CHRONOLOGY OF REVELATION
Text Revelation 1:1-22:21
IN THE LAST FOUR PAGES OF PART ONE OF THIS MESSAGE, WE PRINTED ALL OF THE SCRIPTURE IN ITS ARRANGED ORDER, BEGINNING WITH VERSE ONE OF CHAPTER SIX, AND ENDING WITH VERSE TWENTY-ONE OF CHAPTER NINETEEN. IN THE FIRST FOUR PAGES WE PRINTED AS MUCH OF THE MATERIAL AS SPACE WOULD ALLOW. AS WE STATED IN PART ONE, THE FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS NEED NO REARRANGING, FOR THEY ARE PRINTED IN THE BOOK IN THEIR ORDER OF FULFILLMENT. THEREFORE, IT WAS ONLY NECESSARY TO DEAL WITH THAT PORTION IN ITS PRESENT SETTING FOR A PLATFORM TO LAUNCH THE TEACHING OF THE REARRANGED PORTION FROM VERSES 1 THRU 11 OF CHAPTER 6 COVER THE FIRST FIVE SEALS, WHICH WE SEE AS HAVING BEEN FULFILLED ALREADY, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PALE HORSE RIDER, WHICH AS WE STATED, WILL CONTINUE TO RIDE ALL THE WAY OUT TO THE END OF THE AGE. REALIZING THAT THE SEVENTH SEAL WHICH IS OPENED IN CHAPTER 8 VERSE 1, PERTAINS TO THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, ALONG WITH THE 10TH CHAPTER, AND KNOWING THAT THE SIXTH SEAL, WHICH IS THE REMAINDER OF CHAPTER 6, DEALS EXCLUSIVELY WITH THE WRATH OF GOD BEING POURED OUT ON UNREGENERATE MANKIND IN THE END OF THE WEEK OF DANIEL, IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO HOLD VERSES 12-17 OF THAT CHAPTER, AND INSERT THESE OTHER CHAPTERS AHEAD OF THEM IN THEIR FULFILLMENT ORDER. IN PART ONE (WHICH WAS THE MARCH ISSUE VOL. 9 NO. 2), WE RAN OUT OF SPACE WHILE DISCUSSING THE BRIDE, AND THE FACT THAT SHE WOULD BE LEFT HERE ON EARTH LONG ENOUGH TO SEE THE BEAST RISING UP, BEFORE HER CATCHING AWAY. WE WILL PICK UP NOW IN PART 2 RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF IN PART 1. THEREFORE, IF YOU SHOULD BE ONE WHO GETS ONLY THIS PART OF THE MESSAGE, AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE FIRST PART, FEEL FREE TO WRITE FOR A COPY WHICH WILL BE SENT TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE AS PART OF THE MINISTRY OF FAITH ASSEMBLY CHURCH.
CONTINUED FROM PART 1
There will come a day when the bride will have seen enough that she will begin to look up, knowing that the time is at hand for her to take her flight.
Now I realize that you will not find anything written in the book of Revelation about the bride going up, but keep in mind the fact that Paul saw them going up (1 Thess. 4:17), and John saw them in heaven, (Rev. 19:1) and saw them coming back upon white horses with Christ (Rev. 19:14). Therefore, saints, it behooves us to rightly divide the word of truth, (2 Tim. 2:15).
Now we will get back to chapter 7:9:17. We held this portion back in our discussion in order to bring out the fact that the events of this portion will take place in the second half of the week of Daniel, while angels holding the four winds until the 144,000 are sealed, which we see in verses 1-8 will be stretched from the beginning of the week to the middle of the week covering the ministry of the two prophets which prophesy 42 months until the anti-christ breaks the peace covenant and puts an end to the sacrifice and oblation, Dan. 9:27.
We can now come back and pick up the 4th trumpet which actually will take us back to verse 12 of the 18th chapter. The first three trumpets of chapter 8 were sounded in connection with the ministry of the two prophets in the first half of the week. The 4th trumpet, as it is sounded, will mark the middle of the week and the breaking of the covenant by the anti-christ. This marks the beginning of that period of time known as the great tribulation. Look what happens when that 4th trumpet is sounded verses 12, the third part of the sun, moon and stars are smitten, so that it prevented them from giving their light for a third part of the day as well as the night. In the 13th verse an angel is seen flying through heaven announcing with a loud voice three woes that will come upon the inhabiters of the earth as the 5th, 6th & 7th trumpet angels begin to sound, which brings us to the 9th chapter, verses 1:12.
Before going on let me say this to you who are following these events, you will notice when that fourth trumpet angel sounds his trumpet, one third part of the sun was darkened, the moon and the stars likewise. This takes our attention back to the time when Jesus was hanging there on the cross where, Matt. 27 tells us, that darkness came over the whole land from the sixth to the ninth hour of the day. At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice and then yielded up the spirit of life. At that time there was a great earthquake which caused the veil of the temple to split from top to bottom, the rocks split and the graves were opened. This shows us that the heavens react to that which man does on earth, and when the heavens react it has an awakening effect on mankind that is allowed to witness these things. The centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus when they saw these things, begin to say truly this was the son of God.
LAW OF GOD TABLET.....DANIEL'S VISION
Now this 4th trumpet is a sign of the anti-christ, when this angel sounds and the heavens begin to react, this will be a signal to the 144,000 and to the rest of those Jews that have been awakened, to flee from that land into the place that has been prepared from them where they would be fed for the next 42 months, which is the last half of the week of Daniel. Now as this woman flees into the wilderness to the place where God has prepared for her, (Rev. 12:6) that she should be fed for one thousand two hundred three score days, that 144,000 Jews that have been sealed in the first half of the week will fan out into all the nations of the world. As they go they will be preaching the everlasting gospel. (Rev. 14:6-7) saying, "Fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." This 144,000 Jews will also condemn spiritual Babylon and warn people not to take the mark of the beast, not to worship the beast or his image. We will examine these things in more detail as we come to the particular chapters, but now let us turn our attention back to the trumpet angels. The next one that sounds is recorded in the 9th chapter verses 1-12.
Though we have been speaking of trumpet judgments and will now see what is turned loose when the 5th angel sounds, we want to concentrate for a little while on the words spoken by the angel in the 13th verse of chapter 8 where he spoke of three woes that were to come upon the inhabiters of the earth. At the sounding of the first three trumpets in chapter 8, we see first of all, hail and fire mixed with blood cast upon the earth, which resulted in the third part of the trees and all green grass being burnt. Then we see something like a great mountain burning with fire cast into the sea so that the third part of the sea became blood, also the third part of the living creatures which were in the sea died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed. The third trumpet reveals a great star falling from heaving burning as a lamp which feel upon the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters so that they became as wormwood, causing many men to die as a result of the bitter waters. Now we have no trouble recognizing these happenings as the kind of plagues associated with the ministry of Moses and Elijah in days of old. Therefore, if we can see the true significance of the evens under these first three trumpets we immediately realize that this is a result of the ministry of the two prophets of Rev. 11:3, which are referred to as two lamp stands, (verse 4) who have power to shut the heavens, stop the rain, turn the waters to blood, and smite the earth with all manner of plagues, as often as they wish. Now if you can see their ministry as being that which caused the terrible conditions of chapter 8:2-11, you will have no trouble understanding how the anti-christ (which had signed a seven year peace agreement with Israel and many other nations), becomes so infuriated that he no longer is able to control himself. Here in the face of what he has led many to look upon as a time of peace and prosperity, he is faced with two Jewish preachers who have received a revelation of Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Ghost, who will not let them enjoy their great time of peace and prosperity. These two preachers (or prophets), are covering the whole land of Israel with the gospel and if any man tries to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth to devour their enemies, making it impossible for anyone to stop or hinder them till they have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. (The 144,000 of ch. 7:3-8). By the time 3 ½ years have expired, which is the time allotted to them by God, (ch. 11:3), the great man of peace, (the anti-christ, who by this time has been taken over completely by the devil), will be so fed up with all these plagues, famines, pestilences, and that great drouth of the land, he will devise a plan to kill the two prophets, and rid himself of these two thorns in his flesh. This time God will allow it for the fulfilling of his Word, (ch. 11:7-13). Verse 14 announces this as the 2nd woe being past. These two prophets were killed and their bodies were left lying in the streets for three days and a half, while the unregenerates, and ungodly people who had been tormented by their ministry rejoiced over their death by sending gifts to each other and making merry. Their rejoicing was brought to an abrupt end after 3 ½ days when the spirit of life from God entered into them causing them to stand upon their feet, and a voice from heaven was heard to say, "come up here," and they ascended to heaven. At this very time there was a great earthquake which caused a tenth part of the city to fall, and seven thousand men were slain. It was said that the rest were terrified and gave glory to God. No, it was not in repentance and faith, but simply that they were heard to say, (as the centurion in Matt. 27), truly this was an act of God. Thank God we were spared.
Now in dealing with the two prophets all the way through to their death, we passed over some events that took place before they were killed. Therefore, let our minds go back to the point where Satan actually incarnates the great peace maker, (which is the anti-christ, the head of the beast system, which is none other than the Roman Pope of that hour), and causes him to break the covenant that he has made with the Jews, where he will drive them out of the temple and forbid them to continue their sacrifice and oblation, (fulfilling Dan. 9:27 & 12:11). This breaking of the covenant and sudden persecution of the Jews, causes God to authorize the 4th trumpet angel to sound an alert, which lets the 144,000 referred to as the servants of God, as well as the remainder of those Jews who believed through the preaching of the two witnesses (which are referred to in Rev. 12:6 as the woman), know that it is time to flee the wrath of this beast. As we said earlier, the fourth trumpet marks the beginning of the great tribulation period which will last for 3 ½ years and take up the remaining portion of the week, and announces three woes to come.
The 5th trumpet angel sounds and a star falls from heaven with the keys to the bottomless pit. When the bottomless pit was opened there was seen a great intense smoke arise like something from a huge furnace, so black that it darkened the sun and air. Out of the smoke came locust, which had power as the scorpions of the earth, and their job was to hurt men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads. By this we are made to know that these demons which were loosed from the bottomless pit were not allowed to touch the Jews which have believed and been filled with the Holy Ghost. These demons in the shape of giant locust or grasshoppers were not allowed to harm any of the green vegetation, for God had already accomplished this in the first 3 trumpet judgments under the ministry of the two prophets. Actually what we are reading about under this 5th trumpet is what God is doing as a result of all the apostasy which has so overspread the earth that the Devil is being worshiped through the anti-christ, and God is loosing all the demons that have been bound that they may have a full portion of all that Satan is. These demons were allowed to torment unregenerate men for five months, but were commanded not to kill them. God would let them have a full portion of the spirits they had been courting. We will speak of it on this wise. It is hell turned loose on earth in full measure. You see the full description of what is referred to as the first woe in chapter 9:1-12, also in an article we printed entitled, "The Three Woes", which you may request if you wish more detailed comments on this subject.
KNOW IT IS NEAR, EVEN AT THE DOORS
Woe is always a word that portrays something bad or sorrowful. Then the fifth trumpet angel sounds, and the bottomless pit comes open, all of the demon spirits that have been bound there will be turned loose. John saw a black smoke arise, and out of it came locust, which were given power on earth as scorpions. First let me say, this was not a hole in the ground that you and I could see, it is all symbolic to express a condition that will be turned loose on ungodly men. The locusts have power as scorpions . . . A scorpion has a sting that is very deadly. But before death finally comes, there is a very tormenting effect on the flesh of one who has been stung. It usually starts with a high fever that builds up to a point where the person, many times, will ache so bad that they will desire to die, but they linger and linger before death finally takes them. In this particular setting, the locust are to torment degenerate men for this five month period, but God will not let them die. Please do not spiritualize this, for they will want very much, to die physically, to escape the pain.
While these men are desiring to die, and God will not permit it, the anti-christ is busy arresting Gentile foolish virgins and spiritual Jews, and casting them into torture chambers, where, after a period of time, God gives them grace to die. They will be able to die for their faith with the same attitude that Stephen had when he was stoned to death. "What a parallel!" One group desiring to die and cannot, another group desiring to be found in favor with God, and they are allowed to die, but with victory in their souls. That is why we can rightly call it hell on earth.
Since we have already spoken of the events referred to as the second woe in our discussion of the two prophets who prophesy 42 months (which is the first half of the week), we will now move to chapter 12:6-7 where we will discuss the third woe.
Now I realize that we do not find the third woe referred to as the third woe, but don't forget, the fourth trumpet angel announced, (woe, woe, woe,) three woes that were to come. We have seen two of them named specifically, (Rev. 9:12, 11:14), now we come to chapter 12:12 where we find woe mentioned for the last time in the book of Revelation. There is no question in our mind that this is the other woe, but let us go first into the 13th chapter, (which actually fulfills ahead of ch. 12), where we will see that beast rising up out of the sea, which later would persecute the woman, (Israel) in chapter 12 and cause her to flee into the wilderness.
The Beast which John sees and describes in Rev. 13 is the same Beast that Daniel described which we read of in Daniel 7:7-12.
Daniel, in a dream, saw four great beasts come up out of the sea, diverse one from another. The four beasts represented four world Empires. The first, (Babylon), was like a lion, the second (Medo-Persia), was like a bear, the third (Greece), was like a leopard, the fourth (Rome), was dreadful and terrible, very strong with great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet, it was different from the other three, for it had ten horns. You may want to open your bibles to Daniel 7:1-12, and read this account word for word. Notice verse 12 states that the other three beasts had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
Now turn back to Revelation chapter 13, and lets watch this beast which John saw coming up out of the sea. This beast has ten horns just like the fourth beast of Daniel's vision, yet we notice here that John saw seven heads on this ten horned beast. The seven heads are symbolic of seven forms or phases of Roman rule as it passes down through the old Caesars and on through the various successors winding up with the Pope. The Papal power was symbolized by the little horn that Daniel saw rising up from among the ten, which plucked up three of the ten. This little horn, (horn symbolizes power), had eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
John sees crowns upon these horns, and upon the heads the name of blasphemy, (Sovereign Imperial Universal Ruler), this is blasphemy for God himself is the only Sovereign Imperial Universal Ruler. This was the title held by the old Caesars which has now passed on to the pope, so that he is looked upon as the Vicar of the Son of God, in other words, one who stands in the place of God.
Now notice how, in verse 2, this beast which John saw is identified with the first three which Daniel saw. This beast is like a leopard, (Grecian Empire) with feet like a bear, (Meado-Persian Empire), and a mouth like a lion (Babylonian Empire), and the dragon, (which is the devil, see Rev. 12:9), gave him power, and his throne, and great authority. He saw one of the heads wounded, as though it were wounded to death, but as he continued to watch, he saw that the wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon who gave power unto the beast; and they worshiped the beast saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" There was given unto him, (the beast), a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty two months, during which time, it further states, that he opens him mouth in blasphemy against God. Verse 7 states that it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them, (this is tribulation saints, both Jews and Gentile foolish virgins that will be martyred during the forty two months), and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations, so that all who dwell upon earth will worship him, except those whose names were written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Now before going on, there are a few things that we should give particular attention to in order not to leave loose ends. First I would like to call your attention back to a statement made by Daniel in verse 12 of chapter 7. He pointed out the fact that even though the first three beasts had their dominion taken away, their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. This statement by Daniel explains why John saw this Roman beast still as having all the characteristics of the first three. The head changed, from the one empire to the other, but the actual life of each empire was carried right on over into the next, which helps us to understand why the fourth beast was to be so terrible. There was nothing lost of all the cunning craftiness of the first three. The fourth beast was large like a big old bear with feet that left huge tracks wherever it went, it was just as vicious, and clawed at everything that was not like it. Its power was like the lion which is known to be king of the beast, and it had the swiftness and cunning of the leopard.
Now Daniel saw the ten horns on the last beast, and then as he watched he notice that a little horn rose up from the midst of the ten, which plucked up three of the original ten. One might be led to believe that there were eleven horns if they did not examine closely what actually did happen. First let us consider the old Roman Empire which was made up of ten certain segments, or powers, each having a king or ruler of its own. We will be more able to visualize this setting if we pause to consider something that is taking place in our own age, that being the formation of the European Common Market. It will have trade agreements with dozens of other nations or countries, but the power will be in the ten main member nations, nine of which we have observed for quite some time now. One day in the near future, those of us who remain alive will see that little horn make his move once again. In the vision that Daniel had where he saw the little horn rise up, and three of the first horns plucked up, God was allowing him to see the ecclesiastical power of the bishop of Rome as he began to speak great things and assume more responsibility in political matters, actually move into the seat of the old Caesars. Having become a political voice as well as the religious head of Rome he just reached over into the other kingdoms and begin to exercise his will in their affairs. When three of them disagreed with him, he retaliated in such a way that they were made to surrender and apologize. This did not eliminate the three and leave only seven horns on the beast. No! There still remained ten horns, but look who was running the show, (The Bishop of Rome), and he continues to run the show till the days of the reformation.
When Martin Luther begin to be stirred by the spirit of God to see that the religious system was not teaching the same truth that the church in the book of Acts started out with, he was moved upon to search the scriptures for a true understanding of the word of God. He began to see that the just shall live by faith, Rom 1:17, Gal. 3:11, instead of rituals, creeds, and dogmas which was the extent of religion in that hour.
In the year of 1517 Luther openly stated certain objections to some of the teachings of the church. He did this by writing ninety five theses, or statements, and nailing them to the door of the church at Wittenberg, Germany. Many people agreed with him and became his followers, the church demanded that Luther take back his words, but Luther said, "It is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. There I take my stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God. Amen." So take a stand he did! After his defiance of the church his friends hid him in an old castle for almost a year. During this time he began the first German translation of the New Testament. Previously, it had always been printed in Latin or Greek.
The Roman (German) emperor, Charles V. ordered all of Luther's books to be burned, which only made the people more eager to read them.
The rulers of some German kingdoms agreed with Luther, while others insisted that the Roman Catholic faith should be the only religion in Germany. Finally the emperor ordered that there should be only the Catholic religion. The others protested, and from this they got the name Protestants. Luther, with some help, then wrote a statement of his beliefs. This was called the Augsburg Confession, which was published in the year 1530, and later became the basic statement of the Lutheran Church.
The protestant movement, picking up here, continued on thru the years till the head of that Roman beast, (the Papal power), was almost destroyed, according to John's vision Rev. 13:3, but then the deadly wound was healed, and that is where we are today. The Ecumenical council of churches is the tool in the hand of Satan that is blending it all back together, so that by the time the week of Daniel is in effect, the Pope of Rome will again be in full command through the great peace covenant. The wound will be completely healed. All of the degenerate world will wonder after the beast. Verses 4-10, they are seen worshiping the devil and the beast, saying, "who is like the beast, and who can make war with him?" He blasphemes God, and makes war with the saints.
TWO HORNED BEAST
While John is seeing all of this in a great panoramic vision, he is shown another beast coming up out of the earth. This one only had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon, and exercised all the power of the first beast which was before him, and caused all the people to worship the first beast whose deadly would was healed. Saints, can you see it? Do you understand? John saw it all at one time, but it has taken many years for it all to come into focus for us. The two horned beast was not a beast in its beginning, for it was none other than the new world which in the beginning was a people that had come to this land seeking religious freedom and a new way of life. The two horns that John saw on this beast was two powers that came later, POLITICAL and ECCLESIASTICAL. Both politically and religiously this nation has had a voice that has reached around the world. We have been involved in every major conflict that has arisen in every part of the world. We have exercised our voice as a great political power in the past with whatever action was required to back it up. We have also sent missionaries to all parts of the world, and been known as a Christian nation. Now we all know that this country has deteriorated morally as well as politically so that we are no longer looked upon by the rest of the world as in former days. But remember this, the word of God must be fulfilled, and this two horned beast that John saw will fulfill his part in these last days. The world council of churches, (which is the image of the beast, Rev. 13:14), whose strength is in this country, will become such a powerful voice that anyone who disagrees with or opposes them will be cast into prison or killed.
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Verse 13, he, (the lamb like beast), performs great miracles, even to the point of making fire come down out of heaven. These are scientific miracles. Just imagine what kind of language you might have used if you had lived in John's day and been shown the things which he saw. How would you have explained a rocket coming down out of the sky with a stream of fire blazing from it, or a hydrogen bomb exploding, or a space platform in the heavens? With this country being in the lead with all such space travel and weaponry, it enables us to see the fulfillment of verse 14, he, (America), deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. By this, the leaders of this country are able to make great promises of protection from Russian invasion to the European nations which have spent billions of dollars helping to reunify. The whole world knows that if there ever is a confrontation between Russian and Europe, the United States of America with her scientific weaponry would be the only source of survival for the European nations. Therefore, this lamb beast still speaks very loud. Verse 16 & 17, he causes all but the true children of God to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead. Those who are left here will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. That is why the foolish virgins and the spiritual minded Jews who are still in dispersion will be killed. They will refuse to take the mark. The mark of the beast is more than just a stamp on the hand or forehead, it really amounts to a stamp of unbelief on the soul of those who take it. Like Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew.
We realize that we are living on the threshold of a cashless society, but this is not the mark of the beast. It will be necessary to go along with these arrangements to some degree, but let me say this, don't go any further than is absolutely necessary. The mark will not go into effect until the middle of the week. By this time the bride will be gone to glory for the marriage supper and will not be affected, but if this message should be read by someone who has lived so careless with the word of God that you find yourself left here when the bride leaves, let this be a warning to you. The cashless system that will be in effect at that time will be taken over by the beast system in the middle of the week. (Through this he, (the anti-christ who will be at the head of all of Satan's ungodly deeds), will be able to get complete information on every person who is connected with it. He will only need to make a decree requiring all who would buy or sell to be marked, the number six, six, six, will be in the computers already. (See note under paragraph heading Identifying the Number.)
WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN
As we leave chapter 13 where we saw the beast coming up out of the sea, and another beast coming up from the earth, and that beast forming the image to the first beast, let us go now to chapter 12 and see some of the activity of this system.
Chapter 12 opens with verse one giving a complete heavenly profile of the history of the nation of Israel from her beginning as a nation of people until she is sitting in the millennium. John saw in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and crowned with a crown of twelve stars. The fact that she is clothed with the sun lets you known that God already sees her in the millennium. Many would say that is when she gets the gospel back. What a shame for anyone to see it like that. Let me show you why that idea is wrong. You know that at the first advent of Christ she, (Israel), had access to the gospel for almost seventy years. That did not put her in the sun, so why would you think that three and one half years more would it? Therefore, this lets me know that this is a picture of her, (Israel), sitting in the millennium with with Christ whose raiment will shine as the sun. That is when she sits in the millennium as a nation, with her Messiah as a nation, with her Messiah on his throne. Then Israel will be shining.
You will find others saying that because the moon under her feet represents the law, the sun would have to represent grace, but let me say this to you. There are more scriptures in the law that point to the millennium than there are pointing to grace. Therefore, the moon being a reflection of the sun in this instance, it is the law reflecting the glory of the millennium. For a better understanding read the book of Micah, also Isa. Chapters 11, 24, 66. She called it her kingdom when she knew that her Messiah would rule and reign. At that time when all nations will flow to Zion, then Israel, (the woman), will shine, for she will be the number one nation in the spotlight of God. She has a crown, but it is not the crown of the twelve apostles, it is the crown of the twelve tribes. She is the only nation today that can still boast of her ancient identity of twelve tribes.
WHO IS THE MAN CHILD
The woman is seen heavy with child, travailing in birth, paining to be delivered. While John is viewing this scene he glances over a little and his eye catches another scene, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, standing before the woman, ready to devour her child as soon as it is born. Do you see the key to the dragons identity? (SEVEN HEADS, TEN HORNS) The ninth verse tells us that the dragon is the Devil, and the description of seven heads and ten horns point to the old Roman Empire, so what the vision adds up to is that the devil, incorporated in the Roman empire, was waiting for Israel, (the woman) to give birth to the man child, (Jesus the Messiah), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.
The woman is impregnated with the prophecies of her ancient prophets concerning the child that was to fulfill so many scriptures. Potentially, the child that she gave birth to at the first advent, was the one that was to rule all nations, but the fact that Israel rejected him as her Messiah, gave him the chance to fulfill the other scriptures, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, etc. He was given to them as their king, but their rejection of him automatically put him in the place of fulfilling all other scripture. Verse 5 shows his birth in the first part of the verse and the last part shows his resurrection and being caught up to God.
That dragon, (the devil) was in power through the Roman empire. Therefore, when they cried, "crucify him," and condemned him to death, it was the devil in that system that actually led him out to calvary's hill, and the soldiers of that dragon Roman system put him to death. I imagine the devil thought he had accomplished his goal when he saw Jesus go down into hell, (Eph. 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:19-20), but Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave, (1 Cor. 15:55), and was seen after his resurrection of above five hundred brethren, (1 Cor. 15:6) before he was caught up to God.
THE THIRD WOE
Verse 7 shows that there was war in heaven, where Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. When the battle was over the dragon, (which is the devil), was cast out into the earth with his angels. When he is cast out, he incarnates the anti-christ, who up until this time has been a great man of peace, (Dan. 9:27) but here in the middle of the week of Daniel he is taken over by the devil as Judas was when he betrayed Christ. This brings our attention back to the fourth trumpet, (Rev. 8:12-13) where the hour is marked by a great disruption in the heavenlies. The sun, the moon and the stars, all express themselves in that grim hour, for this is when the anti-christ breaks the covenant that he has confirmed with many nations. He causes the Jewish sacrifice and evening oblation to cease, and moves himself into the temple to set himself us as God. (Dan 9:26-27, 2 Thes. 2:4) At that time we hear an angel announcing three woes, (Rev. 8:13, two of which we have discussed already in chapters 9 and 11.) The third woe is recorded in chapter 12:12, and it pertains to the persecution of the woman who brought forth the man child.
Now remember, even though the scriptural account of them are strung out through 4 chapters, all three woes are taking place at the same time. When satan is cast out into the earth with his angels, the fifth trumpet reveals hell being turned loose on earth as every kind of demon is seen coming up out of the bottomless pit. At the same time the man of sin, (the anti-christ) orders the two prophets killed and he begins to persecute Israel.
ABOUT GRACE AGE
It is easy to see that verse 5 is speaking of the first advent of Christ where he was caught up to God after his resurrection, but then when you come to verse 6 your see a woman running. Now this necessarily puts the time at the middle of the week, for this is the key to understanding it here. The woman who brought forth the man child is fleeing into the wilderness where God has prepared a place to feed her for 42 months during that great tribulation. Seeing that there is a gap of almost two thousand years between these two verses, we know that the complete age of grace to the Gentiles is squeezed in here. This is one of the places where it is necessary to read between the lines. The chapter is dealing with Israel so it wasn't showed to John that there would be all of that time elapse in between the two events.
When these two prophets are killed in the middle of the week, it marks the beginning of a mass slaughter of everything and everyone that is in any way identified with God. Verse 11 states that they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, (this is the foolish virgins), and by the word of their testimony, (this is the spiritual Jews). Chapter 6:9 furnishes the identification here for it is the same language in both places. The souls under the altar were slain because of their testimony of the word of God, so also are these here. They did not have the blood of the Lamb applied as the Gentile group did.
TWO WINGS OF AN EAGLE
Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and the sea, for the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath for he know that his time is short, (Three and one half years). The next verse brings our attention back to the fact that satan, (the dragon) seeing he was cast into the earth, and realizing that his time is short, he sends out a decree through the anti-christ for the extermination of all Jews everywhere. But God has already prepared a place for those who were awakened spiritually by the ministry of the two prophets. God's prophets are known in the scripture as eagles. They have the ability to rise high and see afar off. this can be confirmed by a scripture over in Exodus 19:4 where God was reminding the children of Israel how he had delivered them from Egyptian bondage through a prophets message and leading. He reminds them of how he bore them on EAGLES WINGS to bring them to himself. (That prophet was Moses.)
Here in verse 14 we read, and the woman was given TWO WINGS OF A GREAT EAGLE that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and a half time. (Notice the language here how it corresponds with Daniel 7:25, 12:7.) She flees into her place which God has prepared for her. There will be certain areas of the world as we know it today, that will never be touched by the beast system of that hour. God has those two prophets telling the Jewish people where these places are located, and how to get there when the time comes. This is why it can be said that she was given eagles wings, it was the message of those two prophets. Now we have another clue in verse 16 which helps us to see that the place where the woman flees to will no doubt be somewhere in the new world. It is said that when the serpent cast out a flood after the woman the EARTH helped the woman by opening up her mouth and swallowing up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. The political Jew has no place in this, for the woman has always been the spiritual Jew that found favor with God. This woman seen fleeing into her place of hiding will be made up of spiritual minded Jews, some for each of the twelve tribes, who will be kept alive and moved right over into the millennium for the purpose of repopulating that race of people, just as God will preserve a seed from every other nation for the same purpose. This element of Jews referred to as the woman fleeing, is not to be confused with the 144,000 servants who where sealed by the ministry of the two prophets. They have a job to do which we will discuss later in another part of this message.
For just a moment let us look back at Daniel chapter 12, where in verse 1 there is announced a time of trouble for Daniel's people, such as had never been before even till the time described. But he was given the assurance that all whose names were written in the book would be delivered. God also let Daniel have a glimpse of the resurrection, both of the wicked as well as the righteous. He saw that many would be purified and made white and tested during the time when many would run to and fro, and knowledge would increase. This included the Gentiles who were purified and made white by the blood of the Lamb.
Daniel was told to seal up these things until the time of the end, but even though his head was spinning he still wanted to know how long it would be till these things take place, and what will be the end of it all. The angel raised his hand to heaven and swore by him who liveth forever that it shall be for a time, and times, and half time, when he, (the anti-christ), shall have accomplished the breaking up of the power of the holy people, (meaning to scatter them), all these things shall be finished. But, said the angel, "the wicked shall do more wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." When? At the end. Daniel is given this much more though, and it ties right in with what we are discussing in Rev. 12. From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (abomination here does not refer to sacrificing a pig on the altar, but rather refers to excessive hatred toward the Jews) there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty five days. God let Daniel see an extra seventy five days here that John did not record, but there is nothing to be alarmed over, for we must realize that when the bloody battle of Armageddon is finished, there will be much cleaning up to be done, as well as time for sanctifying and rededicating the altar and the temple before Christ will move in to sit upon his throne.
Now back to our thought in Rev. 12. Somewhere on this globe there is a little country that will not be affected by what that beast system is doing once it gets in full swing. The whole world will not join in with this beastly system. When the bible speaks of the whole world, it is referring to the prophetic world. That basically is the middle east and the old world as known in the bible days. For instance, the apostle Paul said to the Romans that their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world, meaning the world as they knew it then. It is also said that Rome ruled the world, but Rome ruled only the old world as was known in bible days before Columbus discovered what was later referred to as the new world. Therefore, most of the bible language is referring to the world as was known in the days of the writing of the scriptures. When verse 16 refers to the earth helping the woman this gives us a clue that it will no doubt be somewhere in the western part of the world. Recall Rev. 13:11 where John saw the 2nd beast coming up out of the earth, the two horned beast, which we know to be the United States with its two powers where were, (political and ecclesiastical) while the first beast was seen to come up out of the sea. The key words seem to be SEA and EARTH. Rev. 17:15 shows the waters to be people, which lets us know that the first beast rose up from the earth, (the new world), so it may be a little country in South America, or somewhere in Canada or even in the United States, but somewhere God will have a place prepared for the woman to hide for 42 months while the beast is on the rampage. When it is said that the earth helped her, it is not referring to the ground opening up as in the day of Korah, but rather that a people somewhere in a remote area, out of their love for the Jewish race will take them in and hide them where the devil cannot get at them. Verse 17, the dragon was angry with the woman, Why? (Because she had escaped), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Notice here is that identifying statement again, as we pointed out above verse 11, which identifies this group as being Jews and foolish virgins. Since there are over 16 million Jews in the world and only a very small percentage of them will ever go back to the land of Israel, that still leaves Jews dispersed all over the world. It will be these dispersed Jews and the foolish virgins that the dragon makes war with. You might say, "how did the foolish virgins get to be the seed of the woman?" Remember there is a natural seed through genetic reproduction, (which is the Jews), and there is a spiritual seed through faith, which includes the Gentiles, see Gal. 3:6-9.
THE WOMAN HAS TWO SEEDS
When God led Abraham up that day and told him to look North, South, East and West, he made a covenant with Abraham and gave him a promise. God said, I will give you all the land that you can see. It will be to you and your seed forever. God also told him that his seed would be as the dust of the earth and as the stars of heaven for number, and that in him and his seed would all the families of the earth be blessed. (read Gen. 13:14-17, 15:1-5, 28:14) When God first made the promise to him, Abraham didn't even have a seed, and his wife was well past the normal age of child bearing, but Abraham believed God, and the scriptures declare that God imputed righteousness to him because he believed. Here is how the promise to Abraham is fulfilled in the woman. When God told him that his seed would be as the stars of heaven for number, he gave him a dual promise. "And in thee and thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed." There is where the spiritual seed line was included. Therefore, when the dragon goes to make war with the remnant of the woman's seed, he will be killing everyone that in any way identifies with God, which will be Gentile foolish virgins as well as Jews scattered around the world.
The devil is trying hard to completely liquidate the whole Jewish race, hoping to put to silence forever all this talk about the Jews having a Messiah, (or king), that will rule on earth for a thousand years. The foolish virgins will be in sympathy with the Jews, and will partake of that universal blood bath as the decree goes forth to imprison or kill all who will not renounce faith in God. This will be the devil's heyday. God's restraining power will no longer be holding back these forces of evil. The devil will be free to do anything he wants to with one exception, he cannot harm any of those who were sealed in their foreheads by the ministry of the two prophets. God will be watching over them. Contrary to what many people may believe, God is still running his own affairs. He has not and will not raise a white flag and surrender to the forces of evil. The scriptures declare that God is able to put it in the hearts of men to fulfill his will. For six thousand years, God has allowed satan to pervert, tangle and twist mans minds and cause them to rebel against God and his righteous ways, but if you will check closely you will realize that God has still been in control, for every prophecy recorded in the bible has been fulfilled right on time up to our present day. Therefore, we believe that God, (who is the one that actually keeps time on these events to come), will be right on time with what is left to be fulfilled yet.
IDENTIFYING THE NUMBER
Let us take a little time before moving too far away from the 13th chapter and try to pin this number 666 to the rightful owner of it according to scripture. I realize that there have been many men through the centuries of time whose names could have been worked out to 666 by the method we are going to demonstrate. But there has never been another one who could fulfill the scripture that must line up with such an identity. Chapter 13:17-18 we find that there will come a time, (during that week of Daniel), when no man can buy or sell without the mark of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom, says verse 18, let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six. We see here that this number belongs to a certain man, and that certain man is identified as the beast. Now let's not get confused by the different ways that the word beast is used throughout the book. First of all the beast is a spirit, which is the devil. Secondly it is a system which is inspired and motivated by the devil, and thirdly it is a man who is incarnated by the devil, and that is the man that we wish to identify. Daniel 9:26-27 identifies a prince that shall come in this way. THE PEOPLE OF THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME SHALL DESTROY THE CITY AND THE SANCTUARY, Verse 26. Now we know that the people who destroyed the city were Romans, led by Titus in the year 70 A.D. Therefore, the prince that is to come, who will confirm a covenant with many for one week, will have to be a prince of the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary. This makes him a prince of the Romans. Now who is the prince of the Romans that would be in a position to fulfill all the other prophecies tied to this particular office, but the Pope of Rome? He is the only Roman prince with worldwide influence enough to mediate such a covenant of peace. Notice in Dan. 9:27, he, (that same prince that is to come) breaks his covenant with Israel. Dan. 7:8 refers to him as a little horn that rises up with eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things. Verse 25 shows that he will speak great words against the Most High (God) and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times and the laws; and THEY (the saints of the Most High, see Rev. 13:7), shall be given unto his hand until a time (one year), and times, (two years), and the dividing of times (one half year). Dan. 7:11 identifies the little horn with the beast and shows that it is all destroyed by fire after it has been allowed to run its course, (see Rev. 19:20 and 20:10). This prince that we are identifying has assumed a title that belongs only to God. (Sovereign, IMPERIAL, UNIVERSAL RULER) That makes him a blasphemer. Rev. 17:3 speaking of the names of blasphemy in connection with the woman which was sitting upon the scarlet colored beast ties this prince to the Catholic church which he is the head of. Assuming this position of sovereignty makes him the false prophet of Rev. 16:13, which ties in with all these other titles and all of them point to the same man.
Vicarius Filii Dei is a title assumed by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The meaning of this title is (one who stands in the place of God), Vicar of the Son of God. We know from the scriptures that we are priest unto God, and have no need for any man of earth to stand between us and God. (See Rev. 1:6, 5:10). Therefore, this is a blasphemous title that the Pope has taken to himself. We will print, (following these remarks), this title, worked out in Roman numerals. In Latin the U has the same equivalent as the V, which makes it work out perfectly to the number of man according to Rev. 13:18. As you add these columns together you get the number 666.
There has never been a religion on the face of this earth that could fit any more perfectly Dan. 7:25 than the Catholic church, for they truly have changed many things already and will climax it all in the last half of that week of Daniel, especially by the time the mark of the beast becomes law.
CONDITIONS FOR ARMAGEDDON
We stated earlier in the message that many of the things that we are looking at in this book are actually stacked up one on top of the other, and since we can only look at one thing at a time it requires us to try and hold a place open to go back and fit in another thought as we move back and forth through the different chapters. For instance, let us look for a moment at some of the different chapters that in their fulfillment one part will fall in the first half of the week while the other part will be covering events of the last half. In chapter 7:1-8 belong to the first half, while 9-17 belong in the last half of the week. In chapter 8 the middle of the week is marked between verses 11-12. Chapter 11, the middle of the week hits between verses 6-7. In chapter 12, the 6th verse picks up in the middle of the week. Therefore, you must try to keep in mind the fact that much of what we are speaking about is all taking place at the same time. The fourth trumpet sounded, (ch. 8:12), about the time the two prophets were killed, ch. 11:7. At that time the fifth trumpet sounded (ch. 9:1), and hell was turned loose on earth. The great persecution of Israel began at this same time, (ch. 12:13), which shows us the book must be rightly divided.
You recall, when we looked at chapter 7:1-3, we saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth. First let me say this, these angels are not spread out to the four corners of the earth as some might think or believe, but contrary to the opinions of some, the four corners of the earth as referred to here is merely a spot there in the middle east where all directions begin. The ancient maps declare it to be so. This is the spot where all attention is focused at the time of this message. Geographically it is the center of the earth. This is where world conflict began, and this is where it will end up.
These four angels were holding the four winds of the earth to keep them from blowing until after the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads. We called your attention to the fact that these were winds of world conflict, which, if turned loose, would set the stage for the battle of Armageddon. We must thing of them as holding back spirits that when turned loose will get on world leaders and lead them to this middle east setting where they are gathered to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Daniel saw in his vision, (Dan. 7:2-3), four great winds striving upon the sea, (sea represents the mass of people) and four beasts rising up from the sea. There is no doubt that the angels which controlled those winds are the same ones seen in Rev. 7:1-3, and if that be true then the four angels of Rev. 9:14-15 which are bound in the great river Euphrates are still the same ones. We are not to think of these angels as being tied up with the chains beneath the river, but rather, that they were set there in that middle east location with instructions as to when to let these winds blow. Therefore, when the sixth trumpet angel sounded, and the voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God was heard to say, "loose the four angels who are bound in the great river Euphrates," it was actually just announcing the time for them to carry out their instructions, and do what they had been prepared to do. Do not think of them as being tied hand and foot struggling to get loose all that time. This is just a term used to show that they must wait till their appointed time. God's angelic helpers always wait for their instructions. That is why the plan of God is always right on time. If it was left up to man, everything pertaining to the fulfilling of prophecy would be far ahead of its time, for man is impatient when it comes to waiting upon God.
THE SIXTH TRUMPET
You notice of course that we have returned to the ninth chapter, verses 13-21 which we place in order of fulfillment after chapter 12. We left chapter 9 after discussing verses 1-12 which is hell being turned loose on earth, constituting the first woe, and went to the second and third woes which covered ch. 11:7-14, ch. 13:1-18, ch. 12:1-17, all of which is set in motion at the same time in the middle of the week. The sixth trumpet does not announce one of the particular woes as we observed the fifth doing. Instead, it announces a time for the four angels to be loosed, which were bound at the Euphrates, holding back the four winds. It is now time for them to go forth for a specific purpose. That purpose is to prepare an army for the battle of Armageddon. The number of the horsemen that were being prepared was 200 million men (verse 16). This preparation for such a battle can not be accomplished over night. It will take months after these spirits are turned loose on world leaders before they can actually be gathered together in one place for such a battle. The sixth trumpet is sounded immediately after the sounding of the fifth trumpet which turns hell loose on earth. Therefore, while God as well as the anti-christ is giving mankind hell on earth, these spiritual forces are going into all the earth stirring up strife, especially among the two camps of communism. The yellow skinned communist from the far east will be stirred up to a point by the time that week of Daniel, is progressing toward the end, that they will be there right on time to come against the western European forces which will be headed up by the anti-christ. The scriptures refer to the orientals as the kings of the east which we will see when we come to the 16th chapter. This great battle is between these two Godless camps of communism, with Israel caught right in the middle of it all. When the Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his army, he finishes it up and invites the fowls of the heavens to come and feast upon the flesh of kings, and captains, and mighty men of the earth as well as the horses that they sat upon. This will be the last land war ever to be fought with weapons of mankind. As I said before, this will be the war that will end all wars. After it is all over the stage will be set for the beginning of the one thousand year reign of Christ on earth with his bride.
THE LAMB AND HIS COMPANY
We come next to the 14th chapter where we will consider verses 1-13, where we see the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with an hundred forty and four thousand, having the name of the Lamb's Father written in their foreheads. The name of the Lamb's Father was none other than the name Jesus, for the scriptures declare that he came in his father's name (John 5:43). The fact that they had his Father's name written in their foreheads lets us known that they had received a revelation of who Jesus is, the one that their forefathers crucified 2,000 years before. Now they have this spirit inside of them. This is why the 4th verse declares that they follow the Lamb wherever he goes. It does not mean that there is a literal lamb walking around with 144,000 men following along behind him. No! It simply is a pictorial view of the 144,000 servants of God who were sealed by the ministry of the two prophets in the first half of the week, now being led by that spirit of Christ that is dwelling within them. They were sealed by the spirit of God in the first half of the week, and fully instructed by the two prophets. Now they are over in the second half of the week and they are not all walking around together as the carnal mind might read it here, for by this time they will have scattered and returned to the nations from which they came. They had a purpose to fulfill. Verse 4 says, these are they who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins, meaning that they have not become entangled with denominational sects, or maybe a better way to express it would be to say that they are completely free from all of the teachings of apostate religion. In their mouth was found no guile. You might ask, just what is the purpose that they are to fulfill? Notice verse 6, an angel flying through the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Now keep in mind, God never uses a flying angelic being to preach for him. He always lays the responsibility upon men, and that is what these servants will be doing as they disperse back to the nations. They will not be preaching a salvation message of the type that we have known, but their message will be a warning to the spiritual minded Jews scattered throughout the world along with the foolish virgins who were left behind when the bride was taken up. Verses 7-10 show us what their message will be (called the everlasting gospel), as they go back to the nations. Fear God, give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all things. They pronounce doom on spiritual Babylon because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. They warn people not to partake of the deeds of the beast, for it any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.
The preaching of this 144,000 will be sufficient warning to the Jews and the Gentiles foolish virgins to awaken them to the truth of their hour, thereby, enabling them to recognize the mark and refuse it. This will cause them to be put to death for refusing to cooperate with the system, but it will seal the spirit of eternal life on their part. These are the ones that John saw over in the 7th chapter 9-17, the great multitude which no man could number of all nations, kindred, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne giving glory to God. Notice the description of them matches the description of the ones to whom the everlasting gospel was to be preached, (ch. 14:6). These men will not need an interpreter to help them do the preaching for they will be going back to the various places that they came from.
Bro. Branham said that when the 144,000 are sealed, they will evangelize the world. That doesn't mean that they will get great revivals started. It just means that they will be telling the world that the bride is gone, and they will be condemning Catholicism, Atheism, and apostasy everywhere they go. This carries right on into the 18th chapter where we will go next to follow the ministry of this 144,000.
THE MAN CHILD'S MOTHER
It is very common teaching among world churches that Rev. 12, represents the true church, while Rev. 17 represents the false church. Now brothers and sisters, let me say this to you. I fully agree that the 17th chapter represents the false church, but I would like to go back to the 12th chapter for just a little while before going on to the 17th and 18th, and try to show you why the woman in the twelfth chapter cannot be the true church.
To those who would want to dwell much on the man child, (12:5), that is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, let them go to chapter 19:15, for a two fold witness of who the man child is. When you know who the man child is, you will know who the woman is. You cannot take chapter 2:26-27, which is speaking of the overcomers that will rule with a rod of iron along with Christ, and make those overcomers the manchild, and at the same time have the overcomers to be the woman that produced the man child. That is plain nonsense. God is not the author of such confusion. Keep the woman of verse 1, in her place, as the nation of Israel, and the man child in verse 5, as Jesus, like it should be, and you will have no trouble getting the scriptures to dovetail.
I do not feel that it is necessary at this time to speak much on the fact of the rapture in the beginning of the week of Daniel. It is agreed upon by those who study the word of God with the proper attitude, that the bride, (the true church), will not be here to go through the great tribulation. Yet many of these same people forget this fact when they get to the 12th chapter where they see the woman clothed with the sun. They have become so used to applying the term woman to the church, that they fail to notice the 6th verse, where the woman who brought forth the man child is seen fleeing into the wilderness for a period of three and one half years, which is the same time that the anti-christ is persecuting the Jews. Please notice also, the 13th and 14th verses, which further explain and clarify just who the woman is. I realize that we have already studied the 12th chapter, but I feel that there are some who will benefit by a further clarification of this woman. To those of you who might still believe that the woman is the bride of Christ, let me ask you, how could she, (the bride church), be in heaven with Jesus (the bridegroom), and still be here during the time of the great tribulation, to flee into a hiding place for 3 1/2 years from the face of the serpent. Verse 17 shows us that the dragon was angry with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The Jews will be the only people left here on earth after the rapture of the bride, that will keep the commandments of God. Jesus said, in John 14:15, 21, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Those who love him, and keep his commandments will be caught up in the rapture according to Paul's revelation, 1 Thess. 4:13-17. Therefore, brothers and sisters, I just ask you to study the book carefully and trust the Holy Ghost to reveal the truth to you. With these comments as a starting point, you will have no trouble identifying the woman in chapter 12.
THE DOOM OF BABYLON
Since we are discussing these chapters in the order of their fulfillment, I would like to go now to the 18th chapter where we will see this 144,000 Jewish servants condemning spiritual Babylon, and pronouncing her doom. Actually the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters go together. The 18th chapter pronounces judgment upon spiritual Babylon, while the 17th chapter identifies her and shows her destruction. These two chapters show how God looks upon the Roman Catholic church. Both chapters speak of judgment. Now it is not a picture of two different judgments on two different systems, but it presents a dual Picture of how God looks upon this harlot system, and what the end will be when time runs out. The judgment will fall upon that system as the week closes out.
HE SEES THE SILVER LINING
The bible says, "Through the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word of the Lord be established." These two chapters present a two fold witness of these things. Now, chapter 17, portrays her as a woman, and if she is a woman, then the image is used to portray the relationship that she had with her associates. What kind of relationship, (legal or illegal?) You will notice that chapter 18 portrays her as a city, why a city? Biblically, cities in ancient times served three purposes, the center of trade, center of communication, and the center of refuge. Therefore, God is showing here in the 18th chapter the commercial ties of mystery Babylon with the monetary systems of the world; how she controls it all. From the salvational standpoint, poor unsuspecting souls have been led to believe that they can find spiritual security in her creeds and rituals. That is why it is so hard to convince a Catholic person that such a system is wrong,. Therefore, Catholicism is looked upon as a city, (spiritually speaking), from the standpoint that human souls, as they realize that because of their sinful nature they need to take refuge in some kind of religious structure, they have fled to Catholicism. It makes it easy; her gates are broad and wide, (Matt. 7:13). It matters not whether it is trade, communications, or refuge, sooner or later it all finds its way back to its headquarters in Rome. Now, Rome in itself is not Mystery Babylon, but Rome as an ancient city has been the seat of the spirit from which these isms originated. This is seen in the 16th chapter, and we will look at it there later, but now let us look at the identifying verses between chapters 17 and 18. One of the seven angels who had the vials came and talked with John, saying, "Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the KINGS OF THE EARTH have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication,"(17:1-2). Now look at the first three verses of chapter 18. You will notice there, an angel crying mightily with a strong voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the KINGS OF THE EARTH have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are grown rich through the abundance of her delicacies." Can you begin to see how 17:2, and 18:3 identify the whore and the city as being the same? Look at chapter 17:4-5 and "the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Now verse 5 tells us who the woman is, but lets look at verse 16 of the 18th chapter to see the same description given of the city that was given of the woman in 17:4, clothed in purple and scarlet color, decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls. You see, it's all speaking of the same thing! Now, notice, back in 17:5, she mothered something into the world. Do you know what that something is? It is every protestant denomination on the face of this earth. If you will look far enough you will see that somewhere, somehow, they all have a kindred spirit. That is why we are seeing the formation of the ecumenical council of churches. It is moving over the earth, blending Protestantism and Catholicism back together, (healing the wounded head. Rev. 13:3). Look at chapter 17:6, the woman was drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Now go to chapter 18:24, and read, "In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." One is a woman, and the other is a city, but is there any doubt that they are both the same?
There are three things that stand out in the 18th chapter. "The nations are drunk with her teachings, the kings have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." The merchants refer to the business and financial institutions. Through the ages of time, Catholicism has bled her people of every cent that she possibly could, then turned right around and invested in every form of financial institution that there is. That is why she is able to pull the strings on politics. She controls a major part of the stocks and bonds of the ma or businesses through her citizenry. Therefore, who can tell her what to do? The angel told John though, "Come, and I will show you her judgment." In other words, time is running out. God is going to let something tear the woman to pieces, or as it says in verse 16 of chapter 17, "They, (the ten horns, which we have identified in chapter 13), will hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire."
Remember, now, Rome itself is not mystery Babylon; it is just the seat or headquarters of it all. Rome does not sit upon many waters, nor could we say that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with Rome. However, we will say that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with Catholicism, which also is called the mother of harlots, (Protestant religions). God will judge everything that has been identified with her. That system always gets in with the kings and political leaders to spread her teachings, and pull strings for her political maneuverings. That is her fornication tactics. She builds schools and hospitals so that she appears to be a genuine humane institution, but it is all planned in such a fashion, that she is able to control the souls of those who are identified with her.
Many of these modernists have the idea that the anti-christ is coming out of Russia, or some other far fetched idea, but he will come out of Rome where the Catholic cardinal group still hold to that purple and scarlet color.
SEVEN HEADS TEN HORNS
In chapter 17 John saw the woman riding or sitting upon a beast which had seven heads and ten horns. The heads were full of blasphemy. (Not the horns, the heads.) The horns each had a crown. That is typical of the ten nations of Europe, which are all tied to Rome through some kind of an agreement. The crowns on these horns show that they represent something or someone that has authority to rule over something. These are kings, (chapter 17:12), which receive power as kings one hour with the beast. This is referring to that hour of tribulation during the week of Daniel. Keep in mind now, it is not blasphemy to be called a king. This blasphemous title belongs to whoever sets himself up in the seat of the old caesars who claimed to be, SOVEREIGN IMPERIAL UNIVERSAL RULERS, claiming that their office was established by the gods. This is where the Pope comes in. When the old Roman form of imperial government became so weak that the devil no longer could work through that, to control the subjects, he just left the old caesars throne and jumped over to the papal throne and began to elevate that position. The papal throne, (church government) became the 8th head which was blended in with the 7th head. It did not put 8 heads on the beast. It only united church and state. The 8th head on the beast,(which is of the 7th, verse 11), is also the little horn that Daniel saw exalting itself. Daniel did not say that the beast had eleven horns. What then is that eleventh horn? It is papal power, it is Power not attributed to the government of a nation. Papal power is not Roman government, it is church government. The Pope doesn't even claim to be the ruler of Italy. He does claim, (especially those in the dark ages), that blasphemous title that was held by the old caesars, so that he is looked upon as the universal ruler of mans soul, and of his secular, and material way of life. Therefore, there never was 8 heads put on the beast. The 8th head is only symbolic of church government rising up to take the preeminence over the last form of old Roman imperial government. Realizing then that chapters 17 and 18 are describing the Catholic church riding upon the 10 major powers of Europe, let us look at verses 14, 16, and 17. Verse 14 show that these ten horns will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them. This will take place at the end of the week of Daniel. The events of verses 16 and 17 will take place first though. Verse 17 states that God puts it in the hearts of these ten to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Then as the week comes close to its end, communism has managed to work its way into the ten horned nations so that verse 16 can have its fulfillment. The ten horns hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. This is a picture of the ruthlessness of communism against religion. When communism comes in, religion goes out. The two are not compatible. Communism is anti-God. This is not to be thought of as Russian or Chinese communist destroying the whore. This is a new breed of communism that has come up in western Europe by this time. It will come in on the wings of socialism.
After verses 16 and 17 have their fulfillment, then these will make war with the Lamb, but they will only do so out of necessity. When heaven breaks open, and Jesus with his army of saints descend upon this ungodly mess, they will have no other choice but to fight. It will not do them any good though, for the Lamb will overcome them. He will fight them with the sword of his mouth. It will not be hand to hand combat. He will speak the word and it will all be over. That is why I said, "Jesus will destroy communism after communism destroys Catholicism." They will make war with him, but it will not be a result of months of planning. It will be a sudden thing. When Jesus speaks, the earth will start shaking, and the mountains start sliding into the sea, causing the island to disappear; this will be the end of communism.
Just for a moment now, let us put this in present day language. You recall Cuba; how that it had always been under Catholicism until Castro took over in June 1958? When he took over and set up a communist form of government, he deported over 60 priests who he knew would be detrimental to his rule. Up until this time the Catholic church had been getting several hundred thousand dollars a year from the Cuban government. When Castro went in, that support stopped. We do not hear of the Catholic church having any political power whatsoever in Cuba today. This is just a meager example of what will take place in Europe once that hour arrives.
Sure those communistic politicians will have worn the mark of beast, but don't forget, to them that mark is only for a financial advantage. When that week has run its course, they will kill every Catholic priest, bishop, layman, and nun, that they can get their hands on. They will have stripped the Catholic church of all her power. That is why she is pictured as being destroyed. Catholicism will be destroyed by communism, fulfilling Rev. 17:16, and communism will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ and his army of saints seen coming to earth from heaven on white horses in Rev. 19.
SEA OF GLASS
As we looked into the first 13 verses of chapter 14, we saw the 144,000 Jews which were sealed by the ministry of the two prophets in the first half of the week, over in the last half of the week preaching the everlasting gospel to all people throughout the earth. This, as we said earlier will be a message that will warn people not to bow down to that beast system in that hour. That ministry will be greatly responsible for the group of tribulation saints that will be martyred during the last half of the week. They are the saints that verses 12-13 of chapter 14 are speaking of. Notice what it says. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Have you noticed how many times these two categories are identified throughout the book? Under the 5th seal we saw only one group identified. This is the group that was slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held. This identity always points to the Jews, for they do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ as the foolish virgins do. Therefore, the dual identity which we notice in all of the other places plainly speak of the two groups which are gathered together and referred to as tribulation saints. John heard a voice, saying to him, "Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." That verse will only be a reality for that particular group that is martyred in the great tribulation. Notice, now, as we go into chapter 15 what John saw. He saw another sign great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. There stood those angels ready to pour out those vials of the wrath of God which we will see in the 16th chapter. John speaking in verse 2, "And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mingled with fire." You know how glass is made. It is made through a process of putting sand in hot flames of fire. This is typifying the faith of the ones who are seen standing on it, because they have stood upon their faith, even unto death, while it was tried in the hot fires of the great tribulation. Those seen standing upon the sea of glass, mingled with fire, are identified, as those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, having the harps of God. Now, look at verse 3, they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." You see, there in the words of the songs they were singing is that identity again. Only a Jew can sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and Gentiles have been singing the song of the Lamb for almost two thousand years now. They will be singing about him when they are dying for their faith in that tribulation hour. Notice, (Thou King of saints), they already see him as King. Remember in chapter 12:11 we read they overcame him by the flood of the Lamb, (Gentile foolish virgins), and by the word of their testimony, (this would be the Jews). Here, John is getting a, vision of their spirits, standing before the throne of God, on the sea of glass which typifies the faith which they were standing upon when they were killed. As we begin to get a picture our minds of all these events, we have no trouble understanding why it will be necessary for the woman, (Israel, in the twelfth chapter), to flee into the wilderness where she will hide from the beast. Otherwise, the Jews would be completely liquidated, and there would be no seed left alive of that genetic line to reproduce that nation in the millennium. God Preserves this group though, and this is why John could see her clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. She was pictured in her millennial glory with her King on his throne, and the moon under her feet which symbolized the law age being in the Past. The law age was by this time beneath her, for she had finally attained that which her prophets had spoken of so long ago. This will be the fulfilling of Zechariah 14, where the remnant of the People from all the nations that come against Israel will go to Jerusalem once each year to worship the Lord Of Hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles. The law shall go forth from Jerusalem and all nations shall flow unto it.
THE EARTH WAS REAPED
By the time the events of chapter 15 are in motion, it will be time for the remainder of chapter 14 to come back into the Picture. Verse 14, and I looked and behold, a white cloud and upon the cloud one sat, like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. You recall, when he was sitting on the mercy seat, he did not have a golden crown upon his head. At that time, he was portrayed as having white hair. Then, when he was seen in chapter 10, with the little scroll open in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, with those thunders issuing forth, he still did not have a golden crown. This time he was identified by his voice. He sounded like a lion roaring. (The Lion of the tribe of Judah.)
Now, when he is seen on the white cloud, tribulation is coming to a close. Time is running out on earth. This marriage is over, and he is now King of kings and Lord of lords. He has his wife, and he has his crown. He is seen here in angelic form. This is to portray the authority that he has over all of the spiritual forces of Armageddon. It has all just about run its course by this time. In the 15th verse, an angel is heard calling out to him, "Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." In this 15th verse, the word ripe means rotten. The world is rotten, and a stench in the nostrils of God by this time. The term used in verse 18 verifies this. This angel said to him who sat upon the white cloud, thrust in thy sickle and reap, for the clusters of the earth are fully ripe. The earth is red with the blood of martyrs. The time allotted to the anti-christ has just about run out, and Jesus is invested with the authority to set these spiritual form loose, by the thrusting in of his sharp sickle. Verse 16, "And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." Armageddon is having its effect. Notice, verse 19, the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (Where is the winepress?) It is the valley of Megiddo. Verse 20, "And the winepress was trodden without the city." (Certainly it will be without the city), for the battle of Armageddon will not be fought at Jerusalem. "Blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles." What a time that will be! You can see that it is just about all over with. Therefore, we can now return to chapter 6, verse 12, and pick up the opening of the sixth seal. When the sixth seal is opened, there is a great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon becomes like blood; the stars of heaven fall to the earth, and the heaven departs as a scroll when it is rolled together. You see God's wrath being turned loose? Here is where the mountains will shake loose and slide into the sea. This will cause the islands to be covered up, or as it says, they were moved out of their places. Verse 15, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" (From the wrath of the Lamb), he will not be in the role of a lamb at this time, but this is his identity, and it lets us know that Jesus Christ, who was the lamb that was slain and offered up to God for the sins of the whole world, is not executing the wrath of God on earth. By now, you should begin to see that the sixth seal is actually the wrath of God being poured out upon a godless society after the word of God has been fulfilled concerning the week of Daniel.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
You will see, as we go into it, that chapter 16 is a blow by blow description of the wrath of God being poured out, but first let us look back at chapter 11: 15-19 for it is the seventh trumpet angel that announces the end, by saying, "The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." He is the one that announces the wrath of God. Notice verse 18, "and the nations were angry and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward to thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth." If you have followed these seven trumpet angels through the 8th, 9th, and l1th chapters, you will have noticed that they announced the major events through the week of Daniel. In chapter 8 the first three angels announced the plagues that were associated with the ministry of the two prophets. Then in verse 12, we see the fourth angel announcing the middle of the week, where the two prophets are killed, and the persecution of the Jews begins. In chapter 9:1, the fifth angel announces hell being turned loose on earth. The bottomless pit is opened, and all the demons were loosed upon the face of the earth to torment men. The sixth angel sounds in the 13th verse. This turns loose the four angels who were holding back the forces of Armageddon. They were seen in chapter 7, holding back the four winds. Now they turn these winds of world conflict loose, and they blow up the events that sets the stage for Armageddon. By the time this 7th angel blows his trumpet, the battle of Armageddon has been raging already through the last months of the week of Daniel. Therefore, Jesus is not coming to earth to fight the battle of Armageddon. He will put an end to it when he comes with his army of saints from heaven.
SEVEN VIALS OF WRATH
Remember, now, it is God himself who is the time keeper of all these events. He does not have some man standing somewhere with a huge calendar marking off the days for him. He was the one who was keeping time when Christ was cut off at the end of the 69 weeks, and he will know when the last week of Daniel is ready to be brought to a close.
As we go into the 16th chapter let me say once again, these are the last of God's divine dealings against unregenerate humanity and the devil's system that has been allowed to run its course and reach its peak. In these portions of the book that we are dealing with now, you will notice that they really do stack one on top of the other. The sixth seal of chapter 6, and the seventh trumpet angel of chapter 11, and the seventh vial angel of chapter 16, all deal with the same thing. All three chapters deal with the WRATH of God, which is only poured out at the end of the week. You will see also the 17th and 18th chapters brought in with chapter 16 when we get to the portion that deals with judgment of the great whore, and of Mystery Babylon. The 19th chapter falls right in with chapter 16, in the last part of the chapter where He, (Jesus) is seen coming from heaven with his army on white horses to make war, and smite the nations with the sword of his mouth in judgment. He is seen in the 19th chapter treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God. Throughout the last half of the week of Daniel, which we can call the time of Jacobs trouble, God has been allowing conditions to build up, which to him is just about like a huge brush pile. It is fit for nothing but to be burned, and that is exactly what God is getting ready to do, (burn it). Notice verses 8 & 9, the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and men were scorched with great heat, so that they blasphemed the name of God, who had power over these plagues, but they did not repent to give him glory. A vial is a pitcher, (a container for liquid). Of course this is all symbolic, but what better way could it be described? God instructed these angels to step forth and pour out their vials, (these 7 vials of wrath) - It is just like pouring gasoline on that brush pile, and striking a match to it. When these angels get through everything will have been judged of all that corrupt system.
BIBLE, FLAG & CONSTITUTION
In verse 18, we read, "and there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great." This earthquake is under the judgment of the 7th vial, but lets look back to chapter 6 to get the parallel of these two chapters. Under the sixth seal there is a great earthquake, and the heaven departed as a scroll... What for? To reveal the coming of Jesus. This is in perfect harmony with Matthew 24:29-30 where it says, "immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give it's light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Doesn't that sound just like the sixth seal of chapter 6? Notice, 24:30, "and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." You see! It is all speaking of the same hour of time. We can easily see by looking at all of these scriptures together, that the sixth seal is the end of man's rule on earth. Six is man's number. The sixth seal hangs right over the 16th chapter, and the events of these chapters will lead you right to the 19th chapter where John saw the heaven opened and Jesus with his head crowned, and his eyes like a flame of fire, coming to smite the nations. These things are all taking place at the same time. They are not separate accounts of different happenings. As these angels are pouring out their vials upon the earth, no man can see this happening. This is all taking place in the spirit world. You cannot see them being poured out, but if you should be one of those who are left here till that time, you will sure see the effects of them. All of the celestial bodies will be disturbed by these angels of God's wrath. The stars fall, the sun turns black, the moon turns to blood, and the mountains and islands disappear. Men will be plagued with grievous sores, and their drinking water will be turned to blood, as in the days when Moses stood before Pharaoh. You talk about vengeance. This will be a time of God taking vengeance on all who have worshipped the beast, and his image. It will be the time that the apostle Paul was describing in 2 Thess. 1:5-10, where he was speaking of the day that Jesus comes to be glorified in his saints, and how he would take vengeance on them that know not God. In that hour men will be worse than animals.
God is just. He will not let this thing fall on innocent people. He will know right where to direct these plagues, so that they will fall on the right people. As we said before, by the time this last vial is finished, it will have completed the sixth seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial.
Try to catch my thought now. When I say that these events are all transpiring at the same time, I am referring to the events of the various chapters that we are discussing at this time. I do not mean to say that all of these vials are poured out at the same time. .These are a series of plagues that come one right after the other over a period of time in the last months of the week of Daniel. Neither would I have you think that I believe all of the waters of the world will be turned to blood. This type of thing will be kept primarily in the middle east setting, in the territory of the prophetic world. God would not destroy all of marine life throughout the whole world. You may have noticed in chapter 8 during the time of the ministry of the two prophets, only one third part of the waters, trees grass, ships and creatures were affected. Even this is limited to the prophetic world. The judgments affected only one third part of that area, but the wrath is a total thing. It is not limited to one third part.
You will notice also that when the fourth vial was poured out, men were scorched with the sun, this lets us see that the sun has not yet turned black, but it will, under the seventh vial of wrath when the end has finally come. Each vial sets forth a tormenting condition. Notice the 5th vial is poured out upon the seat, (or throne), of the beast. The beast must be looked upon as the combined unification of the world systems, but the seat has to be the position or place of authority that governs, or rules the life of that beast. "And his kingdom was full of darkness" . . . In other words, full of the devil, no spiritual reality. There was nothing about it that God could condone.
SEAT OF AUTHORITY
The seat of authority could be no other place but Rome. This beast system has been in authority thru this week of Daniel, with the Pope, (who is the anti-christ), sitting at the head of it. In the middle of the week he moves into the temple at Jerusalem but his real identity is still Rome. By the time this fifth vial is poured out, the beast will have just about run its course. Those communist politicians who have gone along with that beast for that hour of time will become very uneasy. By this time they will have seen the blood bath by the beast. They will have had opportunity by this time to see the failures of the Russian brand of communism. Therefore, they will begin to make their move to destroy the religious element of the beast. This is where chapter 17:16 is fulfilled. You must keep in mind the fact that the same element of the citizenry that make up the great whore, are basically the same citizens that make up the beast that she rides upon. It will be the political heads of these people, (the ten horns), that hate the whore, (the religious element), and make their move to cause communism to destroy everything that goes under the name of religion. When this European brand of communism has destroyed religion, they will feel like they have a super brand of communism all of their own, but the Orientals will not let them enjoy it for long. Notice where the sixth vial is poured out, (upon the great river Euphrates). Look back to the sixth trumpet angel in chapter 9:13-17, where the four angels which were bound in the Euphrates were loosed to go forth and gather the armies for Armageddon. You noticed these angels were bound in the Euphrates, but they were loosed after the middle of the week had arrived. They were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men. When they were loosed, they began to prepare the military setting for Armageddon. Now, look back to chapter 16:12, the sixth vial is poured upon the Euphrates, and its waters are dried up, preparing the way for the kings of the East. I say, when this sixth vial is poured out, the Orientals are already in uniform ready to move toward the valley of Megiddo. Verse 13, and I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, (that is the devil), and out of the mouth of the beast, (the world system), and out of the mouth of the false prophet, (the anti-christ). These are demon spirits which go into all the earth working miracles, (not supernatural miracles), political miracles. During most of the week of Daniel these demons were more or less confined to the activity of the beast in the setting of the prophetic world, but now they will go forth to the kings of the earth, (the whole world), to stir up strife and gather them together for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. If you will read these verses right, you will see that Jesus has the authority to loose spirits which will gather these armies together for the purpose of fulfilling the word of God. Verse 15, goes right along with chapter 19:11-19, where it all builds up to the climax. We can now see that the stage is set for the climax of it all. That earthquake of the sixth seal is the same one that we see here in the 7th vial. Somewhere on this earth that quake will have its center. When it goes off it will rock this whole planet. That is when the sun will become black, and the heavens will depart as a scroll when it is rolled together. This is the time that Jesus and his army of saints will be making their literal descent to the earth as seen in chapter 19:11-16. Look back now to the seventh trumpet in chapter 11:15-19, and you will see that it lays right here also. You will see in verse 18 of the 11th chapter that there is to be another phase of the first resurrection when he comes. The bride has already been resurrected. She will be coming back with Jesus. Then as soon as he is finished dealing with this beast system, there will be another group resurrected. It will be those tribulation saints that you see in chapter 20:4. Now let's read this 18th verse. "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth." You see what that verse holds; he is coming to destroy something, and to give reward to someone. What does the bible say about his reward? you win find it in chapter 22:12, "and behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." You will see that each believing saint of every age receives a reward. Not the gift of eternal life, they have that already. It. will be a reward for what each one has done in service, in that realm of having eternal life. Every person will receive his just reward.
We have now concluded the rearranged portion of the book, and that brings us to the 19th chapter. We have covered most of it already in our examination of the other chapters. This chapter explains in greater detail what actually takes place when the sixth seal is fulfilled. In verse 20, we see the beast and the false prophet both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Verse 21, the rest of them were slain with the sword of his mouth, and the fowls of the air were invited to come and be filled with the flesh of these. This is done by the one who sat upon the white horse, the one who was called Faithful and True, called also the Word of God. This is Jesus, who is now King of kings, and Lord of lords, and his bride is with him.
SATAN IS BOUND
Now, just for a few minutes, let's try and get this millennium reign of Christ in its proper setting. Look at chapter 20, first off, Satan is bound for a thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit. This is the same bottomless pit that was opened when the 5th trumpet judgment angel sounded, and demons were loosed upon earth. Now the devil is put in there to stay until the millennium reign is finished. In other words, there will be no more hell on earth, as there had been in that week of Daniel.
Before going on in the message we will take time to mention all of the scripture in its fulfillment order. Beginning with chapter one, the book is arranged as follows. 1:1-6:11, 8:1, 10:1-11, 11:1-6, 7:1-8, 8:2-13, 7:9-17, 9:1-12, 11:7-14, 13:1-18, 12:1-17, 9:13-21, 14:1-13, 18:1-24, 17:1-18, 15:1-8, 14:14-20, 6:12-17, 11:15-19, 16:1-21, 19:1-22: 21.
We have commented on each portion of the scripture in its rearranged order, hoping that it will help every sincere reader to get a better picture of what is soon to come upon this earth. Jesus will come as a thief in the night to the unprepared casual church-goer, but it ought not to be so with the bride of Christ. She should be so alerted, by a proper understanding of the Word of God, that she will be ready and watching for His return.
The next thing we see in this 20th chapter, verse 4, "I saw thrones," not throne, but thrones, more than one. It says that judgment was given unto them.
Now, in the amplified translation, it reads like this, "the right to execute and pass sentence," and we know that according to the teachings of the apostle Paul, the saints shall judge the world. Therefore, the saints will definitely sit on thrones going into the millennium. They will be judging the nations. No books will be opened at this time. This takes you right back to Matt. 19:27-28, also Matt. 25:31-46, where no books are opened. It is just nations of people coming before Him to be judged.
Now, for just a few minutes, let's identify this group here in verse four. Many have rejected the idea that there is another phase of the first resurrection after the great tribulation is over with, but if there is not then I ask you, where did this group come from? Look at the description of them, "and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. " Now there is your two groups again, (Jews and Gentile foolish virgins). Now look at the rest of the verse, "and who had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Now I want you to catch the key here. This was a group that did not worship the beast, nor his image. There never was, and there never will be a time when people were required to worship the image to the beast, except during the great tribulation. Neither will there ever be a time when people are required to wear the mark of the beast except during that time. This is a group that was killed because of their faith in God, a group that would not worship the beast, nor his image, nor take his mark, yet they lived and reigned a thousand years with Christ. So you see, it is absolutely necessary for there to be another resurrection as that week of Daniel comes to a close. Then verse 5 concludes by saying, "This is the first resurrection." Verse 6 says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." These will be resurrected martyrs who died for their faith. They will have immortal bodies. They will have been judged already. The judgment of the nations that we are going into next will be among the living element of people from all nations that have lived through the week of Daniel without being killed by the beast.
In the prophesy of Joel we find that God will gather all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will judge them there, because of Israel whom they have scattered. Jehosphaphat is the valley of Kidron, which is the valley that separates the Mount of Olives from the eastern slopes of the gate of Jerusalem, (the eastern gate). Because of Joel's prophesy, wealthy Jews from all over the world have had their bodies taken back there and buried on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, believing that when the Messiah comes, he will sit at the eastern gate judging the nations and there will be a resurrection. The Moslems, (knowing the Jews sentiment concerning this), have taken the eastern slopes leading to the gate beautiful and formed a cemetery. Naturally their idea is to try and block the whole plan, but we know that they cannot succeed in blocking the plan of God.
Now please try to see, (from these comments), that the valley of Jehosphaphat will definitely be an important geographical position, in which Christ, as King, after having come to earth will position himself, till the millennial subjects have been judged and passed on into that day. Peter asked Jesus, (in Matt. 19), what shall we have, or in other words, what will be our reward? Jesus answered him by saying, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, (meaning the millennial throne), you also who have followed me in the regeneration will sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. You see: When Jesus sits upon his throne, the apostles will be sitting upon their thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. In other words, what I am saying is they will have to be brought out of dispersion and judged with the other nations, in selecting an element of people from each nation to live in the millennium, before there will be anyone there to judge or rule over in this way. When the nations have been judged, and there has been an element of people selected to live and repopulate for a thousand years, then Jesus will sit upon his throne in the temple.
1000 YEARS LATER
This is where all nations will come to for the purpose of worshiping him, (The Lord of hosts), to fulfill Zech. 14, which also states that they will observe the feast of tabernacles. Verse 16, "And it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." Zechariah 14 speaks of a day when Jesus will stand with his feet upon the mount of Olives and the mount shall cleave in its midst, one part toward the east, and the other part toward the west. Do you know what will cause the mountain to split apart? It will be that earthquake in the 6th seal, the 7th trumpet, and the 7th vial.
The Mount of Olives has always been associated with Jerusalem. Turn with me now into Ezekiel. First let me say, chapters 40, 41, 42 give a picture of how Jerusalem will expand out over the terrain for the millennium setting. In former days Jerusalem and Bethlehem were separated by about nine miles of land which was nothing more than places for sheep to graze, but ever since the six day war when the Jews took this area of occupied land, they have been building houses till they are almost connected together. Here is what I am saying, in order for Jerusalem to reach its Ezekiel dimensions, it would have to take in Bethlehem and many others of the outlying areas. No, it will not be necessary to remove Bethlehem. Jerusalem will just swallow it up, as in the case many times when a large city extends its limits; it just swallows up the suburbs.
VISION OF GLORY
Now as we come to Ezek. 43, we understand that the judgment of the nations is over with, and now it is time for Christ to come to the throne of his glory. In 600 B.C. Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord leaving the temple. It went out by the east and over the Mount of Olives and ascended. Ezekiel did not see that glory return until this present setting here in chapter 43, where he was taken in a vision to the east gate, and the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was as the sound of many waters. You see! That is just the way John heard him when he was on the Isle of Patmos. Yes, Ezekiel saw the glory come from the east, over the Mount of Olives. Remember when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, for the purpose of fulfilling scripture? Note, "Behold, thy King cometh unto the meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass." When he came to fulfill that scripture, he came over the Mount of Olives by the way of the east, and came into the city by the eastern gate. Forty days after his resurrection he went right back out that same way, (over the Mount of Olives). While standing, talking to his disciples, he ascended the very same way that Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord leaving in 600 B.C., when it left the temple. There is a beautiful significance connected with the Mount of Olives in this particular relationship. He saw the glory of the Lord come back and fill the house, (the temple), When Jesus comes, he will not have to stand around and wait for the temple to be built. That will all be done in the week of Daniel, after those Jews get that holy spot back. What we are seeing here is the Lord coming into the temple after it has been cleansed, where he said, "Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile," verse 7. Now we know that he will be sitting in the temple, and the millennium reign is started. Therefore, let us look at the 19th verse. "And thou shalt give to the priests, and Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering." Now, this is the Messiah talking, and we notice that the Levites are still going to be used. You go ahead and read down thru the 27th verse, and keep in mind the fact that even though many Gentiles are hung up on the idea that Christ is the end of the law, the scriptures cannot contradict themselves. Therefore, we ought to try and understand what this is all about. We know that it is not for a salvational benefit, for the blood of Jesus paid the sin debt for all people who believe.
In the old testament, the sacrifices, and offerings were made, looking forward to the time when the perfect sacrifice would be made. Jesus fulfilled all of the law that pertained in any way to this, when he offered himself as the only sacrifice that could pay man's sin debt forever. All of the sacrifices that were made prior to his death, just served the purpose of pushing man's sin debt forward, but now it is paid forever. What then are these sacrifices for over in the millennium? First of all, going into the millennium, the temple and the altar must be cleansed and rededicated because of the desecration by the anti-christ. He had set himself in the temple, fulfilling the scripture concerning, the abomination that maketh desolate, (Daniel 12:11, etc.) After the cleansing and rededicating of the temple and the altar, then shall there be a perpetual offering set up to last throughout the millennium. You notice, they are to offer sacrifices for 7 days, and on the eighth day they will be accepted. That is seven dispensational days, from the time that Adam started it till it reaches through the millennium. On the eighth day he accepts them, the earth is redeemed, the eternal age is in effect. Now to show you why these sacrifices will be made during this time, let me say this, going into the millennium there will be a few mortal subjects from every nation, but as time goes on and children are born into the world, they will not be conscious of sin as we have been. They will see Jesus in his majestic glory as King, and even though they will have the nature to sin, there will be no sin for Satan will be bound for the complete one thousand years. Therefore, as children multiply upon the face of the earth, according to Isaiah 11 and 65, and they go to Jerusalem once each year to worship the Lord of hosts, and keep the feast of tabernacles with their families, they will be made to understand that the sacrifice on the altar is a constant reminder that points backward to a time when Jesus, (their King), was that sacrifice. As these children come into the world, there will be something there that will make that past work of redemption just as important to them as it is to you and I.
THE ETERNAL AGE
When the millennium is over, then will the apostle Paul's revelation be fulfilled which we find in 1 Cor. the 15th chapter. "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." The resurrection of the wicked dead, will clear their dead bodies from the earth, all wicked spirits will receive their reward. The lake of fire will be the final cleansing agent. There will be no more need for hell. This will be the effects of the great white throne judgment. There will be no more need for any kind of sacrifice. For God will accept all of his redeemed creation. This will be the eighth day. The ETERNAL DAY or age. This automatically takes you into Rev. chapters 21 & 22. To finish Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 15:24 "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God the Father, (THE GREAT ETERNAL SPIRIT), when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." Who did all of this? THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE KING OF KINGS THE LORD OF LORDS, THE FIRST AND THE LAST, AMEN.