The reign of the saints and binding of the Dragon are probably the most challenging passage of scripture in the Bible. The difficulty results from attempting to understand these symbols as if joined in time and event; as if one defined the other. One writer described it this way: "Satan is bound a thousand years and the saints lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. To the degree that the Satan was bound, to the same degree the saints lived and reigned. The measure of the one is the measure of the other." We would suggest, however, that the reign of the saints is not defined by the binding of the Dragon, that the two events are completely unconnected in both time and event, and that they must be analyzed separately to be correctly understood. Further, we believe that a proper analysis will show that there two separate millennia posited by the text.
The Binding and Loosing of the Dragon
What does the binding and loosing of Revelation's Great Red Dragon refer to? The basic assumption of most commentators is that the binding of the Dragon follows the defeat of the Beast and death of the martyrs; that the thousand-year binding of the Dragon is coterminous with the reign of the saints and points to the present era; that it signifies a period stretching into the indefinite future after which the Dragon will be loosed before being finally destroyed in the battle of Gog and Magog. This error completely confounds an understanding of the text. Upon it rests the belief that long ages were to pass from the defeat of the Beast and False Prophet until the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. Both A- and Post- millennialism make this basic mistake and thus introduce a complete discontinuity into the text. Although generally conceding that the new heavens and earth described in Rev. 21 and 22 are come, these schools believe that the events portrayed in Rev. 20 remain to be fulfilled:
According to these schools, therefore, the whole of Revelation is fulfilled with the exception of a few verses in chapter twenty; a case of the tail wagging the dog, if ever there was one! Even among Preterists this error sometimes obtains. J. Stuart Russell, author of the Parousia, whose exegesis was otherwise usually quite sound, stumbled at the imagery of chapter twenty. He concluded that the binding of the Dragon followed the defeat of Nero and the Beast. Hence, Stuart concluded, the imagery of Rev. 20 remained to be fulfilled:
This sort of “partial Preterism” is nothing if not A- and Post- millennialism by a different name. It is the product of a confused exegesis. The evidence is much to the contrary. The error lies in failing to see the identity of the battles of Armageddon and Gog and Magog and the belief the binding of the Dragon therefore follows the defeat of the Beast and False Prophet.
The battle of Armageddon and the battle of Gog and Magog were the same battle. The battle of Armageddon is introduced, saying unclean spirits like frogs (deceitful doctrines and slanders) went forth from the Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet to gather the kings of the earth and of the whole world to battle against Christ and the church. (Rev. 16:13-16) In consequence of this war the Beast and False Prophet are destroyed. (Rev. 19:11-21) The imagery of the battle of Armageddon is specifically borrowed from Ezekiel's battle of Gog and Magog. (Cf. Rev. 19:17, 18; Ezek. 39:17-20) Use of the imagery from the battle of Gog and Magog to describe Armageddon establishes the identity of these battles; the battles are one and the same, only the names are different. The Dragon also meets his demise in this battle (Rev. 20:7-10), it is merely portrayed separately. Like the Great Whore, the defeat of the Dragon is treated separately for purposes of emphasis. The Dragon’s defeat is treated separately inasmuch as he is the perennial enemy of God and his people, having assumed the form of various persecuting nations over the long centuries, including Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. (Cf. Ps. 74:14; 104:26; Isa. 14:29; 27:1,13; Jer. 51:44; Ezek. 29:3, 4; 32:2-6, where these nations are variously described as Leviathan, a serpent, or dragon.)
The identity of the battle of Armageddon and Gog and Magog is one of the keys to the binding and loosing of the Dragon. If the battles are the same with merely the names changed, identification of the battle of Armageddon will identify the battle of Gog and Magog and thus establish the time frame for the binding and loosing of the Dragon. How do we identify the historical referent of this battle? One way is to identify one of more of its participants. If the Beast or False Prophet can be identified, we will be a long way toward identifying this conflict. The Beast is widely accepted in Postmillennial and Preterist circles as Nero or the persecuting power animated by that emperor. Many Amillennialists would agree, though some feel a Domitian context is indicated. The identity of the Beast with Domitian is refuted by the pre- A.D. 70 composition of Revelation and the chronological indicators of the book showing that the sixth emperor was still reigning and that the mark of the Beast answers to the numeric value of the emperor's name, Nero Caesar.
The identity of the Beast with the persecution under Nero establishes the time frame for the battle of Armageddon/Gog and Magog. In fact, we would suggest that they are one and the same thing and that the Neronean persecution was the battle of Armageddon/Gog and Magog. Armageddon was to be the last and final battle before the great consummation. It was to precede the end and was the final crisis God's people had to face before the second coming. Christ warned his people that he would come as a thief in the events connected with that battle: "Behold, I come as a thief, Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Rev. 16:15) With the battle comes a voice from the throne in heaven, saying "It is done." (v. 17) Following this crisis, Babylon the Great (Jerusalem) comes into remembrance before God. (v.19) The fact that the Beast is one of the actors in this great battle means that Nero was a participant. The fact that the battle precedes the destruction of the Great Whore means that it preceded the fall of Jerusalem. Since there is no other historical event of which Nero was part and which preceded the fall of Jerusalem, the Neronean persecution becomes the best and only solution for the identity of the battle of Armageddon.
Having identified the Beast and the battle of Armageddon with the persecution under Nero, identification of the binding and loosing of the Dragon becomes rather simple. The Dragon acts through the Beast; the Beast is the alter ego of the Dragon; the Dragon gives the Beast its seat and great authority (Rev. 13:2); those who worship and obey the Beast worship and obey the Dragon (v. 4). The Beast acts at the behest of the Dragon. While the Dragon is bound, the Beast is bound. When the Dragon is loosed, the Beast is loosed. The Beast ascends from the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 11:7; 17:8), the Dragon ascends from the Bottomless Pit. (Rev. 20:7) Since the battles are the same event under different names and symbols, the ascent of the Beast and Dragon from the Bottomless Pit are the same event under different names and symbols. The ascension of the Beast from the Bottomless Pit marks the beginning of the persecution under Nero; it also marks the loosing of the Dragon. The Beast rises from the Bottomless Pit and gathers the kings of the earth together to battle against the Lamb in the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 11:7; 16:13, 14; 17:8); the Dragon rises from the Bottomless Pit to gather Gog and Magog to battle against the church. (Rev. 20:7-9) The battle of Gog and Magog was to occur in Israel's "latter days" (Ezek. 38:8, 16); it is depicted as a great invasion against God's people, a storm to cover the land (v. 9); it follows the appearance of "David the Prince" (Ezek. 37:25), but precedes the restored kingdom-temple (church) in which "David" the Prince would reign as king and priest. (Ezek. 40-48; cf. Zech. 6:13) Ezekiel's description shows that the battle of Gog and Magog occurs after the earthly ministry of Jesus, but before the great consummation in A.D. 70 and the coming of the kingdom in fullness of power. All this is equally true of Armageddon.
We said above that the loosing of the Beast and Dragon from the Bottomless Pit point to the beginning of the persecution under Nero. If loosing these powers points to their ability to persecute, what would their binding and internment in the Bottomless Pit point to but restraint from persecution? Clearly, this is so. The Beast ascends from the Bottomless Pit to make war upon the saints. (Rev. 11:7; 17:8) While it is in the Pit it is prevented to persecute. Only when it is released is it able to raise again the persecution of the church. Hence, the Bottomless Pit points to the cessation of persecution; it points to the wounding of the Beast's head (Rev. 13:3), to the defeat of the persecuting power and its consignment to oblivion in a symbolic tartarus. Rising from the Pit points to the healing of the Beast's wound (Rev. 13:3); its recovery from defeat and ability to raise again the persecution of the church. If the persecution under Nero marks the loosing of the Dragon (and Beast) its binding must point to a referent earlier in time and event.
The two persecutions in Revelation occur in chapters twelve and thirteen. Luke records a persecution early in the history of the church that arose over Stephen. (Acts 7:59-9:31) History tells of a second persecution under Nero. The binding of the Dragon (and Beast) therefore came between these two persecutions. The persecution that arose over Stephen collapsed by A.D. 38 when Paul converted to the faith. Pilate and Caiaphas were removed from power shortly before this. (A.D. 36-37) From A.D. 42 to A.D. 54, Claudius was upon the throne of the empire and acted to restrain Jewish persecution of the church. However, with the rise of Nero, the Jews found imperial favor through Poppaea, Nero's wife, a Jewish proselyte. By A.D. 64, Nero was persecuting the church in Rome and the Jews were driving the persecution in Asia Minor.
The Reign of the Saints and Martyrs
The reign of the martyrs is described by John as consisting of those beheaded for the word of God, who did not worship the beast, nor his image, nor received his mark in their right hand or forehead. These souls lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; they are immune to the second death. (Rev. 20:4-6) There are two factors in this text that help identify its historical referent. The first consists in reference to the Beast. The Beast is a symbolic reference to the persecution under Nero. This is seen by the chronological statements stating that the Beast exists at the time the sixth emperor was reigning and by the number of the Beast's that equates with the emperor's name, Nero Caesar. (Rev. 13:18; 17:10) The Beast is driven by the Great Whore, Jerusalem and Jewry. Nero was the animating power of the Beast in Rome; the Jews were the driving force behind the Beast in Asia Minor. These facts all point to a pre- A.D. 70 date for the death of these martyrs. The second is the reference to beheading. Jews executed religious offenders by stoning. (Acts 8:2) Beheading was a Roman form of execution. Paul is traditionally described as being beheaded. This sets the death of these martyrs under Rome; it also points to their death in land under Roman control outside Palestine.
The reign of the martyrs is "other worldly." This is shown by the fact that they are described as "souls;" it is also shown by the fact that their reign is described enigmatically as lasting a “thousand years.” In other words, their reign is no part of earthly existence; it describes the blessed state of the martyrs in paradise awaiting the second resurrection. Paradise is not heaven. Paradise is the intermediate place where the dead waited the final consummation when they received their eternal reward. Jesus and the thief both rested in paradise. (Lk. 24:43) All the righteous dead "dwelt" there pending the resurrection. Jesus promised the churches of Asia that they would reign with him if they remained faithful during the coming persecution; he promised the second death would have no over them. (Rev. 2:10, 11; 3:21; cf. II Tim. 2:12) Paul said "if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together." (Rom. 8:17) The reign of the saints in paradise is followed by their inheritance in heaven at the resurrection. (Rev. 20:11 et seq.) The unrighteous dead, those not washed in the blood of the Lamb, were consigned to tartarus, called in Revelation the “Bottomless Pit.” This is the place where the Dragon is symbolically shut up or interred.
The reign of the righteous in paradise did not depend upon the punishment of the wicked in tartarus. If a single soul was never shut up in tartarus, the righteous would still have reigned in paradise. There simply is no correlation between the blessed estate of the one and the punishment of the other. This is equally true of the Dragon and the martyrs. There is no indication that the reign of the martyrs is somehow defined or dependent upon the binding of the Dragon; not a single word to this effect appears in the text. Amillennialism, which holds that the martyrs’ reign in paradise points to the victory over the Dragon of the gospel upon earth, has no exegetical basis upon which to stake its claim. The text nowhere indicates there is a connection between the reign of the one and the restraint of the other. The point of the imagery is simply to strengthen the saints against the coming persecution when the Dragon would be loosed, and to comfort their loved ones by showing they had not perished. “But I would not have your to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (I Thess. 4:13) The souls of the martyrs were not forgotten before God; they lived and reigned with Christ in paradise pending the second resurrection. The churches of Asia could thus face the coming crisis in full confidence of their impending reward.
The identity of the battle of Armageddon and Gog and Magog tie the fate of the Dragon to that of the Beast and vice versa. This permits us to establish boundaries within which to identify the historical referents symbolized by the binding and loosing of the Dragon. The Dragon's destruction at the battle of Armageddon means that it cannot be loosed later in time than that event. Identification of the Beast and Armageddon with the persecution under Nero means that the Dragon was loosed from the Bottomless Pit at the outbreak of imperial persecution in A.D. 64. The binding of the Dragon thus points to a period preceding the persecution under Nero when it was restrained from actively warring against the church. We submit that this was the period marked by the collapse of the persecution over Stephen and the reign of Claudius upon the imperial throne until the burning of Rome and the outbreak of persecution under Nero.
The martyrs reign in paradise because they were faithful unto death, not because the Dragon was bound; they died under the Beast and won the martyr's crown and therefore lived and reigned with Christ. The Dragon was bound in the period preceding the persecution under the Beast, not following it. The Dragon was bound by its inability to persecute the church during the period preceding the rise of Nero; it was loosed in the events marked by the persecution under Nero and the Beast. Its defeat was joined to that of the Beast and False Prophet in the battle of Armageddon and Gog and Magog; these, in turn, were joined to the destruction of the Jerusalem, the Great Whore. The reign of the saints in paradise has now yielded to their eternal inheritance in heaven with Christ and God. Two millennia, separate in time and event, but similar in symbolism. Separately they can be understood, together they are only confounded.
 Max R. King, Spirit of Prophecy (1971, Warren OH), p. 347.
 David Chilton, Days of Vengeance, (1987, Dominion Press, Tyler TX), pp. 506,508. “These verses [Rev. 20:] 7-10 depict the last great struggle of Satan and his forces to overcome the saints of God, and their overwhelming defeat before the manifested power of heaven. The obvious purpose is to show the final and decisive victory of the seed of the woman over their ancient foe. It is a great symbolic picture, and its one great teaching is clear beyond the possibility of doubt or misunderstanding, namely, that Satan and his forces must all ultimately perish. This is written for the comfort and confidence of the saints. But that final victory is in the far future, at the close of the Messianic age, and it is here simply outlined in apocalyptic symbols.” Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics (1898, Eaton and Mains, NY; Republished 2001, Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene OR), p. 455.
 J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia (1887,T. Fisher Unwin, London; Republished 1983, 1999, Baker Books, Grand Rapids), pp. 522, 523.
 Premillennialists hold that the Beast is some future, world ruler called the Antichrist, who will precipitate world war III, which event they believe will be the battle of Armageddon. They tie this to the reestablishment of Israel in the Middle East. However, there is no exegetical basis by which the promised eschaton can be lifted from its first century context and applied to future events. Christ indicated he was coming upon that generation. (Matt. 10:23; 16:27, 28; 24:3, 34; Mk. 14:62; Jno. 21:22; I Cor. 7:29; Heb. 10:25, 37; Jm. 5:8, 9; I Pet. 4:7; Rev. 1:1, 3) Because it is so far divorced from Biblical teaching and foundations, Premillennial notions regarding the battle of Armageddon need not be further discussed.
What do YOU think ?
This should be put on every futurist's email Thanks for the hard work!
Doesn't the binding of the Dragon come before the death of the Beast?
One of many assumptions is that there was a persecution of Christians under Nero. Can you point to anything in the text that states that Nero persecuted the Christians?
Defining the nature of the Beast through gematria is unsound. There are thousands of words and phrases that "add up" to 666 (or 616). Saying that the Beast was Nero based on the identity of the 7 "kings" is also unsound, since Rome had emperors until 476 C.E. So, upon what arbitrary basis do we say that the "one who is coming" is Galba (or Vespasian, or any number of other guesses)? There was not "one who is coming" but dozens, if one accepts the Roman interpretation.
Although it is true that Rome had many emperors over the long centuries, at the time Revelation was writting it had had only five - Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula ("Little boots) or Caius. John they says "one is." Number six was Nero. The next in line would continue "a short space" or time. Galba. We know it was Nero because John counts from the first of the Caesars. Simple!
That's another assumption, that Julius was an emperor. He wasn't since Rome was a republic. The assumption is shaky, since scholars for centuries have argued both sides of the issue.
Josephus and all Roman historians (Tactitus, Suetonius, Dio Cassius) considered Julius an emperor. Julius referred to himself as such. Modern scholars can debate all they want, but how the ancients to whom Revelation was written is what matters. How would they have approached the riddle? Clearly they would have begun counting with Julius, not some yet-to-be-born emperor they knew nothing about.
Caesar (died 44 B.C.E.) By Plutarch Written 75 A.C.E. Translated by John Dryden Refers to Augustus as the first emperor. Your statement about the ancient sources is only partly correct. Not "all" called Julius the first.
The contention that the great red dragon in Rev. 12 is Rome can only be error. The book involves two figures; That of The Master and the filthy city Jerusalem (other than Nero, who was converted to Talmudism; cf. Universal Jewish Encyclopedia). The general mis-leading point is that the dragon stood before the woman waiting to devour the Child (v. 4), which is usually referenced to Rome, due to the account in Matthew ch. 2, where Herod destroyed the infants in Bethlehem. Hollywood has made the act look Roman; however, Herod, though Idumean by race, was a Jew by religion. It was him that built up the final temple, with all of its outward glamour. Since the woman in ch. 12 is spoken of favorably, it follows that the dragon is also part of the same reference. I perceive that since the dragon is described, his description must be the answer. The dragon was ‘red;’ possibly reference to the color of the shield, used as a symbol by revolutionary Jews. His seven heads could possibly be a contrast to the ‘seven’ candlesticks, which were symbolic of the ‘seven’ mentalities of God which John earlier spoke of in ch. 1, v. 13 (described in Is. 11:2 & 3, LXX). The ten horns I am not sure; however, the give away for me is the tail, and what he does with it. “and his tail drew one third of the stars of the heaven, and throws them to land.” (v. 4a). The tail is likely reference to Is. 9:14-16, LXX, which reads: “So the Master took away from Israel the head and tail, great and small, in one day: the old man, and them that wonder at persons, this is the head: and the prophet teaching unlawful things, he is the tail. And they that pronounce this people favored shall mislead them: and they mislead them that they may devour them.” The “stars of Heaven” that were thrown to land is surely a reference to Jews falling from favor. Indeed it is written: “But I say to you that many will come from east and west, and will recline with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Government of the Heavens; but the sons of the government will be cast out into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat. 8:12). The Jews have very craftily, through their tool ‘Hollywood’, put the blame on the Romans, but the scriptures do not contemplate such a notion. Sincerely, Kalin Flournoy/Unprofitable Slave of the Master.
Fanciful,imaginative, but erroneous on almost all counts. The "abyss" is not "the lake of fire," The great red dragon is not Rome,Armageddon was not even a battle, it was simply the place where the Roman armies gathered in preparation for the final assult on Jerusalem; thus, it could simple not be the same event as Gog - Magog. Nero is not in view in Rev. 17 as he died by the sword in 13:10. Many assumptions with no biblical basis makes this document a trip in fantasy.
back to the drawing board on that one. i think russell was more honest with the text. i cannot understand why revelation would have to add the Gog and Magog in a few verses to equal a heavy dose of the exact same revelation earlier. john could have said that earlier and saved a lot of headache if that were the case.
It appears that your chain of events read like so; 1. You have the dragon not bound, and the beast persecuting [Around 38 AD] 2. Then the dragon and the beast are bound at the beginning of the first non 1000 years [between 38 Ad and 64 AD]. 3. At the end of the first non 1000 years, [64 AD] the dragon is loosed, so the beast is loosed. 4. The persecuting of the dragon and the beast begins again. [under Nero Mr.666] 5. The Dragon ALSO meets his demise in the battle of Armageddon, Gog and Magog at the end of the first non 1000 years, but before AD 70. Check the bible chain of events; 1. The beast and armies are defeated [not the whore] and the beast is cast into the lake of fire along with the false prophet, the dragon is not bound. 2. Then the dragon, is bound and cast into the bottomless pit 1000 years. 3. Dragon bound 1000 years while the beast and false prophet are in the lake of fire. 4. Dragon loosed after 1000 years, beast and false prophet remained in the lake of fire. 5. Dragon was bound the first 1000 years, not as some alleged a second millennia, the beast did not arise from the lake of fire during or after the 1000 years. Only interested in the truth.
A Backward Look to Find the Truth The literal return of Jesus Christ and His armies on white horses. This is after the rejoicing because of the judgement of the great whore in chapter 18. We will look back to see the treading of the winepress and the great supper. Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev 19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; Rev 19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. Some have gone so far as to say Rev 19:19-21& 17:14 says that the beast made war allied with the one on the horse, instead of against. But the bible says the beast was taken, not the whore. The time frame is the destruction of the beast and false prophet, not the whore of Rev 17 & 18, the mark of the beast was in effect before this time, and this is before the 1000 years of Rev 20. Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. Looking backward to Rev 17:8-15, we can see that this is the same one called “The Beast” that was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, by the Lamb in Rev 19:20. Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. A look farther back in Rev 16:10-16 finds the beast and false prophet gathering the armies that will join the Beast confederation to a place called Armageddon where their armies were to be overcome by the Lamb. Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. In Rev 16:10-12 the beast and his kingdom are the ones that will not repent and are suffering the wrath of the vials, not the whore. Rev 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, Rev 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. Rev 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. They are the ones who have shed the blood of the saints, that are being punished at this time, not the people of Israel. Rev 16:4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. Rev 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. Rev 16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. Here again in Rev 16:1-3 we see the punishment upon the people with the mark and in association with the beast. Rev 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. Rev 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image. Rev 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. Rev 15:1-2 shows us that the mark of the beast is in force before the vials, we can see the time frame of these chapters is right before this gathering in the place called Armageddon, where the grapes of wrath are trodden without the city. Rev 14:20. Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Rev 14:14-20 These then are the grapes gathered the 1600 furlongs and cast into the winepress of wrath, trodden without the city. Rev 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. Rev 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. Rev 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. Rev 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. Rev 14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Now we are all the way back to chapter 14 and we find we are still dealing with the time frame of the mark and that beast that is destroyed at Armageddon. The 144,000 that were sealed in chapter 7 are spoken of again at this time frame also. Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, Rev 14:10 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: Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever 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. Chapter 13 reveals to us that we are still dealing with the beast that is to implement the number system, old 666 himself. Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Chapter 12 shows the protection of the clean woman during this 42 month period. Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. The two witnesses of chapter 11 are killed by this same power, so I wonder if they are not witnessing during this same 1260 day time. Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. The Angel of chapter 10 announces that time is up, no more delay, the seven trumpet judgements are finishes and the vials are next. Rev 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, Rev 10:6 And swore by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: Seeing the 144,000 spoken of in chapter 14 are sealed in chapter 7, that makes the events in chapter 7 through chapter 14 and then even on to Armageddon and the destruction of the beast and false prophet, all in close to the same time frame. Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Now that we are dealing with the coming of the Lord in judgement against the whole world, not just Jerusalem, what kind of descriptive language would we expect to find when the bible describes His coming in judgement against the world except that used before, even in the Old Testament. So when do the events of chapter 4 through 6 and even on to Armageddon take place? According to the bible, is was after John’s day. Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. We have gone backwards in the book of Revelation to help find the truth that some are unable, or unwilling , to see by going forward. We have found that the whore judged is not Babylon or spiritual Sodom, but “Mystery Babylon” A city that sets on seven hills, according to Rev 17:18. What city is guilty of the blood of saints in our time? Although the whore is destroyed by the beast and his ten kings, the beast and his army are destroyed at Armageddon, not the whore, and the time frame for all the events appear to be at the end of the age we are living in. Although I am willing to be persuaded by the great effort by many people to fit this into the time frame of AD 70, I find that it just does not fit with history or what the bible says. We must go by the bible, everybody has a right to study scripture, but sooner or later we will find we need to get back to what the book says. Hope this is helpful.
Date: 05 Feb 2006
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