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Sermon No: 19953-Overview of Book of Revelation - Part 3 of 3



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SERMON TOPIC: Overview of Book of Revelation - Part 3 of 3

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 21 May 2017

Topic Groups: PROPHECY, REVELATION, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: A look at the Abomination of Desolation, the Mark of the Beast, the number 666, Armageddon, the 7 bowl judgments, Mystery Babylon, the Millennium, the Great White Throne Judgment and the new heaven and earth.
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CHURCH AGE (TIME OF THE GENTILES)

7 YEAR TRIBULATION

Birth Pangs (Matt 24)

7 CHURCH AGES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

EPHESUS

SMYRNA

PERGAMUM

THYATIRA

SARDIS

PHILADELPHIA

LAODICEA

7 SEALS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

FALSE CHRISTS

WARS

FAMINE

PLAGUE

PERSECUTION

RAPTURE

7 TRUMPETS

7 TRUMPETS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

3RD OF EARTH

3RD OF SEA

3RD OF RIVERS

3RD OF HEAVENS

LOCUSTS

3RD OF MANKIND

7 BOWLS

7 BOWLS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

SORES

SEA BLOOD

RIVERS BLOOD

SUN SCORCHING

DARKNESS

ARMAGEDDON

EARTHQUAKE

CHRONOLOGY OF REVELATION

THE PROFANE PLACE

As a master politician and peacemaker, this option seems more likely to be seen as a gesture of peace to both Jews and Muslims (contrasted with destroying the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa and replacing it with a Jewish Temple).

3 BEASTS

1) SKY

2) SEA

3) EARTH

We also looked at the ministry of the 2 witnesses to Israel and the persecution of Israel by the Antichrist.

ISRAEL

We saw the link between the “locusts” and the fallen “sons of God” (aka Watchers) angels from Genesis 6, who were imprisoned in the Abyss, but released during the Tribulation.

THE LOCUSTS

We looked at the identification of the Antichrist with the Beast from the Abyss (Apollyon) and hence the Watchers from Genesis 6 and the Titans from Greek mythology. We noted that Irenaeus points out that the word “Titan” in the Greek equates to 666.

THE TITANS

PART 3

The Book of Revelation

Jesus speaks of the abomination standing in the holy place.

Matt 24:15–16 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

At the same time the daily sacrifice is stopped.

Dan 11:30-31 … He will return and show favour to those who forsake the holy covenant. His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.

Dan 8:12 Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it (little horn).

THE ABOMINATION

Preterist:

A statue of Caligula

Apostate Judaism

Titus entering the Temple in 70 AD

Historicist:

The Pope who sits in the spiritual Temple (the Church)

Islam’s Dome of the Rock which occupies God’s place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Futurist:

At the end of the age there will be a defilement of the temple (by the image of the Antichrist)

THE ABOMINATION

Matt 24:21-22 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

This verse alone indicates that the Preterist view of a complete fulfillment in AD 70 is misguided – if one just considers the Nazi Holocaust. According to Josephus, the toll of Jewish casualties in AD 70 was 1.1 million. 1 However 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

1 “The Wars Of The Jews” Book VI Ch 9: Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand, the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army…

1) PRETERIST

Two thirds of all Jews will be killed by the antichrist. In Zechariah we are told that before the Lord returns in person to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14) that:

“In the whole land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. (Zech 13:8)

In 2012 the Jewish population worldwide was estimated at 13,746,100. 1 Two thirds of this is 9 million. The remaining third of the Jews will turn back to the true Messiah Jesus Christ, “This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” (Zech 13:9)

1 http:// www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/ Judaism/ jewpop.html

1) PRETERIST

Historicists claim that the abomination is the Pope who sits in the spiritual temple (the Church).

Others believe the abomination is the building of the Dome of the Rock on the former Temple site. They argue that the 1290 days in Daniel 12:11 closely matches the 1290 years from the Siege of Jerusalem in 599-97 BC (“from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away”) to when the Dome of the Rock was constructed in 691 AD. This raises the question of how to interpret Daniel 12:12: “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1335 days”, which by the same methodology occurred around 736 AD.

2) HISTORICIST

Rev 13:14b He ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast * who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

* Futurists believe this image is the abomination.

3) FUTURIST

Many of the prophecies in Daniel had an initial fulfilment in Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He stormed the Temple and converted it into a pagan worship centre in 167 BC.

Antiochus slaughtered a pig on the Temple’s altar and erected a statue of Zeus (Jupiter) in the holy place with his own face on it and required worship on pain of death.

In 1 Maccabees this was called the Abomination of Desolation. Jewish rabbinical literature generally considers that the expression “Abomination of Desolation” refers to the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus.

But Jesus spoke of the Abomination as still being future. So Antiochus was simply a type of the coming Antichrist.

THE ABOMINATION

The term “abomination” was used of idols in the OT.

Dan 9:27 …And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation…

The type of the Abomination was an idol of Jupiter set up by Antiochus. So the image set up by the False Prophet fulfils the type and is consistent with the statement by Paul that the Antichrist demands worship as God.

2 Thess 2:3-4 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

THE ABOMINATION

Is it possible that advanced civilised societies would worship a leader? Look at recent history and the adulation bordering on worship that was given to Hitler - by one of the most advanced civilised nations in Europe.

Likewise the advanced Japanese state worshiped their emperor Hirohito. According to Shinto beliefs, he was a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu. In 1946 the allied occupation forces under MacArthur tried to eradicate emperor worship, which they felt had fostered militarism by pressing Hirohito to renounce his divinity.

Look at the personality cults of totalitarian governments in the 20th century, where modern states like the Soviet Union and China had their omnipresent pictures of Stalin and Mao. Likewise the current situation in North Korea.

THE ABOMINATION

A PEACE TREATY

The Antichrist will make a 7-year treaty (Dan 9:27 “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’”)

People will have an expectation of peace when the Day of the Lord comes (1 Thess 5:3 “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’”).

The phrase regarding people saying “Peace and safety” at this time seems to indicate that the treaty may be a Middle East peace treaty. With our current political climate and instability in the Middle East this seems a very plausible option. Prominent political leaders today (both US and European) are forever trying to broker peace treaties in the Middle East.

So it’s quite likely that the 7-year Tribulation will start with the signing of a 7-year Middle East Peace treaty.

The covenant (or treaty) involves Israel. The references to the temple and sacrifice in the context of the treaty in Daniel 9:27 imply this.

But the Antichrist will break the treaty midterm at the time of the Abomination.

Dan 9:27 In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination …

Dan 11:31 His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.

1 Thess 5:3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

A PEACE TREATY

1000 YEAR MILLENNIUM

S E C O N D A D V E N T

PRESENT AGE

RAPTURE

A B O M I N A T I O N

3½ YEAR GREAT TRIBU-LATION

1260 days

Time, times & ½ time

42 months

42 months

Time, times & ½ time

3½ YEAR TRIBU-LATION

1260 days

Dan 9:27 In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination…

7-YEAR TREATY

Rev 13:15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image * to be killed. **

* At that point, the righteous Jews will realise that he is not the Messiah and will oppose him.

Dan 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.

Those who oppose him thus, will be killed.

Dan 11:33 Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.

This explains Jesus’ instruction to flee to the mountains (Matt 24) when they see the Abomination in the Holy Place.

THE ABOMINATION

The mark of the beast

In what is one of the most well–known passages in Revelation, John writes:

Rev 13:16-18 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six. (WEB)

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

How do proponents of the three main prophetic viewpoints interpret this mark of the beast?

Preterist:

the emperor’s image on Roman coins

the certificate of sacrifice to the emperor

Historicist:

the practice of making the sign of the cross

SDA: an international Sunday law

Futurist:

Mark of commerce – most likely a credit facility in the form of a microchip implant or RFID tag.

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

The Preterist idea that the mark is the emperor’s image on Roman coins at least acknowledges that a mark of commerce is being referred to. “No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…”

But by identifying the mark with coins (a form of cash) - what kind of a prophetic sign is that??? Throughout most of human history, you couldn’t buy or sell unless you had money.

PRETERIST MARK

Identifying the mark with the certificate of sacrifice to the emperor is slightly more sensible. At one stage in history Christians were compelled to obtain a certificate proving that they had participated in Emperor worship. But this happened long after 70 AD, certainly not in Nero’s time, when most Preterists say Jesus came again! 1

1 To be exact – it occurred in the persecution by Decius in January of 250, when he issued an edict requiring all citizens to sacrifice to the emperor in the presence of a Roman official and obtain a certificate (libellus) proving they had done so. [www.ReligionFacts.com: Persecution in the Early Church] 2 46 such certificates have been published, all dating from this same year (250 AD). [‘Certificate of pagan sacrifice: Jun–Jul, AD 250’, Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, Oxford Univ.]

Libellus from the Decian persecution, found in Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. 2

PRETERIST MARK

Some Historicists believe that the mark of the beast refers to the practice of making the sign of the cross, common to many branches of Christianity including Roman Catholicism.

But just exactly when were people unable to buy or sell without making the sign of the cross?

HISTORICIST MARK

In SDA eschatology the ‘image to the beast’ represents Protestant churches which will form an alliance with the Papacy, and the ‘mark of the beast’ refers to a future universal Sunday law legally enforcing Sunday-worship. Just how likely is that?

As in their system the second beast is the USA and it is the second beast that enforces the mark – they effectively teach that the predominantly Protestant USA will pass a Sunday Law to enforce Protestants to worship on the ‘Catholic Sunday’.

Why would the Antichrist have to force Protestants to worship on Sunday when most of them already do so - without being forced?

HISTORICIST MARK

Futurists interpret the passage literally and understand the mark to be something without which the individual will not be able to engage in any commercial activity.

Buying and selling literally refers to a form of commerce.

It cannot be cash because the mark is on the right hand or on the forehead. How many people do you know who carry their cash on their forehead?

This is most likely a credit facility in the form of a microchip implant or RFID tag.

FUTURIST MARK

Does the Book of Revelation specifically predict a one world currency or cashless society? No, but it would greatly facilitate the regime of Antichrist. It’s clear that the Antichrist uses the mark of commerce to control and subdue people by restricting their ability to conduct commerce if they do not cooperate with him.

Many Futurists believe that a single world currency will be another step closer to the point where the Antichrist, who is predicted as a global ruler, will be able to implement the mark. A single currency is the natural step after economic cooperation and political unification. One only has to look at the European Union and how shortly after it was instituted the drive began towards the use of a single European currency – the Euro.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

John Maynard Keynes was an influential British economist who advocated a global currency arguing that it would not suffer from inflation, which has sometimes had disastrous effects on economies.

Others have added that a single global currency would encourage foreign direct investment and would streamline the conducting of international business.

It would also remove the problems caused by exchange rate volatility.

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

Up to the end of the 19th century, international trade was denominated in terms of currencies that represented weights of gold. 1

But since 2014 the gold standard is no longer used by any nation as the basis of its monetary system, although many still hold substantial gold reserves. 2

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency 2 http:// www.encyclopedia.com/ topic/ Gold_standard.aspx

THE GOLD STANDARD

Under a gold bullion standard, paper notes are convertible at a preset, fixed rate with gold bullion.

Before 1944, the world reference currency was the UK’s pound sterling. 1

In the period following the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, exchange rates around the world were pegged against the US dollar 1 making it the de facto world currency.

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency

UK POUND & US DOLLAR

In 1971 the Smithsonian Agreement adjusted the fixed exchange rates established at Bretton Woods. Although other currencies remained pegged to the dollar until 1973, the dollar was no longer convertible into gold guaranteed by the US Treasury.

This led to the demise of fixed exchange rates and the gold standard and the institution of floating exchange rates.

Although most currencies are no longer pegged against the US dollar, because the US remained the world’s leading economic superpower most international transactions still continued to be conducted with the US dollar.

THE US DOLLAR

The Euro has since become the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the US dollar being used daily by some 334 million Europeans as of 2013. As of 2013 another 210 million people worldwide—including 182 million people in Africa—use currencies pegged to the Euro.

But despite getting off to a good start, the Euro has recently suffered some serious setbacks since the ongoing eurozone crisis which commenced in early 2009, triggered by a group of 10 central and eastern European banks asking for a bailout.

THE EURO

With the global economic crisis, on 24 Mar 2009 Zhou Xiaochuan, President of the People’s Bank of China, called for “creative reform of the existing inter- national monetary system towards an international reserve currency,” as he believed it would “significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability.” 2 A few days earlier on 16 Mar 2009, the Kremlin had also called for a supranational reserve currency as part of a reform of the global financial system. 3

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency 2 China presses G20 reform plans. BBC News, 24 March 2009. 3 UN panel touts new global currency reserve system. AFP, 26 March 2009.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

Zhou Xiaochuan

Then on 26 Mar 2009, a UN panel of expert economists also called for a new global currency reserve scheme to replace the US dollar–based system. They pointed out that the: “greatly expanded SDR… could contribute to global stability, economic strength and global equity.” 1

The SDR (Special Drawing Rights) is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Its value is based on a basket of 4 key international currencies (US dollar, Euro, Pounds sterling and the Japanese Yen), and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. It is not a currency per se, but rather represents a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged. 2

1 Ibid 2 Factsheet: Special Drawing Rights (XDRs)". IMF March 31, 2011.

THE SDR

In July 2009, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev presented the attendees at the G8 summit with a coin minted with the words “unity in diversity” as an example of what could become a “united future world currency.” This was to emphasize his call to create a mix of regional currencies in order to counteract the global financial crisis.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

Futurists maintain that the Antichrist will expedite the creation of a single world currency and a cashless society. After all how could you enforce a system, whereby nobody can buy and sell without the mark, if you still have the option to use cash? But it will most likely be implemented in the name of:

Combating cash based crime (e.g. illegal drug and arms trade, bank robberies) and money laundering

Counterterrorism - to restrict terrorism funding

Preventing the evasion of international sanctions

Increasing the tax base by preventing cash-sales tax evasion and failure to declare cash income

CASHLESS SOCIETY

A web article by Michael Snyder on 26 May 2014 reported the following:

A committee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has come up with a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel”… In Sweden, it is estimated that just 3% of all transactions involve cash at this point. In fact, according to an article in the Washington Post, some Swedish banks do not handle cash at all anymore… According to a study conducted by MasterCard, approximately 80% of all consumer transactions in the US are now cashless.

1 http:// endoftheamericandream.com/ archives/ government-plan-would-transform-israel-into-the-worlds-first-cashless-society

CASHLESS SOCIETY

Immediately after telling how the second beast will force everyone to receive a mark, John continues by saying:

Rev 13:18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

John’s challenge here “If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast,” has evoked a seemingly endless list of responses from the time of its writing until the present day. Throughout the ages many have manipulated various schemes to “make the shoe fit” one way or the other for the current political or religious enemy.

666

Unlike English, many ancient languages like Hebrew, Greek and Latin had no separate numeral system but letters had corresponding numbers.

Gematria uses the sum of these numbers to give a numeric value to a word or name.

John calls the mark “the number of his name” so it is quite likely that the Gematria (numerical value) of the Antichrist’s name will be 666. But in which language - Hebrew, Greek, Latin or English?

Calculations using a contrived “English” Gematria (e.g. A=6, B=12, C=18, etc.) are unconvincing, as historically English speakers used the Latin alphabet and numeral system, before moving to the separate Arabic numeral system sometime after 1000 AD.

WHICH LANGUAGE?

The only credible English alphabet-numeral equivalents are found in the ASCII 1 code, which is used in computers for storing all keyboard characters including the alphabet characters.

1 American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ENGLISH?

Hexadecimal representation of ASCII

Some emails have circulated claiming that using the ASCII code “BILL GATES III” equates to 666 and have then used this to equate the cofounder of Microsoft Corporation with the Antichrist.

The problem is that the ASCII value for “I” is not 1 – it’s 49 in hexadecimal (or 73 in decimal). Also in ASCII a space has a numerical value and it is not equivalent to zero. A computer sees a space as 20 in hexadecimal (32 in decimal) and you would have to factor in two spaces.

ENGLISH?

Some claim that Hebrew is the “heavenly language”, and so any calculation should be done with a transliteration of the name in Hebrew.

However the NT and Revelation were written in Greek, so it is more likely that this is the most important language for calculating the 666.

Latin was the language of the Romans and the Antichrist will rule the revived Roman Empire. Most of us are familiar with the Roman (Latin) numerals:

e.g. 1–10 is I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X.

However in the Latin system only certain alphabet characters have numeric equivalents: I(1), V(5), X(10), L(50), C(100), D(500) and M(1000).

HEBREW, GREEK, LATIN

In the Latin (Roman) numeral system the 6 lower value Latin numbers add up to 666.

Thus the Latin 666 is simply DCLXVI - all the Latin letters used to represent numerals except ‘M’. Immediately after the first 6 letters, which equate to 666, we get the seventh ‘M’ which represents the value 1000. An interesting fact considering that Premillennialists believe that immediately after the rule of Antichrist (whose number is 666), there will be the Millennial Rule of Christ which is 1000 years.

LATIN

The Greek alphabet used as a numbering system

The Hebrew alphabet used as a numbering system

Preterists see 666 as the code for Nero (r. 54-68 AD), Caligula (r. 37-41 AD) or Domitian (r. 81-96 AD).

It is claimed that the Greek spelling of Nero Caesar (Nerōn Kaisar) transliterates into Hebrew as “נרון קסר” or ‘nrvn qsr’. Adding the corresponding values yields 666.

The Hebrew Gematria used by Preterists uses some inventive gymnastics by relying on a Greek variant of Nero’s name (adding an ‘n’ to make it fit) and then still transliterating into Hebrew.

PRETERIST 666

Firstly we may ask why the need to transliterate into Hebrew through Greek, when Nero was a Latin name? The Revelation was written in Greek. The answer probably lies in the fact that the Greek Gematria for Nero is 1337.

Nero was a Roman and the Latin title for Nero is simply spelt “Nerō Caesar,” which transliterates to “נרו קסר” in Hebrew (or “nrv qsr”) and has a value of 616.

However there is another more serious problem with the Hebrew Gematria for the Greek ‘Neron Kaisar’.

PRETERIST 666

The rules of Gematria dictate that when the letter Nun appears a second time in a word, it is known as a ‘Final’, and takes the value of 700. 1

So to be precise, even the incorrectly transliterated NRVN QSR actually adds up to 1316 and not 666.

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gematria

PRETERIST 666

Another 1st century candidate put forward by Preterists is Caligula. His first name was “Gaius” - and “Gaius Caesar” renders 616 when transliterated from Latin into Greek.

Actually his full name was “Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus”, but he was commonly known as ‘Caligula’ which is conspicuous by its absence in the isopsephy calculation.

Using this logic you could get 2 more Caesars from the Julio-Claudian dynasty to fit the name “Gaius Caesar”:

Julius Caesar - “Gaius Julius Caesar

Gaius Octavius Caesar” (later called Augustus)

PRETERIST 666

The reality is both ‘Gaius’ and ‘Caesar’ were very much family names and can hardly be used to distinguish between the Caesars of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. “Gaius Caesar” as an abbreviated name is applicable to three Caesars.

Identifying Caligula as the antichrist also relies on the variant value of 616 mentioned by Irenaeus (whom Preterists otherwise choose to ignore when he mentions the timing of the writing of Revelation).

But although Irenaeus knew several cases of the 616-variant he regarded them as a scribal error and affirmed that the number 666 stood “in all the most approved and ancient copies” and was attested by “those men who saw John face to face”. 1

1 Against Heresies Book V, Chapter XXX

PRETERIST 666

A German Protestant theologian Ethelbert Stauffer used the short form of the names and titles of Domitian (the actual Emperor that exiled John to Patmos ) in Greek (Autokrator Kaisar Dometianos Sebastos Germanikos), abbreviating it to “A KAI ΔOMET ΣEB ΓE”, which in Greek Gematria equates as follows:

But like many 666 schemes, this is very inventive to make Domitian ‘fit’ using a somewhat arbitrary abbreviation. In any event Domitian ruled from 81 to 96 AD, long after the alleged Preterist return of Jesus in 70 AD.

PRETERIST 666

The Medieval Latin and French name for Muhammad is Mahomet, and some have claimed that in Greek it is ‘Maometis’, 1 which has a numerical value of 666.

HISTORICIST 666

1 Charles Walmesley (1722–1797) was an English Roman Catholic bishop and a leading proponent of the ‘Maometis’ interpretation, who alleged that the name Muhammad was spelled Maometis by Euthymius Zygabenus and the Greek historians Zonaras and Cedrenus. However this is untrue as Euthymius Zygabenus and Zonaras actually used the name ‘Maometh’ while Cedrenus used ‘Mouchoumet’. Dr. David Thom also rejected ‘Maometis’ as a valid translation, writing that “of the seven different ways in which Muhammad’s name is written in Euthymius and the Byzantine historians, not one is the orthography in question.” (The Number And Names Of The Apocalyptic Beasts - 1848) Furthermore none of the 7 variant spellings of the name Muhammad that were used by the Greek Byzantine add up to 666 using Greek Gematria.

According to the SDA Church, an alleged title of the Pope, Vicarivs Filii Dei (Vicar of The Son of God), totals 666 in Latin numerals (disregarding of course letters that had no numerical value for Romans).

But this title is not recognized by Catholics as an official title of the Pope. The title was contained in the Donation of Constantine, a document recognized as a forgery by both Protestants and Catholics.

Then the claim by certain Historicists that this title is engraved in the pope’s tiara has never been proven. Uriah Smith was the first to propose this to the SDA Church when writing “The United States in the Light of Prophecy”.

HISTORICIST 666

Catholic apologists point out that by that merely looking at any of the more than 20 papal tiaras still in existence—including those in use in 1866 during the reign of Pope Pius IX when Uriah Smith made his claim—it is plain that not even one of them has any such inscription, nor is there is any evidence that any of the earlier papal tiaras destroyed by invading French troops in 1798 had any such inscription either.” 1

1 Envoy magazine article titled “Pope Fiction”

HISTORICIST 666

Latinus was an early king of the Latins. Interestingly Irenaeus mentions that his name which means “Latin man” equates to 666 in its Greek form. 1

This is very significant when we consider that Futurists often identify the antichrist as a future political leader from the revived Roman (Latin) Empire – or what is today the EU (European Union).

1 “Then also Lateinos (ΛΑΤΕΙΝΟΣ) has the number six hundred and sixty–six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule: I will not, however, make any boast over this [coincidence].” - Against Heresies, Bk 5, Ch. 30:3

FUTURIST 666

John said that “no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark” (Rev 13:17). So Futurists see the “666” not only as the Gematria of the Antichrist’s name, but having a link to move towards a single world currency and a technology used to facilitate commerce (without which no one will be able to perform any financial transactions).

Several forms of credit technology have been proposed as being “the mark”, including UPC bar codes, VISA cards, the internet and RFID chips.

MARK OF COMMERCE

The VISA Card is interesting when considering the number 666. Some have alleged that the word ‘VISA’ comprises of the number 6 in the languages of three former world empires (Rome, Greece and Babylonia).

‘VI’ is of course the number 6 in Roman numerals.

‘S’ is claimed as the English equivalent of the Greek ‘Stigma’ whose value is also 6.

Lastly it is claimed that ‘A’ in the Babylonian culture is 6. Thus it follows that VI-S-A equates to 6-6-6.

VISA CARDS

But while the claims about the Latin alphabet check out because ‘VI’ is indeed 6, the last two claims do not.

The Greek equivalent of the English or Latin ‘S’ is not stigma but sigma, which had a numerical value of 200. Stigma is now obsolete, but in NT times it did represent the number 6. But it was a continuation of the old letter digamma which was the ancestor of the Latin letter ‘F’.

While one can see how sigma and stigma may get confused, it’s totally unclear how anyone arrived at the last claim regarding the Babylonian alphabet. The Babylonians had a separate numerical system and did not have to use the letter ‘A’ from their alphabet to represent the number ‘6’.

VISA CARDS

Rather their alphabet was cuneiform and utilised a series of wedge shaped characters. The Babylonian cuneiform shape for “A’ is quite distinct from the cuneiform number ‘6’.

Babylonian number system showing the numbers 1 to 6.

The alphabet (a-e) in Babylonian cuneiform

VISA CARDS

The Internet plays a major role today in eCommerce and financial transactions. The common abbreviation for “World Wide Web” is www. The English ‘w’ is transliterated in Hebrew as the letterו (‘waw’ pronounced ‘vav’). In Hebrew, the letter ‘waw’ is used to represent the number 6. In Hebrew, this abbreviation ‘www’ could be spelledו ו ו (waw-waw-waw). Numerically, this Hebrew abbreviation would equate to 6-6-6.

But the mark of the beast goes in the right hand or forehead – what does this have to do with the Internet?

In any event the number of the mark is not 6–6–6, but six hundred and sixty six. Thus the total of ‘www’ is actually 18 [6+6+6] — not 666.

THE INTERNET

In the Greek (Textus Receptus) the number is “χξς” (chi xi stigma), denoting respectively 600, 60 and 6; 666 as a numeral – six hundred threescore and six. It is not 6-6-6 (stigma-stigma-stigma).

Other Greek manuscripts (like Nestle) spell each word out - hexakosioi, hexēkonta, hex (εξακοσιοι εξηκοντα εξ) i.e. six hundred and sixty-six.

6-6-6 OR 666?

Letter

χ

ξ

ς

Number

hexakosioi

hexēkonta

hex

Name

CHI

XI

STIGMA

Value

600

60

6

UPC (Universal Product Code) bar codes were first implemented in 1973 and today all products in large grocery stores will have a UPC imprinted on them. It is claimed by some that all UPC bar codes have the number 666 encoded within them. These bar codes are made up of numerous lines of various widths and distances apart. Each number is represented by a 2-line code. The code for the number 6 on the right segment is 2 thin lines, a short distance apart.

The 3 elongated end and middle “guard bars” on every barcode are visually identical to the symbol used to represent the number 6 on the right hand segment of a barcode. Thus 6-6-6 appears to form a template for the barcodes.

UPC BAR CODES

6

6

6

Note guard bars and right segment 6

So is the barcode the mark of the beast?

But while visually the barcode does appear to contain a ‘666’ template, in reality from the perspective of the computer software that reads it, it is not.

The beginning and ending guard bars are encoded as a binary number 101, while the middle guard bar is encoded as 01010. The beginning and ending guard bars have only three units, the middle guard bar has only five units, but the number 6 has seven units with the binary code 1010000.

UPC BAR CODES

In reality, in today’s world the UPC barcode does seem like a poor candidate for the mark of the beast as the technology is somewhat dated. In our modern world of hi–tech security and identification, a barcode is simply not reliable enough. The barcode has a self–check digit at the end, which causes the scanner to beep when the code is misread and this remains a fairly common occurrence when scanning goods at a grocery store. But because human skin stretches, using a barcode on the forehead or right hand (the place the Bible indicates the mark would be) would make it virtually impossible to get the precision required for a reliable scan.

And again, as with the ‘www’ claim, the number of the mark is not 6–6–6 (the claimed barcode template), but six hundred and sixty six.

UPC BAR CODES

While the mark is clearly linked to commercial transactions and the barcode is just such a technology, there are currently far more reliable technologies like biometric RFIDs which are better technology vehicles to use if this commercial mark were required in our lifetime.

Will the mark be ON or IN the hand?

Rev 13:16–17 …to be given marks on (Greek: epi) their right hands, or on (epi) their foreheads… (NIV)

Modern English versions translate the Greek preposition ‘epi’ as ‘on’. However the KJV renders it as ‘in’.

Rev 13:16-17 …to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads… (KJV)

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

The primary use of ‘epi’ is ‘on’ or ‘upon’, but it can legitimately be translated as ‘in’. It depends on the context.

So it’s not possible to make a categorical case for either ‘in’ or ‘on’ the hand, but while ‘on’ is the preference for modern English versions, the older English versions and the Vulgate opted in favour of ‘in’ and the Greek seems to allow for both usages. If it is indeed “in the hand” this could be an indication that it is some type of RFID implant.

Some feel that the mark has to be ‘on’ the hand or forehead in order to make it visible so that dissenters in the final one world government can be easily spotted. But with modern technology clearly this is not an issue, as a scanner linked to a computer can easily ‘see’ an invisible chip implant.

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

Futurists interpret the scripture regarding the mark of the beast literally as being a requirement for all commerce. Thus it could well be a device with the function of a credit or debit card, but in the form of a RFID microchip implant.

Even in a cashless society, when using debit or credit cards there is still an issue with identity theft. A chip implant solves this issue. The technology exists today to take a chip similar to those used in smart cards and place it under your skin. Once the chip is implanted it could be read by an inexpensive scanner, much like the one that reads bar codes in your local grocery store. You would then become your own smart card — and the very expensive problem of making sure the owner of the card is who he says he is, has been solved!

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

This technology is already in use for the purpose of identifying lost pets. The former VeriMed website indicated that their RFID technology was FDA cleared as being viable for implantation in humans as well.

A 2005 episode of MythBusters even tested the idea that an RFID chip implanted in an human would explode when having an MRI.

BIOMETRIC RFID

Small RFID chip, here compared to a grain of rice

In 2009 there was a merger of VeriChip and Steel Vault to form a new company called PositiveID. However despite being FDA approved, the human microchip marketed by the company ran into trouble. In 2007, it was revealed that nearly identical implants had caused cancer in hundreds of laboratory animals. The revelation had a devastating impact on the company’s stock price. In 2010, the company discontinued marketing the implantable human microchip.

Nevertheless it may just be a matter of time before this again becomes a feasible commercial technology, when the health hazards are overcome.

In 2016 biohacker Hannes Sjöblad revealed that he had implanted himself with an RFID chip between his forefinger and thumb and he uses it to unlock doors, make payments and unlock his phone.

BIOMETRIC RFID

It is understandable why people who ponder on these prophecies, consider barcodes, credit cards and the internet - as all play a major role in commerce.

But the prophecy refers to a compulsory mark in/ on the right hand or forehead, which cannot apply to these technologies (or are a poor candidate in the case of bar coding).

However it is not beyond the realm of probability that RFID tags could be incorporated as a biometric tool for commerce.

We also need to bear in mind that not only is the mark linked to some form or commercial control, John specifically calls it “the number of a man”. Man was created on the 6th day - thus 6 is man’s number.

MAN’S NUMBER

7 is the number of perfection and 777 represents the triune perfection. 888 (Jesus’ number) surpasses the perfect number 777 by one in each case, while 666 falls short of the divine perfection in each case. The name Jesus (Iesous in Greek) adds up to 888 (8 x 111). In similar fashion the Greek name for the antichrist may equate to 666.

The number of Jesus’ names and titles in Greek.

FUTURIST 666

The number 666 is mentioned twice elsewhere in Scripture:

Adonikam

Ezra 2:1,13 Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town, …of Adonikam 666…

666 ELSEWHERE

While we don’t learn a whole lot about Adonikam from this passage except that 666 of his family members came back to Judah, it’s interesting that he is known for coming from Babylon to Israel.

The Antichrist is always associated with Babylon and we know from the Book of Daniel that he will come to Israel (he negotiates a covenant with Israel, and later sets up his image in the temple).

Strong’s (ref: 140) indicates that the name Adonikam means “my Lord has arisen”.

The antichrist arises as a lord or ruler, and many Futurist believe that he even “arises” in the sense of a counterfeit resurrection.

666 ELSEWHERE

Solomon

1 Kings 10:14 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents.

While this is interesting, why would the writer bother to give such detail? Could it be that the number 666 holds some future relevance? As the number is obviously significant in light of the Revelation, what can we learn from its earlier application here?

666 ELSEWHERE

Solomon was extremely wealthy. How much would 666 talents be worth in today’s terms? Using the price of gold in the last 5 years (2011-2015), it would be somewhere between $800 million and $1.4 billion.

The Antichrist will be powerful and wealthy.

Solomon was the “son of David” and seen as a type of the Messiah to come.

The Antichrist will be a false Messiah.

Solomon ruled in a golden age of Israel with extended borders, military prowess and peace treaties with many nations around him.

The Antichrist will be prominent in both diplomacy and conquest.

666 ELSEWHERE

The name Solomon (Strong’s ref: 8010) in its Hebrew form is Shlomo (שלמה) and comes from the word ‘shalom’ meaning ‘peace’.

The Antichrist will bring peace to Israel.

Solomon built the first Jewish temple.

The Antichrist will possibly sponsor the building of the third temple.

Solomon ultimately worshipped false gods.

The Antichrist will have allegiance to a false god (Satan).

666 ELSEWHERE

Rev 14:1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, ** and with him 144,000 * who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

* These 144,000 were identified as a group of Jewish believers who minister during the Tribulation.

** Some believe this is the heavenly Mount Zion and that the 144,000 now appear in heaven, through death as victims of the Beast. But they were given a seal of protection earlier (Rev 7:4).

Others hold that this is the earthly Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Jesus, the Messiah, gathers them here in anticipation of his future reign over the earth from Jerusalem. The Antichrist, allied with the armies of the nations of the world, will now move on Jerusalem in an attempt to destroy the city.

THE 144,000

Rev 14:2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. * 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. 6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. ** 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

* They are firstfruits of those saved from the restored Israel. Firstfruits always points to an imminent greater harvest i.e. the spiritual restoration of Israel.

** Some link this to their radio and TV ministries using technology to spread the gospel.

THE 144,000

Rev 14:8 A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” * 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. **

* We need to bear in mind that not only is the mark linked to some form or commercial control (inability to buy or sell without it), but taking the mark seems to extend beyond simply using a more modern form of credit. Taking the mark seems intrinsically linked to the worship of the beast (Antichrist) and ultimate eternal damnation.

** There are those who remain true to God.

MORE THAN CREDIT

Surely God wouldn’t condemn someone simply for using an alternative to a credit card? So while there is no doubt about its link to commercial activity (cannot buy and sell without it), it is also clear that taking the mark seems to include some sort of “oath of allegiance” to this new world ruler, or perhaps even some ceremony which entails refuting the ideals of a Judeo-Christian heritage.

Those who refuse to take the mark are beheaded by the Antichrist. (Rev 20:4) Again this is seemingly harsh, even for the Antichrist, if they are simply refusing to endorse the latest version of a credit card. The implication is that by refusing to take it or worship his image, they are rejecting his claims to be God.

MORE THAN CREDIT

So what do we really know about the mark?

The false prophet forces people to take the mark.

It’s on/ in the right hand or forehead.

The mark is linked to the Antichrist’s name or the number of his name.

It’s linked to commercial activity.

It’s linked to the worship of the Antichrist.

Those who refuse to take it are beheaded by the Antichrist.

Those who take it will be eternally damned by God.

THE MARK - SUMMARY

Rev 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.” 14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” * with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

* i.e. Jesus – note the following Scripture, which was referred to by Jesus in his trial, when he was asked if he was the Messiah (Matt 26:63-64).

Daniel 7:13-14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

THE WINEPRESS

Rev 14:15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. * 17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” *

* Sickle/ harvest: Earth is ripe for God’s final judgment.

Matt 13:38-41 “… The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”

THE WINEPRESS

Rev 14:19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. *

* Some believe this refers to Armageddon (although that is placed at the 6th bowl), while other link it to the destruction of Gog and Magog (Ezek 38).

Joel 3:12-13 Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!

It refers to Jesus coming to deliver Jerusalem when no nations will come to her aid.

THE WINEPRESS

Isaiah 63:1-6 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, [in Jordan] with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendour, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments... For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; * so my own arm worked salvation for me… I trampled the nations in my anger…”

* Ultimately all nations (including the US) will withdraw support from Israel.

THE WINEPRESS

Rev 14:20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. *

* i.e. 200 Roman miles, 184 modern miles, 296 km. As the winepress is figurative, so is this. It could mean the blood splatters as high as the horses’ bridles and covers the length of Israel. (Modern Israel stretches 263 miles from north to south.)

THE WINEPRESS

Rev 15:1 I saw in heaven another great and marvellous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses * the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: ** “Great and marvellous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

* The song of Moses recorded in Exodus 15:1-20 is a song of victory when Israel was delivered from the oppression of Pharaoh.

** The song of the Lamb and the song of Moses refers to one song that is sung. Moses represents the Old Covenant and the Lamb (Jesus) the New Covenant (John 1:17)

THE 7 BOWLS

Rev 15:5 After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened. 6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, * who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

* The same 7 angels around God’s throne are given the bowls to deliver the final 7 judgments.

THE 7 BOWLS

Rev 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” 2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. *

* Again note that the judgment is not just for receiving the mark, but for the worshiping the image of the beast.

THE 7 BOWLS

Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died. 4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; 6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” 7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. **

* The punishments are again linked to the crime.

Matt 7:2 “… with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

** Men still refuse to repent, cursing God rather.

THE 7 BOWLS

Rev 16:10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. * Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, * but they refused to repent of what they had done. 12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up * to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

* a plague of darkness along with disease.

** The Euphrates is the principal water source of the entire Middle East.

ARMAGEDDON

This is like prophesying that the Nile will be dried up in Egypt. The Euphrates river runs out of Turkey through Syria and into Iraq.

THE EUPHRATES DRIES UP

This prophecy seemed to be almost unbelievable. That was until 1990, when the flow of the river was stopped for 30 days. Turkey had built the huge Ataturk Dam and 30 days were required to fill up the newly constructed reservoir. So the Euphrates was temporarily stopped. While the river is again flowing, as of 1990 the mechanism is in place that can stop the flow of the Euphrates at will.

THE EUPHRATES DRIES UP

The prophecy states that, at the time of Armageddon, the flow of the Euphrates will be dried up to facilitate the invasion of Israel. It will really be very simple. Just push a button, raise the dam level, and the Euphrates stops. But it’s only been possible since 1990!

THE EUPHRATES DRIES UP

Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. *

* These are NOT the 200 million demonic angels of the 6th trumpet judgment, incorrectly linked by those who believe the trumpets and bowls are the same events.

The drying up of the river relates to the removal of a natural barrier to clear the way for advancing troops.

Many believe that this might be a reference to China. It is more likely to be an alliance that may include China (hence the plural “kings”), coming to assist the Antichrist at Armageddon. 1

1 Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in China’s power and influence. The development of enormous military strength; intimidation of Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan, and other regions; pursuit of global economic dominance; aggressive rhetoric on the world stage… https:// www.gotquestions.org/ China-end-times.html

ARMAGEDDON

Rev 16:13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, * to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

* This alliance consists of the “kings of the whole world”, not just the “the kings from the East”

Ps 2:1-6 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

ARMAGEDDON

Rev 16:15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” 16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. *

* Armageddon is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Har Megiddo” and means literally “the mount of Megiddo.”

During the past 4000 years, at least 34 bloody conflicts have already been fought at the ancient site of Megiddo and adjacent areas of the Jezreel Valley.

ARMAGEDDON

The adjacent Jezreel valley (seen from Megiddo) measures 32 kilometres long and 11 kilometres wide.

Egyptians, Canaanites, Midianites, Amalekites, Philistines, Hasmonaeans, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Crusaders, Mamluks, Mongols, French, Ottomans, British, Australians, Germans, Arabs and Israelis have all fought and died here.

ARMAGEDDON

The names of the warring generals and leaders reverberate throughout history: Thutmose III, Deborah and Barak, Sisera, Gideon, Saul and Jonathan, Shishak, Jehu, Joram, Jezebel, Josiah, Antiochus, Ptolemy, Vespasian, Saladin, Napoleon and Allenby, to name but a few of the most famous. And now the Antichrist and his armies descend on Jerusalem to punish the rebellion against his rule.

Daniel 8:25 … he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.

Jerusalem is actually the focus of the battle and Megiddo, is 88 km away from Jerusalem. The troops are gathered at Armageddon (Megiddo) because of the vast flat valley of Jezreel – the battle does not necessarily take place there.

ARMAGEDDON

Rev 16:17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. ** 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great ** and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. ***

* The world experiences the greatest earthquake in history.

** The following section including chapters 17 and 18 are an interlude focussing on Mystery Babylon.

*** A third time (cf. Rev 16:9,11) we are told that men still refuse to repent, cursing God rather.

7TH BOWL

Rev 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. * 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” **

Rev 17:15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” *

* The passage self-interprets the waters to mean many nations and people groups. So this is a multi-national, cross-cultural institution.

** Adultery is used in scripture to speak of spiritual unfaithfulness. God called Israel’s disobedience to Him adultery and harlotry (Jer 3:8-9; 5:7; 13:27; Ezek 16:32). So the prostitute represents a false religious system.

RELIGIOUS BABYLON

Rev 17:3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON * THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

* In the OT, Babylon was associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy and the captivity and exile of Israel.

MYSTERY BABYLON

Preterist:

1st century Jerusalem

Historicist:

Rome

Constantinople

Futurist:

Babylon in Iraq rebuilt

Modern Rome

Modern Jerusalem

A modern city like New York

World commercial systems and materialism in general

MYSTERY BABYLON

Some believe that these references to Babylon will be fulfilled in a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq. In 1983 Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city on top of the old ruins. An article published in April 2006 stated that UN officials and Iraqi leaders had plans for restoring Babylon, making it into a cultural centre. UN involvement immediately suggests that the rebuilt city may play a role in some form of world government headed by a more empowered UN. However at present the site remains just a tourist attraction.

BABYLON IN IRAQ

Panoramic view over the reconstructed city of Babylon

But while I generally prefer the most literal view, it is notable that the term used is not simply Babylon, but has the qualifying word ‘MYSTERY’ before it, which appears to indicate that some other meaning is intended.

In giving clues to its identity John states that “This calls for a mind with wisdom” (Rev 17:9) – surely it does not take too much wisdom to equate the city with itself?

While thousands of years ago under Nebuchadnezzar it could lay claim to be “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18), this certainly wasn’t the case in the time that John wrote, nor has it been any time since then.

Nor is it a key commercial city in modern times which would cause merchants to mourn if it were destroyed.

BABYLON IN IRAQ

And while at surface value this is the most literal view, the passage literally describes a seaport - which Babylon is not.

The city is also not built on seven hills, a feature explicitly stated in the passage.

Why does John write, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues” (Rev 18:4). What would Jews be doing in modern Iraq, a Muslim country hostile to Israel? Despite having had 140,000 Jews in Iraq before World War II, today there are only 38 Jews in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital.

The woman was “drunk with the blood of the saints… who bore testimony to Jesus” (Rev 17:6), but Babylon was not known for persecuting Christians.

BABYLON IN IRAQ

Rev 17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, * the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

Rev 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.

* Pagan Rome made sport of throwing to the lions, burning and otherwise killing thousands of Christians.

BLOOD OF THE SAINTS

But “Christian” Rome killed many more believers than pagan Rome.

Canon Juan Antonio Llorente (1756-1823) was General Secretary of the Inquisition from 1789 to 1801 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals. In his “Critical History of the Spanish Inquisition” he estimated that the number of victims in the Spanish Inquisition alone was 341,021 with about 31,912 being executed between 1480 and 1808.

BLOOD OF THE SAINTS

Rev 17:9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. *

* Throughout its history Rome has been described as the city of seven hills as indicated in coins which refer to it in this way and in countless allusions in Roman literature. Seven hills formed the nucleus of the ancient city on the east bank of the Tiber - Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Capitoline.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.”

SEVEN HILLS

Babylon

Babylon

Medo

Medo

Greece Rome

Greece Rome

Revived

Revived

Persia

Persia

Roman

Roman

“FIVE HAVE FALLEN”

3) Babylon

4) Medo- Persia

“ONE IS”

5) Greece 6) Rome

“THE OTHER HAS NOT YET COME” 7) Revived

Roman

2) Assyria

1) Egypt

Rev 17:10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; * but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.

* The Bible speaks of 6 world kingdoms that have ruled Israel in the past: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. John (who wrote Revelation) lived in the Roman Empire.

SEVEN KINGS

What is the false religious system that the prostitute (Mystery Babylon) represents?

Preterists identify the woman with 1st century Jerusalem and apostate Judaism.

Historicists identify the woman with Rome, but more specifically with the Vatican or the Catholic Church.

Futurists see her as representing the Apostate Church that is left behind, possibly in the form of an ecumenical (representing a number of different Christian Churches) or interfaith (different religions) movement headquartered in Rome. 1

1 Many people like to identify this harlot with the Catholic Church, but they do not have a monopoly on false religion. This is unification of all false religion, with representatives from apostate Catholicism, Orthodoxism, Protestantism, and other religions of the world.

RELIGIOUS BABYLON

There are many ecumenical or interfaith movements at present, none of which completely meet the requirement.

The World Council of Churches, based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland includes denominations claiming to represent some 590 million people across the world in about 150 countries. If the Catholic Church were to take full membership status – this may well be the organisation referred to.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), based in New York, is a UN sponsored interfaith movement initiated in 2005.

The Centro Pro Unione is an ecumenical research and action centre, inaugurated in 1968 and situated in Rome. It holds annual conferences on ecumenism.

RELIGIOUS BABYLON

Rev 17:17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule,* until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” **

* The 10 kingdoms voluntarily give dominion to the Antichrist.

** In John’s day “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” could only be a reference to Rome, not Jerusalem 1 or Babylon. The early church fathers all saw this as a clear allusion to Rome.

1 Preterists claim it’s Jerusalem. Rome and Alexandria had been the largest cities in the world since 100 BC and Rome the single largest city since 1 AD. Rome was the centre of the world’s largest empire at the time. So how is it possible that Jerusalem, in the process of being razed to the ground by Rome, can seriously be called “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth”, instead of the title cannot being applied to Rome? Rome remained the world’s dominant and largest city until around 500 AD when it was displaced from that position by Constantinople.

THE GREAT CITY

Rev 17:7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. **

* The beast is linked again to Apollyon who was released from the Abyss.

** Some believe this refers to the “mortal wound being healed” when the Antichrist mimics a resurrection from the dead. Others think it refers to the Revived Roman Empire and not to a literal wound on the Antichrist himself. But while this is a curiosity, why would this astonish people?

THE BEAST

Rev 17:11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. * He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. 12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, ** but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. *** 14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them **** because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

* i.e. Antichrist

** Last world empire will have 10 divisions.

*** They will willingly give the Antichrist dominion over their kingdoms.

**** They will be united against Jesus and hence Israel.

TEN KINGS

On 29th Sept 2004 the new European Union constitution was signed in Rome - in the same room where the Treaty of Rome had been signed to establish the EU in 1957. There had been a long fight over whether or not to include mention of Europe’s Christian roots in the constitution. In the end they agreed not to mention it.

ROMAN EMPIRE

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the EU and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro- Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process.

https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Union_for_the_Mediterranean

EUROMED Free Trade Area

The Club of Rome is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international issues, including the world economic system, climate change, and environmental degradation. Founded in 1968 in Rome, Italy, it describes itself as “a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity.” It consists of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. (https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Club_of_Rome)

They produced a computer model based on a world divided into 10 regions. According to TIME magazine (26 Apr 1976), “the model is fed data—population growth, food production, climate changes, energy supplies, etc.—that can permit economists to test scenarios for various situations.”

CLUB OF ROME DIVISIONS

CLUB OF ROME DIVISIONS

Rev 17:16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. * They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. **

* The antichrist, false prophet and 10 kingdoms hate the prostitute.

** The Beast eventually destroys her.

Preterists use this to identify the prostitute with Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans in AD 70.

According to SDA Historicism… the first beast of Rev 13 symbolizes the Papacy, and the second beast symbolizes the USA. But the beast destroys the harlot (Rev 17:16), so if their view is consistent, it means the Pope destroys the Catholic church, the very system which supports him.

PROSTITUTE DESTROYED

Futurist: The Antichrist tolerates the interfaith movement or the harlot church and uses her to satisfy his own selfish purposes.

Just as he uses the Jews to obtain his political purposes but eventually double-crosses them by breaking covenant, so he will treat the harlot accordingly. As men use prostitutes - only to discard them afterwards – so the Antichrist ultimately turns on the harlot and destroys her.

PROSTITUTE DESTROYED

Rev 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendour. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” * 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. 7 Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ 8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

* The passage seemingly switches now to a commercial city, of which it says that the “merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries”.

COMMERCIAL BABYLON

Rev 18:9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury * see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’ 11The merchants of the earth ** will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; ** and bodies and souls of men. 14 They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendour * have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants ** who sold these things and gained their wealth * from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! ** 17 In one hour such great wealth * has been brought to ruin!’”

* associated with luxury, riches, splendour, great wealth

** linked to international merchants and merchandise

COMMERCIAL BABYLON

Rev 18:17 “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, * they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: ”‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! * In one hour she has been brought to ruin! 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’” 21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. 22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. 23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. ** By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.”

* This clearly seems to be a port city, which Babylon, Jerusalem and Rome are not.

** It is home to the world’s greatest businessmen.

COMMERCIAL BABYLON

RELIGIOUS VS COMMERCIAL

Religious Babylon (Rev 17:1-18)

Commercial Babylon (Rev 18:1-24)

Symbol: a harlot woman

Symbol: a great city

Identified with Rome (inland)

Identified with a port city

Woman, whore and mother

Habitation, great city, market place

Guilty of religious abominations

Guilty of greed, self-indulgence

Destroyed by a political power that previously supported her

Destroyed by a sudden act of God

The kings who destroy the Babylon of Rev 17 rejoice

In the Babylon of Rev 18, the kings and merchants lament and weep for her

Is the commercial Babylon necessarily the same as the religious Babylon? Could religious Babylon be centred in one city and commercial Babylon in another?

RELIGIOUS VS COMMERCIAL

If the statements made in Revelation chapter 18 apply to the world that John lived in, there is really no debate that they refer to Rome which is why the early Fathers made this singular identification. Everyone knew what “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” was and despite what modern Preterists say, no one thought it was Jerusalem.

As things stand today, New York is actually a far better fit for a commercial and political Babylon. But it’s not as good a fit for a religious Babylon as Rome. Rome is also more likely to be a centre for ecumenical religion then New York, being the seat of the Catholic Church which will no doubt play some role in this ecumenical or interfaith movement.

In contrast to Rome and Babylon of today, New York is the leading deep-water seaport city in the Western Hemisphere, and it is the marketplace gateway to the US.

COMMERCIAL BABYLON?

New York is one of the greatest commercial cities in the world.

Lower Manhattan is the third largest central business district in the US and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013. http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ New_York_City

New York City stacked against the GDP of entire countries (2011)

List of cities by GDP (2012). Rome sits at an unimpressive number 63 (Babylon doesn’t figure), with 16 cities in the US alone topping it. So while Rome might be the leading candidate by far in terms of the religious Babylon, in our current world it doesn’t feature that prominently enough to make a weighty claim to being commercial Babylon.

COMMERCIAL BABYLON?

Noted for its elegant, luxurious, refined and rich lifestyles. Isa 47:1-8; Rev 17:4-5; 18:2-24. This does not match up with Iraq, as it is not capable of reaching such levels of wealthy living standards in our lifetime.

Extremely wealthy. Jer 51:13…… Rev 18: 2-19

Sensual, materialistic lifestyle. Isa 47: 8; Rev 18:14

The highest living standards. Isa 47:1 Rev 18: 14

Intoxicating high-society lifestyle as a world example to emulate. Rev 17:2; 18:3, 14, 23.

Apply the above characteristics to New York and the US in general and there is quite a different picture.

COMMERCIAL BABYLON?

New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. Home to the headquarters of the UN, New York is an important centre for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world. (http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ New_York_City)

We already noted that the UN sponsored interfaith movement UNAOC (UN Alliance of Civilizations) is based in New York.

POLITICAL BABYLON?

“Commercial Babylon” appears to be a meeting place for the nations of the earth.

While the UN has further main offices in Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya) it is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City. Of the six principal organs of the UN, the International Court of Justice with its seat in The Hague (Netherlands) is the only one not located in New York. The other five - The General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, the Economic and Social Council and the UN Trusteeship Council are all based in New York.

Extending the analogy to the US as a whole, global financial institutes like the World Bank and the IMF are both headquartered in Washington DC in the US.

POLITICAL BABYLON?

New York is in not known as being a city on seven physical hills, except for Staten Island 1 (but this is but only of the five boroughs of the city). But some spiritualise this to see a mountain being a symbol of governments or political entities. As the world also has seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America) and the UN is headquartered in New York, they see this as a reference to the political entity of the UN having dominion over the continents of the world.

In any event “the city on seven hills” from Rev 17 is applied to the religious Babylon, not the commercial Babylon of Rev 18.

1 Staten Island is built on 7 hills (Fort Hill, Ward Hill, Fox Hill, Grymes Hill, Emerson Hill, Todt Hill, and Richmond Hill) .

POLITICAL BABYLON?

Rev 18:4 … “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues…”

While today there are only 38 Jews in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq (where Babylon is located), there are more Jews in the US than in any other place in the world, besides Israel.

COME OUT OF HER

Rev 19:1 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” * 3 And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.”

* The prostitute is judged. As Lot fled Sodom before its judgment, God warns his people to flee.

I don’t believe the next slide was the fulfilment of this Scripture, but note the fit.

COME OUT OF HER

Rev 18:17-18 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, “Was there ever a city like this great city?”

How much did the Sept 11 terrorist attack cost America?

Counting the value of lives lost as well as property damage and lost production of goods and services, losses already exceed $100 billion. Including the loss in stock market wealth -- the market's own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility -- the price tag approaches $2 trillion. (http:// www.iags.org/ costof911.html)

Now I consider the Book of Revelation to be generally laid out in a chronological sequence. From a Futurist perspective, the destruction of Babylon at the end of Revelation would not fit any linking with a 9/ 11 scenario, other than being a type. Also the city was not completely destroyed as is the case in Revelation 18. But might it be a prelude of a future terrorist attack?

COMMERCIAL BABYLON?

RELIGIOUS VS POLITICAL

Applies to

Feature

Babylon

Rome

New York

Religious Babylon

7 hills

NEVER

TRUE

Rules 7 continents

Drunk on blood of saints

Before John

- Persecuted disobedient Israel

TRUE (John’s day and Middle Ages)

NEVER

Seat for ecumenical religion

Before John

Middle ages

UNAOC

Political Babylon

Rules the world

Before John

In John’s day

Today

Sits on many waters (nations)

Before John

In John’s day

& today : prominent in EU

Today -prominent in UN

COMMERCIAL

Applies to

Feature

Babylon

Rome

New York

Commercial Babylon

Port city

NEVER

NEVER

Today

Come out of her

No Jews & Christians there

Christians in Middle Ages

Jews second only to Israel

Leading commercial city

Before John

In John’s day

Today

Hated

Before John

In John’s day and Middle Ages

Today: by Muslims & communists

Target for attack

US-led invasion of Iraq

Possibly by Muslims

Today: by Muslims & communists

SUMMARY

I think it’s unlikely that the literal Babylon in Iraq is being referred to, as it’s termed a ‘mystery’ and Babylon doesn’t feature in any meaningful form today.

If the prophecy refers to the modern equivalent of a city of John’s today, it is unequivocally a reference to Rome.

If it refers to a single city today, the strongest overall strongest candidate is Rome.

If it refers to two cities, Rome is no doubt the religious Babylon while New York (or the US in general) is the strongest candidate for the commercial Babylon.

Being termed a ‘mystery’ it may in fact be a reference to the apostate church in general and the worldly commercial / economic system.

Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) * 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

* Are we ready for the groom and wearing fine linen?

Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

THE WEDDING FEAST

Rev 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, ** and his name is the Word of God. * 14 The armies of heaven were following him, ** riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

* This identifies him as Jesus (John 1:1,14)

** He is returning from Armageddon.

THE WHITE HORSE

Rev 19:15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron sceptre.” * He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. ** 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

* A reference to Psalm 2. Jesus will soon establish his Millennial rule from Jerusalem.

** Again an allusion to the earlier Armageddon battle.

THE WHITE HORSE

Rev 19:19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. *

* The armies of the Antichrist take their stand against the Messiah who comes to deliver Jerusalem.

Daniel 8:25 … he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes…

THE WHITE HORSE

Rev 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet * who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image… 21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

* The Antichrist’s armies are defeated.

Daniel 8:25 Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.

2 Thess 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.

THE WHITE HORSE

Rev 19:20 …The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. *

* Daniel 7:11 Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.

THE WHITE HORSE

The Jews will recognize Jesus as the Messiah and repent over their previous rejection of Him:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (Zech 12:10-11)

… you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness … Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. (Ezek 36:28-31)

ISRAEL RESTORED

The Millennium

Dan 12:11-12 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

As the abomination is set up in the middle of the 7 years (1260 days) the 1290 days is an extra 30 days and the 1335 days a further 45 days – a total of 75 days after the end of the 7 year period.

Some believe that the 30 days is for the gathering of the nations for judgment and the end of the judgment is 45 days later, hence the statement “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

THE JUDGMENT

THE SHEEP-GOAT JUDGMENT

M I L L E N N I U M

2ND A D V E N T

A B O M I N A T I O N

3½ YEAR GREAT TRIBULATION

1260 DAYS

TIME, TIMES & ½ TIME

42 MONTHS

BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO WAITS FOR AND REACHES THE END OF THE 1335 DAYS

30 DAYS

1260 DAYS

1290 DAYS

1335 DAYS

75 DAYS (judgment?)

1260 DAYS

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, * and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, *** and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time… 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

* Here an angel has the key, earlier it was a “star”.

Satan is again identified as the dragon.

He is locked in the Abyss, which we have noted is a prison for fallen angels and in future – for demons.

SATAN BOUND

Rev 20:4 … And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. *

* Could this happen today in our modern civilized world?

It is happening today. The many Christians beheaded by militant Muslims has even caused some to look for an Islamic Antichrist (a viewpoint I don’t subscribe to).

Quran 47:4 When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

TRIBULATION SAINTS

Rev 20:4 … They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. ** They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. ***

* The tribulation saints are martyred (by beheading) for their refusal to participate in the Antichrist’s religious, political and economic system.

** Again the link between the marks and worship of the beast.

*** They too reign with Christ.

TRIBULATION SAINTS

Latin: mille ‘thousand’ + annum ‘year’.

‘The Millennium’ in Bible prophecy refers specifically to a 1000-year golden age when Jesus, as the Jewish Messiah, will reign on earth from Jerusalem in fulfillment of the OT prophecies.

Premillennialism is also called millenarianism or chiliasm from the Greek chilloi (thousand).

In the NT, the Millennium is described by John in Revelation 20.

THE MILLENNIUM

Amillennialism

The entire Church age (starting at the Cross) is the Millennium (not a literal 1000 years). Christ reigns in heaven. Christ returns after the figurative Millennium.

Postmillennialism

Millennium is a future (or current) literal (or figurative) 1000 years. The Church will reign on earth. Christ returns after the Millennium.

Premillennialism

Millennium is a future literal 1000 years reign by Christ. Christ himself reigns on earth (from Jerusalem) with his Church. Christ returns after the church age (pre, mid or post-tribulation rapture) before the Millennium.

THE MILLENNIUM

Amillennialism

Postmillennialism

Premillennialism

Revelation 20

Allegorical

Allegorical

Literal

Duration

Figurative

Figurative or Literal 1000 years

Literal 1000 years

Beginning

The Cross

Future golden Christian age

End of tribulation

Who reigns

Jesus in heaven

Christians on earth

Jesus on earth (Jerusalem)

State of Satan now

Bound

Will be bound before 2nd coming

Free (‘Prince of this age’)

Israel

Replaced by Church

Replaced by Church

Has a separate irrevocable covenant

Resurrections

One

One

Two (before & after the Millennium – Rev 20)

Second coming

After the current ‘Millennium’

After the future ‘Millennium’

Before the future Millennium

A summary of the plain literal teaching of Revelation 20 is:

There are 2 resurrections separated by a 1000 years.

During this 1000 years Jesus reigns on earth.

This 1000 years follows a period when the Beast has ruled (Tribulation).

Those who are part of the first resurrection are blessed and will reign with Christ.

On the contrary, some at the second resurrection and Great White Throne judgment are cast into the lake of fire.

During this period Satan is bound in the Abyss.

A, Pre & Postmillennialism

According to Amillennialism Satan is bound now? This belief that Satan was bound at the cross is contradicted by Scripture:

Satan hindered Paul from coming to Thessalonica (1 Thess 2:18). He filled Ananias’ heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:3). He is ‘the god of this age’ who is currently blinding those who do not see the gospel. (2 Cor 4:4) He has the ability to transform himself into an angel of light to deceive those on the earth. (2 Cor 11:14). He is a ruler over kingdoms of darkness, waging war against the saints. (Eph 6:12) He is walking about as a lion “seeking whom he may devour”. (1 Peter 5:8) He is “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Eph 2:1-3) Satan being crushed is viewed in Romans 16:20 as a future event.

THE MILLENNIUM

IF SATAN IS BOUND TODAY, THE CHAIN IS TOO LONG.

In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue which represented the kingdoms of the world, the statue is finally destroyed by a rock which subsequently fills the whole earth. Daniel explains how this represents the final earthly kingdom that will be established by God.

Dan 2:34-35 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth…

KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH

Dan 2:44-45 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands - a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.”

KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH

WHO’S IN CONTROL?

Jesus reigns on earth from Jerusalem.

Psalm 2:7-9 “… He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron sceptre; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Jerusalem will rise to become the capital of the Earth (Jer 33:9).

The 12 apostles will judge the 12 tribes of Israel.

And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29-30)

Jesus will reign with righteousness and justice.

Isa 9:7 … He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

Isa 32:1 See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice… 5 No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected.

Isa 42:1 “… I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations…. 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth…”

Jesus Christ will rule the nations with a ‘rod of iron’ (Psalm 2:9). This means a strong central rule which delivers prompt justice to nations and individuals who revolt against God.

WHO’S IN CONTROL?

The service of the saints in the Kingdom of Christ will have three aspects. We will be:

Judges

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge…

1 Cor 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? …

WHO’S IN CONTROL?

Kings

We will reign with Christ…

2 Tim 2:11-12 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.

… on the earth…

Rev 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

… for 1000 years.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection …they … will reign with him for a thousand years.

WHO’S IN CONTROL?

Priests

The earth will be repopulated and these people will still need spiritual guidance.

Rev 1:5-6 … To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Rev 20:6 … The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ…

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God…

WHO’S IN CONTROL?

There will be global peace

Isaiah 9:6 … And he will be called … Prince of Peace.

Zech 9:10 … He will proclaim peace to the nations…

Isa 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…

Isa 66:12 For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river…”

Isa 54:13 … great will be your children’s peace.

Weapons and war abolished

Hosea 2:18 Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.

CHARACTERISTICS

National and individual peace is the fruit of Messiah’s reign.

Isaiah 2:4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (also Micah 4:4)

CHARACTERISTICS

People will live in safety

Ezek 34:28 … They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.

Ezek 35:27 … the people will be secure in their land…

Isa 60:18 No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders…

Isa 32:17-18 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

CHARACTERISTICS

There will be joy and singing.

Isa 35:10… They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isa 55:12 You will go out in joy… the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isa 61:2-3 …to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Isa 25:8 The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces…

CHARACTERISTICS

The curse will be removed.

Ezek 36:34-35 “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden…’”

Amos 9:13 The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.”

CHARACTERISTICS

The period will not be characterized by idleness. Agriculture as well as construction will provide employment.

Isa 65:21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

Ezek. 48:18 Its produce will supply food for the workers of the city.

CHARACTERISTICS

Animal creation will be changed so as to lose its venom and ferocity. They will be friendly to one another and to humans.

Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain…

CHARACTERISTICS

Sickness will not be a problem because “the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2). The ministry of the King as a healer will be seen throughout the age, so that sickness will be removed.

Isa 35:5-6 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Isa 33:24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”…

Even stuttering and feeble-mindedness will be healed.

Isa 32:4 The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.

CHARACTERISTICS

Longevity will be restored to that experienced by the antediluvians (i.e. pre-Flood). A person 100 years old will be considered a child, since, presumably, a person could live throughout the entire 1000 years in the restored environment.

Isa 65:20 Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

Isa 65:22 For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.

CHARACTERISTICS

Jews will no longer be despised .

Zech 8:13 As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”

Zech 8:23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”

CHARACTERISTICS

Jerusalem will be the centre of worship.

Zech 14:16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

There will be no spiritual deception. Satan’s activity in the world will cease after he is bound and thus unable to deceive the world’s inhabitants.

Zech 14:9 … On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Isaiah 11:10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

CHARACTERISTICS

All nations will send representatives to Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:2-3 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”

Zech 8:20-22 … “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.’ And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him.”

CHARACTERISTICS

Multiple covenants see their fulfillment in the Millennium:

Abrahamic Covenant – Israel finally receive all the land promised.

Davidic Covenant – God’s promise concerning David that “I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” will be fulfilled in Jesus’ (the ‘Son of David’) rule.

The New Covenant – the promise “if we endure, we will also reign with him” will be fulfilled.

COVENANTS FULFILLED

Rev 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog ** —to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

* Satan is released to test those who have repopulated the earth during the Millennium.

** This “Gog and Magog” is different to that of Ezek 38-39. 1

1 e.g. In Ezekiel, it takes 7 months to bury the dead, in Revelation this is immediately followed by a new earth. The battle in Ezekiel 38-39 is used by God to bring Israel back to Him (Ezekiel 39:21-29). In Revelation 20, Israel has been faithful to God for 1,000 years).

SATAN RELEASED

Rev 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. * They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. **

* Satan joins the Beast (Antichrist) and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire.

** Daniel 7:9-10 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

GREAT WHITE THRONE

Rev 20:12 …Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. *

* One of the most sobering parts of Scripture.

GREAT WHITE THRONE

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, * for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, ** coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ** 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. *** There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, **** for the old order of things has passed away.”

* After the 1000 years God recreates not only heaven, but also earth.

** The new Jerusalem descends to the new earth. We don’t live in heaven. God lives with us on earth!

*** No more crying.

**** No more death or pain.

NO MORE…

Rev 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” * Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. ** 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.” 9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

* We like new things. So does God! He now makes all things new.

** God promises overcomers that we will be his children forever.

*** The terrible fate of the ungodly.

NEW HEAVEN & EARTH

Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.

NEW JERUSALEM

Rev 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon ** to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. *** 26 The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, **** but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

* no need for a Temple

** no need for the sun or moon

*** no more night

**** no more sin

NO MORE…

Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, * bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. ** 3 No longer will there be any curse. *** The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, **** and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

* The tree of life from Eden is restored.

** No more sickness

*** No more curse

**** We will see Jesus face to face.

NO MORE…

Rev 22:7 “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” *

* Earlier in Rev 19:10 John also falls at the feet of an angel to worship, but is rebuked. Only God can be worshipped, not angels. Jesus refuse to worship Satan. Paul and Barnabas refused to accept worship (Acts 14). Yet Jesus accepted worship (Matt 2:11; 14:33; 28:9-10; 28:16-17, Luke 24:51, John 9:37-38, Heb 1:6, Rev 22:3: ), showing his deity.

Col 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you

WORSHIP GOD

Rev 22:10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.” *

* In contrast, Daniel was told to seal up his prophecy.

Dan 12: 4 “But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”

Much of what was concealed in the Book of Daniel is revealed and explained in the Book of Revelation. While Daniel seals the scroll, in Revelation the seals are opened.

WORSHIP GOD

Rev 22:11 “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” *

* But what does the verse mean? Does it mean that the time is so short that it is hardly sufficient to allow of men reforming themselves, so as to be ready for their Lord, and that therefore the lesson is, let those who would be ready for Him remember that now is the day of salvation? This is the view adopted by some: it contains a truth, but the meaning of the verse seems more general. Is it not the declaration of the ever terrible truth, that men are building up their destiny by the actions and habits of their lives? “Sow an act—reap a habit: sow a habit—reap a character: sow a character—reap a destiny.” The righteous become righteous: the godly become godly. (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers)

DESTINY

This must refer to the scenes beyond the judgment, and must be intended to affirm an important truth in regard to the condition of people in the future state. It cannot refer to the condition of human beings on this side the grave, for there is no fixed and unchangeable condition in this world. At the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, it was proper to declare, in the most solemn manner, that when these events were consummated, everything would be fixed and unchanging; that all who were then found to be righteous would remain so forever; and that none who were impenitent, impure, and wicked, would ever change their character or condition. That this is the meaning here seems to me to be plain; and this sentiment accords with all that is said in the Bible of the final condition of the righteous and the wicked. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible)

DESTINY

Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

Are you ready for Jesus’ return?

COME LORD JESUS

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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