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|Subject: Revelation Chapter 17 (Part 78 ) (Verses 12 – 18 ) Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:44 am|| |
Revelation Chapter 17 (Part 78 ) (Verses 12 – 18 )
I realized as I was preparing this lesson that the full meaning of Revelation 17 became very clear to me. I haven’t heard what I am about to share with you from any other expositor, but it is so clear that what I am about to share is indeed the author’s (God’s) intended meaning of chapter 17. One evidence that I successfully deciphered the full meaning of chapter 17 is that this explanation that I am about to share is also going to fully clear up the meaning of chapter 18 as well. The two chapters go together. What chapter 18 is saying is actually easy to understand, but the “why” has been a mystery to me for a long time and for most other Bible expositors as well. It is easy to follow the meaning of the words and sentences of chapter 18, but why has Babylon fallen? And why is everyone wailing over the fall of Babylon? Why would they care? And exactly what caused it to fall? Only a full understanding of chapter 17 will answer these questions.
Revelation 17:12 says, “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.” These 10 kings are contemporaries of the Anti-Christ, which means that they were not alive in Daniel’s day, hence the clause they “have not yet received a kingdom.” Please note that it does not say that the kingdoms of these rulers did not exist back then, it just speaking of the kings not yet receiving their respective kingdom. The clause “for one hour” refers to the brevity of the ten kings’ authority. Not only are these 10 kings contemporaries of the beast, but they will also reign with the beast as co-kings of a united kingdom, but briefly. We have identified this beast as the Anti-Christ, who is possessed by Satan and the demon Abaddon. Since the 10 kings are contemporaries of the Anti-Christ, and hence, a future event that will occur during the Tribulation, no one knows much more details about these 10 kings because history has not yet disclosed them. We know only what the Bible tells us about them. The Anti-Christ will align itself with a 10 part confederate and they will together reign from Rome.
Daniel also mentions these 10 kings and he also refers to them as “horns.” Daniel 7:7-8 says: “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.” We covered Daniel chapter 7 in detail in Part 55 of this series. I just want to relate a few things to our current lesson in Revelation 17. “Horn” throughout the Bible refers to “power”; and in this particular case, it refers to the exact same 10 kings that Revelation 17 speaks of. The “Little Horn” here refers to the Anti-Christ. We learn here that the Anti-Christ is going to uproot 3 of the 10 contemporary horns that come up before him. This fourth beast here in Daniel represents Rome and how it took over the world in Daniel’s future, but our past.
Regarding the 10 horns, Revelation 17:13 says, “They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.” Although the Anti-Christ will end up turning against and defeating 3 of the 10 co-kings, we see here that all 10 start off united in will. They all initially submit to the beast (the Anti-Christ). Their single-mindedness extends beyond submitting to the Anti-Christ. Verse 14 says, “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.” This will be their final act here on Earth. Chapter 19 describes their futile attempted coup against the Lord. Although the Lamb’s chosen faithful followers will be with Him, it is the Lamb Jesus who will do the overthrowing of these rebels—we, the Church, will just be passive onlookers and do nothing. And this entire passage in Revelation chapter 17 mentions 19 kings in total: the 7 hills kings, the Anti-Christ, the 10 horns-kings, and Jesus, who is called here, the King of kings. Jesus is King of kings even of those who reject Him.
Although not mentioned here or in Revelation 19, the passive onlookers will also include angels, not just the Church. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 says, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels.” Verses 9-10 goes on to say, “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of our Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.” This passage makes it clear that both angels and us (the Church) will be there to witness this event—which we will cover in more detail when we get to Revelation 19. Confer with Zechariah 14:5, which speaks of “holy ones with Him.” That phrase often refers to angels when used in the Old Testament, but the phrase can either refer to angels or believers or to both. We learned from the passage just quoted that both will be in attendance. Jude 14 states similar words.
Since I mentioned Jude 14, and because it points to this same time period of the Tribulation, we can look at it to learn more details of the type of people who will be fighting against the Lamb. It says, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones (v. 15) to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. (v. 16): These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” Well after the Church gets raptured off the Earth, and after the 144,000 Christians and all other Christian converts get raptured as well, the unsaved remaining will all share the same evil, prideful disposition. Similarly, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
While the above is mostly describing the non-Christians during the time of the Tribulation, in part, it also depicts the last Church Age (Laodicea) with words like “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, having a form of godliness, but denying its power.” We learned in Revelation chapter 3 that this is the personality of the Laodicean Church age in which we live today. And particularly, the phrase “having a form of godliness, but denying its power” is describing the religious (certainly not atheist; and perhaps even includes professed Christians) who calls upon God, but without power—Why? Because they are religious and go through religious motions, but do not believe in the Christian Bible that they profess they adhere to. A disbelief in the Word of God leads to a tolerance of worldliness and evil. Please keep in mind that the evil people during the seven year Tribulation will be of the same generation of the Raptured Laodicean Church. The two at some point will certainly coexist together. Say, if the Rapture happens tomorrow, and hence, the Tribulation begins tomorrow, then that would mean that the people that Jude is describing is the same cast of non-Christians that you have been seeing every day. This is not a special breed of people that Jude is describing. Prophetically, the world is right now ripe for the Tribulation to occur within the hour.
Revelation 17:15 continues, “Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.’” We saw earlier in our study of this chapter that the prostitute was called a “mystery,” but the angel said that he would explain the mystery of the woman to John. Our study also revealed that this woman’s identity is Babylon. This woman, or Babylon, was introduced in verse one as “sitting on many waters.” Verse one also tells us that there is a predetermined punishment that will befall this woman, where the angel says, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits...” We will soon find out exactly what the punishment that befalls Babylon is. But here in verse 15 we learn that the waters that the woman (Babylon) sits on are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. That sounds like it is referring to everyone, everywhere. Babylon today does not have such a worldwide influence...or does she? We also learned earlier in our study that Babylon in Revelation represents a godless political system who seeks independency from God, and that system indeed does have a worldwide influence today over nearly all peoples, multitudes, nations, languages and melting pots.
As a small aside: the Theory of Evolution is in part a huge contributor of the perpetuation of the Babylonian system and its delusive indoctrination. This is no small thing. Evolution is the great lie that is constantly being touted as fact by the media and society by and large. The consequence of a society embracing evolution is one that denies God and mocks the Bible. The sad truth is that even some Christians seek to merge the lie of evolution into their Biblical doctrinal understanding because they are not able to reconcile in their minds the distinction between Truth and the world’s lies. To accept evolution is to reject the Book of Genesis. Many Christians believe their own rescripted version of Genesis. The logical, but fallacious reasoning however, is that if one believes that Genesis, the first book of the Bible is incorrect, then one must conclude that other books of the Bible are flawed also. Another false deduction is that if evolution is correct, then God is not the Creator and man is therefore his own god. The most evil men, such as Hitler and the Columbine shooters believed in evolution. True love does not exist if evolution exists because evolution says that we are here due to survival of the fittest and asserts that each must preserve and elevate self over others. Evolution directly contradicts Christianity because evolution says that death preceded man. It is important to realize that evolution puts death before sin in history. But if death came before sin, then there would be no need for a Savior to come because death would not be the fault of man, but rather man would be just an innocent victim of death. Christianity teaches that man was here first on an Earth before the existence of death and then man sinned, and then death entered into the world as a consequence of sin and therefore man needs a Savior to absolve the sin of death that man is guilty of, not evolution.
All nature shows at some point in its presentation makes sure that it utters the words, “millions of years ago...,” or “billions of years ago.” And they often give fancy numbers like “425 million years ago” as if there is some instrument that can measure that. These numbers are all completely arbitrarily thrown out there. They make up numbers knowing that no one will challenge what they say. Their statements are all blatant lies. Scientists make many mathematical calculations of the universe of which they cannot explain their “incorrect conclusions”—nay—actually their calculations are correct, it is just that they reject their own findings. Many of their own physics calculations prove a young universe of only about 10,000 to 15,000 years or so. But they reject their wonderful correct mathematical, chemical, and physics conclusions and they prefer instead to say in their final analysis that they don’t have the correct answer or understanding yet. They believe that there is some flaw in their calculations. It is always a so-called “error” whenever their findings align with the Bible. Dark matter is a myth. Dark matter, according to Chuck Missler, is a false invention that the scientists had to come up with because their calculations were showing a young universe, so in order to keep their own preconceptions of billions of years, they needed to make up “dark matter,” which really does not exist. Without dark matter, the universe would be too young for them to accept and would reflect what the Bible says. Secular scientists start with their assumptions and whenever the facts disprove their assumptions, they reject the facts and hold stubbornly to their assumptions.
Christianity and science does not contradict each other. Secular scientists want you to think it does. True science agrees completely with the Bible. True evolution, how it really works, is about losing information; not gaining or creating new information. Evolution never creates anything. The many types of dogs today have “evolved” from a common ancestor, the wolf, but that happened through the loss of information, not a gain. Evolution cannot create or explain the original wolf. Evolution cannot explain the origins of a single cell, which is much more complicated than what secular scientists are trying to have you believe. Evolution certainly cannot explain DNA. DNA is real computer code that can only be programmed by an Intelligent Designer. Millions of years, evolution, the Big Bang, etc., are all blatant lies. These lies lie in our children’s school textbooks and are constantly purported on television shows and movies, and even taught as a fact in our colleges. And evolution could not be the answer to the requirement of both male and female for progeny. How can both male and female of each species form at the same time by the slothful creator evolution that takes millions or billions of years to create something? Some scientists purport that the first species were somehow, unexplainably created spontaneously, and then they throw in the words, “by chance.” But how can chance create both the male and the female of every species at the same time? If chance was able to create a female through a chemical pond of proteins and nucleotides, she would die waiting for Chance to create a respective male in order to continue her species.
I do concede that I am not a scientist, but I have listened to enough Christian scientists who have exposed these lies and explained the true science as to how the world, scientifically, really works. Please do a YouTube search of “Answers in Genesis,” Kent Hovind, Steven Meyer, Chuck Missler, and Spike Psarris to hear some qualified Christian scientists and researchers expose these lies and explain what the world doesn’t want the masses to know. A good one to get started with on YouTube that I enjoyed regarding the universe, for example, is titled, “Distant Starlight: Does it Disprove Biblical Creation?” All nations are today and will be more so in the future deceived by the Babylonian system and its propaganda; but I pray that Christians within these nations will be able to discern and expose its lies. In Revelation 18:4, God speaks to us today where He warns, “Come out of Babylon, my people...” We must not believe what the world tells us, nor join in their sinful follies. God wants you to trust His Word over what the media, television and even the science textbooks are telling you. Discern Truth from propaganda. Do not drink from the cup of wine that Babylon offers.
Let’s finish chapter 17. Verse 16 says, “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.” This is a surprising change. The prostitute is Babylon. The beast is the Anti-Christ and he allied himself with the 10 horns (or 10 kings). The beast and the 10 horns were cool with the prostitute back in verse 3. There we read that the woman was sitting on the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns. To be sitting on the beast implies some sort of amiable relationship and acceptance from the beast. Similar to how the beast and the 10 horns make war against the Lamb, in verse 6 we learned that the prostitute woman, Babylon, was drunk with the blood of the Saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. So all who are mentioned here are evil: the woman, the beast and the 10 horns. But God makes them become divided for whatever reason. God is going to turn the wicked against the wicked, and then Jesus is going to return to Earth in chapter 19 to finish off those who are left. But who exactly is fighting who here? It says that we have the Anti-Christ allied with the 10 kings fighting Babylon. Who exactly is Babylon?
Let’s first look at verse 17. It says, “For God has put it into their hearts [the 10 kings] to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.” This is actually a restatement of verse 13, which told us that the 10 horns will give the beast their power and authority. I’ll requote verse 13 for the Reader: “They [the 10 kings] will have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.” The 10 kings are in agreement to allow the beast (or Anti-Christ) to have their power and authority so that the Anti-Christ can destroy what verse 18 calls, “The Great City,” referring to Babylon. Verse 18 in full, says, “The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the Earth.” The very next chapter talks about Babylon, which is the identity of this “great city.”
The key to understanding all of what is going on here and putting everything together is to realize who exactly Babylon is. Most Bible expositors incorrectly teach that “Babylon” refers here to a localized place, and in particular, to Iraq. “Babylon” in this passage has nothing to do with what we know of today as Iraq, although ancient Babylon was once located in Iraq. Verse 18 calls this city, “the Great City.” Moreover, it calls this city, the city that “rules over the kings of the Earth.” Has Iraq ever been called “the Great City” in its entire existence? Iraq isn’t even technically a city. Maybe Iraq was a great city back before it was Iraq, but rather, when it was Ancient Babylon, when the city was first erected compared to the other ancient cities in its day, but in these end times, Iraq will never come close to being called “the Great City” let alone being in a position of rule over the kings of the Earth. Let’s ponder this some more. Let’s just humor the notion for a moment. Say the Rapture happens tomorrow, and hence the Tribulation would also begin at the same time. That would begin the time clock for the wicked to be on this Earth for only 7 more years. Since Iraq is not currently a “Great City,” nor does it currently “rule over the kings of the Earth,” if the Tribulation started tomorrow, and in order to seemingly fulfill this Scripture, Babylon would have only less than 7 years to become “the” Great City and to rule over the kings of the Earth. It is highly unlikely that it would arise to become the Great City within a time frame of only 7 years. Moreover, everything is right now ripe for the Tribulation to occur within the hour. Babylon does not have to become a Great City in order for the Tribulation to begin. There is no prophecy left to be fulfilled that is withholding the Rapture or Tribulation from taking place at this very moment.
So if Babylon is not referring to a localized city in this passage, then what is it referring to? I’m glad you asked. Babylon, as we said before, represents a system. It represents a worldwide political, evil system of man’s independency apart from the authority of God. This is ubiquitous. It is everywhere, worldwide. This Babylonian system governs all of the kings of the Earth today. This is “the Great City” that has made all nations drunk of its false, evil propaganda and specious, godless ideologies. The Gospel of Prosperity doctrine comes from this Babylonian system. We just noted that the Theory of Evolution also stems from this system. Idolatry, murder for gain, affluence, lasciviousness, debauchery, cussing, deception, racism, classism, exploitation of the poor, slavery, greed, thievery, gossip, slander, hatred, drunkenness, homosexuality, abortion, etc. are all byproducts of the Babylonian Ideology and System. So what exactly does it mean for the Anti-Christ to turn against Babylon? Aren’t they buddies? In essence, what our text is conveying is that the Anti-Christ turns against the entire world since Babylon is representing the entire world. We were told that the 10 kings have power and authority, and that they give their power and authority to the beast for one purpose: to cause destruction to Babylon. What is this “power and authority” that the 10 kings give to the beast? The 10 kings are rulers over 10 nations of the world which means that they would have nuclear weapons at their disposal. They give their “power” in the form of nuclear weapons; and their “authority” in the form of clearance to the Anti-Christ so that he can nuke the entire world. Now we understand the significance of these 10 kings, and why the Bible mentions them in both Revelation and in Daniel. The Bible couldn’t just come out and say that the Anti-Christ will nuke the entire world because neither the term nor the technology existed during John’s day. But we were told in verse 16 that the Anti-Christ and the 10 kings will bring Babylon to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and “burn her with fire.” This is the angel’s way of describing to John nuclear destruction.
This fully explains chapter 18 as well. All of a sudden we come to chapter 18 to find that Babylon has already fallen and that all are wailing profusely over the total decimation of Babylon, including its commerce, trade, sea ports, normal pastimes and recreations of music, marrying, etc. Most of the world dies from this event. There is no more trade between nations because there are no more nations to trade with except the Anti-Christ himself and the 10 kings that allied with him to commit this evil act. This means that only 10 nations will exist at this time. The text hints at these as being 10 small nations because we will see that they will not able to sustain themselves having lost the possibility of trade. They are big enough countries to be able to arm the Anti-Christ with nuclear weapons, but small enough to not be able to sustain themselves from the loss of trade partners. Of these 10 nations, these people who are left, they will be wailing because life can never go back to the way it was. Money and business will mean nothing anymore. In Revelation Chapter 19, Jesus will return to Earth with His Bride and His angels to finish off these few survivors left on Earth.
Did I say that there will be only 10 nations left in the world after this nuclear attack? Well, Daniel hints that there will actually be 7. Daniel lets us know that the Anti-Christ will turn against 3 of the 10 kings. Daniel 7:23 says, “He [the angel] gave me [Daniel] this explanation: ‘The fourth beast [Rome] is a fourth kingdom that will appear on Earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole Earth, trampling it down and crushing it. [Verse 24:] The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king [the Anti-Christ] will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings...’” Daniel pits the 10 kings (or 10 horns) as contemporaries of the Anti-Christ and says that the Anti-Christ will turn on 3 of the 10. And please see Daniel 7:7-8 that was quoted at the beginning of this lesson, which reiterates that the little horn (the Anti-Christ) uproots 3 of the 10 horns that were before it. We learned in Revelation that all 10 will initially fully trust in the Anti-Christ and will equip him with nuclear armament. The Anti-Christ is going to turn against 3, which strongly suggests that the Anti-Christ is going to compromise the 3’s trust and point the nuclear weapons that they helped supply him with back at them and press the button. With this revelation, it appears that when it is all said and done that there will be only 7 nations left in the world. Seven, by the way, is God’s number for perfection so it seems fitting. Those 7 will be short lived because there is not much time left between Revelation 17 and Revelation 19 when Jesus comes to finish off all remaining survivors.
Peter confirms all of our conclusions. Peter also predicted that the world will end via nuclear annihilation. He says in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the Earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” The “Day of the Lord” is a title that refers to God’s end-times judgement of the wicked. It will come like a thief because no one on Earth will be expecting it. Peter describes what we learned in Revelation. He describes nuclear annihilation everywhere. Peter goes on to say in verse 12, “...That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” Despite treaties and international arms control agreements in place, mankind is steadily testing and increasing the power of its nuclear bombs. The most destructive bomb to date is the Tzar Bomba. It is at least twice as destructive as its predecessor, which was the Castle Bravo thermonuclear hydrogen bomb. To destroy the entire Earth using the Tzar Bomba, according to gizmodo.com, would take 15,594 bombs. To destroy North America alone would take 2,563. The article goes on to say that currently there are an estimated total of 20,500 nuclear warheads in the world. We know from our study that only 7 nations will be left standing after the Anti-Christ fires his bombs at all of his self-perceived enemies.
Although I have always been fully convinced that there are no Biblical contradictions, in the back of my mind I used to note an apparent contradiction between what Peter says that I just quoted versus what Revelation 19 says. According to Peter, it appears that the world will end by nuclear annihilation. Yet, according to Revelation 19, the wicked will be wiped away by the spoken Word of Jesus. Jesus will open His mouth and all of the wicked will simply die. For years I have wondered how both could be true. Well, considering everything that we studied, it turns out that both are true. Both fates occur, which together, will eradicate all non-Christians on the Earth. The Anti-Christ will destroy most on Earth by his nuclear weapons, but after his evil act, there will still be some survivors. Then Jesus is going to return to Earth and finish off the few who are left by the Word of His mouth. Please note that the Word of Jesus’ mouth is as powerful, and even more so than any weapon man has invented. Nuclear weapons cannot kill everyone. People in basements, bunkers, and on the outskirts of the bomb’s radius might survive a nuclear bomb attack, but no one survives when Jesus, who sometimes appeared in the Old Testament as The Angel of Death, opens His mouth for the same destructive purpose.
I’ll conclude by quoting Zephaniah 1, verses 2 and 3:
“‘I will sweep away everything from the face of the Earth,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the Earth,’ declares the LORD.”
And Micah 7:13:
“The Earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants as the result of their deeds.”
Man’s sin is the reason God will destroy the Earth. In Genesis, God created the Earth for man. Man’s rejection of God will lead to the Earth’s and man’s destruction.