Jesus came into the world to show us that God never intended that we would be enslaved by the law. At the time Jesus came to Jerusalem, the traditions and laws the Jews had enacted in their religion prevented people from knowing God and having a relationship with Him.
In just the laws concerning the Sabbath, the leaders of Israel constructed over 1,500 additional fence laws that were instituted to guard against any possible violation that might take place regarding the day of rest God had commanded.
Nehemiah 8:1-3 was the beginning of the sopherim, who later became the Bible teachers of Israel. When Ezra died, the leaders of Israel felt that an exposition of the Laws of Moses, called the Torah, was insufficient. They proposed a new guideline known as the fence or the hedge that should be built around the existing 613 Laws of Moses. The purpose of the hedge laws were to act as an early warning system to prevent someone from actually breaking one of the Laws of Moses. As a person would break through one of the hedge laws, they would realize that they were very close to breaking an actual law of God.
Moses stated that on the Sabbath, no person could plant, harvest, thresh, winnow, or store any crop.1 The leaders of Israel added to these prohibitions the Pilpul Logic, by stating that a person could not even walk on the grass of a field during the Sabbath. The reasons given were simple:
If, while walking through a field, a stray stalk of wheat might be stepped on, this stalk might separate a grain of wheat. This would break the law of harvesting that would, in turn, break the Law of Moses concerning the Sabbath. Further, if one of the grains of wheat were to fall into the edge of your garment, and later the wind would blow that grain out of your garment into the air, this would be a violation of winnowing that would also break the law of the Sabbath. If a grain of wheat should blow out of your clothing, and a small bird might see the seed and eat it, then you would be guilty of storing wheat on the Sabbath.
This is why the Pharisees were so upset over what they viewed as a callous disregard of Jesus’ disciples in walking through a field of wheat on the Sabbath: Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” ~Mark 2:23-24
About 200 A.D., Rabbi Judah Hansi completed the fence laws and various other teachings and combined them into what we know today as the Mishna.2 Later a commentary on the multitude of these laws was added, called the Gemara. When all of these documents are combined together, they are called the Talmud. The Talmud was the final authority for every law and the correct interpretation of these laws.
The Pharisees taught that when God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai, He gave him two laws: the written law, called the Laws of Moses, as recorded in the Old Testament; and the secret law, also called “the oral law.” Moses passed these oral traditions down to the elders of Israel vocally, as they were prohibited from writing them. These secret laws would not be revealed until a need arose, at the proper time; this is according to the Mishna.3
Moses received the oral law from God on Mount Sinai and delivered it to Joshua, who delivered it to the elders of Israel, followed by the Judges. The Judges gave these oral traditions to the Prophets, and the Prophets delivered them to the sopherim of Ezra’s day.4
By the time Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the traditions of the elders had developed the same authority as the Word of God. This is how the traditions of men, over time, came to outweigh and overrule the Words of God.
In this greatly expanded edition of the Laws of God, there was an entire treatise called the Yadim, which described the things that must be done during ceremonial purification. You could pour water over one of your hands during a single rinsing, but not two hands during the same rinse. If a person were to pour water over both hands at one time, he was considered unclean.
This issue of handwashing was a subject of great concern for the elders of Israel when they questioned Jesus about the practices of His disciples: “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread?”
The Scribes and the Pharisees would go to great lengths to make certain that they correctly washed their hands before eating, yet their hearts were hard and callous and completely unprepared for the coming of the Messiah. When Jesus arrived, with all the credentials of the Messiah, the leaders of Israel were unprepared to receive Him primarily because they were heavily weighed-down with so many traditions. These men had hands that were washed, while their hearts remained defiled. Jesus observed their hypocrisy and often scolded these religious leaders of Israel. It was for His opposition to their traditions and false religion, that the Pharisees hated Jesus so vehemently.
If you want to experience true wrath from someone, just question the authenticity of their confession of faith.
The End Of Religion
Chapter 17 of Revelation describes the end of man’s religion and the many counterfeits of religion that satan has created. The premise of all religion is that it binds people to rules that no one can keep. This chapter in the book of Revelation is a preface to the day when we will be totally free of all the religious systems of man and return to the simplicity of loving God and being loved by Him.
In the previous chapter, we began an in-depth look at how every false religion on the earth began at Babylon and the existence today of what the Bible calls the Mystery Religion of Babylon.
We discovered that satan is the source of all false religion—which was created to cover up the simple truth that God doesn’t want a religion, He wants a personal relationship. It was for this purpose that Jesus came into the world, to allow us to see what God is like and what He has done to restore us to a meaningful relationship with Him. God wants us to know the love He has for us and enjoy Him forever.
One day Philip came to Jesus and said: “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?” ~John 14:8-9
The presence of Jesus on earth allows us to see what God is like. Jesus loved people. He cared for every person He met. When the sick were brought to Jesus, He healed them all. When the Pharisees presented their restrictive religion to the people, that kept them from a vibrant relationship with God, Jesus scolded them. In Matthew 23:13-36, Jesus pronounces eight “woes” upon these men for exalting their religion and thereby preventing people from knowing God.
Jesus came to show us that God is offering every person an opportunity to have all of their sins removed from their record, and enter into heaven as a perfect being—ready to have fellowship with God. The way that God chose for this relationship to happen is through what Jesus did for us on the Cross.
When Jesus died, He was paying for the sins of every person who has been born on earth. When anyone believes that Jesus’ death on the cross has paid the penalty for their sins, and they ask God to forgive them based upon Jesus’ death and resurrection, these persons are forgiven and have eternal life immediately as a free gift.
There is no religious work, payment, or rules to keep in order to obtain this new life. Jesus taught that all we must do is believe and then receive what God has offered to us. For the rest of our lives we, who trust in the salvation that Jesus died to give us, can enjoy the freedom of knowing that all is well between us and God. Whatever happens during our life, even if we lose our life, we will immediately be brought into the presence of the Lord and never suffer the curse of sin or death again.
This new relationship is described by Jesus as a second birth; we are born again by the Spirit of God when we decide to trust in Jesus. It is through a new birth that we are made acceptable to God, not by religious duties or works: Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born by a natural birth and a second birth of the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives a new birth to spiritual life.” ~John 3:3-6
The Judgment of False Religion
In chapter 17 of Revelation, we see a description of how God will destroy the false religions of the world that exist. Every method that now exists on earth that is not from Christ and His gospel is a false religious system. Why do so many religions and gods exist in the world if Jesus is the only way? The answer is very simple: Where there is truth, satan seeks to cover this truth and suppress it by creating many distractions and counterfeits as possible. It is the business of religion that satan is preoccupied with. For in this false system, people are given a false sense of security as they perform their works and believe they are saved by them.
The claims of Jesus are radical and distinct from those of the religious systems of this world. Every religion that exists is based upon an obedience to rules and the keeping of a moral code for acceptance by God. In the New Testament we learn that it is not by obedience to the law that we are saved, but by faith in Christ: Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” ~Galatians 2:16
The purpose of the law was to show us that we are sinners, who can never measure up to the standard of perfection that God requires. Under this standard, if we make even one mistake, we are guilty of breaking the entire law: For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. ~James 2:10
The law was given by God to be our teacher and to show us that we can never meet its demands. This would drive us to Christ, who kept the law perfectly. According to God’s law, everyone who places their trust in Jesus fulfills all the laws of God perfectly, because Christ met these demands for us: Therefore the law was our teacher to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ~Galatians 3:24-25
Can A Sinner Save Another Sinner?
The leaders of all religious systems are sinners just like all of us. Jesus holds the distinction of being the only sinless man ever to live on earth. It is not possible that one sinner could save another sinner. If we will be saved, our Savior must be perfect. The only man who has ever lived a perfect life, without sin, is Jesus.
Only Jesus demanded repentance at the beginning of His ministry, and a complete commitment to Him as Lord and Savior for the rest of our life, in order to grant the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
The religions of the world do not make these demands. In fact, most religions either ignore sin altogether, or diminish its relevance or existence. Jesus said that sin is the barrier to salvation. Specifically, the sin of rejecting Him as the way to be saved. All sins can be forgiven except one: the rejection of the One God sent to save us: “What works must we perform to be acceptable to God?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”~John 6:28-29
God will forgive everything you have done—regardless of how bad you think you are. Jesus died for every sin. All those who come to Him in sincere repentance, and seek forgiveness through Jesus, receive forgiveness and eternal life. Their sins are completely removed from their record, and they live the rest of their existence as though they had never sinned.
False religion demands performance from those who seek to be saved; you must do things in order to become acceptable. Jesus said that it was His work alone that makes us perfect; nothing that we can do will make us acceptable to God; nothing we fail to do will cause us to be rejected.
This is one of the primary differences between the false religious systems of this world, and the simplicity of Jesus’ Gospel: salvation by Grace (unmerited favor) through faith in what Jesus has done.
Second, Jesus is superior to all gods and religions in that He came to earth as the Creator/God who made all that exists (John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1), and took the body of a man so that He could live a perfect and sinless life. Only a sinless representative of mankind could save us. Since all human beings are sinners, no other could save us.
Just as the sin of one man, Adam, caused all men to become sinners, so also the righteousness and perfection of this other man, Jesus, caused all who believe to become perfect and righteous: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. ~2 Corinthians 5:21
In every false religion and god of this world, there are no perfect and sinless leaders who are seeking to save the human race. All of these leaders are, themselves, sinners. Logic demands that a person who is a sinner cannot save any other sinner. We need a perfect Savior who is without sin to represent us. Only Jesus has met this requirement.
Examine every religious leader in the record, and you will see that they are sinners. Examine the record of Jesus’ life, and you will discover that the men who walked with Him for nearly four years said they never once saw Him sin. How many people have you ever known for more than a day, that you did not see them sin? There are none.
What Is The Church?
Today what we call the Church is not a particular denomination or religion. The Church is made up of people who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and have trusted Him for their salvation. The true members of Jesus’ church come from all kinds of denominations and backgrounds.
At the moment of the Rapture, there will be Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventist, Pentecostals, Assembly of God, Nazarene, Episcopal, Catholic, and many other churches and denominations, who meet Jesus in the air. What qualifies a person for eternal life, under Jesus’ definition, is whether these persons have turned from their sins to Christ and have sincerely believed upon Him for their salvation.
We never see Jesus dividing people into denominations or religious categories. Man does this, God does not. Either we are believers, or we are unbelievers; either we are saved, or we are lost.
There are no Jews, Gentiles, male, or female; we are all one and equal in Christ Jesus; we are all the same.
Jesus Claimed To Be The Way To Eternal Life
At the beginning the followers of Jesus were called Christians, those who trusted in the Messiah: And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. ~Acts 11:26
Those who followed Jesus were said to be people of the Way: And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. ~Acts 19:23
This was because Jesus said that He is the way to God and eternal life: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
People during the time Jesus walked the earth also called the followers of Jesus “people of the book,” because they took all their guidance and direction from the word of God.
Most people who read the New Testament would agree that Jesus is the most righteous and Holy man they have ever seen. Most would agree that Jesus is loving, kind, merciful—yet strong, intelligent, assertive, and powerful. There is not a single instance of anyone in the historical record ever attributing any sin to Jesus.
Paul said: For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~Hebrews 4:15 For He made Jesus who knew no sin to become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21
Peter said: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. ~1 Peter 1:19
The Roman Procurator, Pilate, said: “I find no fault in this Man.” ~Luke 23:4
There is not a single reference in the Bible where Jesus is said to have committed a sin. How is it that a man who is perfect in every regard would lie and say that He is the only way to heaven? If Jesus is lying about this, then it is inconsistent with the perfect and Holy life He lived. The only logical explanation is that Jesus is telling the truth: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6
This is why I trust only in Jesus for my salvation, and not in any religion of man.
At the moment the Rapture takes place, it won’t matter what church you went to. All that will be considered is what you did with Jesus. Every person who has sincerely surrendered their life to Christ, and is waiting and watching for His return, will leave the earth and meet Him in the air. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. ~1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Jesus said that we should pray that we would be counted worthy to escape the horrors of the Great Tribulation: Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. ~Luke 21:36
The people who are left on earth, after Jesus removes all those who love Him, will be religious people and those who rejected Him. There will be millions who attended churches on Sunday and thought they were saved. There will be many who served as missionaries, pastors, Sunday School teachers, and gave their lives in His service. Jesus said that the problem with these persons is that He never knew them. These individuals never entered into a personal relationship with the Lord, by repentance from their sins and turning to Jesus to follow Him for the rest of their lives.
The Church Of The Great Tribulation
After the Rapture of the church takes place, the remaining religious people who are left behind will unite, under the antichrist, into one-world religion. Chapter 17 of Revelation is a description of this global religion under the antichrist, and her destruction.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity. The World Counsel of Churches brings together more than 340 churches, denominations, and church fellowships in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world. The list of member churches in the World Counsel of Churches include churches that believe Jesus is not God nor is He the Savior of the world.
According to Robert McAfee Brown, an American theologian who was one of the chief speakers at the WCC’s 1975, he said the following:
“Secularization is a process whereby man becomes freed from the presuppositions of metaphysical and religious ideology and attempts to understand and live in the various realms of the world on their own terms. In contrast with the society in which a particular religious ideology sets limits to a genuine search for truth, the secular society not only permits the diversity of religious ideas but also encourages the pursuit of a sincere and open understanding of the factual reality of the universe. In the secular society, therefore, man’s choices are no longer obligatory and prescribed. Each man is free to seek his own faith and make his own assumptions about the purpose of being.”
In plain language: Robert McAfee Brown wants to make Jesus’ church more comfortable for the world, and free of the absolutes that Jesus said He is the only way to heaven. This leader of the World Counsel of Churches wants the church to soften its stance on moral issues and understand that truth is relevant according to the individual opinions of each person.
After Jesus’ church has departed earth, the World Counsel of Churches will be amongst the first to join the beast when he comes on the scene just after the Rapture. This new religion is described here in the book of Revelation, chapter 17, as a revival of the mystery religion of Babylon that once existed under Nimrod at the Tower of Babel: Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth. Since he was the greatest hunter in the world, his name became proverbial. People would say, “This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.” He built his kingdom in the land of Babylonia, with the cities of Babylon. ~Genesis 10:8-10 (NLT)
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters. With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
The great harlot is the global church that begins after the Rapture, and is given authority by the beast during the Tribulation. The many waters are the nations around the Mediterranean Sea. This description speaks of a worldwide dominion of one religion.
The kings, who are the rulers of earth, will all belong to this false religious system. This will not be a church like the Christian church that existed during the time before the Rapture. It will exist for political purposes and be devoid of any teaching from the Bible. This is a false church of satanic origin, whose sole purpose is to glorify man—specifically one man, the antichrist.
So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast (This is how John described this one world religion) which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
This is a strange description indeed. A woman riding on the back of the beast, empowered and given authority by satan as a religious system. This church will be exceedingly wealthy, as it is seen with gold, and precious stones, and pearls—but filled with abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. Her fornication is the mixing of religion with politics, to empower and support the political reign of the beast. She is wearing purple and scarlet, colors reserved for the extremely wealthy.
She has written on her forehead, Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots and the abomination of the earth. Prostitutes during the time John wrote Revelation had their names advertised upon their foreheads in jewelry letters so you would know they were prostitutes. Here Jesus is telling us that this false church is a prostitute, she will wear her name like a prostitute.
In the Old Testament, Israel is called the Lord’s bride. When she abandoned God and began to worship and serve other false gods and religions, God called her a harlot.
God warned Israel to not make any covenants with the pagan nations, who inhabited the land He was bringing them into. Israel was instructed to destroy these nations and people, and destroy their altars and places of worship: Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods. ~Exodus 34:12-16
In the days of the Judges, Israel began to fall away from the God of Israel and do exactly what He had warned them about: Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do so. ~Judges 2:17
After Gideon died, the hearts of the people were completely against the Lord, and they were no different from the pagan nations they had once conquered: So it was, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-Berith their god. Thus the children of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. ~Judges 8:33-34
Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, Israel is described by God as a harlot, who left her husband—the God who had delivered the Jews from their slavery in Egypt and had faithfully brought them into the land He promised. Today America has experienced a similar fate, being given this land by God to be a light to the world. The people of the United States have also forgotten the Lord, and we have made money, power, and pleasure our gods.
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
After the Rapture has taken place, and the antichrist has established his kingdom, he will give power to the woman who is the false religion of Babylon. She will persecute those who turn to Christ during the Tribulation and kill them all. We see these individuals, in Revelation Chapter 6, under the altar of God, crying out to Him, “How long, O Lord, before You avenge our blood?”
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. ~Revelation 6:9-11
The martyrs of the Tribulation would not bow to the beast or worship his image, so they were beheaded. We see them in heaven later, where they are given a white robe, the garments of the redeemed, and told to wait a little while longer. In Revelation Chapter 20, we see these persons again. They are described as believers in Jesus, who were beheaded and given the authority to reign on earth with the Lord when He returns at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ~Revelation 20:4
John was apparently amazed by the woman who represented the false religion of Babylon, and marveled as he saw her power.
But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
John wondered how the beast was able to overcome the believers in Christ during the Great Tribulation and kill them. He wondered where his power came from. John is about to find the answer to this question.
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
This beast was (existed in the past), is not (absent for a while), and will ascend (exists again during the Great Tribulation). The identity of the beast is understood in this message as someone who has existed in the past. There is some evidence in the Bible that this person who is the beast was once Judas Iscariot. Judas killed himself and is described by scripture as being taken to his own place (Acts 1:24-25).
It is possible that during the Tribulation, Judas is brought back by satan in some form, to complete the time that has been given to satan for him to rule. Jesus called Judas the son of perdition. There are only two people in the Bible who are called the son of perdition: satan and Judas Iscariot.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. ~John 17:12
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (the Tribulation) will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. ~2 Thessalonians 2:3
In the book of Acts, Luke said that Judas went to his own place. This means that when Judas died, satan had a place prepared for him: Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. ~Acts 1:25
We know that when Moses died, satan tried to take the body of Moses for some evil purposes: Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he argued concerning the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” ~Jude 1:9
With these things in mind, when we arrive at Revelation 17:8, we are told:
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit.
The beast who is known as the antichrist during the seven-year Tribulation existed before, was not here on earth for a time, then appears again during the Tribulation. When we take the totality of all scripture that speaks of Judas and the Antichrist, they point to a conclusion that the beast may somehow be Judas Iscariot. The next verse of Revelation 17 tells us where he received his power from:
Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
The city of Rome sits on seven hills, and the beast receives his power from seven mountains, from where the false religious system called Mystery Babylon resides. The context describes the remnants of Roman Catholic church who survived with those who were not taken at the Rapture. This becomes the base of power for the antichrist during the Tribulation.
Those who were not a part of the Catholic political system of power, but simply worshiped Jesus as they attended this church, were taken by Jesus with the rest of the believers who also loved Jesus, at the Rapture. Membership in a particular church does not guarantee that any person is truly saved; it does not guarantee that any person is lost. It is what each individual person does with Christ that determines their salvation.
This new worldwide church that arises after the antichrist comes on the scene will be made up of people from all sorts of religious systems and churches who were left behind. They will join this one church and follow the beast and worship him.
The seven hills of Rome are not all separate, which makes their distinction sometimes difficult to see. Most of these hills are really just high ridges, cut by natural streams flowing from the higher ground at the Tiber River.
- Palatine Hill (Palatium)
- Capitoline Hill (Capitolium)
- Viminal Hill (Viminalis)
- Esquiline Hill (Esquiliae)
- Caelian Hill (Caelius)
- Aventine Hill (Aventinus)
- Quirinal Hill (Collis Quirinalis)
It is interesting that Revelation Chapter 17 describes the destruction of the false religious system under the antichrist, and this authority comes from a religious power that resides upon seven hills. Is it a coincidence that Rome is also the city on seven hills, from where the Catholic Church is based?
There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
One of the reasons that I first became interested in the Bible in the middle 70s was due to the prophetic descriptions that it contains. Here in Revelation 17:10, John writes that there will be seven worldwide kings and their empires in world history, and the historical record confirms this is true.
- Egypt: 2685-2181 B.C.
- Assyria: 2500-609 B.C.
- Babylon: 605-562 B.C.
- Persia: 559-530 B.C.
- Greece: 356-323 B.C.
- Rome: 27 B.C.-476 A.D.
- Revived Roman Empire: 2020 A.D.-2027 A.D.?
John writes, 2,000 years ago, that the first five have already fallen; one is still in power, the Romans; one more is yet to come, a revival of the old Roman Empire.
The question is, how did John know there would only be seven empires? It was not hard to say the first five have already come and gone, but what of the one that existed at that time, and how did John know there would only be one more after?
You will read the comments of critics who assert that the writers of the Bible simply waited until these events happened, then they wrote their prophecy. Of course this is ludicrous, because we know when the texts of the Bible were written and when the events took place. Many of the prophecies of the Old Testament were written from 400 to 1,450 years before the events took place.
Not one that was recorded in the Old Testament, and later was fulfilled, was written after the fact. This is very easy to confirm by extant manuscript evidence and the historical record. All of the prophecies of the Bible have been validated by scholars, like myself, over the past 2,000 years.
In 2015 I wrote The Prophecies of the Messiah, which documents 400 of the Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the pages of the New Testament. We know that these predictions were written by the prophets from 400-1,450 years before Jesus came to Jerusalem and began His public ministry.
Genesis 3:15 predicts a Savior who will be born of the Seed of a woman, a virgin birth; Jesus was born of a virgin 1,450 years after God spoke this prophecy.
Isaiah 52 and 53 predict that the Messiah will be rejected, beaten beyond recognition, killed for crimes He did not commit, silent before His accusers, die as a lamb for sins, though He will be sinless; Jesus fulfilled all of these important prophecies 700 years after they were written.
David wrote that the Messiah would be pierced in His hands and feet; die by crucifixion, thirst; and say that God has forsaken Him—Jesus fulfilled all of what David wrote 1,000 years after this Psalm was written.
Moses wrote in the book of Exodus, and David in the Psalms, that the Messiah will be a Lamb that is sacrificed for the sins of the world, but not one bone will be broken: Though the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the other two who were crucified with Jesus, they do not break His legs.
Zechariah wrote 500 years before Jesus arrived at Jerusalem that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. The one who betrayed Him would take the money back and throw it into the Temple. The money would be used to buy a potter’s field. All these intricate details were fulfilled in the pages of the New Testament.
I listed 400 of these Messianic Prophecies in two of my books: “The Prophecies of the Messiah” and “The Messianic Prophecy Bible.” There is no ambiguity as to whether these prophets wrote these predictions before Jesus fulfilled them. All 400 Messianic Prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus arrived and completed each one with extreme precision.
Here in Revelation 17, John writes that when the revived Roman Empire rises again in the last days, it will continue for only a short time—seven years. The nations that will comprise this revived Roman Empire will be those that were a part of the original Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of the Beast
Jesus said that the coming world ruler will commit the Abomination of Desolation at the newly-built third Temple at Jerusalem.
The seven-year Tribulation will begin with a treaty of peace and the rebuilding of the third Temple at Jerusalem. After just three and one-half years, the beast will enter the Holy Place in the Temple. A second beast, called the false prophet, will cause an image of the first beast to speak. The second beast will command the world to worship the first beast as God (Revelation 13). This will cause the Abomination of Desolation, described by Jesus and Daniel, and begin the Great Tribulation.
When the Abomination of Desolation occurs in the Temple, this will trouble the Jews living in Israel, and they will flee. Revelation Chapter 12 describes the journey of the Jews out of Israel and into the “wilderness,” where they will remain for “a time, times, and half a time; or three and one-half years.
As the Jews flee, they will be pursued by the armies of the beast. God will supernaturally rescue the fleeing Jews from the armies of the beast. The Jews will see this as evidence from God that what Jesus said in the text of the New Testament book of Matthew 24 and 25 was true, and they will realize He is the true Messiah: Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. ~Matthew 24:15-16
As the Jews flee Jerusalem, they will be pursued by the armies of the beast called “the serpent,” in Revelation 12:15. This army is referred to as “the flood.” God will cause the earth to open a fissure and help the woman (Israel, the Jews), and swallow up the flood (the armies of the beast): But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. ~Revelation 12:14-16
As a result of this supernatural rescue of the Jews by God, many of those who escape will come to a saving knowledge that Jesus is the true Messiah.
The Term Of Antichrist’s Reign Is Limited
The meaning of Daniel’s prophecy is straightforward: The future ruler he speaks of will come to power for a short seven-year term: Then he (the beast) shall confirm a covenant (peace plan) with many (nations) for one week (seven years); but in the middle of the week (three and one-half years) he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. ~Daniel 9:27
The nations that formerly made up the Roman Empire, which were in existence at the time Jesus arrived, are the same nations that will be instrumental in bringing the antichrist to power in the last days.
The nations that were once a part of the former Roman empire are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Libya, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Palestinian Territories, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine (53 Nations).
There is a revival today of this former Roman Empire in the form of the European Union. Many of the nations that were once a part of the old Roman Empire, at the time of Jesus’ first arrival on earth, have once again formed as a new union of states in Europe.
The current members of the European Union that were once a part of the former Roman Empire are shown above in Bold Type.
The six original founding members of the European Union are indicated as underlined: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.
The additional members of the current European Union that were not a part of the original Roman Empire are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden.
Croatia became the newest addition to the European Union, as the 28th member, on July 1, 2013. The United Kingdom has exited the European Union in 2019. It appears that they will re-enter this union again before the revealing of the antichrist.
Out of the current 28 member states of the European Union, only 10 are listed. It is interesting that seven of these with the greatest population will likely be the seven that empower the antichrist when he arrives.5 Three of the ten listed below are duplicate cities, indicated by lighter grey, leaving seven main countries with the greatest populations and power. This is of particular interest to us, because Daniel said that the antichrist will rule from just seven nations as he takes power during the seven-year Tribulation.
The prophet Daniel predicted a fourth beast (Chapter 7) or a fourth kingdom after Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Alexander, that had iron teeth, representing a return of the Roman Empire that will rule during the last days. This fourth kingdom will have ten horns. The horn is illustrated in the Bible as strength or power.7
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. ~Daniel 7:7-8
From within these ten horns a little horn will emerge, who will be known as the antichrist.
Three of these ten horns will be plucked out, leaving seven that remain as a source of power for the antichrist to rule from. This will occur during the seven-year Tribulation, before Jesus returns to the earth with His church. This little horn is described as having the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
It is quite possible that this list of seven nations described above—the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Portugal—will be the seven horns that remain after three are plucked out. It will be from one of these nations that the antichrist—the beast—will emerge onto the world scene as the reputed savior of the world.
This man will unite the world under one government, one monetary system, one military, and one religion. Daniel describes the beast speaking pompous words. He will boast of his power and command the world to worship him at the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation: The man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. ~2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ~Revelation 13:8
As Daniel observes the antichrist’s rise to power during this fourth kingdom on earth, he also sees the Ancient of Days: the Father seated on the throne of God; and Jesus the Son of God, the Son of Man (kebar enas),8 the Messiah—coming from heaven with thousands, times ten thousand, standing before Him. These are the members of Jesus’ church who have been Raptured out of the earth before the seven-year Tribulation began.
Jesus returns from heaven with His church, to set up His kingdom consisting of the nations that survived the seven-year Tribulation. These nations will be permitted to enter the Messiah’s one thousand-year reign on the earth. Daniel sees thrones put in place, symbolizing the members of Jesus’ church who will be installed by Him as rulers during the kingdom that He will establish, as the Messiah.
But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion (antichrist), To consume and destroy it forever. ~Daniel 7:26
I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. ~Daniel 7:9-10
The antichrist is described as speaking boastfully before the earth, as Jesus returns to destroy him and cast him into the lake of fire, along with the false prophet. This physical death of the body for the beast is similar to the physical death of Lucifer’s body when God destroyed him at his fall.9
I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. ~Daniel 7:11
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. ~Revelation 19:20
Jesus is depicted as coming with the clouds of heaven. The mass of believers descending from heaven, arriving on the earth, appeared to John as like a great cloud approaching from a distance.
As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” ~Daniel 7:12
The Son of Man is a term used by Daniel for the Messiah who comes with the clouds, a term used to describe His redeemed church. They are returning to earth with great power and dominion, to begin the one thousand-year kingdom promised to David. The Son of Man is coming to earth to destroy the kingdom of the beast.
Daniel defines the ten horns that he saw as ten kings who arise from this fourth kingdom of the last days, who will give power to the little horn, the beast. In the Bible, the term horn is an analogy for power. The antichrist will obtain his power from ten regions of power, where these kings rule from. He will be a little horn that comes from within seven of these horns or power.
And the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. ~Daniel 7:20
The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. ~Daniel 7:24
The one who will arise from this fourth kingdom, whom Daniel 7:20 describes, is the same king that John describes in Revelation 17:11—the beast, the antichrist:
And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
The books of Daniel and Revelation are companions in understanding fully what the events mean that are described by the book of Revelation.
The beast is the antichrist who will be the eighth king and is from the seventh kingdom, the Roman Empire. How could John possibly know these precise historical details, unless the Lord had given this knowledge to him? This is a principle of Bible Prophecy that allows us to see the singular nature of the book. There is no other publication in the history of the world that contains the number of predictive and fulfilled prophecies, as those of the Bible. Moreover, every one of these prophecies was literally fulfilled with great precision.
God knew that there would be seven world empires and the beast, the antichrist ,would be the eighth king of this final seventh kingdom during the seven-year Tribulation. Jesus told these things to John; John wrote them in the book of Revelation for every generation to know.
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
The power that the antichrist receives to rule during the seven-year Tribulation comes from power that will exist, during this time, in ten kings or rulers that will consist of nations from the former Roman Empire. These are the same ten toes of the statue that Daniel saw, in chapter 2 of his book: Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. ~Daniel 2:41
Daniel saw this final kingdom as the ten toes of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. These ten toes will be made of iron, a symbol for the Roman Empire. Mixed with ceramic clay, an unstable substance, meaning that these ten nations will be unstable. Eventually three of these places of power will be removed by the beast, with just seven remaining.
These (10 nations) are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
There will be a unity amongst these ten nations or places of power, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. This will consist of money, military, and political power.
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
The war described here in Revelation 17:14 is between the Lamb and the armies of the antichrist. Jesus the Messiah is returning to earth with His church to fight the battle of Armageddon. The beast has assembled the armies of the world at the Valley of Megiddo, to fight against Jesus and His church.
In chapter 19:11-21 of Revelation, this battle is vividly described by John as Jesus dictates to him the details of this event.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, (the redeemed) followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, (His word) that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, “that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. ~Revelation 19:11-21
These armies described here in Revelation 19 are the same group referred to in Revelation 17:14, who come to make war.
John now moves to clarify a few of the descriptions that were made before, regarding where the kingdoms of the beast are located:
Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”
In the former Roman Empire, the nations of that kingdom came from many different lands and people. Here the reign of the false religious system called Mystery Babylon is described as residing on many waters. This is descriptive of many diverse people and a multitude of nations and languages. In other words, a global reach of power and wealth for this false religious system.
And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
At this point in the last three and one-half years of the Great Tribulation, the false religious system of the beast, which has supported the reign of this man, now turns against him and seeks to control him. The seven kings who have given the beast his power hate the woman who rides the beast (the false religious system), and they destroy her.
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.
A startling reality of the Tribulation Period is that God is the One who is controlling the events that take place. Although satan has been given a limited reign over earth since the fall of Adam, the final word in everything is still under the power and authority of God. Recognition of this authority is now being diminished as the world approaches the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way when he tried to overrule the words of God, who told him that his reign would come to an end. The statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw had a head only of Gold. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that this meant his kingdom would come to an end, and then the Medo-Persian Empire would conquer him and reign until the third kingdom—the Greeks, under Alexander the Great; and finally the fourth kingdom, the Romans.
Nebuchadnezzar built a gold statue of himself that was nearly 90 feet tall, signifying that his kingdom would never end.
Of course Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom did end exactly as the Lord said, and each preceding kingdom that God told him would come did arrive.
Later, Nebuchadnezzar walked out onto his terrace one morning and proclaimed that it was he who had built the majestic kingdom that existed. God caused Nebuchadnezzar to lose his mind and go out into the fields and eat grass like a cow for seven years. This is what God told Nebuchadnezzar would happen if he did not recognize the sovereignty of God over everything that happens in the world:
All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” ~Daniel 4:28-32
Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man who has ever lived on the earth, yet he was completely under the authority and sovereignty of God.
The events taking place in the world right now, as I am writing, are quite frightening. The COVID-19 Pandemic has overtaken every country of the world. As of September 10, 2020, there are 28,323,788 Coronavirus cases in the world, and 913,908 deaths.
Today I watched a video that showed people at a Mall that I have attended since it first opened about 25 years ago. It has always been a safe, family-oriented place to shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends. In this video, a couple witnesses a group of young black people assault an elderly Hispanic woman and knock her to the ground inside the mall. They took her packages and then laughed on their way out of the store. A white couple approached these young people and tried to reason with them—that what they had done was not right and they should give the old woman back her packages.
The group then assaulted the husband and wife who confronted them, punching the woman in the face, knocking the man to the ground, breaking his nose and causing profuse bleeding. These young people left the mall as if nothing had happened.
The level of violence, lawlessness, and hatred in the world today is an indication that we are truly in the last days. I will be very surprised if the Lord doesn’t come soon for His church and the events described in this book will begin.
God is sovereign over the spread of this virus. He has a plan that includes turning the hearts of people to Him, who formerly paid no attention to Him. We are living in the last days that Revelation describes, and every day we are moving closer to the beginning of these events. As I wrote this chapter, I reflected on how close we must be to the events of Revelation. The COVID-19 Virus is a global pandemic that is having a profound effect upon every person on earth.
I expect that by the completion of this book, the virus will have killed thousands more and may lead us into the Tribulation Period. The ministries I am a part of and support are reporting the largest number of persons coming to Christ during this pandemic, than at any other time in the last century.
Many millions have turned from their old lives, to a new life in Christ, and will be ready when the Rapture takes place should that event happen this year during the Feast of Trumpets, September 18-20, 2020.10
Who Is The Harlot Of Revelation?
The book of Revelation views the harlot of the new global false religion as the wife of satan. As soon as Jesus begins to prepare His bride (the church) for His arrival, satan prepares his bride for his arrival.
The false religion of the last days really began in Genesis 11, when Nimrod, Semiramis, and their son, Tammuz, are described at the tower of Babel: Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens.” ~Genesis 11:1-9
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter (against) the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. ~Genesis 10:8-10
Nimrod is the grandson of Noah. In the historical record, Nimrod married Semerimus. She knew of God’s promise to send a savior, from Genesis 3:15. She claimed that her first son, Tammuz, fulfilled this prophecy. Semerimus began a religious system that made herself and her son to be worshiped. She became the first high priestess; her son, the savior.
The city of Babylon was the center of this new religion based upon the worship of satan and his lies, until 539 B.C. when this story migrated to the Persians. From Babylon, the fundamentals of this teaching spread to Phoenicia, where the woman was called Ashtaroth and her son, Tammuz. It then went to Pergamos in Asia, where we see John writing to the church at Pergamos, in Revelation 2:13, described by Jesus: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. ~Revelation 2:13
- In Egypt this mother-child cult was called Isia and Horus.
- In Greece they became Aphrodite and Eros.
- In Rome they were known as Venus and Cupid.
- In China they were called mother Shing moo and her child.
In Mexico City, 200 years before Jesus was born, there was a center for religious worship that the early Indians in Mexico used. In these depictions you can see a mother with a child in her arms. Today she and her child are known as The Madonna and child.
Use Of The Babylonian Myth By Critics of the Bible
Today modern critics assert that the story of Jesus was borrowed from these pagan religions and is nothing new. In fact, the Bible predicted the child, born of a virgin, who is the Son of God, 2,500 years before the mystery religion of Babylon began portraying the mother-child legend.
The source of this lie comes from satan, who has tried to corrupt the truth of Genesis 3:15 and the arrival of Jesus on earth as the Son of God, born of a virgin, crucified, and risen on the third day.
The legends that began in 539 B.C. in Babylon were an attempt by satan to do exactly what modern atheists and critics of the Bible are doing today: assert that the entire story of Jesus was fabricated because of the legends that began over 500 years before Jesus was born.
Those of us who know the Bible well, understand that God told the world about the mother and child, the true Son of God, almost 25 centuries before the false religion of Nimrod, Semerimus, and her son Tammuz.
The True Story Of The Bible
About 2000 B.C. God took Abraham away from this false religious system as he lived in Ur. Just 1,100 years later, Israel began to institute this false Babylonian religion under Queen Jezebel. Her husband was King Ahab of Israel, who instituted the worship of Baal: Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. ~1 Kings 16:30-33
Jezebel was the daughter of the king of the Sidonians. Sidon is in the extreme northern part of the Middle East on the coast. The Sidonians were supposed to be driven out of the land by the tribe of Asher, but they failed to do so (see Judges chapters 1-3:4).
These nations of the Sidonians worshiped false gods and had horrific practices among their people, i.e., burning babies alive upon the heated arms of their god, Molech, the god of pleasure.
When God brought the children of Israel into the land He promised, each of the 12 tribes was instructed to drive out the people of this land who worshiped false and vicious gods. By the time Jesus had arrived, this false religious system of Babylon had overwhelmed Roman society. Paul wrote his letters to Timothy for the purpose of giving him guidance in how to deal with the religion of Rome and the manner in which he could impeach these false ideas: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! ~2 Timothy 3:1-5
One of the points of this letter from Paul is the principle that the last days had already begun at the time Jesus arrived and gave His life for the world. After the Gospel was written and was being distributed throughout Asia Minor, a vicious opposition began from many places largely represented by the false religions of Babylon.
This plague of false doctrine began to permeate the Christian church, and many sincere followers of Jesus were being deceived by the false teachers who spread their destructive doctrines: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. ~2 Timothy 4:3-4
Peter had already described the days in which the disciples of Jesus were writing their Gospel narratives of Jesus and telling people about what He had done. In Acts Chapter 2, Peter described those days as the fulfillment of what the prophet Joel had predicted: But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.’” ~Acts 2:14-17
In harmony with Paul, Peter confirms that the time in which Jesus walked the earth, was crucified and rose from the dead—these were the beginning of the last days. Peter also described the prevalence of the former false religious system, that was founded by Nimrod and his wife, having influence amongst the people of God in former ancient times: But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. ~2 Peter 2:1
Peter and Paul both warn our generation that as these false teachers came into the church during the time that the Gospel was first being taught, it will also continue in the later last days. These false teachers will bring the false religion of Babylon into the Christian church and deceive many.
At the beginning of Revelation, Jesus warned the church at Thyatira, a representation of the modern Catholic Church: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, `I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’– and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” ~Revelation 3:15-17
The final church that will exist during the seven-year Tribulation will be a composite of apostate Protestants, Catholics, Judaism, and every other church and religious cult. Remember that the woman of Revelation 17:4-6 was adorned with gold and precious stones, and wearing the costly scarlet and purple clothing of the rich. The attraction of this final false church will be her size, power, influence, and wealth.
In chapter 17, we see that God judges this false religious system during the Great Tribulation. The premise of all religion is that it binds people to rules that no one can keep. Jesus came to make people free and to set us at liberty in our relationship with God. The rules of Christianity are simple: love God first, love people second, love yourself last. There is unequalled freedom in knowing Jesus—a freedom that this world knows nothing about: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. ~John 8:36
Religion binds people to traditions, obligations, rituals , and regulations. If you examine the places in the Bible where the word religion is found, you will discover that in every instance it is used with a negative connotation. James 1:27 states that pure and undefiled religion (true religion) is to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Jesus came to set us free; this is why He constantly opposed the Pharisees for their incessant and nauseous religious traditions that made the word of God of no effect. Chapter 17 of Revelation is the destruction of man’s religious systems.
1 Exodus 34:21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
2 Tractate Shabbat
3 All of this information is available in the Tractate Avot, Tractate Berachot, Tractate Sanhedrin, Tractate Yevamot and Tractate Eruvin.
4 Tractate Avot 10:1
5 Total population as of 1 January”. Eurostat. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
6 Chart by Rob Robinson
7 2 Samuel 22:3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation.
8 “kebar,” Strong’s Hebrew number: 1247, and “Enas,” Strong’s number: 606. The reference by Daniel to the coming Messiah who is the object of His prophecies in chapter 7, and 9.
9 Ezekiel 28:16 …Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub… By the word “destroyed,” we are to understand that satan today exists as a disembodied spirit, even as the beast will also exist in this form. Both will be cast into the Lake of Fire and exist there as disembodied spirits forever.
10 Based upon the book by the same author: “The Feast of Trumpets and the Rapture.” See it at Amazon and the author’s website.