Wars and Rumors of Wars

The story of Revelation begins with Jesus’ description of wars and rumors of wars, and famines that must precede the end time. These wars, and famines, that Jesus called the beginning of birth pangs, are introduced by the four living creatures in Chapter 4.

Revelation 4

In Revelation 4, we meet the four living creatures, described in Ezekiel 1.

The first living creature the Lion. Jesus was called the Lion of Judah, in Chapter 5. He represented the Apostolic saints.

The second living creature was the ox, which represented the saints who were martyred by the beast, for time, times and half a time, while the saints were in the hands of the beast.

King Nebuchadnezzar represented the beast. Seven times passed over him, until he was given the heart of a man. The man is our third living creature.

The fourth and final living creature is the eagle, in Greek “ah-et-os.” The eagles are the end time saints. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and fly in “midheaven.” They are gathered up when Christ returns, as recorded in Matthew 24:28

Revelation 6

These four living creatures help us understand the meaning, and time periods of the four horses of the Apocalypse, in Revelation 6.

The first is a white horse, representing the Angel of God, bringing the punishment of God, which are pestilence, and wild beasts.

The second is a fiery red horse who announces war. There was no war, until Rome fell in 376 AD, during the time of the ox, the second living creature.

The time, times and half a time of the second creature ended in 1471 AD. The third living creature, a man, announces a black horse, and “scales that go out balance,” representing the economic collapse of the financial system. The Italian Medeci family bank invented our modern accounting system of debits and credits and was the first big bank to go out of balance.

The fourth and final horse is a green horse, representing death and hades, and is announced by the fourth living creature, representing the judgment day.

We are told that these four horses were “given authority over a fourth of the earth,” Europe, which represented the extent of Christianity until the sixteenth Century. Its greatest enemy was Islam, and its flags of white, red, black and green, the four colours of the four horses, that terrorized Europe for 1,000 years.

Daniel described the Pope’s fight against Islam, saying, “he will act against the strongest of fortresses.” The fortresses of Islam were the strongest in the world, surrounded by double, sometimes triple walls, and protected by ample moats.1

The Story of Time, Times and Half a Time 

Revelation 10

The message of time, times and half a time begins in Chapter 10, and carries on until Chapter 13.

The Angel from Daniel 12, who “raised his right hand and his left hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever,” appears in Revelation Chapter 10. He “lifted up His right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and earth and things in it, and the sea and the things in it that there should be no more delay” (Revelation 10:5-6).

We know we are in the time, times and half a time by His description of God. In Chapter 14, we find the same description of God, but the Angel adds “springs of water.” Because the Spirit of God was not in the Church during the “time, times and half a time,” but will be later on.

The Angel tells John to eat the little book, which begins the prophecy of the time, times and half a time.

Revelation 11

In Chapter 11, John is told to measure the Temple but to “leave out the Gentiles for they will trample the Holy City underfoot for 42 months.” They have been excluded from the Sanctified Church, which they have made desolate.

Revelation 12

A Woman Clothed with the Sun

In Chapter 12, we meet the Woman who flies into the wilderness for time, times and half a time.

She is clothed with the sun, has the moon under her feet, and is surrounded by 12 stars; all the bodies of heaven. She is the New Jerusalem. In Chapter 21, she is surrounded by twelve Angels, which are the twelve stars. She “comes out of heaven from God,” meaning she is clothed with the sun.  In verse 23, we read that the light of God and Christ replaced the light of the sun and the moon.

New Jerusalem represents the saints “who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 12:12, 13:6).

Her first child is Christ, who ascends to God and His throne as soon as He is born. Paul told that Christ was “declared the Son of God . . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4; Acts 13:33). 

A Red Dragon

Another sign appears in heaven, a Red Dragon. The exceedingly dreadful beast in Daniel Chapter 7, was personified by Satan in Chapter 8. This is the dragon of Revelation 12. Here, the diadems, signifying Satan’s power, are on the seven heads, the Roman Empire. Red was the color of Rome and represented the political and military power that crucified Christ, and persecuted the saints. In Chapter 17, red will be described as scarlet.

The Great Tribulation Begins

After Christ ascended to God, He was made the Lord of heaven and earth, and Satan and his Angels were cast down.

The tribulation of the saints is described in verses 10-12, “the accuser of the brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night – woe to the EARTH and the SEA, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

The earth represents the people of the world. The sea represents baptism, and salvation, which has been corrupted by Satan.

Verses 13 to 16 describe the persecution of the saints by the Great Red Dragon, the power of Rome.

This persecution came to a climax in Revelation 12:15, “and the dragon poured water like river out of its mouth after the woman, so that it might cause her to be swept away by the flood.”  

The Great Persecution was a ten-year attempt to completely destroy Christianity in the Roman Empire. But in verse 16, we read “the earth helped the woman.” When this ten-year persecution ended, Rome accepted Christianity as the national religion.

This ten-year testing of the saints was foreshadowed in Daniel 1. Daniel and his friends were tested for ten days. And in Revelation 2:10, the Angel said to the Church, “you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.” 

The Desolated Church

We know that the Sanctuary of God’s Church was cast down, after Satan was cast down from heaven, but John makes no direct mention of this. He only gives us hints. He concluded Chapter 12 saying, “the Dragon was enraged with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17). This was the war that was described in Daniel 9:26, “til the end of the war, desolations are determined.”

The meaning of “having the testimony of Jesus,” is explained in verse 11, “they overcame because of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” After the Church was desolated by the Antichrist, the saints overcame by their testimony, as Paul said in Romans 10:9. “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Revelation 13

In Chapter 13, the diadems, representing Satan’s power, moves to the Ten Horns, the Ten states of Europe.

The Protestants saw the beast, in Chapter 13, as none other than the Pope, from John’s descriptions.

on its heads were blasphemous names – the Pope took on names like “Christ on earth,” “Father.” And “Our lord god the Pope.”

who can make war against the beast? –  the Pope was not the head of a State that anyone could make war with.

there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies  – Satan spoke through his earthly representative, the Bishop of Rome.

he was given authority to act for 42 months – Jesus Christ preached for three and a half years, 1,278 days. But the Bishop of Rome held the saints in his hand for 1,278 years.

he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God – through his blasphemous teachings.

to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle that is those who dwell in heaven – he blasphemed the elect, the saints of New Jerusalem, the elect lady, who was clothed with sun, having the moon under her feet.

to make war with the saints and overcome them – as Daniel said, “to wear down the saints” (Daniel 7:21).

he was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation – he claimed to have the keys of salvation for every person, which Martin Luther told us was the lie of Satan.

all who dwell on the earth will worship him –  to worship means, “to bow down and kiss,” as to kiss the feet of the Pope. The elect who “dwell in heaven,” are contrasted with those who worship “according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of this world,” as Paul described in Colossians 2:8.

everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life – here Christ warned that those who worship the beast would not be saved.

Finally, the Angel of God, gave us the same warning that He gave us in the Gospel of Matthew,

“if anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes, if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed, here lies the faith and patience of the saints”

In 1522, Martin Luther wrote:

I will preach, speak, write, but I will force no one; for faith must be voluntary. Take me as an example. I stood up against the Pope, indulgences, and all papists, but without violence or uproar. I only urged, preached, and declared God’s Word, nothing else. …  Had I appealed to force, all Germany might have been deluged with blood.

Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. VII, ch. 4, sec. 68

The Reformation ultimately became a real “war” between the Protestants and the Catholics. Hundreds of thousands died.  In the thirty years war that ended in 1648, one third of Germany perished, in spite of Luther’s great opposition to violence.


The False Prophet

In verse 11, we meet another beast. He has “two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.” He looks like a Christian, but he is full of lies.

He is called “the false prophet” throughout the Book of Revelation.

In 193 AD, when the saints were given into the hands of the beast, Tertullian was possessed by the evil spirits of the Montanists. He became the father of Latin Christianity.

In Matthew 13, Jesus described the kingdom of heaven “like a yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until all was leavened.”

There are three “measures,” or measurements of the true Church.

  1. We must “know…the one true God” (John 17:3).
  2. We must “obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
  3. And we must do the will of God (Matthew 7:21).

Tertullian leavened all three.

  1. He proposed the Trinity.
  2. He said there was no need to baptize “in like manner,” in living water.
  3. And he said Sunday should be a day of rest.

The Image of the Beast

In Revelation 13, the beast of seven heads and ten horns appeared once again, but the diadems were now on the Ten Horns. This signified the fall of Rome by the Gothic War of 376 – 382 AD, and the religious power of Rome that would be shared with Ten European states.  John said, “the beast who was wounded by the sword lived.”

Verse 3 tells us that the world watched in amazement as the power of the beast continued.

The false prophet, “deceived those who dwell on the earth, to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”

The “wound of the sword” came by the Gothic War of 376 to 382 AD.

In 382 AD, the three-person Trinity, became the official Doctrine of the Catholic Church.

John said the beast was like a combination of three animals: “the beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.”

The three-person God was an image of “three beasts.”

This image of an angry three-person God, was first prophesied by Hosea, where God said, “they should have known that I am God, therefore … I will be to them like a lion, like a leopard by the road I will lurk, I will meet them like a bear…”

John said that the image of the beast would “even cause as many as would not worship the image to be killed.” The Trinity was the first doctrine established by the threat of capital punishment. Constantine said that anyone protecting the writings of Arius would be killed. In the next three centuries, the Trinitarian states of Europe attacked the Arian believing states, believing that the “Trinity god” would help them win.

From 600 to 700 AD, Muhammad easily overthrew the Christian Arab states of Turkey, Syria and Egypt. He rebuked them for forsaking the monotheism of their forefathers.

From 1096 AD to 1487 AD, the Crusades of the Pope tried to regain the Holy land from Islam, believing that the Trinity would help them win.  So, Daniel said that the King of the North would act against the strongest of fortresses, with the help of a god his fathers did not know.2

The Mark of the Beast

John also said the beast would cause “all both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to be given a mark on the right hand or forehead.”

The meaning of the mark is found in the book of Daniel. Daniel said the beast would intend to change time and law” (Daniel 7:25). In Chapter 6, he told us a story about the law that could not be changed, not even by the King. 

The laws that cannot be changed, are of course, the Ten Commandments. In Acts 15, the Apostles decided it was not necessary for the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses, but the commandments of God could not be challenged. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of God’s commandments is what matters.” The Apostle John told us that those who love God keep His commandments (1 John 5:2).

The Ten Commandments are listed in Deuteronomy 5, and the meaning of the right hand or forehead is given in Deuteronomy 6:8,“you shall bind them as a sign in your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” This goes back to Exodus 13:9, “it shall serve to you as a sign on your forehead and a reminder on your hand that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth.”

The Commandment that the beast changed was the rest of the Sabbath Day. In the fourth Century, the Catholic Church prohibited rest on the Sabbath day, and required people to rest on Sunday.

John said that “no one will be able to buy or sell except the one who has the mark” (Revelation 13:17)– in other words, “no one can do business (on the Sabbath Day) unless they have the mark.” The same kind of a double negative riddle is found at Revelation 9:4, “they were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of the living God on their foreheads.”

John listed the “economic groups” affected by the mark, “small and great, rich and poor, free and slave.” In John’s time, it was very difficult for a poor slave to rest on the Sabbath Day as God commanded, unless his master allowed it. 

The Number of the Beast

In verse 18, John gave us the number of the name of the beast, saying, “here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and the number is 666.”

In the Greek language, every letter is a number.

John was telling his readers to add up the letters of the name of a “man.”

The Greek word used for “man,” here was “anthropos,” from which we get the expression “anthropology,” meaning race or species.

There is another Greek word that is used to describe a particular person, as a man.

The anthropos, or race, that John was describing was Latienos, the Latins. This was the solution given by Irenaeus, in 180 AD, as the highly probable answer.

Irenaeus was a hearer of Polycarp, who was an Apostle of John.

Irenaeus wrote,

Then also Lateinos has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule: I will not, however, make any boast over this.

Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 30, Paragraph 2

Lateinos described the Latins, Latin Christianity, and the three Latin speaking states of France, Spain and Italy, that were “subdued” by the little horn, as described in Daniel 7:8.

Revelation 17 – The Great Harlot and the Scarlet Beast

In Revelation 17, we meet the Kingdom of the Beast, called a Great Harlot, which has long been the Protestant’s most favourite portrayal of the Catholic Church. As early as 1430, the Archbishop of Bohemia, Jan Rokycana, preached that the Pope was the Antichrist, and the Great Harlot was the Catholic Church.

The Angel’s Invitation

The Angel spoke to John, saying,

“come and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters” – By the late 15th century, European missionaries and explorers had spread the teachings of the beast across many waters, to the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

“with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication” –  Ezekiel said to Israel, “you committed harlotry with the Egyptians…the Philistines…the Assyrians…you have played the prostitute with them” (Ezekiel 16:26-28). The Churches harlotry with the kings of the earth began as early as 150 AD, when Justin Martyr wrote his first and second apologies to the Roman Emperor and Senate, promoting support Sunday worship and the belief in a third person, who he said also be worshiped, who he called the Spirit of Prophecy, which he said was “born on the waters” in Genesis 1:2.

“all those who dwell on the earth are made drunk with her immorality” – the expression “all those who dwell on the earth” was first used in Revelation 13 to describe those who worshiped the beast, with its false religion.  Isaiah called these “the drunkards of Ephraim” (Isaiah 28:1).

John’s Description of the Woman

The Apostle John described the woman he saw,

sitting on a scarlet beast – who could this scarlet beast be, but the Pope? On the ceiling of the Basilica of St. Paul’s and outside the walls are the portraits of 109 Popes, all in scarlet. The Pope’s throne room, its walls, ceiling and floor are also covered in scarlet.

full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns – just as described in Revelation 13.

clothed in purple and scarlet – this woman was obviously the harlotrous Church, for the Bishops wore purple, and the Cardinals and Pope wore scarlet, the colours of royalty, and sin.

adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls – this also echoed the words of Ezekiel “you were adorned with gold and silver … you were exceedingly beautiful and succeeded to royalty” (Ezekiel 16:12-13).  The buildings of Catholic Churches were all adorned with precious stones, and magnificent architecture.

having in her hand a golden cup – Jeremiah wrote, “Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunk.” King Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, the final King of Babylon, symbolized the height of the corruption of Mystery Babylon, when he and those with him made themselves drunk, using the holy cups taken from God’s Temple.

full of abominations – before his death in 1384, John Wycliffe told the Church that the moral depravity of the priests invalidated their sacraments. The cup of communion, to remember Christ’s death, became a cup of abomination in the hand of this Great Harlot. For the Apostle Paul said, “whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”

on her forehead was the name – Mystery Babylon – the word “Mystery” described the spiritual kingdom of those who worshiped the beast.

the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth – the Catholic Church became the mother of many denominations that kept a mixture of pagan religious practices, and Christianity. All of the significant deviations from the truth came from the false teachings of this Church.

and I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints – the Catholic Church was responsible for the death of thousands of saints, which it killed through various inquisitions and the use of military force against those who opposed it.

The Mystery of the Woman and the Beast

The Angel went on to describe the relationship of the woman with the beast, and the Kings of the earth.

“the beast that you saw was, and is not” – the beast is not a real person. It is a “horn” or “power,” established by “the lie” of Satan, through the Bishop of Rome.  It “was, and is not.”

“and is about to come up out of the abyss” – we find the same description of the beast in Revelation 11. This is the beast that killed the two witnesses.

“all those who dwell on the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will wonder when they see the beast” –   the people of the world are misled in their drunken state.

“here is the mind which has wisdom – the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits” – from this verse, the Protestant Reformers looked to Rome as the Woman. It was the City on seven hills. But the next phrase had been incorrectly copied in late manuscripts, as “there are seven kings.” The original manuscripts said, “they are seven kings.” In other words, the seven mountains are the seven kings.

“five have fallen” – looking backwards from John’s time, there were five kingdoms that held the saints in captivity: Greece , Persia, Babylon, Assyria and Egypt.

“one is” – which is Rome.

“the other is yet to come” – the one to come is described in verse 12 as “ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom” – it is a conglomeration of these ten kings.

“he must remain a little while” – the conglomeration of these ten kingdoms will remain a little while. But the beast and his kingdom will continue until the end.

“the beast is also…eighth” – the Greek lacks the definite article to say “the eighth” because this kingdom was not consecutive to the seventh kingdom. It was concurrent with it.

“and is one of the seven” – the beast was identified by the name Lateinos, the Latin man, 666. The Latins, as Romans, were also one of the seven kingdoms.

Satan is bound for One Thousand Years

This ends Revelation’s story of Satan’s first deception of the Nations. The Bible tells us that after Satan has deceived the Nations, he will be bound for one thousand years. 

  2. Daniel 11:38-39