Aug 26, 2009

Is the Islamic Savior the Biblical AntiChrist?

We are being bombarded by things apocalyptic from every angle and there seems to be no end in sight. As 2012 approaches, I believe “end times” infatuation will explode exponentially. We are being inundated from every angle. A group of astronomers have joined to debunk the 2012 Doomsday theories. Consider the list of supposed doomsday triggering events or objects: Planetary alignment; Galactic alignment i.e. solstice, black hole and dark rift; Doomsday objects e.g. Nibiru, Planet X, asteroids, comets etc.; Magnetic pole shift; Rotational pole shift; Solar flares…and the list goes on and on.

The other day while on WorldNet Daily, I noticed an ad for “
The Islamic AntiChrist(right). The Christian bookstores are inundated with these types of "end times" reads. Is it possible that the coming Islamic messiah is in fact the Biblical antichrist? How can we know? Are we at the mercy of these "last days" prophetic speculators? Is there truly no hope for the rest of us in our quest to be faithful Bereans "seeing if these things are so?"

(2012 trailer)

It seems as though the steady diet of antiChrists, 666, embedded micro-chips and overall gloom & doom (even emanating from the secular world), is surreptitiously laying the ground work for more apathy and confusion within the Christian community. These books are continually repackaged with a few key date and player changes, yet few of us seem to be keeping score.

Listen, I don't doubt the sincerity of any of these authors, but is this a justifiable reason for not holding their feet to the fire of accountability? Since many of us do not possess a sound interpretational approach to Scripture, we are constantly being driven and tossed by the winds of these predictions.

Try as we may to turn a deaf ear to these constant prognostications, they unwittingly take their toll far beneath the cognitive processes of the brain. When anything negative happens i.e. a kidnapping, a disease outbreak or we witness blatant evidence of our ensuing cultural breakdown, it's not long before we hear something to the effect of, "It's just a sign of the times." The inference? It's only going to get worse so just buckle down, grin and bear it...before you know it we'll be raptured out of this evil abode.

Recently, I was visiting a church in another city. The Sunday school lesson centered on chapter 2 of Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians. Apparently some of the the Brethren living in Thessalonica were under the false understanding that the Lord Jesus had already returned. Seems rather preposterous that they were so far off given our current expectations, doesn't it? Have you ever wondered how they could have been so confused?

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

How they could have thought their Messiah had already come if His return was to mark the cataclysmic end of planet earth, is certainly a question worth pondering. And why did they miss the timing so badly? 2,000 years off! Or did they?

Actually it's not really difficult to understand their plight given their Lord's rather emphatic statements that He would return within a generation, while some of His followers were still alive and before His disciples finished going through the cities of Israel. (Mt 10:23; 16:27-28; 24:34) Coupling these expectations with the really intense statements of the NT author's (Heb 10:36-37, James 5:8-9, 1 John 2:18; 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Cor 10:31, 1 Cor 7:29-31) and there's no wonder the persecuted Thessalonians thought they missed this great cloud coming event.

So as the discussion wound down in that Sunday school class we were exhorted much the same way Paul challenged these troubled men and women who feared they missed the Lord. Slightly paraphrased, our class leader charged us with this. "Men, it's going to get a whole lot worse out there so hunker down and get ready. I don't know how long it will be, but I feel that it's going to be soon."

I find it fascinating that we are prone to the same sense of imminent expectations they felt in Paul's day. Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul wrote, "The time is short...for the form of this world is passing away." This sounds eerily familiar doesn't it? Don't we say the same thing? Have you ever wondered how a man inspired by the Spirit of God could be so far off? Do you see the predicament? Somebody's wrong on this one. It's either Jesus, Peter, Paul, John or it's us.

People are even being lead to believe that financial doom is part and parcel of this near-term (we are told) cataclysmic collapse that's a precursor to the end...that it's part of the "birth pains" prophesied in Matthew 24:8, 1 Thes 5:3 and Romans 8:22. Yet nowhere does Jesus predict high unemployment rates, a stock market collapse or crippling gas prices. But even if He did, consider the unemployment rates throughout the Depressio
n Era. For 11 years during this very difficult time, unemployment was higher than it is now . And for 4 of those years it was double our present rate.

The sheer weight of this multimedia blitzkrieg is affecting us far more than we realize. We simply cannot escape the impact of men like that well-meaning Sunday school leader who is convinced that all of the tumblers are falling into their final place. The mere fact that so many believe the Gospel's 2,000 year reign and extraordinary Kingdom expansion is going to be defeated by the forces of evil, should be enough to cause all to pause.

Eschatology is clearly not a foundational doctrine and one we should never divide over, but unfortunately, in it's presently accepted form, it is creating many beneath-the-surface expectations that I believe are rather unhealthy and unBiblical. Isn't it possible for the "Left Behindology" to have precipitated a self-fulfilling prophecy? "For as he thinks within his heart, so he is." (Prov 23:7) Could the signs of moral decay be the result of taking ourselves out of the game instead of some sort of proof that the last days are upon us?

Let me ask you this? What happens if we are wrong? What if we are encouraging an Armageddon that is not destined by God?...that actually stands contrary to His Word and against a foe that may be a future target of God's grace and mercy? What if this presumed world-ending clash took place almost 2,000 years ago between the spring of 66 to the fall of 70 AD? Preposterous? Is it possible that Peter, John and Paul were not mistaken? What if there is a mass conversion of the Muslims on our horizon? Is this too large a task for God?

Not unlike the rest of the boatload of these prolific apocalyptic money-makers, The Islamic Antichrist touts a devastating account leading up to the world’s demise. It’s uniqueness (although it is a carbon copy of a similar work from the 1920s) and intrigue springs from it’s boldness (in my opinion) to compare the Biblical antichrist with the Islamic savior. In the synopsis we find, The Bible predicts that in the last days a charismatic leader will establish a global following in the name of peace. Oh really? Where these authors come up with this stuff only their hairdresser knows for sure. :)

This book can be discredited from simply analyzing the sensationalism of its synopsis.

  1. The New Testament authors made it clear that they were nearing the end of the “last days” in the first century. (1 Cor 7:29,31; 1 Pet 4:7; Heb 10:36-37; 1 Cor 10:11; Heb 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:20)
  2. The Apostle John offered proof that he was living in the “last hour” by the fact that many false Christs (antichrists) had already come. “…by which we KNOW that it is the last hour.” This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction in the Olivet that “false prophets will rise up and deceive many. “
  3. The word “antichrist” never appears in the book of Revelation and John only uses it 4 times in two of his three epistles. As far as the Apostle John’s testimony is concerned, all the fuss over identifying THE modern day antichrist is absolutely baseless.
  4. Notice (below) John tells us that “the spirit of the antichrist” was already in the world 2,000 years ago. Just because there are and have been many evil rulers and regimes, does not mean that any qualify as THE antichrist, since there’s no Biblical mention of a single antichrist much less one that’s 2,000 years old. =) Hitler was “anti-Christ” and so was Stalin, Mussolini and Napoleon.
For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Matthew 24:5, 11 [The Apostle John said this was fulfilled by the writing of his epistles – somewhere in the mid 60s AD – yet for some reason many ignore his testimony]

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18

and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:3

My hope is that we will stop buying these books and encourage others to do the same, lest we continue to cause the credibility of the Scriptures to suffer. I’m not insinuating that people like Joel Richardson are insincere. I believe they are definitely committed to their views. What I do question are their guiding hermeneutical principles.

Few seem to care that hundreds of these books fly off the shelves and yet not one of them has been right. I’m hoping we begin applying pressure on these authors to be accountable when they’re wrong. And why this obsession with antichrists anyway? Shouldn't Jesus Christ be our primary focus?

Aug 25, 2009

Eschatological Musings - Gary DeMar

Gary talks about his radio interview with Neil Boron regarding the "end times". Grant Jeffrey', who was to follow DeMar, espouses the typical view held by most Christians today. Is the end near? There are social, moral, and political implications in place to make such eschatological assertions.

Gary argues that one's eschatological conclusions will affect a whole host of issues. The "signs" that many use to "prove" that we are in fact living in the "last days" are actually much less prevalent now then they have been throughout history. Consider the fact that the "Black Death" killed tens of millions and between 25-40% of the European population.
In my view, we have a very poor historical aptitude and therefore are subject to the assumptions of the prophecy speculators.

We have developed so many errant presuppositions that never seem to be questioned. Where in the NT does it state that Israel becoming a nation in '48 is a fulfillment of prophecy? Where do we find even one NT text prophesying a rebuilt temple? Why is it that Jesus is returning "soon" now when all of the verses using this kind of language were written almost 2,000 years ago? The current eschatological model isn't simply broken, in my view it needs to be scrapped.

Aug 22, 2009

The TRUTH Project - Creating a Christian Worldview

The TRUTH Project is a marvelous 12 part series with the intent to help create a Biblical world and life view.

"In a recent study, the Barna Research Group revealed a stunning statistic that continues to reverberate throughout the evangelical world. Only 9 percent of professing Christians have a biblical worldview."

Because of this, today's believers live very similarly to non-believers. A personal sense of significance is rarely experienced, we spend our money and time on things that fail to satisfy and we begin to wonder what life's ultimate purpose really is. We are, in short, losing our bearings as a people and a nation."

In order to make disciples of all nations, I believe it is imperative that more than 9% of Christians develop a Biblical worldview. Our nation has lost its way in large part because too many Christians (including yours truly until 4 short years ago) are aimless, fearful and confused. Do we believe the Gospel has the capacity to reform planet earth or are the doom and gloom prophecy pundits correct? Should we become involved in all areas of life, or is it simply too late? If we think best sellers like "The Late Great United States - What Bible Prophecy Reveals about America's Last Days" have no effect on our resolve to make disciples of all nations, I believe we are naive.

The incessant bombardment of these kinds of apocalyptic books (that I believe have little Scriptural foundation) are helping create a generation of Christians who actually believe the Gospel is in route to defeat at the hands of the dark forces of the antichrist and the new world order. But what does Scripture say about these matters? Did God really set us up for defeat? Did Christ's death and bodily resurrection (overcoming sin and death) only have a personal salvific application? Or is the saving grace of Jesus as manifested by the power of the resurrection and the infestation of the Holy Spirit, going to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil?

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Col 2:15

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Heb 2:14-15

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world... 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5

It seems that if we continue to believe the "time is short" and the "form of this world is passing away" in our generation (removing these statements from their original immediate context), many will see little need in reforming our paradigms in accord with God's Word. I continue to hear statements like, "Let's convert as many as we can before the final collapse and the dissolution of planet earth."

If we transport the expectations of the inevitable moral decline (prophesied by the Apostle Paul as he referenced the "last days" of Old Covenant Judaism in Timothy's day - 2 Tim 3:1-13) to the 21st century, how will the paradigm shift-changing TRUTH Project have maximum benefit? If we believe the Gospel's effectiveness is going to be increasingly stunted and ultimately turned away, and if we think that through Christ we cannot have a significant impact in the reversal of evil, what is the use in continuing to polish brass on what too many believe is a sinking ship? What the TRUTH Project gives, our modern day eschatological assumptions unwittingly take away. Therefore I believe we must develop a Christian worldview espoused by the TRUTH Project and in consort begin to recognize the need to revolutionize our eschatological assumptions.

I believe series like The TRUTH Project are an absolute must if we are to fulfill our mandate to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I hope you will prayerfully consider involvement as this TTP comes to your city. My church, Bay Life Church (Brandon, FL), is hosting this series beginning on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 (my 31st Anniversary!) at our 60 campus. I hope to see you there.

As I have attempted to share time and again, one's eschatological presuppositions (although clearly not foundational to our faith) have and will continue to affect our expectations. Gary DeMar, in his small book, "Is Jesus Coming Soon", offers a Biblical "end times" view that is in diametric opposition to that of most of our modern day prophetic speculators. In order to see the need for developing a well-rounded Christian world and life view offered by The TRUTH project, I believe it is necessary to create expectations that fall in line with the overcoming nature of the Gospel.

I also highly recommend an audio series entitled "Last Days", found at Scroll down near the bottom right under "Dan Norcini". These sermons will absolutely blow you away. Dan is thoughtful, humble, as Scripturally literate as any you will find, and he is adept at creating a sound Biblical argument. Enjoy! And don't forget to tune in to a TRUTH Project near you.

Aug 14, 2009

Two Friends, Different Paths, Same Destiny

This is dedicated to Mike Fitzpatrick, long time friend and running buddy from Boca High days. Mike was the epitome of the party guy and one heck of a talented harrier. He's been in the auto dealership business out in SoCal for much of his adult life. We crossed paths via phone a few years ago and have remained in contact since.

Back in 1971 when the above footage was taken, I thought I was earning my way Heavenward by staying out of trouble. Mike on the other hand was doing just the opposite with reckless abandon..."eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will all die"... and each day he didn't was due to God's merciful grace! During his morning runs Mike could regularly be seen heaving roadside, ridding himself of the prior nights encounter with multiples of six packs. I on the other hand, never touched a drop of alcohol, smoked the evil weed or did a whole lot of carousing. One living it up while the other living it down...both of us, however, were at the time running the same course...our ultimate eternity apart from God.

At the tail end of my senior year, after finally realizing that I couldn't earn my way into Heaven, God began to crystallize my thoughts. What had eluded me for so long became abundantly clear...I didn't have to "do" or "not do" anything to secure my spot with God in the afterlife. It was never about my behavior. I simply needed to put my faith and trust in Christ and allow His payment for my sin to do what I could not. (Ephesians 2:8-9) [The testimony of my family's conversion to Christianity can be found HERE or below, as Dr. David "Rev" Nicholas shared at my Mom's going home party, October 31, 2009---if you are thusly inclined, in "BECOMING", I share what Rev calls the "the bad news and the good news"]

(Kneeling L to R - Lee, Mike, Chuck, Les; Standing George & Coach)
[click to enlarge]

I don't know all the details, but at some point in Mike's life, he also became acquainted with the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the very moment he recognized his need for the Savior, and even though we had no clue of each other's faith commitment to Christ, we became eternal brothers on God's vaunted track team. Aint that awesome! It sends chills down my spine thinking we'll once again run as teammates!

For at one time we were on totally different roads with the same ill-fated ultimate destination, that is until Christ revealed Himself to us. Now, Mike and I talk regularly about life as a Christ-follower and of course running, because it will always be our passion. There's something about running that is unique...with each breath is the presence of God.

Bless you Mike Fitzpatrick, for you will forever be my brother. I love ya man! My prayer for you Mike, is that God will continue to mold and shape you into a vessel of His mercy and grace. God has great plans for you brother. From the sands of Spanish River Park to the grasslands of St Andrews, to the asphalt at Boca High, we now run a very different race with one truly amazing outcome. The road is clearly long, winding and rarely smooth, but the race is worth every dime Christ's invested in us! Bless you!

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown." 1 Cor 9:24-25

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb 12:1-2

For Les prayers will continue.

David Nicholas Memorializes Mom

Aug 13, 2009

1973 - Just Before the Rapture =)

Great memories! Gas lines were wrapped to kingdom come. We'd arrive at 5:00AM , play guitar, shoot the breeze, with hopes of adding a little petrol to our gas guzzling machines. The Middle East was a chaotic mess with one skirmish after another ... Watergate was in full swing and Tricky Dick was soon to resign under wouldn't be long Lindsey told us, the end of the world was clearly near. Surely this was it. All the signs were in place. Thirty six years later... =)

(click on icon left of Vimeo to enlarge)

I can't recall the names of everyone but I'll mention a few. George Davis, Gary Campbell (his sailboat), Gordon Weber, David Campbell, Jimmy Taylor, Bill Ferguson...Gosh, those were some great times. We had such good friends. Blessings to all!

Aug 8, 2009

The Destruction of the City of Jerusalem in 70 AD

It seems that precious few Christians possess even a modicum of historical perspective regarding the events surrounding the time between Christ's bodily resurrection and ascension in AD 30, and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Why is it that we are not taught these things vital to our comprehension of Scripture? Wouldn't it be extraordinarily relevant to understand the times, events and conditions that existed as the Canon was being written and ultimately completed? Were the events leading up to and including the demise of the Temple in AD 70, a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Most scoff at the idea. Preposterous they say. Instead of dismissing this possibility out of hand, wouldn't it behoove us to be faithful Bereans seeing if "these things are so?" (Acts 17:11)

The majority of Christians today ascribe a still future fulfillment to both Jesus' Olivet Discourse (Mt 24; Mk 13; Luke 21) and John's Revelation. But have you ever wondered why this is the common belief, given the fact that Jesus told his disciples rather emphatically, "Truly, truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things [not some] take place"? How can "this generation" refer to a generation 2,000 years future? If He wanted to suspend or elasticize the time clock, couldn't Jesus have just as easily said, "that generation", so as to introduce some level of ambiguity as to which generation He was referring?

(a few blogs back, we made a sound case HERE, arguing that "this generation" was directed specifically to those to whom Jesus was speaking. We contended that any other conclusion would be the result of presupposition and paradigm not exegesis. In other words, if we predetermined that Jesus could not have been referring directly to the generation at hand between AD 30-70, we must either change the meaning of generation [as some have tried] or we must add our own qualifiers, like "this generation that sees the signs" etc. Either way, in my view, the interpreter is playing with fire)

Most are unaware of the overwhelming evidence supporting the first century fulfillment of these predictions. May it never be, you say! If this is even a remote possibility why are so many (as I was) in the dark regarding these matters?

Although the first and third verse of Revelation's first chapter confirm the near-term expectation of this prophetic fulfillment, why don't people today embrace this timing?

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3

Why don't we search diligently for historical corroboration of the events that match the Revelation's first century predictions. If the events recorded in the Revelation were to "shortly take place...for the time is near", would it not be wise to see if these things actually took place shortly thereafter? I can hear the wheels turning as you read this.

We don't look back 2,000 years for fulfillment we say, because we "know" these things are reserved for our future. Really? Isn't this a leap of unbelief since we are ignoring the timing of these things while we allow our presuppositions to run amuck? Why are we, who pride ourselves in a literal interpretation of God's Word, so quick to jettison the common, literal understanding of "shortly" and "near"? Doesn't this bother us just a little?

Have you ever wondered where we obtain the Scriptural license justifying our alteration of word meanings like "shortly" and "near" to suit our own "private interpretations"? Aren't we even a little concerned that we are dabbling rather precariously with the inspiration and inerrancy of God's Word? Was God not able to communicate His plans clearly and effectively within the context of our finiteness? Isn't the test of a prophet (Deut 18:18-22) such that his prophesied word would come to pass within the time constraints of his prophetic utterance?

If we faithfully ignore the timing of these prophecies, are we not a mite intellectually dishonest? Isn't faithfulness predicated upon timely fulfillment of a promise? If the people in the Old Testament accepted the normative interpretional methods of the 21st century, would they have possessed the necessary means to determine the veracity of a prophet? If for example, the prophet Isaiah predicted the near term fall of the Babylonians to the Medes (Isaiah 13:1-22), would there have been any consequence to Isaiah if the Babylonians had not yet been defeated? Would Isaiah not have received swift rebuke for His inability to speak for the Lord?

Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:6

Let me share with you why I believe we have left clear interpretations of "shortly" and "quickly" and have thus ended with an interpretational free-for-all. First, as we read the uninspired footnotes of our Bibles, we find that the Revelation was written in approx 95-96 AD. Why is this significant and what impact does this have upon the time expectations with these first three verses? No events occurring shortly after AD 95-96 fit John's prophetic description. Therefore, "things which must take place shortly" and "for the time is near", must not mean what they appear to mean, or so we are told.

The truth is that once I realized the absolutely flimsy evidence of the "late date" (AD 96), and after I began to study both the internal and external proofs, it became clear to me that not only was the Revelation written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, but our entire Canon was comprised before this earth shattering event. In "Before Jerusalem Fell", Kenneth Gentry makes a very compelling case for a mid AD 60s date, hence the book's title.

The sheer fact that the War of the Jews, culminating in the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, (which resulted in well more than a million Jewish deaths) is not mentioned in one book of Holy Scripture, should cause us pause and thus burden us to consider the reasons. Gentry's 409 page tome (above), along with a plethora of audio/written evidence HERE, is available for your perusal. In my view, the correct dating, specifically of the Revelation, is absolutely crucial to the integrity of God's Word.

A great deal of the impetus to treat time words and phrases like "things to take place shortly", "for the time is near", "He is coming quickly", and "the time is at hand", ambiguously, is gained by our attempt to justify the fact that the Revelation (as I mentioned earlier) has no immediate application regarding an AD 96 date. In other words, the events nearing the end of the first century don't seem to have any correlation with the predicted calamities in the Revelation.

However, if one considers the probability of an AD 65 or 66 date, the events described in this very heavily sign-ifed book, along with the "all these things" from the Olivet, fit the time period from AD 66-70 like a glove.

I believe, if you truly look at the evidence while attempting as best you can to be objective, you may be shocked to find that every last sign/warning found in Matthew 24 (wars, earthquakes, famines, desolation; false Christs, gospel preached to the whole world, tribulation etc.) took place by the fall of the Temple in the annihilation of Jerusalem in AD 70. Just 40 years prior, Jesus prophesied that "the end of the age" would culminate with the destruction of Temple/Jerusalem at His Parousia (return with a consequential presence).

And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2

With this as a backdrop, please prayerfully consider the extra-Biblical description of the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the multi-national army lead by Rome. This brief historical outline regards the prophetic fulfillment of both Jesus' Olivet (AD 30) and Jesus' revelation to John 35 years later (AD 65). I believe it is imperative to be certain that when Jesus or one of the New Testament's inspired writers said that something was near and right at the door, they were speaking the truth.

I'm confident that you will find the following account rather fascinating in so far as it fulfilled Jesus' prediction 40 years earlier (a generation), that "not one stone will be left upon another." May your faith be increased exponentially by the proof of God's faithfulness to avenge His adversaries. (2 Thes 1:6-10)


The Destruction of Jerusalem

Translated from

Kirchenagenda für Ev.-Luth. Gemeinden
ungeänderter Augsburgischer Konfession.
Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1922.
D. J. Muehlenbruch, translator

As the time approached wherein God would at last send forth His wrath against Jerusalem and the Jewish people, even as the Lord Christ Himself had threatened, the entire Jewish kingdom was vexed at every turn. The high priests practiced tyranny against the other priests; there was hatred and jealousy among other officials, and from this mobs and all manner of divisive factions, and much robbery and murder was found in and around Jerusalem.

For this reason the Emperor Nero sent Gessius Florus to the Jewish lands. And, compared to him, the Jews were so obstinate in their greed, arrogance and wantonness, the Jews hunted down and killed five thousand of his men. The Jews were also fanatical, because of the will of God, about setting themselves against the Romans and revolting. When the Emperor Nero became aware of this he send Flavius Vespasianus and his son, Titus, to Syria.

Vespatian came to Galilee, which was heavily populated, and laid waste to everything; there being no end of murder, plundering, and fire. Many thousands of Jews were slaughtered, on one occasion as many as fifty thousand valiant men, together with women and children. The soldiers spared neither old nor young, neither the pregnant nor babes in arms. On one occasion Vespatian send six thousand young men as slaves to Achaia, to dig on the Isthmus. Thirty thousand Jewish combatants were sold into bondage. In desperation, five thousand threw themselves off of high cliffs.

At this time there was an admirable man, wise and judicious, a priest among the Jews, and once their leader in war, named Josephus. He had fled with several others to a cave near Jotapata after the first alarm, he had been captured and sent to Vespatian. Since he had prophesied to Vespatian that he would become emperor, he was permitted to live. And this same Josephus has written what we know of this history.

As this was taking place in Galilee, a great crowd of rapacious people, at the instigation of Johannes, one of the great men, came to Jerusalem, so that he might use this rabble to break up the regiment there. There was also much secret murder, robbery and plundering in Jerusalem. It also happened that several high priests were slaughtered, and much blood was spilled, even in the temple. Josephus wrote that twelve thousand of the best and noblest Jews were overtaken in this uproar, and had their houses and possessions given as plunder to the mob and the vulgar and lowly.

So it was, that even before agreeable weather returned, Jerusalem had been plagued with threefold misfortune, namely a war with Rome; with insurrection and all manner of mutiny; and tyranny, which had faction rising against faction, and with the knowledge of the rulers, shedding much blood.

Now, at the beginning of Winter, Vespatian heard that Nero was dead, besieged the city with Roman legions so that he might easily storm and take Jerusalem. Now, since Vespatian was recalled from his legions to become emperor, so that he might go to Egypt, and then to Italy, he gave commend of the Jewish campaign to his son, Titus.

Titus established his encampment hear to Jerusalem, and divided the legions to besiege the city from several sides. Meanwhile, a great host of people from all cities and regions were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. There were also, as mentioned above, three factions in the city seeking to destroy unity and order. One element was the Temple faction, among these Eleazar, son of Simon, was the leader. The Zealots, an evil, hypocritical lot, hostile to the populace, belonged to this faction. In the lesser faction, Johannes, the source of all misfortune, as mentioned above, held sway. The principal faction was controlled by Simon, with the help of twenty thousand Idumeans, sought to save the city from the wantonness and determined intention of the Zealots. Many would have had these guests somewhere else, but they could not be gotten rid of.

When Titus saw that the city was overcrowded beyond counting, hastily armed and reinforced himself in order to lay siege to the city and, as Christ had foretold, to encircle it with wagons so that hunger might drive them to greater distress and anxiety. When the Jews saw this, they with all their might to hinder and prevent this, and to keep it from happening, but it was completed and they were out of lick; For our Lord God wanted to make an end of them.

The city of Jerusalem was well fortified and had three walls. Therefore the Roman forces approached in full force to storm the city; and after much work, the first and second walls conquered and taken. At this same time, an innumerable multitude of people died of hunger, as Josephus wrote. The best of friends would often come to blows over a small piece of bread; children would often rip food from their parents' mouths. Neither brother nor sister had mercy upon the other.

A bushel of corn was more precious than gold. Driven by hunger, some ate manure; some, the cinches of their saddles; some, the leather stripped from their shields; some still had hay in their mouths when their bodies were found; some sought to escape starvation by means of their own filth. So many died of starvation that 115,000 corpses were found in the city and buried. Hegesippus reported that, at one gate alone, several thousand were carried out, and that 600,000 dies because of the siege.

Josephus reported that such a fearful, gruesome event occurred, that future generations would hardly be able to believe it. There was a respected woman, wealthy and well bred, across the Jordan; having fled Jerusalem in fear with some others. Now, since the city had been so grievously beset with hunger, (with what manner of crying and pain, one can only imagine) slaughtered her young child in the cradle, roasted half of it and ate it. When the soldiers came by looking for food, she set the remaining portion before them. The soldiers removed themselves from this gruesome scene, and having mercy upon the miserable woman, revealed this event to the lord of Jerusalem.

The Jews occupied the Castle Antonia, which was a strong fortress; they also occupied the temple compound, from which a stream flowed into the city. It cost more to conquer this fortress than all other the others combined.

Titus, however, fired up his men to storm the fortress by force. When the Romans had taken the castle, the trumpeter sounded a signal and all the Jews who had occupied the castle were slain or thrown from the walls; but some hurriedly escaped to the city in the darkness.

It is said that Titus wanted to spare the temple; but God decreed that it would not be spared. For after men had long walked and worked, and the Jews could not be moved, neither with threats or exhortations, to give up their fortified positions, the soldiers realized that the temple could only be conquered with fire; some of the men it afire. And in that hour the magnificent, exquisite and priceless building, which was celebrated far and wide, burned and was reduced to ashes.

The priests must beg and entreat pitifully to keep themselves alive; but the grace of God and men had run out. Titus, so Hegesippus writes, stated: "Now that their temple and services are gone, the priests are no longer needed." This destruction of the temple occurred on the tenth day of the month of August.

But the Jews that remained, after the destruction of the temple, in the section of the city not conquered by the Romans, thought to surrender themselves and went to Titus. Although they had not waited too long to make peace, and they did petition for peace and freedom because they were starving and in great need, nothing came of it, as it was only a few days since the city had been taken. Meanwhile, uncountable numbers of people, driven by anxiety and the distress of unbearable hunger, ran from the city into the hands of the enemy camp; there they sold themselves cheaply. It was then that the soldiers became aware that a certain Jew was picking gold which he had swallowed our of his own excrement.

Thus a rumor began to spread throughout the entire camp. This rumor caused those soldiers who thought about it to believe that they could find gold in all the Jews who had come out of the city to their encampment. More than two thousand Jews were disemboweled in a single night; and many m ore have suffered the same fate had Titus not decreed that the captives should not be killed.

Finally, the entire city of Jerusalem was conquered, neither young nor old were spared. Then a decree went out that all miserable people who were incapable of offering any resistance should be spared. Also, Jerusalem was thoroughly plundered by the foe, razed, burned and left in ruin. Some buildings were left standing, so that a few Roman soldiers might have been able to stand watch there. Only a few devastated buildings and towers were left standing to indicate that a city had once been there.

Thus the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and razed on the eighth day of September, in the fifth month of the siege.

From the host of captives Titus sent seventeen thousand healthy, young and strong men to Alexandria as quarry slaves. Many Jews were sold as cheaply as animals. Two thousand were distributed across the entire roman empire to become players in the spectacles, and to be torn apart by wild beasts in the arenas.

The total number of captives who remained alive came to ninety-seven thousand; however, at the beginning of the siege, ten times one hundred thousand were in the city, the majority of them strangers and not residents, although all were of Jewish descent and blood.

Thus Jerusalem, the most celebrated city in all of the East, came to a miserable and lamentable end, as had been prophesied, in the seventieth year after the birth of Christ our Lord.

(For a more complete account of the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, you may find it great benefit to download and read George Holford's 1805 account of, "The Destruction of Jerusalem, An Absolute and Irresistible Proof of the Divine Origin of Christianity.)

***NOTE: Proving exact dates within the historical timeline are extremely difficult. The Jewish calendar is primarily lunar, with each month beginning on the new moon. The problem with strictly lunar calendars is that there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in every solar year, so a 12-month lunar calendar loses about 11 days every year and a 13-month lunar calendar gains about 19 days every year. The months on such a calendar "drift" relative to the solar year. On a 12 month calendar, the month of Nissan, which is supposed to occur in the spring, occurs 11 days earlier each year, eventually occurring in the winter, the fall, the summer, and then the spring again. To compensate for this drift, an extra month was occasionally added; a second month of Adar. The month of Nissan would occur 11 days earlier for two or three years and then would jump forward 29 or 30 days, balancing out the drift.

According to, in A.D. 70 the 1st of Tishrei was on September 22. But they add this warning: "WARNING: Results for year 1752 C.E. and before may not be accurate. Hebcal does not take into account a correction of ten days that was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII known as the Gregorian Reformation." (Provided by David Curtis, Pastor, Berean Bible Church)

Aug 4, 2009

Barack "Anti-Christ" Obama? - Gary DeMar

Prophecy pundits are at it again! Listen how Gary explains passages from Isaiah and Luke in reference to "Satan falling as lightning (baraq) from heaven" (Luke 10:18). See what can happen when reading the Word with preconceived notions (as well as mistranslating your Bible)! To see the video that sparked this rebuttal, click HERE.