Closing Events

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(Revelation: Chapter 12, Con't.)

As noted earlier in this section, Revelation chapter 12 starts us at the birth of Christ. Then it follows the woman, God’s church, through her time of trouble and persecution. This period lasted 1260 years, from AD 538 to 1798 when the Pope was taken captive.

Woman fighting drsagonsBecause of the persecution that the true church was receiving from the Catholic "christianized paganism" church, it had to flee into the wilderness. At this time the true Christians fled to the farthest reaches of Europe. Using the Roman roads for her swift flight on "eagles wings" she fled to Ireland, Scotland, Africa and Asia. There she was able to continue her practice of the true, Bible-Sabbath keeping, faith.

But verse 15 tells us that the serpent was not pleased with this. He wants to control everyone. He hates the voluntary worship that the true Christians give Jesus. He wants to force everyone to worship him. So he "spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent."

 

Since Europe was not very populated at this time, the bride of Christ was able to live in relative peace. So in order to flood her out, the devil, through the Catholic Church, encouraged people to have more children. What this did was introduce a population big bang. "The Church discouraged childlessness more than adultery, for so she could disarm dissent with multiplication." The age of Napoleon: Durant.

When we study the Old Testament, we find that wickedness became its greatest when "men began to increase in number on the earth…" Genesis 6:1. The more people, the more sin. Then God had to destroy the world and wash it clean in a symbolic baptism. That is what the devil was attempting to do. He wanted to increase the world's population in order to get man to become desperately wicked. He also wanted to overrun the church of God. And that is what happened.

There came a time when there was no place left for the woman to flee to. All Europe became flooded with people. Wickedness became so great that God had to again allow disasters to wipe out large portions of the populations. We have wars, famines and plagues taking place during this time. They helped to suppress the population explosion brought about by the moral decline of the Catholic Church.Sailing to america

When the woman had no place to flee to, the Bible tells us in verse 16 that "the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth."

In the 1600’s the Lord opened up the earth, North America, and swallowed the river. America and the New World acted like a pressure release valve. As the woman was persecuted in Europe, and had no place else to go, she learned of a new land. Fleeing the persecution that was now destroying the church of God, she came to America. In America she could worship God with freedom and in peace.

 

Revelation 13

This now brings us to Revelation 13. As I have already explained this chapter, I will again touch on the important points for this study.

Out of the sea

The Catholic Church, the beast that comes out of the sea, was given the authority of the dragon. Why? Because Satan saw that his paganism was not catching on with the world. He had to change his form from a dragon and become a beast. Jesus is known as a lion and a lamb, which are beasts of the field. Satan wanted his own "beast" power.

What Satan did was wrap his wolf (beast) power under the cloak of a lamb. So the dragon "gave the beast (Catholic Church) his power and his throne and great authority." Vs 2. That is exactly what happened. The dragon, the pagan empire of Rome, gave its power to the Pope of Rome. Now the devil could work his power through the "Christian" cloak of the church. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15.

It goes on to show the terrible things it would do during the 1260 years that it would rule Europe. After its deadly wound was healed in 1929, it would continue to grow. The Bible says that all "inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life…" Vs 8.

 

That word "worship" is an interesting word. The definition goes like this.

{Proskuneo} (pros-koo-neh’-o) is the word used for "worship". From "pros" and a probable derivative of koo’-ohn (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand)

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To kiss the hand, in token of reverence.

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Among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence.

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In the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.

Now let me ask you a question, is that kind of worship to be given to any man? Not even God requires us to act like a dog and lick his feet. Yet that is just what the Pope requires. Watch the multitudes and what they do when he comes to town. Watch what they do when they get up to him. That is devil worship.

Since the church is not allowed to use force or violence on its own, it always uses the state to be its enforcer. France and the nations of Europe were used to enforce the church’s rules during the Middle Ages. It will use the state to enforce its laws in the not too distant future.
 
Verse 11 tells us that just such a state would emerge. The United States (the beast with two horns like a lamb, but speaking like a dragon) would come to the rescue of the Catholic Church. Working in unison, they would "cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed." Vs 15

Sunday lawThe image is the international Sunday Law. The Sunday laws are already on the books in most states known as the "Blue Laws". Most countries of the world have and enforce the Sunday laws. Here in the United States they currently are not being enforced at this time. But they will be.  There is a movement going on now to mandate the shutdown of all businesses on Sunday for the "good" of the people.

The devil wants to force "everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…" Verses 16,17

How is this going to happen? What will be the catalyst that will activate such wickedness? Let’s read on and the Bible gives us the answers. God always wants His children to be aware of what’s going on. He has given us His prophecies so we won’t be asleep like the five foolish virgins. Let us stay awake and learn what is going to happen next in our lifetime.

John’s eyes have been riveted on the scenes before him. He sees the beast power hurting, killing and destroying the church of God. I can imagine that he was not feeling very good at this time. It must have hurt him to watch all this madness.

 

(Revelation 14)

But then his eyes are directed up to heaven. There he sees the end result of all this. He sees the reward of those who are the children of God. Chapter 14 lets us know what the criteria is for being one of the children of God. "These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure." Vs 4.

looking to heavenThe saints are those who have not participated in the pagan festivals of Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Sunday worship. They did not participate in putting their money into big churches and costly church seats and programs. They did not take part in the doctrines of the false church which are against the teachings of Jesus. They taught the teachings of Jesus: be perfect, stop sinning and to keep the Ten Commandments to have (get) eternal life. That is why they are pure.  They have not believed the lie that we are "saved by grace".

"No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless." verse 5.   No lie? That is correct. No lie was found in their mouths. Why? Because they refused to believe the lie that they are saved eternally by grace. They refused to believe the lie that they could not be perfect. They refused to believe the lie that they could not stop sinning. They refused to believe all the lies that are being taught by all the churches of the world today. That is why only 144,000 will be translated of the face off the earth without experiencing death at the end of time. They are the only ones who will be alive after the close of probation who will be going to heaven. All the other “Christians” will be destroyed.

The Ten Commandments"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." Vs 12

That is why they are saints. They refused to believe the lies of Satan, and instead, they obeyed the commandments of God. Because of that, "their deeds will follow them." They have been judged righteous and worthy of eternal life because they have followed in the footsteps of Jesus, even unto death. Verse 13.

The international Sunday law will go into effect right around Passover. Seven months later Jesus will come at the “Feast of Trumpets” on the “day of Atonement”. That is when we truly become “at-one-ment” with Christ when He lifts us up off this planet to be with Him for eternity.

Verse 14 jumps from the three angels’ messages to the coming of Christ and the end of this world. John is giving us a quick overview of the outline to explain why Jesus is coming. The why of the three angels’ messages was so important. And why the saints kept the commandments of God.

The reason? To prepare us for earth’s final gathering of the saints. "I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one ‘like a son of man’ with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand." Verse 14. Jesus is about to reap the saints off this world. But He can’t just yet. He is ready, but He is waiting for something.

 

In Matthew 24:36 we read, 

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Jesus is waiting for the command from His Father before He puts in the sickle. All heaven is one obedient family. Only those who have learned to be obedient to His commands will get to heaven.

In verses 15 and 16 of Revelation 14 we read, "Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to Him who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe. So He who was seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested."  Here we see that Jesus is obedient. He waits until He received word from His Father, who is still in Heaven. The Father does not come to this earth during this time. He stays in Heaven. Only Christ, Michael, the Archangel, the Leader of the angels, and His angels come.

Here we see the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecies. Let’s review them so we get a fuller understanding of this most important event. The reason there is so much confusion about this event is that very few people are willing to learn the truth.

Matthew 25:31, 32: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."

Matthew 13:30, 40-42: "Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
 
Matthew 16:27: "For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

Matthew 24:27, 30, 31:  "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

 

Jesus Coming in the Cloouds

This event will not be a quiet event as is taught by the churches of today in the "rapture". This event will be worldwide and will be seen by everyone. As the text above suggests, it will be "visible" to all in the world.

Not only that, but when Jesus comes, He doesn’t just come to redeem the righteous. He comes to destroy the wicked. They do not keep on living after Jesus has come. They are destroyed at His coming by the brightness of His glory. "For our ‘God is a consuming fire.’" Hebrews 12:29.  As the parables above indicate, Jesus destroys the wicked when He comes.

Now back to Revelation and starting with the 17th verse. "Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to Him who had the sharp sickle, ‘Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.’ The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath."

As you can see,  the parables and the actual account both agree with each other. When Jesus comes, He will personally reap the righteous. The wicked will be reaped by the angels to be trampled on and destroyed.

The earth will be left desolate for 1000 years. The only inhabitants who will be alive on it will be the devil and his angels. They will be bound and chained to this planet. Rev. 20:1, 2. They will have to look at the effects of their rebellion against God. They will have to experience the waste and destruction that their sin and rebellion have brought upon themselves and the world.

John has seen the outline. But now he will be shown the substance. From the outline of the end of time, Jesus shows him the meat, the fullness of it. He shows John the details of what will happen between the three angels’ message and His second coming. But we are going to bring the Bible up to date by going back to Daniel and continue with chapter 11. It will bring us to where we are in Revelation.