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The god of this world named Satan the Adversary of God—has two viruses he has been infecting all of humanity with since the dawn of the human race:
Religion (making my own way to God) & Materialism (things are more important than God)
-Religion is trying to achieve God’s favor by human achievement.
-Materialism is seeking physical things (pleasures, possessions, power) more than God.
The seventeenth chapter of Revelation describes the doom of the Babylonian system. This system is seen as a woman portrayed as a harlot. She seems to be a symbol of Satan’s world religion. This chapter records the demise of the counterfeit church Satan founded at Eden—the one he has worked on ceaselessly ever since. The beast (Satan’s incarnation as a false Jesus) finally destroys the apostate church and sets up unhindered satanic worship (via the beast and false prophet’s work). To make this happen, Satan’s ultimate goals in the world today are to forge global unity politically, religiously, and financially.
To understand Rev 17/18 we have to go back to Genesis
Satan’s church began officially at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9. This is the beginning of organized religion, nearly 24 centuries B.C. Here, in the fertile plain of Shinar, probably very close to the original Garden of Eden, the first spade of dirt was turned for the purpose of devil worship.
The first full-time minister of Satan was Nimrod, Noah’s wicked and apostate grandson (Genesis 10:8-10). Secular history and tradition tell us that Nimrod married a woman who was as evil and demonic as himself. Her name was Semiramis. Knowing God’s promise of a future Savior (Genesis 3:15), Semiramis brazenly claimed that Tammuz, her first son, fulfilled this prophecy.
Welcome to class #17 of our 20 classes summarizing & applying Revelation’s truths.
This course is called HOW IT ALL ENDS–an Expositional Bible Study course I just finished teaching to 300 college students, leading them through a personal study of each verse of the Book of Revelation.
Every chapter, every verse, every doctrine, every prophetic theme–all here in this one 20-hour class.
Want to get a personal grasp of what God explains about “How it All Ends”?
This 20-lesson course is just what you need!
Thanks for praying for us through these months of travel, and supporting us financially while we were teaching groups of both FrontLine missionaries and NextGeneration students this course three times in 10 weeks!


I told you about this guy and what a transformation the Lord did in his life. This is how I disciple them. John Piper has a little article called Anthem, A N T H E M. It’s online, just type Piper Anthem in Google. This is what I taught this guy about how to be sanctified because he said, how do I stop going to the bars? I said to avoid the site and situation that arouses unfitting desires. Say no to every lustful thought within five seconds, and turn your mind forcefully toward Christ, this is Piper’s word, as a superior satisfaction. Hold the promise and pleasure of Christ firmly. Enjoy superior satisfaction. By the way, that’s the attribute of God called beauty. Theologians have said that God is the most desirable and beautiful and on top of everything in the universe. The more we understand as the hymn writer said, the things of Earth grow strangely dim and so enjoy the superior satisfaction of Christ and move to something useful. So, I went through that with him.

By the way, that guy married one of the most ordinary looking women in the world. Formerly, when he was fleshly, lustful, and sinful all he looked for was the most knockout woman at the bar. When Christ changed him completely from the inside out, the one he dated was the least knockout person. What I mean is she was beautifully godly, but none of the other stuff he looked for, and I thought, what a blessing that God changes everything.

Without Jesus we’re living in total darkness, Revelation 16, that’s when He turns out the lights. Salvation, that’s one of my favorite verses, opens our eyes and turns us from darkness to light. This is Jesus talking to Paul about salvation. Salvation is when God opens our eyes. God turns us from darkness to light. God sets us free from the power of Satan. We’re forgiven and we are sanctified.

Now, let’s get to Armageddon. That’s the end of chapter 16. Look at chapter 16 verse 12, “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon.” These are three demons. Verse 14 says, “For they are spirits of demons…gather them to the battle of that great day.” Verse 16, “the place in Hebrew called,” the Hill of Megiddo, “Armageddon.”

This isn’t the battle, but this is the beginning of it. This is what so much of the Old Testament talks about. This is what Zechariah 12 to 14 talks about. This is God’s wrath, Israel’s future, and the great battle of Armageddon. Why does that happen? Because God stakes His name on Israel. In Hosea 5:15 God calls Jerusalem My city. In Jeremiah 31 God says these are My people, this is My land, Israel, they are Mine, My chosen people. During the Tribulation, all the nations of the Earth turn against the Jews, the people God calls My people, and against Jerusalem, the city God calls My city.

Look what the Lord says in Zechariah 3, “The Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when He fights on the day of battle.” Actually, if you keep reading Zechariah it says all the nations of the Earth gather. There are so many of these passages. Did you know there’s a Psalm 83 passage? There is this Ezekiel 38 and 39 that many people talk about. Daniel 11 describes the Anti-Christ’s final battle. Then there’s where we are in Revelation 16.

Let me give you a chart. By the way, our friend Titus in the back has spent all of his own personal time and converted all 600 or 700 of these slides into Microsoft something and he’s getting them for you. The first 500 are already somewhere and the rest are I don’t know where, but this is how we reconcile this. The 69 weeks of the 70 weeks of Daniel, that’s what’s on the left. There’s the interval. That’s the cross. The little yellow flame thing is the destruction of Jerusalem. The yellow line is the Rapture of the Church. The Magog Invasion of Ezekiel 38 and 39 has two groups. Some people feel it’s before the Rapture. Some people feel it’s Armageddon. I’ll tell you in a minute why it doesn’t really fully align with Armageddon.

The rebuilding of the temple. You notice the question marks there. We don’t know when the Magog Invasion is for sure. We don’t know when the temple gets started being rebuilt, but we do know at the middle of the Tribulation, the Abomination of Desolation, and from that point on is what is called the Great Tribulation. We do know the battle of Armageddon, that’s the red line, is what precipitates the Second Coming. Then we have the Millennium.

What does Psalm 83 talk about? It talks about Moab, the Hagarenes, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, and Assyria all attacking Jerusalem at once. Wait a minute. Moab and the Palestinians and the Central Jordanians geographically. Hagarenes are the Egyptians. Hagar was the matriarch that came from Egypt. Gebal describes Northern Lebanon, which is where Hezbollah is. Ammon, that’s where the Palestinians and the Northern Jordanians are. Amalek, that’s the Sinai Arabs. Philistia that’s Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The area of Tyre, that’s Hezbollah. Assyria, those are the Assyrians, the Northern Iraqis. When have all those people ever attacked Israel at once?

First of all, the list on the left, they are not all at the same time historically, so already we’re having a problem. If it’s geographical, when is the Psalm 83 war? That’s very interesting. Where’s the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war? God gives geographic locations for us to think about stuff. Here is a map where you plot all those places. Magog is south Russia, and Gomer-Togarmah is Turkey-Syria. Iran is Persia. Libya is Libya. Ethiopia is Ethiopia. They all attack Israel, which is very interesting.

This is not a Bible map. This is from Bloomberg or something. I showed you this a couple of days ago. They recently published this and said there’s a new Middle East Cold War. The U.S. with its allies is against Russia with its allies. Russia’s allies are the green and the U.S. and its allies, which happened to also be Israel’s allies, are the red. That’s very interesting because that’s very similar to Ezekiel 38 and 39, but what Daniel and Revelation 16 and 19 talk about is different. It’s not just The Coalition of the Muslim Nations or the old enemies of Israel.

Do you know what Daniel 11 and Revelation 16 and 19 talk about? What Daniel 11 says is that the Anti-Christ is sitting with his tent with his back to Jerusalem and he’s looking toward the west. In other words, his base is looking to the west so there are armies coming from what we will call Western Europe. There are armies coming from the north. There are the armies, you can actually read it, of the kings of the south and then the kings of the east. This is far bigger than Ezekiel 38 and 39 or Psalm 83. It’s huge. The kings of the east, China, the tigers they called them, Korea, Japan, all of those nations coming across. The armies of the north, of course, Russia, and all the former Soviet Union, those nations. Then we have the armies of the west, of course, Western Europe and the Western world. Then the great African armies. In other words, Armageddon is much bigger than Ezekiel 38 and 39, much bigger than Psalm 83. It’s the final war for everybody.

What God says is that judgment crescendos. At the end of 16, God said it is done. Satan who was defeated at the cross is in the final stretch. The ultimate mega quake rumbles, it’s called mega seismós in Greek. How do you like that? It sounds just like English, seismic and mega, like a mega meal. It’s a big seismós, a big earthquake. The biggest one of all. Jerusalem is split and it says every island and mountain starts moving on Earth. This is a crustal convulsion, not just the tectonic plates around the ring of fire. All of them start moving. Every island has moved and every mountain. Why? God is initiating the preparation of the Earth for the millennial renewal. See, God has this plan and He’s orchestrating it and He’s using the judgments to start getting the Earth ready for the millennium. He renews and does a lot.

During this time God rains down, look what He rains down. Look at the end, verse 21 of chapter 16. “And great hail from Heaven fell on men.” When did this happen before? Ah, in Joshua’s conquest of the land. How long did it take Joshua to conquer the land? Seven years. How long does the Tribulation last? Seven years. There is such correspondence between all the Old Testament events; Moses and the gods of Egypt and Joshua and the conquest of the land and the king of the north and all that stuff. Look what happened both with Joshua and here. Hailstones are about the weight of a talent. How much is a talent? You look down in the notes of your study Bible, differing weights between 60 and a hundred pounds. Can you imagine?

They’re talking about hypersonic weapons; you know what’s in the news all the time. America has hypersonic weapons. They’ve tested them. They work. We don’t blow the horn all the time and they’re finally letting them out. One of our hypersonic weapons doesn’t have an explosive warhead. It’s a kinetic energy weapon. They send this warhead, I don’t know, it weighs a hundred pounds, but they send it at 15,000 miles an hour. Did you know that at a hundred pounds at 15,000 miles you don’t need explosions? The kinetic energy is like a meteorite. You know how big a hole a little meteorite makes. That’s what’s going on with these hailstones. It’s devastating. Everything on Earth, land, sea, and air starts to convulse.

Life without Jesus just brings total fear. The whole world is fearful. What does that say? Why was the book of Revelation written? To scare us to get a bomb shelter so we can survive the Tribulation? No. That map I keep showing you of the early people of the 1st century church that got the book of Revelation, it encouraged them. Do you know what they thought of it? What it says in Romans 8 is, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” He will freely give us all things. How about verse 35? “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation?” No. Does present distress? No. Coming persecution? No. “Famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Nothing. That’s why God gives humans a taste of Hell. It shows what people are counting on.

Now we’re in this hour. That was the last hour. Why does God hate religion? Did you know God hates religion? Do you know who started religion? Satan started religion. That’s what we’re going into when we go to the next part of Revelation. The last two chapters of the Tribulation are unique. Chapter 17, if you turn there, is all about this harlot; what she’s wearing, what she says, what she’s doing. It’s a strange part of the Bible. Then chapter 18 is about all these spices and goods and God destroying them all. What is that doing in Revelation?

You ought to see what ancient commentators did with this, especially Calvin and Luther who are covenant theologians. They believe God’s done with Israel and the Jews are finished and there’s no future for them and all that stuff. They’re trying to figure out what Revelation means when it has nothing to do with Israel. Boy, that’s a hard thing to figure out, and that’s what half of Christendom does. The Roman Catholic Church is reformed too. In fact, what you call Calvinism is really Augustinians, St. Augustine invented all that stuff. Calvin only wrote it and popularized it. It’s Augustinian theology, which is the heart of Roman Catholic theology. Why are those two chapters there? Just before Christ’s Second Coming, why do we have Revelation 17 and 18? As you’re studying the Bible to understand it you should ask yourself that.

They were living in an ever-darkening world. I’m going to only show a little bit of this because we don’t have time. Remember I told you that last fall in October and November, Bonnie and I got the privilege of teaching Paul’s epistles. I did the introduction to all 13 of Paul’s epistles in Greece and Italy. I taught the book Romans in Rome. One day as I was on my way to class, we actually stayed in the city, this is where we were and I was sitting, where is it? Here. I was wearing this hat. You’ll see it in the picture. I’m studying my Bible and I’m only going to play a little bit. Let’s see if the audio will work.

Amazing implications of the Anti-Christ’s global religion and what a spot to read this, but right here in front of the monument to global religion. You can’t hear it, but guess what? The people living in this part of the world were confronted with that building. Do you see what the building was called? The Pantheon. How many of you noticed the Pantheon? Come on, you all know that from world history and geography and all that stuff. Pan in Greek means all, theon means gods. The Romans conquered the world, and they did it very methodically. What they did that was so helpful was that every conquered people got to take their deity, their god that they worshiped. Rome took them over but did not destroy that god.

They said, give us your greatest representation of your God. We’re going to take it home to Rome, and we’re going to put it in our Pantheon. Every time you come to the capital of the world; you can see your God there. They had all the gods displayed. The deal was you’re gods, whatever your god was, keep worshiping him, but just add one more thing to it. Worship the Roman emperor that conquered you. You’re too weak to resist us so why don’t you acknowledge we’re better than you. You can still worship your god, but you’ve got to worship me the king, the emperor. That’s what Hadrian did, he’s the one that made the current form of the Pantheon.

There were pantheons all over the place. There were these places where they collected all the gods, but you had to worship the emperor. That is exactly what these people that got Revelation were seeing coalesce, forming all around them, that all the religions of the world were being gathered together under this Roman ruler. What I just described is the Anti-Christ. What I just described is Acts 17.

Why is all this going on? Well, Satan has a goal. His singular focus is what we see in Genesis. In Genesis 3 when mankind fell into sin there were four lies that Satan caused Eve, his first contact, to believe, and then she passed it onto Adam if you remember. The first one was to doubt God’s word. Do you remember the first thing Satan says in Genesis 3? Has God said? Are you sure the Bible’s accurate in that? Boy, isn’t that what we’re living through right now? Christians are fighting over whether the Bible really says things that God says are right or wrong. They say you don’t interpret that right or Paul or the Old Testament has nothing to do with us. Christians, number one, are doubting God’s word.

Satan’s goal is to have us abandon God’s way by doubting it or doubting God’s goodness. What he said to Eve is why isn’t the Lord letting you do this? He doesn’t like you; He’s trying to keep something from you. That’s why we have all these couples living together. God’s trying to keep you from really getting to know this person before you marry them, so God’s way is archaic. You should commit what God says is wrong because it’s wrong that He’s keeping you from that sexual thing.

By the way, who invented sex? Who designed it? Who wrote a whole book talking about it? The book of Song of Solomon is extolling. The incredible book of Proverbs calls sexual activity intoxicating and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. Who invented all that? God said sex is like a river, as long as it’s kept inside the banks it’s good, but if you allow it to rage and go outside the banks it’s bad.

Let me tell you a little thing for all of you dating couples. A boy who, before marriage can’t stop his sexual desires for you, what that means is his sexual desires cannot be bounded by rules. Because they don’t apply to us, they apply to everybody else, but not to us because you know, whatever. How is he going to change after he’s married? See, I’m the one that’s pastored for 40 years and have seen all these Christian couples. I find out that the guy that was involved sexually before marriage with his wife-to-be, and who knows how many before that, is still like that after he’s married.

How do I know that? God says it. Solomon said it, the eyes of a man are never satisfied. If you can’t get your eyes satisfied before marriage, do you think marriage is going to satisfy your eyes? No way. It just helps you know more about what you want and the same men that are uncontrolled in their unbridled desires before marriage, have problems. Do you know why? Because after a while your wife, after you’re married a little while and she has a child or something, she doesn’t look at all like the online girls look. That insatiable desire never goes away.

What I would say is the real question is whether we can start believing in God’s goodness and He says that any sexual activity before marriage is wrong. Period. You guys aren’t old enough to remember our president and Drudge and all that, so I won’t even talk about it.

Doubt God’s authority. “You will not surely die,” in Genesis 3:4, and doubt God’s plan. What does Satan do? I’m not teaching Genesis, I’m teaching Revelation. Satan has two offers. If you will walk away from God’s plan, he gives you two options. One is religion the other is materialism. What’s the difference? Religion is achieving God’s favor by your religious activity, your human achievement. Materialism is seeking physical things. I wrote it out for you. These are the two worst things Satan has devised.

Number one is religion. It’s trying to achieve God’s favor through human achievement by making my own way to God. You’re going to run into this every time you witness. When you’re going out, those of you that are going into the outreaches, when you witness to people, they say I’m going to try and be good enough.

What is that? I’m devising my own way to God. I am going to achieve enough. Why do people crawl on their knees across Mexico City to earn their way to Heaven? Why do people make pilgrimages to the holy centers? Whether it’s Mecca or whether it’s the Vatican or wherever they go. Why do they walk around with their black suitcases on Saturdays or whatever? They walk around, the witnesses. Why do the white shirted ones ride their bicycles and spend two years training? They’re all earning their way to Heaven. That’s religion. My own way to God. Satan invented religion.

Materialism is the other. If people aren’t religious, they’re materialistic. They think pleasures, possessions, and power are more important than God. Notice in parentheses that I wrote two words. Actively, those are the people that work on wall street or they’re just insatiably in business. They can’t earn enough. It’s like John D. Rockefeller, who was asked how much money do you want. He was the first billionaire. He said just one more dollar. They always want more. That’s a materialist.

The other word is passively. Who are those? The ones who are so enamored with pleasure and possessions and power, doing their own thing, that they don’t have time for God. That’s a problem in the Church. There are some people in the Church that are very religious and what they think is if I just memorize one more verse or I read a little more or serve at the church a little more God will love me a little more. That’s a religious person. I’m trying to earn it rather than believing that He did it all. He accomplished it all. I can’t achieve anything; He accomplished it all. There’s a problem with that in the Church. That’s why one whole segment of the Church thinks they can lose their salvation because they didn’t try hard enough, and they slumped back into sin, so they’ve lost their salvation.

Then there’s the other part of the Church that we saw, like Sardis, where they’re laying dead, and they love their pleasures and possessions and everything else more than God, so they don’t have time or hunger for His word. These are deadly. This is what Satan has been pumping out from the Garden of Eden.

When we get to chapter 17, it has three parts. The first part is that Satan’s plan is exposed, that’s the first six verses, this harlot. It talks about this harlot and all these strange things about her. Then God explains what’s going on behind the scenes. Then God extinguishes, that’s when the harlot is killed by the 10 Kings.

Number one, God hates religion. In Revelation, before the Second Coming of Christ, chapter 17, God pours His wrath on false religion, and chapter 18 on worldliness. Chapter 17 is the collapse of the apostate world Church. It’s Satan’s harlot bride. It’s the delusion of religion. From Eden onwards, Satan has been building his church. Although Adam and Eve were tempted and fell into sin, they never joined the old serpent’s assembly, but Cain was Satan’s first member. Did you know that? The only person mentioned in 1 John. Did you know that? There’s only one person mentioned in 1 John; Cain, he was Satan’s first member.

What did he do? Most people wouldn’t think he did anything bad. God said, I want you to kill an innocent animal and I want you to shed its blood. Put your hand on it and by the shedding of an innocent substitute for you, I’m going to forgive you of your sins. That was the Old Testament. That’s what Adam and Eve were told to do. What did Cain do? He said it’s grizzly, I’m not going to kill that animal. Blood? No. I’m going to bring a pumpkin, or what did he bring, an apple? I don’t know what he brought. He brought produce, he brought his prize-winning watermelon or squash or whatever. It doesn’t matter what he brought, what it was, was him saying I’m not going to do Your way, a blood sacrifice, substitutionary atonement. I’m going to do it my way. See, he was the first one that took Satan’s offer of religion. Find your own way to God. God’s way is either too old or it’s too messy or it’s gross. Blood. I’m going this way. Satan’s church has flourished since.

Revelation 17 talks about Satan’s church. Let’s look at this description. “I will show you,” verse 1, “the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the Earth have committed fornication and the inhabitants of the Earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and 10 horns.”

Right away, people say, this is very hard to understand. “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name written: ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.'” verse 6. “I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.” There’s so much in here that we could study.

Harlots in the Roman world had this little headband thing so that you knew for sure that they were available. They were a little “I’m available” thing. It was just part of their dressing, their decor. Men would know, they knew that, and they’d keep their eye on that one and decide and then they seek them out. Reading this to the 1st century, they got it. That’s what a harlot looks like and the drinking and the dress and everything like that.

What is it talking about? Satan’s church officially began in an organized way at the Tower of Babel. Do you remember when all humanity joined together with one language to rebel against God? The beginning of organized religion, about 24 centuries before Christ in the fertile plains of Shinar, was very close to the original garden of Eden. The first spade of dirt was turned for the purpose of devil worship, remember they were making this tower to reach to the heavens.

The first full time minister of Satan was Nimrod. He’s described as the apostate wicked grandson of Noah in Genesis 10. Secular history and tradition tell us Nimrod married a woman who was just as evil and demonic as himself. Her name was Semiramis. She knew like everybody back then because they were so close to the flood when all this knowledge was passed on, that God had promised a future savior in Genesis 3. Semiramis brazenly claimed that her son Tammuz fulfilled that prophecy. She made up this great story. So, let me tell you.

What is this mystery of Babylon in the wilderness? If you know anything about world history, there’s something that all the world’s ancient religions have in common. It’s mother-son worship. It’s a mother with a little son and usually, the mother is big, and the son is little; sitting on her lap or she’s holding him or something. It’s the mother-son thing.

Semiramis is the mother, that’s Nimrod’s wife. The son is Tammuz. What happened to Tammuz? She said this: her son was out walking along the riverbank and a wild boar found him and it took its tusks and gored him and trampled him. All kinds of pieces of him were left on the riverbank and she was sad. She picked up all the pieces and she put them into a basket, and she mourned for him for 40 days and at the end of 40 days, he came to life.

Doesn’t that sound interesting? Dumb. Fanciful. Pagan. That is the worship of Babel because that’s how this mother-son thing with the resurrection is in all these religions, all of them. Not all of them have a wild boar, but all of them have a mother and son and the precious son dies and he comes back to life. Some of them, like the Roman and Greeks, have a beam of light that touches him from the sun, but they all have this.

This myth goes to Armenian countries or Syria where Ishtar is the mother and Tammuz is the son. In Phoenicia as in the Tyre and Sidon, or Hannibal, have you ever heard of Hannibal and the elephants? That was the great Phoenician empire. It was all over the Mediterranean. They had Ashtaroth and Baal. That should ring a bell from your Old Testament studies. This is what we’re talking about. Ashtaroth is the mother, and Baal is the son. Baal dies. Baal comes back to life. Baal is to be worshiped. What is that talking about?

It’s talking about what we see nowadays in a major religion that worships the mother and the son. The mother has access that you need so you go to her to get to the son. See that’s what all these religions have in common. By the time we get to Egypt, Isis is the mother and Osiris the son, you’ve heard of those two. By the time we get to Greece, it’s Aphrodite and Eros. All of you have heard of the last one in Rome. They renamed the mother Venus. They renamed the son Cupid, that’s the little naked fat child with the bow and arrow from Valentine’s Day that you see, that’s Cupid. That’s the son of Venus and that’s the Roman form of a mystery religion.

Remember my Ph.D. work was in Church History so I can talk about history all day long, but it would not get this class done. Cain, the tower of Babel and the beast, and the final world religion. There’s a wonderful book about that. It’s called The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop. He was a historian from the British colonial empire who spent his life tracking down all this archeology as they were finding it. He wrote this amazing book that ties together Genesis 4, Genesis 11, Revelation, 13, 17, and 18. I looked on Amazon and the last time I looked it was like $4.99 or something. It’s fascinating for those of you who like to study.

By the time we get into the Bible, and it picks this up, we find in Jeremiah 44 that Israel had adopted the queen of Heaven. You can read about that. Jeremiah 44:17-19 and 25. They did this by calling her the queen of Heaven, which is all those names down the left that I read off to you, whether it’s Ashteroth or Venus or whatever, they called her. They worshiped her, we find in Jeremiah, by making wafer cakes, putting her initials on it, and worshiping her son Baal who came back from the dead.

Let’s talk about this because it gets into New Testament times, Revelation 17, that harlot. I personally believe the tribulations apostate church will be the Roman Catholic Church merged with all the other world religions. I don’t believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the harlot. I believe that the global one world religion is going to be. You say, what do you mean by that?

Bonnie and I just got back from spending weeks in Rome. If you go up to Assisi, did you know, they regularly have conferences, the Roman Catholic Church, where they invite the Dalai Lama? You know who he is, the Tibetan Mystic. They invite in the top Buddhists, whatever they are called. The top Shinto they’re inviting in. They invite in the Imams of Islam. They even invite in the tribal people from Africa. They’re not trying to share the Gospel with them. I can assure you. They’re trying to find, look at what it says. You may not believe that they would ever do that, but they’re already starting to find areas of agreement.

The Roman Catholic Church temporarily, Islam is growing fast, but temporarily it’s the largest religion in the world. It has the most public adherence. They are in talks with all other global religions that are major to find areas of agreement. Do you know what they’ve already found with Islam? The Islamic faith reveres Mary. Wow. There’s a great agreement. Why would the Islamic faith Revere Mary? Because their roots go back to this mother-son thing. That’s part of ancient religions from the get-go, from the start. Islamic people revere Mary and boy, and the Roman Catholic Church reveres Mary. We have something in common so let’s keep talking and they’re finding these points of agreement. That’s the horror of this.

Most Americans don’t pay attention to this fact. They say, oh my Catholic church on my block doesn’t believe that. Yeah, but what is the doctrine? What is Romanism? Not your local manifestation of it, what is the doctrine of the Church? The world of religious professionals is very aware of this trend of global religion.

By the way, this is the second woman we’re seeing close together. Israel in chapter 12, remember we already went through this with the war in Heaven. See the difference? Israel’s in Heaven, the woman riding the beast is on the Earth, this mother. The man-child is the emphasis. This woman, it’s a harlot, but she’s clothed with the sun, Israel. The other woman is clothed in her purple, scarlet, and gold harlot outfit. The identity is involved with the sun, moon, and stars speaking of the creator. This harlot is reigning over the Earth, the Kings of the Earth. Then Satan is opposed to this, and you can just see the difference. Look where they end up. Israel ends up in New Jerusalem. The woman riding the beast is the habitation of demons and ends up being destroyed in the Tribulation.

Let’s explain this. Starting in verse 7, “The angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel,’ “ John? You’re looking at this. Why are you so confused? Why is this causing you wonder? Let me explain “the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and 10 horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the Earth will marvel, whose names…” Oh, now we’ve hit one of the most asked about parts of the book of Revelation. Let me read it. “We’ll marvel, whose names are not written in the” what does it say? Is anybody reading your Bible? I’ll wait until everybody can see it. What does it say? The next three words. Book of Life.

What is that thing? That is a lot in the book of Revelation. I didn’t even mention it was already in chapter 13, but I didn’t hit it very hard because it’s a huge topic. What is the Book of Life? I’ll tell you what it is right here. Look at this. They “will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not.” Did you know that event is directly talked about somewhere else in the Bible, right? You all know this, right? Because you’re Bible students.

Look at 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 because nothing’s new in the book of Revelation, it’s all repeating and emphasizing and filling in the blanks of everything else. In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, look what it says. Starting in verse 8, this is the Anti-Christ. Remember I told you he has 13 titles outside of Revelation? “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” Verse 8, “And then the lawless one will be revealed,” that’s the Anti-Christ, “whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” That’s Revelation 19 that we’re coming to tomorrow Lord willing.

“The coming of the lawless one,” there he is again, the Anti-Christ, “is according to the working of Satan.” He’s the incarnation of Satan. “With all power, signs, and lying wonders.” That’s the false prophet we met yesterday. This is an important verse. These are Paul’s first epistles. This is Paul’s very first long-term teaching written down that he’s writing to the Thessalonians. 1 and 2 Thessalonians are his first epistles. What do you teach new Gentile converts and a few Jewish ones? What do you teach them? What’s important is that you spend all your time teaching them so much and you write back about it? Paul taught them biblical prophecy. He taught them what we’re talking about in Revelation.

Look what it says in verse 10, the Anti-Christ who is introduced in verse 9, “and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish.” These are the people that don’t go to Heaven. These are the people that are forever lost, they get the mark of the beast that we’re seeing in this horrible plague time of Revelation, “who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” I’m not sure if that answered more questions than it engendered, but there is a divine tension in scripture about this.

The Bible says, verse 11, “for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who do not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” That’s a description of what I just went through with you last hour in chapter 16. They would not repent even though God was killing all the sea creatures. They would not repent because they got mad at God in chapter 16. Why did they do that? Because they were sent strong delusion: they should not believe the law and they should believe the lie. They could be condemned because they did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, verse 12, but in verse 10, all this started with they perish because they don’t love the truth.

What’s the Book of Life back in Revelation 17? The Book of Life is the eternal protection from Satan’s damning delusions onto the love of the truth. Do you know what the Book of Life is? It’s a list of truth lovers. You say, boy, that doesn’t answer my questions. What you want is all your questions answered instead of sensing that there’s a tension in scripture between two things.

Warren Wiersbe, probably used to teach here. He used to be the president of Moody Bible Institute and he used to be the pastor of Moody Memorial Church. He was an amazing guy. His goal in life was to teach through every verse of the Bible and write about it. He did it before he died. That’s one of the sets I prominently display in my library. It is a two volume set on the whole Old and New Testament. I just love it. A man who spent his whole life, he was the pastor at Moody Memorial, he was at Moody Bible Institute, he wrote shelves of books and all that. Do you know what he said after reading the Bible, after teaching through every part of the Bible? He said I cannot reconcile the tension.

He said it’s like this: on this side, on Earth for humans, you see the gateway to Heaven. It says whosoever will let him come, all come freely, come, and get the water of life. Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden. We on this side are taking everybody and saying, look, the Lord says come. Come on, come on, come on! Do you know what Paul said? I beg people, 2 Corinthians 5. I beg you. Beg is a strong word. Be reconciled to God. Paul, I beg you, come to Christ.

Wiersbe said, but when you get to Heaven and not before. See the problem is everybody wants to understand now, something you’ll only understand in Heaven, and they want to argue about it. Do you know what the most asked question I’ve gotten since I got here is, of all these people coming up to me? What do you think about the whole Calvin-Arminian thing? I thought you were going to spend your life solving something that no one has solved. Paul had trouble with it. Paul said it’s stuff I can’t understand. Why don’t you just be like Paul and say, I can’t understand it? Why do you think you have to become the one that is the fountain that explains it all? You can’t because we don’t understand it until this side.

Wiersbe said on the other side of that gateway to Heaven it’s going to say what Revelation says; chosen before the foundation of the world. Does that mean they don’t have…what? Did you know you can’t reconcile that because that’s something only a perfect, infinite, omniscient God could reconcile? We have a million ways to reconcile it, which you talk about in your theology class, but what the Bible does say I just read to you. The people that are in the book of life are truth lovers. The only thing that should apply to you is, are you? Do you love this?

If you had to run from this building right now and you had to take one thing with you that you’re going to keep to the end of your life, what would it be? Your money, your phone, or your Bible? What’s the one thing that will affect you forever, that you possess? Right here. Yet that is so far down in the list of what people grab when they’re running out of a building it’s not funny. It’s because we don’t treasure the truth.

Satan’s plan explained is this: Satan’s religions are always against the true vide of Jesus. Paul put it this way to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I’m jealous for you. I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin.” That’s what Revelation 17 is about the harlot versus the bride of Christ. The true Virgin bride.

The reason we have a lot of challenges is that we have the same Bible. This is something I do a lot of times on Sunday nights or when I’m in other places. I do questions and answers on the Smart Board. It’s like a whiteboard you can write on, and it doesn’t go away. I draw a big square and I say that’s the Bible, so that’s all the truth of God. Let’s go through the Early Church. That’s the first time we see in our era people applying the truth. Most of the Early Church was very biblical, but they had a lot of wacky ideas.

One of the earliest wacky ideas the Early Church had was baptismal regeneration. That’s one of the first heresies of the Church and we still see it. That’s why people in most of the covenantal churches baptize babies, they think that they’re getting them into Heaven and washing away their sins with water. See, this side is in the Bible and it’s right. That side is the wacko stuff.

Then we went to the next, after the Early Churches, the Roman Catholic Church. I might get to talk about that. They had a problem. Mark said it this morning. I heard him say most false doctrines are a majority truth and then they had this error, something like that. You guys took the notes, I was just listening. The Roman Catholic Church is about 95% absolute Orthodox, Trinitarian doctrine. They really know the doctrine, but boy, they’ve added this overlay of works, the sacraments, and all that. They are the ones who started Calvinism. That’s Augustinians.

Then we move to the Reformation. That’s what you talk about with Luther and Calvin. That’s the next iteration of the major Church history event: Early Church, Roman Catholic Church, Reformation. What did the Reformed Church do? I call it theological drift. I love to illustrate this if I had my Smart Board. They take a whole series of verses and make conclusions from the verses. So, you have verses, then you have conclusions. Watch what the reformed theologians do. They make conclusions from conclusions.

Oh, there’s the second most asked question to me since I got here. What do you think of limited atonement? I always turn it around and ask what do you think of limited atonement? They tell me all these things. I say wait a minute, let’s just talk about that. The Bible has verses that you could derive those ideas from, so you make a conclusion that in this one verse it seems to say something specific. I just read it. They were chosen before the foundation of the world so you could say, whoa, God died for those that were chosen. Now watch. As long as you have verses and conclusions you’re still in biblical truth, but the theological drift is when you make conclusions from conclusions. Now, they’re not tied to scripture anymore.

Limited atonement is absolutely true logically. It doesn’t say it in the Bible. You can’t come to that, but it’s very logical and it is possibly true to them, but it’s a drift and that’s what the Reformation Church did. They did all these drifts and I’m not doing Church History. I won’t talk about it. Then we get to the evangelicals and things blew apart and started really growing. Remember Wesley and company? They traveled the world, and we had this modern movement and missions going all over the place, but those people are primarily Armenian and Wesleyan.

If I had time, I would tell you how paganism got into the Church through Constantine. What happened is over here Constantine merged all the churches and they started adding to the Bible. They added Roman Catholicism, purgatory, and the Pope’s power. Then they went to indulgences and transubstantiation. Most recently in 1950, they said that Mary was bodily raptured to Heaven. They call it the assumption of Mary.

What happened to the Church? Judaism, Christ came and explained and launched His Church. There’s one holy Church. The Armenians went off, the Coptics went to Egypt. There was a schism. We have the Orthodox Church, then Luther. Roman Catholicism went off from 1517 on. Out of Lutheranism came the Reformed Church, the Anglican Church. Hey, where are you from? There’s the Methodist. There’s the Christian Reformed. They’re off the Anglican way. The Episcopalians, the Assemblies of God, and the Reformed Church went into CRC and Presbyterian. The Unitarians, the Universalists. Wow. That came out of Czechoslovakia. The Baptists, look where they are, and the Quakers, are relatives. These people all evolved out of this. Church History is fascinating.

What does God think of all this? He’s going to extinguish it. What does He extinguish? Religion. There are seven reasons I’m not a Roman Catholic. The mass is absolutely against the scripture. Mary was a sinner who needed to be saved. Tradition does not trump scripture. We do not worship images or revere them and bow down and pray to them. Sacraments are like an IV that you strapped yourself and you need drips to get to Heaven. You can’t be completely saved right now. If you try to lead a Roman Catholic to the Lord, ask him if they know for sure they’re going to Heaven. No, they’re going to purgatory because Jesus didn’t pay enough, and purgatory is a false edition. This is the gospel of Romanism. You’re born a sinner, you’re baptized, and you wash away your sin. Then if you commit venial sins God forgives them, but mortal sins He doesn’t, and you have to go to mass.


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