashion that works in Hebrew, but can be confusing if not explained carefully in translation. By the way, this bit about the "ships of Kittim" also explains Balaam's final oracle (Num.24:24: "ships will come from the direction of Kittim, they will subdue Asshur and Eber, this is even he [antichrist] ... until he perishes" cf. Dan.11:22b where the same verbiage is used for antichrist "vegam naghidh berith" vs. "vegam hu'" = ["this is the {famous} one]). This oracle, by the way, is also universally mistranslated because it is similarly misunderstood.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3: 

I have a question concerning what you have written on "speaking in tongues". Are you saying that speaking in tongues today is "incomprehensible" gibberish or, the speaking in tongues mentioned in 1 Cor. 14 is "incomprehensible gibberish"?

Response #3: 

For future reference, there is also a subject index on the website, and "tongues", for example, does have a cross-listing.

        Here's the index:     Ichthys topics index

And here are a couple of e-mail responses to similar questions outlining my position on this:

       Is "speaking in tongues" a sin?

        Is "speaking in tongues" biblical?

It is true that I am personally skeptical about the functioning of this gift at the present time, and also true that I believe the Bible teaches that these tongues were actual human languages. My position is that true tongues is not gibberish (not that those who are today speaking in tongues are speaking gibberish - that is between them and the Lord). I was not attempting to ridicule present tongues practices, but rather to point out that in biblical terms to be genuine tongues has to involve real language (something I have yet to see demonstrated myself, hence my skepticism). Here's the quote you are no doubt referring to, which is merely a straightforward interpretation of what Paul says in 1Cor.14:

"That is to say, genuine, biblical "speaking in tongues" is not gibberish or nonsensical or in anyway an unintelligible combination of sounds (for those who understand the language in question):

Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will  anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your "tongue", how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
1st Corinthians 14:7-10 NIV

Hope this helps,

In Him.

Bob L.

Question #4: 

John has Jesus saying, in John 2:19--"Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up." I looked and there is no "ego" there, so I presume that the "I" comes from the verb form, or from a word that comes afterwards, that means "myself." Could you look at it and explain it to me? All the English translations I have looked at have "I" so it must be pretty strong. Thanks, and God bless you.

Response #4: 

On John 2:19, it is true that there is no separate word for "I" here, but that is more the rule than not in Greek. You are correct in your assumption that the "I" is incorporated into the verb form itself. In the Greek language, nominative pronouns are entirely dispensable (unless one is leaving out the verb), because, unlike English, the main verb is also specific for person and number. The verb here, egeiro, is in the 1st person singular, so that, in the absence of a nominative noun, it would have to be translated as "I shall raise".

Question #5:

In Gen. 3:8, is the word LORD a substitute for YHWH? It's written in all capital letters, which my NASB Bible says is the word used as a substitute for the sacred name, YHWH.

Also, I have always found 1Tim.6:14 to be confusing, since it says that the One who lives in unapproachable light is "King of kings, Lord of lords." Could this be referring to Jesus, rather than the Father, since that is one of Jesus' many titles? Or could it refer to both? I have read commentaries that take each view--it's the Father, it's the Son. I take it you think it refers to the Father.

Response #5: 

You're right on all counts. The "LORD" in Gen.3:8 is part of "LORD God" and is indeed YHWH or YHVH (depending upon your system of transliteration; in Hebrew reading it's pronounced adonay to avoid saying this holiest of names; the vowel points are for adonay and not for YHWH in the Hebrew Masoretic text; no one knows for sure what the vowel points for YHVH/YHWH should be). And, yes, it's only used for the Lord (capital letters in KJV = YHWH); of course you can use YHWH to indicate the LORD's possession of something, like "Day of the LORD", for instance.

On the Timothy passage, it's true, this confuses lots of people, but the Father and the Son share many titles (like YHWH). In 1Tim.6:14 the subject is "the appearance of Christ" which "God [the Father] will bring about" and it is He, the Father, who is described by these other phrases (in the Greek there is really no other way to take it). This is not uncommon in scripture.  In Revelation 1:8, for example, the Father declares that He is the "Alpha and Omega", another title most frequently (though incorrectly) thought of as exclusively belonging to Jesus (cf. Rev.22:13 where it does of course refer to the Son). It may help to remember that the Son will rule (in the Father's stead) for 1,000 years after He returns (cf. Ps.2; Ps.110), and that it is said that His kingdom is eternal (rightly: Is.9:7; Dan.2:44; 7:14; Rev.11:15; but compare Rev.22:5b; cf. Dan.4:3). Nevertheless, after the Millennium, the kingdom will be handed over to the Father, where Christ will share in the Father's rule in the New Jerusalem forever and ever (compare 1Cor.15:24 with Rev.21:22; 22:1).

Hope this helps!

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:  Hi, I've just found your site, may God bless you for your ministry. Could you tell me the difference, if any, between fallen angels, demons, evil spirits, spiritual forces of wickedness, etc. Most people seem to assume that they are all one in the same. I'm not sure I see it that way as both Peter and Jude seem to assert that fallen angels have been long ago bound, and I assume that by "long ago" they mean before their lifetimes and we can be sure that during their lifetimes demons seemed to abound. But if demons aren't fallen angels then where did they come from? Thank you

Response #6: 

Thanks for your encouragement. As to your question about Satan's forces, I have written fairly extensively about this and will give you the links below. Let me say by way of overview though that the one thing that all of these categories have in common (i.e., fallen angels, demons, evil spirits, spiritual forces of wickedness, etc.) is that they are all angels, and, specifically, angels who chose to follow Satan in rebellion against God before the creation of mankind (the Satanic Rebellion series explains all this in some detail). That is the similarity. The differences between various fallen angels (which accounts for the varying terminology in scripture) are essentially twofold:

    1) fallen angels differ in rank (that is the thrust of Paul's discussion in Ephesians 6:12; cf. also Rom.8:38).

    2) fallen angels differ in their current locales: some of them are indeed not presently at liberty (e.g., all those involved in the activities described in Genesis chapter six are currently incarcerated in Tartarus: the Peter and Jude passages you mention speak of these).

    3) fallen angels differ in their activities: some are indeed active in possession (cf. the "legion" which possessed the Gaderene demoniac), but others are focused on observing and opposing believers (cf. 1Pet.5:8 where we may be sure that the devil, who cannot be in more than one place at a time, is delegating this activity).

There is much we do not know about the organization and nomenclature of the devil's forces, but they are all "angels" (of various rank, in various locations, involved in various activities). Here are some links to more extensive discussions of this subject:

        The order of battle of the fallen angels (from SR#4).

        Satan's Tactics (from Peter #26)

        Satan's antediluvian attack on the purity of the human line (the Nephilim) (from SR#5)

As I say, the entire Satanic Rebellion series will be helpful in this regard. Hope this helps to answer your question, and you can also consult the Subject Index at Ichthys for particular topics.

In our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob Luginbill

Question #7: 

I read that Saddam Hussein stated that he was a descendant of Nebuchadnezzar, supposedly the one destined to destroy Israel. Can you give me some background on him and what prophecy made Saddam think he could make such a claim?

Response #7: 

I can see why Saddam might make this claim. Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest king of Babylon, and represents "the head of gold" in Daniel's vision of the statue which depicts the four world kingdoms. It is a very typical thing for people to claim to be descended from famous people (it seems that in the history of the world, no one is ever descended from an ordinary person!). The Romans claimed to be descended from the Trojans (not true, of course, but they indulged this fantasy at the highest level). I have no idea what basis of evidence Saddam thought he had for this claim, but it really doesn't make much difference except as a propaganda ploy (i.e., Nebuchadnezzar was great, I'm descended from him, so I'm great).

As far as any "prophecy" is concerned, let me assure you that there is no such prophecy in the Bible. Israel can never be "destroyed", but is the Kingdom of the coming Messiah who is the Rock that crushes the final kingdom of antichrist in Daniel 2:34-35; 2:44-45. Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar did destroy the Southern Kingdom in ca. 586 B.C., but not the Jewish people, and the Jewish state was reconstituted according to Jeremiah's prophecy seventy years later (the books of Ezra and Nehemiah deal with this) and the temple was rebuilt. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans, "the people of the prince [antichrist] who is to come" (Dan.9:26), and it is the revival of this world empire that will oppress Israel during the Tribulation. But even in this its darkest hour, the Jewish people will be preserved (as they have always been).

The only point of contact I can see that might apply to what you are asking about here is that the kingdom of antichrist is symbolically called "Babylon" in prophecy (Is.13-14; Rev.18 in particular), but this is also true of historical Rome (1Pet.5:13). So despite symbolic comparisons between Nebuchadnezzar and antichrist, they are just that - symbolic only. The actual antichrist is not from the Mideast. Rather, his sphere of power is the north (primarily Europe).

Finally, I want to stress that although Israel has been brought "through fire and water", suffering much in her history, yet Israel still survives (both in terms of the Jewish race and more recently the Jewish state). Both the race and the state are not only destined to survive, but to be the focal point of the blessed millennial kingdom that awaits on the far side of the terrible Tribulation to come. Any prophecy that suggests the destruction of Israel is a false prophecy and unbiblical. Saddam (or anyone) may well style himself to be "the destroyer of Israel", but all who have ever attempted this in fact have only, in the end, destroyed themselves (as Saddam can now bear witness).

Yours in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah.

Bob Luginbill

 


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