Revelation 055 – Clash of the Titans (Part 1)Revelation 17:6b-12 • Dr. Andy Woods • October 13, 2019 • Revelation
The Clash of the Titans (Part 1)
Revelation 17:6b-12 Lesson 55
Good morning everybody. Let’s take our Bibles and open them to the Book of Revelation, chapter 17 and verse 6. The title of our message this morning is The Clash of the Titans. I couldn’t think of a better title than that when you look at the chapter that we’re in. Which is probably one of the most difficult chapters in the Book of Revelation, if not the whole Bible, to understand. So that’s what kind of message we’re going to have today, it’s sort of a thinking cap type message. I mean, all the messages are that way really but this one is REALLY that way!
We’ve been moving through the Book of Revelation and we have seen the chronological approach to the judgments that are coming upon the earth, one of which is bowl number seven, on the far right there, just before the return of Christ. We’ve studied that along with the other bowls. And part of that judgment involved the destruction of a city called Babylon. In chapter 16, verse 19 we read these word: “Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.” And what happens after you move out of that particular judgment, as you go to the next chapter, chapter 17, verse 1, which say this: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me, saying ‘Come here and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.’”
So chapter 17 logically flows out of that seventh bowl judgment involving the destruction of Babylon because now what we get in chapters 17 and 18 and even a little bit into chapter 19 is a lot more information on Babylon. Who is Babylon? How is she going to fall? We know that she’s going to fall, that’s very clear from the prior chapter, but what are the details. How is this fall actually going to take place? And that’s what you have in chapter 17, it’s something concerning the fall of Babylon that has never been disclosed anywhere in the Bible thus far; it’s what we would call a mystery or a new truth.
The Book of Revelation does this; there are the chronology is pretty straight forward, believe it or not, but there are about five times in the book when the chronology stops to give us more information on something that’s just happened in the chronology. This has happened four times already in the Book of Revelation, as we have studied, and now we’re into that fifth and final insertion into the chronology, chapter17, verse 1 to chapter 19 verse 16, information that is revealed before Jesus comes back at the end of the seven year tribulation period, specifically focusing on that seventh bowl judgment, specifically referring to the fall or the destruction of Babylon.
Chapter 17 we started last week, we have a vision concerning Babylon, verses 1-6. And then in the second part of verse 6 all the way through the end of the chapter, which I don’t think we’ll get to today, we have the interpretation concerning Babylon. You might remember what we saw in verses 1-6; we saw a woman named Babylon riding the beast. We learned about Babylon’s introduction, judgment, immorality, influence, appearance, title, the persecution that she will bring to God’s people in the last days. And now what follows is an interpretation of that woman riding the beast. Who was the beast? Who was the woman? How did they interact with each other? How does the interaction that they have with each other lead to Babylon’s destruction? That’s the contents of chapter 17.
So as we move into the interpretation of what we saw last week in verses 1-6, we have three things here in that section. Number one, an interpretation is promised to John by an angel. Number two, our letter B, we have a description of the beast and his system, verses 8-14. And then finally we have a description of Babylon or the woman riding the beast and how she falls in verses 15-18. I don’t think a person can really understand the direction that this world is moving in unless they understand this chapter. You know, a lot of people, they look at the headlines and they’re just sort of bewildered, they don’t understand why things are happening, why things are taking place in our country the way that they are. And how different it is when you sort of know how the game is going to end and consequently you can see the headlines through the very things that God said would happen in the end times.
I remember rooting very, very aggressively for one of my athletics teams and I remember going to the game and being on the edge of my seat the whole game, because I really didn’t know who was going to win but my team pulled it out. And I remember going back to my home, I remember watching the exact same game that was recorded earlier and so I knew exactly how things were going to end. And it’s amazing how much calmer I was watching the replay.
So many Christians today are so distracted and so distressed and they’re upset about this person, they’re upset about that person, upset about this cable TV show or that politician over there, of this politician or that guy said this, you know, it goes on and on. Christians are all uptight over this. And yet we know how everything is going to end; we know exactly how it’s going to end. And so we ought to have more of a mindset where we’re watching this as a tape rerun or tape delay rather than someone that’s sitting on the edge of their seats all of the time with sweaty palms. Panic palace really has no place I the life of the Christian because we know the end from the beginning.
So notice if you will verses 6-7 where we have an interpretation is promised to John of this woman riding the beast. Take a look if you could at verse 6, about halfway through the verse. He says, “when I saw her” the woman on the beast, “I wondered greatly.” [Revelation 17:6] So this interaction between the woman named Babylon and the beast is something that perplexes John. He knows that Babylon, the city of Babylon, is going to be destroyed and it’s going to fall; what he doesn’t know is how it’s going to happen. And what does this woman riding the beast have anything to do with the destruction of Babylon?
And so he is perplexed and an angel who has been with John this entire time, giving him this Revelation, says something very interesting there in verse 7. “The angel said to him, ‘Why do you wonder?’” That’s a pretty good question, I mean, why does this bother you when you know that God has everything under control. That’s a good question we ought to ask. “The angel said to him, ‘Why do you wonder, I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her which has seven heads and ten horns.” I will reveal to you this mystery
Now you’ll notice in verse 7 what the mystery is. The mystery is not the woman. The mystery is not the beast. The mystery is the woman riding the beast. We’ve already seen in chapter 17 verse 3 that this woman is sitting on a scarlet beast; the beast has seven heads and ten horns. And as I said before that’s exactly what it looks like, because I found that on Google images and Google images wouldn’t be wrong, would it? That’s a pretty careful artist rendition of what it could have looked like, what it probably looked like, and this is what John saw in this vision.
And you’ll notice, it’s very interesting that the mystery is not just the woman named Babylon, and it’s not just the beast, it’s the woman rides the beast. It’s the clash of the titans, as I like to call it, because as you move through God’s Word what you see developing are two parallel prophetic strands of thought. We know that there is an antichrist coming, Daniel 2, Daniel 7, most likely out of the ancient Roman Empire, and those prophecies have been given to us and they’re very clear but at the same time you have another independent stream of prophetic thought; you have a prediction in Isaiah 13 and 14 and Jeremiah 50 and 51 and Zechariah 5:5-11. We’ve looked at all of those verses, of something different that’s described, a restoration of the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates River.
So this is part of the confusion, people will gravitate towards one stream or prophetic thought or another and they’ll say well is the antichrist coming from a Revived Rome or is he coming from the revived city of Babylon. And people that believe he’s coming from the revived city of Babylon cancel out all of the Rome passages, and people that believe that he’s coming from a revived Rome cancel out all the Babylon passages, when in reality it’s not either/or it’s both/and. Both streams of prophetic thought are a reality and they are coming. But how is it that these two independent streams of prophetic though reach a resolution? That’s the mystery. That’s what Rev 17 is about. How could it be both? Revelation 17 is an answer to that.
Arthur Pink writes, “That mystery is connected with the woman herself and not with her name as is clear from verse 7, the verse we just read, “the angel says unto John, ‘I will tell you the mystery of the Woman, and of the beast which carries her.” [Pink, The Antichrist, pg. 262] The mystery is not just about the woman. The mystery is not just about the beast, it’s about both of them and how these two strands of independent prophetic thought reaps their resolution and how God uses this resolution to fulfill His Word of Babylon’s destruction. We know from the end of chapter 16, with the seventh bowl, that Babylon will be destroyed. How is she destroyed relates to woman’s interaction with the beast and that’s the mystery.
You’ll notice as we move into verse 7 is an interpretation is promised that the Bible is a self-interpreting book. So many people come to sections of Scripture like this and they just let their sanctified imagination run rampant and run wild; all of them are on You Tube saying some of the craziest things I’ve ever heard about anything let alone the Bible. And they’re coming up with very strange interpretations of this and strange interpretations of that and that’s not a practice that we follow here at Sugarland Bible Church. We are patient with the Bible because if you give the Bible enough time either in the immediate context or sometimes somewhere else in the Bible, the Bible will interpret itself.
So we have a vision of a woman riding the beast, verses 1-6a and now we move, 6b to the end of the chapter where we are given an interpretation of that vision. John Walvoord, a great scholar and commentator on the Book of Revelation tells us that the Book of Revelation will do this 26 times; there are 26 times in the book where the book will interpret itself. So let’s be patient with the Bible and let’s let God say what He wants to say.
So we move into the interpretation where the focus now, verses 8 -14, which is likely as far as we’ll get today, is not on the woman riding the beast, the city of Babylon, but it’s about the beast himself and his system. We have a description of the beast, or the coming antichrist, verse 8. On the beast are seven heads and we have a description of what those seven heads mean in verse 9-11, seven heads, and that’s one heck of a dream, isn’t it? A beast with seven heads! What do those seven heads mean? And then if that weren’t difficult enough the beast also has ten horns. Verses 12-14 is a description of those ten horns. What you’re getting is a composite description of the coming antichrist.
So take the woman and put her out of your mind as we move now into verses 8-14; we’re not talking about the woman named Babylon riding the beast. We’re getting into a description of the beast himself. Notice first of all verse 8, the beast.
Verse 8, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.” You’ll notice first of all that this beast comes out of a place called “the abyss.” Now this is a little bit tricky because based on how we’ve taught that word “abyss” used elsewhere in the Book of Revelation it’s sort of like a place of incarceration. It’s where the angels that sinned in Noah’s day are incarcerated, Revelation 9:1-2, that are released to torture mankind in the fifth trumpet judgment. [Revelation 9:1-2, “Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.  He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.”
The abyss also is the place where Satan himself is going to be confined in solitary confinement, you might look at it that way, in Revelation 20 verse 1 and verse 3. [Revelation 20:1, 3, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.”  “and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”] It’s sort of a temporary holding tank, if you will, for fallen angels. But I don’t think that’s how John is using the word “abyss” here when he describes the beast coming out of the abyss. It’s the same word but it has a different meaning. Over in Romans 10:7 the abyss is a reference to death. [The beast comes back from death. Romans 10:7 uses the word “abyss,” same word here, in that same way. Paul says in Romans, “Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”
Something has taken place and manifested itself in history in verse 8, life from the dead. Now over in Revelation 13:3 it speaks of the beast coming back from the dead. And it says this, “One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound but the fatal wound had been healed. And the whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.” Now you’ll notice that the injury that happened to the beast is not to the beast’s head, it’s to “one of the heads of the beast.” And when we were studying that section of Scripture we made the point, and we’re going to continue to make the point, that one of those heads is a representation of a kingdom. And we’ll see a reference to that concerning the seven heads, or seven mountains, down in verses 9 and 10.
And you might recall that when we were in Revelation 13 we were talking about the fact that one of the things that makes the antichrist so appealing to people is he brings back an empire from the dead. He will bring back Rome, we’ll talk about this in just a little bit, from the dead. You know, it’s interesting how many people in world history have sort of prided themselves as dictators, as being the person that brings Rome back to life, ancient Rome. The very empire that crucified Christ bringing that back; many in history have tried and if we’re understanding this correctly and interpreting this correctly the antichrist is the man who will do that. That’s the reference to the ten toes in Daniel 2, the ferocious beast with the ten horns in Daniel 7. It’s sort of an empire arising out of the remains or the ashes or the cultural inheritance of ancient Rome. And when the world sees that life from the dead they’re going to be astonished. When they see a political resurrection and a political miracle of this magnitude they will be astonished and they will follow after the beast.
So is it a political miracle? Yes, but there’s more to it than that. You might recall that when we read Revelation 13:14 sometime back we read these words. “He deceived those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given to him to perform in the presence of the beast telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast” watch this, focusing now on the beast or the coming antichrist, “who had the wound of the sword and has come back to life.” Is there going to be a political awakening? A political revival of ancient Rome? Yes there is. But when you look at this passage here, Revelation 13:14, there’s more to it than that. The antichrist himself will be killed and will die. And he himself will be brought back to life.
Now many, many people will reject this interpretation because they say well, only God can bring back life from death; this can’t be an actual literal resurrection. And it’s very interesting that when you look at that verb “has come to life,” [ ζωή zóé] I’ve got it there in brackets, it’s the identical word used to describe Christ’s resurrection in Revelation 2:8. “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last,” referring to Jesus, “who was dead, and has come to life.” That’s zóé. Now is Christ’s Resurrection literal? Of course it is. So why would the identical verb in Revelation 13:14, relative to the coming beast or the coming antichrist, be interpreted differently?
By the way, did you know you need a resurrection body, anybody drink a lot of coffee this morning to get themselves energized enough to come to church? That’s evidence that you need a resurrection body. It says this concerning the future resurrection body: “They came to life,” that’s all, “and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” The rest of the dead did not come to life,” that’s ζωή [zóé] again, “did not come to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Now everybody takes the future resurrection body of the believer literally, zóé, just like they take the resurrection of Jesus literally, so why would the identical verb in Revelation 13:14 be interpreted differently? I’m of the persuasion that the antichrist’s resurrection, people say is it going to be political or is it going to be individual? The answer is yes, it will be both.
Not only is he going to be looked at as the person that brought ancient Rome back to live but somehow in the outworking of Satan’s purposes he will be killed, assassinated, we’re not told how, suffer a wound of fatality to the point of death, and he will come back from the dead just as literally as Jesus Christ Himself came back from the dead. You say well now you’re going to far because if Satan can imitate Christ’s bodily resurrection then how do we know that Christ’s bodily resurrection itself was not satanic? That’s what people say.
The answer to that is right now as I speak there are literally hand cuffs on Satan, he can do an awful lot but he can’t do everything because there is something in the earth called the restrainer. It says there in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7, that the lawless one, or the antichrist can’t just show up because there’s the restraint on him that says “And now you know” Paul says what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.  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.”
There is a restrainer on the earth. You say well who’s the restrainer? For a lot of reasons I believe the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, primarily at work through the church. So our little church, Sugarland Bible Church, right now as I speak is holding back the antichrist, because of our mere presence in the world. The Holy Spirit is in us for how long? Forever, and one of these days that restraint will be taken away. How’s it going to be taken away? Through the rapture or the translation of the church. And once that happens the handcuffs come off Satan and he’s able to do what he’s always wanted to do, bring back someone even from the dead.
Satan clearly does not have as much power as God but he has an awful lot of power. And in this time period with the restraint gone and the handcuffs removed he pulls off [A] a political miracle. You know Adolf Hitler was worshipped because he brought back Germany after World War I, moving into the World War II era, he brought back Germany from the brink of economic disaster, the brink of political disaster. And people will worship the Furor because of his ability to do this. Think if someone was able to do this on a global scale and also think if that was coupled by the fact that he had received an actual physical wound that killed him and he physically rose from the dead as well.
You think of a guy like John F. Kennedy, we’ve seen the tapes over and over again as Kennedy assassination and that horrific event that happened there in Dallas. I’ve gone to the museum there that they have set up there to sort of educate and commemorate that entire event. I mean, what if a guy like John F. Kennedy, a young charismatic talented individual had been killed and then all of a sudden he came back from the dead? I would bet you would say such a person would never lose another election ever, coupled with the political miracle of a restoration of ancient Rome, and this is who this beast is. This is who this beast represents. But at the same time don’t put the beast on too high a pedestal because the Bible is very clear that what goes up must come down. You’ll see in verse 8, it’s very clear, it says, “And he goes to his destruction.” [Revelation 17:11, “The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. NASB]
Evil is going to have its heyday; evil is going to get its way for a season. Evil is going to have a ascendancy but it’s not forever. He too goes to his destruction. Daniel 7:11 says “…the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.” [Daniel 7:11, “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.”]
2 Thessalonians 2:8 of the antichrist says, “Whom the LORD Jesus will overthrow with the breathe of His mouth and by the splendor of His coming.”
Revelation 19:20 says the two of them were thrown into the Lake of Fire” the beast and the false prophet, of burning Sulphur.” [Revelation 19:20, “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs [ a ] in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with [ b ] brimstone.”]
It’s always interesting to me that the Bible is so balanced, revealing the ascendency of evil but at the same time reminding us who exactly is in control. God is in control! Evil gets its heyday but it doesn’t last long. In fact, in our very passage this morning, as hopefully we’ll get to it, his empire of ten contemporaneous kings gets its day in the sun for about an hour. I don’t know if the hour there is a literal sixty minutes but it’s a brief age of time in comparison to the sands of eternity where evil gets its way.
You know, you read through the Psalms, you read through people of God so distressed about the progress of evil and as we watch the news or read the newspapers we can become very distressed about it too. How is it that evil always seems to get the upper hand. They seem to be getting away with everything. And then the Psalmist is reminded of what it’s like against the sands of eternity. How brief evil gets its control or heyday; it’s just but a nanosecond, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to an eternal God.
And so consequently we as Christians with the eternal perspective can walk through this life with its great progress of evil and yet at the same time not lose hope because we are analogizing those things through the lens of God’s eternal Word. I pity the person who seeks to understand these events without the Scripture. How easy it would be to become to come depressed and discouraged and despondent. And if you look there at the end of verse 8 it describes the reaction of the world to this political and individual miracles. It says, “And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life” these would be unbelievers, the only people that have their name in the book of life are bels, Revelation 20:15. I hope your name is there. My name is there because Jesus promised it to me when I trusted in Him, He would write my name in the Book of Life. That’s probably the most important book you could ever have your name in. It says those “whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, who was and is not and will come.”
I hope by this time in the Book of Revelation you’re seeing the fact that all these things Satan is doing once the handcuffs are off is simply an imitation of what Christ already did two thousand years ago. There’s eleven similarities between the program of Satan and the program of God. And I must have been up really late one night because I made a second chart of eleven or ten more similarities between the program of Satan and the program of God. But the reason this looks so real to people when these events happen is because it looks so spiritual. It looks so accurate in terms of the things that happened in the Bible and yet a careful observer will note that these things are but a mere imitation of what God has done.
You know folks, I just want to warn you about something, we are entering a period in history, I believe at the end of the church age and then following the rapture the church it will accelerate where the program of Satan is going to look so real and so spiritual, because he comes as an angel of light, that people are going to think it’s the real thing. People are going to think it’s the real McCoy! And only the person that is steeped in God’s Word from Genesis through Revelation will be able to see the difference. Unbelievers whose names have not been written in the Book of Life are sitting ducks for this. And so are Christians who have not spent the time reading and studying and learning the Word of God. They don’t have a barometer for distinguishing truth from error.
And so there are a lot of things that look spiritual that really have nothing to do with God. The spiritual talk today folks is in! I mean, Oprah Winfrey talks about God, right? And yet she is a leader of what we would call today, I would call it the New Age Movement, she’s probably one of the most influential spiritual leaders on planet earth today… Oprah Winfrey! She is promoting a theology, there’s a lot more going on in her teaching that simply weight loss tips and cooking tips and things like that. She is promoting something. And your average person, millions if not billions of people watching her on a day by day basis, they have no understanding for what’s happening.
And this is how Satan operates; he gets his program as close as it can get to God’s program without it actually being God’s program, but it looks like God’s program. And after all, it makes me feel good, it makes me feel spiritual, it gives me the liver quiver of the day; they even let me use the G word, God, every once in a while. They don’t say a lot about Jesus, you notice that? They talk an awful lot about God, the G word and people think it’s right. And this is the type of thing that we’re seeing here in Revelation 17:8.
Now we move away from the beast and now we get a description of these seven heads, what are those about, on this beast. And notice, if you will, verse 9, “Here is the mind with has wisdom, the seven heads are seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.” We’ll go ahead and do verse 10, “And they are seven kings, five have fallen, one is and the other is yet to come and when he comes he must remain a short while.”
You’ll notice the woman is riding the beast; we’re not focused here on the woman, we’re focused on the beast because it’s the beast that has seven heads. Now as we continue on we learn that this beast having seven heads, watch this now, verse 9, “are seven mountains.” The “seven mountains” as we learn, are seven kings. The seven kings, as we’re going to learn, is another way of saying kingdoms. So it goes heads, interpreted as mountains, interpreted as kings, interpreted as kingdoms, and these entities are not on the woman riding the beast. It’s very important to understand that. They’re on the beast that the woman is riding.
And gosh, I’m afraid to figure out how many people believe this, when people see that they think that’s the seven hills of Rome. Does it say seven hills there? My Bible doesn’t say that, it says “seven mountains.” The Greek word there is oros, there’s a completely different Greek word to describe hills. It doesn’t say seven hills, it says seven mountains, and it also says there in verse 9, “Here is the mind which has wisdom.” In other words, here is a harder thing to grasp or to calculate or to understand. Now the last time we saw that expression, “here is wisdom,” it had to do with the antichrist’s name. Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom, let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for the number is that of a man; his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
And I’ve tried to explain in ancient languages numbers are associated with letters, but in Hebrew and Greek, it’s a practice called gematria. It’s not practiced that most westerners are familiar with but those in Biblical times knew all about it. And what will happen, I believe, is you will be able to take the antichrist’s name, not his title, his name, and you’ll be able to spell it out in Greek, when he comes. We don’t know who he is. I tried spelling my own name once just to make sure I wasn’t the antichrist and fortunately I was six hundred and sixty-six. But whoever he is will show up and you’ll be able to take his name, spell it out in Greek, attach the right number to the right letter and it will yield the total 666.
And John says, “Here is the mind which has wisdom.” It’s going to take some additional mental steps for this to occur and decipher this; that’s how anybody living on the earth at the time will know exactly who the antichrist is. That’s why the Bible assigns an eternal penalty for those living in that time period of taking his mark because everyone will be without excuse, they will know exactly who he is. But it’s going to require some additional mental work to do that. And what you see in Revelation 17:9-10 is that expression, here is wisdom, or “Here is the mind that calls for wisdom” is used for a second time. So therefore the seven heads or seven mountains is not something very easy to understand; there’s additional mental steps that are required to figure out who these seven heads or seven mountains represent.
And I being that to your attention because people are saying all of the time, “well, that’s the seven hills of Rome.” Everybody understood that Rome is the city that sits on the seven hills. So they would have attached this to Rome. And my response is well how would that require any wisdom to do that calculation? I mean, if it’s that simple, if it’s that easy, why would it say again, Here is the mind which has wisdom.” It’s something that is working just beneath the surface to understand it but it’s not on the surface and it requires a little bit of mental work to figure out who these seven mountains, seven heads, or seven kings actually are.
So for all of these reasons I’ve tried to articulate the seven hills, it doesn’t even say seven hills, is not speaking of Rome. By the way, people are saying Babylon is the city on seven hills, so Babylon equals Rome. We have a little problem here because these heads or mountains or kings are not part of the woman. They’re part of the beast that the woman is riding on.
So can we make sense of this. Notice verse 10, “and they are” speaking now of these seven heads and mountains, “they are seven kings;” look at that, “five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. Now I am completely and totally in favor of literal interpretation of the Bible whenever it’s possible. But there are times in the Bible where the Bible itself will say don’t interpret this literally, right there in the passage, don’t interpret this literally, here’s what it means. You remember Jerusalem, the great city where the Lord was crucified, which mystically is called Sodom in Egypt. It’s the city of Jerusalem but here is another way of interpretation of Sodom in Egypt residing over that city in the last days; Sodom referring to depravity, Egypt referring to bondage. So why can’t I add this additional layer of meaning? Because of the word “mystically.”
And “mystically” doesn’t leave me to my own devices, it tells me what it means. Galatians 4:24, Sarah and Hagar, do you believe in a literal Sarah and Hagar? I do. Their historical instances and stories but Galatians 4:24 says now we’re going to take those literal stories and not de-historicize those stories but we’re going add another layer of meaning. When it says, Galatians 4:24, “This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.” One woman means freedom, one woman means slavery. One woman means faith, one woman means Law. Why can I attach to those to those two stories an allegorical understanding without de-historicizing those stories? Because the Bible tells me I can do it through the word “allegorically” or the words “allegorically speaking.” If those words were not there I would have no permission to do it. And when I do it I’ve got to pay attention to the interpretation that the Bible itself gives. See that?
So this is what is happening with these seven mountains. They are not meant to be understood as literal seven mountains because verse10 tells us what these mountains represent, “they are seven kings.” So the heads on the beasts are mountains or kings, seven kings total. And here’s what’s interesting; in the Bible, Daniel being the basement, Revelation being the ceiling, the two books have to be understood together, “king” and “kingdom” are used synonymously. Daniel 2:37 aimed at Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel says, “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, [the power, the strength and the glory;]” Later on he says you are the head of gold. [Daniel 2:38, “…. You are the head of gold.”]
It’s like saying today the President of the United States, Donald Trump, did X. And we read that and we say okay, the President did some-thing, that means the President as head of our government involved the United States in his decision. We do this all of the time, we switch from king to kingdom, Trump to White House, to Executive Branch, to authority over the United States. That’s what’s happening here in Daniel 2 verses 37 and 38.
So what am I trying to say? Here is the mind which has listened, the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, they are seven kings, or also we could say they are seven kingdoms. And sometimes in the Bible a mountain, he’s on seven mountains, refers to a kingdom. I don’t have time to give you or read all the verses but jot down Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 41:15, Babylon, Jeremiah 51:25 is called a destroying mountain. God’s kingdom, Daniel 2:35 and 45 is described as a mountain. So understanding a mountain not just as a king but also as a kingdom fits completely and totally with what the Bible has to say.
[Isaiah 2:2, “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord
will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.” Isaiah 41:15, ““Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, and will make the hills like chaff.” Jeremiah 51:25, ““Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, who destroys the whole earth,” declares the Lord, “And I will stretch out My hand against you, and roll you down from the crags,
and I will make you a burnt out mountain.” Daniel 2:35, “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed [a]all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:45, “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”]
So enough talking, let’s do the BLT which stands for Bottom Line Time. (Not Bacon Lettuce and Tomato). What’s the bottom line? Who are these seven heads or seven mountains, or seven kings, or seven kingdoms not attached to the woman named Babylon but to the beast. They represent seven anti-Semitic kingdoms, the most anti-Jewish kingdoms in the history of Israel. The first was Egypt, that is the kingdom that the nation of Israel was taken into captivity in the days of Moses. The second anti-Semitic kingdom was Assyria, that’s the kingdom that scattered the northern tribes in 722 B.C. The third anti-Semitic kingdom was Babylon; Babylon is where the nation of Israel went into captivity for seventy years.
And then came Persia, following Babylon, from Persia came a very wicked ruler named Haman, who devised a plot to exterminate the Jews. That didn’t go too well for him, he got hung on his own gallows. You know, it’s interesting, every time that a dictator comes on the scene and tries to wipe out the Jewish people, not only do the Jewish people survive but they end up getting a holiday out of the deal. And in this case Lots or Purim was added to the holidays to commemorate this.
Then came Greece and we know what Antiochus Epiphanes did to the Jews in the intertestamental period in terms of desecrating the temple. That’s where Hanukkah or Feast of Lights comes from. And then would come Rome; Rome was horrific to the Jews, driving them out of the land in A.D. 70. And number seven is this miraculous Rome that comes back to life; this political miracle that the antichrist pulls off, this kingdom arising out of the cultural inheritance of Ancient Rome that we call Rome, phase 2. You’ll notice what it says, John, in the first century, five have fallen. Which five? Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, they’re all in the past when John receives this vision in the first century.
And then he says, “One is,” present tense, which would refer to the empire that was in existence when John was on the earth, ancient Rome. But then he says “One is yet to come.” That would be the Revived Rome of the antichrist during the Tribulation period. Now there’s a very, very interesting verse in Daniel 7:12. By the way, that Revived Rome is the ten toes in the feet of iron and clay in Daniel 2, and it’s the horrific beast with ten horns in Daniel 7. Daniel 7:12 says something that most people just skip right over. It says, “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed time.”
It’s interesting, Egypt fell but the Egyptian system continued to live in Assyria. Then Babylon came, Egypt and Assyria were the thing of the past but the Egyptian and Assyrian system continued to live in Babylon. And then Persia conquered Babylon and yet Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, their systems continued to live in Persia, the same with Greece, she absorbs everything that was wrong in evil and all of those prior empires. And then Rome came along and any historian will tell you that Rome conquered Greece politically but Greece conquered Rome culturally. The deities of Ancient Greece continued to exist in Rome; the Romans just gave them different titles.
So everything that’s bad keeps getting passed down down the food chain. And by the time we get to a Revived Rome you won’t have a political Egypt, a political Assyria, a political Babylon, a political Persia, a political Greece, political Rome Phase 1 anymore but all of everything that’s evil, everything that’s wrong, everything that’s anti-God will be absorbed into Rome phase 2 or the anti-Christ’s empire. And as best I can tell that is probably the best interpretation of the seven heads or seven mountains, or seven kings, or seven kingdoms that are connected to this beast.
Then you come to verse 11 and I was hoping we would run out of time before we got to verse 11 because verse 11 (to me) is one of the most difficult and strangest verses, not only in the Book of Revelation, perhaps in the entire Bible. And I’m not completely 100% confident in my own understanding of it. But it says there in verse 11, “The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to his destruction.” We had seven, now we’ve got eight. Who’s the eighth? I’m not sure if I know other than perhaps the eighth is the antichrist who is connected to the seven, as I’ve tried to explain, but when he dies and rises again that makes him an eighth and the imagery therefore shifts from kingdom back to king. Is that something worth starting a new church over? Probably not, but I think that’s what it’s talking about when it mentions an eight king, one of the seven, the seven we talked about, but the eighth would be his resurrection from the dead.
You’ll notice also the reminder, verse 11, that he too is going to his destruction.  The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.”] Oh yeah, this is terrible, but the Bible keeps throwing in these little reminders that look, evil is going to get its heyday for a season but don’t get despondent over that beloved, don’t let that ruin your hope. He too (the antichrist) is going to his destruction. God hasn’t lost control of things; do you understand that? I understand that things in your life, when I read the prayer requests, are very severe.
What you have to understand is that needs to be analyzed and contemplated against the light of eternity; that’s how God has designed this book. And that’s why you can walk through valleys in this life and not grow weary, as Isaiah 40:31 says because you keep looking at these things through not your own lens but through the lens God has given us, called His Word.. [Isaiah 40:31, “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will – Bible Gateway Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”]
If that’s who the seven heads on the beast represent what in the world do we do with the ten horns also on the beast? “And he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads” we did our best at that, and now it gets more complicated and it talks about “ten horns.” Verse 12 tells us who these ten horns are. “The ten horns which you saw” look at this, “are ten kings which have not received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.” [Revelation 17:12] This would be a ten king confederacy arising contemporaneously or simultaneously with the beast. These are ten horns on the beast that the woman is riding and you’ll notice that these kings aligned with the beast get their day in the sun for an hour. That’s not an awful long period of time.
In John’s writings what you’ll discover is an “hour” many times is not used of a literal sixty minutes, but it’s used of a short age. Jesus says, John 17:1, “Father, the hour has come;” prior to His crucifixion. [John 17:1, “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,’”]
1 John 2:18, of false prophets in the last days, says, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” This is how we know it’s the last hour. It’s an age of time but it’s very brief. And that’s who these kings are, they’re allies of the antichrist. They arise, as verse 12 says, “with” the antichrist. They are the ten toes in Daniel 2. Daniel 2:44, of that ten toed empire, says, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. The return of Christ, the stone cut without human hands, striking the feet of the statue, annihilating these ten toes all at once, obviously must be ten kings in existence with the antichrist at the very moment Jesus returns.
Daniel 7:24 says, “As for the ten horns,” now they’re not ten toes but “ten horns out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. The ten king confederacy of the antichrist, in alliance with the anti-Christ and together, end of the chapter which we’re not getting to today, they will turn on the woman named Babylon, the city of Babylon which is a description of not that she is destroyed but how she is destroyed, the ten horns of Daniel seven.
Now, for years and years and years and years and years and years and years (I guess I’m not that old) but I was taught that these are the ten nations of Revived Europe. Ever since I became of age as a Christian that’s the interpretation I was given on this; this is all Europe. But if you look at Daniel 7:23 of the ten kings it says, “will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” [Daniel 7:23, “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.”]
Dwight Pentecost in his book Things to Come says this final form of world power will have a world-wide influence. So I no longer believe that these are simply the ten kings or nation states of Europe; I think Europe has a lot more than ten now any, doesn’t it, twenty-three, twenty-seven, something like that. I believe that these are ten regions into which planet earth will be divided because there’s image shifting from king to kingdom.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum correctly says, “The stage was seen in both Daniel 2 and the ten codes and in Daniel 7 and the ten horns, but one world government will divide into ten kingdoms that will cover the whole world, not merely Europe. This requires that the ten kings could cover the entire world will cover the entire world not just the territory of Europe. David Hocking says, “The ten horns could represent the nations of the end times or perhaps more likely ten divisions of world government.” Now is that not interesting; that’s the club of Rome, a one-world organization. They produce a [can’t understand word]. They’ve got the world divided up into ten, not nine, not eleven, ten regions. Our particular region there would be the North American Union. Other regions of the world are represented, Europe being just one of the ten regions.]
This concept of using different regions as a stepping stone ultimately into world government, is in the play book of the globalist, you just have to know where to look for it. As early as 1970 at the first birthday this document was released, called The Environmental Handbook, 1970. They say in here, “Nations must be phased out as quickly as possible and replaced with tribal or regional economists economies. Oh, that’s why the United States of America, as I speak, is broiled in a controversy concerning whether our borders are enforceable or not. You see? I mean, why is it that now we have all of this tension in the politics of our day concerning immigration, concerning enforceability of borders, the President of the United States trying to enforce the borders, the rest of the world, the rest of the media telling him it’s somehow wrong to do this. It’s a collision of what the globalists want concerning regions and what traditional Americans, like us, want in terms of a nation state. That’s the battle.
Donald Trump, whether you like him or hate him, is the only politician that spoke directly to that issue. And that may be one of the reasons why his popularity grew and he ascended to the Presidency. I’m not here making political statements, I’m not telling you who to vote for, I’m just explaining to you the realities that we are in are explainable when you understand the tension between what globalists want in terms of regions and what nationalists want. That’s the whole conflict. And it’s very interesting to me that Jean Monet, in his memoirs, the last page in his memoirs, in other words this is what he wrote just before he died. “Jean” or Jean Monet is the architect of the European Union. He’s the one that came up with the idea.
You know what I mean by a region—the European Union is this idea that we’re going to take Europe and regionalize it; we’re going to take the different currency’s amongst the different tiny European states and merge them into a single currency called the Euro. And power, (watch this now) is going to shift from the individual nation states to Brussels. And Brussels is now going to decide how long and how loud your lawnmower engine can be. And the Brits got sick of it and that’s what called Brexit, and this whole outworking of this conflict that we’re seeing in Europe and in the United States is a clash of visions between the globalists and the nationalists. See, if you understand this issue you’ll understand exactly what’s happening. The Bible said that day would come.
Jean Monet says, “The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present. They cannot insure their own progress or control, their own future,” watch, “and the European community itself is only a stage on the way to the organized world of tomorrow.” Jean Monet never intended for the experiment in Europe to stay in Europe. He, from the beginning wanted Europe as a model for the whole world, ten regions, not one!
Here’s a great movement, even in the north, North America. Take the United States, Canada, Mexico and regionalize them, erase the borders between those nations. Oh, that’s why the politicians don’t enforce the borders any more. And to come up with a single currency, like they have in Europe, they have the Euro, we’ll just all ours the Amero, and you’re going to have Kennedy’s all over the world. And they, according to Monet’s own design, the Monet method, by the way, what is the Monet method? You lie to the people. You don’t tell them exactly what you’re going to do; you tell them it’s all about economics and free trade. You never told them that Brussels was going to control how low their lawnmower should be. You never told them that their individual governments are going to be nothing more than debating societies. You didn’t tell them their currency was going to be marked or merged into another currency. That’s the Monet method, everything is promoted in terms of free trade. And Monet himself specifically said, just prior to his death, that Europe is just the beginning.
Henry Kissinger, in his book, The New World Order is very clear on this, the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. And then here comes Hillary Clinton, she lost the election, I know you guys are very sad about that, we have some trauma dogs out in the parking lot to comfort you for that, [laughter]
What I’m trying to show you, what I’m trying to explain, I’m not here saying yeah for this party, boo for that party, I’m trying to explain why she lost. In a private speech to a Brazilian bank on May 16, 2013 Hillary said, “My dream is for a…” watch this, “hemispheric common market with open trade” (say it isn’t so) “open borders!” Some in the future with energy that is green and sustainable as we get it, power and growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” close quote, this secret speech was released as part of the Podesta e-mails attained by WikiLeaks. This was supposed to be a secret speech. It’s amazing how transparent these people become when they’re outside of our borders, speaking to a Brazilian bank.
Mr. and Mrs. America may not understand everything there is to know about Bible prophecy; they may not understand or be able to put together and articulate the exact things that we’ve been mentioning here in this sermon, but I know this about Mr. and Mrs. America, they can sense something’s not right. They sense it! It’s just in their gut. Trump is the only one that’s spoke directly to that issue. And that’s why Trump, whether you like him or hate him, is as popular as he is. And so where am I going with this… I don’t even know where I’m going with this. [Laughter]
What I’m trying to say is you start to read the news through the Bible, that’s where I’m going with this. And this is the description that was written two thousand years ago of the antichrist’s kingdom that would be a composite of the seven mountains, which we’ve talked about, and the rise with ten contemporaneous kings, which cover the whole world, or kingdoms, and that’s who this beast represents and it’s that beast that’s going to turn on the world, named Babylon, as we move through this chapter. And that becomes a description of not that Babylon’s fall but how she fell. And it’s all right there in your Bible. And little ole me and little ole you can understand these things just by reading the Word of God and interpreting it correctly. WOW! Part of me just wants to keep on preaching but I interpret numbers literally, [laughter] it’s twelve thirty-six.
Here’s the deal; this world is falling apart; God said it would. And you have a choice, you can either be a citizen of this kingdom, of this world, that’s deteriorating as I speak, or in a nanosecond you can place your faith in Christ and be a citizen of that stone cut without human hands that’s going to crush the kingdoms of this earth and grow till it fills the whole earth. Who do you want to align yourself with at the end of the day? The faltering failing world system or the kingdom of Christ which can never be overthrown? Frankly I’ll take the kingdom of Christ. And you become a citizen of the kingdom of Christ by simply trusting and believing what Jesus did for you. Jesus did it all! Everything that’s necessary to bridge the gap between following humanity and a holy God He already accomplished. And He simply asks for us to trust in Him which, believe me, you get some right now realities, forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit, the new nature, that’s all part of the package deal. But there’s more to it than that because you have hope for tomorrow, because all hell could break loose on this earth and it’s going to happen but you know that you’re unshaken by that because you’re receiving one day a kingdom which can never be shaken.
So our exhortation to you at Sugar Land Bible Church is to trust in Christ and Christ alone for you salvation. I usually like to say if you need some questions answered on that I will be available after the service today… well today I’m not available after the service because I’m going to Connecticut, you can pray for me, for a conference Monday and Tuesday at Middletown Bible Church and coming back Wednesday morning in time for Bible study Wednesday night. But you can see the elders about that, as a matter of fact, if you’re an elder at this church can you raise your hand, put it way up there, so these are the people that know, these are the folks you can go talk to if you have confusion about your salvation.
Let’s pray. Father, we’re grateful for You truth, we’re grateful for Your Word, we’re grateful for what it reveals and how it speaks directly into our age and our life. Make us good stewards of these things. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’s name, and God’s people said…. Amen!