Armageddon OT Background to the Battle for the Cosmic Mountain 5

By Cris D. Putnam


The Antichrist figure finds his counterpart in the Hebrew Bible as Gog in Ezekiel 38-39. To demonstrate this point, a brief examination of the name גּוֹג Gog is required. In Ezekiel, Gog is clearly the enemy of Israel from the land of Magog or possibly “from the land of Gog.” In scripture, the proper names Agag and Gog were rendered somewhat interchangeably from the Hebrew.  For instance, Agag appears in 1 Samuel: “And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword”(1 Sa 15:8). He was the King of the Amalekites, a nephilim tribe, who was defeated and spared by Saul, but later killed by Samuel. It is interesting that the Septuagint translators rendered the name “Gog.” Yet, modern translations render it Agag. For instance, Numbers 24:7 which is a poetic oracle by Balaam concerning Israel and how they have God’s favor.

Remember, Balaam was a sorcerer hired to curse Israel but his diabolical efforts were frustrated by God. Thus, in the traditional rendering, the context is appropriate that Israel’s king will be superior to Gog. For instance,the ESV renders it,“Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag (Gog), and his kingdom shall be exalted”(Nu 24:7). Well enough, this traditional rendering of the prophecy is assuredly concerning Saul’s defeat of Gog, nephilim king of Amalekites. Yet strangely the LXX translation by Brenton reflects a different manuscript which makes it seem as if Gog is from Jacob’s seed:

And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and sees Israel encamped by their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable and said, Balaam son of Beor says, the man who sees truly says, he says who hears the oracle of the Mighty One, who saw a vision of God in sleep; his eyes were opened: How goodly are thy habitations, Jacob, and thy tents, Israel! as shady groves, and as gardens by a river, and as tents which God pitched, and as cedars by the waters. There shall come a man out of his seed, and he shall rule over many nations; and the kingdom of Gog shall be exalted, and his kingdom shall be increased. ( Num 24:5-7 LXX Benton 1851 )[1] (emphasis added)

The kingdom of Gog will be exalted? This is astonishing! Is this just a bad translation or could this reading infer the sorcerer Balaam was predicting the kingdom of Antichrist? Many have speculated he must be Semitic for the Jews to accept him as Messiah. Balaam is an odd character for a pagan sorcerer as he also predicted Christ and the star of Bethlehem in his final oracle (Num 24:17). The prophetic literature gets even stranger.

Missler makes reference to the name Gog being used in the Septuagint while drawing a parallel to its use Ezekiel and Revelation. The LXX Translation by Brenton 1851 renders, “Thus has the Lord God shewed me; and, behold, a swarm of locusts coming from the east; and, behold, one caterpillar, king Gog” (Am 7:1). The original context of this passage is that judgment is coming to the Northern kingdom, Israel. It is a vision given to Amos of a locust army invasion similar to that in Joel. Yet, Amos begs the Lord to repent of it and the Lord does not carry it through (cf. Am 7:3). The thing that makes this use of Gog distinct is that it is not a variant translation from the Masoretic text because the Masoretic uses no name at all. See a comparison here.  Missler draws significance from juxtaposing “locusts have no king” (Pr 30:27) against the “locusts” in Amos and Revelation who do have a king, arguing that it implies Amos and John must not be talking about insects:

The locusts in Revelation 9 have a king, Apollyon or Abaddon, but Proverbs 30:27 says that locusts have no king. So these locusts are not natural locusts; they are demon locusts. If that’s the case, then Gog, who is the king of the locusts, is a demon king.[2]

While the purpose of proverbs was not entomology, this reasoning seems quite reasonable. The terms grasshopper and locust are interchangeable as their is no taxonomic difference between locust and grasshopper species. In English the term “locust” is used for grasshopper species that change morphologically and behaviorally to form swarms. Research at Oxford University has identified that swarming behaviour is a response to overcrowding. Clearly the prophet is using locusts and caterpillar symbolically for invading hoards. The ancient Israelites had an agrarian economy. Invading armies are destructive to cities as insects are to crops. It implies annihilation. In the case of Amos’s original context, it would be the Assyrians who did in fact completely destroy the Northern kingdom. But the future context of Revelation speaks of a devastation by demonic entities.

Yet the only use of the proper name Gog in the NT appears in the book of Revelation and applies to a war after the millennium when Satan is released after being bound for 1,000 years. The locust imagery also recalls imagery from the book of Revelation 9 and the locust army of Joel:

In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces,(Re 9:7)

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle.(Joe 2:4–5)

The two passage must refer to the same event because their really can be only one ultimate Day of the Lord. The locusts/war horses here are thought to represent the demon hoards who attack during the tribulation. The descriptions harken chimeric monstrosities. Tom Horn explores possible biotech avenues for making these monsters a reality in his books Apollyon Rising and Forbidden Gates. In the former he ponders Joel’s insectoid horde:

When the numerous ancient texts from inerrant Scriptures to extra-biblical sources are added up, there is persuasive evidence that Joel’s army could indeed be more than simple grasshoppers, and that this massive Gibborim army that runs upon the wall from which nobody can escape could be the result of man’s willingness to play “god” in reviving forbidden science and opening “gates” to what lurks beyond.[2a]

Others see what is widely believed to be “aliens” also taking part in this scenario. There does seem to be cultural trend toward belief in extraterrestrial life. It seems a likely cover story for demonic entities. In fact, the entities that gather the worlds armies for the battle of Armageddon bear an uncanny resemblance to what are commonly believed to be aliens.

“And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.(Re 16:13–14)

Many believe this is the strong delusion mentioned by Paul (2 Thes 2:11). Dr. David Allen Lewis and Robert Shreckhise postulate that these demonic spirits that look like frogs are indeed what the popular media deems “greys.” [2b]  Paradox Brown carries this line of thought a little further offering:

But note that John doesn’t say the three evil spirits “ARE three frogs”. He says they “looked like frogs”… Let’s say that John was shown in his Revelation vision an image of something he had never seen before… It makes sense that if John didn’t know what this creature was, and had never seen anything like it, that he would describe it as “looking like” something he was familiar with. [2c]

Thus, it appears we have a menagerie of insectoid and reptilian transgenic entities involved in the Armageddon scenario. The secular world will likely assume they are from outer space as they have been heavily propagandized in that direction. We can infer that since Gog is the “caterpillar king” of this army, he is likely one and the same as Apollyon or Abaddon (cf. Am 7:1 LXX ; Rev 9:11). It seems likely that Gog in Ezekiel 38 & 39 is the Satanically empowered general in the end time war, the Beast.

Much has been written associating the Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39 with the battle of Armageddon. There are demonstrable parallels yet seemingly the book of Revelation explicitly places it one thousand years after Armageddon (cf. Rev 19:19; Rev. 20:8 ). Amillennialists (those who deny the 1000 year kingdom) like Kline attempt to conflate the battles described in Revelation 19 and 20.[3] Yet this lacks coherence as Heiser points out several insurmountable difficulties to this view. [4] Still, both Kline and Heiser agree that Gog can be associated with the Antichrist. This finds support in the Qumran War Scroll (1QM), which reveals it is Satan and his powers that are behind the usurpers:

For this shall be a time of distress for Israel, [and of the summons] to war against all the nations. There shall be eternal deliverance for the company of God, but destruction for all the nations of wickedness. All those [who are ready] for battle shall march out and shall pitch their camp before the king of the Kittim and before all the host of Satan gathered about him for the Day [of Revenge] by the Sword of God.[5]

The Qumran War Scroll reflects the same end time war as the Ezekiel text and accredits it to Satan. However, in Revelation 20 the Antichrist has been defeated and what is described is the release of Satan. Heiser convincingly solves this by viewing Gog as both. He writes, “I have argued that Ezekiel 38-39 will be fulfilled in two events: (1) Armageddon, which also is the fulfillment of Daniel 11:40-45; and (2) The subsequent, separate battle of Rev. 20:7-9.”[6]

“He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.(Da 11:41)

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.(Re 20:7–8)

Thus the Satanically possessed Beast of Revelation is Gog in the battle of Armageddon and Satan himself is Gog in the post-millennium war. While Heiser argues that the Magog war is fulfilled in two stages of the “already but not yet” fulfillment scenario, this present treatment suggests a similar but novel solution.

One of the better arguments against placing the Magog war prior to the tribulation as many traditional dispensationalists do as well as against the recapitulation view of Amillennialists is that Ezekiel 38 describes Israel as already completely regathered in the land (Eze 38:8, 12) and dwelling securely without defenses (Eze 38:11).[7]  This certainly does not apply to Israel’s current situation or to the preconditions for the battle of Armageddon. Today Israel is under constant threat and has very real barrier walls. It is also inconsistent with Armageddon because it is in the latter part of the great tribulation. Surely after enduring the trumpet and bowl judgments they will not be together in a secure peaceful state. Furthermore, the dry bones prophecy of Ezekiel 37 describes Israel’s rebirth contingent with the Messiah (Eze 37:15-28). Interestingly, Ezekiel 39:28 is a world wide call to Jews to return from the diaspora. Accordingly, it seems that chapter the 39 war precedes what is described in 38. Only after Ezekiel 39:28 will the diaspora be completely undone and the nation at peace. While others have postulated an earlier Psalm 83 war, The Ezekiel 38 war makes more sense in light of it being post millennium exactly as it says in Revelation 20. The biblical text solves the problem without an extra war. Thus, I completely agree with Heiser that Ezekiel 38 is the satanic showdown after the millennium. However, from this point forward an alternative interpretation is offered.

It is the proposal here that Ezekiel 39 describes the battle of Armageddon which temporally precedes the Magog war of chapter 38.  The prophetic books are in a state that makes it extremely challenging to determine where one oracle ends and another begins. The modern chapter divisions are arbitrary and were imposed during the thirteenth century AD. While, the traditional view is that chapter 39 is restatement of 38, this is a tacit acknowledgement that chapter 38 resolves satisfactorily.[8] In other words, because they are both complete units and not dependent upon each other, they can arguably represent distinct battles. In Ezekiel 38, some of the Nations question and do not battle (Eze 38:13) but at the battle of Armageddon (Zec 14: 12) it seems all the nations of the world will be gathered against Jerusalem. The Ezekiel 39 battle is addressed to all the nations (Eze 39:7). Furthermore, chapter 39 is inaugurated with a new “Thus says the Lord God.” This interpretation suggests that chapters 38-39 are two distinct wars for the following seven reasons: One, Gog and his armies are described as brought out to battle at the beginning of each chapter in unique circumstances (38:4-9; cf. 39:2). Two, chapter 38 clearly states that the land was restored from war (Ez 38:8). It is suggested that this refers to the Ezekiel 39/Armageddon war. Three, the chapter 38 war ties together with the post millennium release of Satan (Rev.20:7-10; cf. Eze 38:16, 22) and the white throne judgment (Rev.20:11-15) with “I will enter into judgment with him” (Eze 38:22). Four, the nations will know that their defeat was by the Lord and that Israel will know the Lord from that day forward (Eze 39:21-22). This arguably convenes the inauguration of the millennium. Five, the nations will understand why Israel was exiled and abandoned by God (Eze 39:23). This explains the tribulation. Six, the Lord will restore and gather Israel (Eze 39:25-27). This seems to be concurrent with the return of Christ in Ezekiel 37:15-28 and is a precursor to the chapter 38 war. Seven, Israel knows their God from that day forward and God never hides his face from them again (Eze 39:28-29). Consequently, the prerequisite regathered and secure status of Ezekiel 38 (Rev. 20) is arguably the result of the previous Ezekiel 39 (Rev. 19) war. All that is required for one to accept is that these are two oracles in a non-chronological order, a contention which is hardly unprecedented.

It is also compelling that in the Ezekiel 39 war, Gog is described as coming “from the uppermost parts of the North” and “against the mountains of Israel” (v.2). This language strongly concurs with the “mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north” interpretation of Armageddon. Brevard Childs’ scholarship on the enemy from the north and the chaos tradition suggests a possible connection:

Isa 14:12 ff. is a taunt against the king of Babylon and not directly related to the enemy tradition. Nevertheless, it is quite remarkable that the king who dared to “sit on the mount of assembly in the far north is described as the one “who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms.”[9]

It may be helpful to view this as cosmic north referring generally to the supernatural realm. In the aftermath, Gog falls on the mountains of Israel. In light of the case for supernatural warriors, it is interesting to note the distinction made between his hordes and people (Eze 39:4). In other words, his hordes are not necessarily human. There is a massive feast of carrion for the birds (39:4; cf. 17-20) which is correlated directly with Revelation 19:17-19. This also finds a parallel in Isaiah 18 and oracle addressing the inhabitants of the world (Is 18:3) and which culminates with the inauguration of Gods’ millennial kingdom (Is 18: 7ff).

Isaiah 18 Ezekiel 39 Revelation 19
 “They shall all of them be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.”(Is 18:6) “You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.(Eze 39:4)“As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood.” (Eze 39:17) “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.(Re 19:17–19)

There is only one time on the prophetic timeline in which one could say that God will reveal himself to all the nations and no longer tolerate his name being profaned (Eze.39:7; cf. Rev. 19:15). There is really only one day that he will regather all of Israel to their land while pouring out his spirit (Eze.39: 29;  cf. Joel 2:28).  Because these things are established “from that day forward”(Eze 39:22), this war will necessarily conclude just prior to the Millennium (Rev 20:4). That necessitates that this war happens on the narrow sense Day of the Lord, Armageddon or the battle of Har Mô∙ʿēḏ – the Cosmic Mountain of God.

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming;

it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people;

their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns.

The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness,

and nothing escapes them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run.

As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains,

like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble,

like a powerful army drawn up for battle.

Joel 2:1-5

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[1] Septuagint Online, (accessed 9/03/2011).

[2] Chuck Missler, “Hosea and Amos: Prophets to the Northern Kingdom,” (accessed 9/02/2011).

[2a] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 221.

[2b] David Allen Lewis and Robert Shreckhise, UFO: End-Time Delusion (Green Forest, Ark.: New Leaf Press (AR), 1991), 46.

[2c] Paradox Brown, A Modern Guide To Demons And Fallen Angels (Roswell NM: Seekye1 Publishing, 2008), 255.

[3] Kline, “Har Magedon,” 219.

[4] Heiser, Islam, 98-101.

[5]Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 141. [1 QM 15.2-3]

[6] Heiser, Islam, 102.

[7] Heiser, Islam, 100.

[8] Ralph H. Alexander, “Ezekiel” In , in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 6: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 934.

[9] Brevard S. Childs “The Enemy From the North and the Chaos Tradition.” (Journal of Biblical Literature, 1959), 196

Armageddon OT Background to the Battle for the Cosmic Mountain 4

Apollyon by Gbrush


There is an interesting parallel involved with the term Armageddon in that the phrase “in Hebrew” only appears in one other instance within the book of Revelation. According to Alan Johnson, “it is better to understand the term [Armageddon] symbolically in the same manner as ‘in Hebrew’ in Rev 9:11 alerts us to the symbolic significance of the name of the angel of the Abyss”[1]  This is the angel of the bottomless pit namely Abbadon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Thomas Horn reveals:

Abaddon is another name for Apollo (Rev. 9:11), identified historically as the king of demonic “locusts” (Revelation 9:1-11). This means among other things that Apollo is the end-times angel or “King of the Abyss” that opens the bottomless pit, out of which an army of transgenic locusts erupts upon earth. [1a]

According to Kline, the technique of juxtaposing a Greek and Hebrew term is called Hebraisti and was favored by John. It is also used four times in his Gospel, three of which are also place names (Jn. 5:2; 19:13, 17). Because the book of Revelation is full of symbols, word plays, juxtapositions and parallels, it is not too fanciful to postulate that the Holy Spirit was making a prophetic statement between these two Hebraisti.

The “Antipodal to the Abyss” argument offered by Kline further supports the “mount of Assembly” hypothesis.[2] This line of reasoning derives from the fact that both accounts juxtapose polar opposites in the cosmic scheme of things: the Mountain of God on one end and the pit of hell on the other. For example the Isaiah passage contrasts the ambition “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God…” (v.13) against “But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit” (v.15). Similarly, we find in the book of Revelation’s two Hebraisti: the divine mountain and the bottomless pit. This is a compelling correlation between the two accounts. Kline argues,

In short, then, we find that in Isaiah 14 and the book of Revelation there are matching antonymic pairings of har môcëd and har magedön with the pit of Hades. Within the framework of this parallelism the har môcëd of Isa 14:13 is the equivalent of the har magedön of Rev 16:16 and as such is to be understood as its proper derivation and explanation. Accordingly, har magedön signifies “Mount of Assembly/Gathering” and is a designation for the supernal realm. (Kline, 1996, 208)

The evidence is compelling that the term Armageddon speaks well past the gathering of earthly armies for war and to a deeper supernatural battle for the cosmic mountain of God.

The context of the assembling the armies by demonic spirits (Rev. 16:14) is practically a word play to the “mount of assembly.” Furthermore, the allusion to the taunt song in Isaiah 14:12- 15 creates astonishing parallels. The Hebrew phrase “הילל בן־שׁחר” (Helel Ben-Shachar) in verse 12, meaning “morning star, son of dawn” has been interpreted to be varying entities. Many scholars agree that this is related to Ugaritic mythology concerning Baal and Athtar.[3] While Isaiah could be simply borrowing from local mythology for an illustration, it seems as if the prophet sees through the King of Babylon to the wicked spiritual power behind him. The book of Daniel suggests that earthly kingdoms have cosmic overlords (Dan. 10:13; 20). A paradigm which fits nicely with the Beast of Revelation who is similarly empowered by the great red dragon identified as Satan (Rev. 12:9; 13:2).

In Ugaritic lore this usurper is argued to be Athtar, who was referred to as Venus (morning star), who seeks to displace Ba’al.[4] The ancient Near Eastern context strongly favors this as the original source material. Other scholars relate this passage to an ancient Babylonian or Hebrew star-myth similar to the Greek legend of Phaethon.[5]  Even so, one can imagine that in a cosmic sense all of these myths stem from a common event. There was an angelic rebellion. The New Testament is clear that Angels rebelled (Matt. 25:41; Rev 12:9) and the earth is currently under the power of a usurper (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Jn 5:19). While the King of Babylon could hardly hope to “ascend to heaven above the stars of God” it certainly speaks to his extreme hubris. C.S. Lewis famously said, “it was through pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”[6] Helel Ben-Shachar’s frustrated divine ambition harkens the account of a war in heaven in Revelation 12:7-17 where Satan is thrown to earth suggesting “the man who made the earth tremble…” (Isa. 14:16).

In fact, this taunt song is where the popular name for the devil, Lucifer, is derived from “morning star” as it is rendered in the Latin Vulgate.[7] During the intertestamental period, this account of the angels fall was associated with the morning star was subsequently associated explicitly with the name Satan, as seen the Second Book of Enoch (29:4; 31:4). The Qumran War Scroll describes this activity of Satan and his powers:

But Satan, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination].[8]

The association of Lucifer to Satan continued with the church fathers because he is represented as being “cast down from heaven” (Rev. 12:7–10; cf. Lk. 10:18).[9] This event likely took place at the cross when Jesus disarmed the powers (Col 2:15). Because Peter ascribes “morning star” to Christ (2 Pet 1:19) and the fact that it is also a title John uses for Jesus (Rev. 22:16), it has been suggested that this, “Lucifer,” could be pointing to the Antichrist’s parody of Jesus.[10] Accordingly, the prefix “Anti” means “instead of” as well as “against.”[11] Paul expounds on this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 writing he is the, “man of lawlessness, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” Of course, that would likely be on Mount Zion, the cosmic mount of assembly, as well.

This is where my research paper for Dr Heiser left it but interestingly, just last week, my friend Peter Goodgame posted a commentary on Isaiah 9-14 where he came to a similar conclusion. Goodgame argues:

The name “Morning Star, Son of the Dawn” is Helel ben Shakar in Hebrew, or “Lucifer, Son of the Morning” in the KJV. If we view this person as the end-times Antichrist rather than Satan then it makes perfect sense. He is taunted by Israel after his final attempt to rule over the nations comes to an end.[12]

Recalling Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, the King of Babylon is a well-known prophetic type of the Antichrist. Considering that the Isaiah taunt song was originally directed at the King of Babylon, a man, this seems likely. Please follow the footnote to read Peter’s thoughts. Even more, I also have been corresponding with Tom Horn, who wrote me just  week or so ago about the spirit who rises from the Abyss. In his book Apollyon Rising, Horn points out that the Antichrist as a man is indwelt by the spirit Apollyon which rises from the abyss (Rev 9:11). This brings a remarkable conjunction in world mythologies:

In view of these texts, we recall how Zeus—the Greek identity for the father of Apollo—was acknowledged as ‘Satan’ in Rev. 2:12-13. The fallen angel ‘Apollo’ who unlocks the bottomless pit and unleashes the thunderous hoards of Great Tribulation locusts is therefore none other than the son of Satan and the spirit that will inhabit Antichrist.[13]

Indeed, there is a convergence of mythologies and prophecies pointing to the same event. It seems that the Isaiah taunt song is speaking on multiple levels. First, Isaiah directed it overtly to the King of Babylon, on another level it was a polemic against the neighboring Ugaritic pantheon which was also hinting at the primordial fall of the biblical Satan, and even more intriguing it is a prophecy of a demonically possessed man, who as a “morning star” will come in battle against Israel in the last days and then claim to be God on the divine mountain.  That battle is Harmageddon.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed,

saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

(Ps 2:1–6)

….to be continued with part 5: The Battle

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[1] Johnson, “Revelation”, 551.

[1a] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 140.

[2] Kline, “Har Magedon,” 208.

[3] Michael S. Heiser, “The Mythological Provenance of Is. XVIV 12-15: A Reconsideration of the Ugaritic Material.” Vestus Testamentum LI,3,( 2001): 356-357.

[4] Heiser, “The Mythological,” 356-357.

[5] Kaufmann Kohler, “Lucifer,” (accessed March 5 20011).

[6] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (NY: Harper Collins. 2001), 122.

[7]G. J. Riley. “Devil.” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. 2nd extensively rev. ed. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter Willem van der Horst (Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 246.

[8] Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Revised and extended 4th ed. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 139.

[9] Tertullian, Contra Marcionem,  11, 17.

[10]M. Eugene Boring, Revelation, Interpretation, a Bible commentary for teaching and preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1989), 177.

[11] L. J. Lietaert Peerbolte, “Antichrist” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible , 62.

[12] Peter Goodgame, The Giza Discovery: Pete’s Commentary on Isaiah 9-14, (accessed 08/31/2011).

[13] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009), 142.

In Defense of Horn & Missler: A Response to Gaylene Goodroad

Thomas Horn

Tom Horn and Chuck Missler have recently been vehemently criticized by Gaylene Goodroad of the Herescope website. While it is fair to say they are colorful characters, both men are committed Christians, strong advocates of dispensationalism and writers/producers of popular media.  I have read and studied the works of both men. In fact, Chuck Missler’s Bible teaching had a lot to do with leading me to Christ. It should be said that he teaches the entire Bible not just prophecy and controversial subjects. Similarly, Horn has worked as a pastor and administratively at the top levels of the Assemblies of God denomination. They both believe Jesus will return sooner rather than later but to my knowledge neither set dates nor advocate doing so.  Admittedly, they both take speculative and controversial stands that might be considered unconventional but I would not label either as heretical. I don’t agree with everything they write but I do find their work thought provoking and interesting. While there is some validity to criticizing their penchant for showmanship and interest in fringe topics, it seems to me that the critique misrepresents them both and is itself an example of very poor biblical exegesis.

Bad Exegesis

Much of Goodroad’s complaint is concerned with the exegesis of Genesis 6. She does not like the idea that the Bible teaches divine beings mated with human women and had mutant offspring who were known as the Nephilim.  However, there really is no valid scholarship to suggest otherwise.  She seems histrionic in her assertions:

So, does it matter how we interpret the Bible? What is wrong with believing that fallen angels (“Watchers”) mated with humans to produce of hybrid race of creatures (“Nephilim”) that are part angel (god?) and part mortal? Might they be called demigods? One critic of these teachings has said that this scenario is a “scheme to downplay the importance of the incarnation…it takes away from Christ’s uniqueness, virgin birth, atonement.” Mockers can then say, “What’s the big deal with Christ being God and man [the God/Man]—so are the Nephilim?”[20] This also subtly overshadows man’s sin toward his Creator, thus diminishing the Gospel.[1]

This is a blatantly fallacious slippery slope argument. Potential objections from mockers and hyperbolic theological ramifications do not have anything to do with the interpretation of the vocabulary and grammar of the Hebrew text. One should not interpret the Bible emotionally to suit one’s tastes or preconceived notions, the Bible actually speaks very clearly on this issue where many try to obfuscate. Dr. Michael Heiser is an evangelical Christian and Semitic languages expert who argues:

The second tier is marked in the Hebrew Bible by the identification of the members of the divine council as divine family members or “sons of God,”  … the context of these references points to divine beings. [2]

He explains reactionary criticisms like Goodroads’ in this way:

Genesis 6:1-4 is one of those texts that, for many, is best left alone. Many contemporary evangelical Bible scholars have gone to great lengths to strip the “mythology” out of it (i.e., the supernatural elements) so as to make it more palatable. But one has to wonder how bending supernatural language to human reason is consistent with the testimony of affirming a supernatural worldview. [3]

Hebrew Bible scholars are in wide agreement on the “divine being” or angelic rendering of “sons of God” in Genesis 6.  According to the scholarly Word Biblical Commentary:

The “angel” interpretation is at once the oldest view and that of most modern commentators. It is assumed in the earliest Jewish exegesis (e.g., the books of 1 Enoch 6:2ff; Jubilees 5:1), LXX, Philo De Gigant 2:358), Josephus (Ant. 1.31) and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QapGen 2:1; CD 2:17–19). The NT (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6, 7) and the earliest Christian writers (e.g., Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen) also take this line.

Modern scholars who accept this view advance three main reasons for supporting it. First, elsewhere in the OT (e.g., Ps 29:1, Job 1:6) “sons of God” refers to heavenly, godlike creatures. Second, in 6:1–4 the contrast is between “the sons of the gods” on the one hand and “the daughters of man” on the other. The alternative interpretations presuppose that what Gen 6 really meant was that “the sons of some men” married “the daughters of other men.” The present phrase “sons of God” is, to say the least, an obscure way of expressing such an idea. It is made the more implausible by 6:1 where “man” refers to all mankind. It is natural to assume that in v 2 “daughters of man” has an equally broad reference, not a specific section of the human race. Finally, it is pointed out that in Ugaritic literature “sons of God” refers to members of the divine pantheon, and it is likely that Genesis is using the phrase in a similar sense.[4]

Furthermore, the New Testament evidence is completely ignored by Goodroad (2 Peter 2:4–10, Jude 5–7). If not Genesis 6, then what alternative examples from the scriptures can she suggest of Angels sinning (2 Pet 2:4)?  Clearly, the New Testament authors are referring to this Genesis 6 episode and understood the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 as supernatural beings.  It is also clear enough that this episode involved “angels” and a decision those divine beings made to violate a God given limit when they “abandoned their proper abode” (Jude 6 NAS). Furthermore, the 2 Peter passage indisputably situates this sin at the time of Noah and the Flood (2 Pet 2:5).  That the sin committed by the angels was sexual is clear from the vocabulary as well as the linkage to the Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pet 2:6; Jude 7). In denying the supernatural view of Genesis 6, Goodroad is effectively suggesting that Peter and Jude also misunderstood the passage.

Apologist and philosopher Francis Schaeffer had no problem understanding the text with a supernatural worldview. Commenting on Jude 6-7’s connection to Genesis 6 he wrote:

This passage [Jude 6-7] seems to say that there are angels who left their own proper place and are specifically under judgment because they acted like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  That is, as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah sought “other flesh” in homosexuality, these angels sought flesh that was “ other flesh”; they involved themselves with human women in what could be called fornication.

There is further interest concerning this if one understands it as a commingling of the angelic and the human, for then it is possible that it was the original historic source of an element common in mythology.  More and more we are finding that mythology in general, though greatly contorted, very often has some historic base.  And the interesting thing is that one myth that one finds over and over again in many parts of the world is that somewhere a long time ago supernatural beings had sexual intercourse with natural women and produced a special breed of people.[5]

Goodroad also criticizes the use of the term “Watchers”  as a term “taken from the apocryphal Book of Enoch” apparently ignorant that it is used three times in the canonical Book of Daniel  (Dan 4:13; 4:17; 4:23). In his dissertation, Heiser also argues, “It is clear from these passages that terms like ‘angels,’ ‘archangels,’ ‘Watchers,’ ‘holy ones,’ ‘highest ones,’ and ‘sons of heaven’ overlap.”[6] I’ve never seen any convincing scholarship refuting the angelic view of Genesis 6 that does not reek of anti-supernaturalist eisegesis.  For instance, Goodroad resorts to a long refuted canard when she quotes Matthew 22:30 as if it were some sort of  evidence against the supernatural view. Apparently she is oblivious to the fact that the text reads the “angels in Heaven.” It is not about the fallen Angels (who are not in heaven) and it says absolutely nothing about Angels abilities to biologically function. Chuck Missler has written an historical explanation of the dubious origins of the humanistic interpretation favored by anti-suprenaturalists known as the Sethite View available here.


Chuck Missler

On the charges of date setting and using extra biblical sources, Missler has written:

The Bible is filled with admonitions in regards to date setting. The Bible indicates that everything will be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15; Numbers 35:30; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19). One would think that these references would be enough, and yet the fascination with date setting continues.[7]

I wonder if she bothered to read the last chapter of Tom Horn’s Apollyon Rising 2012:

A couple of points need clarification at the beginning of this final chapter having to do with 1) date setting and 2) extra-biblical sources for interpreting end times prophecy. Setting dates in particular for eschatological affairs, such as the beginning of sorrows, the return of Christ, or the battle of Armageddon, have been illustrated historically to be unwise, discrediting those who make such predictions concerning the exact timing of future events. In general, Christians should simply always be ready for the end of the age and the coming of Christ, because “ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42). Jesus further told his followers that the exact date of his arrival would be known by “no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only” (Matthew 24:36).[8]

He goes on to write concerning extra-biblical texts:

While most Bible scholars admit these texts can provide invaluable insights for helping students of history fill gaps between cultural and historical events related to the first-century Judaism and the background of Christianity (for instance, The Jewish War and The Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus), they believe these should not be elevated among the divinely inspired or authoritative sources, especially if they contradict or supplant existing canonical teachings (the Bible). [9]

The pseudepigraphal texts tell us the way the Jews of Antiquity understood their scriptures. We refer to them in my seminary course work very often. They are an ancient witness and a valuable aid in proper exegesis.  Exegesis is about the authors intent. For instance, from these ancient witnesses like  1st Enoch there is no doubt that the Biblical author meant his reader to understand a divine being when he wrote “sons of God” in Genesis 6. The ancient sources unanimously evidence the supernatural view. As I have shown, the Old and New Testaments also overwhelmingly support the supernatural view of Genesis 6. When read in its ancient context, it’s really beyond dispute exegetically.

The Bottom Line

I don’t see why it is out of line for Christians to speculate about UFOs, aliens, fallen angels or 2012 prophecies as long as it’s represented as speculation. I have never taken it as anything other. The Bible is a supernatural book replete with demon possession and angelic conflicts (Eph 6:12; Dan 10:20). Could fallen angels be up to mischief masquerading as aliens? Apologists like Norman Geisler, Hugh Ross and Kenneth Samples have all voiced views that UFOs are demonic. Ross and Samples have written, “It seems apparent that residual UFOs, in one or more ways, must be associated with the activities of demons.”[10] Dr. Hugh Ross is an astrophysicist no less. Perhaps it is not so fringe a view after all? It seems abundantly clear that Missler and Horn might be capitalizing on it somewhat but they aren’t making it up. If you take the Bible seriously, then Apollyon is going to rise from the bottomless pit one day (Rev 9:1; 17:8) and the Angels in bondage will be released during the end times (Rev 9:14). It’s really up to you whether you believe it or not but it is indisputable that the Bible predicts it. Accordingly, I don’t think it is out of bounds for Christians to comment on what that might look like or how it could take place.

I’ll let them defend themselves on the rest but these points just jumped out at me as I read Goodroad’s emotionally charged mischaracterizations. Sure both men have a penchant for the extraordinary and have a tendency to ham it up but she is mischaracterizing them and is guilty of mishandling the Biblical text herself more egregiously by denying and castigating the supernatural view of Genesis 6.

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (Jn 3:12)



[1] Gaylene Goodroad, “DOOMSDAY DATESETTERS 2012,” (accessed 6/11/2011).

[2] Michael Heiser, “The Divine Council in Late Cannonical and Non Cannonical 2nd Temple Jewish Literature.” (Ph.D. dissertation ,University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004) 49.

[3] Michael Heiser,

[4] Gordon J. Wenham, vol. 1, Word Biblical Commentary  : Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), 139.

[5] Francis A. Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time: The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer : A Christian Worldview. (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1982).

[6] Heiser, Dissertation, 224.

[7] Chuck Missler, “Date Setting?” (accessed 06/11/2011).

[8] Thomas Horn, Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed (Crane, MS: Defender, 2009),  303.

[9] Horn, Apollyon, 304.

[10] Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples and Mark Clark, Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestrials (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2002), 123.