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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 16

Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake --- Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS
Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake — Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Continuing on from chapter 15, where we saw seven angels given seven vials full of plagues of God’s wrath, in this chapter God commands the seven angels to go and pour out their vials of His wrath on the earth (v.1).  These vials, a final group of seven, result in a series of judgments upon the anti-Christ powers, the dragon, the beast, the image of the beast, the false prophet, and Babylon. These were seen to symbolise the world-power which found its embodiment in Rome, and then in its papal form. These suffer under the judgments of God.

Under the seven seals, old pagan Rome was judged and brought to an end. Under the seven trumpets, the Roman Empire in its new form was judged and its destruction symbolized. Hence, under the seven vials, we see symbolized a series of judgments, which weaken and destroy papal Rome; and, with the seventh vial, Babylon, the Great City, symbolising the Apostate Church, falls.

First Vial (v.2) – Poured out on the earth. Grievous sores (ulcers) afflict those who follow and worship the Papacy and have ‘the mark of the beast’.

The term ‘earth’ here as before symbolises people, and in particular the Roman world. The expression “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image” refers to the supporters of the worldly power and spiritual claims of Rome. See v.13:14-18. Those who suffer are those who listen to the lamb-like dragon (v.13:11), the AntiChrist, the false spiritual power (v.13:14,15). An ulcer is not only a painful and dangerous sore, but is often malignant and foul with corruption. The term is often used to describe moral corruption, and the ulcers described may be moral or spiritual.

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 15

The overthrow of the great city Babylon was seen in chapter 14:8-10, but in chapters 15 and 16, the seven last plagues result in the judgment and wrath of God on the false Roman church system, the great whore. The chapter 14 gave us a summary largely of future events. Chapters 15 through 19 present those same events, but in more detail. These chapters (15-19) are all connected with the fall of spiritual Babylon.

The opening of the seventh seal (chapter 8) resulted in the triumph of Christianity over Roman Paganism. This was followed by seven trumpets (chapters 8 to 11) which led to the overthrow of the western Roman Empire by the Goths, Vandals and Huns, and the ruin of the Eastern Empire by the Saracens and Turks. The seventh trumpet, the last trumpet, takes us to the close of secular history with the trump of the Archangel.

Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake --- Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS
Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake — Image by © Burstein Collection/CORBIS

The seven vials (chapters 15,16) also give the history of an epoch, and, like each of the series of seven, bring us to the end of that epoch. They present the series of calamities that first weaken and then destroy the power of Papal Rome.

Chapter 15 opens with “And I saw another great sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues” (v.1). That is 7 angels with 7 plagues which are to be poured on the earth by use of 7 vials, but they don’t come out until verse 6. 

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Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 14

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The vision of this chapter opens with “a Lamb stood on mount Zion”. In chapter 13:11, the false lamb was seen, who “spoke as a dragon”. Here, in contrast, we see the Lamb of God, the same Lamb as in Revelation 5:6,7. In chapter 5 it is clear that the Lamb is Christ who took the book with seven-sealed book. Here and in Hebrews 12:22 are the only verses in the New Testament where the phrase ‘on mount Zion’ occurs. It is the same as “Jerusalem above” of Galatians 4:26. Hebrews 12:22 defines Mount Zion as the heavenly Jerusalem. Mount Zion is symbolic of the city of the great King, the seat of the worship of God in Jerusalem, and is used as a symbol of the true Church (Psalm 125:1,2). The saints who have entered into the covenant of Christ are said to have come, not to the mount that could not be touched, but to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. It is there used for the church of the saints, and such is its meaning in this passage

The Church of true believers are also marked in their foreheads (v.1), yet this is not a literal mark. The 144,000 (v.1-4) is symbolic of the believers who stand against the Satanic evil of the Papacy and its forces. In chapter 7:4, the same number are spoken of as sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It means there, a great, indefinite number. Here, I take that the meaning is the same. It is a great multitude, a round number, who are associated with the Lamb. (Alternate views of what the 144,000 represents include that it represents some 144,000 Jewish believers, or, a chosen 144,000 believers from the Christian church).

In verse 4 there is reference to those “not defiled with women”. This means those who refuse sinful intercourse with the world. Spiritual adultery or fornication is being wedded to the world and partaking of its sins. The expression “they are virgins” is symbolic that their lives are not defiled by the world. See 2 Corinthians 11:2; Hosea 2:19,20.

The believers were found to be without fault, because they are forgiven, and their sins are washed away (v.5). Then John saw “another angel fly”, which is symbolic of the true gospel being rapidly preached throughout the world to every nation and language group (v.6). The angel (v.6,7) means God’s Holy Spirit is the agency whereby this message is preached to the world. Since the Reformation the preaching of the gospel to the world has expanded quickly and is continuing to this time. This does seem to put us now towards the very end of world history (but who can say?). 

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Bible prophecy The Papacy worldview

Daniel 9 prophecy

Chapter 9 in the book of Daniel continues the record of history, and the dreams, visions and revelations that God gave through His prophet. This chapter covers a period under the rule of Darius the Mede who conquered Babylon.  (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus [538 B.C.], of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

God told Jeremiah that the nation of Judah (the kingdom of Israel had already been conquered due to their idolatry) would be taken into captured by the Babylonians (Chaldeans) and taken into captivity for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11) after which God would restore them and return them to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:10). Daniel was living in exile and I suppose it was only natural to want to know when the exile would end. God enlightened him through divine knowledge but it was a lot more than just an answer to that simple question.

Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations [ruin] of Jerusalem.

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Bible prophecy The Papacy the Reformation worldview

Daniel 7 prophecy

Daniel’s vision of the four beasts

In Daniel chapter 2, king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream of an image made from four different metals which Daniel interpreted as four successive kingdoms of man: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and then Rome. Now, in chapter 7, we read that in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon (about 552 B.C.1) Daniel had a dream of four great beasts that came up out of the sea (the sea symbolizing nations of people). (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Daniel 7:2, 3 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Four beasts Credit: Shadowrenderer
Four beasts Credit: Shadowrenderer
Categories
Bible prophecy The Papacy worldview

Daniel 2 prophecy

This dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, provides the background to all the following dreams and visions given in the book of Daniel. In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream, which he forgot when he woke, so he called his magicians, and astrologers, and sorcerers, to not only tell him the dream but also to interpret the dream. They couldn’t and he planned to kill all those co-called wise men. But Daniel, a captive in his courts, was recommended to interpret the dream. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Daniel, who was called Belteshazzar by the king, was considered the wisest of all the wise men in Babylon. This is because the Spirit of God was with him.

Daniel 5:11,12 There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father [grandfather] light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;  12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Daniel said to the king,