Rev.13:3-4," and {I saw} one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed {and followed} after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the
 beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?"
 Rev.13.8 "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, {everyone} whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain."
 We must recognize this "all" as hyperbole to emphasize the vast majority of people in the world, and realize that there will still be many who choose not to identify with the beast and his religious system. This group will include the Christian church and new converts as well as some of the cults and "isms" who by virtue of their human dedication to their system will reject the beast; and orthodox Israel.
 SEE ARTICLE:  The reign of the beast
Now in order for the beast to promote his new religion, he must shut down the international religio-economic system that supported him during the 1st half of the week. (Rev.17.1-6, 16-18). That system is called Babylon the great and refers to the perpetuation of Babylonian evil through the Roman church.
There are two factors involved with the FALL of Babylon the great.

(1) The neutralization of Babylonian evil as it exists throughout the world at the time that the beast begins his reign. Although, in actuality, the beast simply perpetuates the essence of Babylonian evil through his own reign and Satan’s Messiah Strategy. However, THIS event is not in view by this proclamation.
(2) The actual physical destruction of the city that has been the organizational headquarters of Babylonian evil for the last 2000 years and will be at the time of the end – Rome.

The physical destruction of the city will occur just prior to Armageddon, and through a massive earthquake. Prior to that destruction of the city, the beast will take possession of the city, destroy the religious and political system that ruled in that city, and then use the city  to extend his influence throughout the world.

Although it is the entity of Babylonian evil that has had the greatest influence on the world throughout history, it is the CITY that is the organizational headquarters and the SYMBOL of that influence. That city will still hold its symbolic sway over the world at the time that the world-ruler (man of lawlessness) comes on the scene. For the last 2000 years that entity has been the Roman Church and the city has been Rome. It alone of all religious entities fulfills the details of the language used to describe the Babylonian harlot in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.

The existence of any ONE city does not promote or hinder the influence of the beast when he begins his reign. But it is the existence of a religious influence that has indeed reached to the ends of the earth and affected every nation, both socially and politically that will hinder the advance of beast worship. In order for Satan to implement the next stage (The Messiah Strategy) of his personal salvation plan, he will have to first utilize this entity of international influence and power, and then neutralize it.

When the world ruler first comes on the scene of international politics, he will NEED the influence and power of the Babylon harlot in order to begin the Covenant Experiment. Thus, according to Revelation 17, the beast will “ride on the harlot” for the first 3 ˝ years of The Covenant Experiment, and then after he terminates The Experiment at its mid-term point, he will destroy the religious entity that assisted him in advancing The Experiment.

It is at that point that Satan’s Messiah Strategy will be fully implemented, and beast worship will begin.

Although it is the beast and his associates who neutralize Babylon the harlot, it is actually engineered by God, Who uses the beast and his minions (Rev. 17:16-18) to carry out this judgment.

“And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.”

However, in order to neutralize the ENTITY, the organizational center will need to be “confiscated.” Thus, at the mid-point of the Covenant Experiment, the beast will take possession of the city and use it to promote Satan’s Messiah Strategy to the rest of the world. From the perspective of the last 2000 years, that city has been Rome, Italy.

In actuality, Satan’s Messiah Strategy is a perpetuation of Babylonian evil that started with the religion of Nimrod. Thus, Rome will remain the center of evil and the center of international economic prosperity, for apart from beast worship, “no one will be able to buy or sell” (Rev. 13:17).

The beast will use his control of Jerusalem to influence the Jews and Muslims, and his control of Rome to influence the rest of the world. It is the control of THIS city that thus effectively removes the influence and power that the “harlot” entity has over the “peoples and multitudes and nations and languages” (Rev. 17:15), and “over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 17:18).

Rev.17:16-17, And the 10 horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.
 When this Babylonian harlot is shut down, the beast will take over control of its economic power and influence. This will enable the beast’s false prophet to institute operation MARK, apart from which no one will be able to buy or sell; that is, no one will be able to engage in normal economic activity unless they have shown proper allegiance to the beast.

See The Mark of the Beast

The beast’s control of most of the world’s resources is represented by the 3rd seal of Revelation 6.
 Rev. 6:5-6, "And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
Rev. 13:16-17,
 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and {provides} that no one should be able to buy or sell, except the
 one who has the mark, ie, the name of the beast or the number of his name. (v.18, Here-wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and it is 666).
Because of the severity of these economic controls imposed by the beast, those parts of the world where the beast's economic system has not reached, will be put under extreme hardship conditions such as famine, pestilence and an uncontrolled animal population.  The 4th instrument of death during this time is said to be a sword and refers to the killing of those who refuse to take the mark of the beast. This is all covered in the 4th seal of Rev. 6.7-8
, which indicates that about 1/4 of the earth, that is, 1/4 of the GEOGRAPHY of the earth, will come under these death-producing effects.

And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the the fourth living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
Although the beast will be given authority over EVERY "tribe, language, nation and people," it seems he will not be able to fully reach every corner of the globe. In fact, it seems that 1/4 of the earth's geography will not come under the beast's jurisdiction. It is the people of these areas that will suffer the afflictions of the 4th seal.

But for the people of the nations that come under the authority of the beast, for them to be assured of economic peace and security, they must adopt the religious system of the beast through acceptance of the mark (Rev. 13.17). And of course, the beast will have control over those resources in order to meet the needs of the people. At least until the Day of the LORD arrives. At that time, God will begin judging the natural resources of the world and put the kingdom of the beast into great chaos.
 When that happens, and the beast is no longer able to meet the economic needs of his followers, the nations of the world will begin making plans to take matters into their own hands and begin to move against the kingdom of the beast.
 This interruption of the religious and economic controls of the beast takes place at the Day of the LORD, which is represented by the 6th seal. Rev. 6.12-17
 Dan. 8:25, And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; & he will magnify {himself} in his heart,
 Dan. 9:27, and in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations, causing horror, even until a completion, and (until) what is decreed is poured out on the one who causes horror.
 Rev. 6:5-6 And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts
 of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
 Dan. 11:36-38, And the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any {other} god; for he will magnify himself above {them} all. But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor {him} with gold, silver, costly stones, and treasures.
 2Ths. 2:3-4, the man of lawlessness, - who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
 2Th. 2:8-10, and then that lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;) the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish - (2 Thes. 2.10-12 -because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.)
 During the Apostolic era, the church of course underwent a massive amount of persecution prior to and after AD 70. And all throughout her history persecution has been her lot in various degrees. Our nation has enjoyed a phenomenal religious tolerance and freedom from persecution, even though it was indeed, persecution that brought the pilgrims here in the first place. But in most other locations throughout the world, persecution has been the norm for not only Christians, but various other religions, cults and philosophies. And yet, there is still to come a massive persecution campaign directed against Christians and administered by Satan himself through the use of the oppressive man of lawlessness during the great tribulation.
 During the first half of the 70th week of Daniel, when Satan’s Covenant Experiment is in place, religious freedom will be honored and the church will experience no organized religious or political persecution. And yet the church will continue to maintain its evangelistic impact to the extent that there will be a worldwide outreach that will parallel if not exceed the worldwide impact of the apostles in the first century. Mt.24:14. But this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then the end shall come.
 But once the Experiment is interrupted and the covenant is broken, and the beast begins to make his claims of deity, no religious body will be safe. And once he finds himself unable to overcome the orthodox Jews who have fled Judea, he launches a massive attack on the Christians.
 Rev. 12:17, And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
 Rev. 13:6-7, And he (the beast) opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, {that is}, those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.
 This persecution extends throughout the reign of the beast and ends when the church is delivered by the rapture at the Day of the LORD. This persecution is represented by the 5th seal at Rev. 6.9-11. (NASB)
 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until {the number of} their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.
 Matt. 24:9-10, Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.
 Rev. 12:11, And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.
 Matt. 24:22-25 And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ, or There {He is,} do not believe {him.} For false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.
 Daniel tells us in several places about this persecution of the saints. And in those places we must be careful to recognize that Daniel uses the term "saints" to refer to those who have trusted in the Messiah as Lord and Savior. There is no special focus on Israel in contrast with the church. It is just, the saints of the Highest One. Israel had no frame of reference for the church, but only the context of Isaiah (Is. 65:8-16) where we see contrasted "my servants" (referring to true believers) with "you" (referring to the nation of Israel still in unbelief), so such a distinction in Daniel would be meaningless. The understanding of who the saints might be, awaited the New Testament revelation noted above.
 Dan. 7:21, I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them (Dan. 7:22, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.)
 Dan. 7:25, And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they (times and law) will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
 The violent oppression of the beast on the elect of God (the saints of the church prior to the rapture) will result in great suffering and death for a vast number. And were the oppression allowed to continue, there would be "no flesh" who would escape the affliction. That means that EVERYONE would be a beast worshipper and have the mark of the beast. There would be no ELECT (saints, believers) to go alive into Messiah’s earthly kingdom.

Thus it will be that the period of "great tribulation" will be actually cut short and prevented from extending for the entire period of the 2nd half of the week.

The reason given, is “for the sake of the elect.”  This has often been understood to indicate that the entire body of the elect will not have to undergo the massive affliction of the beast's oppression but be pulled out and delivered by the Day of the LORD arrival of Jesus and the rapture of the church out from the earth (1 Thes. 4:14-18; Mat. 24:30-31).

However, it might be better understood as a preservation of non-beast worshippers, who will become believers (elect) after the rapture. It is necessary to have a large number of believers from among both Jew and Gentile to go alive into Messiah’s earthly kingdom. But if Satan’s Messiah Strategy is allowed to run its FULL course, then ALL who do not worship the beast will be killed, and there will be no on left alive to become The Elect (believers) and populate the Messiah’s earthly kingdom after Armageddon.
 Once the Day of the LORD occurs and Jesus begins to pour out the Day of the LORD judgments on the world, the oppressive reign of the beast and his persecution of God's people will be interrupted and the beast will be more restricted on the administration of his religious system via the mark of the beast. However, he will not be totally shut down, for there will still be martyrs out from among those who believe in Jesus after the rapture. Rev. 14:13; 20:4.





©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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