X-Message-Number: 19356
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 22:12:32 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Ok, it's finally time for my two cents [part two]
References: <>

For Mark, John and David.

John, I love ya buddy but you really really need to join the 21st century! First
of all we know now that Revelation was not intended to be prophecy. This is 
based on many facts but primarily the fact that the "Book of Daniel", that 
people use to uphold Revelation as prophecy, is a LIE! Daniel only *appears* to 
be prophetic because it was written in a fashion common in the day 
(pseudepigraphia) so as to appear to be written before events but was actually 
written after the events it supposedly portrays as prophecy. Please read the 
exerpt from this document:


[note: from these ** to these again ** are not my remarks but the exerpt and/or 
the remarks of reviewers]

"The author of Daniel

Although the book itself claims to be the record of Daniel in Babylon, internal 
and external evidence

reveals that it was written in Jerusalem about the year 164 BCE. Technically, 
the book belongs to the

class of texts known as pseudepigraphia, since it is attributed to a legendary 
figure, while in reality it

was written at a much later time by an unknown author. Other books in this genre
include the book of

1 Enoch, the Assumption of Moses, and the Apocalypse of John, although the 
latter was written much
closer to the time of its namesake.

A question naturally arises as to how many authors the book of Daniel actually 
had. (Since all

manuscripts had to be written and copied by hand, it was not unusual for a book 
to undergo later

expansion and editing, a process all but impossible in the age of the printing 
press.) Some scholars

propose at least two authors, based on the fact that the book of Daniel was 
written in two original

languages - Aramaic from 2:4b to 7:28, and Hebrew for the remainder. (The 
Septuagint, and

consequently the Roman Catholic versions of Daniel include several sections not 
found in the

Hebrew/Aramaic version. These sections were written in Greek, and consist of the
legends of Bel and

the Dragon, the Prayer of Azariah and the the Song of the Three Young Men. Since
these sections are

very obviously later additions to the text, they will not be considered here). 
Other scholars prefer one

author, and state that this author included oral legends of the mythical Daniel 
into the first section of

the book, and wrote the remainder himself. Since this is a complicated, and 
ultimately unanswerable

question, this study will assume a single author. It should be borne in mind, 
however, that this might
not be the case.

Historical Background

The book of Daniel encompasses many centuries of history in its pages. 
Occasionally, as we shall see,

this history cannot be reconciled with the known facts, which provides a clue to
the author's true time

period. In order to set the scene, as it were, a quick overview of Middle 
Eastern history, as it affected
the Jews, is necessary."

[Me again] It is no more than a piece of drama... a novel! The program 
"Frontline" on PBS did a documentary on this. At the time I followed the links 
to their website and read their references and found them most credible. No 
serious and *honest* theologian would support the Book of Daniel as prophecy if 
made aware of the truth.

Likewise Revelation was written *only* for the people of the times the authors 
(plural) lived in. It in fact says so but people ignore this. It's no mystery 
who the "Antichrist" and the "666 Beast" is... it's Nero!! Nero was the first 
Emperor of Rome to begin putting Xians to death in the colloseum. That was a 
very beastly thing to do especially when you learn he also revelled in watching 
them being forced to do sex acts with animals.

Here is something I think you really should read:


Paul Boyer
                        When Time Shall Be No More :
             Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture

          The following review was provided by Curt van den Heuvel

          The cover of Boyer's book contains a powerful scene. A group of 

          people are standing in a field, gazing up at a dark and brooding, but 

          completely empty sky. As a former fundamentalist Christian, this scene

          particularly emotive, as I well understand the sense of hope mingled 
          foreboding that the premillenial worldview brings.

It is probably difficult for an outsider to understand how this peculiar view of
the world

can colour a person's entire life. I was constantly aware that at any moment I 
could be

raptured out of the world. I scoured the headlines for a clue as to the identity
of the

Antichrist, and the latest movements of Gog and Magog. I was convinced that all 
pointed to the end of the world within my lifetime.

Boyer's book is an excellent overview of this type of thinking. Such puzzling 
terms as the

Rapture, Armageddon, the Beast, 666, and the One-World Government are examined 

detail. What is particularly good about this book is that it is never 
judgemental or

pedantic. Boyer never explicitly discusses why the fundamentalist, premillenial 
view of

the world is wrong. Instead, he shows in detail how the belief arose in the 
early second

century, and evolved through the ages. Through each step, Boyer shows how ardent

Bible students firmly believed that they were living in the last times, and how 

interpreted the apocalyptic books of the Bible to fit their own situations. Such

historical overview is a far more eloquent argument against premillenialism than
exegesis of the scriptures could be.

I found this a very fascinating book. It is indispensable for the recovering

fundamentalist, if only to put his beliefs into an historical context, and so 
make some
sense of them.

From a former-Mormon reader:

I'm about halfway through Paul Boyer's book, When Time Shall Be No More: 

Belief in Modern American Culture, and I have to say that it's pretty 
fascinating, and

sometimes disturbing, reading. Even though I grew up with premillenial belief, I

have a hard time now understanding how so many people actually believe they are 

in the 'last days'. What really kind hit me was the description of how common 
this belief

has been for the last 2000 years. Having been told in Sunday School and Seminary

we were the 'special spirits' reserved for the final days, I still had some 
residual thoughts

about how crazy it would have been for anyone in the past to have thought they 
were in

the last days, since it was obvious that WE were. But it turns out that we 
weren't so
special in our belief after all.

The other thing that got to me was the author's description of how premillenial 

influenced Cold War tensions, especially among leaders like Reagan in the 1980s.
As a

kid back then, I certainly lived in fear of the big nuclear threat, but it never
occurred to

me just how close we might get to 'pushing the button' when some political 
leaders and

large segments of the public foresaw armageddon in the form of nuclear war as an

inevitable part of God's plan. This kind of fatalism is frightening, especially 

considering the threats to our world still existing, such as overpopulation, 
destruction of

the environment, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that need to 
addressed and corrected.

From the publisher:
Boyer immersed himself in the literature of prophecy to study its content and

implications. He writes in the preface: "...one cannot fully understand the 

public's response to a wide range of international and domestic issues without 
bearing in

mind that millions of men and women view world events and trends, at least in 

through the refracting lens of prophetic belief." Recent events in Waco, Texas 
the need for understanding of this current in American thinking.

John also wrote:

"This cultural obsession may ebb and flow over the next few decades, but it will
if anything only gain momentum over the next decade or two.  And it is only a 
matter of time before the "Left Behind" twelve hour miniseries comes out!

Actually, according to some interpretations of the Bible, you will get your wish
on this "obsession" fading, but with it being replaced by a mania for a beloved
world "savior" who will in the end be known as the AntiChrist.  I just hope we 
both live long enough to see how things actually develop.  I don't want to miss 
all the excitement while in a dewar!  Mark, I want you to have a front-row seat 
view of everything, too. : )"

John also wrote:

"The authors of the series [Left Behind] do not deserve to be called "charlatans
and cranks"."

[Me again] First of all, John, if you must believe this junk then do get the 
facts straight. There *is no* "Rapture"! I defy anyone to find mention of such a
term in the Bible at all. There is only one small text used by proponents of 
this misinterpretation. These proponents fail to understand the logistical 
implications of the schedule of the alleged "Second Coming" as written in 

Now to me it's all nonsense but if one must believe nonsense then do get the 
message straight. Once you study Revelation enough to understand the "Second 
Death" there remains no room for any "Rapture". The proponents of the secret 
rapture have only one text that they must twist and contort to fit their idea 
but the bible has many more that oppose this idea. Here is just one: "1 
Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we 
who are alive andremain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede 

who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ 
will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together 
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be
with the Lord." It sure does NOT sound to me that this supports the "Secret 
Rapture" or "Left Behind" stuff and so those proponents and authors ARE 
charlatans. For that matter the whole Xian concept is malarky.

John, if you must read all these Xian authors would you please please consider 
some balance from the opposing viewpoint? How about some equal time? Why is it 
people dismiss modern knowledge and science for so called sage advice from 
ancient ignorants? The fact is there is no and never will be any "Second 
Coming"! Here is something with which to begin learning some balance:


Biblical Proof that Jesus is not Coming Again

For almost two thousand years now, certain sects of Christianity have been 
continuously preaching

that Jesus, the rejected messiah, is about to return in all his glory, to rain 
judgment upon the

unbelievers, and institute the millennial kingdom. A very popular "proof text" 
for this doctrine is the

so-called "little apocalypse", found in Mark 13 and in the parallel passages 
Matthew 24 and Luke 21.

This piece of text, also known as the Olivet Discourse, records the lengthy 
answer of Jesus to the

question posed by his disciples: "When shall these things be, and what shall be 
the sign of your

Jesus puts forth a series of signs and predictions: wars, earthquakes, famine, 
false Messiahs, all

culminating in the "sign of the Son of Man" in Heaven, followed by his long 
promised Return (Matthew

There have been no shortage of amateur exegetes who have always sought (and, 
predictably, found)

these very same signs in their own generation. Thus assured that the Return of 
Jesus was just

around the corner, a whole slew of silliness has ensued, all the way from 
William Miller's wretched

followers awaiting Jesus on their rooftops, to Miller's modern counterparts, 
Jack Van Impe, John

Hagee, Hal Lindsey, and a whole array of earnest soothsayers, breathlessly 
exhorting their wide-eyed
followers to stand firm, for the hour is now upon us.

What makes this situation even more ironic is that it can be easily shown from 
this same proof-text

that Jesus will not return. This is due to the simple fact that Jesus himself 
put a time-limit on his

predictions. "Verily I say unto you", declares the would-be Messiah, "This 
generation shall not pass, till
all these things be fulfilled" (Matthew 24:34).

It hardly needs to be noted that Jesus' generation is very long gone, and with 
it the deadline for his
return. He is now more than 1,900 years overdue, with no end in sight.

Lastly, John, please don't feel bad about what I say. It is not an attack on 
you. You know I am your friend and care for you. I say these things from serious
concern that these beliefs you hold could, as you have admitted, lead you to 
leave behind cryonics and extropianism and I believe this would be your ultimate
and final destruction.

MY WEBSITE: http://www.geocities.com/~davidpascal/swayze/
A COLLECTION of photos of me and some of my artwork:

A RADIO INTERVIEW on Dr. J's ChangeSurfer Radio program with me and the father 
of cryonics Prof.

Robert Ettinger, author of "The Prospect of Immortality": 

A RELIGION I actually recommend: 
A FAVORITE quote: Last lines of the first Star Trek the Next Generation movie.

Capt. Picard: "What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived, 
after all Number One, we're
only mortal."
Will Ryker: "Speak for yourself captain, I intend to live forever!"

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