SECOND TREE

THE BIBLE AND CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED



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UNDERSTANDING THE BEAST

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FOREWORD

Every page in the prophecy section of this web site is either 1) dedicated to an explanation of the 70-Weeks Prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27), or 2) built upon the foundation of a proper understanding of that prophecy.

In Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy God gave the world two prophetic timetables:

    1) A 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ.

    2) A remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming.

The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks of years', each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

The 70th week, however, is not like the first 69 weeks; it is not a week of 7 regular calendar years. Rather, it is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning roughly 4000 years ago with God's promises to Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (by the Romans), and soon to be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.


THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The key to fully understanding Daniel's 70th Week lies in understanding four Bible prophecies that form a great 'prophetic chain'.

The individual 'links' in this prophetic chain were given to the world by God over a period of roughly 2000 years; beginning with Abraham around 1900 BC, and ending with the apostle John's reception of the book of Revelation around 65 AD. These four links are presented chronologically from top to bottom below:

My first prophecy web page, titled AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLE PROPHECY, explains both the Abrahamic Covenant and Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy.

The second page, titled THE OLIVET DISCOURSE, explains the important 'keystone' prophecy that Jesus gave to His disciples while they sat together upon the Mount of Olives, two days before His crucifixion.


It is a 'keystone' because if provides the vital link between Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy and John's Little Book. When we compare the three versions of the Olivet Discourse side-by-side (from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke), and allow Luke's 'Gentile version' to clarify Jesus' reference to Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' in Matthew and Mark, it becomes clear that this 'Abomination of Desolation' that marks the mid-point of Daniel's 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome in 70 AD.

In the third page of this prophecy section, titled THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS' RETURN, I explain John's Little Book itself. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10. He was told to eat it, and was warned that it would be sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. John then proceeded to write down the contents of that Book in Revelation chapters 11-13.

John's Little Book provides us with four visions of Daniel's 70th Week:

    1) THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD (Revelation 11:1-2) The first vision describes the second half of the Week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles.


    2) THE TWO WITNESSES (Revelation 11:3-12) The second vision describes God's giving of the entire Bible ('the Law and the Prophets') to the world during the first half of the week, and then portrays the dead bodies of God's servants lying in the city of Jerusalem throughout the second half of the week. This is a picture of the guilt of the Jewish nation for their persecution of God's prophets during Old Testament times, their crucifixion of Christ, their continuing persecution of Christ's disciples, and their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel to a human race desperately in need of it.


    3) THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON (Revelation 12) The third vision describes Israel's bringing of the promised Messiah and 'seed' of Abraham into the world, followed by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world for the following 1900+ years. While the second vision of 'The Two Witnesses' portrays the guilt of the Jewish nation, this third vision reveals God's preservation of that nation through many years of wandering throughout the world. In addition, this vision explains the ultimate source of the persecution of the Jewish people over the past 1900+ years; a defeated and bitter archangel. The 'casting out of Satan' is one of the great themes of the New Testament, and sheds much light upon the history of the world over the past 1900+ years.


    4) THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Revelation 13) The fourth vision describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


When we combine a proper understanding of Jesus' Olivet Discourse with these four visions from John's Little Book, the nature of Daniel's 70th Week becomes obvious. It is indeed the 'great week' of the Abrahamic Covenant.

I have posted this 'Foreword' at the beginning of every page in this prophecy section, because without a proper understanding of Daniel's 70th Week it is impossible to 'watch' effectively for the Lord Jesus' return, or to understand any of the other important subjects in God's prophetic word; subjects such as the Great Tribulation, the Beast, the False Prophet, the Antichrist, the United States and the City of Rome (Babylon).

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UNDERSTANDING THE BEAST

MY CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE BEAST

This is a long web page, with many sub-sections explaining the Beast of Revelation. I have chosen to give my reader a brief summary of this web page here at the beginning, so that those who might not have enough time or interest to read the entire page, might nevertheless know my conclusions.

I have reached my understanding of the Beast of Revelation based upon its six primary traits described in Revelation. I discuss those traits in the order that God presents them to us in His word. The first four traits are found in the first five verses of Revelation chapter 13:

    1) MILITARY EMPOWERMENT BY SATAN (Revelation 13:1,4)
    2) THE 4TH BEAST OF DANIEL 7 (Revelation 13:2)
    3) A WOUNDED HEAD THAT IS HEALED (Revelation 13:3)
    4) EXISTENCE FOR OVER 1900 YEARS (Revelation 13:5)

The fifth trait is found in the second half of Revelation chapter 13:

    5) AN ALLIANCE WITH THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18)

The sixth trait is found in Revelation chapter 17:

    6) A WOMAN RIDES UPON ITS BACK

In Revelation 17 we are told that this 'Woman' is the city of Rome. In addition, Revelation chapter 17 explains the symbolic meanings of the Beast's seven heads and 10 horns, and provides God's explanation for the 'wounded head' of Revelation 13:3.

In conclusion, the Beast of Revelation is comprised of military leaders and nations, beginning with the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, who...

    A) HAVE LOVED MILITARISM AND BLOODSHED

    B) HAVE EMBRACED SATAN'S AGENDA OF PERSECUTING JEWS, WAGING WAR UPON CHRISTIANITY AND DESTROYING HUMANITY

    C) WILL USE THE 'FALSE PROPHET' OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE LAST DAYS TO IMPOSE 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS' AND THE 'MARK OF THE BEAST' UPON ALL MANKIND

    D) HAVE ALLIED THEMSELVES WITH THE CITY OF ROME IN A 'CHURCH + STATE' RELATIONSHIP SINCE THE RISE OF VESPASIAN IN 70 AD

The following list provides notable examples of men and nations who have fulfilled these criteria, and have been 'the Beast' over the past 1900+ years:

    1) The Roman Emperor Vespasian (9 AD - 79 AD), founder of the 'Flavian Dynasty'. As a Roman General, Vespasian began the destruction of Israel before becoming the Emperor of Rome. His son (Titus) completed Israel's destruction and the slaughter and dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD.

    2) The Roman Emperor Constantine; founder of Roman Catholicism in 312 AD. Up until the rise of Constantine, Rome had been the religious center of world paganism, and had sought relentlessly to exterminate Christianity. But with the rise of Constantine, Rome went from trying to destroy the Christian church, to proclaiming 'I am the true Christian Church'.

    Constantine usurped the three offices of Jesus Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. He established Roman prophetic authority through ecumenical councils that would 'decide' what the Bible says (as well as add to the Bible). Constantine embraced 'sacramentalism'; belief in a Roman priesthood whose sacraments would have the power to forgive sins and save souls. And Constantine declared Rome's authority to wage 'holy wars' in the name of Christ; thus making Rome the 'king of kings, and lord of lords'.

    Constantine's claim, to be waging war for Christ, is represented by the conqueror on a white horse in the first seal of Revelation chapter 6. The six seals of Revelation 6 portray the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church; from its rise to its destruction (for a further discussion of the Roman Catholicism, see The City of Rome in Bible Prophecy).

    3) Charlamagne (Charles the Great, 742-814), who was crowned the 'Emperor of Rome' (Holy Roman Emperor) by the Pope in 800 AD. Charlemagne imposed Roman Catholicism, at the point of a sword, upon those whom he conquered.

    4) The Crusaders, first called to wage war in the service of Christianity by Pope Urban II in 1095 AD. The religious wars of the Crusaders were characterized, from the very beginning, by the persecution of Jews wherever they found them. Ultimately, after having conquered the 'Holy Land' of Palestine, and then having lost it back to the Muslim world, these crusading 'kings and nobles' focused their attention upon their homeland of Europe; supporting Rome in its battle against Jews, Muslims and Protestant 'heretics'. These wars against anyone deviating from Roman Catholicism began around 1250 AD, and are known as "the Inquisition".

    5) King Ferdinand II of Spain (1452-1516), known as 'the Catholic'. As king of Spain he promoted the Spanish Inquisition and began the conquest of the 'Americas' (the Western Hemisphere) for Spain and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Ferdinand's grandson, Charles V, was a 'Holy Roman Emperor' who vigorously sought to unite Europe under the RCC. Charles V's son, Phillip II, sent the Spanish Armada against England in 1588, for the purpose of imposing Roman Catholicism upon Great Britain.

    6) King Ferdinand II of Austria (1578-1637), also declared a Holy Roman Emperor, was the initiator of the '30 Years War' against Protestantism (1618-1648). This war left countless Protestant Christians dead and Europe devastated. The war ended in the Peace of Westphalia, which laid the European foundation for the modern, secular nation-state; seeking to restrict religious meddling in the internal affairs of nations.

    7) The European Axis powers of World War II (WW2), comprised of Germany, Italy and Spain. These powers had all reached 'understandings' with the Roman Catholic Church prior to WW2. Together these governments of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco (along with the Vichy government of conquered France) facilitated the deaths of many millions, including the murder of 6 million Jews.

    8) The United States, with a large Roman Catholic population and many Roman Catholic institutions, was strongly urged by the Vatican to wage war against Communism after WW2 (i.e. against Russia, China, Korea and Viet Nam). A close connection between the government of the United States and the RCC continues to this day.

As the lead nation within 'the Beast' of these last days, America will leverage the three 'miraculous' technological powers of the False Prophet (military advances, communication advances and economic advances) to impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world. Ten kingdoms (or nations) will soon join the United States and the 'West', giving their power and authority 'to the Beast' (Revelation 17:12-13). This will unify the Beast throughout the world, convincing many that world peace and security have finally been achieved (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

But the final version of the Beast, that will battle against Jesus Christ at His second coming (Revelation 19:19-20), will be comprised of these 10 kingdoms alone (Revelation 17:14). The United States and the 'Roman Catholic world' will not be a part of the Beast that confronts Christ at Armageddon.

The 10 kingdoms will have destroyed 'Roman Catholic Babylon' with a sudden, unexpected fiery attack before then confronting the Lord Jesus Christ. God describes this attack as 'eating her flesh and burning her with fire' (Revelation 17:16), and says it will occur in fulfillment of His will (Revelation 17:17). This attack upon 'Babylon' (which I believe will be a nuclear attack) is described at length in Revelation chapter 18.

This is a brief summary of what follows in this web page. I would encourage my visitor to read the entire page, where I go into greater detail about the Beast, the False Prophet, the Whore, and the defeated and fallen archangel (Satan) who has been the creator and driving force behind all of them.

A HIERARCHY OF EVIL

In the book of Revelation four evil 'beings' are described:

    1) The 'Dragon' of Revelation 12; this is the archangel Lucifer, otherwise known as Satan or the Devil.
    2) The 'Beast From the Sea', first described in Revelation chapter 13, and simply called 'the Beast' in the rest of Revelation.
    3) The 'Beast From the Land', also first introduced in Revelation chapter 13, and referred to as 'the False Prophet' in the remaining passages of Revelation.
    4) The 'Woman Upon the Back of the Beast', described in Revelation 17. She is also referred to as the Whore (or Harlot), and as 'Babylon' (Revelation 17:5). This 'woman' is the city of Rome.

Other prophetic characters that are named elsewhere in the New Testament, such as the apostle John's 'Antichrist' (1 John 2:18) and the apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' (2 Thessalonians 2:3), are not specifically mentioned in Revelation.

The key to understanding these four characters is in realizing that they have a 'top-down' relationship. There is a hierarchy among these four prophetic beings. Satan and his agenda are revealed to us first, in Revelation chapter 12. Then the Beast, and its relationship with Satan, is described for us in Revelation 13:1-10. It is only after this primary relationship between Satan and the Beast has been revealed to us, that the False Prophet and the Whore are then described in Revelation. And they are described not in terms of direct relationships with Satan, but in terms of their relationships with the Beast.

There are two things in Revelation that indicate that Satan and the Beast are closely connected. Firstly, Lucifer and the Beast are very similar in appearance:

And there appeared another wonder in heaven. Behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Revelation 12:3

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a Beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 13:1

Satan and the Beast both have seven heads and ten horns. The difference between the Dragon and the Beast is that the Dragon has seven crowns upon its seven heads, while the Beast has ten crowns upon its ten horns.

Secondly, Revelation specifically tells us that the Beast is empowered by the Dragon:

The Dragon gave the Beast his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And they worshiped the Dragon who gave power unto the Beast. And they worshiped the Beast, saying "Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:2,4

SATAN CAST OUT

In order to understand Satan, and his use of the Beast, the False Prophet and the Whore to fulfill his purposes, we must first understand Satan's current situation. He has been cast out of heaven. This judgment and casting of Satan out of heaven is so important, that the Lord Jesus described it as one of the three primary messages of the Holy Spirit to the world:

And when the Holy Spirit is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on Me. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:8-11

As His crucifixion approached, the Lord Jesus spoke of its meaning for Satan:

Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out (of heaven).

John 12:31

How are we to understand this judgment and 'casting out' of Satan? The meaning of these things is revealed to us in Revelation chapter 12, in the third vision of John's Little Book; the vision of the Woman, the Child and the Dragon.

In the first part of that vision the great 'Fiery Red Dragon' (Satan) is described as trying to devour Israel's 'Child'; the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan did this in the hope of preventing the Son of God from completing the mission that He came down to earth to accomplish. This Satanic attempt to devour the Child may represent Herod the Great's effort to destroy Jesus in His infancy (Matthew 2:16-18). It might also represent Satan's many efforts to tempt Christ and cause Him to sin (Matthew 4:1-11), in order to prevent Him from becoming the morally 'spotless Lamb of God', Whose sacrifice would be required for the salvation of humanity. Whichever the case, Satan was defeated in his efforts to obstruct the 'Child's' mission.

In the second part of the vision, as a result of the Child's victory over the Dragon, war breaks out in heaven between the 'Dragon' and the angels of God:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and they prevailed not. Neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Revelation 12:7-10

The war that occurred in heaven was centered around God's willingness to provide a merciful way of forgiveness for His enemies (rebellious humanity), and Satan's opposition to God's grace. Up until Jesus gave up His life upon the cross, Satan had always been able to come before the throne of God and ask Him how He could sacrifice His precious and holy Son for such vile people. I believe that Satan's accusations were never more intense than when the Jewish leaders stood before Jesus as He hung upon the cross. They mocked, humiliated and emotionally tormented Him as He was dying for them. But the three Persons of the Trinity were determined to provide a way of salvation for wicked people. And so, as He bowed His head and died, Jesus overcame Satan and established the kingdom of heaven. In that moment Satan lost his foothold in heaven, and his ability to argue his 'moral case' before God.

SATAN, THE ULTIMATE PHARAOH

As a direct result of the Son of God's willingness to 'intercede for transgressors' (Isaiah 53:12) Satan has been judged, defeated in heaven and thrown down to earth. Satan's state of mind when he fell to earth is vividly described in both the Old Testament and the New. It is a frustrated rage that is determined to take as many people into eternal damnation along with himself as he can:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the one that made the earth to tremble and that shook kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities? That opened not the house of his prisoners?"

Isaiah 14:12, 16-17

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

What is this 'short time' that Satan has? It is this current period of history between Satan being cast out of heaven around 70 AD, and his eventual arrival in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone:

Then he (Christ) shall say also unto them on the left hand "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels".

Matthew 25:41

And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are; and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10

This period of Satan's wrath is described in the Bible as 'the Great Tribulation' (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14). In his pure wickedness, rather than admit defeat and bow to God, Satan is determined to take as many others with himself into the Lake of Fire as he can. In this aspect of his character he is like the Pharaoh of Moses' day, who chose to plunge himself and his armies into the 'Red Sea of God's judgment', rather than to 'let his captives go':

And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground. And the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea; even all of Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass that, in the morning watch, the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud. And He troubled the host of the Egyptians and took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them heavily. So the Egyptians said "Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians".

And the Lord said unto Moses "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen". And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. And the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. There remained not so much as one of them.

Exodus 14:22-28

SATAN'S AGENDA: KILL JEWS, FIGHT CHRISTIANITY, DESTROY THE WORLD

We are shown, in Revelation 12, what the first object of Satan's wrath has been:

And the dragon was angry with the woman (Israel).

Revelation 12:17

Satan has persecuted the Jewish people since 70 AD simply because they are the human, biological 'vehicle' through which the Savior of mankind came into the world. Their ongoing survival and existence over the centuries has continued to testify to the world that Abraham's promised 'Seed', the Son of God, has come 'in the flesh':

Beloved, believe not every spirit. But try the spirits, whether they are of God. Because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already it is in the world.

1 John 4:1-3

We are told that Satan has pursued the destruction of the Jewish people through a 'flood' of persecution, but that this flood has been hindered by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the 'wilderness of the world' since 70 AD:

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1260 days.

Revelation 12:6

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man-Child. And to the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness; into her place where she is nourished for 3.5 times, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Revelation 12:13-16

SATAN'S WAR WITH CHRISTIANITY

While we are told that Satan's agenda has begun with hatred for the Jews, he is also 'making war' against Christians:

And the dragon was angry with the woman (Israel), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (Christians); who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:17

And he (the Beast) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God; to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:6-7

There are two points that Christians must understand about this Satanic war against them:


POINT #1: SATAN'S DESIRE IS TO DESTROY THE CHRISTIAN

The Christian's warfare is not simply to defend the validity of Christianity, and to continue shining the 'light of the gospel' in the world. The Christian is battling for his own survival. The Christian's struggle against Satan is a test of his faith, and of whether or not he is prepared to suffer the loss of all things in obedience to God and for the sake of the Gospel. Satan tempts the Christian in order to turn him away from obedience to Christ, and to bring him down to eternal damnation.

The necessity of a Christian's suffering in this world, in order to gain entrance into the kingdom of God, is a central theme of the New Testament:

And if children then heirs. Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:17

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

2 Timothy 2:12

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect; establish, strengthen and settle you.

1 Peter 5:8-10

Those who teach the false doctrine 'Once Saved, Always Saved' are placing a stumbling block before the feet of God's people, and repeating the Satanic lie that led to the downfall of humanity in the first place; "You shall not surely die" (if you disobey God). The necessity that Christians obediently persevere and overcome in the faith is central to Biblical Christianity (see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance). We are shown in the book of Job, and in Jesus' parable of the 'Sower of the Seed' (Matthew 13:3-23), that Satan tests God's people in two ways: 1) the loss of their possessions and 2) the loss of their lives.

Eight times in the book of Revelation Jesus promises eternal life, with all of its many blessings, to those who overcome. Christianity is not about the avoidance of suffering; it is about its certainty. For those who have not only become Christians through union with Christ, but who have also continued to 'abide in Christ', it is with the knowledge that if the world hated the Lord Jesus when He walked this earth, it will continue to hate Him as He dwells within the Christian who brings forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Revelation tells us that the Beast will overcome Christians:

And it was given unto the Beast to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.

Revelation 13:7

But the Beast's dominance over Christians is a physical one, while the Christian's readiness to lose his life is his path to victory:

And fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:28, 32-33

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written "For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter". Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying "How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them. And it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Revelation 6:9-11

And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. And they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 12:11
POINT #2: WARS ARE MEANT TO BE WON

There are two combatants in this war between Satan and Christianity. God does not instruct Christians to avoid this war, but to embrace it. Yes, Satan may seem like a 'Goliath' to the Christian. But Satan is evil, and he must be slain. Christians must say, as David said when he heard about Goliath, 'Is there not a good cause?' (1 Samuel 17:29).

The Christian must not cower in unbelief, as the ancient Israelites did when God instructed them to go up and take the promised land (Numbers 13-14, Revelation 21:8). The Christian needs only to understand who the enemy is, the nature of the battle and its weapons, and the necessity of fighting for the kingdom of God if we would become citizens in that kingdom. The difference between how Satan wages war, and how Christians wage war, is that while Satan uses physical force against people, Christians are to use 'spiritual weapons' against Satan. The Christian's combat is not with other human beings, but against "the evil one", who enslaves our fellow man with his deceptions:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole (spiritual) armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you about the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Jude 1:3

People must understand the stark difference between how Christians are to wage war, and how Satan wages war. This is why, as God describes the militarism of the Beast, He warns the world that such an approach will cost them their eternal souls:

He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity. He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:10

What are the weapons that the Christian must use in his war against Satan and the Beast? Spiritual weapons that correspond in a real way to the physical weapons used by the world:

Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth. And have on the breastplate of righteousness. And shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:14-18

NOT ALL MILITANCY IS EVIL

In the New Testament God has made is clear that not all physical militancy is evil. In His final hour with His disciples, before going out to the Garden of Gethsemane to be betrayed, Jesus told His disciples that it was now time to carry a sword for their 'every day' self defense:

And Jesus said unto them "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you lack anything?" And they said "Nothing". Then said He unto them "But now he who has a purse, let him take it. And likewise his scrip. And he that has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one

Luke 22:35-36

In these verses Jesus was not speaking of using a sword for the aggressive purpose of dominating others and taking things from them, or for promoting Christianity. He was talking about legitimate self-defense against such things as vicious animals and vicious people. The right of the innocent to protect themselves, their families and their property against criminals is woven throughout the Bible and has been at the foundation of human government for thousands of years.

Secondly, in Romans chapter 13 the apostle Paul said that God has authorized governments, and the various agents of those governments (like the police) to use 'the sword' in the apprehension and punishment of criminals:

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise from the same. For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain. For he is the minister of God; a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.

Romans 13:3-4

Implicit in the words of Paul is the concept of capital punishment; the God-given right and responsibility of governments to put heinous criminals to death. The doctrine of capital punishment lies at the heart of Christianity and our moral conscience. Sinners deserve capital punishment, and Jesus endured such a capital punishment that He might reconcile sinners with God. But in much of today's world, capital punishment has been declared 'cruel and unusual'. Such views on this subject deny the reality of wickedness, and are 'lawless'.

People who oppose capital punishment 'on principle' are following in the footsteps of the False Prophet, who seeks to appear like a lamb, but speaks like the Dragon (Revelation 13:11). While they portray themselves as compassionate advocates for people whose life-circumstances might have steered them toward criminality, or as defenders of people who might be victimized by racism or false convictions, they are in fact enemies of God and serving Satan. They are using an outward mask of caring about justice, to conceal an attack upon the very foundations of justice and human society. They are fundamentally opposed to God's Law, to the right of innocent people to defend themselves, and to the responsibility of governments to carry out God's work upon the earth; praising the righteous and punishing the wicked.

In the light of this discussion, it is understandable that nations might form armies not as offensive weapons to invade other nations, but for purely defensive purposes. The God-ordained right of a government to suppress criminality within its borders, extends logically outward to fending off criminal attacks from outside of the nation.

God's word attributes all war to covetous and lustful desire within the human heart:

From where come wars and fights among you? Come they not even from your lusts that war in your bodies? You lust, and have not. You kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain it. You fight and war. You have not, because you ask not. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, that you may consume it upon your lusts.

James 4:1-3

This does not mean, however, that every war involves two evil nations. Sometimes wars arise when an evil nation attacks a relatively innocent one. James' message is that the initiation of war flows out of human greed. In these verses James is describing aggressive people and nations that 'live by the sword'; who wish to confiscate the wealth of others for their own misuse.

Beyond this definition of what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable military warfare, I would add that the exercise of military power for the imposition of Christianity upon people is never acceptable. We find this truth in the words of the Lord Jesus when He was first betrayed in the Garden of Eden, and again as He stood before Pontius Pilate with His life hanging in the balance:

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him. And, behold, one of them who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him "Put up your sword into its place. For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword".

Matthew 26:50-52

Jesus answered "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews. But My kingdom is not from here".

John 18:36

Whether or not a nation is waging war in self-defense, or is using a claim of self-defense as a cover for aggression, has long been the subject of discussions and reviews of history. God is going to sort all of that out at His judgment seat. The fundamental point is that Satan and the Beast have long used physical force in the pursuit of their agenda; intimidating the world at large while seeking to turn sincere Christians away from the faith through impoverishment, torture and death. In response to this, God commands Christians to reject taking up the sword in the defense of Christianity. Christians must know that the trial of their faith is necessary, that 'the meek shall inherit the earth' (Matthew 5:5), and that God's kingdom on earth can only become a reality when Christ Himself comes back to wage military warfare in righteousness:

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands.

1 Samuel 17:47 (David speaking to Goliath)

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. For it is written "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay" says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:17-21 (Deuteronomy 32:35, Proverbs 25:21-22)

And I saw heaven opened, and beheld a white horse. And He (Jesus Christ) who sat upon him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness He does judge and make war.

Revelation 19:11

The use of military power to establish and promote Christianity is a fundamental trait of Roman Catholicism; a religion founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine. He claimed to have seen a vision where he was told to conquer the world under the banner of the cross. His vision has been hailed by many as a victory for Christianity, when in fact it began a profound subversion of the Christian faith (see my web page on The City of Rome in Prophecy). This is why Revelation 17 depicts Rome as seated upon the back of the militant Beast. It has been riding upon the back of that Beast, cooperating with militarily powerful people in the pursuit of its own wealth and power, for many centuries.

BEAST TRAIT #1: SATANIC MILITARY POWER

Having explained the Satanic agenda behind the Beast, I will now discuss the six primary traits of the Beast. I believe that, if we consider these traits in the order that God presents them to us in the book of Revelation, we will be more likely to accurately identify the Beast.

The first four traits of the Beast are found together in the first five verses of Revelation chapter 13. The fifth trait, an alliance with the False prophet, is described in Revelation 13:11-18. And the Beast's sixth trait, that a Woman rides upon its back, is explained in Revelation chapter 17.

The key to understanding the first trait of the Beast is found in the question asked in Revelation 13:4...

"WHO IS LIKE THE BEAST? WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM?"

The primary characteristic of the Beast is raw military power. It is the Beast's readiness to shed blood that lies at the heart of Satan's tactics in our world. It is this same "power of death" that explains the dependency of the False Prophet and the Whore upon the Beast. Their success depends upon the Beast's role as Satan's 'muscle' or 'enforcer'. And it is the Christian's possession of victory over death that enables him to face Satan's intimidation with good courage:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself (Jesus) likewise took part of the same. In order that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death; that is, the Devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Hebrews 2:14-15

It is important to understand, however, that it is not military power alone that defines the Beast. There have been many nations and people throughout the history of the world that have also hated God and embraced warfare. But they are not a part of 'the Beast'. For instance God makes a distinction between the Beast, and other kings and nations that will join the Beast at Armageddon, to wage war against Jesus at His second coming:

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation 16:12-14

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant (the kings and their armies) were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which proceeded out of His mouth. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 19:19-21

BEAST TRAIT #2: THE FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7

In this section I explain the second trait of the Beast that we find in Revelation 13. God has connected the Beast of Revelation with the four Beasts of Daniel chapter 7:

And the Beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion:

Revelation 13:2

The leopard, bear and lion harken back to the first three Beasts of Daniel 7:

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spoke and said "I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great Beasts came up from the sea, different one from another.

Daniel 7:1-3

The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. (Daniel 7:4)

And behold another beast, a second, like a bear. (Daniel 7:5)

After this I beheld another, like a leopard. (Daniel 7:6)


And then Daniel saw a fourth Beast in this vision:

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth Beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly. It had great iron teeth, and it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. And it was different from all the Beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:7

The fourth Beast of Daniel 7 is the Roman Empire, and is also the Beast of Revelation. This is indicated by the 10 horns that they both possess, and by God's declaration that the Beast of Revelation is connected to the first three Beasts in Daniel 7. But there is an important distinction between Daniel's fourth Beast, and the Beast of Revelation. Besides having 10 horns, the Beast of Revelation also has 7 new heads. God Himself has added those seven heads to the fourth Beast of Daniel, in order to symbolize important changes in that Beast; changes that occurred at the midpoint of Daniel's 70th Week.

God's explanation of the seven heads is given to us in Revelation 17:9-11. But we must first understand the Beast's connection to Daniel's other three Beasts. Why does God link them all together? Their significance lies in their interruption of the kingdom of David.

DAVID'S KINGDOM INTERRUPTED

Roughly 3000 years ago, around 1000 B.C., God made a promise to King David of Israel, telling him that someday one of his sons would establish David's Kingdom on earth forever:

The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you. When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you; your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.


Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever.'

2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16

When king David died he was succeeded upon his throne by his very famous son, Solomon. Solomon's kingdom represented the peak of Israel's ancient glory, as his wealth and power reached unprecedented heights and he built Israel's first 'house' for God; the first Temple in Jerusalem. But Solomon did not remain faithful to God, and David's Kingdom declined over the following 400 years. It was finally brought to an end by the armies of Babylon in 586 B.C., as king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple, and brought an end to the dynasty of David's family.

One of the Jewish people who was taken captive to Babylon was a young man named Daniel. As Daniel witnessed Babylon's conquest of his homeland, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the end of the kingdom of David, and the deportation of the Jewish people all the way back to where Abraham had first lived (before coming to Canaan), he could not help but wonder whether or not God still intended to fulfill His promises to the people of Israel.

ABRAHAM'S JOURNEY IN REVERSE

In response to his questions and prayers, God gave Daniel five prophecies that are recorded in the book of Daniel. One of these prophecies, the '70 Weeks' prophecy found in Daniel chapter 9, provides us with God's 'schedule' for fulfilling His promises; a 69-week timetable leading to the first coming of Israel's Messiah, and a 70th 'week' leading up to His second coming (for an explanation of these timetables, see my web pages titled An Introduction to Bible Prophecy, The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus' Return).

The other four prophecies that Daniel received share one common theme; describing the relationship between the nation of Israel (the Jewish people) and the greater Gentile world until the ultimate restoration of the kingdom of David in the last days, at the Messiah's second coming. God explained to Daniel that Israel would have no more Jewish kings until after the people of Israel had been dominated by four successive Gentile empires. At the end of that Gentile domination David's promised Son would return to restore the Kingdom of David and rule the world forever.

The four empires in these prophecies are Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. When Babylon desolated Israel and Jerusalem in 586 BC, it removed David's family from power, and David's kingdom came to an end. Israel has not had a Jewish king since that time. These four prophecies, found in the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and the combined 10th through 12th chapters of the book of Daniel, describe a Gentile domination of Israel that continues to this day; a period of over 2500 years. Looking at these four prophecies is like looking at something under a microscope and clicking up the power with each successive prophecy, because each one becomes more specific as it describes these Gentile empires, and the events that would take place as one empire fell and the next one rose to power. Here in this web page I will explain the first two prophecies, in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel.

The prophecy in Daniel 2 was not actually given to Daniel; it was given to king Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, and Daniel then interpreted the dream for the king. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a great statue representing four successive Gentile empires; a head of gold symbolizing Babylon, a chest and arms of silver symbolizing Persia, a stomach and thighs of bronze symbolizing Greece, and legs and feet of iron symbolizing the Roman Empire. Nebuchadnezzar watched God cut out a stone and cast it on the feet of this statue, destroying the entire statue. Then the stone grew larger, filled the earth, and ruled the world forever. This stone symbolizes the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring an end to Gentile domination over Israel, and to re-establish the kingdom of David.

statue

There are two things that we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream. First of all, God sees all four of these Gentile empires as one thing; they are all Babylon in His eyes. This is why He portrayed them as one statue. Persia, Greece and Rome have merely extended what Babylon started. Babylon brought an end to the rule of David's family over Israel. There has not been another Jewish king from David's family ruling over Israel since that day. God wants us to recognize the significance of this four-part 'Babylon' as that which has interrupted David's Kingdom, and will be done away with when David's Son, Jesus Christ comes back to reestablish that kingdom and rule the world. This is why, when we read about Babylon in the book of Revelation, we can understand that God is really talking about Rome. Why? Because when the apostle John received the book of Revelation, the Rome had already risen to power and the 'Roman phase' of Babylonian domination over Israel had begun.

Secondly, we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur late in the history of Rome. Since time moves forward as one moves from the head of the statue to it's lower parts, the stone falling upon the feet signifies that the second coming of Christ will occur late in Rome's existence, and bring the Roman phase of 'Babylon' to an end.

In Daniel 7 these same four Gentile empires are presented to us as four separate beasts. Babylon is symbolized by a lion, Persia by a bear, Greece by a leopard, and Rome by a beast unlike any known animal. It was dreadful, terrible and powerful; having great iron teeth and trampling and devouring the whole earth. This fourth Beast corresponds to the iron legs and feet of the statue in Daniel chapter 2.

lion

BABYLON


bear

PERSIA


leopard

GREECE


fourth beast

ROME


Daniel observed that this Roman beast had 10 horns. Horns symbolize concentrations of power in Bible prophecy. Daniel was told that these 10 horns represented 10 kings (or kingdoms) that would arise out of the original Roman Empire (Daniel 7:24). The original Roman Empire ruled most of the 'civilized' world, centered around the Mediterranean Ocean. From its center in the city of Rome, Roman domination radiated outward in a 360 degree circle, dividing the world into 10 primary areas. I believe that these 10 regions, beginning with the Italian peninsula itself, might be divided up as follows:

    1. Italy
    2. Achaia (Greece and the surrounding region)
    3. Asia (an area now called Turkey)
    4. Syria (an area including what is now Israel and the greater Middle East)
    5. Egypt
    6. Africa (northern Africa)
    7. Spain
    8. Gaul (now known as France)
    9. Germany
    10. Britain

It is this 10-horned Beast of Daniel chapter 7 that we encounter in Revelation 13:1; the only difference being that in Revelation 13 this Beast has 7 heads. In both Daniel and Revelation these Beasts are depicted as 'coming up out of the sea'. Some Bible scholars believe that the 'sea' in this passage is a reference to 'the great sea of humanity' (mankind). This perspective is reasonable, and consistent with the fact that in Revelation 17 we are told that the Whore (or Harlot) sits both upon the Beast, and upon 'the waters of humanity':

And he said unto me "The waters which you saw, where the Whore sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues".

Revelation 17:15

BEAST TRAIT #3: A WOUNDED HEAD

There is a third trait of the Beast that is given to us in Revelation 13:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world wondered about the Beast.

Revelation 13:3

The explanation of the wounded head is not given to us in Revelation chapter 13. By mentioning the Beast's wounded head without giving us its explanation, God is prompting us to search beyond Revelation 13 for answers. Those answers are found in Revelation chapter 17 where the Beast's transition, from being the Old Testament Beast of Daniel chapter 7 to becoming the New Testament Beast of Revelation, is explained.

I explain this transition of the Beast in a later section of this web page titled 'Revelation 17: The Wounded Head Explained'.

BEAST TRAIT #4: OVER 1900 YEARS OLD

We first encounter the Beast of Revelation in the fourth vision of John's Little Book, where we are told that God has authorized the ongoing existence of the Beast throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th Week:

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty two months.

Revelation 13:5

Given the fact that the second half of Daniel's 70th Week began in 70 AD, and continues to this present time (see the 'Foreword' of this web page), it is clear that the Beast cannot be one man, nation or organization. It must be something capable of continuous operation over many centuries. And this perspective on the longevity of the Beast is consistent with Beast trait #2; that the Beast of Revelation is the Beast of Daniel chapter 7, which began its domination of Israel around 160 BC, 230 years before 70 AD.

BEAST TRAIT #5: SERVED BY THE FALSE PROPHET

In Revelation chapter 13 the Beast is described as coming up 'out of the sea'. A second Beast is also described in the second half of Revelation 13; a Beast that comes up 'out of the earth':

And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first Beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell in it to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Revelation 13:11-12

This second Beast derives its power from the first Beast, and serves the first Beast. In the later passages of Revelation the first Beast is simply referred to as 'the Beast', while the second Beast is referred to as 'the False Prophet'.

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet.

Revelation 16:13

And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:20

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10

What is the significance of 'the sea' and 'the earth' in relation to these two Beasts? I do not know. I can appreciate those who suggest that 'the sea' that the first Beast comes out of is 'the great sea of humanity'. I believe that there is strong scriptural support for this idea. But the significance of the second Beast coming out of 'the earth' is not clear.

Maybe a simpler and more satisfactory explanation can be found as we look at the angel who first gave the 'Little Book' to John. He set one of his feet on 'the sea', and his other foot on 'the earth':

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a Little Book open. And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.

Revelation 10:1-2

What is the significance of the angel's feet upon the 'sea' and 'earth'? The angel himself gives us the explanation:

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives for ever and ever, Who created heaven (the sky) and the things that are there, and the earth and the things that are there, and the sea and the things which are there, that there should be delay no longer.

Revelation 10:5-6

These verses remind us that God has created our entire planet. It belongs to Him and He has authority over all of it. It is within this frame of reference that we might best understand the Beasts from 'the sea' and 'the land'; as beings permitted by God to operate everywhere throughout the planet.

The activities of the Beast and the False Prophet will be dominant and all-encompassing. There will not be a single human habitation upon the earth (on the seas or upon the land) where they will not have been permitted by God to pursue their agenda. We see this broad scope of Satanic activity in these additional verses from Revelation, while at the same time we are assured that God will be reigning supreme over it all:

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea saying, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Revelation 7:1-3

Therefore rejoice you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil has come down unto you having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

THE FALSE PROPHET'S HYPOCRISY

The one fundamental personal trait of the False Prophet is his deceitful hypocrisy; that he tries to pass himself off as good-hearted and well-intentioned, when he is in fact a servant of Satan:

And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.

Revelation 13:11

LOOKS LIKE A LAMB
SPEAKS THE WORDS OF THE DRAGON; SATAN

We are warned about false prophets by the Lord Jesus:

Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-16

For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they might deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:24

The Bible defines false prophets as 'hypocrites'. The original word 'hypocrite' comes from the Greek theatre. It meant someone who wears a mask and pretends to be something that they are not; an actor.

Good actors have been praised and appreciated throughout history; in ancient Greece, in Shakespeare's England and in America's Hollywood. But when people pretend to be righteous, when they are really serving Satan, they are 'false prophets'.

BEHIND A MASK

THREE POWERS OF THE FALSE PROPHET

While Revelation 13 tells us that the Beast has been authorized to continue on earth since 70 AD, no such longevity is ascribed to the False Prophet. I believe that the False Prophet is a creature of our modern times; that its existence began in our present scientifically advanced age. The False Prophet is characterized by the use of three modern technologies:

    1) Calling down fire from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

Revelation 13:13


    2) Creation of an image that is 'alive' and speaks; and that directs public opinion.

And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:14-15


    3) Introduction of a 'Mark' in the body, identifying every person and controlling all business and commerce.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name.

Revelation 13:16-17

I believe that the ability to call down fire from heaven represents the modern invention of powered flight; the ability of the nations since World War I to employ airplanes in war. Today the nations of the world also use helicopters, ships, submarines, missiles and drones to bring down 'fire from heaven'. We may also soon see space-based weapons being used to attack targets on earth.

And the use of drone technology is no longer limited to international warfare. Now nations, states and municipalities use these drones domestically for surveillance and force projection. This is a powerful technology that will be increasingly used throughout the world going forward.

Today we still have copies of black and white 'living images' that do not speak, but show us life in the late 1800's and the first airplane flights. After those early days these 'living images' quickly learned to speak and appear in color. And this technology has quickly spread throughout the world. Now practically everyone on earth can instantly create a 'living' image that speaks, simply by turning on a camera in their phone.

Today this 'image' speaks to us everywhere; in televisions, computers, billboards and smart phones. We not only encounter it in theaters and stadiums, but we carry it around with us in our pockets. And with this saturation of the world by media devices, has come the power of media organizations to 'define truth', influence public opinion and direct humanity's behavior.

It is the propaganda power of these deceitful media organizations, pretending to love 'social justice' while they blaspheme and criminalize God, Israel, and Christianity that characterizes our world today. They use the tactic of 'victim politics', dressing themselves in the costume of 'tolerance', 'diversity', and 'social justice' to wage war against Biblical morality. For them morality is no longer an absolute. It is now defined by people, and by whether or not something offends somebody or 'hurts their feelings'. God has warned that this turn toward man-centered morality will lead to 'perilous times':

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves.

2 Timothy 3:1-2

Soon this power of the media to not only promote lies, but also to shut down all dissenting opinions through censorship, will lead us to a point where the world will call for the deaths of anyone who might disagree with the False Prophet's narrative and definition of truth:

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:15

There have always been false prophets throughout the history of the world, but the False Prophet of Revelation is not a single person; it is a conspiracy of persons in these last days who, through their use of technology, will be useful to Satan. God does not despise or condemn technology. He does not condemn airplanes, televisions or computers. But He does warn us about how those technologies will be used in these last days.

There is a third technology that the False Prophet will use, in addition to 'calling down fire from heaven' and 'speaking images':

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: and his number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

It should be observed that the number '666' is not associated with the False Prophet, but with the Beast. The False Prophet may introduce and promote the mark and the number, but they are the mark and the number 'of the Beast', and will signify submission and allegiance to the Beast.

Secondly, we are told that the number of the Beast will be 'the number of a man'. This may indicate that each person upon the face of the earth will have a number that is uniquely pertinent to himself. The vast majority of the nations of the world already 'number' their citizens. In many cases one of the groups of numbers associated with a person is his birth date; sometimes recorded by a six digit group in the MM/DD/YY format. This is only conjecture on my part, but the future 'number of a man' may consist of 3 groups of 6 digits, each group representing specific and unique personal information about a person. Such a system might seem very harmless and useful when it is introduced.

As God has said, the heart of this new system will be an identifying mark that people will be required to have either in their forehead or their hand (or both). I believe that this mark will be some kind of computer chip, inserted under the skin. It may be an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification Device) containing the information represented in a '666' format, enabling authorities to identify people, even at a distance. It will also be the foundation of a new medical system and cashless economy in which business and government will be able to collect fees and taxes from every financial transaction that takes place, while also watching people by monitoring their financial activities.

This system and its chip will incorporate people into what is now referred to as the 'Internet of Things' (IoT). This is a system that will allow not only for the exchange of money digitally throughout the world, but will also enable the exchange of physical property, intellectual property and personal information that will be completely secure, verifiable and very inexpensive to operate.

As of this writing (Fall 2019) I expect the foundational software of this new system to be largely completed by 2020. It will be a much-improved version of the 'blockchain' or 'distributed ledger' technology that was first seen in the BitCoin cryptocurrency that appeared after the recession of 2008. It will be a system that is inherently stable, trustworthy for all parties, and economical. Because the system will operate as an impartial third party between all of the people and nations of the world, it will be heralded as a foundation for worldwide trust, cooperation and unity. People will believe that 'peace and safety' have finally come to mankind (1 Thessalonians 5:3). And those who reject this system will be condemned as 'evil enemies of humanity'.

This system is being perfected rapidly because the nations and corporations of the world are racing to be the first to 'bring it to market', with the subsequent ability to impose their technology upon others. The Bible indicates that the perfection of this system will arise within 'the Beast'. And thus the 10 horns (kingdoms) of Revelation 17 will be submissive and cooperative, agreeing to give their power and authority to the Beast (Revelation 17:13) in order to be a part of the Beast's 'system'.

This race to perfect new technologies is why American corporations like Google and IBM are cooperating with China in its pursuit of 'the surveillance state'. It isn't because Google and IBM agree with China's communism, but because China's early commitment to the technology makes it the perfect 'testbed' for developing this surveillance. And through their involvement with China's efforts, Google and IBM will have a 'leg up' on the installment of these surveillance systems throughout the rest of the world. Both Google and IBM are committed to 'the surveillance state', but they believe that they will be able to implement it in a benign way. This confidence flows out of their intoxication with knowledge (both intellectual and moral), their belief in humanity's 'evolution', and their love of money. It is very much about the money.

This technology of the 'Mark' will promise to revolutionize society and the worldwide economy, providing equal access to opportunity and wealth for every citizen of the world. At the same time it will fill the coffers of governments, banks and businesses with amounts of money never before dreamed of. It will hold the promise of erasing the indebtedness of nations practically overnight, and of funding every project that they might wish to undertake. But because this system will perfectly duplicate the moral issue that first confronted mankind in the Garden of Eden, promising unrestricted glory and pleasure to those who are willing to trust in knowledge rather than in the 'all-knowing God', it will become the single issue around which God will bring His dealings with humanity to a close (see Why God Requires Our Faith).

The apostle Paul wrote about mankind's confidence in knowledge. The Jews trusted in moral knowledge (the Law of Moses, their powerful miracle-working 'prophet'), and the Greeks trusted in intellectual knowledge:

For the Jews require a (miraculous) sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified; unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

GOD'S DREADFUL WARNING ABOUT THE MARK

In the book of Revelation God gives a dreadful warning about His coming judgment upon those who have taken the 'Mark of the Beast':

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, he same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus".

Revelation 14:9-12

God not only warns that those who take the 'Mark' will be cast into the Lake of Fire, but that they will continue to suffer in that Lake for a never-ending eternity. This is the worst possible punishment that can befall a human being. How could anyone come to deserve this? The rationale behind God's warning is found in Jesus' words about the varying degrees of punishment that people will suffer:

And that servant who knew his lord's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that did not know, and committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Luke 12:47-48

Jesus also used this principle in His condemnation of several cities in Israel:

Woe unto you, Chorazin! Woe unto you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you "It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you". And you, Capernaum, who are exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell. For if the mighty works which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you that "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you".

Matthew 11:21-24

This is the principle by which God will condemn those who take the Mark. It will be based upon humanity's knowledge of the following things as they make their choices about the Mark:

    1) The testimony of death, imposed upon all mankind for our sin in Eden, as a revelation of God's wrath and His certain judgment of all sin (Romans 1:18)

    2) The testimony of God's grace, first revealed in Eden, revealed again in Noah's survival of the flood, and then in God's testimony to the modern world that all of the nations will be blessed through the 'Seed' of Abraham (Genesis 18:18, 22:18).

    3) God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose ashes mixed with sulfur pellets can still be examined today, which still testifies to the world regarding the certainty of God's judgments (2 Peter 2:6, Jude 7).

    4) God's judgments upon the people of Israel; beginning with the deportation of the 10 northern tribes by Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:5-18), followed by the destruction of Jerusalem by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC (2 Kings 25:1-21), and then followed by the re-destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. These three major judgments upon Israel have all testified to the nations regarding God's judgments.

    God warned long ago through the prophet Jeremiah, as the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC was approaching, that all of the nations of the world should take warning from the experiences of the Jews:


"For behold, I begin to bring evil on the city (Jerusalem) which is called by My name. And should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished! For I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth" says the Lord of hosts.

Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say unto them "The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation. He shall mightily roar upon His habitation. He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He will plead with all flesh. He will give them that are wicked to the sword" says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, nor gathered, nor buried. They shall be dung upon the ground.

Jeremiah 25:29
    5) After the first destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, God gave the world two prophetic timetables for both the first and second comings of Israel's Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). The first timetable has already been perfectly fulfilled by the Lord Jesus, and both timetables have been a matter of public record now for over 2500 years. They are both explained in this web site.

    6) Jesus' warnings to the Jews about the approaching destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD were exactly fulfilled, thus verifying His Messiahship and His message as being the word of God.

    7) World War II ended with the world's first use of nuclear weapons in war. It also ended with the discovery of Hitler's concentration camps, where Satan murdered 6 million Jews. And these events began a mass return of Jewish people from throughout the world to reconstitute the state of Israel in fulfillment of the 'dry bones' prophecy of Ezekiel 37:1-14.

    8) In Daniel 12:4, God told Daniel that 'the time of the end' would be characterized by an increase in human knowledge, and people running 'to and fro':

But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book; even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:4
    These things have all been fulfilled in today's scientific discoveries and our ability to travel throughout the world at high speeds. But with this knowledge comes accountability.

    Today mankind knows that the universe began instantly nearly 14 billion years ago, appearing out of nothing with very precise physical laws and traits. Those traits guaranteed the eventual existence of a planet and solar system like ours, with a perfect mix of light and heavy elements capable of supporting advanced life. And God's subsequent work upon this planet, establishing its atmosphere, its lands, its oceans and its fresh water is also miraculous.

    And then there is biological life itself; containing so much complex information in its DNA, and possessing such powerful internal machinery that it absolutely defies explanation by anything other than an Intelligent Designer. Scientific discovery in our modern times has confirmed everything that the Bible has to say about creation. But mankind continues to 'suppress the truth in unrighteousness' and to attribute their existence to the evolution of 'birds, four-footed animals and creeping things' (Romans 1:18-23). Truly, as God said to Daniel, in the time of the end the wicked 'shall continue to do wickedly'.

    Contrary to popular belief, man's increased knowledge will not save him in the days ahead. It will damn him because he will have understood, like never before in history, that the creation account of Genesis is absolutely true.

    9) The gospel of Jesus Christ and of His kingdom will have been thoroughly preached to all the world before the end (Matthew 24:14). That gospel will include the following three points:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth; and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice...
"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters".

And there followed another angel, saying...
"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city; because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication".

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice...
"If any man worship the Beast and his image, and receive his Mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and his image, and whosoever receives the Mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus".

Revelation 14:6-12

As the final verse above says, whether or not one takes the Mark will define whether or not they have obeyed the commandments of God and kept faith in Jesus Christ. Just as God began His relationship with mankind by giving us one commandment in the Garden of Eden,

DO NOT EAT THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT

so He is closing His dealings with mankind with another single commandment:

DO NOT TAKE THE FORBIDDEN MARK

It all began with a piece of fruit; it will all end with 'the Mark'. But now God's warning is not like His warning in Eden; that those who ate the forbidden fruit would lose their lives; dying and ceasing to exist (see Death and God's Judgment). Now His warning is that those who take the 'Mark' will never cease to exist, but will experience a never-ending 'second death' in the Lake of Fire.

It will not be easy for people to obey God as they face the hatred of Satan and the world in these last days; but it will be simple. The issues inherent in both the forbidden Fruit and the Mark are the same; will we acknowledge and believe our Creator, or will we trust in moral and intellectual knowledge to save and glorify ourselves? The fundamental message of the False Prophet in our time is that mankind is 'evolving' toward immortality. It is a fundamental denial of Christ as the true Savior. But while those who take the Mark of the Beast will indeed obtain immortality, it will be an immortality experienced in the Lake of Fire.

JUDGMENT OF THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET

In Revelation 16 we are told that demonic spirits will come out of the mouths of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast and the False Prophet, and that these spirits will then go forth to deceive the world:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation 16:13-14

And in Revelation 19, both the Beast and the False Prophet are captured and cast alive into the Lake of Fire:

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:19-20

These two passages would seem to indicate that the Beast and the False Prophet are single persons, out of whom demonic spirits can proceed, and who can be taken alive and cast into the Lake of Fire. But I would argue that this is not what is happening here.

First of all, as I have pointed out earlier in this web page, the Beast is something that was authorized by God to continue in existence throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th Week; from 70 AD to the present. Secondly, the Beast is something that the city of Rome has been riding upon for over 1900+ years. The Beast is comprised of political and military leaders with whom Rome has been 'fornicating' for centuries.

To understand the casting of the the Beast and the False Prophet alive into the Lake of Fire, we need to look at what Jesus says about His judgment of the world that will occur at His second coming:

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations. And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:31-34, 41

In this passage the Lord Jesus described the judgment that He will carry out upon His return to earth, with all of the surviving members of the human race coming before Him. This judgment will occur at the beginning of Jesus' Millennial reign upon the earth. It should not to be confused with Jesus' judgment of the dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15), which will occur after the Millennium.

What is important to recognize here is that some wicked people will be cast alive, directly into the Lake of Fire. This is consistent with the capturing and 'casting alive' of the Beast into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19. I would suggest that they are one and the same event. Just as there will be Christians who will not die before the Lord Jesus comes, but who will be 'raptured' directly into heaven, so there will be enemies of God who will not die either, but who will be cast directly into the Lake of Fire.

As we consider this judgment, it is important to note the basis upon which the Lord Jesus will bless the righteous and condemn the wicked:

For I was hungry, and you gave Me meat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me in. Naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying "Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came unto You?" And the King shall answer and say unto them "Truly I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.

Matthew 25:35-40

This basis of Christ's judgment upon the nations corresponds perfectly with the circumstances that will precede His coming. It will have been a time when the 'Mark of the Beast' was imposed, and when those who rejected it and warned against it were hated, persecuted and killed. On the other hand, among God-fearing people who refused the mark and were compassionate toward Christians, there will be mercy. It will be within that context, and upon the basis of how people will have treated each other prior to Christ's coming, that the judgment will be made.

There will be a direct connection between having accepted the Mark of the Beast, and having mistreated God's people. The righteous will have had their faith tested. The wicked will not have understood, because they will have chosen not to understand. And in their obstinate preference for darkness rather than light, the wicked will take wickedness to its fullest extent:

And he said "Go your way, Daniel. For the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested. But the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Daniel 12:9-10

And this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19

For Jesus to have spoken to His disciples about the Beast and his Mark would have been confusing to them. They would not have known what to do with the information. It pertained to something that would not make sense until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But for God to close the Bible by broadcasting a warning forward in time about the Beast makes perfect sense. This is why we have two different descriptions of Jesus' judgment of the world at His coming. While both are true and accurate descriptions of the same event, one was understandable to the apostles while the other provides important additional information for our post-apostolic world.

BEAST TRAIT #6: A WOMAN RIDES UPON ITS BACK

In Revelation chapter 17 we encounter the Beast again; only now it has a Woman riding upon its back. And it is in this context, as we consider the identity of this Woman, that God explains why He has added seven heads to the 10-horned Beast of Daniel chapter 7. God tells us that the seven heads symbolize two important changes to the fourth Beast of Daniel 7, giving it its unique nature and identity in Revelation:

And the angel said unto me "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the Woman, and of the Beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The Beast that you saw was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are...

1) SEVEN MOUNTAINS, upon which the woman sits.

2) And there are SEVEN KINGS: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition".

Revelation 17:7-11

The first thing that we can conclude from Revelation 17 is that the Woman riding upon the back of the Beast is the city of Rome. Throughout its history Rome has been called "The City of Seven Hills", and those seven hills have had individual names dating far back in history:

Seven Hills of Rome
THE SEVEN HILLS OF ROME

In confirmation of this reference to the seven hills, in Revelation 17:18 John was also told that this Woman was the city that was then ruling over the kings of the earth, during John's own time:

And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Revelation 17:18

Again, there is only one city that matches this description; Rome. Rome completely dominated the world and ruled over its kings in John's day.

REVELATION 17: THE WOUNDED HEAD EXPLAINED

In Revelation chapter 17 John was also told that the Beast of Revelation would be the product of a 'death and resurrection experience'. This 'death and resurrection' is the wounded head that God first described in Revelation 13:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world wondered after the Beast.

Revelation 13:3

God told John that the Beast would become something 'that was, and is not, and yet is':

The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Revelation 17:8

And God told John that the seven horns represented a series of seven kings that would pass across 'the stage of history' before an eighth 'resurrected king' would follow them; a king who would himself become the Beast of Revelation:

And there are seven kings. Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:10-11

Who were these seven kings? They are the first seven emperors of the Roman Empire. The first six are known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This was a group of men, beginning with Julius Caesar, who took Rome from being a Republic to becoming an Empire. When the apostle John received the book of Revelation, five of those emperors had already died; Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The sixth king, Nero, was on the throne when John received the book of Revelation.

As God foretold, Nero was followed by an emperor who would only last a short time. His name was Galba. With Galba's rise to power in June of 68 AD, a series of events was set in motion during which four separate men would declare themselves to be the emperor of Rome in the same year. This series of events marks what is known as the Roman Civil War, and has also come to be known as 'The Year of the Four Emperors'.

Beginning in January of 69 AD, Galba was overthrown and put to death by a conspirator named Otho. Otho was then overthrown by the General of the Roman armies in Germany; Vitellius. Finally, in December of 69 A.D., Vitellius was overthrown and replaced by the General of the Roman armies in Syria; a man named Vespasian. Vespasian went on to establish the next dynasty of Roman emperors; the Flavian dynasty.

VESPASIAN AS THE BEAST

In Revelation 17 God did not recognize Otho or Vitellius as emperors or legitimate successors to Galba. Vespasian is the eighth king, described as being 'of' the original seven, because he was also Roman and had served under the emperors that preceded him. There is something important about God's description of Vespasian that we must not miss. God describes Vespasian as the Beast:

And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:11

Although he was just a single man, in this verse Vespasian is called 'the Beast'. Why? How does he qualify for this description? First of all it is because, when he rose to the throne, Vespasian had been the Roman General who was sent to Israel to put down the rebellion of the Jewish people. Vespasian was very violent, and he hated the Jewish people. He was wholeheartedly pledged to destroying Israel and every vestige of its religion. Thus as Satan was cast down to earth and began to rework the Roman Empire for his own purposes, Vespasian would be the first in a series of military leaders over the following 1900+ years that would embrace Satan's agenda. Vespasian is called 'the Beast' because he was the first of many who would fulfill the traits of the Beast of Revelation.

Vespasian had to break off his warfare against Israel in order to return to Rome and assume the emperorship in 69 AD. When he did so, he left his son Titus in charge of the war against Israel. Titus, who had thus become a prince of Rome, would complete that 'war' in an incredibly vicious way. And the Jewish wealth gained from his victory would pay for such things as the 'Arch of Titus' and the 'Flavian Amphitheatre' (also known as the Roman Coliseum). Titus' victory over the Jews, as a prince of Rome's new dynasty, was foretold in the book of Daniel:

And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the prince that shall come (Titus) shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Temple). And the end thereof shall be with a flood (of destruction and dispersion). And until the end of the war (by the Beast against the Jewish people) desolations (of the Temple Mount) are determined.

Daniel 9:26

ROME'S METAMORPHOSIS

A concept that illustrates the events of 69 A.D. is 'metamorphosis'; like the transition of a caterpillar into a butterfly within a cocoon. But in the case of the Roman Empire two creatures emerged from the cocoon rather than one.

When a caterpillar forms a cocoon, it essentially 'dies' within the cocoon. Its body parts are completely broken down, and its chemicals are used to make something new. In a sense this is also what happened in 69 A.D. Before the Roman Empire entered the 'cocoon' of the Roman Civil War after Galba's death, it had been unified; based in and ruled by one city. The Roman Empire was defined by the city of Rome. But after the Roman Civil War, and the rise of Vespasian to power, what had once been a single Empire now became a combination of two different things:

    1) The city of Rome functioning as a religious and cultural center.
    2) A broad, independent and international military 'Beast'.

Metamorphosis

Prior to the rise of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic had been governed by the city of Rome and its Senate. Rome itself was the seat of power, and decisions about the administration of the Republic were made there. But with the rise of Julius Caesar, and the wars that he fought with other Roman military leaders for supremacy, the city of Rome and its Senators decreased in relative power. The various generals of the Republic began to decide who would rule the Empire next. This tension between the city of Rome and the Roman military continued until the Roman Civil War, when a complete break between the city and the generals became a permanent fact of life. To put it Biblically, Daniel's fourth Beast entered the cocoon in 69 AD; and a Woman riding upon the back of Revelation's seven-headed Beast came out.

When we consider this metamorphosis of the Roman Empire, we must not forget that 69 AD coincides with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth (Revelation 12:7-12). One of the most important keys to understanding God's addition of the seven heads to the Beast of Daniel chapter 7, and the changes that those seven heads represent, is to understand that those changes were accomplished by Satan after he was cast down to earth.

Although God, in His sovereignty, authorized the continuing existence of the Beast of Revelation throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th Week (Revelation 13:5), the creation of that Beast and the Woman riding upon its back has been the brainchild of Satan. When he was cast out of heaven, Satan immediately set about to establish two things that would allow him to pursue his agenda both spiritually and physically. And thus through the chaos of the Roman Civil War, Satan brought forth a team comprised of a Roman Woman and a military Beast. And these two creations, the Woman and the Beast, have continued to work cooperatively with each other ever since.

FEET OF IRON AND CLAY

This metamorphosis, from a single empire to a city riding upon the backs of many successive empires, is also revealed to us in Daniel chapter 2. In that prophecy the Roman Empire is initially symbolized by the iron legs of the statue. But over time the iron legs would be succeeded by feet that would be a mixture of both strong iron and weak clay. These 'iron and clay feet' represent this metamorphosis of Rome; a weak 'clay Woman' riding upon the back of 'iron' military power. It is this cooperative arrangement between the city of Rome and the various military 'powers' of the world that will continue until the second coming of Jesus Christ, but will be crushed by Him.

statue

This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay. You saw until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

Daniel 2:32-34

This mixture of iron and clay symbolizes a policy that has been followed by the city of Rome ever since 69 AD; a policy of striking alliances with military leaders throughout the world in the pursuit of wealth, power and influence. It is a policy that has come to be known in more recent times as 'clericalism'; a close cooperation or union between 'church and state'. From the very beginning, in 70 AD, the pagan religious leaders of the city of Rome dedicated themselves to the tactic of manipulating those with 'iron' military power. It is a skill set which, since the supposed 'conversion' of Rome to Christianity under Constantine, the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have perfected into a science.

WHY THE WOMAN IS 'BABYLON'

The ancient Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar fell to the Persian Empire roughly 2500 years ago, around 540 BC. And yet in the book of Revelation, written by the apostle John 600 years after Babylon's fall, God says that 'Babylon' will still exist until just prior to the second coming of Christ. How can He say this? How is it that Babylon still exists in our world today? As I have pointed out, both in this web page and in the other prophecy pages in this web site, the statue of Daniel 2 explains to us how 'Babylon' can still exist today.

statue

In Daniel 2 the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all represented as one statue; they were all 'Babylon' in God's eyes. This is because Persia, Greece and Rome have continued what the original Babylonian Empire started; displacement of the promised kingdom of David and God. This is how God can still call something 'Babylon' in the book of Revelation. He can do this if the thing being described 1) has its roots in the original Babylon, and 2) continues what the original Babylon began.

In Revelation 17 it is the city of Rome, rather than the Beast, that is called 'Babylon':

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials and talked with me, saying unto me "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great Whore that sits upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication". So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a Woman sitting upon a scarlet colored Beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the Woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH".

Revelation 17:1-5

Why isn't the Beast called 'Babylon' in Revelation? Doesn't Revelation 13:2 tell us that the Beast of Revelation is the fourth Beast of Daniel chapter 7. Doesn't the Beast constitute the iron in the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's statue? What is it about the city of Rome, rather than the Beast, that qualifies it to be called 'Babylon'? I believe that the answer to this question is twofold.

Firstly, the fact that the Woman rides upon the back of the Beast implies some control and guidance of the Beast. This idea is inherent in the notion of riding upon the back of any animal. People who ride upon animals generally exert control over them using reigns. And so the city of Rome qualifies as Babylon because it has directed many of the Beast's activities.

The fact that Vespasian was a Roman does not mean that the military people who have followed in his footsteps have always been Roman. In fact these various military leaders, who have comprised the Beast over the centuries, have come from throughout the world. And so the only sense in which the Beast can be viewed as Roman is because of Rome's influence over it. While the city of Rome has in a sense 'Romanized' the Beast, the Beast has never made the city 'Roman'.

Secondly, while the Beast has blasphemed God and opposed His people militarily throughout history, it is the city of Rome that has been the most direct and deliberate in its opposition to Christianity. What distinguishes the Roman Catholic Church from the Beast is the presence of a 'religious agenda'. Most nations and armies wage war over the world's material resources; land, gold, oil or whatever (James 4:1-3). Men and nations are often aimless, and will sometimes go to war just because they don't have anything better to do. Even when nations claim to fight for ethical reasons, this is often only a cloak for underlying greed.

The city of Rome, however, has always been the religious center of Roman paganism. As such, it has always hated and opposed the God of the Bible, and has waged war against Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on a spiritual level. While the last great military battle for rulership of the world will occur at Armageddon, between Jesus Christ and the Beast (Revelation 19:19), a much longer spiritual battle between Rome and Jesus Christ has been going on for centuries.

When once asked about the arrival and appearance of the kingdom of God, Jesus said that the coming of the kingdom would not be apparent. Instead He said that the coming of the kingdom would occur within the hearts of men:

And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said "The kingdom of God comes not with observation. Neither shall they say 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you".

Luke 17:20-21

What Jesus was saying, in effect, is that the kingdom of God has been 'under construction' since the days of Adam. This construction has continued for the past 2000 years since the times of Jesus and His apostles. The kingdom of God has been growing as one person and then another has come to repentance and faith, and then has qualified for eternal life in God's kingdom through continuance or perseverance in the faith (for a discussion of Christian 'qualification' and 'disqualification', see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance).

And so while the Beast has fought against Christians on a physical level (militarily) for the past 1900+ years, the city of Rome has been warring against the establishment of God's kingdom spiritually, in the hearts of men; one soul at a time. Day by day the city of Rome has done everything it can, through spiritual deceit, to prevent people from coming to Christ. And thus it has been Rome, first and foremost, that has coordinated and directed warfare against the kingdom of God (for an explanation of Rome's theological errors and spiritual opposition to God, see The City of Rome in Prophecy).

For 250 years after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the religious leadership of Rome encouraged Roman emperors to impoverish, imprison and kill Christians. Pagan Rome instigated many officially-sanctioned waves of persecution against the church. Then in 312 AD, with Constantine's supposed embrace of Christianity, Rome went from trying to destroy the church, to declaring 'I am the church'. While many viewed this turn of events as a victory for Christianity, it was in fact one of the most diabolical developments in history. Rome went from persecuting Christianity from the outside, to devouring Christianity from within, like a worm within a piece of fruit. And while seeking to hollow out Christianity from within, Rome has continued its war against real Christians who have 'protested' against Rome's false claims.

BABYLON'S FALL

The eventual destruction of Roman Catholic 'Babylon' is foretold in Revelation 17:

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:16-17

This sudden, terrible, fiery destruction of Babylon is the single subject of Revelation chapter 18:

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day; death, and mourning and famine. And she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is your judgment come".

Revelation 18:8-10

When we read the description of Babylon's destruction in Revelation 18, a logical question comes to mind. While it is true that Rome is one of the major cities of the world, is it possible that the destruction of Rome could cause all of the worldwide economic loss and mourning that are described in Revelation 18?

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying "Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to naught". And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying "What city is like unto this great city?" And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying "Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her wealth! For in one hour is she made desolate".

Revelation 18:15-19

I do not believe that Revelation 18 describes a destruction of the city of Rome, but the destruction of the greater 'Roman Catholic world'. This is a world that, in these last days before the second coming of Jesus Christ, exists primarily in the Western Hemisphere. And at the present time the one nation where Rome exerts the most influence, and from which it derives most of its wealth is the United States of America.

THE UNITED STATES OF BABYLON

Ever since the first time I read about the destruction of 'Babylon' in Revelation 18, I have wondered whether or not it is a description of the destruction of the United States. After all, throughout my lifetime there has never been another nation in the world that better fits this description of economic dominance.

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has been putting down its roots ever more deeply in the Western Hemisphere since the first explorers came here. Columbus was a Roman Catholic, claiming the new world and its wealth for the Roman Catholic monarchy of Spain and the Catholic Church in 1492. The Spanish and Portuguese 'Conquistadors' followed in his footsteps, conquering lands in North, Central and South America for Rome. And the French explorers who traveled the Great Lakes and Canada also came in the name of Rome.

Rome has existed at the foundation of the United States from the very beginning, so that today there is hardly a single town of any size in the United States where the oldest and most stately building in the city is not a Roman Catholic church, often found at the historic center of the city. America is steeped in Roman Catholicism; from Rome's churches, to its schools and universities, to its medical, social and charitable institutions. Every governing body from Washington D.C. to the smallest city council is both observed and influenced by members of the Roman Catholic Church. Today the United States is the purest example of Roman Catholic influence, and the greatest source of Roman Catholic pride in history.

This is why I believe that, in these last days, the United States is 'Babylon'. When someone talks about the wealth and power of the RCC today, they must talk about how much the RCC depends upon America for this wealth and influence in the world. Many evangelical Protestants do not want to believe this. They want to believe that America began with Protestant roots, and they encourage one another to maintain those 'protestant values' through the ballot box. But when it comes to competing with Rome for influence in the United States, evangelicals have never done anything more than 'bring a knife to a gunfight'.

It is true that Protestantism has played a significant role in the history of the United States, both politically and religiously. But it is Protestantism's fundamental skepticism, toward worldly wealth and political power, that has left the door open for Rome's celebration of these things. And so today's circumstances in America are confronting evangelical Christians with the choice of either joining Roman Catholics as 'spiritual brethren' and 'fellow Americans', or of 'going outside of America's gates', bearing Christ's reproach (Hebrews 13:13-14).

THE 10 HORNS THEN AND NOW

In the first section of this web page, titled 'My Conclusions About the Beast', I describe the United States as a nation which has been a part of 'the Beast'; particularly since the end of World War 2. So how is it that a time will come when America will no longer be the Beast, but will become the Woman (Babylon) riding upon the back of the Beast?

First of all I need to be clear; the United States is still a part of Revelation's Beast as of this writing (Fall 2019). As I have pointed out, the city of Rome is very much riding upon the back of the United States. So when will the United States transition from being the Beast to being the Woman? One has to start by looking at what the 10 horns upon the Beasts of Daniel and Revelation represent.

The 10 horns upon Daniel's 4th Beast (in Daniel chapter 7), and the 10 horns upon the Beast in Revelation do not represent the same nations. But the 10 Horns in Daniel and Revelation do serve one common purpose; they provide the historical context for the rise and the fall of the United States of America.

As I have stated both in this web page, and in my page on the United States, the 10 horns upon the fourth Beast of Daniel 7 represent the 10 major provinces of the ancient Roman Empire:

    1. Italy
    2. Achaia (Greece and the surrounding region)
    3. Asia (an area now called Turkey)
    4. Syria (an area including what is now Israel and the greater Middle East)
    5. Egypt
    6. Africa (northern Africa)
    7. Spain
    8. Gaul (now known as France)
    9. Germany
    10. Britain

Daniel chapter 7 describes the rise of the United States as a 'Little Horn' among those 10 'provinces'; that would push three of the 10 horns (Britain, France and Spain) out of its way as it established its territory in North America and its dominant role in the world:

I considered the horns. And, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:8

The 'eyes of a man' in this little horn represent the humanism of America; its democratic government. In verses 20 and 21 of Daniel 7, this little horn is described as appearing stronger than the other 10 horns, and as waging war against Christians and overcoming them. And then Daniel reveals the following about the 'little horn':

And he shall speak great words against the most High (God). And shall wear out the saints of the most High, and shall think to change times and laws. And they (God's saints) shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (3.5 times).

Daniel 7:25

Daniel 7:25 is a description of what awaits evangelical Christians within the United States in the days immediately ahead. Biblical Christians are going to be 'worn out' by the Little Horn up until the end of the second half of Daniel's 70th week (until the end of 3.5 times). Given the overwhelming dishonesty of America's media at this time (Fall 2019), and the increasing rage against evangelical Christianity on the political left and in America's universities (especially since the election of Donald Trump), Daniel 7:25 strikes me as a perfect description of what lies ahead for fundamentalist Christians in the United States. These difficult times were also foretold by the apostle Paul:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves; covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents. Unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (of God). From such turn away.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But while the 10 horns upon Daniel's fourth Beast provide us with the historical context of America's rise, the 10 horns upon the Beast of Revelation provide the context for America's fall in the 'final prophetic hour':

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast.

Revelation 17:12

I mentioned earlier, in my section upon the three technological 'powers' of the False Prophet, that the nations and corporations of the world are racing to perfect 'distributed ledger' technology, because whoever perfects the system first will have leverage over the other nations of the world. I believe that the United States will be that nation. This is what is meant, in Revelation 18, where it is said that Babylon's merchants (businessmen) were the 'great men' of the earth:

For your merchants (businessmen) were the great men of the earth. For by your sorceries were all nations deceived.

Revelation 18:21-24

It is this financial dominance over the world, as the lead nation within the Beast, that the United States will exercise as the 10 horns of Revelation agree to give their power and authority to the Beast. But this agreement will be a 'temporary peace', and Revelation 17 tells us that the 10 horns will eventually turn upon Babylon:

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say "Peace and safety!", then sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore; and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:16-17

Who will these 10 horns (kingdoms or nations) be? I do not know, but I believe that people will be able to recognize them when they appear on the world stage. They could be the 'kings of the East' described in Revelation 9:13-19 and 16:12. Whatever the case, we must understand that their union with the Beast will be soon followed by their destruction of 'Babylon'. And their destruction of Babylon will then be followed by their war with Jesus Christ:

These (10 horns) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings.

Revelation 17:14
WHEN WILL AMERICA CHANGE FROM BEING A PART OF THE BEAST TO BEING BABYLON? AFTER THE TEN HORNS HAVE JOINED THE BEAST

BABYLON'S NUCLEAR DEATH

I believe that the sudden fiery destruction of Babylon in one day and one hour (Revelation 18:8,10) will be a nuclear attack. I believe that this attack by the 10 Horns upon 'the Roman Catholic world' is also described in the sixth seal of Revelation chapter 6:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal. And behold, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"

Revelation 6:12-17 (Matthew 24:29-30, Mark 13:24-25, Luke 21:25-26)

As I have read this description of events immediately preceding the second coming of Christ, I have wondered whether or not the stars falling to the earth are not nuclear warheads. After all, a thermonuclear weapon is simply the instantaneous, split-second creation of a star. And the trajectory of such a weapon is very accurately described here. While a ripe fig might fall directly to the ground when there is no wind, the trajectory of a fig tossed from a tree in a storm is very similar to the trajectory of a nuclear weapon delivered by an intercontinental ballistic missile. In addition, when a nuclear weapon is detonated, the edges of the mushroom cloud roll like the two sides of a scroll, as the fireball and mushroom cloud rise into the sky.

"The Stars Will Fall From Heaven" (Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13)

It is also important to note what happens immediately after the sixth seal is opened. The seventh chapter of Revelation describes the control that God's angels will exercise over the winds of the earth, hindering the nuclear fallout and firestorms that follow the use of nuclear weapons. These angels will control the winds for two reasons:

    1) To place seals upon 144,000 young Jewish men who will become the 'firstfruits to God' from within a repentant Israel (Revelation 14:1-5)
    2) To remove all of God's people from the earth (both the dead and the living) before the consequences of this nuclear attack are allowed to play out in the trumpets and bowls of Revelation. It is this 'rapturing' of God's people to stand before His throne that is depicted in Revelation 7.

The apostle Peter also described the coming of God's fiery judgment upon the earth:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2 Peter 3:10

Might not Peter's words about 'elements melting with fervent heat' be a description of the fusion of elemental hydrogen? In the light of this fiery destruction, Peter explained how people should live:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

2 Peter 3:11-13

WATCHING AND PRAYING

I became a Christian in the Fall of 1975. I had a wonderful conversion experience where God showed me that I had been chosen by Him, before the world began, to be a recipient of His grace. But as I embraced Calvinism, and a false 'Once Saved, Always Saved' confidence about my future, I strayed farther and farther away from fearing God and sin.

As I gave myself to the lusts that had been my downfall prior to becoming a Christian, the Spirit of God suddenly and sensibly withdrew from me in the Fall of 1980. God did for me what my fellow Christians had been unable to do; turn me over to Satan for destruction:

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit (soul) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:5

The Spirit of God caused me to know that He had parted from me, and that my situation was unspeakably dangerous. This warning from God filled me with terror and motivated me to reexamine my relationship with Him. And as I began to reexamine the Biblical doctrine of salvation, I was also confronted by the possibility that my homeland, the United States of America, is described in the Bible and is not what it claims to be; 'one nation under God'.

I came to realize that the path to salvation is not only about taking the issue of sin seriously, but also about taking Bible prophecy seriously. These two things are deeply interwoven. This is why, in Revelation chapter 14, we find that the 'everlasting Gospel' contains three messages:

    1) Fear God, and give Him glory.
    2) Babylon is fallen.
    3) Do not take the Mark of the Beast.

I first heard the Gospel in June of 1967, shortly after Israel had conquered the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula in its 'Six-Day War'. The entire evangelical Christian world was deeply stirred by those events. A young man from my high school preached on that June evening, and his starting text was from Matthew 24:

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

Matthew 24:37-39

God honored that young man's urgent message, and the Spirit of God began to warn me powerfully about my own need to repent and turn to the Savior. I made a false profession of faith that night, and it would not be until eight years later that I would finally come to sincere repentance and faith, and the beginning of my own 'wilderness journey' as a Christian.

Since that evening in June of 1967, that young man who preached has gone on to become a Calvinistic pastor and a Postmillennialist. Although I lovingly reached out to him in 1992, attempting to share my insights regarding the 70th Week of Daniel, he had no interest. In 2012 he stood in the pulpit of a reformed Baptist church and told its people that Jesus would not be coming back during their lifetimes, during their children's lifetimes, or during their grandchildren's lifetimes. In fact, he said, He probably wouldn't even come back in their great-grandchildren's lifetimes.

Now, as a retired pastor, he speaks in various churches and says what Christians with 'itching ears' want to hear; that they are already seated in God's 'council' and ruling with Him. This is nothing less than the 'rebellion of Korah' (Jude 11), who after being damned by God for prolonged disobedience, nevertheless insisted that...

...all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them.

Numbers 16:3

Now when I see this man whose holiness and devotion to God were used so powerfully in his youth, I see the same face and hear the same voice; but the man inside who I once knew is dead and gone. Having preached a warning to sinners from Matthew 24, he has ignored the Lord's warning to Christians in Matthew 24:

But if that evil servant shall say in his heart "My Lord delays His coming", and shall begin to smite his fellowservants and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:48-51

Today's Protestant, evangelical Christian church is filled with 'foolish virgins', who are not willing to consider the possibility that they might not be ready when the Master comes (Matthew 25:1-13). They are like the church in Sardis. They have a name (reputation) that they are spiritually alive, but they are dead:

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write "These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. For I have not found your works perfect before God.

Remember therefore how you have received and heard (how you became a Christian in the first place). Hold fast and repent. If therefore you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

Revelation 3:1-6

In this passage is found one of the most dreadful warnings in the Bible; that it is possible to have had our name written in God's 'Book of Life', only to stand before Him in the day of judgment and see that our name has been erased from that 'Book'. That this can happen is also seen in the words of Peter:

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2 Peter 2:21

God commands Christians to be careful, not careless; to 'watch and pray'. It is a central theme in His word. Christians must not assume that they already possess eternal life. They must do everything within their power to obtain it:

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure (certain, final, eternal): for if you do these things, you shall never fall.

2 Peter 1:10

I do not call out Christian brethren because I wish to embarrass them, but because I believe that I hear the 'still, small voice' of the Holy Spirit telling me to take a 'whip of cords' (John 2:15) and drive falsehood and unfaithfulness out of His Church. Strong words are now needed for the purpose of saving and edifying (2 Corinthians 10:8, 12:19, 13:10, James 5:19-20, Jude 23). If I do not let my light shine, before Christians and non-Christians alike, God will charge me with wickedness and hold me accountable for their destruction:

When I say unto the wicked "You shall surely die", and you give him no warning nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.

Ezekiel 3:18

Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die. Because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. But his blood will I require at your hand.

Ezekiel 3:20

And He came unto the disciples, and found them asleep. And He said unto Peter "What, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:40-41

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written therein. For the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:3

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments; lest he walk naked and they see his shame.

Revelation 16:15

And he said unto me "These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book".

Revelation 22:6-7

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


SATAN & THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14) It is impossible to understand the 'Prophetic Players' listed below without a proper understanding of "The Great Tribulation". The Great Tribulation is the time of Satan's wrath. It is not the time of God's wrath, which is 'The Day of the Lord' referred to throughout the Bible, and which is revealed in the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation (chapters 8-9 and 16).

The Great Tribulation began after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth. That event is described in Revelation 12:

And the great dragon was cast out; that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:9

Therefore rejoice you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

The first manifestation of Satan's wrath was the destruction of Jerusalem and desolation of Israel in 70 AD, with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and the dispersion of the surviving Jewish people throughout the world.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who brought forth the Man Child (Christ).

Revelation 12:13

Satan's wrath, while beginning with the Jewish people and progressing to Christians (Revelation 12:17), will find its ultimate expression in the onset of nuclear war described in the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17. This late exercise of Satan's wrath, which will engulf all of mankind, was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the one that made the earth to tremble and that shook kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities? That opened not the house of his prisoners?"

Isaiah 14:12, 16-17

To put it in simplest terms, the Great Tribulation is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, beginning with Satan's destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD, and continuing to this very day. For people living in the wealth and comfort of the 'western world', it is hard to think of ourselves as living in 'The Great Tribulation'. But for much of the world today, and throughout many centuries, the Great Tribulation has always been real. And times are soon going to change drastically for Christians in the 'West'.


1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION

I have explained the Beast of Revelation in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. I have reached my understanding of the Beast of Revelation based upon its six primary traits described in Revelation. I discuss those traits in the order that God presents them to us in His word. The first four traits are found in the first five verses of Revelation chapter 13:

    1) MILITARY EMPOWERMENT BY SATAN (Revelation 13:1,4)
    2) THE 4TH BEAST OF DANIEL 7 (Revelation 13:2)
    3) A WOUNDED HEAD THAT IS HEALED (Revelation 13:3)
    4) EXISTENCE FOR OVER 1900 YEARS (Revelation 13:5)

The fifth trait is found in the second half of Revelation chapter 13:

    5) AN ALLIANCE WITH THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18)

The sixth trait is found in Revelation chapter 17:

    6) A WOMAN RIDES UPON ITS BACK

In Revelation 17 we are told that this 'Woman' is the city of Rome. In addition, Revelation chapter 17 explains the symbolic meanings of the Beast's seven heads and 10 horns, and provides God's explanation for the 'wounded head' of Revelation 13:3.

In conclusion, the Beast of Revelation is comprised of military leaders and nations, beginning with the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, who...

    A) HAVE LOVED MILITARISM AND BLOODSHED

    B) HAVE EMBRACED SATAN'S AGENDA OF PERSECUTING JEWS, WAGING WAR UPON CHRISTIANITY AND DESTROYING HUMANITY

    C) WILL USE THE 'FALSE PROPHET' OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE LAST DAYS TO IMPOSE 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS' AND THE 'MARK OF THE BEAST' UPON ALL MANKIND

    D) HAVE ALLIED THEMSELVES WITH THE CITY OF ROME IN A 'CHURCH + STATE' RELATIONSHIP SINCE THE RISE OF VESPASIAN IN 70 AD

The following list provides notable examples of men and nations who have fulfilled these criteria, and have been 'the Beast' over the past 1900+ years:

    1) The Roman Emperor Vespasian (9 AD - 79 AD), founder of the 'Flavian Dynasty'. As a Roman General, Vespasian began the destruction of Israel before becoming the Emperor of Rome. His son (Titus) completed Israel's destruction and the slaughter and dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD.

    2) The Roman Emperor Constantine; founder of Roman Catholicism in 312 AD. Up until the rise of Constantine, Rome had been the religious center of world paganism, and had sought relentlessly to exterminate Christianity. But with the rise of Constantine, Rome went from trying to destroy the Christian church, to proclaiming 'I am the true Christian Church'.

    Constantine usurped the three offices of Jesus Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. He established Roman prophetic authority through ecumenical councils that would 'decide' what the Bible says (as well as add to the Bible). Constantine embraced 'sacramentalism'; belief in a Roman priesthood whose sacraments would have the power to forgive sins and save souls. And Constantine declared Rome's authority to wage 'holy wars' in the name of Christ; thus making Rome the 'king of kings, and lord of lords'.

    Constantine's claim, to be waging war for Christ, is represented by the conqueror on a white horse in the first seal of Revelation chapter 6. The six seals of Revelation 6 portray the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church; from its rise to its destruction (for a further discussion of the Roman Catholicism, see The City of Rome in Bible Prophecy).

    3) Charlamagne (Charles the Great, 742-814), who was crowned the 'Emperor of Rome' (Holy Roman Emperor) by the Pope in 800 AD. Charlemagne imposed Roman Catholicism, at the point of a sword, upon those whom he conquered.

    4) The Crusaders, first called to wage war in the service of Christianity by Pope Urban II in 1095 AD. The religious wars of the Crusaders were characterized, from the very beginning, by the persecution of Jews wherever they found them. Ultimately, after having conquered the 'Holy Land' of Palestine, and then having lost it back to the Muslim world, these crusading 'kings and nobles' focused their attention upon their homeland of Europe; supporting Rome in its battle against Jews, Muslims and Protestant 'heretics'. These wars against anyone deviating from Roman Catholicism began around 1250 AD, and are known as "the Inquisition".

    5) King Ferdinand II of Spain (1452-1516), known as 'the Catholic'. As king of Spain he promoted the Spanish Inquisition and began the conquest of the 'Americas' (the Western Hemisphere) for Spain and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Ferdinand's grandson, Charles V, was a 'Holy Roman Emperor' who vigorously sought to unite Europe under the RCC. Charles V's son, Phillip II, sent the Spanish Armada against England in 1588, for the purpose of imposing Roman Catholicism upon Great Britain.

    6) King Ferdinand II of Austria (1578-1637), also declared a Holy Roman Emperor, was the initiator of the '30 Years War' against Protestantism (1618-1648). This war left countless Protestant Christians dead and Europe devastated. The war ended in the Peace of Westphalia, which laid the European foundation for the modern, secular nation-state; seeking to restrict religious meddling in the internal affairs of nations.

    7) The European Axis powers of World War II (WW2), comprised of Germany, Italy and Spain. These powers had all reached 'understandings' with the Roman Catholic Church prior to WW2. Together these governments of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco (along with the Vichy government of conquered France) facilitated the deaths of many millions, including the murder of 6 million Jews.

    8) The United States, with a large Roman Catholic population and many Roman Catholic institutions, was strongly urged by the Vatican to wage war against Communism after WW2 (i.e. against Russia, China, Korea and Viet Nam). A close connection between the government of the United States and the RCC continues to this day.

As the lead nation within 'the Beast' of these last days, America will leverage the three 'miraculous' technological powers of the False Prophet (military advances, communication advances and economic advances) to impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world. Ten kingdoms (or nations) will soon join the United States and the 'West', giving their power and authority 'to the Beast' (Revelation 17:12-13). This will unify the Beast throughout the world, convincing many that world peace and security have finally been achieved (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

But the final version of the Beast, that will battle against Jesus Christ at His second coming (Revelation 19:19-20), will be comprised of these 10 kingdoms alone (Revelation 17:14). The United States and the 'Roman Catholic world' will not be a part of the Beast that confronts Christ at Armageddon.

The 10 kingdoms will have destroyed 'Roman Catholic Babylon' with a sudden, unexpected fiery attack before then confronting the Lord Jesus Christ. God describes this attack as 'eating her flesh and burning her with fire' (Revelation 17:16), and says it will occur in fulfillment of His will (Revelation 17:17). This attack upon 'Babylon' (which I believe will be a nuclear attack) is described at length in Revelation chapter 18.


2) THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18, Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan).

The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs what the apostle John might have viewed as three 'miracles', corresponding to today's technology:

    A) It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of powered flight; rockets, airplanes, drones, satellites, lasers, missiles and bombs.
    B) It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television, smart phones and 'virtual reality' devices.
    C) It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a computerized 'distributed ledger' system that will make every person a part of the world's 'Internet of Things', and will revolutionize the economy and administration of the world.

I discuss the False Prophet at greater length in my web page titled Understanding the Beast.


3) THE WOMAN, HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON (Revelation chapters 17 & 18)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:9,18 where she is described as being seated upon seven hills, and as 'that great city' which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation.

I have discussed the city of Rome, and its 'metamorphosis' in 69 AD, in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. In the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, Rome went from being the 'seat of power' in the Roman Empire, to being a religious city that has ridden upon the back of military power ever since. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


4) THE APOSTLE PAUL'S 'MAN OF SIN' (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' is described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How do Rome's priests portray themselves as God in the Temple of God? By claiming to be Christ's representatives on earth, when they are in fact stealing the three divine offices of Jesus Christ; those of Prophet, Priest and King.

Roman Catholic priests claim prophetic authority to interpret the Bible, and add to it. They claim priestly authority (in the Mass) to do what Christ alone can do; offer a sacrifice before God that can atone for the sins of men. And Rome's priests claim kingly authority to wage holy wars in the name of Christ, making themselves the 'king of kings'.

God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him speak by reading their Bibles, and speaking to Him in prayer. But Rome says that we must come to Rome, and has always discouraged the free distribution and study of the Bible throughout its history. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome actually competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'Understanding The Beast', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures, apart from two letters that John wrote. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as...

    A) Those who profess faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son (the Trinity).
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John's description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or to respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link 'the Antichrist' with any other passage of scripture. The term 'antichrist' is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John himself wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, many have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is said about him, many have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario wherever they please. For Luther and the Calvinists the Antichrist was the Pope. For others the Antichrist has been 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'Man of Sin', and 'the Beast'. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. One candidate to consider would be Mohammad. Islam claims Biblical roots and speaks well of Jesus, but fiercely denies that God has a Son, and that Jesus was 'Emmanuel'; 'God with us' in a human body. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ than Islam.

Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', sitting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and its possession by the Gentiles until His second coming, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque on the Temple Mount.


6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION - (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Olivet Discourse for an explanation of this fact, and see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a discussion of Titus).


7) THE 'PRINCE WHO IS TO COME' OF DANIEL 9:26 - The Roman general Titus.


8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8 - The United States of America (see The United States in Bible Prophecy)


9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9-12 - The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War. It then defeated its southern enemy, Carthage, in the Punic Wars. And finally it proceeded to move east, conquering Greece and Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) before eventually taking over the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God's host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel's transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome's history can be found.


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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)