The Good News of the Judgment

Revelation and the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

Revelation 13

This vision gives even more detail regarding the temple of God, the Church. Now we see John employ the symbolism of the ten horned beast also found in Daniel the 7th chapter.

The terrible beast which devours and deceives the whole world of John's day is the Roman Empire. This beast has the mouth, feet, and body of the three powers of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece because the Roman Empire was composed of the territory of these conquered powers which sought to destroy the Sanctuary, Kingdom, and People of God.

Rome is the power which rules the world of John's day and dares to seek to fulfill the wrath of the dragon by making war with the Bride of Christ. Again we see that the persecution lasts 42 symbolic months (there are 30 days in the Hebrew month thus 42 x 30 = 1260 symbolic days).

This vision of the Roman Empire here introduces in verse 3 a strange twist which will be mentioned again in verse 11. This great Empire of Rome is mortally wounded but he does not die! The wound is healed and he lives on again! How does the beast, the Roman Empire, come back to life?

We see that another power arises which is a lamb-like (false Christ) power, a deceptive power, a religious power, which breathes renewed life into the Roman Empire, but this time as a religious pseudo-Christian Roman Empire. This "false prophet" which revives Rome is an actual duplicate or "image" of the old Roman Empire after its fall in the 6th century AD.

This "false prophet" is the same apostate power, the mystery of iniquity or lawlessness of which Paul spoke in 2 Thes. 2:7 which would arise after the power which "restrained" it would be "taken out of the way". After the pagan Roman Empire collapsed and was taken out of the way, the great "falling away", the apostate Christian church of the Dark and Middle Ages, "the false prophet", took over as the "Holy" Roman Empire headed by the new pontiff calling himself a Pope or the Bishop of Rome.

How is the number of his name 666? The title of the Pope in Latin is "Vicarivs Filii Dei". The roman numerals contained in this name add up to 666. This is how our Lord enables His people to know who this power is which would seek to make war with the true church of Christ and seek to overthrow the truth of the Gospel by introducing a false gospel, a gospel which causes sinners to look to an earthly Priest for eternal life rather than the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Mediator between God and man.

A believing sinner must always confess his sins directly to Jesus and never to any earthly priest! Any religion which places ceremony and "sacraments" above simple faith in the finished Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ is Antichrist. This apostate form of Christianity has introduced all of the teachings of ancient pagan Babylon into the Christian Church and thereby made an "image to the beast", a paganized Christianity which John declares to be "Babylon".

God, however declares that Babylon has fallen and gives the world one final proclamation of the everlasting Gospel which calls all who will to come out of Babylon and be sealed in the Gospel of justification by faith in the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless One who died on the cross to purchase our pardon and redemption. This final proclamation gives the Beast and his Image one final deadly wound from which he will never be healed.

The Gospel is the message which is proclaimed in the 4th Angel of Revelation 18. As Paul assures us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience..."

The Bible must be its own expositor. To understand who the "false prophet" is in Revelation 13, we should refer to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth (restrains) that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (restrains), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through Grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."

Paul clearly saw that the Roman Empire would be taken out of the way and replaced by the "falling away" and the "Man of Sin" who was bringing in the false Gospel which was already at work within the Church in the form of the "Judiaising Party" which was even in Paul's day subverting entire churches and leading them away from the truth of justification by faith and replacing the Gospel with the "mysteries" of Babylonian myths and doctrines of devils.

The Papacy came into power after the fall of the pagan Roman Empire and assumed all of the power and "seat of the Beast" that had received a deadly wound yet lived on in the form of the papacy. This "man of sin" will persecute the "woman in the wilderness" until he is destroyed by the brightness of our Lord's coming.

However even before the Man of Sin is destroyed on the final Day, his fall is proclaimed and declared to all the world in the final outpouring of the latter rain and the giving of the Gospel message in the form of the 1st, 2d, 3d angel's messages and the 4th angel of Revelation 18. The warning of the judgment of Babylon's fall and all of her sin's and false teachings shall be declared to all the world to warn the world not to drink of her "wine" and receive the "mark of the Beast".

Those who repent and believe the true Gospel of "Justification by faith, the three angel's message in verity" which is proclaimed by the remnant people of God will be sealed with the Seal of the Living God.

This final restoration movement restores the harmony of the Law and the Gospel. The restoration of the 4th commandment and the truth of Creationism will be a fruit of the proclamation of the final warning that "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird."

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