By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) – The anti-Christ. The Battle of Armageddon. The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
You don’t have to be a student of religion to recognize references from the Book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible has fascinated readers for centuries. People who don’t even follow religion are nonetheless familiar with figures and images from Revelation.
And why not? No other New Testament book reads like Revelation. The book virtually drips with blood and reeks of sulfur. At the center of this final battle between good and evil is an action-hero-like Jesus, who is in no mood to turn the other cheek.
Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.”
Pagels’ book is built around a simple question: What does Revelation mean? Her answers may disturb people who see the book as a prophecy about the end of the world.
But people have clashed over the meaning of Revelation ever since it was virtually forced into the New Testament canon over the protests of some early church leaders, Pagels says.
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“There were always debates about it,” she says. “Some people said a heretic wrote it. Some said a disciple. There were always people who loved and championed it.”
The debate persists. Pagels adds to it by challenging some of the common assumptions about Revelation.
Here are what she says are four big myths about Revelation::
1. It’s about the end of the world
Anyone who has read the popular “Left Behind” novels or listened to pastors preaching about the “rapture” might see Revelation as a blow-by-blow preview of how the world will end.
Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation was actually describing the way his own world ended.
She says the writer of Revelation may have been called John – the book is sometimes called “Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine” but he was not the disciple who accompanied Jesus. He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos, off the coast of present-day Greece.
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“He would have been a very simple man in his clothes and dress,” Pagels says. “He may have gone from church to church preaching his message. He seems more like a traveling preacher or a prophet.”
The author of Revelation had experienced a catastrophe. He wrote his book not long after 60,000 Roman soldiers had stormed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., burned down its great temple and left the city in ruins after putting down an armed Jewish revolt.
For some of the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem was incomprehensible. They had expected Jesus to return “with power” and conquer Rome before inaugurating a new age. But Rome had conquered Jesus’ homeland instead.
The author of Revelation was trying to encourage the followers of Jesus at a time when their world seemed doomed. Think of the Winston Churchill radio broadcasts delivered to the British during the darkest days of World War II.
Revelation was an anti-Roman tract and a piece of war propaganda wrapped in one. The message: God would return and destroy the Romans who had destroyed Jerusalem.
“His primary target is Rome,” Pagels says of the book’s author. “He really is deeply angry and grieved at the Jewish war and what happened to his people.”
2. The numerals 666 stand for the devil
The 1976 horror film “The Omen” scared a lot of folks. It may have scared some theologians, too, who began encountering people whose view of Revelation comes from a Hollywood movie.
“The Omen” depicted the birth and rise of the “anti-Christ,” the cunning son of Satan who would be known by “the mark of the beast,” 666, on his body.
Here’s the passage from Revelation that “The Omen” alluded to: “This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”
Good movies, though, don’t always make good theology. Most people think 666 stands for an anti-Christ-like figure that will deceive humanity and trigger a final battle between good and evil. Some people think he’s already here.
Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation didn’t really intend 666 as the devil’s digits. He was describing another incarnation of evil: The Roman emperor, Nero.
The arrogant and demented Nero was particularly despised by the earliest followers of Jesus, including the writer of Revelation. Nero was said to have burned followers of Jesus alive to illuminate his garden.
But the author of Revelation couldn’t safely name Nero, so he used the Jewish numerology system to spell out Nero’s imperial name, Pagels says.
Pagels says that John may have had in mind other meanings for the mark of the beast: the imperial stamp Romans used on official documents, tattoos authorizing people to engage in Roman business, or the images of Roman emperors on stamps and coins.
Since Revelation’s author writes in “the language of dreams and nightmares,” Pagels says it’s easy for outsiders to misconstrue the book’s original meaning.
Still, they take heart from Revelation’s larger message, she writes:
“…Countless people for thousands of years have been able to see their own conflicts, fears, and hopes reflected in his prophecies. And because he speaks from his convictions about divine justice, many readers have found reassurance in his conviction that there is meaning in history – even when he does not say exactly what that meaning is – and that there is hope.”
3. The writer of Revelation was a Christian
The author of Revelation hated Rome, but he also scorned another group – a group of people we would call Christians today, Pagels says.
There’s a common perception that there was a golden age of Christianity, when most Christians agreed on an uncontaminated version of the faith. Yet there was never one agreed-upon Christianity. There were always clashing visions.
Revelation reflects some of those early clashes in the church, Pagels says.
That idea isn’t new territory for Pagels. She won the National Book Award for “The Gnostic Gospels,” a 1979 book that examined a cache of newly discovered “secret” gospels of Jesus. The book, along with other work from Pagels, argues that there were other accounts of Jesus’ life that were suppressed by early church leaders because it didn’t fit with their agenda.
The author of Revelation was like an activist crusading for traditional values. In his case, he was a devout Jew who saw Jesus as the messiah. But he didn’t like the message that the apostle Paul and other followers of Jesus were preaching.
This new message insisted that gentiles could become followers of Jesus without adopting the requirements of the Torah. It accepted women leaders, and intermarriage with gentiles, Pagels says.
The new message was a lot like what we call Christianity today.
That was too much for the author of Revelation. At one point, he calls a woman leader in an early church community a “Jezebel.” He calls one of those gentile-accepting churches a “synagogue of Satan.”
John was defending a form of Christianity that would be eclipsed by the Christians he attacked, Pagels says.
“What John of Patmos preached would have looked old-fashioned – and simply wrong to Paul’s converts…,” she writes.
The author of Revelation was a follower of Jesus, but he wasn’t what some people would call a Christian today, Pagels says.
“There’s no indication that he read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or that he read the gospels or Paul’s letters,” she says. “….He doesn’t even say Jesus died for your sins.”
4. There is only one Book of Revelation
There’s no other book in the Bible quite like Revelation, but there are plenty of books like Revelation that didn’t make it into the Bible, Pagels says.
Early church leaders suppressed an “astonishing” range of books that claimed to be revelations from apostles such as Peter and James. Many of these books were read and treasured by Christians throughout the Roman Empire, she says.
There was even another “Secret Revelation of John.” In this one, Jesus wasn’t a divine warrior, but someone who first appeared to the apostle Paul as a blazing light, then as a child, an old man and, some scholars say, a woman.
So why did the revelation from John of Patmos make it into the Bible, but not the others?
Pagels traces that decision largely to Bishop Athanasius, a pugnacious church leader who championed Revelation about 360 years after the death of Jesus.
Athanasius was so fiery that during his 46 years as bishop he was deposed and exiled five times. He was primarily responsible for shaping the New Testament while excluding books he labeled as hearsay, Pagels says.
Many church leaders opposed including Revelation in the New Testament. Athanasius’s predecessor said the book was “unintelligible, irrational and false.”
Athanasius, though, saw Revelation as a useful political tool. He transformed it into an attack ad against Christians who questioned him.
Rome was no longer the enemy; those who questioned church authority were the anti-Christs in Athanasius’s reading of Revelation, Pagels says.
“Athanasius interprets Revelation’s cosmic war as a vivid picture of his own crusade against heretics and reads John’s visions as a sharp warning to Christian dissidents,” she writes. “God is about to divide the saved from the damned – which now means dividing the ‘orthodox’ from ‘heretics.’ ’’
Centuries later, Revelation still divides people. Pagels calls it the strangest and most controversial book in the Bible.
Even after writing a book about it, Pagels has hardly mastered its meaning.
“The book is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”
The whole book is a myth....
No matter what the provenance is regarding Revelations, it is but another ludicrous chapter in a book full of errancies. The bible was a story about a boogeyman-style god meant to keep people in line, nothing more, and the fact that there are literally billions of people who continue to believe these fairy tales does not give me hope for mankind.
The books of the bible were compiled in the fashion that they were for one reason only. Crowd Control!
The Revelation was given to Jesus Christ from God and was delivered onto John by his angel.
...and if you're a good little boy or girl, the Easter Bunny will leave you chocolate eggs to rot your teeth.
The Book of Mormon was given to Jesus Christ from God and was delivered onto Joseph Smith by his angel Moroni.
But lemme guess – you don't believe THAT claptrap – only your own.
I have to totally disagree with Elaine Pagels.
First of all the author of the book (John) may or may not have been the Disciple John. Many biblical scholars say that John the author of Revelation did not write in the same "style" as John the Disciple. This may or may not be true, however many authors as they progress in age may not write in the same "style" as they did when younger.
It is clear to me that the author of Revelation was not writing a history of past events he had witnessed. If you read the book it is clear the John has trouble describing what he had been shown by the angel. I can liken this to an author in the 1800's seeing a TV or cell phone and not knowing how to describe these objects since he had never seen them. If the book was written as a history by John, clearly he would have known what he was trying to describe.
Also, if we just take one item from the book, i.e. the two witnesses laying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days after being killed by the anti Christ and seen by people around the world. It has only been a few years since we acquired satellites that would make an event such as this possible.
In my opinion there are many more passages in Revelation that indicate to me that the book was written for future events rather than past history.
"Many biblical scholars say that John the author of Revelation did not write in the same "style" as John the Disciple."
In my experience, it is "most", not simply "many",
"This may or may not be true, however many authors as they progress in age may not write in the same "style" as they did when younger."
That applies far less to 1st century writers than modern writers. There are still stylistic elements and vocabulary that remain unchanged. Further, a quick check will show you both the Gospel and Revelation were written between 90-100AD, so stylistic changes are even less likely. The fact that it is a completely separate genre from the gospel has already been taken into account in regards to stylistic differences.
"It is clear to me that the author of Revelation was not writing a history of past events he had witnessed."
And your professional education in this area is exactly what? Do you claim to have better credentials in this area than Dr. Pagels?
"If you read the book it is clear the John has trouble describing what he had been shown by the angel. I can liken this to an author in the 1800's seeing a TV or cell phone and not knowing how to describe these objects since he had never seen them."
That is one *interpretation*, just as Elijah has been intepreted to be a visitation from extraterrestrials. Do YOU believe he was visited by aliens?
"If the book was written as a history by John, clearly he would have known what he was trying to describe."
Not necessarily. It could all be metaphoric. Metaphors are a common theme in both the other books of the NT and the apocalypse genre, in general.
"Also, if we just take one item from the book, i.e. the two witnesses laying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days after being killed by the anti Christ and seen by people around the world. It has only been a few years since we acquired satellites that would make an event such as this possible."
Metaphor. Common at the time and common in the genre.
"In my opinion there are many more passages in Revelation that indicate to me that the book was written for future events rather than past history."
You *opnion* does not prove Dr. Pagels wrong, particularly considering that in all likelihood her credentials in this area exceed yours.
Patmos is an island in the Aegean that belongs to Greece not Turkey. Geography not the authors strong point.
Amen, 'Geography' doesn't begin to identify the Niagara of false assertions the author has indulged in – I should be used to this age of quick, facile, urbane legend, scholarship of lazy. Sorry folks but I can't take Pagel serious when the very first opening in this piece assets that the Revelations is about the 'END OF THE WORLD'. Nothing could be further from the Truth to any whom understand what GOD has plainly stated. The Millennium follows which is in turn followed by another huge and FINAL age-changing event after which GOD will bring heaven down to here completely re-making this existence– next eternity.
Great point Larry. Using your same reasoning, I will continue believing in the Flying Spagetti Monster in the Sky until Science can prove to me it does not exist. I know it exist, because when I shut my eyes and talk to it, it makes me feel better. When I ask it to personally intervene into my life, I believe it does so and singles me out amongst all the Earth's inhabitants to give favor to. It is going to help me from ever dying and let me live forever so I don't have to worry about the single most important concern humans have ever had, which is dying and where we go after dying. Until a scientist can provide real proof, and without a doubt proof that the Flying Spagetti Monster does not exist, I will continue to worship it. After all, what is faith but believing in something when common sense tells you not to. I have my faith and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. I submit to my delusion and in my submission, I let go of all responsibility and just let my delusion shape and take direction in my life. I mean, why would I want to waste my 70 years on this planet thinking for myself, living each day to the fullest, when I can put off all of that until the next life and enjoy paradise after I die. This way I can be with all of my relatives after I die. Why would I want to enjoy my kids when they are children, when I can meet them in heaven as older adults. This makes perfect sense. Why should I even wait to die of natural causes? The Flying Spagetti Monster in the Sky tells me that I will have paradise in after life, why am I spending all of this miserable time on Earth when I can join him...
Delusion is delusion is delusion
I cannot see atoms with the eye yet I know they exist..I cannot see gravity yet I know it exist..I cannot see the furthest reaches of the universe yet I know it exist..but I'm not so sure about god...yet I know it exist..
"Faith" is a revelation...
One question: Do you have some habits that you wish you could break but cannot? If so, why not? And how do you account for the hundreds of thousands over the years how went to a "higher power" based 12 step program, after being considered hopeless by their families and doctors for years, and found freedom from their addiction? Do you write off all this as just silly and meaningless?
OK, I guess that is more than one question.
Hi there, I'm a Bible believing Christian and your comments make sense to me. Your questions are logical and I've had similar questions. Much of my questions resulted from drawing conclusions about God and His Word without His help. I can tell you that God does not intend to answer every question we ask, but He reveals Himself and His plan of salvation to mankind through the Bible. One of the greatest reasons that many people don't understand God or His Word (as this author says it can't be understood) is because they approach the Bible from a perspective that God never intended. She takes too much of a political approach to the book of Revelation while Jesus says My Kingdom is not of this world. She will never understand it with that approach. As a Christian, I know all this stuff sounds crazy, but I assure you behind the symbols, there is a God who loves you and wants you to understand His plan, He just intends for you to depend on Him to understand it. As you spend time with much of these questions will be answered, but not all. If you are willing, I have a link to a few Bible principles which I believe are essential to understanding the Bible. I believe it is worth the investigation.
http://www.penn.vi/goodnews/BibleStudy/01-StudyTips.pdf God bless.
There is absolutely nothing covered in this book that hasn't been covered by the History Channel a million times.
Considering that most of the history channel shows that address topics like this include interviews with Elaine Pagels (I have seen quite a few), your argument is meaningless. She is an expert in this area, which is why the History Channel, National Geographic and CNN interview her. Further, your implied limitation to laymen-oriented TV as your source information says a lot.
REVELATION 9 says: " I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. "
It doesn't say Patmos is in Turkey...it says that he was in the isle of Patmos when he wrote this book.
This non-point as been discussed ad nauseum. Pagels spends time discussing Patmos' convoluted history of sovereignty under Rome, Turkey, Persia, Greece and periods of relative independence. Blake obviously confuses these. Next.
I understand kacy, it's hard to give up something you believe so passionately about and you don' t have to just know you cannot fight a battle for god. He does need you in that capacity as it detracts from what he is calling you to do. God is alive now and he waits for us to recognize that fact. Looking backwards does not allow to grow closer and wiser but further away defending the past when the real work is in the present. You don't have to wear your love of god on your shirt but in your heart where that love truly belongs.lyou can feel god all around you today if you become still and quite the chatter of the mind..
Who is she? I didn't read much of the article because it's just another pundit trying to make herself important with commenting and articles on CNN. A dime a dozen, these armchair so-called prophets.
So you just shut your brain off when it felt a little threatened. That must be quite comforting.
God does not live in a book..this woman is recognized as the worlds most foremost scholar of many ancient text. And she is a bit wiser than most of us on the subject matter of the bible..I know, I once believed word from word too..I was wrong beyond measure....
Well your loss then....this particular 'pundit' (whatever that means), has actually provided insight into why Revelation was written & it makes some people today look real, real silly..
The letters to the seven churches, if you really read that part in the bible, you will see he was speaking truthful and frank to each that received one. He is speaking of the corruption, non-believers, and the ones that 'just didn't get it' right. There was one he said that held true to the old ways, and were highly appraised for doing so. John, who wrote the book of Revelation, was writing a warning to us. The final battle of Armageddon. The bible is about faith. You either believe or you don't. That is up to you, but in the long run, I say... isn't it better to be safe than sorry? :)
I say to anyone who wants to read this article to research it yourself, read the bible yourself, and above all believe it, because it is something to hold dear to your hearts, and deep in your souls. In today's world, isn't it nice to know there is something good going to happen for us in the future? I think so.
No, it is not better to shut down the rational part of your mind and blindly obey dogma.
You are correct...something great is happening already but living in the future does not allow you to see the present. This is where most Christians do not see the living god that surrounds us daily. Who is loving and above all forgiving. God does not pay attention to the thoughts of men because those thoughts do not translate to the truth and love of god. All that your daily thought should be is on love and forgiveness...you cannot find god in a book but if you open you can feel god all around you everyday if you choose...
why do you need to know that something good is going to happen to us in the future?
"You either believe or you don't. That is up to you, but in the long run, I say... isn't it better to be safe than sorry?"
When will you theist realise that Pascal's Wager is illogical and most likely, if you are correct, will harm you.
Oh well, most of you who think like the writer of the above quote, will not be able to work out what the problem with it is, and you will not even try to.
Kacy: Would you rather be safe than sorry with the thousands of other gods that man has worshipped? And, if you are believing as a defensive measure, don't you think that your omniscient god would know that difference? "He" can read your heart, right?
Love the Dore illustration.
He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos in present-day Turkey......
Patmos in present-day turkey??
Really?? Come on CNN! You've got to do better than that.
Patmos is in Greece and nowhere else.
When something like this, is so evidently incorrect, it makes you wonder about the rest of John Blake's musings.
i think this is what she meant. it's part of greece but geographically it's much closer to turkey.
"Patmos is situated off the west-coast of Turkey and the continent of Asia." – Wikipedia
Myth: Book of Tevelation
[Pagels] says. "….He [the author of Revelation] doesn’t even say Jesus died for your sins."
And the very 5th verse of the book of Revelation says, "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood....."
This is called scholarship? We are supposed to trust Ms. Pagels' scholarship, the evidence is her inability to see the most clear-cut and obvious theme even in the first five verses? She is supposed to be an authority on the book, and I'm confronted with the painful conclusion that she has not even read the first page of the book she is a supposed authority on?
3For there will be a time when they will not obey sound teaching, but they will multiply teachers to themselves, according to their desires, and with an itching of their sense of hearing, 4And they will turn their ears from the truth and turn aside unto fables.
It's considerably more scholarly than leaving off the context of the quote, which is a simple salutation and not a discussion of doctrine.
We are definitely in 'fable land' now. People would like to barge into heaven with any doctrine they care to believe and I'm not just talking about non-believers. Some of the Christians in America are just plain crazy.
Wow, Pagels should really read the Bible before making such claims.
Another kind of 'movement' comes to mind, ahem...
The Book od Revelation is sealed, and it was sealed on purpose.But Thank God at this end time it is no more sealed. For the promse was that It has to be sealed Untill the end time, today time. If you can not humble yourself to become lke a child, God wont reveal it to you. The Devil doesnt like two books in the Bible: Genesis and Revelation. Why? because these two books reveal How he started and how he will end. Satan will always attack these two books by virtue of people like Pagels. We thank God for His gifted people that He send on earth from time to time to help his children to get full meaning of His Message. i recommend Pagels to read "The revelation of 7 Seals" and " The 7 Church Ages" by William Marion Branham. God doesnt need an interpreter, interpret His Word by fulfilling it. if u dont understand the meaning of some passages in the Bible, be enough humble before God so that He reveals it to you. And again, not everybody will get it.
Amen, amen, amen!
2 Timothy 4 >>
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
1I charge you before God and our Lord Yeshua The Messiah, he who is going to judge the living and the dead at the revelation of his Kingdom: 2Preach the word and stand with diligence, in season and out of season; reprove and rebuke with all long-suffering and teaching. 3For there will be a time when they will not obey sound teaching, but they will multiply teachers to themselves, according to their desires, and with an itching of their sense of hearing, 4And they will turn their ears from the truth and turn aside unto fables. 5But you, be watchful in all things and endure hardships; do the work of an Evangelist and fulfill your ministry.
WHEN ISRAEL AND OBAMA LAUNCH WW3 ON IRAN PROBABLY WITHIN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS – AND NO LATER THAN 2013... ALL OF YOUR ILLUMINATI LUCIFERIAN FREEMASON LIBERAL DECEPTION WITCHCRAFT PROPAGANDA WILL BE REVEALED TO THE WORLD FOR WHAT IS IS. YOU ARE THE LAIRS CNN....COMMUNIST NEWS NETWORK – – -WHEN YOU STAND FACE TO FACE WITH THE KING OF GLORY JESUS CHRIST – THE ETERNAL GOD AND SAVIOR OF MANKIND WHO DIED AND SHED HIS BLOOD FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS – AND YOU SEE HIM IN HIS BLAZING FIRE OF MAJESTIC HOLINESS SEATED ON HIS GLORIOUS THRONE YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD NEVER SPOKEN SUCH UTTER BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.. AND BY THE WAY WHEN THE ANTICHRIST COMES ON THE SCENE IMMIDEATELY AFTER THE NUCLEAR ATTACK ON IRAN AND 1/3 OF HUMANITY IS KILLED INSTANTLY AS IS FORETOLD IN REVELATION CHAPTER 6 – – – THEN YOU CAN TELL THE WORLD HOW THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS A METAPHOR AT THAT POINT....C IF THEY BELIEVE YOU THEN YOU WITCHES FROM THE PIT OF HELL....YOUR NEW WORLD ORDER IS GOING TO BE CRUSHED BY THE MESSIAH AND LORD JESUS (YESHUA) YOU WILL NOT HAVE YOUR ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE YOUR NEW WORLD ORDER.. HERES A PROPHECY THAT WILL BE COMING TRUE THAT YOU WILL WITNESS REGARDING WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE COMING ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER LED BY THE ANTICHRIST AND THE WAY IN WHICH IT WILL BE DESTROYED AND WHO WILL DESTROY IT FROM THE BOOK OF DANIEL WRITTEN HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE JESUS EVER WALKED THIS EARTH..."And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Daniel 2:39-44.
AS YOU CAN SEE...YOUR NEW WORLD ORDER WILL BE DEFEATED.. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU REPENT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE OBAMA 666 STARTS WW3 WITH IRAN AND THIS COUNTRY TOTALLY COLLAPSES BECAUSE GOD IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANY MORE TIME TO REPENT....JESUS IS GOD – – AND AS JESUS SAID "YOU ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL AND OF HIS WORKS YOU DO."
Hey jay? The caps lock doesn't make it more believable, just harder to read.
ahhh, back off on the caffenie a little dude.
It doesn't matter how it is spewed, it still comes from a book written 2000 plus years ago. Quoting scripture and turning it to fit your own delusional view of the world changes nothing in reality. I'm wondering when people are going to start living in the present century.
All the dogmatic christian chatter sounds just like all the dogmatic islamic chatter, same story different names. What I hear called faith sounds like mindless noise. The original article give a good historical view of the writers perspective. Its not perfect, it probably has some flaws, but she probably knows more about the basis for her conclusions than most do about their belief in something.
I can't help wondering if your ideas come from personal Bible study or from popular Christian fiction culture, like the fictional "Left Behind" series. The real deceived people have always been the professed followers of God. When Jesus came to Israel the first time, the religious people of His day didn't recognize Him and ended up rejecting Him.
Today's cultural American Christian things the devil is easy to spot. They have figured out who the anti-Christ is and what's going to happen. Not from fasting and Bible study, but from what they heard in church and others parroted to them. No, the arch deceiver is just as good at his task as he was 2000 years ago and whether you're a liberal atheist or a born again Evangelical, he's got something for everyone.
i knew this article would be filled with religious idiots, but your post takes the cake.
I understand the whole believing in god and in Jesus but would an understanding and forgiving god want his followers going around calling people names and making outlandish claims they are "evil". Doesn't scripture say "let those who are without sin cast the first stone" and I'm pretty sure you are human wich makes you just as wicked and sinful as anyone else. You will as well find yourself in front of god the father and he will force you to watch the way you put down your brothers and sisters instead of trying to lift them up a show them kindness and understanding. I'm tired of seeing these radical "Christians" who like to use fear as a weapon to push their agenda. Look at yourselves as followers of a just and loving god (for those who believe) and be loving and understand with an open mind before you cast a stone on your brother or sister just because their view is different.
hey jay, stop the obama characterisation. as christians we are supposed to love and not all this hatred.
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