Zion Ministries - Bible prophecy
HABAKKUK IDENTIFIES BABYLON
The prophet speaks about the Babylonians and identifies their leader as the 'leader of the land of wickedness.' Who are the Babylonians? And who is this leader?
By Neville V. Stevens
New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified
It's no secret, and it's certainly no mystery that people believe that that Roman Catholic Church SEEMS to 'fit' the criteria for the harlot of Babylon the Great. The translators of the KJV of the Bible also believed this to be so. They believed that their translation sufficiently exposed the Papacy so as to render a blow to him that would not be healed. They further identified the Roman Catholic followers as 'popish persons' who were potential enemies to those who held to the truth of God. See the foreward in the KJV, paragraphs 3 and 5. For hundreds of years people have been writing books and articles that they think identifies the great harlot of Babylon. Considering the shocking conduct of the Roman Catholic Church since its inception in the fourth century, it's not surprising that such views are strongly held.
Since 1611 AD, when the KJV was published, many books have been written to support this view. The Anglican priest, Alexander Hislop published a convincing book called 'The Two Babylons.' In his book, which was first published in 1916, he identifies many of the ancient pagan symbols which are still in use today by the Catholic Church. Anyone with any scriptural prudence would immediately recognise that their are no similarities between the Catholic Church and the Church that Christ founded. Most people who have taken even the merest cursory interest in Christian doctrine will have read or heard that the Papacy is linked to Revelation 13 and 17. Even the Catholic Church itself acknowledges this to be so.
Virtually every Christian Church teaches this in one form or another. Some of the smaller cultish churches make it their life's work to provide more and more damning evidence to support these views. The Catholic Church itself has provided most of the evidence. Their use of dragon symbols, sun images, chalices or cups, mother and child effigies, purple and scarlet robes, and other paraphenalia has provided the ammunition for these sustained attacks. The use of these symbols is a deliberate attempt to entice people to this view.
The true Christian's understanding of the Bible and its prophecies is not predicated on their access to books written by Alexander Hislop or any other writers for that matter. The understanding of the Bible is enabled by the Bible itself! And indeed, those who present evidence based on the opinions of mere men to prove their understanding of the Bible are violating the principles of the Bible. What is more, the very act of doing this identifies them as the deceivers that they are! They are so focused on proving their assumptions that the truth of the Bible has become inconsequential to them. They don't seek knowledge from the Bible but from secular sources apart from the Bible!
If every human being on the face of the earth were to hang a placard around their neck and parade through the streets proclaiming that the Catholic Church is the harlot of Babylon it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to the final outcome. All that would happen is the very stones would cry out(Luke 19:40). The Bible specifically identifies who Babylon the Great is, and who the 'harlot' is. No amount of secular evidence can contradict the Bible.
It just so happens, from the historical aspect, that a Roman Emperor by the name of Constantine, following a vision that he had, established a bizarre form of Christianity in Constantinople. He built Constantinople as a 'Christian' city and named it after himself. This city was built over 1,000 kilometres east of Rome and became the seat of power of the Roman Empire. And the Bible reveals that Satan the devil had set his throne in this region in Asia Minor nearly 300 years before. This was the realm of Satan the devil. The very area where he lived and where he had his throne(Rev 2:13).
As for the city of Rome, there was already a Church of God established there. The Apostle Paul visited Rome, and he also wrote to them. The Book of Romans is addressed to them. This is the city that the false prophets would have you believe is Babylon! Yet Paul makes no mention of it! Furthermore, the central theme of the Book of Romans is to BELIEVE God, and to BELIEVE that He is the Creator who made all things. He is the One that we must BELIEVE - regardless of any 'evidence' to the contrary! Those who don't BELIEVE God are fools - so says God!(Rom 1:21-22). Paul also records why God chose Abraham: Rom 4:1 "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about - but not before God. What does the scripture say? 'Abraham BELIEVED GOD, and it was CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.'" And all this time you have believed that Abraham was righteous because he kept God's commandments, statutes and laws - which he did! But in fact, Abraham was credited with RIGHTEOUSNESS because he BELIEVED GOD! Most professing Christians today refuse to believe God's Word, instead they choose to believe what others have said about God's Word - usually based on their own private interpretation!
Under the auspices of the Apostle Paul, God set seven Churches right in the midst of Satan's realm in Asia Minor. Through the writing of the Apostle John, God gave many instructions to these seven Churches. This is one of them:Rev 2:24 "Now to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have NOT learned Satan's SO-CALLED deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to that which you have until I come." The message to the seven Churches was to continue to be relevant over the entire period of Christianity - notice the words 'until I come.' Those whom God says He will not impose any further burden on were those who had 'NOT learned Satan's SO-CALLED DEEP SECRETS.' They recognized that these so-called deep secrets had nothing to do with Bible prophecy. God's further instructions to these people was to hang on to 'that which you have', that is, the infallible Word of God!
It was Satan's intention to entice people to believe that the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope were Babylon and the Great Harlot. Once enticed, those who have learned all his so-called deep secrets would focus their attention on Rome, and utterly fail to recognize the emergence of the REAL BABYLON! The BABYLON that the Bible speaks of again and again! As with God's instructions to the faithful of Thyatira, He expects us to go to His source of knowledge - the Bible! Not to the books and articles that teach great details of Satan's SO-CALLED DEEP SECRETS and MYSTERIES! It doesn't matter how convincing they are, these books and articles which weave a mysterious spell over their readers, and which God says we are NOT TO LEARN - have NOTHING to do with prophecy! They are all about deception; they are designed to entice you to believe THE LIE!
Those who refuse to accept the Bible as the final arbitrator in these matters, will succumb to the 'mark of the beast' believing that the source of this mark is not in accord with the teachings of those who teach Satan's so-called secrets! People will believe that it's quite safe to receive this mark since it won't be enforced by the Pope or the Catholic Church, or for that matter a 'united states of Europe.' It will be enforced by Satan's two henchmen; those to whom he has given his power, throne and great authority(Rev 13:2, 12).
The Apostle Paul spoke of THE LIE!2Thess 2:9 "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of of evil that deceives THOSE who are perishing. THEY perish because THEY REFUSED to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends THEM a powerful delusion so that THEY will believe THE LIE and so that all will be condemned who have not BELIEVED the truth but have delighted in wickedness." Was Paul speaking of those who have never heard the truth? Or was he speaking about those who REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH? You know very well who he speaks of!
If the Pope were to suddenly issue a decree that everyone was to receive a 'mark' of some description, how many of you would be deceived? Not one! But if someone else were to arise and mount a massive persecution against the Catholic Gentile nations and force the Roman Catholics to recant their religion, and as a sign of their recantation, receive his mark; many would get some form of smug satisfaction from the persecution and slaughter of these people. They would believe that this is the hand of God at work. The twisted and perverted ideas on what the Bible says would lead many to believe that this is God's punishment against BABYLON - who they think is ROME! Then they will turn and self-righteously betray God's true servants and cause them to be put to death! YES, they WILL! Because they have REFUSED TO BELIEVE THE TRUTH!
Most of Christianity are so sure that it's the Pope that is going to issue the decree to receive the 'mark of the beast.' And when the Catholic nations convert en-masse to Islam, and all the Gentiles that live among you follow suit, then there won't be too much smugness then! Many will be convinced that this is the punishment of the Great Harlot, and that all the persecution spoken of in the Bible for the endtime occurred in the Middle Ages - just as Herbert Armstrong suggests in his booklet "What is the Mark of the Beast?" with his fanciful interpretation ofRev 6:9-10. He says this refers to the Middle Ages when he says more than 50 million were killed.
The whole world has heard all the stories about the Catholic Church. Satan has ensured that this is so! He wants you to believe that this is the evil empire. All those who prate on about the Roman Catholic Church are preaching to the converted - those who already believe THE LIE! The whole world will be ASTONISHED when the REAL beast does arise. It will be something that was never expected!
The Apostle Paul had more to say about those who refuse to love the truth of the Bible, and instead choose to believe THE LIE! This is what he said:2Thess 1:4 "Therefore, among God's Churches we boast about your persecutions and faith in all the trials you are enduring. All this is EVIDENCE that God's JUDGMENT is RIGHT, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is JUST: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will PUNISH those who DO NOT KNOW GOD, and who do NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in HIS HOLY PEOPLE and to be marvelled at among all those WHO HAVE BELIEVED."
Much, much more will soon be written about these things! In the meantime, you will see a proliferation of articles by the false prophets, fraudulently using every form of trickery - apart from the Bible to promote the lying delusion that Rome and the Pope are the ones to watch! Mark these people well! They are the enemies of the truth and they will deceive you!
In the wake of all the speculation about Babylon the Great, there have been all sorts of additional related theories spawned. Among these is the meaning of the 'mark of the beast.' And even in this there have been many attempts to link Rome to it. Disregarding the evidence of the Bible, the advocates of these theories have proposed some of the most outrageous and bizarre ideas imaginable. They've come up with a string of Latin words, such as Vicarius Fillei Dei, Il Duce, Dux Cleri, and others and interposed them with Latin numerical characters to show they equal 666. In order to test their theories they needed only to consult 5 scriptures from the Bible. In matters of prophecy it is sometimes necessary to consult 10 to 20 or even more scriptures to ascertain the meaning of a verse. The Bible principle is to place one line after another, and to follow one precept with another, and take a little here and a little there, and even to test some words with another Bible language. These instructions are usually ignored by those who refuse to accept the authority of the Bible.
Any attempt to identify the 'mark of the beast' should be tested against these five verses:
Rev 13:16"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a MARK on his RIGHT HAND or on his FOREHEAD, so that no-one could buy or sell unless he had the MARK, which is the NAME of the beast or the NUMBER of his NAME. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the NUMBER of the beast, for it is [a] MAN'S NUMBER. His NUMBER is 666."
Rev 14:8"A SECOND angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is BABYLON THE GREAT, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." A THIRD angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his IMAGE and receives his MARK on the FOREHEAD or on the HAND, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his IMAGE, or for anyone who receives the MARK of his NAME." This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus."
Rev 15:2"And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his IMAGE and over the NUMBER of his NAME."
Rev 16:2"The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the MARK of the beast and worshipped his IMAGE."
Rev 20:4"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their Testimony [of] Jesus, and because of the word of God. They had NOT worshipped the beast or his IMAGE and had NOT received his MARK on their FOREHEADS or their HANDS."
To illustrate the appalling ignorance of those who don't recognize the authority of the Bible, a certain foolish shepherd proposed that the 'mark of the beast' is Sunday-worship. By gleaning a selection of scriptures and perverting them to his own ideas, he succeeded in convincing all but the most astute that everyone would be required to observe Sunday as a holy day. With the exception of the Muslims, and the dragon-worshippers of the far east, most of mainstream Christianity on earth today accept this anyway. But he was adamant that the 'mark of the beast' is Sunday-worship. So, in spite of all the evil pagans and demon-worshippers on earth today, Christianity is singled out as the baddie in his mind.
Since the 'mark of the beast' is a NAME, based on this theory, we must conclude that the beast's name is Sunday. Perhaps he will call himself 'Billy Sunday' or 'Captain Sunday' or 'king Sunday' or even 'Strawberry Sundae.' Herbert Armstrong didn't stop there; he also concluded that the 'mark of the beast' was additionally the observance of Christmas, Easter, and New Year's day. Never does he attempt to explain how Sunday fulfills the stipulated number of 666! His entire assumption is based on his belief that the Great Harlot is the Catholic Church and all the daughter harlots are the rest of the Churches that have sprung from this Church.
If you read the above five verses again carefully, you will learn that Babylon the Great is destroyed before the 'mark of the beast' is enforced. Babylon will be hated by those of the north, just as Alexander the Great and his father Phillip II of Macedonia also hated it. After Babylon falls, then the 'mark of the beast' will be enforced. So Babylon is not going to enforce the 'mark of the beast'! The king of the north is! The second beast ofRevelation 13 who is transported to Babylon after the city is built, will be set there in place. The world will view him as a PEACE-maker. He will be seen as a conciliatory figure, a type of saviour to the region. But together with his beast partner they will cause astounding devastation.
All those who have any Bible awareness will know that all that is soon to descend on this earth will center on Jerusalem. And Satan's henchmen will set their sights on this Holy City!
Now let's examine what Habakkuk and the other prophets have to say about future events.
The prophet Habakkuk lived in Jerusalem and wrote the book bearing his name sometime after the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC. Probably during the reign of Zedekiah (597-587 BC), since the temple had not yet been destroyed. This is evident from his comment that the LORD is still in his temple, and is therefore still accessible to the people of Judah(Hab 2:20). The temple was destroyed by Nebuzaradan, the general of the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC. This was the final and conclusive assault on Jerusalem during that period. Habakkuk's prophecies foreshadow this event, and then go on to describe the Day of the LORD when he will bring revenge upon the Babylonians.
The book of Habakkuk has been preserved to confirm existing prophecies for the endtime that were recorded by the major prophets, that is, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. But the book also points to and confirms the prophecies recorded by the prophet John. Although he speaks of the king of Babylon as the'leader of the land of wickedness', he doesn't actually name him. The substance of his prophecies confirms what John said about this leader of Babylon, whom John calls 'the beast.' This leader will crush Babylon in conquest and will set up his power-base there just as Alexander the Great did.
In speaking of this leader, Habakkuk calls on God for revenge. It should be noted that this revenge is to occur at the time of the end, during the period known as the Day of the LORD(Zech 14:1). The whole prophecy concerns Babylon and the Babylonians, the nation that destroyed Jerusalem. It deals with the very nature of the Babylonians and speaks of their final demise. This whole prophecy leaves no doubt about which Babylon it's referring to!
The book of Habakkuk shows that he was a contemporary of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was in Jerusalem during this period, and spent about ten years in prison during the reign of Zedekiah(Jer 37:1,16). Both Habakkuk and Jeremiah were Levites. Jeremiah was born of the priesthood (Jer 1:1), and Habakkuk was involved in temple duties, probably a singer, and certainly a writer of temple songs (Hab 3:1, 19). The 3rd chapter of the book records a prayer set to music - note the word 'shigionoth' - a musical term, and also his instructions to the director of music in V19. These verses identify him as a Levite.
His prophecies concern a distant time when God will destroy Babylon.
Hab 2:2 'Then the LORD replied, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will come and will not delay."'
The opening verses of chapter one are a lament by Habakkuk about the conditions in Jerusalem, and a plea to God to correct them. He complains that the streets abound with violence and injustice. The law is paralysed! Then, as now, this appropriately describes the condition of the nation of Israel today, and it's also true of the house of Joseph (predominantly the english-speaking peoples of the world). And almost all of this violence can be attributed to the 'strangers' - the evil seed - that dwells amongst them.Deut 28:43 "The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower." God long ago warned the 12 tribes of Israel of conditions that would exist when they turned away from Him, and even identified the means for bringing this about.
God answers and explains why the law is paralysed inHab 1:7 "They (the Babylonians) are a feared and dreaded people, they are a law to themselves." The Israelites living in Judah and Jerusalem at that time chose to emulate the Babylonians by worshiping their gods: Eze 23:28 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to hand you over to those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you naked and bare, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity have brought this upon you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols." It should be noted that Ezekiel was a prophet living in Babylon from the time of the conquest of Judah and Jerusalem by Nebuchednezzar in 606 BC. His commission to record the events of the book bearing his name was the fifth year of Jehoiachin's exile. This was 598 BC. He, like Habakkuk and Jeremiah, saw and prophesied of the endtime. These verses continue on, and describe a cup from which Judah must drink. Shortly, we will discover the meaning of this cup!
God says inHab 1:6 "I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people who sweep across the WHOLE earth..." V6 is clearly speaking of a much greater event when they will 'sweep across the WHOLE earth.' In fact Hab 2:2 makes it very plain that it was a prophecy for the time of the end. Were they therefore already in control of Jerusalem, and did Habakkuk know all about them? This is made very clear by his comments in V12-13: "O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do You tolerate the treacherous? Why are You silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?" The prophet confirms that the Babylonians were already invading them in Hab 3:16.
BABYLON THE GREAT
Habakkuk saw that it was unjust that these wicked Babylonians were destroying those who were more righteous and asks God why. God appointed the Babylonians to execute judgment, and to punish the tribe of Judah. The Babylonians became God's servants in performing this task:Jer 25:8-10 "Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: 'Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and My SERVANT Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,' declares the LORD, 'and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp.'" Notice this last verse! It's a pointer to a latter-day prophecy concerning Babylon. The marker is found in Rev 18:21 "Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said, 'With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.'" V22 "The light of the lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of the bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again."
Continuing inJer 25:12 "But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the LAND of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and I will make it desolate forever. I will bring upon that LAND all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against ALL the nations. They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands." Everything that Babylon has done, even those things done for God to execute punishment against His stubborn people, will be punished! All that Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations will be inflicted on Babylon and they will be despised and hated by all nations. All the confederated kings of the north will hate this great harlot and will attack and destroy her (Rev 17:1). And who is she? It's the LAND of Babylon! The land of Babylon extended from Egypt to the border of present Afghanistan. At the time of Cyrus of Persia who ruled the Medo-Babylonian Empire, and who was conquered by Alexander the Great, the Babylonian rule extended virtually throughout the Middle East.
So which Babylon is this? Is it the Roman Catholic Church? Let's hear it from the false prophets. Present your proof! Why do these lying deceivers claim that Babylon is the Vatican and Roman Catholic Church - or even more bizarre - Washington? Let's take the evidence of Babylon's identity one stage further.Rev 18:21 is a marker for a previous prophecy that was acted out by Jeremiah as a parable. He symbolically fore-shadowed this event. Here it is again: "Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said, 'With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again."
The prophetic pointer is found inJer 51:60 "Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that WOULD COME upon BABYLON - ALL that had been recorded concerning BABYLON. He said to Seraiah, "When you get to BABYLON, see that you read all these words aloud. Then say, 'O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate forever.' When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the EUPHRATES. Then say, 'So will BABYLON sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.'"
Was Seraiah going to Rome? Or was he going to BABYLON? He was going to BABYLON on the banks of the EUPHRATES river! Did BABYLON come to a violent end? No, it didn't! It slowly decayed over hundreds of years. In fact, the Apostle Peter mentions it in1Pet 5:13 and says that his wife, and son Mark, sends greetings from there. The KJV wrongly claims that Peter is speaking about the Church rather than his wife, but most other versions correct this. Unfortunately, the KJV was translated by men whose only desire, it seems, was to placate King James. Consequently, its riddled with mistranslations that cast the Anglican Church in a good light and the Roman Catholic Church as the evil empire. King James was the head of the Anglican Church and the translators were keen to identify him as the good guy. Particularly since many of those in Britain still felt that Henry VIII was wrong in separating from the 'mother' church. To reinforce this, they wrote an introduction to the KJV identifying the Pope as the man of sin, whose deadly wound would not be healed. See it for yourself in the third paragraph of the introduction of the KJV. The object of this statement, and the many distortions that the KJV contains, was to win over the Catholics in Britain to Anglicanism and to elevate King James to the status of the Pope. In fact, the KJV strenuously supports the idea of hierarchical government in the Church for this very reason. The translation of many scriptures in this version are weighted to reflect this concept. I would point out that the foreword in the KJV is not prophecy or Scripture, but merely the figment of imagination.
Babylon is the mother of harlots(Rev 17:5), and there are many harlots! Any nation that perverts the truth of God and refuses to obey Him is a harlot! So Britain is a harlot! So also is Italy! In the Kingdom of God, any nation that refuses to serve and obey God and His beloved CITY of ZION will die: Isa 60:10-12 "Foreigners will build your walls and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favour I will show you compassion. Your gates will always remain open, they will never be shut day or night, so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations - their kings in triumphal procession. For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined." God will show mercy to those who love Zion and show her mercy: Isa 60:1 "For ZION'S sake I will not keep silent, for JERUSALEM'S sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory." V3 "You will be a CROWN of splendour in the LORD's hand, a royal DIADEM in the hand of your God." Isa 66:8,10 "Yet no sooner is ZION in labour than she gives birth to her CHILDREN." V10 "Rejoice with JERUSALEM and be glad for her, all you who LOVE her."
Even the most fundamentalist Bible student could not help noticing the dozens of scriptures in the Bible that relate to God's love for Zion - the City of Jerusalem. Nor could they fail to notice the contempt that God exhibits towards BABYLON! But even the fundamentalist views of those in the Churches of God fails to recognize the importance to God of His beloved city. Instead they prattle on about insignificant things while ignoring the eternal(Rev 14:6) Gospel! Why? Because they have never understood what the eternal Gospel is all about! Other articles cover this subject in greater detail. Those who refuse to believe God seem to think that the Book of Revelation has made all the rest of the Bible obsolete. All that God has said about Babylon no longer applies - according to their reasoning! With no Bible evidence at all, they have interpreted one or two scriptures in the Book of Revelation to their own interpretation and based their whole escatology on them. They have absolutely no evidence from the Bible to support their views! What is more, the Book of Revelation speaks of BABYLON - not ROME, Washington or a United States of Europe, or even the Roman Empire!
THE GREAT HARLOTRev 17:1 "..Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters." The reference to 'many waters' is a marker for a previous prophecy: Jer 51:12 "...The LORD will carry out His purpose, His decree against the people of Babylon. You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off." Again and again, the Bible positively identifies Babylon!
In the book of Revelation, the many waters are identified. They are nations, tribes and kings:Rev 17:15 "Then the angel said to me, 'The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.'" These waters are her harlot daughters. They are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages - NOT churches!
ContinuingRev 17:2 "With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. Then the angel carried me away in the spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman SITTING on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Almighty God pulls no punches with this dreadful creature!
If this were referring to Rome, why does it say BABYLON? Rome had existed for at least a 1,000 years before this. It makes no sense at all for John to do such a thing, and particularly since much of what he wrote is pointed to from the Old Covenant prophets. We should also remember that when John penned these verses, the Roman Empire was already ruling most of the world. InV7 the angel explains the meaning behind all this: "Then the angel said to me, "Why are you ASTONISHED? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, NOW IS NOT, and will come up out of the ABYSS and go to HIS destruction." So the angel tells us that this beast was not around at that time. This clearly rules out the Roman Empire that WAS ruling at that time!
Now we come to a scripture that requires wisdom to understand!V9 "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [Str: oros] on which the woman SITS." Rev 17:1 tells us that the woman SITS on many waters and identifies these as peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (V15). The waters and the mountains are where the woman SITS, and they are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The woman and the beast she rides, represent two beasts; one who arises from the sea (Rev 13:1) and the other that arises from the earth (Rev 13:11).
ContinuingRev 17:9 "The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman SITS. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, ONE IS, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction." Here we are plainly told that five of these kings had already fallen when John recorded the Book of Revelation. But one king still remained! What king is this? 'The beast that once was' was no longer around at that time, but the sixth king was! The first five kings had already fallen, but he was still around! Who was he? The Bible reveals all! And shortly we will discover who he is.
You will be aware how strenuously the false prophets have laboured over many years to pervert the scriptures to identify the Roman Empire as the beast. They have even listed various 'resurrections' of the Roman Empire right up to the time of Mussolini, as the 'kings' who are supposed to be the seven heads of the beast. Even though the Bible says that five of these kings had already fallen, and one remained, at the time of writing of the Book of Revelation, they still insist that it refers to the Roman Empire! You can dredge up all the evils of the Roman Empire, and you can identify all the monstrous evils committed by the Catholic Church over many hundreds of years, but nothing in the Scriptures identifies them as either the beast or Babylon the Great! God tells us that this beast did not exist (Rev 17:9-10) at the time He delivered this information to John! History records that the Roman Empire did exist at that time! You either believe God or you call Him a liar! The choice is yours! Most people, it seems, prefer to believe the false prophets!
Unless you begin to believe God's Word, you are never going to understand prophecy! God has made it difficult for the spiritually-barren to understand - hence the need to follow His instructions:Isa 28:10 "For precept MUST BE upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people." (KJV) Once this principle is obeyed, you find that God has placed pointers and markers linking all the prophecies to paint the entire vista. Using this principle, it becomes difficult to know when to stop following these pointers and markers, since they would probably go on forever. In most cases, it's only necessary to follow them until the point is proven. Let's take an example of the pointers and markers that God has placed throughout the Bible to enable us to understand. The following is an example of some obvious pointers and markers. Each and every one of them point to other verses:
Rev 17:2 "With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated [pointer: Isa 51:21-23] with the wine of her adulteries. Then the angel carried me away in the spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names [pointer: Dan 11:31, 36] and had seven heads and ten horns [pointer: Dan 7:7, 20; Rev 12:3, 13:1]. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup [pointer: Jer 49:12] in her hand [pointer: Jer 51:7-8, 57], filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries [pointer: Jer 50:2]. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES [pointer: Jer 50:12] AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Follow this principle to understand prophecy, and refrain from venturing your own opinions, or listening to the opinions of others, as to Biblical meaning.
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon who performed an important task for God, and is a type of another 'king' of Babylon who is to arise in the end time to repeat the task. In his own day, Habakkuk saw a fore-type of this evil king slaughtering nations without mercy (Hab 1:17). As he stood on the ramparts of Jerusalem and observed what was happening, God delivered His answer to him. In Hab 2:2 God tells Habakkuk that the revelation he is about to give is for a time in the future, and goes on to describe this evil king who will preside over a powerful military power that will control all nations and make captives of many. He will literally plunder the world: Hab 2:5 "Indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captives all the peoples." Speaking of this same 'leader of wickedness': V15 "Woe to him that gives drink to his neighbours, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so he can gaze on their naked bodies. You [the beast] will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and stagger![margin]. The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you." Here we have this 'leader of wickedness' giving wine to his neighbours (the countries surrounding him) until they become drunk. The Apostle John also described this: Rev 18:2 "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
THE CUP OF THE LORD
What, then, is the 'cup of the LORD'?Ps 75:8 "For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out; surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down." (NKJV). The nations will surely drink of this cup! It is the cup of God's fury! There is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled for Jerusalem involving this cup. They partially fulfilled this prophecy in the past, but it is still to be fully completed yet in the future. Isa 51:17 "Awake, awake! Rise up Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of His wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet [cup] that makes men stagger. Of all the sons she reared there was none to take her by the hand. These double calamities have come upon you - who can comfort you? - ruin and destruction, famine and sword - who can console you?" Yes, Jerusalem has suffered in the past, but it is not over yet! The 'double calamities' are repeats of past calamities, and is not necessarily a set number. God will allow yet another purge to sweep the city clean, to begin a whole new work in Jerusalem (Matt 24:15-16). Then Jerusalem's fortunes will change. Isa 51:21 "Therefore hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine. This is what your Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends His people: "See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of My wrath, you will never drink again. I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, 'Fall prostrate that we may walk over you.'
And who are the tormentors into whose hands God will place the cup? The Apostle John tells us that Babylon the Great is to drink of that cup:Rev 16:9 "No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered BABYLON the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath." And just so there is no mistaking the meaning, the Bible further clarifies this, and warns others about the maddening wine of BABYLON'S adulteries - which also shows that this is IDOLATRY! Rev 18:8 "A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is BABYLON the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast or his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb."
And who are the rest of the 'tormentors' who have violated or trampled down the Holy City of God? Jeremiah, in a prophetic parable, tells us.Jer 25:15 "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from My hand this cup filled with the wine of My wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. When they drink it, they will stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them." So I took the cup from the LORD's hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror as they are today; Pharoah king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, and all the foreign people living there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); Edom, Moab and Ammon; all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz and all those in distant places; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other - all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. After all of them, the king of Sheshach [margin: BABYLON] will drink it too."
Though you may not recognize all these nations, they are the nations of the Middle East, and all the nations to the north of BABYLON [Iraq today] including Turkey, all the slavic nations, Rumania, Ukraine, as well as all the nations of North Aftrica.. After this, one after the other, all the nations on the face of the earth will drink from the cup of God's wrath. Last of all, Babylon will drink it. Babylon will receive double:Rev 18:2 "Fallen! Fallen is BABYLON the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every unclean and detestable spirit....for all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries...for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes...Give her back what she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup..." You will also notice that these nations are all predominantly Moslem nations. Islam is today the fastest growing religion in the world.
MODERN BABYLON - IRAQ
The Iraqis (the homeland of modern BABYLON) have some nasty habits, like attacking Kuwait and developing germ warfare and weapons of massive destruction, but apart from that, they haven't been doing much wrong lately. Not of the magnitude of the criticism that the Bible levels at them. Back now inJer 25:31 "The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth,for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; He will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword, declares the LORD." What are these charges? They have listened to BABYLON the Great and become intoxicated with her adulteries. And what are the charges against BABYLON? The Bible tells us. Speaking again of BABYLON (see V21) Rev 18:24 "In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of ALL who have been killed on the earth."
Hey, steady on, this can't be right! Surely BABYLON can't be guilty of ALL those slain on earth! Perhaps the Apostle John made an error. Is there any other evidence that might support this claim against BABYLON? The Bible is either the Word of God or it is not! If it is, then it means what it says! The prophet Jeremiah confirms what John says:Jer 51:49 "BABYLON must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in ALL the earth have fallen because of BABYLON."
Well you can't get much plainer than that! Who is this great harlot called BABYLON the Great that seduces nations with the maddening wine of her adulteries? We learnt that she has already presided over five kings that had already fallen at the time of the Apostle John. Christ gives us more information:Matt 23:35 "You snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? ...and so upon you will come ALL the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berakiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." So now we see that the Jewish leaders were also guilty of all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth!
Surely Christ was not saying these Jews were guilty of killing Abel! And Zechariah, son of Berakiah, is the author of the book bearing his name in the Bible. He lived 500 years before. Christ, in mentioning Abel whom Cain killed, was pointing back to the book of Genesis. His reference to broods of vipers is another pointer. This reference is found inGen 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." The offspring of the woman certainly did crush his head - the Bible records this event (Isa 27:1, 51:9; Ps 74:14), but the main point here is that there is brood of offspring of this serpent - and that serpent is Satan the devil. It is this brood of serpents (snakes and vipers) that Christ called 'this generation'. The five kings that have already fallen have ruled over this brood of serpents down through the ages. In each successive case, God destroyed them!
At the time that Cain killed Abel, there were only a handful of people on earth. But putting the references together of the Apostle John, Jeremiah and Christ, we find that the harlot of BABYLON is responsible for it all! Christ also added:Matt 23:36 "I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." The generation He referred to was the generation or offspring of Satan (Gen 3:15).
At the time of the Christ's return, He will deal with the real enemy:Isa 24:21 "In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded TOGETHER like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on MOUNT ZION and in JERUSALEM, and before its elders, gloriously." Read this scripture very carefully and note that 'they will be herded TOGETHER'. This is speaking of the 'powers in the heavens above AND the kings on the earth below'. These are to be punished TOGETHER and in the same place! They are to be shut up in prison and BOUND like prisoners! And they will be punished AFTER many days.
No true Bible student could mistake the meaning of the 'powers in the heavens above' who are to be punished. It is speaking of Satan and his demons! But who are the 'kings on the earth below'? Surely all the human kings of the earth are not going to be imprisoned in the ABYSS with Satan and his demons. No! This is speaking of the real RULERS of this earth! The Apostle Paul clarified this! So did Daniel! There are many scriptures that identify the true rulers of the nations!Eph 6:12 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm." Col 2:15 "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."
In order to make it doubly plain about what is meant by the 'ABYSS' we need to examine a scripture in the book of Luke. In this account, Jesus encountered a man who was demon-possessed.Luke 8:30 "Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Him repeatedly not to order them to go into the ABYSS." Demons greatly fear being sent to the ABYSS. Notice that they recognized that Jesus had the power to send them there! The verses show that the ABYSS is indeed a real place! And it's not a pleasant place. On this occasion Jesus showed mercy and allowed them to depart without sending them to the ABYSS.
Jude speaks of some of these demons who are already in the ABYSS.Jude 1:6 "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the Great Day." Jude then goes on to describe certain men that have slipped in among God's Church: Jude 1:12 "These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm - SHEPHERDS who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown about by the wind, autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted - twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming out their shame, WANDERING STARS for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever." Who are they? They are demons who are deceiving YOU even though they appear as angels of light! Remember, Jude was addressing God's true Church - not the pretend christians! These 'SHEPHERDS' are not the Body of Christ - you are! The Body of Christ - the Church - is supposed to follow Christ not these spiritual perverts who have perverted God's Word! It is not suggested that all shepherds in God's Church are Satan's henchmen, but the writer is personally wary of any man who exercises authority over the Body of Christ to enforce LIES that are not supported by the Bible! Many of these men have occupied their positions for many years, and if they had ever really studied their Bibles, they would have found many inconsistencies that challenged the teachings of the hierarchical echelons. The fact that they never challenged these for fear of losing their jobs, makes them highly suspect as the enemies of Christ.
These things you must judge for yourselves, but be aware that you will be held accountable for your decision. The real issue here is not food and drink and feasting, but completing the Work that the Living Christ has set before YOU. At this moment in time, you probably have no clear idea what that task is! But you soon will! The mystery of God(Rev 10:7) is sweet and glorious, but at the same time it is bitter to the stomach (Rev 10:9-11, Eze 2:7-9 to 3:1-9, 14). Be sure to read these verses! Completing the REAL Work of God will be a severe test for you! In the past, the worthless shepherds have indicated that entry into God's Kingdom will be a cake-walk. The writer wishes above all things that this were so for your sakes - but it's not! No true servant of God is going to deceive you with promises of peace when there is no peace. The time has come to face that reality!
Many of these articles have been written in Part One and Part Two format. In some cases, the Part Two articles will be hard to take. Many of you will turn away because of them. They will be published at a later date. You will need to be strong and very courageous!
THE REAL RULERS
Referring again to the 'powers in heaven' and the 'kings of the earth', we find a very clear explanation in the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel. The setting in the book of Isaiah is when God settles Israel, once more, in their own land.Isa 14:3 "On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of BABYLON: "How the oppressor has come to his end! How his fury has ended! The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers, which in anger struck down the peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression." V9 "The grave is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed [the departed spirits or angels] to greet you - all those who were LEADERS in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones - all those who were KINGS over the nations. The will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us." All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps, maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once brought low the nations!"
Remember this is a TAUNT AGAINST the king of BABYLON! Waiting for his arrival are all the departed spirits who were KINGS and LEADERS in the world. These demon spirits will be amazed to see this person as weak as they are, and just like them. Now comes the greatest shock of all! This 'king of BABYLON' is identified as Lucifer the morning star - the sun or light-bringer! This imprisonment of this former light-bringer will be replaced by a new Light-Bringer - the Sun of Righteousness- Jesus Christ! Mal 4:1-3 "Surely THE DAY is coming, it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or branch will be left of them. But for you who revere My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in [His] wings. And you will go out and leap like calves from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked [seed of Satan]; they will be ashes under your feet on THE DAY WHEN I DO THESE THINGS," says the LORD Almighty."
Isaiah further explains that this king of BABYLON is Satan the devil:Isa 14:13 "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the grave to the depths of the pit [the ABYSS]". That sacred mountain is on earth today, and its called Zion. Only the capstone or cornerstone is visible today. Other articles cover this in greater detail, but the end-time prophets will bring this out to shouts of joy (Zech 4:7). This will be done by the mighty power of God.
ContinuingIsa 14:16 "Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: 'Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms to tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew the cities and would not let his captives go home?' All the kings of the earth lie in state, each in his own tomb. But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people."
You could 'spiritualize' these verses and say that it was talking about Nebuchednezzar, the king of Babylon. But you would be overlooking one important detail: Nebuchednezzar was not even born when Isaiah wrote this book between 754-714 BC(Isa 1:1). Even his father Nabopolassar was not around then. The prophet Isaiah wrote these words against the king of BABYLON who will exist in the endtime, and it is this king that the returned Israelites will taunt (Isa 14:1-3). And this king is none other than Satan the devil!
THE FATE OF SATAN'S SEED
Even though some might find it difficult to understand, the Bible speaks of the offspring of Satan(Gen 3:15). But then it also speaks of the offspring of Christ! Isa 53:10 "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him (Christ) and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand."
These two generations make up the whole panorama of humanity! We have already seen inMal 4:3 that the wicked offspring will be trampled down underfoot as ashes. Isaiah also foresaw this: Isa 14:20 "The offspring of the wicked [one] will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers, they are NOT TO RISE to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities. "I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will cut off from BABYLON her NAME and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD. "I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty."
In the past, the Churches of God have been told to believe that every human being that has ever lived will come up in the resurrection and will have a chance at salvation. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests any such thing! Notice what the Bible does say:Jer 51:37-40 "Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no-one lives. Her people all roar like young lions, they growl like lion cubs. But while they are aroused, I will set a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter - then sleep for ever and not awake," declares the LORD."
Many people have ruled over God's chosen people. And what does the Bible have to say about their fate?Isa 26:13 "O Lord, our God, other lords besides You have ruled over us; but your name alone do we honour. They are now dead, they LIVE NO MORE; those departed spirits DO NOT RISE. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them."
God never offered salvation to any nation in Old Testament times other than the seed of Abraham(Amos 3:1-2). Only Abraham's seed, and all the prophets, were offered any form of redemption. God's faithful servants went to their graves believing and knowing that God would resurrect them at a future time. Never was this privilege extended to anyone else. The tribes of Israel today enjoy this privileged position only because of God's unbreakable promise to Abraham - and for no other reason! Under the provisions of the New Testament, salvation was extended to include Gentiles as well, but only on the proviso that they recognize that they are grafted into the family tree of Abraham (Rom 11:17-21). This was not something new, since even in the time of Moses certain Gentiles were admitted as full members of the tribes of Israel (Ex 12:43-49). God tells us that provision was to be made for the Gentiles to become full members of the seed of Abraham about 800 years before Christ: Isa 49:5-6 "And now the LORD says - He who formed you from the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to Himself, for I am honoured in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength - He says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."
As for the resurrection of Satan's evil brood, let's be clear about one thing, God is under no obligation to fulfill any promise that He didn't make! The question of the resurrections is covered in other articles, but let's briefly digress to examine some pertinent scriptures. Speaking of future resurrections, the Apostle John wrote this:Rev 20:4 "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony [of] Jesus (pointer: Rev 19:10 - last part).and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection." If you take this scripture in isolation, then you must conclude that the only ones in the first resurrection will be those who live in the endtime who refused to accept the mark of the beast and were beheaded. The prophet Daniel gives us more information. Dan 12:1 "At that time, Michael, the great prince who protects your people will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of the nations until then (pointer: Matt 24:21). But AT THAT TIME your people - EVERYONE whose name is written in the book will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, OTHERS to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Matt 24:21 mentions this time of distress and says that nothing like it will ever happen again. Clearly both scriptures are speaking of the great tribulation. These verses speak of the first resurrection. Notice that it identifies two groups of people. Those who will receive everlasting life and others who will suffer everlasting contempt! Both groups are resurrected 'AT THAT TIME.' So who are the second group of people who will suffer everlasting contempt? This is covered in other articles at our website.
THE MAN OF SIN
As a further identifying sign of who this vile person, the man of sin, will be, God reveals his deceptive power that he will use to deceive the nations:Hab 2:18 "Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak." Habakkuk was aware that idolatry was widespread in Jerusalem during his time. He could understand the stupidity of worshipping an idol made of stone. It cannot help anyone, nor can it advise. He must have been perplexed by God's comment that an image could 'teach lies'. But he understood that God was now speaking of a time in the distant future when an image would teach lies and would deceive people: Rev 13:13 "And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed."
PROPHECY OF CHRIST'S RETURN
God makes this comment about an image that can 'teach lies' immediately before declaring the glory of the return of Christ and the Day of the LORD inHab 3:3. God is referring to the evil king who will seize power just before the return of Christ (Hab 3:13), and will deceive the nations with a series of lying miracles. The Bible explains this. Habakkuk sees the vision of Christ's return as he stood high on the ramparts of Jerusalem. To the south and east from Jerusalem, over Teman and over Mount Paran, he sees the Glory of God as his presence fills the heavens. He sends forth his angels to deliver the last plagues: Hab 3:3 "God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendour was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him, pestilence followed his steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal." Teman is located in the area of Sela or Petra in the Paran desert and extends down the western border of Arabia. This verse identifies who Teman is: Gen 36:15 "These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, n Gatam and Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in Edom; they were grandsons of Adah." Mount Paran obviously refers to a mountain in this region. This is the area from which will come the great storm of Christ's return and moves towards the north. Moses also spoke of the coming of this great event just before he died: Deut 33:1 "This if the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said, "The LORD came from Sinai and dawned on them from Seir [TEMAN]; He shone forth from Mount PARAN. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from His mountain slopes. Surely it is You who love the people; all the holy ones are in Your hand.""
There are many scriptures that describe this event! Here are two of them:Isa 29:1, 5-6 "Woe to you, Ariel [Jerusalem], Ariel, the city where David settled!" V5 "But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorms and tempest and flames of devouring fire." Jer 30:23 "See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a driving wind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until He fully accomplishes the purposes of His heart. In days to come [latter days] you will understand this." These same words are recorded in Jer 23:19. This verse is set in the context of latter-day 'prophets' who pretend to proclaim God's Word! V16-18 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what he prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak of visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: you will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.' But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or hear His Word? Who has listened and heard His Word?" Be warned that those who promise you a 'place of safety' and peace, and a luxury berth on their gravy train, ARE LYING TO YOU!! Please believe God!
The United States of America is EPHRAIM - not Manasseh as the lying deceivers would have you believe! This has been covered in other articles. Ephraim is the headquarters of all the Churches of God, whereas Manasseh (Britain and Australia) are, spiritually speaking, stone dead and are destined to be cannon-fodder in the coming holocaust along with Ephraim!Isa 28 prophesies against Ephraim (V1) in the end-time, our time, and makes some very unflattering remarks about their conduct. These prophecies are covered extensively in other articles. Importantly, is what is said in V7 "And these [the nation of Ephraim - V1] also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth." V16 "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation (pointer: Zech 4:7-10); the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring-line and righteousness the plumb-line; hail will sweep away your refuge, THE LIE, and water will overflow your hiding-place." V19 (last sentence) "The understanding of this message will bring SHEER TERROR." This is not the sort of message you have been hearing from the false prophets is it? Yes, Ephraim will stagger from wine! They will align with the king of Babylon and actually trade with him! (Eze 27:17). Because of trade opportunities, they will overlook the emergence of this Satanic monster and actively support him - to their peril! In the meantime, the worthless shepherds will be alerting the Churches of God to watch for some 'Hitler' figure to arise from Germany! Utter madness!
Eze 27 actually describes a trading ship called 'Tyre.' This describes the vehicle of the king of Babylon and his final demise (V33-36). It's worth reading the whole chapter and especially note V17 that says Judah and Israel trades with this trading vessel.
THE MIGHTY POWER OF CHRIST
As Christ returns, and while still in the sky over Jerusalem, Habakkuk sees the glint of Christ's flying arrows, and the lightning of his flashing spear demolishing cities and nations around Jerusalem(Hab 3:7), and he realised that the flashing lights which he called arrows and spears for want of a better description, were the weapons of Christ, and were capable of massive destruction. He watched as mountains were levelled and hills collapsed and the whole earth took on a different appearance. Then he saw the new earth divided by rivers, and the ocean depths rising and flushing through the new river courses: Hab 3:9-10 "You split the earth with rivers; the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high. Sun and moon stood still in the heavens."
This is the Day of the LORD. Habakkuk knew that it was for a time in the future, and that he would have to wait patiently (in his grave) for the day of calamity [Day of the LORD -V16]. So great was the destruction he witnessed, he knew it was for another time. In his vision in Hab 3:13 he saw 'the leader of the land of wickedness' crushed, and stripped from head to foot: "You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot." The book of Revelation describes the demise of the leader of Babylon: Rev 17:16 "The Beast and the ten horns will hate the prostitute (Babylon). They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked." In both accounts the leader of Babylon is crushed and left naked along with the leader.
THE EARTH RE-SHAPED
Habakkuk realised that the events he saw were so awesome and depicted things that he was totally unfamiliar with. This great spectacle made his heart pound, his legs trembled, and his bones felt as if they had decayed:V16 "I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones and my legs trembled." Nothing in his day could even begin to resemble what he saw. Continuing: "Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us." He was transported to the Day of the LORD - just like the Apostle John (Rev 1:10) - and saw a totally unfamiliar world as it erupted into chaos. In this endtime vision he realized that it would be a long time before the worldly infrastructure that he saw became a reality. He realized he would have to wait patiently in the grave, just like Daniel (Dan 12:13) before these awesome things occurred.
As he stood on the wall rampart of the city, he saw the mountains levelled, new rivers emerged, and all the land around Jerusalem became a great plain. From the limited vantage point where Habakkuk was standing, this may have seemed like a local event; only affecting the area around Jerusalem. But other prophets record the same series of events at the return of Christ and describe it as a new heaven and a new earth. Now many, even in the Church of God, have believed that the new heavens and the new earth are to appear just before the Judgment mentioned inRev 20:11-15 and Dan 7:9-11, 26. Rev 21:1 'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.' This verse plainly says that the former heaven and earth had passed away. It doesn't say when it had passed away. Rather than make wild guesses or assumptions, its necessary to compare other sections of the Bible and determine when it occurred. All the clues are in Isa 65:17, 66:22, 51:6, 10-13, 2 Pet 3:13 and other places. The apostle Peter said that we Christians await the Day of the Lord (2Pet 3:10) and in V13 "But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." In fact, Habakkuk describes the earth as being divided by rivers - not seas. While this is a concept that is hard to grasp, in fact the earth's landmass will be restored to its original shape - one landmass, and this landmass will be divided by rivers. See our article: Geology, dinosaurs, chaos, what really happened to the earth? Click here.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
The Apostle Peter tells us that the heavens and the earth that now exist are being kept in store for the day of judgment for ungodly men and are reserved for fire. Which day of judgment?2Pet 3:10 tells us: 'But the Day of the Lord will come AS A THIEF in the night...' So the day of judgment of ungodly men is the Day of the Lord! It's a day that will come as a 'AS A THIEF in the night'. Notice what the book of Revelation has to say, and note also the time setting: Rev 16:14-16 'For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come AS A THIEF. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he [margin:they (that is, the demons)] gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.'(KJV).
This describes the Day of the Lord, and the great battle he will fight against the nations of the ungodly. Notice the words'lest he walk naked.' This refers to a prior prophecy, a fore-warning for the HOUSE OF ISRAEL: Eze 16:29, 35 "Then you increased your promiscuity to include BABYLONIA, a land of MERCHANTS, but even in this you were not satisfied." V35 "Therefore, you PROSTITUTE, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you poured out your wealth and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children's blood, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness." V39 "Then I will hand you over to your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewellery and leave you naked and bear." You'll notice that God doesn't favour trading with these Babylonian merchants - all Islam! He favours destroying them and plundering them and leaving them a ruin! But the House of Israel has chosen to trade with them - and they will suffer exactly what God will do afterwards to the Babylonians - all of Islam!
Christ said he would come AS A THIEF in the night(Matt 24:43-44, Luke 12:39, Rev 3:3), and the day that he arrives will be the Day of the Lord:
IThess 5:2-3 "For you 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 comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape."
Let's now continue in2Peter 3:10 "But the Day of the Lord will come AS A THIEF. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."
Continuing inRevelation 16 now, we read more about this Day of the Lord: Rev 16:17 "The seventh angel poured out his bowl in the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth; so tremendous was the quake. The great city of BABYLON (Rev 17:18) split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered BABYLON the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.'
There are no words adequate enough to describe this event, so the word 'earthquake' is used. What the word is really trying to describe is 'earth movement' which is evident in the description of'every island fled away' and 'the mountains could not be found.' Does the Scripture mean every island, or is Christ, as the revealer of the book of Revelation, exaggerating?
Well, believe it or not, Christ said that heaven and earth will pass away, but not one word that He has said will pass away until all is fulfilled. Not one word!(Matt 24:35, Luke 21:33) And certainly not that word 'every' that describes the islands or continents. It's speaking globally! Obviously, if we believe Christ our Saviour, and we should; then what is being described is something that is so awesome that the human mind tends to baulk at it. And what is the time setting for when the islands fled away and every mountain was levelled? During the Day of the Lord just after he deals with and destroys BABYLON the Great and immediately before he reigns giant hailstones on her confederates.
You will also notice thatRev 21:1 says there will be no more sea. Which sea? When the Bible speaks of the sea it usually means the Mediterranean Sea. Where it speaks of the dead sea it speaks of the hinder sea. When it mentions both it refers to them as the former and the hinder seas. Rev 21:1 is not speaking of the oceans of the world. It refers to landlocked seas. To understand why this is to be, one first has to know what the original landmass looked like and know what it will be like when Christ restores all things, including the earth. See the above link marked in blue concerning what happened to the earth.
First let's get an idea from the Bible about the fate of the Mediterranean Sea.
Isa 51 deals with this very subject and the new heavens and earth. This chapter contains a wealth of information that explains many things about other parts of the Bible. For now we'll only touch on those things that are under discussion here. Let's examine this chapter. Isa 51:3 "The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing."
Has this ever happened? Did the deserts ever bloom like the garden of Eden?
Isa 51:4 "Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation. The Law will go out from me; my justice will become a light for the nations."
When has this ever happened? This is describingIsa 2:3 where God says the law will go forth from Zion. This is to occur in the last days (V2). The nations will then beat their swords into ploughshares (V4). This will be the only time in the whole history of mankind that this will occur.
Isa 51:6 "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants die like flies."
Isn't this what we have been reading in the other Scripture? The heavens will vanish and the earth will suffer massive upheaval and renewal, and people will die by the billion?
Isa 51:9-11 "Are you not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent? Are you not the One who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the LORD WILL return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Rahab is used as an epithet against a hated nation, such as Egypt. But David uses it inPs 87:4 and links it to BABYLON. In Ps 89:10 he describes how God has broken her into pieces at the time of His Kingdom (V14). Rahab is symbolic of a great harlot. The context in Isa 51:9 describes the fate of the great harlot mentioned in Rev 17:5. Isaiah also describes the ransomed (captives) returning to Zion (Jerusalem). Notice that God dries the water of the sea, the great deep or sea, and his returning captives, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, will walk on a road where the Mediterranean Sea used to be.
There should be little doubt now about what the Bible means when it says there will be no more sea. The reality is that there will be no more seas or oceans dividing the nations. The whole landmass will be restored to its original shape, and will only be divided by rivers(Hab 3:9).
God has made provision for the ransomed to be returned to the promised land. When they do, it will be amid horrific fires and upheavals, the like of which the world has never seen!Isa 43:1 "But now, this is what the LORD says - He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Now we come toIsa 51:12-16. These verses begin with God comforting his people and assuring them that they no longer need to worry. Twice during these four verses God mentions that it is He that has stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth. Why? Because these pitiful wretches will have just returned from slavery and will have already witnessed this miracle of massive earth movement and signs in the heavens. God is reassuring them that he is the One who has done this miracle and it is He who will be protecting them for evermore.
Isa 51:12-16 "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men the sons of men, who are but grass, that you FORGET the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the FOUNDATION of the earth (landmass, country, ground - see Strong's concordance:0776) that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor (their captors) who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners (slaves) will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the LORD their God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar - the LORD Almighty is His name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand - I who set the heavens in place, who laid the FOUNDATIONS (landmass) of the earth and say to Zion, "You are my people.""
Perhaps you are still not convinced that God is actually going to restore the continents to their original positions. Perhaps you have always imagined that some mythical process called by the earth's theorists 'tectonic plate movement' is an ongoing process. Perhaps you as a Christian have imagined that God set this so-called process in motion as part of his creation. Or maybe you have found yourself being duped by this world's 'science falsely so-called, as described by the Apostle Paul in1Tim 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." KJV.
Did you know that David said that the continents were out of course? And did you know that David knew that God would again restore them?Ps 82:5 "They know not, neither will they understand; they walk in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are out of course." KJV. David prophesied of the destruction of the present creation of animals and the earth's renewal: Ps 104:29 "When You hide Your face they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When You send your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth." Since the vast majority of human life will be extinguished, animal life will suffer too. God will create a whole new animal kingdom. The greenies and the conservationists who bleed the public purse with their crazy theories are in for some shocks!
God makes it clear what He is talking about:Rev 10:5 "Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to his servants the prophets." This speaks of the time when there will be no more literary warnings - no more proclaiming of the truth of God to rebellious rabble, those who have refused to believe what they have already been taught will be caught up in the global holocaust that the Apostle Peter and others warned about. This scripture speaks of the mystery of God which is linked to the creation of the heavens, the earth, and the sea.
The time setting is established as 'when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet.' This is further described inRev 11:15 "The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud noises in heaven, which said, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.'" Isaiah further describes this time: Isa 24:18 "The floodgates of heaven are opened (pointer: Rev 11:19), the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken up, the earth split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls - never to rise again. In that day the LORD will PUNISH the POWERS in the HEAVENS ABOVE and the KINGS of the EARTH BELOW."
HABAKKUK PROPHESIED OF THE ENDHab 2:2 "Then the LORD replied, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will come and will not delay.""
Notice that this 'revelation' is to be made plain on tablets of stone; that is, engraved on stone, not papyrus! This is to ensure that they endure a long time. This is the way the Bible ensures that it's understood that it's a prophecy for a time in the distant future. Only the NIV accurately describes the phrase 'a herald may run with it.' This is the great problem with many versions of the Bible, that many of the translators decided what was important and what was not. Consequently, they were slovenly in their translations in order to promote readability. But this verse refers to a 'herald' and is a pointer to another scripture in the Book of Revelation. The Apostle John spoke of three herald angels. The first of these angels had the eternal Gospel to preach to the world at the time of the judgment(Dan 9:10-11, 26), and the second angel followed him. Of the first angel it says: Rev 14:6-7 "Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." V8 "A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is BABYLON the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." This verse confirms the prophecy of Habakkuk that BABYLON the Great will fall! And it also tells us when - after judgment has begun!
Habakkuk speaks of the leader of BABYLON and calls him the leader of wickedness(Hab 3:13). Daniel further describes him as an eleventh king: Dan 7:23 "The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth. If will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. AFTER them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change set times and laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever."
The Apostle John also speaks of this man, but he calls him by another title. Not 'leader of wickedness' as Habakkuk did, or an eleventh 'king' as Daniel did, but John calls him a 'beast'!Rev 13:11 "Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon." In fact, the true Lamb of God has seven horns (Rev 5:6). This 'beast' is further identified as having links to, and is ruled over by the dragon which is Satan the devil (Rev 12:9).
Daniel also mentions that those who know their God will firmly resist him and the great military juggernaut that will empower him.Dan 11:31 "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people that know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burnt or captured or plundered."
The 'abomination that causes desolation' is the image of the first beast that is set up by the second beast:Rev 13:12 "He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the inhabitants of the earth worship the first beast, whose deadly wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed."
This second beast, also called the 'false prophet' inRev 19:20, exercises 'ALL the authority of the first beast on his behalf.' And what is the authority of the first beast? Rev 13:1 "And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast HIS power and HIS throne and great authority." So this first beast has ALL the power and authority of Satan the devil, and sits on HIS throne! This beast, which Daniel describes as a man or a king, is here described as an empire consisting of ten kings. Of these ten kings, one is preeminent; this is the 'king of the north' (Dan 11:6, 28, 40). (See the article: The Beast of Daniel)
God will never grant the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY to anyone who won't believe His Word! You, the reader have some serious decisions to make! You either start believing God or you stay behind with the pack - those who prefer to believe the deceivers and liars! God is making this offer to you now: He is prepared to elevate you to the same stature as his mightiest angels and to impart to you the REAL Testimony of Jesus which is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY:Rev 19:10 "At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a FELLOW-SERVANT WITH YOU and with your brothers who hold to the TESTIMONY OF JESUS. Worship God! For the TESTIMONY OF JESUS is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY."
Many of you will be aware that Daniel was permitted to fall down prostrate before a mighty angel(Dan 10:9-12). Daniel was one of the greatest of all the prophets and was greatly loved by God (Dan 10:11, 19). But even Daniel was denied knowledge of the final outcome of all things (Dan 12:8-10). Those who have the Spirit of God and of Christ will understand the TESTIMONY OF JESUS. They will have the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY and they will INSTRUCT many (Dan 11:32-33). They will be the true BODY of Christ and will number just a few thousand. They will be communicating with one another and studying God's Word (Mal 3:16). To them, God's Word is precious! It is their first love! For such people, the love of God and His Word will transcend all else!
If this doesn't describe you, then you are not God's treasured possession!(Mal 3:17-18). If you are reading all the literature from many sources and awaiting the final outcome to see who 'wins' the prophecy stakes then you are not God's treasured possession! God's treasured possession - those who are His (V17) go to His Word for enlightenment. They are not religious hobbyists. Those who are God's - His treasured possession - will have an over-riding desire to TALK with ONE ANOTHER. They will love one another and desire to be together as a body - a Brotherhood of believers! At the appropriate moment in time they will be - soon! That's God's promise to you - provided you are studying God's Word and learning to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked: Mal 3:18 "And you will again see the DISTINCTION between the RIGHTEOUS and the WICKED, between those who SERVE God and those who DO NOT."
If you still believe that the Bible, when it speaks of Babylon, is relating to Rome, or the Catholic Church or the Pope, then you, like the rest of Christendom are deceived. God is calling His treasured possession out of this mad, lying, realm of deception. He is warning you not to learn Satan's so-called secrets(Rev 2:24). You must be SEPARATE from it all! As long as you listen to the lying deceivers who teach these things - you are not God's treasured possession. These evil deceivers are focused on deceiving you! But not from the Bible! Their sources are the paraphernalia of history and antiquity - the opinions of men!
More and more you will see lengthy articles written by these deceivers alluring you with their siren-like mysteries. They don't love God and His Word, even though they pretend to. They love only themselves and their reputations. Don't believe them! Believe only God's Word!
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