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     End times prophecy is a pop culture term used to describe various end of the world scenario's ostensibly taught with the Bible. The wording itself comes from quite a few scriptures in the Bible such as 2 Timothy 3:1. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." Teachings on this subject particularly in the last century have been at best superficial. Furthermore down through the centuries, there has been an endless parade of prognostication supposedly based on end time prophecy that has been 100% wrong 100% of the time. It seems to have only increased in the last hundred years to embarrassment of believers everywhere. (At least there should be embarrassment.) It is also worthy of note that virtually all religious sects that acknowledge the Bible in some fashion are steeped in similar if not many times identical popular end times teachings.  It would be  particularly disturbing if it was widely known to believers that angels have appeared over the centuries to members of these sects articulating end time teachings taught by many Christian ministries and pastors. Warning them to prepare for the end that will happen in their lifetime.  Mystics who belong to Christian sects over the centuries have been recipients of visitations by these angels telling them the same scenario's. Christians on Christian radio can even be heard occasionally describing how they or a prophet they know had been visited by an angel confirming the latest popular end time situation is coming right around the corner. I assume if this very widespread activity by demons masquerading as angels of light were common knowledge. Christians might be a little more cautious about what they ascribe to and teach. Satan does not deal with truth. If he is deceiving mankind about what lies in his future he has a good reason for doing so.

     The prophecies of the Bible are precise and absolute. The only reason there is debate over what they teach and predict is because of the darkness that exists in this world. This doesn't mean they cannot be understood. What it does mean is though is if one wants to see and understand they must approach the subject through God and his written word. God through Jesus Christ is the revealer of Bible Prophecy and if he reveals the subject at all, it will be revealed through his written word.  Outside of scripture's own interpretation there can be no safe and sound understanding of Bible Prophecy. The general thrust of this article will be that the Bible itself gives precise names and dates in regards to end time prophecy. Furthermore that the eschatological viewpoints outside of these names and dates that the scripture elucidates on the subject are fallacious, and are greatly hindering the cause of Christ.

      The hyperlinks in this article link to reference material associated with the statements containing them. Most of the reference material is an integral part of the article. The hyperlinks are not randomly added definitions.


Daniel's First Vision of Four Kingdoms and the Kingdom of God

      We'll start with the book of Daniel Chapter 2 Verse 31 You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form of it was terrible. 32. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34. You looked until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. 35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37. You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38. And where ever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold. 39. And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41. And where as you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43. And where as you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will crush and bring to an end all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45. For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation of it sure. 

     There is a need to lay out some common sense rules that should apply to the reading and understanding of literature. This is not because most people need to have basic rules laid out before something they read can be analyzed. Unfortunately, when many people read the Bible though, they do not use the same reason and logic they use with other literature. They act as if scripture is somehow outside of reason and logic. Let it be said that if mankind can be reasonable or logical then God is infinitely so.  Furthermore it is because of mans rejection of reason and logic that he is in trouble with the government of God in the first place. So, without further to do, this first prophecy will be analyzed as though one had to read it and answer questions about it on a test at school.

1. Question: How many kingdoms does the text refer too?  Answer: Four; or five if you count Gods kingdom.
2. Question: Who's is the first kingdom?  Answer: Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (See Daniel Chapter 2)
3. Question: What happens to these four kingdoms?  Answer: They are destroyed
4. Question: What destroys them?  Answer: Gods kingdom.
5. Question: When does Gods kingdom destroy these kingdoms? Answer: During the forth kingdom.
6. Question: What happens after the four kingdoms are destroyed?  Answer: Gods kingdom fills the whole earth.
7. Question: Does it say how Gods kingdom fills the whole earth?  Answer: No
8. Question: Does it say if Gods kingdom fills the whole earth at once or over a period of time? Answer: Neither.
9. Question: Does this prophecy give any dates? Answer: Yes, it says the first Kingdom is Nebuchadnezzar's' Babylon which to us is history; but it does not give any other dates.
10. Question: How long does it say the Kingdom of God will last?  Answer: Forever
11. Question: Does it say precisely what this kingdom of God is?  Answer: The only thing it says is it will not be left to "other" people.

     In conclusion as far as this text and basic rules are concerned.  We have four kingdoms listed here starting with Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. During the fourth kingdom the kingdom of God destroys these kingdoms. Therefore we have to conclude that if the Bible is the Word of God. There will not be any other prophecies in the Bible that disagree with this prophecy. There will only be these four kingdoms and the kingdom of God will come during the fourth one and fill the whole earth. Any prophecies outside of this particular and simple scenario in the Bible will render the Bible untrustworthy of being called the Word of God. Furthermore is seems reasonable that there cannot be a lot of convoluted twisting and turning to try to make this prophecy fit any number of situations.


Four Primary Types of Bible Prophecy

     There are dozens of chapters of prophecy that occurred after this one. What will be pointed out in this article as far as "end times" prophecy is concerned. Is that all other end time prophecy after this one simply repeat this exact prophecy but add greater detail to it. In other words they all point to the same exact four kingdoms and the kingdom of God coming during the fourth one. But they do it giving much greater detail, even naming the kingdoms and telling what will occur and when. They also give a tremendous amount of detail about the nature of this Kingdom of God that crushes and puts these kingdoms to an end. Before we get to the next prophecy though it would be good to point out the four primary types Bible prophecy.

1. Vision or picture type prophecies: These prophesies use the illustrative language of pictures to describe literal events and Bible doctrines. Many times but not always different prophecies by different prophets use the same pictures to describe the same types of things. For instance: Most of the time a  picture of the sea in these visions is an illustration of the gentile nations. Some Christians claim a sort of spiritual superiority saying that they take prophecy "literally" as opposed to "symbolically."  Meaning they take some of these pictures and apply a "literal" meaning to them. Upon closer examination though one finds they do no such thing. They pick and choose what they want to be "literal" and what they want to be "symbolic" to fit their notions of what the future holds. Let it be stated right now that all of these visions or picture prophecies are literal in their nature. They literally describe an event or a teaching using pictures that may or may not have any precise connection to the event or teaching to do so. Like this first prophecy for instance. A statue has no precise connection to kingdoms, nor does a rock or a mountain have any specific connection to Gods Kingdom. This is why an interpretation of this picture by the Bible itself is needed. One can only imagine what men would say this means if it were not for the explanation given for it.

2. Illustrative language prophecies: These prophecies are the same as vision or picture prophecies except they use highly illustrative, allegorical or poetic language to describe literal events or Biblical teachings. Many times this language mimics the vision\picture prophecies. Again the temptation with this type of prophecy is to apply meanings to it that are "literal" or "symbolic" according to the readers choosing. Once more let it be stated the Bible itself interprets what this language means. Interpretation using a Christian viewpoint or "hermeneutic" without first finding how the scripture itself  gives it a meaning is harmful to the cause of Christ.

3. Literal language to describe literal events or teachings.

4. The lives and the circumstances of people recorded in the Bible that tell the future and teach doctrine: This is probably the most amazing way that Gods prophesies the future. An awesome example of this is the lives and circumstances of the people in the first book of the Bible; Genesis. This is conveyed in the article Bible Symbolism in Genesis.


Daniels Second Vision of the Same Four Kingdoms With Added Details

     Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.2. Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and look, the four winds of the heaven were stirring the great sea. 3. And four great animals came up from the sea, different one from another. 4. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I looked till the wings were torn off, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. 5. And look, another animal, a second, like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in it's mouth between its he teeth: and they said this to it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6. After this I was looking, and saw another, like a leopard, which had on its back of it four wings of a bird; the animal also had four heads; and an empire was given to it. 7. After this I looked in the night visions, and saw a fourth animal, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with its feet: and it was different from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8. I considered the horns, and look, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns uprooted; and look, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9. I looked until the thrones were set up, and the ancient of days sat, whose robe was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the flames of fire, and its wheels were burning fire. 10. A river of fire ran and issued from his presence: thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood in his presence: the court was seated, and the books were opened. 11. I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke: I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12. As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their empires taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. 15. I Daniel was distressed in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17. These great animals, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth animal, which was different from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with his feet; 20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more greater than his fellows. 21. I was looking, and the same horn made war with the saints, and overpowered them; 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and crush it. 24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. 28. This is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed on me: but I kept the matter in my heart. 

      This vision is given to Daniel during the reign of the last King of Babylon, Belshazzar. Although it increases the illustrative picture type details about the four kingdoms it does nothing as far interpreting what and when they are. It does however provide a wealth of information via the angels interpretation about the Kingdom of God. Looking back at the common sense rule first lets note the obvious. There are once more four kingdoms and during the forth one the Kingdom of God destroys their dominion and establishes his own kingdom. This cannot be looked at as anything other than the original prophecy given to Daniel with further detail added to it. The most obvious detail that proves this is when the kingdom of God makes its appearance, during the forth kingdom.

      Interestingly the first animal, that has already been interpreted in Daniel's first vision as Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon corresponds with this first Kings personal testimony about the grace of God shown to him in Daniel chapter 4.  (verse 4.....it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.) Allowing Daniels next vision to interpret who these animals represent, it would be good just to emphasize for future reference the pictures themselves. One reason is because these four animals appear in the Apostle Johns vision in the New Testament. The other because the pictures get interpreted in the next prophecies. There are three ribs in the bears mouth. There are four wings and four heads on the leopards body. The fourth animal has ten horns just like the ten toes of the first prophecies statue. Then there is apparently another horn besides these ten that rules over and oppresses Gods people.  Then just as the first prophecy in Daniel chapter 2 during the forth kingdom, the Kingdom of God destroys the dominion of these kingdoms and assumes dominion itself.

     The interpretive part of this prophecy is filled with information and implications.  In Verses 13-14 we see the Messiah.  13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyedHere are a few other scriptures that validate this.  He (the messiah) is also the rock in Daniel's first vision. Starting verse 16 we are given the interpretation of Verses 13-14. 16. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17. These great animals, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever......22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom........ 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. In these interpretations it can be clearly seen that the messiah is given the earth and everything in it. What is so fascinating about it is that the messiah being given the earth translates into the messiahs people being given the earth. They are not only given the dominion that the four kingdoms had but also dominion of all earthly powers. This also explains Daniels first prophecy where Gods Kingdom is not left to "another" people. In the broadest sense it would mean that the whole world belongs to God, and he will not leave it under the control of people who do not belong to him.
     To put this in a clearer light lets reference one of Jesus's sayings:
Matthew 21: 42. Jesus says to them, Didn't you ever read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the main cornerstone: this is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes? 43. Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation that will produce its fruits. 44. And who ever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on who ever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.
     Scriptures about the messiah's reign on earth being interpreted as the messiah's peoples reign on earth (in union with him,) are not received very well by Gods people these days. This is mostly because people do not comprehend what this would look like.  There is a great body of scripture dedicated to it and correctly defining what the Bible says the messiah's reign on earth looks like will be a major part of this article. Since this occurs at the end of these prophesies it will be expounded on at the end of the article.

     In conclusion, there is no disagreement between this second of the book of Daniel's prophecies and the first one. Only an expansion of the first with a somewhat startling explanation that the Messiah's reign on earth is through his people. Also verse 26 contains the first reference to "the end" 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. The end in this case would seem to indicate the end of the fourth kingdom.


 Daniel's Third Vision

     Daniel 8  1. In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, that I was by the river of Ulai. 3. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, look, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no animals might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. 5. And as I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, not touching the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran up to him in the fury of his power. 7. And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with rage against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8. Therefore the male goat became very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and in it's place came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10. And it grew great, even to the army of heaven; and it cast down some of the army and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11. Yes, he magnified himself even to the ruler of the army, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12. And an army was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. 13. Then I heard one holy one speaking, and another holy said to that certain holy one which spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot? 14. And he said to me, Until two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 15. And it came to pass, when I,  Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, look, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man  understand the vision. 17. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said to me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall the vision be. 18. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And he said, look, I will make you understand what shall be in the final period of wrath: for at the time appointed the end shall be. 20. The ram which you saw having the two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22. Now that being broken, whereas four stood in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 23. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce expression, skilled in intrigues, shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and accomplish, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 26. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

      This vision occurs a few years after Daniel's second vision, still during the reign of Belshazzar. We now have our second and third kingdoms named and dated for us by an angel of the Lord. Named directly, and dated because to us they are history. There are a number of reasons you can know this is still referring to the same prophecy and not something different. Number one is the chronology of the first two prophecies. The second, third and forth kingdoms followed Babylon without saying exactly how they follow each other. In this prophecy it does say how they follow each other. Each successive kingdom conquers the one before it. Medo-Persia conquered Babylon. Greece conquered Medo-Perisa. Though not named here, in Daniels other prophecies Rome conquers Greece.  The article will now refer to these kingdoms as empires. Empire is the modern terminology most people use to describe these kingdoms. To many people the word kingdom denotes the reign of one king and the geographical area he rules over. where as the word empire denotes the long term rule over a geographical area by a certain people with many kings. These are not the proper definitions of these words but they will suffice for the purposes of this article.
     The different illustrations in each vision also show that they are prophesying the same events adding other details with every vision. The breast and arms of silver in the first vision show only a second empire, now revealed as Medo-Persia.  The second vision shows Medo-Persia as a bear; "and it raised up itself on one side."  In the third vision it's a ram with two horns: "and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last." Both of these illustrations show the Medes dominating this empire at first but the Persians dominating it by its end at the greatest extent of its power. The other detail is the bear "has three ribs in it's mouth." This corresponds to the ram "pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no animals might stand before him."  The reason for this is the Mede's and Persians conquered three major empires, Babylon, Lydia and Egypt. These were "westward, and northward, and southward" of them. A short story of the night Babylon was conquered can be found in Daniel Chapter 5.
     Likewise the belly and thighs of brass in Daniels first vision only reveal a third empire. The angel has now revealed it as Greece. The leopard known for it's speed the male goat coming "from the west on the face of the whole earth, not touching the ground" are illustrations of the speed in which the Greek Empire would conquer that part of the world. The angel also states that the notable horn is the first emperor which we know by history to be Alexander the Great. The four wings on the leopard of the second prophecy and the four horns that take the place of the one horn on the male goat is interpreted as being the Greek Empire being divided up four ways. We know through history that it was divided up between four of Alexander's generals who then reigned as kings over their piece of the Greek Empire. The little horn that arises near the end of what the Bible is still calling the Greek Empire is Antiochus IV Epiphanies. Because of what he does to the Israelites a great amount of prophecy is devoted to him in the book of Daniel. In short, he got a large number of the Israelites to apostatize and make sacrifices to Zeus. Then after a humiliating affair with Rome he got back into Jerusalem deceitfully. He murdered and sold into slavery approx. 160,000 Jews. He stopped the daily offering and desecrated the temple. Plundered and burned the city. Burned the books of the law, forbad any celebrations of any of the feasts. He set up an idol of Zeus at the alter of burnt offering. He sacrificed a pig on the alter. (The abomination of desolation.) He forced the Jews to sacrifice a pig on the 25th of each month to celebrate his birthday. He sought to exterminate Judaism and Hellenize them. ie: Convert them to the customs and religion of the Greeks. More on him will be spoken about later.

      This chapter is the first to really make use of the term "the end" or as modern Christianity calls it: "End times." 17. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said to me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall the vision be. 18. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And he said, look, I will make you understand what shall be in the final period of wrath: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The difference with these references in the angels interpretation and pop-eschatology is that the angel assigns an approximate date to the end. In popular eschatology however, that date is always somewhere in the near the future. This approximate date of this particular end time in Daniels third vision will be shown in the next section of this article.


Big Picture Prophecy

      Big picture prophecy is a term Wordservice.org has coined to help the reader keep within the parameters of the basic rules which govern the analysis of literature. As far as Bible prophecy goes the reason such a tool is needed is that we all have an incomplete knowledge of history. (In so much as at this time much end time prophecy is now history.) This tool as its name indicates guides the reader to be careful to look at the big picture that is already interpreted by the Bible itself. If the scripture places smaller details of a prophecy within the time period of a larger piece of information already interpreted then students of the Word of God can rest easy even though they may have incomplete knowledge.  A case and point of this is the date the angel gives to this particular "little horn" and "the time period of the end." 8:17....... O son of man: for at the time of the end shall the vision be (or, pertaining to the time period of the end).......19. And he said, look, I will make you understand what shall be the final period of wrath: for at the time appointed the end shall be. 20. The ram which you saw having the two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22. Now that being broken, whereas four stood in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 23. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce expression, skilled in intrigues, shall stand up. 24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and accomplish, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. These verses unmistakably state that this final period of wrath will start near the end of the Greek Empire. The "latter time" of the four kingdoms that the Greek Empire was divided up into. This is when this person commits this horrendous crime against humanity upon the Jewish nation.  It is stated though that this whole episode relates to an appointed end or a fixed date when the end occurs. It does not say that this episode is itself the end, only that it relates to the end which has a fixed date, (in the foreknowledge of God.) Moreover and just as important, it does not provide a specific answer to the question: "The end of what." That will be left to future visions and interpretations the Bible itself will supply. 

      Hopefully this example of "Big Picture Prophecy" will start to alert the readers to fallacious methods of taking words or phrases out of their context and placing them in a context of endless prognostications about the near future. This prophecy although it does not yet reveal to Daniel what is about to end  does tell him the end is very close to the time period that encompasses the end of the Greek Empire. It also reveals to Daniel that there is yet to come further wrath directed against his own people, actually a final period of it.  This devastates him to his very core. He already lived through Babylon's complete destruction of Jerusalem and Judea. 8:27. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. This emotional devastation may have had allot to do with his fasting, prayer and seeking God because of what he found in the scripture about the subject of the sufferings of his nation. This is alluded by the angel in the 9th chapter of Daniel.   


The Fourth Prophecy in the Book of Daniel

      Daniel 9 1. In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2. In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, by the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.....19. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for you own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name. 20. And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21. Yes, whiles I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding. 23. At the beginning of your supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you; for you art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24. Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. 26. And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. 27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

      Much information on Daniels seventy sevens (of years) is available from many different sources. Therefore this article will not devote allot of space to it. In short the command to rebuild and restore Jerusalem was given in 457 B.C. by Artaxerxes as recorded in Ezra 7:11-26.  In verse 25 it says from the time of that command there will be seven weeks, then sixty-two weeks. Sixty nine weeks in all or 483 years. The Messiah was baptized by John and started his ministry at that point of 483 years. There are 70 weeks or 490 years to this prophecy and as it states the Messiah will be cut off or killed in the middle of the last week, the 70th week or at 486.5 years. His Apostles continued his ministry to Israel for the additional 3 1\2 years. That is the end of the 70th week or 490 years and the time when the governing authorities of Israel officially rejected the messiah and began their persecution of those who followed him. Lets look at the wording concerning the Messiah a little more closely before looking at the verses concerning the end.
     Starting from the last verse and moving backwards: 27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease...., This is exactly what the messiah did. He confirmed the covenant made to Abraham through his own personal ministry to Israel for 3 1\2 years and then through his disciples for an additional 3 1\2 years for a total of one "week." In the middle of that last week he offered himself as "the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." Putting an end (as far as God was concerned) to the ritual sacrifices and oblations of the Law that for thousands of years symbolized his sacrifice.
    We read in verses 25-26:
25.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times.26. And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.....  The first 7 weeks or 42 years were the time it took to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. At that point the 62 weeks began that ended with Jesus being baptized and beginning his ministry of confirming the covenant made with Abraham. Verse 26 does not make clear the exact time that messiah will be cut off. It only says after 62 weeks. It is verse 27 that does give the exact date, 3 1\2 years after the 62 weeks are fulfilled. i.e. In the middle of the 70th week.
     Back to verse 24:
Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. At the end of this 490 year time table that has a start date. God accomplished what he promised starting in the very beginning of the book of Genesis and then throughout every other book of the Old Testament. As the palmist quite accurately states concerning the messiah: Psalm 40:7 Then I said, Look, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me....,

     That could be termed the good news part of this prophecy, which now leaves us to look at the bad news part. In chap. 9:26-27 the angel gives Daniel the interpretation of his third vision from chap. 8:17-19 that states. 17....Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall the vision be.....19. And he said, look, I will make you understand what shall be in the final period of wrath: for at the time appointed the end shall be.  Remember this verse has already declared by the angel to refer to time period near the end of the Greek Empire and the "little horn" that came out of one of the "four horns" of Alexander's empire. The little horn being Antiochus IV Epiphanies. This is called final season of "wrath" before the appointed end that has a fixed date. So chap. 9:26-27 then spells out what exactly this bad news is that has a fixed date referred to as an end: 26:.....and the people of the prince that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. 27:.... and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. So this particular end is referring to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary by way of war. This happens after the 70 weeks are fulfilled, after the messiah comes and the covenant is confirmed and sealed. None of these prophecies declare the exact day of this war and destruction. They do however say clearly state that it is within this particular time period of this final season of wrath. 

      As it can be seen so far this prophecy about the end is beginning to look quite specific in it's nature. There will be much more prophecy about this particular "end time" that give it a specific date; every bit as specific as any other date already given by the Bible itself. As a hint though as to where this article will end up. This is not the only "end" prophesied about in the Bible. As you can perhaps notice the end of this era related to this destruction of Jerusalem doesn't address the end of these four empires as told in Daniels 2nd vision chap. 7:6. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. So it can be seen that there is the beginning of things and time periods and the end of things and time periods in the Bible. It will be also seen that the Bible itself interprets these things and time periods and everything outside of the Bibles own interpretations are the mere speculations of temporal and fallible men. Next, Daniel chapter 11-12.


His Fifth Vision as Recorded in Daniel Chapters 11-12

      Most of Daniel 11 is widely known and accurately interpreted a by large body good reference materials and Bibles.  Most of the first part of chapter 11 that is but not the rest. This is very unfortunate because Daniel 11-12 takes the prophecies already given and expounds on them greatly. This chapter will note when most Christian literature stray from the interpretations already given by the Bible itself in the previous prophecies. The historical references that this section refers to is being used by Wordservice.org by the authors gracious permission. Most of the information on it can be found in good Bible reference materials. However, Wordservice.org does not support any common eschatological views that may be found in this or other reference sources. It is being used for it's easy to read format concerning history and not for it's viewpoint of prophecy. There may be occasional notes about these viewpoints added and hyperlinked on that historical reference page.

     Daniel 10:1. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.......4. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5. Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6. His body also was like the Beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves......Daniel 10:14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come (NIV).......

     Daniel 11:1  Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. The angel speaking to Daniel, and laying out the subject matter of this prophecy. Which is: What will happen to Daniels people in the future.
2. And now will I show you the truth. Look, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes and Darius Hystaspes) and the fourth (Xerxes) shall be far richer than all of them: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Greeks. See a detailed historical account.
3. And a mighty king shall stand up, (Alexander the Great) that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. See detailed historical account.
4. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. (Alexander's empire was divided up between four of his generals. Seleucus over Syria and Mesopotamia, Ptolemy over Egypt, Lysimacus over Thrace and portions of Asia Minor, and Cassander over Macedonia and Greece)
5. And the king of the south shall be strong (Ptolemy I Soter "the king of the south"), and one of his princes (Seleucus I Nicator "who became the king of the north"); shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. See detailed historical account.
6. And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for (Berenice) the king's daughter of the south (Ptolemy Philadelphus) shall come to the king of the north (Antiochus Theos)  to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. See detailed historical account.
7. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, (The brother of Berenice, Ptolemy III Euergetes) which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:  Historical account
8. And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. Historical account.
9. So the king of the south (Ptolemy III Euergetes) shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
10. But his sons (Seleucus III and Antiochus III) shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one (Antiochus III) shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his (Ptolemy Philopater's) fortress (Raphia.) Historical account.
11. And the king of the south (Ptolemy IV Philopator) shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north (Antiochus III): and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
12. And when he (Ptolemy IV Philopator) has taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it. Historical account.
13. For the king of the north (Antiochus III) shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. Historical account.
14. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south (Ptolemy Epiphanes,): also the robbers of thy people (reprobate Jews) shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. Historical account.
15. So the king of the north (Antiochus III) shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. Historical account.
16. But he (Antiochus III) that cometh against him (Ptolemy Epiphanes,) shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he (Antiochus III) shall stand in the glorious land (Israel), which by his hand shall be consumed.
17. He (Antiochus III) shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he (Antiochus III) shall give him (Ptolemy Epiphanes) the daughter of women (Antiochus III's daughter Cleopatra), corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him (Antiochus III) . Historical account.
18. After this shall he (Antiochus III) turn his face unto the isles (Asia Minor and Greece), and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. (Antiochus III was defeated by the Romans)
19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. Historical account.
20. Then shall stand up (Seleucus IV Philopater) in his (Antiochus III) estate a raiser of taxes  in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. Historical account.
21. And in his (Seleucus IV Philopater) estate shall stand up a vile person  (Antiochus Epiphanes, the little horn of Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25 ) to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him  and shall be broken; yea, also the prince (Ptolemy Philometer the son of  Ptolemy Epiphanes and Cleopatra) of the covenant. (The covenant between Antiochus III and Ptolemy Epiphanes.)
23. And after the league (between Ptolemy Philometer and Antiochus Epiphanes) made with him he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24. He (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. Historical account. (Verses 22-24  also fits the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes in Syria rather than his dealings with the Ptolemy Philometer and can even be construed to fit his dealings with Jerusalem.)
25. And he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south (Ptolemy Philometer) with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he (the king of the south) shall not stand: for they (traitors) shall forecast devices against him.
26. Yea, they (Ptolomy's servants) that feed of the  portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
27. And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. ( Even though Antiochus Epiphanes has won, yet because of his fear of how the Romans will react if he completely annexes Egypt militarily. He negotiates with his nephew Ptolemy Philometer in guise of taking Egypt deceitfully through accord.)
28. Then shall he (Antiochus Epiphanes) return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. (Antiochus murdered 40,000 jews, sold more 40,000 (woman and children) into slavery and plundered the temple.)
29. At the time appointed he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
30. For the ships of Chittim (Roman) shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. (The Romans compelled him to forsake his campaign against Egypt, his army then returned to Jerusalem with the aid of apostate Jews.)
31. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate. (His army sacked the city with orders to murder all the men and take the women and children captive. offered a pig on the alter, placed an alter to Zeus in the temple, sought to completely exterminate Judaism and imposed the death penalty for any one caught practicing it or in possession of Old Testament writings . Thus setting up the Maccabean revolt and civil war as related in verses 32-35. ) Historical account verses 25-31.
32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
34. Now when they shall fall, they shall be aided with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. Historical account verses 32-35. So it is Antiochus III and Antiochus Epiphanes that start the "final period of wrath" with the end, the destruction of the city and the sanctuary still out ahead.

      This is the point where most, (especially modern) Christian literature stray outside the parameters of the interpretations already given by the Bible itself. Remember the big picture complete with names and dates is already laid out for us by the Word of God. Four successive empires are named for us with an "empire" built by God coming during the forth. Although Rome is not named, it is the empire that conquered the Greek empire. It is the empire of the people of the prince (Titus) that destroys Jerusalem in 70 AD (Daniel 9:26-27). It is also identified as the seven headed beast with ten horns in the book Book of Revelation. Furthermore it is also laid out ahead of us in the rest of Daniel 11 as the conquering entity that swallows up the rest of the Greek empire. This is why it is most troubling that so much modern Christian literature seems to be so oblivious to the rest of these verses in Daniel 11-12. I fear secularists have unduly influenced believers about this. Let me explain why I believe this.
     Secular historians are positive that thus far Daniels prophecies (especially chapter 11:1-35) were written after the fact. The reason they "know" this is because the "predictions" are exactly what happened. Therefore since there is no such thing as Prophecy that is accurate like Daniel 11:1-35  it is "obvious" it was written after the fact. I assume the reason they pick this point at verse 35 to call this written history instead of prophecy and then 36 on as prophecy is because the physical evidence that the book of Daniel existed at this point is so overwhelming it would make them look like fools to their peers to deny it. Not that there isn't physical evidence that it was written by Daniel himself in the 5th century BC centuries before the Maccabean revolt. However, if verses 36 and on can be made to look like what the world considers "prophecy," (generally inaccurate, never ending speculations, can fit lots of different scenario's, more like pagan prophecy.)  Then they can use this to demean the Word of God and gain an advantage for their own interests. 
     This then is the troubling circumstance. That you find the vast majority of Christian teachers, pastors and authors  falling right into hells conspiracy and looking at this through the eyes of the spirit of this world. The rest of these verses in Daniel 11:36-45 and 12:1-13 are every bit as mind blowing and accurate as the preceding ones in Daniel 11:1-35. It is nothing but the darkness that exists in the world that influences all of mankind that turns them into endless prognostications about the end of the world. This is to the delight of those everywhere who have an interest in destroying the Bibles influence in the world. They cannot argue further about the date Daniel was penned, the date cannot be pushed up past this point. The book of Daniel is widely known in the Greek world by 170 BC and this is abundantly recorded in history. The only option left to discredit it as being of supernatural origin  is to spread confusion about the accuracy of the rest of the book of Daniel that the secular world knows  is written as prophecy.  Hells plot has been to deny the glaringly obvious and easy to understand historical fullfillment of Daniel 11:36-45 and 12:1-13 and in it's place use it to promote endless speculations concerning the future . That is the grand conspiracy and that is the spirit that is influencing modern Christian teaching. However as you will see the problem with this scheme is that no matter how far you push the date it was written up. What is left as prophecy is so accurate that it has a higher degree of historical accuracy than those who record history after it has already happened. May the good Lord be with your spirit that eventually you can see this to be the case as the article continues.


Daniel 11:36 and Herod the King

      Within a century of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes the sector of the Greek empire  in Daniel 11 called the kingdom of the north was also conquered by Rome (64 B.C.) making the king of the north Roman. The only part of the Greek empire left not conquered by Rome at this time was Egypt, the king of the south. Then in the exact spirit and accuracy as the first 35 verses of Daniel 11. Verses 40-45 prophesy the last part of the Greek empire being conquered by Rome. It even prophesies the boundaries of the Roman empire in the region at this time period of the end, (verse 40.)
    There is no difference between the first 35 verses and the last 15 verses as far as accuracy and the relevancy it has to the big picture prophecy of the four successive gentile empires that rule over Gods people. Verses 36 -39 in that same spirit of divine accuracy and relevancy, especially to Daniels people take some to predict a "King" of the time period when the last of the Greek empire is annexed by Rome. He is neither king of the north or south but was made King by Rome in Judea. Amazingly he is king of Judea when the Messiah comes and his dynasty continued until the the prophesied end.
      Serious secular history does not deny that this part of Daniel is prophecy. For Herod the Great and his dynasty to not be examined as the obvious candidate for this portion of the prophecy goes without saying. Herod fulfilled verses 36-39 so precisely that to look into him would be wholly against the interests of those who seek to deny the supernatural nature of Bible prophecy. Unfortunately it seems that instead of solid Christian scholarship influencing secular history the opposite appears to be true. It looks as if Christian scholarship has fallen victim to that influence of those who want to hide the obvious fulfillment of prophecy because it is against their interests.

 36. And the king (Herod) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. Historical account of Herod and how he fulfilled these prophecies.

40. And at the time of the end ( The end in as foretold Daniel 8:17-19 and 9:26-27) shall the king of the south (Cleopatra, her siblings allied with Mark Antony)  push at him (Rome;) (Cleopatra was also pushing at Herod): and the king of the north (Octavian soon to be named Augustus) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. Thus we have the final part of the 3rd empire (Greece,) of end time prophecy completely conquered by the fourth empire (Roman) of that same prophecy. Historical account.
44. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. These were wars that happened between Rome and neighboring kingdoms immediately after the last part of the Greek empire was conquered. However because verse 45 seems to refer to Herod (The Great) once more some like to tie verse 44 into him as in this historical account. It fits both scenario's within the time frame given by scripture perfectly so it doesn't seem to matter which is chosen.
45. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.


 Daniel Chapter 12

      Daniel Chapter 12 is a progressive enlargement of the original prophecy given to Daniel in chapter 2 as is all Bible prophecy future of that prophecy. In other words God is revealing greater detail about that prophecy as time goes on. Specifically, the angel starts the book of Daniels last prophecy in chapter 10:14 with these words: I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come (NIV) The angel then reveals details about four kings of the Medo-Perisan Empire. He then goes into great detail concerning the Greek empire and it's end via the forth empire Rome.  He pinpoints the start of  a final period of wrath foretold in Daniel 8:8-27 . Its cause is revealed as the wars between two parts of the Geek Empire that Judea is stuck right in the middle of.  The end of chapter 11 leaves us with Herodian dynasty set up and Augustus Caesar as first emperor of the fourth empire.  Having eliminated the last of the Greek empire, Rome begins it's official reign as the fourth empire of Daniels prophecies.
     Daniel chapter 12 takes up the prophecy from that point. It expands  the words of Daniel 9:24-27  about the messiah coming to Israel, completing his work, then the city and the sanctuary being destroyed by war. Daniel chapter 12 is also the point in time where the Gospels of the New Testament begin their narration:
Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea........2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be taxed.

     

Daniel 12:1. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

 

       Jesus quotes this verse in his prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem in: Matthew 24:21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Mark 13:19. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, neither shall be. Then Luke's corresponding verse: 21:22. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Jesus also in the same prophecy promises deliverance to believers from this war that destroys the city and sanctuary just like Daniel 12:1:.....and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book: Matthew 24:13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Mark 13:.....but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Then Luke's corresponding verse: 21:18. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. 19. In your patience possess your souls. It is a historical fact that although Christian's were persecuted and murdered for their service in the Gospel. None of them perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. They heeded the words of Christ and when the army that surrounded Jerusalem left it's siege, they fled to places prepared for them.
     Contrary to popular teaching, speaking to them clearly in the second person, Jesus also placed a date on this prophecy :
Matthew 24: 34. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Mark 13:30. In truth I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Luke 21:In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  There is special emphasis place on these verses that do not appear anywhere else in the Messiahs prophecy. "In truth I say to you" and "heaven and earth will pass away before my words fail to come true." (paraphrased.) This emphasis is there because of mankind's natural disposition to not listen carefully.  Not only did that generation need warned and instructed about what to do to escape perishing in the war that would destroy the city and the sanctuary. They also needed to know with certainty that it would be coming while they were still alive. Future generations as well needed instructed concerning the timing of this prophecy.  The highly illustrative wording Jesus uses in a few verses of his prophecy tend to lead the uninformed to view it as speaking to their future. This however is not the only time Jesus placed the date concerning the end coming to pass in the generation he was speaking to. Those verses will be covered in the next section. Matthew 24:1-2 put's it like this though: 1. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: Then his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2. And Jesus said to them, Do you see all these things? Truly I say to you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.  3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? In short. Not only does Daniel  9:24-27 give a precise date of the coming of the messiah and the end in what to us is the first century A.D. In his very next vision of Daniel 10-12 God lays out the scenario with much greater detail that leads all the way up to the first century then to the end one more time. Jesus then verifies the same dates Daniel's prophecies predict by quoting chapter 12:1 in his own prophecies about the end of that age. He has come. He has come as all the  scriptures predicted and at the time Daniel predicted. Now the end of that age, the first covenant age, will come to pass with a war that will destroy Judea.

 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

 

       The New Testament is full of resurrection. In fact it is just exactly as this verse states, and in the first century as this verse stated. Matthew 27: 51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks broke; 52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53.And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. Notice that  Matthew 27:52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose is almost verbatim of the first half of Daniel 12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake... So much so that one might believe it is a direct quote.  Is this an attempt on the authors part to say "the" resurrection has occurred already? Absolutely not. It's simply to point out the accuracy of this prophecy. That the New Testament records events that fulfill this prophecy within the dates prescribed in the first century. The New Testament has allot more to say about resurrection that does not necessarily include the raising of dead bodies to life though.  This article on  "Resurrection"  was written to accompany the End Times Prophecy article. It covers all the scripture on resurrection in the New Testament in a Bible basics sort of fashion.

 

3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the sky; and they that turn to righteousness as many as the stars for ever and ever.

 

      This is a direct prophecy of the ministry of Christ and his disciples to Israel and the nations that came to pass ( or started to come to pass) in the first century. It is not an accident that it uses the illustrative language of the promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:5 And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and count the stars, if you are able." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." .......22:17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven. Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed......16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. The Scripture does not say "and to descendants," meaning many people, but "and to your descendant," meaning one person, Christ.....28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, (NIV.) 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise.

 

4. But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end: many shall roam about, and knowledge shall be increased.

 

       The words "roam about"  imply travel. This is what the disciples of Christ did in the New Testament. Where ever they went, knowledge increased.  Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere, (RSV.)...... 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

5. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.6. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7. And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when they finish breaking the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

      These three verses are very interesting. The discourse to Daniel seems to have come to a close. Then two other angels appear and seem to intervene by asking a further question. Perhaps to help but it seems to have broadened the subject matter beyond the first century. "How long to the end of these wonders?" What wonders? By the answer it seems  all the visions Daniel has seen rather than just Daniel 10-12 that lead up to and tell the end of the first covenant age. The reason for this is because the time period ascribed to the the Roman Empire's horn that appears after the ten horns of Daniel 7 is referenced. "A time, times, and an half."  It would seem by the way the grammar is being used in the King James and other older translations rather than the newer interpretative Bibles that there are two different ends being spoken of here. The "time, times. and a half time" would be one end and "the breaking of the power of the holy ones" another end. Could be why the man lifted up "his right and left hand" to heaven rather than "both hands." If this is not the case then this breaking of the power of the holy ones could be in reference to the Roman Empires dominion over the saints via the time period of the little horn. Daniel 7:21. I was looking, and the same horn made war with the saints, and overpowered them;... 23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and crush it. 24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. However mystifying visions are even when interpreted, this expansion of the subject matter seems to throw Daniel into even greater confusion in the next verse.

 

8. And I heard, but I understood not: then I said , O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9. And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.10. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

 

      The angel dressed in linen does not clear up Daniel's bewilderment and declares the meaning sealed up until the end. He does however tell him what will begin to come to pass with the preaching of the Gospel.  In other words the good news in all of this. That even though this final period of wrath ending with the end of the first covenant age is so horrible. Many will be purified and made "white." Their faith will be tried through the fires of persecution brought upon them by the wicked. He then continues beyond the ministry of Christ and his disciples to a specific prophecy about the war in Judea.

 

11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12. Blessed is he that waits, and cometh to the thousand three-hundred and thirty-five days.

      Here we run into a problem, at least for this author. Not with the prophecy, but with mankind's incomplete knowledge of history. Many major players and events are foretold in chapters 11-12 but not all of them. The dates in-between the events deal in decades and centuries, not days. Yet here we have a prophecy about days which can be close to impossible determine through the lens of ancient history. This is why it so important to not have "itchy ears," needing to know now and looking at mere human education as your source to provide all info when you want it and how you want it. The temptation to have an answer now has lead many a disciple astray. Some may know exactly what this is referring to. However for the purposes of this article, this can be fit into it's context of the big picture laid out beforehand and the chronological nature of Daniel 11-12. We just went through the whole Greek Empire period as it relates to  Israel.  It then directed us to Herod, Caesar Augustus and the conquering of the last part of that Greek empire. Leading us into the first century it then takes us right through the New Testament to the end that has been prophesied and then gives us an event that starts a time period measured in days.
     It just so happens that the thing that starts the time period is recorded. The beginning of the war as testified to by an eyewitness Josephus: When the nation of Israel stopped the twice daily sacrifice for Caesar. See Historical Account.  The problem is the exact date of this event is vague. One could search and search and the only consensus is within a six month period of the summer of 66AD. When you are dealing with a prophecy that uses days as a measurement, opinions when something happened that range within a six month period makes it quite difficult to understand that prophecy. Because of this it is even more imperative to look at what the verse in question. Especially what this verse  does not say. Specifically, it does not say the end or the desolation occurs at the end of this 1290 day period. It says the abomination that desolates is set up at that time.  That is; the abomination that brings the desolation is set up. The only thing the author might guess, at this point is that it was around that period of days that Vespasian took the emperorship of Rome and commissioned Titus his son to conquer the rest of Judea.
     Nero through whom the war started sent the twelfth legion under Cestius that easily conquered Judea. However during the siege of Jerusalem without reason that anyone to this day understands. He left the siege and withdrew from Judea loosing all of his equipment. The false prophets words of miraculous deliverance came to pass. The believers fled Jerusalem according to the words of Jesus at this time. Nero then sends Vespasian to finish the war. In the meantime the Israelites prepare and fortify for the war. During the time that Vespasian is conquering Judea Nero dies and civil war breaks out in the empire between rival would be emperors. After a year of this the legions under Vespasian declare him emperor and he goes to Rome to take the Empire. This is the point at which my guess is the 1290 days are fulfilled. There is also a little breathing period during this time where once more a chance for escape without having to surrender to a Roman Army . That may be the 1335 day period, or one month and a half past the 1290 day period. In other words the abomination that sets up the desolation is the new emperorship of Vespasian and his son Titus's campaign in Judea.

13. But go your way till the end: for you shall rest, and stand in your lot at the end of the days.


An Assault on New Testament Prophecy

      In the last two decades of the 19th century (1800's) the modern "progressive" movement began it's assault on the scriptures in it's bid to take over American education at the university level.  "Progressive" is a blanket term to describe the Socialist, Marxist, Communist, Racist Eugenics Darwinist Fascist movements of the 20th century. These movements were slightly less destructive in the USA  and worked primarily through the Democrat Party. To this day  this assault against the Word of God continues unabated through this political party. In a university system that used the Bible as a basis for all human education, the movement had to at least provide a veneer of reason and logic in it's initial attack. This was still "golden age" of archeology where all the cities and nations in the Bible were being excavated. So the attack on the historic accuracy of the Bible would have to wait for a generation who would not be taught what had been found when the great men and woman of that age had access and means to excavate wherever the historic data in their Bibles led them to look. The usual suspects in all this played the dominate roll, Darwinism with it's overt "scientific" racism and Marxism with it's "science" of dialectic materialism along with the biggest con job ever perpetrated on mankind, evolution. (The "science"  of these "disciplines" should make any self respecting shaman blush with embarrassment.) The direct assault on the veracity of the scriptures through pseudo science was accompanied by a very hostile criticism of the scriptures. This hostility had as its basis the agenda's of the progressive movement plus the desire to sin without the cultural restraints Bible reading people may impose. While so much of that criticism is to ridiculous to even address it is worthy to note (again) the use of Bible prophecy to claim the scripture is not of divine origin.
     As pointed out already, the way Daniel 11:35-45 and chapter 12 were fulfilled isn't contained in the vast majority of modern scholarly and university level commentary in Christian circles. It is probably non existent in Christian ministry training schools. The opportunity that has been missed as a further witness in the earth is epic since serious secular historians acknowledge that those portions of Daniel were written as prophecy. Satan has had an open door into the hearts of millions due to this misstep. Yet there was a far more direct and open onslaught that occurred at this time. Against the very prophecies of Jesus and his apostles. Lets look at some of the Lords prophecies in question.

Matthew16: 28. Truly I say to you, There are some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 25: 64. Jesus says to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, After this you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mark: 9: 1. And he said to them, Truly I say to you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Mark 13:26. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: 29. So you, in like manner, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that it is close, even at the doors. 30. Truly I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things are done.
Mark 14:61 ...Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62. And Jesus said, I am: and you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven
Luke 9: 27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

      Every one of these prophecies uttered by Jesus attach a date to them. That is: During the life time some of those to whom he is speaking. (Some will not live long enough to see it.) Furthermore many of our Lords apostles predicted things that were to be fulfilled within the same time frame. (Although it is obvious that they did not have the clarity of understanding that Christ had about those things they were foretelling.) Here in lies one of the main methods of assault on the veracity of the scriptures. That many of Jesus' and his apostles prophecies supposedly did not come to pass when they said they would. In this case during the lifetimes of those they were speaking to. Dear reader, what do you have to answer to this? One can imagine the wicked glean in the eye of an immensely popular professor at Yale, Harvard or Princeton in the 19th century, pointing this out to his students. Imagine how it freed so many of them from the restraints on their desires since it has become obvious to them that God could not have authored the Bible? How easy was it to steer them towards the scientism that would solve all the worlds ills. Again dear reader, what is your answer to this? Are the answers that the vast majority of pastors, teachers, bible colleges and seminaries sufficient? Either Christ and his apostles words came to pass when they said or they did not. Doesn't it seem a little superficial to just state that you believe they are coming to pass? After all no man knows the day and the hour, right?

      It just so happens that corresponding to the progressive movement in America and this assault on the truthfulness of the scriptures in the nations universities. Todays pop culture end time teachings began their rise to dominance in the western world.  As a matter of fact, those end time teachings became the answer to our wicked professors assertion. (To the tune of a billion dollar industry one might add.) This links to a very well done paper about that outside of Wordservice.org.  So as this article already stated. The personification of the wicked college professor has never had to  answer for his foolish assertion. American Christians had thrown off their responsibility to give him that answer. This in effect surrendered control of the university system that was created by Christians to further the gospel and keep the freedoms and liberties of the republic secure.

      Yet what about Christ's prophecies? Will you brother, sister or friend still refuse to acknowledge that the Lord of the universe put a date on his prophecies? Will you continue in past generations lack of depth and character by dismissing what is plainly written in his word so that your own beliefs can be validated? Does it confuse you? Yet does your confusion give you the right to invalidate Jehovah the Word's understanding of what he meant when he made those pronouncements? Is it possible that you do not understand the illustrative language he is using, and you have know idea if what he was speaking of came to pass when he said it would? Is it just to incredible to believe that tens of thousands of Bible teachers and pastors could be wrong. It just couldn't be possible that what they are teaching could be so shallow, could it? After all you look to them for guidance, and who are you to say they are wrong, true? Well brother or sister, welcome to reality, welcome to history, welcome to the kingdom of God. There has to come a point when the heart puts the Word of God above all competing viewpoints, even when they are accompanied with tremendous pressures and temptations to conform to them.  It is up to the reader to discover what is meant with illustrative wording like "coming in the clouds of heaven."  It was never up to the reader to reject a plainly stated time frame that is laid out for those prophecies to be fulfilled. 

      What Jesus was referring to in his prophecies was the same thing the book of Daniel chapter 9:26 And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.  27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Also Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Jesus repeatedly said the date that these particular prophecies that Daniel made about the destruction of Jerusalem would be fulfilled within the lifetimes of most of those he was speaking to. And why wouldn't he? This is exactly what Daniel prophesied. That when the messiah comes the city and sanctuary would be destroyed. On another occasion when some were pointing out the magnificence of the temple buildings. Jesus pointedly answered them in Matthew 24:1, Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6 that every single stone of those buildings will be torn down before their generation passes away. (Which is in Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32) The specific questions they asked him were when this would happen and what kinds of things will lead up to it. In Matthews record they referred to it as the end of the age, 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?

      Was our ungodly professor's accusation against the Word of God correct? Obviously he has no ground to stand on. The events surrounding the end of that age and the destruction of Jerusalem are among the most widely known and read throughout all of history. You see this is not about the fact that those who have this agenda to rule over all of us lied about the Bible. It not that mere crafty words and strategies were enough to take over a university system created by Christians. What this story really points out is the weakness of the spiritualty of Gods people. The blindness of the eyes and hearts that could not stand against such pathetic lies. Not that mere words even if they were true could stand against this onslaught of darkness.  No, what is being pointed out is that this ignorance about prophecy is but an effect of the powerlessness of a people who claim Christ. Or it could be said that the truth itself is what leads to the power to overcome evil. Either way, this will be greatly expanded on at the end of this article. For now though rather than article going through New Testament prophecy before the book of revelation. The readers will be referred to three articles written to accompany this one about the end of the first covenant age, the coming of the Lord and resurrection.
     The author does understand that it is allot to ask readers to carefully study the three articles as part of this particular commentary. They are not easy articles to read. Nor do most think this particular subject warrants the investment of time and thought. That would depend on ones priorities in life. Apparently it looks as if God intends his children to make significant investments if there is to be significant results expected. The assurance needed in an individuals own heart can only come through understanding the Word of God in a manner that mirrors it's original authors intent. Not to speak of the power to overcome evil. These articles were written to aid in that journey.

 

The coming or Day of the Lord

Matthew 24

 Resurrection


 The Beginning and the End of Ages

     If we were to put end time prophecies on a time line we would now be at the point of the final chapter of the first covenant age. Naturally since Daniels people have center stage in this era a large amount of end time prophecy was dedicated to them. On that same timeline though we are at the end of that era, we would find ourselves right in the middle of the "Times of the Gentiles". This terminology comes from Luke 21;24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. This time or era of the gentiles describes the reign of the four empires  over the saints as written in the book of Daniel. The first two visions of that book contain no mention of Daniels people, only the "saints." The Word of God does not differentiate between races of people in it's definition of those who belong to him. In other words "saint" in the book of Daniel is a reference to Gods people both Old and New Testament. It is not until Daniels third vision that his nation is singled out as segment of the broader vision. Unfortunately as with all races of people, only a portion of Daniels people actually serve God through faith and therefore belong to him. So in regards to these expansive visions we are no longer specifically looking at the physical descendants of Israel but all who call upon the name of the Lord. When we look back through history what we find is that these four empires ruled over a geographical area that contained (as a wild guess) 95% of Gods saints during that 2000 year period.  This leads us to the book of Johns Revelation that will, just as Daniels consecutive visions, enlarge those same prophecies with greater detail.


The Apostle Johns Revelation

      Most of the worlds population have a misconstrued perception about this book that starts with the very first sentence. Before there is any examination of its words the book is already tagged with an interpretation called "The Apocalypse" of John. Meaning (to them) John's vision or prophecy about the end of the world. The word apokalupsis from whence we get the word apocalypse has nothing to do with the end of the world or cataclysmic events. Properly translated in todays vernacular it simply means revelation. It is a common New Testament word used to convey the idea of something being revealed. It is usually associated with the divine agency doing the revealing. For example: When Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was. Peter answered you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus then commended Peter by saying: Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed (apokalupsis) to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. NIV.  While most students of the Bible get this point without any further explanation. It is most unfortunate that the rest of the world has a preconceived notion that the title of the book is: "The Final Destruction of the World," or "The End of Civilization,"  "Armageddon" or something along those lines. Outside of these commonly held beliefs that substitute themselves for the title of this book. It simply means "John's Revelation." What was it that was revealed to John then becomes the question. 

      Johns revelation came to him in the form of highly illustrative pictures and words. Just as the illustrative visions in Daniels book, there my be no connection between the pictures and words used verses the reality they represent. An interpretation given by the Bible itself is the only sound method of understanding what they actually mean. This is not something to be taken lightly because this book is purposely cryptic in nature. This story in Matthew 13 serves as an ample warning to  those who are not extremely cautious and humble in their approach to understanding it.  10. Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11. And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: 'You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. 15. For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.'  (Revised Standard.)  What Jesus means by this is that there are conditions that must be met before God will reveal or bless a person or a people with greater grace. God gives his people prophecy so that they might have reasonable expectations of what lies ahead. That they may know what may or may not be possible. This is basically what the  blessing that is contained in the very 3rd verse of this book is referring to. Revelation 1:3 Blessed (happy and to be envied) is he that reads, and they that hear (understand) the words of this prophecy, and keep (guard and conduct themselves according to) those things which are written in it: for the time is at hand. Can you however imagine what the results would be if you take to heart a false understanding of this prophecy and conduct yourself according to that understanding? You could have no reasonable expectations of what is possible or not possible in the future. Where would your faith lie if you were completely assured in your heart and spirit concerning what the Bible prophesies; yet you were totally wrong? What if you or a people were far from meeting the conditions that God reasonably expects be met before he could wisely dispense with the light that would guide them to understand this book? What if a part of the judgment of God consisted in a blindness of heart that did not allow a people to understand the prophecies of this book therefore missing the blessing in it? What if the power that a generation needed to overcome and prevent great evil in the world was contained in these prophesies; yet because of their sin they could not see the truth that would empower them, and that great evil resulted because of this? Please do not think that the words of Jesus could not apply to you or your generation  when he said: but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Again much more about these realities will be spoken about in the last part of this article.


Is Revelation a Chronological Book

     The simple answer to that question no. Revelation as a book is not a vision that starts at one point in time then in order of the events go step by step to another point out further in the future. An example to describe it would be if you took all of the Book of Daniels visions and removed every part of the book that was not visions. If you took out every part of it that describes the events surrounding Daniels life. Eliminate the dates that Daniel received the visions also.  In place of all of that you would simply write, "After this I saw." So even though it was years in between Daniels visions it would seem to the reader that Daniel received the prophecy as one big vision. Daniel's 3rd, 4th and 5th visions are but small segments of time contained within the larger time period of his first two visions. If it were written in the way described above there would be temptation to look at visions that describe the same events as if they were visions that were not the same events. Instead many would see them as prophecies that would happen one after another in order of their placement in the book. Well this is the exact dilemma faced with Johns visions. Is the author asserting that the Book of Revelation is in fact a collection of separate visions John received at separate times but not cataloged that way in his book? It is plausible; but outside of God, John and his friends no one would have any way of knowing that. However John received the vision/visions originally, different aspects of the same time periods are written just as if they were separate and differing visions of the same things.  Furthermore many of the visions that are somewhat chronological in nature overlap each other.


Revelation Chapter One

    The book will be divided up into appropriate sections starting with the first chapter. As a quick note lets notice what these three verses point out.    .....3. Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it: for the time is at hand...... 7. Look, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all peoples of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen......19. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;  Verse 3: The time is at hand, meaning things that are going to happen very soon after John receives this word. Verse 7: The coming of the Lord, meaning days of judgment that are to happen in the world. Verse 19: Finally, things that are, which means things that have already come to pass. Also things that will be. Meaning things that will come to pass, not necessarily soon though. The reason for interpreting those verses that way is that is because that is what will be found in the book as the commentary continues.


Revelation Chapters Two and Three

      Revelation chapters two and three  present the same dilemma to many pop-culture end time prophecy teachings that the prophecies thus far have presented. Namely, once more there is a date inferred. This date  unlike many we have read so far is unstated though. How can that be? Very simply. These prophecies were given to seven churches that existed at that time in the first century. These churches have long since disappeared. Yet all but one of these churches were told that they would see the coming of the Lord. Now if the coming of the Lord is a one time future event pop-culture calls the "second coming." We have ourselves another false prophecy problem. These churches were told by the apostle John that Jesus visited him and gave him prophecies about what would happen to them when the Lord comes. Yet if these popular end time teachings are correct, Jesus hasn't come yet. Therefore everything the Apostle John said to them is false because it was all predicated on the arrival of Christ. The author has even heard some of the professed prophecy "literalists" who insist that the only proper way of interpretation is to take the illustrative language of visions "literally," say: "That these churches are symbolic of church ages." So much for consistency. Besides, that doesn't work either because that would have this "second advent" of the Lord being prophesied in six of the seven "church ages." Same dilemma, same superficiality. 
      The Lord certainly came to these churches while they existed and did as he promised.  The scripture teaches that the coming of the Lord is not a one or two time event. It is something that has happened throughout all of history and will continue to happen. The article on The Coming (or Day) of the Lord goes over all of these days of judgment the Bible records in detail. This is an important basic Bible teaching that if not understood will render the scriptures un-decipherable. So in reality these two chapters are not about "end time prophecy." At least as far as ages or era's are concerned. 


Revelation Chapters Four-Five

      Revelation chapters four-five is basically the same scene as Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14. Using the same progressive methodology already noted. God is revealing the original prophecy in Daniel in greater detail. In both of these visions we see God on his throne and the Messiah being brought near before him. In Daniel 7 he is called the Son of Man, the often repeated title Jesus called himself during the time of his earthly ministry. In Revelation 4-5 he is revealed as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and the Lamb of God. In both visions the books are opened. In Daniel 7 the court was seated to render judgment. The judgment rendered results in the messiah receiving his empire: 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. As previously noted this 14th verse of Daniel 7 is then interpreted as resulting in this: 17. These great animals, which are four, are four empires, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever......22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom........ 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. The reason for the reminder about these verses is because this is where the book of Revelation will end also.


Revelation Chapter Six

   

    Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, what sounded like the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword. 5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and saw a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you don't hurt not the oil and the wine. 7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. In these first verses of the book that was sealed we are again looking at the four empires as prophesied in the book of Daniel. One of the reasons this can be easily ascertained is that this whole vision from Revelation 6-11 is repeated in Revelation 13-19 with more familiar symbolism than these horsemen.

     Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
     These are believers that perished at the hands of the wicked over those centuries. A little more specifically though. They are the ones Christ refers to many times in his prophecies and denunciations of kings and leaders of Israel. Matthew 23:
29. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, 30. And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31. Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32.Finish then what your ancestors started. 33. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? 34. Therefore, look, I will send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them you shall beat  in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36. Truly I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that murder the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! 38. Behold, your house is left to you desolate.
     Notice who Christ is referencing in this word. Just like Revelation 6:9-11, the saints of the Old Testament that were murdered and the saints of the New Testament that were yet to be persecuted and murdered. This judgment and prophecy that the Messiah is rendering against Jerusalem directly proceeds his prophecy in Matthew 24 about the end of the first covenant age. In practicality it is part of that prophecy. Similar words of judgment proceed all three accounts of  the Lords prophecy in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.  John's vision precisely mimics Jesus's prophecy. That the cries of the saints of the Old Testament who were persecuted and murdered will be answered after the saints, the followers of the messiah in the New Testament are subjected to the same treatment. Then in these next verses that judgment falls upon Jerusalem.

      Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, look, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?  
    These verses even use some of the same illustrative language that Jesus uses when referencing the same events of the first century. Some of them are hyperlinked to those locations.  A word about the  illustrative pictures and language of prophecy before going on to the next chapter. As an example:
the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; If this were a literal event rather than illustrative language all life on planet earth would end. Yet there are still chapters ahead with life on the planet. It is a shame that something like this would even have to be pointed out to illustrate the absurdity that passes as serious Bible prophecy teaching in the world today. 


Revelation Chapter Seven

 

     Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. In this first sentence the Apostle is saying, "After I saw that then I saw this." As opposed to saying this happened after that.  Its important to realize this because what he is now seeing is a different scene from the same time period as the destruction of Jerusalem in Chapter 6:12-17.  2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. These one hundred forty-four thousand represent the believers in Judea who were warned and escaped the destruction of the region by the Romans. Thier deliverance was prophesied in Daniel 12:1......there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Jesus also prophesied the same thing in: Matthew 24:13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Mark 13:.....but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Then Luke's corresponding verse: 21:18. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. 19. In your patience possess your souls.  It would also seem that one of the main reasons for Christ's prophecy in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 about the destruction of Jerusalem was to explain to those who would take heed how they might escape it.  In that discourse he first teaches those who were listening what would be going on in the interim period so as to keep them focused on their ministries instead of on their escape. He did this by telling them such and such will be happening but the time has not come. Then he focuses on telling them what will be happening up until the time arrives. After this he tells them the specific sign that heralds the end and how to make their escape.

    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and families, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.  13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? 14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
     In Revelation 7:9-17 John is seeing the multitudes that came to Christ during the time of the Roman Empire before it permanently split into an eastern and western branch and the city of Rome was depopulated (546 A.D.) It is important that it notes that these came out of great tribulation. It does this as a prophecy and to show the righteous judgment of God's response to this persecution and murder. (Perhaps it would be better stated; the effects, of persecuting and murdering the righteous.) It was illegal to be a Christian in the empire during these first three centuries. The penalty was death. Under most emperors Christians were not actively hunted down. Typically those that were accused were given the choice to offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods and the emperor. Upon doing so all was forgiven. Eventually the numbers and influence of Christians became so great that Emperor Diocletian and a couple of others decided to rid the empire of them. At this point they were actively hunted down in most of the empire. A link will be provided to go over some of that information eventually. Christians suffered this same fate in other empires of the world that they went to. 


 Revelation Chapter 8-9

     Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thundering's, and lightning's, and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
     Now the attention of this prophecy turns to the Roman empire. The righteousness and the salvation that the saints are bringing is being answered with persecution from the powers that be. Their prayers are symbolic of this and thus the righteous judgment of God manifested. These seven judgments were to come upon the  Roman Empire, specifically at the city of Rome. The empire itself is spared total destruction and carries on. The city of Rome though ceases to be the seat of the empire. These seven judgments that were empire wide but aimed specifically at the city of Rome are assumed to be seven literal calamities. The author is not familiar enough with this time of history to write specifically about each judgment and what actually occurred. Perhaps in the future a link will be provided for this. The sixth judgment was possibly the invasions of the Huns and eventual empire of Attila. Also, Rome was sacked three times (perhaps the three woe's) during this time period. The third time in 546 A.D. when Totila, King of the Ostrogoths marks the end point of these particular judgments. 
     

      Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
 8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
 10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
 12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. 13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibitor's of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

    

      Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like  serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

     A simple and redundant reminder may be necessary here about the illustrative language or visions (pictures) of Bible prophecy. These are literal events foretold via the use of pictures and illustrative language that may or may not have any connection whatsoever to the actual event. This is just like the  pictures in Daniels visions had little or nothing to do with the actual events that were being prophesied there.

 


 Revelation Chapter 10

 

      1 Then I saw another powerful angel descending from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun and his legs were like pillars of fire. 2 He held in his hand a little scroll that was open, and he put his right foot on the sea and his left on the land. 3 Then he shouted in a loud voice like a lion roaring, and when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded their voices. 4 When the seven thunders spoke, I was preparing to write, but just then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders spoke and do not write it down.” 5 Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, and the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, “There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God is completed, just as he has proclaimed to his servants the prophets.” 8 Then the voice I had heard from heaven began to speak to me again, “Go and take the open scroll in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take the scroll and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10 So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it, and it did taste as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 Then they told me: “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”

     At this point, after the sixth trumpet and before the seventh; when the judgments against the city of Rome itself are almost complete, there is a time out (of the prophecy.) Some things are going to be revealed to John concerning the very distant future that go well beyond the seventh trumpet that heralds a final judgment on the city of Rome.  Up until this this point, this particular vision has started with a brief overview of things that are past. Mainly the four empires. Then, based on the Apostle John receiving this visitation just before or during the reign of Vespasian. It shows us things which must shortly come to pass,  which would be the destruction of Jerusalem. After that it shows us the great harvest of souls, and their sufferings at the hands of the Roman Empire. We are then brought into the sixth century and the vision pauses to reveal the time period or era of Daniels chapter 7's  little horn of the Roman Empire.


Daniel Chapter 7's "Little Horn"

      There is a time period that seems to fit this vision of the little horn. For the purposes of this article it will be called a "hard date." A time period with a beginning and end. It may not be as sure as some other dates or time periods recorded in the scripture but with our fluid knowledge of history it certainly bears the marks of miraculous foreknowledge. This is something that people that will argue over and rightly so. If some find sufficient grounds to reject this hard date it still has no bearing on the big picture of end time prophecy already laid out and interpreted by the scriptures itself. Daniels "Little Horn," and the ten kings still lay within the context of the Roman Empire. To us it is the past and if one wants to remain faithful to the scriptures declarations on the subject they must contain their search to that part of history and not our future.  This will be made more abundantly clear when this article gets to the last chapters of Revelation.  There is another, a "soft" date, that some might look at as an addition to the hard date. The hard date will be addressed using the next two chapters (11-12) although the time period is also mentioned in chapter thirteen. It begins with the eleventh of ten emperors and ends with the end of the Roman Empire. The soft date will be vetted when the vision concerning the judgments against the city of Rome is repeated in Revelation chapter 16.  The soft time period begins with the final judgment against the city of Rome in the sixth century. It uses various starting points that all end up equaling the same period of time.  The soft date goes to the end of the "Holy" Roman Empire.  Below is the scripture concerning the little horn of Daniel once more.

     Daniel chapter 7:7 After this I looked in the night visions, and saw a fourth animal, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with its feet: and it was different from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8. I considered the horns, and look, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns uprooted; and look, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9. I looked until the thrones were set up, and the ancient of days sat, whose robe was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the flames of fire, and its wheels were burning fire. 10. A river of fire ran and issued from his presence: thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood in his presence: the court was seated, and the books were opened. 11. I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke: I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

 The interpretation: 7:19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth animal, which was different from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with his feet; 20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more greater than his fellows. 21. I was looking, and the same horn made war with the saints, and overpowered them; 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and crush it. 24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him.

      The period of time allotted the little horn as recorded in Daniels prophecy is: a time and times and the dividing of time.  (Or a year, two years and a half a year.) This Hebrew word is technically understood to be years. The same word where seven times (years) passed over king Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 4. This time period is repeated no less than five times in different  visions of the same things in Revelation 11-13 using these words: Chapter 11- Forty-two months; 1260 days. Chapter 12- 1260 days; a time, and times and half a time (the same way Daniel puts it, verifying it once more.) Chapter 13- Forty-two months. Not to lead anyone on in the interpretation of this, it will be addressed in the next section.


Revelation 11-12

       Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it. 2 But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and don't measure it ; for it is given to the Gentiles: and they shall trample on holy city forty two months. (Three and a half years.)

 Using allegorical language the first two verses in chapter eleven shows 4 things:
1: Although the  temple of God referred to in these two verses is a physical building that John is seeing. This is a symbolic picture of the true temple of God written about prolifically in the New Testament. The temple represents the saints that the little horn is making war against.
2. The courtyard outside the temple being given to the Gentiles represents the sphere of influence over the culture and institutions including human government. In this case it is the little horn who is dominate in this arena. This is shown by: 8.....and look, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things......11. I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke:....25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand. 

3. The holy city that is being trampled on is a reference to the New Jerusalem. Of which, much shall be written about when the article gets to the end of the Book of Revelation. The words "being trampled upon" equal Daniels prophetic words: 21. I was looking, and the same horn made war with the saints, and overpowered them;

4. Then of course there is the same time period in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 11:2 when this little horn tramples on, over powers and wears out the saints and they are "given into his hand."  Three and one half years which is the same as forty two months.

 In the interests of dealing with the hard date the rest of this chapter and chapter 12 for the most part will not be interpreted now. The time period will be underlined.

      Revelation 11: 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindred's and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

       14 The second woe is past;  behold, the third woe comes quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which is, and was, and are to come; because you hast taken to yourself your great power, and have reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning's, and voices, and thundering's, and an earthquake, and great hail.

      This was the end of this vision, the seventh trumpet sounded. In the next vision in chapter twelve we can see the duration of this part of the Roman Empire once more.

  

      Revelation 12:1 And 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: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did 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. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to those inhabiting the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

        Here is one of the scriptures that give some interpretation of this time period. Revelation 17: 7 And the angel said to me, Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he coms, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

      So according to this scripture  the seven heads on all of these different visions of the Roman empire are the first seven emperors of Rome. Five are fallen and the sixth is the current emperor when John received this vision.  This gives us the date that John received his vision. During the Roman-Judean war a year or so before the destruction of Jerusalem. To those who are persuaded the Bible is the Word of God, this should end all the speculation of "scholars" regarding the date of this vision. The ten horns are in Johns future but are still part of the  beast which is the Roman Empire.

     Who exactly the scripture is calling an emperor of the Roman Empire verses who history and historians are is what is was by the phrase "our fluid knowledge of history." For instance: There was civil war for a year after the death of Nero with a number of people laying claim to the throne.  The first list of Roman Emperors appearing on an internet search engine lists Galba then Otho as the sixth and seventh emperor. Following their hyperlinks concerning these two. The first thing they say of Galba is: "The evidence for the participate of Galba is unsatisfactory." Meaning, (I think,) we cannot be sure Galba could legitimately be called an emperor of  Rome. Galba chaotically entered the city of Rome in Oct of 68 A.D. On January 1st of 69 A.D. Aulus Vitellius's troops proclaimed Vitellius emperor. Galba's response to this resulted in his murder 15 days later at the hands of his partner Otho. Galba had less than three months to secure his emperorship and failed, Otho only lasted eight weeks. Aulus Vitellius captured the throne and lasted until the end of December. Vespasian's forces defeated Vitellius and killed him. Vespasian was the general Nero had sent to subdue Judea. Titus, Vespasian's son finished that war and razed Jerusalem to the ground. Titus became emperor after Vespasian and Domitian Vespasian's other son, became emperor after Titus. So who does scripture consider the sixth and seventh emperor? As an example this article is going to say Vitellius is the sixth and Vespasian is the seventh. At this point this author believes that bias will play a part in the way everyone views this. This certainly includes this authors bias. This does fit well with the description of  the eighth emperor which would be Titus if the way this article is portraying it was correct. Revelation 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition. Meaning: The beast that was and is not is Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. It is the first of the four empires that are pictured as this animal. Nebuchadnezzar is the emperor that conquered Jerusalem and then razed it to the ground. Titus, as the eighth emperor of the four empires pictured as the beast "that is" then does the same thing, conquers Jerusalem and razes it to the ground. Titus would be of the seven because it is still the Roman Empire being referred to and also because he is Vespasian's son. Here is another reason why Titus as the eighth emperor would be referred to as this animal, (the beast.) As the eighth emperor he is the first of the ten Roman emperors prophesied of in Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 7:23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and crush it. 24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.... On another note. There is historical consensus that the time period between Nebuchadnezzar first conquering Jerusalem and its destruction under Titus is 667 years. Once year short of the infamous number of the beast (666.) Although it would not be proper to say, with our current understanding of history, that the 667 years is incorrect and off by a year. It wouldn't be surprising though someday to find out it was. If this were true what it would show was the time period of the beginning of the age of the gentiles to the end of the first covenant age. All this being said; the word concerning the seventh emperor: Revelation 17:10.....he must continue a short space. On the surface this certainly seems to fit Otho or Vitellius better than Vespasian.

     One might correctly ask at this point, why all the gymnastics with these emperors? Very simply, because of the "hard date."  If you take the date of the end of the Roman Empire, 1453 A.D.  Then you subtract 1260 years from it you get 193 A.D. This would be the date Septimius Severus becomes emperor. Counting Titus as the first of the ten emperors. It would make Septimius Severus the eleventh. Or Daniel 7:7.....and it had ten horns. 8. I considered the horns, and look, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns uprooted;......20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, before whom three fell;.....24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. To be able to do this Lucius Verus 161-166 needs eliminated from the list of chronological emperors. The reason for his elimination is simple. He was a co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius 161-180. He never ruled the empire on his own and was the lesser of two equals.   This leaves Septimius Severus as the eleventh of the ten who pretty amazingly seems to fulfill many of the words in many different ways concerning the beginning of the time period of the little horn. First; three emperors or three of the ten horns fell before him. Emperor Commodus 180-192 was murdered by his personal associates. Pertinax was legitimately appointed as emperor immediately afterwards. There were no other claimants to the throne. He was murdered 87 days later by a group of soldiers in the imperial residence when he personally confronted them to quell a mutiny. There were no other claimants to the throne so the Pretorian guard found a couple of men (a prefect and a senator) who bid against each other to pay them to proclaim one of them emperor. Didius Julianus won the auction. After 62 days Septimius Severus deposed him. So well within a one year period three emperors, "three horns," fell before Septimius Severus. Secondly; three claimants to the throne were militarily subdued. Didius Julianus was the first. Upon hearing of the murder of Pertinax and the purchasing of the emperorship by Didius Julianus two others, the governors of Syria and Briton proclaimed themselves emperor. The governor of Syria was defeated after Didius Julianus then lastly the governor of Briton. So here, Septimius Severus subdued three. Lastly, Septimius Severus seems to be the first real non Italian emperor. Although Trajan and Hadrian  are considered to be the first provisional emperors (from Spain,) they were apparently still from Italian families. What this could mean is that the previous three Italian dynasties were uprooted when he became emperor. To put this in an even broader perspective. His son, the emperor Caracalla who's mother was Syrian made all the freeman of the Roman empire Roman citizens. From this point on being Italian faded into obscurity as far as the emperorship was concerned.

     From 193 A.D. to 1453 A.D there never ceased to be an emperor on the throne of the Roman Empire which is 1260 years.  If history is being portrayed accurately in this article the hard date is astounding in it's prophetic accuracy.  The combination of both New and Old Testament prophecy says the forth animal will have ten emperors that begin their reign after the first seven emperors. Together they show the eighth emperor of Johns revelation as the first of Daniels ten emperors. Daniel's prophecy then point out an eleventh emperor that makes war against the saints, overpowers and oppresses them. He is given a time period that Johns revelation repeats five times but ascribes it to the empire itself rather than just the eleventh emperor. This eleventh emperor fulfills the prophecies about him in an almost unfathomable way and it just so happens that the beginning of his reign until the end of the Roman Empire is 1260 years exactly. This is the number of the time period repeated over and over again in the New and Old Testaments.  Add to this the possibility that the time period between Nebuchadnezzar's first conquering Jerusalem then later destroying it, and its second destruction under the seventh emperor after 667 years could be that  infamous number of the beast 666. The general who does the dastardly deed is none other than the future eight emperor, (or first of ten,) Titus. What can be said other than the Bible is the Word of God himself?  Now it is understood that bias will taint everyone's way of wanting to count who is and is not an emperor.  Nor can it be said that counting them the way this article has, (which seems quite fair and logical,) is the only way to end up with Septimius Severus as the eleventh of the ten emperors. There can be little doubt though that he is Daniel 7's little horn because of so many different factors. There will be much more about him as the article goes on of other ways he fulfilled other scriptures and started this war against the saints. All of this this brings us to the end of the Roman empire in 1453 A.D. and the prophecies about the Kingdom of God.

 


The Kingdom of God

     Before going on to the rest of the book there may be a significant question that is arising in the minds of many believers who are reading this.  It may sound like this: "How can this be right." "The Kingdom of God" didn't come in 1453 A.D. and I never even heard that the Roman Empire continued on that long." The easiest one to answer is that concerning the empire. It was popular for awhile to call the eastern branch of the Roman Empire the Byzantium Empire in its later days. Simply because it mostly had Greek (by nationality) emperors. However it seems the tide has shifted in the other direction in much of academia so that it is one more called the Roman Empire. You will find the current popular viewpoint reflected on many mainstream websites. As this article pointed out already. Starting in 193 A.D.  being Italian was no longer a factor in being an emperor. Emperors of many nationalities ruled it. Why not, since people of all nationalities within the empire that were not slaves became Roman citizens? Furthermore the empire split into eastern and western branches voluntarily, not by war. Constantinople was made the capitol of the empire before it permanently split. Also it remained the acknowledge capitol of both branches of the empire when it was split. There was never a time that there was not successive emperors on the throne in Constantinople until the last one was killed in 1453 when the Ottoman Turks conquered it. Finally and most notably we have the scripture. That is we have Gods viewpoint on it. He viewed it as the Roman Empire and dated it's existence, both the beginning to its end before it ever existed. He had those dates recorded in the written Word of God before it existed for our benefit. If this articles theory about the hard date does not suffice as an explanation of this to some. (In and of itself it should not.) Then what the Bible itself declares and interprets about the last chapters of Revelation will. This brings us to the question of about the kingdom of God.

      Most Christians have accepted the end time teachings that were referred to as pop-culture prophecy in the beginning of this article. Included in those teachings are beliefs of what the promised Kingdom of God would be. So in that sense you are correct, the Kingdom of God as many believe it to be did not come in 1453 A.D. However, I suspect that those who have carefully been reading these articles have so far found information that is enlightening them. Things that may be giving them a different perspective. Perhaps some are even being so challenged as to now believe that they really didn't understand "end time" prophecy like they thought they did. In that same spirit the writer would ask the reader to be patient. If what you have read so far has been amazing to you, so will the rest of the article. This because the Word of God is amazing. You may find that just as you are discovering things that are helping you gain a greater understanding about Bible Prophecy. That you will discern things that will help you gain a greater understanding of that promised Kingdom of God.  You may see that there is a very large body of scripture, as in a hundred chapters showing that the promised Kingdom of God will never be a physical kingdom on this planet. Instead it  teaches it will be one of influence. Something that will affect great change in the earth. Yes and indeed it has already effected great change in the earth for the better. This is of course as compared to horrible and insane practices of the ancient world. The problem is that culturally we have almost completely forgotten what the ancient world was like. The kingdom prophesied in scripture did indeed begin to manifest itself in the 15th century and has been growing ever since. Remember in the book of Daniel, his very first prophecy? How the rock struck the 4th empire, then that rock became a great mountain and filled the whole earth? Did it say the mountain grows over night? Or should it be understood that the mountain fills the earth over time, perhaps millennia? Lets go back once more to Daniel Chapter 7 to look at a verse not pointed out yet in the article.  Remember how after the time period of the little horn (1260 years.) The result of the messiah, the rock crushing the fourth empire is 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. Who's reign actually looks like this as interpreted by the scripture itself: 22...and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. Look at verse 12 though 11. I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke: I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12. As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their empires taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. Here we have the fourth empire (Roman) being destroyed but the other "animals" are still  "alive" when this kingdom is "given" to the saints. The Roman Empire was destroyed in 1453 A.D. but there are still other empires existing when the Bible says the Kingdom of God begins to fill the whole earth.  How else can this be taken except that evil dictators and kings still exist after the fall of the fourth empire? The point that is trying to be made is that this evil no longer has power and control over the whole of the world. It exists, it dominates a majority of the world yet the saints and the "people of the saints" were now able to chart the course of a handful of nations.  Their idea's, the rule of law that exists in their own hearts are the/a dominate influence in those few nations. Did you know that approximately same year the the Roman empire fell the Bible was first printed on a printing press? ( It was the first book printed on a press.)  The printing press along with the discovery of the new world a few decades later were the agents of change that gave us the world we now enjoy as opposed to the tyranny and slavery of the ancient world. The rest of the world that has not enjoyed these changes will eventually. (So says Bible prophecy.) The powers that be managed to keep their strangle hold on all of mankind when the number of hand made books and materials produced per year numbered in the thousands. With the advent of the printing press though these numbers almost immediately skyrocketed into the millions. Like a tsunami it took those powers by complete surprise. Some examples of the muscle of the new presses. Erasmus 1466–1536, the man who gave us the Textus Receptus had 750,000 of his books printed on presses in his lifetime. Martin Luther had 300,000 of his mini books called tracts printed in a three year period 1518-1520. In the days before the printing press there were just as many reformers, revivals and freedom fighters as there were afterwards. The Holy Spirit was just as active. The reason for the failure of the former and the success of the later was the ability to get information cheaply and efficiently in the hands of the common man. In other words the production of books and materials religious, political and scientific immediately outpace the ability of the powers that be to censor and keep them out of the hands of the general population.  The point being: It is light or truth in the form of information that is the impetus behind real change. Christians as a whole have no idea how accurate the book of revelations prophecies are. They have accepted teachings about these prophecies that resemble fables. The effects of this are to diminish the power of the Gospel to change the very fabric of society. In fact as this article will seek to prove in the end. It is the proper understanding of these prophecies that will be the impetus to Christians as a whole accepting their God given responsibility to be the salt and light in human government and all other area's of life on this planet. This as opposed to what we have seen in the last century. The relinquishing of governments and institutions created via the influence of the Gospel to those who are driven by the spirit of anti-Christ. What happened from 1453 A.D. on was an enlightened population began to create cultures and human government to one degree or another that reflect the creators plan for mankind as opposed to the abominable practices of the ancient world. The changes that the Gospel made in the hearts of millions and those people's corresponding actions began to be accepted as the standard for human behavior and government.  This "mountain" that represents the Government of God is filling the whole earth over time via the Gospel of Christ rather than some kind of an instant physical kingdom appearing and conquering the earth. Just as this scripture says: Isaiah 9: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. If his government never ceases to increase. Then it must need something or somewhere to increase. That somewhere is planet Earth.  Please be patient though on this subject of just what the prophesied Kingdom of God actually is. The clarity at end of the book of Revelation and it's corresponding Old Testament prophesies will make most people quite comfortable accepting that it's not a physical\visible kingdom on this earth.

 


The Rest of the Symbolism of Chapters 11-12

      As promised, this hyperlink will now go over the rest of the symbolism or interpretations of Revelation chapters 11-12.

 


Revelation Chapter 13

     Revelation 13 is the start of a new vision that repeats the same prophecy one more time with allot of added details. Unlike Revelation chapter 6 that uses four horsemen to symbolize the four empires. Revelation 13 shows the four empires using the same animals Daniel saw in his second vision.

      Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy (Blasphemy means vilification. In this context it is the act of vilifying\slandering God and the things that are of God.) 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. Just as in Revelation chap. 12   it is emphasized that Satan is the power and animating force behind these four empires as now represented or personified by Rome.  3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.  4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty-two months. One more time the Word of God emphasizes the fact of this beast is now the Roman Empire, even telling us the time period of it's existence from beginning to end. The first seven emperors, "having seven heads." Then the next ten emperors after them, "and ten horns." Plus 1260 years, "and power was given to him to continue forty-two months."  From the first emperor Augustus Caesar 27 B.C. to the last, Constantine XI in 1453 A.D.  It gave us this framework by prophesying four empires then naming them. This showed us us where to search for answers about the smaller details. Verse 3 is an example of this. Not directly interpreted by the scripture itself,  so to be safe with ones interpretation is has to be kept in the context of the Roman Empire. Some examples might be:
1. Babylon the first or the head of the four empires, conquered yet still existing or living within the context of the Roman Empire. In fact Rome, specifically the city of Rome is called Babylon later on in Revelation.
2. Babylon's religious system, still existing as the religious system of Rome. Pagan Rome was "put to death via the sword" by Roman emperors who claimed they were Christians. However the imperial church they set up was was the same pagan institution with Christian names and symbols. They used this institution to control the spread of the Gospel murdering directly or indirectly tens of millions over the next millennia and a half. 
3. In connection with the previously mentioned "soft date." The heart of the empire Rome and Italy lost to the empire. Later re-conquered by the Emperor Justinian who then made the city of Rome the "spiritual" center of the empire according to his newly codified laws. Eventually this mutated into what the rulers of that age considered a revived western branch of the Roman Empire. The emperors that came about called themselves emperors of the Romans.
     While none of these speculations can be accepted with absolute certainty. (At least in the authors mind due to his limited information.) The only safe and sound method prescribed by the Word of God is to keep the interpretation within the parameters of the big picture already laid out by the scripture. To pull it out of its context is neither safe, sound nor enlightened. It matters not if the interpretation is unknown. It is still contained within a time period that is known.

        6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his habitation, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all   peoples, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. This is a great example of what the author calls "practical prophecy." The majority of real prophecy is in fact practical. Here the saints are told that they will not prevail in any effort to take up arms against the empire. They are told to patiently endure the persecution and the warfare directed at them, keeping their faith.  They are being instructed as to what will be possible and what will not be possible during this time period. Historically Gods people had nothing to do militarily with this empires destruction. At least as far as the hard date is concerned.  The Ottoman Turks who were Muslims conquered it. Something else of note just as many of the other visions of the same thing have stated. A defining aspect of this empire is that it has dominion over the saints as a whole. In fact it uses military conflict to maintain this dominion.  The Roman Empire fulfilled this almost over it's entire lifetime.  Conversely, at the time the empire ended in 1453 A.D. when nations started to  freely feel the impact of the Gospel. Those nations most influenced by that Gospel have not only become free nations. They have also become the dominate nations in the earth militarily. Some examples of this.  When Napoleon conquered the "Holy" Roman Empire in 1806 A.D. he proclaimed himself to be the emperor of the Romans. He was quickly brought to defeat. When Nazi Germany proceeded to conquer the world proclaiming itself as the "The Third Reich; " translation: "The Third Roman Empire."  It was reduced to rubble by nations led or funded by countries influenced  by the Word of God. When world wide communism under the the leadership of the Soviet Union attempted to bring the world into a "thousand years of darkness." Nations influenced by the Gospel of Christ defeated it. Of course this battle is not over but the point is the bad guys are no longer always winning. This is in almost total opposition to the ancient world where outside of Israel the bad guys always won. Believers as a whole (the larger percentage of them) have not been completely  under the dominion of a tyrannical world power since the Roman empire ended. This in and of itself should add great weight to the credibility about the accuracy of Bible Prophecy.

      11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causing the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and  poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred sixty-six.

      Verses 11-18 represent  a very significant enhancement of the prophecies concerning the Roman Empire.  Things that have not been addressed concerning it are now being revealed.  Amazing things that prophesy the time period after the Emperor Constantine died in 337A.D. to the end of the empire in 1453 A.D. and perhaps even beyond. The two horns represent the permanent dividing of the Roman Empire into an eastern and western branch. Diocletian who ruled from 284-305 A.D. did this in 286 A.D. He ruled the eastern branch and he set up Maximian to rule the western branch. Constantine through civil war reunited these two branches under his single rule 307-337. After his death though this split became permanent. This was done through agreement , peacefully without war. Constantinople was considered the capitol of the entire empire and the eastern branch the greater of two equals. An emperor remained on the throne in the western half until 476 A.D. and on the eastern until 1453 A.D.
     A most amazing detail then emerges with the wording, "...like a lamb yet he spoke like a dragon."  For over two centuries the empire attempted to stop the spread of Christianity via direct confrontation. This culminated under Diocletian in his attempt to completely remove it from the empire as if it were a cancer. These methods proved futile. A new tactic birthed in the heart of Satan was seeded into the heart emperors from Constantine up to Justinian. Justinian then codified this into permanent law of the empire. Remember that it is Satan that is the power behind this empire, he is the controller and animator, not God. The pagan gods of ancient Rome would now be replaced by an imperial "church."  The institution, based upon the ancient Roman religion was now called "Christian."  The names, rites and rituals were tagged with Christian symbols and names.  The cynicism expressed here is not to dismiss the fact that the Gospel had an effect on these new emperors. However this influence went only so far. The imperial church was created to advance the interests of the empire and even more specifically the interests of the emperor. As an example, below is a law from the Emperor Justinian's Code. Justinian codified previous imperial decrees which became the law of the imperial church. In these newly codified decree's (past imperial decree's that are now codified into permanent law.)  He made the bishop of Rome the head of the imperial church and installed him militarily when he re-conquered Italy in the sixth century. Below is one of the laws.

1.6.2 Emperor Honorius and Theodosius to Anthemius, Praetoriian Perfect.
If any man shall be discovered to re-baptize anyone imbued with the mysteries of the Catholic faith, he, together with him who has permitted this infamous crime-provided the person persuaded to be re-baptized be of an age capable crime-shall be punished by death.
C, TH. 16.6.6

      This decree by Emperors Honerius and Theodosius, then codified (written into permanent law) by Emperor Justinian exemplifies the nature of the Roman Empire in this period and its usage of an imperial "church."  This was not created because the Empire had become "Christian," but because the empire needed to control not just the growth of Christianity, but the light that it brought to hearts and minds.  The death penalty for the simple act getting baptized because one heard and accepted the Gospel  characterizes its murderous intent in it's dealings with real Christianity and real believers. Millions upon millions died in the wars, pogroms, and inquisitions made against peoples within the empire where the Gospel was being preached and accepted. Truly this is one of the blasphemies on the heads, crowns and mouths of the horns of this empire. That it is called "Christian," and it's official religion is called "The Church" yet millions of people were murdered to control the growth and the light that the Gospel would bring with the complicity of the imperial church. This blasphemy is still being repeated nearly every day in historical documentaries and in thousands of books. This in a nutshell is the reason to the reference to horns that are like a "lamb." It claims Christianly but its doctrines, its teachings are the words of the dragon. Before going on in this chapter a disclaimer about the difference between Roman Catholics of old verses Roman Catholics of today is in order.

      Verse 12: And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causing the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.14 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. The empire even though it was voluntarily split into an eastern and western branch exercised all the power of the empire when it was ruled from the city of Rome. To be a little more specific it exercised all the power of the beast, that is all four empires as exemplified by Rome. If one wants to look at this as a reference to the western branch the facts were that even though the western empire was completely destroyed all subsequent kings and emperors in Europe that arose with or without the blessing of the eastern emperor called himself "King or Emperor of the Romans." In fact it was the eastern emperors imperial church in Rome that propagated all of this.  What arose in the western empire on the ashes of the Roman civilization in Europe led by the city of Rome was considered by it's leaders and peoples as Roman. It ruled over, subjugated, oppressed, murdered and victoriously made war with Gods saints (as did the eastern empire) up until the fall of the eastern empire.  At that point it lost it's iron grip. Gods saints began to be free in nation after nation from that point on. (This process is continuing to this day with both gains and losses.)

       6 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and  poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred sixty-six. Although in these last verses the meanings of of the illustrations may be vague. It is worthy of note that the process of registering all people in the empire started under Rome's first emperor, Octavian Caesar (Augustus).  Luke 2: 1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 Everyone went to his own town to be registered. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (NET Bible) Most Christian historians give the date of 597 B.C as the time when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and installed a vassal king of his choice. This would be sort of a technical beginning of the age of the gentiles. 11 years later he destroyed it because the king he set up rebelled. From this beginning of the age of the gentiles to the end of the first covenant age, when the city and the temple were destroyed in 70A.D would be 667 years. One year off 666 years. This is the best this author can offer at this time of this number that receives extra ordinary worldwide attention.

       So much could be written in this article concerning the empire of this period. The number of wars raised against nations within the empire that were coming under the influence of the Bible is astounding. In fact outside of civil war due to competing claims about the throne it almost seems that it is the only reason for war inside the empire. Looking at it very broadly one might suppose it's entire existence at this point is to oppose the spread of the Gospel. From Satan's viewpoint that would be entirely correct. If you include the "Holy" Roman Empire that ended in 1806 A.D. as at least an offshoot of the empire or even "revised" one.  The deaths due to this warfare go easily into the hundreds of millions.  A hyperlink link may be added at some point to list these wars. Some are still being discovered by modern day scholarship. There is another facet of it written in Daniel not addressed yet in the article. which is: Daniel 7:25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. This is so indicative of the Roman Empire at this point. It literally sought to usurp these very prophecies, claiming that the kingdom of God had arrived. That the Roman Empire and its imperial church are the fulfillment of that kingdom that was to fill the whole earth. This is such an astounding and amazingly blasphemous claim in an attempt to change the time periods laid out in end time prophecy. Making pagan Rome that ended with Constantine's rise "the beast" of prophesy and the very same empire that Revelation and Daniel prophesy as that beast with two horns the "Kingdom of God." As if this was not enough they sought to change the very law of God by Imperial decree, then writing their decree's as "the law" of the "the Church." An entity entirely of their creation to secure the interests of the emperor and the powers that be. So preposterous is the whole scheme that many of the emperors from this point on are named as "saints." by their imperial church. A special designation or veneration of a particularly pure and holy life in the service of God.  What is so amazing today is that this satanic propaganda developed 1500 years ago is still  being poured out over the airwaves through programing like The "History" Channel. There may be little that is more effectively used by the secularist/atheist/communist/Marxist/facist/socialist wanna be world rulers than this blasphemy.  It's probably the most common theme used to discredit and speak evil of the Word of God, the Gospel and real Christians in a strategy for dominance. Of course our fictitious Ivy League professor is in up to his eyeballs in all this. (Being rewarded very handsomely with your tax dollars for his labor I might add.)

 


Revelation Chapter 14-15

       Chapter 14 starts it's narrative in the same place Revelation chapter 6 does after illustrating the four empires as four horsemen. (As noted above the prophesy in chapter 13 is the same as the prophecy about the four horsemen but uses different illustrations and added details.)

      Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and observed, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty-four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers playing on their harps: 3 And they sang in that manner a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not tainted with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb where ever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit: for they are without fault before the throne of God. Just as Revelation 6:9-7:8 this first part of Revelation 14 repeats something about the time period concerning the end of the first covenant age and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D. Its emphasis is on the believers in Judea of that time period. This hyperlink opens up chapters Revelation 7:1-9 of this article in a new window so it can be compared to chapter 14:1-5.

       6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and tribe, and language, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And 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. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them. 14 And I looked, and saw a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for you to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even up to the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
     Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, oh King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? for only you are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before you; for your judgments are made manifest.
     This is the great multitude arrayed in fine linen of Revelation 7:9-17. Those who came out of the great tribulation via the Roman Empire when it's capitol was still the city of Rome. Chapter 7:9-17 only shows that they were in heaven and came out of great tribulation, implying great persecution. Chapter 14:6-15:4 shows the time period in greater detail. It makes prophetic judgments against Babylon for its wickedness. Babylon is the head of the statue of Daniel chapter 2 which is now represented by Rome. In other words Rome is being called Babylon. Then this chapter verifies (as a prophecy) that the great multitude of Revelation 7:9-17 came as a result of the preaching of the Gospel during this time period. It also shows the judgment against those who oppose it and the sufferings that will come upon that world because of this.

     5 And after that I looked, and saw the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave to the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. Following the same chronology as Revelation Chapter 6-9.  Chapter 15:5 begins the seven judgments (trumpets) of Revelation chapter 8. Here these judgments are symbolized as vials. Verse 8 illustrates the difficulty of individuals finding Christ and\or salvation during times of divine judgment. The Bible would symbolically call these times of judgment, "The Coming or the Day of the Lord."  There are examples in the Bible of why these times are not conducive to revivals or many people coming to Christ. In fact historically things like world war are revival killers.  This hyperlink leads to some of the biblical examples.
       


Revelation Chapter 16

        There will be hyperlinks that open up a new page to the previous verses in Revelation 8-11 for easy comparison. The links will follow each vial of wrath and go to it's corresponding trumpet of judgment. This will basically show that although the symbolic illustrations vary, they are the same judgments repeated in a new vision.
       And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. (Chap. 8:7) 3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. (Chap. 8:8-9) 4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, You art righteous, O Lord, which is, and was, and shall be, because you have judged this way. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments. (Chap. 8:10-11)  8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues: and they did not repent  to give him glory. (Chap. 8:12-13)  10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And spoke evil the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (Chap. 9:1-11) 12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Chap. 9:13-21)
17 And 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 is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning's; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 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 was exceedingly great. (Chap. 11:14-19).

     There are a number of reasons this article is placing these seven judgments in the time period of the destruction of the western half of the Roman Empire ending in 546 A.D. rather than the destruction of the entire empire ending in 1453 A.D.  The scripture does not interpret these judgments, (outside of indisputably placing all of these events within the big picture of the age of the gentiles ending with the demise of the Roman Empire.) Below is a list of those reasons. Again, hyperlinks will open in a new window to the relevant parts of the article for easy viewing and comparison of the exact reference.

1.Their placement in the visions immediately following the destruction of Jerusalem, the great harvest of souls empire wide and the great persecutions that occurred immediately prior to the western empire experiencing multiple calamities leading to it's demise.

2. There were three woes spoken of in the in the first vision. The three woe's accompanied 5th, 6th and 7th judgment's, one woe per judgment.  The city of Rome was conquered three times during this time period. The last time was in 546A.D. at the end of the 7th judgment.

3. There were seven "thunders" in Revelation 10 that could be assumed to be seven further judgments upon the Roman Empire beyond these first seven. In other words if the first seven judgments bring down the western half, a second seven could possibly be referring to the calamities that bring down the eastern half.

4.The placement of these seven judgments in the vision to the chapters that follow. In chapters 17-18 the city of Rome is illustrated and it demise spoken of as finished following the seventh judgment. However in the 19th chapter the coming of the Lord in judgment is illustrated in the conquering of the whole empire and the end of the age of the gentiles. This then is followed by illustrations of the promised kingdom of God just as the chronology of book of Daniel repeatedly prophesies it. In other words the promised kingdom of God does not find it's beginnings prophesied after the these seven judgments but instead after another added day of judgment in chapter 19 future to these days of judgment. 5. The relation of the seventh judgment and the third woe to the soft date mentioned before. This will be covered in the next section.

6. Finally; a world wide calamity that fits the wording of the seventh judgment occurred at that time. Outside of the world wide flood of Noah there may be nothing that has ever happened to the planet on this scale. Although this catastrophe is new and controversial to modern science it was not new to historians of days past.  It is possible that half the worlds population perished at this time. Whole civilizations disappeared. This started in 535 A.D. and ended in 546 A.D. Half the worlds population perishing during those 11 years is a description of the magnitude of the event and not a statement of scientific fact. Who knows how many species of plants and animals may have gone extinct also. Please read the articles these hyperlinks go to.

Days of Darkness (AD 535-AD 546)
 

Catastrophe! in 535 A.D., EARTH HAD ITS LIGHTS PUNCHED OUT

Super Volcano! History's Greatest Secret; Global Cataclysm in 535 AD!

     There are lots of hyperlinks in these articles and it is easy to find events associated with this time period on the internet. Wordservice.org does not endorse these articles or their conclusions. They are linked simply for reference points and three of them in case one of them is removed or changes locations.

 Revelation 16: 17 And 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 is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning's; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 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 was exceedingly great.

 


The Soft Date

     For a variety of reasons this writer does not consider these views on the soft dates (follow the hyperlink,) to be a fulfillment of any major Bible prophecy. First and foremost because the Roman Empire ended in 1453 A.D. From that point on peoples and geographical nations that were heavily influenced by the Word of God, nations that had large minorities of believers began to win the wars of extermination that were directed at them. In other words  for the first time in all of human history, (outside of ancient Israel,) the good guys began to win. The centuries of the development of Christian thought from that point on gave us the United States of America and the free world. This is exactly as the Bible has prophesied in Daniel and many other Old testament prophecies. This will be shown conclusively later on in the article and is also what the end of Revelation prophesies. Why add this section? For three reasons. The first is to show the folly of the last centuries pop-culture prophecy teachings. This will also warn the reader to the 21st centuries new and updated pop-culture teachings on the subject which are equally as reckless. Secondly: To fulfill a natural curiosity about this time period. Last of all: To show that these soft dates were fulfilled, and are still being fulfilled by this prophesy: Daniel 7:12. As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their empires taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

    


Revelation 17

     The history of the world is filled with detailed accounts of the obvious meanings of this chapter about the nature of the Roman Empire and it's inherent opposition to the Gospel of Christ and the Government of God.  It also specifically interprets that the seven horns of the beast are the first seven emperors of Rome. It then states the ten horns are ten additional emperors without saying specifically which ten.

      Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come hear; I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute that sits upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a crimson colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and crimson color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominable idolatry and impurity of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND ABOMINABLE IDOLATRIES OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman 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 amazement.
      7 And the angel said to me, Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they look upon the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into destruction. 12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.
      14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw 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. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

     The prostitute is interpreted in verses 9 and 18 as the City of Rome. Rome is situated on seven hills and is the capitol city of the Roman Empire that reigns over the kings of the earth. This in and of itself does not make this city prostitute like. What does is it's idolatries and it's idolatrous system that it obtained from Babylon. Not so much Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon but Nimrod's. This is a big subject that this article cannot do justice to.  However a few paragraphs need to be devoted to it.

      Real idolatry is the subject is being addressed by these scriptures.  Many Christian pastors and teachers have made use of the word "idolatry" to describe any loves or behaviors that people place above God. The first commandment's prohibitions against idolatry are then employed employed against the loves or behaviors. While this author certainly ascribes to 1st John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. This is absolutely not what idolatry is nor should the word idolatry be employed symbolically to describe such behaviors. The effects of this improper usage of the language coupled with a very real ignorance of the great sin of the ancient world has been to completely annihilate the western worlds understanding of what God has accomplished in the world through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The western worlds rejection of actual idolatry and it's partner in crime despotism, (the rule of men rather than the rule of law,) is by and far the Gospels and Government of Gods greatest cultural triumph. Idolatry was the dominate force and the appalling sin that enslaved the whole ancient world. It's effects are almost indescribable to the modern westerner. It is the primary enemy of the Government of God that must be dealt with first before any other significant changes can take place in a culture.  In fact it is this authors theory that this is one of the main reasons for the timing of the Messiahs entrance into the world as a man. God needed a toe hold, just a tiny little corner in the earth where actual idolatry had been completely rejected by a people. The ministry of the Messiah which included the founding of his church probably could not have been accomplished using a people given to idolatry. The Jews of the first century with all their sin  had rejected real idolatry. For lack of better words it would seem that God spent centuries putting them through the fires of tribulation to accomplish this great feat.  Since modern westerners are so far removed from this aspect of their ancestry a picture of what actual idolatry looks like needs to be painted. Lets look at some close to the modern era examples for a proper view of what the Bible is referring to when it uses the word idolatry. You will have to research these cultures yourselves for verification and a full picture.
     Probably the best modern era civilization to look at where one could get a glimpse of full blown idolatry was the Aztecs. This civilization was completely removed from any influence by Government God in history so idolatry was able to run it's full course. It was able to bear it's full fruit in the affairs of these people.  Here, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and the un-imaginable sexual practices that revolved around them was the world in which their entire culture was steeped. This wasn't practiced in small tribal communities but in an empire with massive and complex urban centers that rivaled any others in the world. This was not as a Hollywood movie may present of such an abominable culture the with sacrifice of some vestal virgin once a year to appease the blood lust of the Gods. This was to the tune of hundreds of thousands sacrificed and who knows if it could number in the millions counting all the empires of the America's over the millennia's. Make no mistake about this either that this was just wrought on account of a class of pagan priests who infected the culture. This was political in nature and just as Nimrod all the way to Rome it was created by and for the continued rule of despots.  Now while there was certainly human sacrifice, cannibalism and abhorrent sexual practices that revolved around this in the middle east and the area's of these four empires. There wasn't anything that this author is familiar with that was on the scale of the America's. One simple reason for this? Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Daniel, ect. ect. God was at work bringing his planned invasion of the planet through this section of the world. It had an influence. It moderated the ugliest idolatrous pracitses somewhat in these empires so that it could not grow to it's fullest as in the America's. As a case and point about the Government of Gods influence. Watching the history channel last year they stated in one show about the empires of the world that the Medo-Persian empire was the only one known not to build its great works on the backs of slaves. Rather, they built their roads and cities with paid labor. The show did not mention or even venture a guess as to why this would be. It's not very hard when one knows who the prime minister of the empire was at it's start, Daniel. Further there were but a few kings that reigned after his passing. The Babylonian priesthood was also banished with the coming of that empire. They apparently fled to Pergamos for refuge were that king allowed them to set up their operations. Pergamos is where the book of Revelation says Satan has his throne.
     An example at how far removed our culture has became from these abominations is in British colonial India. For years it was against the law for missionaries to preach to Indian peoples. Missionaries eventually succeeded in penetrating this obstruction by the British Crowns' East India Tea Company.  The practices they discovered in the land of a million idols were so horrific that had trouble seeking aid from the British and American people to stop it. They couldn't get the populations of these countries to even believe that human beings were capable of committing such barbaric and grotesque practices as part of idolatrous religion. What was done to woman and children is unthinkable.  To this day this is whitewashed and we think of India as the land of Gandhi. Yet here we see permanent socio\civic\religious classes of slaves. Forever bound in their servitude to the upper classes of an intractable religious caste system. These of course if one reads the news are coming to Christ en mass. As did the permanent slave classes of Roman civilization.  Also, even in modern central Africa. When westerners are appalled by the slaughter of millions at the hands of insane warlords and despots. They fail to understand that behind this is the practice of real idolatry. The witch doctors of Africa are idolaters and you will find them behind most of the great evils committed there. That is a simple way in which a reader that really wants to can develop  a picture of what it was like living in the ancient world. Studying the practices and the outcomes of idolatrous peoples in the semi modern world. It is suggested that one avail themselves of the books and writings of th
e missionaries that lived in such places to get a better picture instead of the writings and shows made by anthropological "scientific" leftists who sometimes seek to paint hell as picture of paradise. The life we live in the western world due to the fact that real idolatry has been rejected in favor of the the words and principles contained in the Gospels, the Law and prophets bears no resemblance to the idolatress world. It is like night verses day. The peoples of the ancient world, even the writers of the New Testament could not imagine the world we live in today. Just as we have trouble imagining the world they lived in back then. To listen to modern preachers and teachers claim with all authority that the world is worse than it has ever been and is getting worse by the day is laughable if it were not such a destructive lie. The world had never seen nor experienced what we now consider normal. Furthermore if one reads their Bible's right the nations that have been the most influenced by the Word of God haven't even made it quarter of the way to where God might take his creation. Now lets look at the city of Rome's system specifically. 
     The city of Rome's idolatrous practices came directly from the Etruscans. Theirs from Nimrods Babylon. Nimrod was in the third generation of Noah's sons. His great crime as recorded in the scripture was conquering his neighbors who had not as of yet had a need for armies and fortified cities. He was the new worlds first emperor and built Babel, the new worlds first fortified city.  Properly understood the basis, foundation, reason or motive for idolatry is covetousness.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth...... and covetousness, which is idolatry. In other words it is covetousness that is the motive behind actual idolatry. So much so that the apostle is equating covetous and idolatry. Covetousness is desire for something so strongly that one is willing to violate the law to get it. It is not just mere desire or lawful desire. People who do not deserve the favor of heaven or the world we cannot see.  People who have not submited to it's requirements seek to unlawfully possess that favor through idolatries, witchcrafts and such. So to is the the motive behind those who perpetuate idolatry such as witchdoctors, pagan priests, mediums and such. Their unbridled avarice guides them to seek ways into how they may live off the wealth created by others. Idolatry's partner in crime is despotism. Its motivation and  desire to rule over men is also based in covetousness.  It is the usurpation of necessary human government for ones own unlawful profit. Nimrod and his successors, motivated by covetousness brought these two abominations together in an unholy marriage that enslaved the entire world. He conquered his neighbors and developed an idolatrous civic or municipal system of beliefs, rites and rituals designed to secure and perpetuate his personal authority over his subjects. Remember we are talking kings\emperors and depots here. What they create\allow\and perpetuate are meant for one purpose and one purpose only. To enslave the population to their own will and to live big off the wealth that others create. Ancient Israel when it was first founded was a republic that had no provision for kings or any kind of leadership that resembled that. The absolute individual freedoms their God given constitution afforded them warned them very sternly against any thoughts along those lines. The only rites and rituals they were commanded to keep were simple symbolic illustrations of the Gospel that was to come to the whole world through them. However amidst strong denunciations by their servant Samuel and God himself. Their natural inclinations were to have a king like the nations around them. When they choose this, they choose what Nimrod had created or shall we say, opened the door to what he created.  They sold their freedom and the light they had for slavery, darkness, the madness of idolatry and eventual destruction. There is one other notable aspect of what Nimrod developed. His rites and rituals under the direct inspiration of demons were a counterfeit gospel story. This undoubtedly came as a perversion of what through Noah, the new founder of the human race taught them of God and the Gospel that was to come. Nimrod's creation incorporated Noah's teachings but made himself and his ancestors the gods of creation. These became the gods of all the false religions of the pagan world. You can go to any corner of the earth, from Greece to China, from Egypt to India, and from Rome to the America's. The same stories with the names of Nimrod and his ancestors in each peoples native tongues become the Gods of their traditions and idols.
    
 In Rome's particular case this became an art form. The state and it idolatrous religion were one and the same. Idolatry informed and was part of every civil action of its government. Not only this but as Rome swallowed up that part of the world it incorporated all the idolatries of the nations it conquered. This was really not a big deal since they all came from the same place but just had different names according to the language of that nations people and were retrofitted to cater to the interests of that nations set of kings. Now one may be able to imagine the problem Rome faced with Christians. To disturb the religion of the state is to disturb the state itself. These are not separate entities. The officers of the state were the officers of the religion. To put this in perspective: Can you imagine in todays world charging a Christian with atheism? Why everyone would say that the Christian represents the polar opposite of atheism. Yet this was the main charge brought by the civil authorities who were also religious authorities of Rome against Christians. This was not a false charge brought by detractors of Christians. This was the belief of the Roman authorities. That this new sect of Judaism called Christians were refusing to honor and esteem the very Gods the entire world has honored for thousands of years. The same Gods that are known by different names according to the language of different peoples. (Which are Nimrod and his ancestors.) This to Rome was atheism and a crime against the state itself. ( Because the powers that be interest's are secured by their idolatress system.) This is the essence of why the city of Rome is referred to as:.....the great prostitute that sits upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a crimson colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and crimson color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominable idolatry and impurity of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND ABOMINABLE IDOLATRIES OF THE EARTH.  6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.....
     There is one more aspect of this idolatrous religion that needs to be mentioned. Remember this empire continues on way past the days of it's purely pagan beginnings. As far as numbers are concerned, many more believers are murdered by this empire after it's creation of an imperial church than before it's creation in pagan Rome.  It is easy to account for this if one is looking at the motive behind emperors and the powers that be.  Again this is not to say that the Gospel had no effect on these emperors. It is to say that the effects only went so deep. They may have renounced their divinations and put away their Haruspex's  (priests that studied animal entrails) to forecast everything of importance. Yet they still retained their emperorship and that was the real power behind idolatry in the first place. Their selfish ambitions still found a use for a religious vehicle to further their interests. If not pagan idolatries then what better than something built around what they themselves knew to be truth? An imperial religion. The Word of God in name only; rendered in rites, rituals and mysteries that many times had their roots in the paganism they were renouncing. The cynicism expressed here is not to impugn every individual associated with this undertaking. Rather it is rooted in a good understanding of the mystery of iniquity and how it plays out.  So then, if one really wants to get to the heart of all of this one has to look at the whole notion of kings, emperors and dictators.  Or....the rule of men verses the rule of law.  Not to dispel the power of the Gospel to lead mankind out of the darkness of genuine idolatry. It just that ultimately victory does not occur until this idea of the rule of men is renounced and regarded as an abominable practice.  To do this the general population has to be enlightened. Some directly from heaven and some in principle. There are two reasons for this. One is that only an enlightened population is able to govern itself personally and therefore have and maintain limited government. The other is that only an enlightened people will be able to resist the wicked who never rest in their ambitious quest for power. These idea's of limited human government  and the rule of law rooted in a good understanding of Bible Prophecy and the Government of God obtained a home in the founding documents of the USA.  Yet as history has taught us:  This battle between the Government of Gods influence in the affairs of mankind and the children of Satan's designs to rule over people rages on. 

     Having covered the first seven emperors and the next ten pretty extensively in the previous sections. There are still some things that need interpretation about the ten horns that where not covered. 12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.
      14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw 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. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.
     On the surface some of these words seem to be in discrepancy with the interpretation of the ten kings given in the section of Daniels Little Horn.  This does not mean it is possible to take these ten and put them in our future. Scripturally they are clearly within the time period of the Roman Empire as it states: 12.....but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast. Many have sought to take them and place them within the realm of a revised western empire. Then using the toes of clay and iron from Daniel's first prophecy account these as ten nations, ten peoples or ten periods of a revised western empire that ended in 1806 A.D.  This author has searched high and low and cannot find any ten nations, peoples or time periods of the Roman empire or the revised western one that ended in 1806 A.D. . Not even anything close. Only claims by those who are searching for the answer but were not very careful. This does not even address the absolute absurdity of the 20th centuries prognostications of the modern European union and other such profundity.  However there are aspects of the next ten emperors that came directly after the first seven as laid out previously that could in fact fit the words in verses 14-18. 
     First verse 14:
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. The second half of this verse....and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful gives meaning to the first half.  The war between the ten kings and the Lamb is waged through the lambs people. In other words the Lamb is overcoming the ten kings through the called, chosen and faithful preaching and witnessing the Gospel.  Gods kingdom is spreading from heart to heart and they have no way of stopping it. This scenario is also verified by the multitudes that cannot be numbered coming to Christ during this time period in the previous visions in Revelation. It is also verified by history. The ten emperors that came directly after the first seven, although at war with the Gospel and the ideal's that would naturally come of it may not have been lovers of Rome's harlotry. 16 And the ten horns which you saw 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. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. It would seem that these ten particular emperors were not impressed by in the usage of idolatrous practices as a tool of the empire. Does this play out historically with the ten emperors named by this article as referring to these ten horns? That they are against the Gospel and against the harlotries of the city of Rome also? Hypothetically, based on their known actions, without being able to see why they did what they did, it could very well be so. Within the time period of the ten emperors who directly followed the first seven are what is historically known as the five "good" emperors. Theorizing a little. One can imagine a very large number of souls in the city of Rome and throughout the Roman Empire that earn their living through multitudes of idolatrous practices. The dynamic spread of Christianity is a direct threat to the bottom line and the influence these have in the affairs of Rome. (Their divination actually guides its affairs.) The ear of the emperor is a valuable asset in the protection of this power and wealth. Yet it would seem that these ten emperors did not institute any imperial persecutions of Christians. Following this theory. Why would ten emperors at war with Christ due to the very  idea of emperors, empires, slavery and such sins not heed those who have most to lose if this plays out? The pagan priesthood and practitioners of idolatries must have been incessant in their calls to these ten emperors to enforce the law. Christianity was illegal. Yet although there was intermittent and localized persecution there was little to nothing coming from the throne. Some of these emperors even decreed a stop to the practice of prosecuting Christians based on unfair and unsubstantiated accusations.  Could it be that as it says in verse seventeen that God put this in their hearts to bring about the demise of the city with it's harlotries? That these ten emperors actions set up, not the immediate but the eventual destruction of the harlot?  Maybe, God knowing all things knew this was a critical time period for the growth of his church. That if his will were to be accomplished against the city of Rome there could be no large scale imperial persecutions during this brief time period. To put it another way: For Christ to overcome in this spiritual war through his people's preaching and witness there had to be a time of tremendous growth accompanied by a little rest.

      To follow this train of thought a little more. Christians were accused of not following the practices of the realm and therefore dishonoring the Gods. The charge was atheism. It would seem however that Caligula's and Nero's persecutions were a little more personal in nature. Many a Roman Emperor practiced homosexuality amongst other abhorrent sexual practices. Caligula and Nero were what we would call radicals. The nature of their personal fury directed at believers was in accordance with this. The laws against being a believer were already decreed and any emperor that choose to could have attempted to purge the empire of them. Or at least institute a methodology for dealing with the problem.  However as pointed out the ten choose to do nothing even though the very nature of the beast put them at war with the Lamb. Actually it can be argued that some of them ordered Christians treated fairly by the law which could not be in accord with the wishes of the pagan hierarchy. If the theory based on these historical facts is true then something has to happen that changes the empires dealings with believers after these ten emperors reign ends. That something leads us once more to Septimius Severus, the eleventh emperor after the ten, or the time period this article calls Daniel chapter 7's Little Horn. For the first time in history a law was enacted making conversion to Christianity illegal.  This was done by Septimius Severus. To any believer that is alive to Christ this strikes at the very heart of Biblical Christianity and the Kingdom of God. Not only this, unlike his predecessors, Severus capitulated  to the voices that demanded the law be upheld.  No doubt the loudest amongst them were the practitioners of idolatries and those who earned their livings and kept their seats of influence through divination. So started the large scale persecutions and the decline of the empire.

 


Revelation 18

    Revelation 18 (follow the hyperlink to read it,) is part of the vision or subject matter that starts in Revelation 17. Yes it is part of the prophecy about the destruction of the city of Rome and eventually the whole empire. It is more than that though. It is a prophecy or a pronouncement about the whole system of human governance that resembles gangsterism coupled with idolatry having an end. This again is why it is referred to specifically as Babylon's destruction. It is the despotism and it's usage of idolatry to further it innovated in Babylon that is facing this decree. In reading this chapter one might notice the finality of the decree. Modern Rome and Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) are still with us a cities. They still have inhabitants unlike what is prophesied here. The only city that has no inhabitants but is a desert waste is the literal city of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. This is symbolism to describe what the Gospel and the Government of God quite naturally brings about in the earth if it runs it's full course. An end to despotic rule and idolatry. It also points out what should be obvious. That the degree of despotism and\or idolatry is a direct measurement of the degree of demonic influence. Further that demons are restrained by mankind's beliefs and practices. This is a hard saying and just as this chapter leads into the next four. This saying will be unfolded.

 


Revelation 19 

     Revelation 19 is a continuation of the vision in chapter 18. With Christ coming on a white horse to conquer the Roman Empire it illustrates the dawn of the Government of God as prophesied in Daniel 2:34. You looked until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces......44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will crush and bring to an end all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Also Daniel 7:11 I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke: I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.......26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him.

     It also references Gods people as being prepared for the introduction of this governess in the earth. It does this with a very common biblical illustration about a bride being prepared for her wedding and husband. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Rather than providing the abundant proof texts for this interpretation right now this will wait until the article progresses into Revelation 21-22.

     Keeping with a biblical standard of interpretation it is relevant to point out that Christ conquers this empire and the remnant that follows it with a sword that proceeds out of his mouth. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.......19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh. The sword from Christ's mouth is a common biblical illustration of the spoken then written Word of God, as in these scriptures. In the context of these prophecies it used for two purposes. First as it relates to judgment: The sentence against the empire was passed millennia ago and is now being carried out in accordance to and in the timing the prophecy decreed. That God would use the "sword" of mankind and wicked kings to carry out this sentence is in complete unity with multiple biblical and historical examples. The other side of this "two edged" sword as recorded in those scriptures hyperlinked in the previous sentence is the Word of Gods rule in the earth via influence. A significant minority of  mankind would begin to conform their own hearts to his word. Furthermore that another significant minority (not necessarily believers)  would adopt the principle's of that word as the norm for personal behavior and the rule of law. Then, that these two groups would quite naturally begin to bring this righteousness to mankind's institutions, most notably human government. As it were: cultural revolution based on truth with the aid and leading of God himself. This may seem a fantastic claim to some reading it. Yet it is exactly what happened and in plain view is continuing to happen today. That is if you have eye's to see it. Just what do you think happened to despotic human government, slavery, idolatry, the utter physical domination of woman, institutional pedophilia, polygamy and other such manifestations of evil? Do you think the western world abhors these evils because of the goodness of their own hearts? Do you think they alone had the power to conquer these things that dominated the world since history has been recorded because they were somehow superior to all other peoples of all other generations?  Some hearts might be objecting saying: "There are still all these evils in the world, what are you talking about?" Yes and if you look a little closer you will see that everywhere the Gospel has been little preached and\or has not had time to run it's full course these evils still dominate those cultures and nations. Others may myopically say: "Don't you know the western world is filled with these evils and they are growing by the moment?" First, you may be surprised to learn that although the news is full of these reports, factually as far as raw numbers are concerned, the majority of these evils have been on a downward trend for decades. Especially in the USA.  Although old, this mp3 audio teaching goes over some of these numbers: Worse and Worse?  This doesn't mean the trend cannot change and hasn't changed in some specific area's. It's being pointed out because of the "conventional wisdom" among believers that everything is getting worse when in fact the opposite is true. If the vast majority can be so wrong about what they are so sure about then what this indicates is a belief is dictating opinion rather than reality. The scripture is replete with warnings to take heed to yourselves. What will God think of a few generations that abandoned institutions like human government to the wicked because they accepted end time teachings that claimed the inevitable and very near end of civilization as we know it? These civilizations that were built on Christian principles via the blood of hundreds of thousands of martyrs and millions of brave souls? What would God do to those generations that forsook the very difficult and sacrificial duty of running and winning political offices and becoming leaders in the nations bureaucracies?  Would not his judgment for their error in spirit be common sense and simple? That those generations reap what they sow? That evil men, usurpers, deceivers, and others like this unfit for positions of trust move into the vacuum to control the reigns of  government, corporations, and schools? Wouldn't they seek to throw off the rule of law and use these institutions for their own monetary and political gain? Of course they would, why would anyone think differently? Does this situation then make this a fulfillment of Bible prophecy or does it make it the practical result of a peoples erroneous understandings of prophecy? Would the reader be surprised that the founders of the United States and those who went before them understood Bible prophecy in the way this article is presenting it? Lets look one more time at 15th-16th centuries to further this argument.
     There were many reformers before the empire fell in 1453 A.D. who wrote books and copied Bibles. Lets consider the accomplishment of 300,000 of Martin Luther's booklets being printed in a three year period in that light. Lets say before the printing press it took one professional copyist a day to copy one booklet. Under these circumstances it would take 100 of them working daily for close to ten years to copy 300,000 booklets. This while being hunted by the authorities for their illicit activity. Furthermore who could afford to pay for such an large commercial enterprise?  Lets say just ten of them were employed. It would take nearly a hundred years to complete the task of three years with commercial printing shops. Can you see this was not business as usual for the powers that be? Now lets cut the number of years to copy these booklets by hand in half just to satisfy objections. Lets say say fifty years to copy 300,000 booklets verses three years. Imagine three people reading each booklet. That would be close to a million people reading a booklet in three years verses a million people reading one in fifty years. All in all though we are not talking 300,000 booklets but millions of books printed. 
      Is it to much to imagine the God of the universe foresaw exactly this happening at the same time of the demise of the Roman Empire and had his servants write of the results of all of this in his word as a prophecy? In other words they did not see the causes as a prophecy.  What  they saw as a prophecy were the  effects that were declared would come to pass. Could it be just coincidence that the first book ever printed on a European printing press was the Word of God and this happened the same year the Roman Empire was destroyed? Also at this time, with the blessing of certain popes. The modern university was developed and universities were built all over Europe. The Word of God was now being studied by students in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew as part of a liberal arts program.  Did they have any idea at the time how this would backfire? Although it was illegal the upper class where now accessing Bibles. It was only natural to make these Bibles commercially available to the common man in his own language. The illicit activities and smuggling to print and distribute these is as exciting as any story in history. How did this coincidence happen immediately after the fall of the Roman Empire? Millions of Bibles in the hands of those who never had chance and perhaps never imagined something of that nature could ever take place?  Think of the oppressed masses in Muslim and communist countries today. They want the book that the powers that be seek to prevent them from possessing. Has anything really changed along these lines?  Lets not forget the discovery of the new world that just happened to come to pass at the same time this spiritual and cultural revolution swept over northern Europe. The founding of the United States seemed to be a culmination of all this Biblical influence and the good the world derived from it even though such evil is present has been incalculable. Was all of this just mere coincidence? Here the scripture carefully displays an illustrative vision that states Christ shall rule the nations by way of the sword of his mouth. When Roman Empire is destroyed then at that exact time prophesied all this begins to progressively come to pass. The written Word of God and the power of Holy Spirit influence a portion of mankind to create cultures that compared to the ancient idolatrous and despotic world are like day verses the night. Hold on though. We'll see if the rest of the book of Revelation bares this out.


Revelation 20

     Revelation 20 will be skipped and placed after the next two chapters. There are two reasons for this. One is the unfortunate way this chapter is used in the study of end time prophecy.  The other reason, actually the greater of the two is Revelation 21-22, the New Jerusalem. There is an amazing quantity of scriptures on the subject of the New Jerusalem. To ignore them or to be unaware of their existence basically makes it impossible to understand Bible or "end time" prophecy at all. Just for an example. This webpages very first article in 2002 was on the New Jerusalem. There are 48 verses in chapters 21-22. With just the first 14 verses that article has 62 pages; 62 separate web addresses. Sorry to say I got bored with it and it may remain uncompleted for years to come. The point is with this tremendous volume of scripture dedicated to the New Jerusalem one cannot look at it through Johns revelation alone. Especially when John is quoting verses verbatim using chapters of prophets other than himself. Once those broad array of prophetic chapters are viewed in their context. It will make it far easier to find the other scriptures that aid in a sound and scriptural understanding of Revelation 20.


The New Jerusalem

     Do to the large volume of scripture about the New Jerusalem. Much of it will be referenced by hyperlinks to save space on the main page. The direct or semi direct quotes that the verses in Revelation 21-22 are referencing from other places will be underlined

Revelation 21
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

     While a good number of believers understand the illustrative nature of Revelation 21-22 the majority do not. With many of this majority this has to be interpreted in what they assert is a "literal" fashion so that it will remain consistent with their teachings. With the rest of that majority it is sort of the default position based on the text of the stand alone verses. The issue is though that all of these verses in Revelation 21-22 come directly or indirectly out of the Old Testament and the context of them in those chapters cannot be ignored to validate one own idea's of what is being communicated in Johns Revelation. These first two verses are no exception. Along with many other chapters about the New Jerusalem in the last third of Isaiah chapter  65 says:
    
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind. 18 But be  glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days (who dies), nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor give birth to (children) for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their children with them. 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says the LORD.
     The majority of people regard Revelation 21-22 as the time after an event called "the" resurrection. This is heaven, or at least a physical part of heaven transported down to earth after God destroys the old physical planet and makes a new one. Those words are not meant to articulate exactly what all of these people believe because beliefs and teachings along those lines surely vary widely. The intention is to show that most have idea's that center on physical things. Meaning the physical planet as we know it today is no more, or changed, and life on this new planet and\or life in heaven is what is being portrayed. How many times have you heard a believer say: "The streets of heaven are paved with gold!"  However, when we look at just one of the many paragraphs where other prophets such as the one in Isaiah 65 that the first verse in Revelation 21 quotes we see details of the same place or time period not listed in Revelation 21-22.  A savvy glimpse will  notice that children are being born, sinners and the curse of sin is present. Houses are being built, food is being produced and people are dying. While some disparate sects may not have a problem with this. Those who's faith is built upon the words of the apostles, prophets and Jesus as the chief corner stone cannot accept these things as being in heaven or even a new earth populated with resurrected people. Very simply this is why: Speaking of the resurrection Jesus said:   Luke 20: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are like the angels. There is not sex and child birth in heaven nor is there death. Isaiah's added details cast a light about this new place that John taken alone does not. An objection might be raised and say: "Two verses from now it says there is no death in this New Jerusalem so this has to be heaven." Well that can be easily answered by this. Jesus speaking: John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has (as in possesses) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. Of course verses that use life and death this way are so numerous that student's of the Word of God hold it as basic truth. If this is difficult for you to accept there is much more so be patient please.  The second part of the first verse says: "there is no more sea." To remain consistent that majority would have to say this means there are no more physical oceans. (Maybe some of the pop culture teachers might say it's means the dead sea in Israel.) In these scriptures the "sea" or "waters" are illustratively used in prophetic scripture denoting the nations of the world. It isn't much of a stretch to consider this verse using it's term "sea" in the same way. The meaning of this as a prophecy would be multifaceted. Mainly it would mean that because of the Gospel the gentile nations of the world are no longer Godless idolatrous nations due to verses like this:  Much more will be said about this when the article gets to Revelation 22:1-2.

       Revelation 21: 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. People who read the New Testament regularly are quite familiar with references alluding to Jesus being the groom. What fewer are aware of is the extensive use of the term "the wife of God" or "the children of the wife of God" in reference to the New Jerusalem in  prophetic chapters in the Old Testament. In the letter to the Galatians the Apostle proclaims that Isaiah 54 is referring to the New Jerusalem. Galatians 4:26. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27. For it is written, Rejoice, you that are barren; break forth and cry, you that travailed not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. Revelation 21-22 quotes directly or indirectly from these two chapters (Isaiah 54 and 60) many times. Most of these quotes will be underlined.

       Isaiah 54 1. Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord. 2. Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; 3. For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; your children shall inherit the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4. Fear not; for you shalt not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for you shalt not be put to shame: for you shalt forget the shame of your youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. 5. For your Maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6. For the Lord has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused, says your God. 7. For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. 8. In a little anger I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord your Redeemer. 9. For this is like the waters of Noah to me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 10. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you. 11. O you that are afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12. And I will make your windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13. And all of children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your children. 14. In righteousness shall you be established: you shalt be far from oppression; for you shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near you. 15. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against you shall fall for your sake. 16. Behold, I have created the blacksmith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 17. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, says the Lord.
     Isaiah 60 1. Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you. 3. And the Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4. Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5. Then you will see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. 6. The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. 7. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. 8. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? 9. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. 10. And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you. 11. Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the Nations, and that their kings may be brought. 12. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13. The glory of Lebanon shall come to thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. 14. The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending down to you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15. Whereas you had been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16. You shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and you will know that I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 17. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make your officers peace, and your exactors righteousness. 18. Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shalt call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. 19. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light. 21. your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.   22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time. 

     Now to be precise in the understanding of the context of these two chapters (and the ones following them). They were written to the believers of the physical nation of ancient Israel who were suffering because of the deeds of the majority of Israelites and their kings. So believers are being promised or prophesied to about the coming kingdom of God that will overshadow their current sufferings at the hands of, or because of their countrymen who were not believers. This scenario continued right up until the nation was destroyed a second time in 70 A.D.  If the reader cannot grasp this idea then this article may help you. Back to the point. Here we have two chapters of prophesy about the New Jerusalem that Revelation 21-22 directly and indirectly quotes. Yet it can be plainly seen that this is not heaven or a new physical planet earth with a physical city from heaven come down on it.  In chapter 54 verses 15-17 we have a reference to people, governments or nations gathering together and unsuccessfully by war of subterfuge plotting the demise  of this New Jerusalem. How could this be of what is almost universally considered heaven or a new earth that is devoid of evil?  The chapter in Revelation comes after what almost all the different end time doctrines say all of this evil is forever done away with. According to them "the" resurrection, the "millennial reign", "Gog and Magogs" destruction, the "great white throne judgment " have all already happened. If our progressive university professor ever got a hold on this he would throw a party. "Finally" he would claim. "Proof positive that the Bible could not have been written by God! John claims to have seen a vision of heaven but he directly lifts the verses about it out of the Old Testament which are clearly not talking about heaven. The Bible is in direct disagreement with itself once more proving my case!"  Well of course the problem is not with the Bible. The problem is with the teachings of men who do not really understand what they think they do. It matters not that there is consensus or majorities or church father precedent. The word of God stands on it's own above all. Not only does it place this New Jerusalem on a timeline that exactly matches the advent of Daniels visions of the Government of God. It also directly and indirectly quotes verses of the New Jerusalem from the Isaiah and many other books that clearly teach that the prophesied new heaven and the new earth are not physical events but an age on the earth where the many manifold promises of God start coming to pass. In chapter 60 verse 14 the people of God are illustratively referred to as:....and they shall call you; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. In this whole chapter the nations are being converted to this New Jerusalem and it specifically states that any nation or people that refuse will be... 12. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

        We also see this same scenario of conversions of peoples and  nations to the New Jerusalem in these chapters.  Isaiah 61  (Jesus quotes verses one 1-3 in reference to himself.) 1.The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings (the gospel) to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3. To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give  them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (In due course, in the context of these chapters about the New Jerusalem, Jesus' ministry ultimately results in these scenario's) 4. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (Verse 4 is a practical result of a nation and peoples committed to the rule of law and justice) 5. And foreigners shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner's shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6. and you shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall you boast yourselves. (Who are the peoples that work in the Lords vineyards as pastors and teachers and evangelists? People of all nations (foreigner's) as opposed to the Levitical priesthood.) 7. For your shame you shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be to them. 8. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9. And their children shall be known among the Nations, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the children which the Lord has blessed. 10. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a groom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11. For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
     Isaiah 62 1. For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness of it go forth as brightness, and the salvation of it as a lamp that burns. 2. And the Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory: and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. 3. You will also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4. You will no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall your land any more be termed Desolate: but you will be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delights in you, and thy land shall be married. 5. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall thy sons marry you: and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. 6. I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, 7. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give your corn to be meat for your enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink your wine, for the which you have labored: 9. But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness. 10. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. 11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say  to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 12. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and you will be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken 
     It couldn't be clearer that these three chapters are prophesying the preaching of the Gospel and the eventual results of that. In verse 62:2 Jerusalem is called by a new name, (which would be the New Jerusalem). In verse 62:12 the redeemed of the Lord are called that city. Again clearly, not a new physical planet or heaven itself, but a new age.  An era in which the promises, in fact many of them specifically articulated in these verses begin to come to pass. An era where the idolatrous tyrannies of the ancient world fade into obscurity and a new and better world is birthed. 

     In conclusion regarding these first two verse of Revelation 21. We have the prophesied bride of Christ as the prophesied city called the New Jerusalem. An illustration that clearly has it's roots in the Old Testament and not in Johns revelation. In those prophecies this New Jerusalem is without question an illustration of Gods people in the era after the age of the Gentiles.  This is known because John's revelation takes this unmistakably Old Testament prophecy and places it in a timeline where it is to appear after the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D.  This is just exactly where Daniels timeline prophesies the Kingdom of God beginning is ascension.
     The  majority of Christians in the last century have imagined the Kingdom of God to be a physical visible kingdom brought down to the earth from heaven. They have thought these two chapters in Revelation were that visible physical kingdom or heaven itself. These chapters of Isaiah (and many others) show with great clarity that this New Jerusalem is in fact speaking of an era where the world we live in begins to change for the better. This gives a much better vantage point to grasp the book of Daniels interpretation of the Kingdom of God. Chapter 7:18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.......27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. Or as Jesus described it in Matthew 21: 43 For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Perhaps the word fruit as used by our Lord and savior is the best way to describe this whole scenario. The fruit of the Gospel is righteousness. If the Gospel is allowed to run it's full course in a culture the fruit of it will be a better culture. Or at the very least a culture that now holds the morality of Christ and the principles of the law of God as the standard of right and wrong.  (Even if the culture is falling far short of that standard.)
Specifically though. In the context of end time prophecy the Gospel was not allowed to run it's full course by the Roman Empire. The judgments in Revelation are aimed at that empire for exactly that reason. When that hindrance of the empire is remove the Gospel being made available begins to bear it's fruit, (still with great suffering and sacrifice.) This scenario of the Kingdom of God not being a physical visible kingdom was also specifically addressed by Jesus himself as a doctrine.
    Before going on to the next verse in Revelation 21 there is a great need to clarify the many illustrations in the chapters of Isaiah that have just been looked at to show the New Jerusalem is not heaven.  It is one thing to see and understand that the illustrations cannot be talking about the next life. It is entirely another thing to have a balanced view
of just what is being illustrated. In fact this is one of the greatest challenges in our Biblically and historically illiterate society. Just how are these illustrations being fulfilled? If they are being fulfilled then what does one look for? Shouldn't it be the most obvious and simple interpretation? This hyperlink will go over this must read part of the article.

 

      Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Look, the tabernacle (the dwelling place) of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 

     If this verse is not illustrating heaven then the proper question should be: When did or when does it come to pass? This is an easily answered question for most believers. Just as physical city of Jerusalem was symbolic of the New Jerusalem, so it was with the tabernacle, temple and house of God of the First Covenant. These were merely symbolic of the true tabernacle of God which is his people. This is taught in many New Covenant Scriptures:
     Hebrews 8:2  (Jesus the high priest) A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord erected, and not man.......9: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (The temple or tabernacle built with hands)
     Acts 7: 48 However the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as says the prophet.....17: God that made the world and all things in it, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands.
     Ephesians 2: 19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom  you also are built together for an habitation (house) of God through the Spirit.
     1 Corinthians 3:16. Don't you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

     To make this a little more relevant lets look at an Old Testament prophecy about the house of God in  Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (AKJV)

    The Bible is remarkable in it's consistency in the use of illustrations that predicted the distant future. In the previous verse of Revelation coupled with the Old Testament chapters about the New Jerusalem the most persistent theme is the nations coming to, converting to and serving this invisible city that represents Gods people. So great would be this world wide change according to these prophesies that the descriptive terminology,  "a new heaven and new earth" is warranted . Then in this very next verse of Revelation the house or tabernacle of God, another illustration of Gods people is identified as the place that God dwells. Jumping to Isaiah 2:2-4. It says this same house or dwelling place of God is where all nations will go to find and learn of God; to be instructed as to how they should conduct all their affairs. Amazing! It also uses the illustration of a mountain to describe this house of God. This is same way many other verses use mount Zion and Daniel uses a mountain to describe Gods Government. Just think a minute in a simple common sense manner. Where do people go to get right with God? They come to Christ! The vast majority through a relative or friend. The remainder come to him by a church or an outreach or evangelistic meetings. Then where do people go to learn of Gods ways and walk in his paths? To the Bible, to church or to fellowship with one another. In other words to the house of God, his people! Extrapolating this: Where do or where did the western nations go to learn the rule of law, the law of our nature and natures God? Where did the idea's of  government by the people and for the people come from? Finally, where are the rest of the nations who have not experienced these things going to go? To the same place, the house of God. Many nations that have adopted Biblical principles in their idea's of human government may not now see the house of God as the basis for this rule of law. What they see is a witness of the house of God expressed in the righteousness, justice and rule of law that a nation might subscribe to. Some day however they will have to eventually come to this knowledge, as John Adams famously said:  “....we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” He goes on to say, “.....Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 
    
The New testament teaches all this but because of the darkness surrounding this subject, generally, it is not looked at in the broadest sense of changing the world. It's only viewed in the sense of changing ones personal life. 1st Timothy 3:15
so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. (NLT)  Do you see how alien the thought process of believers has become to the scripture and Gods Government? When was the last time you ever thought or heard that truth comes into the world through the local church, or the churches as a whole? That the whole foundation of civilization and good government is contained, propagated and and protected by the church, Gods people? That is what these scriptures prophesied: Isaiah 51:16. And I have put my words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, You are my people. Isaiah 49:8. Thus says the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; Psalm 96:10. Say among the nations that the Lord reigns: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.  Isaiah 45:18. For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited:.... On a contrary note: When a nation begins to veer off the path of Gods will then it is Gods people who must bring that nation back on the course that supports freedom, righteousness, justice, and prosperity? When was the last time you heard that if a nation that has God woven into the very fabric of it's existence begins wander away, it's the fault of Gods people? That the reason wickedness is prevailing is because their light is growing dim?
       Verses four of Isaiah chapter two are equally amazing as a prophecy. Under the weaknesses of the Mosaic Law and other factors, mainly the lack of light amongst the general population. The Government of God was constrained to rely heavily on the sword, war and the conquering of territory to maintain any influence at all. Jesus in his parables about the nature of the coming (worldwide) Government of God spoke of this. He used allegories about farming and agriculture to describe the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. That is what verse 4 of Isaiah Chapter 2 is prophesying. That the use of the sword would give way to the preaching of the Gospel to spread the Government of God. The rest of that verse is simply the natural fruit of this. That nations who have come under the influence of his Government via the Gospel do not settle their differences with one another by war. Now it is doubtful that the last part of the sentence means there will be no more war at all. If taken within the context of all the scripture it would mean that war is no longer the way of life that it was in the ancient world. Human government would begin to work within the parameters of its proper role just like Romans chapter 12-13 teaches. Under the governance of an enlightened people the use of physical force is reserved to the administration of  justice.

 

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 

    Revelation  21:4 is a huge multifaceted subject in the light this article is painting it in. It cannot be done justice in this article but some things need said. Obviously taking this as a stand alone verse, it could only be completely fulfilled in heaven. However, the context of the end of the book of Revelation is not heaven. Therefore it needs to be looked at within the context of the illustrative language of prophecy. This first paragraph comes from this website's first and as yet unfinished article on the New Jerusalem.

     Eternal life begins when one puts their trust in Christ. That these bodies we live in die is not even an issue in the language of the New Testament. This is the same language that is used in Revelation 21:4 as you can see this in these verses.... God wiping away all tears from your eye's, no more sorrow crying or pain. These verses come from Isaiah's symbolism of the realities that were coming to the earth for those who serve God. Of course these are not the only Old testament scriptures that say these things. The New testament is also full of descriptive language about these very real and present realities that come when one follows the lamb of God. Some of these things can be had under any earthly circumstances, while others may be attained in their proper time and season.

     Other than looking at this verse as what's promised in heaven there are three perspectives I would like to note. The first is laid out in the hyperlinked verses of the previous paragraph from the New Jerusalem article. Mainly the personal peace and joy of having a bit of heaven inside of you even in the face of a hostile world. The second perspective  is through the lens of the end time prophecy as illuminated by this article.  Comparing the madness, lawlessness, darkness and sufferings of the ancient world to the western world of today. One could also compare the nations in todays world with one another. Those who have had some type of change in their nature due to the Gospel at some point and time verses those who have not. Human suffering is consistently worse in the nations that have had little or no transformative influence from the Gospel verses those who have. The third perspective is to view this is from the vantage point of moral agency. There are and will be generations, peoples, local churches, movements and of course ultimately nations that have and will walk in much greater light than others. These will have these promises fulfilled to a greater degree than those who walk in less light. In other words these promises can be fullfilled in greater measure, say, by one church in comparison to another. By one people in comparison to another.
     As an example lets use the subject of divine healing. There are legitimate churches who rarely if at all experience a real miraculous healing of one of their members. Yet there are others where miracles of this nature are quite normal. This is a simple example to use because of the explicate promise of divine healing in the atonement of Christ. The Bible states that if various conditions are met such as faith, the sins of the individual will be forgiven because of Christ's death on cross. In that same breath of scripture it promises divine healing for our bodies because of his death and resurrection.  In fact there are  sets of verses that directly say this. Please read them as they are strikingly unambiguous. The promise of divine intervention in the health of his people are important promises in light of Revelation 21:4. Much of the sorrow of mankind is tied to sickness, injuries and early and accidental death. Therefore from the vantage point of moral agency, personal or corporate experience in the Christian walk may or may not be a good indicator to judge whether this scripture is being fulfilled in this age. There are many factors that come into play in Gods administration of divine healing. It's the difference between knowing the will and the acts of God verses knowing the ways of God. How much more so if one or a church doesn't even accept that it is the will of God to heal just as well as it is his will to save? Some are insulted by this. To say that they, a church or their pastors are somehow falling short of this promise is very offensive to them. The suggestion that it was not the will of God for someone in their church or a relative who were devout Christians to die of some disease in the prime of their life will cause many to bristle with indignation. Please, lets let reason prevail in this rather than emotions. Is it not standard fare for individuals, pastors and churches to freely admit how short they fall of the glory of God? Does the reader even know of any local churches where the norm is holiness? Well if this is the case why would it be unreasonable to suggest that just as they are falling short of one aspect of the Christian walk they are also falling short of another aspect; Gods promise of divine healing? This is why we are exhorted to ask, seek, knock on the door without giving up. It is nothing but self serving arrogance for humans to claim to have all that God is willing to give.
     In conclusion. This Revelation 21:4 is being fulfilled because it is the same illustrative language that is used in the Old and New Testament concerning the new life one finds in Christ. It is or is being fulfilled by comparing the ancient world to much of the western world today. Then it is being fulfilled through those who by the grace of God found the reality of these promises even though other believers may not have due to circumstances, time or moral agency. 

 

Revelation 21:5 And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” (NET)

 

     This verse is the same as the previous one. "All things being new" is standard New Testament language to describe our walk with Christ. However it is also prophecy of this era that followed the age of the Gentiles. Verses confirming this are found in this hyperlink.

 

Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

     The saying, "it is done," is a reference to what we call "end time prophecy." being fulfilled. Meaning the Age of the First Covenant and then the Age of the Gentiles as prophesied is over.  The rest of the sentence and verses are condensed illustrations of what was to follow: The Messianic Age\The Great Gospel Age\The Age of the New Jerusalem\ect, ect. Unwrapping them a little will show this.
    
6.......I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. This is a standard illustration of the Gospel message that Jesus commanded his followers to preach throughout the whole world. Whoever is willing may receive this "water of life" through Christ as he himself stated in this hyperlink. However, in addition to the water of life given on a personal level this "water of life" is shown in Revelation 22:1-2 and other chapters to have consequences that affect the entire world. Coincidently this is exactly what the next verse, if unfolded, notes: 7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. All true believers inherit eternal life but not all true believers inherit "all things." At least in the sense of all things promised pertaining to this life.  This is a very important doctrinal distinction that needs to be understood. Great schisms in the body of Christ exist today due to the misunderstanding of this distinction. The Apostle Paul addressed this harsh reality of life on planet earth in Hebrews 11:39 And these all, (all the saints, from Abel to Abraham, from Moses to David, to John the Baptist) having testified through their faith, did not receive what was  promised: 40 God furnishing in advance something stronger through us, that without us the promises made to them would not be fulfilled. (Paraphrase.) All of these saints received eternal life. What the vast majority of them did not receive was all of the other things that were promised in this life. Paul correctly understood that all the promises made by God and recorded in his word would be fulfilled somehow via the power of the Gospel. It is very doubtful there was clarity in his mind of any of the details. How could their be?  Jesus however did have clarity on this issue and addressed it in a parable.

       Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say to him, Look, we have left everything, and have followed you. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. Jesus means something specific when he states Matthew 31.But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. The parable about how the the Government of God works that goes with this saying clarifies what that specific thing is: 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. 4 He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. 6 And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ 8 When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give the pay starting with the last hired until the first.’ 9 Then those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. 10 And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. 11 When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ 13 And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. 15 Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” (NET)
     What this parable shows is Jesus's understanding of how this would all work. The labor is the preaching of the Gospel and the influence of the Government of God in the affairs of men. (This mirrors Isaiah's prophecy about beating their swords into plowshare and their spears into pruning hooks.) The brunt of the labor in the heat of the day are various degree's of persecution and hindrances. The standard wage is eternal life. Those who go into an new area first are those who start their work at sun up. They typically suffer the most persecution. Over time, as in  generations, the Gospel takes hold and Gods influence broadens. The persecution becomes lighter. Those who start their labor in the evening are those who preach the Gospel in nations that have already been transformed by it. The later would be likened to those who preach the Gospel in the USA in the 21st century. Can you see the difference between the labors of the first and last and all points in between? The first have little chance of reaping personal earthly good through what they are sowing. The last reap the good that all generations before them sowed. This is specifically what Jesus meant. The first in order are the last in reaping the earthly benefits that are promised by God. The last in order are first, they are "chosen." Chosen in the sense of Gods foreknowledge of events to receive all the promises of God written in his Word. In other words this is a pretty natural process that God is supernaturally and providentially with his people to bring about.  This is why the word "overcome" is used. The opposition by Satan and those he influences has to be overcome overtime.
     Lets look at the friction between various groups of Christians because of a lack of understanding this process. On one extreme are some Word of Faith people. Many times some of them do recognize the inevitability of the sufferings of Gods saints that go into a new area void of Gods influence. Most live in an era and in nations filled with Gods influence and the rule of law that provides them multiple opportunities to apprehend many promises of God through faith. Many do not even remember the sufferings of the last generation that brought them the message of faith, healing and prosperity. Then there is another subgroup of Word\ Faith some refer to as Dominionism. These have correctly recognized many promises in scripture where Gods saints "rule" or "have dominion" in the earth. What they fail to apprehend is the way these scriptures are fullfilled. As an example of this: They may pronounce and pray that God is going to take the wealth of the wicked and give it to the saints. Or that he will put the reigns of Government in the hands of Christians. It seems that to them these will be supernatural occurrences based on many prophecies pointed out in this article. Yet for instance: How will God give the reigns of Government over to believers if they do not run for office and beat the wicked at their own game? It won't happen. In fact, it won't happen if believers don't work harder and wiser at it than the wicked. Even when God is with them their will be much failure and trial! So how can this happen if it's not a matter of course for believers and churches to aid and abet Christians to run for office? The polar opposite is the unfortunate reality at present.  Mere hundreds of believers run for political office. Only thousands are prepared for political appointments of trust. For Christians to really fulfill these prophecies tens of thousands would have to regularly run for office. This would just have to become a normal function of Christianity and churches. So therefore the Dominionist faith is unfounded because it doesn't apprehend the means which God would  use to accomplish his will. Face it which is easier: Believing something will come to pass supernaturally and pronouncing and praying it? Or, bringing change to the way Christians view the future and what their duties are; then shepherding it to fulfillment over a generation or two? Same thing goes for the wealth issue. If believers are not going to do what it takes to be on corporate boards or CEO's of large corporations. If they are not going to create these corporations in the first place then how will all this wealth come into their hands? The answer is it will not, that is not the way of God and it is not what these prophecies mean. Yes God will be with his people and do miracles for them. That is not substitute though for hard and inventive work ; for vision and the creation of wealth.
      Now conversely many other groups of Christians don't acknowledge the promises of God for the generations that reap the good that previous generations sowed. To them this wealth and influence has to be "another Gospel" because Jesus and his followers did not possess these promises, (nor could they.) They also act as if the prosperity of the western world is some kind of anomaly. Something akin to the wicked wealth of ancient Rome. Some may teach the America is surely the Babylon of Scripture. They are ignorant of the wickedness of the ancient world and therefore see only the evil of the modern world. Therefore to them judgment is coming at any moment and their vision for the future is apocalyptic. They believe that true Christians always under all circumstances suffer like those in the Bible. They point to thier brethren in the developing world that are suffering persecution. They fail to realize that those in the  developing world are the first to bring the light of the Gospel to their nations so of course they will suffer as those did in the scripture.  Hopefully the reader can discern the truth is somewhere in between these two extreme and divisive views.  Healing, understanding, and ultimately fellowship are based in a balanced viewpoint of scripture.

     The last part of the verse in this Gospel era again are just the results of rejecting the call of God and\or the Gospel. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

       Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come over here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

     Again the New Jerusalem is illustratively referred to as the bride of Christ which is standard biblical metaphor in these scriptures.  Hosea chapter 2:19-23 is not only a prophecy about the bride of Christ. It is probably one of the most beautiful prophecies in the Bible.

      Hosea 2: 19. And I will betroth you unto me forever; yes, I will betroth you unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. 20. I will even betroth you unto me in faithfulness: and you shall know the Lord. 21. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, says the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22. And the earth shall hear the grain, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel (God will sow). 23. And I will sow her unto me into the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, you are my people; and they shall say, You art my God.( Romans 9:24-26)
     See how the New Jerusalem is "sowed" into the earth. They are not taken to heaven. Gods people are "sowed" into the earth to bring a harvest of not just souls, but righteousness and justice. Gods wife is sown into the earth to bear spiritual children. The Apostle Paul in the hyperlinked Romans 9 quoted Hosea 2:23 as a reference to the believers he was ministering too. The grain, wine and oil hyperlinked are standard New Testament figures of speech. It is prophesied that the earth, the nations they will hear, take heed to what God is sowing. The other part of Revelation 21:10,
"the great and high mountain" is most likely a reference to Daniel's very first vision. The stone (Jesus) destroyed the Roman Empire then became a great mountain the filled the whole earth. Also it would reference Mount Zion which in these prophecies was symbolic of all of this.

 

 Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like a precious stone, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

 

     The word glory means "as very apparent." Someone likened it to "a state of existence."  There are many prophecies about the glory of the Lord being with (and in) his people. These ones were chosen because they are direct references to the Great Gospel Age.

 

 Revelation 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

     Ephesians 2 18. For through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19. Now therefore you (Gentiles) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21. In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into an holy temple in the Lord: 22. In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

Revelation 21:15 The angel who spoke to me had a golden measuring rod with which to measure the city and its foundation stones and wall. 16 Now the city is laid out as a square, its length and width the same. He measured the city with the measuring rod at fourteen hundred miles (its length and width and height are equal). 17 He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits according to human measurement, which is also the angel’s. (NET)

 

     The measurements of this representational city are taken two ways. One would contain somewhat close to entire atmosphere of the earth in volume. The smaller measurement if the city had levels or stories of 20 feet would contain twice the surface are of the globe in square miles. Outside of the absurdities of a 325 mile high city on the planet, not to speak of a 1500 mile high one which in and of itself should alert the readers of Revelation that this is not a physical city. What would it mean? What is being communicated by a picture of something so large? Most likely the size and scope of the Government of God on the planet sooner or later. Not meaning necessarily a utopian time period but that all nations will feel it's influence on and off throughout the future. Some nations that would be considered founded on the principles of the Word of God and the Bible may fall away while their neighbors come to God and visa versa. Exactly as we have seen thus far since the Roman empire was destroyed. Keeping in mind that a couple of billion people have not even heard the Gospel. Plus it not been allowed to run it's full course in the part of the world that is just now accepting it. This gives consideration to moral agency and the wisdom of God to work with mankind in ways that bring real fruit. This will be discussed in greater detail when the article goes back to chapter 20 of Revelation. Remember the first vision in the book of Daniel 2:34. You looked until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. 35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

 

Revelation 21:18 The city’s wall is made of jasper and the city is pure gold, like transparent glass. 19 The foundations of the city’s wall are decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation is jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls – each one of the gates is made from just one pearl! The main street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass. (NET)

 

     Remembering that these verses are semi direct quotes about the New Jerusalem from Isaiah that directly say the New Jerusalem is Gods people and not a physical city. This part of the picture probably has lots of symbolism attached to it that there are books already written about. There is perhaps something more notable though about this symbolism that fits right into the natural effects of nations who's "God is the Lord;" that have already been coming to pass. This would be the unparalleled creation of wealth in nations that follow the rule of law as guided by the principles found in the Word of God. In the pagan nations of the ancient world there was certainly no lack of wealth, that is, among the emperors and their supporters. One must remember how this wealth was attained. For the most part it was taken from those who created it. Basically gangsterism in the guise of human government. In that world you had the opulently wealthy connected to the rulers, a small middle class and the great masses who live in poverty or slavery. Somewhat similar to nations in the modern world that have not been touched by the Gospel nor influenced by the rule of law of displayed in those nations. Contrast this to the nations that have been under some influence of the Government of God. Not only these but the nations who are pressured by them or voluntarily institute basic rules of law. What we see is the creation of unimaginable levels of wealth available to large majorities of the population. Just the availability of food and clothing  for instance would be incomprehensible to the world where famines where (or are) common place. The means of transportation, and the ability to move freight. Metropolises that comfortably house tens of millions. Hundreds of thousands of retail outlets and warehouses. Dictators in third world nations have to lie to the people they have enslaved that there is even such a thing as a supermarket or Walmart in free nations just to keep control over them. More striking than this though is that majorities of the populations in these free nations are middle class. That they can in fact guide the affairs of state by virtue of their combined wealth and numbers is monumental. Some might object and say this is the result of science and the agricultural\industrial\technological revolutions and not some thing God did. The answer to that is yes that is correct but: Do you think God did not see this and speak of it through his prophets just as he has spoken of everything else thousands of years before those things came to pass? Furthermore, one only has to look at the horrendous poverty and  famines in the world. That these are not just happenstance problems. These are directly tied to despotic human government and the lack of light in the hearts of many populations to have it any other way. Nations have to have some measure of liberty and virtue via Gods help to create an atmosphere for these revolutions to take place. So are there prophecies associated with the New Jerusalem, the Great Gospel Age or the era of the Government of God that say this? Of course there are, shown in this hyperlink.

      Another factor in this is who Bible Prophecy says builds this illustrative city. Isaiah 60:10 And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall serve you...Further they illustratively build it with: 17.17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron.

 

Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple there: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

 

     This was subject was covered in the comments regarding Revelation 21:3 Temple means dwelling place. In this verse coupled with verse three. The city, Gods people, is the dwelling place of God. Furthermore in this verse the emphasis is that the city, Gods people, dwell in God and the lamb.

 

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light of it.

 

     It should be common sense that the reason there is no need of sun nor moon is because this is not a physical city. Revelation 21:23 is directly quoting these verses in Isaiah that once more show this is referencing the age we live in.

 

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

 

     The word "saved" is a generic term in the Bible. What a person or people is saved from depends on the context of the verse and chapter the word is being used in. It is impossible for a whole nation or race of people to be saved from punishment in the next life for the deeds done in this. Impossible that a whole nation or race of people are willing to accept the faith that saves from hell. The nations that are "saved" then spoken of in this verse is predicting salvation from the maladies' of the ancient world. This is exactly what has come to pass in the nations that have already been saved from the destructive abominations that dominated the cultures in the earth of yesteryear. The verse is simple to understand. Geographical nations and peoples who conduct their affairs according to the light of the Gospel and the principles of Gods Word because of the believers in their midst; because of the light of the New Jerusalem.  These are saved from the consequences that unbridled sin, darkness and demons would lead them into. Therefore as long as they walk in at least a measure of the light that shines from this heavenly city, Gods people. They will remain saved or preserved.
     There are two ways one might safely look at the second half of this verse. One is to look at it in a way that employs some of the illustrative language of the Bible. That Gods people are descriptively called kings and priests.
Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father..... The other has been and will continue to come to pass. In this transition period that occurred since the fall of the Roman Empire. (1453 A.D.) Many kings and rulers became real believers. Don't mistake that there is an insinuation in that sentence that all the kings and rulers who called themselves Christians were in fact truly saved and heaven bound. Jesus said that real Christians can be known by their conduct, not by what they claim to be. The kings and rulers referred to here voluntarily and benevolently gave up their power and set their nations on the path to freedom and self rule. Even today this is a continuing phenomena. This is also the preferred course of heaven. When the people of a nation come into a measure of belief and conduct from the light that emanates from the New Jerusalem. That the rulers of that nation come into that light themselves. Then, that these rulers because of that light, voluntarily give up their power and set that nation on a path to self rule. In case the reader just does not realize this. This phenomena has been the path this world is on in the past few centuries. The world went from zero representative republic's. From zero democracies. From zero freedoms for all the people to well over a hundred since the Roman Empire fell. Some came through war. Some came through the preferred method of heaven described a few sentences ago. Most came through a little of both. This is the true revolution as there are many false ones led by the wicked who reject the rule of Christ in their own personal lives. Keep in mind that outside of ancient Israel and small transition periods of the ancient world there was no such thing as what we have today. No freedom, no light and power to secure that freedom and hold on to it through self governance.
     This world wide revolution slams the satanically inspired idea that the world is getting worse and worse leading to an apocalyptic end. That inspiration is of this world, not from God and not from his Holy Word. How did Christians as a whole to have accepted this radical falsehood? Teachings that past generations of believers considered outside the faith; and why not? They lived through the transition of kingdoms to representative government. From tyranny to freedom. It was something they saw with their own eyes. They played their part, carried their batons in concert with the Almighty to bring it to pass. For so many Christians today to be so utterly blind to this history of the world is astounding. Yet understandable when one looks at the concerted effort of  wicked and corrupt men to create and use government run educational systems to manipulate the population for their personal benefit and their insatiable appetites for power. The very aim of this article is to destroy this power the devil has to manipulate believers into sleep and inaction regarding the will of God and the future course of mankind.

 

Revelation 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honor (or wealth) of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no way enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever work's abominations, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

 

     The reason the gates are not shut is because as long as this earth continues there will  be the proclamation of the Gospel and therefore people will always be being saved. That is illustratively, entering into the city. Of course those who continue in their sin will not be allowed through it's gates.

 

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

 

     The symbolism in this is pretty common for both the New and Old Testaments. Jesus said in John 7:38 He that trusts on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.......Or John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Get me a drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water. 11 The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water? 1...... 13 Jesus answered and said to her, Who ever drinks of this water shall thirst again: 14 But who ever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and carved out water tanks, broken water tanks, that can hold no water.

    It's pretty evident from these and the mass of scripture in the form of prophecies that this river that comes out of the New Jerusalem is a pictorial illustration in vision form, of the Gospel through the Holy Spirit. It goes forth from Gods people into the earth and transforms thereby "healing" the nations. This is not the only vision of this. Ezekiel received a similar vision.

 

Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

 

Keep in mind that the place that there is no more curse is within the city walls and not outside them. Meaning, there is no more curse for the believer. Furthermore, consider that this is not a prophecy of  what is or what will be in an absolute way.  It's a prophecy of what will be and is available. Remember there is moral agency involved in people's lives and their churches. There are also circumstances outside the control of individuals and churches. The gates to this city are open continuously. It is truly God's will that as many people as possible find their way to a place where the words, "There shall be no more curse," is fulfilled in their lives and churches in a practical way. The place where what has been given and done already through the blood of the lamb becomes reality in the life of the believer and their assemblies.

 

Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

 

     Again, there are varying degrees at which this can be fulfilled. Some believers reign over sin. Some have not had time to find out how. Others do not even consider that this is possible. Likewise some believers reign over sickness and diseases. Some have their prayers answered about these things periodically and some are totally dependent on mankind's methods. (Which are becoming quite phenomenal.) If and since this is so and for the reasons it it so. Then the same is true of their influence in their nations. Some have little and some are totally defeated by the forces of evil. Some have more than equal footing and in some nations Christians are or have been the dominate influence in forming the ideals and opinions of the people and in the founding of their governments.
Look one more time at what Daniel foretold: Daniel: 13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man (The Messiah) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed....... 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever......27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. Then look at how Jesus tells his followers exactly how this will all be accomplished! : Matthew 29:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go  therefore, and teach all nations,..... 20 Teaching them to observe all things what so ever I have commanded you: Jesus said to teach everyone, to make disciples of nations! This is how the  prophesied Government of God gains its dominion in the earth. Not by physical conquest. Not by government coercion. But by "people who are volunteers in the day of his power" (Psalm 110) People who preach and teach not just the Gospel about Jesus Christ but also the good news about the Government of God! Someone may object saying: "The whole world won't be saved! We can't change the course of nations and stop evil people from running the world." We can't alter the personnel and political choices people make." Well dear friends. Perhaps God is a little more confident than you are about what he can and can't do with his creation. Evidently he is so confident in his abilities and in getting himself volunteers who will lay down their lives for him that he prophesied this thousands of years ago. The Bible agrees with you in this respect though: 1st Corinthians 2:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. So, it's true the the Bible does say that mere words, even if they are true and even if they are wise have little effect. So little as a matter of fact that they can render the cross of Christ ineffectual. Meaning, people will not even be saved if your gospel is communicated with mere words. If people are to actually find the faith that saves then it will be through the power of God and not just words, as the next verse says. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. Indicating, those who have really been saved, who's light came from God himself. Their experience is with the power of God and not just words they believed and others affirm. To further this the apostle said: 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. This then is the crux of the issue. Does your faith lie in persuasive words or does it lie in the power of God? This isn't to demean persuasive words and arguments. Gods people should use persuasive words and arguments. Does the faith that you claim saves you lie in those words alone though or has the God who created heaven and earth verified those words to you with his power? That power is same physical power that  raised Jesus from the dead. Is your faith built around the story of the cross alone or is it built on the physical power that resurrected him now working in your life? As an example of this. There are believers who have rarely or have never seen others come to Christ through their witness.  Others as a matter of course see many people come to Christ through their witness; and every point in between. All of these may share the same commitment to God and winning souls. Not always but usually, the difference is the physical power of God working in the lives of some but not working in the lives of others.
     Now transpose this to changing the politics of a nation.  First off. The majority believe that this has little to do with  calling of pastors and believers to "win the world for Christ." This is  tantamount to the great debate that raged a few centuries ago. A majority, actually thought that the idea of bringing the Gospel to the heathen was outrages. They said if God wants to save the heathen he will without our help. So the heathen went unsaved until a few began to do what they knew to be right. They went to "heathen" with the Gospel. Now there are far more of them are believers than in the western world. In practice and results there is no difference between that, and Christians not involving themselves in changing the politics of their nations. If they do not teach their nations right from wrong, wisdom from foolishness, selfishness from service and truth from lies. If they do not endeavor as a matter of course to disciple their nation in the practice of politics and republican forms of government.  Then just as the heathen remained unsaved, so the wicked will run the show. If you pastor\teacher, evangelist and prophet. If the apostles of our Lord and all of his people preach only the good news about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross but leave out the good news of the Government of God. Then only half of what God called us to do is being done. Is the western world falling away from Christ? Are leftists in power and bringing the nations to ruin? Are western governments filled with the spirit of antichrist threatening to completely tear down all that their Christian ancestors have built? If this is so then believer's and those who call themselves ministers of the Gospel have one question to ask themselves. "What have we done!"  Instead they have asked is: "Is this the end times!" The illustration of Gods people "reigning forever and ever" cannot be fulfilled in a people who do not labor with the almighty in that arena. Nor can they overcome the opposition against them without the power of God working in them. It is available to them if they humble themselves and accept end time prophecy for what it really teaches rather than the fable's that have been used to steer them from Gods will and their duties. It's available to them if they will prepare themselves and show themselves approved in this arena of spiritual life. It's available to them if they humble themselves with fasting and prayer that they may truly gain the power of God to persuade the un-persuadable and to turn the wicked from his way. You do not need to win a majority of a people to Christ to "rule and reign." Although this would certainly make it easier.  You do however need to persuade a majority through teaching them concerning their politics. Their "values" as it were. A population  can be persuaded as to what's right and wrong. To what's acceptable and not acceptable. The accepted standards of human behavior  can be raised out of the gutter, it's been done before. Dare any believer say it cannot. Gods people ruling and reigning is defined by the Word of God as their principles, their values and their standards being accepted by the population of the nations they live in. "How far can you take this," one might ask? "To what degree can this be fulfilled." Well, it was not to long ago that you could not be elected to a political office if you were an adulterer. People understood that adulterers and fornicators were generally untrustworthy. Do you think this could never be the case again? Using this example then. If a population had enough light that they would not even consider electing an adulterer or fornicator to an office of trust. That would be Gods people ruling and reigning. That's simple to understand is it not? True, there are giants in the land. They have always been there though. We face nothing worse in our generation than what those who went before us faced. Take heart, God is with and for his people and their righteousness.

 

Revelation 22:6 And he said to me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show to his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, Do not do that: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

 

     There are many subjects in these verses.  Focusing on one of the parts that articulate the practical nature of real prophecy, the blessing of it.  This blessing is a gift to show those who can interpret it correctly what can reasonably be expected during their lifetimes. For instance. In the last two and a half millennia. Any generation during this time, if they had access to these prophecies and had access to a proper understanding of them. They would have been able to locate where they were in the timeline of them. For an example the Apostle Paul, because of his understanding of what was going to take place in his day wrote to churches that it's of God and a good thing to get married. However, considering the circumstances, it's not wise to get married and have children at this time. This was because he was a prophet amongst many other prophets who were told of the persecution coming their way. Persecution is far more difficult on those who are married and have children than those who are single. Jesus told many of his generation to sell all they had and give to the poor. His church in Jerusalem did just that. This was because of the war that was coming to Judea. Jesus was instructing them on how they might escape perishing in that war using "heavenly" means. In Revelation 13:21 The saints are told about the futility of following or become freedom fighters against the Roman Empire. It warns them that the chances of success are nil.  They may be in the right and it's the will of God for them to be free but it will fail.  Like wise to those who have an ear to hear. We are told in this age, the one after that the Roman Empire fell 1453 A.D., that our (well-informed) efforts will generally, not always, but generally be successful. Does the reader see the practical nature of real prophecy in this? If so do you see the nature of false prophecy also? False prophecy by the "prophets and teachers of the Lord" is designed to get the hearers to put their trust in something that will not come to pass. To labor or to not labor in a way that in the end will destroy them. In the case of End Time Prophecy as this article is laying out. The popular but false prophecy teachings by true or specious Christians are inspiring believers to not labor in area's that if they did; they may very well overcome much evil in this world. They do this by teaching, (in some instances.) That the prophesied Kingdom of God is a visible kingdom rather than the one pointed out in this article. They then go on to teach that the evil you see will inevitably get worse as the Bible, (they say) prophesies. The effect of this is spiritual apathy in some, (but not all) area's of life. The biggest example of this apathy would be to ignore, or worse, think of as unscriptural, the clear cut will of God for his people to work towards the establishment and maintenance of republican forms of representative government in the earth. Please keep in mind this author is not advocating the lessening of the work of winning souls. What he is advocating is that the natural effect of winning souls (if allowed) to run it's full course is the establishment of good and limited human government.  Look at it this way. In western world, Christians have an unemployment rate of about 85% in the Kingdom of God. Why don't we employ a bunch of these believers in the business of  being law makers, sheriffs, judges, lawyers, bureaucrats and such? What else do they have to do? What, do you think they exist to work so they can support your so very important "earth shaking" ministry dear pastor? Or does it scare you that for you to actually be an effective minister to those who occupy or seek to occupy public offices of trust; you might have to become far more in Christ than you are now?
    

10 And he said to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and who ever loves and makes a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And who ever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

      There has been a lot of talk concerning the last couple of verses of the book of Revelation. Allot of talk that is, but unfortunately very little action. It seems as if it is nothing for an ignorant young person to graduate from ministry school, accept a pastors job and teach culturally popular end time prophecy teachings. Why not, everyone else is? All the while these teachings do little else but add to and take away from the book of Revelation. Little does the modern teacher know how detrimental these teachings have been to the cause of Christ. Is this what these verses are directly talking about? Interpretations that are so wrong that they add to or take away the meaning of these prophecies. Probably not. The child of God should be hyper sensitive to even the thought of leading others others astray. When it comes to telling others what lie's in the future. It can become a matter of life or death. Even for multitudes.

 


The End of the Timeline

        If one looks at End Time Prophecy as a timeline. Making Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon the starting point. It ends with the prophesied Government of God saturating the whole earth. It uses many different illustrations to prophesy this scenario filling in various details as time went on. The New Jerusalem is the end of the timeline. By design it also happens to be the easiest part of the timeline to interpret. The reason for this is it uses the most common Biblical symbolism's and illustrations. Illustrations that are easily grasped, even by those who are not totally immersed in the scripture. Furthermore it has dozens of chapters throughout the scripture verifying it's meaning. It also requires no understanding of history which is an absolute requirement for much of end time prophecy. All you need is the Bible itself.  It could even be stated that if someone wants to understand "end time" Bible Prophecy. They should start at the end, with the New Jerusalem.
     Trusting that the reader read the last section of the article about the New Jerusalem. It's safe to assume that most who carefully have are coming to this realization. That this New Jerusalem, properly understood, disqualifies most of the commonly held teachings that the largest part of believers consider Biblical.  The end of the timeline declares that the New Jerusalem is an illustration of God's people in an era when the Government of God changes the world for the better. On top of this it clarifies what "for the better" is. It's not a utopian age from the imaginations of disgruntled peoples living in the free countries of the western world. It's certainly not heaven or the "next life." The prophecy's are contrasting the ancient world dominated by the great sin of  despotic idolatry and its abominable practice's to a world greatly influenced by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An era where God's righteousness is held up as the accepted standard for human behavior throughout the whole earth. This does not preclude great evil being yet present. It does preclude that the darkness of the ancient world will ever rule the whole planet again. This very plain, very bland, simplistic explanation, (to simple for many,) is what Revelation 20 fits into. Since the meaning of the end of the timeline is so easily seen. We can now go back to Revelation 20 with a logical rational.

 


Revelation 20

     Revelation 20 uses some pictorial illustrations that are not common in the Bible. Maybe even some that are unique. For this reason, taken alone, it makes it very hard to comprehend. Little wonder then that in a world where sensationalism based on current events passes for sound Biblical teachings; it's almost predictable that one of the most difficult chapters to interpret would be one of the most cited. It's actually almost used to determine the varied viewpoints of pop culture prophecy.  This is why it was skipped until the article could go to the end of the timeline. As stated in the last section. A proper grasp of the New Jerusalem completely rules out the way most of the various end time beliefs use Revelation 20. When there is something where the meaning is so  perfectly clear, like the New Jerusalem along with many other prophecies about the Great Gospel Age. Then it's safe to say that something so unclear as Revelation 20 should fit inside that bigger picture that is clear. It should compliment it. It can not contradict it. Revelation 21-22 illustrates a time period where all of the promises of God ever made in the Bible concerning life on earth are being fulfilled in many of his people's lives and circumstances. The New Jerusalem is a pictorial illustration of the very promise made to Abraham. "Through your descendant, all the nations of the earth will be blessed."  It's all so very simple. What the Bible said will come to pass is coming to pass. The nations of the world are slowly but surely being influenced by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the conduct of those influenced by it.  If you understand what the ancient world use to be like. If you are not ignorant, brainwashed or in denial about it. If you can grasp how abominable it was. How insane, dysfunctional and how people who desired good really never had a chance. Then you are a candidate to understand the great thing God has done in the earth that you, are a beneficiary of!  Further you can grasp how it's the duty of believers and all who will work with them to bring these great blessings to descendants of those who have not yet tasted of them. After all they were brought to you, by those who went before.
     How does this all tie in with Revelation 20? It's simple really. Revelation chapter 20 just like Revelation 21-22 comes after the fall of the Roman Empire. Therefore. If one can see that Revelation 21-22 is what has been happening. Or at  least starting to happen in the grand scheme of things since 1453 A.D. Then logically that would mean that Revelation 20 is also happening, or starting to happen since that Age of the Gentiles ended. This article will attempt to show that this is indeed the case. This will be a very difficult part of this article to understand. It will require some intense thought. Like exercise, it may be unpleasant for some who are not use to it. Don't let that dissuade you though. Ultimately it will be good for you.
     Revelation 20 contains prophecy, but it also contains doctrine in picture form. Not only this, some of this doctrine in picture form is seemingly more relevant to this age than to the age it was written in. The doctrine or teachings are in the New (and Old) Testaments. However not allot of chapter and verse is spent on it. The reason for this is that Jesus and the writers of the New Testament were speaking to generations that were facing intense persecutions. The loss of everything at best and martyrdom at worst. This of course is no different today for those who bring the Gospel to people it has not touched before. Yet it is there and the apostles and churches were able to walk in it to the degree it was applicable to their age. The difference is the applicability of it. There are steps the Government of God needs to take as far as effect is concerned. For instance. It could not deal with the institution of slavery until it dealt with idolatry and despotism first. Or, just like. We cannot have republican forms of representative government without the morality the Gospel brings to hearts. The wicked (as we see) figure out very quickly how to use democratic elections to manipulate their way into power. Once they are in power it becomes hard to dislodge them. One more prime example of this was in regards to the Roman Empires success in hindering the government of God for 1400 years. It could not be overcome without the ability to get the written Word of God into the hands of common men cheaply and efficiently. This of course happened with the invention of the printing press right at the same time the Roman Empire fell. (Just think of what the information age means to the future!)  So first things first. 

 

      Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they 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 for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall 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. 9 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. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

     The way this article has been written is to use a allot of scriptures up front to explain a section of prophecy. For Revelation 20 the opposite will be done. The interpretation will be listed first and then there will be sections about each part using scripture to explain the interpretation.  None of these interpretations offered are to be understood as events. The reader may believe that Revelation 20 are events, but help you understanding what this article is trying to say. None of  the authors interpretations of any of these verses are portraying a past, present or future event.  It's portraying these verses as illustrations of actualities. Pictorial representations of things that are and will continue to be.
1. Satan being bound illustrates his loss of influence and control over mankind.
2. The thousand years illustrates the eternal Government of God.
3. The judgment given to the saints and them reigning represents the growing influence the truth that came through them has on all of mankind.
4. The first resurrection illustrates eternal life found in Christ.
5. The second death and the rest of the dead not living until the thousand years are expired represents all those who do not belong to Christ.
6. The end of the thousand years and Satan being loosed represents nations and people who are under Satan's influence.
7. Gog and Magog illustrate the nations and peoples who seek to stop the growth of the Government of God, and their attempts to destroy it.
8.  Fire coming down from heaven represents the defeat including militarily of those who seek to destroy Gods influence. The influenced include nations who are to varying degree's influenced by the Gospel.
9. The lake of fire represents the destruction of Satan's work in the earth. 
10. The judgment is the judgment that is already written and that all of mankind is already subject to.
11. The dead illustrate the condition all of mankind. 
11. The sea illustrates all nations.
12. The sea giving up it's dead illustrates the work of the Gospel  saving souls in all nations.
13. Death and hell represent the power\influence Satan had over men to destine most of mankind to death and hell giving up it's "dead" to salvation through the Gospel.
14.  Every man being judged according to his own works illustrates a new paradigm in God's dealing with the sins of mankind.
15. Death and hell being cast into the lake of  fire illustrates the grace of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ destiny altering work in the earth.
16. Those not found in the book of life are those who do not belong to Christ.

    


How is Satan is Bound

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    This is one of the Biblical teachings alluded to that seems more applicable in this age rather than the age when the Bible was being written. It's not so much applicability as it is the visible effects of it when applied. Lets look at some New Testament teachings along these lines. Jesus said: Matthew 16:19 And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Here are examples of this in dealing just with the spiritual world and demons with Christians and non Christians.  Africa today as all cultures have, is coming out of paganism and idolatry. Here is a testimony of someone who has been there a few times. They were warned by certain Pentecostal missionaries that they would see satanic displays when he went there. The African pastors of the churches they taught at said the same. Even showing movies about it. This person had many decades of experience working through the complexities of spiritual things though.  Luke 10:19 had become a hard core reality in their life Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. . In fact they had learned that Satan's only power over believers was deception. If something was happening that was demonic in origin. If that was found out. Then the issue was over with. Most of the time no words have to even be spoken. Just the fact that something had been happening, and it came to light that it was of demonic origin. That was enough to not only have power over that aspect of the spiritual world but have complete power over the adverse circumstances. In it's most basic form God had shown time and time again that the only power demons have over believers and people in general is not what God gives the demons but what the believer and people give them. Be it though ignorance or sin. (Just think of the Garden of Eden.) So in this particular individuals life Satan has to be hidden to get away with anything.  If he gets away with anything. Whether circumstantially or directly influencing the person it's because he successfully remained hidden. So this person respectfully told everyone no, they will see nothing when they goes to Africa. In fact they taught about these things in their church's. What was taught  was that because people are open to these demonic manifestations, that is why they see them. If indeed they have power over demons which many of them did. Then these manifestations are happening because they have literally been deceived into allowing them in their lives. They have "loosed" these demons in heaven to manifest themselves because they loosed them (in their own hearts) to do these things on earth . You see, they have been deceived into believing this is normal and the way things are. They, the ones with power over the demons and by extension everyone else are permitting these manifestations.  So, if through the redemptive work of Christ they see this deception and "bind" this activity on earth. That is, in their hearts, accept a new reality. It will be bound in heaven and not happen anymore. They need not go through any prayers of binding demons and such. As a matter of fact, how can you with words,  "bind" what you are permitting in your heart in the first place? The answer to that is you cannot. To bring the point home it was explained to them that in the United States people who are open to these types of demonic manifestations usually don't see satyrs and other pagan things. The "sophisticated " westerner see's aliens and UFO's. Some are "abducted" and have the same weird sexual experimentation done on them as done in Africa.  Same demons deceiving hearts that are in different paradigms. Indeed it took a few years but the fruit of this truth put an end to "seeing" all of this witchcraft and manifestations for some of these pastors. In fact one of them spoke angrily about the Pentecostal missionaries still telling people who are going to Africa that they will see these manifestations.  Now keep in mind this is a national phenomena in lands like this. Everything is blamed on witchcraft amongst the unsaved and even many believers. What happens if the populations as a whole completely rid their hearts of the things that allow these manifestations? That question leads to the next scripture.

     Jesus as part of training his followers to do what he was doing sent 70 of them out to teach, preach, heal the sick and cast out demons. When they returned from their hands on training this conversation occurred. Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name. 18 And he said to them, I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Jesus's response was highlighting a few things. He was prophesying the eventual demise of Satan's influence over mankind that apparently he just had a vision of. That was also verification from God his father about how the preaching of the Gospel would be the method God uses to spread his government. He was also teaching his disciples about the results of  the ministry they just finished. That because of what they just shared with the people they ministered to by example and teaching. Satan's influence over those people was just dealt a horrible blow. The darkness that Satan used to cloud their hearts and governed what they believed and accepted just had the light of God shined on it. Many hearts had just been changed. Many beliefs have been altered or done away with. Truths hitherto unknown or unclear have just been accepted. Satan who had a place in those hearts through that darkness would now have much greater difficulty finding a way to manipulate them.  Now lets take what happened in that small scale with this story in Luke 10:17 and apply it to what occurred three to four centuries later.

     As stated before. The government of the Roman Empire completely and officially revolved around abominable idolatrous practices. This was handed down over the centuries from the time shortly after Noah's flood. These practices had not been permitted to satanically fully develop like it had in the land of Canaan of the Bible or the America's. The reason for this lack of running it's full course in an insane downward spiral was very simply, Moses. The influence of the Government of God through ancient Israel and then the  Israelites dispersed throughout that world tempered it. So instead of the sacrificing tens of thousands (if not millions) of human beings on the alters of their gods. Also, eating their bodies, and the involvement of unspeakable sexual practices with this. As occurred in Canaan, the America's and undoubtedly other parts of the world. The Romans contented themselves with a total immersion into the gods of that world apart from the human sacrifice and the madness that revolved around it. This didn't stop them from adopting just about every other idolatrous practice known to mankind from the emperors on down. It was a world that is unrecognizable to us today. Even the India of today, the land of a million Gods, would not compare. The practices of the hard core idolaters are not being used by a despotic government to control the population at present. Not that there are not some who wouldn't like it that way. So. When you have the most powerful men in the world consulting animal entrails to show them what actions they should take. When a class of government civil servants are trained in such nonsense as reading of the stars and omens. When priests from these "mystery's" are in the employment of the elite. Satan is the dominate influence. Just as the scripture said in Revelation 13:2....and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
      It was in this backdrop that the early believers struck out into. They were persecuted, chased, murdered and eventually total extermination was attempted. Within a few centuries they won the hearts and minds of so many people in the Roman Empire that the idolaters lost their place of influence in society. Even the emperors forsook it. Not that these emperors who claimed themselves now to be Christians were really converted. In fact to secure their empire they took over the movement that destroyed the influence of the idolaters. They instituted an imperial church to control believers and their work. They used the ancient religious framework of Rome to fashion the institutional design of  imperial church. Although many rituals and rites, holidays  and gods were "Christianized." Christian labels attached to pagan rites, rituals and holidays. The abominable practices of the idolaters were mostly done away with. No more reading of animal entrails. The idea that sex with anything, man, woman, beast, or child being acceptable was completely destroyed. The perverse sexual practices that were the norm of the ancient world were no longer approved.  Not that many did not still practice these crimes but they were not recognized by society as anything but sinful degenerate behavior. This is what Jesus meant that he saw Satan fall as lightning from heaven. Satan was losing his influence piece by piece.  In one area of life after another. He was "bound" because men no longer consented to certain things they accepted and believed previously. Satan cannot work through areas of the heart that have rejected darkness and accepted light.
      Now simply transpose this to todays world. Certain things that had been established since the world began have little or no place in the minds and hearts of whole populations. Such as the idea of idolatry, kings and slavery. In fact whole populations have replaced some of the most  diabolical lies with Biblical truth's. Thereby limiting Satan's influence over them in specific area's. He is bound, that is, unless he gets loose. Which will be what another section of Revelation 20 is about.  However, these simple truths are "the keys of the kingdom of heaven." The Gospel preached, taught and accepted either in truth or in principle by majorities of populations is how the prophesied Kingdom of God fills the whole earth. By the words "in truth." It is meant that a significant minority of a population become true believers. By the words "in principle." It is meant that another significant minority may not become believers; but they accept the principles of the Bible for human behavior, relationships and government as their standard. These two groups forming a solid majority in a culture can (and have) effectively bound Satan's ability work in their land. Meaning Satan no longer has a place in their hearts to operate as he did in the ancient world. Not that he isn't always active, probing and working to create that place once more. Nor is it meant that he has no influence whatsoever. A good question may be, to what degree has this worked in worked in the past?  If the past can be an indication and a benchmark. Then in theory anyway, we might speculate about degree's of influence in the future.

1 John 2:14  I have written to you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

 


A Thousand Years?

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

     As far as this author knows at this time. There are not even a few verses that that use similar illustrations of "a thousand years" in any similar context. Nor is there any interpretation offered by the scripture. This basically leaves us dry as far as being able to conclusively decode exactly what a thousand years is representing. We just do not have a body of scripture that does this for us. If talking explicitly about the reign of the Messiah. "Forever" is the general term used in describing a time period concerning the Government of God. Daniel 7:14. And there was given him (the Messiah) an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. It's probably pretty safe to say that the term forever includes earth + heaven. Meaning the planet will not continue on forever but since the messiah and his saints populate heaven when they leave earth his reign will continue forever.  None of that really helps though. This means having to look at this in it's context to come up with a plausible explanation. It's easier to sometimes to look at what it can't mean first before what it might mean.
      Looking at it as someone who considers themselves a "prophecy literalist" might. According to the chronology of this all evil and evil doers including the devil and his demons are imprisoned (or destroyed) forever. This occurs after a time period that in their case would be of a thousand years or so.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall 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. 9 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. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ......14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Yet this is not plausible for a couple of  reasons. According to them a new or renewed planet is then created. This new planet has as it's capitol a heavenly city. Yet as abundantly shown in the section of the New Jerusalem big time evil exists outside the gates of this city that's on the earth. Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and who ever loves and makes a lie. Also, the nations during this chronological time period of the New Jerusalem are "being healed." Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. The question would be, for instance. What do the nations need healed from in a new or renewed planet? There's allot of little scenarios like this that could be pointed out. However, what needs to be focused on is the abundance of evidence that was supplied in this article to show what the New Jerusalem illustrates. This author understands how difficult it may be for believers to immediately intellectually accept that evidence with its unavoidable implications. God's work does not necessarily begin in the intellect of mankind though, but in their spirits. What a persons spirit may accept due to the personal witness of God might not be accepted intellectually by that person at that time. In time, according to the personal work of God in their own hearts they will begin to intellectually develop according to what is in their spirits. That is the way of God who is a spirit with his children and mankind in general. That being said; given time. It will not be a light thing between you and God to brush aside the abundant evidence supplied by the scripture itself about the New Jerusalem.  You may do so right now and not face any consequences due to the mercy and understanding of your heavenly father. In the future though, when God is working his work through your own spirit, that will be a different story. This may not be able to be said about everything in this article and it's not meant to imply that. The New Jerusalem though, along with some other things are so plainly interpreted by the scripture that it's on whole different level in comparison to lots of other Bible prophecy subjects.

     The thousand years is an illustration of Gods eternal Government. It does not illustrate any type of a time period. This very simple interpretation is exactly what all the other prophecies say. That the prophesied Government of God makes it's appearance as a dominant force in the world after the fall of the Roman Empire. Satan is bound because he cannot find a place in peoples hearts as shown in the previous chapter. That in effect is the basis for the whole of the prophesied Government of God on earth. That man by the grace of God rejects the work of Satan thereby stopping him from controlling the world. Dethroning him so to speak from his status as "the god of this world." This of course as the prophecies in the scripture show is not an event but a process as great evil exists in the world during this era. It just does not control it nor do the wicked reign over all the saints as they had in the ancient world during the age of the gentiles.


How the Saints Judge the World and Reign

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they 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 for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

 

    There are three aspects to this very big subject.  Since this is not talking about an event. How are the saints judging the world right now? They are in exactly the same manner shown here. John 5: (Jesus speaking to the religious leaders of his day) 45 Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. John 12:47 And if any man hear my (Jesus's) words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. You see it is the word of truth that judges mankind. The Word that Moses (and the prophets) spoke and the word that Jesus is speaking is saving and judging all generations. This word though has been given to others to deliver. Romans 3:1 What advantage then has the Jew? ....... 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  That is by far the main aspect of the saints judging the world and reigning. It is their word which in reality is Gods word from their lips that both bring salvation and judgment, both temporal and eternal. This is why all saints are included in this rather than just those who are alive at any given time and place.
      Looking at it in another way.  It is the saints and the truth in their hearts that forms the basis of worldwide change for the better. That same truth  judges the lies that formed the basis for its destruction and judges those who perpetrate them. Isaiah 51:16 And I have put my words in you mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth...... 1 Timothy 3:15 ..... that you may know how you should behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
     Now here is the same thing being said using illustrations. Ephesians 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:21  And the remainder were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the vultures were filled with their flesh. Revelation 2:16  Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. So it can be seen that the main reason the saints are judging the world is because the Word of God is coming through them into the world. That the nature of this word is not just eternal but temporal. It will govern the earth. It will govern what is right and what is wrong. It will pass sentence on what is right and what is wrong and it will reward right and punish wrong. This is how the saints reign. Let me ask you dear reader. Do believers need to run a country if unbelievers who hold the same principles and standards the Bible lays out for personal conduct, human relationships and government run it  instead? The answer to that would be it would be better generally if they were believers but not absolutely necessary. This is what we see in the USA for example. About a third of the population who are not believers but still hold Christian principles for life as basic truth. This is the saints reigning. You would be totally deceived if you think it was like this in the ancient world. Someone might object about how bad it is. Well, look at yourself and start the change for the better there.
      There is a promise attached to this for those who overcome sin and by extension to nations that overcome sin. Revelation 2:2
6 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: This in a practical way is in accordance with many prophecies we have looked at in this article already. It has also been a fact on planet earth since the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D. that the nations most influenced by the Gospel are the nations that have been dominate in the world, economically and militarily.  More will be mentioned on this when we get to Gog and Magog.

      All of this crosses into another realm to a second and much lesser aspect of this subject. It's laid out in these verses and many others. Hebrews 6:5 And (you, speaking to a church) have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 12 Truly, Truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the miracles that I do shall he do also; and greater miracles than these shall he do; because I go to my Father. 13 And what ever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.  Through out the Bible tremendous miracles are done through the saints. These were not just miracles that brought different types of salvation. There were also miracles that brought judgment.  Miracles that saved people and miracles of judgment directed at the wicked who were seeking the saints destruction. This has never stopped.  The world witnesses daily the power of God that brings deliverance, healing, provision and salvation. Believers of all nations are all over this. Perhaps today though there are precious few who taste of these powers of the life to come in the realm of divine judgment.  Maybe those who witness this are afraid to talk about it. One can imagine a spectacle of people who claim fantastic authority and the circus as they teach others yet in reality walking in their own imaginations.  It is no wonder that this subject can never be touched. Also, daily over the airwaves pastors teach that the saint is no different in heart as the sinner. If this is the case how could the saint who walks exactly as the sinner even consider being party with God in bringing wrath on their fellow sinner? When the scripture says we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus does it mean that God looks at us that way whether we are or are not equitable people? Or does it really mean we are to become righteous in the same way he is righteous? If an equitable God finds it necessary to bring judgment on a person, people or nation. Then in union with God a child of his who's heart is right may find it necessary also.  The truth is that this is a hard subject. If God didn't deem it necessary under certain circumstances though he would never have worked in this manner in the first place.

     The third aspect of this is about those saints who are already with Jesus in heaven. In Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.9 Then he said to me, See that you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. To be honest. this is not something I had ever noticed before. That this angel was once a man. Looking up a few more scriptures though it seems to be the case.  Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.1st Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things, which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. The issue as relates to this article is this angel which was once a man is participating in the spread of the Gospel through his work with the Apostle John. Obviously since this resurrected person is doing that then they are also participating in the rule of God in this earth also.  If the possibility of being able to work with mankind on earth in the spread of the Gospel and the Government of God in the next life does not excite the those who love God and people in this life. I don't know what would.

 


The "First" Resurrection

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they 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 for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

     Resurrection is one of those subjects that almost all believers look at as an event. The reason for this are the pictorial illustrations in these verses that make it look like a future event. The apostles themselves even seem to wrestle with this issue based on the similar visions they were personally seeing. Jesus corrected this misunderstanding publically in the Gospels. This can be found in this article titled Resurrection.  That article that goes over all the scriptures on resurrection rather than just a few select ones. You'll find that in addition to a number of things the word resurrection is used to describe the Biblical doctrine of resurrection teaches that there is immediate life after death. This immediate life after death includes a physical body. Not physical as we know it but a physical one none the less. This general teaching of resurrection is a doctrine developed to opposes the many viewpoints held in the world. That there is no life after death, reincarnation, we are all divine ect. ect.  It is not a doctrine that has as its basis to teach the world about an event called "the resurrection" It's strongly suggested that you read it before you judge these statements as false based on what you may already believe.  You will find abundant scripture in that article that says quite the opposite of what the general consensus is. People just don't notice them because they have no reason to notice them in the first place. They and everyone else they know already believe something therefore there is no incentive to even notice scriptures contrary to those beliefs.
     In light of what is being asserted in the previous paragraph. The "first" resurrection is an illustration of those whom upon their death go immediately to heaven. These are those who have been saved from eternal destruction because they put their trust in the lamb of God. They to whom Jesus said in John 8:51 Truly, Truly, I say to you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. This is also why it is tied to the thousand years that illustrates the eternal Kingdom of God. Those who are resurrected are resurrected into the Kingdom of God, both spiritually when they accept Christ and then literally when they put off their bodies. So, as far as the interpretation of these verses is concerned, this is exactly what has been happening all along. People who belong to Christ have been going to heaven, that is, are resurrected, when they put off these mortal bodies. The resurrection of  life verses the next section, the resurrection of damnation.

 


The Rest of the Dead and the Second Death.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they 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 for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

     The rest of the dead not living until the thousand years are finished illustrates all those who when they die immediately go to hell. The resurrection of damnation. The reason this is tied into "after a thousand years" is because the thousand years illustrates the Government of God. So anything outside of the "thousand years" is outside of Christ, outside of the Government of God.  So the expiration of the thousand years represents those who are the children of Satan. In their hearts Satan is "loosed" by their beliefs and behavior to reign in their lives and by extension to reign in their nations. This is an illustration of what has always been happening and will continue to happen.

 


Satan's Kingdom

Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

     In 2nd Corinthians 4 Satan is referred to as the God of this age. Meaning the God of the age they were living in. 4 In whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them. Also in John 12 Jesus calls Satan the ruler of this world.  31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the ruler of this world be cast out. Notice the Lords prophetic declaration of what his death on the cross and resurrection would accomplish. Satan's Kingdom on earth operates essentially the same way God's does, (minus the miraculous power) . Obviously though in a very wicked, deceptive and manipulative fashion. Adam was the first to "loose" him in the earth. Under Satan's and Adam's influence his children followed that example. So great is his influence over mankind that Jesus called men the children of Satan. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, the desires of your father is what you will do.....
     So, just as Gods Government through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is in the earth so to is Satan's Kingdom. The degree of  influence that either of these have on mankind is what mankind allows in their hearts.  Hence the  idiomatic expressions of "binding an loosening." So once more instead of a prophecy about and event. We once more have a pictorial illustration of what was, is and will be.
    So why give a vision of realties like God's and Satan's Kingdoms, resurrection and the cosmic battle for peoples hearts in the context of a prophecy then if they are not events? It's because of the relation of these things to end time prophecy as a whole and the new paradigm that was coming to earth. Gog and Magog are a good example of this.

 


Gog and Magog

     7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall 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. 9 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. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

     The first thing one should notice about Gog and Magog is that they are soundly defeated. To put this into perspective and relating it to end time prophecy as interpreted by this article: Gog and Magog illustrate peoples and nations that seek to stop or reverse the growth of the Government of God after the fall of the Roman Empire.  For the most part, in the ancient world before the fall of that empire, the bad guys would always win. They would rule the earth for centuries if not millennia. Putting that in a comparative viewpoint to this age and perhaps use Nazi Germany as an example. It looked as if the axis powers were unbeatable. (They surrounded the camp of the saints.) Yet they didn't even last a decade. How about the effort of world wide communism led by the Soviet Union's empire? Despite causing the death of a hundred million people, they too have fallen. The western powers never even had to fully gear up to war to bring this about. The British Empire is perhaps one of the most wonderful example's of the Government of Gods work on earth.  Maybe the largest empire the earth had ever seen, brutal and unmerciful. Yet not only was this superpower defeated by the the tiny American colonies. The grace of God through the Gospel so affected the British peoples that in the end they no longer had the heart to un-righteously maintain their empire. Some of their Kings were forced to cede their power, others influenced by the Gospel voluntarily gave it up.  These are  just three examples though. There were more Gogs and Magogs from our past and will be others in the future. As far as this prophecy is concerned, its accuracy is undeniable. Ask yourself this question. How could someone like the apostle John who lived in the ancient world have been able to prophesy this? Remember that outside of ancient Israel the world had known absolutely nothing but kingdoms and empires ruling the world seemingly forever. Endless lines of kings and wars when compared to the short lives of individuals. Yet here he is prophesying the end of that type of world. No longer would wicked kings as illustrated by Gog and Magog  be able conquer their neighbors and set up empires that lasted century upon century. On top of  these prophets prophesying this world they also foretold when it would begin. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D.
     Just think about the precision of these prophecies along these lines. If their predictions were on a normative human level. Would they not have prophesied something a little more fantastic? A utopian age free from wars and the clash of civilizations? Sort of like the materials the Jehovah's witness's put out? Instead they prophesy about a great clash between peoples who are influenced to various degree's by the Gospel and the Government of God verses those who are not. The illustrations describe the enormity of this clash by using the symbolic language about Abrahams descendants:
Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of his enemies. Gog and Magog who also  (number as many as the sands of the sea,)  oppose these believers of all nations and peoples.  Yet even Abrahams prophecy, recorded by Moses describes Gods people in this Great Gospel Age as having these enemies but also having the ability to keep them at bay. (Possessing their enemies gates.) What we end up with when looking at these prophecies in their context is very simple.  They predict the growth of the Government of God via the Gospel. They predict nations will be founded as a result. Then they foretell that peoples not under the influence of the Government of God will be defeated when they seek to conquer those peoples who are influenced by the saints.  That is what fire coming down from heaven is an illustration of. To cap all of that off they give us the date this all begins to take place. After the fall of the Roman empire, 1453 A.D.

    There is a descriptive analogy that Jesus used about the Government of God that has been abused, misused and confused. This is because the vast majority of Christians have not have a full comprehension of what the prophesied Kingdom of God was to be, or is.  John the Baptist is being used allegorically in the verses below.

Matthew 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8 But what did you out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you. 11Truly I say to you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

     Jesus is using a play on words to describe the state of affairs of the Government of God on earth from the time of Moses until then and it's future.  The specific reason he is doing this is because he did not want anyone to understand it apart from that personal enabling divine connection to God that gives light. This is why he says: 15 He that has ears to hear, let him hear. Believe it or not that generation had it's own pop culture end time teachings not so dissimilar in nature to todays.  If you can receive this. Jesus had no interest in correcting them by speaking plainly to them about this matter. In fact you can get a glimpse of their not so dissimilar beliefs with this scripture: Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. 8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth. Their end time teachings also prescribed a visible physical kingdom on earth. The disciples were mildly scolded and told to focus on their task at hand. Perhaps later in their lives they also grasped the corrective nature of that word. That the prophesied Kingdom of God they were referring to actually comes through the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and by no other means.
     So here is Jesus's play on words. Jesus was not just saying that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of 
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts......4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant......... 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: What Jesus is telling them is that John the Baptist represents or personifies the Law and the prophets. (He is more than a prophet.) To put this in another way. The Mosaic Law and the Prophets whom John is representing preceded and prepared the way for the messenger; Jesus the Messiah, the Lord, Jehovah the Word. (10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you.) Then Jesus extrapolates this by saying that the law and the prophets gave birth to ancient Israel. (Among them that are born of women) He proceeds to state that there has not been a nation on earth like ancient Israel in the sense of the Government of God's influence over a people. (there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist:) Yet he states after this that even the least nations influenced by the Government of God in the future will be better than ancient Israel. (notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.) Now he drives this point home using the aforementioned abused verse. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. You see what Jesus is pointing out that even though ancient Israel has been the greatest nation on earth as far as God's influential reign on earth through the hearts of men. The violent have taken it by force, meaning in war.  Israel's own wicked kings and foreign nations have conquered and ruled this incomparable nation on earth. This misused verse about the violent of the earth conquering the Kingdom of heaven is what the author is attempting to compare with the prophesies concerning the Gog and Magog who are also "the violent." That in the illustration of Gog and Magog the  Word of God has prophesied that the violent (generally) not conquer nations influenced by the Gospel and the Government of God as they had ancient Israel. 

      Matthew 10-11  is an excellent example of Jesus's teachings about of the coming Government of God. He sends out his disciples to build it by preaching. The heart of the individual is his target rather than the collective. In those chapters he faced some intractable "group think" concerning the meanings of  prophecy and the coming Government of God. The pop culture of his day must have been quite sure of itself for him to address the subject using John the Baptist as an allegory in a way they could not understand. Their sin as a nation as evidenced by a general hardness of heart towards the truth he demonstrated brought him to pronounce judgment against the land in those two chapters, Matthew 10-11. In another place he spoke of the subject again but in much clearer language as relates to this article's message. Matthew 21:43. Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. (Jesus was speaking to the leaders of the nation of Israel and this allegory preceded this declaration.)  This verse is being used to once more demonstrate that the Government of God conquers hearts not territory. However ancient Israel did possess territory and that territory was conquered when they failed to allow the Word of God bear it's fruit in their nation. We also have the example of history of the Roman Empire to see the extra ordinary measures it took for the people who's hearts were changed and those who were allied with them to actually possess some territory. First the invention of commercial printing press and the ability to outpace the powers that existeds ability to destroy written material faster than it could be produced.  Also the discovery of a new world not already possessed by empires equipped with modern armies and weapons. Then finally, literally tens of millions of lives lost in the attempts of the powers that ruled to not cede some geographical territory to the peoples who had the Word. Tying all of this into the prophecy regarding Gog and Magog. It is evident that it has been coming to pass as written. Since 1453 A.D., for the most part, the nations not influenced by the Word of God have so far not been able to conquer those who are.

     The prophet Ezekiel as noted in earlier paragraphs also had visions of these same scenarios.

 


Fire From Heaven

 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall 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. 9 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. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

 

     Devouring fire coming from God  is consistently used in prophecies as a descriptive term of God's judgment and wrath towards a nation or people. In the vast majority of these scriptures this wrath is carried out through defeat in war. Dozens of these prophecies against nations have been fulfilled through out history. In light of the abundance of those scriptures, so plain in their meaning, it's a little absurd to look at others in the book of Revelation as literally talking about "fire from heaven." (Or modern weaponry for that matter.)  This explanation of the meanings of fire from heaven might shed a little light on some of the references to fire and fire from heaven in previous verses from the book of Revelation.

 


The Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

 

     In the Bible, the term, "lake of fire" is only found in the last three chapters of the book of Revelation. It is not directly interpreted by the Bible and therefore needs careful consideration. The verses itself eliminates the possibility of it being a literal place. The "beast" has already been interpreted by the Bible as being the Roman Empire. The false prophet an aspect of the same. An empire is not a material property that can be cast into a lake of fire. Or as George Mason, called the father of  America's Bill of Rights said:  "....As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins, by national calamities." Lets look at the other references to this lake of fire.
      Revelation:
19:20 (Speaking of the destruction of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D.)
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
     Looking at this in the most basic fashion. The lake of fire would illustrate the judgment of God. Daniel 7:9. I looked until the thrones were set up, and the ancient of days sat,..... the court was seated, and the books were opened.  22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. ......26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. In the picture conveyed here in Daniel. God, as the supreme judge of the world has read the verdict. There will be no appeals. The sentence as written will be carried out. So in a certain sense the finality of all of this is also being expressed. In Revelation 20:10. The Devil will no longer be able to rule and enslave the whole world as he had prior to 1453 A. D. This is the judgment of God. Those days are over forever. In verses 19:20 the Roman Empire is destroyed. The age in which the four gentile nations ruled over and oppressed Gods saints is done. The verdict was read in the beginning of the first century. The sentence was carried out in the fifteenth century. Verse 20:14. the days of darkness where Satan had power over the destinies of almost all of mankind has come top an end. The Gospel is now going out to all the nations. The power that Satan had to hide the truth from mankind has been ripped out of his hands. That is what this scripture in the first chapter of Revelation illustrates. 18: I (Jesus) am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. In Chapter 20:15 and 21:6-8. Salvation is being made available to whoever is willing. The fruit of this is that some will inherent all the promises of God ever written of in the scriptures. On the other side of this. Those who reject the mercy of God will not only find their nations under judgment but themselves cast into hell.
     Speaking of hell. Properly understanding that the lake of fire is represents the judgment of God and not a physical place does not alter the fact that there is a hell. Hell is an eternal prison made for the devil , his angels and everyone who refuses Gods personal invitation to come to him. There are lots of scriptures to support this. The horrors of hell are not presented as pictorial illustrations but as realities.

 


The Judgment of God

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 

      Judgment's are rulings made according to the evidence which includes the circumstances. Therefore there are favorable and unfavorable decisions being made by the judge. The great white throne is an illustration of Gods authority as the judge of the whole universe. Heaven and earth fleeing away illustrates his omnipresence in the sense that their is no deed or thought in all of creation that is hidden from his eye's. The thoughts and motives of every creature are laid bare before him. As with the rest of this chapter this is not an event but a process. Something that has been going on since the foundation of the world. This is a pictorial prophecy, a vision, that illustrates this along with rulings that have been made concerning certain era's as spelled out in the remainder of these verses. 

 


The Dead

12....and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 

   According the context of this chapter and the book of Revelation as a whole this is not referring to an event.  Rather it is referring to the Great Gospel Age that was to occur after the end of the Age of the Gentiles. The age when that mountain of God fills (over time) the whole earth after the fall of the Roman empire. The pictorial illustrations will follow that idea. Therefore the dead, rather than referring to people who have passed on instead illustrate the state of all of mankind. That the condition of mankind is one of detachment and callousness to their creator and the spiritual world in which he dwells. Furthermore that because of their refusal to come to God, to do what is right and their love of what is wrong they are under a death sentence. Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?....13 Neither yield your body as an instrument of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your body as an instrument of righteousness to God. Ephesians 2:1 And you has he made alive, who were dead in offenses and sins; 5:14 Therefore he says, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins...... has he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 1st Timothy 5:6 But she that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. This is a realty, a doctrine, an eternal truth that is tied into  multiple prophecies concerning good news about the Government of God coming into the nations of the world in the next verses.

 


The Sea Giving Up Its Dead

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

      The sea giving up it's dead is an illustration of the lost in the nations of the world coming to Christ. Isaiah 60;3. And the nations shall come to your light, (The New Jerusalem) and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4. Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5. Then you shall see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Revelation 13 1. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2. And the beast (The four empires that ruled in the age of the gentiles) which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come hear; I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute that sits upon many waters:.....The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

 


Death and Hell Giving Up its Dead

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

     Death and hell are being tied to the nations in that Satan had the power to destine the nations toward death and hell through darkness. That is the sense in which this is being used.  The light of God is now being shined into the nations through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lost, (the dead) are hearing it and are coming to life. Therefore death and hell are giving up their "dead," the lost. Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Jesus) likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: (The Roman Empire) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given to them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 2:18 I am he that lives, (Jesus) and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Meaning through his work, he through the light of the Gospel has taken this power from Satan.)
     This glorious age where the Gospel is going to all peoples of the earth and changing nations for the better is the ultimate aim of Bible Prophecy.
Genesis 22:18 (Talking to Abraham:) And in your descendent (the Messiah, Jesus) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you hast obeyed my voice....26:4 And I will make you descendent to multiply as the stars of heaven,(the children of God through the Messiah) and will give to your descendent all these countries; and in your descendent shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, (The descendant of David the Messiah, Jesus) which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the nations seek: and his rest shall be glorious......9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.....42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighted; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth justice to the nations. 2 ..... he shall bring forth judgment to truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.....6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Nations;....49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth. (It's scandalous that prophesies like these that are so numerous in the Bible are somehow viewed as not pertinent to this current age.)

 


Every Person Judged According To Their Own Conduct

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

      Ultimately, every individual has always had to answer to God in the next life for their conduct on earth. Perhaps this verse is taking on a different meaning though because of the context of this chapter and the book of Revelation as a whole. Since almost the whole chapter is thus far is teaching and prophesying things that pertain to this life rather than the next. Judgments that belong to to life on the planet verses the next life. These words too can be made to fit what has been happening to many nations since the fall of the Roman Empire.
      The original world was completely destroyed by Noah's flood. This flood in the dispensational light of the Old Testament was viewed as the judgment of God. Other than Noah and his family all of mankind perished. Except those few, all were "collectively judged" for the great sin of the earth in those days. To a lesser extent the same thing is seen in the ancient world after the flood. It was as if once tyrannical idolatrous empires were established the righteous had little hope of being spared the great calamities that came upon the nations. The judgments prophesied against the the Roman Empire in book of Revelation are a good example of this. The believers suffered under these calamities as if they were participating in the evil that brought them. Individuals had little if any control over their destinies. Calamities that in the dispensational light of the Old Testament were "sent" by God became judgment that was collective in nature. Even the righteous for instance, though delivered from death by the hand of God would still be sold into slavery.
      Lets compare this to the lands that have been inundated by the Gospel in the last few centuries. There are lands in which people's have established limited representative government. To one degree or another these forms of government rely on the idea of self government or self restraint. Of course the foundation for this is the Government of God created in the hearts of individuals and their influential example to those around them. These lands generally have not suffered the calamitous effects of lands that are ruled by dictators tyrants and kings. Furthermore the saints in these lands act as preservatives when the wicked do find their way into powerful positions. How does this relate to every person being judged according to his own works? In a very practical way it affords cause and effect to work in such a way that the people of those lands reap what they sow. That is, temporal "judgment" is based on what the population accepts, rejects, know and does rather than the conduct of tyrants and kings.  If a majority of the people do what is right then they will prosper. If not there will be consequences. If the light that Gods people have is real then they will be able to turn popular culture away from darkness. If not then cultures will degenerate, and every point in between. This is the true power of the Gospel and the grace of God. Not just to turn peoples hearts from darkness to light, but to turn nations from destruction. So in the Great Gospel Age the destiny of nations are determined by their people rather than the will of a king or emperor. 

 


Death and Hell Cast Into the Lake of Fire

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

     As already articulated this represents Satan no longer having the power over the destinies of the peoples and the nations. The power of the Gospel through the grace of God has forever altered this dynamic. The lake of fire illustrates this judgment of God and his judgment of those who reject the Gospel and walk in darkness. The second death is most likely an illustration of "the dead" having the sentence of death and punishment in hell carried out.

     This brings us to the end of John's Revelation of things that were already prophesied in the rest of the Bible. Some commentary will be offered on all of this in the next few sections.

 


Isn't It Just Like God

 

     It is almost a universal belief amongst Christian peoples that in one form or another end time prophecies predict an eventual miraculous, physical and visible Kingdom of God on earth. The teachings concerning what leads up to it are hotly debated with basic frameworks that number in the dozens. Yet they all have that same end in common, a near universal belief regarding a physical kingdom. This is amazing in light of the clarity of the illustrations about the Government of God and especially the New Jerusalem. It's particularly curious though in light of one of Jesus's own declarations. Luke 17: 20-21 And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come visibly:  Nor shall they say, Look here! or, look there! for behold, the kingdom of God is inside you. In this word the Lord of the universe, contrary to all, plainly states that the prophesied Kingdom of God that was to come is not a physical\visible kingdom. Not only does he bluntly declare that but he takes it a step further. He states the only way that this Kingdom of God can come to pass is exactly as this article has laid out, in and through individuals. How contrary can you get? Mankind looks for an imposed from the top down, physical\visible government set up on earth yet God says he will bring these prophecies to pass in union with the hearts of people. Literately from the bottom up. People expect something that requires nothing on their part but God says man will be my instrument to change the world for the better. People assume the power of heaven will come down to earth to physically change it but God sends his power through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change hearts and the dynamics that inform them. People expect God to exert absolute control but God tells men to lay down their lives in sacrifice to bring the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. Man looks for the easy way out but God is in it for the long haul. Man looks for salvation from hell, in the next life, but God seeks much more than that. He seeks salvation from the destructive effects of sin on earth. Man considers the impossibilities but God considers the possibilities. Man says the darkness is overwhelming but God says behold the light. Man does not consider circumstances like technological innovations, discovery's and world changing events part in bringing these prophecies to pass. Things like the printing press, the discovery of the America's, the agricultural and industrial revolutions. It's much easier to think in terms of the dispensational light of the Old Testament. (God does this and that, he sends this and that.)  However God knew of these advances and discovery's millennia before they happened and they are part of the prophecies.  Sort of like today. Man has barely a hint at what the information age means to the fulfillment of these prophesies about the Government of God's spread in the earth. Mankind considers it the ultimate will of God to bring a physical\visible miraculous Government on the earth and rule it with absolute power. Yet God, (and his written Word) considers something other than this the pinnacle of his will. He seeks to fill this earth with the knowledge of God. He seeks to create stability, justice, the rule of law, freedom, national prosperity and representative human government; government that represents the will of people who are influenced by the righteousness of God. All of this is for a purpose. That mankind without hindrance can do what God created them for in the first place. Malachi 2:15 Has not [the LORD] made them (man and wife) one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 16. "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel.....(NIV.) There is nothing in Gods economy in both heaven and earth that is better fitted to the creation of  godly beings than godly parents having children and raising them correctly. The procreating and raising of children in union with the almighty is the wisdom of God's plan to bring to pass the sharing of the blessedness of his love. That is what a being that is pure love does. It seeks to share it with others thereby blessing them with what he already has. This union of man and woman is the design of the master to bring this to pass. He can do nothing less, love demands it of him. He will not throw out his design (that does work by the way,) simply because Satan and people screwed it up. Nothing else will work better! God wants to populate heaven and share the blessings of it with as many as possible. However for this to work the world needs the stability spoken of a few sentences earlier. It needs the fulfillment of all the prophecies about the Great Gospel Age. You cannot raise godly children under the tyranny of things like communism. They will prevent you from doing it either by killing you or taking your children from you and raising them to fulfill their own nefarious plans which would destine the majority of them to hell. That is why the scripture says this: Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 51:16 And I have put my words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, You art my people. The foundations of the earth began to be laid through ancient Israel. The cornerstone of the foundation was laid with the coming of the Messiah. The world that God designed to be inhabited. The world were godly people are able to freely procreate and raise godly children and freely win others is now to be built on that foundation.  Finally, man thinks it the greatest thing possible for him who created the universe to force a miraculous change in the makeup of human beings and the planet they live in. Yet God considers, and it is, a far greater, wiser and fruitful thing to continue what he started from it's foundation up to what he has planned for our future. This leads to a second part of this section. Apocalyptic and  dooms day scenario's.

     There isn't a near universal belief amongst all those who call themselves Christians as to what precedes their beliefs about an eventual visible kingdom of God on earth.  Perhaps only half of real and cultural Christians accept teachings that an apocalyptic destruction of the planet heralds the coming of a visible\physical kingdom of heaven on earth. However, that being said, these apocalyptic end of the world viewpoints are clearly the accepted beliefs in the popular culture. These doctrines are the ones that are having hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars spent on their propagation in mass media. It's been like this for almost a century now. Looking at it from one side of the spectrum it's hard to blame people for this. After centuries of such amazing progress in the spread of the government of heaven.  The abominable idea of kings, emperors and human slavery, (what had been,) were on the fast track out. Representative government was taking hold of the western world, millions were coming to Christ and  the modern mission movement saw it's birth. Then came the twentieth century. Two world wars, national and international socialism, hundreds of millions of deaths. A concerted effort birthed and executed by the wicked to take over the institutions that stabilized western life. At the time of the writing of this article a world wide ungodly alliance of international leftists and Islamo-fascist's have arisen to specifically to oppose the growth of the Government of God with it's corresponding freedoms and morality. This was and is a very harsh and foreboding realty to confront any optimistic viewpoints that believers might adopt. One must remember though the Bible prophecies this with the illustrations of Gog and Magog. Under the surface of all of this evil though lies the spread of the Government of God in the hearts of individuals. The sheer numbers of those personally meeting Christ for the first time is staggering. From a thousand a day in the early part of the last century to twenty thousand a day in the 1980's! In the last decade? Over one hundred thousand people a day accepting Christ! This is staggering! Nations that had handfuls of true believers have had a third of their populations come to Christ in the last fifty years. Crime rates per capita have precipitously dropped over the last half century in some countries. There is full fledged battles going on all over the world for the souls of nations that were totally owned and controlled by Satan. Furthermore these peoples, even though it means suffering have fully accepted the mandate to go to those regions where Christ is not preached. So it must be asked, what in the end will be the fruit of all of this? If this type of thing on a much smaller scale produced the United States of America what will it produce in the rest of the world on a much vaster scale? The point of the contrast here between the destruction wrought by Satan and his minions verses the Government of God coming into the hearts of a billion new people is this: The destruction is highly visible, it's seen readily with the eyes. It's propagators are everywhere, they control so much of what is seen and taught. The other, a billion new people accepting Christ over the last century is relatively unseen. Not that it is not visible but do you dear reader really have any reason to notice it? It certainly has not made the evening news cast. In fact I dare say there are many that would condemn even believing such a thing has happened. How much more so the fact that the numbers of people per day accepting Christ are still rising? Add to this the eventual fruit as they affect their cultures for the better? The destruction and the conduct of the wicked are so easily and unavoidably seen. In fact seeing and hearing about it continually could be characterized as an assault on the minds of the people to control their opinions. Yet to see the growth of the government of God? Well it takes faith and faith should be rooted not in what one see's but in the veracity of the  eternal written Word of God.  So what of that Word?     

     In reading the end time prophecies of the Word of God it does not take any spirituality whatsoever to view them as prophesying an apocalyptic cataclysmic end of the world scenario. It takes no grace from heaven, no prayer, no fasting and certainly no long term study to come up with these apocalyptic futuristic viewpoints.  One need not know anything of history nor any wise council that went before them. In fact would seem painting a picture of the present and future using apocalyptic Bible Prophecy is the realm of the novice; of which the apostle warned the churches about.  To further this point look at Hollywood movies and T.V.  Of all of the thousands of movies and T.V. shows ever made about the future; can you think of one that apart from aliens where the world is portrayed a better place? It would seem there is a slight preoccupation with apocalyptic scenario's for mankind if it does not involve aliens from outer space. Where is their vision? Why cannot they conceive a better future, a more equitable future? Why is the world always destroyed or a big ghetto or taken over by a nefarious evil dictator or corporation? Why is it always crime ridden, decayed, degenerate or if it's not it's because some nefarious people are exercising some artificial mind control over the population?  Why do the vast majority of the worlds false religions contain specific beliefs about an apocalyptic end of the planet or a dooms day scenario's?  The point with this? That these viewpoints are carnal. Borne of the earth and not from heaven. There is nothing contained in them that took any work to create. They basic underlying spirituality or lack of it produces the apocalyptic beliefs almost by default. Ask yourself which scenario takes the kind of faith that moves mountains. One that says the world will get worse and worse and end in destruction. Or one that says the world will be changed for the better by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Government of God? In actuality, in the real world,  the apocalyptic one requires no faith, nor work, no suffering, no anything. It only takes good people to lie back and do nothing. It requires nothing of them but a belief in the inevitable destruction of the planet. The other? Well needless to say, it requires faith that would seem to be above the capabilities of the human being. It requires sacrifice and work. It is seemingly impossible for mankind and that would be true. However it's not mankind that swore by his own name that he would bring this to pass. The vision laid out in this article concerning end time prophecy requires real spirituality. It requires pastors teachers, preachers giving themselves to prayer, fasting and the Word of God. It requires peoples laying down their treasures, their hopes and dreams, their very lives. It requires love as a motive instead of self interest. It requires a pure heart but above all it requires God. Yet! Even with all of our shortcomings it is still coming to pass! The world is a better place than it was a century ago. It's like day compared to night if you compare the norm of the ancient world to modern cultures influenced by the Bible. All of this with a people that fall so short of the grace of God! This leads to the next section. Why would Satan deceive man concerning what lies in their future. 

 


Why Is Satan Deceiving Mankind About the Future

     This is a subject that can be looked at from many different angles but only a few practical ones will be looked at here. One example would be this verse that is speaking of the New Jerusalem, i.e. Gods people in this age. Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until its righteousness  go forth as brightness, and the its salvation thereof as a lamp that burns.... 6 I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Now, how can a people who do not understand and therefore do not believe this can come to pass do this? Why would they pray, labor and suffer giving God no rest until he fulfills this prophecy in the earth? If they believe the polar opposite of this is what is prophesied then how can there even be any "watchmen" seeking this of God? The answer is to obvious, they cannot. It is physically impossible. What if believers think this is speaking of a visible\physical Kingdom of God installed on earth and are seeking and praying for it. Well it means that all of their prayers, their thoughts, their expectations and their teachings are vain. They would be seeking and laboring towards something that will never be. Then there are so many who would take this to be speaking of the city of Jerusalem in the middle east. Are they not seeking something that will never be? Not that there cannot be peace in the middle east that should be sought as the fruit of millions in the middle east accepting Christ. However there will never be a reason for God to exalt and make a praise in the earth the physical city that was a prophetic illustration of his children from all races in the Great Gospel Age. That would be like reinstituting the animal sacrifice of the Mosaic law that were prophetic symbolisms of the sacrifice of the messiah that was to come. These rituals were actual pictorial prophecies of the reality that was coming to earth.   Why would God substitute the mere illustration for the reality and then exalt it in the earth? So, in this example it is very easy to see why Satan would deceive people as to what the Bible actually prophesies about the future. To steer them in the wrong direction. To get them to labor in "faith" for something that will never come to pass. Or, to get them to do nothing in faith towards what God does want to bring to pass.

      Here is another practical example using these verses.   Isaiah 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. 4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Therefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? .....7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Matthew 21:43 (Jesus speaking) Therefore say I to you , The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (ancient Israel), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. As taught throughout this article. The "fruit," meaning the effects, of the Government of God existing in the hearts of a significant minority should be a just culture or nation. Their influence should show their neighbors the way in which they should live. It should result in good, (limited) human government, sound fiscal policies, economic freedom. In short righteousness. As an example. the "fruit" of the Government of God resulted in the abolition of slavery in the western world. Here is one of the many words that directly prophesy about this "nation" that will be given the Government of God . Isaiah 27:2 In that day sing to her, A vineyard of red wine. 3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. You see if the Government of God only comes in the heart of individuals. Then those individuals in union with God are the only means to reveal truth and influence the nations towards righteousness. Apart from these individuals the entire history of the world proves there can be no fruit of righteousness, no justice, only oppression and a cry. Now what if your doctrine about the future of the world says it will be conquered by great evil? That the wicked will take over and rule all mankind before God destroys it? What labor of  love in Christ would you do through faith to bring about this fruit in the earth? The answer is you will not labor towards this which breaks the heart of God. On the flip side of that coin the good news is that many evangelical\Pentecostal Christians have labored towards bringing souls to Christ to the tune of hundreds of millions. In their labors to populate heaven and deliver individuals from the temporal effects of their sin they have still inadvertently laid the groundwork for a better future. Yet you will see a dichotomy amongst most of these soul winners. The same time they win souls they believe their world is becoming more and more evil . They accept what they believe almost fatalistically which is one design of false prophecy and they teach this to their disciples. Therefore the fruit that could be borne of their labors is greatly hindered.
      What if on the other hand those whom you fellowship are not true souls winners and you believe in an inevitable apocalyptic end of the world? What fruit can you possibly bear? Do you think your children will stand up to encroaching evil if you cannot? Not only are you not bringing individuals in to the Kingdom of God but on top of that you are teaching others a false vision of the future. Are you not in danger of being tagged with these scriptures? Matt 23:13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (NIV) and Matthew 21:43  Therefore say I to you , The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to people bringing forth the fruits of it? Shouldn't that cause you to fear?
     There is another group of believers who ascribe to the idea of a  last great supernatural revival sweeping the earth before Jesus returns and sets up a physical visible kingdom. Also closely associated with these are those who believe God will supernaturally give them dominion over all the earth before the set up of that physical Kingdom. Both of these but especially the latter carry and odious atmosphere about them of a very false reality. The reasons for this should be obvious by looking at what has happened since the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D. There have been mighty supernatural revivals that changed whole nations. There have been divine providence in setting Godly people in powerful positions. Yet there has also been lots of pain, suffering and sacrifice that brought about what good we see, the fruit as it were. Horrible wars and genocides and more saints have been martyred than in the Age of the Gentiles.  The wicked never seem to need any rest in their labors that bring about their fruit which is oppression.  So if God prophesied what we have seen and it came about in the way we have seen it. How can we expect anything different to happen in the future? There are certainly no prophesies that say anything will work different beyond the Gog\Magog\New Jerusalem prophesies other than the continued growth of the Government of God. These facts direct us to the realty of more of the same, yet.... What can a core belief of a last wiz bang revival or a supernatural dominionism do to bring about the kind of fruit God seeks? Well the answer to that is that God will use them to the degree they can be useful.  They will never be able to bear all the fruit that they are capable of. Their own understandings hinder that. To maximize the fruit three things are needed assuming correctly that God will be with his people. First a correct vision for the future based in scriptural authority. Secondly the salvation of billions. Third the believers must become superior in all area's of life? They have to work the hardest. They have to be the wisest. They have to be the most creative. They have to fight the good fight of faith in all realms of life on the planet and do it in love and equity.  They have to win the competition! No shortcuts. Think of professional sports team for instance . They may be the best. They may devote every waking minute to their vision and still lose! So how much more in this great contest between good and evil where so much can go wrong! You see this is not what the hearts captivated by these two types of beliefs want want to hear. It makes the labor ahead so much harder, so much more complex and for that matter way less glamorous.

      There are many other reasons Satan wants to deceive people about what lies' in the future. They are so practical and obvious that in reality there are lots of others who could do a far better job addressing them.  This article will focus on one more though that is not so obvious. One that's sort of the epitome of practical because it deals with the constitution of mankind; the unchangeable way that we physically\spiritually function. God created us to work in a certain fashion and therefore he deals with individuals according to the way he made us.
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
Isaiah 29:24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
I Corinthians 14:32 And the (human) spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (The human spirit is subject to the individual.)
John 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in (with their) spirit and in truth.
1st Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (Meaning with many words. The things of God are revealed to man by the Spirit of God to the spirit of man and not through mans intellect.)

      What's being pointed out with these scriptures is the normal way in which God personally interacts with the human being. With their spirits. It's not that God cannot or does not interact with them any other way. It's just that everything else is extremely inefficient and cannot bear the fruit that interaction with the true man on the inside bears. Putting it in another way. It is unnatural for God to have to interact with a human being a different way than directly with the human spirit. Now it may seem supernatural to those who lack practical experience in the things of God. Nevertheless, what is supernatural to the natural man is natural to God. Herein lies the great difficulties of erring in spirit. A persons spirit is where the true beliefs of the person reside. Now there is allot to this subject of the constitution of man and how things work in regards to a human being. This cannot be covered in this article to satisfy every legit question. So the focus will be rather narrow and on the follower of Christ.
      If a believer accepts or already has a falsehood in their spirit that is what erring in spirit constitutes. Now we are not just talking about intellectually accepting a falsehood. A person may intellectually accept a falsehood yet their spirit may have the truth on the matter. Also the spirit of a person may accept the truth it is hearing even though intellectually they are rejecting it at the moment. So what if the spirit of the believer has accepted (almost by default in many cases,) the pop culture teachings about the end times? Here are three fundamental problems.

     Number one- It prevents God from working with and through the believer towards the future with any intelligence. God cannot put a vision in a person with regard to decades ahead without it being totally perverted or rejected. (How much more so for centuries ahead?) He is prevented from doing so because his child has already accepted an alternate reality within their spirits. He must first change that reality in their spirits before he can expect that person to intellectually grow and then labor accordingly. In this area the perversion of vision is really the worst of the problem. Anything that God reveals is then filtered through a human spirit that cannot grasp what God see's. In the case of even real prophecy as it says in I Corinthians 14:32 And the (human) spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.....29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. Their words have to be judged not just because it may not be of God but because the filter it goes through. The human spirit that speaks through prophecy may have such error as to render a true prophecy almost false. This is a horrible problem for Gods people today. There are hundreds of real prophets worldwide who cannot do part of their job which is telling Gods people what will happen in the near future so that they may prepare for it. Gods people need to know what is coming so that they may be ready. When God speaks to these prophets though it comes through them in such a way as to render the prophecy useless. These prophets have accepted pop culture end times teachings and believe in the depth of their sprits that the end of the world or the end times of the past two ages are upon us now. God cannot communicate through them accurately and because of this the effectiveness of their ministries to believers and the growth of the Kingdom of God is severely hindered.

      The second problem because of erring in spirit is the access it gives demonic spirits to the human spirit. Yes believers are included in this. You see truth is the vanguard against this type of activity. If you will notice those scriptures listed there are two legs to this issue. One was that God is a spirit and therefore to interact effectively with mankind it must be done through their spirits. The other leg was truth. Without truth as a basis for reality then the spirit of a man is subjected to demonic activity because the doorway for those demons is the falsehoods retained in the human spirit. There is no such thing as God completely protecting a believer from exposure to demons. He did not protect Jesus from it did he? If Satan had access to the Lord he will have access to his people?  The demonic activity will range from thoughts to inspirations\revelations to outright visions. This is especially relevant if a person has accepted end time apocalyptic teachings. To see this first hand it is suggested the reader type into their search engine something like "end time dreams and visions." Prepared to be frightened by what you find but allow me to assure you that for the most part these are false. There are three types of these visions and dreams. One type is outright demonic. The other could be from God but because the recipient is in such spiritual error that what God is actually trying to foretell is unknowable. The third type also may be from God but the vision is trying to communicate a Biblical doctrine through pictures that have nothing to do with the "end times." It's the recipients error in spirit that turns the vision into the future, or heaven. During Y2K this activity was rampant. How would you like to have been so confidant in the Word of God that you could have boldly without blinking publicly ridiculed and mocked ever single proposition and prognostication that was being made?  Would not it have been gratifying to confront those who were being frightened by visitations of angels that were verifying all the prophecies?  How about if you were the only one right out of tens of thousands? What if you were able to discredit every single notion that was being proposed long before the fateful day when it became apparent a national hysteria was base on complete falsehoods? You have to remember this was a national phenomena. This was not some dooms day prediction by some church leader in California. The nation had not seen anything like this. Israel became a nation and had existed one generation.  The clock ran out on the the age of the earth theories. All the worlds computers were going to crash. (What a joke. As if a billion dollar corporation would let it's computers crash and miss a hundred million dollars of sales.) Well you could be that person if there is a next time around. How about those visions? Did they frighten you? They are very scary. Page after page of visions and dreams of doom and destruction. It happens every day and now they are on being put on the net. It is a spirit of divination. No man knows the day or hour you say. Really? That is your defense? Something that referred to the end of the first covenant age? How about this brother and sister. Learn the truth and set these people free. This is very real, very supernatural to them. They and hundreds of thousands of others are in bondage to them. Your words that others who went before them were proven wrong will not help them. The door to the divination is their own spirit. It's the teaching of their pastors. There is only one way to shut the door and that is to replace the lies of pop culture end time teachings with the truth that the scripture lays out in this article.

     The third problem is perhaps the most damaging to the will of God. This is when God cannot reveal, create or choreograph a movement in the body of Christ collectively to accomplish some goal he has in mind. Imagine if Christians decided to sit out the whole movement for the abolishing of slavery in Europe and the America's. Well the fact of the matter is there would have been no movement.  Imagine if Christians as a whole could have no inspiration from heaven in their spirits to motivate them to work towards that goal. It would never have happened. As a matter of fact there would be no  free world you see today. Not surprisingly Christians of the 16th-19th centuries did not ascribe to the pop culture end time teachings of today. They were considered cultish. The political movements that saw the successful birth of freedom came through believers. They were inspired by God in the spirits of individuals. They were not top down politically controlled movements . There was sort of a general bottom up grass roots consensus based on a shared knowledge of scripture that even the unbelievers of the day accepted. Today this is lost, and it's lost not because many Christians are not politically active. It's lost because God isn't the one driving the politics of his people. It's not that many of Gods people do not have a correct and Biblical view of politics. It's that the divine spark in the hearts of the saints is not present because of the error that resides in them, because of the spiritual error of end time teachings. God will not, his spirit cannot fill his people with power in this area because the falsehood stops him. You must serve him in spirit and in truth! The lamp of the Lord the spirit of  man cannot shine in the individual to guide him as long as their is a doctrine, a belief a falsehood that dictates what the future will look like that is the polar opposite of Gods Word. The spirit of man is subject to the man and not to God. Just as God would not come into you with divine light apart from or along with you accepting Jesus Christ he will not come into you with divine light in the realm of politics and nation building without the truth of his Word about the future! Dear brother and sister. Do you want to win a few against the international cancer of socialism! You acknowledge your need of God for this do you not? Well then let God in. He will not do it a different way! Unless you renounce your vision of the future which comes from this world and replace it with the truth of Gods Word he will not be the guiding light to overcome evil in your day and age. Yes you can work and labor, you can seek to change things. God will answer some of your prayers if he can. However you will not see a movement among Gods saints that motivates them like a mighty army to bring godly and righteous change that sweeps over the land unless it comes in the way nature and the God of nature made it work. Jesus is the Lord, the Holy Spirit is the one who guides individuals, God is their Father. Pastor you can brow beat people to vote till the day you die and you'll  never see a significant change because it will not be the spirit of the individual that is the lamp of the Lord. It will leave you as the lamp and no pastor shines bright enough to accomplish what God has in mind. Fellowships are not hotbeds of fervent godly nation changing politics not because it is not important. Not because it is "beneath" the work of the "church." Not because it would cause divisions and irreparable harms. Not because it would distract from the "job" at hand. They are not hotbeds of godly nation changing political movements because God isn't there in that arena! He has no place! He cannot minister general consensus and motivations. All of this because of a spiritual error in his people. This is a spirit of divination brothers and sisters, it can be nothing else. It forecasts the future does it not??? Have not most of you said I believe something is coming to pass along the lines of the many "signs" of the end time scenario's. Do you think dear brother, sister or pastor and teacher you cannot be influenced by a spirit of divination?  Do you think that collectively or nationally believers cannot be in bondage to a spirit of divination? You object saying we are not prophesying the future! Your not? I maintain that you are, every time you  present an aspect of end time pop culture teaching.  That my friend has as it's basis a spirit of divination and your blindness of heart will remain until you drive it out of your hearts, your fellowships and your nation with the truth. National repentance starts with you, one person. Just what does one think it means to humble yourself before God that he will heal your land?

     So in closing this section hopefully what is being said is being understood. Gods way of working, motivating and changing is through the spirit of the individual. All helps ministries and services exist not to control that but to help it along and certainly not replace it as if the church were a public school.  When the way that the  God of the universe  works with individuals is short circuited then the power to change the world will not flow to and through the individuals to accomplish this. Falsehoods accepted in the spirit short circuit the divine connection. The circuit must be repaired before the power can flow. Furthermore good luck in thinking a group of mega church ministries can bring about this Godly change. This has to be a mass movement by the body of Christ with the great choreographer of heaven orchestrating and driving it.

 


An Open Door to Heaven

Matthew 16:19 And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and what ever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and what ever you shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

     There is a deep seated ignorance and misunderstanding amongst true Christians about the power that has been given to them. While many believers regularly experience manifestations of the supernatural power of God, that type of power is but a part of the whole. It alone cannot deal with the great issue at hand. This much broader power alluded to in this scripture is in a very practical way tied much closer to the word "responsibility." This needs an explanation that will include a number of scriptures. Luke 10:18 And (Jesus) he said to them, I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 See, I give  you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Looking at two aspects of Luke 10:18-19. One is the direct manifestation of the tangible power of God. The other is the authority of heaven backing it up. It could kind of be illustratively looked at like this: The police officers side arm represents the direct tangible manifestation of the power of God but the fact of he has the all the resources of the government backing him would be like the authority of heaven. "Well how does this tie in with responsibility" one might ask. Lets look once more at these scriptures: Daniel 7:18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Colossians 113 Who (God) has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: You see here is the rub about responsibility. It is not just that we live in a kingdom ruled by a king. It's that we have actually been given a kingdom that is ruled by that king. "What do you mean by that ask some," and others might ask, "how does that work?" To answer that lets look at probably the most famous example the Bible gives, Adam and Eve. What was Satan doing in the garden in the first place? Why didn't the king of the kingdom keep him away from the garden? The answer to that of course is that the Kingdom of God was given to Adam and Eve. They had power over "all the power of the enemy."  "If this is the case," some ask. "Why didn't they use this power to cast Satan out of the earth?"  The answer to that is that they couldn't because it was they themselves that allowed Satan in. You see Satan deceived Eve into allowing him in and then he used Eve to pressure Adam into allowing him in. We all know the results. Successive generations have done the same and the earth has known death and destruction ever since. Now dear brother and sister I am writing this article to tell you that the way this all works has never changed. It does not matter what you may believe. This is the harsh reality that we live with and this is why the word, "responsibility" is being utilized.  Adam and Eve's responsibility was to not allow what happened to happen. They were given "authority" or "responsibility" and heaven backed it up. Whatever their motive for using (or rejecting) that responsibility unlawfully or ignorantly the result was the same. They who were on earth loosed Satan in the "heavens" to do what we can now all see. It was they as "public servants" of the Government of God who allowed Satan control of the earth through the control of peoples hearts.
     It is at this point where so many true believers who have the power of God with them. The officers side arm so to speak fall so short in their understanding of the subject as a whole. That is this: You cannot cast out, bind, render powerless or exercise authority over what you as a believer have allowed. If you on earth allow or loose Satan to work then he is loosed or allowed in "heaven" to bring about his destructive activities on earth. There is nothing any believer who in their hearts have loosed him can do about this. They, just as Adam and Eve have ceded control. Furthermore your sidearm, the power of God inside or with you can do nothing about this. Your words, your prayers, your fasting's, your works are meaningless and powerless against what you yourself are allowing. Your prayers to God to deliver you from the results are vain and in fact tempting God. What is meant by tempting the God who cannot be tempted? Here is an example. Imagine you as a parent have a grown child who lives with you. Imagine their is plenty of work available yet your son doesn't want to get a job. Instead what he does day and night is ask "pray" to you for money and a living. That is what is meant as tempting. It is aggravating and the children who do this to their parents are in danger of destroying their family ties. Likewise God is being asked day and night by millions of his children to undo the effects of what is being allowed by the very children who are loosing it. In effect God is being asked to completely change his form of government and the way things always have and always will work. It is tantamount (howbeit ignorantly) to telling the parent I do not want the responsibilities of adulthood. It is an attempt, (however unknowingly,) to change nature and natures God. How has this ceding of power to Satan played out in the last century?
    Imagine Satan (the power behind the Gog's and Magog's of the world,) as commander and chief at his central command.  He has just lost major battles in his war against humanity. Kings have been deposed and replaced with representative government, slavery has been abolished. Everywhere Christians are free to preach the Gospel. He now has to find a different avenue to remove control of human government from the influence of Christians. He has a problem though. This is their ground, they have the advantage. His reign in "heaven" to rule over men has been severely restricted. Gods people now possess so much of that realm that they have control over the destinies of their respective nations. He is well aware of his mastery over men to manipulate democratic processes. His problem is not his inability to manipulate people towards their own destruction. His problem is the Government of God. God is working through millions of his people and their influence is thwarting his designs to use the democratic processes to his own advantage. Therefore whatever plan he comes up with has to include getting God out of the picture. He can deal with mankind's beliefs. He can deal with Christianity as a cultural phenomena.  He cannot deal with God having a base of operations in the sprits of millions of his people through which he can work. If God is able to work through so many as the great orchestrator towards justice and righteousness then Satan cannot effectively war.  He has but one option. To eliminate the ability of God to work through his people towards a better future. He must get the saints to give him that place as the "vision bearer" of the future. They must cede their authority that has its basis in scripture concerning the realm of Bible Prophecy to him. He has lost his power in heaven because the saints on earth have him bound along these lines since they have realized what God means to do in the world and the age they live in. In other words for him to seize control of  the institutions that are now being used to further the influence of the Government of God he must remove God. He does not have to remove real Christians, at least not yet. This is exactly what was done. Through the acceptance of modern pop culture end time teachings, God has been removed from the spirits of his children in the arena of what lies ahead. The divine spark necessary for the great orchestrator of the saints does not exist in his people to this day for the most part. Oh make no mistake, God is there in other area's of life where truth is accepted in the hearts and spirits of his saints. God has not forsaken his people. Nor is he bringing judgment upon them for their error. Howbeit cause and effect still exist.  Satan was then able to use the lust of the children of those in centuries before opposed the spread of the Government of God to create the national and international socialist movements. These two cancers on planet earth have devoured hundreds of millions. Even in nations where the Gospel is freely preached the control of human government is being ceded to it. It is resisted and fought against, battles are won yet God's Government is hamstrung. God does not have his scriptural vision of the future in the spirits of his saints to use as the light of the saints and then the light of the world. If faith is necessary to please God. If God responds to faith. If God creates faith in the hearts of his saints as a free gift. Then how pray tell can faith exist if the promises of God in the scripture are looked upon as promising the exact opposite of what they are actually foretelling? On what basis can any prayer be made in faith if the scripture does not promise it? What works can be done by faith if that faith not based upon specific promises of the scripture?  How can evil be overcome if the "promise" of scripture; the prophecy of scripture is that evil will overcome the world? The general population did not possess the scripture for over a thousand years because it was suppressed by the  Roman Empire. Evil always overcame, (just as the scripture promised, i.e. prophesied.) There was little faith because the promises were not known. May it be suggested to the reader that in practicality there is no difference between not having the promises of God and believing that they promise or prophesy the exact opposite of what they actually do.

     So Satan has been loosed in heaven. Literally given a degree of power by the saints to manipulate destructive events on earth. That's very bad news. It's very bad news especially in light of the fact that this power can only be taken from him if tens of millions of believers discover the truth of end time prophecy as laid out in this article. (Oh the unimaginable deeds those generations will perform in Christ!)  The good news though. God foresaw this and knows every such debacle in our future to boot. Yet he still prophesied that his people will not face total defeat and semi or permanent subjugation in this age and this author assumes in the ages to come. Not only that but this power ceded to Satan can be removed from him by a revival of the truth in that area where he has that power.

 


What of Our Future?

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this
Isaiah 9:6 ​​​​​​​For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 ​​​​​​​His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The LORD’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this. (NET)

 

      The future, according to Bible prophecy will continue on the same trajectory it has since the fall of the Roman empire in 1453 A.D. This does not mean there will not be world wars and other such life destroying ordeals. Nor does it mean the Government of God will grow on a straight line trajectory upward. In a certain sense, because of our lack of understanding, this should not even be a concern of ours. What our concern should be is that word called duty. Duty becomes allot more relevant when it is spelled out in a clearer fashion. Are we on Gods side working to expand the Government of Gods influence on the earth or are we on the side that hinders it? Are we doing our part in our generation ready to hand off the baton to the next? Or, are we teaching our children and a future generation to expect the end of the world thus hindering Gods will? Are we teaching those who we win to Christ to fulfill their own destiny as a part of a soul winning nation building body of Christ? Or are we teaching them that the world is growing more evil every day and the Bible says the "anti-Christ" is soon to appear. There may be some who have accepted it as their duty in and with Christ to change the world for the better. They may have very unrealistic expectations of  supernatural moves of God that will bring this about. That does not mean that you have to have those fantastic expectations to do your part in your lifetime. You do however have to accept the fact that Gods will is for the Gospel to change the world for the better. It has already. Why expect something less than what it has done so far? Even if your generation is not the one to reap the good you sow. That does not mean you should not sow. After all Christ sowed his very life into the earth to reap not just souls in his generation but far of into his future, a better world. This is one of the tragedies of pop-culture end time teachings. They darken mankind's understandings of what his duties to God and their fellow man are on earth. They diminished our duties because they diminished our vision. They told us that the will of God was something different than what it really was. Because they teach us that the Bible prophesies things like a great world wide apostasy; and that wickedness will prevail.  They instill in us an attitude "of giants in the land, and we are like grasshopper's in their sight."  Numbers 13-14.

      What of our future though? Of our children and grandchildren?  Well for that you would have to ask a real prophet. If you can find one. I do feel quite confidant in speaking about some of the great issue's of our day, 2012. The new fad in pop-culture end time teachings is to incorporate radical Islam into their never end prognostications of the things they believe the Bible says lead to the end of the world. Let me be be perfectly clear. Barbaric Islam will fall to the influence of the Government of Christ. The medieval practices of sharia law and such will yield themselves to the principles laid out in the Word of God for acceptable human behavior. Militant Islam will fall to the military powers of the nations who are to various degree's influenced by the Word of God. Those who are writing books to the contrary are falsely prophesying the future. Some day, when the things this article become widely known God will begin to bring divine judgment on those who teach such things. This is not a prediction of how this will all come about. Nor is it looking at anything through rose colored glasses. Satan is in the process of setting the world up for WWIII using socialists to weaken the western world and strengthen the totalitarian world. What of socialism itself? Well my prediction is that it will fold up like a house of cards before hundreds of millions who know the will of God for the earth and know their duties in regards to their part of Gods plan. We have nothing of the sort at this time even though more than one hundred thousand people a day coming to Christ. What needs to happen to bring about the demise of world wide socialism? Very simple. Pop culture end time teachings need to be put in the garbage bin of history where they belong. That city on a hill still needs to be built and the modern social democrat will cower before it's brightness. (Actually he will feign obedience to God and the Gospel to acquire some things they desire.) Will our generation see this? I doubt it. That simply means we do our part so that a future generation might. The information age is upon the whole world. It's still in it's infancy. It is in the process of bringing unimaginable change to the world we now know. God knew this and is preparing a people to use it and be changed by it. We could see the most amazing things come to pass in our lifetimes. Like can any one believe with me that someday China will become a Christian nation! It could be the salt and light of the world. It could preserve the peace and propagate the Gospel all over the earth! Again none of this predicts that we will never see nuclear war or other unthinkable circumstances. It simply lays out that the Bible says the influence of the Government of God via the Gospel will in the long run grow and we will see many Gog and Magog type conflicts along the way. The big decision for the generations immediately ahead of us is if they will cast of the self imposed restraints of today's false end time teachings and embrace the authority of the scripture as their guiding light.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” ESV
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

 

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