Revelation Notes

ã Copyright Ron Graff, 2000-2013

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The Revelation
- Outline
- Introduction & Part 1

- Part 2

- Part 3




Revived Roman Empire

New World Order



Mark of the Beast

False Prophets

One-World Religion


Image of the Beast

Olivet Discourse

Modern Technology

Mark of the Beast

Are you ready?

The End/
New Beginning
      3D.  Important Considerations of the Period  
               12:1-19:21 BLB
        1E.  The Role of Israel in The Tribulation
           12:1-18 BLB
          1F.  Birth of the Deliverer  12:1-6 BLB
            1G.  Purpose for Israel  12:1-2 BLB
            2G.  Plan of the Devil  12:3-4a BLB
            3G.  Protection of the Child  12:4b-6 BLB

1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.
4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days

It appears that most of this part of the vision had already taken place. Past events are given to set the scene for those which are still future.

The imagery of woman with sun and moon at her feet, and a crown with twelve stars, is reminiscent of Joseph's dream (Genesis 37:9-10), in which his father Jacob (Israel) and mother were seen as the Sun and Moon, and the twelve sons were seen as stars. Thus, the woman would be the nation of Israel, which, as a whole, longed for, and finally gave birth to the most special of all children, the Messiah.

The dragon is shown in verse 9 of this same chapter to be the Devil, or Satan. This chief opponent of God has many names and descriptions in the Bible, including Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), Beelzebul (Matthew 12:24-27), the old serpent (Revelation 20:2), and others. In the Bible the word "the" always precedes the word "Devil." This shows that it is actually not a proper name, but a title or description. It means "false witness," or "malicious accuser." The proper name "Satan" means "adversary."

The explanation for the seven heads and ten horns is given in chapter 17. They are seven world empires, starting in ancient human history, five of which had come and gone.(Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece), one of which existed at the time (Rome), and one which was still future.(17:10) The ten horns are "ten kings which have not yet received a kingdom" (17:12) who will reign with "the Beast" (Antichrist) for a short time. This means that the final world empire controlled by Satan will begin as an alliance of ten nations. The blasphemous names refer to the ungodly character of each of these world empires.

One third of the stars, which were cast out of heaven to the earth, may be a reference to the fall of the other evil angels when they were deceived by Satan. In Isaiah 14:12 Satan, acting as the power behind the king of Babylon, is said to have been cast down to earth. "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! "

Evil angels, or demons are also said to have been cast down into a pit....... The birth of our Savior, the Messiah, was the fulfillment of this part of the vision. He was the male child destined to rule the world with a rod of iron (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7). Satan desired to "devour" the child as soon as it was born. Historically, this was attempted by Herod the Great when he sent his soldiers to kill the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16).

Jesus ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12), thus fulfilling this vision that he was "snatched up to God."

The next portion may refer to the still future event of scattering Israel at the mid-point of the Tribulation. The time period for this is said to be 1260 days, which happens to be three and one half years of lunar months with 30 days each. (Notice "a time, times and half a time" in verse 14 below.) Three and one half years is exactly equal to the second half of the seven years of Tribulation when Israel will be driven underground. Many scholars believe that the ancient city of Petra will be the place prepared by God in the desert to protect fleeing Israel.

          2F.  Battle with the Devil  12:7-17 BLB
            1G.  War in Heaven  12:7-12 BLB
            2G.  War on Earth  12:13-17 BLB

7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
9 The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.
15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-- those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus

A war takes place in heaven. It is possible that this refers to the earlier part of this chapter when Satan and his demons had originally been cast down. However, it seems by the context of verses 10 through 12) more like a future celestial battle which seals his fate and enrages him because it leaves him with only a "little time."

In his anger, Satan will seek to exact revenge from Israel, the "woman." He tries to destroy her, but the earth opens its mouth to swallow the flood he sends. The flood might symbolize armies and weapons. Again, Petra, in modern Jordan, or some other hiding place will provide safety for them. He will then turn his wrath to persecution of other believers, identified here as "her offspring." These are some of the martyrs of this period.

        2E..  The Reign of the Unholy Trinity
             During  The  Tribulation  13:1-18 BLB
          1F.  The Dragon (Satan)  13:1, 2, 4 BLB
          2F.  The Despot (Antichrist)  13:1-10 BLB
            1G.  His Appearance  13:1-4 BLB
            2G.  His Actions  13:5-10 BLB
          3F.  The Deceiver (False Prophet)  
                  13:11-18 BLB
            1G.  His Person  13:11 BLB
               1H.  Like a Lamb
               2H.  Like a Dragon
            2G.  His Power  13:12-13 BLB
            3G.  His Purpose  13:14-18 BLB

1 And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

The dragon is the same as the one in the previous chapter, which has already been identified as Satan (12:9). The beast coming out of the sea is separate from the dragon. The sea in may be symbolic of many people, as in chapter 20, verse 8. As seen in the later verses of this chapter, this beast is actually Antichrist because he derives his power from Satan, requires people to worship him, and institutes economic dictatorship over the entire earth. The word "beast" means a ferocious animal. It is symbolic of the character of the Antichrist. In chapter 6, verse 1 he was introduced as a rider on a white horse. When he is first revealed he is seen as a powerful deliverer from the problems of the world. By the time he institutes his ultimate control over the earth he is seen a dangerous, bloodthirsty animal.

As shown in the previous article, the explanation for the seven heads and ten horns is given in chapter 17. They are seven world empires, starting in ancient human history, five of which had come and gone.(Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece), one of which existed at the time (Rome), and one which was still future.(17:10) The ten horns are "ten kings which have not yet received a kingdom" (17:12) who will reign with "the Beast" (Antichrist) for a short time. This means that the final World Empire controlled by Satan will begin as an alliance of ten member nations. The blasphemous names refer to the ungodly character of each of these world empires.

2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

The Prophet Daniel himself also had a vision about a succession of empires which were described as a lion, a bear, a leopard, and an indescribable, frightening beast with iron teeth. (Daniel 7:1-7). These empires are exactly parallel to the ones in Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel, chapter 2). They therefore represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The beast in Revelation 13 has characteristics of the first three of these empires, symbolized in reverse order by the leopard, the bear, and the lion. With the power granted to him by Satan, he epitomizes the cruel conquering power of Rome, the last of the world empires to date. Antichrist's career during The Tribulation Period will undoubtedly fulfill the nightmarish prophecies of the rest of Daniel's vision (Daniel 7:8-11,19-26).

3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

There are two ways this prophecy might be fulfilled. The first is the most direct, since the fatal wound was on one of the seven heads. The sixth head represents Rome, which ceased to exist as a world empire in AD 476 when conquered by the German chieftain Odoacer. In that sense, the sixth head suffered a fatal wound, and will be miraculously brought back to life by the emergence of Antichrist's world empire of the last days. One problem with this view is that all the previous empires also ceased to exist. Thus they all suffered a fatal wound, but only this one will come back to life.

The other possible fulfillment is that Antichrist himself will receive a "fatal" wound to his head and then be "healed." Since he is a false Christ, perhaps he will even imitate Jesus in the all-important matter of resurrection. If this is the meaning, it is interesting to notice that the wording of the prophecy is not "raised from the dead" but that "the fatal wound had been healed," possibly meaning that his "death" was temporary, and medical means were used to restore his life. In our times, many people experience death (indicated by a flat line monitoring brain activity), but are brought back by restarting their hearts. Others are having their bodies frozen as soon as they die in special cryogenic solutions in the hopes that science will someday discover a way to revive them and then heal them of their deadly diseases.

4 Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"

Satan has always desired to be worshipped (Isaiah 14:12-14 and Matthew 4:8-11). Antichrist, who is energized by Satan will also crave worship. This becomes even clearer later in this passage

5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.
6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

These descriptions of Antichrist are strikingly similar to those given in Daniel 7, as noted above. In that passage he is described as speaking boastfully (Daniel 7:8), and waging war against the Saints (Daniel 7:21). In addition, it is said that, "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time." (Daniel 7:25). "A time, times, and half a time" could be interpreted as 31/2 "times" or years, which is exactly the same as the forty-two months of Revelation 13:5!

8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
9 He who has an ear, let him hear.
10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

During the second half of The Tribulation, also known as The Great Tribulation, anyone who wants to survive will be forced to worship the beast. The sign of this worship is given below. It is the Mark of The Beast. True Christians during the period will not worship him, nor will they accept the mark. Because of this, believers will be driven underground, and if they are found they will be captured and put to death. These believers' names are written in the Book of Life. Those who will worship Antichrist do not have their names written in this book.

11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a Lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.
12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.
13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.

This third person of the unholy trinity, is symbolized by horns of a lamb, showing his religious affiliation, and a voice like a dragon, indicating his Satanic empowerment. He is often referred to as the False Prophet, because of his apparent religiosity and ability to perform miraculous signs like the prophets of old. His role is to convince people to worship the first beast, Antichrist. He may well be the personal head of the apostate one-world religion of that future time .

14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

This image of Antichrist corresponds directly to the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27) when Antichrist breaks the seven year covenant with Israel and sets up an image in the Temple. This, of course, is also in complete agreement with the timing mentioned above, leaving exactly the three and one half years of the Great Tribulation. Jesus also mentioned this event in His description of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15 ff). A speaking image could be the product of animation technologies, holography, genetic engineering, virtual reality, or a supernatural phenomenon.

This False Prophet has supernatural powers, obviously granted to him by Satan, like Pharaoh's magicians in the days of Moses who were able to mimic some of Moses' miracles (Exodus 7:11) and the first two of the Ten Plagues (Exodus 7:22; 8:7; 8:18). He uses this power to make this horrific image breathe and talk. None of his powers should be construed to actually give life, which only God can do, but to deceive people into thinking that he could do so -- first by raising ('healing") Antichrist's wound, and then by making the image appear to be alive. This trick may be more than our modern technologies of animation and holography, but it is a deception just the same.

16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,
17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

This is the heart of Antichrist's plan for economic dictatorship. The technologies are in widespread use now which will enable him to institute a cashless society and literally control the privilege of buying and selling world-wide.

We can not know who Antichrist is until he is revealed, after the Restrainer (The Holy Spirit) is no longer holding back sin (2 Thessalonians 2:1-11). But those who are alive during this period should be able to recognize him in a number of ways. Certainly by the time he sets up the Abomination of Desolation, everyone who knows the Bible will know who he is. But before that, while he appears to offer a wonderful solution to the world's problems, various numbering systems will be in use, and by one of these, Antichrist's own number should be 666. Using various numbering systems, several interesting possibilities can already be identified.

Notice that the number is to be placed on the right hand or on the forehead. This is an obvious, external symbol of compliance - even of worship - of Antichrist. It is not an invisible tattoo or an implanted transponders chip implants, even though these things might also be employed to make all of this possible.

It is also interesting that the number is not the number of each subject who receives it, but Antichrist's own number, or, optionally, his very name! Surely each subject will also have his own number, whether that is on a card, a tattoo, or an implanted device, but this actual Mark of The Beast is his name or number, a proof that the subject has agreed to worship him!

        3E.  The Redemption of the 144000 
                During The Tribulation  14:1-5 BLB

1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

The 144000 sealed servants of the Lord appear again here. They were first mentioned in Revelation 7:4 where it was said that 12,000 of them were chosen from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. As explained above in the section on The Seven Seals, Jewish believers during the Tribulation period will trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Messiah. The purpose of their sealing was not specifically stated, but it may be that their role will be to share the Gospel freely without being killed for their testimony.

They are probably the ones in Revelation 9:4 who are not harmed by the demonic plague of the locusts with scorpion's stings.

In this passage they are seen with Jesus Christ on Mount Zion, pure and victorious, and singing a special song that was just for them to know.

        4E.  The Reports from Heaven During The 
                Tribulation  14:6-13 BLB
          1F.  The First Message  14:6-7 BLB
          2F.  The Second Message  14:8 BLB
          3F.  The Third Message - 14:9-12 BLB
          4F.  The Fourth Message  14:13 BLB

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-- to every nation, tribe, language and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
8 A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,
10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Chapters 14 and 15 look heavenward again, once more assuring the reader that God is in control. First, there are reports or announcements from Heaven. These announcements are delivered by angels. Then there are explanations about the coming judgment of the beast (Antichrist), the False Prophet, and the Earth itself.

The announcements are given to all the people on the earth. In the midst of all the bad news, they deliver the Gospel, the "good news" of salvation in Jesus Christ. None will be able to say that they did not know God's will during this time of turmoil.

When God's Word speaks about the differences between people, it does not speak of "races" as we often do today, because we are all one race: the Human Race. Instead, God sees us divided by nations (Greek ethnos) or cultures, tribes, languages, and people (Greek laos).
The four messages are:

1) to fear God the Creator, and give Him glory because His judgments are about to be unleashed,
2) that Babylon, the evil world system is collapsing,
3) that all who accept the Mark of the Beast will suffer eternal punishment, and
4) the martyrs of the period will be blessed.

        5E.  Reaping of Judgment During The 
              Tribulation  14:14-19:21 BLB
          1F.  Judgment of Non-believers  14:14-20 BLB
            1G.  The Conqueror  14:14 BLB
            2G.  The Conquest  14:15-20 BLB

14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."
16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe."
19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath.
20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

This is the final signal from above that the time is right for the judgment of the Earth to begin. First we see the Conqueror: the one seated on a white cloud, coming with a sharp sickle, the special cutting and gathering tool of the harvest. This is a heavenly preview of Christ's coming from the sky, riding a white horse in Revelation 19:11-16. He will come as judge and executioner at that time to fight the Battle of Armageddon with the same result as in this passage: total destruction of his evil enemies.

The conquest is portrayed as the harvest of grapes. In one quick motion, this reaper will cut off the grapes from the vine of the earth and throw them into the winepress of God's "grapes of wrath". In the nineteenth chapter, where this harvest is accomplished, Jesus Christ, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, uses a sharp knife from His mouth to "tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty." (verse 15). The unbelievable carnage of that battle is depicted figuratively as a stream of blood as high as a horse's bridle, and extending the length of 1600 stadia. Each stadion would be approximately 600 feet, the length of a stadium or race track.


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