Philip wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm
And here, in Revelation 17, the angel speaks a mystery:
6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
So what is this beast that "was and is not, and is to come?"
Continued (Revelation 17): 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; 10 they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. 11 As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.
So, in some way, there will be an eight king connected to the other 7 evil kings. Yet verse 10 seems to reference back to the beast of 666 - likely Nero (and still in the future when John wrote).
In Revelation 18, we read:
"9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”"
Of course, Rome burned and was nearly destroyed. But reading further, we see: 24“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;"
Using John's definition of symbols in his vision I think we can pretty confidently identify the Beast as Rome and sometimes specific Roman emperors such as Nero Caesar.
What is less well known is that John also identifies who the Whore of Babylon Represents in his vision, which clarifies what is going on in Revelation 17 and 18.
In Revelation 17:18 John offers the first clue as to the identity of the Whore of Babylon.
18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
So John establishes that the Whore of Babylon is the "great city".
Ok... so what is the "great city"?
John tells us earlier in Revelation 11:8
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
John here establishes that the "great city" as "where their Lord was crucified".
So using John's definitions of symbolic imagery, we see that the Beast represents Rome and the Great Harlot represents unfaithful Jerusalem.
We can now see what is going on in Rev 17 and 18. The Great Harlot (unfaithful Jerusalem) allies itself with the Beast (Rome) to persecute the saints. The Beast (Rome) then turns on the Great Harlot (unfaithful Jerusalem) and destroys it. Which is what Rome did to Jerusalem from 66 AD to 70 AD.
So I am fairly confident that the specific fulfillment of Rev 6-18 refers to the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem (the Great Harlot) by Rome (the Beast) in 70 AD
In Revelation 19, we see the Rider on the White Horse (Christ! "16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.")
Verses 19 and 20: "19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence[e] had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image."
I don't claim to understand all the imagery in Rev 19 or what specifically everything in Rev 19 is referring to.
But this does appear to refer to the destruction of the Beast (Rome) by heavenly armies.
When we look at the battle between Rome and the Church a couple of things come to mind.
Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD
Constantine became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 324 AD.
Eusebius definitely considered the rise of Constantine to power to represent the victory of the Church over the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire was finally destroyed when the Barbarian Odoader overthrew Rome in 476 AD.
I am also interested in the symbol that represents how the Armies of heaven conquered the armies of the Beast.
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations,
Does a sword coming out of the mouth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ring a bell?
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So the battle between the armies of heaven and the armies of the beast could possibly (I'm not dogmatic on this) refer to the battle between Christianity and Rome that led to the first Christian Emperor of Rome and the eventual destruction of the Roman Empire in 476.
And Chapter 20 is also a great mystery - "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle.
I agree that Rev 20 indicates that something will happen at the end of the "1000 years" prior to the Final Judgement. We aren't given a whole lot of information. But it could potentially be referring to a still future time of 'tribulation'