Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MARK OF THE BEAST RIDDLES

a1 BY PAUL ROLLAND


Current Medical & Ecommerce Device Technology;
 
Over two months ago, I had a total knee replacement (ouch, is an understatement). Shortly before my Father-in-Law passed away, he had a special hearing implant.  I have seen military vets with varying degrees of implants and prosthetic devices. Do you know of anyone of with a pacemaker and any other type of technological/medical implant? In 2017, most of us following eschatological developments were acutely made aware of the company in Wisconsin that started offering its employees, 'implantable micro-chips' in their hand so they could buy a bag of stale chips in the cafeteria vending machines and to open doors! What a personal price to pay by these employees so they don't have to reach in their pocket to grab 75 cents or buck to buy a bag of chips, and all that (pun intended). What could be cooler than using an iphone or other smartphone to pay for chips, than by using an implanted micro-chip (not the kind that can be eaten)? For the mobile technology addicted crowd, an implanted micro-chip is the next wave of coolness. I wonder how long they will have to wait in line for version 2.5 of this "new mobile device miracle". What do all these have in common? They are all technological implants of one kind or another.  Yeah, so what? They can all wear out, break down, be replaced, be removed, be improved, be modified, something "better" always comes along, etc. Again, they are all man made devices and not inherently evil.
 
Let me ask you a question.  Does my knee implant make me any less human or an imager of God (or Christian, saved by Christ's Grace)? Does an older person's pacemaker make him/her any less valuable in the eyes of God? A military vet that has lost a limb and had it replaced with a prosthetic device, does he/she lose their chance at salvation because of a man-made device becoming part of their body?  Of course not, the Bible doesn't mention anything about being saved or a person losing their chance of salvation due to some type of device or technology becoming part of that person. A man-made device does NOT change or corrupt my unique genetic being as an imager of God! Even with "implants", we are still human (although imperfect as a result of mankind's fall). Why wouldn't an implanted micro-chip, RFID chip or some other unknown or future electronic device (implanted or otherwise) no be considered a "Mark". Wouldn't an electronic device be needed to conduct a buy/sell transaction? 
 
Genetic Corruption of the Imagers of God;
 
What sinful activity really angered God at the beginning of the Bible? Genesis (6:1-5) goes into detail about fallen angels (sons of God as opposed to sons of Man), who left their first estate in heaven to mate with human women (daughters of men that were seen as 'fair'). This unholy mating of angelic beings with human beings created a hybrid race of Nephilim (giants, mighty men, men of renown). The Nephilim were such an abomination, that God cast the fallen angels (watchers) who spawned these beings, into the bottomless pit/abyss with chains. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day (Jude 6). God also instructed the Israelites to kill the various clans of these giant hybrid angels/humans. Does Goliath the Philistine (and his two brothers) come to mind? How about... And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight (Numbers 13:33). For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man (Deuteronomy 3:11). All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out (Joshua 13:12).
 
Outside of the eschatological community, bringing up the concept of the Nephilim is either mocked, completely ignored, brushed off as non-biblical or as fairy tales, discredited, incorrectly interpreted or altogether avoided because of the unsettling connotations and repercussions that result from the evidence of giants having existed in antiquity. Among the evolutionists, evidence of giants totally confounds their anti-creation theory of evolution.  Some people are either scared of or are uncomfortable with the evidence of hybrid humans or giants having lived. If you are still not convinced of the biblical proof of Nephilim, I strongly suggest that you research the fantastic work done by Rob Skiba (a Christian researcher) and review the cornucopia of physical evidence he painstakingly provides. I am only bringing this topic up as a case in point about the extremely dangerous outcomes of genetic manipulation of the human genome. God hates it (genetic manipulation and species hybridization) and destroyed it via the Israelites and Flood. God takes great offence with any corruption, meddling or manipulation of his created beings aside from what He designed and created them to be.  He specifically created man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1-2). God also created what is believed to be nine distinct classifications of angelic beings or heavenly host. He creates specifically, purposely and according to His will and plans. Speaking about the destruction of the giant hybrid angelic/human Nephilim, does the "Flood" come to mind?
 
Prior to the Flood, Genesis (6:8-13) goes into detail about how ... The whole earth being corrupted and for all flesh being corrupted upon the earth. God saw the earth as being so filled with violence (not only among men, but extreme violence caused by the Nephilim) that he decided to destroy everything (all flesh). There is some evidence that also suggests that animal hybrids were also created by either the fallen angels or by men who were taught how to do this.  However, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was a just man and perfect in his generations (Genesis 6: 8-9). I believe perfect means being uncorrupted genetically when taking into account the generational context of this verse and the conditions of "flesh" on the earth at this time. In the days of Noah, apparently all flesh became genetically corrupted including men and animals. Although there are several reasons why God saved Noah and his family (including no genetic corruption), you have to understand why God also wanted to save a portion of the animals that were not genetically corrupted and still pure as God had originally intended and created them to be. Humans and animals on the ark were meant to re-populate the earth, after the flood, with uncorrupted, pure genetics. God wiped the slate clean and started over with genetically pure human and animal specimens.
 
Where does Satan come into play in all of this? One of the main lies and deceptions (of many) that he has used throughout the Bible and history was to tempt mankind by offering a false, counterfeit immortality. After the Devil tempted Adam and Eve in the garden with eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge (good/evil), God did not want Adam and Eve to eat fruit from the tree of life ... and live forever (immortal, in a fallen state), (Genesis 3:22). Only Christ can provide true, genuine, righteous immortality based upon our spiritual rebirth and the glorious transformation of our fleshly bodies (1 Corinthians 15:49-55). Over time, as God revealed the genetic lines that the Messiah was to come from, the Devil made it a priority to attack the genetic lines of those people in an attempt to thwart God's plan by genetically corrupting the messianic family tree by various means. This obviously failed. The point is that genetic manipulation is a major strategy used by Satan to deceive mankind with a counterfeit immortality and attempt to derail God's plans (past, present and future). The Devil's main strategy has always been to corrupt and counterfeit anything God has created or declared very good (Genesis 1:31).
 
 Today's Genetic Knowledge and Technology - CRISPR;
 
Per the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism's DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. Several approaches to genome editing have been developed. A recent one is known as CRISPR-Cas9, which is short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has generated a lot of excitement in the scientific community because it is faster, cheaper, more accurate, and more efficient than other existing genome editing methods. Genome editing is of great interest in the prevention and treatment of human diseases. Currently, most research on genome editing is done to understand diseases using cells and animal models. Scientists are still working to determine whether this approach is safe and effective for use in people. It is being explored in research on a wide variety of diseases. It also holds promise for the treatment and prevention of more complex diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
 
Ethical concerns arise when genome editing, using technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9, is used to alter human genomes. Most of the changes introduced with genome editing are limited to somatic cells, which are cells other than egg and sperm cells. These changes affect only certain tissues and are not passed from one generation to the next. However, changes made to genes in egg or sperm cells (germline cells) or in the genes of an embryo could be passed to future generations. Germline cell and embryo genome editing bring up a number of ethical challenges, including whether it would be permissible to use this technology to enhance normal human traits (such as height or intelligence). Based on concerns about ethics and safety, germline cell and embryo genome editing are currently illegal in many countries.
 
Popular Mechanics, March 10, 2017: Chinese Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos. This marks the first time CRISPR has been used on viable human embryos. Chinese scientists have successfully edited the genetic information of human embryos. The researchers used CRISPR to remove genetic mutations from a handful of viable human embryos and have published the results in the journal Molecular Genetics and Genomics. CRISPR has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in genetics in the past decade. It lets scientists target a specific section of DNA, remove it from the genome, and even replace it with something else if they wish.
 
EXPRESS, July 18, 2017: China unveils gene technology to create SUPERHUMANS. ARMIES of SUPER-SOLDIERS were a step closer to reality after China announced it was genetically engineering hyper-muscular SUPER-DOGS. The dogs, which are test tube bred in a lab, have twice the muscle mass of their natural counterparts and are considerably stronger and faster. The canine genome has been especially difficult to engineer and replicate - but its close similarity to the human genome means it has long been the prize of geneticists. Now, the Chinese success has led to fears the same technology could be used to create weaponized super-humans. David King, director of Human Genetics Alert (HGA), voiced his fears over what is widely viewed as the first step on a slippery slope.  He told express.co.uk: "It's true that the more and more animals that are genetically engineered using these techniques brings us closer to the possibility of genetic engineering of humans. "Dogs as a species, in respect of cloning are very difficult, and even more difficult to clone human beings.  "There's no medical case for it, the scientists are interested in being the first person in the world to create a genetically engineered child. They're interested in science and the technology and their careers. They will continue pushing the regulations for it. That does set us on the road to eugenics. I am very concerned with what I'm seeing." "But some have criticized the experiments, citing ethical concerns" Mr. King said: "This is the way it is likely to proceed if the law is changed, first of all they will use it for medical purposes, most likely to treat a genetic condition". "In terms of genetic engineering we will be seeing this more and more". The director of HGA, and independent body, claimed there are multiple examples of eugenics going on already, citing women who are intelligent and beautiful are paid more for their eggs in the US. Mr. King said: "It's not scaremongering. "I'm seeing the beginning of a campaign within the scientific community to legalize human genetic engineering. We've seen how it happened with the thee-parent embryo. I can see the same thing building up with genetic engineering".
 
Today's Surveillance State Technology;
 
Major governments around the world are pursuing and using advanced technology on their citizens to build large databases of very specific, private information. Some governments are building these under the guise of "tracking the criminal element in society and determining the probability of the next crime", others are creating a civilian database to collect and centralize economic activity. The major governments of the world are somewhat late coming to the civilian big data collection party. All major banking and credit institutions around the world are already connected electronically in a way that enables the processing of transactions and fund transfers in mere seconds. These recent developments would have been unthinkable in the 1960's, 70's or 80's (before the advent of personal computers) or smartphones.  An astute prophecy student and technologist can easily see how these developments play into the Tribulation scenario of being able to be centrally controlled by the new world order system.
 
India's Surveillance System:
 
Bloomberg, January 9, 2017: Snowden Joins Outcry Against World's Biggest Biometric Database; Former U.S. intelligence-contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden joined critics of India's digital ID program. An Indian journalist who faces police charges, reported that personal details of over a billion citizens enrolled in the program could be illegally accessed for just $8 paid through a digital wallet. Named Aadhaar, the program is backed by the world's biggest biometric database, which its operator is the Unique Identification Authority of India, or UIDAI. This isn't the first time Snowden has spoken against Aadhaar. On Jan. 5th (2017), he tweeted: "It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse." Several Indian activists allege the program provides legal sanction for the creation of a surveillance state.
 
Bloomberg, December 13, 2017: World's Biggest Biometric Database Grows in India Amid Doubt; Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing Indians to link their digital IDs to a host of services such as credit cards and cellphones. Aadhaar is a unique 12-digit number assigned to Indian residents, backed by their fingerprints, iris scans and certain demographic details. Some lawyers and activists, such as Shyam Divan, say that once linked to various services it will offer the government a web of information about each individual that will violate the person's privacy. "The Aadhaar Act purports to provide legal sanction to a program that lays the framework for real time surveillance of every Indian," Divan said. Indians are mandated to link their Aadhaar to:
 
*         Government-issued Permanent Account Numbers, which help track tax filings
*         Bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, mutual funds, pension plans
*         Social welfare benefits such as cooking gas subsidies
*         Mobile numbers
 
Enrollments to Aadhaar have increased by about 80 million over the past year -- roughly the entire population of Germany -- as pressure built on citizens to either link or forfeit these services. Modi has embraced and extended Aadhaar's scope far beyond what was envisioned earlier. Newspapers continue to carry reports about poor or disabled Indians -- such as leprosy patients -- who are denied food and pensions because they either lack an Aadhaar number or the fingerprints and iris scans needed to apply for one. A right to privacy, activists say, means the government can't force Indian citizens to hand over their unique biometric data to the government in order to receive basic government services.
 
China's Surveillance System:
 
Activist Post, December 30, 2017: China's Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the database, has amassed biometric information for more than 40 million people, it was reported in 2015. The Communist country has the world's biggest database of DNA information according to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) just this year. For comparison, in the US, the FBI's national DNA index has 12.7 million offender profiles. "Mass DNA collection by the powerful Chinese police absent effective privacy protections or an independent judicial system is a perfect storm for abuses," Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW said. "China is moving its Orwellian system to the genetic level." A follow-up report published earlier by the human rights watchdog group revealed that there was even a program which has gathered biometric data--including fingerprints, iris scans, blood-type, and DNA--on millions of residents in six regions in Xinjiang in 2017 under the guise of a free public health program providing physical examinations. A recent BBC exposé into the network of facial recognition CCTV cameras in China's biggest city, Beijing, illustrates how effective a surveillance network is at identifying, tracking, and interdicting any targeted or wanted individual within minutes. All the more unnerving is China's progress in developing a system of ranking individuals based on a citizen score linking social media and big data to create a digital caste system for human beings. Something akin to a credit score showing your loyalty to the state.
 
Russia's Surveillance System:
 
Activist Post, December 30, 2017: Expanding Worldwide Trend - National Biometric Databases;  Russia is to start a biometric database for financial services starting next summer (2018), the Central Bank of Russia said in a statement. The biometric database will incorporate images of faces, voice samples and, eventually, irises and fingerprints.
 
United States Surveillance System:
 
Activist Post, December 30, 2017: Here in the U.S. the DHS is planning a biometric facial recognition database for border checkpoints and to create the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) to store 500 million people, including many US citizens' identities within its system. HART will no doubt link into the FBI's NGI (Next Generation Identification System.) The Electronic Frontier Foundation is currently working with allied organizations to oppose mandatory national ID cards and biometric databases. According to EFF's website, there is an expanding list of countries that have introduced biometric ID databases including Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Peru, and Spain. That list will soon include other countries within the European Union.
 
Conclusion:
 
... And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16-17).
 
... And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosover receiveth the mark of his name (Revelation 14:9-11).
 
... And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of god (Revelation 15:2).
 
 ... And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image (Revelation 16:2).
 
... And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand year (Revelation 20:4).
 
...And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man (Luke 147:26). Corruption of flesh, extreme violence, extreme sin, extreme abominations, extreme evil. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them (Revelation 9:6). And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory (Revelation 16 8-9). These two verses directly, and several other verses indirectly, suggest that men may have somehow attained the ability to withstand extreme elements and afflictions, up to and including the ability to not die. However, they will still experience extreme and unbearable affliction, pain and torment. This would provide further evidence of some type of genetic manipulation or enhancement was in play. A counterfeit immortality? Some prophecy teachers/students have suggested that the scorching heat will be seven times (7X) hotter than today's hottest temperatures on earth. From a scientific standpoint, this extreme heat could be representative of massive solar flares reaching the earth. It is an extreme and sad irony, that people during the Tribulation will perhaps stand in line to get the Mark of the Beast, thinking of the lie of immortality, and then once having this counterfeit, satanic ability, wishing that they could die. Be careful of what you want, you might get it! If God wouldn't tolerate genetic manipulation and hybridization during the times of Noah, why would he allow it during the Tribulation? God is the same then, now and always. He doesn't change, nor does his Word change. Now, in this day and age, mankind has the ability (if unrestrained by any authority) to make the same mistake, as in the days of Noah, to genetically manipulate the human genome. Big governments are already using advanced technology and A.I. to monitor their citizens' behavior, travels and financial dealings to see if they are a threat to the ruling establishment. However, it doesn't take much stretch of the imagination to think that the restraints that currently exist to prevent human genetic manipulation, or to prevent abuse of citizens' privacy, could easily and quickly fall by the wayside during the Tribulation. The technology to conduct cashless transactions in milliseconds is already here and used exclusively by international financial institutions. The only entities left to be added to this system, are individual citizens around the world.
 
What does all this techno-geno-babble have to do with the Mark of the Beast (as opposed to the number of the Beast)? My belief (based upon what the Bible says) is that the Beast will use a form of deception and lies that requires/entices people to receive a form of genetic enhancement, or manipulation.  This could be used as a proxy for men to be resistant to the pestilences that occur during the Tribulation period. This could also be used as a lie that suggests science can make men immortal by not having to die by the diseases and genetic ailments that have plagued mankind since mankind's fall. This of course does nothing to address the spiritual death of mankind. People during the Tribulation will not be concerned with their "spiritual health or status", let alone of repenting, giving Gold glory, and accepting Christ.  Which deceived person would not want to have a counterfeit immortality? (there is that age old deception again). What could a mark look like on the hand or forehead? This could be in the form of a biometric marker or fleshly signature that is caused by genetic manipulation or process. It could also just be as simple as a satanic graphic tattoo, stamp, logo or branding. This could also be a number that is obviously descriptive in nature. 365/24/7 means something to most people (this describes something that occurs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).  Go online and check out how CERN uses the interplay of 666 in their logo. Revelation (13:16-17) clearly states that this will be a mark, the name, or the number of his name (of the beast). The mark destroys a human's status as an imager of God and bastardizes the element of God that was initially created in that person. Which is why I believe there is a genetic component to the mark. As such, deceived members of the Antichrist's system can be identified in three different physical, visible manners. How could a person make a worldwide purchase by only having a symbol, biometric mark, name or number on their hand or forehead? Won't they need a credit card, smartphone, micro-chip or physical device of some kind (implantable or otherwise) to conduct an economic transaction?
 
Today, biometric scanning is used throughout the world by major governments to monitor their civilians and is growing exponentially.  Scanning captures detailed facial features, iris patterns, fingerprint patterns, and even voice pattern recognition and DNA. Instead of scanning a credit or debit card, or even a micro-chip, all the Beast's system has to do is scan a person's face or hand (that has the visible signature, mark or number). The system electronically acknowledges the mark (in the same manner as when a scanner reads someone's iris to determine their identity), which then activates the decision (go, no-go) algorithms, which in turn authorize electronic transfer of cashless funds. It is all done electronically, behind the scenes in milliseconds. The electronic system then knows (via stored information in the world's databases) that the person with the Beast's mark, number, name is part of the new world system and is then allowed to buy and sell. No need to have cash, a credit card, or even a device implant. It is well known that countries and the credit card companies are pushing hard today to do away with cash. All international banking and fund transfers are electronic. The only parties using cash, are individual citizens, making private purchases. Bitcoin, Crypto-Currencies are also some recent attempts at developing "cashless electronic currency". Russia, India, Europe and the U.S. are all pursuing electronic scanning technology and data management systems with aims at various goals, including, but not limited to, economic monitoring. It doesn't take much to see how these systems can easily coalesce together into one network during the Tribulation. This new world economic system is nothing more than financial databases, transaction systems and protocols being tied together, founded on a common data scheme which pulls in data from biometric scanners all over the world. This was unthinkable even five years ago.
 
Why does God specifically declare that anyone who takes the Mark of the Beast will be lost forever and is beyond salvation, even with the grace being communicated throughout the entire earth by the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13), three witnessing angels (Revelation 14:6-11), 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Revelation 7:4) and Christians' testimonies/witnessing by refusing to take the mark, prior to their martyrdom (Revelation 20:4).  The mark is physical as opposed to a spiritual engraving and means that these people have figuratively crawled into bed with Satan, and there they will stay to receive God's wrath and to eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet (Revelation 13:9-11, 19:20, 20:10).  The mark, number, name represents a betrayal of God and a compromise with evil. Conversely, the Bible says the forehead of every believer in Christ is reserved for the "name of my God". Christ promises, I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem ... And I will write on him My new name (Revelation 2:12). And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1). So, there you have it.  The wicked choose to have the Mark of the Beast written on their foreheads, all Christians (and the Jewish 144,000 redeemed/sealed by God) have the name of God written on their foreheads.
 
Taking into account everything that I have stated, including recent, cutting edge technological advancements, this letter will only make sense to folks "who have eyes to see and ears to hear" living during the past several years. I don't think people living prior to the smartphone or computer era (let alone to the very recent genetic era) would have any comprehension or belief of the things stated here in. During the Tribulation, many lies will be told to deceive men about the benefits of taking the mark and being part of the new world system. Some people will interpret these benefits (erroneously) as being cool and having no risk whatsoever. The analogy of "sheeple" will rise to a new level. Another sad irony is that these people will most likely line up to receive the mark as if it were the next great smartphone release.  I believe there is strong Biblical connections between verses in Genesis and Revelation that tie together the genetic manipulation scenario that could produce the Mark of the Beast. In my analysis, biometric scanning, worldwide database technology and genetic modification does away with the need to have any physical device on a person's physical being (implanted or not in order to conduct economic transactions. The Beast will need a failsafe system to correctly identify who is in the satanic kingdom/system and who is not.  A physical device (implanted or not) is NOT a failsafe mechanism for detecting someone's allegiance to the Antichrist or to enable them to participate in the new world economic system. The only way to salvation during the Tribulation period is for a person to believe in Christ AND refusal to take the Mark of the Beast, to the point of martyrdom (beheading)... And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). As of today, we still do not know exactly what the mark, number or name of the Beast will be. We can only consider what God reveals to us in His time and what we see on the near horizon. I surmise that the mark will be revealed, once the church has been raptured, the Beast comes on the scene, the Tribulation period has begun and the new world order system coalesces into place.
 

LAST DAY SORCERIES

BY TERRY JAMES


It's almost like watching a war in much the same way people used to observe Civil War battles. The towns people would, in some cases-particularly early in the conflict-get their picnic goods together and sit in what they thought to be secure positions with their families to watch the blue and gray combatants go at it.
 
I feel sort of like that at the moment.
 
There is an end-times war going on-building toward Armageddon-and the individual battles are fascinating.
 
I've noted with amusement and a degree of schadenfreude the leftist, Hollywood types have their accusations against Donald Trump bounce off his administration and stick on them. The sexual harassment charges have made manifest their hypocrisy.
 
Satan has appeared to have been losing the battle as of late on several fronts. Of course, we know that neither he nor his minions, whether demonic or human, will ever give up their assaults until the war is over. They will seem to win many battles right up until the gathering at Armageddon.
 
Evidence of the battles Lucifer and his legions will continue to fight is observable in the conflict Attorney General Jeff Sessions has initiated regarding marijuana sales. It is a civil war in its own right.
 
The old devil never ceases to amaze in his ability to deceive and cajole. He not only has a majority of people clamoring to make "Mary Jane" accessible on a national scale, thus eventually making the nation unable to think clearly, he finessed the controversy into a political poison dart aimed at the president he is desperate to see removed from the reigns of power. The following hate-Trump news outlet piece illustrates my point, I hope.
 
As of late Friday, POLITICO Magazine could not find a single member of Congress who had issued a statement in support of Sessions' actions. In the end, this is a self-inflicted pot crisis that could prove to be a critical test of Trump's ability to maintain his base.
 
"There's a lot of old white men who are marijuana users, and the marijuana is keeping them alive," Segerblom said from his cell phone while driving around Las Vegas. "Trump is going to have fewer to vote for him if he doesn't keep marijuana legal."
 
Sessions' antipathy for a drug that has lost much of its stigma among a wide cross section of Americans has only galvanized disparate factions in Congress to protect an industry that is expected to generate $2.3 billion in state tax revenue by 2020. (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/06/jeff-sessions-marijuana-legalization-congress-216251)
 
I'm sure that among that 70 percent of Americans who are said to support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes are many who regularly read this column. There are those within my own family who think it is something that should be allowed without resistance.
 
I don't.
 
It is the so-called recreational usage that is embedded within the satanic ploy that makes the battle plan an end-times issue in my view. It is the proverbial slippery slope to open more and more avenues to national inability to think rationally.
 
America already is plagued with that malady to an unacceptable degree. A glaring example is that at least half of the nation has been deluded into believing that supporting the murder of babies in their mothers' womb and same gender partners engaging in sexual relations is natural and not abnormal.
 
The prophetic Word of God has things to say about this drug-induced delusion at the time of Christ's Second Advent approaches.
 
John wrote about those rebellious earth dwellers who would populate the planet at the very end, as Armageddon nears:
 
"Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts" (Revelation 9:21).
 
Again, John, with dictation from Jesus Christ, writes the following: "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived" (Revelation 18:23).
 
The word "sorceries" here is from the Greek pharmakeia (#5331 in Strong's). There is some connection here to the word "pharmacy."
 
The following is informative about the use of the Greek term chosen for use.
 
Okay. Now lets ensure that we correctly understand this:
 
The root meaning of this group of Greek words [magos, mageia, pharmakeia, pharmakeus]  is "druggist" "poisoner" or, "giver of potions." These particular "sorcerers" were persons able to prepare and dispense potions. But why did they dispense these potions? Was it in order to give relief from illness?
 
Absolutely not! It was in order to stimulate hallucinations or visions! We must understand that it was long part of pagan religious practice to administer potions, or drugs, which would encourage hallucinations! There is, of course, a direct parallel here to modern illicit drug taking. But these original "pharmacists" were involved in the black arts and in demonology; the basic idea was that taking certain potions could bring one into contact with the spirit world, and that this was to be desired. But the fact that the modern English word "pharmacy" happens to be derived from pharmakeia frankly proves absolutely nothing! Do people visit doctors in order to be given drugs which will bring them into contact with the spirit world? Of course not!! People visit medical practitioners in order to have an illness diagnosed, to be treated for sickness, or to gain relief from illness! Yet there are some extremist charismatic ministries around today which teach that we sin when we visit a doctor just because the word "pharmacy" happens to be related to these Greek words!
 
We must understand that on several occasions the Bible backs up the principle that sick people should look around for remedies for their sickness. This is a very clear biblical principle!...
 
While the English word "pharmacy" is indeed derived from a group of Greek words used to describe those pagans who used potions to encourage hallucinations in those who wanted to contact the spirit world, to suggest that modern medical pharmacists are in any way associated with the "black arts" is as ludicrous as to suggest that when my friend took penicillin for a very serious infection, he was really more interested in contacting spirits!!! (By the way, my friend was healed and gave the full glory to God who alone is our healer). (Robin A. Brace-2005, Sorcery in the Bible, Pharmakeia and Modern Medicinewww.ukapologetics.net/pharmakeia.html)
 
The battle waged by Satanic forces to bring in last-days sorceries, according to Bible prophecy, will be a victory in their column. We are, in my opinion, witnessing the beginning of their winning that battle in our beloved nation. But, one battle won't win this war. We have God's Word on that truth!

REVELATION REVEALED, PART 8: BABYLON'S DESTRUCTION




By Pastor Mike Taylor



18 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
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.
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.” (Revelation 18:1-3)

Judgment is coming to a closing end, and the destruction of this rebellious world is nearly to its completion. Here again in this chapter it again speaks of Babylon. Is this the same Babylon that was spoken of in Chapter 17? Many believe that the Babylon of these two chapters are the same, but are they? Note that there are two divisions of end times concept of the Babylon that rises to rule the earth. The first is Mystery Babylon. She is considered a harlot, a whore which is signified by a woman in a religious order that deceived the world and has for the last nearly 2000 years. She is identified with Rome and is shown to be an adulterer, a woman that is defiled and worships false gods and leads other people into sin. She has held sway over kings and nations at different intervals of her history and in these last days, she rises from the ashes of oblivion, much like the Phoenix bird and retakes her glory lost in the past, but it is short lived. She rules with the Beast power for a set and pre-determined amount of time, before the political power of this time destroys her completely and burns her with fire.

Then there is secular, political, and commercial Babylon that is identified with a coastal city. Be she Mecca, New York City or some other powerful center of this ruling abomination called the Beast power, we are not sure, nor will we be sure this side of the coming of our Lord for the true Church of the Living God. As we have pointed out, this great city is the center of world economics. She is a marketplace that has grown ever more greedy and has lust for power. She is self indulgent and in the end, God Almighty destroys her completely for her sins and abominations.

Through a great portion of the coming Tribulation these two portions of Babylon are intertwined with each other. One having power over another to lead one as much as horse is led by a bridle. But it is an uneasy alliance, as they are not the same, but antagonist of each other, both lusting for supreme power. The coming Beast power has need of this religious power to forge the chains of those who it wishes to follow him and use this false religion as an agent of conquest, much as it was in the Middle Ages. But the Beast that rules the earth will need this false religion for just so long. Her usefulness will run out in the near future during the midpoint of the Tribulation and she will be burned with fire as we saw in Chapter 17.

15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
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.
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.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)


This harlot religion has temporal power over the Beast, as the Bible shows that she rides the Beast, and controls him to a point and rules over all nations in religious affairs. Only one religion has more than a 1.5 billion people from all over the globe of all people, multitudes, nations, and tongues. She has spread her tentacles to all points of the globe and in the past, no one was able to withstand her. But this Tribulation power she holds over the political Babylon is short lived.

Mystery Babylon seems to be destroyed when the Anti-Christ comes into the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the mid point of the coming tribulation and proclaims himself as being God in the flesh. Then this religious portion of this unholy alliance will be needed no longer, as the dragon, Satan the devil, who has entered into the last dictator of this fallen world known as the Anti-Christ, will desire complete worship of himself (Satan) through a mortal man that he has possessed. It appears from scripture that a charade either real or manufactured is fostered upon a rebellious and evil population that believes this lawless man has been resurrected from some type of wound that brought him to near death. It will be a false resurrection to mimic what Jesus did 2000 years ago by the power of God, whether this resurrection of the Anti-Christ is real or a charade. Satan is very good as counterfeiting what God has done to make the unrighteous believe a lie.

BABYLON, REAL OR SYMBOLIC?


But as we study the concept of this great city called Babylon, are they literal cities or is she symbolic? That is a question we have to ask ourselves, as many believe that Babylon will be rebuilt again on a desert sands found in the backward country of Iraq. Note that any city built on the ruins of ancient Babylon would not completely fit the description of her having a sea faring port able to handle large merchant ships. Saddam Hussein had the mad notion of rebuilding ancient Babylon thinking that he was a modern king Nebachadnezzer and ruler of the Middle East and we know what happened to him. Many people believe that the New Babylon will be built on the Euphrates River and with the wealth of the Middle East oil, that could happen, but to be an economic power house that God speaks of, leaves large holes in that theory. Although, no one has stepped forward to attempt such a city. But from my viewpoint, being so close to what I feel is the season of our Lord's return, I don't see that kind of time being allowed for another city to emerge as a economic powerhouse for all the world to coincide with the description of her destruction in coming verse of this chapter.


As briefly mentioned in the last part of this study, our Lord equated the known world that hated Him and cautioned that it would hate those who follow Him, just as much to what this world will become.

18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the worldthe would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)

So there are two possibilities, as we have investigated and looked at different cities as being the center of the Beast power, either Rome, Mecca, or even New York, as New York is the center of world wide commerce at the present time. At this present time, the economy of the world is centered on the USA and its economic engine found in New York City, but that could change. It's possible, but highly unlikely, as another city would take years to achieve what the investors on Wall street and the New York economic hub of the world has become. Another possibility is that Babylon is symbolic of what Jesus spoke of as the end time world that revels in their rebellion and unrighteousness. The entire world is a combination of religion and commerce, so the symbol of Babylon “could be” this end time Beast power that covers the entire earth we now live on. In portraying the destruction of a city (Rome?), John describes in Chapter 17 God’s judgment on the great satanic system of religious evil that has corrupted the earth’s history. In chapter 18, the context seems to indicate that Babylon here is viewed in its political and economic character rather than its religious aspect. Although both portions of the Babylon the Great are mentioned in various detail, jumping from one power to the other.

Looking at the opening verses, this “angel” which can be interpreted as “messenger” has a great shining appearance. Either the light He cast is from being in the presence of God, or this is Jesus Christ proclaiming that Babylon has fallen and will not rise again. It is a matter of a great moment, whether by this angel we understand Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, but most likely agrees to a created angel.

The term ‘another’ (Gr.,allon) makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of 17:1. So this most likely is one of the 7 angels that have the bowl judgments. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen: He announces that Babylon is fallen, fallen and the phrase is “repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned.
Becomes a dwelling place of demons: A sad fate for a once-great city.
Abundance of her luxury: Babylon’s sin was not only idolatry (referred to with the term fornication), but also pride, greed, and selfishly held wealth.

The concept is of man ruling himself and being blessed for his work on this earth for a “great economic city” either a location or speaking of the whole world has come to an end. This is “a prophetic picture of absolute desolation where the proud achievements of man become the demonic haunts of unclean and horrible creatures

4 “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.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
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.
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.” (Revelation 18:4-7)


COMMAND TO LEAVE BABYLON


This is a call to God's Tribulation saints to come out of those places where they should not be. It is akin to what God told Lot and his family to depart from the city of Sodom and flee to the mountains before God destroys her. The tribulation saints are in a place ripe for destruction. Those who are living during this time, are subject to the temptation and the evil that is perpetuated in the end time world that is headed for oblivion, and God commands His own to separate themselves from everything that pertains to the evil influence of these end time Gentile nations. Note that the inference is that those who believes on Jesus Christ at this time, are susceptible to loosing their salvation and ability to commit sin in God's sight and they could be caught up in the judgment that is coming. They are not sealed with God's Holy Spirit as the 144,000 Jewish evangelist were, but are in danger of falling back into the world system that God says depart from it. This is not true of the Church, who cannot lose their salvation, but those in the tribulation have no such guarantee.


10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:10-14)

The church of the Living God has an irrevocable promise of being kept in His grace for any sin, past, present or future. What God has drawn to Jesus Christ and those who have been put into God's Hand cannot be removed.

27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)


Tribulation saints must guard their salvation until the very end of this horrific time. So God is talking about a different set of people who are also called saints, which is another indication that the church is not here, as the Church was sealed and had a deposit of future glorification that is promised. The call to come out of Babylon and its sinful and worldly living has been repeated many times in scripture:
Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11)

Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!” (Jeremiah 50:8)

My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.”(Jeremiah 51:45)

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”(Ephesians 5:11)

But who is this “messenger” of God speaking of? Who are they to come out of? I believe He is speaking of religious and political Babylon that their sins have piled high as the Tower of Babel. There will be an end time false religion that has deceived mankind throughout the history of the world since Jesus ascended back to heaven and the right hand of the Father in glory. God has remembered her iniquities and has passed judgment upon her. This is more detail that John gives to report the destruction of the Harlot Church who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast.

The description of this Harlot Church is verses 6-7 is most telling of who this woman is and where she has had her headquarters for the last near 2000 years. Note her delicacies and her riches and how she has rewarded others by dealing treacherously with those who did not bow the knee to her. She will be rewarded double for what she has done. I see the complete destruction of this harlot church in flames, as God will use the political power of this earth to destroy her.

--Render to her just as she rendered to you: The ancient Greek word for render (apodidomi) means literally “to pay a debt” or “to give back that which is due.” God will give Babylon exactly what she deserves.
--Repay her double according to her works . . . mix for her double: Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). This perhaps is a commentary on how Babylon has made her wealth – through dishonest dealings.
--Repay her double according to her works: This passage presents a three-fold sin. First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously). Second, pride (glorified herself . . . sits as a queen). Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). All these things are characteristic of worldliness and materialism.
--Therefore her plagues will come in one day: The destruction of religious Babylon will come suddenly and with completeness (utterly burned with fire).


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.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” (Revelation 18:8-14)

John goes back and forth speaking of the two Babylons that are mingled together in this chapter. He speaks of religious Babylon and then commercial or political Babylon. Both receive judgment from God and in these preceding verses, you have the vision of a city of commercial marketplace that has dealt with the merchants of the world in what was valuable in John's day, as that is all he could describe, as our technological day was beyond his understanding. You also see a religious portion of Babylon who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast and to take his mark in their forehead and their right hand.


John witnesses the destruction of these great powerful cities in flames and their destruction in one hour. In your mind, you must separate the two Babylons and not confuse one with another. The religious Babylon will be destroyed by the Beast power under the will of God, and the final political portion of the Beast power, God will destroy Himself. I can think of no other man-made weapon of destruction than a nuclear weapon, which is what many believe happens to these religious and political cities, which could level a city in one hour. The merchants of the earth stand at a safe distance from her destruction, as the heat and flames, and not to mention the radiation if this be a nuclear weapon that destroyed her, and they wail because the city is destroyed. That is one reason I have explored the one city in the USA, New York who is the economic hub of this modern world now and in the coming future and the city which could be Rome destroyed by the Beast power as he burns her with fire.. 

The political Babylon sounds eerily similar to what a person would see standing on a boat a long distance from the harbor of the New York City, who has the only port large enough to accommodate large merchant ships. This could come from a nuclear exchange or a pre-emptive nuclear strike from another country. We can only hypothesize of who this great city is, if she is indeed an actual city or a symbolic representation of God's divine judgment on the center of the Beast power and his government. Obviously, God is more than able to replicate a nuclear strike much as He did on Sodom and Gomorrah. Either God uses man to do His will, or completes the prophecy in Divine retribution for her iniquities with fire and brimstone raining from heaven. Thankfully, I won't see any of this to determine which is true as I'll be with Jesus in heaven awaiting the return to the earth of the saints of God, known as the Church of the Living God. Will you?


As we continue to read to the end of the chapter, the angel describes the death knell of Babylon and likens it to a mill stone thrown to the bottom of the sea, never to rise no more. The descriptions show that the center of commercial trade will never be found again.

20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Revelation 18:20-23)


This is either a complete destruction of an actual city or applied broadly to a worldly commerce found across the globe during this time of the coming Tribulation. But I find it telling to who and where this prophecy is directed at, as was mentioned, the political and the religious Babylon have been intertwined up to this point.

24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)

In verse 24, if this is an actual city, then I can think of only one city in this world that has all the attributes that have been described. Some will point a finger at Jerusalem as she has killed prophets and saints also, but she does not fit the description of a harlot religious system that has ruled the world, drowned herself in luxuries of gold, jewels, and much wealth, and has been the center of apostasy in the past ages and into the modern world. Only one religious organization has more gold in her vaults than even Fort Knox. And if you think hard enough, you will come to the conclusion that fits all points of the prophecy.


The chapter describes the complete destruction of the two Babylons: the religious portion and the commercial or political aspect of the ruling One World government that is a mixture of church and state, much as it was in the Middle Ages. Coming in the next chapter, the beginning reveals the coming victory of our Lord God, Jesus Christ over the Beast Power and its final death blow that will decimate all who come against a Living God. The beginning of chapter 19 is a continuation of the end of chapter 18, as the bible has no actual chapter breaks, as that is man's doing, but the end is near and we will discuss that next time, when we see Jesus coming back to earth in power and great glory. We are nearing the start of the coming Millennium and the reign of Jesus Christ for 1000 years to restore the earth to what was lost in the Garden of Eden, the complete beauty of His creation revived and made perfect. We have much to anticipate for and we await anxiously for the coming of our Lord to make this earth what it was in the time of Adam and Eve. Many things will change. The earth will not be subject to pollution and the evils of mankind. War will be no more, and the weapons of war will be changed into plow shares to become a agricultural society. But who will be those who populate the coming Millennial reign of Christ? We will discover that when we explore chapter 19 and 20 of the “Return of Jesus Christ and His Millennial Reign.” See you then.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying that you see none of this noted above and are found in Jesus Christ at His coming for His Church that could come very soon. I pray if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear then email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net. Or visit me online for more biblical messages to help strengthen your faith in the times we live in at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, God bless you all,



TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET