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Things which must Shortly Come To Pass’ Study 5 ‘The Rise Of The False Prophet’ Rev 17

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The Rise of the false Prophet – Revelation 17 Study 5

Rising in Rome, the dragon soon moved the capital to Constantinople and continued there for 1,000 years. Its development is explained and involves Russia.. .

 

TRANSCRIPT – kindly supplied by Sis Fay Berry

The Book of Revelation

Things which must Shortly Come To Pass’ Study 5 ‘The Rise Of The False Prophet’ Rev 17

 

Reading Revelation Ch 17.

We’ve come to the end haven’t we? You might breathe a sigh of relief, and so might I. I realise I’ve worked you pretty hard this week because for many of you, I think, the vision of the next 50 years that we have considered now over the last 7 or so days together, perhaps wasn’t really known, or at least not known well, before we commenced our work. As a consequence of that, some of you might have struggled a little bit with the pace of the information and with the variety of new information that you have had. Let me tell you this, you will walk out of here and you will forget what you didn’t know, by which I mean, you will say, “Oh, yes,” in a week’s time, “the fifty year jubilee period, I know that, I’ve always known that.” That might be true, but now you will be familiar with it, you see, and if you were to listen to these talks again, well, I think, everything would make complete sense. I would encourage you to do that because this is the vision of the next fifty years, and we talk about the world coming into the ecclesia and the cares of this life taking its toll on our faith, there is nothing more calculated to assist us as we prepare for the coming of the Lord than a vision of what is about to occur. I mean, the Proverbs say, that “without a vision, the people perish.” This is the immediate vision, brothers and sisters of the events shortly to come to pass. Of any vision that we might want to have of the kingdom age, surely, surely, this has got to be right up there amongst them. So I encourage you to apply your minds to this if it has been new information for you; don’t choke at the quantity of the information, put it together and make it  your own, because, you know what?  it is really not that difficult, it’s actually not that difficult.

The false prophet.

We’ve talked about the dragon, we’ve talked about the beast, and now we are going to talk about the false prophet. You remember, the kingdom of men, as it is described in the phrase, “Babylon the Great,” that we’ve read now a number of times, in Revelation Ch 16, is comprised of three parts, the dragon, beast and false prophet, relating to the military, the economic and the religious aspects of that kingdom, and you must understand, as we come to talk about the false prophet this afternoon,  that he is an extremely formidable power. It is the false prophet who is going to unite the dragon of the eastern Roman Empire and the beast of the Western Roman Empire together, prior to the battle of Armageddon, after the armies of the Europeans, and those of the rest of the world are destroyed upon the mountains of Israel. It is this false prophet that will unite the ten-horned beast and charge him directly into the line of fire of the man on the horse of Revelation Ch 19. Consider therefore, just how powerful this system is.

The Pope and the Catholic Church

When you come to the book of Revelation, and we talked about the religious symbols that are used here, there are more than one. There is not just the false prophet.  Revelation 12 and 17 speak about a woman, which is clearly a religious system. Revelation 13 speaks about the image of the beast, which as we will explain shortly, is also part of the religious system and Revelation 16 and 19 both speak of the false prophet, what’s the difference between each of those three things? Well, it is very simple. The false prophet is an individual, it’s a person, it’s a male, it is the Pope. The personality, the person, of the Pope is the false prophet. The woman? well she is a religious system, not an individual, she is the Catholic Church, so you could think of the false prophet as the one who is the head of the woman who is the Catholic Church, and the image of the beast? well the image of the beast is an empire, it’s not a person, it’s not a church system, it’s actually an empire, and it’s an empire that the Papacy between the years 1073 and 1870, you can see it on the screen, it’s an empire the Papacy created around the city of Rome during that 800 or so years. When we say “the image of the beast,” we mean an image or an “icon” in the Greek, a copy of the “sea” beast. So all we are saying is the Pope created a miniature Roman Empire down in Rome, that’s what he did, and it lasted for that period of time. We will get to that and explain that.

The Power of the Papacy

This is what we are going to do this evening, brothers and sisters and young people, I’ve just drawn a graph here, of the power of the Papacy over time, and on the top, all these boxes on the top, are the various things that have happened to the Papacy or the Papacy has done to increase its power and the boxes on the bottom are the things that the Papacy has done or the things that have happened to it that have decreased its power. So between 312 AD when Constantine first adopts Christianity, and forges the Papacy out of the apostate Christian Church that existed in the Roman Empire at that time, we have various rises and falls, waxes and wanes over time, and you can see a catastrophic fall after the years of the French Revolution and the meteoric rise in the 20th century. I mean, this is the story of the Papacy and this is where she gets to prior to her destruction by the Lord Jesus Christ. I am just going to go through this history and show you what’s happened over time, and where it’s going to get to. That’s what we are going to do.

Constantine adopts Christianity

So, 312 AD, Constantine adopts Christianity, but very shortly afterwards the barbarians attack Rome and the Pope’s life is in peril by the barbarians who weren’t Trinitarians. Well not long after 533 AD Justinian come from Constantinople with his army as we have read in Revelation Ch 13 and he supports the power of the Papacy, in fact, he makes a decree followed by Focus 100 years later, who also makes a decree, vesting all religious supremacy of the Roman Empire in the Pontiff. They pass off the scene, the Eastern Roman Empire gets preoccupied fighting the Saracens who come up from the East and the Lombards start to March down the Italian Peninsula, and the Pope is imperilled again. He writes a quick letter to his friend in France called Charlemagne, and Charlemagne gets together with the Pope in 800 AD and they create the Holy Roman Empire, which we have already found is the beast of the earth of Revelation Ch 13. Then having created that empire, it’s very clear who’s boss, the emperors dominate the Popes. It wasn’t really a fair fight between Charlemagne and the Pope, the Pope asked Charlemagne for assistance and Charlemagne and his successors were very clear on the fact that the Pope did what he was told. So it was a two-horned lamb but you might say, one horn was bigger than the other until 1077 AD. In 1077 you had this famous issue of what was called the “investiture controversy.” Who had the right to decide who became a bishop, the Pope or the emperor? In that conflict that happened in 1077 AD, the Pope won. All of a sudden, the Pope’s more powerful than the Emperor. Think of it like this, what could the Emperor say to you if you said that you wouldn’t obey him? He could say, “I will kill you.” What could the Pope say if you said you wouldn’t obey him? Well, he could say, and he did, “I will kill you forever.” You can see, that if the Pope’s a clever politician he’s going to win that war.

1077 AD happens, and from there, the Papacy went from strength to strength, and then began the Crusades followed by the Inquisition in Spain, followed by selling of indulgences and she got ridiculously powerful and fabulously wealthy, but she abused her power, and the bubble burst in France, and there was a Revolution and the Papacy, because of what she had done, with the nobility and the King fell into a very great hole, they fell out of favour. Revolutions were kindled across the rest of Europe and the Papacy lost all her power, she came back after Napoleon’s death, the Papal States were reinstated to the Papacy and then Italy unifies and becomes a modern State.

The Papacy broke and powerless

By the beginning of the 20th Century, the Papacy was broke and powerless and in fact, imprisoned in the Vatican City. She was a non-entity at the start of the 20th Century and from there, even today, she is more powerful than she has ever been in her entire existence and she is going to get more powerful yet, prior to her destruction by the Lord Jesus Christ. There’s the story, there’s if you like, the five-minute potted history of the Papacy over the last best part 2,000 years. And if we were to put our beasts on the map, the only one now relevant to us is the “image of the beast” as we have described, is Rome. The false prophet lives in Rome, the woman lives in Rome in the sense that she is the administration of the Catholic Church, and the “image of the beast” lives in Rome because it is a territory, lives in the Papal States. The Pope lives in Rome, he controlled at one point the Papal States which were a small area around the city of Rome that the Pope ran.

Two capitals in the empire

OK, come back to 330 AD. This is a slide that is very familiar to you, we have made the point now, looking at the slide, that Constantine established two capitals in the Empire, Rome already existed as the capital. He established the second capital as Constantinople and that became the residence of the dragon because the dragon is the military power of the Roman Empire. Constantinople was established, first and foremost, as a military capital by Constantine and he subsequently moved his throne there and it became the military and the administrative capital of the Roman Empire. But do you understand the enormous unintended consequence of Constantine having established Constantinople? What do you think it meant to the Papacy left in Rome that Constantine established Constantinople? Now you might look at that from a distance and say, “Well, the army’s left Rome, it’s all moved to Constantinople, the Pope’s an unguarded man, he’s precariously balanced in Rome.” Not true. Look, “the foundation of Constantinople” historians tell us, “marks one of the great periods             of change in the annals of the world. The removal of the seat of the Empire from Rome and the absence of a secular competitor allowed Papal authority to grow up and develop it’s secret strength. The fact that the Emperor had left Rome to the Pope allowed the Pope to develop unfettered as a competitor to the Emperor. By the side of imperial power the Pope would hardly have gained more political important than the patriarch of Constantinople.” You see what that’s saying? So Constantine goes and lives in Constantinople and there’s a religious figurehead there as well, that Patriarch of Constantinople could do nothing alongside the enormous power of the Roman Emperor. But over there in Rome, hundreds of miles away, he had the city to himself.
That was exactly what the Papacy needed to grow, you see, the extinction of the Western Empire, that is once the Roman Empire in the west fell, left all the awe that attached to the old Roman name or which followed the possession of the Imperial City, to gather round the tiara of the Pontiff, he inherited all the auspicious accolades of the ancient Roman Empire because he was the preeminent representative of ancient Rome, living in Rome. All the historicity of that Empire fell at the feet of the Pope and he adopted everything, you see. He became famous as the western representative.

Biblical doctrines of the Millenium and the return of Christ discarded

Well, other things began to change as well. As the Papacy now developed its empire, any doctrines that spoke of an Empire to come, and as the kingdom age would replace the kingdom of men, they had to go, they had to be deleted from Church teaching. Look, “the ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected to the second coming of Christ,” of course, because the Bible says so, “but when the edifice of the Church was almost completed the temporary support was laid aside. The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth came to be treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd and invention of heresy and fanaticism.” Now what’s happened? Well think of it like this, you see the picture I’ve got there of the woman standing on the moon, clothed with the sun, that’s the picture that you see in Revelation Ch 12. And in Revelation Ch 12 it says “that the woman is in heaven,” she was one of the “wonders in heaven.” Now contrast that to the pictures we’ve already painted in Revelation 14 and Revelation 19 where you have the saints in heaven, the temple in heaven, what’s the difference? Well the woman in heaven means the church in government, the temple in heaven means the ecclesia in government. This woman accepted the promotion to government by Constantine, she couldn’t wait till Christ came and let him promote her to government, she wanted the government now, she took the government now. Therefore, any prospect, any hint that the Bible might have that Christ has got a government to come, and that the saints are going to take a government of the future, that must be expunged forthwith from Catholic teaching, she’s got her kingdom now. No interest in talking about a kingdom to come, no interest whatsoever, that’s what heretics and fanatics talk about, the kingdom age, don’t be ridiculous, you see? and you can see why she says that.

Well, 476 AD the Western Empire has fallen, the ten barbarian horns encroach upon the Western Empire and the Pope’s in peril so he appeals to his friend Justinian, from the dragon in the east, and Justinian comes over and not only does he militarily defeat the Barbarians and recovers much of the Italian Peninsula and beyond, he makes a declaration, that the Pope is the head of all the Holy Churches. He’s the head, now of course, that did not go down at all well in Constantinople, because there was a religious figurehead in Constantinople who resented being one of the Churches that the Pope was the head of and so it is Focus in 607 AD who makes the follow up decree, we say he “confirmed the decree of Justinian,” but he did more than that, he was explicit. The Pope’s the head over all the Churches and Christendom, including Constantinople, including Constantinople. That’s it, we’ve got the Pontiff now stands alone, he’s not even really the first among equals, he’s “first” period! as a consequence of Focus’ decree.

Well, as we explained, that was all right, but the armies of the Eastern Empire soon became involved fighting the Saracens and so now the barbarians are becoming stronger and stronger again in the west, and now the Lombards are charging down the Italian Peninsula and we’ve not got to appeal to France, and France is now going to come in and create, as you know, as we’ve spoken about, the Holy Roman Empire, but now things are different, now things are very different. Charlemagne had a father, what was Charlemagne’s dad called? Pethin! “Pethin the short,” actually, he wasn’t a very big fellow, in contrast to Charlemagne who apparently, legend says, was seven feet tall. I mean, he couldn’t write but he didn’t question Charlemagne’s academic ability, as you understand. Pethin makes a donation, about fifty years before this, he makes a donation to the Pope called the “donation of Pethin,” and it’s was a donation of land. It was land that Pethin took from the Lombards, they took it back and Charlemagne had to assist the Pope.  Charlemagne eventually took the crown of the Lombards, he inherited the Lombardi title. Nevertheless, the big point here is, we’ve now created the Papal States in the green at the bottom of your map. The Pope is not just a protector as a religious figure here, he is now a land owner, a land owner, so he’s got farms, he’s got taxes, he’s got crops, he’s got a little country, not just Vatican City, he’s actually got a little country, and you can see, this country stretches from coast to coast across the centre of Italy. This will become extremely important as time progresses, if there’s a war the Pope had an army living in that country.

The Cadaver Synod

This brings now to, we’ve got to 800 – 900 AD and this is one of the most infamous periods of the history of the Popes. We know they have committed some atrocities and shed the blood of the saints before and after this. This period of time, the 800s to 900s, was infamous because of the incompetence of the Popes and I am just going to show you this, and you must understand, this is the nature of “God’s representative on earth.” These are the “spiritual leaders” of the world. When you get home, go and look up the Cadaver Synod.  Poor old Pope Formosus, ruled between 891AD and 896 AD, and he had a bit of a troubled Papacy, did Pope Formosus, so that after his death, his remains were exhumed, they were dressed up in his Papal robes, and he was put on trial. I mean he was a corpse, he was a dead corpse and they put him on trial! He didn’t answer. Pope Stephen leads the trial, the verdict was that the deceased had been unworthy of the Pontificate, so all his pronouncements were annulled and the Papal vestments were torn off him, the three fingers of his right hand that he used to bless the Church were cut off, and his body was dumped in the Tiber River. He’s a corpse! then his remains began to emerge, his body washes up on the bank and begins performing miracles, there’s a public uprising, Stephen who lead the trial was put in prison, when he was in prison he gets strangled, so the next Pope Theodore takes the throne. He convenes the Synod  and he says, “I’m going to annul the Cadaver Synod,” I’m going to reinstate Formosus, I’m going to order his body to be reburied in St Peter’s in full Pontifical vestments. 898 AD, Pope John the 9thtakes the throne, he agrees with Theodore and he prohibits any further trial of a dead person. Very wise.  Ah, but in 904 AD Sergius the 3rd turns up as the Pope, and he happens to be a Bishop who took part in the trial of Formosus, he reaffirms all the old convictions and he has a complimentary epitaph inscribed on the tomb of Stephen, “he was the fellow who was strangled in prison.” I put this up as comic relief, what a ridiculous situation we have in the Papacy. These are “God’s representatives,” these are the spiritual figureheads of the Catholic Church, and that’s what we’ve got. Napoleon can’t come soon enough!

The “investiture controversy”

Now fast forward another 100 years to 1077 AD. The Popes at this point are dominated by the Emperors and so they ought to be, look at them, completely dominated by the emperors until 1077 AD. This is the “investiture controversy,” the high water mark of the Papacy up until this time. The two opponents, Pope Gregory 7th  fellow called Hildebrand, that was his name, but he took the name Gregory and assumed the Pontificate. Pope Gregory 7th and Emperor Henry 4th of Germany, and the issue was, “Who can vest Bishops with the Bishoprick? These days, Bishops were Princes, you see, and this was a big issue because Bishops being Princes, they controlled the State, they were major land owners and those land owners had a lot of people working for them and those people became the armies of the Emperor whenever the Emperor went to war, now the Emperor was keen to appoint Bishops, therefore, I mean, “Bishops,” read “Princes,” the emperor was keen to appoint these Bishops who were loyal to him and he often sold the position of the Bishoprick for a lot of money. Pope Gregory says, “No, these are religious offices, they ought to be appointed by the Pope and, by the way, so should the Emperor.” You’ve got to read the famous letter from Henry IV to Pope Gregory VII, “Henry, King, not through usurpation, but through the holy ordination of God, to Hildebrande, at present, not Pope, but false monk, be condemned,” but of course, he used stronger language. Gregory responded by excommunicating Henry. Henry wasn’t popular, immediately all the German princes rebelled against Henry, they built their own forts and they prepared to defend themselves against him, and now Henry has lost his army. He’s a Holy Roman Emperor without an army, well, he’s got no choice. The Pope was very afraid of Henry because Henry was a powerful enough man and the Pope had scuttled off to Canossa Castle where the dot is on that map in northern Italy, well Henry marches up to Canossa Castle, cap in hand, waits three days in the snow, for the Pope to open the door and grant him forgiveness. This was the turning point in the middle ages. For the first time the Pope had demonstrated superiority to the Emperor, and the people had agreed with the Pope. Now why is that significant? because of this, that defines the “image of the beast.” Now the investiture controversy began to happen in 1077, Pope Gregory VII began in his reign as the Pope in 1073, and the point I’ve made, dear brothers and sisters and young people, when we are talking about the “image of the beast,” we are talking about a little Papal empire where the Pope assumes the role of an emperor. He doesn’t pretend to be the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, but he acts like an emperor. Therefore, when you pick the start date of the “image of the beast,” you’ve got to have a time when the Pope was demonstrably an Emperor. So historians look at the “investiture controversy,” and the issue of Canossa and say clearly, “that was the first time where the emperor bowed to the Pope,” that’s the beginning of the “image of the beast,” you see. And why is it the image of the beast? this is why. “The Pope created an empire which was a duplicate in its structure with the Roman Empire,” that is, with the empire of the beast of the sea of Western Europe, “It was truly Roman in its structure, the hierarchy of the Pope, the Archdiocese, the Diocese, the Parish was in the tradition of Diocletian’s imperial reorganisation. Within the Episcopal system the See of Rome enjoyed a special authority, the Roman Church was accepted as a first among equals,” by which they mean here, first among themselves and Constantinople. You can see, Pope, Archbishop, Bishop, Pastor, is a direct duplication of the hierarchical structure of the old Roman Empire.        Hence, “the image of the beast,” it is an “icon,” it is a copy of the administrative structure of the “beast of the sea.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

Well, the years went by, the Papal power increased and increased and it abused its position and it abused its position in a wholesale manner, and then it happened, and it happened in France, and you can see the cartoon, the “third estate,” the peasant class, the bourgeoisie of France, being ridden upon by the king, Louis XVI, by the “first estate,” the clergy and by the “second estate,” the nobility and of the 23m of people in France, 1m of them rode on the back of the 23m who did all the work and paid all the taxes and who lived in squalor. Well, it couldn’t last, it was not a sustainable model, and there’s a revolution in France. The Emperor, the Pope and the aristocracy had caused the problem and so they were the prime targets. Well, one thing leads to another and the convention in France, that is the government, the improvisionist government brings in Napoleon Bonaparte to bring order back to the country. In order to support the old monarchy, and to reinstall a Bourbon King back on the French throne, many other surrounding countries attack France. One of the armies, one of the armies that attacked France was the army of the Papal States. Big mistake! Very big mistake.  Napoleon went berserk, he went utterly berserk, and one after another the countries of Europe fell. In 1796, Napoleon invaded Italy and defeated the Papal army. Pious VI sued for peace and he thought he had it under control, when rioters killed the French ambassador in Rome, the French marched on Rome and they entered the city unopposed. They proclaimed a Roman republic, they demanded the Pope renounce his temporal authority, when he refused, they took him prisoner along with all the Papal regalia which they then proceeded to melt down. Now we are talking about all the standards, all the chalices, all the cups, all the silver wear, they melted it to ingots. These were the holy objects of the Catholic Church, they were scrap metal, nothing was sacred, not even the tiara, this is that fish head thing that the Pope wears on his head. They even stole that, these are the French soldiers, they came and the looted the Vatican Palace, they even stole the tiara, so that in 1800, when it came time to crown a new Pope they had to make a tiara for him out of paper Mache! There was more to come, in 1809, Napoleon goes back and he annexes the Papal States as part of the French Empire. Pious VII responds with a bull of excommunication. The Papacy excommunicates Napoleon, Napoleon’s reply? “In these enlightened days, only children and nursemaids are afraid of curses.” Seven hundred years earlier, the Emperor would have gone down on bended knee in the snow and begged forgiveness. Napoleon says, “don’t be ridiculous, lock him up.” Don’t you love him? He’s a worldling, he’s an out and out worldling is Napoleon, but look what he did for us and to that church system. While the Papacy declines, and this is how the Bible represents it, come with me to Revelation Ch 17:16, she’s getting toward her lowest ebb and the beast has flung the woman off its back and is preparing now to tear her limb from limb. The Catholic Church is falling out of favour day after day in Western Europe, and it says in v 16, “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, for God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will and to agree to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God should be fulfilled. Now if you were to stand back, brothers and sisters and young people and take a big look at Revelation Ch 17, you might wonder why I’ve read v 16 and 17 with reference to the French Revolution, when, as you read for example, v 3, about a beast with the woman riding on its back, it’s an evident reference to the formation to the European Union, which is a long time after the French Revolution. The question arises, what are these latter verses of Revelation 17 really talking about? Are we expecting to see for example a chronological flow through Revelation Ch 17, culminating in a yet future hatred of the whore by the ten-horned powers of Europe? and the answer is, “No we are not.” Revelation Ch 17:15-18 is actually an appendix to the chapter which happens before v 1. How do we know? We know for three reasons. The first reason, look at v 15, then look at v 18, those two verses are appendix verses, they are explanatory verses. So the first point would be, while v 15-18 of Revelation Ch 17 are appendix verses, it would make good sense  v 16 and 17 were too. Secondly, in v 12, the horns of the beast make war with the lamb and they are overcome in v 14, I mean the beast is killed, in Revelation Ch 17:14. The problem is that the horns are still alive it appears in v 16. Well that would mean that v 16 must take place at some time prior to the destruction of the beast in v 14, so you see, the chapters are evidently out of order. The third point, in v 3, the woman rides the beast, so clearly the kings of the earth love the woman because they are happy to let her ride on their back, after the formation of the European Union in 1957. When the woman is finally destroyed in Revelation Ch 18: 8, it tells you in v 9 that the Kings of the earth mourn her destruction. So evidently when the woman is destroyed, the kings of the earth love the woman still. If these last verses therefore of Revelation 17 are not an appendix, what we must expect to see is a time, somewhere between now and the destruction of the woman in year 20 where the European horns love her and then hate her and then come back to love her again all in, what appears to me to be, an extremely short period of time. It’s not possible. You can’t have Europe love the Papacy then hate the Papacy and threaten to kill her and then love it again, all in the next 20, 30, well how far away is Christ, you see, it is just too soon a time, so Revelation 17:15-18 are an appendix, they are speaking about events that happen to the woman during the French Revolution prior to the commencement of v 1 of this chapter.

The Papal States restored to the Papacy

Well, here is what the girl looks like after the French Revolution and things haven’t finished yet. The horns hate the woman, what that means is that all the kings across Western Europe hated Catholicism, they all wanted to get rid of the shackles of Catholicism and the hamstring that Catholicism has caused them for the last 1,000 years, so there were revolutions percolating across Europe from West to East. And then it happens in Italy, it happens in Italy. After the battle of Waterloo you see, Napoleon was finished, the Congress of Vienna restored the pre-Napoleonic governments of Europe, because Napoleon took most of Europe. The Papal States were restored to the Papacy. The French Revolution had lit the powder keg, revolutions are happening across Europe, and by 1870, Italy itself was agitating for unification.  Now what do we mean by unification? Well, it is not clear on this map, but do you remember where the Papal States were, they were like a diagonal line across Italy from west to east. And what the Pope had done in controlling that central portion of Italy was that he had cut off north Italy from south Italy for 1,000 years. The only way to go from north to south, well there were two ways, you could get on a ship and you could sail around, or you could pay a tax and go through the Papal States. The Pope, therefore, by virtue of the fact that he controlled that strip of land from coast to coast across Italy, could basically put the brake on any united Italian progress. Well they had enough, and Victor Emmanuel comes down from the north and Giuseppe Garibaldi comes up from the south, there wasn’t complete agreement between those two because both of them wanted to run the place. Garibaldi submits to Victor Emmanuel, they unite Italy and they confiscate the Papal States and they make it part of unified Italy and they make Italy into a modern republic. The Pope is utterly outraged extremely furious that he has just lost the Papal States, and says, well, that’s it, I’m no longer going to leave the Vatican. The rest of the world can live life without me, I’m not leaving the Vatican I don’t accept the authority of the new Italian Government, so he makes himself a prisoner in the Vatican City and that lasted for 60 years. He was a prisoner, but he doesn’t stay quiet, in the very same year in 1870, they hold the first Vatican Council. The Pope at that Council proclaims the doctrine of Papal infallibility, by which he meant, “whenever I sit in a Bishop’s chair,” and the Greek word for “chair” is Cathiso, a Cathedral is a church with a chair, “whenever I speak from the Bishop’s chair, in a Cathedral, the words that I speak are the inspired words of God, when I speak on articles of faith.” That is, “whenever I speak Ex-Cathedra, I’m inspired.” No longer does he fight using a sword now, he fights using the pen, you see, extremely significant. 1870 the Pope has lost his temporal power, that means he has lost his control of land, and that ends “the image of the beast,” that’s the end of it. He rises the very next day and he is the “false prophet.” He is called “the false prophet” because of the doctrine of Ex-Cathedra, which he proclaimed in the year 1870. He is still, as far as Revelation is concerned, “the false prophet.” The “image of the beast” is now dead, the “false prophet” is risen from the ashes. 60 years go by, eventually the Pope has had enough of living in isolation in the Vatican and he signs the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini in 1929. It is called the “Lateran Treaty,” because it was signed in the Lateran Palace, and it basically agreed that the Italian Government would give the Pope his own autonomy within the Vatican City, they would create a new country called the Vatican City, and the Pope would have autonomy in that city, and yes, the Italian State would pick up his garbage and give him clean water and electricity and so forth, because of course it is a very tiny city. All five Popes have remained confined in the Vatican. By 1929 the Papacy was at its lowest ebb for 1,000 years, no money, no land, no status, but since 1929 what’s happened has been the events of Revelation Ch 17, absolutely sensational, we called it meteoric, it is, the sensational rise in power and in prestige for the Papacy, and just look at this. It says in Revelation 17:3 “He carried me away into the wilderness and I saw a woman sit on a scarlet-colored beast full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns,” so there’s the first point, “she sits astride the scarlet-colored beast.” The Beast is the European Union of Western Europe, the Treaty of Rome as we found out a couple of nights ago was signed in the Lateran Palace in Rome. So the Papacy presides in 1957 over the formation of, we call it here, the EEC, the European Economic Community, it’s now names The European Union. So she is on  the back of the beast, so 30 years after 1929, she’s climbed aboard the beast of Western Europe and she’s guiding it now, where she wants to go. It says in v 4, that the woman “was arrayed in purple and scarlet color and decked in gold.” I mean, there’s no dispute about who we are identifying here, she’s got a “golden-cup in her hand,” has this woman. V 5 says that “on her forehead is the word Mystery.” Do you know when the priest consecrates the bread and wine in a Catholic mass, he pronounces what is called the “mysterium thedae” of faith, and the mystery of faith is that the bread turns into the flesh of Christ and the wine turns into the blood of Christ, by the doctrine of trans-substantiation. It is one of the mysteries of the Catholic Church, and they explicitly state it as a mystery when the Pope “consecrates” the emblems of the Catholic Church. She “trades in the souls of men,” that’s a reference to Ch 18:13, unbelievable.

The Vatican in the modern world

Look at this, here is the Vatican in the modern world. The Vatican offers time of purgatory to followers of St Francis’ “tweets,” I ask you? And in its latest attempts to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering indulgences to the followers of Pope Francis’ “tweets.” So, if you follow Pope Francis on facebook, and you are bad, you can reduce the years of hell-fire by quoting this, unbelievable. “I shall suffer no loss of children,” now here’s the Pope meeting the Patriarch of Moscow, and we made the point about the significance of that in terms of the fact that the Papacy in the west was linking with eastern orthodoxy, or Russian orthodoxy in the east, and that it would be the iron that unites the feet and toes of Daniels image in Daniel Ch 2. Well, that’s one thing, from the point of view of Revelation Ch 17, however,                can you see that the Papacy is bringing all the daughters home? Who is the boss of this relationship? There is no question, the Patriarch owns 160m followers, the Pope owns 1.2b followers, it is not an equal contest between these two, and now that Putin has instructed the Patriarch to go and meet the Pope and do what the Pope says, there is no question about where this is all leading, all the children are coming back to the Catholic Church. So there are two vitally significant prophetic symbolisms established in this event. 1. The unity of the iron re-forming the empire, and 2. the daughter churches all coming back home, albeit, reluctantly.

The third secret of Fatima

“And lying wonders,” have you ever heard of “the third secret of Fatima,” what happened in Fatima, which is a little city in Portugal, in 1917 on May 13, at least three children saw a vision of the Virgin Mary, so they say, and the Virgin Mary spoke to them on more than one occasion and gave them these revelations. Well, the first two were published immediately and the third was only published I think in 1960 and the last portion apparently was published in the year 2000. Cardinal Joseph Ratsinger, after June 26, 2000, in a private conversation with a personal friend of Pope John Paul ii was asked, was the “whole third secret revealed in your press conference?” Ratsinger admitted “truly, that was not all of it.” What’s the point? The point that the churches say, “there is as an yet an unrevealed portion of revelation to these three children that awaits fulfilment. The speculation, based on what part of this third vision has been reavealed is that it involves the Catholic conversion of Russia. That’s what, apparently, is the substance of the third secret of Fatima. I mean, it is a lot of hogwash, but understand, that the gullible are captivated by this, and the church uses this and releases these little titbits as it needs to keep an unsuspecting population under its control.

And Ch 17:2 says, this Papacy will have “committed fornication with the Kings of the earth,” can you believe this, here is the funeral of Pope John Paul ii, 2005. “There were 4m people at his funeral, 4m people. It was the largest gathering of national heads of state that there has ever been in history. There is never a gathering of heads of State like this outside of United Nations meeting. At the funeral, not only were there 4m people, there were 4 kings, 5 queens, 70 presidents and 14 leaders of other religions, even the Patriarch of Constantinople turned up to the funeral of Pope John ii, the first time that a Patriarch of Constantinople has ever attended a Papal funeral in 1,000 years. Can you see, he’s come out of the ashes in 1929 and is rocketing to be the most powerful man in the world, decade after decade, enormously increasing his power.

The destruction of the woman

And look at her now, this is where the Papacy is headed for, come with me to Revelation 18:7,  by the time she is finally destroyed by Christ and the saints, she thinks she has won, brothers and sisters and young people, she thinks she has won, because she controls the entire world. Revelation 18:7, “How much she had glorified herself lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her, because she has said in her heart, I sit a Queen and am no widow and shall see no sorrow,” “nothing, nothing can possibly go wrong for me, I have recovered my life from the French Revolution and from the unification of Italy, nothing can go wrong, I ride the back of the beast, I’ve got the armies of ten kings, I am bullet-proof, nothing can take me down,” she says.  In v 8 “therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, mourning, famine, she shall utterly be burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. So at the pinnacle of her power, the greatest ascent of power she will have had for 2,000 years, she is killed, she is killed.

Now you can understand the significance of this because when John sees this woman on the back of the beast, in Revelation 17: 6, it says, “I saw that woman,” John says, “drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus and when I saw her I wondered with great admiration.” The word “wondered,” and the word “admiration,” are the same word. He didn’t “admire” her, “I wondered with great wonderment,” he had never seen anything like it, but there is more to this than meets the eye. You see, it is obvious that she feels secure because the kings of the world all now love her, so she is as far away from the effects of the French Revolution as she ever could be, but she’s got children, she’s got children, who are the children? V 5, “On her forehead, mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots,” so she’s a harlot and her daughters are harlots like her. But that proves to you, you see, is that just before she dies, the ecumenical drive of Catholicism will have been successful, all the daughter-churches have come home by time she dies, even Russia, even Russia, has come back home, and she is in control of world-government, riding this beast, she’s in control of world-religion. She is the strongest she has been in her entire history, and she says, the last words of Revelation 8:7, as your margin will tell you, are a quote from Isaiah 47:7-8. On the screen I’ve got Isa 47:7-8, they are a portion of the judgment upon Babylon in Isaiah 47, and Babylon says, “Ha, I shall be a lady forever,” so that thou didst not lay these things to heart, “I am none else and none else beside me, I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children,” but these two things shall come to thee in a moment, in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood.” In 24 hours, you won’t exist. She pretends that she has got longevity that ancient Babylon thought it had. Well, she is wrong, her plagues come in one day, utter destruction.

The history of the two women

But now think about this. Here’s the contrast, because as you know, the book of Revelation talks about two women, so understanding the astonishment in which John sees her, what does that mean to us? Well, the contrast between the true bride and the false bride in the book of Revelation is extremely clear, one is called Babylon, the other is called Jerusalem, one sits on many waters, the other sits on a sea of glass, one commits fornication, the other is a virgin, one is in the wilderness, the other is in heaven in government, one sits on a scarlet-colored beast the other stands on Mt Zion, one is full of the names of blasphemy, the other is full of her father’s name, one is clothed in purple and scarlet, the other is clothed in white, one lives in luxury, the other’s got great tribulation, one is possessed with mystery, in the case of the other, the mystery is finished, one’s a queen, the other is a bride, one when she dies, they wail and lament, the saints sorrow no more, the enemies rejoice over her, but she rejoices with the Lamb; come out of her says, of the Catholic Church, come to me he says, in Revelation Ch 22. You can see the enormous contrast between two women, one who wanted to ascend to heaven now and the other who is prepared to wait to ascend to government when the Lord invites her to take a throne.

What’s not so clear, is perhaps the degree of imitation used by the Catholic Church. Look at Ch 17:4. Have you ever seen this? “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.” Why is she decked in gold, precious stones and pearls? Why does it say that? Why does she particularly choose those things to wear? You come with me to Revelation 21 and I will show you. It is very easy. She is a counterfeit system, she imitates true religion. What is Revelation 21 about? It is all about “New Jerusalem,” and look in New Jerusalem, at Revelation 21:18 , “the building of the wall as it was of Jasper and the city was of pure gold. V 19, the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. V 21, and the twelve gates were twelve pearls, she wears, gold, precious stones and pearls, you see, because New Jerusalem v 18-21, is adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls. do you want to know the difference between these two cities, if you like? Come back to Revelation Ch 17:4, and look in your margin, it says she was “decked” with gold, precious stones and pearls, well your margin tells you the meaning of the word “decked,” she was “gilded.” What does “gilded” mean? It means to cover thinly, the point is, it is not solid gold, they are not solid precious stones, they are not solid pearls, she is gilded with them. They are painted on, you see, it looked solid, but it is a completely superficial religion, but when she dies in Revelation Ch 18, when she is destroyed, the world is utterly outraged, the kings of the earth are utterly outraged, and as a consequence of that, because the Pope survives the destruction of the city of Rome, they are prepared to garner their support behind the Pope and charge into battle with the “man on the horse.” What has outraged the kings of the earth at the destruction of the woman in Revelation 18:7-8?  Well, I can tell you in Revelation 18:16 what the kings say, they said “Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, and purple and scarlet, and decked with gold, precious stones and pearls, she was a good Christian girl, why did the Lord Jesus Christ destroy her? How dare he destroy her? And the kings get together, behind the Pope and prepare to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ for destroying this beautiful girl. Of course the Lord could read her like a book, and the kings can’t, because they are her lovers, as it says in the early verses of Revelation Ch 17.

The definition of a Catholic

You know, it would be a mistake, brothers and sisters, if we didn’t take a personal lesson from this,  what is the real definition of a Catholic, isn’t it just someone who is superficially religious? someone who thinks they will get looked after in the end because they are part of a system, that their baptism in some way, gives them a ticket to salvation, and despite the fact that their life is basically worldly, and completely inconsistent with the principles of this book, they will be accepted beaus God says he loves them, isn’t that how Catholics think? What would that look like if it crept into the ecclesia? What would it look like in terms of our attendance? Would you say, that it would be like going to the meeting Sunday morning and forgetting every other class of the week because we are just too busy? What would it look like in terms of our spirituality, would you say, perhaps it could be that there was no real need to do the Bible study because that’s the speaker’s job? What would it look like in terms of our worship? Wouldn’t that be the use of modern music that talks all about what Christ has done for us and nothing about what our responsibilities are to him? Isn’t that how Catholicism works? You don’t have to attend anything but Sundays, and in fact, if you can’t make it, that’s fine, just turn up at Xmas and Easter. Bible study? you don’t even need a Bible to be a Catholic, we pay people to do the Bible Study for you, and music? You know it is very unlikely that we are going to fall under the influence of the Catholic Church as Christadelphians, but do you think it is possible we could fall under the influence of her daughters? I mean, the Pentecostals aren’t Catholics, and for us to follow the lead of those sort of people wouldn’t be to follow the lead of the harlot, but it would be to follow the daughters of the harlot, it’s the same thing. The critical point here that I am making you see is to understand what makes us different to Catholics, to understand what Christadelphia came out of, to understand the spilt blood of saints, I mean, they want you to call them brother and sister, you couldn’t speak the word, there’s just too much shed blood, could you, that’s what they want, and therefore to understand the difference between us and them is to apply a degree of separation in our lives from the things she stands for, even if the things she stands for we are seeing manifested in the Protestant churches. It is exactly the same, they are all coming home, in every sense of the definition.

The Hallelujah Chorus

And when that woman is destroyed, and when you come to Revelation Chapter 19, look at the reaction. Revelation Ch 19 is the Hallelujah chorus, which is the chorus that is raised by Christ and the saints at the destruction of the Catholic Church, but you’ve got to read carefully, look at v 1,”And after these things, I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying, Hallelujah, salvation, glory honor and power unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judgments, because he has judged the great whore who has corrupted the earth with her fornication, he’s avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” So there is the destruction of the harlot woman in Revelation Ch 17, but now look at v 3 “and again they said hallelujah and her smoke rose up for ever and ever, and the four and twenty elders and the four living ones fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, Amen, hallelujah,” and the critical point to observe in v 3 is that when it says, “and again they said, hallelujah,” the word “again” there means, a second time, that is to say, there are two “hallelujahs” here, and in the case of the second one, v. 3-4, it is called an “Amen” hallelujah. The cause of the first “hallelujah,” of course, was the destruction of the great whore in v 2, what’s the cause of the second “hallelujah?” Well, v 4, “her smoke rises up forever.” What’s happening? When are these two “hallelujah’s” sung? Well now, recall the structure of the 50 years. You see, as far as Roman religion is concerned, there are two great destructions, the first one occurs in the 20th year when the city of Rome is destroyed, that is the destruction of the woman, and therefore the administration and hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Yes, I am aware that the Pope escapes, but the church system is destroyed when Rome falls into a big crevasse in the ground in the 20th year. 30 years later, we’ve destroyed Catholic Europe. The vintage of the earth has been harvested and there is another celebration, a second Hallel, the first one occurs in v 1, the second one occurs in v 3, and v 4, Amen hallelujah, in the 50th year, and perhaps for those who are taking notes, you might like to notice that this phrase at the end of v 4 “Amen hallelujah,” is speaking, as Bro Thomas says, of the “Amen” of Revelation 5:14, the transaction between the angels and the saints, and the handing over of the reigns of government from the angels to the saints happens at the “Amen hallelujah,” it happens in the 50th year, once everything is resolved.

I’m not going to speak about it now because our time is done and I, didn’t plan to speak about it, I will give you just one other point of interest here, look at Revelation 19:7-9, I will just mention it because it is interesting and you may ask me about it, we have in v 7 recorded the marriage of the Lamb, and we have in v 9 recorded the marriage supper of the Lamb. They are different, they are not the same thing. The Marriage of the Lamb in v 7 is the wedding, the marriage supper of the Lamb in v 9 is the wedding reception. The Marriage of the Lamb happens at Sinai, right after judgment. The marriage supper of the lamb, the wedding reception, happens in year 50, after the second Hallel. It is not until that woman. that harlot system is utterly expunged from the earth that the Lord Jesus Christ conducts the marriage reception with the true bride and that’s what happens at the second Hallel. That’s the real story, of Revelation Ch 5, at which point the angels hand over the reigns of government to the saints and the 1,000 years begins that’s all I am going to say on that.

Visions of the kingdom

So we began the week by talking about our various different visions of the kingdom, about, perhaps, how we saw ourselves fitting in to the new organisation, whether it be petting wild animals or teaching the gentiles in the courts of the temple, or watching children play in the streets of Jerusalem. We made the point, brothers and sisters and young people, at the time, that if Christ were to come tonight, all of that is 50 years away, and that in the next 50 years, 30% of the book of Revelation will be fulfilled, I hope you can see that now. and that chapter after chapter has got enormous detail on what the next 50 years contains, and that perhaps now, you can prepare a picture of how these things will work out. As I mentioned at the outset, we talked about the influence of the world upon the ecclesia. The greatest fortification that we can make personally against the influence of the world is a vision of what the future holds. Why? Because for the most part you see the influence comes upon us because we get lazy, because we get apathetic, because we say, “Look, it doesn’t really matter,” you know, it actually does matter. These are serious things and the systems that are going to be destroyed are disgusting to the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to resist them, and to resist them, we have to understand them, and understand what it’s going to take to destroy them, that’s the next 50 years. What have we found then? Scripture describes the false prophet as having “power, signs and lying wonders” at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We would expect, therefore, that the Papacy would continue to produce pseudo signs which endorse its anti-biblical interpretations, for example, the third secret of Fatima, rather than just quoting Jesus’ writings about the coming of anti-Christ. They would continue to produce signs, miraculous things would apparently be done by the Papacy. Having risen from the ashes of the French revolution, Revelation Ch 17, we expect an increasing familiarity with the kings of the Earth and intervention in political issues such that she becomes the guiding power of the latter day beast, and finally the Catholic Church is the “mother of harlots,” and rises to a position where she expects to see “no sorrow, and no loss of children.” We therefore expect to see increasing ecumenical overtures by the Catholic Church so that she can bring all of her daughters back to her side.

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Things which must Shortly Come To Pass’ Study 4 ‘The Rise of the Beast’ Revelation 13

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The Rise of the Beast – Revelation 13 Study 4

Rising in Rome, the dragon soon moved the capital to Constantinople and continued there for 1,000 years. Its development is explained and involves Russia.. .

TRANSCRIPT – kindly supplied by Sis Fay Berry

The Book of Revelation

Study 4 – by Neville Clark for Enfield Ecclesia’s Special Effort

“The Rise of the Beast”
Reading Revelation Ch 13

The Rise of the Beast – Western Europe

Dear Young People, what a story we have got before us this evening. This is the story of Europe, Western Europe, actually, and how the Empire of Rome in Western Europe has ravaged its way through European history for the last 2,000 years. We spoke last time, in our last class about the Rise of the Dragon, which was really the development of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire based around the capital city of Constantinople.

Tonight we are talking about the Western half, this is Western Europe, and you know, in the context of this discussion about the beast of Western Europe, you will find enormous detail about the work of the saints. I mean intimate detail about the work of the saints in the next 50 years, all you could want to create a picture for ourselves about what the next 50 years holds for us in the direct sense when dealing with the Roman Empire, so hold on to your chairs!

This is where we’ve got to. Constantine in 324 AD took over as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. And once he had got control, he did two very critical things. The first one was, of course, that he converted the empire to Christianity, that happened in 324 AD and he became the first Christian Emperor of the Roman Empire. The second thing he did was he created a second capital, in fact he moved, he moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople in the east. Now the empire had if you like, two legs, in the words of Daniel Ch 2. There were two capitals now of the Roman Empire, one in the west, and one in the east; Rome, as you know, and Constantinople.

As far as the book of Revelation was concerned, that was a momentous change, not only because the Beast had to change from the great red dragon of Revelation 12 to the beast of the sea, that you have just read of in Revelation Ch 13, but also we had to create a second beast, and you are very familiar with this on the screen. The eastern Roman Empire, based on around Constantinople was now defined by the Dragon, and the Western Roman Empire, after Constantine’s time in Western Europe, was now defined by the beast of the sea, and that’s the beast that you see in the bottom left hand corner of the slide. This beast inherited the seven heads and ten horns of the great red dragon on the very far left of the screen, of Revelation Ch 12. Over time, if you look at the bottom row of the screen the great red dragon would become Christian and become, after 324 AD, the beast of the Sea. The beast of the sea would evolve over time and become the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 17. So Revelation 12 on the far left, the great red dragon, Revelation 13, the beast of the sea, Revelation 17 the scarlet colored beast, all had seven heads and ten horns. They are consecutive beasts, and at least from the beast of the sea, from 324 AD onwards, they relate to Western Europe.

You will see just above that in the middle of the screen, a beast of the earth. Now for the students amongst you who have looked at these things, you will appreciate the beast of the earth is simply the 8th head of the beast of the sea. And the reason this is so significant is because the 8th head, is in fact, an imperial head of the beast of the sea; it represents the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe. You will appreciate there is a contrast and a couple of points to make. The first thing is that the beast of the earth and the beast of the sea exist at the same time. Now understand that point clearly. If we look at the great red dragon to the beast of the sea to the scarlet colored beast along the bottom of the chart, those beasts are sequential. While the beast of the sea was alive in Western Europe, there was another beast created, called the beast of the earth in central Europe. The beast of the earth is the Holy Roman Empire created between Pope Leo and Charlemagne in 800 AD. It is called the beast of the earth because it is an inland beast, as opposed to the beast of the sea which was a coastal beast. The beast of the earth is an inland beast, a Germanic beast, and Germany has got very little coastline and it is substantially a land-locked country.

The beast of the Sea

I am going to ignore this evening, the image of the beast and the false prophet. The image of the beast, in fact, becomes the false prophet; it’s a reference to the Papacy, which of course is our last address in this particular series. Now come with me to Revelation Ch 13. This is where you meet the beast of the sea and all you are reading when you come to Revelation 13:1 is the next phase of the Roman Empire after the conclusion of Revelation 12. The beast with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation 12 was the pagan Roman Empire. The beast with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation Ch 13:1 is the Christian Roman Empire – same meat, different gravy, you know. It is just the next evolution of this beast after it has become Christian. What we are going to do this evening is, we are going to run you through the history of western Europe and show you just how unstable Western Europe becomes without a beast to control it. We are going to bring ourselves right up to our day to the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 17 which is the EU, and then we are going to talk about the next 50 years after that, of the saints involvement with the European Union, and its ultimate destruction. There is just one other thing that I should point out to you, if you have a look at the slide here, do you notice there’s a big difference between the end result of the dragon in Constantinople and the end result of the beast and the false prophet? When Christ comes he will bind the dragon for 1,000 years and the dragon will not be killed until the end of the millennium when he is loosed “for a little season,” as we found in our last study and he is finally killed a 1,000 years later.

Not so of the beast or the false prophet, they are executed in year 50 at the commencement of the 1,000 year reign, and that’s an important point to observe. These beasts are dying at different times. Between the dragon of eastern Europe, and the beast of the sea, or his later successor, the scarlet colored beast of western Europe, the beast is by far, by far, the most dangerous, so much so, that you cannot allow that beast to survive into the millennial age. You can bind the dragon for 1,000 years, but you cannot let the beast survive beyond the end of the 50th year. He must be destroyed as must the false prophet. There shall be no false religion, you see, in the kingdom age, and this beast has got blasphemy written all over it. It cannot be bound for 1,000 years, it has got to be destroyed.

V 1, Revelation Ch 13, “I stood on the sand of the sea and I saw a beast rise up out of the sea,” John says, “having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his head, the name of blasphemy,” so this is the Christian Roman Empire, based in Rome, after 324 AD. You’ll note in v 1, as we made the point in our last class, he has got crowns on his horns. That compares with Ch 12:3 with the beast, the great red dragon, he had crowns on his heads. What’s the point? Well, by the time you get to Revelation Ch 13:1, those horns are ruling themselves. So we are at a time in the Roman Empire therefore where the ten barbarian tribes had got self-determination. Rome has fallen, therefore Revelation Ch 13:1 is speaking about the Christian Roman Empire after 476 AD when the barbarians had taken control of Western Europe, and the beast is struggling for existence.

As we found last study, v 4, they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast, it is not long before Constantinople sends armies across from east to west to militarily assist the western Beast of the Sea, because of the onslaught of the barbarians. Revelation 13:11 introduces us to a second beast. You have the beast of the sea in Rev 13:1 and you have another beast in v 11 coming up out of the earth. This is the beast of the earth. In Revelation 13: 1, the beast of the sea has got seven heads and ten horns. In Revelation 13: 11 the beast here has one head and two horns, he looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon, so it is a very different beast. This now, in V 11 is the rise of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 AD a phase of the Roman Empire which would last for 1,000 years until 1806 AD when it was destroyed by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The beast of the earth no longer exists

So the beast of the earth in v 11 has come and gone and no longer exists, he is a feature of history. Why do we call him the Holy Roman Empire? Well, we call him “holy” because he looks like a lamb, he impersonates the Lord Jesus Christ, he impersonates Christianity. Why do we call him Roman? because he speaks like a dragon at the end of v 11. Why do we call him an empire? because in V 12, he exercises all the power of the first beast, you see, he is a beast, he is an empire. He is Roman because he sounds like a Roman dragon, and he is “holy,” because he looks holy, he is an impersonator. This is an empire that was a coalition between the emperor and in the first instance, Charlemagne in 800 AD and the Papacy, and it is the emperor and the Pope who are the two horns on the head of this beast.

If we have to plot the geographical locations of these beasts on the map you will see the beast of the earth as the Germanic kingdom right in the very centre of Europe. You will see the beast of the sea as, we call it here a Latin kingdom, if you think of Latin America, Latin means Spanish, so the beast of the sea is a Franco-Spanish beast on the coastal area of Europe. The dragon of course, in Constantinople, the image of the beast, down there in the Papal states, in Italy. So that’s where those beasts live. We are talking tonight about the beast of the earth and the beast of the sea, but you will appreciate that the beast of the earth is going to come and go, and the beast of the sea is going to last all the way until Christ comes. He’s going to change himself to the scarlet-colored beast but he is going to look very much the same all the way through.

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire

In 330 AD Constantine established the second capital in Constantinople and the Roman Empire looked like this, as we said, two legs of Daniel’s image, two capitals, in Western Europe. Having established the military capital in the east in Constantinople, and having left, if you like, government still in Rome, everything ran fine, until about the 5th century, until the 400s. Now we already know, that in 476 AD, Rome fell, that is the entire area in the red on the screen, that is, the entire western Roman Empire is going to collapse and fall, this is the “decline and fall of the Roman Empire” and it relates to the western Roman Empire. Now, why did it fall, what caused it? Here was the greatest catalyst of it all. By about 450AD you see, the Huns began this enormous onslaught from the east. You see for many years the Roman Empire had employed barbarians as mercenaries in their army, and before long, those mercenaries became very “Romanised,” they thought like Romans, their culture was Roman, they may not have been Trinitarians, but they were Christian. They said to the Western Emperor that they wanted land in the Roman Empire to settle their families because they were doing the fighting on the borders of the Roman Empire. They weren’t given land. For the most part, they were refused because they weren’t “true blue” Romans. Before long, these barbarians started to take lands for themselves, in fact no-one could stop them because they were the army, they were the ones who had seen active fighting so they were good soldiers. They were no match for this fellow! And in 450 AD Attila the Hun comes in from the east. He was called “the scourge of God” and he came in with ten thousand and thousands of horsemen at lightning speed, hundreds of kilometres a day, they could make, and he comes in and he invades the Western Roman Empire. Well, the barbarians were no match for Attila, and they jumped the Danube River and they start coming into the Western Roman Empire, right into the centre of the Western Roman Empire. They are not given land, so they take it and all of a sudden, the Western Empire is “declining and falling,” great, great tracts of land are taken by the barbarians and occupied by the barbarians. Attila doesn’t last long, actually, and after Attila personally died, the Hun kingdom disintegrated because they were nothing without their leader, but he had done the damage and he forced all these Germanic barbarians westward and into the centre of the Empire and they were now there to stay.

Interesting little fact for you, Venice. Venice was created as a consequence of Attila the Hun. People were so terrified by the Huns, because they would slit everyone’s throats of course, they left the mainland and they leaped onto the islands because at least if you were on the islands you were safe from the cavalry, and that was the origin of Venice, just after 450 AD. You might say to me, “Well, what about the army of Constantinople, why doesn’t the army of Constantinople come and help?” Because, before the Huns got to Western Europe they went through Eastern Europe and the army of Constantinople was fully engaged fighting the Huns on their borders, far too preoccupied to bother with helping Western Europe and as a consequence of that, Western Europe falls. And this is how things looked like by about 500 AD. The yellow is the Ostrogoth…they’ve taken the entire peninsula of Italy, you can see the Franks in the purple, western Europe has fallen, brothers and sisters and  young people. The beast is gasping for breath. There is no unity any more in Western Europe. This began the “dark ages,” you know, literacy just plummeted, the rule of law disappeared and there were border wars every year all throughout the Western European region.

In Revelation 13:3 it says, “And I saw one of the heads,” that’s one of the heads of the beast of the sea in v 1 “wounded as it were to death.” What happened was the imperial phase of the Western Roman Empire, the sixth head of the beast of the Sea, was all but killed. Now I say, “all but killed.” It is going to resurrect as it turns out and become the eighth head, that is to say, after the Goths, the Ostrogoths, had established themselves in Italy and ruled for 60 years, an imperial ruler would leap back on the throne in Western Europe, in fact, he would be called Charlemagne,   and so significant was the next imperial reign, that it is given its own beast, but it really is the beast of the earth in Revelation 13, it is simply the eighth head of the beast of the sea. In 476 AD Rome has fallen, and the entire phase of imperial government has gone by the board, and we’ve got Ostrogoths, or Goths, ruling Italy and as a consequence of that, it’s not long before the Pope finds himself in trouble, enormous trouble, because whilst these Goths are Christians, they were not Catholic, they were not Trinitarian.

Before long, it’s not even the Ostrogoths, it’s the Lombards that start marching down the Italian Peninsula after the Pope. The Pope could see the writing on the wall, so he quickly made haste and sent messengers off to Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, that Charlemagne might come and help him, and of course Charlemagne did, and this is why France is the first “son of the church.” They come, and after three horns are torn out of the head of the fourth beast of Daniel Ch 7 and that territory given to the Pope, the Pope is now safe, you see, and he’s got an army to defend him called The Franks and the Pope and the Emperor have just created in 800 AD “The Holy Roman Empire,” and because there’s an emperor, we now have an imperial head on the Western Beast. So the sixth head that was wounded almost to death has now revived and has become the eighth head. You might say, “Well, why has this beast only got seven heads if we are up to the eight head? Understand there were only seven different heads, the eighth head is simply a resurrection of the sixth, and there is the imperial head of the Beast of the Sea, called “the eighth head” or otherwise called “the Beast of the Earth,” and there it is in Revelation 13:11. Another beast came up out of the earth, two-horned, the Pope and the Emperor, looks like a lamb, religious, speaks like a dragon, Roman, a very, very fierce beast.

Well things went along rather fine after Charlemagne had conquered Western Europe but you will notice the difference here, if I just take you one back, Charlemagne was a Frank and he conquers all the Franco-German territory and the Italian Peninsula, and that’s what they call the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne of course died, and bequeathed his empire to his three sons. One son got France, and let’s think about it like this, one son got Western Germany, and one son got Eastern Germany, and the western son, the Frankish son, let’s call him, decided he didn’t want to be part of that Empire any more, and the Holy Roman Empire shrank back to Germany and Italy as you can see it there.

Charlemagne’s sons weren’t the sort of men Charlemagne was and they weren’t interested in fighting like Charlemagne did. So now you have the Holy Roman Empire a Germanic Empire, the capital began in Aachen, moved to Frankfurt and finally ends up in Vienna which is where it was when Bonaparte destroyed it, in Austria. But notice the Papal states there in the green at the bottom, that’s what you read of in Revelation 13: 15, that’s the “image of the beast,” or the icon of the beast, or the minute copy of the beast of the sea that the Pope has built himself down in that land he controls. When we say “the image of the beast,” what we are simply saying is this, the Pope has created for himself a little empire over which he is the emperor, it is just a little back yard, well, it’s bigger than the Vatican City, but it is just a little back yard at the bottom of the empire, where he runs things himself, he’s got his own army, he collects his own tax, and he rules it like an emperor, an image of the beast of the sea.

Then it happens, everything runs along just fine, and then in 1789, there is a revolution in France. The monarchy falls, the monarchy of King Louis XVI falls, the guillotine was rolled out, 30,000 die in the reign of terror that ensues, and they call in the only man who at that time could bring any law and order back to the country. Napoleon comes in and he thinks he is going to restore the fortunes of France. He thinks he is going to add France to the old Holy Roman Empire, get rid of the Pope, appoint himself as emperor, and recreate Charlemagne’s empire in central Europe without the Pope. Napoleon, of course, was a Frenchman, Charlemagne was a Frenchman, and that’s his grand plan.

God had other ideas, you see. God certainly intended for Napoleon to come on the scene, He did not intend Napoleon to create an enormous Western Empire. What God intended Napoleon to do was to destroy the beast of the earth, was to destroy the Holy Roman Empire.  By the time Napoleon had finished his conquests through Western Europe, pretty much all of Western Europe was divided up between three groups, France, countries allied with France, and countries controlled by France. Napoleon has conquered Western Europe, and the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Vienna, in Austria, has abdicated and given Napoleon the crown of the Holy Roman Empire and has retreated back to just being the King of Austria. Well, when the empire loses its emperor, you have destroyed the empire, and that is exactly what Bonaparte did, unbelievable, but that is what Napoleon Bonaparte achieved in about 20 years.

Bonaparte didn’t intend to leave Europe without options. You see, Napoleon looked across the Atlantic at the United States and said, “Ah, do you know, that could work, the model they are adopting in the United States, that could work for Europe, and Napoleon’s got an idea, he says, “I wish to found a European system, a European code of laws, a European judiciary, there will be but one people in Europe. Europe thus divided into nationalities, freely formed and free internally, peace between States would become easier, the United States of Europe would become a possibility, and he’s a long way before Schumann, and he’s thinking about the European Union as a consequence of his control of Europe. That’s what Napoleon thinks will be the right answer for Europe and that’s what he wants to do.

The thing was, of course, that after the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon lost all the territory he had taken. France’s empire shrank. Within 12 months, it shrank straight back to France. The countries of Europe now licked their wounds and tried to make the best of it. The beast is dead, you see, the beast of the earth, the Holy Roman Empire is dead, so there is nothing now welding these countries together, there is no unity at all between the countries of central Europe. Europe hasn’t really ever existed without an empire in it, not in living memory, you see, and Europe’s very unaccustomed to not being controlled by an Empire, or of having an emperor present, or a great army that can ward off an invader on the borders. As a consequence of the French Revolution, you know, there were revolutions all across Europe, and emperors are toppling, left right and centre, all across Europe, and Europe is falling into anarchy, into absolute anarchy.

The beast descends into the bottomless pit

The way the Bible describes that when you come to Revelation 17:8, is that “the beast descended into the bottomless pit,” and it simply means that the Roman Empire of Western Europe melted back into the population, there was no empire, and Europe was going to charge forward into the 19th and 20th centuries, rudderless, and every country is going to try and make the best of it for themselves. There are going to be skirmishes, and there are going to be disagreements and there are going to be no powerful army to bring order to Western Europe, until somebody stands up and says, “This will never do, we can’t go on like this,” and they declare war in Europe and World War I begins when Kaiser Wilhelm says, “We need to recreate the Holy Roman Empire, we must recreate the Holy Roman Empire.” For 2,000 years Western Europe has been under the control of the beast, “there must be an empire, and we’re going to do it from Germany,” and why? “because the Roman Empire was a Germanic Empire. We have always been the power house of Europe and we are going to be so again.”

So Germany takes the lead and plunges the world into War in World War 1 and tries to form an empire. But they fail, as you know, Germany did not win World War I, there was no empire and so they try again and 30 years later it happens again. You will understand that Hitler creates the third Reich – the German word for Empire is “Reich,” he’s creating the third Empire. Kaiser Wilhelm tried to create the second empire. The Germans wouldn’t agree that Charlemagne had created the first empire because he’s a Frenchman, the first Germanic ruler of the Holy Roman Empire was Frederick of Barbarossa in about 1200 AD, so Barbarossa was the first Reich as far as Hitler was concerned, Wilhelm was the second, and he would be the third, and he believed that if he won that war and created this third empire, that it would last for 1,000 years. That’s what he wanted, 1,000 years. Remarkable isn’t it? And he lost the war, he lost the war, but you can see Europe lurching back and forth, trying to create an empire, trying to recreate the empire that Napoleon had so miraculously destroyed. And they must have it, they must have it, and unless they get it, they will go to war again and again. Well the Europeans worked out very quickly that after two World Wars in 30 years that they are going to have to put Germany on a leash, they are going to have to do something to control Germany because this insatiable desire to keep rebuilding the Western European empire, that is to say, to breathe life back into the beast is going to mean that Europe is going to be continually at war until that finally occurs.

What would you do therefore if you were the master planners of Europe? Well, in 1950 Robert Schumann suggested integrating Europe’s coal and steel industries so that in 1951 they formed the ECSC, the European Coal and Steel Community. Now what’s behind this? The major coal fields in Western Europehttp://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/saar.htm  run in a seam in the Ruhr valley between France and Germany, that is on the border, as it so happened, between France and Germany. If either of those two countries, which were really the powerhouse counties of Western Europe, if either of those countries planned to go to war, against the other one, they would be detected immediately because they would start hauling coal out of those coal fields. What do they need coal for? to smelt steel. What do they need steel for? to make weapons. It happened twice in the 20th century, therefore we will nationalise that enormous seam of coal between France and Germany, and will form the European coal and steel community, determined, they said, to prevent another such terrible war. European governments concluded that pooling coal and steel production would, in the words of the declaration, “make war between historic rivals France and Germany not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.” So in 1951, they formed the ECSC. Six countries were involved, France, of course, Germany, of course, Italy, they were the three foundation members of the Holy Roman Empire, and the three Denmark countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, those six countries formed the ECSC.

In 1957, those same six countries went one step further. They decided to pool other areas of their economies. The treaty of Rome in 1957 created Eurotom, the European Atomic Energy community. It created the EEC, the European Economic Community which today we call the EU, the European Union. The members then began to remove trade barriers between themselves in order to have the Common Market. European unity had begun in earnest, you see, and this is exactly what Napoleon Bonaparte foresaw as the right solution for Europe.

Interesting point, whereabouts was the Treaty of Rome signed? Ok, no prizes for this one, it was signed in Rome. Whereabouts in Rome was the Treaty of Rome signed? In a coffee shop overlooking the Tiber? It was signed in the Lateran Palace. Where’s the Lateran Palace? In the Vatican. So the Papacy presided over the formation of the European Union. Can you see now, if I were to show the slide of those beasts again, as you have a hand out of, in 1957 when the scarlet-colored beast is formed, the latter day stage of the beast of the earth, it’s got a woman riding on its back. The Catholic Church has designed the European Union and now controls the direction, I mean, she’s got reigns on this thing and she’s going to govern the European Union into the kingdom age, if she can. Remarkable! the Lateran Palace, in the Vatican.

The beast of the sea becomes the beast of the earth

Well, there you are, I can show it to you right there. In 1957 the beast of the sea becomes the beast of the earth. Now what has happened, of course, is the beast of the sea after the demise of the Holy Roman Empire, slips into the abyss, and melts into the population of Europe. We’ve got the confederation of the Rhine, we’ve got various alliances that are trying to keep the peace in Europe, but nothing was going to work. World War I, nothing still works, World War II, ECSC, EEC, EU, so that in 1957 the beast is formally now, the scarlet-colored beast and it’s never had a woman on its back before, but it does now, because of what happened in the Lateran Palace that day. The European Union is formed, under the auspices of none other than the Pope himself.

Now come to Revelation 17, look at the significance of that. Revelation 17 was the last phase of the Western European beast, the beast of the sea has become the scarlet-colored beast, seven heads, ten horns, same thing as we have seen before, “And he carried me away,” in v 3 of Revelation 17, in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sit upon the scarlet-colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns,” so there she is, there’s the signing of the treaty of Rome in the Lateran Palace at the formation of the European Union.

The beast is a scarlet-colored beast but he’s got seven heads and ten horns because he’s simply a revival of the beast of the sea of Revelation Ch 13. And what sort of government, what sort of government, does the EU have? Well, look at V 12. “The ten horns which thou saw are ten kings,” so this is the ten horns of the last words of V 3. “Those ten horns are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet but received power as kings one hour with the beast, these have one mind, and they shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” What sort of a government is that? You know, the EU calls its government style a “supra-national government,” not an international government, a “supra-national government.” A “supranational government’ is a government where power is delegated by the member states to an external authority.

Now what that means is the European members agree to delegate their authority to the European Union, in Brussels. Brussels will go and make laws, they’ll go and vote on those laws, and then they will come and implement those laws when they get back home. The horns give their power to the beast. Now you will notice by the way, when you come to Revelation 17, there are no crowns, there are now crowns. The beasts of Revelation 12 have crowns upon their heads, Revelation 13 had crowns on their horns, well, what’s become of the crowns? Well, the crowns have been given up by the horns. The horns have given their power to the European Union. You might say if anybody holds the crowns, it is the woman, she’s the one who is really holding the crowns. See, everything’s changed when you come to Revelation Ch 17. And I might say, the European Union is not trying to hide the fact of its origins. Outside of the European Union headquarters in Brussels we have a woman riding the beast. You know the Greek mythological story of Europa went like this, that the God Zeus formed himself as a bull and he abducts this woman, this girl called Europa, and he charges off into the Mediterranean into the Island of Cyprus with her. Now that symbol, that mythology,  you know, pre-dates the book of Revelation, it is a 2,000 BC old story, and the Lord Jesus Christ has taken the figure of a woman riding a bull and converted it to the woman riding the beast, the woman is not Europa, she is the Catholic Church. The beast is not a bull it is the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 13, and when you come to the book of Revelation, far from the beast abducting the woman, in this case, the woman steers the beast. That’s the story of Revelation 17. So you can see that based on Europe’s own mythology, a marvel isn’t it, and here is the European Union flag, where did they get those 12 stars from? Well, in Revelation 12, you’ve got a woman standing on the moon, clothed with the sun, ringed on her head by 12 stars. Now the Catholics, of course, think this is a vision of Mary, and because of the Catholic influence in the European Union, they’ve put that halo of 12 stars on the flag and said, there’s the flag of the European Union. It’s the halo of Mary. You can see who’s driving the key policy decisions of this Union, can’t you?

Revelation 17:8 says, “that beast that you saw that was and is not,” that is the beast of the sea of Revelation 13. He would “ascend out of the bottomless pit,” but he will go to destruction but he comes out of the bottomless pit, and the European Union rises from the ashes of Europe after the desperate work of Napoleon, and she comes back to life, governed by the woman of the Catholic Church. Now these, the flag, the woman riding the beast might be very familiar symbols to you, but you may have noticed this, in the Christadelphian magazine of March 2013, this is a sign, I’ve blown up on the side of the screen, this is a sign, bought at the European Parliament in Brussels, and a brother took a photo of that in March 2013, because Europe, on that sign, Brussels is saying, “out of the abyss, how Europeans built peace together. Now here’s the question for you, how many people in the world know that that’s directly from Revelation 17?  few, extremely few. Here’s an issue for Christadelphians to clearly identify the beast, the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 17. This is a sign saying “wake up Christadelphians, because my return is very near,” and even the European Union, they don’t even know what they are writing, is putting up signs saying, “Watch us, we’ve just come out of the abyss,” and they emblazon that in Brussels. Unbelievable!

Here is a question for the sharp-sighted, when you come to V 12-13 of Revelation Ch 17, it says here that the ten horns are ten kings and they haven’t yet received their kingdom, but they have received power as kings one hour with the beast, and they’ve got one mind and they give their power and strength to the beast, well, why don’t they give their power and strength to the woman? Why isn’t the woman mentioned in v 12-13 of Revelation Ch 17? And when this beast, v 14, makes war with the lamb, the lamb kills the beast, but you’ve got no mention of the woman, what’s become of the woman in Revelation Ch 17? I mean, she began in v 3 by riding the beast, what’s happened to her? Well, I won’t answer that now, but you might like to think what that answer might be before we get to the end.

OK, that’s the easy stuff, there has been far too long telling stories. We’ve followed the European beast from its advent in the days of Constantine, all the way up to the formation of the European Union, and into today. Now let’s think hard about this. This is a deeply personal application here, because look at v. 14, this is the destruction of the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 17. “They shall make war with the lamb,” who shall? the ten kings of v 12-13, “they shall make war with the lamb, for the lamb shall overcome them because he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and they that are with him are called, and chosen and faithful.” Well, the reason the Lord is called King of Kings is because there are ten kings in v 12, who happen to have a different opinion, so he says, “they are kings, but I am the King of Kings,” and so there is a contrast made between the authority of the Lord in v 14 and the authority of the ten kings of Europe in v 12, and those ten kings, and the beast they support are going to be destroyed by those that are “called, and chosen and faithful.” Well, there is no mistake, brothers and sisters, who that is, that is the saints.

The conflict between the “man on the horse” and the scarlet-colored European beast

Now here is an interesting thing, because we’ve got a one verse description in Revelation 17 of the conflict between the man on the horse, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the beast, the scarlet-colored beast. If you want the detail on this battle, come across to Revelation Ch 19. Here’s the story of the destruction of the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 17. Look at v 11, “and I saw heaven opened,” says John, “and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true and with righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns and he had a name written which no man knew but he himself, and he was clothed with vesture dipped in blood and his name was called the Word of God, and the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses clothed in fine linen white and clean.” There is no mistaking who those armies are, clothed in fine linen, because you will see in v 8 that the bride of Christ is arrayed in fine linen clean and white. So those riding horses accompanying the man on the horse, v 14, clothed in linen, are none other than the saints, that’s the “called, chosen and faithful,” of Revelation Ch 17 and v 14.

Well, what do they do? v 15. “And out of his mouth,” this is the man on the horse, the Lord Jesus Christ, “out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron and he treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of almighty God.” Now, that winepress that he treads is none other than the winepress of Revelation 14 and v 19, where he treads “the vintage of the earth,” this is after Armageddon, this is the destruction of the beast of Europe, in Revelation 14, that second appendix in Revelation 14, the vintage of the earth, the treading of the winepress, that’s what you are reading here in more detail in Revelation 19:15.

In v 16, “and he had on his vesture and on his thigh, a name written, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and that’s exactly what you read in Revelation 17:14, that he is the “King of Kings,” that is to say, he is the king of the ten kings amongst others. The result of this conflict is clear, and you read of that in v 19 of Revelation 19. “I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth,” so that’s the beasts and the kings from Revelation Ch 17. “I saw them gathered together, and there armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse and against his army. So here’s the beast of EU now acknowledging war with Christ and the saints, “and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet,” so the Pope’s still there, “the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that had worshiped his image, these both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

So there they are, there is the final end of the beast, that is the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 13, and the false prophet, the Papacy. They are destroyed in year 50, right before the commencement of the millennial age. The dragon as we have said, he’s down for 1,000 years after Armageddon, but these two, they are destroyed before the kingdom proper begins. That’s what Revelation gives us on this conflict. Do you want to see the real detail of this war? Do you want to see what the saints are really doing and are really thinking as this war is waged? These are those who are adorned in fine linen, white and clean, let’s now talk about what they are doing whilst this war takes place. Come with me to Psalm 2. Have you ever read this Psalm? Look at this, Psalm 2, this is the chronology of the warfare, the conflict between the European beast and the Lord Jesus Christ and the saints. This Psalm is quoted in Revelation 19:15 where it speaks of the rod of iron, Christ will destroy them with a rod of iron. It is quoted in Revelation 19:19, where the Kings of the earth gather themselves together. Two phrases of Psalm 2 appear in Revelation 19 where we were. That’s how we know that Psalm 2 is a commentary on the events of Revelation Ch 19, the warfare between the beast, the false prophet and the Lord Jesus Christ and the saints.

Now what is the structure of Psalm 2? Psalm 2:1-3 are the visions, v 4-9 are the story of the Psalm, and v 10-12 is the wise advice from the saints to the world, at the end of the Psalm. So there’s v 1-3, the vision, v 4-9, the story of the Psalm, v 10-12, the wise advice. Now this Psalm must take place at a time after the battle of Armageddon, because it says in v 6, “Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion, and you know yourselves, that the Lord Jesus Christ only takes the city of Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon. So this Psalm is fulfilled after the battle of Armageddon, but it must be fulfilled, when you think about the wars in the book of Revelation, we have to have Armageddon in our day and we have an Armageddon in a thousand years time. Well this is obviously referring to the first Armageddon because Christ has just taken Mt Zion. V 8 tells us, “Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Well, that doesn’t happen at the end of the millennial age, the nations are not given to Christ then, they are given to Christ right at the start of the millennial age, so this Psalm is therefore happening before the 1,000 begins, when Christ has got all the nations under his control, but after the battle of Armageddon, when he is king in Zion. Can you see we have narrowed the fulfilment of Psalm 2 down to a 40 year period between year 10, the battle of Armageddon, and year 50 the commencement of the 1,000 years. Psalm 2 is fulfilled during the seventh vial, that 40 year period of Revelation Ch 16.

Now what’s the Psalm talking about then? It tells you in the opening verses that this is a vision of the council of war of the European Union as they mount the beast and go out to fight the Lord Jesus Christ. Look what it says, v 5, “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing,” the word “rage” here as your margin tells you means “to assemble tumultuously,” or a tumult that is made. Now that is interesting because, that’s exactly what happened at the crucifixion, another tumult was made, right at the crucifixion, and they are doing it again. Why do they “rage?” Well, the reason they rage is because they think they are meeting in secret. They don’t realise that the prophet is telling us every word that they speak in the bed-chambers. They are extremely upset by the fact that whatever they do, the Lord and the saints seem to know their next move. “So the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against Yahweh and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. “ Now read that carefully in v 3. “They take counsel together,” and they say, “let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us,” and so it appears when you come to v 3 as though the nations of the world have been restrained in some manner, and something happens which upsets them and they decide to break the shackles of this restraint and let themselves loose. What could that be? The kings of the earth you see, have been subdued by the application of v 3 and something changes that upsets them and now they want to break free. It says, v 2 that “the kings of the earth set themselves,” and the New International version says that “they take their stand.” So what you have got in v 2 is a formal meeting, there are delegates, there are speakers, this is a session of the European Parliament taking place in Psalm 2:2. And what you can infer from v 1-3 is that things have been going along just fine and that all of a sudden, something happens which incenses the kings of the earth. They feel the need to break free from the control that the Lord Jesus Christ apparently has over them, and “cast away his cords from them.”

Now I will show you something very interesting, just hold Psalm 2, and come across to Psalm 66. Psalm 66 gives you another commentary on the events at this specific period of time. Look what it says in Psalm 66:1, it’s a very important point. “Make a joyful noise unto God all you lands.” So here is the world being exhorted to worship the God of heaven. “Sing forth the honor of his name, make his praise glorious, say unto God, how terrible art thou in thy works. Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves to thee, all the earth shall worship thee, they shall sing unto thee, they shall sing to thy name.” Think of that. So here is an opening refrain, you see, in Psalm 66, where all the world acclaims the glory of God and the greatness of his works and all his enemies submit themselves to Him. Look at this word “submit” in v 3 as it is rendered in your margin. “They yield feigned obedience,” they lie. Now what’s the point? Think of it like this, right after the battle of Armageddon, what happens? Well, after the battle of Armageddon we have the “mid-heaven proclamation,” and the mid-heaven proclamation is saying the very words of Psalm 66:1. “Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, all the world, sing forth the honor of the God of Heaven, praise” and they do, they do, everything seems to be going well. The Mid-heaven proclamation appears as though it is going to be successful, and the saints run to the four corners of the world and into the corridors of power, and they appear to have a measure of success, and the world submits, “feignedly, feignedly.”They submit because they are shell-shocked. They are still reeling after the battle of Armageddon and they know they’ve got a foe before them who is much bigger than they are when the saints take that message out, some obviously see the immediate implications and there’s a heartfelt repentance at a national level. Other nations go quiet, they go silent, and you think you’ve changed them but you haven’t really.

Back in Psalm 2, the kings of the world have got a problem and they plan for war and now the whole scene changes because between V 4-9 they’ve got the story of the Psalm. This is the Divine reaction to Brussels meeting and planning war against Christ and the saints, v 4. “He that sitteth in the heaven shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision.” Why does God laugh? Because Isaiah 40:15 says, “Behold the nations are as a drop in the bucket and are counted as small dust in the balance, the nations before God are as nothing they are counted as less than nothing.”  God says, “this is ridiculous,” v 5 “Then he shall speak unto them in his wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure, yet,” he says, “have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” There’s the ultimatum. God speaks himself and says, “You ten kings, I have already appointed a king, I have already appointed the king,” and when you come to V 7 the Lord Jesus Christ speaks for himself, and he says, “I will declare the decree, Yahweh has said to me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. I am the fulfilment to the promises to David, my Father has given me the kingdoms of the world.” Then the Father speaks again himself, this time to the Son, v 8, “Son, ask of me and I will give the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thine possession. I am giving you everything, son” he says. “Thou shalt break them in pieces with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” There’s your quotation from Revelation Ch 19. That verse in V9 is also quoted as you know in Revelation 2:27, this is the work of the saints who are going to dash the nations in pieces who are rebelling against the son. This is the work, you might also say, of the seven thunders of Revelation Ch 10, these are the judgments that are being poured out on the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation Ch 17.  And now the final appeal from the Psalmist, and these must be the words of the saints to an unruly world who thinks that it can take on the man on the horse and win. “Be wise,” v 10, “Be wise therefore ye kings, be instructed you judges of the earth, serve Yahweh with fear and rejoice with trembling, kiss the son, kiss the son,  lest he be angry and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little.” When you upset him just a little, he will destroy you. When it says in v 12, “Kiss the son,” it simply means “to be subject to the son.” 1 Kings 19:18 God says, “Yet have I left me 7,000 in Israel which have not bowed to Baal or kissed him.” To “kiss the son,” here means “to be subject to” the son. And in conclusion, says the Psalmist, “blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” Very similar sentence, by the way, to the very first verse of Psalm 1, when the whole world is divided between the “ungodly,” or the “righteous,” “blessed are they that put their trust in him.”

You know the background to this Psalm. It doesn’t say it here, but Acts 4: 25 tells us that it was a Psalm of David. Obviously, when you come to v 6, “I’ve set my king on the holy hill of Zion,” this is the time when David sets his king upon Zion, so this is the time when David crowns Solomon to be the king.  Do you know what else was happening at the very time that Solomon was crowned king? Well, there was a revolt, wasn’t there? There was an enormous revolt in the city. Adonijah wanted to be king, he‘s got the support of Joab, the military, and he’s got the support of Abiathar, the priesthood, so politics, religion and military might unite against David’s appointed king. You see, they’ve done it once before and they are doing it again here. This is exactly the conflict of the Psalm.

One hour with the beast

Now here’s the question, you can see the Jubilee period on the screen, we know that V 6 of the Psalm takes place right after year 10 and the battle of Armageddon and v 8 of the Psalm when the nations of the world are given to the Jesus Christ, that must happen around the year 50, before the 1,000 year begins. That’s what I say about the 40 years in which this Psalm is fulfilled. When does the Psalm take place? Well, it takes place in that last 30 years, that’s the “one hour with the beast,” that’s a quotation from Revelation 17:12. There is one hour with the beast and the word “beast” there in that reference is the beast of Revelation Ch 17. This is when Psalm 2 is taking place. So here’s the question, why, all of a sudden, do the “nations rage?” Why after apparently submitting themselves to the edicts of the Mid-heaven proclamation between years 10 and 20, what changes that makes the heathen rage and then establish a military campaign against the Lord and the saints which results in their destruction? What’s gone wrong? Well, there’s a clue, you see. Come back to Revelation Ch 16 now, it’s this phrase, “the Kings of the earth”, It’s the “kings of the earth” in Psalm 2 that set themselves against Yahweh and His anointed. The Phrase, “Kings of the earth” occurs nine times in the book of Revelation, and seven times, in very quick succession, in this particular part of the book of Revelation, so if you look for example at Revelation Ch 16:14, you will see that there are certain “spirits of madness working miracles, going forth to the kings of the earth, to bring them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” So the kings of the earth are shepherded toward the battle of Armageddon by a certain “spirit of madness” which has percolated amongst the nations.

Ch 17:2, there is “a woman,” at the end of v1, “sitting upon many waters,” with whom the “kings of the earth have committed fornication.” So these kings of the earth are Catholic Kings of the earth, they have committed fornication with the Catholic Church of Revelation 17:1.  Revelation 17: 18, “and the woman which thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth,” so they are Roman controlled, Roman religion controlled, kings of the earth. Ch 18:3, “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.” So the kings of the earth have committed fornication with the Catholic Church. She has taken many paramours, hasn’t she? Rev 18:9, “The kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her shall bewail for her and lament for her when they shall see the smoke of her burning.” And the last reference is one we have already read, in Revelation 19:19.

OK, what would you make of the kings of the earth? Well as we started in Revelation 16, everything was going along fine, wasn’t it? They were courting the Papacy, the Papacy was shepherding them in whatever direction she wanted, everything appeared to be going fine, but by the time you get down to Ch 18:19, the kings of the earth are upset, they are extremely upset, and a bewailing is heard, and a lamenting is heard, at the smoke of her burning, what’s gone wrong with the kings of the earth in Revelation 18:9? Well, what’s gone wrong is V 8, therefore, speaking of the woman of Revelation 18, “therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, she’s to be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.” We’ve just killed the woman who rode the beast, in Revelation 18:8. What does she represent? She represents the Catholic Church. When did that happen in our 50 years? in year 20. Can you see the problem? In the 20th year after Christ returns we destroy the city of Rome, we destroy the entire administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The woman has been killed. The Lateran Palace where they signed the Treaty of Rome and formed the European Union, is fallen into a big hole in the ground. There’s nothing left. This is the culture of the whole of Europe. This is the eternal city, which has been destroyed.

So can you see what’s happened, brothers and sisters and young people, the Mid-Heaven proclamation has gone out, some nations have converted and some nations haven’t but they haven’t put up any resistance, there appears to have been success as the saints race out to the world with the Mid-Heaven proclamation, but it doesn’t go far enough and the Lord destroys the city of Rome. And so incensed are the kings of the earth at the destruction of the woman they love, that they immediately call together the European Parliament and they have a meeting for war and they mean to destroy the man on the horse and his armies for what they did to that girl that they have spent 2,000 years courting. So the kings of the earth are drawn to Armageddon. The Lord chooses this moment to reveal himself to the world. The result is that the armies of the world are slain on the mountains of Israel in the 10th year and the Lord takes the city of Jerusalem.

Fear God and give glory to him

Then the cry goes out and the Mid-Heaven proclamation is ushered in to the world, “Fear God, give glory to Him, judgment is coming, and after ten years the world is divided between two groups, those who “walk in the counsel of the ungodly,” and those who don’t, but of those who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, it is not immediately apparent that they haven’t submitted because they have submitted “feignedly.” It appears that they have acquiesced to the demands of the Lord and then the Lord touches a nerve and Rome is destroyed and the kings of the earth see red, and they immediately call a council of war and, you see, her smoke has risen and everybody in v 9 Ch 18, internationally, everybody knows that Rome has been destroyed. Does the Pope die when Rome is destroyed? I mean, you’ve got to believe he must have been somewhere near? He doesn’t die, because it is the woman who is destroyed in v8. When you come to Ch 19:20, the false prophet is thrown into the lake of fire, the Pope’s a survivor. He wasn’t in Rome when the Vatican was destroyed in Rev 18. Well what do you think he would do about that? So the kings of the earth stand back and look in horror. Christ has just destroyed the eternal city and the reaction is violent, they want revenge, and the submission, this “feigned” submission after the Mid-Heaven proclamation is now obvious that it was feigned. And the cry comes up from the camp of the saints, “steady she goes,” they say, “be wise, ye kings of the earth,” “be instructed, ye kings of the earth,” “kiss the son,” don’t anger the son, don’t do it! But they call the European Parliament together anyway. They are not interested in the Son, they’ve got their own father, you see, so they go to the Pope, “PaPa, what shall we do?” Crucify him, Crucify him, that’s what he said last time, that’s what he says this time, so they gather their armies together and they attack the man on the horse don’t they? That’s the power of the Catholic system, that’s the power of the beast. In the words of Ezekiel Ch 39, so the Lord sends fire upon Magog in that 30 years, or in the words of Dan 2, he grinds the remnant of that image to powder, or in the words of Revelation 16, he treads the winepress, or in the words of Revelation 14, he gathers the vintage of the earth, that’s the 30 years destruction of the beast because of what they now want to do to the man on the horse. That, brothers and sisters, is why the beast and the false prophet can never be allowed to live on into the commencement of the 1,000 years.  It is one thing to bind the military power of the dragon, but false religion? Unacceptable, unacceptable in the kingdom age and thus we have at the end of Revelation Ch 19, the destruction of the beast and the false prophet.

What have we got to? Well here’s what we know. The ten-horned nations of Europe will create a supranational empire to which the other national empires will be subordinate. This power will oppose the Lord Jesus Christ after his return. The horns will give power, meaning political strength, and strength, strength meaning military strength, to the beast in Revelation 17. So we would expect to see an increase in European economic and military capabilities prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since the woman rides the beast, it will be a Catholic beast. Non-Catholics, that is the Islamic nations, particularly, will not be included in the European Union. Turkey has tried for 20 -30 years to join the EU. She will never join the EU, not because she doesn’t want to, but because the Pope won’t let her. The woman will vetoed any non-Christian countries joining the EU. The position of the woman on the back of the beast also suggests that the European Union will increasingly take direction from the Papacy. She guides the beast, doesn’t she. The woman on the beast, what’s more,  combines elements of the previous beast of the earth and of the beast of the sea. Since Germany was the central power of the Holy Roman Empire, you will expect her to remain the central power of the European Union. And finally, Britain, is never ever one of the ten horns of the European beast, therefore she must leave the European Union, if not sooner, certainly prior to the “one hour” that last 30 years of the Jubilee. This will also be true of people like Greece other countries from the former Eastern Roman Empire.

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Things which must Shortly Come To Pass’ Study 3 ‘The Rise of the Dragon’ Revelation 12

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The Rise of the Dragon – Revelation 12 Study 3

Rising in Rome, the dragon soon moved the capital to Constantinople and continued there for 1,000 years. Its development is explained and involves Russia.. .

 

TRANSCRIPT – kindly supplied by Sis Fay Berry

Study 3 – by Neville Clark for Enfield Ecclesia’s Special Effort

The Rise of the Dragon

Reading Revelation Ch 12.
The Jubilee Time Period

Now this is where we have got to, and I hope that this 50 year time period, this Jubilee time period, is somewhat familiar to you now, this is the 50 years, we believe< which will elapse between the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the household, and the commencement of the thousand year millennial reign. If we look at the very first ten years of that 50 – I had someone come to me and say, “Will it really take ten years for the judgment seat?” and the answer is “No,” of course it won’t take ten years for the judgment seat, but in that ten year period, although I haven’t written it there, or really explained it, that ten year period, what we have to have happen, of course, is the judgment seat of Christ, then the marriage of the Lamb with the fraternisation of the saints after the marriage ceremony. We’ve got the saints of the six thousand years who have to be organised together in order that they might work together for the next thousand years, that has to happen.

Whilst all that’s going on, Gog’s going to make his preparations and eventually find himself down in the land of Israel because that ten year period ends in the battle of Armageddon. I can’t prove this, brothers and sisters, but I would suspect that all the information that is required for the saints to govern the world for the next thousand years is already included in Scripture, but that we’ve never ever looked at Scripture from that point of view. It may well be that a fair portion of that ten years is involved in learning how to govern the world from the things that are already written. Remember the angels, how the angels desired to look into the things that the prophets wrote, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are things in the Psalms and things in the prophets that we never dreamed were there which will be revealed to us in that 10 years, that we’ve got to start to put together for use in the 40 years.  Year 10, Armageddon, and right after Armageddon, of course, the Prophet Elijah goes out with the refined third of Judah to bring scattered Israel back to the land so that they are there and prepared for the Lord Jesus Christ in year 50.

40 years to convert national Israel

Well, if it takes 40 years to convert national Israel, well why wouldn’t it take 40 years to convert the gentiles? Well, we expect it will, the first ten years therefore, the summons goes to the gentiles, the mid-heaven proclamation as Revelation 14 calls it, a proclamation – “a pentecostian proclamation” as Bro Thomas says. It is a warning of judgment to come, but an appeal to submit to the Lord who is now, as of year 10, in control of the city of Jerusalem, with the ancient throne of David re-established. That meets, it appears, with limited success, because in year 20 we have the destruction of the city of Rome, by which we mean the destruction of the complete administration of Catholic Church, and then the following 30 years, the seven-thundered judgments of Revelation Ch 10 are poured out resulting, in year 50, in the fall of great Babylon and the commencement of the 1,000 year reign.

Great Babylon

Great Babylon, we’ve now met a couple of times in Revelation Ch 16. Revelation 16, the last half a dozen verses is, of course, the seventh vial period, which is the last 40 years of that 50 years we just saw, and it tells us in Rev 16:19, that the great city Babylon was divided into three parts and it fell, that is, it was destroyed. We asked the question, one or two studies ago, “What were those three parts?” We made the observation that, all at once in the book of Revelation, Rome is divided into thirds. Well, the three parts we believe of great Babylon, that is the three divisions, the three component parts of Babylon the great, are none other than “the dragon,” “the beast,” and “the false prophet,” that is, the military, the economic, and the religious dimensions of the kingdom of men. If we were to put geographical locations on those three things they would be Russia, the military component, the European Union, the economic component, and the Papacy, the religious component. Each of those three divisions must be dealt with separately by Christ and the saints, in order to bring about the destruction of the kingdom of men.

The dragon, the beast and the false prophet

Tonight we are going to speak of the dragon. There is a difference between the dragon and the beast. They are both wild beasts, that is true, but there is a big difference between the dragon in Revelation and the beast of Revelation which I will explain. Tonight the dragon, I think Thursday the beast, and on the weekend, the false prophet, after which we have completely destroyed the kingdom of men. In the process of dealing with those three dimensions of the kingdom of men, we are going to become very, very familiar with this chart. Just have a look at what you’ve got on the screen, these are all the beasts of Revelation, when they exist over the last two thousand years, and then some. This is the progress of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, from John’s day until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and into the kingdom age. When John was alive, on the very left hand side of the screen, the Roman Empire was the great red dragon, it was a pagan empire, and that means, it was not a Christian empire, it worshipped false gods, it worshipped Caesars and so forth. When Constantine came on the scene in 324 AD, he came on the scene a little before that, but he became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire in 324AD, and in addition to conquering the entire empire himself, he became the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. That was a watershed moment in the Roman Empire, and that in fact required the dragon to change his color. It would go from a pagan empire to a Christian Empire, well, that’s not all Constantine did. In addition to Christianising the empire, that is, making Christianity, not only a legal religion, but a state-sponsored religion. In addition to doing that, he established a second capital. He made Constantinople, in fact, the primary capital of the Roman Empire, and Rome became a secondary capital.

The great red dragon splits into two separate beasts

Now as far as the book of Revelation is concerned, that was supremely significant, because that requires us now to split the great red dragon into two separate beasts, one would live in Constantinople, and the other would live in Western Europe where Rome is. You might say, “well, why do we need two beasts, it is still all one empire, it’s just that it’s got two capitals?” That’s the point you see, that those two capitals take on a life of their own. They were both extremely powerful entities in themselves, because each capital owned half of the Roman Empire, each was like a sub-empire, and more than once they went to war with each other, and over time they head in very different directions. That’s why we need two separate beasts, and you can see, that from the great red dragon on the left, all of a sudden we split the Roman Beast into an eastern and a western European dimension. In the east, the line is very simple, Constantinople becomes the eastern empire, and that beast is called “the dragon.” He is called “the dragon” all his life until in fact, the very end of the 1,000 years reign of Christ. He changes location once. He begins in Constantinople, as we will show you tonight, he moves, he relocates to Moscow, but before the millennial reign of Christ begins, he will relocate to Constantinople. So he’s just shifted, just for a moment, but he’s going to come back to Constantinople again, that dragon is Russia. That’s who we are speaking about that’s who we are going to talk about tonight.

The dimensions of the kingdom of men.

In Western Europe, well, we have the “beast of the sea,” and he runs all the way along the bottom of that screen, to become the latter day manifestation of the beast of the sea which is the “scarlet colored beast.” The European Union. And in between time we have the “beast of the earth” come and go, we have the “image of the beast,” come and go, so that today, the only component parts of great Babylon that we have in existence today, which must be dealt with by the Lord Jesus Christ when he comes are, “the dragon,” “the false prophet,” and “the beast,” the scarlet colored beast of Revelation 17. Now I’m not going to speak any more about that because I only want to talk about the dragon tonight, but you can see why we make the point that “the dragon” and “the beast” are very different creatures as far as Revelation is concerned.

But if we were to look at all those beasts that we just saw, if we were to look at where they lived, or have lived in time, this is how the map of their world appears. The dragon, of course, is based in Constantinople, yes, we’ve made the point that he goes to Moscow, but he’s going to come back to Constantinople, he’s a very simple creature. The “beast of the sea,” is Western Europe. For a portion of time, about 1,000 years, there was a second, competing beast, called the “beast of the earth,” who was in central Europe. The difference between the “beast of the sea,” and the “beast of the earth,” is simply this, the reason he is called “the beast of the sea,” is because he is a coastal empire in Western Europe, it’s the European Union.  The reason the second beast is called the “beast of the earth,” because he is an inland empire in Western Europe, he was a Germanic beast, he’s the holy Roman Empire. And down there, on the peninsula, you’ve got this other little creature, he’s called “the image of the beast.” The word “image” is the Greek work “Icon,” and it means a copy, and all it simply means is that the Pope, when he got the Papal State, he had a bit of land, he had a few farmers, he had an army to help him, he created a miniature copy of the “beast of the sea” in his own back yard, and it was called “the image of the beast,” an icon, or a miniature copy of the sea beast of Europe. They are the dimensions of the kingdom of men.

The Eastern Roman Empire

That was the very top row. We’re just going to talk about the Eastern Roman Empire this evening, that portion, or that half of the Roman Empire which was ensconced in Constantinople and its surrounds, from the time of Constantine, forwards. What is that all about? Well, the dragon, in fact, is a crocodile. When you come to draw the beasts of Revelation, this particular beast looks like a crocodile. How do we know that? Well, the word “dragon,” in Revelation 12 where he begins, is the Greek word “dracon,” from which we get, of course, the English “dragon.” In the Hebrew, if we were to look at the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, It is the Hebrew word “tanniym,” which becomes the word ‘dragon,” and this word, “tanniym,”  occurs in Ezekiel 29:3, speaking of Pharaoh King of Egypt, that great dragon, or in the Septuagint, “dracon.” Leviathan in the midst of the rivers which has said, “My river is my own and I have made it for myself, I will put hooks in thy jaws.”  Well, the dragon of Egypt, of course, was the Nile crocodile, that’s how we know that this dragon was in fact a crocodile, that’s where we get that from, arrogant, aggressive, anti-Semitic, that’s what he was, down there in Egypt. So you see, of Egypt, he says, “My river is my own I have made it for myself,” words, of course, which were very closely repeated by Nebuchadnezzar many, many hundreds of years later. Interestingly, in Jeremiah 51:34, Nebuchadnezzar is also called “a dragon.” And look what God is going to do with this Egyptian dragon, he’s going to put hooks in his jaws. So the Egyptian dragon, was not only typical of the Babylonian dragon, he’s also typical of the Gogian dragon.

Now what’s the point about this crocodile? If you were to go to Job 41, you would find that the Leviathan of Job 41 is “the dragon.” And in Job 41:4, this is what it says, speaking of the crocodile, “Will he make a covenant with thee? Wilt thou take him for a servant forever? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? lay thy hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.” What does that mean? The New International Version says it like this, “If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again.” In the book of Job, as I say, Leviathan is the crocodile, and the crocodile in the book of Job is the symbol of sin, that’s what that dragon represents in scripture, arrogant, calculating, merciless, he’s very happy with you if you serve him, but he will never serve you. You can’t tame him, you can’t make deals with him, he only exists to please himself, and if he wants, any day he wants, he will kill you. The only treatment you can give to this dragon is to starve him. If you feed him, he only gets bigger, you can’t parley with sin, that’s the point. That was Egypt, that was Babylon, that is Russia. The dragon, therefore as a symbol in the book of Revelation is simply the political manifestation of sin, or if you like, sin incorporated into an empire, that’s the biblical symbol.

Now come to Revelation Ch 12, this is where you meet the dragon, this is the first occurrence of the word “dragon,” in the book of Revelation. We won’t read the whole chapter, I only want to look at the first four verses, reading most particularly, vs 3-4, but let’s start at v 1 because this gives you the entire context of this particular portion of the Roman Empire. “There appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, and she being with child, travailed in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven and behold a great red dragon,” there he is, “ having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head, and the tail of that dragon,”  it says, “drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth, and the dragon stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

Two wonders in heaven

So what have we got here? Well, we’ve got two wonders in heaven, don’t we? The first one in v1 is a woman clothed with the sun, and the second one in v 3 is a dragon, flicking the starts of heaven around. “Heaven” here cannot possibly be the literal abode of God because there is utter chaos in this “heaven.” There is “war” it tells us in v 7, there is a dragon running around trying to eat little children, in v 4, and at the same time it is throwing the “stars from heaven” down to the earth. So what does it mean? Well, let’s begin with the dragon, this is a slide which you are familiar with, I don’t need to explain too much here, my simple point is, this is a representation of one of the phases of the Roman Empire. How do we know that? because the “dragon” in v 3 has ten horns. There are only four beasts in the Bible which have ten horns, the fourth beast of Daniel Ch 7, the Roman Beast, and his equivalent, in Revelation 12, 13 and 17, so outside of the book of Revelation, the only other beast in Scripture which has ten horns is the Roman Empire in Daniel Ch 7. So we are talking about the Roman Empire in Revelation Ch 12, so if you were talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses, that would be the first thing I would try and prove, that this is not talking about the devil, it is not talking about a warfare in heaven in the orthodox sense, it is a phase of the Roman Empire, in which there is great conflict. Why does this great red dragon have seven heads? Well, because, in the entire existence of the Roman Empire, there were seven forms of government and when I say seven forms of government, I mean like communism, a dictatorship, democracy, socialism, etc, etc., these are different forms of government.

The Roman Empire actually began in about 753 BC with the seven famous kings of Rome, that is, one after the other, that was called the “Regal” period of the Roman Empire. It lasted from 753 BC to 510 BC. Well what the Romans found of course was that Kings were want to abuse their power, because they gave the throne to their sons, it didn’t mean that the best man necessarily sat on the throne, so they replaced that sort of government with consuls, so they had a consular sort of government where you had two kings if you like, holding hands, in a coalition. Well the problem was that way back in the centuries BC, Rome was want to get attacked all the time and when you went to war, the last thing you needed was two kings who couldn’t agree what the battle plan was so they went straight to dictators as the third form of government, because a dictator is what you need when you fight a war. Well a dictator is even worse than a king, so it wasn’t long before the fourth phase of government occurs, the “Decimviral ,” ten men , they governed Rome by a committee up until about 388 BC, and then the “tribunicial” phase, tribunes were like generals who became kings. They had extensive military experience, and then from about 27BC, with Augustus Caesar, through to 476AD when the western empire fell, the “imperial” phase, “Imperial” means “emperor,” there were Roman Emperors for about 500 years, of course, even during the time that John wrote. And it tells you by the way in Revelation 17:10, as you can see on the screen, John says, “And there are seven kings,” well, there they are there, “seven heads,” seven forms of government, “five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come,” which means he was in the sixth kingdom, if you like, the sixth form of government of the empire, which you can see through the book of Revelation, written in 96AD, is exactly right. After 476AD the emperor in Rome was killed and his government was replaced by one of the barbarian tribes called the Ostragoths and they formed the Gothic form of government. They are the seven heads of the beast.

The ten horns

But what about ten horns? Well there is no mystery there, there were sometimes more, sometimes less but on average, ten barbarian tribes which carved up the body of the fallen Roman Empire of western Europe, they are the ten horns on the head of the Roman beast. Well, what about the woman? What’s the story of the woman in Revelation 12, well you know, this is very important because identifying the woman is really the key to identifying the entire chapter, and it’s not really very complicated. A woman is a biblical symbol of a religious system, in this case, she stands for the Christian religious system because Christ is mentioned in v 10 of Revelation 12. But she’s an apostate Christian religious system because she is about to have a child, she is no longer a “chaste virgin.” So this is the time when Christianity came into the Roman Empire. So we’ve identified the Roman beast, seven heads and ten horns, this is the time when Christianity arose in the Roman Empire, but it didn’t just come into the empire, this woman in v 1 is clothed with the sun because she’s got the support of the emperor. She’s standing on the moon because she has triumphed over paganism, this is state-sponsored Christianity arriving in the Roman Empire. The empire is changing, you see, and the child that is born here, he is the product of that woman, of that church and he is none other than emperor Constantine himself, the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. So we know exactly where we are in time you see, in Revelation Ch 12 in the context of the Roman Empire. The war in heaven in v 7 concluded in 324 AD with Constantine victorious and the Roman Empire now officially “Christian.”

Rome and Constantinople

Well, by the time Constantine had finished with the Empire, this is what it looked like. We have a Christian beast, in western Europe, and we have a dragon in Eastern Europe, one based around Rome if you like, and the other based in Constantinople. But you must understand just how powerful this dragon is, he is more powerful than the beast. The dragon is the capital, Constantine went and lived in Constantinople, the dragon is the capital city of the Roman Empire, Here’s a couple of questions for you just while you are thinking about it, why doesn’t the dragon have seven heads, I’ve drawn it with one head, why doesn’t the dragon have seven heads? I thought it was Roman? Well, because there is only one form of government in Constantinople, “Imperial.” The other six heads all related to the Roman empire down in history, this is a new capital, there’s only one head, there’s only one form of government, there’s an emperor in Constantinople, it’s imperial. Why doesn’t the dragon have ten horns? Well, because the ten horns relate to the barbarian tribes which overtook Western Europe, the dragon’s in Eastern Europe, you see. So the seven heads and ten horns make complete sense they are part of the legate Roman Empire in Western Europe, this is a new phase, if you like, of the Roman Empire, the eastern Roman Empire. What that means, by the way, is that Putin, let’s imagine Putin’s Gog, he may not be, that does imply that Putin must become an emperor. If this dragon rises in the last days, it will be an imperial dragon, there’s only one head on this dragon, it’s not a democracy. Well, perhaps, Russian democracy’s not a real democracy anyway. You see the point? Understand just how strong this dragon was. The first seven Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church were run around Constantinople. In 325AD, one year after he became the sole emperor, Constantine called the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, you can see the map there, those seven councils are all in places dotted around Constantinople. What’s the point, do you suppose, of me putting up this slide here? Well, look what those councils worked out. The first council repudiates  Aryanism and declares that Christ is of one substance with the Father, so Christ and God are the same. The second council repudiates Aryanism and says that Christ is, in fact, pre-existent, he was born of the Father before all time, so they work out the Trinity first, then they work out pre-existence second, and by the third Council, Mary is the Mother of God. Can you see that the entire fabric of Catholic Church doctrine was forged in the Eastern Empire by the dragon, he defined the Catholic Church. Over in Western Rome, they are a fraction as powerful as the dragon was over in the east. The entire roots of the Western Roman Empire, I mean, you think about the Catholic Church, and you think about Catholic dogma, and you associate it with Rome, understand, it was born in Constantinople, that’s how powerful the dragon was.  In fact the Byzantine Empire which was the empire in the east, we call it Byzantine, by the way, because before Constantinople was called Constantinople, it was the Greek city of Byzantium, so we call it the Byzantine Empire after its old name. The Byzantine Empire dominated the Papacy between 537 and 752 AD. All the Popes had to have the approval of the Byzantine Emperor before they were consecrated. You can see how much control this Eastern Empire has.

The Western Roman Empire

Now come to Revelation 13, because here’s where we meet our first problem, and this is where the Eastern Empire is going to shine, like you wouldn’t believe. Revelation 13:1, “I stood upon the sand of the sea and I saw a beast rise up out of the sea and he had seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his head the name of blasphemy.”  Now this is a seven headed, ten horned beast, this is Western Europe. It’s Western Europe because it’s got ten horns and seven heads, the dragon has only got one head over in the East, so this is Western Europe, this is the Christian Roman Empire. It is exactly the same looking sort of beast as the dragon of Revelation Ch 12 except the dragon was pagan and this fellow here is Christian. But something has changed. Something very serious has happened to this beast in v 1. Look at the crowns, whereabouts are the crowns in Revelation 13:1? Well they are on the horns of this beast. Whereabouts were the crowns in Revelation 12:3? they were on the head of the beast. What’s the difference? Well, what was it that made the crowns move from the head of the beast to the horns of the beast? Well what’s “crowns?” Well crowns are governments, crowns are the control of the king, you see what’s happened here, those ten horns of the Western Roman Empire are now ruling themselves, they are doing what they want. What’s that mean? It means that when you come to Revelation 13:1 you are after the year 476 AD, the ten barbarian tribes have now dropped the Western Roman Empire and are ruling themselves. The body of the Western Roman Empire has now been carved into ten parts, that’s what has happened, Europe’s in chaos. Do you want to know how serious the problem is? Look, we’ve moved into the seventh head. The Goth’s now control Rome, they are not even Roman, they are not even Catholic and they control the city of Rome and they are destined to do so for some 60 years, we are now into the seventh head of the beast. How do we know? Well, because look at v 3 of Revelation ch 13. “I saw one of the heads,” that is one of the forms of government, “as it were, wounded to death, and its deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast.” What does it mean? It means the sixth head, the imperial head, the last emperor has died, and a new form of government has been brought in, the problem was, it was a barbarian form of government, it wasn’t what the Romans wanted, but they had no military power to do anything about it.

There are two problems with this gothic form of rulership. The first one was that they were barbarians and they weren’t really Roman, and the second one is, they weren’t Catholic, they might have been Christian, but they were not Catholic, and look what happens, v 4, “And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power to the beast and they worshipped the beast saying, “Who’s like the beast, who is able to make war with him.” What happened? What is this talking about? Well the answer is, it is not long before Constantinople gets involved again,“and the dragon of the east comes to the military aid of the beast of the west, that’s what’s going to happen. The year is now 527 AD and a man steps up to the throne in Constantinople and is destined to be the greatest, the greatest emperor Constantinople would ever see. What’s his name? Justinian! Look at him, he doesn’t look too flash there, but he was pretty good in real life as I’m getting to understand. Justinian the first, Justinian the great, he had three wishes, listen carefully, three wishes: One God, One Empire, One religion. One God means, the God of the Bible, paganism is illegal. One Empire means, East and West united, and one religion means Catholicism, and only Catholicism. Trinitarianism, and only Trinitarianism.  If you believed anything else, you were a heretic. There was no bibilical sin in killing heretics.

Well, the first objective was, reconquer all the lost territory. Go back into Western Europe after the barbarians had done their thing, and take the territory of Western Europe back, so the orange on the map is the Empire in the east, that Justinian began with, the yellow on the map is the territory Justinian retook, including, of course, and most importantly, the City of Rome. So his first intention was to take back the western portion of the Empire that had fallen to the barbarians and reinstall the sixth head; heal the wound of the sixth head that the Goths had almost mortally wounded and put an emperor back in Rome, which of course, he duly did. But the dragon didn’t just move to support the beast, so here’s the dragon of Eastern Europe in Constantinople giving military support to the beast of the sea in Western Europe, who is, frankly, struggling to survive. In 538 AD, Justinian’s famous general, called who?  Belisarius, drove the Goths from Rome, and Justinian made the Pope at that point, head of all the Churches. From that moment, the Papacy would never look back, never look back, from that moment in time.  They would have all the military support they needed, from the emperor, at least in Justinian’s reign, and they had complete authority over religion, but understand this, no matter how much power the Pope had, he was still subservient to Justinian. This is not the Holy Roman Empire, this is Justinian’s Empire. The emperor is supreme, in Justinian’s Empire, don’t forget that. And to show his commitment to religion he built the greatest Cathedral Constantinople would ever see, the greatest Cathedral it would ever see, Hagia Sophia, the church of Sophie, wisdom, the church of Holy Wisdom. In fact, it was a tribute to Jesus Christ, for he believed was the second part of the Trinity, because Christ was “the Word,” and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh, so he believed that Christ in fact was the holy wisdom, and this is a tribute and not just to wisdom, that is to biblical knowledge, it is a tribute to the Lord Jesus Christ as the second part of the Trinity, that’s his point. Well, when he had built it and they consecrated that Church, he stood in the middle of that Church, and said, “Glory be to God,” he said, “who  thought me worthy to finish this work, Solomon, I have surpassed!” That’s how proud he was, of the cathedral he had built. Well, things roll on for the next 900 years, Justinian of course, dies, and he is replaced successively by subsequent emperors of the dragon power in the east. The problem was, because of its wickedness, God unleashed trumpets number 5 and number 6 upon the eastern Roman Empire. Islam is formed in about 600 AD and the Saracen hordes come through and then the Ottoman hordes eventually come through. There’s the development of the Ottoman Empire and you can see long before the Ottoman Empire took the city of Constantinople, they had territory well out to the west into Hungary, well out to the west of Constantinople, and time and time again they had tried, these Muslim invaders, to take the city of Constantinople, but nobody could ever take Constantinople, and for good reason. Constantine, who was in fact born in Serbia, in the Eastern Empire, he chose the city of Byzantium for a reason, it had water, you see,  on three sides, that is the north, the east, and the southern sides. So all they had to defend heavily was the Western Wall. The emperor Theodosia, subsequently built enormously and fortified. So the city of Constantinople after Constantine had founded it, lasted for 1100 years and nobody could take it. Well, in fact, the only people who took it, actually, were the Crusaders and their people, the very people that they might have thought were friends, but the Muslims couldn’t, until it finally happened, and what changed it? Gunpowder! Gunpowder had now made its way into Europe from China, and when the Ottoman Turks levelled the greatest canon the world had ever seen against the walls of Constantinople, they began to shake, you see. Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t the canons that finally won the day, it was somebody who left a gate open in the wall, the Turkish Janissaries ran in and slit everybody’s throats, and they were now the conquerors of the city. And Constantine’s famous Cathedral was re-badged and became a Mosque to Islam and this was his glory to God, you see.

Now, Islam dominated Constantinople and was destined to do so for the next 500 to 600 years. But now history changes course again, because what becomes of the Christian population of Constantinople? How can they survive under these Muslim overlords? Well, it all changed, one day, you see, when Ivan the Great of Moscow married Sophia Palaiologinathe niece of the last Byzantine emperor and moved with her back up to Moscow, and what the Russians said, and believe to this day, that meant that the right of the Byzantine throne has been inherited by the Tsar of Russia. Russia has a title to the throne of Constantinople because one of their Tsars in 1472 married the last surviving descendant of the Byzantine empire, and this is how historians portray it. There were three Rome’s you see in history, and the Russians see it like that. This famous monk Philotheus once wrote, “Two Rome’s have fallen but the third stands and a fourth, there will not be.” That’s how Russia sees, she sees herself as the “third Rome,” and there will be no fourth Rome, and if we were to want to put a biblical interpretation on that as far as the beast is concerned, you’ve just seen the dragon move in 1472 from Constantinople, up to Moscow. Now, for the purists, it can’t really be a dragon, unless he lives in Constantinople, for that reason, bible students would call Russia, the dragon-power designate, she is the dragon-power in waiting, and the day she finally recovers the lost city of Constantinople, she will become the dragon power, and Daniel’s image will stand on two legs again, the dragon-power designate, that’s how the Russians see it. This is how the Byzantine’s saw it, this is the Byzantine. This is a Byzantine mosaic from the floor of one of our churches, they see it in exactly the same way. They also see that their entire legacy is now found in Moscow, and this is how the Russian Church sees it. Why would you build a cross like that? There is only one thing that cross could mean isn’t it? It is a cross above a crescent, what does it mean? It means one day, one day, we’ll take back Constantinople, one day, the cross will bury the crescent of Islam. On the church.

Well then, as far as Revelation is concerned, we know nothing more about the dragon until Revelation Ch 16 and the battle of Armageddon. John is completely silent on the movements of the dragon in the latter days. So where would we go therefore, brothers and sisters and young people, to find guidance on the movements of Russia in our day? Well, there is only one place left, Daniel Ch 7, come back with me to Daniel Ch 7. Now I’m just going to show you one verse because we have “time no longer.” I’m just saying this in deference to my chairman, he would like me to continue, I know. Daniel Ch 7:19. Look at this verse carefully, what do you think it means? “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast,” that’s the Roman beast of Daniel 7, “which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass, which devoured and break in pieces and stamped the residue with his feet.” What is the meaning of iron and brass in this fourth beast? I mean if I get up to Daniel 2 for example, I find that the Roman Empire was an empire of iron, solid iron, two iron legs; that was the Roman Empire. If you want to speak about the Roman Empire of the last days, it iron and clay, but there’s no brass anywhere, brass was the Greek Empire, so why do we have a Roman beast with a component of brass in him? Well, if you look at the map on the screen, you will see very clearly that the Roman Empire was divided into two halves, one ruled from Rome and one ruled from Constantinople as we’ve discussed.

The Eastern Roman Empire

Now look at that eastern half, that purple half, that is in fact the exact territory of the old Greek Empire, it doesn’t quite go far enough out to the east, but you can see that it is the exact territory..can you see what.. that all the Roman Empire did was that it acquired the Greek Empire to its east, and stitched it to the existing Roman Empire in the west, and so therefore, as far as Daniel is concerned, that fourth beast really just was an iron beast which welded a brazen half to itself. And it tells you in v 19, that this beast hasn’t finished his job, because he’s going to “stamp the residue” with his feet, the residue of what? Well, in fact, it turns out, as you read this chapter carefully, it’s the residue of the Greek Empire, because you may be aware, that if you were to look at the Greek Empire, it extends well east. well east, of what the Romans controlled. There is an entire portion of land which the Roman Empire never took, let me just put that to that previous map, you see, the Roman Empire never really went east of Jordan, the Greek Empire went substantially east of Jordan. And there was a portion you see, of the old Greek Empire, which the Roman Empire never took, but which she will take, and which part of the Roman Empire will “stamp the residue with his feet?” Well, there is two options, it is either the iron part or the brass part. Well, how can you tell which one? Well, in V 19, the iron part is “teeth,” and the brazen part is “claws.” Well, which one of those is going to “stamp the residue?” Well, the claws. So the Eastern Roman Empire, it appears, is going to go and conquer all the residue of the old Greek Empire, which the Roman Empire hasn’t yet overtaken, and stamp it to pieces. What does that simply mean? What does that simply mean? It means Russia is going to take all that land there. all that land of the old Seleucid Empire, all that land of the empire we call in Daniel Chapter 11, the King of the North. Russia must become the King of the North in Dan 11:40 , and once she does, what will she do? Well, you know it yourself, she will “push at him.” Who is the “him” of Daniel 11:40? Constantinople. What do we expect to see then from the prophecy of Daniel? We expect Russia to control the area by military conquest or otherwise, of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and, having controlled that area, she becomes, what is called in Ancient terms, “the King of the North.” Having become the King of the North, she pushes at Turkey, and takes Turkey. Why would she want to do such a thing? Isn’t it obvious from history? She’ll take Constantinople, and having done that, invade the land of Israel, into Egypt, back up to Jerusalem, and plant the tabernacle of her palace between the two seas, at which point, she will be destroyed, or at least her army, will be destroyed.

That’s the future, the Scripture tells us of Russia, now what do current events say? Well, Putin’s got an imperial adventure, now why would he want “an imperial adventure?” Well because the eastern dragon has only got one head, it’s an imperial head, the eastern dragon is run by an emperor. Russia’s ties to the region, that is Syria, don’t you find it singularly interesting then, that Russia is in Syria, in Syria to stay, when you know she’s going to become the King of the North and conquer the ancient territory of the Seleucid Empire? But Russia’s ties the region are recent in its self-assigned role as the defender of Orthodox Christianity, which it claims to inherit from the Byzantine Caesars, that’s history you now know. The Tsars present Moscow, not just a third Rome but also as the New Jerusalem and Protector of Christians in the Balkans and the Arab world, including the holy places of Jerusalem. So why would she want to take Jerusalem? Well, she sees herself as the Protector of Christian trade there, not just that, she’s also the Protector of Christians. “At no time in history,” this news commentator is saying, “has the persecution of Christians been as intense, and widespread as it is at the moment. There is a global war on Christians which has escalated in a scale and intensity since the US invasion of Iraq; the US and her allies, have created a situation in the Middle East now, which is detrimental to Christians,” that’s how Russia sees it. “Russia,” the next red paragraph, “Russia is the only major power in the world today that accepts the responsibility for protecting persecuted Christians. Now this is from RT, which is a Russian news agency, but that’s how the Russians see themselves. They are the only one that cares about the welfare of Christians  persecuted by Muslims in the Middle East, it is their job to deal with the problem, and not just Christians, but Christianity. Russia sees herself as the Protector of Christian values, as well as Christian people. The Vatican has no troops. This explains why in truly troubled times, the Pope badly needs a world power that can be a defender of Christians. Can you see therefore why the Pope wants to have discussions with Mr Putin?

Next Red Paragraph, “In general, there is a converging interest between Orthodox Christians and Papal Rome. Putin is becoming the most vocal attacker of European secular ovation, he has also emerged as a defender of religious normal family values.” Putin has got his own way of dealing with certain sub-classes of society which aren’t “Orthodox,” he puts them in prison, or they get radiation poisoning, or something mysterious occurs with them, he doesn’t tolerate uprisings of minority groups who aren’t “conventional.” He has no interest in people who want to marry two men together or two women together and tread in the dust “normal” family values, as he calls it. Now the Pope adds, “but the very harsh way which Mr Putin pursues this agenda via widely condemned laws, has created a bit of an embarrassment in Vatican circles.” So the Pope doesn’t necessarily like the way Putin does what he does, but he does agree with Putin’s approach to morality. ‘For Putin,” last lines, “ this is just a domestic policy talk, he isn’t concerned about the Vatican,” understand that very clearly, he isn’t concerned at all about the Pope actually, he just cares about what his ambitions are. Now let’s put all that together, so you are Mr Putin, you see it as your job to defend Christians in the Middle East, to defend Christian values in the Church, to protect Christian Holy places in Jerusalem. Most of all you resent the fact that Islam has controlled your ancient capital now for more than 500 years and you happen to believe that one of the major reasons that Constantinople fell in the first place was because of a lack of coordination between east and west. When the east needed it most, the armies of the west were not there to help them. And so the Muslim Caliphate of 1453, the Ottoman Turk,  took your sacred capital and forced you to Moscow, and now you’re watching, in the 21st century, the rise of another Muslim Caliphate, called ISIS. What might your answer be? One God! One Empire! One religion! So you instruct the Russian Patriarch to accept the meeting the Pope has been requesting for years, you tell him to fall in line, kiss him three sides on both sides of the face, and enjoy it! and stop disuniting the Empire. Do you care for the Vatican? you can read it yourself, of course not, because where you come from, the Church is always subservient to the Emperor. And the day will certainly come when you reopen the greatest Cathedral that Constantinople has ever seen, and when will that happen? It will happen the day you re-unite the empire, the day you recover all the territory that has been taken by those Muslim  barbarians, the day you take Turkey, and for that matter, the day you take back the Holy Land because, don’t forget. in Justinian’s empire, he also owned Jerusalem.   You see, that all Mr Putin really wants to do when news commentators talk about his “imperial adventure,” all Putin really wants to do, is resurrect the old empire of Justinian, to move the capital back to Constantinople, to proclaim himself as Emperor, and create a situation which he thinks will prevail forever. But he is going to go one step too far isn’t he. He’s going to enter the glorious Holy Land, he’s going to come to his end, and the record says, “none shall help him.” You know, he’s going to form his empire because none helped him in the past, and they lost Constantinople, it’s going to happen again! and he will get to Jerusalem and none will help him again, and his soldiers will die on the Mountains of Israel, and that’s about when Armageddon is. Now come to Revelation 20, because its the last instalment you see, of the dragon. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes, it tells us that the beast is killed, that is the western European Beast, the EU is actually killed in year 50 at the commencement of the 1,000 years. The false prophet is killed in year 50, at the commencement of the 1,000 years, the dragon? He’s not killed, he’s not killed until the end of the 1,000 years, actually. He lives another 1,000 years beyond the death of the beast and the false prophet. He is simply bound for 1,000 years, Revelation 20:1. “And I saw an angel coming down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand and he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him 1,000 years. So in year 50, that’s what happens to the dragon. Chapter 19:20 you can read, records the death of the false prophet and the beast, there’s no false religion in the kingdom, but the dragon’s not killed in v 2, he’s simply chained up for a thousand years and for a thousand years, you see, neither shall they learn war any more, but when you come to Revelation 20:7,  an amazing thing happens, when the thousand years has expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his pit, the dragon breaks free, and “he shall go out to deceive the nations between the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea, and they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city, and fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them,” there’s the death of the dragon, not in year 50, but year one thousand and fifty in terms of our time line. Almost impossible to contemplate, you know, not only because the kingdom age should be an age of unmixed good for the mortal population of the world, but what would possess you to think, brothers and sisters, that you could take on, as a mortal person, you could take on an immortal army and win? Well, it’s the end of the 1,000 years, most probably it’s the first generation of people who entered the kingdom age as mortals are dead by now, this is their children, it is a copy of the events of the Exodus. It wasn’t the first generation that made it into the land, it was the second, here it’s the opposite the second generation is opposite to the first, they’ve never seen, they were born into the kingdom age, they don’t remember what it was like before the kingdom began. It says in v 7 that Satan is loosed, this is the political manifestation of sin, is loosed again. It’s called in v 2, “the old serpent,” of course the reference to Genesis Ch 3, this is the part inside each one of us that says, “God doesn’t really mean what he says.” This is that crocodile who lurks in the river, watching, watching, waiting, waiting, for your weakest moment, to kill you. The serpent was bound in V 2 which means a complete curtailing of any personal or political rebellion, but at the end of the 1,000 years, it says in v 3, he is loosed for a little season, perhaps 50 years? perhaps another Jubilee period, at the end of the millennial reign. It appears the saints withdraw because the dragon has unfettered access to the four corners of the world, in v 8. He can recruit, he can proselytise and no one gets in his way, and so that disobedience begins unnoticed, it goes unpunished, a person here, a person there, a whisper, an innuendo, a meeting is called, another larger meeting is called, a committee is formed, information from the 21st century becomes unearthed in the 31st century, so it appears that once man did govern themselves, in fact, once man had empires, before this 1,000 year rule of Jesus Christ. There was technological progress, back in the 21st century, life wasn’t so bad, it appears before the kingdom, and after all, the kingdom’s just another empire, there have been 1,000 year’s empires of mankind before, the Byzantine Empire was more than 1,000 years, the Holy Roman Empire, was 1,000 years. Documents get circulated, books get published, rallies are called, eloquent speakers take the platform, the promise of liberty, they probably quote scripture because, of course, all these people have been brought up with scripture. Think of the mesmerising eloquence of Rabshakeh who told the Jews at the top of the wall that he was going to take them to a place where they would put every man under their vine and fig tree, the promise of certain victory against the saints. Don’t forget this is not just a dragon, he is a devil, he is a liar, and he’s got to be disciplined, and he’s got to have military training, so a movement is formed, military conscription takes place, can you believe what you are hearing? The build up then becomes open, and defiant, there’s no reaction from the saints, perhaps the rumor would start that perhaps Christ is too scared, perhaps he doesn’t dare take us on. Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil,” and what began with individuals progresses to committees, to provinces, to nations, to an international force, One Empire! And look how Scripture describes it, v 8 “they go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. “To gather them together to battle,” is the identical language of Revelation 16:17, the first Armageddon. “The sand of the sea,” is Abrahamic language. This was meant to be the next generation of the saints, They have formed an army to take on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the saints have withdrawn, it appears in v 9, that, in fact, they have withdrawn back to the city Jerusalem and left the world to it, so this army goes up on the breadth of the earth and encompasses the camp of the saints about and the beloved city, and then fire comes down from God, out of heaven and devours them. They have been going to Jerusalem these people for 1,000 years, all nations have been going up to the feast of tabernacles to worship, everybody knows the way to go to get to Jerusalem. And who is it that organised the rebellion, well it says there, it’s Gog and Magog, the very same protagonists who organised it last time. The very same! Why? Why have they done it? and who are Gog and Magog? I’ve heard all sorts of answers to that question, you know, perhaps that Gog and Magog are just sort of generic terms for anti-Semitic powers, but I think it is the same people, I think it is Eastern and Western Europe who organised the rebellion the second time and I think we’ve got a clue, you see as to why it’s been again. You come up into Ezek 39, they do it again, why do they do it again? Because I think in Ezekiel 39:11 look what it says. “It shall come to pass, in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of the graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers, on the east of the sea, and it will stop the mouths, as it should be, and it will stop the mouths of the passengers and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall call it the valley of Haman Gog,” and as your margin will tell you, “Haman Gog” means, “the multitude of Gog.” Now what’s happening in v 11 of Ezekiel 39? Well, simply this, Gog is the one who brings his soldiers, that is the soldiers under his control, of Eastern and Western Europe, and all those confederate with them, down to the land of Israel to take the Holy City and to establish their tabernacle between the two seas. They are destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ in that battle of Armageddon. As a consequence of that an enormous mausoleum is set up in the vicinity of Jerusalem so that every pilgrim for the next 1,000 years who goes up to Jerusalem travels through the valley of Haman Gog, you know those fields in Europe you can see of green grass and white crosses as far as the eye can see, as a tribute to the fallen soldiers of the war, that’s what you’ve got outside Jerusalem. And every pilgrim for the next 1,000 years who goes up there is going to have their mouths stopped when they look at the blood-bath that Armageddon must have been, but it’s not called the valley of Haman New Zealand or the valley of Haman Austrdalia, it is called the Valley of Haman Gog and everybody knows whose soldiers are lying there. And for year after year, after year for 1,000 years, those people have walked past the bodies of their ancestors. And the stigma has never been released from them and they have resented it and across the millennium, the resentment builds, and so finally, they say “we’ve had enough. we’ve had enough!” This simmering resentment has now reached a fever pitch, and now the time’s come to remove the stigma. Isiah 26:19 says, “When God’s judgments are in the earth, then shall the inhabitants of the earth learn righteousness.” Evidently when God’s judgments are not in the earth, when the saints withdraw, the inhabitants learn rebellion, and you see, the lesson of the dragon is simply this, it is the lesson of sin in every one of us. The dragon is just a symbol of sin, you see it in your life, you see it here manifested in an empire, but there’s a part of every one of us that instinctively rebels, and it wouldn’t matter if I could prove to you every day for 1,000 years the benefits of Divine rule and of submission to Divine values, there would be a part of you that woke up like there is of me, every morning and says, ”Ah ha, well, I’m still going to do it my way.” The only thing that binds that dragon in each one of us all our lives is submission to this book, and you know yourselves, the moment that you turn away, and walk to the left or right, the dragon will take over, and will harm you  every bite you take, that’s why you are sitting here, and for a generation of mortals who grow up in the kingdom age, they have learn that lesson in exactly the same way as we have to learn it today, and it appears for many thousands and millions of them, they never really do learn the lesson.

Summary

In summary then, what have we found about the future movements of Russia? The fourth beast of Daniel 7 is the beast of iron and brass, therefore the latter day Roman Empire will include areas of the ancient Western and Eastern Roman Empire. Revelation divides Europe between the dragon and the beast, therefore European countries that are not part of the ten-horned beast of the west, must leave the EU and fall under the control of the dragon, for example, Greece. Russia will begin war, perhaps under the guise of peace, says Daniel Ch 8. By comparing Ezekiel 38 and Daniel Ch 11 it is also clear that Russia becomes the King of the North. The King of the North is the power that controls the area of the ancient Seleucid Empire. As the King of the North, Russia will then take Constantinople and complete the “drying-up process” of Turkey. Only after she takes Constantinople does she become the dragon of Revelation 16 because that’s where the dragon was based.  Russia will then be drawn into Israel for religious and commercial reasons, Ezekiel tells us in two places. After 1,000 years she will exert her influence once again this time on the whole world and that time, to be destroyed.

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Things which must Shortly Come To Pass: Study 2 The 7th Vial ‘The Role of the Saints’ Rev14

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“The Seventh Vial”

“The job description of the saints”

This is one of the most exciting chapters in the book of Revelation, and no question, one of the most exciting chapters in the Bible. This is the job description of the saints for the next 50 years. .

 

TRANSCRIPT – kindly supplied by Sis Fay Berry

The book of Revelation
Study 2 by Neville Clark for Enfield Ecclesia’s special effort

“The Seventh Vial”
Reading: Revelation Ch 14
The job description of the saints

This is one of the most exciting chapters in the book of Revelation, and no question, one of the most exciting chapters in the Bible. This is the job description of the saints for the next 50 years. If you just recall the words that our reader read, in the last verses of Revelation Ch 14 about the judgments that are coming upon the world, you will understand just how busy we are going to be, on the one hand to bring down this colossal system of apostate mankind, and on the other hand, try to save people’s lives who are swept up in it. It is an extremely difficult job, and a job which is going to take some time to do. It’s not just like we can walk into the world as if it were a butcher’s shop, we’ve got to use precision to try and save lives, and to make discernments, about who is saved and who is not, out of the mortal population. So there is nothing haphazard here. In fact, there is nothing simple about this process, particularly when you imagine that this process is done amongst the seven billion inhabitants of the earth, across a period, we’re saying, of fifty years.

We concluded our last study

We concluded our last study like this, with the dual time-line of the book of Revelation and highlighting the last fifty years, that is the time period between the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the household and the commencement of the 1,000 year reign; that is the millennial reign, of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we illustrated that,  as you will remember,  as two parallel histories, one political, one religious, and we proved that by making the scriptural links between Revelation 6 and Revelation 12, on the left hand side, and Revelation 11, and Revelation 20, on the right hand side of those two chronologies.

We found moreover that punctuating those historical chronologies were various kingdom visions, which were pulled out of the chronology as you can see on the screen; visions for the saints who lived in the various epochs of that history. Now we made the point about the last fifty years as I have just said, prior to the commencement of the millennium, and made the observation that there is an enormous number of chapters captured in that 50 year period, chapters 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, chapter 10, as we found this morning, chapter 14, as we are going to find in a moment. Why so many chapters? Why is 30% of the book of Revelation all going to happen in the next fifty years?

Well, the answer is very simple, because this particular portion of the Book of Revelation is the culmination of the plot, isn’t it? It is the destruction of the 6,000 year kingdom of men and these enormous, ferocious beasts which manifest it. That brought us to an explanation of the fifty years. You remember I made the point yesterday morning, that I had to explain to you the fifty years because we were going to have the exhortation on the seven thunders which were poured out in the last thirty of that fifty years. Now, ideally of course, the exhortation would have been after the study and everyone would be very clear on that. If for whatever reason you weren’t here yesterday, and missed the introduction, and then came into the exhortation and wondered how on earth it was all fitting into the seventh vial, all being well, by the end of Chapter 14, you will understand what the context of the time period was that we dealt with in our exhortation this morning.

The seventh vial, Revelation Ch 16

Now let me tell you what we are going to do today. First off we are going to begin in Revelation Ch 16 in the seventh vial where we left off speaking yesterday. The reason for that is because you are on familiar ground. The sixth vial concludes with the battle of Armageddon, we’ve had a bit of a brief précis of the seventh vial, so I think you will be comfortable starting there because you know where you are in the chronology of history, particularly with reference to where we are today. From there we are going to go to Ezekiel 38 and 39 because there is a quotation from Ezekiel 39 made in Revelation Ch 16 in the seventh vial, and you already know a lot about Ezekiel Ch 38. And so by me going back to Ezekiel 38 and 39, once again you are on familiar territory, and I think that will help you see how the judgment of the world is actually portrayed in Scripture. From there, we go to Revelation Ch 14 because Revelation Ch 14 is going to give you the minute detail of the seventh vial.

Now you are going to say to me, having just read this, “How on earth would you know that Revelation Ch 14 was going to explain the seventh vial of Revelation 16? Where would you go to make that assumption?” That’s what I will show you. It’s very clear and very solid. And finally, we are going to conclude by explaining the fifty year time period. Why do we say 50 years? What proof is there of fifty years, of this particular Jubilee time period? So we are going to put all that together and see how it works. If you’ve got a question mark about the timing, reserve it to, let’s say, the last ten or so minutes of the address this afternoon.

Okay.  Revelation 16, let’s begin, back where we were yesterday. Revelation 16:12 is the sixth vial which began in the year 1820 with the drying up of the empire of Turkey, that is the Ottoman Empire. The three unclean spirits like frogs go out, so we’ve got the doctrines of the French Revolution percolating from west, eastward across Europe. The purpose of those doctrines, or “devils” as they are called in V 14, demons, is to drag the entire world to the battle of the great day of God Almighty,  v 14 of Revelation 16. That battle is called Armageddon in v 16 and just before the battle of Armageddon, we are suggesting 10 years before in fact,  v 15 the Lord Jesus Christ returns, and a salient point, I suppose, out of the sixth vial of Revelation 16 is the point you all know, when you see the world imminently heading toward Armageddon, understand that if Armageddon is in v 16, then Christ comes in v. 15. So if the world is no more than 10 years away from Armageddon today, in your estimation, then you should expect the Lord Jesus Christ to come tonight. You won’t see Russia invade Israel before you are at the judgment seat of Christ, that’s the point. Well, that much we know, very simple.

The sixth vial concludes with the battle of Armageddon

The sixth vial concludes with the battle of Armageddon. And you can see on the screen that’s year ten after the Lord Jesus Christ comes. What that means is that the seventh vial that commences in v 17 and goes through to v 21 occupies a period of 40 years, from year 10 to year 50. Now let’s look at the detail of v 17-21. Now the seventh vial, the first thing to observe is that v 17 is actually a summary of the entire process of the vial and the historical detail of how that comes about is given in v 18-21. Now how do we know that? Well because at the end of v 17 it says, that whatever this vial is going to do, “it is done.” It’s all done by the end of v 17, but we know from v 19 that great Babylon only falls then. Well the whole purpose of the seventh vial of course, is to bring great Babylon to a destructive end. So v 17, therefore must be a summary of the entire vial, because great Babylon is not destroyed until v 19.

V 17, “the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne saying it’s done.” Now here’s a question, what’s a vial? We keep talking about the vial. It’s simple, it’s just a bowl, and this bowl of judgment is tipped into the air, and the consequence of tipping that judgment into the air results in the complete accomplishment of the purpose of God and the destruction of the beast. So what’s the “air?” Well the “air” is a symbolic term signifying the “aerial region of the kingdom of men.” So what does that mean? That means the government of the kingdom of men. It is clearly a symbolic term, because there is no point in judging the “air,” not only that, but all of the other vials in Revelation 16, have judged various aspects of the Roman Empire, so you will see in v 2, “judgment upon the earth.” Now in the second line down on your page of v 2, “He poured out his vial upon the earth,” v 3, “the sea,” v 4, “the rivers,” v 8, “the sun,” v 10, “the seed of the beast,” v 12, “the river Euphrates.” So you see the “air” in v 17 is just another part of the Roman Empire. It is the government of the latter day phase of the Roman Empire, the European empire.

Now if you think you have never heard that before, think hard, because you actually have in this little quote from Ephesians 2: 2, the government of this age is called “the prince of the power of the air.” Ah, so the government is called the “prince of the power of the air.”  So the “air” is speaking of the governing regions of our environment, of our society. What about this one? 1 Thess 4:17, we are going to be resurrected, we’re going to be “caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Where shall we ever be with the Lord? Not in the sky. No, but in the government of the future age. You see, that’s what the “air” is here. We are promised to be kings and priests of the future age of an everlasting kingdom, so the “air” is the place of government. So that’s what this bowl is poured out upon, upon the government of the latter day stage of the Roman Beast.

The contrast to the “air,” is “heaven”

The contrast to the “air,” is heaven. Now look at this. v 17. the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air and there came a great voice out of the Temple of Heaven. Well, what’s “heaven?” What’s “the Temple?” Well that’s not very difficult either. The Temple is the ecclesia. How do you know? Because 2 Cor 6:16 says that we are “the temple of the living God.” Well then, what’s “heaven?” Well heaven is like the “air,” it’s an aerial region, it is a lofty region and in this case, it is the government of the Kingdom of God. “Heaven” is used to describe governments and “air“ is used to describe governments. When an empire falls, for example, we replace it with a “new heavens” and a “new earth.” Perhaps a new heaven and a new earth “wherein dwells righteousness,” so what sense therefore do you make of v 17? The temple is the ecclesia, the heaven is the government, this is the ecclesia in government.

Christ’s government in Jerusalem

This is Christ’s government in Jerusalem, that’s the “temple of heaven.”The “air” is the government of the Beast, the worldly government. Heaven is Christ’s government in this verse. Now in this case, all that’s happening in v 17 is that the government of the kingdom of God is pouring out its judgment on the government of the kingdom of men, so “air” and “heaven” can mean the same thing, except that one’s godly and the other’s not, in this case.  You could well say,  the “government of the kingdom of men,” you could describe that as “heaven” as well, but it wouldn’t make sense in this verse, I don’t think, to say that the temple of “Heaven” poured out a vial upon “heaven,’ so there is a distinction made here between “heaven” on the one hand and “air” on the other, because we are talking about two different governments, but they both mean “government;” the Kingdom of God, pouring out its judgment upon the kingdom of men.

Well, the result of that, you see, is, “it’s done.” The government of the kingdom of men is destroyed. The beast is dismembered and it’s killed. It’s done, and that’s why we are saying it is a summary verse, because that’s the whole purpose of this vial. That little phrase “it is done,” is a quotation from Ezekiel 39: 8, (put that in your margin, because we are going to have to turn that up shortly, but not just at the present.) Ezekiel 39:8 is where the phrase, “it is done,” comes from. Now, just by observation, you know what Ezekiel 38’s all about, so for me to be pointing you to a quote eight verses after Ezekiel 38 has completed you will appreciate that we’ve just finished Armageddon and we are onto the next phase of the judgment of the world by the time we get to Ezekiel 39. Now I am going leave it there, but you can see the immediate significance of having a quotation from the early verses of Ezekiel 39 in this context. Ezekiel 38 is Armageddon which is Revelation 16:16, “it is done,” Ezekiel 39:8. Ah, that’s extremely significant. I’ll stop there, because we’ll look at it shortly, but that’s the point.

And now here’s the detail of how it gets done. V 18, “There were voices, thunders, lightnings, and great earthquakes, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great.” The “voices?” Well, those “voices” were the proclamations of the saints, this is the mid-heaven proclamation of Ch 14:6-7 going out in the seventh vial, and the thunders? Well they are the seven thunders of Revelation 10:4, in response to the fact that the world does not heed the mid-heaven proclamation, the thunder-judgments of Revelation 10 are poured out here. And there’s a great earthquake, it says in v 18.

There are three great earthquakes

There are three great earthquakes in the book of Revelation. Ch 6:12, Ch 11:13 and here Ch 16:18.  And the reason, as we explained yesterday with this earthquake that is so great – greater than any earthquake there’s ever been, because this is the complete fall of the kingdom of men, this is the utter destruction of the image of Daniel Ch 2. Now I should just warn you, don’t confuse this “great earthquake” with the earthquake of Zechariah Ch 14. Do you remember? just before the battle of Armageddon, the Lord Jesus Christ stands on the Mount of Olives, it cleaves in two and creates a plain 40 miles wide and it is a literal “great earthquake.” There’s no question, that it is the greatest earthquake there has ever been in the history of the world, it’s a literal earthquake. This is a “political earthquake.” It happens some time after the battle of Armageddon, in fact, in year 50, so don’t confuse them, they are not the same, and they don’t happen at the same time, and one’s literal  and the other is figurative, a political “great earthquake.”

Well, here’s why it is a “great earthquake,” v 19. “The great city was divided into three parts and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came up in remembrance before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of God’s wrath,” and we made the point yesterday that the reason the great city was divided into three parts is because that great city Babylon is the empire of the kingdom of men, the latter day phase, the “iron and clay” phase, of Daniel Ch 2, but in the language of the book of Revelation, it’s described as three individual parts, v 13, “a dragon”, “a beast” and a “false prophet.” that is, the military, the economic and the religious aspects of that kingdom.

Now  you might look at me, as I first looked when I read that as an explanation, and I thought, “Really, is that really the answer to the three parts of great Babylon? Do we have any precedent to help us there?” and in fact, “Yes, we do.” I will just offer this to you in case you find that a less convincing explanation of the three thirds of great Babylon. Come back with me, just for a moment, to Revelation Ch 8. Revelation Ch 8 is the first four trumpets, and those trumpets, those first four trumpets, were on a third of the Roman Empire, and if you haven’t done it,  it is a good exercise to do, beginning in v 7 and running all the way through to v 12, the word “third.” Third, third, third, third occurs all the way through those verses, and v 12 is a classic example, “the fourth angel sounded and the third part of the sun was smitten,” “the third part of the moon,” “the third part of the stars,” and so “the third part was darkened,” you see.

The judgment on the third part of the Roman Empire

Well here is the judgment on the third part of the Roman Empire, and in the days when these judgments occurred the Roman Empire was culturally divided into three thirds. So my point is, “Wow, that’s not such a surprise that when you come to Revelation 16, great Babylon could be divided into three thirds as well, a religious, a military, and an economic dimension. V 20, “and every island fled away and the mountains were not found.” “Mountains” and “Islands” are empires and nations, so of course, when the judgments of God start to pour out upon Europe, everybody runs for cover, don’t they, everybody runs for cover. V 21, “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” So here are the judgments poured out upon the world, and as I said to you this morning, I have read various explanations of this, but I think the plague of hail is literal, and in Ezekiel 38 for example and in v 22, “I will plead with Gog,” says God, “with pestilence, blood, rain, fire, brimstone, hail stones.” So the natural elements are used to defeat Gog in the battle of Armageddon in Ezekiel 38, so why wouldn’t they be used to discipline Europe and to destroy the beast in the second great phase of Divine judgment? But this is interesting, I will show you something. You see in V 21 of Revelation 16, “Hail out of heaven.” Look at v 2 of Revelation 16, “sores,” or as the word means, “boils.” V 4, “blood.” V 10, “darkness.” V 13, “frogs.” Now where have you read those words before? They are the plagues of Egypt. They were the plagues that were used to discipline an empire once upon a time and lo and behold, we’ve got the very same things being poured out in the vials, the six vials of Revelation Ch 16.

God hasn’t changed

God hasn’t changed, you see, he uses the natural elements to discipline the kingdom of men, over and over again. And so, as I say, I think the seven thunders of Revelation Ch 10 will in fact be like seven Egyptian plagues. They are seven military campaigns of the greater than David, no doubt, but they, I believe, will be seven natural plagues – miraculous “natural plagues” are ushered into the world to discipline it and to try and turn its direction from the apostasy and iniquity that it currently pursues.

What will the saints do once the world is brought to heel and the beast is destroyed? Think about it in the words of Revelation 15. Look at this in v 2 of Revelation 15, “I saw, as it were, a sea of glass,” so there’s the nations, now subdued, “mingled with fire,” so they’re still licking their wounds from the judgment that has come upon them,“ and they who have “got the victory over the beast and over its mark and over its name, stand on the sea of glass having the harps of God,” there’s the saints, having disciplined the world, and what do they do? “They sing the song of Moses” the servant of God and the song of the lamb,” saying “great and marvellous are thy works,” quoting Exodus Ch 15. They sing the same song that Moses and his people sang when they crossed the Red Sea after the ten plagues had judged Egypt. You see, it is enormously parallel, in Revelation 16 to what happened 3,500 years ago when another empire was judged by God. So you could say, that in an allegorical sense, the destruction of great Babylon in V 19 of Revelation 16 is really just the destruction of a latter day Sodom and Egypt by plagues. So there’s the big picture, that’s what happens in the seventh vial.

Now let’s talk about this interesting little detail from Ezekiel. Come back with me to Ezekiel 39, our point, of course, don’t forget, is that Revelation 16:17 quotes Ezekiel 39:8. Now let’s come back to Ezekiel 39. I’m not going to tell you anything about Ezekiel 38 because you know your Ezekiel 38 pretty well. What I would tell you, is this, that the Chapter break is not really in a very good place, at the end of Ezekiel 38, because the first five verses of Ezekiel 39 are really a continuation of Ezekiel 38. How do we know? Well, because Ezekiel 39:1 says, “therefore, thou son of man,” Ezekiel, “prophesy against God and say, Thus says Adonai Yahweh, I am against the O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” These are identical words actually to Ch 38:3. Ezekiel 39 here is continuing the judgment upon the Gogian hordes. But when you come to Ezekiel 39:6, a new section begins, and we’ve got a new target in Ezekiel 39:6, and in addition to judging Gog and destroying him upon the mountains of Israel in Ezekiel 38, when you come to Ch 39:6 it says, “and I will send a fire upon Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles,” or as it ought to be “dwell carelessly in the coastal regions.” It’s not talking about the British Isles for example. “Those who dwell carelessly in the coastal regions, and they shall know that I am Yahweh he says in v 6. And then v 8, “Behold, it is come, and it is done, says Adonai Yahweh, this is the day whereof I have spoken,” and you will notice in V 8, the little “t” in your margin to Revelation 16:17. So there’s the quotation that John makes in Revelation 16 of Ezekiel 39: 8. Now what’s the point? Why don’t we turn to that, for this reason, the overthrow of the kingdom of men is done in two stages. In the context of Ezekiel, we have the destruction of Gog at Armageddon, a short limited duration battle, in Ezekiel Ch 38. As soon as that is done we have a judgment upon Magog, Catholic Europe, in Ezekiel Ch 39, you see? First there’s the battle of Armageddon, then there is the cleansing of Europe, that’s how Ezekiel portrays it. Armageddon is a short conflict, or relatively short. The cleansing of Europe, or Magog, is a substantially longer, protracted conflict. As far as the seventh vial is concerned, it begins with the battle of Armageddon, or at least the sixth vial ends with the battle of Armageddon and the seventh vial ends with the fall of great Babylon, year 10 and year 50.

Well, Ezekiel 38 is what happens in year 10 and Ezekiel 39 is what happens up to year 50. Why is it important to understand that? Well, you come back to Revelation Ch 16, I’ll show you why. I’m going to show you how Revelation 16 links with Revelation Ch 14. This is now the “deep hail” of Revelation 16 as it is explained in Revelation 14. The world is subdued by means of two great battles, the battle of Armageddon, which is a short-term battle, and the fire upon Magog, or the cleansing of Europe, which is a long-term battle. In fact I would suggest to you that the cleansing of Europe is none other than the seven thunders of Revelation Ch 10. But let me show you that clearly. Look at Revelation Ch 16:16, here is the battle of Armageddon, that’s Ezekiel 38. Now right across the page to your left and look at Revelation 14:15. “Another angel came out of the Temple crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud and he said, Thrust in thy sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Now the “harvest of the earth,” well, you see half way through V 15 where it says, “thrust in thy sickle,” and you’ve got a little marginal note there by that “l,” Joel 3:13. What does Joel 3:13 say? “Put ye in the sickle for the harvest is ripe,” and what is Joel 3:13 talking about? Why, the battle of Armageddon. So you could take your colored pencil therefore, and you could color the word “Armageddon,” in Ch 16:16 and you could color in the phrase, “for the harvest of the earth is ripe,” in Ch 14:15 and link them together, because there’s the battle of Armageddon being spoken about in Revelation16 and in Revelation 14.

Great Babylon came into remembrance before God

What about this one, Ch 16:19, “The great city was divided into three parts, the cities of the nations fell, great Babylon came into remembrance before God,” why? “to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Now run across the page and take a look at Ch 14:19, “The angel thrust in his sickle to the earth and gathered the vine of the earth and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” So you could color in the phrase “the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” in Ch 16:19 and you could go across the page to Ch 14:9 and color in the phrase, “winepress of the wrath of God,” and you could link those two things together, there’s the judgment upon Magog. We’ve got Armageddon, which is Ezekiel 38, we’ve got the “wine of God’s wrath,” which is Ezekiel Ch 39. Now, one last thing to show you, In Revelation 14, and I am going to put all this together for you, in Revelation 14, you see in V 15 this little phrase at the end of the verse “for the harvest of the earth is ripe,” it’s a reference to Armageddon, and what we are saying is that in the language of Revelation 14, Armageddon is called “the harvest of the earth.” That’s all I want to say about that, it’s just called “the harvest of the earth.” And in V 19, the judgment upon Magog, “the cleansing of Europe,” that is called, do you see the little phrase, halfway through the verse, “the vine of the earth,” it should in fact be translated “the vintage of the earth.” So the cleansing of Europe is called “the vintage of the earth.”

What are we saying? The battle of Armageddon is like “harvesting grain,” and the cleansing of Europe is like “crushing grapes.” That’s what it is saying, but in the words of Revelation 14, Armageddon is the harvest of the earth, the cleansing of Europe is the vintage of the earth. Now I am laboring the point. Why am I doing it? Here is why. Here’s how it fits into the 50 years. Look, Year 10, we have the battle of Armageddon, Revelation 16, or the destruction of Gog in Ezek 38, or the smiting of the Image, Daniel 2, or the harvest of the earth, Rev 14.  Then from year 20 to 50 which are the seven thunders that you read of in Revelation Ch 10, we have the fall of great Babylon in Revelation 16, or fire upon Magog, Ezekiel 39, or the grinding to powder of Daniel’s image, Daniel 2. or the vintage of the earth, Revelation 14.

Now there looks like I’ve got a mistake there, I’ve got “fire upon Magog” it should be Ezek 39:6-8, the second line on stage 2.

Can you see upon the very top of the screen, the sixth vial, and the seventh vial, can you see that the seventh vial begins and ends in war. It begins with the battle of Armageddon in year 10, and it concludes with the conclusion of stage 2, “the vintage of the earth,” the destruction of the beast and the cleansing of Europe                in year 50. Can you see that? So the seventh vial of Rev 16:17-21 begins and ends in war. One is called the smiting of the image, the other, the grinding of it to powder and those other parallels that you see on the screen, and can you see that we’ve now linked Revelation 16 directly to Revelation Ch 14. I hope that’s clear.  What have we said?

Point 1:

The seventh vial encompasses a forty year period in terms of our timeline, from year 10 to year 50.

Point 2:

There are two major conflicts in the seventh vial

There are two major conflicts in the seventh vial, or I’m going to say it like this. First there’s the battle of Armageddon which has really been the last thing of the sixth vial, but it begins, the seventh vial if you like, in year 10, and the second conflict is the destruction of the beast and the cleansing of Europe. They are called the “harvest of the earth,” and the “vintage of the earth.” You will appreciate that the battle of Armageddon is a very short battle which might happen in one year, but the cleansing of Europe is a far more difficult thing to perform; it takes a period of 30 years, which we believe are the seven thunders of judgments, the plague thunder-judgments you might say, of Revelation Ch 10, years 20 – 50.

Now here’s an observation for the careful readers amongst us.  Look hard now, at these last verses of Revelation 14. In this section of Revelation 14, you will see in v 15, “another angel.” Now, we’ve got another angel in v 15, we’ve got another angel in v 17, and we’ve got another angel in v 18, and those angels all come from different places. It says in v 15, that the angel came “out of the temple,” but it says in v 17, that this second angel in v 17 came out of the “temple in heaven.”

Ok, now here’s my hard question, what’s the difference between “coming out of the temple,” and “coming out of the temple in heaven?” And when you answer this question, it will prove everything we have just said. All right, what is the temple? The temple is the ecclesia. So in v 15 of Revelation 14, we’ve got an angel that comes out of the ecclesia, and in v 17, “the temple in heaven,” what’s the Temple in heaven? Ah! It’s the ecclesia in government. Can you see therefore, that by the time you get to v 17, the ecclesia is in government, which means that Christ’s throne is established in Jerusalem, because that’s where the government of the future age is going to be, therefore v 17-20 is all happening when Christ is enthroned in Jerusalem. In v 15, at the battle of Armageddon it is not from the ecclesia in government because Christ does not set up his government until he takes the city of Jerusalem which doesn’t happen until after he destroys Gog at Armageddon. Christ’s government doesn’t really start until year 11 or something like that, because he’s got to destroy Gog, liberate the city of Jerusalem from Gog, and then he can establish his government upon the ancient throne of David in Jerusalem. So then the angel in v 15 comes out of the temple and thrusts in his sickle to reap the harvest of Armageddon, of course he doesn’t come the temple in heaven because Christ hasn’t yet set up his government in Jerusalem. But when you come to purge Magog, in v 17-20, we’re here, because Christ has set up his government in Jerusalem in year 11, of course, I am assuming that Armageddon takes a year, but you can pick a date, some time after year 10.0. The temple is no longer “the temple,” but it’s “the temple in heaven.” And so you see, in v 15, is Armageddon and v 17-20 is some time after Armageddon.

The one hundred and forty four thousand

Let me ask you this, what does that government in heaven look like? So Christ takes Jerusalem, he establishes the throne of David, he’s now ruling from the city of Jerusalem, the little stone is going to grow and fill the entire earth, what does that look like? Well, I will show you, v 1 Revelation 14. “I looked,” he says, “and lo, a lamb stood on the Mt Zion and with him 144,000 having the Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Christ is in possession of Jerusalem in Revelation 14:1. He’s just taken it from Gog at the battle of Armageddon, he now controls Mount Zion, there are the saints in government, there is “the temple in heaven,” in Revelation 14:1. How do we know? Well look v 3. The saints are singing as it were a new song before the throne. Whereabouts are they singing it? You are going to say to me, “Well, they are singing it on Mount Zion, it says so in v 1?” Yes, but that’s not all it says, look at v 2. “And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters,” they are singing it from Mount Zion in heaven because they are in the government of Mount Zion, you see? That’s what’s happened here. But now we’ve got a problem, because what that means is that Revelation 14:1 happens after Revelation 14:15. So now we’ve got a problem trying to work out the structure of Revelation 14. But why am I saying that Revelation 14:1  happens after Revelation 14:15? Well because Revelation 14:15 is speaking about the battle of Armageddon, and in Revelation 14:1 Christ is already in Jerusalem, well that’s after Armageddon, because he conquers Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon. What that means is that Revelation 14 is not entirely in order. You see that, how do we solve that problem? Well, here’s the clue, take your colored pencil again, Ch 14:1, “And I looked, and lo.” Ch 14:14, “and I looked, and behold” and the chapter splits into two halves, you see? V 1-13 are chronological. v 14-20 are two appendices on the end of the chapter, and this is how Revelation 14 breaks up.

Vs 1-5, the 144,000 with the Lamb on Mount Zion, the temple in heaven, Christ and the saints in government in Jerusalem, David’s throne re-established, let’s call it year 11 on our time line. The mid-heaven proclamation goes out, years 10-20.  The world must submit to the reign of Christ in order for that little stone to grow and encompass the entire earth. Well, the world doesn’t submit,  v 8, so Rome is destroyed, the city of Rome in Italy is destroyed, but even that doesn’t do it.  So Vs 9-11 “fire upon Magog,” the seven thunders of Revelation 10 are poured out as seven military campaigns, or if you like, seven great plagues, they bring the nations to heel, and destroy the beast system, resulting vs 12-13 in the triumph of the saints and the millennial rest, that is the cessation of labor, of the next thousand years.

We have two appendices

And we have two appendices, V 14-16, the battle of Armageddon and the harvest of the earth, and the second appendices Vs 17-20 the Vintage of the earth, the cleansing of Europe. Why do we have those two Appendices in Revelation 14?  We have these two appendices because the seventh vial begins and ends with war. And the first war isthe battle of Armageddon, Appendices 1 and the second war, the concluding war, is the vintage of the earth, appendix 2. That’s the structure of Revelation 14. And that’s how Revelation 14 supplies the detail of the seventh vial of Revelation Ch 16.

Put all that on a time line

Let me show you this too, let’s go the next step and put all that on a time line. That may look like a lot on the screen, but it’s not very hard, just look at it carefully. If I was to take Revelation 14 and split those verses up across 40 years from year 10 to year 50, that’s what they would look like. I haven’t yet done it, young people, but I’m going to do it, mark that into my margin in Revelation Ch 14.  The first thing that happens in year 10:14-15, the battle of Armageddon, year 11 or just after year 10, Vs 1-5, the Lamb on Mount Zion, Christ has conquered the city of Jerusalem, then, ten years, here, the mid-heaven proclamation from year 10 to year 20, then the fall of Rome, Vs 8, Revelation 14, in year 20. Then the judgment of Europe, and that’s explained twice Vs 9-11, and the 2nd appendix Vs 17-20, and it concludes in year 50 with the rejoicing of the saints.

Now you might say to me, now hang on, how do you know that V. 9-11 are parallel to Vs 17-20? Well, look at V 10, “the same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God,” that’s exactly the language of v 19. “The vintage of the earth,” that’s the language in v 10 of the “vintage of the earth.” So you see, v 10 is directly parallel to v 19, that’s what it is, that’s how Revelation 14 breaks up across the last 40 of the 50 year period. V 1, “ I looked and lo a lamb stood upon Mount Zion and with him 144,000 that had his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 144,000 is not a literal number. The word “thousand” in Judges 6:15 is translated “families.” So we could read this as 144 families or better, twelve x twelve families. 12 is the number of Israel, so 144,000 therefore is the collective number, if you like, of the entire “Israel of God.” This is the Divine family on earth, if you like. “They sing a new song, v 3 before the throne.”

What is the new song? Well, he is saying “before the throne and before the beasts,” that they had been redeemed from the earth, this 144,000. Well it’s not really a new song, because you read the words of that new song way back in Revelation Ch 5:9-10, but they have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and made kings and priests on the earth, so it’s hardly new; we might even sing that song today, so in which way would you call this “a new song?” Well you might like to take a note of John 3:34, Jesus said at that time, “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another.” Now it wasn’t a new commandment to love one another, it was a pretty old commandment from Leviticus Ch 19, but the difference was, Jesus said, a new commandment I give unto you that you love one another, “as I have loved you.” You keep the old commandment in a new way. They simply sing an old song “in a new way,” because they are now immortal. It is one thing for us to sing the words of Revelation Ch 5, it is a very different thing to sing those words when you no longer have the encumbrance of sin, when you no longer need to sleep at night. So you see, you sing an old song in a new way, called here, in consequence, “a new song.”

V 5,  “In their mouth was found no guile.” Why is that? Well, these saints are copies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of him we read in 1 Peter 2:22, “No guile was found in his mouth.”  And “they are without fault before the throne of God.” Now the saints of course, aren’t inherently faultless. None of us is inherently faultless, but this is the fulfilment of Jude 24. Jude 24 says, “Unto him that is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before the presence of his glory.” We are not without fault, but we are “presented” without fault. We are not inherently without fault, but we are now in v 5, because we are immortal, we are made like that in fulfilment of Jude 24. And then v 6, I saw another angel. Well the word “another” is not there actually, there are no other angels at this point, “I saw an angel fly in the midst of heaven,” He’s got the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, “to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.” This is what’s called the “everlasting gospel,” it is not a reference to the promises to Abraham, it’s not a reference to the conventional gospel message that we use today, it’s the “everlasting gospel,” that is, “The gospel of the age,” that is the gospel of the kingdom age. And that gospel is given to you in v 7, that gospel says, “Fear God, give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come and worship him that made heaven, earth, sea and the fountains of waters.” Perhaps you already have in your margin there, a link between v 7 and Revelation 10:6. Perhaps you have a link between Revelation 14:6 “kindred, tongues, people” and Revelation 10:11, the everlasting gospel goes out to the nations of the world. It’s called here “the mid-heaven proclamation,” or “the gospel in the midst of heaven.” What does that mean? What’s heaven? Heaven is government. Which government is this gospel being preached into? The government of the beast, it’s being preached into the government of the beast. Where it says here, an angel flew in the midst of heaven having that gospel, it’s a parallel verse to Revelation 16:17, “he poured out his vial into the air,’ same thing as “heaven,” if you like. What does that mean in practical terms for you and me? It means that we’re going to have to go to the governments of the world and give them the summons of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saints may well have to demonstrate their authority by miracles, in the same way that Moses went before Pharaoh and was required to prove his authority. But understand, this is what Bro Thomas says about this gospel,

“The proclamation in mid-heaven is pentecostian, not judicial and vengeful. This gospel is an appeal. It is not a sentence, it is an appeal to the nations to submit, it announces the approach of judgments impending, it warns of the coming seven thunders. Not an actual manifestation, and therefore invites a return to God as the condition of liberty or escape from the wrath to come.”

So it’s a warning. In some way you might say, it’s a threat of imminent judgment, but it is an attempt to convert the nations, rather than bludgeon them into submission. The plagues will certainly do the punitive part, but this is an appeal to the nations. Well, it begs the question really, from people like us, “fear God, give glory to him.” What would happen if we were asked by John, who may well be running this preaching campaign, the apostle, to go back to Adelaide, Australia, and to preach to the people in Adelaide, Australia, “to fear God and give glory to him?” Would our worldly acquaintances be surprised to hear us saying things like that in that day? Would it be especially evident to them that of course, it is Bro Neville Clark that’s going to come and tell that to me because he’s always talked like that, he’s always talked about these things being about to happen, or would they say, “Well, how about that? Where did you come from? You wouldn’t have thought you’d hide your light under a bushel?” There’s a bit of soul-searching here, in v 7 about just how consistent we are with this message now, because, as I made the point this morning, if this is not our message now, if this is not our character now, then you can be certain we won’t be doing that then.

Now, what does the world think about the message? Well, you don’t know, all you know is what happens in v 8, “There followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” The nations are too drunk to respond, they are comatose by the doctrines of Rome and their allegiances, and their cultural heritages and they don’t want to hear that they should become spiritual Jews, but they are Catholic through and through and intend to remain so. Wallop, v 8, up in flames goes the city of Rome, so we have now removed the administrative centre of the Catholic Church, we’ve destroyed it. Now that’s almost like a shot across the bow of the beast, isn’t it. That hardly destroys the beast, just one city has been destroyed, but it was the “eternal city,” you understand. It was the capital city of this empire. I mean, Russia has already been dismembered in the battle of Armageddon, this is what’s left, this is what stops the world repenting, and Rome is destroyed in v 8. Then the third angel follows in v 9 “saying with a loud voice,” now understand, “if any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God,” and you will notice the verbal parallel between v 10 and v 8, Babylon made the nations drunk with her wine, If you persist in drinking that liquor, the angel says, then you will drink this as well, “the wine of the wrath of God,” he says. Well, they drink it, because they won’t respond, and v 11 says, “the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night who worshipped the beast and his image and who received the mark his name. Plague after plague after plague comes upon them because they will not respond. They say they will respond, they pretend to respond, I suppose, like Pharaoh did, but the moment the saints’ back is turned they change their mind, so the next plague, the next thunder-judgement has to be ushered in across that 30 year period until year 50.

Well that’s where we have got to. How long will all of this take? There are the time periods. I’m going to show you three time periods. 50 year jubilee – I’m going to give you one quote on that, 40 years for the re-gathering of Israel, I’m going to give you a couple of quotes for that, I’m going to put them up on the screen, no need to turn them up, you’ve got them in front of you. Thirty years, is one hour with the beast, very complicated, and for those of you who haven’t done much study on the time periods of the book of Revelation, you know what, for five minutes your eyes might glaze over, but I will tell you what  you have to know at the end.

Why a Jubilee Period

The Jubilee period, why a jubilee period? Well, Leviticus 25:10 says, “You shall hallow the 50th year, you shall proclaim liberty throughout all of the lands to the inhabitants thereof, it will be a Jubilee for you and you shall return every man to his possession and every man to his family.” So in a jubilee year the land was returned to the families who owned it and everyone returned back to their land. Why do we say there is a Jubilee, or a 50 year period? It is an educated guess based on the most likely scenario. So this is Bro Thomas’ view, there is no more solid quote than that I don’t believe to suggest the Jubilee period, except that, we must allow 40 years for the gathering of Israel, and beyond that, we’ve got to have the judgment of the saints, the marriage of the Lamb, the subjugation of the Arab nations – that’s not the work of a moment, so we need another time period a little bigger than 40 years to encompass all this work. Well, the Jubilee is the next biggest time period, and there is a certain appropriateness about that, you see, because the land returns to the nation at the year of Jubilee, and having been out of the nation for hundreds and hundreds of years, regathered Israel will very probably return at a Jubilee. You see, there is a certain appropriateness about that.

How long will all of this take? – the logic of the time periods.

Well, all right, how long will it take to gather Israel? Well, Micah Ch 7:15 says, “According to the days of thy coming out of Egypt will I show unto you marvellous things.” So you might look at Micah Ch 7 and say, well, the second Exodus is going to be very much like the first Exodus. It took 40 years the first time, it will take 40 years the second time. Well that is a legitimate reading of Micah, but it is not the only reading, you could read Micah to say, well, the events which in the first Exodus will be the same sort of events that happen in the second, but not the same time period. Yes, yes, but then how do you overcome Ezekiel 20? “I will bring them to the wilderness of the people and there will I plead with you face to face, like as I pled with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt.” In fact it’s all the way through Ezekiel 20 the word “wilderness” occurs the second exodus is a direct parallel with the first exodus, and let’s be frank, why do you suppose it would take less than 40 years to convert the Jews of our day when it took 40 years to convert the Jews of Moses’ day? And why do you suppose it will take less than 40 years to convert the gentiles if it takes 40 years to convert the Jews? People don’t change in a heartbeat do they? We are talking about people in the world having entrenched positions on their view; on the existence of God, on the relevance of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah? It is not the work of a moment. So 40 years, therefore, would appear to be a reasonable time period.

And now, 30 years, and this is the more difficult time period here, 30 years, or “one hour with the beast.” In Revelation 14, there are no time periods given except for v 7. And the mid-heaven proclamation says, “fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come. So the mid-heaven proclamation warns of an “hour of judgment.” And you might look at me and say, well, that’s like “the hour of Christ’s death,” or the hour of this or that event, a figurative term, you couldn’t make anything of that. Well, yes, but come across the page, two pages, to Revelation 17 and 18 and the fact that this phrase “hour,” now keeps cropping up all the way through these chapters. Ch 17:12, last couple of lines, “they received power as kings, one hour with the beast.” Rev 18:10, “for in one hour Babylon’s judgment is come.” Rev 18:17, “in one hour so great riches has come to nought,” end of Rev 18:19, “In one hour she was made desolate.” It’s a biblical time period. It’s not just a general epoch of time it’s a specific time period. Well, what do we do with that? Well we invoke what we call “the day for a year principle.” I mean, it’s nonsense to say, in one hour, Rev 17:12, “the kings will have power one hour with the beast,” Parliament can hardly convene a session in one hour, let alone kings of the world have power with an empire of the world for an hour. It is clearly a biblical time period, which we’ve got to interpret. Well, here’s the “day for a year” period. Simply, it is based on a number of quotations or precedents from the Old Testament. The classic one is Numbers 14. The twelve spies went into the land for 40 days, ten of them brought back an evil report, that convinced the bulk of the nation, so they were destined to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, one year for every day the spies were there. There’s the basis for one day becoming one year. All right, let’s talk about an hour, what do you get if you convert an hour using the day for a year principle? Well, one hour is 1/12th of a day, based on the Jewish day in John 11:9 which has 12 hours in it. so one hour’s one twelfth of a day. Well, the 1/12th of a day becomes 1/12th of a year, and 1/12th of a year is a month, so if you take one hour and you convert it using the day for a year principle, you get one month. 1/12th of a day, becomes 1/12th of a year, which is one month, or 30 days. And here’s the trick, we convert again. we convert that one hour a second time. One hour becomes 30 days, 30 days becomes 30 years. So that’s why we say 1 hour equals 30 years. At this point, even if you haven’t followed what I said, your eyes might glaze over and you say, you’re are a bit uncomfortable about using a double conversion. All right, I accept what you say, Brother, a day for a year, we can convert ten days to ten years, yes, but twice? Ok, well here are all the time periods of the book of Revelation, the reason we do sometimes two conversions, sometimes one conversion, and sometimes no conversions is based on this thing called the decorum of the symbol, here’s the rule. Whenever you read “hours” or parts thereof in the book of Revelation, you convert twice, without exception. Wherever you read “days,” you convert once, with one exception, in Rev 11:9, you’ve got a bit of a complication there, with the witnesses, but apart from that you convert once. Whenever you read “years” in the book of Revelation, like 1,000 years, you do no conversation at all, so there’s the rule. “Hours” convert twice, ‘days’ convert once, years do not convert at all. All right, at least we are consistent. But why, why is this happening? and here is the answer that Bro Thomas gives and that many other commentators before him gave as well, it is the “decorum of the symbol,” now what does that mean? It means that if you want to use a certain symbol in Revelation to describe something, and you want to have a time period attached to that symbol, the time period has got to be consistent with the symbol. Here’s Bro Graham Pearce in “Revelation, which interpretation,” and page 68, “If the symbol is an “earthquake,” then the time element is appropriate to earthquakes. “In the same hour there was a great earthquake in Rev 11:13. It would be inappropriate to have a symbolic earthquake for say a year, because earthquakes don’t last that long. Well, what if you want to use the symbol of an earthquake and you want to make that cover 300 years, well, you might have to convert twice to get to 300, you see, because you insist on using the symbol of an earthquake. If ravaging wild beasts are the symbol, then a time period of 1260 days is appropriate. It would be incongruous to have a wild beast active for 1260 years which is in fact the time period you want to say, why? Because beasts just don’t live 1260 years. There you are. The reason we sometimes convert once or twice depends on what symbol we are using compared to what ultimate time period we want to get to, but the rule is never broken. Down here, one hour converts twice or parts of hours convert twice, days convert once, and years don’t convert at all.

Now yesterday, a brother said to me, “What do you make of Revelation Ch 20, when it says a thousand years, why wouldn’t you convert that using the day for a year principle, when you convert everything else using the day for a year principle?” I gave him some answers, and I said, “You know what, I’ll write it down for you. Now I’m not going to go through all of this because you’ve got a copy, but here’s the point – I’ll just go through a couple of them. The 1000 years is repeated all the way through Ch 20, half a dozen times, it is repeated, 1000 years, 1000 years, 1000 years  – there’s got to be a significance there. This is the only time period in Revelation which is given solely in years, so that means Revelation 20 is unique compared with the other chapters. All other references to 1,000 years in scripture are literal years, in fact, all other prophetic time periods which are given in years are interpreted literally. If you did use the day for a year conversion, in Revelation 20 of the 1000 years it would become 360,000 which is 100 times longer than any other Biblical time period in the Bible. What’s more a 1000 year kingdom fits well with the seven thousand year plan. And finally the millennial interpretation of Revelation 20, was in fact accepted by the early church fathers until the church became firmly established under Constantine. When Constantine established the Catholic Church, they decided that the kingdom was the church, and the last thing they wanted to contemplate was a thousand year kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth, so out goes that idea. So it’s really simple, the shorter the time period you are given in Revelation the more likely you are to convert multiple times. Hours convert twice, days convert once, and years don’t convert at all.
The result of al that Rev 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. V 12 of Revelation 14 in fact answers the last words of v 10 of Revelation 13, under the persecution of the beast the saints were required to be patient and endure, well, here’s the payback for their patience, they have now destroyed the beast in Revelation Ch 14, and established their rest for the next 1,000 years. So in conclusion, brothers and sisters, do you see the power of Revelation Ch 14. This is the job description for the saints for the next 50 years. We are going to bring down the entire empire of the kingdom of men, economically,  religiously, militarily. Babylon gave them wine to drink and made them utterly intoxicated, we in return will feed them the wine of the wrath of God, for their trouble. It’s an enormous task, these beasts are powerful creatures, they are obstinate creatures, they are entrenched in what they believe, but there’s the job, and as the Psalmist says in Psalm 149, “this honor have all his saints.”

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Things which must Shortly Come To Pass’ Study 1 ‘The Book Unsealed’ – Neville Clark

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“The book  unsealed”

“The things which must shortly come to pass.”

This theme has been taken directly from Rev 1:1. When John wrote 2000 years ago about “things which must shortly come to pass” he meant “the things which must shortly come to pass” in the first century, because the verse concludes, “for the time is at hand.” John was writing about things which would immediately begin to come to pass in his day 1900 to 2000 years ago.

 

TRANSCRIPT – kindly supplied by Sis Fay Berry

The book of Revelation

Study 1 by Neville Clark for Enfield ecclesia’s special Effort.

“The book  unsealed”

“The things which must shortly come to pass.”

This theme has been taken directly from Rev 1:1. When John wrote 2000 years ago about “things which must shortly come to pass” he meant “the things which must shortly come to pass” in the first century, because the verse concludes, “for the time is at hand.” John was writing about things which would immediately begin to come to pass in his day 1900 to 2000 years ago.

What we mean, when we use that title, is not things which must shortly come to pass in the first century, but things which must shortly come to pass in the 21st century, because something like 30% of the book of Revelation will be fulfilled in the next 50 years, if Christ were to come tonight.

For those of you who are familiar with the book of Revelation, just think, of Chs 17, 18, 19, Chapter 10, 14 15, the last portion of Chapter 16, a similarly latter portion of Chapter 11, all in the next fifty years according to the Jubilee period as is our conventional interpretation. That’s what we mean by things which must shortly come to pass. This is the focus of our week,

The next fifty years of world events.

That is the time between the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the household and the commencement of the 1,000 year reign. The fifty year introduction to the Kingdom age, sometimes called the Jubilee period. That’s what I am going to deal with over the next seven or eight days.

I don’t know what your vision of the kingdom is but we have just heard one sung about just a moment ago. Perhaps you picture yourself teaching people about God or perhaps you pictured yourself playing with your children in the streets of Jerusalem, but here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with that vision, but you must understand that the children won’t be playing like that in the streets of Jerusalem for another fifty years. You won’t be playing with your children, you will be playing with your grand-children. It is the next 50 years that it is going to take to make that vision a reality.

It isn’t going to be an easy transition into the Kingdom Age.

You know how Jesus describes it in the latter verses of Daniel Chapter 2.

He says, “In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed and will break in pieces and bruise all those kingdoms.” That means that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to establish the Kingdom of God on the ashes of the Kingdom of men, that’s what’s going to happen during that fifty year period. That’s why it is not going to be an easy transition for the Kingdom of Men, they will be, as it were, dragged kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of God. But as far as that is concerned, the time is at hand. We are on the very edge of destiny, aren’t we? We are at the precipice, you can almost smell it in the air. Christ is coming!

In the next two years, the United Kingdom is going to vote, they are going to have a referendum to decide whether they are going to remain a member of the European Union. Now they have been in the EU for the best part of fifty years, but she has to leave. Why? Beceause Britain was never ever one of the ten horns of the beast. The beast of Revelation is a European beast. Greece must also leave the Union because she is part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She is part of the dragon, not part of the beast. The Eu is about to undergo enormous changes and you can see the writing on the wall.

Europe is currently being inundated with refugees from the Middle East.

A consequence of the large number of Muslim’s running into Europe, is that antisemitism is on the rise.

And how are those two things related? Well, the Europeans have become more right-wing because of the influx of Islam into the bastion of Catholicism. And that has manifested itself in racial attacks.

You know in 2014, 50% of all racially motivated attacks in France were against Jews. Of the 10,000 Jews who came from Western Europe and migrated into Israel last year, 8,000 of them were from France! The world is heading for a period of financial instability, so commentators tell us. The stock markets are on the verge of collapse. Now I don’t know how much weight to put on some of these stories, but what does appear to me to be highly likely, however, if there is a shake down in financial markets, it will dramatically effect the Anglo-American control of trade and finance.

That would have the effect of evening up the playing field  between the major powers in the world. In simple terms, what that means is, it will elevate Russia and decrease America, so that they are on more equal terms, in terms of control of world decisions.

And now, Russia is in the Middle East.

Invited there by Syria, no less. You know Russia  has wanted to be in the Middle East for the past 200 years but she hasn’t been able to do it. And now she’s got there.

According to Bible Prophecy, she must be in the Middle East in order to become the King of the North, and she’s there now, and she’s not leaving.

To top it off, well you know what happened yesterday, In fact I think it has happened right now since we are a little ahead of the rest of the world in terms of time, in Cuba, right now, Pope Francis is meeting Patriarch Tirrell of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow in a face-to-face meeting, the first face-to-face meeting that Catholicism has had with the Russian Orthodox Church for 1,000 years! They haven’t met each other since 1054: the great schism in the church, and that is happening on Friday, yesterday for us, today for them, in Cuba right now. Now that’s what’s happening in the world,

What is happening in the brotherhood?

Well, we are on the Eve of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return, what would you expect to be happening in the brotherhood? Let’s be frank. We’ve got brethren drifting away because of “oppositions of science,” we’ve got brothers and sisters watching more television  than they are watching the signs of the times, all at the very time when we ought to be on tip-toes waiting for the Master’s call.

You see, we are on the very eve of Christ’s return and we are being dragged away by the very cares of this life. Can you believe it? Well of course you can because that is exactly what prophecy says would happen.

It doesn’t, however, have to happen on an individual level, but it will happen, it is just another sign of the times.

Think about it like this. At some point in the very near future, we are all going to stand before the Judge of all the Earth. And if we want to stand before the face of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, what would we say if he were to ask us, “What did you think of my last message? What did you think about that last message I gave you at the end of the first century, meaning the book of Revelation?

What would we say if we hadn’t bothered to look at it? If it was this message that was particularly calculated to prepare us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we had never really found the time to get across it because of other things in life.

That’s why we want to turn to it this week, not the whole book of Revelation, but just the next generation. There is nothing more calculated to prepare us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ than a vision of what must happen next, so that when you see things happen about you, you can in the chronology of your mind, tick off where we are in that time-line, and be ready, as it were, for that Knock at the door.

This is how Brother Roberts puts it.

“There is no more conclusive evidence of the truly un-Christian state of the the professedly Christian society around us, than the ignorance and aversion that prevails with regard to the Apocalypse!”

Those are the opening words of his book, “Thirteen Lectures,” which he wrote in 1880.

“Anybody who professes Christianity who doesn’t understand the book of Revelation isn’t really Christian.” That is what Robert Roberts believed.

 The book of Revelation is a difficult book

There are varying abilities among us, to grasp these things. But, it is one thing to be a difficult book, and another thing for it to be a closed book. It should never be a closed book.

The word Revelation means “to reveal,” or “to unveil.” It should never be closed, and certainly not to our community, but I will be honest, it will take some work. It is difficult in places, and if you have never looked at the book of Revelation, I recommend that the best place to start is brother Robert’s “Thirteen Lectures.”  It is only about 180 pages and it covers the entire book of Revelation and it is not a verse-by-verse exposition, it is a narrative explanation of the book.

Once you’ve got that under your belt, then go to HPM’s verse-by-verse Expositor. Once you know your way around that, then read Eureka. That would be a good way to get an understanding of the book of Revelation. Start in small bites and migrate up to bigger ones.

But it will take some time. It is difficult, but there is a reason why it is difficult. That reason is stated in the very first verse of the book of Revelaton, Rev. 1:1.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.”

Here is a message, to the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

No other book of the bible begins like this, you  know. A direct message from a Master to his Servants. It is hard to escape the fact, by the way, if your Master has written something to you, and you have never really read it carefully, then you are not much of a servant, are you? and because it is to servants rather than to any casual reader of the Bible, he has wrapped the entire message up in a mystery. He has written it in “sign,” he’s “sent” and he’s “signified” it the verse says, by his Angel unto his servant John, and signified means “to put in sign.” Or we could say he has written it in code, because the Lord knew that only true servants would ever make the effort to untangle the code.

How thankful ought we to be to the brethren who have gone before us who have broken these things up for us. If you think about the Christadelphian book shelf, the book of Revelation is by no means the most difficult book in the Bible to understand because of the literature we have got on it. We’ve got far less information, for example.on the book of Isaiah or the book of Jeremiah than we have on the book of Revelation, so we have the tools at our disposal.

You know,

it goes even deeper than what we have said on verse 1.

When Jesus calls us servants, he doesn’t just mean “servants” in the common sense. He has written these things by his servant John to the rest of us, his servants. The word servant in the Greek is the word “doulos,” and the word “doulos” just means “slaves,” so a servant here is actually a slave.

In the first century when John wrote these words a servant was just an object. You could treat a slave however you liked. His life was yours to own, and the last hing a Master would ever do is to tell his heart to his servants, his slaves. But this is what Jesus says to us. We are not just servants. Look what he says in John 15:3, “Ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you. Hence I call you not servants for the servant knows not what his Master does, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Look what he says in V 1.

“It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ which he heard from his Father and which he has made known to us.” Yes, we are servants, but we are not just servants we are servants who are “friends.”

Think of the story way back in Luke Chapter 7 of he Centurion whose servant was sick, and he appealed to the Lord Jesus Christ that his servant might be healed. And the record describes the relationship between them, it says, ” The Centurion had a servant who was dear to him, dear to him, and that is the position that we hold with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are servants, yes, but we are also friends. We are not just servants.

There is something about friends, you see, and it is contained in Jn 15:14,

The thing about friends, is that they keep commandments.

You are not a friend if you don’t do what the Master says, that’s what John 15 says. Now look at V 3 of Revelation 1.

“Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein.” You’ve got to keep the commandments if you want to be a “friend.” You’ve got to keep those things that are written therein, says John in the 3rd Verse of this chapter.

So let’s be clear, when we say that this message is written to servants, let’s look at the chain of communication in the opening verses of Revelation 1. From God, to Christ, to the Angel, to John, to the reader, V 3, to the hearer, V 3, to the Keeper V 3. That is the ultimate servant, isn’t it, the servant who keeps those things that are written. Not any old servant, but a certain class of servant he is speaking to.

What is it that these servants have to keep?

What is so important about this message, the servants have to understand it, and preserve it? or keep it?

Think of it like this.This is how the book of Revelation fits into the divine scheme of Scripture. It is the complementary book to the opening chapters of the book of Genesis. Have you ever thought about it like that?

In Genesis 2, we’ve got the marriage of the first Adam. In Revelation 19 we’ve got the marriage of the last Adam. In Genesis 3 we have a serpent loosed and in Revelation 20 we have a serpent bound. In Genesis 3 we’ve got sin and death introduced into the world after the fall. In Revelation 21, we’ve got sorrow and death removed from the world.

In Genesis Ch 3 we have got the way of the tree of life barred, in Revelation 23, we’ve got the way of the tree of life opened. In Genesis 2 we have the natural heavens and earth created and in Revelation 21 we have the spiritual heavens and earth created, that is in the new age, after the completion of the 1,000 years, are also created.

Can you see that the book of Revelation has resolved all the problems that began way back in Genesis chapters 1, 2 and 3? What you are reading here in the book of Revelation is in fact the completion of the Gospel message.

We have resolved everything, and what does that mean in practical terms? What that means is that the apostate and wicked kingdom of men which was formed right after the sin in the garden of Eden, is completely destroyed by the time you get to the end of the book of Revelation.

Now, the critical word in Genesis 3 after the sin, was the word “enmity.” From the moment sin entered the world all human kind would be divided between two groups. The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and there would be hostility or “enmity” between those two groups.

What that means is that there would be warfare between this kind of thinking and that kind of thinking; between fleshly thinking and godly thinking.

These are first principles. This is what it looks like in the book of Revelation.

The book of Revelation is simply the conclusion of the warfare that began in Genesis. And so you have in a metropolitan sense, you see, that hostility, manifesting itself two cities, Mt Zion and the great city Babylon, they are at war in the book of Revelation. Or the holy city as it is otherwise called, versus the city that is called Sodom and Egypt. In an ecclesiastical sense, it is New Jerusalem versus Babylon the great. In a bestial sense, it is the Lamb versus the ravaging wild beasts of Chapter 12 and 13. In a moral sense it is the the Bride versus the adulterous harlot. In a divine sense, it is the God of Heaven against the god of all the earth. The God of the earth, in Revelation 11 is the man who sits in the Temple of God, thinking that he is God, it is the Papacy.

So you can see that the warfare of Genesis runs all the way through the pages of the book of Revelation and is finally resolved in the book of Revelation.

There’s the major theme. The major theme, Zion versus Rome.

That is the story of the warfare of Revelation. You see, that is what the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ have to understand. There is a war, there are only two sides and in our own lives we are only going to stand on one side or the other, there is no middle ground in this war.

When Christ comes he is going to call his army to himself isn’t he? That is what they will become, the saints, an army. They will charge out across the next fifty years to destroy everything that the kingdom of men has set up and pave the way for the entrance of the new age.

But, this book is written, not just for a sign to believers,  but for a sign against un-believers.

Think about it like this, the apostate system of men, the Catholic Church and its daughters, can’t be allowed to know what’s really going on here, so the Lord has written an open letter, the book of Revelation, to all mankind.

Every nation has a bible on its table, but it is in code so that only a certain section of mankind can ever understand it. So when the Church reads the book of Revelation, they think it is a description of heaven, full of angels, playing harps on clouds, whose entrance is through pearly gates. That’s what they find when they read the book of Revelation

There is no doubt that all those things I just mentioned occur in the book of Revelation, including the pearly gates, Revelation 19. There is equally no doubt that none of them means what the Church thinks they mean. It is written in code for a very good reason, so that ONLY the servants will understand it, but that the whole world can read it.

There’s just one thing I need to prove to you. I have made all these assertions and told you what the great theme of Revelation is, but you can see we have called it

Zion versus Rome

How do we know that it is Zion versus Rome? Well, There is no mystery about Zion, in Revelation 14:1,  you might recall, the lamb stands on Mt Zion, so clearly the book of Revelation, at least in some places speaks of Zion of the future, no problem.

But what about Rome, how do you know that Rome is the protagonist? How do you know that in the book of Revelation that Rome is the enemy which will be destroyed? I ask that question, because of course, the word Rome never even occurs in the book of Revelation.

So how do you know Revelation has got anything to do with Rome? Well, come with me to Revelation 17, you’ve got a couple of clues. And we must understand this because I am going to take this as I am going to take this as an assumption from this point forward, that the system of beasts in he book of Revelation are simply successive phases of the ancient Roman Empire, but I just have to show you that to begin with.

Here’s the first clue. What we are establishing here, if you haven’t kept up with me is, that the system of men that is the apostate and wicked systems that have been forged by the kingdom of men, in the book of Revelation are Roman.

They are not Muslim, they are not Buddhist, they are not Hindu, it’s the Roman Empire, which must be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ when he comes. How do we know? Well look at Revelation Ch 17:18. It says here “that the woman John, that thou saw is that great city that reigns over the kingdoms of the earth.”

Of course, John was living in the first century, in the Roman empire. It was Rome that ruled the world, you see, so the great city that ruled over the kings of the earth in John’s day was the city of Rome. It was the empire of Rome controlled from the capital of Rome.

He talks here in V 18 about a woman which John saw. Now, what do we know about that woman? Come back to V 3, just across the page.

This vision of Revelation 17

“And he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns.” So the woman in V 18 is related to that great city, which is the city of Rome, and she rides a beast which has, in V 3, seven heads and ten horns. Now does that help us? Well not yet, but now come across to V 12, because we have those ten horns described, the ten horns of the beast in V 3. and it says, “the ten horns which you saw are ten kings. Now I am not going to explain any of that to you at the moment I just want to draw your attention to the marginal reference in V 12. There is a little “h” there if you have an Oxford Bible, and it will take you in your margin straight back to Daniel 7 and V 7.

Now why does it take you to Daniel 7?

Answer: because the only other place in the Bible, outside the book of Revelation, where you find a beast with ten horns is the book of Daniel. In fact in Daniel chapter 7. What do we mean by this ? this is what we mean.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In Daniel Chapter 2 Daniel explained Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which was a dream of the kingdom of men from Daniel’s day all the way down to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.as a giant metallic image.

The various phases of that kingdom were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman kingdoms or sub-kingdoms of the kingdom of men, of the empire of men. Well, in Daniel ch 7 Daniel saw his own version, or if you like, the Divine interpretation of Daniel Ch 2 and those same four world empires weren’t emblazoned on his mind as a glossy metallic warrior, they were four wild animals, the lion, the bear, the leopard and the great un-named beast, the fourth beast of Daniel Ch 7.

Well, that fourth beat, the Roman Empire, you can see at the bottom of the screen, that’s the beast, that’s Dan 7:7, that’s the beast with ten horns, and I suppose you will appreciate is that all that has happened, when you come to the book of Revelation, well, think of it like this, Daniel is living 600 BC in the Babylonian empire, he sees the future of the world of his day as successive empires until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

600 years later, John receives the Revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ. He is now living in the Roman Empire, that is the fourth beast of Daniel and he sees the next 2,000 years opened up for his eyes, beast, beast, beast, each one of which has ten horns. So the  beasts of Revelation 12, 13 and 17 you see are simply successive phases of the Roman Beast of Daniel Ch 7.

So all we have therefore in the book of Revelation is an amplification of the book of Daniel. And all we have in the beasts of Revelation is an amplification of the fourth beast of Daniel Chapter 7, which we all know is the Roman beast. Significant of the Roman Empire.

That is why we say the contest is between Zion and Rome. It is the Roman Empire in the latter days and her associated religion which is the great protagonist of the book of Revelation and which is the system which as far as God is concerned has persecuted the saints for the last 2,000 years.

So how does the book of Revelation come together?

What’s the structure of the book of Revelation? This is where it is going to get a little tough for some of us. If you don’t know very much about the book of Revelation you might find the next ten or fifteen minutes a little overwhelming. I am just going to say, “Bear with me,” because I will tell you what part you have to remember if you find it is all gobbledygook.

If you have a reasonable understanding of the book of Revelation, then perhaps the next ten or fifteen minutes might fill in some gaps for you.

If you are an expert, then I am going to say, “Try to spot any mistakes.”

Here’s the first thing that you will notice about the book of Revelation. If you have ever done the readings once in Revelation you will know that the whole book is divided between what we are going to call “Visions of the future,” that is “Visions of the Kingdom” and historical sections. Now most of these historical sections have now been fulfilled, but you will appreciate that we could divide the whole book between “visions of the future” and what we might call now, “visions of the past.” because of our particular point in history.

The way to understand the book of Revelation is that

Every historical section has a vision of the future which precedes it.

Revelation 1, 2 and 3 are a classic example. You have a vision of the “man of one” in Revelation Ch 1 and he’s got various characteristics starting from about V 13. “Eyes like lamps of fire,” for example. When you come to look at the seven ecclesias, of Revelation 2 and 3, all those characteristics are represented by the Lord Jesus Christ as he writes to the subsequent ecclesias of Chs 2 and 3.

The vision of Revelation 1 precedes the historical section of chapters 2 and 3.

The vision of the throne in heaven of Chapter 4 and 5 precedes the unsealing of the scroll in Ch 6. That’s actually very clear, because the seven-sealed scroll which is opened in Revelation Ch 6 first appears in Revelation Ch 5. It is handed from the man on the throne to the lamb and then the lamb opens it in Ch 6, and so there is a link between the vision of Ch 4 and 5 and the subsequent historical section of chapter 6.

The “great multitude” in Revelation Ch 7 are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads, and in Revelation Ch 9 the Muslims would only kill those people who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads.

Again there is a link between the vision of Ch 7 and the subsequent historical section of Ch 8, 9 and 11. Why is that? Because each of these historical sections was, in fact, judgment on the Roman empire for either its apostasy, its wickedness or its persecution of the believers.

The believers, therefore, receive a vision ahead of the conflict of their particular epoch of  time as an encouragement to overcome and to hang on until the kingdom age. So they receive a vision of the kingdom age particularly calculated to assist them at their time in history.

Ch 1 precedes Chs 2 and 3.

Chs 4 and 5 precedes Ch 6, and so forth all down through the book.

Now come with me to Revelation Ch 5. So there is, if you like, the high level view of the book.

That’s how it looks. Here is the golden verse.

Now I have seen all sorts of structures of Revelation. Over the years that I have been in the truth I have gone back and forth trying to work out in my own mind what is the best way to understand the book of Revelation so that when I put my pen down and I come back in 12 months later, and I pick up a chapter, I know exactly where I am. Well, I find this helpful, perhaps so will you.

Written within and Without

Look what it says in Revelation 5:1.

I saw on the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside and sealed with seven seals.”

So here is the scroll, a book is a scroll,  Here is a scroll sealed with seven seals. Those seals begin to be opened in Revelation Ch 6. That is how the vision of Ch 5 relates to the history of Ch 6. but what I will draw your attention to, brothers and sisters and young people, is the fact that this book is written within and on the backside.

The New International Version says it like this. “It is written inside and outside,” writing on both sides. So it is just a scroll with writing on both sides of the scroll, what does that mean? When you run through scripture to see how the words “within” and “without” are used, you find in Revelation Ch 11, “Rise,” John says, ” and measure the temple of God and the altar them that are within but the court that is without the temple, leave out and measure it not for it is given to the gentiles.”

In Revelation Ch 11, the Temple is a symbol of the ecclesia –

“ye are the temple of the living God,” the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6.

Those that worship therein are the saints and they are being measured for tribulation. The court without is the unbelievers.

So you have got in a very simple sense,

Those who are devoted to religion and those who are not.

In 1 Corinthans Ch 5:12, in the case of immorality in the ecclesia, the apostle says, “what have I to do to judge them that are without?” that is “outside the ecclesaia,”do you not judge them that are within?” that is “inside” the ecclesia.

So at a very general level these words “within” and “without” on this scroll, concern things of a religious or a civil nature. I am not concerned here whether the ecclesia is apostate or godly, it is simply that at a general level the scroll written on both sides speaks of things to do with religion and things of a civil nature.

Why am I laboring this point? This is why. Because if we were to stretch the book of Revelation out on a number line over the last 2,000 years, this is what it would look like.

You will see that I have extracted all the kingdom visions out. Let’s just put all the kingdom visions to one side, and let’s just put the historical sections up as they happen to fall out.

What I am suggesting to you is that we have a prologue in Chs 2 and 3. and what have we done with chapter 1? Well, it is a vision and I have extracted it out an you can see it at the top of the screen there.

So the historical sections begins in Chs 2 and 3 with a prologue, It concludes in Chs 20 to 22 with an Epilogue, and between the prologue and epilogue we have two parallel lines of Roman history, one civil, and the other ecclesiastical, or religious.

Now let me prove that to you.

Come with me to Revelation 11:15. What I am going to show you is that

the book of Revelation really is written in two halves

If we ignore all the kingdom visions, the historical portion of the book of Revelation really is written in two halves. Verse 15 of Revelation 11 reads,

“And the seventh angel sounded, there were great voices in heaven, saying the kingdoms of this world have become the kings of our Lord and his Christ and he shall reign forever and ever.”

So Revelation 11 takes us right to the Kingdom age. So Ch 6 starts off in John’s day and by the time you get to Revelation 11, two thousand years have gone by and the Lord Jesus Christ has come and in fact, he is reigning “for ever and ever,”  V 15.

Now look at Revelation 12. So we’ve got to the kingdom age in Ch 11, but by the time we get to Revelation 12, there is a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. V 3 says that there is another wonder in heaven, “a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,” well there’s our Roman beast, His tail draws a third part of the stars from heaven and casts them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman wanting to kill her.

Well, I would hardly say that is a good picture of the kingdom age. We’ve got Christ ruling the world in V 15 of Revelation 11 and we’ve got warfare in heaven in Revelation Ch 12, what’s gone wrong? Well, the answer is that Revelation 12 does not happen after Revelation 11, it happens before.

I will give you another example, from Revelation 12, we march forward in time, come across to Revelation 20. So we progress forward again in history from Revelation 12, by the time we get to Revelation 20 and V 4 this is what we read.

“I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them and judgment was given to them and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast or his image or received his mark, they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

Well, that’s exactly what we read back in Revelation 11. So you see Revelation 20 and Revelation 11 are parallel chapters. In Revelation 11:15 it said Christ reigned “for ever and ever.” In Revelation 20:4 he reigns for a thousand years, that’s the same time period. What’s happening way back in Revelation 12? Well it says stars of heaven fall to the earth in Revelation 12, there’s warfare in heaven.

Let’s just conclude our couplets

and come with me to Revelation Ch 6, because if we are right, that Revelation 11 is parallel to Revelation 20, we ought to see that Revelation Ch 6 is in some way being parallel to Revelation 12, if in fact the book runs from Ch 6 to 11 and then leaps back in time and runs from Revelation Ch 12 through to Ch 20 as two parallel chronologies.

Look at Ch 6:12. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal and lo there was a great earthquake, the sun became black as the sackcloth f hair, the moon became as blood, the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree casts her untimely figs.”

There’s the stars of Revelation 12, falling to the earth in Rev 6:13, you see, and you know Revelation 12 and Revelation 6 are the only two occasions in the book of Revelation where the stars are cast down to the earth. So what we are simply saying is “look, it is really easy,” Revelation 6 through to Revelation 11 describes the political history of the Roman Empire. Revelation 12 through to Revelation 6 and 19 and 20 describes the religious history of the Roman Empire. And we know it is the Roman Empire as we have found because it is talking about the beast and it is the Roman Beast of Daniel 7 which is the subject of the book of Revelation. I think that is a very simple way to understand the chronology of the book and to extract out of it as we have done, the kingdom visions.

Now, what do you need to remember of all of this? Simply this:

Point 1: The book of Revelation is just

two parallel chronologies of history, one political, one religious,

and you can see why we say that.

Point 2: Distributed among that chronology of history are

visions of the Kingdom to assist the saints of every age,

that is, to assist the saints who live at various times in that historical chronology. That is what we just charted, and this is the part that we are going to talk about for the rest of the week, the last fifty years prior to Revelation Ch 20. Revelation 20 is the commencement of the 1000 year’s reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fifty years preceding that is the fifty years we want to talk about.

But can you see now, on the screen, that that fifty years is going to involve Ch 11, Ch 16, Ch 17, Ch 18, Ch 19, and though you don’t know it yet, Ch 10, and Ch 14.

That is why we say, 1/3 of the book of Revelation is going to be fulfilled in the next generation, in the next fifty years, because that is how the book is structured. And there is so much to do, and so much of significance which is going to happen when Christ comes, quite apart from judging the household, that you’ve got to have Chapter after Chapter after Chapter of that, devoted to it in the book of Revelation. Perhaps that helps you to see why we might appear in the next week to be jumping all over the place in the book of Revelation, but we are only trying to explain it, that fifty year period of time.

Here is the next big point to understand. Come back again to Ch 5. The next obvious point you will notice in the book of Revelation is that

there are judgments all over the place.

Look at Ch 5:1.

“I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals.”

Now those seals begin in Ch 6:1. So the Lamb takes the book in Revelation 5 and in Revelation 1 it says, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, I heard the voice of thunder, one of the four beasts or living ones saying, Come and see,” and a white horse charges out into the Roman Empire. Now these seals, and you will see them all the way through Revelation 6, v. 1,3,5, 7, 9,12, they are judgments on the Roman Empire. But when the 6th seal opens in v 12 and runs all the way through to the end of Ch 6,  we’ve got a vision of the future in Ch 7, and then Ch 8, look what it says.

“And when he had opened the seventh seal – you’ve got six seals in Ch 6, and the seventh seal opened in Ch 8:1, when he opened that seventh seal, “there was silence in heaven about the space of half and hour,” and I saw the seven angels that stood before God and to them were given seven trumpets. And what’s my point here? In the book of Revelation you’ve got a whole lot of judgments that occur throughout the book. Seven seals, followed by seven trumpets, followed by seven vials, followed by seven thunders. The seventh seal opens up the seven trumpets, the seventh trumpet opens up the seven vials, and the seventh vial opens up the seven thunders. So you can think of it like this, here are the seals. This is Revelation Ch 6. One, two, three, four, five, six, the seventh one is opened in Ch 8, and immediately there are seven trumpets and the seventh one sounds, and immediately there are seven vials, and the seventh one of them is poured out and immediately there are seven thunders.

There is a telescopic effect between the various epochs of judgment on the Roman Empire.

Now here’s the question, why do we have seven seals, and then seven trumpets and then seven vials?  There are 28 judgments here, why not just have 28 seals? We are simply judging the Roman Empire? How many ways do you want to do that? Well, there is a reason. Remember that slide I showed you a moment ago about Daniel Ch 7? breaking out in the book of Revelation into different beasts, all with ten horns all of which described different phases of the Roman Empire? Well, this is it, the seals judge the first phase of the Roman Empire, the trumpets judge the next phase of the Roman Empire, the vials judge the next phase and the thunders judge the last phase of the Roman Empire. That is all there is to it.

The seals, you see, in Rev 6, will judge the pagan Roman Empire, and what that means is that the Roman Empire in John’s day when these things occurred or shortly after was not Christian it was pagan. Constantine came, he toppled the existing government of the pagan Roman Empire – that’s what is meant by v 12 and 13 of Revelation 6, “a great earthquake”, “stars falling from heaven.” All the top brass of the Pagan Roman Empire were deposed, they lost their jobs and in many cases, lost their lives, when Constantine brought in Christianity. Now he didn’t really reform very much, he just re-branded the empire from a pagan Roman Empire, to a christian Roman Empire. It was known as Apostate under Constantine’s Christianity as it was under paganism. So the next round of judgment begins, you see, the trumpets begin to judge the christian Roman Empire that Constantine has created.

Then, or course, the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 after the first four of the trumpets were blown. Rome falls in the west, the barbarians come in – it falls “into the abyss” in fact as it is described in Revelation and it lumbers along beneath the surface for 300 years and finally resurrects itself as a papal Roman Empire, the third beast there. This was the holy Roman Empire based in that century, in Germany, which lasted for a thousand years, until Napoleon pours out the first five vials on the holy Roman empire in western Europe, and  he killed it, he killed it. That lamb, that you see there with the two horns, it was killed by Napoleon Bonaparte. But the old sea beast, that second breast there, he goes into the abyss, and he climbs out of the holy Roman Empire, but he never quite dies, he resurrects himself as the scarlet colored beast, the fourth beast here, with seven heads and ten horns, of Revelation 17, and that’s the beast that Christ and the saints will judge after the judgment seat, after the battle of Armageddon, during that fifty year period, prior to the commencement of the millennium. And they will pour out the seven thunders and judge that breast. So that’s all there is to it.

One last point, because someone is gong to ask me, every time a beast falls, or a beast is mortally wounded, or about to be mortally wounded,

there is a “great earthquake.” Not just an “earthquake,” but a “great earthquake,”

and there are three great earthquakes. At the fall of the pagan Roman beast, just prior to the fall of the papal Roman beast, and at the fall of the scarlet colored beast, of Revelation 17, bang, bang, bang, great earthquakes, it tells us, because the empire is changing, we’ve got the fall of one empire and the rising of the next, a great earthquake. Stars fall from the sky, everything is shaking to pieces, you see, “a great earthquake.” These are the major major symbols of the book of Revelation, and we’ve pretty much  we’ve now covered everything, visions, beasts, seals, trumpets, vials, thunders, and the two chronological progressions of history. That’s how the book of Revelation is, and if I were to put all that together, there’s our two lines of history, we’ve extracted the visions, and you can see the judgments of the seals, trumpets, vials and thunders appearing as they do in history. That’s what the book of Revelation looks like along the bottom of the screen.

There is just one other thing I need to show you before we conclude.

Remember the fifty years, remember the slide we had a short while ago, that we want to talk about the next fifty years and I have prepared the ground for that, and told you how things look in the book of Revelation, and I am going to have to come back to some of these things as the week progresses.

That fifty years, it’s got a lot of chapters, that describe it, and an enormous amount of detail compressed together. Now come with me to Revelation Ch 16 which was our reading. Here in Revelation Ch 16, is that fifty years. Revelation 16:12, is the sixth vial, you can see that the sixth vial was poured out on the River Euphrates. Now that began to happen in the year 1820. The Ottoman, or the Turkish Empire existed in Turkey and beyond in 1820, the River Euphrates is a river that begins in Turkey., so the River Euphrates was judged, and it simply means that Turkey began to dry up and shrink its territory back to what we know today as the modern country of Turkey. That began to happen in 1820 as Greece and Albania and various countries parted company with Turkey and got self-determination and began to govern themselves, and  Turkey lost control.\ there are three unclean spirits in V 13, like frogs, bringing the world at the end of V 14, to the great day of God Almighty.

That’s where we are today, at the end of V 14. The very next thing that happens, is that Christ comes as a thief, V 15, and then there is the battle of Armageddon, V 16. After the battle of Armageddon, the seventh angel, V 17, he pours out his vial into the “air.” Here’s the seventh vial judgment upon the modern-day version of the Roman Empire, and that seventh vial is going to begin seven thunders, the last epoch of the judgments upon the Roman Empire prior to its death at the start of the 1000 years reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it says in V 19, that after that vial was poured out, “the great city,” and that’s that great city of Babylon, the Roman Empire, “the great city was divided into three parts,” and “the cities of the nations fell and great Babylon came up into remembrance before God,” now what are the three parts that Babylon was divided into? Well, they appear to be in V 13, the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, because the Roman Empire has a number of different pieces to it. It’s got a civil piece, it’s got religious piece, it’s got an economic piece. The dragon is Russia, the military exponent of the Roman Empire, the Beast is the European Union, the economic exponent of the Roman Empire, and the false prophet is the papacy, the head of the religious portion of the Roman empire. These are some of the greatest actors in the book of Revelation, they are all brought onto the stage in Revelation 16:19, they all come for remembrance before God and they are all destroyed in the seventh vial.

There will be no false religion when Christ commences the 1,000 year reign.

Now, I am not going to deal any more with these verses, because I am going to speak about them tomorrow afternoon in our second study. I want to draw your attention, however, to one point. I made the comment, just a moment ago, that the seventh vial, which begins in V 17, opens up the seven thunders. You’ll see them mentioned in V 18, when the seventh vial was poured out, “there were voices and thunders and lightnings and a great earthquake.” Well no surprise that there was “a great earthquake,” is there? This is the complete fall of the Kingdom of Men. This is the destruction of great Babylon the system that has lived for the last 2,000 years since Rome became an empire as the fourth beast of Daniel 7. Look at V 18, “there was a great earthquake,” in fact, “a great earthquake which was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. There has never been a destruction of an empire like Christ will destroy the latter day Roman Empire when he comes. In the history of the world there had never been the collapse of such an empire, why? Well, because this is the complete destruction of the kingdom of men.

Think it like this, the image of Daniel 2 stands on two legs at the battle of Armageddon in V 16, the stone comes and smites it on the feet. What happens between V 17-21? It is ground to powder and it is blown away, and the kingdom of men ceases to exist after the seventh vial has done its work. And the way that happens is through the seven thunders of Revelation 10 and that’s the point of the word “thunders” in v 18. Why am I laboring this point? Because, tomorrow morning, by way of exhortation, I am going to speak on Revelation Ch 10. Because I have usually done the exhortation on Revelation 10 after the second study and not before, I need to tell you something about what I am going to tell you tomorrow afternoon, and this is it.  The fifty years. Here is the fifty years. There is the sixth vial of Revelation 16 on top of the screen, and here is the seventh vial, and if Bro Thomas is right, and it’s our best guess, I might say, and its the chronology of the next fifty years. Lets imagine if Christ comes TODAY, in ten years time will be the battle of Armageddon, in 20 years time will be the destruction of the city of Rome, that is, in Italy. Rome falls into a great hole in the ground and the smoke of her burning will be seen all the way around the world.

Thirty years after that, in year 50, we have, V 19, the fall of great Babylon, the destruction of the kingdom of men. Why is that important? Because the last thirty years, from year 20 to year 50, is when the seven thunders of Revelation Ch 10 are poured out. So when we speak about the seven thunders tomorrow, you just understand that they are from year 20 to year 50 of our Jubilee time period, over the next 50 years. Just again, Christ comes in year zero. We have the judgment seat, the marriage of the Lamb, the Gogian invasion. In year 10, the battle of Armageddon, so Gog finally comes into the land of Israel, and is opposed by the Lord Jesus Christ and the immortalized saints, who have now been co opted into an army and organized. Gog is destroyed very quickly. The battle of  Armageddon does not take 10 years the battle of Armageddon is over very quickly, but from the time Gog is destroyed, there is a proclamation that goes out to the world to announce the fact that Christ is now in control of Jerusalem.  He has just taken Jerusalem in year 10, because he took it from Gog, remember, after Armageddon. Now the world is called to submit at the end of 10 years, it is called the “mid-heaven” proclamation, of Revelation 14. We will deal with it tomorrow afternoon.

Well, the world doesn’t submit.

Bang, the city of Rome is destroyed! That gives you some indication of why the world doesn’t submit. Rome’s the problem. But despite the destruction of Rome, she still doesn’t submit, and seven thunders, now, are poured out upon the world, and finally by year 50, great Babylon falls, and the thousand year reign of Christ begins, which the kids sang about. It won’t happen for fifty years, why? Look what has to be done! And this is what the rest of the week looks like. Today, “the Book unsealed,” it’s been unsealed in the book of Revelation and we are going to talk about the next fifty years. Tomorrow afternoon, we are going to look at the detail of the seven vials, Rev 16:17-21. But the detail of this portion of Revelation 16 is in fact contained in Revelation 14. That’s where we get the understanding of the fifty years time period.

Then we are going to talk about the rise of the dragon, the rise of the beast, and the rise of the false prophet and their subsequent destruction. Why are we going to talk about that? Because as we explained to you in v 19 of Revelation 16, great Babylon is divided into three parts and those three parts are the three major facets of the latter day Roman Empire. The dragon, military, beast, economic, false prophet, religious. Each one of those has got to be addressed before the millennium begins. Tomorrow morning our exhortation is on Revelation 10. Next Sunday, exhortation, Revelation 4 and 5. Sunday School tomorrow morning, Daniel Ch 2, but this is the part of Daniel Ch 2 that you have never heard, What I am going to do is show you is eastern and western European history, and what we would expect to see happen in world events prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s for the senior Sunday School. The fraternal, sisters class, Napoleon and the vials. That’s the first half of Revelation Ch 16. That’s what our week is going to look like.

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