“Gate to Hell” discovered in Turkey

Pluto Gate

Joel Richardson WND

A significant recent archeological discovery in western Turkey may hold a prophetic hint as to the nation from which the Antichrist will someday burst forth onto the world scene.

According to a recent report by Fox News, archeologists have uncovered the ancient “gate to hell.” Not literally, of course, but rather they’ve discovered an ancient pagan temple known as “Pluto’s Gate,” the cave that was believed to be the portal to Hades, in Greco-Roman mythology.

According to the Greek geographer Strabo, the cave emitted a thick vapor that would kill any who came into contact with it. According to Francesco D’Andria, the archeologist who discovered the gate, “We could see the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation. Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes.”

Some students of prophecy have noted the similarity of the gate to hell to the “Abyss” as described in the book of Revelation:

“When [the angel] opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions.” (Revelation 9:2-3)

What is more interesting about this find as it relates to biblical prophecy is the fact that the gate was discovered in modern-day Pamukkale, Turkey, known in ancient times as Hierapolis. According to the first-century historian known as Pliny the Elder, Hierapolis was also known as “Magog.”

In fact, it was specifically this ancient Turkish-Magog connection that informed the understanding of a wide range of Jewish and Christian theologians concerning the region from which the armies of Gog and Magog would descend into the land of Israel in the last days.

Gog and Magog, according to the biblical prophet Ezekiel, are the armies of the final antagonists of the Jewish people, who would invade the land of Israel just prior to the return of Jesus. While many prophecy teachers today hold to the idea that Gog and the Antichrist are two distinct entities, this belief is actually a newer minority view within church history. Consider the following partial survey of theologians, both Christian and Jewish, who have long looked for the Antichristian armies of Gog of Magog to come from the land of Turkey:

Hippolytus of Rome (170–235), an early Christian theologian, in his Chronicon, connected Magog with the Galatians in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey.

Moses Ben Maimonides (aka Rambam) (1135–1204), the revered Jewish sage, in Hichot Terumot, identified Magog as being on the border of Syria and modern-day Turkey.

Nicholas of Lyra (1270–1349), a Hebrew scholar and renowned biblical exegete, believed that Gog was another title of the Antichrist. Lyra also affirmed that the religion of the “Turks,” a term used to refer to Muslims in general, was the religion of the Antichrist.

Martin Luther (1483–1586), understood Gog to be a reference to the Turks, whom God had sent as a scourge to chastise Christians.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1554–1618), in his History of the World, also placed Magog in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey:

“Yet it is not to be denied, that the Scythians in old times coming out of the northeast, wasted the better part of Asia the Less, and possessed Coelesyria, where they built both Scythopolis and Hierapolis, which the Syrians call Magog. And that to this Magog Ezekiel had reference, it is very plain; for this city Hierapolis, or Magog, standeth due north from Judea, according to the words of Ezekiel, that from the north quarters those nations should come.”

John Wesley (1703–1755), in his Explanatory Notes on Ezekiel 38 and 39, identified the hoards of Gog and Magog with “the Antichristian forces” who would come from the region of modern day Turkey.

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758), one of American history’s most renowned theologians, also viewed modern-day Turkey as the nation from which the coming Gog Magog invasion would come forth.

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), the British-Irish evangelist and a father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism, in his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, views Gog as the final Antichristian forces God will bring against Israel:

“Gog is the end of all the dealings of God with respect to Israel, and that God brings up this haughty power in order to manifest on earth, by a final judgment, His dealings with Israel and with the Gentiles, and to plant His blessing, His sanctuary, and His glory in the midst of Israel.”

C.I. Scofield (1843–1921), author of the Scofield Reference Bible, viewed the oracle of Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 as speaking of the Battle of Armageddon. Scofield, spoke of Ezekiel’s oracle thusly:

“[T]hat destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future ‘day of Jehovah’; Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21 and to the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14).”

Charles Lee Feinberg (1909–1995), a prominent Messianic Jewish expositor in his commentary on Ezekiel, states, “The armies of chapter 38-39 would appear to be included in the universal confederacies seen in Zechariah 12 and 14.”

Charles Ryrie, in his Ryrie Study Bible, views Gog and his hordes as one and the same with the Antichrist and his armies.

Dave Hunt, apologist, author and radio commentator, identifies the Gog of Magog Battle with other Antichristic prophecies and views it as a reference to the ultimate battle of Armageddon.

Many other prominent Christian theologians could be cited. If all of these theologians are correct, and Antichrist/Gog does come forth from the modern nation of Turkey, then it would certainly seem appropriate that Turkey is the home, not only to the throne of Satan (Revelation 2:13) but also to the mythological location of the ancient gateway to hell.

25 Comments
  • good4u
    Posted at 02:09h, 04 April

    Hey Joel!

    How ironic that you have posted this…I have done a little “research” on this very topic. Let me tell you, there is some very way, way out there stuff about this. Tho’ couched in today’s terms of “mythology” it was ancient man’s (pre-flood world of Noah) way of communicating what they witnessed and is by no means (in my opinion) made up. These spiritual portals are called “star gates” and possibly what is described in the Book of Revelation as the Abyss being one of these “star gate portals.” I have a collection of work by someone who did the research tho’ I do not know if they this person was a believer. Honestly, after reading what I read the LORD was merciful in sending the flood unto this world. If you are interested in this collection contact me through email.

    Blessings!

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  • Jason Brown
    Posted at 16:26h, 04 April

    This is ludicrous. The last pope prophecy is supposed to be “saddening”, and yet This goes over the line of ridiculous. The translation of the “gates of hell” is not correct. It is no mystery that Jesus said the gates of Hades, which would be the equivalent to “sheol” in the Hebrew. It means grave, not underworld or satanic dominion. The gates of the grave, ie death, will not prevail against the church because we will be resurrected!

  • Gabe
    Posted at 16:53h, 04 April

    Thanks for posting this, Joel. I appreciate you taking the time to read the article.

    Gabe

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:48h, 04 April

    Jason,

    I appreciate your thoughts. I think if you re-read the article, you’ll see that I do actually think that this is a “gate to hell”. Though Hades is the word from which we have hell throughout the KJV for instance. I’ve simply used the rather sensational attention that this story has received to point out the simple fact that a wide range of Christian and Jewish commentators have long looked to Turkey as the location from which Gog / Antichrist would come. This was my only point. And of course, I cited only a very truncated list. There are many others. But if I took this discovery too seriously or literally, it would be bizarre.

    Blessings

  • Christine
    Posted at 20:51h, 04 April

    Joel,

    You might find this interesting:

    Crowning Erdogan as the New King of Islamists

    http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/crowning-erdogan-new-king-islamists/#fm

  • Bo
    Posted at 22:55h, 04 April

    Great article Joel. I shared it on my Fb page. Keep up the good work! God Bless!

  • Ron Meck
    Posted at 23:39h, 04 April

    Joel, I was about to send you an email about this topic the second the news broke. I got busy in a meeting and forgot all about it. But sure enough, you were on top of it. When I read the headline the other day, I got chills down my spine as I knew exactly what this meant.

  • Troy D. Geddes
    Posted at 15:38h, 05 April

    Joel. I was wondering if you can send me a link to something on the “desire of woman” from your teaching on Dan. 11:37. thanks. Loved this article just spent last week in Antalyi. (Acts 14:25) didn’t notice any strange emissions from the ground!

  • Chris
    Posted at 16:09h, 05 April

    Hey,Joel
    It’s been along time I use to go by Amerzion or tearsofjerusalem when I use to post here , I just want to say hello old friend and hope all is good and yes I finally agree the antichrist is a muslim lol and turkey is most likely his dwelling lol God bless you I wish you could contact me soon . Anyway prayers and peace to you my friend.

  • Rick Reade
    Posted at 03:01h, 07 April

    Anyone have a realistic handle on the ‘seat’ (or throne) ‘of Satan’ mentioned in Rev: 2:13? Some have claimed that it was an altar excavated and taken to Germany or Berlin. That altar was dated to the 2nd century A.D. so it can’t be it. Some have tried to tie it to a special cult of Caesar in Pergamos from, I believe, the 1st century B.C. I haven’t found much about that, myself. Other than Rev. 2, is there anything of any
    historic biblical relevance to Pergamos? What is this throne of Satan? Any info
    would be greatly appreciated.

  • Casey
    Posted at 15:29h, 07 April

    I have heard about this too Rick awhile back and wondered about it. It is called the altar unto Zeus. I checked on the dates from the sources on the web and the dates of the making are from 2nd century BC not AD. From what I understand, Turkey has been trying to get it back from Germany for some time. I am not a hundred percent sure but from what I have read is that they are trying to make a replica of it now.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:02h, 07 April

    David,

    You’ve made quite a few statements, not all very kind or gracious. As a future reference for healthy and holy relational interactions, it is probably not best to begin a conversation by calling someone dishonest. But lets just deal with some of your claims.

    You said:

    “ALL of the early Christians up until the Middle Ages (at least as far as I know) believed the Antichrist to be either a Jew or a European.”

    Please cite a single source who claimed that the Antichrist would be European. You make this claim twice, yet never back it up. I am unaware of any.

    As for Hippolytus, here is what he said of the Antichrist:

    “That these things, then, are said of no one else but that tyrant, and shameless one, and adversary of God, we shall show in what follows. But Isaiah also speaks thus: ‘And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes.’”

    I’m not sure how a ruler from the region of ancient Assyrian is supposed to come from Europe in your view. Ancient Assyria included much of the MIddle East (including much of modern day Turkey), but did not include Europe at all. Hippolytus did claim that the Antichrist would be of Jewish ancestry, but I flat out reject this claim. Every single anti-type of the Antichrist in Scripture, (most significant of which is Antiochus IV Epiphanes), are all Gentile, pagan rulers. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, Antiochus, Titus, etc.

    But soon after Hippolytus, Victorinus, the bishop of Pettau, and the author of the most ancient complete commentary on the Book of Revelation in our possession also said that “the Assyrian” mentioned in Micah 5:5 is the Antichrist: “There shall be peace for our land … and they shall encircle Assyria – that is antichrist.” So this view seems to have been fairly well established.

    Soon thereafter, Lactantius, a disciple of Hippolytus said the following:

    “A king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit, the overthrower and destroyer of the human race, who shall destroy that which is left by the former evil, together with himself. … But that king will not only be most disgraceful in himself, but he will also be a prophet of lies … and power will be given to him to do signs and wonders, by the sight of which he may entice men to adore him. … Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people.”

    Of course by “Syria” he is referring to the ancient Roman province of Syria, not the modern day nations, which is much smaller. The province of Syria included much of modern day Turkey. So despite your claim that “ALL” early Christians believed the Antichrist to come from Europe, it seems that Hippolytus’ very disciple did not.

    Hippolytus referred to the region of Galatia, ie. central Asia Minor as the land of Magog. Its quite simple. When Hippolytus mentions the Celts, he says that they are from the peoples of Magog. In other words, they are the physical descendants of the original Magogians. But Ezekiel is not referring to physical descendants, but to geographic locations. As I have said before the Bloodline-migration-ancestry method of identifying ancient names in Scripture has lead to various errors such as Anglo or British Israelism. It is a fundamentally flawed method of hermeneutics. See my article on this here.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Gog is from the land of Magog. The Scriptures are clear. And virtually every scholarly Bible atlas that you consult will validate that this is Asia Minor. See here for reference with several maps.

    As for the idea that Gog is one and the same with Antichrist, the primary reason to see this as being the case, is because it was the Jewish view. You will not find a single Jewish source that references Gog of Magog as anything other than the final and ultimate enemy of the Jewish people. There are numerous sources that could be cited, but one example (apart from Maimonides already cited above) is the Talmud:

    Behold a king shall go up from the land of Magog at the end of the days. He shall assemble kings wearing crowns and lieutenants wearing armor, and all the nations shall obey him. They shall array battle in the land of Israel against the children of the Dispersion, but the Lord shall be ready for them by burning the breath of life out of them with the flame of fire that issues from beneath the throne of glory. Their dead bodies shall fall upon the mountains of the land of Israel, and the wild beasts of the field and the birds of heaven shall come and consume them. After that, all the dead of Israel shall be resurrected, and shall enjoy the good things which were secretly set aside for them from the beginning, and they shall receive the reward of their labor. —Talmud, Targum Jonathan Numbers 11:26

    The point here is that the Jewish view is that Gog is the final enemy, not a preliminary one. And he comes from a specific land, it is not a generic term used to refer to the whole earth.

    As for the idea that the “Gog if Magog” of Ezekiel is the same as the “Gog and Magog” of Revelation this view has some major difficulties.

    1.) Gog says to Go in Ezekiel, that he is the one spoekn of by the former prophets. If Ezekiel is speaking of a post-millennial battle, then show me in the prophets where this post-millennial battle is clearly described.

    2.) After the armies of Gog of Magog are destroyed, then the Jewish and all of the Gentiles come to know the Lord. Will Jesus actually reign on the earth for a 1000 years and none of the nations nor the Jews actually know Him? Such a claim would be silly and in clear contradiction with Scripture.

    3.) After Gog of Magog is destroyed, God pours out his Spirit on Israel. Again, does this not happen until the end of the Millennium?

    4.) After the armies of Gog of Magog are destroyed, all of the Jewish captives are returned to the land. This is in accordance with virtually all of the prophets and occurs at the time of the return of Jesus. If the Jews remain to be held captive throughout the Millennium, then Jesus is not a very good Messiah or ruler.

    There are other issues as well. Notice that both Armageddon and the Battle of Gog of Magog end with the call to the birds and beast to feast on the bodies of the armies. Revelation, in speaking of Armageddon virtually quotes Ezekiel verbatim. This cannot be ignored. If these were different battles, then the Lord would be being rather confusing here.

    Also, the bodies are buried for seven months and the arms burned for seven years. How could this happen into the eternal state? But it certainly could happen in the Millennium.

    What then is the reference to Gog and Magog in Revelation, and why is it different from the Gog OF Magog as found in Ezekiel? Simple. The phrase Gog and Magog, as found is several first century pseudepigraphal works is simply a term meant to equate with Satan’s armies. Because Gog of Magog was in many ways the Armageddon of the Old Testament, this was the natural phrase to use. It is not different than the way we use the expressions armageddon or apocalypse these days. One might say that tomorrow will be a financial armageddon, but in now way be making any reference to the valley of Megiddo. This is the only view that resolves the many problems with the view which conflates the two, in my opinion anyway. As always however, God knows best.

    I would still ask that you produce a few sources showing that all of the early Christians viewed the Antichrist as coming from Europe. While some obviously say that he will come from out of the Roman Empire, the notion that this means Europe specifically is obviously a basic but terrible geographic fallacy. I would be interested to see any who specifically, as you say point to Europe. Again, there may be such a claim, but I ave yet to find such.

    Many Blessings

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:18h, 08 April

    David,

    I am always entirely open to have conversations with people who are reasonable and not unnecessarily rude, accusatory or argumentative. You however are not being any of these. I’ve done this long enough to know the type of person who no amount of evidence will suffice, who love arguments more than truth.

    Concerning Hippolytus, my claim is simple. Gog is from the land of Magog. Hippolytus said that the Galatians and Celts descended from Magog. My article is not speaking of bloodline descendants however, but regions. History is clear that while the Galatians remained in their ancient homeland, the Celts migrated out. Galatia was in central Asia Minor, or modern day Turkey. Hippolytus thus, in accordance with virtually every major Bible Atlas (which I provided a link to) looked to Asia Minor as the land of Magog. You cannot provide a shred of evidence to the contrary. Nor have you make any effort to understand Hippolytus’ larger perspective. Hippolytus clearly believed that the AC was the eschatological “King of the North” of Daniel 11 as well as “The King of Assyria”. This is a reference to the AC being a ruler from the region of Syria, northern Iraq or Turkey where the historical “King of the North” and “king of Assyria” both ruled from. This is not Europe. Finally, as I showed, Hippolytus’ disciple Lactantius also looked for the AC also to come from the region of Syria or Turkey. None of this should not be difficult, unless you wish it to be…

    As I =said, while I reject Hippolytus’ view that the AC would be a descendant of the Hebrew tribe of Dan, his view on this issue in no way conflicts with his view that the AC would come from the region of Turkey. Your insistence that it does simply makes no sense.

    Again, you said that “ALL” early believers looked for the AC to come from Europe or to be a Jew. Yet when challenged, the only evidence you could provide is Commodianus’ (a heterodox Christian poet) reference to the bizarre view known as “Nero Redivivus”. This was a pagan view sadly held by some Christians that Nero was going to come back from the dead. It did not represent the views of the early Christians. As for Ireneaus, he was simply exploring the possible meanings of 666. He did not say that the AC would come specifically from Europe. In fact, to look to these two quotes as proof that “ALL” early believers looked to Europe specifically for the AC is embarrassing.

    Finally, you keep switching categories (regions and races) and (purposefully?) misunderstanding my points. Victorinus does not look to the prophecies of the Assyrian as proof that the AC would be of Assyrian ancestry. If you had read the links I provided, you would understand this. Again, my article is speaking of geography. Victorinus looked to the Assyrian as both symbolic of the AC, (his actions) and also as a prophetic title pointing to the region from which he would come. This is seen in that Victorinus believed the the AC was Gog (from Magog) as well as the prophetic “King of the North” of Daniel 11 and the “King of Assyria”. He discusses all three of these references in the very portion of his commentary that you pulled quotes from. But again, Victorinus’ belief that the AC would be part of the Roman Empire of his day in no way conflicts with him being an Eastern ruler from these regions. The Roman Empire was not limited to Europe. Again, Victorinus clearly links the “King of the North” with the title of “the King of Assyria” and Ezekiel 38, 39. I would encourage you to get his commentary. While repeatedly accusing me of being selective or dishonest, you obviously have not read his material, or you are ignoring it.

    The early believers did believe that the AC would come out of the Roman Empire (not a revived Roman Empire), it was afterall the only empire that they knew at the time, so this is entirely understandable. But they specifically believed that he would come from the eastern portions of the ancient Roman Empire. While I agree with them that he would come from the Middle East, I reject the idea that it would be from the Roman Empire.

  • Nick
    Posted at 00:25h, 08 April

    The Galatians were indeed Celtic and were related to the Gauls, as the similar name suggests. It was settled by Gallic people!

    There was a good deal of traffic and friendly relations between the ancient churches of France and of Asia Minor.

  • Patty Boyer
    Posted at 17:33h, 18 April

    I am reading “The Islamic Antichrist”‘ and decided to learn more about and from Joel Rosenberg. I am not good at end times understanding, and it is exciting to me to learn and aiacover so much. Nothing I have read or learned previously has come close to feeling so true!!
    Praise God!

  • Xiaoxiao
    Posted at 18:52h, 30 May

    Hi Joel, just a quick question- I understand that Gog and Magog here are interpreted according to geographical regions relating to Turkey rather than people groups/blood lines/their migrations. However, is that a principle we always should use? One thought I have is that concerning Israel, the land as well as the bloodline apply in speaking about them in prophecies. How do you go about that? Thanks in advance!

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:03h, 30 May

    It is not a universal method of interpreting every name mentioned within Scripture. In this case, it is the best and most reasonable method of understanding the names / locations. In the case of the Jewish people, it is clear that the overwhelming emphasis throughout Scripture is on a specific people. So as always, it is context that determines method. It becomes a bit more technical when making efforts to understand the various uses of the name Edom. In some cases, context would determine it to be a regional designation. Others would point to the spirit of the ancient Edomites (“because thou hast harbored an everlasting hatred”).

  • John J. Senst
    Posted at 09:02h, 22 June

    I am intrigued, studying more and more. I love the way how you outline things and argue logicalky. That’s brilliant.
    I did not quite get why finding the Greek mythological gates of Hades in Turkey is of any spiritual significance for a Christian believer. Can you clarify on this. We don’t believe that’s the entrance, do we?!
    Do yo have any good teaching on the mystery off Babylon sitting on the 10 horn beast which you well explained?

  • John McQue
    Posted at 18:23h, 25 December

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia are problematic. Then Iran also has agendas. The migration into european nations must be significant. But the most significant must be the fig tree Israel. We are in the final hour of the church age then jewish times will once again take over.

  • Vonise Carter
    Posted at 09:00h, 12 March

    Where do Russia, China, and Germany fit in, in this end time prophecy? I do agree with you and our dear Brother Jonathan Cahn on what i have heard so far. I follow and listen too you brothers on TBN and you speak with much wisdom and knowledge on the End Time. Thank for your words, and I would like to hear more!

  • Laurel Roberts
    Posted at 13:20h, 13 October

    I have been reading the end of Ezekiel, concerning the final temple, and ‘the prince’. Since this period of history appears to be ‘post-Wrath’, I assume ‘the prince’ is Yeshua Messiah. So why is he offering a burnt offering and peace offerings every Sabbath? And why do guilt and sin offerings continue to be made? Hasn’t the whole system, or at least the guilt and sin offerings, been replaced by Yeshua’s once-for-all sacrifice?

  • Joel
    Posted at 14:51h, 13 October

    The prince actually is not Yeshua because the prince will have children. The system of offerings is for those Jews who will still remain in their natural bodies.

  • Roger W. Snyder
    Posted at 23:28h, 22 June

    JOEL RICHARDSON : I have a question for you . When the nation of ISRAEL signs the 7 year peace agreement with the antichrist is it because they just got hit with the Ezekiel 38 attack or they want protection to build the TEMPLE ? thanks, Roger Snyder

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