SECOND TREE

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THE UNITED STATES IN BIBLE PROPHECY


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FOREWORD

Every page in the prophecy section of this web site is either 1) dedicated to an explanation of the 70-Weeks Prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27), or 2) built upon the foundation of a proper understanding of that prophecy.

In Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy God gave the world two prophetic timetables:

    1) A 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ.

    2) A remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming.

The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks of years', each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

The 70th week, however, is not like the first 69 weeks; it is not a week of 7 regular calendar years. Rather, it is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning roughly 4000 years ago with God's promises to Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (by the Romans), and soon to be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.


THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The key to fully understanding Daniel's 70th Week lies in understanding four Bible prophecies that form a great 'prophetic chain'.

The individual 'links' in this prophetic chain were given to the world by God over a period of roughly 2000 years; beginning with Abraham around 1900 BC, and ending with the apostle John's reception of the book of Revelation around 65 AD. These four links are presented chronologically from top to bottom below:

My first prophecy web page, titled AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLE PROPHECY, explains both the Abrahamic Covenant and Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy.

The second page, titled THE OLIVET DISCOURSE, explains the important 'keystone' prophecy that Jesus gave to His disciples while they sat together upon the Mount of Olives, two days before His crucifixion.


It is a 'keystone' because if provides the vital link between Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy and John's Little Book. When we compare the three versions of the Olivet Discourse side-by-side (from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke), and allow Luke's 'Gentile version' to clarify Jesus' reference to Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' in Matthew and Mark, it becomes clear that this 'Abomination of Desolation' that marks the mid-point of Daniel's 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome in 70 AD.

In the third page of this prophecy section, titled THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS' RETURN, I explain John's Little Book itself. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10. He was told to eat it, and was warned that it would be sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. John then proceeded to write down the contents of that Book in Revelation chapters 11-13.

John's Little Book provides us with four visions of Daniel's 70th Week:

    1) THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD (Revelation 11:1-2) The first vision describes the second half of the Week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles.


    2) THE TWO WITNESSES (Revelation 11:3-12) The second vision describes God's giving of the entire Bible ('the Law and the Prophets') to the world during the first half of the week, and then portrays the dead bodies of God's servants lying in the city of Jerusalem throughout the second half of the week. This is a picture of the guilt of the Jewish nation for their persecution of God's prophets during Old Testament times, their crucifixion of Christ, their continuing persecution of Christ's disciples, and their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel to a human race desperately in need of it.


    3) THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON (Revelation 12) The third vision describes Israel's bringing of the promised Messiah and 'seed' of Abraham into the world, followed by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world for the following 1900+ years. While the second vision of 'The Two Witnesses' portrays the guilt of the Jewish nation, this third vision reveals God's preservation of that nation through many years of wandering throughout the world. In addition, this vision explains the ultimate source of the persecution of the Jewish people over the past 1900+ years; a defeated and bitter archangel. The 'casting out of Satan' is one of the great themes of the New Testament, and sheds much light upon the history of the world over the past 1900+ years.


    4) THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Revelation 13) The fourth vision describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


When we combine a proper understanding of Jesus' Olivet Discourse with these four visions from John's Little Book, the nature of Daniel's 70th Week becomes obvious. It is indeed the 'great week' of the Abrahamic Covenant.

I have posted this 'Foreword' at the beginning of every page in this prophecy section, because without a proper understanding of Daniel's 70th Week it is impossible to 'watch' effectively for the Lord Jesus' return, or to understand any of the other important subjects in God's prophetic word; subjects such as the Great Tribulation, the Beast, the False Prophet, the Antichrist, the United States and the City of Rome (Babylon).

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THE UNITED STATES IN BIBLE PROPHECY

DAVID'S KINGDOM INTERRUPTED

Roughly 3000 years ago, around 1000 B.C., God made a promise to King David of Israel, telling him that someday one of his sons would establish David's Kingdom forever:

The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you. When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you; your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'

2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16

This prophecy was partially fulfilled by the son who followed David upon the throne of Israel; Solomon. Solomon's kingdom represented the zenith of Israel's ancient glory, as his wealth and power reached unprecedented heights and he built Israel's first 'house' for God; the first Temple in Jerusalem. But Solomon did not remain faithful to God, and David's Kingdom spiraled downward from that time onward. It was brought to an apparent end by the armies of Babylon in 586 B.C., as king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple, and brought an end to the ruling dynasty of David's family.

After he conquered Israel, Nebuchadnezzar took many of the Jewish people all the way back to that part of the world where Abraham had first lived, before he came to Canaan. God could not have delivered a more powerful rebuke, and made His anger more clearly known than by placing all of His promises to Abraham and all of his history with Israel in doubt.

ABRAHAM'S JOURNEY REVERSED

One of the Jewish people who was taken captive to Babylon was a young man named Daniel. As Daniel witnessed Babylon's conquest of his homeland, the deportation of his countrymen from the land of Israel, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, he could not help but wonder whether or not God still intended to fulfill His promises to David. In response to his questions and prayers, God gave Daniel five prophecies that are recorded in the book of Daniel. One of these prophecies, the '70 Weeks' prophecy found in Daniel chapter 9, provides us with God's 'schedule' for fulfilling His promises; a 69-week timetable leading to the first coming of Israel's Messiah, and a 70th 'week' leading up to His second coming (for an explanation of these timetables, please see An Introduction to Bible Prophecy, The Olivet Discourse and the The Timetable for Jesus' Return).

The other four prophecies that Daniel received share one common theme; describing the relationship between the nation of Israel (the Jewish people) with the greater Gentile world until the ultimate restoration of the kingdom of David in the last days, at the Messiah's second coming. God explained to Daniel that Israel would have no more Jewish kings until after the people of Israel had been dominated by four successive Gentile empires. At the end of that Gentile domination David's promised Son would return to fully restore the Kingdom of David and rule the entire world.

The four empires in these prophecies are Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. When Babylon desolated Israel and Jerusalem in 586 BC, it removed David's family from power, and David's kingdom came to an end. Israel has not had a Jewish king since that time. These four prophecies, found in the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and the combined 10th through 12th chapters of the book of Daniel, describe a Gentile domination of Israel that continues to this day; a period of over 2500 years. Looking at these four prophecies is like looking at something under a microscope and clicking up the power with each successive prophecy, because each one becomes more specific as it describes these Gentile empires, and the events that would take place as one empire fell and the next one rose to power. In this web page I explain the first two prophecies, in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM

The prophecy in Daniel 2 was not actually given to Daniel; it was given to king Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, and then Daniel interpreted the dream. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a great statue representing four successive Gentile empires; a head of gold symbolizing Babylon, a chest and arms of silver symbolizing Persia, a stomach and thighs of bronze symbolizing Greece, and legs and feet containing iron and symbolizing the Roman Empire. Nebuchadnezzar watched God cut out a stone and cast it on the feet of this statue, destroying the entire statue. Then the stone grew larger, filled the earth, and ruled the world forever. This stone represents the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring an end to Gentile domination over Israel, and to re-establish the kingdom of David.

statue

There are two things that we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream. First of all, God sees all four of these Gentile empires as one thing; they are all Babylon in His eyes. This is why He portrayed them as one statue. Persia, Greece and Rome have merely extended what Babylon started. Babylon brought an end to the rule of David's family over Israel. There has not been another Jewish king from David's family ruling over Israel since that day. God wants us to recognize the significance of this four-part 'Babylon' as that which has interrupted David's Kingdom, and will be done away with when David's Son, Jesus Christ, comes back to reestablish that kingdom and rule the world. This is why, when we read about Babylon in the book of Revelation, we can understand that God is really talking about Rome. Why? Because when the apostle John received the book of Revelation, Rome had already risen to power and the 'Roman phase' of Babylon had begun.

Secondly, we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur late in the history of Rome. Since time moves forward as one moves from the head of the statue to it's lower parts, the stone falling upon the iron feet signifies that the second coming of Christ will occur late in Rome's existence, and bring Roman Babylon to an end. For a further explanation of Roman Babylon, and the important changes that impacted Rome at the midpoint of Daniel's 70th Week, please see Understanding the Beast.

THE FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7

In Daniel 7 these same four Gentile empires are presented to us as four separate beasts. Babylon is symbolized by a lion, Persia by a bear, Greece by a leopard, and Rome by a beast unlike any known animal; dreadful, terrible and powerful, having great iron teeth and trampling and devouring the whole earth. This fourth Beast corresponds to the iron legs and feet of the statue in Daniel chapter 2.

Lion

BABYLON


Bear

PERSIA


Leopard

GREECE


4th Beast

ROME


Daniel observed that this Roman beast had 10 horns. Horns symbolize concentrations of power in Bible prophecy. Daniel was told that these 10 horns represent 10 kings (or kingdoms) that would arise out of the original Roman Empire (Daniel 7:24). The original Roman Empire ruled most of the then-known world. From its center in the city of Rome, Roman domination radiated outward in a 360 degree circle, dividing the world into 10 primary areas. I believe that these 10 regions, beginning with the Italian peninsula itself, might be divided up as follows:

    1. Italy
    2. Achaia (Greece and the surrounding region)
    3. Asia (an area now called Turkey)
    4. Syria (an area including what is now Israel and the greater Middle East)
    5. Egypt
    6. Africa (northern Africa)
    7. Spain
    8. Gaul (now known as France)
    9. Germany
    10. Britain

There are many opinions about what the 10 horns on this Beast symbolize. The number of books and articles written about this Beast and its horns is great. I do not claim to have a perfect understanding of these 10 horns, but I believe that my explanation is a reasonable one.

RISE OF THE LITTLE HORN

After being introduced to these four Beasts, Daniel's attention was drawn to the 10 horns on the fourth Beast, and to a 'Little Horn' rising up from among them:

I considered the (ten) horns, and behold there came up among them another Little Horn, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this Horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:8
Little Horn

My contention is that the appearance of the 'Little Horn' in this prophecy is a picture of the rise of the United States upon the world stage. The history of the United States has its roots in the European conquest of the Western Hemisphere. When the original thirteen American colonies came into existence, North America was dominated by three major world powers; France, Britain and Spain.

The people of the colonies fought against the French in the French and Indian War, and then against the British in the War of Independence and the War of 1812. Finally the United States pushed Spain from the Florida peninsula and the southwestern United States in the process of defining its ultimate territory. These early American conflicts with France, Britain and Spain are represented in Daniel 7 by the displacement of three original horns by the Little Horn. The Little Horn did not destroy these three horns, but uprooted them from a part of the world that would eventually become the continental United States.

It is appropriate that America is depicted as a Little Horn arising upon a Roman Beast. The United States was established by people of European descent who had a western, 'Roman' heritage. The founding fathers borrowed a great deal from the government of the ancient Roman Republic, seeking to build a representative form of government that would improve upon the original Roman version. They even took Roman pen-names as they communicated their thoughts publicly in the media of the day. Their love of Rome is also reflected in the Roman architecture of Washington D.C.

EYES OF A MAN

The Little Horn of Daniel 7:8 had the eyes of a man, and was speaking great (or boastful) words. The 'eyes of a man' symbolize the idea of seeing things as mankind sees them. It represents the humanism that underlies the government of the United States.

The concept of democracy is based upon the belief that mankind was meant to be self-governing, and that in its collective strength and wisdom the human race has the ability to overcome every problem and challenge that confronts it. Democracy is based upon the idea that there is something inherently right and wise about the majority of a nation's people (or a majority of the world's people) ruling themselves. This humanism is reflected in the words...

WE THE PEOPLE

EYES OF EVOLUTION

Consistent with its foundational humanism, America has essentially made Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution' an amendment to the Constitution. This theory attributes mankind's existence not to God, but to the evolutionary struggles of biological creatures that have lived before us. It replaces God with primitive animals, as the apostle Paul described:

Because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things.

Romans 1:21-23

The presentation of 'Intelligent Design' as an alternate explanation for the universe, our solar system, our planet and biological life is damned and outlawed in America's media and public schools. Today the theory of evolution continues to be promoted not because it is scientifically valid, but because it is a story about mankind. It says that we are not defined by a moral relationship with a Creator, but by a struggle for survival and dominance.

Roughly 2500 years ago God told the prophet Daniel that the last days, before His judgment of the world, would be characterized by an increase in knowledge and by people traveling 'to and fro' (Daniel 12:4):

But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book; even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:4

This has come to pass. This increased knowledge means that today's scientist knows, when he looks through a telescope at the universe or through a microscope at the biological machinery of life, that he is looking at the creative handiwork of the living God. Knowledge is not going to save a rebellious humanity in these last days; it is going to damn it.

EYES OF REBELLION

Now, since the end of World War II, with its first use of nuclear weapons and the survivors of Hitlers's concentration camps returning to their homeland, America has followed a path of ever more pointed rebellion against God; even in the context of these apocalyptic circumstances. American humanism is now shaking its fist in the face of God more fiercely than ever before, as foretold by King David:

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Christ, saying "Let us break their bands apart, and cast away their cords from us". He that sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. "Yet have I set my King upon My holy hill of Zion (Jerusalem)".

Psalm 2:1-6

What are these 'bands' and 'cords' that America is determined to shake off? The 'band' of fearing God and respecting His laws; prompting us to discipline our children and execute heinous criminals.

The 'cord' of respecting our own creation in the image of a heterosexual God; a God comprised of a Father, His Spouse the Holy Spirit, and their only begotten Child; the Lord Jesus Christ. America has cast off the sanctity of marriage, murdered over 60 million unborn children, and now criminalizes anyone who dares to agree with God's declaration that homosexuality is unnatural and perverse. The 'transgender movement' is the 'tip of this iceberg' in this vast rebellion against God's purpose for creating us 'male and female'.

And now America opposes God's promise that He will give the land of Israel to the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and to reestablish the kingdom of David in that land forever. Even as God is bringing the Jewish people back to His land in startling fulfillment of Bible prophecy, America chooses to oppose these things behind a hypocritical mask of 'peace-making':

"Comfort, comfort my people" says your God. "Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

Isaiah 40:1-2

Therefore prophesy and say unto them "Thus says the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And I shall put My spirit in you, and you shall live. And I shall place you in your own land. Then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it" says the Lord.

Ezekiel 37:12-14

The folly of Israel's enemies lies in not learning from God's past judgments of Israel. The deportation of the 10 northern tribes by Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:5-18), followed by the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC (2 Kings 25:1-21), and then followed by the re-destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, are all well-attested historical facts. These three judgments all serve an important secondary purpose; warning the Gentile nations that they too must be judged:

God spoke long ago through the prophet Jeremiah, as the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon was approaching, warning the other nations of the world:

"For behold, I begin to bring evil on the city (Jerusalem) which is called by My name. And should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished! For I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth" says the Lord of hosts.

Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say unto them "The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation. He shall mightily roar upon His habitation. He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He will plead with all flesh. He will give them that are wicked to the sword" says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, nor gathered, nor buried. They shall be dung upon the ground.

Jeremiah 25:29

It is ironic that people of European descent, who have 'occupied' the Western Hemisphere for 500 years, are criminalizing the Jewish people in Israel. As America's settlers pushed their way from the East coast to the West coast and beyond, they called their progress 'Manifest Destiny'; something that was 'meant to happen'. But they now ignore the one nation on earth whose ultimate destiny has been manifested for thousands of years; Israel. How hard it will go for those who have pretended to desire peace, when they stand before God and are judged for opposing the Prince of Peace.

2600 years ago the people of Israel were like America is now; they were prosperous, 'progressive', and believed that God was on their side. They had a noble heritage, a great capital city centered around the magnificent Temple of Solomon, and false prophets telling them that nothing but peace and prosperity lay ahead, just as America does today. But God sent Israel a message; 'Your sins demand judgment. A Gentile king is coming to conquer you. You must go out and surrender to him if you want to escape with your lives':

And unto this people you shall say "Thus says the Lord; 'Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abides in this city (Jerusalem) shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. But he that goes out and bows to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prize. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good' says the Lord. 'It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire'."

Jeremiah 21:8-10

Jeremiah's message was hated, and he was viewed as a fool, a coward and a traitor to his country by many of his fellow Israelites. Today God has a similar message for America and the rest of the Gentile world:


'A Jewish King is coming!'

'You must go out and surrender to Him now, leaving your earthly treasures and loyalties behind, if you wish to escape with your eternal souls.'

A BOASTFUL MOUTH

The Little Horn's 'boastful words' correspond to four major claims that America makes for itself. Although these claims might seem to have some validity from a human perspective, the Bible contradicts every one of them:


    1) ONE NATION UNDER GOD We put "In God We Trust" on our currency and coinage. Some Americans believe that God established our nation, and that it is uniquely pleasing to Him and serves His purposes.

The Bible talks about another 'nation under God'. It is described in Daniel 7:18, 22, 27 as "the saints of the Most High". The apostle Peter describes these people as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people who are God's own special possession (1 Peter 2:9). God is talking about all of those people, down through the centuries, who have washed away their sins in the blood of God's Lamb, Jesus Christ, and have then gone on to serve Him with an allegiance that rises above any earthly citizenship. It is this 'nation under God' that will come back to earth some day with the Lord Jesus, to rule the world with Him in fulfillment of His promise.


    2) BEST FORM OF GOVERNMENT Americans believe that our form of government ought to be copied by every other nation in the world.

But there is only one best form of government for mankind. It is not a democracy; it is a theocracy. It is not based upon the will and wisdom of mankind, but upon the will and wisdom of almighty God. It is this form of government which will be established on earth when mankind, in its collective wisdom, has all but destroyed this planet and every living thing on it.

Democracy supposedly insures that a nation's leadership will be representative of its people. But wealthy people, interest groups and corporations vote everyday (and often many times a day) within the halls of power, while the common man waits for his turn to vote once every few years. Democracy is a facade that allows government by the rich, shrewd and powerful to prevail. And there is absolutely no reason to believe that when ordinary citizens do vote, they will make wise choices. Today election outcomes are largely determined by political 'operatives', media influence and norms of political correctness.

The Bible says that there are 'none righteous' and that not one person seeks after God. It also says that all of mankind together, giving its best cooperative effort, is 'unprofitable' (Psalms 14:1-3, Romans 3:12). In the light of these truths, it is hard to understand how a Christian can believe that anything but disaster will ultimately result from democracy.

Christians who believe that they can serve God and promote His kingdom through the ballot box are deceived, and need to re-examine their beliefs. The Bible nowhere encourages Christians to further the interests of God through involvement in politics. It does not forbid Christians to serve in government, but it nowhere encourages the pursuit of political power in order to promote God's agenda. While God establishes governments of all kinds, and uses them to enforce 'law and order' (Romans 13) over all of us, the ultimate end-product of democracy, comprised as it is of rebellious people, will always be contention against God.


    3) CHAMPION OF HUMAN FREEDOM

There is only one real champion of freedom for mankind; freedom from the fear of death that hangs over our heads every day, and freedom from the tyranny of Sin within us, which keeps us from being the kind of people, and living the kinds of lives that we really want to live. That is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most of us feel 'free' if our health is good and we have money in our pockets. But such a perspective is shortsighted. None of us is ever truly free apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He owns the universe and has conquered death. To know Him is to be rich indeed, and free indeed.


    4) MILITARY SUPERPOWER

There is only one real superpower in this world, or in the universe for that matter. That, again, is the Lord Jesus Christ; the One to whom all power and authority has been given, in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Right now He is restraining the exercise of that power, as He allows people and nations to decide whether or not they will listen to truth, to their conscience, and to His command that we acknowledge and obey Him. But His gracious patience will not last forever. A 'day' is coming, called "The Day of the Lord", when His patience will end and His kingdom will begin:

And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron, and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Revelation 19:15-16

REALITY CHECK

For those of us who have been born and raised in the United States, have rejoiced in its dominance over the world, have enjoyed its wealth and prosperity, and have been taught from childhood that America is the greatest and noblest nation in history, it is unsettling to consider the possibility that this is not true. But I would challenge my reader to take an honest look at history, and to ask yourself whether or not this so-called 'nation under God' has acted like the gentle Savior who impoverished Himself and died in order to bless His enemies.

In just the first 65 years of America's history, beginning with the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, this nation went on to conquer Mexico and menace Japan. Through the Mexican-American war America annexed what is now the southwestern United States. Then America sailed steam-powered warships into Tokyo Bay in 1853, under Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, demanding that the Japanese open their country to our businessmen, and that they provide coaling stations for our new steam-powered merchant and naval vessels.

In the following 45 years, the wealthy industrialized Northern states conquered the agricultural Southern states in the Civil War, crushed the native Indian people of the western states, and then seized Spain's colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in the Spanish-American War. In a total of 110 years, America went from 13 colonies to a world power with colonies of her own. The rest, as they say, is history.

At this time America has hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. And its nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers dominate all of the oceans of the world. America has picked up where Great Britain left off. Truly the sun never sets upon the American Empire. Yes, America is great. But the question is this: Is it better to be great or to be good? Does might truly make right?

What is greatness worth? God makes a distinction between greatness and goodness. He says that both the great and the not-so-great will stand together before Him in judgment. And the only basis upon which they will all be judged is whether or not they were good:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. And the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:12

In his first general letter to Christians, the apostle Peter wrote:

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, as a thief, as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

1 Peter 4:15

Peter's words sum up much of the foreign policy of the United States toward the rest of the nations of the world. Any thoughtful study of United States history, beginning with the Spanish American War, will find an endless trail of political meddling and military aggression, often on behalf of business interests, resulting in the theft of the wealth of other nations. One of the clearest examples of this is the toppling of Iran's legitimate government in 1953, and America's replacement of that government with the Shah of Iran; someone who would put his own interests and the interests of the United States above the welfare of the Iranian people. A more recent example is the meddling of the Obama administration in Israel's internal politics and the election of 2015. Some might call America's meddling 'adventurism' or 'enlightened self-interest'; but the only thing that matters is what God is going to call it:

For, behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Isaiah 26:21

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say "Come with us, let us lay wait for blood. Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause. Let us swallow them up alive as the grave, and whole as those that go down into the pit. We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil. Cast in your lot among us; let us all have one purse." My son, walk not in the way with them. Refrain your foot from their path. For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. But they lay in wait for their own blood; they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which takes away the life of the owners thereof.

Proverbs 1:10-19

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not from your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not. You kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain. You fight and war, yet you have not because you ask not. You ask, but receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:1-4

He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to poverty.

Proverbs 22:16

AMERICA, THE BEAST

In my web page titled Understanding the Beast I explain the Beast of Revelation, the False Prophet who serves the Beast, and the 'Whore' of Revelation chapter 17 that rides upon the back of the Beast. That 'Whore' is the city of Rome. Most importantly I explain how and why Satan has created these three beings and is using them for his own evil purposes. I refer my visitor to that web page for my explanation of them.

The Beast of Revelation (Revelation 13:1-10) is comprised of militant leaders and nations, beginning with the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, who have...

    1) been empowered and directed by Satan and

    2) have cooperated closely with the city of Rome as a religious institution.

Today, after over 1900 years of the Beast's continuous existence, the United States is the preeminent military power of the world and is also closely associated with the city of Rome (the Roman Catholic Church, RCC). In my opinion, this makes America the preminent nation within today's Beast of Revelation.

AMERICA, THE FALSE PROPHET

The False Prophet, first described in Revelation 13:11-18, has not had the long existence of the Beast. The False Prophet is a 'creature of our modern times'. It uses three modern technologies to advance the agenda of the Beast:

    1) Calling down fire from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

Revelation 13:13


    2) Creation of an image that is 'alive' and speaks; and that directs public opinion.

And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:14-15


    3) Introduction of a 'Mark' in the body, identifying every person and controlling all business and commerce.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name.

Revelation 13:16-17

I believe that the ability to call down fire from heaven represents the modern invention of powered flight; the ability of the nations since World War I to employ airplanes in war. Today the nations of the world also use helicopters, ships, submarines, missiles and drones to bring down 'fire from heaven'. We may also see space-based weapons soon, used to attack targets on earth.

And the use of drone technology is no longer limited to international warfare. Now nations, states and municipalities use these drones domestically for surveillance and force projection. This is a powerful technology that will be increasingly used throughout the world going forward.

The False Prophet's 'living image' came into existence before the airplane. Today we have black and white 'living images' that show us life in the late 1800's and the first airplane flights. Since those early days these 'images' have learned to speak and appear in color. And now they speak to us everywhere; in televisions, computers, billboards and smart phones. We not only encounter them in theaters and stadiums, but we carry them around with us in our pockets. And with this saturation of the world by media devices, has come the power of media organizations to 'define truth', influence public opinion and direct humanity's behavior.

It is the propaganda power of deceitful politicians and media organizations, pretending to love 'social justice' while they seek to criminalize God, Israel, and Christianity that characterizes our world today. They use the tactic of 'victim politics', dressing themselves in the costume of compassionate 'tolerance', 'diversity', and 'social justice' to wage war against genuine morality. For them morality is no longer objective. It is now subjective; defined by whether or not something offends somebody or 'hurts their feelings'. God has warned that this turn toward man-centered morality will lead to 'perilous times':

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves.

2 Timothy 3:1-2

Soon this power of the media to not only promote lies, but also to shut down all dissenting opinions through censorship, will lead us to a point where the world will call for the deaths of anyone who might disagree with the False Prophet's narrative and definition of truth:

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:15

There have always been false prophets throughout the history of the world, but the False Prophet of Revelation is not a single person; it is a conspiracy of persons in these last days who, through their use of technology, will serve Satan. God does not despise or condemn technology. But He does warn us about how these technologies will be used in these last days.

There is a third technology that the False Prophet will use:

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: and his number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

It should be observed that the number '666' is not associated with the False Prophet, but with the Beast. The False Prophet may introduce and promote the mark and the number, but they are the mark and the number 'of the Beast', and will signify submission and allegiance to the Beast.

We are told that the number of the Beast will be 'the number of a man'. This may indicate that each person upon the face of the earth will have a number that is unique to himself. The vast majority of the nations of the world already 'number' their citizens. In many cases one of the groups of numbers associated with a person is his birth date; sometimes recorded by a six digit group in the MM/DD/YY format. This is only conjecture on my part, but the future 'number of a man' may consist of 3 groups of 6 digits, each group representing specific and unique personal information about a person. Such a system will seem harmless and useful when it is introduced.

As God has said, the heart of this new system will be an identifying Mark that people will be required to have either in their forehead or their hand (or both). I believe that this mark will be some kind of computer chip, inserted under the skin. It may be an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification Device) containing the information represented in a '666' format, enabling authorities to identify people, even at a distance. It will also be the foundation of a new medical system and cashless economy in which business and government will be able to collect fees and taxes from every financial transaction that takes place, while also watching people by monitoring their financial activities.

This system and its chip will incorporate people into what is now referred to as the 'Internet of Things' (IoT). This is a system that will allow not only for the exchange of money digitally throughout the world, but will also enable the exchange of physical property, intellectual property and personal information that will be completely secure, verifiable and very inexpensive to operate. But while this system will amaze people with what it can do, God gives a dreadful warning about taking this 'Mark':

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice "If any man worship the Beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Revelation 14:9-12

As of this writing (Fall 2019) I expect the foundational software of this new system to be largely completed by 2020. It will be a much-improved version of the 'blockchain' or 'distributed ledger' technology that was first seen in the BitCoin cryptocurrency that appeared after the recession of 2008. It will be a system that is inherently stable, trustworthy for all parties, and economical. Because the system will operate as an impartial third party between all of the people and nations of the world, it will be heralded as a foundation for worldwide trust, cooperation and unity. People will believe that 'peace and safety' have finally come to mankind (1 Thessalonians 5:3). And those who reject this system will be condemned as evil.

THE UNITED STATES OF BABYLON

In Revelation chapter 17 we are introduced to a third prophetic figure; a Woman that rides upon the back of the Beast. In verse 5 God calls this Woman 'Babylon, and makes it clear that She is the city of Rome; a city that is situated upon seven hills (verse 9), and that ruled over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation (verse 18).

After the changes that impacted the Roman Empire during the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, the city of Rome changed from being politically powerful to becoming religiously powerful; the center of world paganism. For the next 240 years, until the rise of the Emperor Constantine, Rome did everything within its power to destroy Christianity. Then, with the rise of Constantine, Rome went from trying to destroy the church, to proclaiming 'I am the one true Christian church'. Rome began the process of destroying Christianity from within, like a worm inside a piece of fruit, while continuing to persecute genuine Christians.

God calls Rome 'Babylon' because it has continued the opposition to God's coming kingdom that Babylon first started 2600 years ago. And God calls Rome a Whore (or Harlot), because she sells her cooperation to the rulers of the world for money. God foretells that 10 Horns (kingdoms or nations) will join the Beast in the final 'prophetic hour' (verse 12), and that these 10 Horns will destroy the 'Whore' with fire:

And the ten Horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:16-17

This fiery destruction of Babylon is the only subject of Revelation chapter 18:

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying "Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to naught". And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying "What city is like unto this great city?" And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying "Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her wealth! For in one hour is she made desolate".

Revelation 18:15-19

When we read this description of Babylon's fall, a logical question comes to mind. While it is true that Rome is one of the major cities of the world, is it possible that the destruction of Rome could cause all of the worldwide economic loss and mourning that are described in Revelation 18? I do not believe that Revelation 18 describes a destruction of the city of Rome, but the destruction of the greater 'Roman Catholic world'.

THE BABYLON OF REVELATION 18 IS NOT THE CITY OF ROME,
BUT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC WORLD.

This is a world that, in these last days before the second coming of Jesus Christ, exists primarily in the Western Hemisphere. And at the present time the one nation where Rome exerts the most influence, and from which it derives the most wealth is the United States of America.

I believe that this attack upon 'Babylon' is also described in the sixth seal of Revelation chapter 6:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal. And behold, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. And every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"

Revelation 6:12-17 (Matthew 24:29-30, Mark 13:24-25, Luke 21:25-26)

I believe that these verses describe a surprise nuclear attack.

The Fall of Babylon
(Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13)

As I have read this description of events which immediately precede the second coming of Christ, I have wondered whether or not the stars falling to the earth are not nuclear warheads. After all, a thermonuclear weapon is simply the instantaneous, split-second creation of a star. And the trajectory of such a weapon is very accurately described here. While a ripe fig might fall directly to the ground when there is no wind, the trajectory of a fig tossed from a tree in a storm is very similar to the trajectory of a nuclear warhead delivered by an intercontinental ballistic missile. In addition, when a nuclear weapon is detonated, the edges of the mushroom cloud roll like the two sides of a scroll, as the fireball and mushroom cloud rise into the sky.

The apostle Peter also described the coming of God's fiery judgment upon the earth:

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.

2 Peter 3:10

Might not Peter's words about 'elements melting with fervent heat' be a description of the fusion of elemental hydrogen? In the light of this fiery destruction, Peter explained how people should live:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness? Looking 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? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

2 Peter 3:11-13

When will 'Babylon' fall? In the prophecy portion of this web site I have explained two timetables for the coming of Christ; a 69-week timetable leading up to His first coming (see An Introduction to Prophecy and The Olivet Discourse), and the final 70th Week leading up to His second coming (see The Timetable for Jesus Return). That second timetable provides a clear sense of where we are in God's prophetic schedule, and indicates that the second coming of Christ is near. Beyond that, God tells us that Babylon will not be destroyed until the 10 Horns have given their power and authority to the Beast (Revelation 17:12-13). I expect that the identities of these 10 Horns (kingdoms or nations) will be apparent when they reveal their decision upon the world stage.

WHAT DOES 'COMING OUT' MEAN?

In Revelation 18 God commands His people to come out of Babylon:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying "Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Revelation 18:4-5

This commandment from God says two things:

    1) COME OUT OF BABYLON!
    2) IF YOU DO NOT COME OUT, YOU MAY SUFFER WITH HER!

It is important to address both of these things. What does God mean when He tells people to come out of Babylon? I have already explained my belief that the 'Babylon' of Revelation chapter 18 is the greater Roman Catholic world. So does God want Christians to leave the Western Hemisphere? The answer is 'No'. God is not talking about coming out of Babylon 'geographically'. He is talking about coming out of Babylon 'spiritually'; completely separating ourselves from Roman Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church. He is saying "Touch not the unclean thing!"

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate" says the Lord. "Touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you".

2 Corinthians 6:17, Isaiah 52:11

Why does God consider Roman Catholicism unclean? When a Roman Catholic priest performs the Mass, he is claiming that he is reconstituting the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, and offering it to God as an atoning sacrifice for sins. In making this false claim, the Catholic priest fulfills the apostle Paul's warning about the 'Man of Sin':

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the divinely authorized representative of Jesus Christ on earth. They claim prophetic authority to interpret the Bible and add to it. They also claim royal authority to initiate 'holy wars' in the name of Christ. In both of these ways they portray themselves as God, sitting in His Temple. But the Roman Catholic Mass is the most perverse activity of Rome, because it claims that people must come to Rome to be saved, rather than come directly to Jesus Christ Himself.

In the Mass, a Roman Catholic priest is claiming to do what the Son of God alone can do; enter into the Temple of God and offer a sacrifice that can atone for sins. With the Mass, the Roman Catholic Church is competing directly against God for the souls of men. The Bible says that we must come directly to Jesus; Rome says that we must come to Rome. This is why Rome, and its cup of the Mass, is so fiercely hated by God; because it has deceived millions of people and sent them to eternal destruction:

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a Woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls; having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with great awe.

Revelation 17:3-6

When Christians associate with Rome or take part in the Mass they are telling everybody who observes them that Rome is Christian, instead of letting the light of God's truth shine before the world. They are aiding Rome in its deceptions. This is what God means when He says that Christians who do not repudiate Rome are sharing in Rome's sins. There can be no compromise about this.

What does God mean when He says that Christians can partake of Rome's plagues? Given that this warning is presented within the context of Rome's fiery destruction, I believe that God is telling Christians that they may experience that same destruction if they don't distance themselves from Rome and its wickedness.

In Revelation chapter 6, after the stars fall to earth when the sixth seal is opened, we are immediately given a heavenly view of things in Revelation chapter 7. The seventh chapter describes the control that God's angels will exercise over the winds of the earth, hindering the nuclear fallout and firestorms that follow the use of nuclear weapons. These angels will control the winds for two reasons:

    1) To place seals upon 144,000 young Jewish men who will become the 'firstfruits to God' from within a repentant Israel (Revelation 14:1-5)
    2) To remove (rapture) of all of God's people from the earth before the consequences of this nuclear attack are allowed to play out in the trumpets and bowls of Revelation. It is this group of raptured people that we see rejoicing before God's throne in Revelation 7:7-17.

What needs to be understood here is that God is in complete control of whether or not we will be raptured, and stand before His throne:

Watch therefore and pray always; that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Luke 21:36

When Christians fail to oppose Rome and expose its false claims, they leave themselves open to the possibility that when Rome is destroyed, they will be left on earth to share in Rome's punishment. This is the meaning and seriousness of God's warning.

I expect that some Roman Catholic people will accuse me of being a 'Catholic-basher'. But Rome must not be allowed to 'flip the script' this way, turning itself into the 'victim' rather than what it is; the victimizer. Christians must be patiently ready to explain what we believe, and why. We must be compassionate when we speak to Roman Catholic people about these issues. But we must not give Roman Catholicism itself any quarter. It is not Christian. It is a destroyer of mankind. Is Rome great? Absolutely! God says so. Is Rome good? Absolutely not! It is as evil as it can be. God says so; and we must not confuse greatness with goodness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-8

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying "Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen; and is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies."

Revelation 18:2-3

LOBBYING HEAVEN

As I have pointed out already in this web page, American democracy is inherently unjust. While the common man is allowed to vote every two years in congressional elections, and every four years in presidential elections, wealthy and powerful people vote every day through lobbyists that they send to Washington. Beyond that, these powerful groups have great influence in both political parties; so that frequently both candidates that appear on the ballot are subservient to the same interests.

Christians hear it said, both by politicians and their church leaders, that if they want to make a difference and affect the course of the country, they need to vote and engage in political activism. But what does God tell us? Does God exhort us to pursue political influence? No. He tells us to 'lobby' Him.

Christians have access to 'halls of power' that infinitely exceed any power here on earth. We are encouraged to 'lobby God' regarding our concerns. In fact we are commanded to do so. And whether or not we embrace that opportunity says everything about whether or not our affections are set upon things above, or things below:

If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-2

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

The book of Revelation shows God the Father taking His great power and ruling the world after He has first heard the prayers of His people, offered upon the Altar of Incense before His throne:

Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

Revelation 8:3-4

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


SATAN & THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14) It is impossible to understand the 'Prophetic Players' listed below without a proper understanding of "The Great Tribulation". The Great Tribulation is the time of Satan's wrath. It is not the time of God's wrath, which is 'The Day of the Lord' referred to throughout the Bible, and which is revealed in the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation (chapters 8-9 and 16).

The Great Tribulation began after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth. That event is described in Revelation 12:

And the great dragon was cast out; that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:9

Therefore rejoice you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

The first manifestation of Satan's wrath was the destruction of Jerusalem and desolation of Israel in 70 AD, with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and the dispersion of the surviving Jewish people throughout the world.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who brought forth the Man Child (Christ).

Revelation 12:13

Satan's wrath, while beginning with the Jewish people and progressing to Christians (Revelation 12:17), will find its ultimate expression in the onset of nuclear war described in the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17. This late exercise of Satan's wrath, which will engulf all of mankind, was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the one that made the earth to tremble and that shook kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities? That opened not the house of his prisoners?"

Isaiah 14:12, 16-17

To put it in simplest terms, the Great Tribulation is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, beginning with Satan's destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD, and continuing to this very day. For people living in the wealth and comfort of the 'western world', it is hard to think of ourselves as living in 'The Great Tribulation'. But for much of the world today, and throughout many centuries, the Great Tribulation has always been real. And times are soon going to change drastically for Christians in the 'West'.


1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION

I have explained the Beast of Revelation in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. I have reached my understanding of the Beast of Revelation based upon its six primary traits described in Revelation. I discuss those traits in the order that God presents them to us in His word. The first four traits are found in the first five verses of Revelation chapter 13:

    1) MILITARY EMPOWERMENT BY SATAN (Revelation 13:1,4)
    2) THE 4TH BEAST OF DANIEL 7 (Revelation 13:2)
    3) A WOUNDED HEAD THAT IS HEALED (Revelation 13:3)
    4) EXISTENCE FOR OVER 1900 YEARS (Revelation 13:5)

The fifth trait is found in the second half of Revelation chapter 13:

    5) AN ALLIANCE WITH THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18)

The sixth trait is found in Revelation chapter 17:

    6) A WOMAN RIDES UPON ITS BACK

In Revelation 17 we are told that this 'Woman' is the city of Rome. In addition, Revelation chapter 17 explains the symbolic meanings of the Beast's seven heads and 10 horns, and provides God's explanation for the 'wounded head' of Revelation 13:3.

In conclusion, the Beast of Revelation is comprised of military leaders and nations, beginning with the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, who...

    A) HAVE LOVED MILITARISM AND BLOODSHED

    B) HAVE EMBRACED SATAN'S AGENDA OF PERSECUTING JEWS, WAGING WAR UPON CHRISTIANITY AND DESTROYING HUMANITY

    C) WILL USE THE 'FALSE PROPHET' OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE LAST DAYS TO IMPOSE 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS' AND THE 'MARK OF THE BEAST' UPON ALL MANKIND

    D) HAVE ALLIED THEMSELVES WITH THE CITY OF ROME IN A 'CHURCH + STATE' RELATIONSHIP SINCE THE RISE OF VESPASIAN IN 70 AD

The following list provides notable examples of men and nations who have fulfilled these criteria, and have been 'the Beast' over the past 1900+ years:

    1) The Roman Emperor Vespasian (9 AD - 79 AD), founder of the 'Flavian Dynasty'. As a Roman General, Vespasian began the destruction of Israel before becoming the Emperor of Rome. His son (Titus) completed Israel's destruction and the slaughter and dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD.

    2) The Roman Emperor Constantine; founder of Roman Catholicism in 312 AD. Up until the rise of Constantine, Rome had been the religious center of world paganism, and had sought relentlessly to exterminate Christianity. But with the rise of Constantine, Rome went from trying to destroy the Christian church, to proclaiming 'I am the true Christian Church'.

    Constantine usurped the three offices of Jesus Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. He established Roman prophetic authority through ecumenical councils that would 'decide' what the Bible says (as well as add to the Bible). Constantine embraced 'sacramentalism'; belief in a Roman priesthood whose sacraments would have the power to forgive sins and save souls. And Constantine declared Rome's authority to wage 'holy wars' in the name of Christ; thus making Rome the 'king of kings, and lord of lords'.

    Constantine's claim, to be waging war for Christ, is represented by the conqueror on a white horse in the first seal of Revelation chapter 6. The six seals of Revelation 6 portray the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church; from its rise to its destruction (for a further discussion of the Roman Catholicism, see The City of Rome in Bible Prophecy).

    3) Charlamagne (Charles the Great, 742-814), who was crowned the 'Emperor of Rome' (Holy Roman Emperor) by the Pope in 800 AD. Charlemagne imposed Roman Catholicism, at the point of a sword, upon those whom he conquered.

    4) The Crusaders, first called to wage war in the service of Christianity by Pope Urban II in 1095 AD. The religious wars of the Crusaders were characterized, from the very beginning, by the persecution of Jews wherever they found them. Ultimately, after having conquered the 'Holy Land' of Palestine, and then having lost it back to the Muslim world, these crusading 'kings and nobles' focused their attention upon their homeland of Europe; supporting Rome in its battle against Jews, Muslims and Protestant 'heretics'. These wars against anyone deviating from Roman Catholicism began around 1250 AD, and are known as "the Inquisition".

    5) King Ferdinand II of Spain (1452-1516), known as 'the Catholic'. As king of Spain he promoted the Spanish Inquisition and began the conquest of the 'Americas' (the Western Hemisphere) for Spain and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Ferdinand's grandson, Charles V, was a 'Holy Roman Emperor' who vigorously sought to unite Europe under the RCC. Charles V's son, Phillip II, sent the Spanish Armada against England in 1588, for the purpose of imposing Roman Catholicism upon Great Britain.

    6) King Ferdinand II of Austria (1578-1637), also declared a Holy Roman Emperor, was the initiator of the '30 Years War' against Protestantism (1618-1648). This war left countless Protestant Christians dead and Europe devastated. The war ended in the Peace of Westphalia, which laid the European foundation for the modern, secular nation-state; seeking to restrict religious meddling in the internal affairs of nations.

    7) The European Axis powers of World War II (WW2), comprised of Germany, Italy and Spain. These powers had all reached 'understandings' with the Roman Catholic Church prior to WW2. Together these governments of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco (along with the Vichy government of conquered France) facilitated the deaths of many millions, including the murder of 6 million Jews.

    8) The United States, with a large Roman Catholic population and many Roman Catholic institutions, was strongly urged by the Vatican to wage war against Communism after WW2 (i.e. against Russia, China, Korea and Viet Nam). A close connection between the government of the United States and the RCC continues to this day.

As the lead nation within 'the Beast' of these last days, America will leverage the three 'miraculous' technological powers of the False Prophet (military advances, communication advances and economic advances) to impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world. Ten kingdoms (or nations) will soon join the United States and the 'West', giving their power and authority 'to the Beast' (Revelation 17:12-13). This will unify the Beast throughout the world, convincing many that world peace and security have finally been achieved (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

But the final version of the Beast, that will battle against Jesus Christ at His second coming (Revelation 19:19-20), will be comprised of these 10 kingdoms alone (Revelation 17:14). The United States and the 'Roman Catholic world' will not be a part of the Beast that confronts Christ at Armageddon.

The 10 kingdoms will have destroyed 'Roman Catholic Babylon' with a sudden, unexpected fiery attack before then confronting the Lord Jesus Christ. God describes this attack as 'eating her flesh and burning her with fire' (Revelation 17:16), and says it will occur in fulfillment of His will (Revelation 17:17). This attack upon 'Babylon' (which I believe will be a nuclear attack) is described at length in Revelation chapter 18.


2) THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18, Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan).

The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs what the apostle John might have viewed as three 'miracles', corresponding to today's technology:

    A) It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of powered flight; rockets, airplanes, drones, satellites, lasers, missiles and bombs.
    B) It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television, smart phones and 'virtual reality' devices.
    C) It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a computerized 'distributed ledger' system that will make every person a part of the world's 'Internet of Things', and will revolutionize the economy and administration of the world.

I discuss the False Prophet at greater length in my web page titled Understanding the Beast.


3) THE WOMAN, HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON (Revelation chapters 17 & 18)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:9,18 where she is described as being seated upon seven hills, and as 'that great city' which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation.

I have discussed the city of Rome, and its 'metamorphosis' in 69 AD, in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. In the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, Rome went from being the 'seat of power' in the Roman Empire, to being a religious city that has ridden upon the back of military power ever since. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


4) THE APOSTLE PAUL'S 'MAN OF SIN' (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' is described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How do Rome's priests portray themselves as God in the Temple of God? By claiming to be Christ's representatives on earth, when they are in fact stealing the three divine offices of Jesus Christ; those of Prophet, Priest and King.

Roman Catholic priests claim prophetic authority to interpret the Bible, and add to it. They claim priestly authority (in the Mass) to do what Christ alone can do; offer a sacrifice before God that can atone for the sins of men. And Rome's priests claim kingly authority to wage holy wars in the name of Christ, making themselves the 'king of kings'.

God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him speak by reading their Bibles, and speaking to Him in prayer. But Rome says that we must come to Rome, and has always discouraged the free distribution and study of the Bible throughout its history. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome actually competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'Understanding The Beast', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures, apart from two letters that John wrote. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as...

    A) Those who profess faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son (the Trinity).
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John's description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or to respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link 'the Antichrist' with any other passage of scripture. The term 'antichrist' is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John himself wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, many have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is said about him, many have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario wherever they please. For Luther and the Calvinists the Antichrist was the Pope. For others the Antichrist has been 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'Man of Sin', and 'the Beast'. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. One candidate to consider would be Mohammad. Islam claims Biblical roots and speaks well of Jesus, but fiercely denies that God has a Son, and that Jesus was 'Emmanuel'; 'God with us' in a human body. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ than Islam.

Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', sitting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and its possession by the Gentiles until His second coming, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque on the Temple Mount.


6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION - (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Olivet Discourse for an explanation of this fact, and see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a discussion of Titus).


7) THE 'PRINCE WHO IS TO COME' OF DANIEL 9:26 - The Roman general Titus.


8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8 - The United States of America (see The United States in Bible Prophecy)


9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9-12 - The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War. It then defeated its southern enemy, Carthage, in the Punic Wars. And finally it proceeded to move east, conquering Greece and Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) before eventually taking over the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God's host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel's transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome's history can be found.


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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)