53 Comments
  • O.A. Fish
    Posted at 22:13h, 19 February

    Got my Babylon bundle yesterday, and can’t wait to get into your new book. Saw Jaye Thomas today. He was back with us today in the church he grew up in.

  • David Williams
    Posted at 23:37h, 19 February

    Hello Joel,
    Once again another brilliant and balanced presentation.
    It will bring a great hope and comfort to those that do live in America, especially those that have read Books stating that America is Babylon.
    I cant imagine how distressing it must be for those in America that believe they Must flee America.
    I hope that you will continue to unravel the false teachings surrounding Mystery Babylon and that believers would be encouraged to believe what God declares.
    I am still reading and enjoying your New Book.
    I would encourage many to read Joel’s New Book.
    God Bless You Joel

  • Alice Lanza
    Posted at 11:59h, 20 February

    Thanks again for a wonderful teaching and such encouragement for those who neither want to leave the U.S. or can. Blessings Alice

  • linda Keyes
    Posted at 12:04h, 20 February

    Shucks Joel

    I guess this means Tony Blair can’t be the antichrist then 😕

  • Joel
    Posted at 13:03h, 20 February

    Thanks Alice!

  • Robin Nelson
    Posted at 13:28h, 20 February

    I love your presentations and content Joel but, on top of the agony of waiting a week each time for your next Underground lesson, wading through explanations of why something is NOT true, can be a little painful for those of us who are impatient and selfish : ) I understand why you do it, and of course you have my support, but I’ve always approached teaching as an opportunity to reveal and illuminate what is false through the consistent exposition of what is true. In other words, anything that is not This must therefore be That. I suppose we all learn in different ways. I opened an article online that featured Erdogan in front of a massive wall of Turkish flags, and the image of a ‘scarlet’ beast leapt to mind. I know it’s nothing, but you’ve really helped me to know where to look, and even how to wait. Thanks for all you do!

  • kaye montell
    Posted at 13:39h, 20 February

    Joel you can answer me by email without posting this I read this article and was wondering what you think about #5 it says America is from one of Joseph children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99bmApyh0qY also I listen to Gateway churches online services and think you might enjoy the message by Robert Morris from this weekend http://gatewaypeople.com/ministries/life/events/individual-messages-2017/session/2017/02/18/the-power-of-prayer, and lastly I enjoy all your underground episodes this one was especially good. I pray for your safety while overseas in Muslim countries I also pray for the return of Jesus. Bless you Kaye

  • Debbie Malcolm
    Posted at 16:45h, 20 February

    Joel
    Thanks for the teaching on DVD turkey/caliphate you are a very good teacher. Also enjoyed the debate with Tom Ice. As I said God is calling me and your one of the pastors he is drawing me to. Looking forward to getting time to read the Mideast Beast, should have started with that book. Anyway so started listening to videos (sometimes can listen to them while working with ear pieces ) Lucky! teachers/pastors different views and was very shocked to see how they demean you on videos that are out there! This I am very sorry for, we SHOULD be able to disagree without being arrogant and disrespectful and boastful! It really saddens me
    Blessings to you and your family Keep pushing on !!!

  • Jeanne T.
    Posted at 18:25h, 20 February

    Another great episode, Joel!

  • Matt
    Posted at 18:45h, 21 February

    Joel, the new book is fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciate your work. This might be slightly off topic, but I have a question for you. How do you see the destruction of the Harlot fitting in time wise with the events of Daniel 8. Thanks and God bless.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:19h, 21 February

    I tend to see the destruction of the harlot as an event that would be very close to the end of the seven years.

  • Kelly Christman
    Posted at 22:32h, 21 February

    Can you comment on Revelation 18:21-24 and how they specificly apply to Mecca or Saudi Arabia? Thank you.

  • David Seregow
    Posted at 17:56h, 22 February

    Hello Joel:

    I was first introduced to a different interpretation of Revelation while reading Marvin Rosenthal’s exceptional book, “Pre-Wrath Rapture.” It opened my eyes and excited me to know there was a more logical, biblically-based interpretation of the end times, allowing me to make sense of the future. Your inspired work has greatly added to and explained, in a logical, biblically-based, understandable way many of the questions that were left unanswered with Marvin Rosenthal’s excellent work. I regularly study your books and videos and use them as preparation for when I teach our adult class at church. You and your work are deeply appreciated.

    I pray that God will bless and use you, providing the resources, strength, and safety you need to continue your valuable ministry.

    Dave

  • Jeff Marshall
    Posted at 13:21h, 23 February

    Brother, I love the unique way God gifted you to scholarly (but in lay-man’s terms) criticism of commonly held false interpretations of scripture, but without cynicism & all with a Jesus/Gospel/Evangelism/Missions-Centric focus & manner. Your teaching has been & continues to be a tremendous blessing to the Body in this generation. We may not “fully buy in” to some of these views, but years of hearing/reading them without good, solid, Biblical, historical researched explanations to counter them, they can have subtle (even sub-Conscious if you will) affects on our thinking. And our thinking affects, or even drives, our actions. You “unpack” the common held falsehoods so well & show the “better fit”. Just wanted to encourage you that you’re a blessing! You really are MY “favorite heretic”. Lol. 😂
    Blessings!

  • David Williams
    Posted at 13:26h, 23 February

    I agree with you Joel on the timing of the destruction of the Great City Babylon as we read this so clearly in Revelations 19:1-8

    She is destroyed just before the declaration of the Wife being made ready, finally the wife is ready and she is given authority to be dressed in a beautiful dress that is the Righteousness of the Saints.

    Rev 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
    Rev 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
    Rev 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
    Rev 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
    Rev 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
    Rev 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
    Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
    Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

  • Sherry
    Posted at 17:55h, 23 February

    wish I had 4000 to go to Israel and listen to what you would say to the people you think have understanding already……it’s like duh on New York and the stars of September. I wonder what God is showing you in the inner room….if this is it then cool but if there’s more and God isn’t holding you back then for the love of everything Holy. Let it flow! I mean dont feel like you need to defend yourself to the world….

  • Brian J Spurgeon
    Posted at 09:59h, 24 February

    Thank you so much for your presentation here. I only recently began to see and understand what you have stated in your video presentation regarding Mystery Babylon. I watched a presentation on youtube by Christian Logic posted 4 months ago, and it gave scriptures and a historical background supporting your conclusion in your latest book. Thank you for all that you do. Your teaching is very clear, sound and with discernment. I pray for God to continually bless your ministry.

  • Joel
    Posted at 10:12h, 24 February

    Not sure I understand your request. What about these verses would not line up with Saudi Arabia? When she is destroyed, she will be forever desolate. And she is responsible for the shed blood of those who are killed all over the earth.

    Blessings!

  • Joel
    Posted at 17:07h, 24 February

    I love Joel Rosenberg, but he is mistaken on some significant issues here. He says the Ayatollah banned the 12ers. He is a 12er. The majority of Muslims in Iran are 12ers. He is confusing 12ers with a group called the Hojjatieh, sort of a secret group.

    America is not descendant from Joseph. America is largely gentile and a obviously a melting pot.

    I love Robert Morris.

    Blessings

  • Sharon Rose
    Posted at 02:51h, 25 February

    As i see it, you are most likely spot on Brother Joel, even the muslims believe that mecca is going to be destroyed..funny enough.. thanks for being brave enough to put such a book out there.. the world is completely deceived about islam, many say all religions are good and peaceful .. so little they know.. anyway.. I cant wait to have my hands on your new book, Shalom, blessings

  • Howard
    Posted at 08:55h, 25 February

    Thanks, Joel, for another well-informed presentation. I really appreciate it.

    John’s “wondered greatly’ (Rev 17:6) at seeing the woman and the beast reminds me of Daniel’s ‘fainted and was sick for several days’ (8:27) when he saw the vision and received the explanation of the fourth beast. They may well have been witnessing the same thing.

    Also, the perpetual desolation and burning of the city that is this mystery of Babylon reminds me of the Dung (Garbage) Gate of Jerusalem, and the Valley of Hinnom where all of the refuse was continually burning. The Hebrew word for Hell, gehinnom (gehenna in Greek) is taken from the name of the valley, and hell is also referred to as the lake of fire, which is a perpetual burning that will never be quenched.

    One question: why do you think that Bablyon is name of reference for this mystery city? In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon, and found it to be a desirable place to live. Most of them chose not to return to Israel when King Cyrus gave them liberty to do so in order to rebuild the Temple and the city. Your case for Mecca is powerful, but how does Mecca compare to this for born-again Christian believers? Perhaps vicariously, with the wealth of the city dulling believers’ discernment, and their desire for the city whose architect and builder is God?

  • Gary Chappelle
    Posted at 17:07h, 25 February

    The British-Israelism people tend to apply a lot of prophecies to America, Great Britain, Australia, etc. This isn’t Scriptural. However, there is evidence that the House of Israel, captured by Assyria, did migrate northward and then westward and assimilated into the peoples of Europe and consequently, the Americas. This was God’s plan all along. The House of Israel became “not my people” or goyim (gentiles), as prophesied in Hosea. They would forget the sabbath, the holy days, and lose their identity. But the New Covenant, as detailed in Jeremiah, emphasizes the RETURN of the House of Israel to rejoin the House of Judah (the Jews) as one people and become the people of God once again. This was the ultimate plan of God to bring salvation, not only to all Israel, but to all peoples of the world.

  • Joel
    Posted at 17:29h, 25 February

    Hi Howard,

    Yes, in many ways, ancient Babylon seduced the Jewish people to stay there due even after they could return due to her prosperity. I do not find this dynamic greatly emphasized in Revelation’s descriptions of the last days Babylon nearly as much as it emphasizes her bloodthirsty characteristics. One could certainly infer it in God’s call to “come out of her my people”. Apart from the always present temptation to covert with Saudi due to her financial seduction, this would not fit Islam nearly as much as some global secular form of seduction.

  • Joel
    Posted at 17:31h, 25 February

    HI Gary,

    I would much disagree with you here regarding the USA. Far more historical evidence has the dispersed tribes intermixing largely to the east than the west. The majority of the British would be more derived from Japhetic peoples, not semitic.

  • Gary Chappelle
    Posted at 17:57h, 25 February

    Hi Joel,

    Well, I guess we just disagree here. While certainly there is a lot of evidence for Judah and Benjamin migrating east, there is a lot of archaeological evidence for the House of Israel (10 tribes) migrating into Turkey and westward. Regardless, God’s plan all along was to disperse the 10 tribes among the peoples of the world as recorded in numerous passages such as Amos 9:9, “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”

    But, as mentioned above, Hosea 1 really lays out God’s plan for both houses of Israel and Judah.

    8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

    10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

    Both Houses will come together again as pictured by the two pieces of stick in Ezekiel 37:

    16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.

    18 “When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.

    I don’t want to dwell on this, because it’s a completely different subject than Babylon, and don’t want to hijack the conversation. But maybe in the future you can discuss this subject in more detail because I have found most Christians are completely ignorant of the two Houses Of Israel and their history.

    Thanks much for the book. You lay out the case for Mecca as Babylon quite convincingly.

  • Robert
    Posted at 18:18h, 25 February

    Hello Joel,
    I finished your book a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the scholarly research that you put into it as well as considering the other possible interpretations of who Mystery Babylon is. Prior to reading your book, I had been thinking long and hard about America being Great Babylon. I would read and study Revelation 17 and 18 then watch some self proclaimed prophecy teachers who would explain why America was indeed Mystery Babylon. It seemed to be a perfect fit to me, the only major part not fitting was the blood of all the saints and the blood of all those on the face of the earth being found in her streets. Which, I reasoned America has partially already fulfilled that but would fulfill it completely the closer we get to the coming of the Lord.

    After reading your book, I have now switched my view to your theory of Mystery Babylon being Mecca/Saudi Arabia. You did your homework brother, and it makes much more sense to me, at least for the foreseeable future. I do have a couple questions for you though. America’s presence and dominance in the world since WWII cannot be overlooked. Our involvement in the Middle East with our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq over the last twenty-five years have really changed the political landscape and the way a lot of people live there. It can be argued as well that our policies have helped given rise to Al qaeda and ISIS. So in light of all that America has done and will probably continue to do in the Middle East with Trump being our president, and yet bible prophecy has nothing to say about America? It doesn’t make much sense to me especially if we are in the last days.

    But laying that question aside my other question is something many have been mulling over for years and I would really like it if sometime you could devote a broadcast to explore this question. When it speaks of the beast’s and false prophet’s rule over the whole earth in Revelation 13 is this mainly referring to the then known world of what Rome controlled? In other words the Middle East, Northern Africa, and parts of southern Europe? I reference in support of this view Caesar’s decree in Luke 2 “that all the world should be taxed.” We know that this means that not every people group were taxed, but only those within the Roman Empire. Also Nebuchadnezzar’s decree that all people bow down to the image in Daniel 2. All those living in the realm of what Babylon controlled were forced to bow down, but obviously this did not include all the people groups on the earth who lived outside of the kingdom of Babylon.

    So when we read in Revelation 13:7 that the false prophet causes all who do not accept the mark of the beast or who worship his image to be put to death, does this really mean all people from every nation upon the face of the whole earth? Or did John just primarily have the current kingdom of Rome in mind, who for all purposes was the harlot of its time. I tie this question into your theory of the beast empire being centered in Turkey and the harlot being Mecca/Saudi Arabia. Is Turkey and Mecca, even with all the combined strength of other Middle East powers (the 10 kings), really going to control the whole world to enforce the worship of the Antichrist? That just doesn’t make any plausible sense to me as I consider the current dominance of America, Russia, and China and to a lesser extent Europe.

    What I find very interesting is that the teachers who you have debated who hold to a Roman/European Antichrist also (for the most part) believe in a world wide system of control by a world ruler-the Antichrist.. Of course this is usually after a convenient pre-tribulation rapture, but I digress.
    So how do you see it, will the coming Antichrist really take over every nation of the whole world? Or will the big 3 (America, Russia, China) be watching events from the book of Revelation unfold in the Middle East on the sidelines?

    Anyhow, I know these are big questions but any response would be very appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  • Gary Chappelle
    Posted at 06:32h, 26 February

    Hi Joel,

    One other point. I agree with you that the British people largely derived from the Japhetic peoples. But we’re not talking about their origin. We’re talking about the northern 10 tribes migrating and ASSIMILATING and intermarrying with the largely gentile peoples of the world, including Europeans and eventually the peoples in the Americas. This did not happen with the southern kingdom of Judah (the Jews) as they were able, for the most part, to maintain their identity when they migrated back to Jerusalem from Babylon. That was my main point.

  • Kelly Christman
    Posted at 20:53h, 26 February

    I was wondering if the verses 21-18 from chapter 18 actually describe the society in SA. I do not know much about their society… such as do they have a lot of mills? Is marriage and music a big part of their culture? what about the lights not shining anymore? Is the rock the size of a millstone have anything to do with the blackstone? These verses contributed to part of the reason why I believed the woman was NYC so I was wondering if those particular descriptions describe the society of SA.

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:38h, 27 February

    Hi Kelly,

    The language there could describe Saudi Arabia just fine. The great mill stone is simply a very large stone.

  • Kelly Christman
    Posted at 00:53h, 28 February

    Joel,

    Thanks for your response to my question above.

    I agree with much of what Robert wrote above and would love to see you devote an episode to his question about the whole world being controlled by the Anti-Christ. I used to believe that Muslims would never go along with the mark of the beast but now I see that could easily happen if the antichrist is Islamic. But America, Russia, and China, I don’t see them going along with the whole mark of the beast thing, which leads me to believe something will happen to those nations before the beast, anti-christ, and false prophet come into power.

    I read a prophecy by Dumitri Duduman (exiled Romanian pastor). He wrote:
    I said, “How will America burn?” America is the most powerful country in this world. Why did you bring us here to burn? Why didn’t you at least let us die where ALL the Dudumans have died?”

    He said, “Remember this, Dumitru. The Russian spies have discovered where the nuclear warehouses are in America. When the Americans will think that it is peace and safety – from the middle of the country, some of the people will start fighting against the government. The government will be busy with internal problems. Then from the ocean, from Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico,,..” (He told me two other countries, but I didn’t remember what they were.) “…they will bomb the nuclear warehouses. When they explode, America will burn!”

    “What will you do with the Church of the Lord? How will you save the ones that will turn toward you?” I asked. He said, “Tell them this: how I saved the three young ones from the furnace of fire, and how I saved Daniel in the lions den, is the same way I will save them.”

    The angel of the Lord also told me, “I have blessed this country because of the Jewish people who are in this country. I have seven million Jews in this country, but they do not want to recognize the Lord. They didn’t want to thank God for the blessing they received in this country. Israel doesn’t want to recognize Jesus Christ. They put their faith in the Jewish people in America. But, when America burns, the Lord will raise China, Japan, and other nations to go against the Russians. They will beat the Russians and push them all the way to the gates of Paris.

    Over there they will make a treaty, and appoint the Russians as their leaders. They will then unite against Israel. When Israel realizes she does not have the strength of America behind her, she will be frightened. That’s when she will turn to the Messiah for deliverance. That’s when the Messiah will come. Then, the church will meet Jesus in the air, and he will bring them back with Him to the Mount of Olives. At that time, the battle of Armageddon will be fought.”

    There was more to his prophecy and can be found in his book “Through the Fire.” Anyway I thought this dream/prophecy was interesting especially since our nation is in such great inner turmoil.

    Anyway… I would like to see an episode devoted to answering Robert’s questions above.

    Thanks again for your website. I have learned so much from listening to your videos and wish I would have had this information a long time ago. It’s all so interesting and looking at SA as the harlot fills in so many missing gaps that I had before.

  • David Roberts
    Posted at 01:08h, 02 March

    Kelly,

    Read Joel’s chapter about will the Antichrist’s rule be absolute and global or regional in Mideast Beast and so much of your wondering and questions will be resolved.

    David

  • David Tutwiler
    Posted at 19:58h, 05 March

    Joel,

    When will Mystery Babylon be available in audible listening format.?

    Thanks,

    David Tutwiler

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:03h, 05 March

    Hi David,

    I actually have no control or knowledge of this. They usually do it after a couple months.

    Sorry I cannot give you more info.

    Blessings!
    Joel

  • Debbie
    Posted at 19:21h, 08 March

    Daniel 10:13 But the prince of Persia withstood me one and twenty days And Daniel 10:20 and now I return to fight with the Prince of Persia is this speaking of the devil, evil angels antichrist? That God and his angels had to fight ?
    Also what is the colors purple and scarlet represent ?? I know you are busy!
    If you could help much appreciated. Need more teachers/pastors such as you!!!
    Blessings

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:11h, 08 March

    The Prince of Persia is what we sometimes call an angelic or demonic being, though this is not actually accurate. He is a principality, a fallen elohim. Scarlet represents sin, and purple is also the color used for royalty.

  • Julie Jenkins
    Posted at 07:56h, 09 March

    Hi Debbie,

    I agree with Joel as it is indeed a fallen elohim and these heavenly hosts were assigned to the nations at the Tower of Babel incident when Yahweh divorced general humanity from Him and divided them into the nations. Yahweh then sat aside His portion through the call of Abraham which became Israel in the future. This is well-known within biblical academic circles, but unfortunately, has not been transmitted down clearly to the churches for teaching dissemination for Christians. Dr. Michael Heiser’s ground-breaking teaching on this and other important information Christians should know is found in his book entitled, “The Unseen Realm” which I highly recommend you obtain to understand more on this subject.

    Blessings!

  • Tamaira Loveless
    Posted at 17:59h, 10 March

    Joel, Still reading your book and it’s just…It has me praying more. I can not understand how S.A. Is a member of the UN. If we can get this information about them then the UN already does. They have our kings bought, I guess they have other kings bought too. It’s just sickening. I was wondering if you have a reference for when you said Saudi princes were the only ones not grounded during 9/11? My ebook didn’t list one. I appreciate all the references. On ebooks you can tap on them and it goes right to the article. Thanks, and Blessings, Tamaira

  • English Lady
    Posted at 07:53h, 12 March

    Really hope you might do an Episode on why Britain/London is not Mystery Babylon, which is one explanation that has been posited- alongside the idea that Prince Charles is the Antichrist.

  • David Tutwiler
    Posted at 21:56h, 12 March

    Hi Joel,

    Ask and you shall receive!
    I just saw the audio version of Mystery Babylon is available on Audible.

    Thanks,

    David

  • Derek Scott
    Posted at 23:43h, 13 March

    Hello, Mr. Richardson. I’m not sure what I believe about eschatology; although I’m attracted to amillenial preterism (positions you clearly believe have no merit or worse). I am not an Evangelical or Classical Protestant, etc., but have significant experience and exposure to both. My inclination is toward the ancient Christian churches with considerable history (good and bad) under their belts – Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. I’ll leave it there to avoid the predictable assumptions that come with those identifications or monikers, especially related to the former, given many (most?) are ignorant of the latter. Suffice it to say, I’m mostly comfortable with the theology of “Mere Christianity” a la C.S. Lewis.

    I came across your most recent book at Barnes and Noble (the icon cover caught my eye) and bought it after thumbing through it and reading parts. I must say your presentation is persuasive and sober. I’ve personally been very disturbed over the past few years with the overwhelmingly willful and blind tolerance, even defense!, of Islam, in spite of everything to the contrary. Even more importantly, at least for me, as I’ve been reading your work and watching some of your videos and interviews, I don’t detect sensationalism, which from my experience and observation, is the common zeitgeist of prophecy obsesses culture. (No offense meant, truly.). You project a thoughtful passion with intellect and poise. It’s hard to not take you seriously, even if I disagree. It has surprised me and caught me off guard, so to speak.

    I wanted to ask you a question. As I’ve been doing a little digging, I came across the below (in quotes) from an Eastern Orthodox source. I’ve never encountered this proposition before, but I found it curious given how you describe a hermeneutic related to scripture and prophecy as “Jerusalem, Israel, and Middle East centric. If you chose to respond, I thank you in advance.

    “Most Holy Fathers agree on the basis of Scripture that Antichrist will be of Jewish descent from the tribe of Dan. According to the prophecy of the patriarch Jacob, “Dan shall be a serpent in the way” (Gen. 49:17; cf Jer. 8:16); among the remnants of the tribes of Israel which are sealed unto salvation (Rev. 7:4-8), the tribe of Dan is exclusively omitted. It is interesting here to note that the Ethiopian Jews, of whom several thousand were airlifted to Israel in the recently publicized ‘Operation Moses,’ are declared to be ‘undoubtedly of the tribe of Dan’ (a statement by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, “Time,” Jan. 14, 1985).”

  • Joel
    Posted at 07:00h, 14 March

    Derek,

    Thanks for your comments. I fully understand and sympathize much with where you are coming from. I’ve read a few books by Kalistos Ware and other Orthodox writers. I deeply appreciate much of it, though I do not agree with all of it. So I certainly fully appreciate “mere Christianity.” One reason I am an evangelical however is because I find evangelicals to be far more missional and evangelistic, and thus obedient than most other groups.

    For what it is worth, the earliest of the church writers and fathers were indeed premillennialists, though amillennialism did also begin to creep in rather early. The earliest of the earliest were premillennialists. Very few were preterists, at least not in the modern sense rejecting any last days, future Antichrist and great trial at the end of the age. (Though some speculated that Nero was he). It is true that many of the fathers believed the Antichrist would come from the Jews, from the tribe of Dan etc. That said, they also believed that he would come out of the pagan Roman Empire that existed during their time. Of course, they were very wrong about this, as it no longer exists. Thus Andrew of Caesarea by the sixth century, noted that the old view was no longer feasible. More yet, a few expressed belief that the Antichrist would be specifically from the Middle East. Lactantius straight out said the Antichrist would come from Syria specifically. Others looked to references to “the Assyrian” in Isaiah and Micah, and identified this as the Antichrist.

    My perspective concerning the early writers is that while they often give us wonderful samples from history as to the beliefs of some early Christians, there is also much that has been lost from this period. Far more was lost than has been saved. The one matter where they clearly deviated on, almost universally after the fall of Jerusalem, is with regard to supersessionism (aka., replacement theology). I would appeal to you to consider my book When a Jew Rules the World on this matter. So while anti-Judiaism and outright Jew-hatred quickly did creep in, so also did a negative outlook on Jews and Judaism in the last days, ala a Jewish Antichrist. Oddly however, there are nearly no clear passages in the Bible to support such a proposition. Quite to the contrary. Instead they must draw this inference out from cryptic inferences such this passage about Dan. All in all, I find this the one matter that although quite common among early church writers, is simply unsupportable. Beyond that, its genesis can be traced specifically to the creeping anti-judaism common among the early writers. Thus it is something I very much reject and I believe everyone should. I find far more evidence, consistently throughout the Scriptures of a gentile Antichrist specifically from the nations that immediately surround Israel. For more on this, I highly recommend my other book Mideast Beast. I could elaborate in much greater detail of course, but I hope this brief explanation helps.

    Blessings,
    Joel

  • Linda Keyes
    Posted at 15:36h, 14 March

    Well Joel I think preachers will have to start listening to the Islamic anti Christ message now. Erdagon is calling on Islamic world to rise up against the islamaphopia in Europe. Indeed I think we are seeing the rise of the middle East base of a c.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/we-know-netherlands-dutch-from-srebrenica-massacre-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=110792&NewsCatID=510

  • Derek Scott
    Posted at 00:49h, 15 March

    Mr. Richardson,

    I appreciate your thoughtful response with surprising examples to boot. Again, compelling, and not what I expected. I suppose I half anticipated a “sola scriptura” type of answer. Even if you do hold the position of scripture alone as the final authority (I suspect you do; I do not), you clearly have command of a broad spectrum of “last days” knowledge and perspectives. At your suggestion, I will get your book “When a Jew Rules the World” and give it a fair hearing. Your clear and cogent scholarship alone warrants serious consideration. I count myself among the curious regarding the various eschatological positions and debates. Even though it doesn’t hold a primary emphasis for me, I’m increasingly intrigued, especially given the disturbing rise of Islam, and most bothersome of all, even bizarre to me, is the unlikely and numerous defenders of the same, even while it promotes chaos and violence. It’s like a whole, large, even majority, swath of people have Stockholm Syndrome or are under a spell, as it were.

    Please know that I do not, nor have I ever, even in the slightest way, hold any prejudice or bias against the Jews? On the contrary, I hold the Jewish people and Israel in the highest regard and have from a young age (pre-teens and I’m in my late 40s now). First, our Lord is a Jew from the tribe of Judah. Second, Abraham is the father of the faith. Third, as a human, my heart rends when I hear accounts of the holocaust under Hitler – documentaries, books, movies, etc., deeply move me and more so, for whatever reason, compared to all other mass atrocities. (Those matter, too! I’m just offering this sentiment to express how far I am from being anti-Semitic, even if I were to ultimately espouse Amillennial Preterism.) Finally, from a purely secular and political point of view, I completely, entirely support Israel as the only sane, liberal democracy in the Middle East among a confederacy of madness that surrounds them. On this point alone, I’m confounded – literally – by those who don’t find themselves naturally simpatico with Israel.

    Regarding your response and examples: I faintly recall once hearing or reading somewhere, many moons ago, that Premillennialism was held by an early church Father, but I’m surprised to hear many or most did so before 70 A.D. and still some after. That is telling, to be sure. However, it begs the question, at least for me, why the drastic pivot? Here is my thought: Just as the Resurrection of Christ created a positive about-face among the disciples, who were running scared and lost, to then go on to establish the Christian faith and Church in the cauldron of martyrdom; in a similar vein, I can imagine how disheartening, even disappointing, it must have been for believers in the early Church, under intense persecution, when their expectation of an imminent Second Coming failed to happen. I can also imagine it created a crises of faith or existential angst among the early believers, who in spite of being in close proximity (compared to us or even several centuries later when the faith became increasingly “codified” by the canon of scripture and ecumenical councils, etc.) to the apostolic era, which led them to revisit their interpretation of the Parousia.

    Indeed, I’ve long found it problematic that the apostle St. Paul claimed in Holy Scripture that “this generation” (his own, effectively) shall not pass or more recently that a generation has passed since 1948 with the establishment or return of Israel, etc. This is a problem, even malady, in the prophecy world. Being disappointed time and again. Maranatha over time has become threadbare, it seems to me. As a kid I remember the whole “Late Great Planet Earth” craze. I can even remember 10 or 15 years ago a whole prophetic movement with charts, graphs, books, conferences and the like, all centered on the notion that the Antiichrist would be Hitler literally revived. Not an antichrist type, but the actual end times Man of Sin. The person postulated (I’m sure sincerely) that Hitler was the one with a head wound that would be unmasked and return, or something like that. Getting this kind of thing wrong can do grave damage to the church writ large.

  • Lynne Sebald
    Posted at 02:21h, 15 March

    Hi Joel, sure have missed you posting anything on underground for a while now. Hope you are not sick again. Reading Mystery Babylon slowly. Prayers.
    L. Sebald

  • Joel
    Posted at 12:06h, 15 March

    Should have something up very soon.

  • Joel
    Posted at 12:17h, 15 March

    Derek,

    I’m presently heading out of the country for about ten days and will have intermittent and spotty service. Thanks much for your comments. Hope to interact more at a later time.

    Blessings!
    Joel

  • Debbie
    Posted at 12:41h, 15 March

    Thank You and may Our Lord Jesus Bless you and all that you and yours are doing!!!
    Jus felt I needed to speak that out loud
    Lord give us all strength and wisdom in this amazing time

  • Jeanne T.
    Posted at 12:53h, 16 March

    “Indeed, I’ve long found it problematic that the apostle St. Paul claimed in Holy Scripture that “this generation” (his own, effectively) shall not pass or more recently that a generation has passed since 1948 with the establishment or return of Israel, etc. This is a problem, even malady, in the prophecy world. Being disappointed time and again.”

    Joel,

    Regarding the verse Derek cited regarding “this generation” (Jesus’ own words in Matthew 24: 32-34, and also in Luke 21:29-32), isn’t Jesus referencing “this generation” in the context of the parable of the fig tree, which is Israel? The “fig tree” became tender and “sprouted leaves” on May 14, 1948, 69 years ago, when Israel became a nation. When a fig tree sprouts leaves, the fruit isn’t far behind. Furthermore, the rise of the anti-Christ and the abomination of desolation did not occur in Jesus’ generation; He is prophecying of a future event in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. So, was Jesus was talking about the generation that would see the fig tree sprout leaves, the generation that witnessed the miraculous event on May 14, 1948? This generation is still alive today. In context, Jesus said that it is this generation that would see “help at the door”, i.e., His return, which indeed is “help at the door” for Israel. If so, then Jesus’ return is truly “at the door”.

    32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize[o] that He[p] is near—at the door! 34 I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:32-34)

    Also, the Greek word used for “this” in the verse can mean “this or that”; from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

    3778. houtos hoo’-tos, including nominative masculine plural houtoi hoo’-toy, nominative feminine singular haute how’-tay, and nominative feminine plural hautai how’-tahee from the article 3588 and 846; the he (she or it), i.e. this or that (often with article repeated):–he (it was that), hereof, it, she, such as, the same, these, they, this (man, same, woman), which, who.

    So I don’t believe the passage is at all problematic. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this, Joel. Thanks.

    Derek: I appreciate your thoughtful comments!

  • Derek Scott
    Posted at 00:07h, 17 March

    Hi Jeanne. My mistake for wrongly attributing to the Apostle what Jesus said. I didn’t mean to misrepresent. That’s what I get for responding so late at night after a long day. I was also horrified to see when I reread my prior comment that I ended the first sentence of my second paragraph with a question mark, rather than a period (or better yet an exclamation mark). I’m going from memory as I write, pointing to particular biblical references, without attempting to engage in exact “proof-texting.” I’m doing this among an audience that I assume will immediately know the references from Scripture, likely much better than I (case in point).

    That said, a plain reading of various Pauline verses (those not heavily laden with symbols and/or analogies), indicate, at least to me, that St. Paul believed the end was imminent – e.g. “don’t take a wife…the time is short.” Also, Jesus said there “are some who are standing here who will not taste death…”

    This doesn’t mean I have a low view of Scripture. Rather, that the “end time” beliefs among the first century Christians were associated with the fall of Jerusalem, Nero’s persecution, etc. (I imagine if I was there at that time, witnessing and experiencing what they did, and so near in time to when Jesus and the Apostles walked the streets, I would have thought the same, especially given their severe persecution. I deeply empathize.). Though it may seem anathema to Futurists to read prophecy as already fulfilled, it seems (I keep using the word “seems” because I’m not dogmatic and fully confident or convinced regarding eschatology and acknowledge I may be wrong, potentially gravely so) this reading/interpretation actually keeps the integrity of Scripture and the early Church witness in tact.

    I will admit that it doesn’t entirely satisfy me because it begs questions on the purpose of a physical resurrection. It is also obvious to me that since the first century there have been many Antichrist types or systems, but I struggle with a purely Futurist view. Of course, I wouldn’t be here making comments if I held an absolute position (Amillennial Preterism) or didn’t find Mr. Richardson’s work compelling. In respectful candor, his is the first among the plethora of Futurist that have made me do a second and third take. For me, it’s a combination of his sober analysis and “quite” passion – informed, authentic, and not sensationalist. He just may be right. The current Islamic paradigm is also what is making me pause. I’m very disturbed by how subversive it is and the strange bedfellows it has engendered as defenders. It’s crazy.

  • Robert
    Posted at 20:28h, 13 June

    Hello Joel,

    I was thinking about the identity of Mystery Babylon again today and some verses in Revelation that describes her. I read your book a couple months ago and you make a great case for it being Mecca/Saudi Arabia. However I was thinking about 18:23 where the prophecy mentions that all nations were deceived by her sorceries. The Greek word translated sorceries in Strong’s concordance is pharmakeia: the use of medicine, drugs or spells. I don’t remember you explaining how that Mecca/Islam does this. If this word does indeed mean drug use or even if it just means the traditional definition of magical arts how does this fit in with the religious seat of Islam? The wording of this seems to be something much larger and all encompassing,in scope.

  • Joel
    Posted at 10:22h, 14 June

    Robert,

    The word does not mean drugs, it means sorceries. We derive the word that means drugs from this. Islam’s deception is indeed like a drug, or like being drunk on its deception. Rather simple. Think of the Mayor of Manchester saying that ISlam is a religion of peace after dozens of his citizens are massacred. As if he is drunk.

  • Robert
    Posted at 21:04h, 17 June

    Joel,

    Thank you for your response. I like the analogy you make between Islam’s deception being like a drug, and that certainly has merit. However, I would argue that this word sorceries does indeed mean modern day drug use. John is seeing the judgments of God coming down upon a people in the far future-probably today’s society. The word is used again in Revelation 9:21 that describes the unrepentant sinners of the 2/3 of the people who survive the fire and brimstone of the 200 million (man?) army. The wording of this passage seems similar to the judgments of Mystery Babylon. In both passages there is mention of idolatry, sorcery, fornication, and sorceries and God’s judgment that results from that. I think that John may be seeing two different events here, The one in Revelation 9 on a larger scale while Revelation 18 a big city. The point I am making is that sorceries (drug use) is used on both occasions. So would you say that the sorceries committed by the unrepentant in Revelation 9 are also Islamic deceptions? The sin mentioned there seems a little more direct than subtle deception. Just my opinion.

    The fact is the the drug addiction problem in the world today is unprecedented and out of control. People’s minds and personalities have literally been warped by this demonic tool. I looked up some stats real quick and back in 2012 around 200 million people internationally abused drugs and approximately 250,000 die every year from overdose. Not to mention the many crimes associated with its manufacturing and use: past corruption in our government in trade deals with Mexico, the police in big cities putting it into circulation to create jobs/destroy lives, and families drugs have destroyed. Just food for thought.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:46h, 19 June

    Drug addiction is indeed a problem. But that is not the meaning of the prophecy. It is clearly an analogy used of religious idolatry, or false religion.

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