Saturday, May 29, 2010

Revelation 18:6-10

Verse 6-8 “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

Babylon is about to receive her reward. What a reward! She is going to get double the trouble, torment, and sorrow that she gave others. The equivalent of the amount that she glorified herself, lived in the lap of luxury, and tormented others, she will now get back in spades. The way God repeats the word “doubled” makes me wonder if He doubles it several times over. She has proudly thought that she was above being punished for her wickedness, that she was untouchable from other’s attempts to bring her down (yes, this is definitely the attitude Americans have, but the Vatican has some arrogancy problems too), but now she will not act as a queen lording it over others, she will act as a mourning widow. She will see her own death and destruction come upon her and her children in one day. There will be plagues, famine, death, and mourning as she is completely annihilated with fire. This is the judgment that God has pronounced upon her, and it is the ten horns who will carry out this command for God, unbeknownst to them. They are the ones who will, in one day, completely burn her with fire. Again it would seem since this judgment from God is initiated by the ten and not supernatural in application that it is most likely a nuclear holocaust.

Verse 9-10 “And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

The leaders of all of the rest of the nations will wail and lament for what comes upon Babylon when they see her destruction is complete and thorough. Given that the beast will become the object of worship for the world, and the Vatican will no longer be the religious headquarters for a large percentage of the world, it is unlikely that the kings of the earth would wail over its demise. While many of the leaders of the world talk and act as if they hate America (we will assume for the moment that America is Babylon), still everyone depends upon America to be there when they need them. It is like a child who resents a parent’s interference in their lives, but is distraught beyond words if something happens to the parent, so that the parent is no longer there to run to when things go badly for them. America is the one who shows up to fight others’ wars. America is the one who arrives when devastation hits. Who is going to come help them when the helper is gone? Where can they go for a better life, when the one place on earth where that is possible is suddenly destroyed? I do not see people lamenting over the Vatican for those reasons should this happen. Nor do I see the Catholic church suddenly ceasing to exist should the Vatican be bombed, and this is definitely the end of Babylon. The destruction that we will see Babylon suffer can not possibly describe what would transpire should they blow up Vatican City. Nor do I see the world wailing over the demise of a newly created city of Babylon in Iraq. While an interesting city no doubt, should it actually be built, it cannot possibly cause the emotional outpouring of grief that this will cause. America is everyone’s one last hope for freedom, success, riches, etc. The smoke of her burning will be seen from afar as America is so big, it will cause quite a smoke filled sky. It is not just the city that will be destroyed, it will most likely be the entire country. Babylon was never just a city, it was always a city/state or city/nation entity. People are said to be standing far off from her. That is exactly how the rest of the world stands from America, far off. Her destruction comes in the space of one hour. That is more than enough time for a number of nuclear explosions to devastate her.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Revelation 18:1-5

Chapter 18

Verse 1-2 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried 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.”

An angel first announces that Babylon has fallen. She is no longer wields the power she once did. She is nothing more than a habitation for devils, demons, foul spirits, and unclean birds. This is a repeat of the announcement in chapter 14, which we did not go into at that time, of the fall of Babylon. But is this fall from power the same thing as her total destruction? This seemed to create a problem in chapter 14 if taken as her destruction there, because her destruction comes at the end of chapter 16 when the end of God‘s wrath occurs. This would be at the end of the 1290 days (which according to Daniel is how long it takes for everything to be accomplished after the abomination of desolation) and several weeks after the rapture which occurs shortly after the 1260 days. If, however, we accept in chapter 14 that it is speaking of her fall from power, not her destruction, (the word fallen really does not imply complete destruction, as the Greek word means to fail or fall down) there is not a problem. If her fall from power precedes her destruction, there should be a confirmation of that somewhere else besides chapter 14, and indeed there may be in the following verses. Referring back to the fall of Babylon, it is unclear as to exactly what is going on in that fall. We know that the ten cohorts of the beast want her complete destruction, and we know that the beast is not going to share his power, so it would seem that before her destruction she must have been brought under a certain amount of submission to the beast. It may be that she has gone along with the beast at first, but there are a lot of militant Americans who do not want to submit to a one world government, and they might cause problems so she needs to be rendered helpless to fight back. There are Old Testament scriptures that indicate that Babylon is going to be overrun and pillaged by the Islamic nations. Jer. 51:27-29 "Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up like the rough caterpillars. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, their captains, and all their rulers, and all the land of their dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became like women; they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken. One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire and the men of war are affrighted. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor; it is time to thresh her; yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come." Coincidentally(?) the kingdoms of Ararat (Turkey), Minni, and Ashkenaz (the area east of Turkey where Azerbaijan and Georgia are) along with the Medes (Iran) are part of what an Islamic league would include if our understanding of previous scriptures is correct. Note that according to this scripture Babylon is threshed (fallen,) but her time of harvest is not yet come. In other words, the harvest of saints to reward, and the harvest of sinners to wrath (the two harvests of Rev. 14) has not yet come. This event of being overrun by these nations precedes her total annihilation. With the many Muslims in this country, not to mention the Muslim compounds that exist (I must admit to being suspicious of an Islamic compound that is much too close to our home for comfort - one wonders why the government does not investigate), it is not a stretch to think that when the Mahdi makes his claim to godhood and calls for his followers to "kill the infidels", that even the most pacifistic Muslim will take up his sword and behead anyone who will not submit to the Mahdi, their messiah.

Verse 3 “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 waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

Again we see that drunkenness is associated with Babylon. This is a repetition of a previous description whereby everyone is drunk because of her fornications. This also states that the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of luxuries that she bestows upon herself. She buys and buys to lavish upon herself. This can describe no one other than America. We are known all over the world for this sin. Other countries sell us all kinds of material garbage for us to consume, and consume we do.

Verse 4-5 “And I heard another voice from heaven , saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

Here is a very pertinent verse for Christians. In a previous verse, it was stated that Babylon had fallen, but it was not stated that she had been destroyed. It was surmised that that there should be a confirmation of this idea, if it is indeed so. It would appear that the confirmation is found here. God’s people are told to come out of Babylon, so that they will not receive the plagues that He is about to perpetrate upon her. While many think that this means that Christians should leave America, and this may be true (although I think this applies in that context to religious Jews rather than Christians as the instruction as to where they are to flee is found in verse 50 "Ye who have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still; remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.") given a scripture in Jer. 51: 44-45 "And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up, and the nations shall not flow together anymore unto him; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. My people, go out of the midst of her, and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord," a look back to chapters 14-16 makes one wonder if this is not God calling the remnant that remains out of the earth in the rapture before His wrath descends and Babylon is destroyed. (Note in the verse the nations flow together (merge) to Babylon. this would again present an argument for America being Babylon.) This chapter is in essence a history of Babylon. In the course of that history, at some point the rapture would have occurred. If God were to refer to it, it would give us a focal point in time by which we can line up the chronology of Babylon’s history with the rest of the chronology in Revelation. We have seen before that when God takes a break in the chronology or timeline of the book of Revelation to fill in other histories, He gives us focal points or events in the new history to help us overlay it onto the previous chronology that we have, so that we have an overview of everything that is happening in its correct place. We saw this done with chapters 11-13. In chapter 14 we had the announcement that Babylon had fallen, then there was the rapture and the pouring out of the seven vials of God‘s wrath, and then Babylon got her comeuppance. If we take these verses in the same context and chronology, we have Babylon falling, God’s people being told to come out of her (the rapture), and now we should see her destruction, if it is indeed the same chronology as chapter 14. Just as expected it states that her sins have reached as high as heaven, and God is now remembering her to judge her. This is also what it said at the end of chapter 16 at the last vial judgment, that God remembers Babylon and gives her the full cup of His wrath. The use of the similar verbal phrases in the two accounts (remembrance before God, cup filled, plagues) are deliberate to link the two as the same event. Her destruction by plagues and filling her cup with God's wrath is what we should see next here, if this is a correct understanding of the order of events, and we do.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Revelation 17:13-18

Verse 13-14 “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Now it can be seen how the beast comes to power. These ten hand their power over to him. When discussing the possibility of this ten person league being a Muslim federation, and the beast being the Mahdi, it is easy to see why if this is the scenario they would hand their power over to him without hesitation. The fact that in Daniel we are told that three of them are subdued by him could result from the fact that later on he proclaims himself God. The Muslims do not believe that Allah can be incarnated in a man. Therefore they would not accept his claim to godhood, while they would accept him as the messiah or anointed one. It is possible that the necessity to subdue (probably kill) these three comes when they object to the elevation to godhood (regardless of whether it is a Muslim Mahdi or not). The other seven probably fall in line to save their own lives (again regardless of whether it is a Muslim league or not). It would not be the first time that this sort of behavior has happened. Not all of Hitler's henchman really believed in him, but they did as they were told to save their own skins. I am guessing the same can be said of the group that surrounded Saddam Hussein.

When the ten give their power and strength (read that as armies) over to the beast they expect that by doing so the beast will be able to overcome the Christian God. They are wrong. Christ is not only the Lamb, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and cannot be defeated. He will be the winner, and those that are His followers will overcome, even in death. Note that God does not just call His servants followers. He gives a very specific order as to how they became His followers. They were called, then chosen, and remained faithful. This goes along with what has been taught so far in this Bible study. God calls people first, then based upon their response to that call, He chooses them. Then God can predestine their lives to His will (but it must be realized that God knew everything from the foundation of the world, so He knew in advance their choice and therefore elected or chose them and predestined them from the beginning), and they have the obligation to remain faithful to the end in order to actually qualify as followers of Christ. That is how election and predestination works. Many people misunderstand this. It is as if someone asked a crowd, "Who wants to have a free trip to Hawaii?" Some people will raise their hands, but some may actually not want to take a free trip to Hawaii, so don't raise their hands. Now, even though they raised their hands, they can't just grab the free trip to Hawaii. They still can do nothing to get it except wait to be chosen or for that person's approval to go. But if the person giving out the free trips is generous, he will take everyone who wants to go. Now if he was omniscient, he would know in advance who would raise their hands, so planned on taking that many people with him. So many are called, but you have to be chosen, but it is a choice based on our response, and oddly enough, when it comes to God, the majority don't want to raise their hands, so they aren't chosen.

Verse 15 “And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

This was covered at the beginning of the chapter.

Verse 16 “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

As mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, it is often assumed that the beast and the whore are part and parcel of the same entity, but this indicates that there is animosity between at least the ten people who have propelled the beast into power and the whore, if not between the whore and the beast himself. The whore has ridden the beast all this time. A rider uses a beast to get them where they want to go. A rider controls the beast to a certain degree as long as the beast allows itself to be controlled. The beast that is ridden is always subservient to the rider. It would appear that after all these millennia of being ridden, the beast may be rebelling. At the very least, his counsel of ten are rebelling against her and her control over their leader. There is a schism between the two that is going to cost the whore her very life. To date, the whore has been the goddess of the Babylonian mysteries, the Queen of Heaven who has claimed the worship of her followers. Now the beast wants to be worshiped as god and there is no room for sharing. Babylon is competition and she must go. As a result the ten see to it that she is destroyed. They will burn her with fire, which will eat her flesh and make her desolate and naked. Common sense says that given that this destruction comes from the ten and not directly from God, and given our technology, this is most likely a nuclear attack. When this occurs Babylon will cease to exist for the rest of time, as God wants it to be permanent. As we will see she will become a haunt for demons and unclean animals and never be inhabited again. We will explore more of what the possible reasons for the animosity between Babylon and the beast are later.

Verse 17 “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

The ten horns destroy the whore because God is using them to do His will, which is to destroy her for Him. They believe they are doing this so that her kingdom can be handed over to the beast. This would not only give the beast political power, but would force everyone to give up her religion (Remember that all Jews and Christians have either been killed or are being protected by God, so that only leaves either Babylonian religious followers [take your pick of religions] or atheists.) and adhere to the worship of the beast as the only religion. No matter what the powers on earth think they are doing for themselves, ultimately they are still doing God’s will. Again while there is no proof that the beast is the Muslim Mahdi, it would make the most sense of the scenario of why they want her destroyed. If she joins the New World Order and is in league with them, why would they need to destroy her? It would seem that in declaring himself God, the beast is not only wanting to usurp God, he wants to replace Babylon as the being to be worshiped. Satan was fine with using her as a tool for all this time to get people away from God, but now he wants his “son“ to be the god of this world, just as Christ is God‘s Son. Satan feels the need to imitate everything about God. He wants so badly to be God. If one were to speak to a psychiatrist, I am guessing that when a person is not mentally sound and they believe they are someone else, they feel the need to imitate the things that the person they believe they are has done or would do. Thus the death and “resurrection” of the beast, the claiming of the temple in Jerusalem as his throne, etc. Babylon worked for Satan all these millennia as the queen of heaven, as it appears possible that she is a powerful spiritual entity to whom others in the fallen spiritual realm must answer. However now that he has the whole world under his control, he no longer wants her as middle man. He wants people to worship him more directly. All of the Babylonian religions tend to be polytheistic as lesser spiritual entities posed as gods within her religion given that she is not an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being. She needed the hierarchy to keep track of things within her religion. Now Satan does not want to share the worship with a multitude of other “gods.” The only three monotheistic religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The first two worship the true God. It would therefore seem likely that the scenario of Islam being the religion of the beast as a convenient vehicle for Satan to get everyone worshiping him alone is a plausible scenario. Therefore the fall and destruction of Babylon are a necessity. Since America seems to be her residence and through whom she wields her power, it is likely that it is America will be destroyed by this league of ten on behalf of the beast. At this time (although that could easily change), America is the most powerful nation, which would make us the only ones who would have the power to oppose him. This is another reason for believing America is where Babylon resides rather than a confederation of Arabic nations with Iraq at the helm.

Verse 18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Now we have another definitive identifying factor for Babylon. She controls the city which controls all of the rest of the world’s leaders. Here we come down to the question of, are we talking spiritual control, political control, or financial control. If speaking of spiritual control, (using a spiritual position to influence politics) again a case could be made for the Vatican, as we have all seen political leaders bow and kiss the Pope‘s ring, as if they owe him obeisance. However, there is a United Religions organization that exists which is uniting the religions of the world and is the spiritual equivalent to the New World Order. This must be considered when speaking of spiritual control. The United Religions movement is headquartered in the U.S. This would place the spiritual control of Babylon in this country. If we are talking strictly political control, the visible center of political control is the United Nations in NYC (however many of the leaders of these countries answer to the Illuminati, as they are members of the Freemasons or other organizations which are controlled by the Illuminati.) If speaking of financial control, we are speaking of the power brokers of the world who control the banking conglomerates (otherwise known as the top level Illuminati). Is there a particular city that would answer this last entity? Possibly still NYC as that is where Wall Street resides, although many of the people who own these world banks live in Europe (They don’t want to get nuked when Babylon catches it.) It would seem that the place where these three things cross, even if others qualify in some respects (but not all) is again America. It does seem that America is the top candidate for Babylon.