I spend much of my time spreading the word about the message of the Four Signposts. One large hurdle to overcome in doing this is that this message is completely off of peoples’ radar because we’ve all been taught that nothing more prophetic must happen until the Rapture or Tribulation, supposedly. The Four Signposts demolishes this false notion.
From time to time though I run across the sibling of “nothing more must happen” which is “the Antichrist is undoubtedly Roman.” I sometimes forget that most people are still stuck in that eighteen-century old theory known as the Roman Antichrist. I forget sometimes that there is outright resistance to anything other than a Roman Antichrist. I was reminded again last week of the incredibly strong hold that this eighteen-century old theology of the Roman Antichrist has on the Christian theological community when talking to an influential pastor here in my city.
I remember the time shortly after 9/11 when I first got the indication to give serious thought to and actually try these two terms together in a Google search: “Islamic” and “Antichrist.” I believe that all by itself was divine revelation. I remember how crazy that sounded to me at first. And then when I found Joel Richardson’s work on the Answering-Islam website as a result of the search I couldn’t decide if the whole idea was crazy or offensive. At first. I stayed on it though because though it sounded crazy to me, it was the only alternative out there. Of course after studying the ancient and medieval world history and comparing to Daniel as I wrote about in Chapters 1 and 2 of my book Daniel Revisited, and looking at the history of the commentary of Daniel 2:40 in its Appendix, I’ve come to the conclusion that this whole notion of a Roman Antichrist is a complete and utter fantasy, built on presumption, historians’ exaggerations, and misunderstandings of some very intelligent men.
And yet the fact that Daniel has been sealed so successfully until the end-time and continues to be sealed for most is a great testimony to God’s perfect ability to seal anything He wishes. It is also the reason behind this whole issue of the Roman Antichrist being behind one of the greatest red herrings in the history of scholarship.
So it is not surprising what J.R. Church writes in one of his recent books, Daniel Reveals the Bloodline of the Antichrist. I cannot recommend this book as it only pushes for the usual deception that is the Roman Antichrist. To be honest, the only reason I read it was because a dear friend recommended it to me and I wanted to be able to talk about it with that friend. One section though got my attention like nothing else I have read in any prophecy book and it was because it made me profoundly sad. But I was also hopeful because perhaps the time has come when definite cracks are showing up in the wall that is this deceptive theology that stops people from seeing what is really happening in the end-times.
J.R. Church posed some good and relevant questions in his recent book Daniel Reveals the Bloodline of the Antichrist. He examines the prophetic passages in Daniel, realizes there are holes to the current and popular theological ‘logic’, and asks about the relevance between the visions of Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 and if these visions might apply to the end-times. This is remarkable. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard such intellectual honesty in the old school of prophecy.
On p. 140 he states he agrees with Hippolytus that the beasts of Daniel 7 are ancient and the fourth beast is Rome. So Church starts – as most prophecy experts do – by agreeing with a theologian who had absolutely no chance of reading correctly a prophecy that was to be sealed for another eighteen centuries. But then Church gets open and honest and writes:
“I suppose there will always be some nagging, yet unanswered questions. For example, why would Daniel repeat the whole scenario about the “times of the Gentiles,” after already doing so in Chapter 2?”
The answer, which he does not give, is found in my book Daniel Revisited. The answer is that it is not a repeat. Daniel 2 traced the time of the Gentiles, but Daniel 7 is an outline given to us to show us the end-times.
“Why would Daniel dream of a Medo-Persian ‘bear’ in chapter 7 and a Medo-Persian ‘ram’ in chapter 8?”
Isn’t this a wonderful question? Actually before I arrived at this Signpost interpretation I had always wondered about things like this in prophetic Scripture. Church is seeing some connection between the bear and the ram. The interpretation given in Daniel Revisited provides the answer. Chapter 7 of Daniel is the outline and Daniel 8 provides the details. The bear and ram are proclaiming the same event. The bear is used for specific reasons in the context of the four beasts, and the ram is used for specific reasons in the context of the ram and goat. They both proclaim the coming Second Signpost.
Church goes on,
“Why would he dream about a Grecian ‘leopard’ in chapter 7 and a Grecian ‘goat’ in chapter 8?”
Of course this question closely parallels the first question, and it is the same answer as before!
Continuing, Church then writes,
“I suppose there are no good answers to these questions. We have no alternative references throughout history.”
This is the point where my heart goes out to Church. He is exploring the edges of what is the Signpost interpretation. He does what so many theologians have done in the past centuries: supposing. “I suppose…” Then he flatly states that there is no alternative reference.
This reminds me of something I heard Dr. Jeremiah say on the radio recently while talking about the Antichrist. He essentially said the Antichrist will be Roman because Rome is the only realm he could come from for there is no other realm. Both Jeremiah and Church do not see the Islamic realm. In terms of geography it contained twice the area of land and sea that Rome ever did, and it did so even while the Eastern Roman Empire was still in existence. Church wrote, “We have no alternative references…” But of course we do, for there is Islam. For centuries theologians have denied what Islam plainly did to fulfill Daniel 2:40 as the fourth beast, and staunchly supported Rome for that position when there is no evidence. And by seeing Islam and reading Daniel 7:17 and Daniel 8:17, 19, we see those two chapters open up for us something completely different than what the last eighteen centuries worth of theology would tell us.
What made my heart go out to Church about this last quote of his is that he concludes there are no answers out there. And he reaches that conclusion because he, like so many others, can only see Rome. The grip of Rome is tight and ubiquitous.
On p. 141 of his book, Church goes on to explore the idea of the fourth kingdom (which unsurprisingly he names as Rome) as being different than the other three beast kingdoms in Daniel 7 and comes to an interesting place when he writes of the three,
“Could they also represent modern contemporary kingdoms?”
Wow, what a great question! He is touching on a break-thru here. But then the grip of eighteen centuries of theology gets a hold and he goes back to what is comfortable, safe, and well-known when he next writes,
“To suggest Daniel has seen something other than the ancient empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece in these first three beasts, goes against the consensus of the great theological minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Therefore the comfortable position is to assume that Daniel has simply dreamed about the ‘times of the Gentiles.’”
Simply put, Church does not foray into the unknown here because everyone else in the last centuries has said the same thing, and it is best to stay comfortable in the zone of what is known and supposed. I am not putting down Church here. I respect the man. And he is being so honest in these two pages. He is putting his thinking on paper. Now, without looking at Islam he does explore the idea of Daniel 7 being contemporary nations, but only by supposing that the lion is Britain, Russia is the bear and Germany is the leopard. I’ve seen this theory before. It is only the supposing of minds who do not know anything but Rome, and are still bound by the chains that are Rome, keeping themselves from seeing beyond the seals of Daniel.
Please believe me when I say I do not intend to come across as a know-it-all. I don’t know much beyond my own biblical and historical research. But this whole issue of seeing Islam or not, as the Antichrist’s background makes all the difference in seeing Daniel. Where most theologians go down the path of Rome unquestioningly, Church at least has used logic to arrive at some very interesting questions. All he lacked was the foresight to explore Islam and see how Islam’s history shines the light on Daniel to reveal what it is trying to say.
And as I said at the beginning of this post, I too was there – that Rome was the be all and end all and there was no other. I am thankful that God saw fit to point me down a path to even see the words “Islam” and “Antichrist” together. It is quite a mind trap to extricate oneself from – not unlike escaping the grip a cult can have on you.
I cannot recommend Church’s book, Bloodline, but because of a rare, wonderful and open intellectual honesty he reminds us of just how powerful the grip and mindset is of that red herring called “Rome.” Thank you, Dr. Church, and that is heartfelt.
Categories: Book Review, Signpost Theology, The Signpost Perspective
This is fascinating. Now that the first seal of Daniel is broken, Dr . Church is able to see the scriptures clearly – thus his openness to new ideas. I think you are correct that it is his reluctance to refute his mentors and his European centric thought processes holding him back.
To me this is proof positive Daniel’s first seal is broken; that another Bible scholar has struggled with the same verses and issues.
Christians that are not prophecy geeks are also asking questions to each other about Islam…believe me, there is great curiosity on this topic in general just hearing them wonder out loud. There is an uneasiness when you ask them what they think about Islam, the Bible, the end-times and current world conditions. They know something is wrong, but they don’t know how to put the pieces together. Church leaders are not leading on this subject because just like my pastor, who thinks in due time, a revived Rome will be that signal. Unfortunately, that signal of Rome will never come!
Church’s book overall is doing a disservice to Christians while radical Islam is in the world’s face day in and day out. How can a thinking Christian not know that Islam is killing Christians and Jews constantly and not know Islam is what we will be facing in the Tribulation? It truly defies logic!
Joel is still fighting this Roman Empire mountain and it has taken him years to make as much headway as he has and Mark, you are right behind him in your efforts with the signposts. To oppose the church fathers is a daunting task, look what it cost Martin Luther…but also look at the return of correct Christian doctrine to the Church that the just shall live by faith in Christ.
But when Iran blitzes the Mid-east, even if our country and church bodies are totally unprepared, they will be greatly humbled and give a much more willing ear to listen to the Islamic paradigm and the signpost understandings. Thus, we have traded lost preparation time by not understanding the signs of the times.
It is a shame you cannot reach out to J.R. Church and Prophecy in the News as I know many follow his programming and I occasionally look at his website. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.
I agree that if there is any way possible to get the message to Church, you should do so. Perhaps sending him a copy of the book with a note regarding your having read his book.
Just a thought.
This might be the reason why Iran would be able to overrun the Middle East unopposed. At the moment, NATO would never allow such instability. I think something is going to happen to western military power to render it useless in the face of Iranian aggression. Whether its the economic decline, or the prophecy (if its true), time will tell.
HI Mark, perhaps some of the other posters here are not aware that JR Church Died over 2 years ago in 2011- I Think he was about 72 when he died . He was an honorable man, who Just like John the Baptist probably did not have all the light that we do now, BUT was living for the Lord the best way he knew how.
I Believe the book of Daniel has begun to be unsealed and is systematically being revealed in due time, perhaps it was just a little after JR’s time. Then again, Maybe his mind wasn’t as Sharp as it used to be when he was younger- I have that problem myself. Then again, maybe he had just never heard Joel Richardson when he was alive and maybe he just never SERIOUSLY Considered Islam as a candidate for the antichrist, From a military perspective I can tell you that its hard to take “any” of the muslim nations as a serious threat due to their poor training and their ineffective performance in the Islamic wars of the last 40 or so years. I don’t believe you are judging JR Church, Just giving an honest perspective review of his book. I hope you take time to read about his wonderful life in the article I have linked. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/oklahoman/obituary.aspx?pid=149598510
– He really was a wonderful man who lived a good full life.
Thanks for the comment and the link; I very much appreciate you informing us. No, I was not aware either that he had passed away. If I had, I probably would have left out that last sentence of the post.
I would have liked to possibly have had a dialogue with him. I wrote what I did because he seemed to me to be honest in his questions and logical to have reached them.
I am finding that God is not allowing one man to have wisdom regarding the gradual unsealing of Daniel. My work is an extension of Joel’s. And Nelson, who will be going public soon, has work that is an extension off of mine. I’m betting there are others out there as well.
Islam takes getting used to since we have all been raised on a diet of Rome. And the point you bring up about any muslim nation being taken as a serious threat is one major factor, I believe, as to why the west is not stopping those nations from fulfilling Bible prophecy. The other major factor of course, is that to most of the church at this point in time, Daniel is still veiled and so Islam is not to be a major player.
Annnnnnddddd…..not all Muslim countries are incapable of exerting military dominance one is the nation of Turkey and in the future, the other will be Iran. Turkey’s military is one of the most formidable forces globally (second in NATO only to the US military in numbers, I believe) and certainly the dominate military in the Mideast region. But Iran is not to be ignored when they achieve nuclear armament and blitz the region to the utter surprise of all their Mideast oil-rich neighbors and succeed as Mark suggests in his book, Daniel Revisited. The era of Islamic military incompetence will be rectified as we move closer to the unveiling of the person of the Antichrist and the “Beast” of Daniel and Revelation takes its prophesied role on the world stage.
We who are living now who can “see” this have been blogging about this for sometime now. I personally have been trying to warn my church leadership to start to strategically plan long-term for this situation. But for various reasons, my warnings go unheeded. Tho’ they don’t see themselves as a sleeping virgin, they most certainly are but then so are the vast amount of church bodies. It will take Iran doing what Mark suggests for many churches to start to pay attention and my church home, in particular, because I have warned them about the consequences of Iranian intent and action. They will be woefully unprepared to face the church congregation when all of this could have been prevented had they heeded the warnings I gave them.
Anyways, welcome aboard In All Due Respect!
Hi In All due Respect,
I went ahead and changed the ending of the post. Thanks again for your input.
Alot of people I speak to are very blase about prophetic events. Their attitude is; if it happens, it happens, but living now day to day is far more important.
They simply see no value in studying how its all going to pan out – maybe interesting if “thats your thing” – but no danger of being ignorant.
I have a website and ministry dedicated to awakening the church. Here is a link to a post from that website about Jesus’ parable of the Ten Virgins. http://www.thegospelintheendtimes.com/the-price-of-oil/ which speaks of how the church is currently asleep, the coming wakeup call and the danger of being without “oil” in the end-times.
The Second Signpost that Mark describes in his book Daniel Revisited is what he and I both feel will be the wakeup call.
They won’t when prophetic events start to directly affect their lives and they will be desperate for answers. We need to be ready to give them the answers and that Jesus is coming back, just like he said.
Giles, the last half of Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25 are about application of prophetic scripture. Jesus commanded us to prepare for the end-times (Matt. 24:44) and gives us 4 parables on how to do it. I think this is lost treasure that has been misunderstood until right now. Jesus has revealed it because the time to prepare has come.
The website link I gave you above (www.thegopselintheendtimes.com) is designed for skeptics. Primarily skeptics who are church leaders (that is where the problem primarily lies) but all church attenders. Feel free to share the site with them all. It is designed to start at the beginning and systematically works thru a map of the end-times and then applies what Jesus wants us to do.
Be prepared that half of church goers don’t have and won’t have a relation to Jesus (according to Jesus in the Parable of the Ten Virgins) and will be totally unreceptive to the truth. Don’t be dismayed. Half will be receptive. In helping awaken them in this way you will be joining in the effort Jesus desires for us at this time.
Wow Nelson, I started looking through your website and I have to say I am impressed with the content, and the spirit of the materials you present, and the thoughtful way in which you prepared the lessons. Keep up the great work- will be sure to share the site with my family, extended family, and friends.
Truly, it is astonishing exactly how MUCH resistance there is to the Islamic paradigm within the church generally, and to Nelson’s widely held misconceptions on his website, specifically. Church leaders do not believe that “mere mortals” or even prophecy geeks (like us) can begin to understand prophetic scripture or “Even if we could, it was fulfilled in ancient historical history, so there is nothing more to learn here, next.”
IF they would just take time to examine the claims of the Islamic paradigm and Nelson’s focus on what Scripture says about those misconceptions THEN they will understand the urgent need to start preparing and to do strategic long-term planning to the best of their ability under God’s guidance and leading. Granted, not ALL of prophetic scripture has been completely unsealed but the point being is that pre-tribulation seals are breaking and when you watch cable news information you can see clear glimpses of the Islamic beast inspiration being thrown in the West’s face constantly.
Here is a fresh example, a FOXNEWS correspondent on FRIDAY, 6/6/14 was reporting on the release of the five Gitmo Taliban terrorists released in exchange for Bergdahl. When interviewed in Qutar by Al-Jazeera, one of the Gitmo terrorist said they look forward to going to the Islamic Emirate when the time has come. Now, why didn’t that terrorist say they looked forward to going back to their nation, Afghanistan? The FOXNEWS reporter mentioned this specifically in the reporting and found that curious and wondered out loud what he meant. I KNEW instantly what that Taliban terrorist meant! I didn’t have to wonder. That Taliban terrorist wasn’t interested in going to Afghanistan…he wanted to be part of the Islamic Emirate which is another term for Islamic Caliphate. He was just using “code” or another term for the Caliphate!
Church leaders, you MUST wake up! I know this Nelson’s website, Mark’s website and Joels-trumpet.com are ahead of their time in prophetic understanding, but if church leaders don’t start examining these website’s claims they will be charged with failed leadership by their congregations when Islam starts to begin it’s deadly march against the Church.
It is just all so distressing when God has clearly blessed Joel, Mark and Nelson with trying to help the church spiritually and materially prepare! Why are we so dull in spiritual hearing?
Hi Mark, I know you must have thought about this- since you have looked at Daniel 7&8 and seen that what has been taught historically hasn’t fit the scriptures, but have you taken a look at Daniel 11. There is much there that we have said is fulfilled historically, but not everything that I have seen fits the historical model. Just Curious about your thoughts.
Daniel 11 is an interesting nut to crack.
I believe verses 2-16 are historical, from the time prior to the Seleucids, up to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. I do believe that from verse 36 forward it is talking about the Antichrist. On his website, Joel Richardson made a good case for why he believes Daniel 11 could be talking about the Antichrist starting in verse 21. And it may very well be true. Verses 17-20 don’t seem to follow the historical narrative after Antiochus. More work is needed on this chapter.
Hi Mark, Thanks for answering my question, I agree with you that more study of this chapter is needed.
Wow love this great discussion! I am very excited about what The Lord is up to in and through you young people! I have read Joel’s book, Mark’s, and read all the material on Nelson’s website. Very exciting!!! Thank you all!
Heard you on the radio today and it confirmed something I’ve been trying to piece together for a while. The whole theory of a eu leader becoming the antichrist never really felt right to me. I understand why people go in that direction but it left more questions then answers. Someone brought to my attention this past summer that the Ottoman empire came from the Roman empire after Rome split into two separate capitols. In fact the Ottoman empire lasted up until the end of WW1 when the Allies rearranged the world map as we know it today. I can see the Ottoman empire coming back together and producing the antichrist. Islam being the one world religion not some weird made up religion like they tried to portray in the left behind series. We are already witnessing people being beheaded for not converting to Islam the religion of the antichrist. Also wanted to know your thoughts about Mecca being Mystery Babylon? It makes sense to me geographically and economically.
I’m not sure quite who or what Mystery Babylon is, but I’m leaning more and more that it has something to do with Islam. Glad the radio interview helped. After reading the book you’ll see the details as to how the end times involves Islam as the main stage.
I have been praying for the last few weeks for God to allow me to see and understand what is coming. I have paid strict attention to world events but needed a good source to rely on when it came to scripture. Besides the bible I mean. I found Nelson’s site 2 days ago and it is awesome. Because of his site, I found this one. I feel that God has answered my prayers. I am shocked that Christians have a hard time seeing islam for what it is. I have been telling my family for at least 2 years that islam will be the devils army and now I see that I am correct. I have also been trying to get my mother to see that the rapture cannot be pre tribulation. I said if all the Christians have been raptured before the tribulation, then who is left to be persecuted and refuse the mark? So glad I now have much more information to share with them! The main reason I was looking for information was in regards to the United States and Canada in the end times and why they are pretty much absent. I watched a video that claims that the west is absent because it has been decimated by Putin and an emp. This is what is God’s judgement on them for turning away from him. It makes a very compelling argument that the US is mystery Babylon and the statue of liberty represents the whore of Babylon. Any thoughts on this?
Welcome! That’s a great prayer – asking God to show you what’s happening – it allowed me to write Daniel Revisited. There is much more to this eye-opening than the Islamic Antichrist. I recommend you read my book. Check out this Page to start. The Second Signpost is next.
Time is the key factor here, as where we are Today, we now know more than Yesterday about Islam and it’s schemes. The Bible Scholars have been a liitle closed in on their thinking and many are not being led or guided by The Holy Spirit…Jesus did say that “The Foolish shall shame the Wise” and now we see many ordinary people being led by The Holy Spirit speaking the Truth and trying to warn the Church that has fallen asleep out of it’s slumber…!!! Mean while Islam is on the march to take over by whatever means they can the Countries that are foolish enough to believe their lies.!!!
Europe is changing. 1.5 million Muslims in London. No more woman in bikini’s on bus billboards. They have a Muslim mayor now. Germany, France, Switzerland and more countries being flooded with immigrants from the middle east. This in the long run will wipe out the Christian. Study Europe and see how Muslims are taking over. I read a story where they want to flood another 74 million immigrants into Europe. In 700 A.D. 3.8 million Christians in Syria. A 100 years later Islam came in and made war with Christians. Within 300 years 100,000 Christians in Syria. If Syria can change so can Europe. Can this make any sense with revelation? Remember, these people will be your future military, police, politicians and teachers.