Author Topic: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read  (Read 3276 times)

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Offline Rafa999

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An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« on: December 24, 2009, 02:40:26 AM »
Hi guys, I'm starting this thread to discuss something truly disturbing I once read. Well, ages ago I was very deeply focused on end times prophecy and eschatology. Eventually I set myself out to try to identify the Antichrist via scripture. My first clue was that famous little bit of Gematria, the 666. I eventually discovered that most apostolic fathers firmly believed the evil Emperor Nero was somehow tied with this, and that this beast of an individual, this beacon of darkness was in fact the historical antichrist. Anyways, it just didn't make any sense to me since Revelation is not just a book on the past but the future as well. Then I read this very disturbing thing. I simply could not believe it when I read it. Before I cite this I want to say the following:

1)I am merely citing what somebody else wrote (if this person is giving a false report then may the sin lie on their shoulders not mine who merely acknowledge the existence of this piece of information)

2)I don't know if this is true or false. It is a LEGEND carried in an unreliable oral tradition.

Here is what I discovered:

Quote
"He [God] sent against them [Israel] Nero the Caesar. As Nero was coming he shot an arrow towards the east, and it fell in Jerusalem. He then shot one towards the west, and it again fell in Jerusalem. He shot toward all four points of the compass, and each time it fell in Jerusalem. He said to a certain boy, 'Repeat to me the last verse of Scripture that you have learned.' He said, ' I will wreak My vengeance on Edom through My people Israel.' Nero said, 'The Kadosh Barukh Hu [the Holy One] desires to lay waste His Temple and to lay the blame on me. So he ran away and converted to Judaism, and Rabbi Meir was descended from him.'" [Gittin 56a]

here, alternate re-telling:

Quote
When Nero arrived in Palestine, he shot arrows in the direction of the four principal points of the compass; but all of them flew toward Jerusalem. A boy whom he asked to recite his Biblical lesson (a usual form of oracle) quoted Ezek. xxv. 14 (Hebr.): "And I shall take my revenge on Edom through My people Israel; and they shall do unto Edom according to My anger and My wrath," on hearing which Nero said: "God wishes to wipe His hands [lay the blame] on me" (i.e., "wishes to make me His tool and then to punish me"). He fled and became a convert to Judaism; and from him Rabbi Meïr was descended.

Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=192&letter=N&search=nero#ixzz0aaJtnNRk

This is tractate Giṭtin 55b-56a of the Talmud (this folio is re-numbered in some versions). You know what this story is saying? That Nero faked his death and became a convert to Judaism. This information is further corroborated by Suetonius who says that "Eastern Magicians" promised Nero the Kingdom of Jerusalem if he was ever defeated. It is also further corroborated by Josephus referring to Poppeia Sabina (Nero's wife) as a proselyte (and she was indeed buried not cremated, a very strange custom in ancient Rome). This is very disturbing stuff. It gets even more disturbing when you learn that Meir of Rothenberg who was the foremost rabbi of Germany of his time supposedly (again this is the realm of legend, not fact) claimed descent from Nero.


Why is all of this important? Why should we care in the slightest about any of this? Here's why:

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (KJV 1611)

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Could it be that history will repeat itself? I have learned of something called "Noahide Laws" in Judaism where everyone here is supposedly an idolater to be beheaded if they don't forsake the trinity and the name of Jesus Christ. This sounds very disturbing if you read this passage in Revelations:

Quote
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Have I discovered something or is this just a fever dream of paranoia?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 02:43:07 AM by Rafa999 »
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Offline LBK

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 02:45:16 AM »
Probably paranoia. Don't lose any sleep over it. It's no accident that the book of Revelation is the only one of the New Testament which is not read as part of the liturgical cycle of the Orthodox Church, in part because it is so easily subject to misinterpretation by those who do not have the wherewithall to do so properly.

We only need to see what fringe "christian" groups do with Revelation to see that all sorts of weird conspiracy theories and ideas can come from self-interpretation. Of all books of the Bible, leave Revelation to the experts.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 02:50:39 AM by LBK »
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 03:00:45 AM »
I'd avoid basing beliefs off of the Talmud.
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Offline Rafa999

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 03:06:58 AM »
Its totally unreliable, the talmud traditions are (Titus drawing blood from the holy of holies, the mark of Cain being little horns on his head,etc.) but what disturbed me about this one is that its supported by historical documents. Namely Suetonius and Josephus. We have almost one hundred percent reliable, secure evidence that Nero's harlot wife Poppeia Sabina was a proselyte. Nero was obsessed with this woman (he even had a boy who looked like her castrated for a "marriage" after she died). We also know that groups from the East made swelling promises of accommodating Nero if he escaped, even as King of Jerusalem. Nobody in Rome believed he died, and his body has still not been found, plus the Persians even tried sending a fake Nero to Rome to try to usurp the throne. So this leaves many questions open...
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Offline genesisone

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 08:05:36 AM »
...So this leaves many questions open...
You've certainly set the stage for an most entertaining conspiracy theory that could turn into a great novel!

Yes, there's always a kernel of truth in these stories. I agree with you that seeing them through to some sort of end can be a fascinating hobby. Who knows? Maybe you could sell the movie rights to the novel!

Please note: I am not trying to poke fun at you or your research in a negative way. I'm trying to enjoy it a bit with you as I really do find these things interesting, though I'm not driven to pursue them.

Offline basilthefool

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 08:23:28 AM »
I have always found the Book of Revelation to be an Apocalyptic account of the heavenly and demonic upheaval that ended our Lord's coming - both in the flesh of His humanity and in the Second Coming. Thus there are multiple layers of understanding. A Catholic writer (I'm not sure who, Scott Hahn?) interpreted the whole book as a spiritual journey through the Divine Liturgy. This latter view, understanding the book in the context of our individual struggles to overcome personal sin, worldly corruption, and find the Divine Grace of Christ's coming into our hearts through the Holy Spirit struck me as interesting and at least as plausible as the many "End is Near" interpretations. But the real measure should be what the Church Fathers have said. I am hoping for the IVP Ancient Commentary edition on Revelation for the Holy Day and expect (adjudicating between the true Church Fathers and any heretics they also include) to find sufficient understanding for my tiny intellect. Beyond that, I doubt there is much else I truly need to know.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 09:42:57 AM »
I'd avoid basing beliefs off of the Talmud.
Yes, we walk in the way of the Apostles, not the Pharisees.  Doing otherwise led Protestants into the B'nai Noach nonsense, "Gentiles for Judaism."
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 10:17:53 AM »
I'd avoid basing beliefs off of the Talmud.
Yes, we walk in the way of the Apostles, not the Pharisees.  Doing otherwise led Protestants into the B'nai Noach nonsense, "Gentiles for Judaism."

And perhaps (even earlier) to Zionism of some Victorian Anglicans (Ruskin et al.)?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 11:12:15 AM »
I'd avoid basing beliefs off of the Talmud.
Yes, we walk in the way of the Apostles, not the Pharisees.  Doing otherwise led Protestants into the B'nai Noach nonsense, "Gentiles for Judaism."

And perhaps (even earlier) to Zionism of some Victorian Anglicans (Ruskin et al.)?

Yes, exactly.

There is a trend, I think it seems to have revived in the 70's, among Protestants who "reject tradition," to turn to Jewish tradition to explain the OT, something which, according to the NT, they can know nothing about (the veil and all over them).  Hence Christian seders for Easter etc.  And hence the prohibition of the Fathers on sharing feastdays with the Jews.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 11:14:32 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Rafa999

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2009, 08:39:24 PM »
Isa...this is more serious than you think. I was involved in Protestantism for many years, their entire theology is built from a handful of figures from the 19th century. Cyrus Scofield and John Darby are two key individuals. I want you to read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Incredible-Scofield-His-Book/dp/1879998440/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261701295&sr=8-1-catcorr

that is the conspiracy theory which makes the Da Vinci code look like a bedtime story. Is anybody else here worried about what this verse:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4:1, NIV

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:1-3, New King James

Surely this cannot refer to anything in the church- fasting and celibacy are staples for the Assyrian church of the East, the RCC, the Orthodox, and so forth for millenia (despite the differences in emphasis). Is this referring to something more sinister? I leave it to the holy spirit to teach us what this is talking about.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 08:46:09 PM by Rafa999 »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 12:22:10 AM »
Isa...this is more serious than you think. I was involved in Protestantism for many years, their entire theology is built from a handful of figures from the 19th century. Cyrus Scofield and John Darby are two key individuals. I want you to read this book:
What you've described is not the whole of Protestantism.  Cyrus Scofield and John Nelson Darby are representative merely of what we know as Fundamentalism and Dispensationalism, a couple of movements within the vast tapestry that is Protestantism.  Their views on eschatology, particularly their doctrine of the Rapture, are not accepted or are quite soundly rejected by a number of Protestant traditions, though it is easy to see how they have made subtle inroads into a number of other Protestant traditions, even if Scofield and Darby are not acknowledged directly as their source.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 12:23:03 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Rafa999

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 04:33:26 AM »
Well PTA, both you and Isa will have to agree that while all the ancient bodies of Christendom are busy throwing stones at each other and weakening, these beliefs, these doctrines which were never taught in the first place are gaining strength. Protestants are sweeping across China, latinamerica, Africa, everywhere, and the works of a few con artists such as Scofield are being used as teaching tools for millions. You should read that book. It is very disturbing.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 04:33:38 AM by Rafa999 »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 04:43:04 AM »
Well PTA, both you and Isa will have to agree that while all the ancient bodies of Christendom are busy throwing stones at each other and weakening, these beliefs, these doctrines which were never taught in the first place are gaining strength. Protestants are sweeping across China, latinamerica, Africa, everywhere, and the works of a few con artists such as Scofield are being used as teaching tools for millions. You should read that book. It is very disturbing.
I'd rather be edified by the Fathers.

As for Revelation, I'm not worried: I know how the story ends. :angel:
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Liz

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2009, 12:14:26 PM »
Isa...this is more serious than you think. I was involved in Protestantism for many years, their entire theology is built from a handful of figures from the 19th century.

You were? Involved in Protestantism for many years? Why, that must make you the foremost authority on it, then, since no one else amongst the Orthodox on this forum has any experience of Protestantism. If you don't mind, leave out this disrespectful rubbish about an 'entire theology ... built from a handful of figures from the 19th century'.

Anyone else reading, sorry, I know I'm tediously predictable in my irritation but I am unusually upset to see this particular post today, and maybe am going off the deep end.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2009, 12:47:20 PM »
Isa...this is more serious than you think. I was involved in Protestantism for many years, their entire theology is built from a handful of figures from the 19th century.

But what about Martin Luther, Jean Cauvin (Iogannes Calvinus), John Wesley, Karl Bart, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Tillich? The first two "figures" are from the 16th century, the third from the 18th, and the latter three from the 20th... :)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 12:47:54 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2009, 01:52:44 PM »
Isa...this is more serious than you think. I was involved in Protestantism for many years, their entire theology is built from a handful of figures from the 19th century.

You were? Involved in Protestantism for many years? Why, that must make you the foremost authority on it, then, since no one else amongst the Orthodox on this forum has any experience of Protestantism. If you don't mind, leave out this disrespectful rubbish about an 'entire theology ... built from a handful of figures from the 19th century'.

Anyone else reading, sorry, I know I'm tediously predictable in my irritation but I am unusually upset to see this particular post today, and maybe am going off the deep end.
Have a Merry Christmas instead.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Rafa999

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Re: An -incredibly- disturbing thing I once read
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2009, 03:46:42 AM »
You know...concerning this topic I think I went too far. I apologize for any people who were offended. I believe the legend expressed in the talmud to be fake (but not the information confirmed by historical records in other matters I mentioned, specifically on Nero's wife being a proselyte while two of the apostles died under Nero's reign) and I don't want information such as this to be used to justify suspicions, accusations and other evil against others. Also, even though I detest dispensationalism and other "innovations" I have seen in protestantism I think that is not an excuse to not look at ones own institutions and one's own attitudes in our faith (including the possibility that the forces of evil can corrupt the institutions we belong to) plus I think that conspiracy theory in that book I linked to is impossible to prove. We can prove Scofield was a liar and criminal though. So my apologies.
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