Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Rev. 13-17


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Revelation Chapter Thirteen

  1. Just as chapter 12 symbolically presented the Dragon (Satan) and the Woman (Israel), chapter 13 symbolically presents the Dragon’s two great agents—Beasts.
    1. The first Beast comes out of the sea (Rev. 13:1-10).
    2. The second Beast comes out of the earth (Rev. 13:11-18).
  2. The first Beast.
    1. The Dragon summoned the Beast from the sea.
      1. θηρίον thērion #2342: beast.  ζῷον zōon #2226 is the common term denoting a living creature, animal, beast.  θηρίον thērion denotes a wild beast, a deadly, venomous beast (Acts 28:4).
      2. From the sea indicates the Gentile nature of the Beast (Rev. 17:15).
    2. The Beast comes in the image and likeness of the Dragon (10 horns & 7 heads) (Rev. 13:1; cf. 12:3).
    3. The Beast is the culmination of all Gentile world empires throughout the Times of the Gentiles (Rev. 13:2a; Dan. 7:1-8).
    4. The Beast is empowered by the Dragon for world rule (Rev. 13:2b; 2nd Thess. 2:8-10).
    5. The Beast will be displayed as a counterfeit resurrected Christ, and the world’s worship of the Dragon and the Beast will be the ultimate antichrist denial of the Father and the Son (Rev. 13:3-4,8; 1st Jn. 2:22).
    6. The Beast will function within the permissive will of God (Rev. 13:5-7; 2nd Thess. 2:11-12).
    7. Other titles for the Beast throughout Scripture include:
      1. The Serpent’s Seed (Gen. 3:15).
      2. The little horn (Dan. 7:8,11,20-26).
      3. The Coming Prince (Dan. 9:26-27).
      4. The King (Dan. 11:36-45).
      5. The Man of Lawlessness, Son of Perdition (2nd Thess. 2:3-10).
      6. Antichrist (1st Jn. 2:18,22; 4:3; 2nd Jn. 7).
      7. The Beast from the Abyss (Rev. 11:7; 17:8).
      8. The Beast from the Sea (Rev. 13:1-8; 15:2; 16:14; 19:19,20; 20:10).
  3. The second Beast.
    1. The second θηρίον thērion beast comes out of the earth, representative of his Jewish heritage (and contrasted with the first, Gentile beast).
      1. He is referred to as “another beast” (v.11), contrasted with “the first beast” (v.12), but not referenced as a beast after this (Rev. 13:14-15,17-18).
      2. His primary title is “the False Prophet” when the anti-Trinity is mentioned (Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).
    2. The second beast spotlights the first (as the Holy Spirit serves to spotlight Christ) (vv.11-15).
      1. He delivers the message of the Dragon exalting the Beast (as the Holy Spirit takes the message of the Father to exalt Christ) (Rev. 13:11-12).
      2. He supervises the world-wide worship of the Beast (Rev. 13:13-15; 2nd Thess. 2:4).
    3. The second beast uses religious allegiance to the Beast as a device to secure world-wide economic control (Rev. 13:16-18).

Revelation Chapter Fourteen

  1. Chapters 14 & 15 continue the broad pictures that are being formed to portray the entire Tribulation (Rev. 12-15).
    1. Ch. 12 & 13 focus on the dragon, the woman, & the two beasts—activity on earth.
    2. Ch. 14 & 15 show parallel activity in heaven.
  2. Although the 144,000 Jewish evangelists minister on the earth (Rev. 7:4-8), their ministry was before the Father’s throne (Rev. 14:1-5).
  3. The basic outline for the Tribulation can be viewed from a heavenly perspective (Rev. 14:6-20).
    1. World-wide evangelism via angelic gospel proclamation (vv.6-7).
    2. The end of Babylon (v.8).  This will be amplified to detail:
      1. Religious Babylon (Rev. 17).
      2. Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18).
    3. The judgment of the wicked (vv.9-11), and the blessing of the just (vv.12-13).
    4. The Lord Jesus Christ directs the angelic harvest (vv.14-20).

Revelation Chapter Fifteen

  1. The heavenly panorama draws to a close with the final stage of God’s wrath being prepared from the heavenly temple (Rev. 15:1-4).
  2. The seventh trumpet is then fully expressed in the seven bowls of judgment (Rev. 11:15-19; 15:5-8; 16:1-21).

Revelation Chapter Sixteen

  1. The seven bowls are poured as the final expression of Divine wrath (Rev. 16:1-21).
    1. Bowl #1: malignant sores (vv.1,2).  A world-wide manifestation of Egypt’s sixth plague (Ex. 9:8-12).
    2. Bowl #2: sea water to blood (v.3).  Intensification of the second (Rev. 8:8-9) and third trumpets (Rev. 8:10-11).
    3. Bowl #3: rivers & springs to blood (vv.4-7).  Worldwide manifestation of Egypt’s first plague (Ex. 7:20-24).
    4. Bowl #4: scorching sun (vv.8-9).
    5. Bowl #5: darkness upon the Beast’s throne (vv.10-11).  Repetition of Egypt’s ninth plague (Ex. 10:21-23).
    6. Bowl #6: the drying up of the Euphrates, as preparation for the coming armies of the East (v.12; Isa. 11:15-16).
  2. As a pause in between bowl #6 & #7, the work of the anti-trinity equips demons and men alike to stand against the Lord at Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16).
    1. The sixth trumpet empowered the army from the east with the released demons from the Abyss (Rev. 9:16-19).
    2. The sixth bowl prepares the way for the 200,000,000 demoniac army to invade the promised land, and stand against the coming Christ (Rev. 16:12,16; Dan. 11:44-45).
  3. Bowl #7 is then poured out as the “it is finished” statement of Divine wrath (Rev. 16:17-21).  It is a repetition of Egypt’s 7th plague (Ex. 9:22-26), and preparation (artillery bombardment) for the coming Lord of Hosts (cf. Josh. 10:10-11).

Revelation Chapter Seventeen

  1. Following the 7th trumpet (Rev. 11:15-19), two chapters were given over to apocalyptic panoramas (Rev. 12&13, the Dragon & the two Beasts).
  2. Following the 7th bowl (Rev. 16:17-21), two chapters are given over to apocalyptic panoramas (Rev. 17 & Rev. 18, the Harlot, Babylon).
  3. The Harlot (Rev. 17:1-18).
    1. The great harlot (πόρνη pornē #4204) who sits on many waters.  She has a seductive influence upon kings and inhabitants of the earth.
    2. In the OT, Israel was warned against playing the harlot (Ex. 34:15-16), but they did so nonetheless (Num. 25:1; Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16:15ff.; 23:3ff.).
    3. Spiritual harlotry is defined as spiritual adultery against God.  The Great Harlot & Mother of Harlots, then, is the religious system that has spawned the most widespread anti-God religious systems in the OT, NT, and modern times.
    4. This Harlot is named: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” (Rev. 17:5).
      1. The golden cup of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon (Jer. 51:6) continues to be present in the mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:4).
      2. Although the political influence of Babylon ceased with the Persian victory of Cyrus, the religious system of Babylon survived—escaping to Pergamos (Pergamum, Rev. 2:13) and ultimately Rome.
      3. When Babel was founded (Gen. 10:10), the only Divine promise of redemption focused on the Seed of the Woman.  False Satanic religions, then, were centered on mother goddesses and their baby sons.
      4. Babel’s religion of mother goddess worship (Queen of Heaven) transcends nations & empires, and has endured through the centuries under many names.
      5. The Queen of Heaven and her divine son were manifested under different names:
        1. Ishtar & Tamuz to the ancient Babylonians.
        2. Isis & Osiris to the Egyptians.
        3. Aphrodite and Adonis to the Greeks.
        4. Cybele & Attis in Asia Minor.
        5. Ceres and Jupiter to pagan Rome.
        6. The names of Mary and Jesus were taken when Christian labels were needed to give public legitimacy to their religion, from the Emperor Constantine onward.
      6. The Queen of Heaven religion has made its home in the Roman Catholic Church since Bishop Damasus assumed the Babylonian title of Supreme Pontiff in 378AD.

Soon after Damasus was made “Supreme Pontiff” the “rites” of Babylon began to come to the front. The worship of the Virgin Mary was set up in A. D. 381. All the outstanding festivals of the Roman Catholic Church are of Babylonian origin. Easter is not a Christian name. It means “Ishtar,” one of the titles of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, whose worship by the Children of Israel was such an abomination in the sight of God. The decree for the observance of Easter and Lent was given in A. D. 519. The “Rosary” is of Pagan origin. There is no warrant in the Word of God for the use of the “Sign of the Cross.” It had its origin in the mystic “Tau” of the Chaldeans and Egyptians. It came from the letter “T,” the initial name of “Tammuz,” and was used in the “Babylonian Mysteries” for the same magic purposes as the Romish Church now employs it. Celibacy, the Tonsure, and the Order of Monks and Nuns, have no warrant or authority from Scripture. The Nuns are nothing more than an imitation of the “Vestal Virgins” of Pagan Rome.* 

* Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, p.148. Another, more thorough treatment of the Roman church as the modern expression of Babylon is Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons.

The Caesars held the supreme pontiff title since Julius Caesar became the high priest (pontifex) of the Etruscan Order (74BC), and became Pontifex Maximus (63BC). It is fascinating to note that Damasus took the title when the Roman emperor Gratian refused it for Christian reasons.

  1. The Harlot’s activity (Rev. 17:4-18).
    1. The Harlot reigns supreme, and makes the world drunk with her golden cup (vv.2,4).
      1. Following the Rapture of the Church, there are no true believers to prevent the church of Rome from exercising supreme religious power during a time of great chaos.
      2. This is similar to the power Pope Leo I (440-461AD) gained when political Rome could not deal effectively with Attila the Hun, and Pope Gregory I (590-604AD) enjoyed in defending Rome against the Lombards.
    2. The Harlot is drunk herself, intoxicated by the blood of God’s faithful witnesses (v.6).
    3. The Harlot rides the beast (v.3; Rev. 13:1).
    4. The Beast hates the Harlot, and only endures her rule so far as it suits his purpose.  At some point, the Beast will destroy her (Rev. 17:16-18).
  2. The Beast is further developed (Rev. 17:8-14).  This passage must be studied thoroughly and related to Rev. 13; 2nd Thess. 2; & Dan. 7:7-8,11-12,19-27; 9:24-27.