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Martin Taylor
God fearing, Family Loving, Bible Toting, Conservative
God fearing, Family Loving, Bible Toting, Conservative


Truth About Hell

The Truth About Hell - By Steve Wohlberg
The Very Hot Topic of Hell

Hell! It’s a terrifying subject and the truth about hell is very much misunderstood. A U.S. News and World Report article entitled “Hell’s Sober Comeback” reported that “Three out of 5 Americans now believe in Hades, but their views on damnation differ sharply” [1]. Some teach that Hell simply means ‘separation from God’, that’s it. Others vigorously contend, “It’s not just separation, but fiery separation that lasts forever!” The traditional view is that Hell is a hot, smoky place somewhere beneath our feet where lost souls instantly soar at the moment of death. According to this theology, the damned are sizzling right now, somewhere, consciously, and painfully. A large percentage is convinced that Hell never ends.

To begin with, I believe there is a Hell, that there is a fiery Hell, and that the Bible is true – literally. So don’t worry about this. I’m not a liberal, or a heretic. Yet as we plunge into this controversial topic, my conclusions may shock you. So prepare yourself. As always, I encourage you to pick up a Bible and look up the texts. As you are about to see, what many think about Hell isn’t always exactly what God’s Word really says.

There are three different Greek words that are translated “Hell” in our English New Testaments. It’s important to know this, for they each mean something different. They are “Tartarus,” “Gehenna,” and “Hades.” Tartarus is used only once in the New Testament, in 2 Peter 2:4. The Scripture says,

“God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (2 Peter 2:4, KJV).

This verse says that “the angels that sinned,” which would include Lucifer, too, have already been cast down “to hell” by God Himself. Yet they aren’t roasting right now, obviously, and they certainly aren’t suffering somewhere far beneath Los Angeles or Tokyo. Tartarus means “dark abyss” or “place of restraint.” It isn’t a place of punishment either. Look carefully. 2 Peter 2:4 says Satan’s angels are “reserved unto judgment,” which means their punishment is yet future. For Lucifer and his diabolical demons, the fire hasn’t started yet. So much for Tartarus.

Next word: “Gehenna.” All authorities admit this word is derived from the name of the narrow, rocky valley of Hinnom just south of Jerusalem where trash, filth, and the bodies of dead animals were burned up in Bible days. Jesus Christ spoke about Gehenna many times such as in Matthew 5:22, 29 & 30 where He warned about “the danger of hell [Gehenna] fire” (Matthew 5:22). Gehenna definitely suggests real flames. But a key question is: when will this fire burn? In Matthew 13:40-42, in His explanation to His disciples about His parable concerning plants, reapers and a harvest, Jesus provided this definite answer:

“The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the weeds are gathered in burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:40 -42, italics added).

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” As to when the fire burns, what should we hear? Christ’s direct answer is, “at the end of this world” (verse 40). Amazingly, Peter taught the same thing when he wrote:

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7).

Peter’s words may seem radical, but they are the truth of God. By analysing carefully 2 Peter 3:7, we discover:

* A real fire is coming.
* It will burn “the heavens” – the polluted atmosphere we breathe.
* It will burn “the earth” – the ground we walk on.
* These flames will blaze on “the day of judgment.”
* “Ungodly men” will end up in this fire.

Three verses later, Peter elaborated further,

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10).

This passage is crystal clear: At some point in the future the sky above and the earth beneath will literally catch fire and “melt with fervent heat.” So if you’ve been taught that the sum total of hell-fire is some smoky place beneath the ground, think again. The Bible says our entire sin-polluted planet is destined for the flames. Peter concluded with this comforting assurance:

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13).

According to these truth-filled Bible verses, God will use fire to cleanse planet Earth of its wickedness, then He will marvellously recreate it entirely. This is His “promise” which “we” should be looking forward to.

The book of Revelation teaches the same message about a future Judgment Day and cleansing fire, followed by a new heaven and earth. Again, look carefully. After every lost soul is “judged… according to their works” (Revelation 20:13), then,

“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away… And he that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 20:15; 21:1, 5).

Here’s the inspired sequence:

* Judgment Day
* The Lake of Fire
* A New Heaven and Earth

Thus we have seen, so far, that Jesus Christ, Peter, and the book of Revelation teach the same thing. Real fire is coming at the end of this world. It will not only become the place where the lost are punished, but will serve a dual function of purifying our polluted sky and chemically-saturated ground from every vestige of impurity. Then God will make a new heaven and earth to become the eternal home of His saved, blood-bought children.

One frightening thought is that “all liars” will wind up “in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). This should impress us with the importance of knowing and speaking the truth.

We need the truth about Hell.

Above all, we need the truth about Jesus Christ, His love, and His death, burial, and resurrection in our behalf.

May we be washed from our sins by the blood of the Lamb so we can be assured of a place in God’s recreated earth.

Hell. Few Bible topics generate such emotion and controversy. Liberals reject the idea, yet Jesus Christ plainly taught a real Hell when He solemnly warned that the lost will be cast “into a furnace of fire” where “there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (see Matthew 13:42). Thus liberals are wrong in denying Hell’s existence. On the other hand, many conservative Bible-believing Christians often misunderstand the subject as well. This goal of this article is to continue separating fantasy from reality.

Earlier in this article on the truth about hell we saw that there are three different Greek words translated “Hell” in our English New Testaments: “Tartarus,” “Gehenna,” and “Hades.” “Tartarus” is used once, in 2 Peter 2:4, and means “a place of darkness or restraint.” “Tartarus” is where Satan and his demons reside now. It isn’t a place of punishment or flames. That comes later. Satan and his hosts will reap their reward in due time.

“Gehenna” is used many times in the New Testament, such as in Matthew 5:22, 29, and 30, and refers to a place of fire, brimstone, and punishment. Earlier we discovered that Jesus Christ clearly pinpointed the time of this fire as being “the end of this world” (see Matthew 13:40) and that Peter identified the place of this fire as being “the heavens and the earth which are now” (see 2 Peter 3:7). On Earth’s last day, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). In other words, earth itself is destined for flames. Then God will create “new heavens and a new earth, wherein righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13; see also Revelation 21:1). We shall discuss the duration of this fire soon in this article on the truth about hell.

Now for “Hades.” This Greek word is also translated “Hell” in many English Bibles, such as the King James Version. In Revelation 6:8, the King James Version refers to “Death, and Hell [Hades].” It does this same in Revelation 20:14. Yet some English Bibles leave the word “Hades” itself, such as the New International Version, which translates both Revelation 6:8 and 20:14 as “Death, and Hades.” Now here’s a key point: in Revelation 20:14 “Hades” (“Hell”) is eventually “cast into the lake of fire.” Thus “Hades” itself is not a fiery place, but is cast into “the lake of fire.”

Here is Revelation 20:14 in both the KJV and NIV:

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14, King James Version, italics added)

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14, New International Version, italics added)

In my personal King James Version, which I often preach from, there is a marginal reference beside the word “Hell” (Hades) listed in Revelation 20:13 and 14. It says “Hell” literally means “the grave.” Thus Revelation 20:14 could properly be translated, “death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire.” This makes sense.

To make it simple, biblically speaking, Hades means the grave. This is easy to prove from 1 Corinthians 15:55, which in the King James Version states,

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55, KJV, italics added)

If you look in any Strong’s Concordance, you’ll discover that the original Greek word here translated “grave” is “Hades.” By looking at the context, it’s obvious that “Hades” means “the grave” because it is God’s saints who rise out of “Hades” when Jesus Christ returns. See for yourself:

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up on victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave [Hades] where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:51-55, King James Version, italics added)

“O grave [Hades] where is your victory?” the redeemed triumphantly shout. Thus “Hades” here cannot mean a place of burning, for who can imagine God’s people writhing in flames as they await the resurrection? Impossible!

Additional proof that “Hades” means “the grave” is the fact that “Hades” was the place Jesus Christ’s body rested in immediately after His death. In Acts 2:31, the King James Version declares,

“His [Christ’s] soul was not left in hell [Hades] neither [did] his flesh see corruption.” (Acts 2:31, KJV, italics added).

The New International Version translates Acts 2:31 as,

“He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.” (Acts 2:31, NIV, italics added)

Thus Christ’s “body” (NIV) or “flesh” (KJV) was not allowed to see “corruption” (KJV) or “decay” (NIV) because it remained in the grave only a short time before He rose. This should be plain to any unprejudiced mind.

To summarize the meaning of the three Greek words translated “Hell” in our English Bibles:

* “Tartarus” means “a place of darkness or restraint” (2 Peter 2:4). Satan abides there now.
* “Hades” means “the grave” (Acts 2:31; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 20:14). Jesus Christ’s body rested there, and His saints rest there now awaiting the resurrection.
* “Gehenna” means a place of fire, brimstone, and punishment (see Matthew 5:22, 29, 30, described in Matthew 13:40-42, 2 Peter 3:7, 10-12). These flames are yet future, at the end of the world.

In its description of this final fire, and the doom of the lost, the Bible’s last book solemnly declares,

“Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15).

Will “the lake of fire” burn forever? Or will its unfortunate inhabitants – including Satan and his demons – finally burn up, and thus cease to exist? What does the Bible really say?
Death Discussions – The Truth about Hell

Will Hell burn forever, or will its flames finally cease smouldering? To discover the correct answer, we must accept what the Bible says above the opinions of men. Do you agree? I hope so. As we dive into this controversial topic, let me make my personal position clear. I believe God’s Word above popular theories.

That said, first of all, the subject requires close examination, for some texts appear contradictory. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ warned that unsaved sinners will enter “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Many read this and say, “That settles it for me! The lost will sizzle forever. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise.” Yet Jesus Christ also declared, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, italics added). So which is it? Will the damned roast eternally in “everlasting fire,” or finally “perish,” and thus cease to exist?

Another example of apparent contradiction concerns the fate of Lucifer himself. The book of Revelation says that “The devil,” along with “the beast” will “be tormented day and night forever” in the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:10). Some respond, “There’s more proof! Satan will never cease frying like an egg in a skillet.” Yet Ezekiel chapter 28 reveals a different picture. Initially discussing the ancient “king of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:12), God’s prophet then looks behind the scenes and identifies Lucifer himself, “the anointed cherub” (verse 14), who inhabited “Eden, the garden of God” (verse 13), and who was originally “perfect in [his] ways from the day [he] was created,” until “iniquity was found in [him]” (verse 15). Moving forward to this fallen angel’s final fate, God declares, “I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you… You have become a horror, and shall be no more forever” (verses 18 and 19, italics added). Again, which is it? Will Satan be “tormented day and night” throughout endless ages, or will he become “ashes,” and “be no more forever”?

Let me clarify: the Bible DOES NOT contradict itself. These are only APPARENT contradictions. The solution is to examine what the whole Bible says about the fate of the lost, discover its overall teaching, and then to closely analyse the difficult verses until we understand them correctly. Once we do, we will discover that everything fits and makes perfect sense.

Obviously, this isn’t the place to quote every Bible verse about the fate of the unsaved. But I will cover enough to make my point, and hopefully, this will motivate you to further research. In the remainder of this article on the truth about hell, I will list a group of exceedingly clear verses describing the doom of the damned, and then soon in this article on the truth about hell we will take a closer look at some other apparently contradictory verses to see what they really say, and don’t say.

Looking forward to the Day of the Lord, God Himself declares:

“‘Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly, will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “That it will leave them neither root nor branch’” … ‘[And] you shall trample down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the souls of your feet on the day that I do this, says the Lord of hosts’” (Malachi 4:1, 3).

This is “the Lord of hosts” speaking, not Steve Wohlberg. Here God says that when His final day bursts upon the wicked, it will “burn them up” and reduce them to “ashes” so that “neither root nor branch” remains. Think about it. If a plant is destroyed, so that “neither root nor branch” remains, how much is left? Absolutely nothing. This is what God says will happen to “all who do wickedly.”

David wrote about the fate of the unsaved,

“As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” (Psalms 68:2, italics added).

“For yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more.” (Psalms 37:10, italics added).

“The enemies of the Lord, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish, into smoke they shall vanish away.” (Psalms 37:20, italics added).

“But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.” (Psalms 37:38, italics added).

John the Baptist proclaimed about the Messiah,

“He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12, italics added).

Paul wrote about those who “obey not the gospel”,

“These shall be punished with everlasting destruction…” (2 Thessalonians 1:9, italics added).

Paul also declared,

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, italics added).

I presented these passages – and many more like them - at a Bible Seminar in Woodbury, New Jersey. A Jewish man named Corrie listened with rapt attention. With great carefulness, I built my case that a loving God will administer nothing more than perfect justice on Judgment Day, and that this will result in the tragic, total annihilation of those who have rejected His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. At the end of my talk, with teary eyes, Corrie approached me with an outstretched hand. “Steve, now I can believe in God’s love!” He then told me that the notion of God torturing unsaved sinners forever – including his unbelieving Jewish mother – had always hindered his having personal faith in Jesus Christ. Then he walked away.

The next night Corrie again approached me, but this time, his face was glowing. “Last night,” he excitedly reported, “I went home, dropped to my knees, and accepted Jesus as my Savoir. Praise God!” he happily announced, “I’m born again!” At the conclusion of my seminar Corrie was baptized. His mother came. “I don’t know what has happened to my son,” she commented, “but he’s happy. What more can a mother want?”

The doctrine of God eternally tormenting sinners in a smoky place called “Hell” had prevented Corrie from becoming a Christian. During my seminar, he rejected this idea, became a believer in Jesus Christ, and was baptized.

Was Corrie deceived, or had he discovered the truth?

Mohammed Ali (as the story goes) boarded an airplane and refused to buckle up. “Mr. Ali,” commanded the flight attendant, “everyone must fasten their seatbelt.” “I don’t need one,” the fighter proudly responded, “I’m Superman!” “No, you’re not,” the woman countered promptly, “Superman didn’t need an airplane. Now fasten your seatbelt or you will be ushered off this aircraft.” Needless to say, the man with a punch complied.

The moral of this story is that each of us – including Mohammed Ali – needs a good dose of humility. Jesus Christ said, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:14). As we continue our journey into the highly controversial doctrine of ‘hell-fire,’ it is my hope that each of my readers will put aside preconceived opinions and humbly examine the Bible texts below. Fasten your seatbelt! You may need one.

First, let’s take a close look at the book of Jude, right before Revelation. At the beginning of his letter, Jude urged Christians to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (verse 3). Next he warned of “certain men” who were planting false doctrines inside the early church (see verse 4). In verses 5 and 6, Jude warned of the consequences of being led astray. Then he warned about “the vengeance of eternal fire” (verse 7). This is what we must examine, humbly and reverently.

Here’s the entire verse:

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

Notice carefully: it was the physical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that “suffered the vengeance of eternal fire,” not just the people. In addition, their punishment is “set forth as an example” of what will happen to the unsaved. In 2 Peter, we find an almost identical verse, yet Peter inserts one tiny, significant detail. Look closely:

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto all those that after should live ungodly.” (2 Peter 2:6, italics added).

What was the net result of that “eternal fire” which fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah ? Those cities became ashes. But that’s not all. Describing “the punishment of the sin of Sodom,” Jeremiah said that those evil cities were “overthrown as in a moment” (Lamentations 4:6, italics added). Now put the pieces together. By comparing Jude 7 and 2 Peter 2:6 with Lamentations 4:6, we discover plainly that the “the vengeance of eternal fire” was so incredibly hot that it reduced Sodom and Gomorrah “into ashes” in “a moment” of time. Now think about it. Are Sodom and Gomorrah still destroyed? Yes. But are they burning now? Obviously not. Then what does “eternal fire” mean? By comparing Scripture with Scripture, it means that the fire came from God and that the punishment lasts forever, not the flames. And again, both Jude and Peter called this punishment “an example” of what will happen to all the lost.

Jesus Christ also warned that He will someday declare to lost sinners, “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, italics added). Is this fire the same type of fire mentioned in Jude 7, one which destroys completely? We know it is because five verses later our Lord clarified, “And these [the lost] shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46). Thus the lost experience “everlasting punishment,” not punishing, just like the Sodomites.

Paul also wrote about “everlasting” consequences overwhelming unsaved sinners. Does his teaching agree with Jesus Christ and Jude? In the following passage, you will see that it does. Paul warned that when Jesus Christ returns He will come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power…” (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9, italics added). Here “everlasting” is combined with “destruction,” which means the lost are destroyed forever, just like the Gomorrahites.

In addition to Jesus Christ, Jude, and Paul, John the Baptist also warned about “unquenchable fire” engulfing the unredeemed. On the surface, one might assume John was referring to ceaselessly burning flames. But he wasn’t. Calling the saved “wheat” and the lost “chaff,” the wilderness prophet announced that God’s Messiah would “thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12, italics added). Thus “unquenchable fire” isn’t fire that burns forever, but fire that can’t be snuffed out by man. It burns up the chaff until there is nothing left.

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center no longer exist. On September 11, 2001 they were rammed by two hijacked planes on a mission of death. Airplane fuel ignited and blazing fires could not be quenched. What remains is little more than ashes and memories, somewhat comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah. For those who lost loved ones, the results of that fateful day seem eternal.

The Muslim terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers believed they were serving Allah. They also imagined they would be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven for their faithfulness to God’s truth. But they were grossly mistaken. Their future will be quite different from their expectations. How about us? Do we know what the Bible really teaches about heaven, how to get there, and the fate of the lost?

In this article on the truth about hell we have discovered that Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:41, 46), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:12), Paul (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9) and Jude (verse 7) all predicted that “eternal fire,” “everlasting fire,” and “unquenchable fire,” will eventually “burn up” all unsaved sinners to their “everlasting destruction,” just like Sodom and Gomorrah became “ashes” in “a moment.” And Sodom ’s holy judgment is “set forth as an example” (Jude 7) to us today.

Let’s humbly learn this lesson from God’s Word.

Let’s “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

When Thailand police arrested American schoolteacher John Mark Karr in August 2006, investigators hoped a 10-year murder mystery had been solved and that the killer of 6-year-old beauty queen Jon Bennet Ramsey was finally in custody. Almost everyone thought they had their man, especially after the teacher himself candidly confessed, “I did it.” Yet shortly thereafter Karr’s DNA was tested and results didn’t match traces left on Ramsey’s corpse. Universally abhorred, Karr was labelled a sick, creepy craver of media attention, and released.

In the earlier parts of this controversial article on the truth about hell, I have attempted to systematically build my case from Scripture that although the flames of hell are certainly real and do await the lost, they will not crackle endlessly but will finally be extinguished at the end of the world. Unsaved sinners, after facing a just judgment before a righteous God, will ultimately reap “the wages of sin,” which is “death” (Romans 6:23). God Himself declares,

“Behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly, will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, That it will leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1).

There are hundreds of Bible verses teaching the same thing – that the lost will “burn up” (Matthew 3:12), “be destroyed” (Psalms 37:38), and be “no more” (Psalms 37:10). Even Satan himself will become “ashes on the earth” (Ezekiel 28:19). This has been my earnest contention all along. Yet there are a few other texts that appear, at least on the surface, to pronounce me guilty of the crime of perverting Scripture. Am I guilty or not? While I certainly don’t identify myself with Mr. Karr, I believe a close analysis of biblical DNA will prove my innocence. More importantly, it will testify that Jesus Christ is not a Person who will endlessly torture those who reject His love.

That said, it’s time to examine some DNA about “the worm,” plus verses in the book of Revelation about being tormented “for ever.” Coming soon to this article on the truth about hell we will discuss a man named “Lazarus.” Let’s start with “the worm.”
The Worm that Dieth Not – The Truth about Hell

Jesus warned about being cast “into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched (Mark 9:43, 44). Many view this as evidence that I’m guilty of twisting the Bible. So let’s examine the DNA. First of all, by comparing Christ’s statement with Isaiah 66:24, it’s unquestionably clear that Jesus was quoting Scripture. See for yourself:

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men who have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isaiah 66:24).

This is precisely what Jesus Christ said. But notice carefully that Isaiah applied this morbid scene to the “carcasses” of sinners that God’s people will someday “look” at. In other words, at time’s end, the righteous will behold dead bodies, not living souls endlessly tormented. What about the fire that can’t be “quenched”? By comparing Isaiah 66:24 with Jeremiah 17:27, it’s clear this means that the fire can’t be quenched by man until it finishes its job. What about the “worm”? In the Isaiah text, the worm doesn’t die, but the people are dead. This is biblical imagery. In Bible days, outside Jerusalem, there was a garbage dump where the carcasses of dead dogs and criminals often ended up. Worms continually crawled there within rotting flesh. Jesus used this imagery, quoting Isaiah, to illustrate the fearful fate of the lost. But again, its dead bodies, not eternal torment, being described.
Tormented Day and Night forever – the Truth about Hell

There are three places in book of Revelation that say, “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever” (Revelation 14:11), “her smoke rose up forever” (Revelation 19:3), and “tormented day and night forever” (Revelation 20:10). “Those verses prove you’re wrong, Mr. Wohlberg!” I sometimes hear. Again, let’s analyse the DNA.

Everyone knows that Revelation contains some symbolism, such as its references to a seven-headed beast, a Babylonian harlot holding a golden cup, and a glistening woman clothed with the sun. Obviously, these aren’t literal. What about the ‘tormented forever’ texts? Could they be symbolic too? Here’s something significant: If you look closely at each ‘tormented forever’ passage, every one is connected to symbolism. Revelation 14:11 and Revelation 20:10 refer to “the beast,” and Revelation 19:3 states, “her smoke rose up forever.” Whose smoke? The Whore riding the beast. Will a literal Harlot sizzle forever? No. This is symbolism.

Here’s more evidence worth considering: While Revelation 20:10 refers to torment forever, verse 9 says the opposite and contains no symbolism.

Verse 9 - And they [the lost] went up on the breadth of the earth [at the end of the Millennium], and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city [the New Jerusalem], and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

Verse 10 – And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Verse 9 has no symbolism and says the lost are “devoured.” Verse 10 has symbolism and says they are tormented “forever.” Which is it? The literal truth lies in the text that contains no symbolism: “fire came down… and devoured them.” Beyond this, after “the lake of fire” is again described in verse 15, the next verse says,

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” (Revelation 21:1)

Revelation 20:9 says the lost are upon “the earth” when God’s fire devours them. Thus “the earth” is the location of “the lake of fire.” Then Revelation 21:1 says the “first earth” passes away which must include the lake of fire! Then there will be “no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4). Here’s even more proof that “the lake of fire” will disappear.

“I did it,” Mark Karr claimed, but he didn’t. DNA evidence revealed otherwise. Dear friend, I hope you are open-minded enough to accept DNA truth from the Bible. Jesus Christ is good. He’s not a wicked murderer (like Mr. Karr claimed to be), nor an eternal tormentor of souls.

One day soon, when the smoke clears, the entire universe will proclaim, “just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3).
The Rich Man and Lazarus – The Truth about Hell

My own mother – who recently turned 73 years old – is not presently a believer in Jesus Christ. Neither is my brother. Nor are many of my Jewish relatives. According to many well-meaning Christian teachers, if nothing changes, these relatives of mine are doomed to eternal flames.

Throughout this article, I have tried to disprove this popular teaching from God’s Word. I’ve quoted Scriptures like, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and Jesus Christ’s own words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Based on my research, words like “death” and “perish” do not mean “conscious eternal torment.” Rather, they mean just what they suggest, that the unsaved will someday cease to exist. Because of their sinful choices, the lost have forfeited eternal life. After the Day of Judgment and a just sentence, the only thing a merciful God can do is to finally pull the plug, thus ending their existence. I pray that my family members will wake up before it’s too late.

In previous chapters we have closely examined key passages that seem, at least on the surface, to contradict my conclusions. We’ve discussed “absent from the body” (2 Corinthians 5:8), the dying thief (Luke 23:43 ), the appearance of Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:28 -36), and souls under the altar (Revelation 6:9-11). It’s now time to zero in on the Mother of all Hell Verses – the Rich Man and Lazarus. More than any other passage, this section is used to prove that lost sinners don’t sleep unconsciously in their graves awaiting the resurrection (which so many Bible verses plainly teach – see Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, Psalms 13:3; Acts 7:60; John 5:28, 29; 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:11-14, etc.), but that they plunge instantly into flames at death, and sizzle eternally. Let’s take a closer look.

The story is found in Luke 16:19-31. Because of space limitations, I will not quote the entire passage. Jesus Christ declared:

There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

After denying his request, Abraham finally told the rich man,

‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

To begin with, I want to make one highly significant mega-point: This is the ONLY place in the entire New Testament that says that a lost soul descends into a fiery hell immediately at death! Such a doctrine is not taught anywhere else – not by Matthew, Mark, John, James, Peter or Paul. Did you get that? Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and he didn’t teach it even once. Let this fact sink into your soul.

Second, Jesus often told “parables” or stories that were symbolic of deeper truths. Although parables contain many practical lessons, not every item should be taken literally. Is this story a parable? We believe so.

Here are 7 reasons why:

1. Jesus often began His parables with the phrase, "a certain…man." If you look at these verses in Luke’s gospel, you will discover that they are all parables. Thus it’s logical to assume the Rich Man and Lazarus story is also a parable.

Luke 12:16 “And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:”
Luke 13:6 “He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.”
Luke 14:16 “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:”
Luke 15:11 “And he said, A certain man had two sons:”
Luke 16:1 “And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.”
Luke 16:19 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:”
Luke 19:11-12 “And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”
Luke 20:9 “Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.”

2. A man cannot physically enter into "the bosom" or chest of another person as Christ described.

3. Can someone literally burning in flames carry on a normal, rational conversation?

4. Can those in heaven and hell talk to each other? If that were the case then we would be able to see our loved one’s such as a family member and we would be able to see them burning and going through horrible suffering. Would this be something that we would desire? Would we enjoy heaven if it involved watching people we loved suffer like this. What if it was a son or daughter or a mother or father, could that person even for a moment enjoy there stay in heaven seeing this every day?

5. Jesus represented the rich man as being bodily in hell, with eyes, a mouth, a tongue, etc. This is obviously symbolic. If you were to dig up a real rich man's grave, wouldn't his body be there? Of course!

6. A real burning man would not request a little water to cool his tongue alone. What about the rest of his body? Would a drop of water really help? Besides the fact a drop of water would not survive the flames to get to his tongue, if you were in that situation would you ask for a drop of water or the whole local fire department?

7. Consciousness at death contradicts the rest of the Bible.

Significantly, Jesus didn’t interpret every parable He told. Yet when His disciples asked Him to interpret another parable about weeds in a field, Jesus plainly explained that hellfire occurs at “the end of this world,” rather than at death (see Matthew 13:36, 40-42, KJV).

There is a historian who wrote that this was a story popular in Jesus time and that He took this story and used it as a way to try to express spiritual truth to the people of His day. The story actually has nothing directly to do with death or hell and is teaching about faithfulness. It is also in line with other parables about faithfulness. So what is the meaning of this parable and what spiritual lesson is to be learnt from this story?

The rich man undoubtedly represents the Jewish nation which actually prayed to father Abraham. The poor man, Lazarus the beggar, represented the Gentiles. The Jews believed if you were rich, it was a sign of blessing from God because of their righteousness and that they were guaranteed getting into heaven. If you were poor they figured there was a curse upon you probably because of your sinfulness and so you had a poor chance of getting to heaven. The Jews also believed if you were a literal child of Abraham than you had it made.

So what did Jesus do?

Jesus flipped things upside down by describing a saved poor man, and a lost rich man

The context of Christ’s parable shows He was talking directly to wealthy Pharisees who were mocking Him with their tongues (see Luke 16:14 ). Those Pharisees believed the rich were blessed, while the poor lived under God’s curse. Jesus flipped things upside down by describing a saved poor man, and a lost rich man. The part about the rich man asking for his tongue to be soothed was a direct warning to those Pharisees that their lips were catapulting them toward hell-fire. Finally, at the end of His parable, Jesus declared that even resurrecting Lazarus from the dead wouldn’t convince the doubters.

This leads to the next point: Why did Jesus specify the name Lazarus? Because His parable was also a prophecy. Later Jesus would resurrect a real person named Lazarus, yet this miracle would not convince the Pharisees that He was the Messiah (John 11:1-53).

Here’s a solid principle: We should interpret parables in the light of the rest of the Bible, rather than the rest of the Bible in the light of one parable.
The Perfect Sacrifice – The Truth about Hell

To nearby residents, it will always be remembered as the “Esperanza Fire.” Deliberately ignited by an evil arsonist, the October 2006 wind-driven blaze destroyed nearly 60,000 acres and 34 homes 100 miles east of Los Angeles, California. Worst of all, it killed five fire fighters who were suddenly immersed in flames when the wind unexpectedly shifted. On Sunday, November 5, nearly 10,000 mourners attended a memorial service for the fallen fighters at an outdoor amphitheatre in Devore, CA. “We will never forget their sacrifice,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared. As the ceremony concluded, a group of U.S. Forest Service airplanes soared overhead while bagpipers played "Amazing Grace."

Believe me, as awful as the Esperanza Fire was, it bears no comparison to the fiery sea of judicial punishment described in Scripture. West of Palm Springs, CA, five men lost their physical lives. At the end of the world, the consequences are infinitely more serious. Notice carefully the net result of being in cast into Revelation’s apocalyptic furnace:

“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14, 15).

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Twice the book of Revelation states that the fate of sinners who suffer in “the lake of fire” is “the second death.” Underscore that last word: death. Throughout this “Hot Topic of the truth about Hell” article, I have contended that contrary to popular opinion, the final fate of the damned is not to sizzle endlessly in conscious torment, but to ultimately “perish” (John 3:16) and become “ashes” (Malachi 4:3). “‘The day which is coming shall burn them up,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘that will leave them neither root nor branch’” (Malachi 4:1). This is God’s Word, not my opinion.

But I have saved my best argument for last. Every true Christian who believes the gospel accepts the fundamental truth that, on the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ paid the “full price” for the sins of the world. Agreed? The Bible says unequivocally,

“Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

This truth is basic. Jesus Christ paid the full price for our sins. Isaiah predicted, “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “Chastisement” means “punishment.” It was our “punishment” that Jesus Christ endured in Gethsemane and on the cross. In other words, what should have happened to us, fell on Him. What we deserve, He endured. He took our place. Again, all true Christians accept this, but only a few realize the inescapable implications.

Think about it. If “the wages of sin” were conscious, unending, never ceasing, eternal torment, then the ONLY WAY that Jesus Christ could experience the full penalty for our sins would be for Him to consciously suffer eternal torment in our behalf. “I’m so glad we don’t have to sizzle forever,” the righteous would be saying throughout endless ages, “because Jesus Christ is burning right now for us!” Do you see my point?

There’s really no way around it. To say that “the wages of sin” is burning forever, and then to deny that Jesus Christ will burn forever, is to deny that Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for our sins. In that case, He really didn’t. He would only have paid a mini, 3–day discounted price — between Friday and Sunday. And even then, “eternal torment” believers don’t believe that Jesus was consciously suffering from Friday to Sunday anyway. At least I’ve never heard anyone say this.

The only way to escape the proverbial horns of this dilemma is by accepting the Bible as it reads – “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 ). Each time a lamb was sacrificed in the Jewish Temple, this message was proclaimed. Those animals died, and then portions of their bodies were consumed on Jewish altars. Period. That was it. On the cross of Calvary, after 6 hours of unimaginable horror, Jesus Christ breathed His last breath, and then He died. Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

But here’s a key question. What kind of death did Jesus die? It wasn’t a normal death, like we die, at the end of our lives. When people die today, their deaths are not “the wages of sin.” Nowadays, death comes alike to us all – the saved and the lost. Everyday deaths are called “sleep” in the Bible (see Psalm 13:3; Daniel 12:2; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 15:6, etc). Today, when lost sinners die, they sleep in the grave. At the end of the Millennium, they will be resurrected, judged, and then punished in the “lake of fire,” which is “the second death” (see Revelation 20:5a, 11-15). This “second death” is the full penalty of sin. It will be horrible. It will go beyond the pain of flames. And then, it will be over. Finished. Done. This is the death that Jesus Christ died when He cried out, “It is finished!”

“We will never forget their sacrifice,” Schwarzenegger declared about the five lost fire fighters. I pray we will never forget the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our behalf. And part of this remembrance is to teach the truth about hell.The Truth About Death If we say, “the wages of sin is eternal torment,” then we are really denying that Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for our sins. May we “never forget” the Word of God, which declares,

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 ).

What “Amazing Grace!”
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Hell Explained

If you heard the word "Hell", what would immediately come to mind? Fire, brimstone, pain, suffering, eternity, devil, judgment, etc... Well, none of this is true and I can prove it with Scripture from the Holy Bible. I felt betrayed by everyone that I had a conversation with concerning this including preachers. Let us take a look at what the Living Word of God says about hell.

First, I need to establish a fact about hell that many people do not know. No person that has died is in hell right now. It is true! Read the scriptures below that show the truth.

Jesus said;
Mark 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:"

There are several other verses that are like this one. However, there is no doubt that Jesus is talking about a body, not a soul, being in hell. This is important because many preachers preach that the soul goes to hell. According to our Lord Jesus Christ, this is not so. Let me move on to what scripture says about where the dead are right now.

Where are the Dead Now?

One of the best verses to explain where all the dead are right now is the parable of the tares that Jesus told the multitude in Matthew 13:24-30. 

24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The parable confused the disciples. Therefore they asked Jesus what it means and Jesus said in Matthew 13:36-43

36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus explains that this is what will happen at the end of the world. This is concerning the judgment of the Lord upon all mankind that has existed since Adam and Eve. Therefore, there is no human in hell right now because the Great Judgment has not occurred. This also proves there is no human that has died that is in heaven either. To further support this, look at John 5:28,29

28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

See? Jesus said both good and evil will come out of the grave when God calls them at the end of the world! There is no misunderstanding this or twisting it. It is plain and simple.
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Caught Up; When?

One of the most debated events in the New Testament, the whole Bible for that matter, is if there will be a Rapture. If so, does it happen before or after the wrath of God is poured upon the earth? Forget about all you have been taught during your life and just read what the Scriptures say. Let’s begin with a quote that is familiar to almost every Christian.

1 Th 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This verse tells us that the righteous people will be caught up to the Lord. This establishes that there will be a "Rapture". The reason for this posting is to find out if the Rapture happens before or after Jesus descends to earth. Therefore, it is important to notice the portion of the above verse that says, "and with the trump of God:". The Bible is full of trumpets, including seven in Revelation, so the next logical question is this: Which biblical trumpet is this one? Of all the trumpets in the Bible, at which one is the Church taken to be with the Lord?

1Co 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Now we know when Jesus Christ will descend to earth to reign forever and ever; "at the last trump"! This is using just scripture people. It is the TRUTH, no matter what you believed before you read this posting. If you need more evidence from scripture read the verses below. These things happen in sequence as they are written.

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time.
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days ...the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet [a great trumpet, NASB], and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Notice the sequence:
(1) Tribulation.
(2) After the tribulation.
(3) Great trumpet.

Here are the events of the last trumpet as described in Revelation.
Revelation 11
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.

7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. ***********************************************************************************
Revelation 11
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The 7th angel sounds, and the Lord reigns forever. If there is no time anymore, then we know this is the last trumpet. Right then, forever! After that trumpet blows, there won’t be time for a tribulation, or for a 1000-year millennium. We will be going straight into the eternal Kingdom of God when that last trumpet sounds. Despite differing doctrines, that is the chronological picture as declared in the Bible.
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The so-called Antichrist is a subject that most people look to as a definite sign that the 'End of Days" is here. The popular interpretation of the "Antichrist" is a singular view; a man. What does Antichrist mean? It means to be against or not believe in Jesus Christ. Well, I am about to prove to you that "Antichrist", in the Bible, is plural.

Four verses in the bible use the term antichrist; all in the books of John.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

None of the verses suggest an individual as “The” “Antichrist”. If there is to be an end time leader as some interpret, none of the antichrist verses suggest a person titled “The” “Antichrist” since there were many even back when John was writing. The verses DO state that antichrist is a SPIRIT, or THE spirit, that lives in the heart of anybody and everybody that denies that Jesus is the Christ or that denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

So everyone that denies the Son has not the Father and is therefore antichrist, and also is an antichrist. Blindness of the Jews, however, is discussed separately as a “mystery”.

Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Some say "The" "Antichrist" was Nero, suggesting it’s over and done with. Others are looking for some future individual “The” "Antichrist" of the silver screen yet to come. Others you can find on the Internet, of which there is no shortage, proffer guesses from the leader of Spain, to the Pope, to Ronald Reagan. Meanwhile there are 1.5 billion antichrists in Islam alone. This doesn't even count the atheist neighbor down your block where your kids go to hang out.

The Church has been deceived by tradition. Has the Church's looking for some individual "Antichrist", past or present, also made it look like so much buffoonery to those outside of the Church? It is human nature to want to believe in concepts such as "The" "Antichrist". What kid didn't take a flying leap into bed, so that what ever was under the bed wouldn't grab their ankles? Without the allure of a boogeyman Hollywood would go broke and the majority fiction novelists would be living in a van down by the river.

The enemy removed the term antichrist from the Christian vocabulary except when used to describe a specific individual. Who would casually refer to the atheist that lives down the road as an antichrist? How much more soul searching might that individual do if we did? Who have you heard refer to the 1.5 billion Muslims as antichrists?

Muslims do become very convicted once they understand that they are antichrist. A term that should be a normal part of Christian vocabulary has been stolen by the enemy. Just ask the guy next to you in Church next Sunday "what is the antichrist?" to get an idea of how this term is understood in the Church.

Consider also that God likely had John write so much later than the others so that he could address the myriad of heresies that had already infiltrated the Church, even in John's day. Consider all of the "overcommeth"ing of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. The antichrist verses in effect say "you've heard that antichrist is coming, but it's already here!".

Even if there had been such a concept of a single antichrist in the Church, consider the wording: "ye have heard". Perhaps like "ye have heard that the moon is made of green cheese", but that doesn't mean that it's true. Consider a similar verse:

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 4 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

"The folly of interpreters has been to foretell times and things by this prophecy [Revelation], as if God designed to make them prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own providence, not the interpreters', be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence." - Sir Isaac Newton

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The most important fundamental in Islam is "shirk" (anti-polytheism) that is manifest specifically as God has no Son. This is the most important fundamental in Islam. From the Quran ...."O you People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion, and of God speak only the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not Three. It will be better for you. God is only one God. Far be it from his glory that he should have a son."

1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

While Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, they deny that Jesus is the Son of God, thus all 1.5 billion of them are antichrists.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said,I am the Son of God?

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.

Bible: Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Koran: (Sura 2:223) your wives are as tilth (farmland) unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Sura 112:3 He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; To our could-become brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
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Temple of God

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Jesus rebuilt the temple in three days, just as He promised. That temple is Jesus' body, rebuilt as the corporate body of Christ, through His crucifixion, death and resurrection. The following also suggests that the temple of God is the corporate body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 

Builded together "through the Spirit" we understand.

1Corinthians 6:
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The "temple of God" is the corporate body of Christ, composed of individuals, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Following are all of the verses that include the term "temple of God".

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

The above verse is a reference to the literal temple that Jesus prophesied would be torn down -every stone - as it eventually was.

Matthew 26:61 And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

The corporate body of Christ, confirming John’s account. Further confirmed by the following.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of Goddwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The corporate body of Christ is the temple of God. This is not open to interpretation. In the figurative language of John's vision in Revelation we find two verses that use the term "temple of

Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

John had his vision while banished to the penal colony on the Isle of Patmos. In the same chapter.

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

That's all of the verses that use the term "temple of God". This final use of the term locates the temple of God of that verse in the heavenlies, which would be consistent with Ezekiel's account.

Ezekiel 43:7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, [neither] they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

We have assurance that God does not dwell in temples made with hands.

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Any future rebuilt temple would be desolate before it was ever built, by God's own design.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

We can now well understand where we should be on guard for that "man of sin".

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. "...above all that is called

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So it would seem we are left with no choice but to understand that the "man of sin" may be revealed in the corporate body of Christ, and perhaps even in an individual temple of the Holy Ghost. For a Christian to suggest that a future "temple of God" is scriptural, would require believing that Jesus' finished work on the Cross, is incomplete and unfinished. Jesus warned the
Pharisees of such.

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which 
decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

That some Jews that may remain sovereignly blinded, and could have an interest in building a temple should not be a surprise. But as Christians we can readily see that the only "temple of God", ever since the Cross, is the one that Jesus Himself rebuilt in three days. Once we understand the location of the "temple of God", and where “that man of sin” sitteth, John Nelson Darby's mid-19th century futurist invention collapses. As widely respected futurist Dr. Harry Ironside of Moody Bible Institute wrote in his “Mysteries of God”. ".....until brought to the fore through the writings of.....Mr. J. N. Darby, the doctrine taught by Dr. Scofield [i.e., the Seven-Year Tribulation theory] is scarcely to be found in a single book throughout a period of 1600 years. If any doubt this statement, let them search, as the writer has in measure done, the remarks of the so-called Fathers, both pre- and post-Nicene, the theological treatises of the scholastic divines.....the literature of the reformation.....the Puritans. He willfind the 'mystery' conspicuous by its absence."

Job 8:8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their
fathers: 9 (For we [are but of] yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth
[are] a shadow:)

The 19th century brought us; Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Ellen White, John Darby, Westcott and Hort, Madame Blavatsky.
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Daniels 70 Weeks

The 70 Weeks is divided into three sections: Seven Weeks, Sixty-two Weeks and One Week. Let’s look at the 69 weeks first. To whom are they addressed and what are they about? They are to the Jews, and about Jerusalem. What does v. 24 tell us will be accomplished in those 69 sevens?

Daniel 9
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

When will they take place, and what is the time frame? We are told to start counting time after a decree is sent out to restore Jerusalem. A special decree was granted by Artaxerxes I to Nehemiah (444-445BC). This is the ONLY decree recorded in the Bible that gave the Jews permission to “restore Jerusalem and rebuild its walls,” and since Scripture relates to Scripture, we should start counting time from that biblical decree.

(7 weeks) X (7 Days) = 49 days
Levitical to Solar Conversion = (49 days) X (.9857) = 48.3 days
1 year for 1 day Conversion = (48.3 years)
(62 weeks) X (7 Days) = 434 days
Levitical to Solar Conversion = (434 days) X (.9857) = 427.7 days
1 year for 1 day Conversion = (427.7 years)

Now, lets add our conversions together to get the total for the 69 weeks.
(427.7) + (48.3) = 476 years

Now take the date when the decree was made to “restore Jerusalem and rebuild its walls, which was 445 B.C. or 444 B.C. and at the 476 years to it and see where in history we will end up at.

(444 B.C.) + (476 Years) = 32 A.D. (When Jesus Christ was crucified)

What about those six points that were supposed to be fulfilled during these 70 weeks?
All but one were fulfilled at the cross. Did not Jesus

(1) finish transgression eternally
(2) make an end of sin
(3) make reconciliation for iniquity
(4) bring in everlasting righteousness
(6) anoint the Most holy with His own precious blood

Point (5), however, was left out: “Seal up vision and prophecy.”

This is where those peculiar 7 weeks and 62 weeks come in. 7 x 7 Hebrew years = 48.3 Solar years. 444BC - 48.3 is 395.7 B.C., The Book of Malachi was written. Malachi was inspired to write the last book of the Old Testament in about 396BC. The Scripture to the Jews was complete, and no more was written until the New Testament era! So Old Testament vision and prophecy were indeed “sealed up.” As one dear Rabbi lamented in about 200BC, “The Holy Spirit has departed from Israel,” and until this very day, the Jews, as a nation, have not been permitted to see any further. The Lord has blinded their eyes so they could not recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Rom 11:8, 2Co 3:15).
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Mark of the Beast

The Mark of the Beast is given by the "image of the beast," the revitalized Islam now in the Middle East. (Some eschatologists believe the Ka’aba stone in Mecca to be the "image of the beast" and though I think differently, they could also be right.)

Revelation 13:16 "And he (the Leopard-Bear-Lion) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the (Islamic) beast, or the number of his name."

To understand the mark given by the Leopard-Bear-Lion, we need to read about other marks in the Bible. In 606 B.C., when the Kingdom of Judah was about to fall, the prophet Ezekiel saw spiritual marks in a vision. He watched when an archangel said,

Ezekiel 9:4 & 6 "... Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof . . . Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house of the Lord."

Later, the writer of Chronicles, a historian, saw the same event, but he didn’t see the mark.

2 Chronicles 36:17 "Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand."

So why was Ezekiel able to see spiritual marks, but the writer of Chronicles wasn’t? Well, the writer of Chronicles saw things as they were in the material world. Ezekiel saw angels in his vision, so he was seeing into the spiritual world, and don't all Christians also have a mark (aren't we sealed) by the Holy Spirit? (2 Co 1:22, Eph 1:13, Eph 4:30) But you don't see that seal on anyone, do you?

***********************************************************************Revelation 7:3 & 14:1 "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads . . . And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb (Jesus) stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."

These seals are on the foreheads of every believing Jew of the Christian Era, but you don’t see them, do you? Of course not, they are only visible in the spiritual world. They are not physical marks, but spiritual marks, and that’s the key to understanding the Mark of the Beast. Since the Lord's marks on His servants are only visible in the spiritual world, it is reasonable to conclude that Satan’s marks, given to the servants the Leopard-Bear-Lion are only visible in the spiritual world. This is not "spiritualizing" as some would claim, but accepting that figurative language demands a figurative interpretation. Scripture goes on to say,

***********************************************************************Revelation 14:9-11 ". . . If any man worship the (Islamic) beast and his image (the Kaaba stone?), and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb (Jesus): And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the (Leopard-Bear-Lion) beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

So will Islam fall? The God of the Bible says so. As written earlier, it will be a spiritual tragedy of unimaginable proportions, and it will happen because the followers of the Leopard-Bear-Lion have been deceived into rejecting the Son of God who sacrificed Himself for all mankind on the Cross of Calvary. Scripture adds the following,

***********************************************************************Rev 13:18 "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the (Leopard-Bear-Lion) beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six," i.e., 666.

Many books have been written about that number, all speculative, but about 20 years ago a former Muslim who could read Arabic told me that 666 was the number of the Koran. I believed him, sort of, and promptly forgot about it. Then about two months ago, another friend told me there were many Islamic sites on the Internet claiming 666 to be the number of the Koran. (You can find these sites yourself by searching: Quran 666.) Suddenly, the last piece of the Leopard-Bear-Lion puzzle fell into place! Now look at the above verse again.

***********************************************************************Rev 13:18 "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the (Leopard-Bear-Lion) beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six,"

The number of a man! So what man has led a billion and a half people away from the Savior of the world? What man said, "God forbid that He should have a son." Is this not Muhammad, the prophet of the Leopard-Bear-Lion? According to the Bible, the end for him and his followers will be grim indeed.

***********************************************************************Revelation 19:20 "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
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Lion, Bear, Leopard

There are three beasts in Revelation: the Leopard-Bear-Lion "beast," the "beast" with Two Horns and the Scarlet "beast". These three "beasts" are not real beasts because the word "beast" (when used in a prophetic sense) means something other than a wild animal. From Daniel 7, we recognize these prophetic "beasts" to be world empires that existed during and after Daniel’s time.

1. The first beast in Daniel 7 was a Lion. History shows this Lion beast to be a figurative picture of the Babylonian empire. (Babylon controlled the Holy Land from 606 to 536 B.C.)

2. The next beast in his vision was a Bear. History shows this Bear to be a figurative picture of the Medo-Persian empire. (Medo-Persia controlled the Holy Land from 536 B.C. to 332 B.C.)

3. The third beast was a Leopard. History shows this Leopard to be a figurative picture of the Greek empire (Grecian rulers controlled the Holy Land from 332 B.C. to 65 B.C. when Rome took control).

So as far as Bible prophecy is concerned, beasts = empires. Babylon was the Lion, Medo-Persia was the Bear and Greece was the Leopard. Each of these empires controlled the whole known world, from India to Greece and even into North Africa. In other words, the whole Middle East. Now lets pan forward to 95 A.D., where John, a New Testament prophet, foretells the future of the Middle East during our era. In his vision, guess what John sees? Another beast, and we now know what "beasts" mean.

Revelation 13:2 "And the beast which I saw was like unto a Leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a Bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a Lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."

Beasts = Empires, but this empire is a Leopard-Bear-Lion so it isn’t just one of the above empires, it’s all three rolled into one. In other words, it's the descendants of those earlier empires, in the same geographic location, the Middle East. Looking back at the history of the area, we can now identify this new empire as the various Islamic countries that have controlled the Middle East, and particularly Jerusalem, ever since the 1st Jihad. Some might claim that the Islamic states in the Middle East do not constitute a real "empire" because they are not united under one government. However, The God of the Bible is more concerned with the spiritual realities in a land than He is with how many earthly governments it has. All Middle Eastern states are united under one religion, Islam, and all Moslems subscribe to the central Islamic goal of world conquest for their religion. Quoted below is part of Revelation 13, with a few words inserted (by Mr. Skolfield) to explain the figures .

Revelation 13:1-5 "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast (an empire) rise up out of the sea (of people), having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns (various rulers of various countries), and upon his heads the name of blasphemy (this empire stands against the God of the Bible). And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Leopard-Bear-Lion gives the reader a positive ID, it's the Middle East): and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his (the Leopard-Bear-Lion's) heads as it were wounded to death (the first Jihad was defeated at the battle of Tours and the battle of Vienna); and his deadly wound was healed (the rise of Islam today and the new Jihad): and all the world wondered after the beast (this Islamic empire). And they worshiped the dragon (the people of the Middle East)(Satan) which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast (the Islamic empire), saying, Who is like unto the beast (the Islamic empire), who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power (over Jerusalem) was given unto him to continue forty and two months."

And here is how you can prove the above to be the correct interpretation. Construction of the Islamic Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem began in 688 A.D.. Jerusalem was freed of Islamic control in 1967 A.D.. Applying the prophetic days of Ezekiel 4:5-6.

1967A.D. - 1278.34 years = 688.66 A. D. 
An exact historic fit; so the interpretation is true.

Revelation 13:6-9 "And he (the Leopard-Bear-Lion) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God (by saying God has no Son), to blaspheme his name (by trying to change the name of the Creator of the Universe, I AM, to that of a local Arab deity), and his tabernacle (God’s temple mount in Jerusalem), and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him (the Islamic empire) to make war with the saints (the Christians and Jews), and to overcome them (during the 1st Jihad): and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (of the Middle East). And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb (Jesus, the Son of God) slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear."

Not many do hear, but It is now apparent that 1.3 billion people are being terribly deceived by Satan. The God of the Bible and the god of Islam are not the same beings because the God of the Bible said, "they worship the dragon" (Satan). We should pray for Muslims, not hate them. If they don't turn to Jesus, their eventual fate could be the greatest tragedy in all human history.
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Season and a Time

This last verse is concerning "A season and a Time" found in Daniel 7:11-12. Let us study the verse carefully.

Daniel 7:11-12
11I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

12As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

If time is 1000 years and there are four seasons, then a season would be 1/4 th of a time, or 250 years. Remembering that a season is not an exact number and could fluctuate a week or two either way, this "season and time" fits history well, indeed.

So, when is our starting point for this prophecy? According do Daniel 7 it starts after the the Four Beasts ruled. The four beasts were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. What happened after Rome fell in 476 AD? The Moslems became the major force in the region but, they lacked dominion. However they did build a Mosque on the Temple Mount in 688 AD. Lets use 688 AD and add a "Season and a Time" to it.

(688 AD) + (1260 Years) = 1948

Right to the year again. Three verses interpreted to the exact year. There is no way this is a coincidence.
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Time, Times, & Half 2

We will be looking at Daniel 12:7 in this post, which is as follows:

Daniel 12:7
7And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swear by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

This vision was given to Daniel in the third year of Cyrus, which was 533 BC.

Daniel 10:1 
1In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

This is the starting point for the prophecy. Therefore, let us take 533 BC and add 2500 years and see what we come up with.

(533BC) + (2500 Years) = 1967
Exactly when Israel won the Six Day War and was freed from gentile control. Wow! Still think it is a coincidence? Let's look at the third "Time, Times, and Half a Time" in my next post labeled "Time, Times, & Half 3".
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