Chapter 2: Bible Prophecy
I would like to say how much I have been blessed in watching Christian Television. I have learned volumes on Bible Prophecy here, a subject I knew very little about years ago. I feel closer to God and inspired by much of their programing. May God, and all his creation, be extolled and worshiped more here and in other TV and media venues. May also media people give us practical programming for everyday household living, and our world at large, and things that would make TV a positive, not a negative force for society.
Many of the fine Prophecy preachers have done wonders simplifying, and expounding upon Bible passages, often bringing together passages from different books of the Bible in a very illuminating way. This applies especially to Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy and Revelation chapter 11, which I have just copied from others.
Now all good Prophecy preachers claim they are letting the scriptures speak for itself, as they should. Yet they still end up with many different ideas. I will attempt to do the same and let the scriptures speak for themselves, by only expressing interpretations when they FIT in MULTIPLE ways to the text. Nevertheless you will find my interpretations quite different at points also. I will try also to be candid about what I can't fathom.
CAUTION - One needs to be cautious about prophetic study. To spend too long a time studying, and dwelling on abstract prophetic ideas (like the rapture, and living in heaven) and to neglect taking care of ourselves, our families, participating in our communities, and in good government, and taking care of the environment, etc., is to really miss God's true message of loving our neighbor and doing our part to make the world a better place.
First a critique of a few prophecy ideas a feel are incorrect
A) THE RAPTURE, OR LACK THEREOF
There are four major verses that, indeed, make sense as to a Rapture. But other parts the Rapture theory such as an anti-Christ, a resurrected Roman Empire, etc. really have no part in the Bible and are covered below under B, D and E. These four verses are:
1Thess 4;16-17, many of the statements in the Book of Acts and the Letters of the Apostles are statements of hope and encouragement to the people being written to, not prophecy. This is what 1Thess 4:16-17 appears to be, not something to base a rapture philosophy on. When one looks at Christ's statements, such as the Lord’s Prayer, and his parables, it is about the battle being on earth, with no mention of any sort of “rapture”.
Luke 17:34-37, I prefer to think this is allegorical and refers to the divided state of peoples beliefs (as right now in America) when Christ returns. See also Daniel 12:10.
Matt 24:30-31 Refers to Christ second coming, but really does not mention, in context, any Rapture.
1 Corth 15:52 This could be referring to the last judgement, Revelation 20:11-15.
B) NO ANTI-CHRIST IN SECOND TEMPLE
2Thess 2:4 The temple here has been said to be a rebuilt Jewish temple in our time, and that a world ruler identified with anti-Christ will rule from this temple. However thewhitehorseinn.com, thefinalrevelation.com and others say the word for temple here is the Greek word for a church as a body of believers, not the word denoting a building.
C) NO ROMAN CATHOLICISM BEING ANTI-CHRIST
In Revelation chapter 13 some suppose the beast to be The Roman Catholic Church , with Daniel 7:25 supposed to refer to the changing of the Sabbath by The Roman Catholic Church. I see this more in the present time as explained in my chapter on “Daniel a more detailed look”.
Now in General The Roman Catholic Church does not fit as well as needed be into all the supposed anti-Christ and other prophecies (where it is alleged to be applicable, see the chapter on Revelation, a more Detailed Look for a more plausible interpretation). Some specific refuting of this idea however are:
· Rev 13:17 “And that no man might buy and sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” I do not see at all what the Roman Catholic Church has, or would have to do with buying or selling very much! Department Stores might even be a better choice here!
· The Roman Catholic Church is not a total worldwide thing (Rev 13:7 “and power was given him over all kindred’s and tongues and nations”). It is worldwide but not in a very complete scope in some places like China, Russia, Asia, and Africa. However Communism and its cousin Liberalism are, as well as Commercialism/Materialism as promoted by Hollywood and Madison Avenue TV advertisers (see my section on Revelation chapter 13).
Now the The Roman Catholic Church is mentioned in Rev chapter 11 (see the section on that chapter) but that admonishment ends with that chapter. The Roman Catholic Church, though not perfect has overcome some of its mistakes and is a vital part of Christianity. As it is written “he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:50). I am particularity impressed by the The Roman Catholic Church's commitment to care of the poor and sick.
Some see 2Tess 2:5-7 is identified as Roman Empire. There is excellent historical research done at thewhitehorseinn.com to show this was thought of as the Roman Empire by the early church fathers (who where near to the events). BUT I do not believe it is the Roman Catholic Church that is the supposed later anti-Christ, as verse 8 indicates he will be destroyed on Christ 2nd coming, which has not happened yet. And The Roman Catholic Church is not the problem now in the world (it may have been in mid evil times but not NOW). Islam fits this prophecy just as well. It being a SUBSTITUTE church (2Tess. 2:4). See my chapter New Testament Prophesy before Revelation for more information.
D) NO 7 YEAR TRIBULATION IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL
In Daniels 70 “weeks” prophecy (Daniel chapter 9) the last 7 year period is sometimes misconstrued to be a 7 year tribulation period. This prophecy is quite clear as to relating to Christ's lifetime and not a so called 7 year tribulation period. Please see the section on that chapter for a further explanation. There is plenty of tribulation in the world, and there appears to be an emphasis on tribulation in the end times related to to large scale dangers and troubles the world goes through. But not necessarily a seven year period. There are many references to 7 and/or 3 ½ year periods in prophecy. I believe they usually refer to separate specific events related to the chapters where they are written, rather than always referring to a “7 year tribulation” idea. See the chapter by chapter discussions for more information on those specific events, such as in Rev 13:5.
E) NO RESTORED ROMAN EMPIRE OR SPECIFIC ANTI-CHRIST RULER
Lastly the idea that a “restored” Roman Empire, being a united Europe (many seeing the European Union as fitting the bill) is prophesied to happen, and that an “Anti-Christ” will come out of that to lead astray people, etc., etc. I just do not see the passages for this as being good proof of such at all. There are numerous other interpretations that are just as, or more, credible.
For Example, Daniel chapter 2, they point to the 10 toes on the image as corresponding to 10 nations out of Europe that will unite once again to restore the "Roman Empire". However Daniel chapter 2 says nothing about counting the # of toes of the feet of the statue. That is reading ideas into the text things that are not there, not a good way to interpret at all.
“Anti-Christ” is more just a term for wrong doing, especially in forgoing or denying Christ's importance. Just look at the only four times the word is used in the Bible!
· 1 John 2:18-23 18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 
1 John 4:3 “ And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
2John 7:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist.”
In fact in all four uses of the word Antichrist it always refers to a group of people, NOT to a single person! Also if it is already in the world two thousand years ago (as the passage(s) say, so how then is it a special issue for the end times? There are at least two times it might relate to a specific person, but the term Antichrist is not actually used, and it is far better interpreted as a passage about something other than an "Antichrist" issue. Rev 13:18, it has to do with the symbolism about specific wrongs that person stands for, and for dating purposes. Elsewhere in Daniel a specific person is referred to, a person who created a false religion. But any Anti-Christian wrong is “Anti-Christ”. There is no need, and is inappropriate prophecy interpretation to see every bad situation in Bible prophecy as automatically dealing with "Antichrist".
Now on to discussion of what I feel the Prophecy in the Bible is actually saying.
The Book of Daniel – An Overview of its prophecy
There are seven prophecies in the Book of Daniel. This is an overview of these. Some of them have a moral lesson too, but I do not get into that here.
Chapter 2 Some world history, from Babylon through to the early church. All fulfilled
now, but was in the future when Daniel was given it to say.
Chapter 4 “Personal” to Nebuchadnezzar.
Chapter 5 “Personal” to Belshazzer .
Chapter 7 Some world History but mostly end times concerning worldwide matters,
but not Islam.
Chapter 8 Some world history-self explained. Then end times about Islam.
Chapter 9 Time of Jewish return from Babylonian exile, and time of Christ’s ministry.
Chapter 10-12 Some world history, then some history concerning the Jewish people
from Alexander the Great and his successors to Islam in the end times.
The Book of Daniel – A More detailed look of its prophecy
This is a more detailed look at the seven prophecies in the Book of Daniel.
Chapter 2 Some world history and end times.
The head of gold of the image is Babylon as states in verse 38.
Most scholars say the 2nd & 3rd empires represented in this vision are the same as in Daniel 8:20-21, that is Medo -Persia and Greece.
The fourth kingdom (the feet) is said to be the Roman Empire. I have noticed that one can seemingly assign four periods of Roman history, one each to verses 40-43.
At its peak Rome was one of the largest empire (single state, and ideology) ever in the world, stretching from Britain to Babylon. This is verse 40.
Rome became divided into Eastern and Western parts for administrative purposes; this period is Verse 41.
This became an actual political division in the 300’s; this period is Verse 42.
Invaders overran the Western part several decades later, while Eastern Rome and Byzantium lasted many centuries more. Particularly the Western Roman Europe was broken up into separate countries, which have never again been united into one state. This is Verse 43. At the start of this period Rome had become officially a Christian State, so the phrase “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men” may refer to the mixing of believers with still pagans peoples (compare with Genesis 6:2).
Verse 44 then refers to the Christianity and the Church (particularly as an ideology not a state).
Chapter 4 “Personal” to Nebuchadnezzar.
Self-explanatory as it reads.
Chapter 5 “Personal” to Belshazzar.
Self-explanatory as it reads.
Chapter 7 Some world History but mostly end times.
This is a most important and detailed Chapter, which is cross-references to Revelation, particularly Rev 13:11-18. It deals, in my opinion, with end times, America and/or Western civilization. Kingdoms of ancient times have already been represented in earlier chapters. I believe God is moving on to more recent history now. I believe my ideas fit well enough together to be as credible as other interpretations of this chapter.
I believe this represents the former British Empire. Perhaps the Eagles wings represented the United States, which it lost (“plucked off”). It eventually relinquished much of its Empire voluntarily (“a man’s heart was given it”).
This is Russia, ie , the Soviet Union, as very roughly seen by map looking like a bear raised up on its side. The three ribs in its mouth are the Baltic countries.
This represents (although out of chronological order, as some prophecies sometimes are) the four Scandinavian countries from which the (non-Christian) Vikings arose and conquered much of Europe.
See also Revelation-a more detailed look, chapter 13:1-10 for more discussion of theses verses.
Verses 7 – 28 (end of chapter) This, as in Rev. 13 and other chapters of Revelation and Daniel, is talking about America and Western civilization when it talks about a beast with iron something that “stamps, treads, or breaks” etc. I believe this is actually referring to the modern “global industrial-corporate-complex” (or whatever you want to call it). That is today we have the technological ability, and unfortunately the practice, to use up our resources, and exploit, pollute and destroy the environment.
The 10 horns or kings in verse 7, 20 & 24 are the 10 U.S. presidents who were first in office during the beginning of this era of the modern “global industrial-corporate-complex”. This starts with President Calvin Coolidge who was president from 1923-1929. The first Bulldozer manufactured was in 1923. The last president of the above 10 is the king (little horn) from verses 8, 20, 24 & 25.
Here are some reasons why. It is definitely an end-time event, just read these verses and it makes that quite clear. Next this is related to Rev 13:11-18. Please see Revelation-a more detailed look, chapter 13:11-18 for more discussion of the same. This person from Rev 13:18 is the same as king here in Dan 7, verses 8, 20, 24 & 25. It is a president of the U.S. who, when he came to office, three past presidents where still living (just 3). He is only symbolic of things, and not himself the issue. Here in Daniel he is primarily symbolic of anti-environmentalism and militarism (overemphasis on military power).
Time for a Bible quote, Ephesians 6:12 (NIV):
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
That is to say not against people but against bad ideas.
verse 25 "and think to change the times and the laws" Refers to he laws of nature, and how pollution and overpopulation is destroying the environment and making people sick. This is the, or one of the, premier issues of our times.
Chapter 8 Some world history-self explained. Then Islam.
The first part of the chapter is a symbolic prophecy, then the second half of the chapter actually explains that symbolism naming the Babylonian empire as to be succeeded by Medo-Persia, then by Greece. Then it symbolically refers to Alexander the "Great" and the four kingdoms divided among his four generals after his death in 323 BC.
The numbers in verses 13-14 stand for 2,300. My interpretation is from 691 AD when the Dome of the Rock was built to 2991 AD (about end of the Millennium) when it may be taken down, or some similar event. verse 23 to end of the chapter (likewise 10-14) refers to a later time than he Greek period. Here I differ with most others and feel this and the last part of chapter 11 refers to Islam.
Chapter 9 Time of Jewish return from Babylonian exile, and time of Christ’s ministry.
This Chapter offers clear dating proof (figured out by others not me) of future events making it clear proof of the Bible being God’s word to mankind. I don’t know who figured this out first but here is how it usually reads.
First verse 2 (which cross-references with Jeremiah by name) names 70 years for the Babylonian exile to end. This period was from 606 to 536 BC.
Secondly verses 24-27 gives the times of Christ’s ministry. Verse 24 gives 490 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the completion of Christ’s ministry. This has been put at 33 AD when in Acts 10 the first Gentile was converted. 483 years is given from the same decree to the coming of Christ (Messiah). Or from 457 BC till 26 AD when Christ as baptized. In the middle of that time (3 ½ years, “middle of the week”, in verse 27) was Christ’s crucifixion. I won't go into it fuller than that, as one can look up the full details pretty easy on the Internet. But note these are the passages that are often misconstrued as referring to a seven year tribulation period in the end times, a very inappropriate interpretation in my opinion.
Chapter 10-12 Some world history, then some history concerning the Jewish people from Alexander the Great and his successors to Islam and then end times.
This prophecy is written first in a most detailed way, then switches to a mysterious style and phraseology. In this mysterious style one moment it can be talking about a person, then in the next sentence a more general issue. For example it may talk about Mohamed then in the next sentence be talking about Islam in general 100’s of year after Mohammed’s death.
Chapter 10, Verse 14 indicates that this prophecy centers on the Jewish people.
So starting in Chapter 11 it goes though the same sequence of Kings of Persia, then Greece (under Alexander the “Great”).
Then verse 4 tells of the breakup of Alexander’s kingdom among his four generals. Then the prophecy that follows (verses 5-30) have been written up by many people so I will not repeat it here. It involves a southern kingdom from Egypt (Ptolemy’s) and a northern kingdom from Syria (Seleucidae ). The details are remarkable, matching the known history of that period, almost as if God is saying, see I can provide lots of detail if I want too (remember it was prophesized by Daniel about 900 years before Alexander).
Next is the mysterious part from verse 31 to the end of Chapter 12. Verse 31 & 32 seems to overlap with the last prophecy while at the same time starting to talk about Mohammad and Islam. By verse 33 it is only about Islam. Particularly in verse 35 the phrase “even to the time of the end” (note verse 40 too), which is the end times mentioned so often in prophecy which must be “long” after Christ, not before.
Verse 36-39 then talks, I believe, about the “philosophy” of Mohammad and/or Islam. Notice carefully all the phrases and how they fit Islam. The "indignation" (verse 36) compare with Dan. 8:19.
Then verse 40 jumps to “the time of the end”, and the so-called radical Islam of today I believe. This key verse makes more sense in Young’s Literal Translation, where it fits well with the six day war in Israel in 1967.
Verse 41: Radical Islam has overtaken most all of the Moslem countries except Jordan (Edom, Moab and the children of Ammon), the situation we have today. Verse 44 refers, I believe, to the U.S. war in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, and the war in Afghanistan. Verse 45 makes it clear again that all this is referring to radical Islam (Humas, Al Quedia, ISIS, etc.).
Chapter 12 deals with the “end times” and gives dates in Chapter 11-12, but all this is so current I do not feel comfortable writing about it (2-24-2006).
All quotes and usage are from the KJV unless otherwise noted, although any major translation is fine. I found Young’s literal translation useful at points.
Basically just as it reads, messages to the early church.
Beginning of the prophecy section of the book of Revelation. Chapter 4 signifies God. Chapter 5 signifies Jesus.
Problem- Suffering and death throughout history.
Solution- Following good Christian practices offers the best protection from problems and plagues in “end times”.
Chapter 8 & 9
Problem- Pollution of the Earth (Environmental problems), and Addictive “drug” use in the “end times”. World War II.
Solution- Clarification and final corrections on interpretation of the Bible.
Problem- Governments and Churches excluding God and the Bible. Crisis in France in particular.
Solution- Birth of America and Religious Freedom.
Problem- Ideology’s excluding God.
Solution- The continued and improved communication of the Bible to peoples, and the following of God’s advice as given (in particular) in the Gospels and Revelation.
Problems Again- Plagues/consequences/problems. Somewhat, but not at all entirely a repeat of Chapters 8 & 9. Pollution, diseases, Armageddon.
Further explanation of problems.
World leadership institutions and their shortcomings.
Solution- Apparently Judgment of some kind.
Judgment again. God’s victory. Not sure how to interpret.
Millennium period. Final war on earth at end of this period which God “vaporizes all weapons to stop it” or something of the like.
The Kingdom of Heaven arrives. Farewell statement to end book.
REVELATION A MORE DETAILED LOOK
Just as it reads, messages to the early church. Others have given each church as a stage in world history and things like that, but I do not see this, except for the church in Philadelphia may be also a reference (and play on words) to America in the end times.
Beginning of the prophecy section of the book of Revelation. Chapter 4 signifies God. Chapter 5 signifies Jesus.
4:7 Four unusual beast, this exact lineup is not repeated elsewhere in the Bible as far as I know. I have rather a far out idea that it possibly represents the ascent of knowledge and civilization from Africa (lion) where man began, to the Middle East and Egypt (calf) one place where civilization first sprung up. Then Renaissance age Europe (face of a man) to America and Democracy (flying eagle). Or the evolution of man, from a beast in the field (lion), to growing (calf) up toward a human being (man) to growing into a righteous person, a player in Gods Kingdom (soaring like a eagle).
5:9-11 Born again believers?
The first 6 seals are opened. They signify the problem of suffering and death throughout history.
Seal 1: God or Jesus guiding the world toward the Kingdom of Heaven.
Seal 2: Signifies Wars through history.
Seal 3: Famine and Poverty throughout history.
Seal 4: Seems to repeat seal 2 & 3 and adds other suffering and death from –say diseases?
Seal 5: Suffering and persecution of Christians throughout history, with Gods final “Victory”.
Seal 6: God’s Judgment.
Solution to problem of Chapter 6 -Following good Christian practices offers best protection from problems and plagues throughout history and in “end times”.
Chapter 8 & 9
A third part of everything is destroyed in these happenings in these two chapters, but note, there is no time frame, it could be 1 day, 1 year, or 50 years. People have thought of it as being a short period of time, but I think it is more like the later, 50 years or so, around a generation.
The 7th Seal is opened. This just leads into the 7 trumpets.
The 7 trumpets are sounded. They signify the problem of pollution of the Earth (Environmental problems), and diseases of “man” in the “end times”.
Trumpet 1: Desertification and Pollution of the earth.
Trumpet 2: Pollution of the oceans.
Trumpet 3: Pollution of water supplies, including by nuclear radiation (any source of). Some loosely translate the Russian word for wormwood (or a similar plant- mugwort ) (verse 11) as Chernobyl (where they had the nuclear accident).
Trumpet 4: Air pollution, particularly the so-called Asian smog.
Trumpet 5: (Chapter 9): Personal pollution, that is to say, cigarettes and other addictions. Notice there is much mention of smoke, and it only hurts people not plants.
9:7 Horses = Marlboro cigarettes (#1 selling brand historically).
Gold crown = color of filter tip.
Faces of men = smoked by people (via mouth).
Hair of women represents smoke trailing off of a cigarette.
Teeth of a lion = damage is caused by them
Breastplates of iron = damage to lungs.
Chariots running to battle = rush one gets from stimulants, or psychoactive drugs.
Verse 10: Scorpion sting = chemical nature of addiction, drug use. Five months = period of time after quitting cigarettes before coughing stops,
Trumpet 6: I used to think this was related to Armageddon, but I now feel it was WWII.
Verse 15 70 million people were killed in WWII ( appox , 1/3 of 200 million).
Verse 16 The standing armies of WWII were over 100 million, add in the civilians that fought in Russian and even China (against Japan) etc. and 200 million is about right.
Solution to problems of Chapters 8 & 9- Clarification and final corrections on interpretation of the Bible.
Problem- Governments and Churches excluding God and the Bible.
This has been uncovered and given in detail by others not me, so I do not need to go over it here. Do a search with the keywords: Revelation Chapter 11, French Revolution, Papal and you will get many results to read. Or see the Appendix to this section for a reprint from a book. The numbering of the 1260 year and 3 ½ year sequences is so accurate it convinces me it is the correct interpretation. However I do not carry the indictment against the Catholic Church to the rest of the chapters in Revelation as some people do.
Solution- Discovery of the New World and Birth of America and Religious Freedom (in context of the situations in those times).
Proofs - First of all let me state that many prophecy teachers say the first paragraph of this chapter represents the birth of Christ. But it is clear from the first Sentence of the Book of Revelation; “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place”, that what is in the Book of Revelation is looking at events in the future, not past events. Therefore: Verses 1-6 after looking at different ideas here, I saw the story of "Our Lady of Guadeloupe" in Mexico and am satisfied that fits and that vision was from God. The 12 crowns represent, I believe, the first 12 Missionaries that came to the New World to evangelize the Native peoples. The great dragon, as stated in Verse 9 is the Devil, and the third of the stars cast to the ground only indicate its about 1/3 of the way around the earth from Europe to the New World, if you use a centralized location on each continent to figure from. Verse 5 could well indicate the birth of America; “was to rule all nations with a rod of iron”, compare with Daniel 7:7 & 19.
Verse 6 has a period of 1,260 days. From the landing at Jamestown in 1607 to the year the American Constitution was approved (1787) was 180 years. 180 years is 1,260 years (a day for a year principle) divided by 7. One other place in the bible “weeks of years” is used, that is in Daniel chapter 9. Rather this is of any significance or just playing with numbers I don't know.
Verse 14 “given wings of a great eagle”. The Bald Eagle became the symbol on the seal of the United States. Also the references to wilderness (verses 6 &14) which, relatively speaking, was what America was at first. Verse 15-16 I have found from other Bible verses that "flood" often indicates a large number of people, here the population increase in the U.S. threatened to distract the spiritual growth of the people, but westward expansion put a ease on that.
Problem- Ideology’s excluding God.
Verse 1 – Beast #1: I believe this symbolizes atheistic Communism/Socialism (verses 1-10). The 7 heads represented the 7 top Communist nations of Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia and Yugoslavia. The 10 horns are 10 nations that were Communist by occupation. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, East Germany, Poland, Hungry, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. This would be around the year 1975. If the leopard, bear and lion are the same as in Daniel 7:3-6, then they must tie in here to Communism. The bear (Russia) of course does. Germany was the the breeding ground of Communism with Marx and Engels, but I did a little research and found London, England (the lion) was the place of the meeting (June 1847 ) of the first organization with the name Communist, it was called the Communist League. The Vikings (the leopard) are a harder tie in, but Paris, Frances (a viking area at one time), was were the Communist Manifesto was first printed in Paris in February 1848. Anyhow the more general tie to Communism is more solidly proven below.
Proofs - There are numerous reasons for this reasoning. One is it must be contemporary with the second beast of this Chapter. Two it must be a worldwide thing (verse 7) and near the end times (verse 7 & 8.) It must be war-like, that is try to extend its influence by military force (not self-defense only) per verses 4, 7, 9 & 10.
Also this appears to cross reference with Daniel 7:2-6, 12 & 17 which in verse 12 makes it clear these beasts (there three, in Rev. all together as one beast) will be around to and past the end time judgment day of the beast with the iron teeth (Dan 7:7-8 etc.). This all is still occurring or to occur.
Furthermore, at least in Revelation, Beast #1 and #2 will be around until the Lake of fire judgment (Rev 19:19-20) which has not occurred yet, therefore beast #1 cannot be still the Medo -Persian, Babylon and Greek empires as some have suggested. I feel too that even in Daniel 7 they are not those, but represent communism and socialism, and the bear there and in Rev 13 represents Russia.
Last but not least Rev 13:5 “and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months”. The cold war lasted 42 years from 1945 to 1987.
Verse 11 – Beast #2: Symbolizes atheistic Liberalism/Socialism mixed with “Hollywood” style TV and commercialism (verses 11-18). The two horns stand for the two TV antennas on the TV sets from the 1940’s to 1970’s.
Verse 13- 17 Signifies television, which started off on the wrong foot somehow and has been leading society astray. 99% of TV commercials only try to deceive people into buying items they do not need. This harms the economy greatly, and of course there is the atheistic, non-educational, anti-social, demeaning, anti-family, and unhealthy lifestyles promoted by this Hollywood style TV programming.
The “mark” in verse 17 stands for “Trademark”. That is instead of learning to buy by basic needs (which are quite minor) people buy because of the influence of TV commercials. This of course leads to overspending, over-consumption, and its consequences; lost productivity, poor health and unhappiness.
Verse 18 – Identifies a person. This is only for symbolic reasons, making sure the meaning of the previous verses. This person was actually a nice guy and an outstanding citizen. Symbolically he represents two things. 1. The time period around his life (the present age). 2. Hollywood, commercialism and television. This person is NOT the beast, he only IDENTIFYS the beast (sort of like a riddle). Also he IS NOT the anti-Christ as so may say, nowhere is the word anti-Christ, or similar concept, used in this chapter (or the book of Revelation!).
This Chapter cross-references with Daniel 7:7, 19-23 where he symbolically represents over-emphasize on military strength and anti-environmentalism. But again this person is no more righteous, nor more a sinner, than any of us. You guess who it is please. This may seem strange, but seems to fit together as well as any other explanation I have seen, and this is key that all the pieces of prophecy have to fit together.
Solution- to the problem in Chapter 13. The continued and improved communication of the Bible to peoples, and the following of God’s advice as given (in particular) in the Gospels and Revelation.
Verses 6 & 7- The founder of Sky Angel TV felt he was fulfilling this prophecy.
Verses 9-12 Those for whom their buying habits become influenced by TV commercials and Hollywood style TV. They become lost in dangerous, unsuccessful and immoral behavior. See also 13:16-17 and context, 16:2 & 10, 19:20 and 20:4 & 6.
Problems Again- Plagues/consequences/problems. Somewhat, but not at all entirely, a repeat of Chapters 8 & 9. Pollution, diseases, Armageddon, consequences of “bigger is always better” mentality.
16:2 TV watchers get obesity, hooked on over-consumption of food and goods, taught a poor diet of fast foods, and therefore serious health problems.
Further explanation of problems-
This Chapter follows the same sort of themes that were in Chapter 13 (and Daniel 7).
The 7 heads (verses 3, 7, 9 & 10) represent first the Seven Continents, that is, something worldwide (verse 9) (some say this is the 7 hills of Rome, but verse 1, 9 &15 indicate it is a larger area than that, plus the Catholic Church has little to do with business and economics that would tie in with this, especially all the next chapter.) Secondly in verse 10 the seven heads are 7 kings, this represents, I believe, the G7 nations with the 8th (verse 11) being Russia which was added to make it the G8 nations (as off 2008 it has gone larger still). The 10 horns (verses 7, 12 & 16) are the United Nations Security Council’s 10 permanent members. Verse 18 “that great city”, is a reference to all cities in general. That is to say the tendency to think bigger is better, and that bigger correlates to prosperity and happiness, which is not always so.
Verse 18 “that great city” also refers to overpopulation. Verse 10 refers to this also as 5 members of the G7 are overpopulated countries, one is in the process of being overpopulated (the United States) and one is not yet overpopulated (Canada).
So, I believe there are two basic problems with government/institutions put forth by God here in the second “half” of Revelation. One we are leaving God out of our thinking, institutions, educational system, leadership. etc. Second we think short-term profits not long term and the bigger picture. Polluting the environment has very large long-term consequences to health and resource availability that will greatly diminish our prosperity. Fortunately God tells us here in Revelation that these ways of thinking will be overcome.
And again you can play a part by boycotting products advertised on Hollywood style TV.
God is not against prosperity, only our corporate, economic, and government thinking of short-term money accumulation does not reflect true wealth. Anyone can get rich quick by robbing a bank, but this does not add to the real wealth of society. Likewise companies can make billions selling cigarettes, polluting as they manufacture, or the like but in reality have a negative impact to the real wealth and prosperity of society.
Solution- Apparently judgment of some kind.
Clear Consequences of Corporate, greed. Consequences of a “bigger is always better” mentality. Consequence of corporations and Hollywood guiding everyone off course.
This judgment will lead people away from improper corporate, media, and governmental behavior.
Judgment again. God’s victory. Not sure how to interpret the details here.
Millennial period (verses 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7) with God reigning on earth. Verse 4 Going out on limb, I feel this maybe allegorical, and it is the Christian community as such that comes to life and reigns (political power) with Christ for 1000 years. Only after which do non-Christians cultures convert fully. Its in Chapter 21 I believe where the dead are resurrected to eternal life, that is moved from being taken care of in "heaven" back to earth or other planets to a more challenging existence again, but now with the promises of a less pain and suffering.
Chapter 21 verse 3 & 4.
Final war on earth at end of this period which God “vaporizes all weapons” to stop that war, or something of the like.
Verse 20:4 & 6 Those who boycotted products advertised on violent, immoral commercial TV are blessed.
The Kingdom of Heaven arrives.
All quotes and usage are from the KJV unless otherwise noted, although any major translation is fine. I found Young’s literal translation useful at points.
Epilogue -So there are 4 major (but not exclusive) themes in Revelation and Daniel
1) TV-Business unethical behavior
2) Communism/Liberalism and there anti-Christian views
3) Environmental damage
I have found that rearranging the chapters in Revelation is a help to me in making sense of it (most of the chapter and verse heading of all the Bible were put in, in the middle ages to help in finding places in the Bible- a big index system, but sometimes it confuses the flow of the text).
My New “Chapter” headings
Old Chapter Headings
Part 1 Introduction-letters to Churches
Part 2 Preamble to the rest of the book, sufferings 1 AD to 1700's.
Part 3 Modern day problems 1900-present
Part 4 1700's to Present
-Section 1 Preamble to Part 4
-Section 2 French and Papal Ant-Christian sins.
-Section 3 Anti-Christian sins 1700's-present. Pollution, wars, other mistakes.
-Section 4 Kingdom of Heaven forever
Passages about Jesus return "coming as a thief" (silently, by surprise that is) and miscellaneous interesting passages about his second coming (KJV).
It could be that Jesus comes incognito first for a while to do stuff, then arrives with a splash to make himself known and help us govern during the millennium . Don't know.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith . 7And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night . 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief . 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
II Peter 3:4
3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation . For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance
II Peter 3:10-
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless
12 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. 13And 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. 14For 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. 16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Revelation Chapter 11 a More Complete Look
The following is such a detailed exposition of the symbols, time frames, and descriptions of Revelation chapter 11, that I quite agree it must be correct. Notice how deep the symbolism is that is unveiled in this interpretation of the prophecy of this chapter. It just drives home the point as to how much the book of Revelation is written in purposely mysterious symbolism (Rev 10:7 “ 7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets”).
I had first saw this explained on a 3ABN TV show. I then read about it a several websites. Recently I was surprised to see this excellent interpretation in Mrs. Ellen White's (one of the founders of the Seventh Day Adventists Church) book The Great Controversy (written in 1888). I will just reprint her chapter 15 from that book for you to read, although there are parts, certain Bible quotes, I disagree with as to their interpretation. Further it has been claimed that Mrs. White exaggerated, sometimes from unintentional misreading of source material. Nevertheless the overall description and relation of events to phrases in chapter 11 of Revelation is basically correct I believe.
The Great Controversy – Chapter 15- The Bible and the French Revolution
copyright The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc. (www.whiteestate.org)
reprinted with permission from their digital book (page numbers still present)
In the sixteenth century the Reformation, presenting an open Bible to the people, had sought admission to all the countries of Europe. Some nations welcomed it with gladness, as a messenger of Heaven. In other lands the papacy succeeded to a great extent in preventing its entrance; and the light of Bible knowledge, with its elevating influences, was almost wholly excluded. In one country, though the light found entrance, it was not comprehended by the darkness. For centuries, truth and error struggled for the mastery. At last the evil triumphed, and the truth of Heaven was thrust out. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." John 3:19. The nation was left to reap the results of the course which she had chosen. The restraint of God's Spirit was removed from a people that had despised the gift of His grace. Evil was permitted to come to maturity. And all the world saw the fruit of willful rejection of the light.
The war against the Bible, carried forward for so many centuries in France, culminated in the scenes of the Revolution. That terrible outbreaking was but the legitimate result of Rome's suppression of the Scriptures. (See Appendix.) It presented the most striking illustration which the world has ever witnessed of the working out of the papal policy-- an illustration of the results to which for more than a thousand years the teaching of the Roman Church had been tending.
The suppression of the Scriptures during the period of papal supremacy was foretold by the prophets; and the Revelator points also to the terrible results that were to accrue especially to France from the domination of the "man of sin."
Said the angel of the Lord: "The holy city shall they tread underfoot forty and two months. And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. . . . And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. . . . And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them." Revelation 11:2-11.
The periods here mentioned--"forty and two months," and "a thousand two hundred and threescore days"--are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538 [when the Ostrogoth’s abandoned their siege of Rome], and would therefore terminate in 1798. (See Appendix note for page 54). At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.
The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the
"great tribulation" to befall the church, the Saviour said: "Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew 24:22. Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798.
Concerning the two witnesses the prophet declares further: "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." "Thy word," said the psalmist, "is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Revelation 11:4; Psalm 119:105. The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy.
"They shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth." During the greater part of this period, God's witnesses remained in a state of obscurity. The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. (See Appendix.) When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses , and to dens and caves of the earth--then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God's word and were jealous for His honor. To these loyal servants were
given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.
"And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." Revelation 11:5. Men cannot with impunity trample upon the word of God. The meaning of this fearful denunciation is set forth in the closing chapter of the Revelation: "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: 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." Revelation 22:18, 19.
Such are the warnings which God has given to guard men against changing in any manner that which He has revealed or commanded. These solemn denunciations apply to all who by their influence lead men to regard lightly the law of God. They should cause those to fear and tremble who flippantly declare it a matter of little consequence whether we obey God's law or not. All who exalt their own opinions above divine revelation, all who would change the plain meaning of Scripture to suit their own convenience, or for the sake of conforming to the world, are taking upon themselves a fearful responsibility. The written word, the law of God, will measure the character of every man and condemn all whom this unerring test shall declare wanting.
"When they shall have finished [are finishing] their testimony." The period when the two witnesses were to prophesy clothed in sackcloth, ended in 1798. As they were approaching the termination of their work in obscurity, war was to be made upon them by the power represented as "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit." In many of the nations of Europe the powers that ruled in church and state had for centuries been controlled by Satan through the
medium of the papacy. But here is brought to view a new manifestation of satanic power.
It had been Rome's policy, under a profession of reverence for the Bible, to keep it locked up in an unknown tongue and hidden away from the people. Under her rule the witnesses prophesied "clothed in sackcloth." But another power --the beast from the bottomless pit--was to arise to make open, avowed war upon the word of God.
"The great city" in whose streets the witnesses are slain, and where their dead bodies lie, is "spiritually" Egypt. Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands. No monarch ever ventured upon more open and highhanded rebellion against the authority of Heaven than did the king of Egypt. When the message was brought him by Moses, in the name of the Lord, Pharaoh proudly answered: "Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go." Exodus 5:2, A.R.V. This is atheism, and the nation represented by Egypt would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance. "The great city" is also compared, "spiritually," to Sodom. The corruption of Sodom in breaking the law of God was especially manifested in licentiousness. And this sin was also to be a pre-eminent characteristic of the nation that should fulfill the specifications of this scripture.
According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land where the testimony of God's two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom.
This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of France. During the Revolution, in 1793, "the world for the first time heard an assembly of men,
born and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most solemn truth which man's soul receives, and renounce unanimously the belief and worship of a Deity."--Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol. 1, ch. 17. "France is the only nation in the world concerning which the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the universe. Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world's history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced that there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with joy in accepting the announcement."--Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1870.
France presented also the characteristics which especially distinguished Sodom. During the Revolution there was manifest a state of moral debasement and corruption similar to that which brought destruction upon the cities of the plain. And the historian presents together the atheism and the licentiousness of France, as given in the prophecy: "Intimately connected with these laws affecting religion, was that which reduced the union of marriage--the most sacred engagement which human beings can form, and the permanence of which leads most strongly to the consolidation of society--to the state of a mere civil contract of a transitory character, which any two persons might engage in and cast loose at pleasure. . . . If fiends had set themselves to work to discover a mode of most effectually destroying whatever is venerable, graceful, or permanent in domestic life, and of obtaining at the same time an assurance that the mischief which it was their object to create should be perpetuated from one generation to another, they could not have invented a more effectual plan that the degradation of marriage. . . . Sophie Arnoult , an
actress famous for the witty things she said, described the republican marriage as 'the sacrament of adultery.'"--Scott, vol. 1, ch. 17.
"Where also our Lord was crucified." This specification of the prophecy was also fulfilled by France. In no land had the spirit of enmity against Christ been more strikingly displayed. In no country had the truth encountered more bitter and cruel opposition. In the persecution which France had visited upon the confessors of the gospel, she had crucified Christ in the person of His disciples.
Century after century the blood of the saints had been shed. While the Waldenses laid down their lives upon the mountains of Piedmont "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ," similar witness to the truth had been borne by their brethren, the Albigenses of France. In the days of the Reformation its disciples had been put to death with horrible tortures. King and nobles, highborn women and delicate maidens, the pride and chivalry of the nation, had feasted their eyes upon the agonies of the martyrs of Jesus. The brave Huguenots, battling for those rights which the human heart holds most sacred, had poured out their blood on many a hard-fought field. The Protestants were counted as outlaws, a price was set upon their heads, and they were hunted down like wild beasts.
The "Church in the Desert," the few descendants of the ancient Christians that still lingered in France in the eighteenth century, hiding away in the mountains of the south, still cherished the faith of their fathers. As they ventured to meet by night on mountainside or lonely moor, they were chased by dragoons and dragged away to lifelong slavery in the galleys. The purest, the most refined, and the most intelligent of the French were chained, in horrible torture, amidst robbers and assassins. (See Wylie, b. 22, ch. 6.) Others, more mercifully dealt with, were shot down in cold blood, as, unarmed and helpless, they fell upon their
knees in prayer. Hundreds of aged men, defenseless women, and innocent children were left dead upon the earth at their place of meeting. In traversing the mountainside or the forest, where they had been accustomed to assemble, it was not unusual to find "at every four paces, dead bodies dotting the sward, and corpses hanging suspended from the trees." Their country, laid waste with the sword, the ax, the fagot, "was converted into one vast, gloomy wilderness." "These atrocities were enacted . . . in no dark age, but in the brilliant era of Louis XIV. Science was then cultivated, letters flourished, the divines of the court and of the capital were learned and eloquent men, and greatly affected the graces of meekness and charity."--Ibid., b. 22, ch. 7.
But blackest in the black catalogue of crime, most horrible among the fiendish deeds of all the dreadful centuries, was the St. Bartholomew Massacre. The world still recalls with shuddering horror the scenes of that most cowardly and cruel onslaught. The king of France, urged on by Romish priests and prelates, lent his sanction to the dreadful work. A bell, tolling at dead of night, was a signal for the slaughter. Protestants by thousands, sleeping quietly in their homes, trusting to the plighted honor of their king, were dragged forth without a warning and murdered in cold blood.
As Christ was the invisible leader of His people from Egyptian bondage, so was Satan the unseen leader of his subjects in this horrible work of multiplying martyrs. For seven days the massacre was continued in Paris, the first three with inconceivable fury. And it was not confined to the city itself, but by special order of the king was extended to all the provinces and towns where Protestants were found. Neither age nor sex was respected. Neither the innocent babe nor the man of gray hairs was spared. Noble and peasant, old and young, mother and child, were cut down together. Throughout France the butchery continued for two months. Seventy thousand of the very flower of the nation perished.
"When the news of the massacre reached Rome, the
exultation among the clergy knew no bounds. The cardinal of Lorraine rewarded the messenger with a thousand crowns; the cannon of St. Angelo thundered forth a joyous salute; and bells rang out from every steeple; bonfires turned night into day; and Gregory XIII, attended by the cardinals and other ecclesiastical dignitaries, went in long procession to the church of St. Louis, where the cardinal of Lorraine chanted a Te Deum. . . . A medal was struck to commemorate the massacre, and in the Vatican may still be seen three frescoes of Vasari, describing the attack upon the admiral, the king in council plotting the massacre, and the massacre itself. Gregory sent Charles the Golden Rose; and four months after the massacre, . . . he listened complacently to the sermon of a French priest, . . . who spoke of 'that day so full of happiness and joy, when the most holy father received the news, and went in solemn state to render thanks to God and St. Louis.'"--Henry White, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, ch. 14, par. 34.
The same master spirit that urged on the St. Bartholomew Massacre led also in the scenes of the Revolution. Jesus Christ was declared to be an impostor, and the rallying cry of the French infidels was, "Crush the Wretch," meaning Christ. Heaven-daring blasphemy and abominable wickedness went hand in hand, and the basest of men, the most abandoned monsters of cruelty and vice, were most highly exalted. In all this, supreme homage was paid to Satan; while Christ, in His characteristics of truth, purity, and unselfish love, was crucified.
"The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them." The atheistical power that ruled in France during the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, did wage such a war against God and His holy word as the world had never witnessed. The worship of the Deity was abolished by the National Assembly. Bibles were collected and publicly burned with every possible manifestation of scorn. The law of God
was trampled underfoot. The institutions of the Bible were abolished. The weekly rest day was set aside, and in its stead every tenth day was devoted to reveling and blasphemy. Baptism and the Communion were prohibited. And announcements posted conspicuously over the burial places declared death to be an eternal sleep.
The fear of God was said to be so far from the beginning of wisdom that it was the beginning of folly. All religious worship was prohibited, except that of liberty and the country. The "constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to play the principal part in the most impudent and scandalous farce ever acted in the face of a national representation. . . . He was brought forward in full procession, to declare to the Convention that the religion which he had taught so many years was, in every respect, a piece of priestcraft , which had no foundation either in history or sacred truth. He disowned, in solemn and explicit terms, the existence of the Deity to whose worship he had been consecrated, and devoted himself in future to the homage of liberty, equality, virtue, and morality. He then laid on the table his episcopal decorations, and received a fraternal embrace from the president of the Convention. Several apostate priests followed the example of this prelate."--Scott, vol. 1, ch. 17.
"And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." Infidel France had silenced the reproving voice of God's two witnesses. The word of truth lay dead in her streets, and those who hated the restrictions and requirements of God's law were jubilant. Men publicly defied the King of heaven. Like the sinners of old, they cried: "How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?" Psalm 73:11.
With blasphemous boldness almost beyond belief, one of the priests of the new order said: "God, if You exist, avenge Your injured name. I bid You defiance! You remain silent; You dare not launch Your thunders. Who after this will
believe in Your existence?"-- Lacretelle , History, vol. 11, p. 309; in Sir Archibald Alison, History of Europe, vol. 1, ch. 10. What an echo is this of the Pharaoh's demand: "Who is Jehovah, that I should obey His voice?" "I know not Jehovah!"
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Psalm 14:1. And the Lord declares concerning the perverters of the truth: "Their folly shall be manifest unto all." 2 Timothy 3:9. After France had renounced the worship of the living God, "the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity," it was only a little time till she descended to degrading idolatry, by the worship of the Goddess of Reason, in the person of a profligate woman. And this in the representative assembly of the nation, and by its highest civil and legislative authorities! Says the historian: "One of the ceremonies of this insane time stands unrivaled for absurdity combined with impiety. The doors of the Convention were thrown open to a band of musicians, preceded by whom, the members of the municipal body entered in solemn procession, singing a hymn in praise of liberty, and escorting, as the object of their future worship, a veiled female, whom they termed the Goddess of Reason. Being brought within the bar, she was unveiled with great form, and placed on the right of the president, when she was generally recognized as a dancing girl of the opera. . . . To this person, as the fittest representative of that reason whom they worshiped, the National Convention of France rendered public homage.
"This impious and ridiculous mummery had a certain fashion; and the installation of the Goddess of Reason was renewed and imitated throughout the nation, in such places where the inhabitants desired to show themselves equal to all the heights of the Revolution."--Scott, vol. 1, ch. 17.
Said the orator who introduced the worship of Reason: "Legislators! Fanaticism has given way to reason. Its bleared eyes could not endure the brilliancy of the light. This day an immense concourse has assembled beneath those gothic vaults, which, for the first time, re-echoed the truth. There
the French have celebrated the only true worship,--that of Liberty, that of Reason. There we have formed wishes for the prosperity of the arms of the Republic. There we have abandoned inanimate idols for Reason, for that animated image, the masterpiece of nature."--M. A. Thiers, History of the French Revolution, vol. 2, pp. 370, 371.
When the goddess was brought into the Convention, the orator took her by the hand, and turning to the assembly said: "Mortals, cease to tremble before the powerless thunders of a God whom your fears have created. Henceforth acknowledge no divinity but Reason. I offer you its noblest and purest image; if you must have idols, sacrifice only to such as this. . . . Fall before the august Senate of Freedom, oh! Veil of Reason!"
"The goddess, after being embraced by the president, was mounted on a magnificent car, and conducted, amid an immense crowd, to the cathedral of Notre Dame, to take the place of the Deity. There she was elevated on the high altar, and received the adoration of all present."--Alison, vol. 1, ch. 10.
This was followed, not long afterward, by the public burning of the Bible. On one occasion "the Popular Society of the Museum" entered the hall of the municipality, exclaiming, "Vive la Raison!" and carrying on the top of a pole the half-burned remains of several books, among others breviaries, missals, and the Old and New Testaments, which "expiated in a great fire," said the president, "all the fooleries which they have made the human race commit."--Journal of Paris, 1793, No. 318. Quoted in Buchez -Roux, Collection of Parliamentary History, vol. 30, pp. 200, 201.
It was popery that had begun the work which atheism was completing. The policy of Rome had wrought out those conditions, social, political, and religious, that were hurrying France on to ruin. Writers, in referring to the horrors of the Revolution, say that these excesses are to be charged upon the throne and the church. (See Appendix.) In strict justice they are to be charged upon the church. Popery had poisoned the
minds of kings against the Reformation, as an enemy to the crown, an element of discord that would be fatal to the peace and harmony of the nation. It was the genius of Rome that by this means inspired the direst cruelty and the most galling oppression which proceeded from the throne.
The spirit of liberty went with the Bible. Wherever the gospel was received, the minds of the people were awakened. They began to cast off the shackles that had held them bondslaves of ignorance, vice, and superstition. They began to think and act as men. Monarchs saw it and trembled for their despotism.
Rome was not slow to inflame their jealous fears. Said the pope to the regent of France in 1525: "This mania [Protestantism] will not only confound and destroy religion, but all principalities, nobility, laws, orders, and ranks besides."-- G. de Felice , History of the Protestants of France, b. 1, ch. 2, par. 8. A few years later a papal nuncio warned the king: "Sire, be not deceived. The Protestants will upset all civil as well as religious order. . . . The throne is in as much danger as the altar. . . . The introduction of a new religion must necessarily introduce a new government."-- D'Aubigne , History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, b. 2, ch. 36. And theologians appealed to the prejudices of the people by declaring that the Protestant doctrine "entices men away to novelties and folly; it robs the king of the devoted affection of his subjects, and devastates both church and state." Thus Rome succeeded in arraying France against the Reformation. "It was to uphold the throne, preserve the nobles, and maintain the laws, that the sword of persecution was first unsheathed in France."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 4.
Little did the rulers of the land foresee the results of that fateful policy. The teaching of the Bible would have implanted in the minds and hearts of the people those principles of justice, temperance, truth, equity, and benevolence which are the very cornerstone of a nation's prosperity. "Righteousness exalteth a nation." Thereby "the throne is established."
Proverbs 14:34; 16:12. "The work of righteousness shall be peace;" and the effect, "quietness and assurance forever." Isaiah 32:17. He who obeys the divine law will most truly respect and obey the laws of his country. He who fears God will honor the king in the exercise of all just and legitimate authority. But unhappy France prohibited the Bible and banned its disciples. Century after century, men of principle and integrity, men of intellectual acuteness and moral strength, who had the courage to avow their convictions and the faith to suffer for the truth--for centuries these men toiled as slaves in the galleys, perished at the stake, or rotted in dungeon cells. Thousands upon thousands found safety in flight; and this continued for two hundred and fifty years after the opening of the Reformation.
"Scarcely was there a generation of Frenchmen during the long period that did not witness the disciples of the gospel fleeing before the insane fury of the persecutor, and carrying with them the intelligence, the arts, the industry, the order, in which, as a rule, they pre-eminently excelled, to enrich the lands in which they found an asylum. And in proportion as they replenished other countries with these good gifts, did they empty their own of them. If all that was now driven away had been retained in France; if, during these three hundred years, the industrial skill of the exiles had been cultivating her soil; if, during these three hundred years, their artistic bent had been improving her manufactures; if, during these three hundred years, their creative genius and analytic power had been enriching her literature and cultivating her science; if their wisdom had been guiding her councils, their bravery fighting her battles, their equity framing her laws, and the religion of the Bible strengthening the intellect and governing the conscience of her people, what a glory would at this day have encompassed France! What a great, prosperous, and happy country--a pattern to the nations--would she have been!
"But a blind and inexorable bigotry chased from her soil every teacher of virtue, every champion of order, every honest defender of the throne; it said to the men who would have made their country a 'renown and glory' in the earth, Choose which you will have, a stake or exile. At last the ruin of the state was complete; there remained no more conscience to be proscribed; no more religion to be dragged to the stake; no more patriotism to be chased into banishment."--Wylie, b. 13, ch. 20. And the Revolution, with all its horrors, was the dire result.
"With the flight of the Huguenots a general decline settled upon France. Flourishing manufacturing cities fell into decay; fertile districts returned to their native wildness; intellectual dullness and moral declension succeeded a period of unwonted progress. Paris became one vast almshouse, and it is estimated that, at the breaking out of the Revolution, two hundred thousand paupers claimed charity from the hands of the king. The Jesuits alone flourished in the decaying nation, and ruled with dreadful tyranny over churches and schools, the prisons and the galleys."
The gospel would have brought to France the solution of those political and social problems that baffled the skill of her clergy, her king, and her legislators, and finally plunged the nation into anarchy and ruin. But under the domination of Rome the people had lost the Saviour's blessed lessons of self-sacrifice and unselfish love. They had been led away from the practice of self-denial for the good of others. The rich had found no rebuke for their oppression of the poor, the poor no help for their servitude and degradation. The selfishness of the wealthy and powerful grew more and more apparent and oppressive. For centuries the greed and profligacy of the noble resulted in grinding extortion toward the peasant. The rich wronged the poor, and the poor hated the rich.
In many provinces the estates were held by the nobles, and the laboring classes were only tenants; they were at the mercy
of their landlords and were forced to submit to their exorbitant demands. The burden of supporting both the church and the state fell upon the middle and lower classes, who were heavily taxed by the civil authorities and by the clergy. "The pleasure of the nobles was considered the supreme law; the farmers and the peasants might starve, for aught their oppressors cared. . . . The people were compelled at every turn to consult the exclusive interest of the landlord. The lives of the agricultural laborers were lives of incessant work and unrelieved misery; their complaints, if they ever dared to complain, were treated with insolent contempt. The courts of justice would always listen to a noble as against a peasant; bribes were notoriously accepted by the judges; and the merest caprice of the aristocracy had the force of law, by virtue of this system of universal corruption. Of the taxes wrung from the commonalty, by the secular magnates on the one hand, and the clergy on the other, not half ever found its way into the royal or episcopal treasury; the rest was squandered in profligate self-indulgence. And the men who thus impoverished their fellow subjects were themselves exempt from taxation, and entitled by law or custom to all the appointments of the state. The privileged classes numbered a hundred and fifty thousand, and for their gratification millions were condemned to hopeless and degrading lives." (See Appendix.)
The court was given up to luxury and profligacy. There was little confidence existing between the people and the rulers. Suspicion fastened upon all the measures of the government as designing and selfish. For more than half a century before the time of the Revolution the throne was occupied by Louis XV, who, even in those evil times, was distinguished as an indolent, frivolous, and sensual monarch. With a depraved and cruel aristocracy and an impoverished and ignorant lower class, the state financially embarrassed and the people exasperated, it needed no prophet's eye to foresee a terrible impending outbreak. To the warnings of his counselors the king was accustomed to reply: "Try to
make things go on as long as I am likely to live; after my death it may be as it will." It was in vain that the necessity of reform was urged. He saw the evils, but had neither the courage nor the power to meet them. The doom awaiting France was but too truly pictured in his indolent and selfish answer, "After me, the deluge!"
By working upon the jealousy of the kings and the ruling classes, Rome had influenced them to keep the people in bondage, well knowing that the state would thus be weakened, and purposing by this means to fasten both rulers and people in her thrall. With farsighted policy she perceived that in order to enslave men effectually, the shackles must be bound upon their souls; that the surest way to prevent them from escaping their bondage was to render them incapable of freedom. A thousandfold more terrible than the physical suffering which resulted from her policy, was the moral degradation. Deprived of the Bible, and abandoned to the teachings of bigotry and selfishness, the people were shrouded in ignorance and superstition, and sunken in vice, so that they were wholly unfitted for self-government.
But the outworking of all this was widely different from what Rome had purposed. Instead of holding the masses in a blind submission to her dogmas, her work resulted in making them infidels and revolutionists. Romanism they despised as priestcraft . They beheld the clergy as a party to their oppression. The only god they knew was the god of Rome; her teaching was their only religion. They regarded her greed and cruelty as the legitimate fruit of the Bible, and they would have none of it.
Rome had misrepresented the character of God and perverted His requirements, and now men rejected both the Bible and its Author. She had required a blind faith in her dogmas, under the pretended sanction of the Scriptures. In the reaction, Voltaire and his associates cast aside God's word altogether and spread everywhere the poison of infidelity. Rome had ground down the people under her iron heel; and now the masses, degraded and brutalized, in their recoil from
her tyranny, cast off all restraint. Enraged at the glittering cheat to which they had so long paid homage, they rejected truth and falsehood together; and mistaking license for liberty, the slaves of vice exulted in their imagined freedom.
At the opening of the Revolution, by a concession of the king, the people were granted a representation exceeding that of the nobles and the clergy combined. Thus the balance of power was in their hands; but they were not prepared to use it with wisdom and moderation. Eager to redress the wrongs they had suffered, they determined to undertake the reconstruction of society. An outraged populace, whose minds were filled with bitter and long-treasured memories of wrong, resolved to revolutionize the state of misery that had grown unbearable and to avenge themselves upon those whom they regarded as the authors of their sufferings. The oppressed wrought out the lesson they had learned under tyranny and became the oppressors of those who had oppressed them.
Unhappy France reaped in blood the harvest she had sown. Terrible were the results of her submission to the controlling power of Rome. Where France, under the influence of Romanism, had set up the first stake at the opening of the Reformation, there the Revolution set up its first guillotine. On the very spot where the first martyrs to the Protestant faith were burned in the sixteenth century, the first victims were guillotined in the eighteenth. In repelling the gospel, which would have brought her healing, France had opened the door to infidelity and ruin. When the restraints of God's law were cast aside, it was found that the laws of man were inadequate to hold in check the powerful tides of human passion; and the nation swept on to revolt and anarchy. The war against the Bible inaugurated an era which stands in the world's history as the Reign of Terror. Peace and happiness were banished from the homes and hearts of men. No one was secure. He who triumphed today was suspected, condemned, tomorrow. Violence and lust held undisputed sway.
King, clergy, and nobles were compelled to submit to the atrocities of an excited and maddened people. Their thirst for vengeance was only stimulated by the execution of the king; and those who had decreed his death soon followed him to the scaffold. A general slaughter of all suspected of hostility to the Revolution was determined. The prisons were crowded, at one time containing more than two hundred thousand captives. The cities of the kingdom were filled with scenes of horror. One party of revolutionists was against another party, and France became a vast field for contending masses, swayed by the fury of their passions. "In Paris one tumult succeeded another, and the citizens were divided into a medley of factions, that seemed intent on nothing but mutual extermination." And to add to the general misery, the nation became involved in a prolonged and devastating war with the great powers of Europe. "The country was nearly bankrupt, the armies were clamoring for arrears of pay, the Parisians were starving, the provinces were laid waste by brigands, and civilization was almost extinguished in anarchy and license."
All too well the people had learned the lessons of cruelty and torture which Rome had so diligently taught. A day of retribution at last had come. It was not now the disciples of Jesus that were thrust into dungeons and dragged to the stake. Long ago these had perished or been driven into exile. Unsparing Rome now felt the deadly power of those whom she had trained to delight in deeds of blood. "The example of persecution which the clergy of France had exhibited for so many ages, was now retorted upon them with signal vigor. The scaffolds ran red with the blood of the priests. The galleys and the prisons, once crowded with Huguenots, were now filled with their persecutors. Chained to the bench and toiling at the oar, the Roman Catholic clergy experienced all those woes which their church had so freely inflicted on the gentle heretics." (See Appendix.)
"Then came those days when the most barbarous of all codes was administered by the most barbarous of all tribunals; when no man could greet his neighbors or say his prayers . . . without danger of committing a capital crime; when spies lurked in every corner; when the guillotine was long and hard at work every morning; when the jails were filled as close as the holds of a slave ship; when the gutters ran foaming with blood into the Seine. . . . While the daily wagonloads of victims were carried to their doom through the streets of Paris, the proconsuls, whom the sovereign committee had sent forth to the departments, reveled in an extravagance of cruelty unknown even in the capital. The knife of the deadly machine rose and fell too slow for their work of slaughter. Long rows of captives were mowed down with grapeshot. Holes were made in the bottom of crowded barges. Lyons was turned into a desert. At Arras even the cruel mercy of a speedy death was denied to the prisoners. All down the Loire, from Saumur to the sea, great flocks of crows and kites feasted on naked corpses, twined together in hideous embraces. No mercy was shown to sex or age. The number of young lads and of girls of seventeen who were murdered by that execrable government, is to be reckoned by hundreds. Babies torn from the breast were tossed from pike to pike along the Jacobin ranks." (See Appendix.) In the short space of ten years, multitudes of human beings perished.
All this was as Satan would have it. This was what for ages he had been working to secure. His policy is deception from first to last, and his steadfast purpose is to bring woe and wretchedness upon men, to deface and defile the workmanship of God, to mar the divine purposes of benevolence and love, and thus cause grief in heaven. Then by his deceptive arts he blinds the minds of men, and leads them to throw back the blame of his work upon God, as if all this misery were the result of the Creator's plan. In like manner, when
those who have been degraded and brutalized through his cruel power achieve their freedom, he urges them on to excesses and atrocities. Then this picture of unbridled license is pointed out by tyrants and oppressors as an illustration of the results of liberty.
When error in one garb has been detected, Satan only masks it in a different disguise, and multitudes receive it as eagerly as at the first. When the people found Romanism to be a deception, and he could not through this agency lead them to transgression of God's law, he urged them to regard all religion as a cheat, and the Bible as a fable; and, casting aside the divine statutes, they gave themselves up to unbridled iniquity.
The fatal error which wrought such woe for the inhabitants of France was the ignoring of this one great truth: that true freedom lies within the proscriptions of the law of God. "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." "There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked." "But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." Isaiah 48:18, 22; Proverbs 1:33.
Atheists, infidels, and apostates oppose and denounce God's law; but the results of their influence prove that the well-being of man is bound up with his obedience of the divine statutes. Those who will not read the lesson from the book of God are bidden to read it in the history of nations.
When Satan wrought through the Roman Church to lead men away from obedience, his agency was concealed, and his work was so disguised that the degradation and misery which resulted were not seen to be the fruit of transgression. And his power was so far counteracted by the working of the Spirit of God that his purposes were prevented from reaching their full fruition. The people did not trace the effect to its cause and discover the source of their miseries. But in the
Revolution the law of God was openly set aside by the National Council. And in the Reign of Terror which followed, the working of cause and effect could be seen by all.
When France publicly rejected God and set aside the Bible, wicked men and spirits of darkness exulted in their attainment of the object so long desired--a kingdom free from the restraints of the law of God. Because sentence against an evil work was not speedily executed, therefore the heart of the sons of men was "fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11. But the transgression of a just and righteous law must inevitably result in misery and ruin. Though not visited at once with judgments, the wickedness of men was nevertheless surely working out their doom. Centuries of apostasy and crime had been treasuring up wrath against the day of retribution; and when their iniquity was full, the despisers of God learned too late that it is a fearful thing to have worn out the divine patience. The restraining Spirit of God, which imposes a check upon the cruel power of Satan, was in a great measure removed, and he whose only delight is the wretchedness of men was permitted to work his will. Those who had chosen the service of rebellion were left to reap its fruits until the land was filled with crimes too horrible for pen to trace. From devastated provinces and ruined cities a terrible cry was heard--a cry of bitterest anguish. France was shaken as if by an earthquake. Religion, law, social order, the family, the state, and the church--all were smitten down by the impious hand that had been lifted against the law of God. Truly spoke the wise man: "The wicked shall fall by his own wickedness." "Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him: but it shall not be well with the wicked." Proverbs 11:5; Ecclesiastes 8:12, 13. "They hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord;" "therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices." Proverbs 1:29, 31.
God's faithful witnesses, slain by the blasphemous power that " ascendeth out of the bottomless pit," were not long to remain silent. "After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them." Revelation 11:11. It was in 1793 that the decrees which abolished the Christian religion and set aside the Bible passed the French Assembly. Three years and a half later a resolution rescinding these decrees, thus granting toleration to the Scriptures, was adopted by the same body. The world stood aghast at the enormity of guilt which had resulted from a rejection of the Sacred Oracles, and men recognized the necessity of faith in God and His word as the foundation of virtue and morality. Saith the Lord: "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel," Isaiah 37:23. "Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is Jehovah." Jeremiah 16:21, A.R.V.
Concerning the two witnesses the prophet declares further: "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." Revelation 11:12. Since France made war upon God's two witnesses, they have been honored as never before. In 1804 the British and Foreign Bible Society was organized. This was followed by similar organizations, with numerous branches, upon the continent of Europe. In 1816 the American Bible Society was founded. When the British Society was formed, the Bible had been printed and circulated in fifty tongues. It has since been translated into many hundreds of languages and dialects. (See Appendix.)
For the fifty years preceding 1792, little attention was given to the work of foreign missions. No new societies were formed, and there were but few churches that made any
effort for the spread of Christianity in heathen lands. But toward the close of the eighteenth century a great change took place. Men became dissatisfied with the results of rationalism and realized the necessity of divine revelation and experimental religion. From this time the work of foreign missions attained an unprecedented growth. (See Appendix.)
The improvements in printing have given an impetus to the work of circulating the Bible. The increased facilities for communication between different countries, the breaking down of ancient barriers of prejudice and national exclusiveness, and the loss of secular power by the pontiff of Rome have opened the way for the entrance of the word of God. For some years the Bible has been sold without restraint in the streets of Rome, and it has now been carried to every part of the habitable globe.
The infidel Voltaire once boastingly said: "I am weary of hearing people repeat that twelve men established the Christian religion. I will prove that one man may suffice to overthrow it." Generations have passed since his death. Millions have joined in the war upon the Bible. But it is so far from being destroyed, that where there were a hundred in Voltaire's time, there are now ten thousand, yes, a hundred thousand copies of the book of God. In the words of an early Reformer concerning the Christian church, "The Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers." Saith the Lord: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn." Isaiah 54:17.
"The word of our God shall stand forever." "All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 111:7, 8. Whatever is built upon the authority of man will be overthrown; but that which is founded upon the rock of God's immutable word shall stand forever.
Another interesting thing I came across on the internet is lots of people were tuned into this 1260 year prophecy before the fact and where predicting the fall of the papal power in 1798.
So the Roman Catholic Church, at its worse state, is then in Revelation chapter 11. Many take it into succeeding and previous chapters also, but I think this is a mistake and not supported by the facts. I feel the Roman Catholic Church had some wonderful Saints, and has a wonderful tradition of service to the poor and sick. It still today has its faults but, like other denominations do, but is an acceptable part of the Church.
Notes on Old Testament Prophecy, the Minor and Major Prophets
In order working backwards from the last book of the Old Testament.
Is about obedience to the Lord and the coming of Christ, including some famous ones at the end of the chapter.
Zechariah covers three things. The Jewish return from Babylon, predictions for Christ, and predictions for Christ's second coming and Israel in the end times. Very secretive and hidden speech used in this book. Hard to figure.
Chapter 10-12 Judah here may stand for Traditional Jews (unsaved) while Israel may stand for saved Jews (Messianic Jews) See Zech 11:14 for example. “ 14Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.” Also reference to the House of David or of Joseph refers to Messianic Jews.
Zech 11:10 (KJV) Beauty then is Jews , where now that sole covenant is broken and given to all the world (poor of the flock (up until that time)). Bands are the particular separation on Jew into saved and unsaved Jew.
Is encouragement for people to rebuild the temple after the Babylonian captivity.
Scary passage that says all mankind will be destroyed. Either refers to all wickedness destroyed or is quite a contradiction to New Testament. Or hopefully just a Cliché. Remember the books where chosen so maybe bad book, else/and God lets the OT be a mix of real prophecy and real people’s opinions (as proverbs). Remember Jesus said all those who have come before me are thieves and liars (John 10:7-9) (in spirit they just wanted revenge mostly) which was an another overstatement, but to make a point. .
Habakkuk & Nahum
Apparently has to do with justifying that an imperfect nation would conquer Israel (Babylon etc.). Hab. Chapter 2 is not a good translation in KJV, much better in others (like NRSV) where it is about Babylon (or any nation or person) wrongly being concerned about their own personal wealth rather than the welfare and progress of the society and mankind.
Pretty straightforward, foretelling Israel’s captivity in Babylon and then restoration (by Christianity). 5:2-5 Passage on Jesus being born in Bethlehem.
Everyone has heard this one. Probably a fictional story to illustrate a point. Just what point I don’t know, other than that sinners can repent if given a chance.
All about Edom. One of those revenge type prophecies which reminds me of John 10:7-9 again. Perhaps a “non-canon book”.
Negative judgments against nations around Israel, then against Israel itself. On such the world is in the progress of forming/being built. Nations and institutions fall and are replaced by such that are an improvement over the former. This occurs until the time we reach a place that such are structured and work to preserve life on earth, promoting health and happiness. To do so we need to utilize God’s advice. Israel is a teaching tool, suspended in reality, but adjuncted by God’s intervention, and expounded though the Bible for the world’s learning from such.
On the poor. Much of Amos is condemning Israelite’s for injustice and not helping the poor. What profit is there in helping the poor? It should be done as to love is the major commandment of God and need/place of humanity. Without love there is no co-operation which is essential for good economic success. Furthermore we learn from the poor why they are poor and therefore how to overcome poverty by improving our institutions and culture. Things like better TV programs, better family and community stability/structure, better health, protection from birth defects, etc. With this cooperative spirit we can build a better world where all people reach their full potential. Therefore it IS an economic advantage (in the short and long run) to help the poor!
Three chapters. First two about famine from locusts etc. Last chapter about restoration of Judah. Same sort of theme as elsewhere, a fall and exile, then a restoration.
Same sort of theme. Israel’s leaving God for other idols, at how that leads to lack of success. How they will fall, die off and then get restored. This leads to success because of a good relationship with God via appreciating his loving advice for mankind. From which we get too easily drawn off from onto impracticality and inherently dangerous behavior.
Some very interesting things. Chapter 1 appears to be all about, albeit in hidden speech, the coming of Christ as the savior of the Jews, and model for a correct relationship with God. Compare with my notes on Zech. 10-12. Israel stands for traditional Jews (denying Christ as messiah), Judah for saved or messianic Jews. Notice the distinction here between Israel and Judah, most similar. And like verse 7, will be saved by other than war (by Christ instead would fit this description). And verse 9-10. Unsaved Israel is not God’s people anymore. But verse 10 fits the history of Jews and present State of Israel.
Also interesting are the references to drinking in Chapter 2 and on. Oh! how that also applies to the present state of affairs in America and Europe! Also the analogy of God with knowledge (4:1 & 6) and lack of such with becoming unproductive, and going down the road to unhealthy behavior and death. Most interesting and so much like the current situation in the USA also. Notice 4:3 (what a wonderful verse) EVEN the environment ends up suffering. This is so much like the current over-consumptive, impractical, misguided society we have. It’s not the Kingdom of Heaven yet!
Later chapters strongly condemn Ephariam and their idol worship. They were one of the 12 tribes of Israel which became part of the Northern Kingdom. Their land north Jerusalem by 30 miles was from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River is particularly fertile,
Only the last chapter in particular talks about a restoration. NOTE the mention of Memphis (Egypt) in verse 9:6. Perhaps this alludes to the area were the Jews lived before the exodus.
See the separate chapters on Daniel.
Judgments. Chapters 1-24 judgments of Israel, Judah and Jerusalem. 25-32 judgments of nations around Israel. 33-48 Mixed judgments of Israel and nations, and blessings on Israel, prophecy on Christianity, other.
This is that book with the abstract visions of wheels within wheels etc.
Chapter 3, lying on side 390 days for Israel and 40 days for Judah. Looked on web, but found no good explanation of these numbers. Many ideas not even following what is written. Tired myself to match it with start of kings (1051 BC) dividing of kingdom (931 BC) fall of Jerusalem (586) end of Israel-Northern Kingdom (722) and restoration of temple (514 or so), but not even close. BUT if one takes the bad kings for Judah after 722 until 586 it about adds up to 53. If one takes off for years of occupied army, or/ year Ezekiel wrote from, perhaps it would make 40. And from 931-722 all Israeli kings were bad (209 years). Then take from the naming of Jacob to Israel up to 931 BC tally all the years they were out of favor with God. 40 years for the exodus makes 209 + 40=249 so you need 141 more bad years from Joshua (1400BC) until 931BC. Quite a tally to try to make-not now for me.
God making it clear that he is the one punishing Israel and destroying their evil. This is contrary to the way I like to think of sin having its own inherent punishment, but it is the way it is definitely written in this book. Such as 6:10 “And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them”.
Keeps going against Israel’s mistakes with very harsh language. Verse 18 changes to a philosophical question. Then verse 19 on is back to railing on and on against Israel. Kind of tiring to read. Seems beneath God some of the name-calling used, but shows he knows how we behave, and is teaching that it is nonsense not to stick with God! Of course the problem is we cannot see the forest though the trees, that is it difficult to make the connections over a short period of time as to how our behavior (following God or not) is related to success. That is precisely why God gives us Bible history, and uses the people Israel over a long period of time, so mankind can have a basis for seeing the long-term connections.
Ez 14:14 mentions Daniel.
Chapter 24 starts with relative dating which can be used to identify the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by Babylon among other things. Walvoord puts it at Jan 15, 588 BC in his book.
Very crude language, shows God knows about crude language and behavior, crudeness is not a way we can escape from God: He’s always there.
Chapter 34 Wow what a chapter, probably end times restoration, reconciliation of Jews to Christ..
Chapter 38-39 Battle of Armageddon.
Chapter 40-48 Sanctuary dimensions, rituals, area of Israel (borders thereof). Note also chapter 45 and the river. This will have to be either a miracle or change in climate, as it gets deeper as it rolls along (from side streams presumably). It could be symbolic, but with some of the details given it doesn’t seem to be so. Perhaps global warming will cause more rain in Israel?
So here’s a dilemma, chapter 34 is on Christianity even in Israel, chapter 38 & 39 is on Armageddon. We know Christ’s sacrifice was once and for all to atone for sin. We know Armageddon comes after Christ and hasn’t occurred yet. So why are the rest of the chapters of Ezekiel dealing with the temple and animal sacrifice? Here is my take on it. We know the current state of Israel has some messianic believers but is mostly Old Testament folks. So this a conformation that these OT Jews are who will be in Israel at Armageddon (35:22 22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went”). Eventually they will be converted, fulfilling chapter 34.
Much and mostly woe over Israel’s behavior at that time..
3:14-19 Future prophecy.
4:23-26 Strange passages, future or just to the situation then, hard to tell every translation puts it quite differently.
Rest is 85% woe over Israel’s behavior at that time and prophecy of captivity coming at that time. A few, but very few, fore-telling of Christ, larger sections on the far future return of Israel to the land, particularity about how God will have cleaned up their behavior by that time, and how things will be working more properly. Only one passage about Armageddon type talk, and end time woes, as contrasted to much about that in Ezekiel and Isaiah. Mostly about the spiritual changes that occur.
1-12 About ¾ condemning Israel for her sins, ¼ prophesies about Jesus and/or restoration of Israel. Strange way of mixing the two together, quite abstract speech.
11:10 – all of chapter 12; Probably beginning to mention the restoration of Israel around the time of the Second Coming.
13-15 Assyrian and Babylon prophesies, so projected ahead on quite a few things now.
19 Amazing prophecy on Egypt, many others elsewhere all talk of loss and no return of Egypt, but here it says they will turn to the Lord and be healed! Assyria too! First part on “drying up” of the river sounds a lot like the problem they are having because of the Aswan High Dam.
20 May refer to Islam, and their conquering of Iraq and that area.
Note 26 last verse, “indignation” compare with Daniel.
27:10-11 Ecology (refers here to the process called desertification caused primarily by overpopulation). 10Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favor.
Also 29:17 17Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
Isaiah 32 Again ecology here 32 & 33 I think these chapters refer to America and our present day politic etc. Notice how it talks about distant lands and times, and very little about Israel except as a metaphor.
1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 3And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. 4The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. 5The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 6For the vile person will speak villany , and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. 7The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words , even when the needy speaketh right. 8But the [true] liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. 10Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. 11Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless  ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. 12They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
13Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: 14Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever , a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 15Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever . 18And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 19When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. 20Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
1 Woe to thee that spoilest , and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.
Discussion on above
32:1-2 Must refer to Christ. Verse 3 after his earthy ministry, as when he was here he said the opposite of that about that generation, therefore probably now referring to a later time. I think it is a chapter on the present age and liberalism, therefore compare with Rev. 12, and communism/”liberalism”
32:7-(From Webster’s College Dictionary) Churl: Rude, Boorish or surly person. Surly: Unfriendly or hostile, menacingly irritable. 4. Lordly, arrogant. Perhaps television advertising. 33:1 also, plus corporate exploitation.
Young's Literal Translation: 32:17-20 And a work of the righteousness hath been peace, And a service of the righteousness -- Keeping quiet and confidence unto the age.18And dwelt hath My people in a peaceful habitation, And in steadfast tabernacles, And in quiet resting-places.19And it hath hailed in the going down of the forest, And in the valley is the city low.20Happy [are] ye sowing by all waters, Sending forth the foot of the ox and the ass!
allegory, but perhaps talking about Cities vs Country Living, with country life
being better, that is more ecologically sound and sustainable, and more
32:19 compare with Rev. beast which is “that
Return to other Chapters
34 Edom, is always getting a bashing, something was not right there. So strange as it’s hard to believe it was ever anything but a desert wasteland. List of animals (verse 11-14) God CHALLENGES US to find. 34:16 “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them”.
But note 34:1-2 is about ALL nations, and could be a talk AGAINST warfare.
41:22 – chapter 48 God’s commentary on his prophecy! Quite interesting. Lots of mention of creating the heavens and earth.
49 On Christ’s mission. 49:12 mentions CHINA?
Rest- mostly about restoration of Israel in “end times”, but also rebuking, and prophecy on Christ and on Christianity.
60-62 Not fulfilled yet, this thing of all nations bringing wealth to Israel. Also at least some of this may be dealing with Christianity (62-references to marrying a bride etc ) and/or a messianic Jewish State?
61:1 Famous passage that Jesus quoted.
New Testament Prophesy Before Revelation
As far as Prophecy in the Gospels, there is quite a bit. Prophecy about Jesus from the Old Testament that Jesus quoted, as well as prophecy about the future, particularly Matthew 24,. also Mt.16:24-28; 17:6-12; Most of it is self-evident though and I will not bother to go over it.
There is some, but not a lot of prophecy between the Gospels and Revelation. In Walvoord's book Every Prophecy of the Bible, I see the things listed that are really just proclamations about salvation and the like. There is not many overt statements as in the Old Testament prophets that “the word of God came to me” “or I saw in a vision” or the like. Rather they are often just repeating the old prophecies. For example 2Peter 1:8 though the beginning of chapter two, he talks of Christ's message being the “sure prophesy”. And he contrasts Old Testament prophecy with New Testament teaching. But moving on to second Peter 3:1-2 “ 1This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour ...” Here he is linking together their teaching with Old Testament prophecies.
Anyhow I see very little prophecy in this part of the Bible except there in 2Peter chapter 3 (for which much of it may be allegorical) and the famous statements of Paul in 1st & 2nd Thessalonian's (particularly 2:1-12). But rather than the rapture and anti-Christ, this maybe referring to Mohammad. I've heard the word for temple here refers to the body of Christ, that is the Church, and not the Jewish temple building. Also I've heard that “he who letteth ” (2:7) was the Roman Empire. So then this all fits for Islam, occurring after the fall of the Roman Empire (in the west) in 469 AD, and being a religion that supplants Christianity based on false teachings. Also it is to be destroyed at Christ second coming (2:8), which we can see is related elsewhere to the battle of Armageddon. That appears will be a battle between Islam and Jewish and Christian peoples. That is not to say this battle will physically defeat Islam (see Daniel 8:25), but perhaps by the showing that it was in BIBLE PROPHECY, it will in turn influence many in Islam to realize the Bible is true and Islam, though it has some positive points along with it many negative ones, is based on untruth, just as, for example, the Mormon religion is. But God’s forgiveness and love is available to all, and no one should boast as the West has many sins to correct itself.