In Revelation 2, Jesus dictates a stunningly accurate prophetic letter to Christians in Smyrna, Turkey.
Smyrna was the horrific grand finale of the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Christians were murdered by the Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire.
Last week, Pope Francis officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, calling it the first genocide of the 20th Century. The pope is not just a religious leader. He is also a head of state. Remember, the Vatican is its own nation. As a sign of diplomatic protest to the pope’s words, Turkey immediately withdrew its ambassador to the Vatican. Turkey is the nation that perpetrated the Armenian Genocide, yet denies it to this day. To get an idea of Turkey’s Satanic hubris in denying the Armenian Genocide, just imagine if Germany were adamantly denying its genocide against the Jews in WWII.
A Genocide Taught In The Bible, But Not The Pulpits
There are scores of scholarly and journalistic articles online about the Armenian Genocide, so I am not going to belabor its history. Here is a one-sentence snapshot: Between 1915 and 1923, troops of the Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire beheaded, shot, stabbed, raped, and burned to death 1.5 million Armenian Christians. The Ottoman Empire put to death more Christians than any other empire– indeed, probably more than all other empires combined. The atrocity at Smyrna happened in 1922.
On September 9, 1922, Islamic Ottoman Turkish troops entered Smyrna, western Turkey, which since 1919 was under Greek control. The Greeks and Turks were at war since 1919, the Greco-Turkish War. A few days after they entered Smyrna, Islamic Ottoman Turkish troops set fire to the Christian sections of the city. Simultaneously, these troops committed probably the greatest persecution, of the greatest number of Christians, in the shortest period of time, since the birth of Christianity 1,900 years prior. When the Satanic frenzy was over, 100,000 Christians lay dead.
Note that I mentioned “shortest period of time.” Smyrna’s vibrant Christian population was wiped out, its women raped and murdered (but not before seeing their husbands, sons, and fathers murdered before their eyes), in just ten days. Ten days.
“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again [Jesus Christ]… Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer… you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death… [and that is exactly what tens of thousands of Smyrna Christians did, refusing to deny Jesus Christ even to the point of death at the hands of Islamic Ottoman Turkish hordes.] ~ Revelation 2:8-10
To make matters worse, Smyrna’s harbor was loaded with at least 21 warships from the U.S., U.K., France, and Italy. As the fire raged, and refugees crowded the waterfront to escape the heat and the murders, these warships did nothing. Their orders were to stay out of Turkish affairs, and evacuate only the citizens of their respective nations. Eventually, the American warships evacuated the American citizens. But one man would not leave. His name was Asa Jennings.
Asa worked for the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). He was from upstate New York, but was sent to work at the Smyrna YMCA in August, 1922, just one month before the massacre. As the fires, rapes, and murders raged against Smyrna’s Christians, Asa said he felt God stir him to action. Through a series of events that would be completely unbelievable except for God’s providence, Asa Jennings, who was 5’3″ with tuberculosis and double curvature of the spine, was appointed admiral of the Greek Navy and evacuated over 300,000 surviving Greek Christians in just eleven days.
Have you ever heard this taught in an American church? I sure have not.
Islamic Ottoman Turkish troops entered Smyrna on September 9th, and set fire to Christian areas on September 13th. The fire was reported out by September 22. September 13-22 is only nine days on the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar we use in America, and the calendar on which days begin at midnight. However, the calendar by which Biblical time is clocked is the Hebrew calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. In the Hebrew calendar, a day begins at nightfall.
In other words, on the Gregorian calendar, today began at midnight last night. But on the Hebrew calendar, today began at nightfall last night. So, if on the Gregorian calendar the fire was started in daylight hours on September 13, but wasn’t extinguished until after nightfall (9PM for example) on September 22, this would correspond to the fire being started on September 13 on the Hebrew calendar, and being extinguished on September 23 on the Hebrew calendar– a perfect DNA match to the ten-day period in the prophecy.
Put In Prison
And the Smyrna prophecy does not stop there. Just prior to Christ foretelling of Smyrna’s ten-day tribulation period, he foretold of prisoners being taken.
“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again [Jesus Christ]… Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. ~ Revelation 2:8-10
This too is dead-on accurate. The Christian Greek military unit at Smyrna collapsed under the weight of the Turkish advance. Many Greek troops were killed, but many survived and were taken prisoner by the Turks– probably a fate worse than death.
God Says Asia. The Church Says Europe. Who Do You Believe?
Now, I have a question for you. Does this literal, geographically-perfect, chronologically-perfect, word-for-word fulfillment of the Smyrna prophecy matter to you? It matters to me. It’s stunning to me. It floors me. It’s how God keeps me coming back for more. The problem is that it does not matter to the vast majority of the western church. Protestantism teaches that the Antichrist’s Empire will be a revived Roman Empire, based in Europe. But the Bible teaches that the Antichrist’s Empire will be a revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire, based in Asia. To hammer home the Asia-centricity of latter-day events, Jesus Christ himself dictated not one, not two, not three, but seven letters of prophetic warning to churches in Asia.
[From] John [the Apostle], To the seven churches in the province of Asia [not Europe]… and from Jesus Christ… which said: [Here Jesus begins dictating the letters] “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” [Every single one of these churches is in Turkey.] ~ Revelation 1:4-11
To the vast majority of Protestantism, which preaches that the Antichrist will come from Europe, Christ’s seven letters to Asia are very inconvenient (kinda like cold days are to Al Gore). These seven letters include Christ’s letter to Pergamum, in which he specifically tells us that Pergamum (not Rome) is Satan’s headquarters.
“To the… church in Pergamum write… I know where you live — where Satan has his throne… where Satan lives. ~ Revelation 2:12-13
I respectfully ask my Protestant brothers and sisters who believe the revived Roman Empire paradigm of eschatology: Why do you move Satan’s throne to Rome when God clearly tells us it’s in Pergamum?
Darn, If Only That Letter Were To Rome!
If instead of dictating a letter to the church in Smyrna, Christ had dictated a letter to the church in Rome, and if the Massacre at Smyrna had instead happened at Rome, and if the massacre had been committed by the Catholic Church instead of Islam, then the massacre would be heralded every Sunday from Protestant pulpits across America as a dead-on literal fulfillment of the prophecies in the letter.
But Christ’s seven letters are to churches in Turkey, the nation whose empire, the Ottoman Empire, succeeded the Eastern Roman Empire, which outlasted the Western Roman Empire by a thousand years. In Revelation, the Apostle John clearly and plainly warns us that a dreadful empire will appear after the Roman Empire, yet the American church stops teaching at the Roman Empire.
“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills [“Hills” and “mountains” are a Biblical theme for empires.] on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings [Kings rule over kingdoms, empires]. Five have fallen [1) Egyptian, 2) Assyrian, 3) Babylonian, 4) Medo-Persian, 5) Greek], one is [This is the Roman Empire, in which John lived when he wrote this.], the other has not yet come [John tells us an empire will come after the Roman Empire, yet American Protestantism stops teaching at the Roman Empire.]; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast [Empire] who once was [The Caliphate, the Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire, which was snuffed out by western Christian nations in 1923], and now is not [1923-2003], is an eighth king [revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire]. He belongs to the seven [The revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire’s geographical footprint will include geography held by each of the first seven empires. If you don’t believe me, turn on the evening news and see how much land ISIS captures on a daily basis.] and is going to his destruction.” ~ Revelation 17:9-11
Because Christ’s letters are addressed to Asia, not Europe, Protestants simply ignore the addresses on the figurative envelopes. Instead of acknowledging the Massacre at Smyrna as a dead-on accurate literal fulfillment of Christ’s prophetic letter to Smyrna, Protestants simply allegorize “the church in Smyrna” to mean “the church” in general. This is also done with the other six churches in Revelation.
The geographical specificity of all seven churches in Revelation is ignored in Protestantism because it does not match the completely unbiblical revived Roman Empire foundation upon which popular Protestant eschatology is built. The Antichrist’s empire will not be a revived Roman Empire. It will be a revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire. The Bible could not be more clear, forceful, or repeated in its emphasis of this fact.
The Bible is always proven true.
Categories: Armenian Genocide: Smyrna