Tag Archive: REVELATION


A good friend who is a godly man recently commented on social media that Christians should keep their opinions to themselves on the matter of politics, for fear of upsetting someone. I respectfully, but very strongly, disagree…

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John Adams and other founders of the United States feared that under a two-party system in politics the people would end up being polarized and divided. Well, like it or not, that’s what has transpired. And how could it be any other way, given human nature and the truth we Christians profess? Read the gospels, or Revelation, which is as much about division of opinion as any piece of literature could be! The division of mankind is as unavoidable as the dawn. Not only so, but it’s God’s prescription for humanity. Didn’t Jesus say, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”? (Matthew 10:34).

The U.S. Revolutionary War-itself a fundamental and open division of political opinion-is won, the nation is founded, and the internal political division has set in. What do we do now? I’m not going to say that all on the Right of politics are right and all on the Left are wrong-they aren’t. But it’s a recognized fact that most people with faith vote “right”. So should the half of us on the “right” hand the nation to the half of us on the “left”…on a plate… without comment… and go quietly to the abortionist’s knife and suction pumps? Should we smile sweetly while those who work hard to overthrow all human dignity of marriage and sexuality get their way and our children? Should we take a bow with our hands behind our back while the champions of all that’s ungodly stuff moral anarchy and propaganda down our throats, and trash the man we elected to the once-hallowed office of President? I say NO!

We have the ability to help influence how millions of people are treated; what kind of society we have; whether godly standards are implemented or if immorality will dismantle our families and our homes; whether money will be used wisely or wasted; whether or not the nation and the world is secure and whether or not we have real freedom of speech or a creeping media hegemony, and a belief system attempting to shut down our minds and our way of life. Life is all about politics!

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If we fail to engage, the enemies of all that’s right and all that is of God will not. Make no mistake, the ungodly and the anti-Christs of the world are increasingly proactive. Do we then shrink back and hand the nation…the world over to them, for fear of upsetting someone’s feelings? Do we keep pertinent information and the illumination of truth and logic to ourselves while others feed a pack of lies to all around us?

Whose world is it anyway? Didn’t God create, with the intention that mankind would dominate the earth? I’m not talking about a theocracy here, that’s the last thing we need: I’m saying that in a republic or as some call it a “democracy”, for which millions of young men and women have died and still fight to defend, we have as much right to take part in decision making and in influencing thought and opinion as does the abortionist, the socialist, the communist, the atheist, the gay and trans-gender, the Christ-hater and anyone else you can name. More than that, we have a duty to care about how all people are going to be treated in our nation, and about what kind of society our children will grow up in.

Some will say that the Bible doesn’t tell us to get involved in politics, but only be concerned with the spiritual. I don’t see how you can separate the two. Isn’t sexual immorality sin? Then isn’t it a spiritual matter as well as a physical one? So how can we, who have the ability and right to say something, stand back while some in our world promote gross immorality? Didn’t John the Baptist stand up to Herod for his immorality? Isn’t the murder of a man as spiritual as it is physical? So how can abortion, a physical act, not also be a spiritual matter? And how can we stand by silently while it goes on, supported wholeheartedly by one of the political parties?

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I know that Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world”, and I know well that it isn’t-and thank the Lord for that. Jesus didn’t run for office or vote. But then, he wasn’t a politician, and there were no votes. There was no democracy, and there were no elections. But Jesus Christ let his opinion be known without reservation. He called the Pharisees-the politicians and bureaucrats of his day, “Whitewashed tombs!” (Matthew 23:27).

On another occasion, when Jesus had spoken very plainly to the Pharisees, the disciples tried to educate the Son of God in political correctness:

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” (Matthew 15:12).

Hey Jesus! Watch your mouth-you might upset someone! Keep your opinions to yourself! You’re embarrassing us! You’re going to lose us some friends, and boy do we need friends!

To those wanting to let politics be run by the ungodly, I say read about any great person in the Bible and you’ll find someone confronting the ungodly of their day:

Moses confronted Pharaoh;

Daniel confronted Nebuchadnezzar;

David confronted Goliath;

Samuel confronted Saul;

The Baptist confronted Herod;

Elijah confronted Jezebel and Ahab;

Paul confronted Peter.

Painting by Osmar Schindler (1869-1927)

The book of Revelation is as much political as it is spiritual. Those who stand against God will have their own distinct political views-you can be sure of that, as will those they oppose. And don’t the references to “kingdoms” and their leaders refer to some sort of political structure gaining dominance?

There is no reasonable escape from politics. We either disengage and stick our heads in the sand, or we take what opportunity we have to influence as many as we can to turn against the ways of darkness, and the ways of bad logic. One side of the political world is working very hard-through education and all forms of media-to lead as many young people into a one-world, immoral, anti-Christ world as they can. Why should we not do our part to counter them? In fact, how can we not?

For God or for tyranny!

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No, dear reader, I haven’t mis-spelled a word in my title, I’m just rather partial to puns…

393px-Gojira_1954_poster_3Do you ever wish you could read a book or watch a movie in which nothing goes wrong, where nobody gets hurt and there are no problems to solve? I’ve discussed with my sons the fact that works of fiction probably would never meet with much, if any success, without trouble at their center.

Without some sort of tension to resolve-injustice, war, loss, unfulfilled desires, threats or enemies-any movie, novel or drama would probably be rather hum-drum and not very interesting to the majority of people. Can you think of any work of fiction without at least one problem to put right? Even Christian stories center on family break-up, loss, persecution or aggressive debate.

It seems that while we all hate to suffer ourselves, we want to see others suffering, at a distance…but then perhaps to see the problem resolved at the end of the story. The hero must win the battle, or wreak revenge, or get his desired lover. If there isn’t a problem, we like to create one…don_quijote_and_sancho_panzaWe like to tell ourselves that we enjoy seeing suffering because it “reflects reality” and touches upon our own struggles. Even sci-fi and fantasy stories are really just dressed up hypothesized versions of real-life problems, although in these times some Hollywood-style stories attempt or hope to shape reality rather than mirror it.

History is a long succession of stories filled with tensions and resolutions, and in many cases there is no happy ending. So it is even in the Biblical narrative. Problems begin almost on the first page, when Adam and Eve fail a simple test. But wait a minute: why is there a test to pass or fail in the first place? Wasn’t it God himself who put that nasty tree in the garden? And wasn’t it God who seems to have turned his back while the Tempter came to persuade Eve to disobey? Behind it all, God had a grand plan-a scheme, the subject of the Bible: a narrative which is still in process of being acted out and fulfilled. I’ve written about this in my series “Why Do We Suffer?”Ary_Scheffer_-_The_Temptation_of_Christ_(1854)I was looking at a few facebook pages of people I used to know, and I was amazed to see even there that a common source of mirth and hilarity these days is ridicule of Donald Trump. Of course this isn’t news to any of us-it’s going on in many places. And the things they say about him are hateful, spiteful and most often completely false. They come from a media and an entertainment industry which has declared war on the world’s leader and his supporters.

So what do they want in Trump’s place? Who would they replace him with? I’m convinced they want more of the same. They want what President Obama was working hard to give them: a throwing off of the influence Christianity has had over the past two millennia, and a reversal of the confusion and separation of Babel. At Babel God acted to prevent the world of men from being unified. He did that because he knew that any such unity would be in opposition against him and against all that he created mankind for. And sure enough, the modern socialistic, one-world movement seeks to redefine marriage, spirituality, gender, love, and just about everything you can think of which relates to the original plan of God for mankind. Trump, imperfect though he is-as we all are-and his supporters, seeks to set back the clock on the perversion of God’s plan. The dissenters, the “jokers” and the haters all seek to continue the movement away from God, which was so enthusiastically facilitated and encouraged by our last president, his appointed judges and his devoted followers.800px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_The_Tower_of_Babel_(Vienna)_-_Google_Art_Project_-_editedThe history of man has been likened to a tale of two cities: one the celestial city of God, and the other Babel, the city of man. It’s all actually one story only: history is His-story. I’ve written before about the “Beautiful City”, a place in which man will one day, he hopes, realize his Utopian dreams; where he can do whatever he wants without consequence or criticism, and from which God is banished forever. However, proponents of modern humanism and secularism do seem to like the idea of inviting into the free world one version of god and his followers, in the hope that this god will aid in the removal of the one they see as the great ogre-the Biblical God.

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot in vain? (Psalm 2:1 ESV).

Behind it all the devil works to take down free society so that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be strangled once and for all. Many people see this as a top priority in life. They just refuse to see the fact that the gospel cannot be controlled or suffocated, any more now than it ever has been; any more than it was at the beginning when Jesus Christ was crucified and his disciples scattered and persecuted throughout the world. Persecution, as horrible as it is, only serves to further the cause of the gospel.What-is-truth02All these people will accomplish is the loss of freedom. But freedom will not only be lost for those that they hate: it will be gone from them also, because the system they work to impose in God’s place is intentionally excluding the only source of freedom.

All the machinations of those who seek to destroy what the West has stood for, with all its failures and weaknesses, may succeed temporarily, and on a superficial level- the only level they’re willing or able to see and detect. But in fact they’re expending all their energies only upon that which God has already planned and foreseen. Man without God is like a convict digging an escape tunnel, only to find that the entire prison guard are waiting for him at the other end.

God’s grand story is still unfolding-we’re in the middle of it now. The last page of the story of rebellious man is not far away, and man himself is helping to write some of the detail. Our Creator will bring to completion the Resolution of all resolutions, when those who’ve sided with God’s only son Jesus Christ will experience the happiest ending of all. And the happiest ending of all will begin a never-ending succession of wonderful, amazing stories without tension, trouble, or problems.

There can be no other outcome for the world than God’s victory over man’s rebellion, because God is the creator and sustainer of all things. Not only this, but he, and his Son, are the beginning and the end of the grand story:

Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:12 The words of Jesus Christ-see verse 16)

 

 

 

While I don’t see a rebuilt city of Babylon in Bible prophecy, I’m sure there must be a future-or contemporary-manifestation of the woman called “Mystery Babylon” in Revelation. There must be a place, an organization or an influence fulfilling what God describes as an adulterous prostitute. So what exactly will (or does) the last-days manifestation of Babylon the Great look like?

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MY INTERPRETATION: AN ADULTEROUS, IDOLATROUS WORLD
Mystery Babylon is predominantly a world of false gods, false religion and false philosophies, and an obsession with worldly possessions and pleasures to the point of idolatry. What you love and spend all your time and energy and money on, if it’s not God, is your idol, your god.
Babylon is also God’s name for a world in rebellion against him. It’s an attitude, a way of life, a culture, a spiritual condition and a mindset which is determined to ignore the Creator and go its own way. With this arrogant attitude, mankind creates its own gods and idols, its own philosophies and beliefs, its own set of morals and laws, its own explanation for origins, its own set of values, and its own economy in which to run what it sees as its own world. It’ s the ultimate form of humanism: a system of thought and life which will not submit to God.

THE BIRTH OF A REBEL
Mystery Babylon is called in Revelation the “Mother of Prostitutes”. Whether God sees the original Babel/Babylon as being one of the seven kingdoms “ridden” by the harlot in Revelation chapter 17 isn’t very clear, but It’s helpful to look at the Biblical account of what happened there, because the attitudes, beliefs and practices of the people in that first human civilization certainly passed on to successive world empires.
The Bible describes a time after the Flood in which people left their nomadic lifestyle, began to gather on the plains of ancient Mesopotamia, and build cities (Genesis 10:8-12). This fact, recorded in the Bible many centuries ago, concurs with our contemporary understanding of history. The first human civilization, we’re told by secular historians, was built in Mesopotamia, after nomadic people and farmers moved into the area from the north and east and began to build cities. Historians and archaeologists are amazed to see how suddenly people began to build cities, form government, create complex art forms, develop architecture, math, astronomy and scientific knowledge, and keep written records of their actions and their culture.
Genesis describes the settlers deciding to build an exceptional city which would contain an exceptional tower, using baked bricks. The reason they did this was:
“…so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:1-4).
This may seem like a good idea to us, but the most obvious problem with this decision is that God had already told man to spread out over the earth and fill it, not to gather in one spot and stay there. God blessed Noah and his sons, telling them to:
“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1).
Before that God had told mankind through Adam:
“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28. See also Genesis 8:17 and 9:7).
As an aside extremists of the contemporary environmentalist movement are in conscious and intentional opposition to the commandment of God to fill the earth and subdue it. He didn’t say “trash it” as they try to claim the Bible implies. Instead, those who destroy the earth are going to be judged (Revelation 11:18).
So a major factor in God’s treatment of those gathering in Mesopotamia is that they were disobeying him: they were in rebellion. They had decided not to fill the earth as commanded, but instead to do their own will:
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).
Notice that they wanted to make a name for themselves, not for God.
There’s been a lot of discussion over the fact that they wanted their tower to reach into the heavens. This may or may not relate to their worship of nature-it certainly would fit the known beliefs and history of these people, and worship of creation rather than the Creator is sin. But the point is that they wanted to do it so as to make a name for themselves. They wanted to be somebodies; they wanted to be in control and to make their own decisions; they wanted to be sophisticated and clever, and they were excluding God. They were the first humanists.
But there’s more to their sin than disobedience. When they began to build the city and tower God said:
“If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (11:6).
God knew the potential he’d designed man to have, and he knew that a world in rebellion would have enormous potential for evil. Further, God didn’t want to see humans building a united, “one world” society without him: such an entity is in direct opposition to his will.
MYSTERY BABYLON: RELIGION WITHOUT THE REAL GOD
Mystery Babylon is said in Revelation to be a “prostitute” and the ‘Mother of Prostitutes”, as well as an adulteress. In the Bible the terms “prostitute” and “adulterer” are not only used for a female of ill repute and an unfaithful wife, they can also be used as a metaphor for people who endulge in the worship and reverence of other gods rather than the real God. He regards the worship of other gods as unfaithfulness. Remember that the first of the ten commandments quoted in the Old Testament reads, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The second warns against making or worshiping idols, and God said:
“…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (verse 4).
Israel was at times accused by God as having been unfaithful, because the people were seduced by other gods. But it was not only the people of God who would be committing prostitution if they regarded other gods than the Creator: it was, and is, a sin unbelievers can commit also. This is a spiritual form of prostitution:
“Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead you to do the same” (Exodus 34: 15-16).
Since Mystery Babylon is the “mother” of harlots, it seems that she is the originator of all kinds of spiritual prostitution and adultery.
Does her prostitution also represent physical immorality? That’s probably a part of it, but I don’t think it’s God’s main focus in Revelation.

A TALE OF TWO WORLDS
Jesus criticized people at the time of his earthly ministry because they demanded a miraculous sign from him before they would take any notice of him. His response:
“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!” (Matthew 12:39).
This was no organization or city he was criticizing: it was an attitude.
God lovingly warns and pleads with those who love him to:
“Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins…” (Revelation 18:4).
Sometimes the Bible speaks of “the world”, meaning not the physical earth that God created, but the rebellious ways of life created by man. James, in remarkably similar language to that which John used speaking of Babylon in Revelation chapters 17 and 18, wrote:
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4-5).
James then went on to warn about worldly wealth and business being persued without regard for God (4:13-5:6).
Paul, also counselling separation, wrote:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?…What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
THE WORLD-WIDE WOMAN
Mystery Babylon “sits on many waters” (17:1). This imagery is interpreted for us. The waters are:
“…peoples, multitudes, nations and languages” (verse 15).
This seems to be stressing the fact that Mystery Babylon has been and is a world-wide phenomenon, affecting everyone in one way or another:
“Babylon the Great…made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries” (Revelation 14:8).
The people of earth, including its leaders, have all been led and corrupted by her prostitution (17:2). Each empire she has had influence over has been marked by polytheism, pantheism, pluralism and materialism, rather than the worship of the one true God. The modern West was, until just a few decades ago, predominantly Christian. Now it’s been altered so that Christianity is the one religion that’s marginalized and rejected. Foreign gods and philosophies have moved in, and some people who’ve rejected those have embraced a militant form of atheism in determined opposition to God.

© Nick Fisher 2016

Part 3 will appear next week…

Revelation is possibly as rich in imagery as any book ever written, but I don’t agree that it’s impossible to unravel all those word-pictures. Here’s the result of my own on-going study of the mysterious “Mystery Babylon” of Revelation, in three or four parts…

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(Lower Manhattan, with the One World Trade Center) Photo: King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Revelation chapters 17 and 18 discuss an amazing vision of a prostitute riding on a seven-headed beast. I could describe her here, but you’d be better off reading the two chapters to get the full effect of the scene. Notice how stunning and shocking is her appearance: she’s no ordinary woman, and of course the beast she’s riding is no ordinary beast. I’ve written a separate article about the beast, to be published at some time in the future, although the two are inextricably linked.
Who or what is the woman described here? I’m going to outline my own interpretation and explain my conclusions. But first, here’s a list of some of the most popular interpretations of this prophecy:

VIEWS OF BABYLON
1: The prostitute represents a global economic system
2: She represents an immoral world
3: She’s the Roman Catholic church from its inception to the end times
4: She’s a last-days world religion, or
5: She’s all false religion
6: She’s the future literal city of Babylon, rebuilt in her original location, and turned into the hub of international trade
7: She’s the present-day United States, or the United Nations, or New York city. Some think the fate of Babylon spoken of in chapter 18 will befall America. In fact, a few actually believe it’s already happened, and the “9-11” terrorist attack was, according to them, the fulfillment of chapter 18.
8: She’s the idolatrous world, including an obsession with materialism and wealth.
THE NAME
The name “Babel” comes from the Hebrew word “balal”, which is first used in the Hebrew Bible as a place name, called in English “Babylon” (Genesis 11:9). The word “babel” is of Akkadian origin and means “gateway to a god” (or gods). The ziggurats-a type of pyramid-built in ancient Mesopotamia had steps on the outside leading to a shrine a the top.
WILL BABYLON BE A LITERAL CITY AGAIN?
Some commentators think that the Babylon of Revelation chapter 18 will be a literal re-built city in its original spot, which will be destroyed at the end of the Tribulation: I don’t agree. Among the clues I see that she’s not a literal city even in chapter 18 are these:
1: “By your magic spell all the nations were led astray” (verse 23). Well, the truth is that the nations are already “astray” and have been so for a long time, and the city of Babylon hasn’t yet been rebuilt.
2: “In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth” (verse 24). We can hardly say that the blood of all people who have been killed on earth will be found in a city that hasn’t been built yet.
3: “The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever” (19:3). A literal city on earth will not be burning “for ever and ever”, and God plans to cleanse the earth after the Tribulation and remake it after the Millennium.
4: Her sins are “remembered” by God (18:5). More on this in a minute.
5: The destruction of Mystery Babylon is immediately followed by God assuming his reign over the earth (Revelation 19:1-6 and 11:15). If Babylon were one single city-however great-there would still be plenty of rebellious cities and nations left on earth.
BABYLON THE DYSPHEMISM
Sometimes names-city or nation names and names of people-are used in scripture to describe another city, nation or person which has become like the original. It’s usually a slur, a critical inference, a negative metaphor, an insult. This kind of association is sometimes called a “dysphemism”: it’s the opposite of a “euphemism”.
For example, chapter 11 of Revelation speaks of Jerusalem in derogatory terms, naming it after cities it had become corrupted to be like in the eyes of God:
“…the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8).
Secondly, when final judgments are meted out upon the earth, we’re told that God will think of Babylon as a memory:
“God remembered Babylon the Great…” (16: 17-21). He gives her “the fury of his wrath” .
He would not have to remember a literal city if it were right there in front of him in the present: at least some of its guilt is history. Again, while discussing the wealth earned by the merchants of the earth from the woman, and its destruction, God “remembered her crimes” (Revelation 18:5).
There’s a precedent for retrospective judgment, and we can see it’s not just a case of God getting mad about something which happened in the past. One day Jesus was denouncing cities of his day which would not repent, even though he had done great miraculous signs in them. He compared them to cities which had declined or fallen long ago, saying that both were to face a future judgment:
“Woe to you Korazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths…I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:20-24).
Thirdly, when Babylon is judged, we’re told that,“The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever” (Revelation 19:3). This would surely not be the case if she were a literal, physical city in the Middle East.
THE LAST-DAYS BABYLON
So the judgment of the city and/or empire of Babylon will be at least partially retrospective (Revelation 16:19), just as it will be with Capernaum and the other cities Jesus mentioned. However, since the final “beast” of Revelation will hate the woman and seek to destroy her (17: 15-18) there must be a contemporary manifestation of the woman on earth at that time: there must be a place, an organization, or an influence defined by God as an adulterous prostitute, and which reminds him of the old Babylon. The entity named after Babylon which has shaped the world and which has “ridden” upon successive world empires will be judged in the last of days, at the time of antichrist and his empire, as well as being judged in the memory of God.
So what exactly is that influence, entity, organization, place or system? What will (or does) the last-days manifestation of Babylon look like?

Part 2 will appear next week…

Copyright  © Nick Fisher 2016

 

 

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What in the world will the prophesied kingdom of the Beast look like? From where will it originate? Can we identify it now? Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy? Herein are my own answers to these questions…

(BLAERG- “The Chattering Cyclops”)

DISCLAIMER

This is not a “prophecy”. The Lord has not “told me” what’s about to happen. I don’t claim to have any special fool-proof knowledge or insight into Bible prophecy, and I don’t want any money out of you. I’ll try not to use the word “scenario” even once.  What follows is my current view of the kingdom of the Beast of Revelation and Daniel, based on many years of Bible study and observation of world events and trends. I’m sorry it’s rather long, but I have sub-headings here so you can scroll down and skip parts you aren’t interested in. In case anyone is uninitiated into these things, I must declare that I have no intention to incite any kind of rebellion or opposition movement against the government or international organizations, or against any religion or belief system.

INTRO

As I’ve written before, considering the predicament that the nation of Israel is in along with its recent history and very likely near future, it seems that either we are witnessing an incredible set of simultaneous coincidences, or the prophesied events of “End Times” are nearly upon us (you can search for my posts on Israel and Jerusalem and how Bible prophecy is seen to be fulfilled in its ancient and recent history). With that in mind, I’ve been considering prophesies of the kingdom of the Beast.

Looking closely at the prophesies, we find that the beast will be a kingdom but also a man who will ascend to almost unstoppable world power.

Daniel’s prophesies and those of Revelation depict a series of world empires affecting the nation of Israel from ancient times up to the future coming of the Jewish Messiah, (actually the second coming), this time to judge the earth. Without attempting to explain the related prophesies I’m hoping that either you know something about them or that what I have to say will make sense and be of some help.

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WHO THE BEAST IS NOT

Over the last several decades most prophecy “experts” within the evangelical Christian world (I mean those who don’t go along with “replacement theology”) have clung doggedly to the conviction that the kingdom of the Beast will be a “Revived Roman Empire”, with the European Union as its likely immediate progenitor. Enthusiasts have watched the Union get stronger and more unified politically, but there’s been something missing: a considerable lack of unity and a total lack of willingness to dominate and subjugate the rest of the world. Perhaps a far more radical union will form in the future.

A few commentators believe that the Antichrist will be a Jew. This idea is immediately demolished by realizing that the Islamic world would never follow or worship a Jew, miracles or not: they would be far more likely to want to kill him.

For centuries the Roman Catholic Pope has been seen by many in Europe and the US as the Antichrist or his predecessor. At least one prophecy “expert” today even claims that the “Holy Roman Empire” has been reborn in the form of the EU with the Catholic Church. I can’t help seeing this as a silly idea. The Pope has little influence in Europe except with his own committed followers, and the Islamic world, the Hindu world and so-on will never willingly worship the head of a long-distrusted Christian organization, even if he could manage to perform some miracles, and even if the latest pope has been photographed kissing the Quran (yes he has).

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THE ONCE-UNLIKELY ALLIANCE

Within the last fifteen years or so a few brave commentators, namely ex-Muslims, have stuck their necks out (imagery intended) and suggested or insisted that according to Scripture the Beast will be a Muslim, and his kingdom the Islamic world, or part of it. This leads me to my own suspicion bordering on conclusion which goes one step further: the kingdom of the Beast will consist of some of the Islamic world in an alliance with the West. That doesn’t mean that I expect everyone in the West to be reading the Quran and kneeling towards Mecca five times a day (yet), but that public opinion is warming to the Islamic world and agreeing with its views on Israel and the rest of the world. Some top politicians are reaching out to the Muslim world and turning their backs on Israel. What was unthinkable a few decades ago is happening.

I’m not the only one beginning to connect the dots to produce this picture. I’ve noticed that perhaps the most famous figure in the prophecy world who once taught the “Common Market” theory is becoming more and more wary of the Islamic world and its actions and intentions. Below are some of the reasons, from Scripture and from my own observations, why I’ve come to my conclusion.

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TARGETS OF THE BEAST

The Bible, and particularly Revelation, makes very clear the fact that the kingdom of the Beast will have two declared targets for extinction: Christians and Jews. The Beast will increasingly persecute these two groups and ultimately seek to destroy them totally. There is one religion today, and one only, whose most committed followers have this very same stated goal. Its founder had the same approach in his day towards the “people of the book”, and the Turks in the Middle-Ages, having occupied the “Holy Land” and claimed it as their own, attempted to purge the Middle East and then Europe of Christianity. Today the more radical groups in the Middle Eastern countries have been and are working to eliminate Christians. The same has been happening in parts of Africa, such as Sudan.

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(2LOUD “Aero”)

SUBMISSION

Today we see the West submitting to Islam. How can I say that: the West is free, isn’t it?

Well, Islam is all about submission to Allah, and now that in the very Western nations where millions fought for freedom of thought and speech we have a virtual ban on any criticism or scrutiny or questioning of Islam, it seems to me that the submission has already occurred. Islamic movements within our nations are asserting their rights and spreading their message, and everyone else is afraid to disagree, or else those who try to disagree are castigated by their own courts and governments. More than that, Muslims are winning over many to their way of seeing the world, particularly in regard to Israel.  While the nominal, peaceful Muslims just want to live out their lives and get along within the nations they’ve settled (and the same applies to their nations of origin), radicals work to drive the rest on to deeper commitment and radicalism. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog, and the dog is afraid or unwilling to resist.

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THE CAPTURE AND DIVISION OF JERUSALEM

One of the central aims of the Beast, according to Scripture in several prophesies, will be the capture and division of Jerusalem, and the destruction of Israel as a nation. Don’t look now, but this is the dream and the stated goal of most of the Islamic world (see my post “Israel and the Sound of Gnashing Teeth”). The United Nations, including the European Union and the United States, are in declared agreement that at least half of Jerusalem must be given to Israel’s enemies, and while the West is currently willing to tolerate the existence of Israel in a greatly diminished form, that’s going to change. According to United Nations “law”, Israel is an illegally occupying presence in much of the little land they possess, and something must be done to extract it. Until a few years ago, the United States was known to be the protector of Israel, but the will to alter that position has been apparent.

While Jerusalem is mentioned well over seven hundred times in the Bible as Israel’s capital and home, it is not mentioned once in the Quran-written several hundred years later. The kingdom of the Beast is going to aid Islam in its assault on Jerusalem, and the world’s stated decisions and proclamations to date are undeniable evidence that the Kingdom of the Beast and Islam will be in agreement over this matter.

ISRAEL IN PERSPECTIVE

ISRAEL IN PERSPECTIVE

WHERE IS THE U.S. IN BIBLE PROPHECY?

For a long time people have been asking the question, “Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy?” Of course, the name “United States” would not have been used in Bible prophesies made many centuries ago, in fact the known names of that time were given so that people of all ages, not just ours, could make some sense out of them.

As an example, Persia is named in the Bible as being the member of an alliance against Israel (Ezekiel 38). In the early 20th century, the name of the nation “Persia” was changed to Iran, a country whose spiritual leader has said that the only solution to the problems of the Middle-East is the destruction of Israel.

Various answers are given to the “U.S.” question, including one which involves the Revelation reference to the “wings of a great eagle” which will rescue the remnant of Israel from the onslaught of the Antichrist. Proponents of this idea believe that the US will come to the aid of Israelis and air-lift them to safety.  I personally see this as a hopeful guess at best, particularly as Old Testament references to the “wings of an eagle” always refer to God’s own miraculous deliverance, not to the national symbol of a nation:

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).

There are a couple of interesting terms used in the Bible which suggest a reference to the US, such as the “young lions” and the “coastlands” (Ezekiel 38).

It seems to me that the most logical conclusion that the US does not seem to be specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy is that it will be a part of the global problem-and perhaps even the driving force of it. The kingdom of the Beast will be an overpowering military force, according to Scripture. Among other reasons the clincher, for me, is the fact that “all nations” will be involved in the attack on Israel and Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). The word “all” seems to suggest “all” doesn’t it? The US in this case would be just a part the United Nations or the “international community” invasion force, or else the US will stand back and watch it happen. Israel will be alone against the world, and their rescuer will not be a post-Christian, ungodly culture, but the Lord Himself:

“I have trodden the winepress alone, from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath…For the day of vengeance was in my heart…” (Isaiah 63:3-4).

IRON MIXED WITH CLAY

Daniel’s prophecy of the feet of iron and clay at the bottom of a statue, depicted as the last world empire before Judgment (Daniel chapter 2, and mirrored in Revelation) is commonly interpreted by evangelicals as lingering remnants of the empire of ancient Rome which will soon evolve into the last world empire-that of the Beast. This is why the European Union has been so fascinating to prophecy students. It did seem for some time that the forming Union was going to realize all that Napoleon, Charlemagne and Hitler had tried but failed to do by force. Here’s the Roman Empire:

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In recent years those who insisted that Islam would be the kingdom of the Beast drew attention to the fact that ancient Rome became divided between East and West. Therefore, they say, if we must see the legs as remnants of ancient Rome, one of the legs as represented in Daniel’s vision must be the Eastern leg, consisting of much of what later became the Ottoman Empire-that is, the Islamic world, which almost succeeded in conquering Western Europe.

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This leads me to my “one-step further”.  While it’s true that Roman boots never occupied American soil (as far as we know), not only is Western Europe culturally and politically a legacy (excuse the pun) of ancient Rome, and “out of” Rome, but the United States is “out of” Western Europe. It was founded and settled initially by Europeans. It too has Roman roots culturally and politically. The US is a part of that iron-and-clay mix: the US is as much descended from ancient Rome as Europe is.

In Daniel’s vision the iron and clay of the legs represent peoples groups which join together as an empire, but are essentially so different that they cannot become truly one. Europe and the US are composing themselves as much as possible of a mixture of peoples groups, with some successes and with some problems. I see the iron and clay mix as the mingling of races and the attempted union of nations which are really too different to merge. I’m not at all prejudiced against any race or ethnic group: we’re all members of the same human race. However, it’s painful to see that while many of the millions of Muslims moving into Europe want to assimilate and get along, many others have no intention of blending, and cannot because of their beliefs or because of the extremists among them. Countries such as the US and the UK are now producing home-grown Islamic Jihadists.

Not only this, but it’s clear that their presence is helping to turn the people of Europe against Israel, so that politicians of all persuasions are increasingly blaming tiny Israel for the ills of the world, just as they did in pre-war Germany. It’s political correctness to bash Israel. The same mentality is flowing through the media into the minds of Americans, including some Christian denominations. Currently the attempts of Israel to reign in the violence of Hamas, an organization which has in its charter the destruction of Israel, is producing large-hate filled demonstrations across Europe, organized by angry Muslims and supported by large numbers of sympathizers. Meanwhile the media whips up more hatred with their biased, one sided reporting.

WAR IN-A BABYLON

Revelation tells us of a war which will affect the entire world beginning at the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:13-16). This river runs through present-day Iraq, currently wracked by violence and the gains of the Islamic State, which with many other factions has as a stated goal the destruction of Israel. Another prophecy speaks of an invasion of Israel by several nations identifiable today, which include Iran and Turkey, both very much opposed to Israel’s existence (Ezekiel 38 and 39). The Euphrates region has already been plagued by war for many years.

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THE KINGDOM WILL HAVE UNMATCHABLE MILITARY POWER

“Who is like the Beast? Who can make war against him?” (Revelation 13:4).

At the present time this could not be said for the European Union, but it could be said for the West led by the US, which together has been the policing force of the most of the world for some time. The undisputed military super-power has for decades now been the US along with its allies in Europe. No, they haven’t been fighting under any Islamic banner, but they have been fighting for the cause of various Islamic groups, and/ or funding them.

ARAB SPRING?

About the beheading of an American reporter and other evil actions of ISIL/ISIS/ the Islamic State, President Obama claimed just this week that:

“ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents”.

There’s an apparent intention on the part of the US administration to ignore the fact that the “I” in “ISIL” stands for “Islamic”. The IS has been targeting Christians for extinction, and killing them in the most horrific ways they can think of-including crucifixion and burying them alive. And perhaps members of the administration have not read the parts of the Quran which teach the faithful to:

Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day…. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!”  (Sura 9:5,29,41).

Mohammed said:

“I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” (Al Bukhari vol. 4:196).

The US and NATO aided, provided weapons, and trained fighters for the Al-Qaeda take-over of Libya and the brutal murder of Qaddafi. The US, talking about an “Arab Spring”, aided the Moslem Brotherhood’s take-over of Egypt, deposing its President of thirty years, and one who had been almost a friend to neighboring Israel. The US administration, led by President Barak Hussein Obama, arranged for the new Moslem-Brotherhood government-which openly declared its violent intolerance of the existence of the state of Israel (2)-to be given as a gift twenty F-16s and two hundred Abrams tanks (3). Only the opposition of some US congressmen and senators and the return of the military in Egypt to the scene prevented most of the gift from being delivered.

When Egyptian citizens and the military saw that they were going to be put under strict Sharia law by the Muslim Brotherhood, which even as Muslims they rejected, they managed to take their country back, to the howls of disagreement from the media and various top politicians in the West. I personally spoke to some Coptic Christians who were horrified at the Moslem-Brotherhood’s US-backed ascension to power, because they were aware that Christians, tolerated by Mubarak, were being attacked and murdered by the Moslem Brotherhood, and ancient churches destroyed.

The West has been funding and giving weapons to those rebelling against President Assad in Syria, in a war which up until April of this year had resulted in the deaths of almost two hundred-thousand people, with the number still climbing. Assad was known to tolerate and accommodate Christians in his country, and the ancient churches there were relatively safe: the rebels-Islamists-have the opposite view and have been killing Christians, driving them from their homes and destroying the churches. For a sizeable part of the world, the kingdom of the Beast has already arrived.

Barring a successful political firestorm, Hamas, whose charter calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel, is now to be funded to the tune of over 400 million US taxpayer dollars a year with the blessing of President Obama (4).

Yes, the West went into Iraq and Afghanistan-seen by some as an attack on Islam, but look at the result: extremists have gained the upper hand. American troops there have had to burn their Bibles (5).

THE METHOD OF EXECUTION

Revelation tells us that the kingdom of the Beast will execute its enemies-those who refuse to convert, by beheading. There is only one movement whose extremists have this approach today, and whose founder had the same approach:

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands” (Revelation 20:4b).

THE HARLOT

The harlot of Revelation chapter 17 is generally recognized to be false religion in some form. The Harlot “rides” the Beast, meaning that false religion is a major part of, and perhaps the controlling factor in the kingdom of the beast. Old Testament imagery depicts false religion as a harlot on many occasions. The kings and leaders of all of history are said to have “committed fornication with her”, and the people of the earth had become “drunk” with her adulteries” (verse 2).

THE LAST HUMAN EMPIRE: NOT TOTAL WILLING COMPLIANCE

This may seem like an insignificant point, but while the last human empire will become world-dominant in many ways, there are texts which show that not all nations will be willing to join the alliance (for example, see Daniel 11:40-42). When “experts” speak about world government they often lead us to think that there will be one big, happy world State with everyone in agreement: this is not the case at all.

THE ACCEPTABLE BEAST

The world of the End Times is going to give its allegiance to the Beast-either willingly or having been forced to, while at the same time agreeing that Jerusalem must be wrested from the Israelis. Prophecy experts have noted that according to Scripture (Bible) the Beast himself will deliver some amazing signs, spectacles and achievements. They believe that this will be enough to win over the peoples of all faiths to him,. It seems to me that signs or not, the Islamic world will never give its allegiance to anyone who is not himself a Muslim, or who at least does not support their claims upon the world.

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ANTICHRIST: THE PEACE MAKER?

A dominant characteristic of the man known as “Antichrist” will be his masterful deception. Antichrist will talk peace but wage war, perhaps including “proxy war”. Whoever Antichrist may be, he will have to be in a very influential position to persuade the Israelis into the prophesied “covenant”, an agreement which he will have no intention of keeping. Antichrist will double-cross the Israelis, and must be someone in a position to double-cross them, i.e. someone they are willing to trust or someone they have no alternative but to trust.

There’s a very determined drive towards a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians at this time (along with necessary agreements in a wider context) involving, “coincidentally”, the division of Jerusalem and of the “West Bank”. The West Bank was spoken of by Jesus in his account of Tribulation and Armageddon events as “Judea” (Matthew 24).

The West, and particularly the US, has shown ongoing determination to be the peace-brokers in Israeli-Palestinian discussions.

RELIGION AND THE BEAST

The kingdom of the Beast will be marked by a strict requirement to adhere to the worship of its leader as enforced by his very own prophet (Revelation 13). So this is not a kingdom without any religious worship.

The Antichrist will be presented to the world as a deliverer: the wonder-man who has come to save humanity from itself. He may be labeled a “prophet” or the latest incarnation of a prophet.

WILL REGARD NO GOD

The fact that Antichrist-the Beast-“will not regard any God” does not mean that he will be averse to Islam. He may say something like “we do not regard ourselves as a world of Christians or Hindus or Buddhists, but as a world of citizens.” His own intentions will be uppermost in his mind, and he may seem to have no belief in a real god. He may well present himself as a secularist or even as an atheist, but at the same time shape his policies and aims upon an affinity for one religion in particular.

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LAWLESSNESS AND IMMORALITY

The West is arguably the most immoral empire on earth, and the US leads in this regard.  The Antichrist is described as a man of “sin”, or as the NIV translates it, “lawlessness”. This does not mean that he will not have his own set of laws-he will. It means that he will be in defiance of the ways of God as defined in the Bible. The Beast and his kingdom will promote sin and call it “good”. He will “try to change the set times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). He may well be a law-breaker in his own political context too, doing what he pleases despite what the laws of the land or constitution may say. A mark of the end-times, according to Scripture, is total immorality as God sees it. We live in that kind of world now.

While Islamic law counsels certain self-controls and standards of right and wrong, and while Sharia law can be very strictly interpreted, the reality of its front-line extremists as demonstrated by IS, for just one example, is murder, kidnapping, rape and slavery: total lawlessness and immorality. Anything goes when it comes to dealing with their perceived enemies.

REPORTS FROM THE EAST, NORTH AND SOUTH

Daniel tells us that “at the time of the end” the Beast will be engaged in battle by the “king of the North” and the “king of the South” (Daniel 11:40). Not only that, but having gained the upper hand against these powers, and being situated in the “Beautiful Land” (most likely a reference to Israel), he will receive worrying reports from “the east and the north”. Who knows what jockeying for power is going on here, and remember that often-times Muslims are in violent opposition to Muslims, as in Syria at the present time:  he could conquer or be allied with some forces in the Middle East and still have some against him. But the interesting thing to note is that only three of the four points of the compass are accounted for as the origins of his enemies. The one remaining direction from which enemy forces do not come against him is the West. Could this be because he himself is from the West? At the least, it seems like the US and the EU-the West- will not be against him.

IS THE LAST CHRISTIAN NATION TURNING AGAINST CHRIST?

We expect atheists to try to rid their country of the message of the cross, but this aversion to the Christian faith has been manifesting itself more and more in the courts, the government and the military in recent years, in the US and in Europe. Some prominent and trusted ministers and organizations are speaking of the growing trend of opinion against Christians, and the prospect of persecution in the United States is a lot more believable now than it was just ten or twenty years ago. The US is a “post-Christian” culture, where prayer in the name of Jesus is banned in schools and government offices, where speaking about one’s Christian faith at work can lose you your job, where the government and the media dictate what you must believe about origins, where Christians are taken to court and put out of business for refusing to bake someone a cake, and where the IRS focuses on obstructing Christian and conservative organizations.

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In the nominal Church “Chrislam” attempts to convince us that Muslims and Christians are really worshipping the same god. There are so many ways of showing that this is not true, but as an example, compare what the Quran says about Jesus Christ with what the Bible says:

“Allah is only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son…” Quran [004.171 ]

“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them”. Quran [005.073]

In contrast as stark as it could be, with the term “antichrist” being used, the Bible, written centuries before, says:

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

OUTTRO

Please let me know if you have good arguments or evidence against what I’ve written-I would not at all mind being wrong.

NOTES

1: http://spectator.org/blog/60285/obama-isil-speaks-no-religion

2: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/07/219272.html

3: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/arnold-ahlert/obamas-billion-dollar-giveaway-to-the-muslim-brotherhood/

4: http://aclj.org/radical-islam/88-senators-gravely-concerned-over-obama-administration-funding-of-hamas-terrorist-led-palestinian-government

http://online.wsj.com/articles/why-should-americans-fund-hamas-1401913021

5: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/02/day-us-military-burned-bible-in-afghanistan/

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