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Rlyeh

What if Scripture predicted 2,000 years of history?

And if not, pretend it does anyway.

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aquatus1

What if Scripture predicted 2,000 years of history?

It would be a bit better, but in all honesty, not all that much. After all, if a prophecy is specific about destroying a city and the city is destroyed ahead of time, who is going to know about the prophecy? People don't remember failed prophecies. It simply stands to reason that, sooner or later, a prophecy is going to hit the same general time zone as possible destruction.

What it would do, however, is force us to take the next step and determine if this was an actual prophecy or if it was simply a predictable coincidence.

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Paranoid Android

Here's one, the Pittsburgh Steelers will win another super bowl. So it's not much of a prophecy if you get my meaning.

And let's say tomorrow morning you wake up to news headlines that say the management of the Pittsburgh Steelers had been funnelling money away for other illegal purposes and now the team is bankrupt and will be folding before the start of next season. In comes a fancy buyer who can get the team at bargain cheapness, but the players salaries weren't paid so they all went to new clubs, leaving poor Pittsburgh with a side that could no longer compete in the NFL and was dropped to a local division to play State teams from Pennsylvania?

I know it's unlikely and goes against the spirit of your analogy, I'm just saying that there are no guarantees in life. Just because the Steelers might be a good team (they are a good team, right? I don't really know much about American Football) does not mean that they won't fall afoul of problems and drop off the grid.

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GoldenWolf

a predictable coincidence.

Most of the prophecies of the bible is a predictable coincidence, even a ten year old can make most of them guesses if they thought about it.

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vitruvian12

What if Scripture predicted 2,000 years of history?

Wouldnt that basically be making a prediction about the end of the world? 2000 years of history have been long surpassed i believe.

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Bluefinger

It would be a bit better, but in all honesty, not all that much. After all, if a prophecy is specific about destroying a city and the city is destroyed ahead of time, who is going to know about the prophecy? People don't remember failed prophecies. It simply stands to reason that, sooner or later, a prophecy is going to hit the same general time zone as possible destruction.

What it would do, however, is force us to take the next step and determine if this was an actual prophecy or if it was simply a predictable coincidence.

Well, I would like to interpret Revelation 12 to demonstrate a history specifically about the persecution of God's people. I think that my interpretation is fairly accurate and doesn't reach to make things fit. If that strikes your interest, then I can continue into chapter 13, where I discuss the prophecies of the future of the persecution of God's people.

Revelation 12:1-2 begins a new focus where a woman clothed with the sun and the moon beneath her feet and with 12 stars above her head that is pregnant and crying out with birth pangs. The interpretation to this can be found in the Bible, in Genesis 37:9-10, Joseph tells his family a dream he had where the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bow down to him. Jacob, his father, asks him if he meant to tell them that he, his wife, and his eleven other sons would come bow down before Joseph. So the woman is the nation of Israel. Now, it says that she cried out in birth bangs. This can be found in the Bible as well. In Micah 4:9-10, God asks Jerusalem why she cries aloud like a woman in labor. He asks her, "Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies."

So Revelation 12 begins with showing the nation of Israel living under Gentile oppression and await the Messiah. Then, in Revelation 12:3-4 a dragon appeared, having seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on each head. The dragon cast down 1/3 of the stars out of heaven. This, I believe, is talking about the world's empires that have opposed God's people, from the Babylonian Empire until the Roman Empire. In the midst of the foreign occupation, the Jews underwent a severe persecution under the leadership of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In the book 1 Maccabees 1:29-33, the author writes,

"Two years later the king sent to the cities of Judah a chief collector of tribute, and he came to Jerusalem with a large force. Deceitfully he spoke peaceable words to them, and they believed him; but he suddenly fell upon the city, dealt it a severe blow, and destroyed many people of Israel. He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls. They took captive the women and children, and seized the livestock. Then they fortified the city of David with a great strong wall and strong towers, and it became their citadel."

Next in Revelation 12:4-5, the dragon stood in wait in front of the woman so that he can devour her child. And she delivered a man child that was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Before the dragon could consume him, the child was caught up to God and His throne. This brings the reader to the time of Jesus. Herod had evidently wanted to prevent the Jewish throne from falling back into the hands of the Jews. And finally, after Christ was crucified, he ascended into heaven.

Now, in Revelation 12:6, after the man child had ascended, the woman began fleeing to a place she would be safe. That was the persecution of the early church, as recorded in the book of Acts. In Acts 8:1-4, on the day that Stephen was stoned, it rights, "And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the churcy by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word."

At this point, Revelation 12:7-9 shifts to a conflict in heaven, where the dragon (the only time in this chapter Satan is named rather than called just a dragon) and his angels fought against Michael and his angels. Satan lost and was cast out. Then begins a dialogue in Revelation 12:10-12 that explains what it means:

"Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens

and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.'"

The story from the book of Job is borrowed here as to hint at the persecution of the church in Jerusalem being likened to Satan accusing the church not being faithful like he accused Job of being faith, and yet the church endured its persecution faithfully.

In Revelation 12:13, Once the dragon realized his fate, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the man child. This, I believe, is detailing the persecution of the Christians by Nero, whom fiddled on the roof while Rome burned and then blamed it on the Christians. This is when most of the apostles died.

Then Revelation 12::14 continues with saying that the woman was given wings like that of a great eagle and she fled to a place prepared for her. The use of wings indicates the success of her missions in the Gentile world, where Paul had preached to; outside of Judea.

Revelation 12:15-16 continues, then, when the dragon saw what had happened, he spewed water out of his mouth like that of a flood to try and sweep her away, but the earth swallowed up the waters and protected her. This, I believe is the Jewish War against Rome, and it was detailed thoroughly by Josephus in his book The War of the Jews. Jesus had warned his disciples in Luke 21:20 that when they saw armies surrounding Jerusalem that they should know its desolation is near. He had informed them so that they would not follow after the rebels out of patriotism of being a Jew. Jesus had said that Jerusalem was to be destroyed so that the blood of the prophets and saints, and every faithful person from Abel to Zechariah would be avenged. In Daniel 9:26, it talks about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation in saying, "After the sixty-two weeks (or sevens), an anointed one (or messiah) shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall COME WITH A FLOOD, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed."

The Christians however, like many Jews that had fled, fled through the valley where the city of Petra is located. They hid among the Gentile nations and did not partake in being called a Jew for sake of reducing needless persecution. The times of the Gentiles, according to Luke 21:24 had officially began.

So naturally, the next thing that the dragon (Roman Empire) does in Revelation 12:17 is makes war against the offspring of the woman; those who keep God's commandments and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus. In other words, the Roman Empire would make war with the Christian churches. That brings the reader to John's time, where the Roman Empire had began persecuting Christians as enemies of the state for refusing to participate in emperor worship, which was a sign of patriotism at that time.

If that got your gears turning and you want to see more, let me know. If not, well, at least you read my interpretation of it.

Edited by Bluefinger

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Imaginarynumber1

What if Scripture predicted 2,000 years of history?

If it was supposed to be the last 2000 years that you are referring to then it clearly then it hasn't.

It's also safe to assume that it predicts about as much as a Harry Potter book does about the future.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1

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Roddy

"I think that my interpretation is fairly accurate and doesn't reach to make things fit. If that strikes your interest, then I can continue into chapter 13, where I discuss the prophecies of the future of the persecution of God's people."

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on chapter 13, Bluefinger. If you have the time to post them.

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Bluefinger

If it was supposed to be the last 2000 years that you are referring to then it clearly then it hasn't.

It's also safe to assume that it predicts about as much as a Harry Potter book does about the future.

I think you missed part of my post, especially where I said that of what I said caught your interest then I would proceed to explain the 2,000 years of history of persecution.

Revleation 12 is necessary to understand before interpreting Revelation 13.

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Bluefinger

"I think that my interpretation is fairly accurate and doesn't reach to make things fit. If that strikes your interest, then I can continue into chapter 13, where I discuss the prophecies of the future of the persecution of God's people."

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on chapter 13, Bluefinger. If you have the time to post them.

Thanks Roddy. I'll try to type it up tonight.

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Bluefinger

"I think that my interpretation is fairly accurate and doesn't reach to make things fit. If that strikes your interest, then I can continue into chapter 13, where I discuss the prophecies of the future of the persecution of God's people."

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on chapter 13, Bluefinger. If you have the time to post them.

Hi Roddy,

Thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

As I said earlier, understanding Revelation 12 is key to understanding Revelation 13. The symbolism builds up and, if you get Revelation 12 right, you'll probably be in the ball park with Revelation 13.

I explained, through the referencing of Old Testament Scriptures how Revelation 12's pregnant woman was Israel under Gentile oppression and awaiting their Messiah. I also explained how the dragon was the seven world empires from the Babylonian Empire to the Roman Empire. I explained how the dragon casting down 1/3 of the stars was describing the persecution of the Jews by the Hellenizing Syriac-Greeks under the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. I showed how the man-child she gave birth to was Jesus and how he was caught up to the throne in heaven, where he currently rules. I explained the relation between the faithfulness of the Church in Jerusalem during their persecution by the Jews and how it related to the faithfulness of Job when he suffered tribulation. I then explained how the Roman Empire persecuted the Apostolic Church, where its two main leaders were taken from Jerusalem to Rome and killed there. Then I showed how the dragon spitting water out of its mouth like a flood to sweep the woman away was the War of the Jews, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the diaspora of the Jewish Nation. Then, I showed how Revelation 12:17 brought the reader up to John's time, when the Roman Empire had went to war with Christianity by enforcing imperial cult worship at the penalty of death to all the inhabitants of the Roman Empire.

Whew. Now, we're up to Revelation 13. It opens up saying that the dragon stood on the shore of the sea, as if to say that it was at bay for a time. This brings us to the time when the Roman Empire no longer is at war with offspring of the Church of Jerusalem. This is talking about the days of Constantine. As we know, the dragon of Revelation 12 had seven heads and ten horns, with crowns on the seven heads. In Revelation 13:1, a beast (wild animal) with seven heads and ten horns as well comes out of the sea. However, if you pay attention to the wording, a HUGE hint is given here: The ten horns have the crowns, not the seven heads like the dragon did. This is essentially a transition from the Roman Empire into something else. The Jewish readers who read about ten horns would have understood this to mean a divided kingdom, like the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim split from the Southern Kingdom of Judah and took with it nine other tribes while Judah contained the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Likewise, when the Western Roman Empire fell to the invading Barbarian tribes in 476 CE, the capital of the Roman Empire had already been moved to Constantinople, which fell much later.

If you want more support for this answer, Rev. 13:2 describes the beast as having the appearance of a leopard, with the feet of a bear, and a mouth of a lion. That is a reference to the four beasts of Daniel 7, the first being a lion with eagle's wings, the second being a bear with three ribs in its mouth, the third being a leopard with four heads and four wings, and the last being a wild animal with ten horns. This is not coincidence. Rev. 13:2 references these four beasts in reverse order so that the reader understands that the beast of Rev. 13:1 is the fourth beast of Daniel 7. People who have studied those four beasts understand the lion to be the Babylonian Empire, the bear to be the Persian Empire, the leopard with four heads to be the Greek Empire that was divided after Alexander's death, and the beast with ten horns to be the Roman Empire.

Next, Rev. 13:2 continues and says that the dragon gave the beast its authority and dominion and power. That means that this kingdom would begin a stage of imperialism, where none can conquer it. Rev. 3 also shows that one of the heads had been mortally wounded but was miraculously healed. This indicates to the reader when the beast began...when the head was healed. Now, the seven heads of the dragon were the Babylonian emperor, the Persian emperor, the four emperors of the divided Greek Empire, and the Roman emperor. The last head was wounded when Romulus Augustus was forced to step down in 476 CE and it wasn't healed until the Frankish kingdom began conquering from Norway to Italy, stretching through France and Germany. In 800 CE, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne, king of the Franks, as King of the Romans. And it says that they worshiped the dragon which gave power to the beast, meaning that they embraced this new empire, which later became known as the Holy Roman Empire when Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa called it so.

In verse 5 it says that the beast was given a mouth to speak great blasphemies and pompous claims, and it was allowed to continue for 42 months. This is the Papacy, which had become deeply involved with Frankish politics during the 8th century as it sought to finally rid Italy of the Arian Lombards. When Pepin the Short kicked the Lombards out of Ravenna in between 754 and 756 CE, he gave the pope the Papal States, which was the popes first territory that he was given to rule. The pope finally became a king. For more information, look of the Donation of Pepin. The pope is still king of those lands, although they have been reduced down to the Vatican City. Daniel 7 describes this kingdom not as a mouth, but a horn with eyes and a mouth speaking great things. Now, it was allowed to continue for forty-two months. These dates are based on the lunar calenda, which adds up to 1260 days. If we apply the day-to-a-year prophetical concept, which we must since the pope still rules the Vatican as king, then that brings us to approximately 2014-2016. (Freaky, I know.)

Now, Rev. 13:5-6 says that the mouth of that beast, or the Papacy of the Holy Roman Empire, opened up to blasphemy God and his dwelling. In Greek, the use of blaspheming is general, meaning an insult. When Jesus forgave a man of his sins, the Jews accused Him of blasphemy. When Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM," the Jews wanted to stone Him for blasphemy. So the blasphemy in the case of Rev. 13:5 is the pompous claims it makes about itself. During the 11th century, the Papacy had become hijacked by a Frankish aristocratic family that often nominated their family members to be pope. They also sold church offices throughout Francia as an investment, for which became known as Simony, after Simon Magus, whom wanted to purchase the Holy Spirit for financial profit. As a result of this conflict, HIldebrande presented forged documents called the Pseudo-Isidore Decretals, among which contained the famous forgery called the Donation of Constantine. This forgery basically extended the Papacy's claim to govern itself and elect it's own bishops and popes. If you want more information, look up the Investiture Controversy. This set the tone for Reforms within the Roman Church that would lead it to its highest success in the next three centuries. Now, with that amount of success and wealth, and especially the level of claims that they made as such that gave them the authority to make and depose kings in exercise of the authority of being the Vicar of Christ (ruling in Christ's stead), there came a greater effort to defend that power.

So it's no surprise that Rev. 13:7 says it was given to the mouth the authority to make war with the saints and to overcome them and that power was given to him, the pope, over all peoples, nations, languages, and tongues. In the 14th century, the Papacy was resisted by the king of England and the king of France so that the Papacy was invaded and moved to Avignon, France for about seventy years. For more information, look up 'The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.' During this time, Europe was struck with the Great Famine of 1315 and the Bubonic Plague of 1348 (which was actually halfway through the time allotted for the pope to exercise authority), causing mortality rates to shoot up through the sky and economies to shift significantly. Once the Avignon, Papacy had ended, it entered a stage where three popes claimed to be legitimate popes, causing the credibility of the Roman Church to significantly decrease. With this came an influx of protestants calling out for reform. The result led to the persecution of the early day Protestants by means of the Inquisition and the Crusades, the Waldenses, Jon Hus and Jerome being among them. Rev. 13:8 indicates that the deception and power of this mouth would be so great that everyone who didn't have the worship Jesus in truth and in spirit would worship the papacy. At the time that Martin Luther challenged Johann Tetzel about his abuses of indulgences that were being collected to fund the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, the Roman Papacy was claiming that there was no salvation outside of the Church of Rome. Yet, the Bible states, that Jesus is our salvation and that we don't need mediators to talk to God for us because we already have a High Priest, Jesus, interceding day and night for us.

So then, Rev. 13:9-10 calls for the saints to endure for their testimony as they would be killed and led into captivity for keeping the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This, I believe, is where I should stop for the night. So far, we started with the first exile of the Jews in 7th century BCE as shown in Revelation 12:1 and have come to the 16th century CE. That's over 2,000 years of history, 1600 of which was foretold in Revelation 12:17-13:10. Let me know if you have any questions so far. I'll start working on the second half later tonight or tomorrow. It depends when my wife wants to go to bed. God bless!

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ambelamba

Well, we tend to forget about the original audience of the prophecy. Seriously, will you care about a prophecy if it tells you about the far, far future?

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Roddy

Thank you, Bluefinger, for taking the time to type all of that.

I have printed your post, so as to take some time to go through it.

Also will be looking forward to part two. Give me some time and I will get back to you.

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Roddy

Well, we tend to forget about the original audience of the prophecy. Seriously, will you care about a prophecy if it tells you about the far, far future?

Ron, I had that same thought as well. But if you look at the second paragraph in Bluefinger's post, He gives a possible answer to that.

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Bluefinger

Alright, so I'm going to interpret the second half of Revelation 13. Thanks for bearing with me so far.

So earlier, I closed with mentioning that the mouth of the beast, the Papacy, was allowed to make war with the saints and overcome them. The original inquisition was to stamp out certain heretics of Vaudois. This inquisition then turned to snuff out the Protestants, beginning in the 12th century CE, after Pope Innocent III set reforms that would make the Papacy the greatest it had ever been with the largest amount of power it had ever exercised. This explains the second beast rising out of the earth rather than the sea. The first beast, like the four beasts of Daniel 7, came out of the sea, which are kings that came out of the earth. What I believe was implied here is that these kings each conquered the other. The Babylonians were conquered by the Persians whom were conquered by the Greeks, whom were conquered by the Romans, whom were conquered by several Barbarian tribes. The beast from the earth however, this being highly symbolic, states that it comes out of a kingdom already established. In this case, it comes out of Italy, the seat of the pope. Pope Innocent III upon his consecration to the office of pope, quoted Jersemiah 1:10, reading, "I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, to destroyand to throw down, to build, and to plant." (Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce L. Shelley, third edition) Pope Innocent III set up reforms, with the support of the German empire's largest sources of funds, the German Church, (A History of the Christian Church, by Lars P. Qualben) and established Canon Law to be the new law of Christendom. "This craving to control, the zeal to reach every aspect of life, may have disguised the fatal flaw in Christianity by law. It tried to reduce human freedom to a miserable minimum and forgot that God designed freedom as the forerunner for the coming of true faith. Canon law, however gave to the papacy a rational legal basis, something the medieval state did not yet possess. As a result the papacy rose to preeminent power in the public life of Europe and achieved an international prestige that far outweighed that of any outweighed that of any feudal kingdom." (Church History In Plain Language, by Bruce L. Shelley, third edition)

At about this time, two Catholic orders came about with Lady Poverty as their song, miracles at their aid, and a desire to convert the entire world to Roman Catholicism. They were the Dominican and Franciscan orders. They were sent out at first to aid the Roman Church in putting an end to the Albigenses sect, also known as the Cathars. St. Dominic insisted that, instead of using pomp and pride of the clergy to win converts, why not use poverty and humility. So this the reformed Roman Church, with its two orders at the front, are the second beast. It wasn't a nationalistic imperialism, like the first beast was. It was a spiritual imperialism. Rev. 13:13 says that he, the second beast, does wonders in the presence of people so as to deceive them, even calling fire down from heaven. Now, this is a reference to Elijah's standoff with the Baal worshipers in 1 Kings 18, where Elijah proved his God to be true by the miracle he had performed. So what Rev. 13:13 is saying is that there would be a time when people would be deceived into following the wrong god. During the 12th century, a man named St. Dominic, a very chaste and ascetic friar began performing miracles and was canonized by Pope Innocent III to begin what no other man outside of the deacons had done: He began evangelizing and preaching the word. Alongside, and a great companion was St. Francis of Assisi, whom performed several miracles as well. These two men founded orders called the Dominicans and Franciscans. These two would be the powerhouse in preaching Roman Catholicism to the world. The miracles performed by the second beast are the miracles attributed to St. Francis and St. Dominic, causing the Frankish and Spanish world (Christendom) to follow after the Roman Papacy.

In Foxe's Book of Martyrs, it speaks of the Inquisition in this light:

"When the reformed religion began to diffuse the gospel light throughout church. He [pope] accordingly instituted a number of inquisitors, or persons who were to make inquiry after, apprehend, and punish, heretics, as the reformed were called by the papists. At the head of these inquisitors was one Dominic, who had been canonized by the pope, in order to render his authority more respectable. Dominic, and the other inquisitors, spread themselves into various Roman Catholic countries, and treated the protestants with the utmost severity. In process of time, the pope, not finding these roving inquisitors so useful as he had imagined, resolved upon the establishment of fixed and regular courts of inquisition...Courts of Inquisition were now erected in several countries; but the Spanish Inquisition became the most powerful, and the most dreaded of any. Even the kings of Spain themselves, though arbitrary in all other respects, were taught to dread the power of the lords of the inquisition; and the horrid cruelties they exercised compelled multitudes, who differed in opinion from the Roman Catholics, carefully to conceal their sentiments."

In Rev. 13:14, the second beast uses the miracles to deceive the inhabitants of the earth to set up an image of the first beast, the Roman Papacy. This establishment, or government if you will, had the invested power of the pope, whom truly ruled the Holy Roman Empire, to exercise the pope's authority in inquiring who were 'heretics' and who were not. Their main mission, as shown in Rev. 13:12, was to make all inhabitants in the Holy Roman Empire to be subservient to the Roman Papacy.

Fox continues in his book: "The most zealous of all the popish monks, and those who most implicitly obey the church of Rome, were the Dominicans and the Franciscans: thee, therefore, the pope thought to invest with an exclusive right of presiding over the different court of inquisition, and gave them the most unlimited powers, as judges delegated by him, and immediately representing his person: they were permitted to excommunicate, or sentence to death whom they thought proper, upon the most slight information of heresy. They were allowed to publish crusades against all whom they deemed heretics, and enter into leagues with sovereign princes, to join their crusades with their forces. In 1244, their power was farther increased b the emperor Frederick the Second, who declared himself the protector and friend of all the inquisitors, and published the cruel edicts, viz. 1. That all heretics who continued obstinate, should be burnt. 1. That all heretics who repented, should be imprisoned for life."

Rev. 13:14 shows that the false prophet, the Dominican order, spoke on behalf of the Pope as to deceive many men into making an image to the first beast. Now, this can be understood if one just considers the context of Revelation's original audience. Roman Emperor Domitian had set up the Imperial Cult to enforce emperor worship throughout the entire Roman Empire, which caused Christians to either deny the true savior Jesus or be killed. In essence, this imperial tribunal had the emperor's authority invested on it to try people and condemn them if they refused to recant. Likewise for the Inquisition, that means that a tribunal would be set up, with the Pope's permission, to test the loyalty of the Holy Roman Empire's people to their king, the Pope and his 'Holy Roman Church.' So the pope ordered that an actual Inquisition be set up to 'rid Christendom of heresy.' Before, the inquisition was scattered and not systematic. Over the course of the centuries, the inquisition became heavily systematic. It became an official institution that would try men according to the Canon Law, torture them to confess their violations, kill them or imprison them, and confiscate their property.

Foxe writes about the Dominican run Inquisition in saying, "Through almost the entire of Italy, through the Flemish dominions of Germany, through a large portion of France, and through the entire of Spain, a great monastic body was established, which , professing a secondary and trivial obedience to the sovereign, gave its first and real obedience to the pope. The name of spiritual homage cloaked the high treason of an oath of allegiance to a foreign monarch; and whoever might be king of France, or Spain, the pope was king of the Dominicans. All the other monastic orders were so many papal outposts. But the great Dominican order, immensely opulent in its pretended povery; formidably powerful in its hypocritical disdain of earthly influence; and remorselessly ambition, turbulent, and cruel in its primitive zeal; was an actual lodgment and province of the papacy, an inferior Rome, in the chief European kingdoms."

The Jewish converts, whom recanted under torture or fear of death, were labeled at converses. They constantly risked condemnation, as it was difficult for them to hide their former practices from the inquisition. It was this Canon Law, as demonstrated toward the Jews, that would have been most unanimously understood to be the mark of the beast. For there was only one Law that the Jews would keep as a sign on their hands and as a mark on their foreheads, and that was the Mosaic Law. In the book of Romans, Paul talks about the purpose of the law and that those that lived by it would be judged by it. So, the Canon Law of the Reformed Papacy was the mark of the beast. All who did not keep that law were judged by that law, which was carried out by the inquisition.

Foxe continues, "The principal accusation against those who are subject to this tribunal is heresy, which comprises all that is spoken, or written, against any of he articles of the creed, or the traditions of the Roman Church. The inquisition likewise takes cognizance of such as are accused of being magicians, and of such who read the bible in the common language, the Talmud of the Jews, or the Alcoran (Koran) of the Mahometans. Upon all occasions the inquisitors carry on their processes with the utmost severity, and punish those who offend them with the most unparalleled cruelty. A protestant has seldom any mercy shown him, and a Jew, who turns Christian, is far from being secure....When the person impeaches is condemned, he is either severely whipped, violently tortured, sent to the galleys, or sentenced to death; and in either case the effects are confiscated. After judgment, a procession is performed to the place of execution, which ceremony is called auto de fe, or act of faith."

I'm not quite sure what the number of the beast's name is yet. I have a suspicion that it has to with apostasy, or conversion in the matter. In 2 Thessalonian 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..." Paul understood that the coming of Christ wouldn't happen until a falling away from the faith happened, and then a lawless man would lead them with deceptive words and claims into establishing him as a divine being. In the case of the primitive persecution, Christian apostates offered sacrifices to the imperial cult to save themselves from further persecution and death. One such case was recorded by Foxe where a man named Nichomachus was tortured until he recanted, and, upon being released, died almost immediately. A 16 year old girl named Denisa witnessed it and said, " O unhappy wretch, why would you buy a moment's ease at the expenses of a miserable eternity!" Then she was tried and killed. Throughout the book of Revelation and in the synoptic gospels, it seems to be implied that shrinking from death by denying Jesus was a big No-No. Jesus had even said that if anyone denies him before men, he will deny that person before the angels in heaven. The use of public denial is emphasized. So, if I'm right about this, then the one who had the number of the beast's name was called conversos. These were primarily Jews, during the Spanish Inquisition, who renounced their former beliefs and practices at the inquisition. They then went on to live as Roman Catholics.

So, to recap, the second beast is the reformed Roman Papacy (c. late 12th century), with its two main orders, the Dominicans and the Franciscans, performing miracles to deceive the entire Medieval populace into following after the Pope and becoming subjects to his Canon Law. The two orders were permitted by the Pope to go out, preach, and convert heretics (or non-Catholics) to Roman Catholicism. The reformed Church also delegated that an inquisition be set up, with the Dominicans in charge, to try all Europe's inhabitants according to Canon Law. The inquisition, much like the imperial cult, had the pope's permission to exercise his authority on his behalf, like an image mimics the one it reflects. The image, or inquisition, was also given life so that it could cause all who refused to worship it (follow its laws) to be killed. This is exactly how it went with the pagan imperial cult in the first century CE, during John's time. The imperial cult set up a tribunal with the emperor decree that all that would not recant and perform pagan sacrifice in the name of the emperor would be killed. The image, or inquisition, also forced all men regardless of status or nationality, to receive a mark on their right hand or the forehead so that nobody can buy or sell without it. This is taken from Deuteronomy 6:8, and is regarding God's instructions concerning keeping the Mosaic Law, "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." The Jewish readers would have understood that the mark of the beast was observance of the Canon Law, especially when one was convinced of the contrary. Jews were especially targeted during this time, as they were at first brutally tortured and killed and then exiled from Spain. They were not able to partake in Roman Catholic society without strictly adhering to the Canon Law. There were even popes that issued out antilabor laws to Jews, forcing them to wear yellow badges, so that everyone knew not to do business with them. The same happened to those that the Roman Church deemed as heretics.

Foxe also wrote, "Such was the inquisition, declared by the Spirit of God to be at once the offspring and the image of the popedom. To feel the force of the parentage, we must look to the time. In the thirteenth century, the popedom was a the summit of moral dominion; it was independent of all kingdoms; it ruled with a rank of influence never before or since possessed by a human scepter; it was the acknowledged sovereign of body and sou; to all earthly intents its power was immeasurable for good or evil. It might have spread literature, peace, freedom, and Christianity to the ends of Europe, or the world. But its nature was hostile; its fuller triumph only disclosed its fuller evil; and, to the shame of human reason, and the terror and suffering of human virtue, Rome, in the hour of its consummate grandeur, teemed with the monstrous and horrid birth of the INQUISITION!"

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dalia

Im sure Isaiah believed his god could destroy a city overnight so he wasnt really predicting anything he didnt believe could happen in his time.

I agree with most here, a prediction with no timeline is no prediction. What good is it?

If any of you chose to actually read what Isaiah said, you would realize that there is a timeline for the prophesy. The phrase "in that day" refers to the end-time. The war that will be fought in the middle east will bring about the seven year tribulation. During that war Damascus will be so utterly destroyed that no one will ever occupy that area again.

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vitruvian12

If any of you chose to actually read what Isaiah said, you would realize that there is a timeline for the prophesy. The phrase "in that day" refers to the end-time. The war that will be fought in the middle east will bring about the seven year tribulation. During that war Damascus will be so utterly destroyed that no one will ever occupy that area again.

Does that qualify as an actual date that can be used?

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