FACTS OF THE FUTURE - Part One
 
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THE FUTURE WITHOUT ILLUSIONS

Many of these events are clearly prophesied in the Bible
(Matt 24:4-31; Luke 21:25-28; Rev 6:12-17;16;17;18).


God always has warned the world of coming judgments, which were the results of their ungodliness (Isa 24:5-20; 46:9-10; Am 3:7; Rev 1:1).

BibleLESSONS FROM THE PAST

For example, God told Noah of the coming flood, Abraham and Lot of the future destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Moses of the plagues of Egypt. These events were recorded for us today as a warning to help us understand clearly that all prophecies recorded in the Bible have met their fulfillment and will come to pass in the future. (1Cor 10:6-12; 2Pet 2:5-9; Heb 4:11).

Therefore, we find God's urgent warning message to the last generation, represented by

3AngelsTHE MESSAGE OF THE THREE ANGELS

The lesson of the three angels which we find in Revelation, chapter 14, written by John the Revelator. This is the last call which God is making to all people before the second coming of Jesus Christ as King and Judge. It contains the most serious warning of coming judgments to be found in scripture:

  • "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
  • "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication".

  • "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev 14: 6-11.
How can we avoid worshipping the Beast or receiving its Mark
if we don't know who or what the Beast and its Image is?

This warning is of vital importance to every person! But how can we avoid worshipping the Beast or receiving its Mark if we don't know who or what the Beast and its Image is? The lack of knowledge in this area has fatal consequences. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hos 4:6, compare Isa 29: 13-14).

However, God has promised understanding to the upright (Prov 2:1-7; Dan 12:4,10; Matt7: 7-8).

"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Eze 33:11 (compare 2Pet 3:10-11; Mal 3:18; 4:1,2).

What is the meaning of that Beast with that unique Mark?

Before we discuss the Beast itself we must understand the historical background preceding the Beast. The best place to begin is in the book of Daniel, which deals greatly with prophecy, from the 6th century B.C. down to the end of time.

The interpretation of the symbols used in Bible prophecy has not been left to human guesswork. Prophecy is history written in advance. The Bible itself gives us the key of understanding (2Pet 1:20).

A beast in prophecy symbolizes a king or a kingdom. This is clearly taught in Dan 7:17,23: "These great beasts are four kings .... The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth..."

In Dan 7:3 is written: "And four great beasts came up from the sea...".

"Sea" or "Water" represents "peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues." Rev 17:15 (compare Isa 8:7).

In chapter 7 of Daniel the prophet sees the coming world empires represented as beasts.
A parallel description we find in Dan 2:27-45 where individual parts of a statue are symbolizing, in an accurate manner, the future course mankind will take.Lion

THE LION
"The first was like a lion..." Dan 7:4 (compare Dan 2:37,38). This refers to the Babylonian world empire (608-538 BC), which reigned supreme during Daniel's time. In the Pergamon Museum of Berlin you can still admire the winged lion as a historical witness of that period of time.
BearTHE BEAR
"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh." Dan 7:5.

This beast has the same meaning as the breast and arms of silver in Dan 2:32,39. It represents the power of the two empires of Media and Persia, who replaced the Babylonian empire (538-331 BC). It was a dual monarchy with the Medes ruling first, then later the Persians. The two arms and the bear raising itself up on one side emphasizes this aspect of prophecy. The one part would be stronger than the other. The three ribs represented the nations of Babylon, Lydia and Egypt that were conquered by Medo-Persia.Leopard 4 Heads


THE LEOPARD
"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it." Dan 7:6. This beast also finds its counterpart in Dan 2:32,39. It was the Grecian empire (331-168 BC), Alexander the Great which overthrew the Persians, and when he died his kingdom was divided into four parts, as symbolized by the four heads. (Macedonia, Thrace, Syria and Egypt).

RedBeastTHE FOURTH BEAST
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns." Dan 7:7.

Again we find this beast in Dan 2:33,40. The fourth empire that followed the Grecian empire was the Roman empire (168 BC-476 AD). It was so very different from all the other beasts that Daniel saw in vision that he was unable to describe it. The ten horns in Dan 7:24 represent "ten kings that shall arise out of this kingdom".

It is a historical fact that the Roman empire fell in 476 AD, and in its place 10 new kingdoms came up which are the ten germanic tribes that make up today's European states. Parallel to Dan 7:7 we find that in Dan 2:41,42 these were symbolized by the ten toes.

These were the following tribes:

  1. Alemanni (Germany)
  2. Franks (France)
  3. Anglo-Saxons (Great Britain)
  4. Burgundians (Switzerland)
  5. Visigoths (Spain)
  6. Suevi (Portugal)
  7. Lombards (Italy)
  8. Heruli
  9. Vandals
  10. Ostrogoths.

THE LITTLE HORN
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." Dan 7:8.

The Various Identification Marks of the Little Horn:

1. It came up "among" the 10 horns (kingdoms), and three of the original 10 horns were uprooted in its rise to power.

2. In Dan 7:24 it is reported: The little horn shall rise after the 10 horns.

There is only ONE power in all history that fits this description. In Rome itself in the very center of the fractured empire there arose after 476 A.D. the Papacy, the one-man government of the Catholic Church. In its rise to power three of the Gothic tribes, (the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths), "were plucked up". By the decree of the east Roman emperor Justinian (Codex Justinianus) in 533 A.D. the Roman bishop was installed as the head of all Christian churches. When the last of the three Arian tribes (the Ostrogoths) resisted this decree in 538 A.D. they were conquered and chased out of Rome by the imperial general Belisarius. This was also the time that papal Rome fully established its political power for a prophesied period. (See later explanation).

ChristianFlames3. In Dan 7: 25 it says that he "will wear out the saints of the most High", which is referring to the great persecution of the Christians. No reader of history will deny that this statement, too, found its fulfillment in the papacy. The dreadful persecutions of the Dark Ages (the stake, the burning of heretics, the crusades) are well known and have indeed blackened the pages of history.

The papal system
changed the law of God,
the 10 commandments

4. Further, it states: "he will think to change times and laws...." The papal system actually changed the law of God, the 10 commandments: It removed the second commandment from the catechism, which prohibits the worship of images. It also changed the fourth commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath (the only commandment dealing with time), by moving God's day of rest from the seventh day to the first day of the week. (compare 2Thess 2:3-4; Ps 94:20).He changed the "time" of worship. A false day of worship was set up. Insteadof the original, unchangeable Sabbath of the 7th day (see Ex 20:8-11; 31:13,16,17; Eze 20:12; Isa 56:2,3,6,7;Ps 89:35;Heb 4:1-11; Jas 2:10), which was kept by Christ and the apostles (Luke 4:16; Matt 24:20; Acts 13:42; Heb 4:10-11), the first day of the week (the pagan "day of the sun") was set up, which God never commanded to be kept holy. He had warned his people not to accept this day of worship (Rev 14:9-11;16:2;19:20; see Eze 8:16-18).

5. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies... And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." Rev 13:5-6 (compare Dan 7:8,25; 11:36; 2Thes 2:3-4). How does the Bible define blasphemy? During a plot against Jesus he was accused of blasphemy "...because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God" John 10:33. Another type of Vaticanblasphemy we find in Luke 5:21: "Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Both forms of the mentioned blasphemies fit the papacy. ("On this earth we are holding the place of Almighty God" Encyc. Pope Leo XIII, 6-20-1894). Frequently the pope is called "Holy Father", even though Jesus forbade this form of address towards any man (Matt 23:9), because it is reserved exclusively for the Father in Heaven (John 17:11).

6. In Dan 7:25; 12:7 and Rev 12:14, even the period of the papal supremacy is being prophesied as three and a half times in Rev 11:2, as 42 months in Rev 13:5, and as 1260 days in Rev 11:3 and 12:6 respectively.

The biblical measurement for prophesied periods as 1 day equaling 1 year (Ez 4:6 and Num 14:34) makes it plain that in all these references it is referring to the same period of time of 1260 actual years. One "time" by their understanding was meant to mean one year. In those days they calculated in lunar years of 360 days per year. One lunar month consisted of 30 days (see time of flood in Gen 7:11,24; 8:4 - here are 150 days 5 months). Accordingly we find that 3 1/2 times (3 1/2 years) multiplied by twelve months equals 42 months, and 42 months multiplied by 30 days equals 1260 days, or 1260 actual years in history.

We find that this prophesied time period found its actual fulfillment in the history of the papacy. The final destruction of the East Gothic Empire around 538 AD, (which was the last power, or "Horn", that withstood Rome), is generally being understood as the beginning of the political dominating position of the papacy. When we start counting 1260 years from this period of history we arrive at the year 1798 AD. Exactly during this year Pope Pius VI was made captive under the leadership of the French general Berthiér. Pope Pius VI died in prison. The following prediction was fulfilled: "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity." Rev 13:10 (Concordance N.T.). Never again to this date had the papacy such clear supremacy and influence. A democratic constitution was established, and Rome became a republic, and the political power of Rome came to an end - exactly after 1260 years, as prophecy had foretold it.

In Rev 13:1-10, the history of the papal power is briefly recorded as it arose out of the pagan Roman empire, as it reigned for 1260 years, and in the end received a deadly wound.

7. In Rev 13:3 it says: "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." This shows clearly that this power will exist until the return of Christ. (Compare Dan 7:21-22).

8. During the time of the deadly wound and the regaining of its power, another beast comes to view: "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Rev 13:11-12.

Which power is being described?

The Symbols:

The Meaning:

1. Arises out of the earth. Rev 13:11

1. Arises in some new or sparsely populated land.

2. Arises about the time the sea beast is falling. (1798 AD, Rev 13:1,3,10)

2. Grows into a nation about the time of Papal overthrow (1763-1800)

3. Has two lamb-like horns (Rev 13:11)

3. Two Christ-like principles give it strength (civil and religious liberty)

4. Has no crowns on the horns (Rev 13:11)

4. Not a monarchy - some form of republic

5. Exercises power equal to the first beast (Rev 13:12)

5. Becomes a formidable, if not supreme, world power.

 

Continue to Part Two

 

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