Archive for Roman Empire

Pontius Pilate and His Ring

Posted in Trend Update with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2018 by paulthepoke

Luke 23:5-7 But they were urgent, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place. When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.

Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor over Jerusalem and Israel from 26 AD to 36 AD. Pontius was his family name. Pilate comes from the Latin “Pilatus”. This means: one armed with a javelin.

Historically, Pilate was not kind to the Jewish people. He flaunted Roman symbols of power and authority in Jerusalem and in the Temple. He stole the Temple tax funds to build an aqueduct.

Jesus knew of Pilate and commented about his murderous actions. Pilate showed no regard for Jewish lives and Temple worship service. Tradition holds worshipping Jews were sacrificed by Romans in the Temple.

Luke 13:1-2 There were some present at that very time who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?”

In 36 AD, the Governor of Syria brought charges against Pilate. The historian Eusebius indicated Pilate committed suicide after being sent to Vienne in Gaul (modern day southeast France). -The Compact Bible Dictionary.

Drawing: J Rodman
Photo: C Amit, Hebrew University

Fifty years ago, a copper alloy ring was found. Not much attention was given to the ring until recently. In 1968 and 1969 archaeologist Gideon Foerster led the dig at Herod’s burial tomb and palace at Herodium.

Today, archeologist Roi Porat requested the ring be cleaned and re-examined. The ring is nothing fancy or regal.

The specific date of the ring is unknown. The ring was located with other artifacts including: glass, ostraca, pottery, decorated mud stoppers, and abundant metal artifacts (iron arrowheads, a large number of First Jewish Revolt coins). The find is estimated to be dated no later than 71 AD.

“It was important to publish a careful scientific article. But in practice we have a ring inscribed with the name Pilate and the personal connection just cries out,” said Roi Porat.

Historically, the last name “Pilate” was very rare in Roman culture.

“The family name Pontius was common in central and northern Italy during that era, but the name Pilatus was ‘extremely rare.’” -The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Skeptics find it hard to believe Pontius Pilate would have worn the ring of a common citizen.

“Simple all-metal rings like the Herodium ring were primarily the property of soldiers, Herodian and Roman officials, and middle-income folk of all trades and occupations. It is therefore unlikely that Pontius Pilatus, the powerful and rich prefect of Judaea, would have worn a thin, all copper-alloy sealing ring.” -skeptical authors

“There is no way of proving either theory 100% and everyone can have his own opinion. It’s a nice story and interesting to wrap your head around.” -Roi Porat

https://www.timesofisrael.com/2000-year-old-ring-engraved-with-pilate-may-have-belonged-to-notorious-ruler/

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Trend Update: Land for Peace/Abrahamic Covenant, December 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2014 by paulthepoke

Genesis 15:18-21 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

This is the original land grant from God to Abram (later renamed Abraham by God). These are the land boundaries of Israel’s future. This configuration has never been realized. This calls for the geography of Israel to stretch from the Nile River to Euphrates River. One could argue rather this implies the Arabian Peninsula or not. Now this sounds impossible in today’s world and geo-political climate. Can you imagine the uproar if this was proposed at the United Nations? But, there will be a land for peace deal when Jesus returns. It will look something like this. Two maps are included as possibilities.

israels_borders_future FutureIsrael

In today’s world (December 2014), there are all kinds of discussion for a two state solution. Israel will achieve peace when they give land to the Palestinians, so the template goes. Turning over the Gaza Strip (2005) to the Palestinians has not resulted in peace. But we move forward any way.

According to Scripture, the division of the land is a foregone conclusion in the book of Joel. Israel’s people were scattered in 70 AD with the diaspora at the hands of the Roman Empire. Israel’s land will be divided. The process has begun with the Gaza Strip. Are we on the verge of seeing this prophecy fulfilled in our time? Joel 3:2 I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.

The United States, along with the rest of the world, continues to pressure Israel. The concern is building Israeli settlements in West Bank is only adding to the tension. The Obama Administration has even gone to the lengths of considering sanctions on Israel. The consideration reached press outlets on 12/6/14. This policy position is at odds with God’s proclamation in the Abrahamic Covenant. Genesis 12:3 “…And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

This would appear to be bad personal and foreign policy towards God’s chosen people when compared to Genesis 12:3. Incidentally, President Obama went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a sore throat. The President was diagnosed with acid reflux the same day 12/6/14…

http://www.wnd.com/2014/12/obama-makes-1st-move-toward-sanctions-on-israel/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/obama-visits-military-hospital-for-sore-throat.html?_r=0

Antichrist, Peace Treaty, Part 1

Posted in Antichrist/Beast, Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2014 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:26-27 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Compare two people mentioned in the original Hebrew, “Messiah” and “prince”. In the Hebrew, the term for “Messiah” is mashiyach. Per Strong’s Concordance it means: anointed, anointed one, of the Messiah, Messianic prince, of the king of Israel, of the high priest of Israel. This describes Jesus, He is a king and a priest of the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7).

In the Hebrew, the term for “prince” is nagiyd. It means: leader, ruler, captain, or prince.

There is clearly a difference in prominence and prestige.

Messiah will be cut off… At the time of the writing of Daniel (approximately 606 BC to 539 BC), the idea of the Messiah being on the scene was prophetic. Messiah had yet to appear to Israel. Messiah Jesus Christ was 500-600 years away. This had to be confusing to readers, a Messiah who was going to be killed and have nothing to show.

This verse says the Messiah will be “cut off” or karath in the Hebrew. According to Strong’s Concordance karath means: to cut, cut off, cut down, cut off a body part, cut out, eliminate, or kill. Cut a covenant. This is exactly what Jesus did with His death on the cross. He was eliminated and killed at that time. With His death, He cut a blood covenant for the sins of the world.

the prince who is to come… Who are the people of this prince? In 70 AD, the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and completely leveled the city. Many think the antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire. In the western world, many assume this person will come from Europe. Look at a map of the Roman Empire. It is a large area of land. There is more to the Roman Empire than Italy. There is an eastern leg to the Roman Empire. The capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople, a city patterned after Rome. This eastern area included modern day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

romanempire117ad

This geographic area also provides for the antichrist being Jewish. Early church writers including Irenaeus and Hippolytus looked to a Jewish antichrist and backed their positions with Scripture (The Truth Behind Left Behind, Hitchcock and Ice).

There is another coming in the future of today’s time (November 2014) who will take Jerusalem again. Who is this guy going to be? Where will he come from?

will destroy the city and the sanctuary… The Hebrew grammar is clear. The false prince will be the agent of destruction and ruin Jerusalem. This verse also implies there will be a future Temple in Jerusalem. It is called the qodesh in the Hebrew. Translated, the “holy”. In the New Testament, Jesus confirms the “holy place” in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.

And its end will come with a flood… SUDDENLY! The Apostle Paul makes reference to the suddenness of the destruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

Trend Update: Mystery Babylon/Revelation, Part 2, September 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by paulthepoke

Revelation 17:9 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits…

Revelation 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

All seven churches of Revelation are located in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey.

Four of the seven churches in Revelation have references to Satan. Jesus is the one talking directly to the churches. Jesus got His information from God the Father (Revelation 1). This is not conjecture.

Revelation 2:9 (Smyrna) I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:13 (Pergamum) I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

Jesus Himself states Pergamum is Satan’s capital. This is where Satan lives and reigns. Pergamum was credited with the art of making parchment or paper. This technique lead to wealth and splendor (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary). Pergamum means “citadel” (Holman Bible Dictionary). A 40 foot high altar of Zeus was located here. The altar was one of the wonders of the ancient world. Pergamum was home of a library of 200,000 volumes. Antipas was the first Christian martyred by Roman Empire in Pergamum (http://bibleatlas.org/).

Revelation 2:24 (Thyatira) But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them– I place no other burden on you.

Revelation 3:9 (Philadelphia) Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie– I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.

Asia Minor is mentioned in the book of Acts.

Acts 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia… The Holy Spirit made sure Paul and his companions stayed in modern day Turkey instead of advancing east to China. The regions of Phrygia and Galatia are in the heart of Asia Minor.

Acts 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them…The Spirit of Jesus intervened and kept the crew in Mysia. Bithynia and Mysia are also in Turkey. Jesus wanted them in Mysia. The region of Mysia is home to the city of Pergamum, Satan’s city (Revelation 2:13). Paul was forbidden by the Spirit of Christ from going into the region of Bithynia, home to modern day Istanbul, Constantinople, or Byzantium (synonymous names). The Holy Spirit and Jesus clearly had a plan for the gospel in Satan’s back yard.

Satan has his trinity. He plays the role of God. The antichrist plays the role of Jesus. And the false prophet plays the role of the Holy Spirit. Satan clearly has a foot hold in Turkey per the comments of Jesus to the churches in Revelation. Satan has a religious system and structures in place in this geographical area. If Satan’s home land is modern day Turkey, would it make sense for him to establish his kingdom with his minions here?

Istanbul is known as the City on the Seven Hills. It was also the capital of the Roman Empire. There is a lot of New Testament action in Turkey.

Just watching…

Trend Update: Mystery Babylon/Revelation, September 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by paulthepoke

Revelation 17:9 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits…

From a Western perspective, popular lines of conjecture are the following. The woman is a city. Revelation 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth. The city that sits on the seven mountains or hills is Rome. A revived Roman Empire will emerge in the end times. Some think the European Union is the end time’s empire. Others believe an apostate Catholic Church will lead the charge. Some conjecture a future leader of the European Union will be the antichrist. Others believe The Pope will be the antichrist. Rome will be the capital and the city that is Mystery Babylon.

But…Rome is not the only possibility. There are other port cities that are built on seven hills. Two other examples are Istanbul, Turkey (Constantinople) and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Mecca is very curious. It is the home of the most religious site in Islam. However, the focus of this blog is the consideration of Istanbul.

I want to be perfectly clear. I am not stating Constantinople or modern day Istanbul is Mystery Babylon. I am encouraging people to consider this as a possibility. In light of the Israel and Hamas fighting, Turkey has offered to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. http://rudaw.net/english/opinion/28072014

News out of Istanbul, Turkey has recently claimed the city to be the future capital of a new Arab confederation of countries.  http://shoebat.com/2014/08/26/bombshell-antichrist-confederacy-announced-turkey

The political happenings in Istanbul, Turkey merit an attentive eye. Just watching…

People often forget the Roman Empire had an eastern leg which included modern day Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.

Istanbul is known as the City on the Seven Hills. The seven hills were located within the original walls of the city. Constantinople was founded on an already established city. The city was named by Constantine the Great of the Roman Empire. Constantine established the city in his namesake as the capital of the Roman Empire. The city was purposefully patterned after Rome. It was dedicated in May, 330 AD (Wikipedia).

Modern day Turkey was known as Asia Minor. Turkey is a land bridge between Asia and Europe. The area connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The Golden Horn of Istanbul provides a spacious harbor.

Mystery Babylon is a port city. Revelation 18 confirms this city is a place of great exchange, cargoes, and trade. Ships, merchants, passengers, captains, and sailors are mentioned. Revelation 18:19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’

Be a watchman. Here is the mind which has wisdom…

Trend Update, Revived Roman Empire, May 2014

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by paulthepoke

Memorial Day weekend proved to be an interesting time in the Holy Land. The Pope, Francis, visited the Middle East. There are many who think the Pope will be the Anti-Christ. The Roman Empire is being revived, so they say. Many have identified the Pope as the Anti-Christ. I would also encourage everyone to remember the Roman Empire had an eastern leg which included modern day Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.

The Pope had an interesting trip. He called for interfaith toleration and unity between the Muslims and the Jewish people. He visited the Muslim Dome on the Temple Mount and the Jewish Western Wall. He endorsed dividing the land and acknowledging a Palestinian state. With all due to respect to the pontiff, I would encourage him to read the Book of Joel. God says, “Do not divide My land.” This is not a good idea and not in accordance with God’s will.

The Pope has requested a peace meeting or summit next month (June 2014) at the Vatican between the Muslims and the Jews. I expect the Pope or somebody to invoke Father Abraham as a bridge to peace at some point in the future.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming…

Scripture tells us the Anti-Christ will NOT be revealed until the resurrection of the dead believers in Christ and the living believers in Christ are raptured into the clouds to meet Jesus. There is a lot of debate about the word “apostasy”. It is the word apostasia in the Greek. The word is transliterated. It can mean the following in the original Greek: a falling away, defection, or apostasy. The word is used one other time in the New Testament.

The key to the passage is noted later in these verses with the restrainer. Many take this “restrainer” to be the Holy Spirit who is indwelled in Christians. The restrainer will be removed when Christians are snatched into the clouds at the rapture by Jesus. Then, the Anti-Christ will be revealed and present himself to the world.

This passage also notes there will be a Jewish Temple. The Anti-Christ will present himself as being God in the temple. Currently, there is no Jewish Temple. But if we wake up one morning and there has been an agreement to rebuild the Temple…

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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