The Battle of Armageddon
This frightening apocalyptic word “Armageddon” refers to earth’s final battle which is generally referred to as the Battle of Armageddon. But who are the contestants of this great battle of Armageddon? A fairly common reply would be “Russia, Syria, or Iran against Israel.” As the Middle East simmers toward a boiling point, and as U.S., British, and Israeli intelligence monitor closely Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb which might even be used against America. Millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even secularists are pondering, “Is the Battle of Armageddon at hand?” I believe so. Yet I am also convinced that there are massive battle of Armageddon illusions rampant everywhere. Please allow me to explain.
The word “Armageddon” appears only once in the entire Bible and is found in Revelation 16:16. If you open God’s Word and read this passage yourself along with the verses immediately before and after it, you will be amazed at what you will find and not find in regards to the battle of Armageddon. Take a look for yourself:
Revelation 16:12-21 “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof 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 forth unto 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 watcheth, and keepeth 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. 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 lightnings; 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 thereof was exceeding great.”
Interestingly, no place on earth actually bears the name Armageddon, and the above passage is the only mention of it in scripture and hence it is assumed that this is what scripture refers to but is it? The Greek is most commonly thought to be a transliteration of the Hebrew har megiddo, literally, “mountain of Megiddo.” Here is what Strong’s has to say about the word:
G717 Armageddōn ar-mag-ed-dohn‘ Of Hebrew origin [H2022] and [H4023]; Armageddon (or Har-Megiddon), a symbolical name: – Armageddon.
Strong’s proposes that the Greek word Armageddon originates from the two following Hebrew words:
H2022 har har A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively): – hill (country), mount (-ain), X promotion.
H4023 megiddôn megiddô meg-id-done’,meg-id-do‘ From H1413; rendezvous; Megiddon or Megiddo, a place in Palestine: – Megiddo, Megiddon.
The Mount of Megiddo is located in the plain of Esdraelon or Jezreel, a valley fourteen by twenty miles in size located to the southwest of Nazareth. Here, it is thought by many, that the great final battle of Armageddon will be fought at the end of time. Is it possible this battle is symbolic? First let’s do the ground work.
Understanding Bible Prophecy
There are utterly hundreds of interpretations on Bible Prophecy and especially on the issue of antichrist and the battle of Armageddon, the key word being “interpretations.” This is the majority’s first error as we are not allowed and do not need private interpretations at all. God’s Word gives us all we need to know without any speculation whatsoever. Note the following scripture that we should impress deeply into our minds.
2 Peter 1:20 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
Also, the book of Revelation ends with a severe warning telling us not to add or take away from the prophecies written in this book or there are very serious consequences.
Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto 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.”
If we adhere to the warning of these two scriptures then we should not go too far wrong. These verses inform us that everything we need to know about end time events will be stated in the Bible and we will not have to add extra doctrine or our own interpretations or fill in the gaps, for we are told not to add to it.
The moment you hear statements like, “this must be that country because or…”, then stop reading. If we have to add or take from what the Bible tells us, then we already have it wrong. In fact, once you understand the principles for understanding Bible prophecy, it is a lot simpler than you could imagine.
The key to understanding Bible prophecy is laid out in the principle of the following verse:
Isaiah 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
For example, in Revelation 13 we find a bizarre beast coming out of the sea with ten horns. Do we start making wild guesses as to what a beast is or what the meaning of the sea or water is? It is beyond the scope of this document to go into large detail here, but it is necessary to some extent, so you will know what I am going to share with you on the Battle of Armageddon will be Bible truth and not private interpretation.
A large amount of what we need to know can be found by referencing the book of Daniel. In fact two thirds of the book of Revelation can be found in the Old Testament and that is a very large key to finding our answers, “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Note the following two verses, which are significant to understanding many key Bible Prophecies, for instance the word “Beast” occurs more than 55 times in Revelation. This verse tells us the meaning of the waters or sea in this case.
Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which you sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
The previous verse which was divinely given to Daniel, informs us unmistakably what a beast is in Bible Prophecy. There is no need to guess, just let the Bible explain itself.
There is always so much speculation as to what the Mark of the Beast is or more to the point who this antichrist beast power is. Many believe it to be one individual at the end of time. Is this true? No! For those who want to research and study history a little, they will be shell shocked to find out what the real truth is. You will ask yourself why more people don’t know this truth, but this is how Satan works. He starts with a small lie and perpetuates it until it gets so big that nobody will entertain the idea of it ever being wrong. Even some theologians who first hear Satan’s perpetuated lie in a traditionally accepted teaching without questioning it, tend to end up establishing their theology around that lie that becomes a mind set.
Because of the importance of the identity of the antichrist beast power and to see how the following truth could not be established without using the book of Daniel we are going to cover this topic. Understanding how Daniel and Revelation work together is a crucial part of understanding the great Battle of Armageddon found in Revelation. So let’s identify from the Bible and history who this antichrist power is.
For a very comprehensive study on who and where is the Antichrist use this link and on completion return to this web site and then proceed straight to the second page of this document. If you have already read the web site who is the Antichrist, you can also go direct to the second page of this document on the Battle of Armageddon.
What does the Bible have to say about “Antichrist”?
Some are surprised to know that the word antichrist appears nowhere in the book of Revelation. The word antichrist occurs only five times and only in the Books of 1st and 2nd John.
- 1 John 2:18-22 – He is antichrist that denies Jesus is Christ. In John’s time there were many antichrists.
- 1 John 4:1-3 – Test the Spirits. Every spirit that denies Jesus came in the flesh is the spirit of antichrist.
- 2 John 1-11 – Those that deny Jesus came in the flesh are a deceiver and antichrist.
- Antichrist = “against Christ” or “in place of Christ”, attacking Christ’s character (Gnosticism), specifically with regard to love expressed in obedience to God’s Ten Commandments.
What is one method Satan uses to “deny” Christ?
2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15 – Appear as “apostles of Christ” but preach a “different Jesus”
Does the Bible give us a way to identify the Antichrist power?
Review Daniel 2 to get a prophetic blueprint of history: Babylon –> Medo-Persia –> Greece –> Rome –> 10 Divisions of Rome –>> Kingdom of the Stone.
Now apply the principle of repetition and enlargement to Daniel’s next vision.
- Beasts – Kings/kingdoms (political powers). Daniel 7:17, 23
- Horns/heads – Subdivisions of political powers. Daniel 7:24, 8:21-22
- Wings – Speed or swiftness.
- Winds – War/Strife. Jeremiah 49:35-37
- Sea – Multitudes of people. Revelation 17:1, 15
Daniel 7:1-8 – Daniel’s vision of four beasts
- The Lion – Babylon. Wings represent conquering speed. King Nebuchadnezzar.
- The Bear – Medo-Persia. One shoulder raised above the other represents the dominance of the Medes over the Persians. The three ribs represent the three kingdoms overthrown by this kingdom – Egypt, Lydia, and Babylon. (Daniel 8:20)
- The Leopard – Greece. Four wings representing great conquering speed. The four heads represent Alexander the Great’s four generals who ruled Greece after his death – Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Cassander. (Daniel 8:21-22)
- The different beast – Rome. The ten horns – the divisions of Rome (Same as the toes of Chapter 2) The ten horns are the 10 divisions of the Roman Empire as it fell apart. These were the Anglo Saxons (England), Alemanni (Germany), Heruli (x493AD), Vandals (x534AD), Ostrogoths (x538AD), Visigoths (Spain), Suevi (Portugal), Lombard’s (Italy), Burgundians (Swiss) and the Franks (France).
What nine characteristics help us to identify the little horn power?
- Location: out of the 4th beast and among the ten horns (v.8) – The Papacy arose out of Rome among the ten tribal divisions of Rome
- Timing: after the ten were established (v.8) – the Papacy became a political power by decree of the Roman emperor Justinian in AD 538 which was after the emergence of the ten tribal divisions that emerged as the Roman Empire fell apart in AD 476.
- Uprooted three of the ten horns (v.8) – As the Papacy came to prominence, it influenced Pagan Roman armies to destroy three of the tribes which opposed its Christian doctrines. These three were the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Heruli. The last of these was destroyed in AD 538 when Justinian’s decree went into effect.
- Eyes and mouth of a man (v.8) – the Papacy has a man as its visible head.
- Persecutes the saints (v.21, 25) – Ever hear of the Papal persecution during the dark ages – Inquisition, etc. More than 50 million Protestant Christians tortured and killed by the Catholic Church.
- Different than the other ten horns (v.24) – the Papacy was a religio-political entity different from the kingdoms before it.
- Speak out against God (v.8, 11, 20, 25) – Verse 8 says it will utter boastful or blasphemous things. One quote of many like it from Prompta Bibliothea Canonica Juridicia Moralis Theologica appearing in the Catholic Encyclopedia Volume VI, pp. 25-29, “The Pope is of so great dignity, and so exalted, that he is not a mere man, but as it were, God and the Vicar of God. The Pope is, as it were, God on earth, chief king of kings, having plentitude of power.”
- Little Horn attempts to change God’s times and laws (v.25) – The Papacy deleted the second commandment of the Decalogue on idolatry, changed the Sabbath to Sunday in favour of sun worship and divided the tenth commandment on coveting into two parts to get back to Ten Commandments.
- Have power for a time, times, and half a time (or three and a half years, forty two months, or 1260 days – see Revelation 12:6, 14) (v.25) – Applying the prophetic day for a year principle established in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 that equals 1260 years. The Papacy lasted in primary power from AD 538 to 1798 in which year Napoleon’s general Berthier marched into Rome, deposed the Pope, and carried him into exile where he died.
How does Daniel’s vision compare with John’s vision in Revelation 13?
The table below also demonstrates how a lot of Bible prophecy can be understood by comparing Revelation with the Old Testament and the book of Daniel in particular. Again this is very important to understanding the Battle of Armageddon as the beast is Mystery Babylon who is the major player in this prophecy.
|Antichrist Power: Daniel 7||Antichrist Power: Revelation 13|
|Four beasts from the Sea. vs.3||Four Beasts in one from sea. vs.1, 2|
|Lion. vs.4||Lion vs.2|
|Bear. vs.5||Bear. vs.2|
|Leopard. vs.6||Leopard. vs.2|
|Ten horned beast vs.7||Ten horned beast. vs.1|
|Mouth Speaking great things. vs.8||Mouth Speaking great things. vs.5|
|Makes war with the Saints. vs.21||Makes war with the Saints. vs.7|
|Power for 3.5 years = 42 Months. vs.25||Power for 42 Months. vs.5|
The above similarities are not a coincidence. God deliberately concealed many things like this so that they would not be seen until the time of the end. This applies to most prophecies involving the book of Daniel.
Daniel 12:4 “But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
There has only been one power that has persecuted Christians for 1260 years and only one power had the privilege of taking out three of the ten kingdoms from the collapse of the Roman Empire. It can be no other than the Papacy on these two points alone, and as we have seen there are far more identifying points.
What was Satan’s original purpose?
Isaiah 14:12-14 “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! 13 For you have said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Satan wanted to be worshipped as God but how could he achieve that goal when no Christian in their right mind would do this. When Satan (the Dragon) gave him (the Pope) his power, and his seat, and great authority, Satan achieved his goal and got the worship he wanted and on his day in favour of sun worship as this is what God hates and Satan knew it. The big issue is who we worship and what day we worship on. Do we give Satan our allegiance and worship on his day implemented by the Papacy, or do we place our allegiance where it should belong and worship on the day that God blessed and sanctified?
Revelation 13:2 “And the beast 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.”
What is Satan’s purpose now?
Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
The Protestant Reformation
Towards the time of the end when the Bible hit the printing press, almost all the early Church fathers began to understand these prophecies and in particular the one involving the antichrist beast power. Satan obviously does not want anyone understanding Bible Prophecy and especially who the beast power is as this would give Christians the upper hand in understanding 666 and the Mark of the Beast, the battle of Armageddon and other important issues. So naturally, Satan always has many counter lies coming against this truth.
The Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s literally changed the course of history. It helped move Europe out of the Dark Ages and led to the rise of true religious freedom. Its original principles eventually found expression in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America which teaches that when it comes to religion, the governments of earth have no right to control the conscience.
True Protestantism teaches salvation by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8) and the supremacy of the Bible above the visible church, (2 Timothy 3:16) above traditions, pastors, priests, popes and kings. It also teaches the priesthood of all believers (2 Peter 2:9-10) and that all people everywhere can be saved by coming directly to our loving heavenly Father through His only Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6). “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
What did the major Protestant Reformers teach about the Antichrist? The following quotations are not indented to foster ill will toward any human being, for this would be contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ but truth is truth and that is all we can present here. Here are many comments presented by some of the most influential Christian leaders who have ever lived and what they believed about “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8), “the beast” (Revelation 13:1), and “the man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and about Antichrist.
John Wesley (1703-1791) (Methodist): Speaking of the Papacy, John Wesley wrote, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, by John Wesley, pg. 110.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) (Lutheran): “Luther … proved, by the revelations of Daniel and St. John, by the epistles of St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. Jude, that the reign of Antichrist, predicted and described in the Bible, was the Papacy … And all the people did say, Amen! A holy terror seized their souls. It was Antichrist whom they beheld seated on the pontifical throne. This new idea, which derived greater strength from the prophetic descriptions launched forth by Luther into the midst of his contemporaries, inflicted the most terrible blow on Rome.” Taken from J. H. Merle D’aubigne’s History of the Reformation of the Sixteen Century, book vi, chapter xii, p. 215. Based on prophetic studies, Martin Luther finally declared, “We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520). Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, by LeRoy Froom. Vol. 2., pg. 121.
John Wycliffe: “When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and the other in Avigon, France, each pope called the other pope antichrist – and John Wycliffe is reputed to have regarded them as both being right: “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.” –Ibid
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) (Anglican): “Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Referring to prophecies in Revelation and Daniel.) Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pp. 6-7.
John Calvin (1509-1564) (Presbyterian): “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” Taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin.
John Knox (1505-1572) (Scotch Presbyterian): John Knox sought to counteract “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church.” As with Luther, he finally concluded that the Papacy was “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” The Zurich Letters, by John Knox, pg. 199.
Roger Williams (1603-1683) (First Baptist Pastor in America): Pastor Williams spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.
The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): “There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God.” Taken from Philip Schaff’s, The Creeds of Christendom,With a History and Critical Notes, III, p. 658, 659, ch. 25, sec. 6.
Cotton Mather (1663-1728) (Congregational Theologian): “The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” Taken from The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom’s book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113.
A Great Cloud of Witnesses: “Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer; in the seventeenth century, Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of Faith; Sir Isaac Newton, Wesley, Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards; and more recently Spurgeon, Bishop J.C. Ryle and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones; these men among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the antichrist.” Taken from All Roads Lead to Rome, by Michael de Semlyen. Dorchestor House Publications, p. 205. 1991.
Please consider the following question very carefully. Why have almost all these Churches forgotten what was known by their early Church fathers and all these other people who had no trouble in understanding what the Bible taught here? Have you given this some serious thought? There is only one answer.
Never underestimate the enemy!! He has sown more lies and deceptions into the Church today than one can imagine or what space we have to go into here. Don’t just assume because your Pastor does not teach it that it is not truth. It is this mentality that helps Satan keep his lies going. Pastors are still just people and suffer many of the same vulnerabilities as we do. Most Christians have not read their Bible from cover to cover and yet the best example we get is from the Borean Christians in the early Church. We should follow their lead so we can personally understand what the battle of Armageddon and the mark of the beast are truly about.
Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
As you have just read, all those great people understood the antichrist power to be none other than the Papacy. This following comment is no reflection on all the wonderful people in the Catholic Church but truth is truth and the truth is the Papacy persecuted and murdered an estimated 70-100 million Christians they called heretics through the dark ages for reading the Bible and keeping God’s true day of worship etc, which is why the Protestant reformation began. As part of a counter reformation from the Papacy in what was called the Council of Trent, the Papacy commissioned some Jesuit Priests to manufacture false prophecy that would take the attention off them being the antichrist beast power. The purpose of this Counter Reformation was to point the attention to someone before their time or in the distant future. Some call this the great Catholic diversion but is more commonly known just as the Counter Reformation.
The Counter Reformation
With the arrival of the printing press in the 15th century and the resulting explosion of Bibles accessible in the common language from Protestant sources, it became readily apparent to those who could now study the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation in particular, that Bible prophecy identified by symbols a persecuting apostate entity generally known as antichrist.
In this the “Historical” interpretation, the antichrist was clearly not merely a single individual, it was a system of apostasy and persecution that would hold control for over twelve centuries. The inevitable conclusion of those who studied these prophecies in scripture, before and during the Protestant Reformation, was that there was only one entity that fit all the above characteristics: the papal dynasty of the Roman Catholic Church. Is it any wonder that the Catholic Church was so violently opposed to the scriptures being available for everyone to read for themselves? There was such a stir created during the reformation that the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-17 A.D.) resorted to strictly forbidding anyone to publish a book without prior censorship, and also prohibited anyone from preaching on the subject of antichrist. The intent of both Futurism and Preterism was to be diversionary, to counter or offset the Protestant Historical interpretation, and present alternatives, no matter how implausible they might be.
The result is evident from the following chart, which illustrates the three schools of interpretation regarding antichrist. Ribera’s futurism puts the antichrist into a future three and one-half literal years. Alcazar’s preterism identifies the antichrist as Nero. Both of them put antichrist outside the middle Ages and the reformation period, identified by Protestant Historicists as antichrist’s reign of 1260 prophetic years.
Now the truly amazing part of all this is that the Futurist theory dominates Protestant teaching today. About all you hear or read about today is the yet to appear antichrist, who will be unveiled in the last 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week, when he declares himself to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. That scenario, as you can now see, is directly traceable back to the pen of the Jesuit Francisco Ribera who manufactured this theory for the sole purpose of diverting attention from the papacy. Note what one Protestant writer had to say over one hundred years ago:
“Accordingly, towards the close of the century of the Reformation, two of her most learned doctors set themselves to the task, each endeavouring by different means to accomplish the same end, namely, that of diverting men’s minds from perceiving the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Antichrist in the Papal system. The Jesuit Alcasar devoted himself to bring into prominence the Preterist method of interpretation, which we have already briefly noticed, and thus endeavouring to show that the prophecies of Antichrist were fulfilled before the Popes ever ruled in Rome, and therefore could not apply to the Papacy. On the other hand the Jesuit Ribera tried to set aside the application of these prophecies to the Papal Power by bringing out the Futurist system, which asserts that these prophecies refer properly not to the career of the Papacy, but to that of some future supernatural individual, who is yet to appear, and to continue in power for three and a half years. Thus, as Alford says, the Jesuit Ribera, about A.D. 1580, may be regarded as the Founder of the Futurist system in modern times.”
“It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy from detection as the Antichrist. It has been well said that ‘Futurism tends to obliterate the brand put by the Holy Spirit upon Popery.’ More especially is this to be deplored at a time when the Papal Antichrist seems to be making an expiring effort to regain his former hold on men’s minds.”
From Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place In It, A Study of the Historical and Futurist Interpretation, by Joseph Tanner, published in London by Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, pages 16,17.
In what could only be described as a stunning reversal, Protestants have over time actually become the papacy’s greatest ally by spreading its Jesuit spawned propaganda. What irony that Protestants, who originally broke away from what they clearly recognized to be the harlot antichrist led church of prophecy, now champion the Futurist interpretation from high profile ministries. Futurism has without doubt, been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its Jesuit authors. The same applies to the Preterist interpretation of Luis De Alcazar, although to a lesser degree.
Most of you have probably heard of a supposed seven year tribulation period and a secret rapture. It should totally shock you to know that there is no scripture that specifically mentions seven years of tribulation! It simply does not exist. Previously I told you that some of the things I would share with you would shell shock you and this is one of them. This was part of the Counter Reformation from the Papacy and was manufactured by the Jesuit Francisco Ribera who was responsible for the futurist view just explained above. For more information, read “Secret Rapture”
Check everything you are told with the Bible and where relevant with history. Do not use biased Christian sources. They must be unprejudiced, unbiased historical sources or Satan will still succeed in leading you from truth. For example, Satan has many counter deceptions out there to come against truth including the lie that the Ten Horns of the beast of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 are ten consecutive kings. This is all it would take to throw you from the real truth of these Bible passages. The Ten horns are ten kings and this is Bible truth as we have already seen and is unmistakably clear from the scripture below.
Daniel 7:24 “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.”
But as for them being ten consecutive kings, this is just not possible.
Daniel 7:8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”
You will note that the verse says, “a little one, which came up among them”. In order for another kingdom to come up AMONG them, they all have to exist at the same time. This matches history perfectly. Again as we have already seen, the Papacy uprooted the Vandals, Heruli and the Ostrogoths as they opposed them from coming into full power. None of these kingdoms or equivalents exists now today as a result.
Read “666 and the Mark of the beast” or “mark of the beast” for even more detailed information. Do not read these sites unless you are a Christian that wants to know truth at any cost. You may also like to read this one for the origins of 666. Daniel 7:25 also tells us that the Papacy would think to change God’s times and laws which as we have seen they did and freely admit and history proves this also. They have their own version of the Ten Commandments where the 2nd Commandment has been deleted and they changed God’s Sabbath to Sunday in honour of sun worship unknown to so many Christians today. You find the evidence of sun worship all over the place in the Papacy like the picture shown here. Why is this unknown to so many Christians? Again, Satan was created a very wise and powerful angel and he has been around for thousands of years. Does anyone think that he just might be capable of doing a good job at deceiving? The truth is never, ever easy to see. Some say that, “the truth is not always popular and what is popular is not always truth.”
“A lie can travel halfway around the world, while truth puts on its shoes.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
A lot of Bible Prophecy revolves around God’s Commandments as breaking them is sin and this sin is what God hates and is detestable to Him. 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” God loves the sinner but He hates the sin. It is the battle between what is from God which is good and love and obedience versus what is from Satan which is evil and sin and disobedience. When you mention the Sabbath to many Christians you receive a multitude of different reasons as to why God made nine Commandments that are obviously eternal but apparently made a huge mistake as He added one that was apparently not a Commandment of love or eternal. Did God really foul up here? If you really love God with all your heart and want the answer to the real truth, on careful study of history and the Bible, you will find the answer to this question is No. God has more wisdom than everyone on Earth put together and did not make nine eternal love Commandments and one that was not. Would you do that? I certainly wouldn’t and I am no match for God’s wisdom. If you can accept this fact then you will understand a lot more on what so much Bible Prophecy is all about. If you are a Christian that says, “If this is so, then I want to know”, you can find the Sabbath truth on “Sabbath and Antichrist truth Revealed”
If you are a Christian that says, “it was done away with or the day was changed”, you will miss out on many of God’s blessings and knowledge of Bible Prophecy truth and so don’t bother reading the above web site. I pray that through the history and Bible facts presented here that the victory Satan has achieved through the Papacy can be seen and you will reconsider what it is you are rejecting and who is getting the glory.
We will eventually make the connection with the Battle of Armageddon and what the Bible calls “Mystery Babylon” or spiritual Babylon which is the Papacy and all the false religions that have come from her.
The rebuilt Jewish Temple – Fact or Fiction
Many of you will have noted in the comments made by our early Church fathers and the translators of the KJV Bible that the man of sin referred to in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 is none other than the Pope.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
It is from this verse that the conclusion comes that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt so that the antichrist can sit in the temple of God. Well here comes some more of that shell shocking truth I spoke of. This was more of Jesuit Francisco Ribera’s false manufactured prophecy to make us think that the antichrist power was some individual at the end of time. The fact that this was manufactured as part of the Papacy’s Counter Reformation and that all the early Church fathers knew this was referring to the Pope should be enough, but I will touch on it lightly. Again, large percentages of the Christian populous believe this perpetuated lie.
The Pope claims to be God on Earth and puts himself in place of Christ which matches the definition of antichrist; against or in place of. Here are some quotes from the Roman Catholic Church.
“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh.” – Catholic National, July 1895
“We hold upon this earth the place of God almighty.” – Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
“The pope has power to change times, abrogate laws, and dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ.” – Decretal De Translat. Espiscop. Cap.
“The authority of the Church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed…the Sabbath to Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” – Cannon and Tradition, p.263
“The church may by divine right confiscate the property of heretics, imprison their person, and condemn them to flames. In our age, the right to inflict the severest penalties, even death, belongs to the church. There is no graver offense than heresy, therefore it must be rooted out.” – Public Eccliastical, Vol. 2, p.142.
The Greek word Paul used for temple in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 is “nah-os”. Here are some other scriptures that use this same Greek word.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
We are the temple of God now. That is the Church. Here is another couple using the same Greek word;
1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?”
Matthew 26:61 “And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.”
Jesus is obviously not talking about an earthly temple in the above verse. There are many others but this should be enough to see what Paul was talking about here. Paul is a Christian Jew and knows that the temple is now the Church and if Paul were to call a rebuilt temple “the temple of God” then he would be denying what Jesus did on the cross. Paul would never call a rebuilt temple the “temple of God” because it would not be God’s temple! In the next verse you will see that Jesus calls the temple of God His house or His temple.
Matthew 21:13 “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.”
But note now in the following verse Jesus said, Matthew 23:38 “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
But soon it will be their house, i.e. no longer God’s temple. Why?
Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
Jesus ended the temple sacrifices when he became the one and final perfect sacrifice. It is no longer God’s temple as Jesus said in the verse above and Paul would never ever call it that either because he obviously knows it is no longer God’s temple. We are the temple of God now! If Paul called it God’s temple he would be saying to God that Jesus never did the job on the cross and that further sacrifices are needed.
The Pope will be seated [sitteth] in a position of power in the Church “showing himself that he is God.” Remember the Pope claims to be God on earth now. All the early Church fathers and Protestants knew this and were not deceived by Ribera’s manufactured writings because they knew who he was. Yet another truth that Satan has slowly drawn from the Church over the centuries. That is how he does it, slowly and subtly.
Now moving closer to the issue of the Battle of Armageddon. First a few more points and symbols. A woman in Bible Prophecy represents a Church and the colour blue represents God’s Ten Commandment law.
Numbers 15:38-39 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that you may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that you seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you use to go a whoring:”
The colours of the garments that the priests were to wear had the colours gold, blue, purple and scarlet. It is important to make note that the colour blue represents God’s law and that the Papacy thought to change God’s law. Note in the picture here that the robes of the Catholic Priests are missing the colour blue.
Exodus 28:3-6 “And you shall speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. 4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. 5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 6 And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.”
In the following vision of John’s we are shown the judgment that must come upon the mother of all Churches, Mystery Babylon or spiritual Babylon. The judgement is because she thought to change God’s law and has the blood of millions of Christians the Papacy called heretics on her hands. You will note many of the same identifying marks as the beast described in Revelation 13:1 being Papal Rome. Having seen the criteria now for the antichrist power, the passage below should make perfect sense. Since a woman in Bible Prophecy represents a Church and a beast a kingdom, what we symbolically have below is a woman riding and in control of a beast. This literally would be a Church in control of a kingdom or more specifically, a Church in control of state as was the Roman Catholic Church for 1260 dark years. This is why America had in their constitution that Church should remain separate from state so that such a dreadful thing as those 1260 years of Papal persecution could not happen again, but unfortunately the Bible tells us it will happen again with the Mark of the Beast issue. Note that the woman riding the beast, like the Catholic Priest robes, is missing the colour blue. Here is a Church in control of state that has forgotten the Commandments of God and any wonder when the dragon (Satan) gave her the power and great authority. You don’t think Satan wants us obeying God’s Commandments do you? This all revolves around who we worship and more specifically God’s law which defines what sin is. The Papacy is especially famous for changing God’s Sabbath and they say that it is a MARK of their authority that they could do this and have the whole protestant world follow her.
Revelation 17:1-6 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sitteth 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 scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS 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 admiration.”
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible Albert Barnes (1798-1870) quotes the following:
“Rev 17:2 – With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication – Spiritual adultery. The meaning is, that papal Rome, unfaithful to God, and idolatrous and corrupt, had seduced the rulers of the earth, and led them into the same kind of unfaithfulness, idolatry, and corruption. … How true this is in history need not be stated. All the princes and kings of Europe in the dark ages, and for many centuries were, and not a few of them are now, entirely under the influence of papal Rome.
And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication – The alluring cup which, as an harlot, she had extended to them. See this image explained in the notes on Rev 14:8. There it is said that Babylon – referring to the same thing – had “made them drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”; that is, of the cup that led to wrath or punishment. Here it is said that the harlot had made them “drunk with the wine of her fornication”; that is, they had been, as it were, intoxicated by the alluring cup held out to them. What could better describe the influence of Rome on the people of the world, in making them, under these delusions, incapable of sober judgment, and in completely fascinating and controlling all their powers?”
The Battle of Armageddon
Now that the foundations have been laid to understand all the Prophecy involved, we can now cover this most misunderstood topic of the battle of Armageddon. We have seen who the antichrist beast power is that thought to change God’s laws, which is the “great whore that sitteth upon many waters:” Revelation 17:1 and mystery Babylon or spiritual Babylon that is yet to receive God’s wrath for her fornication with the kings of this earth, and for all the shed blood of the saints labelled heretics that died rather than bow to the Papacy and their day of worship.
Left Behind: Fact or Fiction?
The book “Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages” is now launched. It is Book number 11 of the New York Times best selling Left Behind series. Unleashed on April 8, 2003 in the wake of a five million dollar add campaign, Armageddon is now being read around the world by Christians and secular searchers alike looking for answers in the midst of a world now at “War Against Terror.” Leftbehind.com, in its description of Armageddon’s basic story line, portrays a final remnant of scattered believers as being drawn inexorably toward the Middle East, as are all the armies of the world, when history hones in on the battle of the ages.
Although contained in well written fiction, Armageddon echoes the non-fiction theology of a small group of evangelical Bible teachers which is now eagerly being read by millions. The scene: History’s last battlefield in the Middle East. Final contestants: The Powers of Earth vs. the Jews. Nature of conflict: Military. Epicentre: A small valley northwest of Jerusalem where all the armies of the world will converge for the battle of the ages.
Supposedly, at least according to books like Armageddon, radio programs like Irvin Baxter Juniors Politics and Religion, TV networks like Pat Robertson’s CBN and Paul Crouch’s TBN, and high-budget apocalyptic films like The Omega Code, the Bible’s final prophecies will revolve around modern Israel and the blood stained city of Jerusalem. During history’s last moments, supposedly yet again the Almighty will finally pulverize Israel’s invading enemies and defend His chosen people the Jews.
The belief that God will ultimately defend Middle East Jews at the battle of Armageddon is so strongly embedded within the 21st century evangelical psyche that it has spilled over into politics and even influences U.S. foreign policy toward the Jewish State. The United States not only supports Israel as a democracy which it should but countless American citizens, including prophecy-minded, politically active Christians in Washington D.C., believe strongly that if they support Israel, God will support them. From California to New York, on radio and TV, the line is often heard, “He who blesses Israel will be blessed, and He who curses Israel will be cursed,” although this often repeated phrase is really a misinterpretation of Genesis 12:3 which contains one sentence spoken to Abraham alone, not to the Israeli nation.
As any Christian should, I long to see God’s blessing come upon both Jews and Arabs alike. The purpose of this document is not to condemn U.S. support for Israel or to try and solve a seemingly unsolvable Middle East mess, rather, its assignment is to take a second look at what the New Testament and especially the book of Revelation really says about Israel, Jerusalem and the battle of Armageddon. Is Left Behind’s blockbuster 11th book, “Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages”, correct in its assumption that God will defend modern Jerusalem during Earth’s last war? Is the current “God Is Behind Israel” theology of so many evangelical Christians really right? Or could there be something wrong with this picture?
Who is real Israel – The two Israel’s
First of all this truth has seismic implications. The New Testament actually describes two Israel’s, not just one. Paul wrote, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel” Romans 9:6. What does this text mean? Look closely. Those “of Israel” refer to people belonging to the literal Jewish nation. But just because people are “of Israel,” or Jewish, doesn’t necessarily mean they are truly Israel indeed.
To clarify, Paul said there is an “Israel according to the flesh” (1 Corinthians 10:18) and an “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:14-16) centred in Jesus Christ. For simplicity, let’s call the first group, Israel one, and the second group, Israel Two. Israel one is composed of “Israelites … according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3-4) which refer to literal Jews who can trace their blood line back to Abraham, but who do not as yet believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
Paul wrote, “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God” Romans 9:8. Thus Israel one, although it has a wonderful religious heritage, is made up largely of people who spiritually “are not the children of God.” In the New Testament sense, “the children of God,” applies only to those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord (see John 1:12). “The Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), or Israel Two, refers to a composite group made up of both Jews and non-Jews who believe in the Crucified one, have died to self and been born again (see verses 14-15). This group is called “the Israel of God” because it is God centred, being made up of people who have a genuine experience with the Lord. Sadly, the majority of Middle East Israelis today don’t fit this description although Jesus is working among them and many are coming to faith in Him.
Writing to non-Jews, or Gentiles, Paul wrote, “And if you belong to Christ, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” Galatians 3:28-29. Don’t miss this, for it’s of extreme importance. This passage teaches that a Gentile, if he “belongs to Christ,” is mystically injected into “Abraham’s seed,” which according to Isaiah 41:8 is Israel. In Galatians 6, Paul summarized his doctrine by saying that anyone, circumcised or uncircumcised, who becomes a “new creature” through faith in Jesus, is now part of “the Israel of God”, verses 14-16. They belong to Israel Two. See also Romans 2:28-29.
Here’s the explosive question: Which group, Israel one or Israel Two is the focus in the book of Revelation? Is it “Israel after the flesh,” that is, modern Israel, with its present capital of Jerusalem? Millions of Bible Prophecy believing Christians think so but as we have seen, much of this misunderstanding comes from Jesuit Francisco Ribera’s manufactured futurism prophecy written for the Papacy as part of the counter reformation. So what does Revelation teach? The answer will be discovered through a deep study of God’s Word.
When we open Revelation’s mysterious pages, we discover predictions about mount Zion (14:1), the twelve tribes of Israel (7:4-8), Jerusalem (21:10), the temple (11:19), Sodom and Egypt (11:8), Babylon (17:5), the Euphrates river (16:12), and the so called battle of Armageddon (16:16). Thus Revelation uses the terminology and geography of the Middle East in its prophecies.
Once again, here is the big question: Does God want these prophecies to be applied to those literal places in the Middle East and to “Israel after the flesh” centred in modern Jerusalem (Israel one)? Or might He rather intend for a spiritual application of these prophecies to “the Israel of God” centred in Jesus Christ (Israel Two), that is, to a spiritual Israel made up only of born again Jews and Gentiles scattered around the world? Most theologians apply Revelation to Israel one and to literal Middle East locations, but is this right?
Let’s start at the beginning of Revelation. The Bible’s last book is ultimately, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” Revelation 1:1. Jesus Christ is the Source, the Centre and the Interpreter. In chapter one, John was “in the Spirit”, don’t forget this; when he saw Jesus walking “in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” (verses 10-13). The idea of “seven golden candlesticks” takes our minds back to the seven branched candlestick inside the Jewish temple before it was destroyed in 70 A.D. by Roman armies. Yet in Revelation, “the seven golden candlesticks” are clearly symbolic.
What do they represent? Explaining “the mystery,” the Interpreter declared, “the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches” Revelation 1:20. Thus, in Revelation’s very first chapter, I am going to call this “Exhibit A” for it reveals a truth I wish to develop. Jesus Christ took something extremely Jewish and used it symbolically to represent His Church. As we shall see, this is the key interpretive principle to understanding the entire book.
Enter Exhibit B. In Revelation 2, in a dictated letter to “the church in Thyatira” (verse 18), Jesus reproved His people for allowing “that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants…” verse 20. Jezebel was a wicked woman in Old Testament days that entered Israel and caused problems. Was Jesus saying Jezebel had been reincarnated, or resurrected, or was He literally teaching deception within Thyatira? Obviously not. A little reflection reveals that He used the word, “Jezebel,” as a symbol of an evil movement that was affecting His Church. As with the seven golden candlesticks, God’s Messiah took something from Jewish history and applied it to His Church, “the Israel of God.”
Enter Exhibit C. In Revelation 3, the Heavenly Interpreter dictated another letter to “the church in Philadelphia” (verse 7) in which He said a Christian could become “a pillar in the temple of My God,” and have a place “in the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem” verse 12. Don’t miss the significance of this. Not only did Jesus once again use Jewish imagery the temple and apply it symbolically to His Church, but He also identified another city, “the New Jerusalem,” as God’s real city. And this city will not be a remodelled earthly Jerusalem with its bullet holes covered and the blood of suicide bombers scrubbed away. This one “comes down out of heaven.”
Remember, in Revelation’s first chapter, John was “in the Spirit” (1:10) when he received his vision. In fact, throughout Revelation he was “in the Spirit” seeing different things (4:2; 17:3; 21:10). When one is “in the Spirit,” he sees through Holy Spirit eyes instead of with flesh vision eyes. Remember also, Paul described two Israel’s, one “after the flesh,” and the other “in Christ.” Again, the question is which Israel is the focus of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ”? When God’s final prophetic masterpiece of the Apocalypse talks about “Israel” (7:4), “mount Zion” (14:1), “Jerusalem,” (21:10), “the temple” (11:19), “Sodom and Egypt” (11:8), “Babylon” (17:5), “Euphrates” (16:12), and the so called “battle of Armageddon” (16:16), do these refer to literal, earthly, war-torn, fleshy places not too far from Iraq, south of Baghdad, west of Jordan, east of Tel-Aviv and north of Yasser Arafat’s headquarters?
Enter Exhibit D. The fact is, every specific reference to “Jerusalem” in Revelation concerns a “New Jerusalem” (3:12; 21:2, 10) which sits on a heavenly “great and high mountain [Mount Zion]” (21:10; 14:1), that houses “the temple of God … in heaven” (11:19; 15:5; 16:1, 17) and is the final home a victorious “Israel” (7:4) which “follows the Lamb wherever He goes” (14:4, 1). The enemy of God’s “New Jerusalem” is a “great city” called “Mystery Babylon” (14:8; 17:5; 18:2) which “sits on many waters” (17:1) of the “great river Euphrates” (16:12) until God’s wrath finally demolishes it at “Armageddon” (16:16, 19). So what’s happening here? A little reflection combined with Holy Spirit enlightenment shows that Revelation is ingeniously using the terminology and landscape of the Middle East in a unique, heavenly and spiritual sense.
Let’s look closer at “the great river Euphrates.” The Bible says, “And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river Euphrates; and it’s water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” Revelation 16:12. Those who interpret Revelation’s Middle East terminology literally such as in Left Behind’s 11th book, Armageddon usually apply this passage to Asian kings marching across a dry riverbed to shoot bullets at Jews at the battle of Armageddon. One well known American radio preacher suggests a Turkish dam might be the means of drying up the river. Is this really what Revelation 16:12 is about?
The literal Drying up of the Euphrates for the Kings of the East
In order to understand this prophecy, we must first study some Bible history about ancient Israel and literal Babylon. In 605 B.C., “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon” came “to Jerusalem, and besieged it” Daniel 1:1. Jerusalem was conquered and Judah was taken captive for 70 years Daniel 9:2. After 70 years, an amazing set of circumstances occurred. The Euphrates was dried up, Babylon was conquered from the east and God’s people were delivered. This history forms the background for a true understanding of Revelation 16:12.
Ancient Babylon sat on the Euphrates (Jeremiah 51:63-64). A wall surrounded the city. The Euphrates ran through Babylon, entering and exiting through two spiked gates whose bars reached down into the riverbed. When these twin gates were shut and all other entrances were closed, Babylon was virtually impregnable.
In 538 B.C., on the night of ancient Babylon’s fall, her king and subjects were drunk with wine, see Daniel 5. So were the guards and they forgot to fully close the double doors. Over 100 years earlier, God had predicted concerning Babylon and the Euphrates, “I will dry up your rivers” Isaiah 44:27. The Lord also spoke about “Cyrus,” the man who conquered Babylon, saying, “I will…open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut” Isaiah 45:1. Moreover God called Cyrus “my shepherd” and “his anointed” (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1). Thus Cyrus was a type of Jesus Christ. And he came “from the east” Isaiah 46:11.
Housed in the British Museum in London lies the famous Cyrus Cylinder which describes how Cyrus, a general of Darius, conquered Babylon. Cyrus and his army dug trenches upstream alongside the river Euphrates which diverted the flowing water. The river gradually went down as it ran through Babylon. No one noticed. That night, at the height of Belshazzar’s drunken party (see Daniel 5), the water became low enough for Cyrus and his men to stealthily slip under the double doors, which had been left open. Quickly they overran the doomed city, killing the king (Daniel 5:30), and conquering Babylon. Then Cyrus issued his famous decree to let Israel go (Ezra 1). The Jews were free. Ingeniously, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” makes use of the dusty history of this ancient event and then applies it with stunning, apocalyptic force to another “Babylon,” another “Israel,” another “Euphrates,” and another deliverance from “the east.”
In the Old Testament, the battle was clearly between the literal nation of Israel and literal Babylon (Daniel 1). In Revelation, we also find a struggle between “Israel” and “Babylon” (7:4; 14:1, 8). As you well know, the majority of prophecy teachers apply this, at least the “Israel” part of it to literal Jews on the west bank. But let’s be consistent. What about “Babylon”? Does this apply to a rebuilt city south of Baghdad? Some say yes. The Bible and the evidence suggests otherwise. Jeremiah 51:26 “…but you shall be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 50:39 “…and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.”
In Revelation 17, a shiny angel beckoned to John: “Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters” (verse 1). “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy … having a golden cup in her hand” (verses 3, 4). “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:1, 3-5). John was “in the Spirit” (verse 3) when he received this prophecy. So we must be “in the Spirit” to interpret it correctly.
The woman’s name is “Mystery Babylon.” The word, “Mystery” is significant. In Revelation 1, the true Interpreter, Jesus Christ, used the same word as He applied the Jewish imagery of “seven golden candlesticks” to His Church. In Revelation 17, the same word is applied to the enemy of His Church, to “Mystery Babylon.” And this greater “Babylon” has no application to the ancient city whose sun cracked bricks are now whitening south of Baghdad but in fact Papal Rome as previously discovered.
The Two Babylon’s
In Old Testament days, literal Babylon sat on the literal river Euphrates. In “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” “Mystery Babylon” also “sits on many waters” (17:1), yet these waters don’t refer to the literal murky Euphrates now trickling through modern Iraq. I’ll prove it from one primary text. And this text is so explosively significant, it’s like detonating a spiritual nuclear warhead against error. John’s angel interpreter explained, “The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” Revelation 17:15.
According to the angel interpreter, the “many waters” of Revelation’s Euphrates represent “people” all over Planet Earth who now support “Mystery Babylon.” They are “drunk with the wine of her fornication” (17:2). “Wine” is obviously symbolic, as is “her fornication.” The “wine” stands for Babylon’s false doctrines, while “her fornication” applies to her unlawful union with “the kings of the earth” (17:2).
“Mystery Babylon” is also “a woman” (17:3). As seen previously, a woman in prophecy represents a church. God likens His people to a “wife” that “has made herself ready” for “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (19:7, 9). The Babylonian woman has also “fallen” (14:8). This must mean that “Mystery Babylon” in Revelation represents a globally supported church that has “fallen” away from her true lover, Jesus Christ, and from Bible truth and God’s law. Yet God still has people inside of Babylon, whom He calls, “My people.” Before the last act of history’s drama, He calls them to “come out” (18:4). Why? Because the river Euphrates is destined to run dry. So God has His children in all Churches including the Roman Catholic Church, “Mystery Babylon.”
“The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up” Revelation 16:12. Left Behind’s Armageddon and countless other theologians apply this drying up of Euphrates to a literal drying so Asian armies can shoot bullets at the Jews at the battle of Armageddon. But what does the Bible say dries up the river? Turkey? No. The Word says, “the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates.” This “vial” is one of the seven “vials of the wrath of God” (16:1). Thus, it is the wrath of God, not Turkey that dries up the Euphrates! What does it mean? Brace yourself. If the “waters” represent “people,” and if the vial of wrath falls on the water, then this means God’s wrath will finally be poured upon people who steadfastly continue supporting Mystery Babylon who thought to change God’s law.
When Heaven’s judgments fall on the swirling waters of Babylon supporting people, reality will be inescapable. They will realize they’ve been misled. Then they will “hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Revelation 17:16. Thus their misplaced support for a false system will vanish. This is how Babylon’s water will dry up, preparing the way for “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12) for the great battle of Armageddon.
In Old Testament days, Cyrus came from “the east” to conquer Babylon (Isaiah 44:26-28; 46:11). The word, “east,” means “sun rising,” and the name, “Cyrus,” means, “sun.” Cyrus came not to attack the Jews, but as their Deliverer, and again, Cyrus was a type of Jesus Christ, the “Sun of righteousness” Malachi 4:2. In Revelation, God’s angels come from the east (7:2), and Jesus Himself said, “As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” Matthew 24:27. Therefore just as Cyrus came from the east to deliver literal Israel from the clutches of literal Babylon, even so will King Jesus descend from the eastern skies with “the armies which were in heaven” (19:14) to conquer spiritual Babylon and to deliver “the Israel of God” (Israel Two) at the battle of Armageddon!
The following table demonstrates some of the parallels.
|Ancient Israel||The Parallel||Spiritual Israel|
|Jeremiah 50:33-34||Persecuted by Babylon||Revelation 17:6|
|Daniel 3:10-11||Forced to worship an image||Revelation 13:15|
|Daniel 4:30||Called Babylon the Great||Revelation 17:5|
|Jeremiah 51:13||Babylon sits on many waters||Revelation 17:1|
|Isaiah 44:27-28||Rescued by drying up Euphrates River||Revelation 16:12|
|Jeremiah 51:6-8||Called out of Babylon||Revelation 18:4|
|Isaiah 45:1||Rescuer called “The Anointed”||Acts 10:38|
|Isaiah 41:2||Both rescuers from the “East”||Matthew 24:27|
Armageddon: Literal or Symbolic?
What about “Armageddon”? Surprisingly, this exact word is used only once in the Bible, in Revelation 16:16. The Word says, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.”
Honestly, there is no literal place anywhere on Earth bearing this exact name. It’s true, there is a valley north of Jerusalem which was called “Megiddo” (Judges 5:19) in Bible days. It was a place where the armies of Israel often met foreign enemies in bloody battles. Because “Megiddo,” sounds like, “Armageddon,” millions assume this same place will be the location of a final showdown against the Jews. But is this right?
The so called “battle of Armageddon” represents the apex, the climax, the final battle in Revelation. Will it be a military battle in the Middle East? Again, let’s be consistent. Throughout Revelation we’ve seen Middle East terms like the “seven golden candlesticks,” (1:20), “Jezebel” (2:20), “Mount Zion,” (14:1), “Jerusalem,” (3:12), “the temple” (11:19), “Sodom and Egypt” (11:8), “Euphrates” (16:12) and “Babylon” (17:5) used in a Christ centred, heavenly, spiritual sense. When it comes to the “battle of Armageddon,” which is a term depicting the grand finale in the greatest apocalyptic book ever written, does it make sense for God’s last book to suddenly shift gears away from its thematic focus by pinpointing a literal, local, high tech, Middle East-based conflagration involving Russians, Chinese, Syrians, and literal Jews?
We don’t have to guess. The answer is in the context surrounding Revelation 16:16. While it is outside the scope of this document to discuss the fascinating details, here are the main points:
- The battle of Armageddon involves “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (16:14), which could not possibly fit inside the valley of Megiddo.
- Revelation’s focus is “the temple of heaven” (16:17), not a supposedly soon to be rebuilt Jewish temple on earth that originated from the Papacies Counter Reformation, Jesuit manufactured prophecy.
- The affects of the battle of Armageddon are global, far beyond the Middle East (16:18-20).
- The primary system identified as being destroyed at the battle of Armageddon is spiritual “Babylon” (16:19), not Russia, China or Syria.
In essence, the “battle of Armageddon” depicts the final battle between King Jesus and His heavenly armies (19:11-19) against the worldwide forces of Satan referred to in the Apocalypse as “Mystery Babylon.” At the Second Coming, the devil loses, and his global kingdom comes crashing down. Jesus doesn’t need to nuke His foes, but only to use His “sharp two-edged sword” (1:16; 19:15) which represents His Word of truth (Ephesians 6:17). When Christ descends from the east, He will deliver “Israel” from the clutches of “Babylon.” But which Israel will He deliver? According to the thematic genius of the entire book of Revelation, it must be “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) centred in Jesus Christ whose home and dwelling place is the “New Jerusalem” Revelation 21:10. Read the origins of the number 666 and Catholic Church paganism for more detail on why God calls the Papal Church Babylon.
In conclusion, the Middle East remains a powder keg and the U.S. struggle against Muslim radicals like Osama bin Laden continues, and there’s no end in sight. In the midst of such a “Red Alert” environment, millions of America’s politically active Christians believe God Himself is not only behind modern Israel, but that He will finally annihilate the enemies of the Jewish State at the battle of Armageddon. Left Behind’s “Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages” proclaims this forcefully. Yet, as we have clearly seen, this doctrine is contrary to the New Testament. Beyond this, the teaching is actually harmful because it adds fuel to an already raging Arab fire. A world at “War Against Terror” does not need this. The picture shown right is the valley of Megiddo where the great battle of Armageddon is assumed to take place.
A careful study of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” proves that Christianity’s massive “God Is Behind Modern Israel” theology is just not true. Not that God doesn’t love Modern Israel, the Israeli people, and Jewish people. But as we have seen, Revelation’s focus is not on “Israel after the flesh” (Israel one), but on “the Israel of God” (Israel Two) composed of both Jews and non-Jews (including Arabs) centred in Jesus Christ. If there was ever a time we needed not only to “walk in the Spirit,” but to interpret prophecy according to the Spirit, it’s now. So ends the illusions on the mystery of the great Battle of Armageddon.
Real peace can be found in only one place, and it’s available to Jews, Muslim Palestinians, and Christians alike. It’s found at the foot of the cross, in the heart of a Man who loves and died for the entire world. Let’s surrender our lives to Him, so we can be part of the Israel of God.