Friday, July 25, 2014

Epilogue of our Nation [part one] ...

When the majority is mistaken, when zeal replaces reason, when pride rules the day, there can be only one course and those who do not agree with it must be put down.  Control has always been the illusion men deceive themselves into thinking they have.  Control over self.  Control over others.  Control over their surroundings.  But control is a myth, for surely if it was not, there would be no death, or pain, or sorrow.  At the end of all things, the final seven last plagues that fall upon the earth are a literal demonstration to mankind that control has never, and will never, belong to us.  We have always been at the mercy of forces beyond our control.  Those who are bound to the slavery of self-service and self-love are completely unable to break their chains.  Those who follow Jesus Christ and trust alone in Him for their salvation realize just how fully dependent they must be on Christ, for their salvation will come in no other way.  In either case, man has no control; he is subject, a slave to himself, or set free by a power beyond himself.  Yet pride gives birth to the idea that control can still be exerted by the majority over the minority, particularly when the scales and the numbers look very attractive.  Surely the deaths of a very small subset of the populace are worth the preservation of the whole.  This thinking is boosted to near frenzy when combined with the notion that religious purity demands it – in effect that God requires the lives of these un-repentant sinners in order that His righteous anger might be dissuaded.
It is to this state of thinking that our nation is destined to fall.  Not only are we prophesied to adopt this line of thinking, but further we are to lead the world in adopting it as well.  The lamb-like creature is to speak as the dragon.  The third beast raised by the dragon, owes its power and allegiance to the dragon, it is no less guilty, and no less participatory in the plans of the dragon, than was the second beast who preceded it in the dark ages.  But knowledge and enlightenment are not insurance against fundamentalism that would seek to compel the conscience of others, and kill those who would continue to dissent.  It is all too easy to blame the “dark ages” for the disposition of the Catholic Church during these periods of time, rather than to rightly assess, it is the darkness in the nature of man that is truly responsible.  That darkness brought about by self-love and the pursuit of control over others has never abated, it has only grown stronger over time.  It was not the darkness of the age that caused the church of Christ to forsake its Lord and become an agent of blasphemy and absolute power.  Nor will it be some set of calamities that cause our nation to adopt a policy of “comply or die”.  It is the nature of carnal man to indulge himself at the expense of others, and without hope of relief from the full submission to Jesus Christ, this dark nature only expands, grows, and eventually consumes the human soul. 
The Catholic church could have been a universal beacon of light from which the gospel reached the entire world.  Had it forsaken the ideas of wealth, control, and equality with God, and only focused on charity, love, and service for God – the world would have been a different place.  There would have been no need for deaths committed in the name of God.  There would have been no corruption that inspired the birth of Islam and the need to purge the infidels from the world.  Instead there might have been only the universal message of Christ that we should love each other, sacrifice for each other, and submit only to Jesus Christ to find ourselves made free from the slavery of sin and self-service.  But alas, full submission to Christ was not achieved, and the darkness of the nature of man, infected the church, and the organization became the tool of the dragon.  A second beast was raised out of an entity that should have been a beacon of light.  Would that history did not repeat itself, but it did.
Our nation was birthed in nobility and with the purpose of protecting the woman, of protecting the church and followers of Christ by allowing them sanctuary to worship as they chose in a new land with a new form of government.  We were to be the light on the hill.  Our ideas of religious freedom were more closely aligned to our God, than any nation had considered since the founding of the world.  While we protected those freedoms and guarded the privacy of every man and every citizen, we were the pinnacle of enlightenment.  But over time, we have lost our luster, we have corrupted our ideals, we have followed the course of the beast that preceded us, and our darker nature has now replaced freedom with compliance.  To achieve security, we have sacrificed liberty.  To maintain control, we have sought to force the individual to comply with the majority view, whether it is right or wrong.  Babylon was the head of gold in the dreams of worldly kingdoms yet to come, given to Nebuchadnezzar all those years ago.  It was the head.  It was made of purest gold.  It was the greatest kingdom to rule the world where God’s people would reside.  The world has not seen it’s like since.
In the book of his revelations of Jesus Christ, John writes now the epilogue, the epitaph of Babylon.  Not the original kingdom of Babylon belonging to Nebuchadnezzar all those years ago, but to the kingdom and nation we founded and occupy today.  Babylon reborn.  The kingdom of enlightenment, of wealth, of power, of origins with purpose and meaning.  But we were not to remain in this state.  We are to fall, and our descent has already begun.  John begins our epilogue in chapter 18 and verse 1 saying … “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”  John was recently conversing with an angel who carried one of the plagues in the previous chapter about the fate of the woman or false church, and how God has judged the counterfeit ideas of Satan that have infected all the religions of the world.  In this chapter the revelation is now given as to the fate of nations and the union of church and state.  The angel comes to earth, likely timed to be prior to the events only recently described, with a message.  His countenance lightens the earth.
John continues in verse 2 saying … “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”  This is a repetition of the message of the third angel described in an earlier sequence of seven.  It is a declaration of the state of Babylon.  It is a repeat of the lament that Babylon has fallen.  The sadness over the fall of Babylon remains.  This is not joyful news in the heavenly courts; for our original purpose and ideals have become corrupted, and our state of falling is not welcome news to our loving God.  But where earlier the message was not as specific as to how bad we have become, this message continues with an enumeration of exactly what our state is.  Our nation, the United States, has become the habitation of devils.  Many people unhappy with our nation’s policies or Presidents draw horns on their pictures.  They attempt to portray Obama, or Bush, or Cheney, or the latest political figure of the day as a devil.  But the reality is that the “devil” is in the hearts of our citizenry.  It is in the pulpits of our churches, and at the center of our ideology that would seek to force sinners to comply with our ideas of morality.
We have become the hold over “every” foul spirit.  Our sins are limited to only one type, or two, but we have embraced them all.  Instead of being a beacon of light and love, we are a “cage” of every unclean and “hateful” bird.  We are trapped by our lack of love and charity.  We are imprisoned by our slavery to self-service and self-love.  We have not embraced the freedom Jesus Christ alone can provide.  Instead we have “blended” into our salvation a certainty of self-reliance, and as a result our partnership with God has failed.  We remain trapped by our unrelenting sins.  We have sought the “balance” of loving self with loving others, and found the scales have only tipped one way.  We are now identified as “hateful”.  Those placards carried by people borrowing the name of Christ, contain nothing but “hate” speech.  They shriek their slogans of hate and reproof at those in the greatest need of love and support. We judge those who are different than us as being of less value to God than us, and therefore seek to blast their unrepentant nature with the shrill hate speech of our own unrepentant and hateful nature.
John continues in verse 3 … “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”  What price is your soul worth?  The wealth of Babylon is great.  Our currency is the strongest and sets the standard around the world.  But to become enriched by Babylon, you must abide by the rules of commerce with Babylon.  You must do what is expedient, not what is right.  You must be willing to be “flexible” with your ideas of morality, so that risks are managed, and wealth is increased.  If the needs of the poor are to be sacrificed for those of the wealthy, so be it.  The nations of the earth have embraced the ideas of self-reliance propagated by the American Dream.  The notion of a full dependence on Christ for salvation, stands opposed to the ideals of hard work to earn the rewards you are entitled to.  Our version of Christianity descends from our mother.  We are the daughters of harlotry, and taken up the trade of harlotry in our own churches.  We seek “financial security” within our churches with those who succeed finding themselves in wealth.  In order to safeguard that wealth, we turn to politics to attempt to exert control.  For our wealth must be guarded against at all costs.  The idea of sharing it, or divesting ourselves entirely from it, is a foreign notion that never enters our hearts.
John continues in verse 4 writing … “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”  Again the timing is set, the seven last plagues are about to fall.  The message is one of warning.  Come out of her my people.  We are to leave the ideas of self-reliance behind and embrace only our salvation from Jesus Christ alone.  We are to leave our sins behind us, as His redemptive love re-creates who we are from the inside out.  He remakes what we want, how we think, and most importantly how we love others.  No more should a hateful placard tarnish our hands, or poison our lips.  No more should we see those unrepentant sinners as deserving of death, but rather as they truly are, in immense pain and in great need of relief that only a loving Savior can offer.  We do not need to remind them of their pain, but instead to point them to the only source of relief from it.  We must allow our Lord Jesus Christ, to expel the devil from within our hearts, remove the hold over every foul spirit, and change our hateful shrieking nature into one of quiet humility and unrestricted love without conditions or limits for those we encounter.  In this way, we will leave behind the Babylon that has fallen.  In this way we will avoid the plagues that are to be poured out upon the evil in this world.
A physical exodus from the U.S. to other countries is not a recipe to avoid the wrath of God.  Taking an unchanged heart up to Canada, down to Mexico, or across the sea to Europe does nothing to alter who we are.  We arrive on foreign shores, the same corrupt person we were in the U.S..  The leaving of Babylon is not about relocation to a better country.  It is about a relocation of the heart, from a state of sin and self-reliance, to a state of full submission to Jesus Christ.  Simply to emigrate out of the country does nothing to change the sin that will travel in our hearts as we go.  It is akin to refusing to own a television, because so much of the programming on television is not morally acceptable.  Not having a TV, does not change the heart or nature of men.  If we are still filled with pride, or lust, or arrogance, the fact that we do not witness these traits in our media does not mean our hearts are absent of them.  Life is not about reducing our opportunities to sin.  Salvation is about a fundamental change in how we think, and what we want, so that we are freed from our sins entirely.  After that, what we watch on TV reflects what we are interested in.  We do not avoid bad programming by putting the TV on the curb, we avoid bad programming by changing the channel to something uplifting, or because we are too busy with loving others to have time to watch at all.  The desire is what must be changed, not the venue for its expression.
John continues in verse 5 saying … “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. [verse 6] Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.”  And here is the heart of the matter, without a full submission to Jesus Christ, our sins stack up all the way to heaven.  What is about to be unleashed by our God, is a removal of His protective hand.  The consequences of the sins we commit are often shielded from us, by a loving God, who is still hoping and working for us to come to Him and be made free from them.  But alas, the time is coming when our continual refusal to submit and be made free is going to be honored for all time.  Our choice to remain in bondage to self, allowed.  The consequences of the pain we inflict on ourselves and on others is about to have the shields taken off.  And the effects of our sins are about to be put upon us in full effect.  We will see a doubling of the pain our sins cause, not because we are punished by God, but because we have refused to allow God to shield us from our choices.
John continues in verse 7 … “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. [verse 8] Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”  Here is the fate of the counterfeit.  Here is the fate of those bound in slavery to self.  Self-deception is the first hallmark of the kingdom of Satan.  Lives lived in the pursuit of wealth that can be lavished on self.  Lives modeled after royalty where all are destined to serve me, and I am destined to serve no one.  “She”, the false churches who bear the name of Christ but have abandoned His transforming love, states openly “I sit a queen”.  She further states “I am no widow”.  The blending of self-reliance into Christianity in the process of our salvation has so corrupted the heart, that we are blind to who we remain, and the sin we cling to.  But self-assessments of our grandeur, do nothing to deter the destruction God is about to permit to come upon us.  Our consequences are no more to be shielded, but instead to be revealed.  And the further judgments of God upon evil are about to be poured out.  Death, mourning, famine, and destruction from fire are on the horizon.  Wealth, ease, and a royal lifestyle are about to come crumbling down.  The kingdoms built upon the misery of the poor are about to be exploded.
And the lamentations over the fall of Babylon are about to begin …

Friday, July 18, 2014

Epilogue of a Woman ...

 The seeds of a counterfeit are planted early.  They require careful attention to detail.  They must emulate the original thing they impersonate as much as is possible in order to be believed.  People want the original, and will only accept the counterfeit if it cannot be perceived to be what it is, a counterfeit.  So the lie must look as much like the truth as it can.  Mix the lie with elements of the truth and it becomes harder to distinguish.  In heaven “Love” reigns supreme.  “Love” is the reason, the motivation, the means, the method for salvation, perfection, and fulfillment of life and existence itself.  Lucifer took what was holy and perfect and made only one slight alteration; he altered “Love” for others, into “Love” for self.  It was still “Love” after all.  How could that little change be so bad?  Why would God counsel him not to pursue a love of self?  Was God trying to hoard all the “Love” for Himself and not share any with anyone else?  They all loved God, why was it so bad that they should choose to love themselves as well?  What kind of God would deny them, the love for self, that they were surely due, that they had surely earned?  A conflict of ideas had been born.  There was no supporting evidence, other than “God’s words” that the new idea was somehow going to be bad.  And why should a “selfish” God, who appears to only be hoarding all the love, be believed anyway?  This was perfection right?  How could altering something perfect turn out bad, and what was bad anyway?
But a counterfeit is always a counterfeit.  It does not perform to the specifications of the original, for by definition, it cannot.  A counterfeit might appear to look like the original, it may function much like the original, but in the end, it cannot be anything other than what it is, a counterfeit.  The alteration of Lucifer, the transformation of “Love” for others, into “Love” of self, proved the definition of evil itself.  His counterfeit quickly degenerated into the defining of the entire opposite of the word “Love” in any way.  Instead he had only defined “Selfishness”.  Self cares only about self.  But Self cannot find enough to make it happy.  Happiness can be found only in loving others, not loving self.  So the counterfeit of Lucifer, now Satan, must be covered up, and masked.  He could not market the pure love of self without quickly revealing where it leads.  So he markets a “blend” of love of self, and love of others.  Satan proposes that we must love ourselves first, in order to sustain ourselves, and insure our survival and dignity.  Once that is achieved, we should also love those who are closest to us.  We should love those who love us, and provide a support system to us that makes us happy.  We should do things for them to show them we love them, as long as they are doing things for us, and it is “balanced”.  BUT, should the balance ever appear to be one-sided, our love of self dictates that we move on, and find someone else to love, someone who will love us in a more “balanced” way.
And so the counterfeit does not perform as the original, it brings a facsimile of happiness, that might last for a moment, but it does not bring the long lasting, deeply fulfilling happiness that the original intended.  But the idea of “blending” truth with error, of “balancing” love of self with love for others, continues to make the counterfeit appear like the original.  So a counterfeit religion is launched to compete with the true religion of God.  The counterfeit will have many varieties, many names, many alternative theories, deities, and ideologies – but at its heart – it will have only one central premise; the idea that self and love of self must play an active role in the achievement of perfection.  Self-reliance, whether by words, or deeds, will be the cornerstone of every counterfeit religion that will emerge on planet earth.  Even within Christianity, the ideas that our salvation is a “partnership” with God, or that our salvation is somehow dependent upon “us” will come to be the majority view within every church.  The ideas that salvation is a pure gift, will be augmented by a “then what?” strategy that leads the believer to determine that his own actions following his declaration for Christ, are what save or lose him his own salvation.  The insidious idea is to immediately cut off the new Christian from a dependence upon Christ, and instill the need for him to save himself and perfect himself now that he is a Christian.
So the counterfeits of self-reliance and the balance of self-love, are not new ideas, but seeds planted long ago by the master of lies.  They have given rise to many false churches and false religions all through time.  And over time, they have infected the church of Christ, until what was formerly the church of Christ becomes indistinguishable from the church of Satan and Self.  Satan is far too smart to eliminate the “name” of Christ from His own church.  Instead he simply eliminates the power of Christ from eliminating sins.  Satan offers us our own beautiful self to eliminate sin, gradually over time, as we read the word, and forget the role of its Author.  Satan skillfully teaches us the role of “self” in our salvation; never that it is only self, but always that self cannot be eliminated from salvation.  And so through insidious ideas of balance and partnership, we become content to rely upon grace to save us in spite of our sins, instead of a dependence on grace to change us from within to the point where we no longer wish to commit those sins.  We remain content with the idea that sins are a part of who we are.  For self is inextricable from sin.  The counterfeit can never actually do what only the original can do.
And herein is the mystery: if the original is free, why would we choose to pay so high a price in pain, suffering, and death for the counterfeit?  If the love of self can be demonstrated to never fulfill us, and bring us only inevitable misery, why would we choose to remain its slave, if there is a free alternative?  In short, why freely choose to die, when life is so easy to choose instead?  It is the mystery of addiction.  It is the mystery of self-destruction.  It is the mystery of sin.  It makes no sense.  It is a counterfeit that is empty of meaning.  For when once the love of self is embraced over the love of others, what was perfect becomes the definition of evil, what was free becomes a slave that can no longer ever save itself. 
In order for the slavery of the love of self to be broken, it will require a Savior, something outside of self, to see us made free from self.  This is no partnership.  This is a purely an external action and mission.  It will be done FOR us, not by us, or it will never happen at all.  We will have no role in our own salvation, except to embrace it, accept it, and allow it to occur.  We only need to choose it, and then let Christ do it within us.  We will take no actions that see it done.  We will be no partner in the demise of our sin.  And we will be left with ZERO love of self, when the process completes, because it is the love of self in any amount that is the source of all evil.  The pure love of others, without attempts at “balance”, and with no consideration for how others love us, is all that remains in the salvation our God brings to us.  The original will see us free to love, free to live, and happy beyond our imagination in both.  To choose to remain slave to misery and death becomes a mystery no sentient life can understand.
So after the climactic events of the series of seven are largely over, in the aftermath, an epilogue of revelations are presented.  John has just revealed in chapter 16 the final seven last plagues that have befallen the world.  Evil has met its first rewards.  And in the aftermath of so great the destruction and consequences of sins, of counterfeits, of “balance” between love of self and love of others, an angel who carried one of the plagues upon the world takes time to come to John to reveal what has befallen the counterfeit religions Satan has given rise to. 
He begins in Revelations chapter 17 and verse 1 saying … “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: [verse 2] With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”  Throughout the book of Revelations, the image of a woman has always aligned with a church.  In this case, the “great whore” has been fully unfaithful to the idea of a singular belief in Jesus Christ alone as the method of our salvation.  Instead the whore has sought to blend any other ideas into the process of salvation. The counterfeit has been successful if measured by the sheer number of people who embraced her ideas of mixture and self-reliance, even within Christianity.  So the angel begins the epilogue of what happens to these ideas, and how they were to be judged by God in the end of all things. 
He continues in verse 3 … “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”  First, notice that what appears to John are two distinct entities, the first is a woman.  The second is a scarlet colored beast.  It is the beast who is full of names of blasphemy.  It is the beast who has seven heads, and ten horns.  This is the beast described earlier, the second beast (after the dragon), which first gave rise in the dark ages.  The woman, or great whore, or false church, rides upon this second beast.  John continues in verse 4 … “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:”  This woman is no pauper, she has not given away all her wealth to others so as to make her poor.  She retains her wealth and puts it on display, in opulence, in public without shame or embarrassment at its lavish extreme.  She wears the finest clothing, and decks it with the finest in jewels and precious gems.  She also carries a golden cup and its contents are described as abominations and filthiness of her fornication, a substance of perversion one would not wish to explain to children.
John continues in verse 5 … “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”  Three named elements are offered that describe this woman, this false church.  First is MYSTERY; the mystery of sin.  From the perspective of unfallen beings, of sentient life who have never known the slavery of self-love, it is pure mystery to them why anyone would choose this course.  Those who never broken trust with God, do not understand why anyone would.  It is plain to see, what happens when someone breaks trust with God, when someone chooses to trust themselves and their own wisdom and common sense, instead of trusting in God.  This is why Lucifer pursued a course he was counseled against.  And once embraced, he degenerated from Lucifer to Satan.  Self-love has led to the genesis of evil, of pain, and of death, even requiring the life of the creator.  There is nothing compelling about it.  It is mystery why anyone would ever freely choose it.
The second name assigned to this false church is BABYLON THE GREAT.  In this context, the false doctrines of the church are inextricably married with the power of the state.  In this context, the compulsion of the conscience is born and carried to its logical extremes.  There will be no dissent in the church of Satan, no reliance on Christ; reliance on anything else is fine, just not on Christ.  Those who would choose to rely solely upon Christ for salvation would find it; therefore they must be exterminated by the power of the state.  Babylon has the power to do just that.  Babylon was a universal power, not bound by the limits of any one government, but infected in all of them.  There will be no free will, no power of choice in this false religion.  There will be only slavery to its edicts and its power.  Any dissent will find only martyrdom.  The power of the state will back the false ideas of these religions, even the ones who bear the name of Christ, but have no idea what it means to love.
The third name of this false church is THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  One false Christian church the original Catholic one, did not end alone in its false ideologies and adoption of self-reliance.  Instead it gave birth to other Harlots.  What emerged from the reformation and great protestant movement no more stayed purely aligned with their roots, as did the Catholic Church from the apostles who first gave it the light.  Over time, corruption entered the doors of the protestant faiths until they too adopted the ideas of “balance” and “self-reliance” in the method of our salvation.  In the times of the end, it is not just the mother of harlots that aligns herself with the power of the state to enforce her edicts over the conscience of men; it is her many harlot daughters who are equally content to do the same.  It can no longer be blamed on the Popes of the past or future who alone are thought to be responsible for what will transpire; for every protestant faith will also bear its share of blame in the coming woe.  None are exempt from the idea of using the law to enforce the ideas and edicts of men over the simple individual following of Jesus Christ alone.
The abomination of the compulsion of conscience is no longer reserved only to the mother church; it is shared by those who she gave birth to.  And it is not just one abomination that exists because of this woman, it is many.  She lies.  She thinks herself equal to God.  She kills those who dissent.  She persecutes and tries to force those who are weak in their beliefs to acquiesce to her demands.  She offers them sex, and perversion, and momentary pleasures that come from a whore, instead of the wholesome monogamy and intimacy that Christ would have desired for them.  She collects the fruit of her sexual promiscuity in her golden cup, and puts it on display proudly without shame or remorse.  She is content to be the mother of harlots.  She is content to be the purveyor of abominations upon the earth.  She has no shame, but much pride.
John continues in verse 6 … “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”  The first part of this text concludes the imagery associated with the false church, this woman of harlotry and now murder.  The woman is drunken.  The blood of the saints and martyrs for following Jesus Christ alone and not adhering to the edicts of men has not only been shed, it is has been drunk.  She has become inebriated with their blood, happy, giddy, joyful, relaxed, and engorged with the blood of those who follow Christ.  Murder is not a thing of disdain, or something to be avoided, it is to be embraced by her. 
Lest you believe you are immune to this kind of thinking, consider your own level of acceptance in embracing the ideas that to keep your faith pure, how many would you allow to die?  How many would you kill yourself, or allow others to kill for you, in order to preserve your church, your doctrines, your ideas.  Or how many “sinners” who remain unrepentant would you wish to see die?  How many homosexuals, or pregnant mothers heading into the abortion clinic, or atheists, or Satanists, or militant Christians carrying placards filled with hate speech, would you take pleasure in seeing meet their early demise?  The false churches take pleasure in these things.  The woman becomes drunk on blood.  Sure we could argue she is drunk on the blood of saints and martyrs not sinners.  But then which saint was not also a sinner?  Which of us was perfect from birth?  Who of us, did not require the intervention of Christ in order to think differently, love differently, and become someone else?  We have all sinned, we all need a Savior, and as such we are all sinners, and all re-created saints.  It is our blood this woman seeks.  Do you find yourself aligned with the ideas of seeking blood, or of redeeming it?
In the second part of this passage John states “when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”  John does not imply that he admires the whore for her grandeur, beauty, and wealth.  His admiration is in the mystery of her imagery and who she is.  It is a great mystery to him as to her identity.  He cannot immediately figure it out.  So this is the situation, the angel will rectify.  He continues in verse 7 saying … “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”  John being overwhelmed at the imagery presented was not the intent of this epilogue.  So the angel intends to decode the imagery so that John will understand better who she is, who the beast is, and what these things mean.  For the point of this epilogue is to understand what happens to the counterfeit and why the original is so much better.
The angel begins in verse 8 saying … “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.”  The angel begins first with the beast.  The life cycle of the beast is first described.  The beast was, and is not.  Meaning the beast existed for a time and was powerful for a time, but then it lost its power.  After that loss of power, the beast will ascend out of the bottomless pit.  So after the loss of power, it gains again in influence throughout the world.  But the end result of the beast remains constant, it will again go into perdition.  The ultimate end of this beast is to be consumed in the lake of fire.  Those who have not embraced the salvation of Jesus Christ alone, who find their names are not written in the book of life, will “wonder” after this beast.  They will marvel at its ability to have regained so much power and influence after having lost it earlier.  They will embrace the ideas of this beast. 
John continues in verse 9 … “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”  The angel here pretty much spells out to John in as clear a clue as possible, who this beast is, or rather where she is based.  The seven heads of the beast are the seven mountains, those where Rome is based.  The second beast has already been identified in previous chapters as the Papal power of the dark ages.  In this epilogue of false churches, the angel shows that when false ideas infect even a Christian church, it can become the tool of the enemy, the mother of harlots, and a beast raised by the dragon himself. 
Catholicism embraced using the power of the state to enact and enforce its edicts upon men.  Catholicism propagated the idea that one must have association in good standing within the church first, in order that salvation be achieved.  In that sense it made itself equal to Christ in the process of our salvation.  This beast carried power until the beheading of the Pope when its power was taken.  But Mussolini restored the Vatican city with its wealth and power back to the Roman church.  Since then it has only gained in power and influence around the world.  It is not the same persecuting entity it once was, but its underlying “blend” of actions required for salvation has never gone away.  Nor has the idea that church association in good standing is required as part of the process of our salvation.  Those who are not rooted in their salvation from Jesus Christ alone, have no problems with these ideas.  They see the charity and love of the current Pope as evidence that things have changed and the mixture of doctrines might not be so bad.  And in truth what the Pope espouses is not much different today than what any protestant church espouses, including your own.  Christian ideals are not a bad thing.  Love and charity are not a bad thing.  But to mask the idea that self continues to play a role in our salvation is the fundamental premise that turns a church of Christ, into a church of His enemy.  This is not a condemnation of Catholics, or Protestants, or sinners in general – it is an exposition by the angel of what constitutes the counterfeits Satan promulgates in ANY ideology.
John continues in verse 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. [verse 11] And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. [verse 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. [verse 13] These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”  Frankly little is understood from these passages.  The seven kings are often interpreted as the 7 powers that ruled the world affecting the people of God.  Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a blended United Nations style power (mixture of clay and iron described in the ten toes of the feet of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar to Daniel).  Five of them had fallen in the time of John, the sixth was in power then.  The ten kings which have received no power as of that time where John lived, could be interpreted as the members of the UN security council.  They are said to represent the great powers of this world in the current times.  The eighth kingdom, being connected with the previous seven, is a worldwide power and will exist in the light of the Mark of the third beast.  This is often interpreted as the kingdom of the antichrist, or the time when Satan has direct rule over the planet just prior to the return of Christ.
The idea of having the UN security council align itself with the image of the beast, and enact a worldwide series of edicts that restrict commerce unless the mark of the third beast is accepted is not that farfetched.  Keep in mind, the computer systems needed to run the finances of the world are already chiefly run by the United States today.  Should Satan impersonate the return of Christ, and Allah, and Buddha, and Ganesh, and the Messiah, how quickly might he align the nations of the world under a single banner with his leadership at its front.  The ideas of having a one-world-government, or having the ten powers of “one mind” in offering their allegiance to the beast under these conditions is quite predictable.  The most important characteristic here remains the same, it is the alignment of worldly powers of the state, to enforce the religious edicts of man to compel the conscience that is at issue.  Once these ideas have been accepted on a worldwide basis, the fate of the great whore will have been decided, and the false churches, even the ones bearing the name of Christ, will be sent into perdition.
John continues in verse 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.”  The Armageddon war to end all wars will be waged by these 10 powers, by this worldwide coalition against the Lamb, but they will not prevail.  The counterfeit cannot compete with the original.  The plagues recently described are to be poured out upon the evil in this world.  The false churches, even those who carry the name of Christ, will experience the results of those plagues.  It is not the name of Christ that will protect people from the final seven plagues, it is the following of Christ, the dependence upon Christ alone for our salvation, that will determine whether we are truly His, or only borrowing and blaspheming His name.  Those who by declaration, or by refusing a full surrender to Christ, have adopted the Mark of the Third Beast, will see firsthand the wrath of God’s judgments, the full consequences of their choices revealed in the final plagues upon evil in the world.  The angel revealing these things to John was one of those who carried these plagues.
John continues in verse 15 … “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  The ideas spread by all of the false churches of Satan are worldwide.  They are not constricted to a particular set of doctrines, or peoples, or geographies, but instead have infected the entire planet.  Religions who plainly deny the divinity of Christ share the same self-reliant ideas of salvation as those who do carry His name.  John continues in verse 16 … “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. [verse 17] For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”  If we interpret the ten horns as being the powers defined by the UN security council, then it would seem to indicate that religions who do not carry the name of Christ are to be hated and persecuted by these powers.  The kingdom of the beast (whether the second of Papal origin, or the third of likeminded Protestant origin) is to have the allegiance of the final 10 powers upon the world.  In short, those who do not unite under the banner of the antichrist and his impersonations of worldwide religious leaders are to feel the wrath of the 10 powers.  The compulsion of the conscience remains the key principle upon which all of this is based, and upon which the kingdom of Satan is founded.
John concludes this epilogue in verse 18 saying … “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”  The woman or false church remains aligned inextricably with the power of the state to rule over the kings of the earth.  Her fate was decided in the previous chapters.  Her identity was revealed in this one.  She is the counterfeit.  She is the seeds planted long ago.  She is the introduction of self-reliance into the process of our salvation and of our perfection that dominates the religions of the world, and has even infected the Christian religions as well.  She retains the altered ideas of balancing self-love with love for others.  She makes sense.  She is more logical, and more alluring.  The pleasure of self after all seems like quite a wondrous thing.  But she is a lie.  She is a mystery of choosing death over life, of choosing pain over happiness and contentment, of choosing slavery over real freedom. 
The angel who carried one of the final plagues upon this world takes time to speak to John, so that he will see the fate of the counterfeit over the original.  He speaks to John, in the time of John, so that John is not seduced by the ideas of control and power that already infect the church of Rome who carries the name of Christ.  The seduction of self-reliance that leads to a quest for power, control, and wealth will inevitably take over the church with the name of Christ and turn it into the mother of harlots, so that no church carrying Jesus’ name will be immune to these counterfeit ideas.  All will succumb to the notion of compelling the conscience of others, and challenging their identity as followers of Jesus Christ alone.  The daughters of the harlot will be no better than their mother.  The abominations wreaked by these counterfeit ideas will lead to the destruction described earlier.  The union of church and state to enforce these religious compulsions will not end, until the return of King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But there is one more epilogue and epitaph to be written …

Friday, July 11, 2014

Armageddon ...

The last war begins.  It will have 2 great battles.  The first battle begins at the second coming of Jesus Christ, as He returns to earth triumphantly to bring home those of us who have waited to see Him for so so long.  The second battle will occur more than a thousand years later, as there is one final assault of the city of heaven itself.  The 2 opposing sides were defined years ago.  The 2 opposing ideas outlined at the birth of evil into the universe.  Love-of-self versus love-of-others; it is this opposition that gives rise to conflict.  Love of self has produced evil, pain, and death.  It has proven what the opposite of God is, what the opposite of love is, what the opposite of life is.  Those who broke trust with God, and embraced the love of self, have become slaves to this sickness they chose.  They are now powerless under its insatiable grip.  The hunger that cannot be filled will not be filled, and so death must be its only outcome.  The war which began in heaven has moved to earth.  It will wage its next battle here on earth where evil is destined to lose, as it was always destined to lose.  The defeat of evil is known by all those in the supernatural realm, but it is refused to be accepted.  Instead pain and death will only be magnified and intensified before evil meets its end.  So Armageddon has arrived.
Unlike the Bruce Willis movie, where he and Ben Affleck can through sacrifice save a planet filled with the “innocent” and those in need, the time for sacrifice is ended.  There is no one left who can call themselves “innocent”.  There is no one left who might repent and seek to be saved.  There are only those bent on destruction, and those who have already put their trust in the salvation of Jesus Christ.  The former can think of nothing more, no greater cause, then to murder the latter.  The servants of Christ suffer from failing memories, and facts defined in a history of sin.  We know we have sinned and rack ourselves trying to remember one that might not have been sought for forgiveness, but can find none.  It makes no sense to us.  We know ourselves to be sinners, yet standing to wait upon His return, His work of perfection has been completed within us, and we can remember no unpardoned sin anymore.  The real fact of our former human imperfection causes us great misery as we seek a perfection that has already been provided to us.  We wrestle as Jacob wrestled, without need, without purpose, the victory having already been provided.  The fear of who we were causes us great trouble, but the reality of His salvation within us speaks only of peace, and the anticipation of His return.
The six previous plagues have all led up to this moment, to these events.  The last great war, World War 3, begins not as humans feared, as a rivalry between nations over “more” – but as a continuation of the war in heaven, between good and evil, between those who bare the mark of the third beast, and the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who dares to do, what He has always promised to do.  The great day of the Lord, of His return has come.  And the sequence of seven begins to see its fulfillment.  It occurs in the days of the seventh Laodicean church as found in the beginning of this book of Revelations of Jesus Christ that John has written.  The seventh seal is now opened.  The seventh trumpet is now sounding.  And the seventh plague must now fall.  It is the destruction of the seventh plague that will leave the evil ones of this world dead for the next thousand years.  The work of the seventh angel will be to descend and bind Satan in chains to the isolation and destruction of this abandoned earth for the next thousand years while the followers of Christ have gone home with Him, and will review the books of Judgment in heavenly courts to see why those they knew or loved are not there in paradise with them.  The sequence of seven, of wholeness, of perfection is reaching its zenith.
John describes the scenes of Armageddon.  He details what the first battle plan in the last great war looks like.  Satan, the dragon, and the Beasts he has raised in his alliance, have through the power of demons and the impersonation of every deity and religious icon, have gathered fallen mankind to war in a place called in the Hebrew tongue “Armageddon”.  They stand ready to greet and war against the return of our Lord, though they are unaware of who they fight for, and who they fight against.  So deep is the blindness of those who have accepted the Mark of the Beast, that they can no longer tell Satan from Christ on any level.  Confusion, chaos, the hallmarks of sin and disorder, are on display as at no other time in the history of our world.  Six plagues have already fallen exactly like the scriptures predicted.  Those who refused the Mark of the Third Beast remain untouched, and unaffected.  They are shielded from the wrath of our God, because it is only to be poured out upon evil.  Yet despite the clear word of God in these Revelations, despite the reality of what has transpired, evil does what evil always does – it refuses to accept reality and seeks to redefine it.  Still suffering from grevious sores, thirst, scorching heat, and regional darkness, what is left of mankind seeks to war, to kill, to exert power over others.
So John describes the futility of evil and the start of its demise in chapter 16 of Revelations, beginning in verse 17 saying … “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.”  This plague begins with a declaration, a definitive utterance of simplicity and finality – it is done.  Before the enemy has time to engage a single member of his troops to war, the destiny of this battle has been announced from heaven itself, from the temple, from the throne – it is done.  This will not be a contest.  This will not be an exercise that can lead to victory for the forces aligned with evil – there will be only one victor, and He is returning from the throne room of heaven to what is left of this world.  The words those who follow Christ have so longed waited to hear have been said.  There is to be time no more.  Decisions were made well ahead of this declaration, fates were sealed well ahead of this.  This is not an arbitrary end to mercy and redemption offered by our God.  It is a recognition, that no mercy is being sought.  There are none left who are undecided, or in want of salvation.  There are only those who have been saved already, and those who wish never to be saved.  So the words it is done, reflect the reality of our world.
John continues in verse 18 saying … “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”  The passages we studied earlier in chapter 11 describing the blowing of the seventh trumpet are repeated here again.  There were voices, thunders, lightnings, and a great earthquake.  Perhaps only on that day will we know what the voices of the thunders are stating.  But this is to be no secret affair.  This is not a silent approach, where the enemy would not detect His coming.  Instead it is a very noisy affair.  In case you were able to sleep through the sights and sounds of the storm, the very ground will shake you from your slumber.  No one will be able to miss the end of all things.  No one will sleep through the end of the world, the final battle, the Armageddon of wars. 
John continues in verse 19 saying … “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. [verse 20] And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”  Here John identifies three separate entities that are impacted discreetly by the return of our Lord.  First John identifies a “great city” which is divided into three parts.  Perhaps this refers to Jerusalem given the idea that the final battle is believed to be centered in the Middle East.  Or perhaps this refers to Rome, as the Vatican is centered there and is one of the locations of the three Beasts the dragon has created in his alliance to compel the conscience of men.  The cities of the nation’s falling then may refer to the seats of the dragon where Christ was never a part of any religion still maintained.  And finally Babylon is called into remembrance before God.  While most would like to ascribe this image of Babylon to a religious entity, it has been better identified with a governmental one, namely with the United States, where the Mark of the Third Beast began.  When examining the United States as its fulfillment, the following passage carries even more meaning – that every island is fled away, and the mountains were not found.  If we are the Babylon here referred to, we have the geography to make this passage meaningful.
John continues in verse 21 saying … “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”  Only now is the final destruction reaped upon the earth, and even now it causes none to come to repentance but rather to deepen in their blasphemy.  The last plague is to be one of hail.  Each stone is to weigh nearly one hundred pounds.  Imagine grapefruit sized hail of an incredible density, or basketball sized hail, where each stone, each drop or rain made ice, weighs nearly one hundred pounds.  Falling from an altitude of great height, perhaps mixed with fire and from a clear sky as in the days of Pharaoh of old.  The level of destruction this final plague is to reap is to be universal as well.  No one on the side of evil is to survive it.  The righteous ones, and those who sleep in Christ will have already been called forth to greet Him in the sky.  They are to leave behind this world of pain and sin.  They need not see or witness the destruction this plague will cause.  The suffering of mankind steeped in evil is to sleep for the next thousand years.
No cities would survive hail of this size and weight.  No cars, or buildings, or life will survive it.  The words “it is done” were not to be taken lightly.  Our world is to be left barren, our infrastructure completely obliterated.  All that will remain for the next thousand years will be the desolation of water turned to blood, earth scorched by the sun until all is barren, an earthquake that re-writes the geography, and a surface pounded by 100 pound rocks of hail.  It will be to this “bottomless pit” that Satan is to be bound.  He is to be locked into isolation to contemplate what his evil has wrought.  The nations will not survive these events, allowing him a further audience for his lies and deceptions.  Instead the work of the seventh plague is universal desolation, and the finality of the end of evil for next millennia. 
The last great World War 3, code name Armageddon has begun, and the first battle has ended without contest as was foretold.  What John will reveal next in the aftermath, is an epilogue of sorts, a post script on the fate of a church who would not be true, and a nation who would not either.  There were a few more Revelations yet to be revealed …

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Prologue to War ...

Our world has suffered through 2 wars that touched it on a massive scale; everyone dreads the idea of a World War 3.  But while most of us have tried to stem back fears over the years that communism might try a military solution over inherent dedication, few have imagined that the actual World War 3 would pit the evil men in humanity, aligned with Satan and his demonic hoard, against God in the form of a returning Jesus Christ.  The intensity and destruction of the first four plagues have not let up.  Their effects can still be felt; their calamity is still seen upon those who carry the Mark of the Third Beast.  And strangely, those who have not forsaken their identity as followers of Jesus Christ alone, remain untouched by the disasters of God’s judgments upon the world.  This only serves to intensify the hatred for the untouched by those who are suffering.  A worldwide hunt to pursue and kill any who do not wish to take the Mark, replaces a “starve them to death” strategy.  In this the evil of those who have steadfastly refused His salvation only intensifies.  Evil does what it always does.  It refuses to admit defeat and doubles down on its previous course.  No repentance will be sought, no mercy offered to the untouched, none sought for themselves.  The hate that leads us to murder is seen magnified in a world where no longer are the winds of strife held back.
The first four plagues were universal in nature, and served to rouse the world’s attention that all was not right.  Had reason, or love, remained even a little in charge, repentance might have been sought and patience might have been extended.  But now, the choices of men were sealed.  The final Mark of the Beast offered a choice from which there is no further changing of the mind.  There would be no retreat from the course now pursued by those immersed in evil.  The next two plagues however, had a new element of geographical significance.  They begin in specific locations, and cause specific reactions.  They act as a prologue to the great and final ending World War 3.  Who we have chosen to oppose as evil reigns supreme is none other than the returning Christ.  But self-deception is also a key trait of those plagued by evil.  They see no evil in themselves, only point it out in others as a reason for what they do.  Under another self-inflicted plague of blindness to who they are, and with whom they quarrel, they pursue the drums of war, attempting to stamp out once and for all time, the people of Jesus Christ.
However where the Third Beast has established his mark on a universal basis, the restriction of commerce as threat to compel the conscience and attack the identity of those who follow Jesus Christ alone; there is another mark worth examining.  Those who have refused to follow the edicts of mankind, those who look to Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, not trusting to men or self, or doctrines and majority opinions on the interpretation of scriptures, are quietly sealed with a different mark.  These attacks of the enemy have always been about identity.  To clarify and identify those who side with Satan and his promises of ease and wealth and power over others, against those humble servants who refuse to follow anyone but Jesus Christ.  Those of us who cling to Jesus Christ alone are also marked in our foreheads with the Name of His Father.  Our invisible marking may be such to human eyes, but it is crystal clear to those from the realm beyond our own.  Our angels see our transformation, as do those of the enemy.  There is nowhere to hide, and frankly no reason to do so.  For our lives are fully in the hands of our God, should He elect not to protect us, we would perish.  But then, this is a realization we should have in the here and now, for His protective mercies alone keep us alive this very minute.
There are always sides chosen in a war.  It began in heaven itself.  Lucifer convinced, perhaps deceived, perhaps bribed, a third of heaven’s population of angels to rebel against God and pursue this new course of pleasing self instead of others.  He must have had strong verbal arguments that made logical sense.  But then the entire birth of evil came from a breaking of trust in God, and instead trusting to the wisdom of self.  The war in heaven did not begin through acts of murder, but through words of persuasion.  But when persuasion had accomplished all that it was going to, the birth of war entered the universe, and angel rose up against angel, and against the Father and Son, our perfect God.  The love of God was reflected even in this first war, as Lucifer was defeated, but not exterminated.  He was instead cast out, perhaps our God still hoping that Lucifer might change his mind before his new name of Satan must be bound to him.  But there would be no changing of minds, only a deepening of the path of destruction and death that comes from any sin – even one so seemingly small as to trust our own common sense, rather than the word of our God.
When our world stood before on the brink of destruction, Noah too, might have trusted to his own common sense, instead of to the words of our God.  Building a giant boat for rain that had never been seen, upon dry land that had never known a flood, for a period of 120 years, while preaching of the coming flood – does not qualify as heeding to common sense.  Logic would dictate the impossible and never before seen, simply cannot and will not occur, but they did.  While the doors of the ark stood open, and Noah preached, any one of mankind could have elected to join “Noah’s folly” and enter the ark for safety.  Surely there should have been some pure cowards living then who enter the ark only for an insurance policy “just in case” Noah was right.  But none entered.  Fear of the mob, was greater than fear of an invisible God, promising destruction no one had ever witnessed.  The same was true then, and will be true in our near future.  Now is the time before the door is shut, before the final choice has been forced upon the world, before the plagues of miraculous destruction begin to fall.  Now is the time when minds still have time to change and alter their course.  Once the door is shut, this time will be no more.  Lucifer became Satan, he never reverted back.  The war rages on for him, and now he wishes to enlist us in its next chapter.  Fear of the mob will once again over-ride fear of an invisible God.
There are only two sides now.  Those who have accepted and been marked by the third beast, either through oral declaration, or by refusing to submit and be transformed by Jesus Christ; and those who through submission have seen the power of Jesus Christ transform how they think, what they want, and therefore what they do.  Both sides are clearly marked, either through the actions of the hands, or the thinking of the foreheads.  Both sides have established identities.  Both sides have seen the results of the first four plagues – either suffering them because of an embrace of evil, or completely sheltered from them through the protective mercies of God’s love for His children.  The war must now continue.  So the capitals become the prime targets.  Satan will target heaven, and where he believes it will descend.  But God too will pour out His wrath upon the capitals of evil, and focus His attention upon the locations where sin has had its closest embrace, and where the false doctrines and edicts of men have their strongest hold and influence.
John begins to chronicle the last three plagues in chapter 16 of his book of Revelations of Jesus Christ and in verse 10 continues saying … “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, [verse 11] And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”  The location, or capital that God chooses to attack with this fifth plague may have multiple targets.  If we assume the beast mentioned is the second beast raised by the dragon (whose seat and authority were established by the dragon and mentioned earlier), then we can expect the Vatican or Rome to experience physical darkness, because of the darkness they allowed to corrupt the purity of the Christian faith throughout the dark ages and into today.  For the seat or capital of this beast is clearly in Rome or Vatican city.
But there is another beast to consider.  If the beast referred to here by John is the third beast, not the second, then the United States would be its target.  Perhaps Washington D.C. our seat, or even our entire nation from coast to coast is to see a plague of darkness to come upon us.  For darkness to be effective, we would have to lose power.  A well-lit night sky and homes tends to defeat the idea of a plague of darkness.  Perhaps what lies in our future after a series of calamities already expressed, is the loss of our electrical power combined with a plague of darkness that causes men to gnaw at their tongues to see if they are still alive.  Whether this plague is poured out in a constrained fashion on our nation’s capital, or universally across our nation, its intent would be to target the locations most steeped in the evil of blasphemy.  The Pope has claimed equal authority to God in this world and in so doing has established ceremonies and traditions mandating and controlling the nature of the worship of men.  The United States will have mandated the mark of the third beast, compelling the conscience under threat of commerce attempting to make itself equal with God to mandate the nature of the worship of men.  Both beasts caused the compulsion of conscience, perhaps both are to suffer from the darkness of the edicts they caused.
There is still however one more beast to consider, the dragon himself.  Perhaps the capitals of atheism, and the religions of the world that do not accept Christ at all, are to be plagued by the plague of darkness they have chosen to embrace.  Protestant churches who now dictate the conscience of men are no more immune than corrupt governments, or churches that have no concept of Jesus Christ.  Any organization or assembly, or conspiracy that would seek to compel the conscience of others, and cause others to abandon following Jesus Christ alone, to instead augment or add to, who they follow and corrupt their identity as followers of Christ, stands equally upon the side of the dragon, and perhaps may also be a part of his capital under the attack of this plague.  The results are the same, whether in Rome, or the USA, or across the world in places and churches of abject rejection of Jesus Christ alone; none of those impacted by the plague of darkness repent of what evils they have done.  Instead they lament their continued suffering (the sores have not gone away), and they blaspheme further the name of God. 
It is now when the final war is to commence.  It is now when Satan intends to marshal what is left of his earthly evil forces and summon them to battle.  John records in verse 12 saying … “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.”  The sixth plague begins in nearly the same location as the fifth and sixth trumpet that sounded when leaders who did not embrace the religion of Christ emerged before.  There were historically many wars between those surrounding nations who opposed Israel (God’s people).  In the Middle East, which has traditionally been so long a focal point for conflict in our world, is to begin the last great world war.  Perhaps the loss of power in the capitals of darkness think to believe they must own the oil reserves in these lands to rectify what has been lost.  Perhaps the religions of Islam and the traditional Jewish faith which cannot embrace the idea of the Messiah of Jesus Christ have finally come into remembrance before God, and for this reason the location of the last most intense human conflict has been selected.  In any case, a plague is poured out in the regions of Iraq, Iran, Israel, and the Middle East.  The waters have been dried up in preparation for kings bent on war.
It is at this point in the sequence of events that miracles are needed to rally the troops of Satan.  Sores, lack of water, scorching heat, darkness, and the death, destruction, and chaos that ensues have left little will or strength in the evil ones of this world to make one last ditch final attack.  But by now, Christ has long since left His temple in heaven with His accompanying angelic throng.  He will arrive here soon, and Satan wishes to attack Him upon His arrival.  To do this he needs to make one more rallying cry.  So given the lateness of the hour, and severity of the stakes, demons must take a more active and visible role in the affairs of men.  Without working some miraculous deceptions of his own, no one will believe Satan any further.  So John continues his revelations in verse 13 saying … “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. [verse 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.” 
Demons emerge from the mouth of the dragon himself.  But also they come from the mouth of the beast, which perhaps in this case refers to our nation.  They also come from the mouth of the false prophet, which perhaps in this case refers to the Pope seated in the Vatican.  The identity of the dragon is clear.  But whether the beast mentioned is the second, or third, or both is less so.  The false prophet has heretofore been unmentioned.  It is however commonly believed that in order to deceive the nations, Satan will impersonate the return of Christ with a false version of these events.  He will not be allowed to fully mimic Christ’s returns descending in the clouds with every eye seeing him and trumpet of God sounding.  However he will make enough of a parity to deceive nearly the entire world, even the elect if time were not shortened.  It may be in this series of events that a supernatural figure is introduced to the world as Allah, and Buddha, and Ganesh, and the Messiah, and Jesus Christ – but in reality he is only the false prophet here described, a demon in the form of whoever we wish him to be.  It may these other demons traverse the world attempting to show by supernatural power, that the false worship and edicts of men are worth rallying behind one more time.  The intent is to rally mankind for the final extermination of those who have refused the mark of the third beast.  It is to prepare them for a war perhaps Middle East based for land, or oil, or money, or religious dominance – but no matter why men of evil rally, who they are destined to fight against is Jesus Christ returning triumphant.
In the midst of the revelation of all this calamity, John pauses.  He reminds us that he is writing in the future tense.  He reminds us that the mission of redemption, is ALWAYS the mission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  While the intensity of all these plagues is nearly upon the wicked and the time of the end of all things nearly in sight of you and I.  John pauses, to once again remind us, redemption is still within our grasp in the here and the now.  John pauses in verse 15 with a message from the only true Messiah as he relays … “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”  You and I have been living on the precipice of all these things, yet we live as if time has no end, and nothing is imminent.  This is the reason the coming of Christ is as a thief in the night, when NO ONE is expecting Him.  Our hearts have grown cold of eager anticipation, and routine is the master of all.  In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, ALL were found sleeping.  None escaped the sleep of complacency and weariness of time passing.  The difference was in the preparation for the final events.  Some looked to be ready, even though they fell asleep.  Some assumed they would have what they need later on, and slept.  Both had to be woken up by the return of the Bridegroom.
Even with all this calamity, John reminds us that NOW is time to prepare for His return.  We are to keep our garments ready, to take on His righteousness for our own lack thereof.  We are to cloth ourselves with His white raiment, or be found naked in our shame and unreformed sin.  The wise virgins took extra oil “just in case”.  We need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and His fire in our lives, to bring us the reform of character we so desperately need.  And we need it now.  We need to be prepared now, not delayed in anticipation of some future date.  For some of us, death will be a surprise before these events transpire on a day and time when we are not ready to see it come.  On that day and time, our ability to prepare will be forever cut short.  Our chances at a changed mind, forever gone.  The life He wants to give us, one that is free from the pain and death that sin brings, can begin now.  All we need do, is to submit to Christ, and let Him bring our new lives to us, in the here and the now.  This is the message of pause John relays.  Do not read of these events that are still to come, without an eye for where your salvation stands today.  Do not read the sure word of God, and let it roll off of your soul like the water rolls off of ducks and geese.  Absorb the water of life.  Let it sink into your soul.  Let the healing power of Jesus Christ transform you today, and begin a process in you that has no end, forever making you better than you are at this moment.
After his pause, to remind us again, of the message of redemption while there is yet time, John resumes with the events that are fast transpiring.  He continues in verse 16 … “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”  Again geography plays a role in the sequence of the final seven plagues.  World war 3 is ready to commence.  No matter who we thought the foe would be, no matter who Satan in his imitation of Jesus Christ has purported to war against, the true foe of evil is about to return in triumph.  There will be no winner of earthly, or demonic origin, in the battle about to be intended.  There will be no final solution for followers of Jesus Christ like that which Hitler proposed in the past for his Jewish enemies.  There will be no final extermination of those who bare the mark and seal of the Father God, refusing to sacrifice their identity as followers of Jesus Christ.  Instead there will be a culmination, a reckoning, a judgment, and a consequence the evil ones of this world are wholly unprepared for.
For there is one more plague about to be unleashed …