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Armageddon – Not in the Far Distant Future – Part 3-7

           

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 239B

September 7, 2005

Armageddon – Not in the Far Distant Future – Part 3


An Exposition of Revelation 16:13 to 18:24

Revelation 16:16 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

I am inserting the words of James Henry Thornwell as the preamble of “An Exposition of Revelation 16:13 to 18:24.”

BEGIN QUOTE: “To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of eternal importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where God calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven.  Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies.  Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom he died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are ensnared.” END QUOTE.

James Henry Thornwell was a Presbyterian Minister, and even though I do not agree with many of the views expressed in his writings, I definitely agree with what he had to say in the preceding quote.  The quote was timely for me, because I was having reservations about doing the exposition of this particular series when I received it.  It reminded me of an obligation God advised Ezekiel to consider as a watchman who sounds to warn those in danger.

Ezekiel 33:3-6 – If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; [4] Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. [5] He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. [6] But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

The primary Scripture, among those on which I will be expositing in this series, specifically warns those setting under false teachings to break away from the religious “her” that is teaching them today.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

This Scripture lets me know there are saved men and women who are in the “her” of this verse, because it calls them “my people.”  The primary purpose of this series is to specifically identify the “her” and to implore those “in her” to come “out of her,” and to warn those “not in her” to stay “out of her.”

Now, I shall continue expositing from where we left off in Part 2.

REVELATION 17:1 – And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

The great whore is the “her” of Revelation 18:4 from 17:1 to 18:24 identified as “the woman,” and is clearly stated to be the great city of Rome in 17:18.

Revelation 17:18 – And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Rome ruled the known world when John was writing the Book of Revelation in exile on the Isle of Patmos.  The city boundaries sat on the seven small physical hills of Rome, and spiritually on the foundations of six evil governments of men that preceded the seventh head, which is the government of antichrist.  Chronologically, the first six heads represent the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman Empires.

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  (Mountains are occasionally used to represent governments in the Scriptures)

REVELATION 17:2 – 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.

Fornication was often used to designate an act of sexual union between two unwed physical personages, which was not acceptable to God.  This type of sexual union he considered an unholy physical action that produced an unholy wedding.

II Corinthuians 6:14-18 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? [16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

The first ungodly wedding of church and state occurred in 313 AD when a grouping of irregular churches united with Rome under Emperor Constantine.  It was an act of fornication against God, an unholy union of local churches with the governments of men to gain power to supposedly assist the Spirit of God. The woman of Revelation 17 and 18 is the Catholic Church.  Since that time many groups have come out of her, and have, at one time or another, also have been designated as state religions by countries across the globe.  Many that broke away from her carried some of the leaven of her false teaching with them, and have become almost as corrupt as she is today.

The “many waters” on which the “whore” sits are identified as “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  This great religious prostitute from the truth is identified and geographically located in Revelation 17:18 as “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”  And in John’s day that city was Rome.  Today, the most widespread religious organization in the world has its tentacles spread across the earth from its headquarters in Rome.

The kings of all the earth have had continuous dealings with the great Vatican government of Rome down through the ages.  The history of the Catholic Church has long been one of political involvement in the affairs of nations and kings.  Many nations and kings have been intoxicated with her religious wine that dulls the conscience of lost souls.

REVELATION 17:3 – 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.

The “wilderness” as used here refers to a world filled with spiritual darkness.  The woman claims to be filled with spiritual light, and to be able to see, to understand, the kingdom of God.  But like the Pharisees of old, who claimed to be full of light, the light that is in her is the same spiritual darkness, and it is an ever greater degree of darkness because she actually thinks she sees light.

John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:23 – But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

In verse 17:3 John sees the “woman” setting on the back of a “scarlet colored beast.”  This is the same beast described in previous chapters as having “seven heads and ten horns” – But here it represents the supposedly resurrected Antichrist.  And here, in Chapter 18, he has a new color – he is “scarlet colored.”  Why has he changed colors between Revelation 13 and 17?  Because, when we saw the first beast in Revelation 13:1, he had one head that had been “wounded to death” – but he was still alive – he was still a non-resurrected man.  But now, in Revelation 17:3 we see him as counterfeiting Christ in shedding his blood.  He claims his wound by a sword was the shedding of his blood for his religious world followers, but that he had now risen from the dead to be their eternal king.  He is the blood colored Lamb of Satan.  Satan is going to counterfeit the real Christ so well that only those who really know the truth will recognize his counterfeit.  I worship the blood stained Lamb of God – They will worship the scarlet colored beast of Satan.

REVELATION 17:4,5 - 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.

The Protestant Reformation was a great thing, because many believers could no longer stand the level of heresy to which the Catholic Church had ascended.  It is very unfortunate that the breakaways carried some of the earliest heresies of the second to the fourth century with them when they came out, allowing Catholicism to be labeled as “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”

Verses four and five are perfect illustrations of all the wealth, pomp, power, ritual, and ceremony associated with the Catholic Church and world religion today.

REVELATION 17:6 – 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.

Verse six requires little comment – hundreds of volumes have been amassed by countless writers attesting to horrible killing and torture of true believers by the Catholic Church before and during the Reformation.  One day she will answer for all long trail of blood of the saints.

The “woman” represents the great apostasy from worship in spirit and in truth.  She rides on the Antichrist because he will support her after she confirms his phony resurrection as genuine.  When he  makes his claim to have returned from the dead,  the leader of the apostate church, who will be the false prophet pope of Rome, will recognize his resurrection as a true miracle, and the followers of this apostate church will believe it.  The world religious leader will be the false prophet of Revelation 13.  After this all of the great world religious leaders of the known world of John’s day will fall into line one by one.

If the idea of a fake resurrected Islamic antichrist being followed by the disciples of Islam seems strange, please consider the rest of this Update.

During my 20 plus years in military service, from time to time I went to school with the followers of Islam, and trained one in meteorological severe weather prediction at the Federal Office building in Kansas City, Missouri.  The information which follows is about a traditional teaching involving the arrival of an Islamic Imam Mahdi (al-Imam al-Mahdi) at the end of this last age before the resurrection.  The word Imam means “to walk before,” and carries the title of Caliph, and the word “Mahdi” means “a leader, and a spiritual guide and director.”  The Muslims expect this leader and prophet to appear on the earth before the world ends, and he is expected to be the Islamic Messiah.  The belief is based on thousands of traditions that claim to go all the way back to the Koran, but I have never been able to find a legitimate reference in the Koran without twisting its context.  Of course, I do not believe Islamic tradition or the Koran, but what I believe is beside the point. The point is that most Muslims do believe it. So when a man does arise among them they can label as an Imam Mahdi, then I believe he will be the antichrist of which the Bible teaches, which I do believe, and it will make it much easier for some 700 million Muslims, most of which live in the Middle East, to follow him in a great and united Jihad against Israel.  The al-Imam al-Mahdi will carry the title “The Just Leader of Humanity.”

Even though it cannot be found in the Koran, there are a large number of learned Muslims who claim the belief in Mahdi was widespread during Muhammad’s lifetime among them.  Many say on more than one occasion he had announced the future coming of the Mahdi, and that at times he would inform the people about Mahdi’s wonderful government, plus the signs preceding his rise among the people.  Ancient Islamic documents do quote the Prophet as saying: “The world will not come to an end until a man from my family line, who will be called al-Mahdi, emerges to rule my community.”  A couple of other quotes from Islamic documents are also valuable in understand Muslim beliefs on this subject; one makes a statement that is quoted as having been uttered by the Prophet three times: “Listen to the good news about the Mahdi!  He will rise at the time when the people will be faced with severe conflict and the earth will be hit by a violent quake.  He will fill the earth with justice and equality as it is filled with injustice and tyranny.  He will fill the hearts of his followers with devotion and will spread justice everywhere (Mihal, Vol. 1, p .256: Firaq, p. 62).”  And, in Milal, Vol. 1, pp. 273, 278 and Firaq, pp. 67, 80, 83, the Prophet has declared: “The day of Resurrection will not take place until the True Qa’im rises.  This will happen when God permits him to do so.  Anyone who follows him will be saved, and anyone who opposes him will perish.  O servants of God, keep God in your mind and go towards him even if it happens to be on the ice, for indeed he is the Caliph of God, the Exalted and Glorified, and my successor.”

Shiites revere 12 Imams historically, the last of whom is believed to be currently in hiding, but will make himself known to Islam as the al-Mahdi in the last days of this age.  There is also a traditional teaching that he will rise from the dead before the end of time.

The subject of Imams is what led to the great split in the Islamic ranks between the Sunni, the largest party, and the Shiite, the second largest party.  But the Kurds and other splinter groups also have their religious Imams, which is one of the major reasons there can never be a democracy in Iraq, because of the bitter enmity between the Islamic divisions.  However, if a strong leader, with great religious charisma, should arise out of hiding to unite them all in the belief he was the Imam Mahdi of Islamic tradition with the power of Allah, the fanaticism of the Muslims would create much more than just an occasional suicide bomber – It would generate a massive flood of millions charging across the northern border of Israel unafraid of death.  Of course, I do not believe the Koran or the traditional teachings of Islam. I decided long ago, from Micah 5:1-9, that the antichrist would be of Assyrian lineage, and would come out of the area that included Lebanon, extreme southern Turkey, Syria, northern Iraq, or the extreme tip of northwestern Iran (See Prophecy Updates 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, and 69 in our Prophecy Archives).  And I am confident he will be of the Islamic faith (See Prophecy Updates 160B and 161C in our Prophecy Archives).  If you really want your eyes opened to what was taught prophetically before 1740, then check out the following Prophecy Updates in our archives: 73D, 74A, 78,  82A, 114A, 117B, 56, 57, 58, 123B and 123D.  It may be you will discover that what is going on now in the Middle East fits what pre-1740 prophetic teachings indicated would be happening, in the last days, more accurately than the twentieth century popular teachings of end time events.  As I stated earlier, I do not believe the Koran or Islamic traditional teaching, but it is ironic that they are primed to receive the one we call the antichrist from their own writings, which identify him as their Messiah.  Before too much longer I expect a man from within the area I previously identified, probably Syria, to be manifested as someone behind which all Muslims can unite to meet their goal of driving Israel out of the land from Dan to Beersheba, and with a view toward overcoming all the infidels in the name of Allah.

   
  

SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 240A

September 10, 2005

Armageddon – Not in the Far Distant Future – Part 4


An Exposition of Revelation 16:13 to 18:24

Revelation 16:16 – And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Ezekiel 33:3-6 – If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; [4] Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. [5] He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. [6] But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

The primary Scripture, among those on which I will be expositing in this series, specifically warns those setting under false teachings to break away from the religious “her” that is teaching them today.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

This Scripture lets me know there are saved men and women who are in the “her” of this verse, because it calls them “my people.”  The primary purpose of this series is to specifically identify the “her” and to implore those “in her” to come “out of her”, and to warn those “not in her” to stay “out of her.”

Now, I shall continue expositing from where we left off in Part 3.

REVELATION 17:6 – 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.

Verse six requires little comment – hundreds of volumes have been amassed by countless writers attesting to horrible killing and torture of true believers by the Catholic Church before and during the Reformation.  One day she will answer for the long trail of blood of the saints.

The “woman” represents the great apostasy from worship in spirit and in truth.  She rides on the Antichrist because he will support her after she confirms his phony resurrection as genuine.  When he makes his claim to have returned from the dead, the leader of the apostate church, who will be the false prophet pope of Rome, will recognize his resurrection as a true miracle, and the followers of this apostate church will believe it.  The world religious leader will be the false prophet of Revelation 13.  After this event, all of the great world religious leaders, living in the known world of John’s day, will fall into line one by one.

REVELATION 17:7-14 – And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. [8] The beast that thou sawest 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 hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. [10] And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, 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 goeth into perdition. [12] And the ten horns which thou sawest 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. [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 best way to explain Revelation 17:7-14 is to exposit on Revelation 13:3,4.

Revelation 13:3 – 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.

The seven heads of the beast represent seven evil empires that that have, or shall, persecute the nation of Israel.  They are, from the first to the seventh – The Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, Roman, and the soon coming seventh empire of the antichrist, which is the wounded head on John’s beast, but represents the little horn that arises from the midst of the ten horns on the fourth beast of Daniel.

Daniel 7:8,21 – I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. [21] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

John symbolizes antichrist as a bleeding head on his first beast, while Daniel pictures him as the eleventh horn on his fourth beast.

Revelation 13:3 – 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.

The word “deadly” is “thanatos.”  It is an adjective used as a noun.  It simply means “death.”  A deadly wound is a wound that renders someone dead.  A deadly wound, unless miraculously healed, is a wound from which the recipient dies stone, cold, dead.  Some say that this represents the fourth beast of Daniel, which would be the sixth beast of John, but this same bleeding head on John’s first beast later becomes a non-bleeding head on John’s second beast.

Apparently, the antichrist, who is represented as being the king of the seventh head, suffers a wound from a weapon of war that would kill an ordinary man, but he miraculously recovers.  This would explain the last two sentences in the next verse.

Revelation 13:4 – And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

The world, as a whole, has never been privy to a confirmed, visual, return of a man from the spiritual world.  We accept the resurrection of Christ by faith.   The world has long sought for absolute proof of the resurrection of a stone cold dead human.  They may finally receive it in the return to life of antichrist from a wound that would kill any other man.  Who on this earth could be said to be “like unto” such a man?  And how would one be able to win a war against someone who could keep coming back from the dead?  In Revelation 13:12 he is again referred to as “the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” and in 13:14 as “the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”  When John wrote the Book of Revelation the first five kings, which pictured the “mountain” empires of Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and Greece, had already fallen, and he was writing during the “one is” Roman Empire, which was the sixth.  He indicated that one was yet to come, which will be the seventh empire of antichrist.  But if the antichrist, as the king of the seventh empire dies from a deadly wound, and then returns as a resurrected man indwelt totally by the spirit of the dragon, he would, in reality, have been the king of both the seventh and eighth empires.  He would be the king of an Islamic Empire that would last for three and one-half years.

Revelation 17:10-14 – And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, 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 goeth into perdition. [12] And the ten horns which thou sawest 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. [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.

“That was” means the beast was previously alive.  “And is not” means the beast died.  “Even he is” means he came back to life to be the eighth.  It is difficult to follow the personification changes of the antichrist from his rise to power to his fall.  At times he is represented as a dying head on the first beast that comes back to life on the second beast.   Sometimes he is a part of the beast, and sometimes he is the beast.  However, in most of the cases in Revelation 13, 17, and 18, he is identified as the entire beast.

Revelation 19:19-21 – 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 fowls were filled with their flesh.

Daniel 7:11-14 – I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. [12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. [13] I saw in the night visions, and, behold, 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 dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.


SPECIAL PROPHECY UPDATE NUMBER 240B

September 13, 2005

Armageddon – Not in the Far Distant Future – Part 5


An Exposition of Revelation 16:13 to 18:24

Revelation 16:16-19 – 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.

Ezekiel 33:3-6 – If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; [4] Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. [5] He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. [6] But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

The primary Scripture, among those on which I will be expositing in this series, specifically warns those setting under false teachings to break away from the religious “her” that is teaching them today.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

This Scripture lets me know there are saved men and women who are in the “her” of this verse, because it calls them “my people.”  The primary purpose of this series is to specifically identify the “her” and to implore those in “her” to come “out of her, and to warn those “not in her” to stay “out of her.”

Now, I shall continue expositing from where we left off in Part 4.

REVELATION 17:15-17 – And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. [16] And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. [17] For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The ten horns are ten Arab kings who will soon come against Israel led by the Antichrist, who is the eleventh horn on Daniel’s fourth beast.

Daniel 7:24-28 – 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.

The ten Arab kings will accept the Antichrist as their leader “for God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”  The Prophet Mohammad loudly proclaimed he was God’s prophet, and he was supposedly called by the angel Gabriel.  Today some 400 million followers of Allah are scattered across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Europe, and they believe that Allah is God.  Allah is a word compounded of the article “al” and the word “ilah,” which means “the God.”  I believe the Catholic faith will accept the Antichrist as the “O Theos” (the God), and the Islamic faith will accept him as Allah (the God).  Most of the many faiths would love to have a flesh and blood man to lead them, one who had returned from the dead.  Many different faiths across the earth have multiple gods – some sects in India have hundreds of gods – but each sect always has one god who is more powerful than all the others.  All the religions, both small and great, will believe that the beast is that one most powerful god in their worship system.

Unfortunately for the “woman,” the Arabs have always hated religious Christianity, and near the end of the tribulation period they will vent their full religious zeal on the religious woman of Rome.  John attests to the woman’s final destruction by the sons of Allah in verse sixteen – “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

REVELATION 17:18 – And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The woman identified as “The Whore of Babylon” sits in Rome with her tentacles extended across the earth to influence the world with her false teachings.  I believe it will be in Rome that the false prophet of Revelation 13 will arise and, for a while Rome will ride high on the beast as a supporter of its cause against Israel, but after Israel is driven into the Negev the beast will turn on the Catholic churches in Islamic churches with a vengeance.

The false prophet of Revelation will play a major role in end time events and I believe will relate quite well with what I call “leader worship,” which both Catholic and Islam practice when it comes to idolizing statues of men. 

Revelation 13:14 – And deceiveth 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.

For an exposition of “them that dwell on the earth” consult our Archives for Prophecy Updates 77, 77A, 77B, and 77C.  It is used as a hyperbole, and means the “known” world when John wrote the book of Revelation.  For an exposition of “had the wound by a sword, and did live,” consult previous updates in this series.

“THAT THEY SHOULD MAKE AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST”

My AWS and NSA career carried me to assignments in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.  During these assignments I became familiar with the religious beliefs of many different areas across the earth.  I can assure you that the knowledge of the information contained in the areas of biblical prophecy writings from Genesis to Revelation is not known by 99.9 percent of those who make up the Islamic faith.  But their dictatorial leaders down through the centuries have established a definite pattern of self-aggrandizement by the creation of massive images of themselves in public places.  When one goes to Syria, Iraq, Jordan, or Egypt, he or she is met by a constant series of statues, huge pictures or banners of the current leader, along with musical voices on loud speakers sounding out his praises.  I can also assure you that the creation of images, statues, and other visible artifacts is found to abound in catholic worship across the surface of the planet.  I will also assure you that an actual knowledge of prophetic teachings is not obtained by private study of the scriptures by individual Catholics in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.  What pitifully little they do obtain is taught by the priests, and very, very little is taught from the book of Revelation.  I will guarantee that the average parish attendee of catholic services in these areas knows nothing about the book of Revelation.  So it would be child’s play to get both Catholics and Muslims to worship the image of a man whom the false prophet said had been resurrected from the dead.  There would only be an extremely small minority in these areas that would refuse to do so, and they would be among those who worship Christ only as the total sacrifice for their sins.  They would be killed for failing to worship the image.

Revelation 13:15 – And he had power to give life unto 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.

This may be an absolute miracle where a statue does seem to come to life and speak.  However, it is more likely it is the image of the beast on a worldwide television screen, or a voice from a recording inside a statue, which calls them to worship him, similarly to the call to worship that now occurs across the Islamic world several times a day from Muslim towers, when they bow down toward Mecca in answer to the call.  The daily call to fall down and worship toward where the image was located would not be difficult to obtain from either Muslim or Catholic beliefs.  But in the U.S. and most countries of the post-Columbus New World it would be most unlikely to be accepted.  Please review Prophecy Update Numbers 77, 77A, 77B, and 77C for an exposition on the size of the Antichrist’s final empire and where he is in absolute control.  This will also help to better understand the “all” to which John refers in the next verse.  It refers to the “known” world of John’s day.

Revelation 13:16 – And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: