Jesus Christ and His earthly counterfeit opponent
With part V we enter the eschatological section of the Revelation. Chapters 1-11 are mostly focussing on the history of the church of Jesus Christ seen from different angles. There is some eschatology in these chapters in particularly the latter parts of the three visions: the seven letters, the seven seals and the seven trumpets. The last letter to the church of Loadicea deals with the church in the end times. What happens under seal number 6 also relates to end time issues, the same for seal number 7. When the seventh trumpet blows, it announces the end of things and the kingdoms of the earth becoming the kingdom of Jesus who will reign for ever and ever.
The bridging chapter 12 concludes with an end time scene the dragon, Satan, making war with the remnant which is Satan’s last attack before Christ appears in glory.
From chapter 13 onward we deal more in detail with last day events with flashbacks as in chapter 13 in regard to the apostate church/state of the middle ages, the 1260 year period.
But then we enter into detail in regard to the revival of that period in the latter days of the end time. Chapter 13 also reveals a new beast/power which will be instrumental in bringing the beast power which received the deadly wound back on stage.
Chapter 14 gives us clear insight in God’s involvement in end time events, sounding a message of warning which will be worldwide. This chapter also describes the coming of Christ in glory and the separation/harvest of ripe and unripe fruits of the world.
Chapters 15 & 16 reveal to us the last plagues the Lord will pour out over an unrepented world that will finally revolt against itself seeing it has been deceived and lost the battle against Christ because of its apostasy.
Chapter 17 gives us a clearer picture of the healing of the deadly wound of the sea beast power of 13:1-10 and how this last day revival of the revived church/state order does not succeed. It will be Daniel 2:43 in reverse for a relative very short period of time but then confirming this statement of Daniel completely, definitely and with irreversible eternal results.
Revelation 18 is an enlargement of the angel’s message of 14:8 and what the result will be when this message is definitely rejected by the people of planet earth and how their fragile unity in the church/state order will fall apart when it is too late.
With this overview of chapters 13-18 we can start our journey through these chapters step by step and point by point. We cannot give too much detail as the reader might wish, but Dr.Mervyn Maxwell’s book GOD CARES II will fill in what the reader might like to learn more about. Enquire about this book from www.adventistbookcenter.com
The KJV reads that John “stood upon the sand of the sea” that is to say on the beach and saw a beast rising up out of the sea. If you read another translation you may be confused. Was John standing on the beach and saw a beast coming up or did he just see a beast rising up out of the sea? The Greek reads literally “and I saw out of the sea a beast coming up”. Some translations do render it as such, the RSV, Berkeley, 5 out of 6 Dutch translations also give us this Greek version. Some translators must have thought that John must have been on the beach to see this beast coming up. In the Greek New testament the last sentence of chapter 12 is numbered as verse 18 and informs us that John stood on the sand of the sea, the beach. Then chapter 13 starts with “and I saw out of the sea a beast coming up”. Dr.Maxwell seems to give us the solution to this problem John standing on the beach while he got the vision of chapter 12 regarding the activities of the dragon. In chapter 13 we have two beasts, one coming up out of the sea and the other “coming up out of the earth”. Maxwell writes as follows: “The reason that the dragon ‘stood on the sand of the sea’ appears to be that sand marks the place where earth and sea meets.”
(GC II p.324) Maxwell takes it that the “he stood” as it reads in the Greek refers to the dragon and not to John. The God’s WORD version (Today’s Bible translation that says what it means) reads: The serpent stood on the sandy shore of the sea” Other Bible commentators seem to go along with this. Dr.Macarthur: ”Most manuscripts reads ‘He stood’ referring to the dragon or Satan (12:9, 17) (NUBR) The SDABC goes along with this as well, see vol.7 p.816 on Rev.13:1. This confirms what we have learned from Dr.Maxwell. In 13:1 it reads in the Greek “and I saw” clearly referring back to John and what he saw. We will leave it at this point.
The description that John saw reminds us of Daniel and what he saw in his dream/vision of beasts coming up out of the sea. Dan.7:3. The meaning of sea is giving in Rev.17:15 “The waters which thou sawest……are the peoples and the multitudes and nations and tongues.” Read also Isa.17:12, 13. Out of the stormy waters of the nations, empires and kingdoms have risen.
This image beast of revelation 13 also comes up from among peoples, populated nations. The beast is described as the dragon of chapter 12, having 7 heads and ten horns. Also names (plural in the Greek) of blasphemy are found on the beast. It reads “upon his heads” that these names are found. The dragon, Satan (12:9) is behind all beast-powers since Babylon and all have been involved in blasphemy, calling themselves god or godlike powers, boasting in their own human greatness and not giving honour to the Creator-God of the heavens. Remember the story of Daniel 4. The kind of blasphemy mentioned here is of a special character as we will notice later. The meaning of the seven heads is explained in chapter 17. In chapter 12 we have dealt with the dragon/Satan operating through the power of Pagan Rome. Here a new power is revealed used by the dragon/Satan in opposition to Christ and His church. According to 13:2 it is the dragon which gave to this beast “his power, his seat and great authority”. The dragon/Satan stood on the beach, sand of the sea, waiting for this new beast to come up and then to give it its power and authority. See here above regarding this matter. In our journey through Revelation 12 we have made it clear from history that when Pagan Rome declined, the bishop of Rome was ready to take over and establish Papal Rome starting in the 6th century in the year AD538. This year was the turning point in the existence of Pagan Rome when enemy armies were conquered by General Belisarius and the way was open for the Church of Rome to develop its power and supremacy.
This image sea beast, Papal Rome, equals the little horn of Daniel 7 which came up from among the ten horns on the unnamed beast. It is also the little horn of Daniel 8 where the one horn operates as Pagan and Papal Rome. It is also found in Daniel 11 as the King of the North and operating also as Pagan and Papal Rome.
In due course of dealing with this sea beast of revelation 13 we will make some comparisons with these horns of Daniel 7 & 8.
John who sees this in a vision was still living under Pagan Rome rule and when describing this beast he goes backward in history, of the four beasts of Daniel seven. The first one being a lion and representing Babylon, the next is a bear and is Medo-Persia which followed Babylon. Then comes a leopard which is the Grecian empire and the last is the unnamed beast, the empire of Pagan Rome. But when John describes the sea beast of Revelation 13 he starts with the leopard (remember John is still under Pagan Rome), followed by a bear and then comes the lion. This beast has something of each of these world empires. We call it a composite beast having features from the previous empires. A detailed study of Papal Rome would very well confirm this. The late Alexander Hislop in his book “The Two Babylons” reveals much of this adaptation by Papal Rome from previous religious practices. Much comes from ancient Babylon itself but also from Medo/Persia and Greece. Rome in its Pagan and Papal phase is the result of this historical inheritance and is even visible in the present time.
We have explained in chapter 12 that the dragon/Satan through the decline of Pagan Rome prepared the bishop of Rome to receive the Roman emperor’s seat and authority The bishop of Rome takes the emperor’s title, Pontifex Maximus. Popes today are still called Pontiff. The seat remains the same, Rome, where we find the Vatican or Holy Sea, and from that seat in Rome it exercises its world wide authority and influence.
Rev.13:3 in this verse we have in a few sentences a very important part of history described. One of the heads of the seven headed beast, the dragon/Satan is wounded to death, but it does not die. The deadly wound heals and all the world wondered after the beast. This should not surprise us because it goes against historical development. Babylon disappeared and so did Medo-Persia and Greece. But this empire is wounded to death, does not die, comes up again and regaining world attention. From our study of chapter 17 we will learn later that it was the fifth head of the dragon/ Satan beast which received that deadly wound which healed for a short while and gains global attention again. It was during the French revolution that general Berthier was sent to Rome and took Pope Pius VI prisoner and thus terminating Papal power and authority, separating church and state The unsuccessful mixture of iron and clay, church-craft and state-craft, see Daniel 2:43, is terminated. The status of the beast here in Revelation 13 is an amalgamation of church and state but throughout history proven very unsuccessful. History gives us very stormy pictures of the 1260 years of Papal Rome rule. Even within the papal sector in Rome itself it was often far from peaceful, one pope fighting the other and claiming authority in the Vatican. It is different from Revelation 17 where the woman sits on the beast but not amalgamated with the beast. Here in chapter 13 church and state are one body. Not only was the pope taken prisoner in 1798, but in September 1870 the Church of Rome lost its statehood and geographical territories in Italy. The church could not claim anymore to be a state at the same time. The deadly wound was inflicted deeply and would last for some time. But healing would come.
Regarding the identification of this apocalyptic beast Ellen G.White wrote the following in her book THE GREAT CONTROVERSY “In chapter 13 is described another beast, ‘like a leopard’ to which the dragon gave ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority’. This symbol as most Protestants have believed represents the papacy, which succeeded the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman Empire.” (GC p.439)
Dr.Le Roy Froom in his historical research confirms the above statement. He lists names of people from the 14th century who declared the first beast of Revelation 13 to be an image representation of Papal Rome. (See Prophetic Faith of our Fathers vol .II p. 156/7;p.530/1;vol.III p.744/5;vol.IV p.398/9 & 830/1) We like to make clear this does not apply to the individual person who is a member of The Roman Catholic Church, but to the papal system which has its headquarters in the Vatican of the city of Rome.
It is only since the early 20th century and beyond that Protestants have changed their view and turned away from accepting the fact that the first beast of Revelation 13 has found its fulfilment in the activities of Papal Rome during the 1260 year period from AD538-1798 . Later we will deal with this point why this change has come about
We will list here below what Daniel has written about the two little horns in chapters 7 & 8, first Daniel 7.
1.Daniel 7, 24 The little horn came up from among the ten horns on the head of the
unnamed beast, being pagan Rome, the fourth kingdom on earth, 7:23
2. Daniel 7:8, 20 It has eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things.
3. Daniel 7:21 It makes war with the saints, is a persecuting power.
4. Daniel 7:25 Speaks words against the Most High and again is mentioned
persecuting the saints. It changes times and laws. Its time will
be 3.5 times which is also mentioned in Dan.12:3 in connection with
the same power.
In Daniel 8 the little horn comes up out of the four winds of heaven, 8:8, 9. It follows the Grecian empire and has two phases, Pagan and Papal Rome, but under one prophetic symbol of little horn. (For a detailed study of Daniel the reader is referred to the book DANIEL by Dr.W.H.Shea and available from www.adventistbookcentre.com)
We list the following items of this little horn in its Papal Rome phase:
1. Daniel 8:11 It takes down the daily or tamid which relates to the heavenly
sanctuary, and institutes a worship service in opposition to the true
worship of God.
2..Daniel 8:24 This horn will be mighty and of a destructive nature and sets itself up
against the holy people, the saints, as does the horn of Daniel 7:21
To summarise these items we find that it is a power speaking great words against God, thinks to change times and laws, tramples on the sanctuary, persecutes the saints and its time is 1260 years based on the prophetic year/day principle as we have explained under Revelation 12. How does this compare with the first beast of Revelation 13?
- The first beast of revelation 13 receives power and authority from the dragon, who is the devil and Satan (Rev.12:9) which has been fulfilled through the transfer of pagan Roman power to the bishop of Rome which became papal Roman power. This is in harmony with the power and might of the L.Horn of Daniel 7 & 8.
- The little horn would think to change times and laws. We read of the first beast of Revelation 13:6 that it would speak against God’s tabernacle. In the tabernacle, God’s Holy sanctuary we find the most holy place and in the most holy place we find the holy ark of God (Rev.11:19) and in the ark we find the holy law of God., (Hebr.9:4; Ex.34:28,29;Deut.4:13;Rom.7:12) Papal Rome has acted against the law of God. The second commandment has been taken out; the fourth commandment has been changed from Sabbath to Sunday, from seventh day to first day of the week; and to arrive at ten, the tenth commandment has been split in two to make a total of Ten Commandments. We read in the Australian Roman Catholic catechism: Sunday to the Christian is the Lord’s Day more fully than Saturday ever could be to the faithful Israelite” (page 290) A strong statement without any Biblical foundation.
- Daniel also mentioned that times would be changed. This may relate to prophetic times. Revelation 13 states that this beast would have great authority. Upon authority of the pope in the 16th century two priests, Francisco Ribeira and Alcazar, both Jesuits, were commissioned to develop another way to interpret Bible prophecy in order to turn people away from the standard manner of interpretation of historicism. Ribeira came up with Futurism and Alcazar with preterism.. Futurism placed everything in the future, the end time and preterism .
placed everything in the past in the time of Pagan Rome. In this manner they tried
to turn people’s mind away from interpreting the L.Horn of Daniel 7/8 and
the first beast of Revelation 13 as being fulfilled by the papacy of the middle ages . In the19th century, most of Protestantism left historicism in favour of futurism.
The prophetic times of Bible prophecy were changed. Only a very small section
of Protestantism remained faithful to historicism.
4 More would be done against God’s tabernacle or sanctuary. It would blaspheme
against God, His name and sanctuary. Daniel says it acts against the daily or tamid and introducing a God opposing worship. (Dan.8:11, 12) (Read about the meaning of Tamid in the Daniel section of this website) It is well known that the service of the Mass in the Roman Catholic Church is in opposition to God and what He has instituted in His word in regard to the communion service. Biblical worship has its focus on Christ who was sacrificed once and for all (Hebr.9:28) and not offered “often”. (Hebr.9:25) In the Roman Catholic Church when they celebrate the mass Christ is offered again and that is each time mass is celebrated. Bread and wine in the mass are the literal and real body and blood of Christ sacrificed on the altar in the Roman Catholic Church. This is well explained in “SHALL I BE PRIEST” by William Doyle S.J. He explains clearly that in the Holy Mass of the Roman Catholic Church Christ is being sacrificed in different places. “With lightening speed Christ descends from his throne in heaven and the priest holds in his hands not anymore bread but the Melchizedeck of the New Testament his creator, redeemer and judge. Then after he has spoken the words of consecration over the wine the Lamb of God is sacrificed in a mystic manner, because the sacrifice of Calvary and the altar is one”. (“Shall I be Priest”, page 17 Dutch translation)
In the Australia Cathechism to be used in Catholic Schools of Australia dated 1st of September 1963 and published by E.J.Dwyer we read on page 196:
“Q. – What happens at the consecration?
A- At the consecration the priest offers the sacrifice by changing the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.”
On the same page 196 we read the following:” The consecration: two prayers begging that God will accept our offering, then the priest takes the bread and says and does what Christ said and did at the Last Supper. Similarly with the chalice. this double consecration. is the offering of the sacrifice. Our gifts have become the body and blood of Christ, and by that act the sacrifice has been offered”
Then we read on the same page 196 that, “The elevation of the Host and the chalice was not introduced into the Mass till more than a thousand years after Calvary.”
These are clearly big words against God and Christ. We have notice here before that Christ was offered once and for all, but in the Mass Christ is offered daily. This is worship in opposition to what God has instituted. Of both the little horn of Daniel 7 & 8 and of the first beast of Revelation 13 it is said that they would speak great things and blasphemies. The Mass in the Roman Catholic Church is clear evidence of such great things not in harmony with God and His Holy Word.
5 In the Roman Catholic Church some strong and amazing words have been said in regard to Mary, the mother of Jesus in his human incarnation. According to the Roman Catholic Church Mary is the mother of God. That is a very strong statement, which we do not find anywhere in the Holy Scriptures. Mary is also called the Queen of Heaven. This is another strong statement and even dangerous. In OT times the Queen of Heaven was worshiped by Israel in Jeremiah’s time and strongly condemned. Read Jeremiah 44:17-25. The Queen of heaven was a female heathen deity probably to be identified with the Assyria-Babylonian Ishtar and the Palestinian Ashtoreth or Astarte. (SDABC Vol.8, page 920 and also in ”Bijbelse Encyclopaedie” page.54-55) It is a Roman Catholic doctrine that Mary ascended into the heavens body and .soul and the event is celebrated August 15, but lacks all scriptural evidence. This doctrine is being told to children in the Australia Catechism, page 94
- Of both the L.Horn in Daniel 7 and the beast of Revelation 13 it is said that it
would make war with the saints, Dan.7:21 & Rev.13:7. This indicates that it
would be a persecuting power. The history of the middle ages and what happened at that time is clear evidence how this has been fulfilled. By both the L.Horn and
first beast of Revelation 13, being the same power under influence of the dragon
and have been engaged in persecuting the saints..
- Finally there is the time element in regard to the duration of this power before it
receives the deadly wound. In Daniel 7:25; 12:7 and in Revelation 11:2; 11:3;
12:6; 12:14 and 13:3 we do read about a prophetic time span of 1260 years. This
has been discussed in detail in part IV, Revelation 12. It is another point of
evidence that the L.Horn of Daniel and the first beast of Revelation 13 are the
same and finding its fulfilment at the same time in history.
It is a shame that so many of earth’s population are entangled in that system. The blame is not on the people but on the system which has deceived them. Ellen G.
White who has written much to unveil this apostate religious system writes as follows: “Not all in the world are lawless and sinful. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men in the fallen churches.”
“In heathen Africa, in catholic Lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the Islands of the sea and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law.” (Prophet and Kings P.189)
“Not withstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great body of Christ’s followers are still to be found in her communion. There are many of those who have never seen the special truths for this time.” (EGW in Gr.Controversy, p. 390)
These quotations make it crystal clear that we must condemn the apostate system, but not the people who innocently worship in that system. Only when the call to come out reaches them and by their own choice they decide to remain in that system then they will be condemned because of their choice.Matt.20:28. John 3:17-19
The apostate system has been revealed in prophecy point by point and each time giving more information. First in Daniel 2:42-43 as the unsuccessful mixture of iron and clay, church craft and statecraft, Papal Rome following Pagan Rome and trying to mix church and state with the church controlling the state.
Then in Daniel 7 we find the same system revealed under the image of a little horn coming up from among the ten horns of the unnamed beast. Pagan Roman Empire which was the fourth kingdom and coming to an end in AD476. Papal Rome followed and took much over from Pagan Rome AD538, Dan.7:8, 20, 21, 24, and 25.
In Daniel 8 we find the two powers appear under one little horn coming out of the four winds of heaven, Dan.8:9-12. First phase is Pagan Rome followed by Papal Rome and practicing everything which has been said and which we have discussed here above.
Finally in Daniel 11 we do meet these two powers again but under the name of the King of the North. Take notice of my study in the Daniel section of Daniel 11:40-45.
In the Revelation we find the same apostate power in different chapters. In Rev.2:12-29
it is described in the letters to Pergamos and Thyatira. In Rev.6:5-8 the black and pale horse are symbols of the time of great apostasy. In Rev.11:2, 3 we find this apostate period being a part of the vision of the sixth trumpet. Revelation 12 reveals the church as being persecuted by the dragon and she has to hide herself in the desert,
Revelation 12:6, 14-17
Revelation 13 speaks of the same apostasy under the symbol of a sea beast and receiving a deadly wound. This is followed by chapter 14 with a last warning message from heaven against this apostasy with a strong emphasis in chapter 18:1-4 and a powerful call to come out of that apostate system. Finally in Revelation 17 we have a summary of the whole apostate period, the healing of the deadly wound and how it all comes to an end.
Is it correct to call this system Anti-Christ? Many refer to the first beast of Revelation 13 as Anti-Christ. When we hear that system speak it talks a lot about Christ and does not show itself as being Anti or against Christ. We need to understand what the word Anti-Christ means. The first impression is the meaning of being against something. This is confirmed by the Oxford Dictionary, Anti means to be opposed to something. A check via Google in my computer reveals that Anti also has the meaning of “Instead of”, “for or as”, “on behalf of”, “for the purpose of”. This leads us to the word vicar which has a similar meaning and from the Latin word “vicarius”. It is well know that one of the titles of the pope is “Vicar of Christ”. He presents himself as taking the place of Christ on earth. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to take His place on earth, John 16:5-16. But by the title “Vicar of Christ” the pope declares to have taken the place of Christ on earth. The Mass is in place of the communion service instituted by Christ himself. Sunday worship is instituted to take the place of the Seventh-day Sabbath. Infant baptism has taken the place of the baptism of believers. The Bible speaks about one Mediator, 1Tim.2:5 but the Roman Catholic Church has added Mary and “saints” as mediator. This again is in place of the word of Christ. In spite of the fact that the Roman Catholic Church speaks much about Christ it has instituted and does practice many things in place of Christ and qualifies clearly to be named Anti-Christ or a religious institution which does practice religious activities ‘in place of Christ” which are clearly in opposition to what Christ has taught and instituted.
John, the apostle who wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ, does not use the expression “Anti-Christ”, but uses it in his epistles, 1John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2John 7. John uses the word for people who do teach doctrine in opposition to the Word of Christ or the Word of God, and he calls them liars and Anti-Christ. Following that line of thinking of John the apostle, we are justified to call the L.Horn of Daniel and the first beast of Revelation 13 Anti-Christ. But as said here before it is incorrect to call people entangled in that religious system Anti-Christ. God loves them; many of them are His people, He is calling them out through His end time messages of Rev.14:6-12 and 18:1-4. This religious system is the same what is described by the apostle Paul in 2Thess.2:1-7 and thus qualifies also for the title Anti-Christ. It is the great falling away from the truth of God’s Word and from Jesus Himself who declared to be the Truth, John 14:6.
Paul made it clear that in his days something was holding back the full revelation of this great apostasy or falling away. We know now from history that it was Pagan Rome which stood in the way. But when in the fifth century, AD476 Pagan Rome collapsed, the way was free for the bishop of Rome to take its place and the great apostasy or falling away from the truth in Christ took place unrestrained. The dragon, Satan or devil, Rev.12:9, now started his destructive work through Papal Rome. Church and state became fully mixed but unsuccessful, according to Dan.2:42/3 It would be given 1260 years but then the deadly would be inflicted which took place at the time of the French revolution, in 1798.
Dr.Mervyn Maxwell writes as follows: “The papacy had experienced other military defeats and even captivities during its long 1260 years, but this one was unique in two highly significant ways. It came as the climax of several centuries of decline in the influence of Catholicism on the minds of Europeans, and it was not merely a military coup but was a stroke deliberately intended to terminate the papacy forever.” (God Cares II, p.328)
Dr.Maxwell quotes George Trevor who wrote in 1868:”The Papacy was extinct; not a vestige of its existence remained, and among all the Roman Catholic powers not a finger was stirred in its defence. The eternal city had no longer prince or pontiff; its bishop was a dying captive in foreign lands; and the decree was already announced
that no successor would be allowed in his place.” (God Cares II, p.329)
“About a century later, Joseph Rickaby, a Jesuit priest, observed that when, in August 1799 pope Pius VI passed away as a French prisoner, “half Europe thought…..that with the pope the Papacy was dead” (Ib.329)
In particular in France, which had always been a very strong supporter of the Papacy and the church of Rome a complete and radical separation of church and state took place declaring itself by its constitution a secular state. This has lasted up to the present time and was noticeable when the current Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 brought an official visit to France.
We have noticed in Revelation 11:13 that “the tenth part of the city fell”. The city being Babylon, the Roman Ecclesiastical Empire built upon the ruins of Pagan Rome Empire which had fallen in decline and was terminated by the attacks of ten eastern tribes. Out of those ten tribes emerged modern Europe and one of those European countries was France and it made a clear cut or separation from the Church. Not so in other countries. Germany maintained relationship with the Lutheran Church and England with the Anglican Church and the Netherlands with the Dutch reformed. Through the centuries the Papacy had established itself also as a Kingdom with territory in Italy. In 1870 this was brought to an end as well by the military of Italy. From that time onward the papacy was clearly without worldly power and the Pope entered a time of being the prisoner of the Vatican. Mussolini. changed that situation in 1929 and restored the Vatican to statehood within the city of Rome thus making the Church of Rome a church/state again with the right to send ambassadors to other countries and receive ambassadors from other countries.
I found this confirmed by Dr. H.Berkhof in his Dutch “History of the Church” page 300 and from Dr.Brouwer in his church history book page 51.
According to Rev.13:3 the inflicted deadly wound would be healed. Healing takes time and historically it started in 1929. From that time the Pope was again head of the Roman Catholic Church and King of the Vatican State. Since that year most countries have established diplomatic relationship with the Vatican thus recognising it as a state. Even protestant USA has established such relation in March 1984. and has an ambassador at the Vatican. It was first rejected in October 1951 but almost 100% unopposed when suggested by Ronald Reagan who was president of the USA at that time. Today the head of the Vatican State and at the same time Pope of the Roman Catholic Church when he travels abroad is welcomed and honoured as head of state by the heads of the states he visits. He is fully honoured as King and priest, some even kneeling before him which comes close to giving divine worship. Paul wrote about this in 2Thess2:4 “Exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.” In the 20th and now in the 21st century we have been eyewitnesses via our TV screens how the Pope when he visits countries is treated and receives as it were divine worship. Revelation 13:3, 4 tells us that the world would wonder after the beast. When the late Pope John Paul II was dead and lay in state, USA presidents knelt down before his dead body and this was made visible to all over the world on people’s TV screens.
In Rev.13:8 we read that all that dwell upon the earth will worship him, whose names are not written in the book of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The deadly wound is not fully and completely healed yet, it is almost but not yet. Church and state have to come even closer before we can say that the deadly wound has been healed. Before that will take place we must make sure that our name is written in the book of the Lamb. Dear reader may I urge you to be fully surrendered to the only True God and His Son Jesus Christ Who is Lord. Accept the urgent message of the apostle Paul in 2Cor.6:16-7:1.
Rev.13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. Accept that message and do not turn away from it.
Rev.13:10, what Papal Rome has done to others will be experienced by herself. She has experienced it when the deadly wound was inflicted and will again experience this when all things come to an end and never to be repeated again. The true people of God in that time showed patience and faith in God and Jesus Christ Who is Lord.
Revelation 13:11-18 this section reveals another beast not coming out of the sea, from a populous area of planet earth, but out of the earth the opposite of sea, an area not populous. From now on when we read about The Beast, we establish the fact that it refers to the first beast of Revelation 13:1-10. More than once we will meet it in our reading. We do find it in Rev.13:11 speaking as the dragon, which is a reference to the first beast who received power from the dragon, 13:3. In 13:12 two times a reference to the first beast. Then in 13:14, 15 two times and in Rev.13:17, 18 two times again. Further we meet the beast in Rev.14:9-11 two times; 15:2; 16:2,10 seat of the beast; 16:13 mouth of the beast; 17:8, 11, 17; 19:19, 20; 20:10.
In connection with the beast we also find a few times mentioned “the false prophet.”
Rev.16:13; 19:20; 20:10. False prophets are those who do teach false doctrine regarding Christ, 1John 4:1-3. We do understand from the Revelation of Jesus Christ,
the apocalypse, that the false prophet equals the second beast of Revelation 13 who works for the first beast and makes an image of the first beast, Rev.13:12, and also causes the world to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed., 13:13.
The NASB translation of the Bible in its footnote by 16:13 calls the false prophet the lieutenant of the first beast, which is a very appropriate identification. The same is found in a footnote of the Jerusalem Bible. The heading of Rev.13:11 in the JB reads
The false prophet as the slave of the beast. And 13:12 reads in the JB This second beast was servant to the first beast. The footnote in the JB under Rev.13 g. reads Also called ‘the false prophet’, 16:13; 19:20; 20:10.(Very interesting indeed, to find this in the Jerusalem Bible which is understood to be endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church)
From Revelation 12 we have learned that the woman, the church, who was persecuted severely by the dragon under Papal Rome, during period of the 1260 years, received help from the earth, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. Rev.12:16. The flood was then the flood of persecution she received from the dragon.
We have established the fact that the earth was the discovery of the Americas by Columbus in the 16th century and many of the persecuted Protestants of Europe took refuge in the newly discovered continent of the earth. Remember the story of the Mayflower in AD1620. The Protestant refugees established a new nation in the Americas.
We are confidant to be correct that the “earth” of Revelation 12:16 is the same as
the “earth” of Revelation 13:11 out of which came another beast with two horns. Most powers in prophecy are illustrated by beast images coming out of the sea. The four beasts of Daniel 7 are coming up out of the sea after the winds have been stirring up the sea. (Dan.7:2, NASB) Winds have to do with strife, commotion and most likely wars. (Jer.25:32; 30:23; Rev.7:1) History gives clear evidence of this view.
sea is an image of peoples and nations, Isa.17:12, 13; Rev.17:15.
Earth is the opposite of sea, dry and without established nations. Which nation does fit this image of coming out of the earth and not out of the sea whose waters has been stirred up (Dan.7:2 NASB)?
The beast also has two horns like a lamb and spoke as a dragon. Looks like a lamb but turns around and starts to speak like a dragon. That’s quite a change in character.
Regarding its activities we are informed of the following:
- Before the first beast it exercises all the power of the first beast, 13:12
- It causes the people of the earth to worship the beast whose deadly wound was healed. Ib.
- Does wonders, even making fire come down from heaven, 13:13
- In view of the first beast by way of miracles it deceives the world and makes an image of the first beast whose wound was healed, 13:14
- It would give life unto the image and causes that those who do not worship the image will be killed, 13:15
- .This beast also causes all to receive a mark, 13:16
- The mark is called the mark of the beast; the beast which received the deadly wound, but did not die, Rev.13:17; 15:2; 16:2. According to 15:2 and 16:2 the mark is associated with the image of the first beast of Revelation 13, not of the second beast who makes the image. Also an economic boycott is mentioned for those who do not have that mark. Then we learn that the first beast has a special name and a number is related to that name. It is also said to be the number of a man, Rev.13:18
When we read all of this it comes to our mind what we find in Daniel 3 where king Nebuchadnezzar erects an image and demands universal worship on pain of death in a fiercely burning oven. Three men refuse to worship the image and are thrown into the oven but rescued by the Creator-God of heaven who only has the right to receive divine worship. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ reveals two kinds of worship. Worship of the true God who has as His city Jerusalem and false or counterfeit worship which is related to the apocalyptic city Babylon the Great, Rev.17:5 The messages of Rev.14:6-12 and 18:1-4 are warnings against that kind of false worship and calling, God’s people , to come out before it is too late.
But let’s go back to the second beast and try to identify that beast and which nation qualifies to answer the given identifications. There are only two nations who have developed from a virtually dry earth situation. That is Australia and the United States of America. We have learned from Revelation 12 that the “earth” country would be a refuge for persecuted Protestants. Australia did not become populated by persecuted Protestants,
but by convicts sent by the government of England. After WWII a flood of people came to Australia for political and economic reasons.
The story is different for the United States of America. After Columbus discovered this continent the early settlers were persecuted Protestants from Europe. Remember again the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620.To designate the second beast of Revelation 13 being the Protestant nation of the Unites States of America is not an exclusive Seventh-day Adventist idea but was voiced and may be for the first time by a Baptist historian Isaac Bachus (1724-1806) (see Proph.Faith of our Fathers vol.III pp.212-214) In volume IV Dr.Froom lists other names who do identify the second beast in the same manner as Isaac Bachus does.(see listings on pp.1091/2) There are not many, but those who do are pointing the finger in that direction and also calling it the “false prophet”. About this expression of false prophet we will say more later.
We will first look closer at Reve.13:11 where the beast is described as being lamblike and having two horns. In the book of the Revelation we find the word Lamb 29 times and related to Jesus Christ. John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God, John 1:29, 36 Jesus is the one who will take away the sins of the world. He is the Lamb spoken of in Rev.13:8 and who has a book where the names of the faithful saints will be found written. The blood of the Lamb gave victory to those people mentioned in Rev.12:11. The wrath of the Lamb will be upon those who are not ready when He returns in Glory, Rev.6:14-17.
The other texts about the Lamb are in Rev.5:6, 8. 12, 13,;6:1; 7:9, 10, 14,17; 14:1,4, 4, 10; 15:3,;17:14, 14;19:7, 9; 21:9,14, 22, 23, 27,; 22:1, 3. (Counted from Strong’s Concordance)
The word like a lamb in 13:11 is related to the second beast which has also two horns. This beast would initially be of a peaceful nature. From Daniel we learn that horns relate to powers or kings. The first settlers on the virgin soil of America they aimed for a nation without a king and a church without a Pope and the two being strictly separated. The American revolution of the 18th century brought freedom from British colonialism and they declared independence on July 4, 1776. In their constitution they made a clear distinction between church and state.
Dr.Mervyn Maxwell describes this as follows: “July 4, 1776 is the date we take for America’s birth, when as Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘this country’s fathers brought forth upon this continent a nation “conceived in liberty”. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” it said,” that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Beautiful gentle, almost Christlike words.” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof,” says the First Amendment, adopted with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791.” (From Maxwell in God Cares II p.341-343)
There is no question left when we read about this new nation, we are dealing with the second beast of Revelation 13:11-18. It started its course of action among the nations of the world well intended and peaceful as a lamb. It kept the two powers, the spiritual and the secular, which had been so intertwined for many centuries, clearly apart in their operations. But this would change, the reading of Rev.13:12 says that it would speak as the dragon and exercising all the power of the first beast before the first beast. A new relationship would take place with the first beast. It would also qualify for being a false prophet, Rev.16:13. How would she qualify for that title or identification?
When the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 sailed for the new land, America, their pastor John Robinson admonished them to be “very confident that the Lord had more truth and light yet to break forth out of the Holy Word.”(Dr.Froom in Faith of our fathers Vol.III p.20)
However when more truth became clear and revealed from the Holy Word of God Protestantism in general did not accept. Modern day spiritism was born in the USA in 1848, and found great acceptance in the USA and around the world. Pentecostalism started its journey around the globe from the USA (see New Dictionary of Theology pp.502/3) The study of Bible prophecy, especially Daniel and Revelation drifted away from using historicism,as was used historically used by Protestants, and changed into futurism and preterism which are inventions of the first beast, the Papal Rome Church, as we have discussed here before. The USA, personifying Protestantism, earned for itself the title “false prophet” of Rev.16:13
The series of books “Left Behind” published in the USA but disseminated worldwide and finding entrance in the spiritual and theological thinking of many, many people are another indication of being a false prophet. These books do present false scenarios of end time events and are giving a wrong picture of the coming of Christ when compared with the clear picture we find in the scriptures in spite of the fact that they use scripture to support their ideas.
The dragon, the old serpent called devil and Satan” (12:9) acted already in heaven as a false prophet and drawing many angels behind him, 12:4. Read what Jesus had to say about the devil in John 8:44. He is a liar and that is a false prophet. He acted as a liar, a false prophet in the Garden of Eden and using a serpent to disguise himself. Read the story in Genesis 3. He lied by telling Eve she would not die when eating from the forbidden tree. But she did die and still millions around the globe today believe the same lie, Christians and non-Christians alike.
Revelation 13:12 also tells us that this second beast, false prophet, will use all the power of the first beast and will cause the people to worship the first beast. In other words it will be a leading force to take the world back to Rome using the same power the first beast had, the combination of church and state.
For many years this new nation was quiet and dormant. But after WWII its position among the nations of the world changed dramatically. This became very clear in the latter part of the 20th century when USA president Ronald Reagan went into partner ship with the Vatican, Pope John Paul II, and what was called by Time magazine a Holy Alliance. This partnership resulted in the downfall of the Soviet Union and making the USA the leading Super Power of the world.
Previous popes before John Paul II had already started to travel the world and gaining massive attention from the world’s population. This was further extended through the world travels of Pope John Paul II. When this pope died he got even more honour, people kneeling down before the place where he was shown as a dead pope and even three USA past and present presidents knelt down before him, thus giving him even in his death divine honour.
According to Revelation 13:13 the second beast, USA, will strengthen its power further by doing wonders and even calling fire from heaven. More about this when we reach 16:13, 14.However it is better not to speculate too much about these things, future will tell how this will be fulfilled in detail.
Rev.13:14-16 tells us that an image of the first beast will be made by the second beast, the USA. What could that mean? The power of the first beast as we have seen several times, was the combination of church and state. The church used state power to enforce its religious ideas, with the result that those who did not accept these ideas were called heretics and placed under persecution. Also the second beast would cause that such people who would go along, receive a mark on their forehead or right hand. Now the same thing will happen again under leadership of the second beast or the USA, church and state will work together again and the issue will be worship. Rev.13:12 In essence it will mean worship of the dragon, 13:4 and also it will be universal, 13:8, and again the death penalty will be issued for those who do not go along with this kind of worship.
We will learn later in our study of Revelation 14:6, 7 that a universal message from heaven is being preached calling people to worship the Creator-God. On one side we have a call to worship the beast under influence of the second beast the false prophet
On the other hand we have the divine call from heaven to worship the God who made heaven and earth. This call from Rev.14:7 is a direct quote from the fourth commandment of the Ten Commandments and found in Exodus 20:11. That is the only one of the ten which relates itself to worship. The opposite of Seventh-day Sabbath worship of the Creator-God is first-day Sunday worship as instituted by the church system of which we established the name Anti-Christ, doing things in place of Christ of what Christ has instituted. Jesus Christ is not Lord of Sunday but He declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath, Mark.2:28 and established the custom to go to the synagogue (church) on the Sabbath day, Luke 4:16. Better example we cannot have than what Jesus himself has done. Nowhere in the scripture d0 we find any word of Christ or little hint that He had in mind to change Seventh-day Sabbath worship into First day Sunday worship (read Matt.5:17, 18) Sunday worship and church going on Sunday is a man made custom with no reference anywhere in the scriptures. We are told by divine instruction to remember to keep the Seventh day Sabbath holy, Ex.20:8-11. The Seventh-day Sabbath finds its origin in creation, Gen.2:1, 2
It is quite significant that the late Pope John Paul II and Pontiff Benedict XVI are strongly agitating for stricter Sunday keeping. When this will be legislated some will accept for reasons of religious conviction or profession, marked in their mind others will go along for social reasons having a day off work, marked on their right hand.
Those who receive the seal of God will receive this only in their foreheads, Rev.14:1; 7:3
and 22:4, they can only receive this by a firm decision or profession to serve God and Him only, as Joshua asked of the people in his time, Josh.24:14, 15 We cannot make a decision to worship the Creator-God for social reasons and not really being convinced of it in our mind. We must have the mind of Christ, Phil.2:5, which was a decided mind. Notice what it says about Christ in Isa.50:7 and Luke 9:51. The final battle will be between the one who instituted the Seventh-day Sabbath and the one who replaced the Seventh-day Sabbath for first day Sunday worship. It is not between different denominations, but between the true God and the one who pretend to be God on earth, taking the place of Christ on earth, 2Thess.2:4. (Regarding this issue more can be found in our study of the third angel message to be found on this website in the Revelation section.)
The next point we have to pay attention to is what is mentioned in Rev.13:17, 18. The beast, first one also called Anti-Christ has a peculiar name and a hidden number related to that name. One of the titles of the head of the Church of Rome, the Pope is, Vicar of Christ.This is an abbreviation of a title used in the past “Vicarius Filii Dei”. Both Oxford and Webster dictionaries making it clear that “vicar” means to take the place of somebody, acting in place of. The Pope claims to take the place of Christ on earth. There is no scriptural evidence that somebody has been appointed by Christ to take His place after He would have returned to heaven. He promised the Holy Spirit to take His place. Read carefully Christ’s discourse in John 14-16. The number of a man, of the beast is related to the name and the number is not 666 or three digitals of 6 in a row, but written as a number “six hundred threescore and six” we should not look for the meaning of the number 6 but in which name is hidden six hundred threescore and six. That search leads us to the title Vicarius Filii Dei in which we find the Latin numbers and totalling six hundred threescore and six. (For more detail and historical evidence go to study” The number of a man” in section General Studies of this website).
We will only make a summary of this chapter because already several studies of this chapter are available on this website in the Revelation section. The titles of these studies are as follows:
1.”Revelation 14’s Multiple Dimensions”. This deals with the different trilogies of this chapter.
2.”Gospel and Judgment”, deals with 14:6, 7, first angel message.
3.”Gospel Challenges” also 14:6, 7 from the first angel message.
4.”Gospel Operations” more from 14:6, 7 and the focus is on the Eternal Gospel as mentioned in 14:6.
5.”Worship”.In the first angel message we find the call to worship the Creator-God. This study explains Biblical worship.
6.”Second Angel Message”, 14:8 and 18:1-4
7.”Third Angel Message” is about 14:9-11
Revelation 14 starts with the faithful group under the number “an hundred and forty four thousand”. It must be clear to the reader that we are dealing with the same group as mentioned in Revelation 7. Comments about revelation 7 can be found in our study of Revelation part II. In chapter 14 we find some additional information or identification of this special group of faithful people. This whole chapter 14 deals with end time events regarding the glorious return of Jesus Christ. End time people 1-5; end time message 6-12; end time event, the return of Christ and the harvest of the earth. 13-20
Let’s move through this chapter verse by verse:
14:1 John sees three things of importance:
- He sees the Lamb on mount Sion. Christ is the Lamb, John 1:29. It is the Lamb slain, Rev.5:6; 13:8; Isa.53. Now we see the Lamb victorious “on mount Sion”. The marks of having been slain will still be visible, Zech.13:6, but He is now with God in Glory. Psalms 48:1, 2 tells us that Mount Sion is the place where God resides, Isa.8:18; Hebr.12:22, the place of His Holiness and “city of the Great King”. There are religious groups who do approach their leader with the title “your holiness”. This is plain blasphemy because only the God of heaven, the Creator God has a right to the title of “Holiness”.
- With the Lamb are seen “an hundred and forty four thousand” who stood firm and faithful against the other people operating under him who has the number six hundred and threescore and six, 13:18. Revelation 6 ends with the question “who shall be able to stand?” that means, able to stand the wrath of the Lamb”.
The wrath of the Lamb will be visible in the day of His glorious return, the Day of Judgment. According to Rev.12:17 Satan will make a last attack on the faithful church of God, the remnant, but they will fail to overcome them. Revelation 7 is the answer to that last question of Revelation 6:16. Now here in Revelation 14:1-5 we have some more about these faithful people. Roy Anderson writes as follows: “How good to know that God’s faithful one will remain true to Him in spite of threats of earthly powers and that He will provide for them”. (Unfolding Revelation p.147)
14:2, 3 Before John describes the people he gives us a picture of the place where they are.
It is a place of joy, happiness and victory and he hears a voice of many waters and of thunder, like in 1:15; 4:5; 6:1. The place is around the throne of God where the four “beasts” or beings are and the elders as in 4:6-8. They sing a new song which only this special group of victorious people is able to sing. More about this in 15:3. They are joyful about their redemption from earth which comes only through Jesus Christ our Lord, Eph.1:7; Col.1:14. Anderson writes about this as follows: “This is not only a song of victory; it is a song of experience. Only those who have passed through the time of trouble, who have stood firmly for God’s truth when all the world wondered after the beast, and who have witnessed the awful effects of the seven last plagues, will be able to join in this particular song. It is a ‘new song’, for it records a ‘new’ experience. It is majestic and sublime, yet sweet and tender – the most lovely song in heaven or earth, ‘like harpers harping with their harps’. Those only who have experienced full salvation
from sin learn it.” (Unfolding Revelation page 148)
14:4, 5 in these verses we are giving a character description of this special group. If anybody wonders who are these one hundred and forty-four thousand then here is the answer.
- From verse 1 we learned that they have His Father’s name written in their foreheads. We learn from the Revelation that we have either the name of our heavenly father or the name of the Anti-Christ, the one opposing true worship. In the end-time we have to choose between true worship of the Creator-God and to remember to keep holy the Seventh-day Sabbath which reminds us of God’s creation or accept the day which is in place of the Sabbath, first day Sunday celebration.
- They are virgins, not defiled with women. A woman in scripture stands for a church.Isa.54:5, 6; Jer.6:2; Hos.2:19; 2Cor.11:2. The woman of Revelation 12 is in white and is God’s true church. The one we will find in Revelation 17 is dressed differently and has daughters and is the apostate church, fallen away from God’s truth. 2. Thess.2:3, 4. The people of God described here are free from apostasy, they are clean, virgins. In Matt.25:1-13 we have Christ’s parable about His church as virgins.” The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, are greatly in the minority” (E.G.White in S.O.P. vol.4, p.276)
- They follow the Lamb everywhere. When Jesus was on earth often He invited people to follow Him, Matt.4:19; 9:19; Mark 2:14; 10:21; Luke 5:27; John 12:26. This group has done that and they answered the call to follow Jesus.
- They are redeemed people from sin and this earth, unto God and to the Lamb.Rev.5:9
- They are also called first fruits. This is a quality expression, not the first in number; they are special, redeemed from a special time in earth history. Anderson explains this as follows “The expression ‘first fruits’ refers to quality. Of all those redeemed from the earth, these are the first in quality. They have been ‘purchased away from men’. They have been separated from the sinful habits and conversation of the world. 1Corinthians 6:20. They have not been deluded by the doctrines of the devil. 2Thessalonians 2:9-11.” (ibid. Unfolding, p.149)
- Finally, in their mouth is found no guile because they are without fault before God. They are the people of Psalms 1 & 15 and of Zeph.3; 13. They are saved by grace through faith, Eph.2:8 and grace also has been their teacher, Titus 2:11, 12. Grace redeems from sin, and grace teaches to live holy lives and not in sin. As Jesus discharged the woman by grace and told her go home and sin no more, John 8:11
14:6-11 We have reached now a very important section of the Revelation of Jesus Christ,
revealing His last day message to the people of planet earth before He returns in
glory. It is illustrated as angels flying in the midst of heaven indicating that it is a
worldwide preaching to all peoples of planet earth.. These messages have been
proceeded by the vision of the redeemed people on mount Sion as an encourage-
ment that the preaching of this message will not be in vain. (14:1-5, 12)
Revelation 14:6, 7 deals with the first angel message the preaching of the Everlasting Gospel. In Rom.1:1-3 and 1 Cor.15:1-8 we do find the Apostle Paul’s declaration of what the Gospel is. It is all centred in Jesus Christ and His mission on earth. For detailed studies go to “GOSPEL OPERATIONS” and “GOSPEL CHALENGES”
There is urgency in the preaching of these messages, “the hour of His judgment is come”.
For more detail regarding this part of the message go to REVELATION section and read the study “GOSPEL and JUDGMENT” and under DANIEL read the study “1844”.
From these studies it will become clear that before Christ returns in glory, a judgment will take place starting with the people of God, but it will be in their favour, Daniel 7:22 (NKJV. NASB) In the OT sanctuary time before Christ, the last day of the sanctuary cycle was called the Day of Atonement or Day of Judgment for Israel. The High Priest had a special service to perform in the Most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant or testimony was found and in that Ark was placed the tables of stone with the Ten Commandments written on it. The High Priest went into the Most Holy Place with blood.
Christ performs the anti typical ministry currently in the heavenly Most Holy Place. This ministry is called the investigative or pre-advent judgment. If we are redeemed by His blood and covered by that blood, His righteousness, we have nothing to fear, the judgment will be in our favour. Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; 1Peter 1:18, 19; those who are not covered by Christ’s robe of righteousness are the ones who have to fear the judgment. Matt.22:1-13
Revelation 14:8 gives us the content of the message of the second angel. It is a severe message regarding Babylon, the apocalyptic city of apostasy and the opponent of God’s city New Jerusalem. John is using the language of Jeremiah 51:7. As literal Old Babylon had made the world drunk with her poisonous wine of false worship so has apocalyptic Babylon done the same in the world of the last days before Christ appears in glory. Read more in study”SECOND ANGEL MESSAGE” Take this message serious and answer Christ’s call to “come out of Babylon”.
Revelation 14:9-11 this has the full text or content of the third angel and his message. For detail information go to study of “THIRD ANGEL MESSAGE”. The warning is against false or counterfeit worship. As we have stated before the last day struggle will be between true and false worship, not between different denominations. Everybody has to decide which side to take. This message makes clear what the consequences will be to decide for the wrong or false type of worship. We will learn about these consequences when we reach Revelation 16, in particular verse 19. Holy angels and the Lamb, Jesus Christ will be present when judgment will be executed. Rev.14:10, and remember Rev.6:16, 17. Those who decided to be involved in false worship of the beast and its image will be tormented with fire and have no rest when that takes place. They will end in smoke which will go up for ever and ever. They will not burn for ever and ever, but be taken away through fire which produces smoke that will go up. Read also Psalms 37:1, 2, 10, 20 and Mal.4:1, 3; Jude 6, 7; Rev.21:8.
Revelation 14:12 gives us another description of God’s faithful saints like the ones under the number 144000. They show patience in waiting for the coming of the Lord, James 5:7, 8. They have accepted the Lord as their Redeemer and as a result they do the Lord’s will in keeping the commandments of God. For them the keeping of the commandments of God is not their means towards salvation but the result of having been saved from sin.
John 1:29; John 14:15; 15:9-14. They also keep the faith of Jesus, they are Christians who keep the commandments of Jesus, all ten of them including the fourth commandment, the Seventh-day Sabbath of which Christ is Lord, Mark 2:28; Exod.20:8-11.
Revelation 14:13 is a comforting message spoken to John from heaven, something to give serious attention. Not all who accept the message of the three angels will remain alive till Christ appears in glory; many will be laid to rest. But if they remain faithful till the end and die in the Lord, which means in faith, they will rest of their labours and what they have done for the Lord will continue. Their influence they had when they were alive will not stop when they fall asleep in Jesus. They will experience the resurrection, 1Cor.15:20-22; 51-58; 1Thess.4:15-18. Rev, 14:13, and is another clear affirmation that death is just a sleep, a rest from labour. As Jesus taught Himself while on earth, Mark 5:39; John 11:11-14; 1Thess.4:14. The crown of righteousness is waiting them in the day of Christ’s appearing, 2Tim.4:7, 8.
Revelation 14:14-20 here we enter the third section of the trilogy of Revelation 14 the first part was the description of God’s special end time people who have accepted the message of the three angels. The second part is the message of the three angels, now the third part deals with the glorious return of Christ and the great harvest which will take place at that time. Another picture of this glorious coming of Christ is given in Rev.19:11 and onward. We will say more about it when we reach that point in our journey through the Revelation. Here in connection with the return of Christ in glory we find two kinds of harvests as we will find in Revelation 19 two kinds of suppers. In Matthew 25 we learn from Jesus’ teachings also two harvests. First 10 virgins but divided in two parts, 5 ready and 5 not ready, ib.25:1-13, and in 25:31-46 the division in sheep, the ones who are ready and goats the ones who are not ready. Also in Matthew 13:24-30 we learn about two kind of harvests, one is of the tares and the other of the wheat. As we have noticed before, it is all about who has decided to serve God in true worship or who has decided to take the side of the apostasy and going along with false worship. One group worships in the apocalyptic city called Babylon the great, Rev.14:8; 17:5; 18:1-4, but the faithful ones who are involved in true worship have come to mount Sion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, like Abraham the Father of the faithful, Hebr.11:8-10; 12:22;Rev.14:1
Again we emphasize that the choice is not between denominations of one sort or another, it is between true or false worship. Read again Joshua 24:15, Joshua’s call to Israel to worship the living Creator-God of the heavens, that same call still stands today without any alteration or change. Accept God’s gift of love and do not perish but have eternal life, John 3:15-18.
We are reaching a very serious matter in our journey through the Revelation. As we have stated more than once we are dealing with the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We have noticed His love and care for His church and also how He sends a last three fold message around the globe to warn the people and call them to turn away from sin and apostasy. These warnings also contain warnings for an executive judgment which will end sin and all its suffering and will also end the lives of such people who do not accept these divine heavenly messages.Rev.14:10,11 In the end when the world refuses to accept the love of the Lamb they will be facing the wrath of the Lamb, Rev.6:16. Revelation 15 introduces the seven plagues which will be poured out over the wicked, stubborn and apostate people of planet earth. Egypt suffered ten plagues before it let God’s people go and the world of the end time is called spiritually Egypt, Rev.11:8.
The seven angels are having the last seven plagues and in them is filled up the wrath of God. The Greek reads is finished or as in the RSV is ended. This will be the end, the finish of it all.
John sees a sea of glass and standing on it those who have gained the victory over the world of apostasy. That is the beast, first one of Revelation 13, his image, which was made by the second beast of Revelation 13, his mark of the first beast the false Sabbath (Sunday) in place of the true Sabbath of God and over the number of his name that is the name of the first beast, Vicar of Christ or as it used to be Vicarius Filii Dei in which is hidden the number six hundred threescore and six. Rev.13:18. These victorious people are standing on something like a sea of glass (NASB). Apparently this is the same as in Rev.4:6 before the throne of God. They are up in heaven with God and Jesus Christ.
They have experienced what Paul describes in 1 Thess. 4:15-17 and are now for ever with the Lord. Ellen G.White writes as follows:” While John was shown the last great struggles of the church with earthly powers, he was also permitted to behold the final victory and deliverance of the faithful” (5Test, 752)
John hears them singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. These are songs of victory. Moses sang about victory over Egypt. The faithful have the victory over spiritual Egypt. The song of the Lamb is because through the blood of the Lamb victory has been gained. Rev.12:11. Again we read from Ellen G.White: ”When the earthly warfare is accomplished, and the saints are all gathered home, our first theme will be the song of Moses, the servant of God. The second theme will be the song of the Lamb, the song of grace and redemption”. (Test. to Min.p.433) The ones who are delivered and saved will also sing about God’s justice and righteousness which they repeat in Rev.16:5-7. Later they will be joined by the wicked in this acknowledgment, Phil2:9-11, but for them it will be too late.
It is again a temple vision or giving us insight in the heavenly sanctuary. We have reached the final act of the ministry of our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, Hebr.8:1, 2. The first time we met the elders with vials in Rev.5:8. The vials contained the prayers of the saints. Most likely those prayers also contained what is mentioned in Rev.6:10 where “they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” the answer is heard in Rev.16:5, 6 after the first three plagues have been poured out. In Revelation 6:11 the saints were told to wait a little longer. Now here in Revelation 15 & 16 we have reached the vision to show that the waiting time is over. Punishment is coming over those who have shed the blood of the saints. We will meet the angel with the vial two more times, in 17:1 and in 21:9. They are not only involved in scenes of judgment and divine avenge, but also in showing the beauty of it all the Lamb’s wife or the New Jerusalem. From Rev.15:5-8 we learn that the angels with the vials will be dressed in pure white linen. Aaron the high priest in the OT tabernacle, sanctuary, was dressed in the holy linen coat (Ex.16:4) on the last day of the yearly sanctuary cycle, the Day of Atonement, judgment day. The vision of Revelation 15 & 16 is the final act of the anti-typical Day of Atonement. The saints have been judged in their favour, Daniel 7:22, now the angels are coming out of the temple, sanctuary, to exercise judgment over the unfaithful. The angels are also having their breasts girded with golden girdles, Rev.15:6. Girdles stand for “truth”Eph.6:14. God’s judgments are done in truth, Rev.15:3; 16:7. One of the four beasts or beings, who are the closest to the throne of God (Rev.4:6) gives to the angels the seven vials. Then the temple is filled with smoke, closed and no one is able to enter the temple. This must be the moment when probation closes on earth. Ellen G.White writes in Early Writings page 280: “It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof.”
In this chapter John gives us a graphic picture of what the seven plagues will be like. The ten plagues over Egypt were real, what about these seven last plagues? God is real, His temple, in which God dwells, is real, angels involved are real, God is real love but also just and righteous, so His wrath also is real, the people who do suffer from these plagues are real, we conclude that the plagues also will be real. We may apply Isa.28:21 where it reads that God will be wroth and that His work will be strange. God intends to save people, He does not like to see people getting lost, 2Peter 3:9. But in the end when the world has made up its mind, He has to do His strange work of sending plagues over those who have decidedly refused to worship Him, but instead choose to worship the beast and go along with the apostasy.
Rev.16:1 a voice from the temple, a great one, commands the angels holding the seven vials to start pouring them out over the earth. We may believe it is the voice of God. In Revelation 7:1 angels were told to hold, but now the time of holding is over.
Rev.16:2 the first plague causes sores on people’s bodies, on those who have decided to accept the mark of the beast and worship its image. They have refused to accept the third angel message, Rev.14:9-11 and to join those who have gained the victory, 15:2. NLT reads that the sores will be horrible and malignant.
Rev.16:3 the next plague will make the sea to turn into blood and causing death to all that lives in the sea. The world that refuses the saving blood of Christ will be punished with poisonous blood.
Rev.16:4 not only blood in the sea but rivers and the fountains of water will turn into blood. The sores may cause fever and make people thirsty but there will be no water to drink.
Rev.16:5-7 before the angels continue their work one of them declares it is right what is being done because God is righteous. (Isa.56:1) God has judged it this way and His judgments are true, last part of verse 7. The reason is given that because they have shed, spoiled the blood of the saints, now they are given blood to drink and they are worthy to receive this. It may be hard to understand how a God of love can do this but that’s why it is called, God’s strange act. It goes against His nature of love and saving people, but in the end it has to be done. Sin cannot be tolerated for ever and ever. What about the faithful living at that time? Read Psalms 91 and in particularly 91:9, 10 and Isa.33:16. It comes all from the temple, God’s sanctuary where these decisions have been made, Ps.77:13. The Psalmist at times was confused over the way of the wicked but was relieved when he entered God’s sanctuary and became aware of God’s final judgments over the wicked, Ps.73:16, 17. Judgment has taken place, Rev.16:5. For the saints in their favour, Dan.9:22(NKJV) and for the wicked as we read it here in Revelation 16
Rev.16:8, 9 the fourth plague adds more misery to their situation. Suffering from malignant sores, no water to drink, now the sun increases its power to a scorching heat.
In spite of all that suffering there is no change of mind but they blaspheme the name God
for all their suffering. No confession of sin or crying to God for grace as the people of Nineveh did in Jonah’s time. Probation is closed; no grace is even available. The wicked is not aware of that and could ask for it, but they do not.
Rev.16:10, 11 the fifth plague takes us to the seat of the beast and puts it all in darkness. It says the seat of the beast and his kingdom that may include the whole world where the beast exercises its influence and power. As one of the plagues did put Egypt in total darkness, so under this plague the beast’s kingdom will experience total darkness. There was light in the dwellings of Israel in Egypt’s time, Exodus 10:21-23 so we may believe that the Lord will care for His faithful people under these plagues.
Rev.16:12-16 the sixth plague and the description of it is involved and needs some careful consideration. It contains Armageddon and that has been through the years a point of much speculation. It has been used for different events and wars and for obvious reasons these applications have failed and found not to be true. Under the description as we find it here there are two things we have to consider, the drying up of the Euphrates and the gathering of nations and people.
The drying up of the Euphrates takes place when the sixth angel pours out his vial. It is a plague, which means that the people are punished with something or some event that takes place. For obvious reason it cannot mean the drying up of the literal river Euphrates we find in Iraq. It has to do with something that comes from the east; kings are coming from the east. If that would refer to humans a river would not be an obstacle. In today’s warfare rivers are no problem any more. We will learn from Revelation 17:1 that the great whore, symbol of great apostasy, sits on many waters. Her apostate influence is worldwide. And 17:15 tells us that waters are a symbol of” peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. The whore also has the name Babylon the Great Mother of Harlots
We have learned earlier that a woman in scripture is a symbol of the church, a clean church in Revelation 12 and an apostate church in Revelation 17. The apostate church is a mother with daughters who have followed her in apostasy. And thus her influence is universal, worldwide. We also have mentioned earlier that the use of Babylon in the book of Revelation takes us back to Old Babylon in history. What happened to Old Babylon was local and literal. What happens to Babylon of the Revelation is universal and spiritual in nature. Old Babylon received much support from and was in many ways depended on the river Euphrates which flowed through Babylon. When the time arrived for Old Babylon to be terminated something happened in a literal manner what we find here in Revelation 16 repeated spiritually.
From Jeremiah we learn that he already spoke about the fall of Babylon in terms of her waters drying up, Jer.50:30; 51:36. Cyrus would be God’s servant to bring Babylon to its fall and coming from the east. Isa.44:28; 45:1; 46:11. In Isa.41:2 & 25 questions are raised, who is he, coming from the east and the north? The obvious answer is, Cyrus
(SDABC vl.4, p.254) But we learn later that the apocalyptic real One who comes from the east and the north, from the rising of the sun, is Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, Mal.4:2. To conquer Babylon Cyrus changed the flow of the river Euphrates causing a dry path under the gates of the city and captured it while they were feasting in false security of being safe. The story is recorded in Daniel chapter 5.
In an apocalyptic spiritual sense something similar will happen in the end time.. We will learn from Revelation 17 that at one point in time the world will be “united” , as it were under one head., 17:13 and at that time they may even imagine to be safe and have peace,
1Thess.5:3, not realising that sudden destruction is coming over them. Something will appear in the east. The One who sits at the north where the throne of God is, Ps.48:2; Hebr.1:3; 8:1 has stand up, Dan.12:1 and appears on the eastern sky with His angels, Matt.24:27; 16:27. These angels coming down with Christ are called here in Rev.16:12
Kings. Christ the King of Kings, Rev.19:16 is coming in the clouds, Mark 13:26; 14:62
and will appear on the eastern sky. Ellen G.White wrote about that in “The Day Star of January 24, 1846 and her book “Great Controversy” page 640.At that crucial moment in time when the nations are united and thinking they are safe and well, this heavenly event in the east will shock them, arrest them to a standstill, as Ellen G.White writes in “Great Controversy” page 636 “The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested”. They are angry because they suffer so much from the plagues, sores, no water and great heat from the sun. Now they gaze up into the heavens and see Christ coming in glory. They have been engaged in war against the Lamb and His true followers. Rev.12:17; 17:14. This so-called unity falls suddenly apart and turns into severe infighting of one to another and crying to the rocks to fall on them and to the caves to hide them. Rev.6:15-17; 17: 16:19; 17:16
Under the description of the sixth plague we also have the description how the unity of nations has taken place which will be terminated as a result of the pouring out of the sixth vial which we have dealt with here above. John writes about a gathering of nations under frog like influence of three powers, the dragon, which is Satan, Rev.12:9, the beast, which is the sea beast of Rev.13 and the false prophet which we have identified as the earth beast of Revelation 13 also called by some the slave of the first beast or its lieutenant which is apostate Protestantism personified in the Unite States of America.
These three will be active in globalism or a so-called new world order. The use of frogs
as a symbol and coming out of the mouth of these three powers may wonder us. The Egyptians were plagued with frogs because the frog was an idol, worshipped by the Egyptians. It could well be that a certain worship of someone may be influential in the end time. We will not go into detail at this time. But the nations will be gathered together to one place which is called Armageddon. Other translations read “They are assembled there”. You will find this in NASB, NIV, RSV, French and some Dutch readings. The “they” refers to what is described in Rev.16:13, 14, the God opposing triumvirate gathered together for battle. Which battle? Can only be the last battle of Rev.12:17; 17:14; 19:19 we must emphasize that it is not a battle of nations against nations, because the nations are so-called united. It is the battle of God, nations against God and His true and faithful followers. In the end time two gatherings are taking place. One under the preaching of the three heavenly angels of Rev.14:6-12 and that is for the gathering towards Mount Sion, Rev.14:1 The other one is also by three powers as mentioned here in Rev.16:13, 14 and they are gathered together to another mountain called (H)Armageddon “Har” comes from the Hebrew which means mountain. The place where God will judge the nations, arrest them and bring them to a standstill
We have a vivid description from Ellen G.White in her book “Great Controversy”.: “With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth (fifth plague, JTK) Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens, and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. (Sixth plague, JTK) The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God’s covenant, and long to be shielded from its powering brightness”. (Ib.pp635/6)
The rainbow mentioned has relationship with Christ, the angel of Rev.10:1. Ellen G.White describes the angry mob longing to be shielded and that is a reference to Rev.6:16, 17
Rev. 16:17-21 deals with the seventh plague and is a further extension and more descriptive of what happens and was started under the sixth plague, the drying up of the Euphrates or as we have decided, to be the arresting of the so called united nations by the coming of Christ in glory with His angels. When that moment of arrest takes place a voice will be heard “from the throne, saying, it is done” This will be accompanied with a great upheaval in nature and with a great and mighty earthquake. When Christ finished his atoning sacrifice on the cross, there was an earthquake, Matt.27:51; John 19:30. Now in the end of all things the voice from the throne in heaven says it is done and it is also accompanied by an earthquake. When God spoke the Ten Commandments there was an earthquake, Exod.19:16-18.
But more is happening, the great city, apocalyptic Babylon is falling apart into three parts again and they receive the cup of wine of God’s fierceness, His wrath, to drink. Babylon gave her cup to drink and the nations accepted, Rev.17:2 & 4, they refused the cup of God’s grace reflected in the rainbow, now they must drink the cup of God which does not contain grace anymore.
Next something happens to the earth, a change seems to take place, islands and mountains are disappearing. Is the surface of the earth returning to its pre flood situation? We will see when this happens.
Finally their will be a downpour of hail of a talent in weight, NASB reads one hundred pounds each, Ps.148:8; Ezech.38:22. That will cause immense destruction. Under all these bitter divine judgment circumstances, again for the third time we read that the people do not show any sign of regret or remorse. They still blaspheme God, blaming Him for all that happens.Rev.16:9, 11, and 21.
These are sever warnings to repent now, to accept God’s grace revealed in the rainbow and atoning sacrifice of Christ now and to take John 3:15-17 serious and also what it says in this chapter 16:15 we must not walk in nakedness of sin but keep the garments of Christ’s righteousness which cleanses us from sin. (Gen.3:9-11; Zech.3:1-4; Matt.22:1-13; 1John 1:9).
This chapter is fully covered in another study available on this website in the Revelation section. Briefly we will go through it verse by verse.
We have reasons why we believe this is an end time event vision and not applicable to John’s time.
1. An angel holding one of the seven vials is talking to John
2. It is a judgment scene. Judgment is related to the time of the end which started
in 1798. (Read in Rev.17 study)
. 3. The whore, that is the apostate church, sits upon many waters, the nations of
the world (17:15) That was not the situation in John’s time
4. In verse 6 we read that she is drunken with the blood of the martyrs, that is
. after the persecution period in history
The nations have been drinking from her wine of fornication, false teachings
of apostasy and have become drunken themselves. This shows a clear nation-church
Now John is by way of a vision taken into the wilderness and he sees the woman sitting on a beast which we met before in Revelation 12 and 13, having seven heads and ten horns. It is the dragon like beast which in reality is the devil but operating through different human powers. In Revelation 12 it was the Pagan Roman power and in Revelation 13 the Papal Roman power or system. She is in a wilderness situation which may well refer to the time of her deadly wound of Rev.13:3 when she lost her amalgamation with the nations as she had during the 1260 dark ages’ period which she lost due to the French revolution when the pope was taken captive and died in captivity. While she is still giving the nations her wine of fornication she has not yet fully regained her former position, the deadly wound is not fully healed yet. She sits on the beast but is not one with the beast as in Revelation 13. The nations have ambassadorial relationship with the Vatican, even protestant America and Muslim nations and also the state of Israel but she is not in full control as yet. Compared to what her situation was before 1798 she is still in the wilderness.
She is arrayed in colourful garments and jewellery and has the cup filled with her spiritual abominations and fornication from which the nations have been drinking, see verse 2.
Rev.17:5 her name is Babylon the Great and mother of harlots. She is the mother church others have gone out of her and have become harlots as well, falling into apostasy with the mother church. During the time of the protestant reformation many left the mother church, but either did not separate themselves from all her apostate teachings or later returned to the teachings of the mother church. Remember how protestant churches have accepted the false interpretation schools of Bible prophecy, like preterism and futurism
this is done in exchange of the historicist school. The relationship between Protestants and the Church of Rome is not any more what it used to be in the time of reformation
There is a spirit of cooperation and ecumenism and to forget the past. Read in Ellen G.White’s book THE GREAT CONTROVERSY chapter 35, “AIMS OF THE PAPACY” available from Adventist Book Centres as mentioned here above.
This is the text we referred to under verse one that she is drunk of the blood of the martyrs who have been massacred under her influence and as we know from history that was during her time of the 1260 years. As we have stated before this is a strong point in favour of the fact that we are not in Pagan Roman time but after the Papal Rome era.
Rev.17:7 In verse 6 we read that John marvelled or wondered with great admiration. NASB reads I wondered greatly which seems to us more correctly. The angel noticing that John wondered about it tells him that he is now going to reveal the mystery of the woman and the beast she sits on.
We will repeat this text and use wording in harmony with history as we have seen that in our journey through the Revelation. The beast, in its church/state unity as it operated before 1798 but is not at present in that situation because it received a deadly wound, which caused it to be separated from the state, shall come up again, the deadly wound shall be healed and that healing will take place in a time of trouble, confusion or chaos and will be like, as out of a bottomless pit.. But it will not succeed, but go into a final and complete perdition. Only those will survive, who have their names written in the book of life which exists from the foundation of the world, they will not perish. Such names should be written in the book of life at the time when the beast, that operated before 1798 and lost its power because of receiving a deadly wound, has its wound healed, at the time when a choice has to be made to worship the Creator-God or the image of the beast. For scripture references read Rev.13:3, 8; 19:20 and also in Daniel 7:11; 11:45.
The woman has her seat on seven hills. It is commonly understood that this refers to the city of Rome which is built on seven hills. Some say there are more hills, but the common understanding is that Rome is the city of seven hills.
But there is more, the seven heads also represent sevens kings or kingdoms. Five are fallen. (For detail go to Revelation 17 special study) Briefly it is like this. Counting from 1798
Five prophetic kingdoms of Daniel are fallen, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, Papal Rome. All these five are represented by beasts and in Daniel 7::23 the fourth beast, Pagan Rome is called the fourth kingdom upon earth. The one is in Revelation 17:10 refers to the power which took over from Papal Rome in 1798 and what grew out of the French revolution, a period of separation of church and state, also the time where atheism, evolutionism and communism with the teachings of Lenin/Marx had full sway in the world of the east and west. This period is also represented by a beast which we have found in Rev.11:7, 8 (remember our study of Revelation 11). Then it speaks about another one which is not yet come. We feel sure and confident this refers to the second beast of Revelation 13 which we have identified as the USA and became number ONE world super power when communism fell, the Soviet Union terminated and lost its position as one of the world super powers. According to the text this period will last only a short space, but no specific time is given.
Again we will write this in our understanding as we have done here before with Rev.17:8
And the beast that was as spoken of in verse 8, the one which ruled during the 1260 year period, but which is not at present in power, because of its deadly wound, it will be called the eighth when the wound is healed and the church-state situation is restored. That beast is not another beast but one of the seven; the one which received the deadly wound, survived the wound and came back to power when the second beast of Revelation 13 has made an image or duplicate of that beast, restoring the church-state unity as it was before 1798. But again it is repeated as in verse 8 that it will go into perdition eventually. Twice declared makes it double sure.
Now John is informed about the ten horns. In the prophetic books of Daniel & Revelation the figure ten starts with the image of Daniel 2, where the history of the world ends in a division of ten. Pagan Roman Empire, the fourth kingdom terminated in a state of division caused by ten tribes. The same is told in Daniel 7:7 and then in Revelation 12, 13 and 17 we met the ten on the seven headed beast, we believe it all points to the same geographical territory, Europe. Out of the ten tribes which destroyed the Roman Empire grew modern Europe as we know it today. Some commentators are stretching it here in Revelation 17 to the whole world because of what it says here in 17:12, 13 the ten will share their power with the beast which wound was healed. Even more, they will be of one mind and give their power and strength to the beast. It will be for one hour which indicates a very short period of time. In Daniel 2:43 we read that the ten will not be united as iron and clay cannot be mixed or united. As some commentators say, what we have here in Rev.17:12, 13 is for a very brief moment of time, Daniel 2:43 in reverse.
Isaiah spoke about something of the same nature in Isa.8:9-12 but it shall be broken, it will not succeed and not last We do lack detail and must refrain from speculation but it seems to us that for some desperate situation they have united themselves, but it does not work and then they will seek help from the beast whose wound has healed, the apostate state/church system. Politicians must be very desperate to make such a move but here it clearly indicates that such steps will be taken. It may well be the time about which the apostle Paul speaks in 1Thess.5:2, 3 when they speak about peace and safety and sudden destruction comes over them, which could be a quote from Jer.6:14.
The church-state renewed unity, the image of the beast, Rev.13:14, 15, will be used to start a “war” against the Lamb and its faithful followers, the same as described in 12:17
and what we discussed under the sixth plague, Armageddon. Thank God they will not succeed, the Lamb will overcome them. How will the Lamb overcome them? The Lamb will suddenly appear on the clouds of heaven and bring them to a standstill, arrest them; they will dry up, Rev.16:12. Christ and His armies from heaven will take possession of the situation, 19:11-15 (read also again Rev.6:16, 17 and from Paul in 2Thess.2:8 which may have been a quote from Isa.1:28 &11:4)
We have referred to this text several times indicating the meaning of waters. (read also Isa.17:12, 13)
When the so-called United Nations in their war against the Lamb and its followers discover their lost position they also will discover that they have been deceived by the whore, the apostate church and will turn around against her. This is an emphasis of Reve.16:19 the city will fall apart, Dan.2:43 will stand again, they will not cling together.
Compare this with Isa.47:8, 9 we will come back to that in Revelation 18. We may also link Rev.17:15 with Isa.19:2 and Eze.38:21. Modern day apostasy is also called spiritual Egypt, Rev.11:8
In the end it is God who rules and let things take place as he has directed before and made known through His prophets, Amos 3:7
A final confirmation regarding who and what the woman, the whore is, the apostate great city (church) Babylon, 17:5, which rules over the kings of the earth. The Vatican, a mini state within the city of Rome is recognized as a state and honoured as such by the nations of the world who have ambassadors appointed to the Vatican state. In this manner she has political insight in the affairs of the nations and can rule the nations in particularly when the nations will go for help to the Vatican in a situation of emergency. A classic modern day example is how President Ronald Reagon contacted Pope John Paul II to assist the USA in bringing down the Soviet Union and what succeeded, as we all know so well. A similar move will be done again, but then it will not succeed it will be disturbed by the glorious and victorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Before that will take place we have to decide on which side we will be found to be on, the side of the Lamb or the beast, the apostasy. Make the right decision now, Joshua 24:15
Part V of our journey through the Revelation ends with chapter 18.In this chapter we meet some very interesting highlights. First the culmination of the preaching of God’s last day message of salvation and in particular focussing on Babylon and calling people to come out of her. This is followed by a graphic description how Babylon will find its terminal point on planet earth. We will start with the global preaching of the last day message.
Another angel appears. Some call this the fourth angel in succession of the three angels of Revelation 14:6-12. I would call it another angel who gives greater emphasis or amplifies the second message of Revelation 14:8 regarding the fall of Babylon. The angel has great power to preach that message. With all the modern day means to preach with the use of the print and electronic media it is not difficult to understand the power being used. But we may also add that a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit has taken place to take this message all over the earth, making it a global undertaking. Read Ps.48:10; Isa.11:9; 60:1, 2; Hab.2:14. The angel cries with a mighty and loud voice. The content of what he has to say is very impressive: Babylon the great is fallen is fallen. To repeat it twice, as in Rev.14:8 gives it greater emphasis. The reason why it is fallen is added. It has become a habitation of sin and deep apostasy. We do find a similar description of old Babylon and people living in OT times, read Isa.21:9 and Jer.5:26-28. Next the angel announces that the nations have drunk of her wine, false teachings and committed fornication, a false and unfaithful relationship. Instead of linking themselves with the Creator-God of the heavens they have linked themselves with the Anti-Christ, the one who put himself in place of God on earth. 2Thess.2:3, 4. It also seems that lucrative business has taken place and making rich those who have been involved in such an alliance.
Verse 4 is the highlight of this part of Revelation 18, a strong call to God’s people to come out, to have no part in her activities and to come out before the plagues will fall.
This indicates clearly that this is God’s last attempt to save people before it is too late, probation will close and the seven plagues of Revelation 16 will be poured out. A similar call came to God’s people captive in old Babylon, Isa.52:11; Jer.51:6 and also to the early church in 2Cor.6:17. We do know that there are many honest God fearing people in the apostate systems of modern day Babylon, they have to come out and separate themselves from it.
God has taken notice of what has taken place and is happening here on planet earth. God noticed the sins of the people before the flood, Gen.6:5-8. He also noticed the depravity in sin of Sodom and Gomorrah Gen.18:20, 21. In the same way the sin of the end time in its deepest form is known to God and he will not let it go on for ever and ever.
There is no healing possible, Nahum 3:19, now she will receive what she deserves double, an OT expression of correct justice to be done.Isa.40:2; Jer.16:18; 17:18
She has glorified herself even to the point of saying I sit a queen and am no widow. When in 1798 she received the deadly wound by being separated from the state she became as it were a widow. But when the second beast of Revelation 13 succeeded in making an image of her and causing the people to worship that image her widowhood was terminated and she sat as a queen again. But only for a short time,Rev.17:12 Old Babylon pride herself in a similar spirit, Isa.47:7-9 But in one day it was all over for Old Babylon and so it will be with Spiritual Babylon, in the end she will loose all her support all her spiritual children. They will come up against her, but it will be too late for salvation purposes, Rev.17:18.Compare this with Eze.28:18
In one day her plagues will come, could be one year if we take the year day principle here as well. The end will be that she will be utterly burned with fire, Dan.7:11; Rev.17:16; 19:20.Not burning for ever in hell, but being burned up, totally destroyed.
All which is written here speaks for itself. In human terms we may say the party is over. Some people will be on the sideline and seeing the fall of this great apostate system coming to an end, Great Babylon of the end time. Three times we hear them saying Alas, Alas, Alas, 18:10, 16, 19 and two times they say it all happened in one hour. They thought to have earth problems fixed and ushered in a period of peace and prosperity, but in one hour, frightening swift, it’s all gone, 1Thess.5:3. OT Babylon came to an end in one night, Dan.5:30, 31. Read also Jer.51:64 Again in Rev.18:24 it is mentioned that the blood of the martyrs, prophets and saints was found in her. More than once this has been mentioned, Rev.6:9-11 in the prayer of those who have been martyred, 16:6 and 17:6. Finally the day has arrived to answer the prayer of the saints who have been killed. We close with a statement from Ellen G.White: “This terrible picture, drawn by John to show how completely the powers of earth will give themselves over to evil, should show those who have received the truth how dangerous it is to link up with secret societies or to join themselves in any way with those who do not keep God’s commandments” (SDABC 7-985)
Jan T Knopper
Edited September 2010
Revisited September 2013