What does the Bible say about the future?
Over the millennia, many have speculated who this could be. Someone explained “Satan doesn’t know when his time will come, so he’s always had someone ready to step into this role.”
The earliest candidates would be Roman Emperors who exalted themselves above other gods and demanded everyone worships them. The Christians said “no”, so he didn’t like them. No one could buy or sell without the coin bearing his image in their hand.
Many others have been named. It’s a great way to stir up political resistance or inspire going to war against people like Hitler or Stalin. Popes and American presidents are also prime candidates for wild speculation.
Some speculate this leader will appear as the chief of benevolent and technologically superior aliens who are actually fallen angels. Others as artificial intelligence having gained consciousness as in the Terminator films. I strongly doubt the latter but find the former a reflection of Noah’s days and of the Canaanites who were wiped out when Israel reclaimed their allotted land.
In an attempt to understand the nature of the Antichrist, I’ve gathered relevant scriptures and written them in my own words, while I contemplate how they all fit together. In discussing this, it’s important to not conform with other’s teachings, but to come to my own conclusion. You should consider this in comparison with others’ teachings. Some of my points will be correct and others wrong. We’re all speculating here.
My artistic impression
The Antichrist will appear after the removal of the “Restrainer”. This event will be an obvious event, leaving no doubt that the time is here. I speculate this will be the removal of the Church through the Rapture, but it could also be the visitation of “extra-terrestrials” who are in fact fallen angels. After this, a charismatic leader will suddenly rise to power from nowhere to lead an empire based around the Mediterranean. This empire will be founded on marriages with ten “kings”, perhaps with fallen angels. He’ll enforce a world-peace treaty with Israel for seven years, which may have been proposed decades earlier. Only when we see this, will we know who the Antichrist is. He will appear as a shepherd of Israel, favoring their wellbeing and prosperity. These ten kings will come into power solely to give that power to the Antichrist.
At this time, what I speculate is the Vatican, will ride the rise to power of this empire to reassert economic dominance of the Earth, but they’ll be loathed by this empire and its ruler. I picture an extreme love-hate relationship as these two continue to milk each other for global dominance.
There’ll be political unrest in this Empire as Egypt and Syria attack the Antichrist. Egypt, Libya, and Sudan will be deposed by the Antichrist as he goes on a global rampage. He’ll then build his headquarters in Israel. Jordan will somehow escape his rampage. This coincides with the first few seals of the Tribulation.
Half-way through the seven years, the Antichrist will survive a lethal attack, but remain maimed. The False Prophet, through many miracles, will enthrall the world to worship the Beast. He’ll establish an animated image for the Beast, and a Mark like the Nazi swastika, which will become an emblem of allegiance to the Empire. This Mark will represent the number of the Beast’s name i.e., 666. I suspect an artificial intelligence like an advanced version of Siri will animate this image, and even order the execution of those who rebel against the empire by refusing to worship the image. The Antichrist will demand the Jews worship him, and he’ll desecrate their temple, which was possibly allowed to be rebuilt as part of the world-peace treaty. This holocaust will dwarf all historic persecutions of the Jews, particularly because it will be world-wide. But the Jews will find a place of refuge, probably in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
In the end, “Babylon” will be destroyed by fire, perhaps volcanic or nuclear, to the horror and distress of the world’s economists. After this the Beast will gather his armies to the
battle slaughter of Armageddon, when Jesus returns with the saints. The Beast and the False Prophet will be cast into Hell, and Satan imprisoned for 1,000 years, while Jesus restores and reigns over the entire Earth.
I hope you find this impression disagreeable because you’re thinking about these things for yourself, and not simply because they contradict your pre-conceptions.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about the empires that would rule over Israel, starting from his own, through the Romans to the yet future empire of the Beast, which will derive from the Roman Empire. This empire will be destroyed by the coming Messiah when he establishes his everlasting empire.
Daniel 2:31 You, O king, looked, and saw an impressive statue. This statue, which was amazingly bright, stood before you. Its appearance was terrifying. 32This statue's head was made of fine gold, his chest and his arms of silver, his belly, and thighs of bronze, 33his legs of iron, his feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34You looked until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the statue on his feet that were of iron and clay and shattered them into pieces. 35Then, the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold, were all shattered, and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind blew them away, so they couldn’t be found anywhere anymore. The stone that hit the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole Earth.
36This is the dream and we’ll explain its meaning to the king. 37You, O king, are a king of kings. The God of Heaven has given you an empire, power, strength, and glory. 38Wherever people live, he’s given the wild animals of the field and the birds of the air into your hand and made you ruler over them all. You’re this head of gold. 39After you there’ll be another empire, which is inferior to you, and another third empire of bronze, which will rule over all the Earth. 40The fourth empire will be as strong as iron. Since iron shatters and defeats everything, it will shatter and crush everything, just like iron breaks everything. 41Just as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potters' clay, and partly of iron, the empire will be divided. But it’ll contain the strength of iron, just as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42Just as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the empire will be partly strong and partly broken. 43Just as you saw iron mixed with swampy clay, they’ll mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they won’t really bond together, just as iron doesn’t bond with clay. 44In the days of these empires, the God of Heaven will set up an empire, which will never be destroyed. This empire won’t be left to other people, but it’ll shatter all these empires and consume them, and it’ll remain forever. 45Just as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and it shattered the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold, the Great God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. The dream is guaranteed to happen, and its interpretation can be trusted.
This dream prophesies the golden Babylonian Empire, the silver Medo-Persian Empire with its two arms, the bronze waist of Greece, and the iron Roman Empire, which reaches with its eastern and western legs until, in some sense, today. After these are the ten toes of a yet future empire. Just as the materials of the past empires symbolize their strength, whether financial or military, I find it curious that iron mixed with clay describes reinforced concrete, with which modern power is built. In the end, all these empires will be destroyed by Jesus’ return, to establish his empire.
“they’ll mingle themselves with the seed of men” is reminiscent with
Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the Earth in those days and also later. When angels had sex with women, they gave birth to their children, who became the famous heroes of ancient legends.
Matthew 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Where the Canaanites practiced genetic engineering in relation to their giants, I can see this returning, even while we dismiss this as mythology. The increased interest in aliens could be setting the stage for an “alien visitation”, offering their advanced technologies, particularly genetics. Again, fallen angels could entice women to bear their children.
Whatever way we look at this, this future empire will be established with alliances formed through marriages, but with very fragile bonds.
Daniel’s Beast with ten horns
Daniel 7:7 After this in the visions during the night, I saw a fourth, terrifying, frightening, and incredibly powerful Beast, which had great iron teeth. It devoured and shattered and trampled whatever remained. It was different to all the beasts that came before it. It had ten horns. 8While I was thinking about the horns, I saw another little horn came up among them. Three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.
11I then looked because of the voice and the arrogant words which the horn spoke. I watched until the Beast was killed, and his body destroyed, and thrown into the blazing fire.
19Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth Beast, which was different to all the others. He was exceedingly terrifying. His teeth were made of iron, and his nails of bronze. He devoured, shattered, and trampled whatever remained. 20I wanted to know about the ten horns that were in his head, and the other which came up, before whom three fell. I also wanted to know about that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very arrogantly, which looked more impressive than the others. 21I watched, and that horn made war with the saints, and conquered them 22until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High. Then the time came, that the saints possessed the empire.
23So he said, the fourth Beast will be the fourth empire on Earth, which will be different to all empires. It’ll devour the whole Earth, tread it down and break it in pieces. 24The ten horns out of this empire are ten kings that will arise. Another will rise after them. He’ll be different to the first ones, and he’ll subdue three kings. 25He’ll speak impressive words against the Most High and wear out the saints of the Most High. He’ll attempt to change holy days and religious laws. The saints will be given into his hand for 3.5 years.
The ten toes are ten kings. Three will be overthrown by a new, greater king who’ll try to replace Jewish practices and persecute God’s people for 3.5 years.
Daniel’s seventy weeks of years
Daniel 9:26 After 434 [more] years the Messiah will be executed, but not for his own crimes. The people of that empire will destroy the city and the holy temple. Its end will be with a flood, and until the end of the war, there’ll be desolations. 27He’ll confirm the treaty with many for one week. In the middle of that week, he’ll stop the sacrifices and offerings. He’ll lay out disgusting things to desecrate it, until his evil is complete, and his fate will be poured out on him.
The Roman Empire executed Jesus. Later they destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD and exiled the Jews. From this empire, a ruler will arise, who’ll confirm a treaty between Israel and the world for seven years. In the middle of this, he’ll desecrate their temple as Antiochus and Titus did when they sacrificed a pig on the altar.
“until his evil is complete” reminds me of God speaking to Abraham.
Genesis 15:16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here. Because the sins of the Amorites haven’t yet reached their full measure.’
Soon after that, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, whose sins must have “reached their full measure”, but it was 400 years later that the Amorites were destroyed by Moses.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t slow in keeping his promise as some understand it, instead he is patient with all of us. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed, but that every person would turn from their wicked ways.
The Antichrist according to Daniel
Daniel 11:36 The emperor will do whatever he wants. He’ll elevate himself, to be greater than every god, and he’ll speak arrogantly against the God of gods. He’ll prosper until God’s anger is complete. Because what’s decided will be done. 37He’ll have no interest in the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor any god. He’ll elevate himself above all others. 38But instead of them, he’ll honor the God of power. He’ll honor a god that his fathers didn’t know – with gold, silver, precious stones, and other expensive things. 39He’ll attack the strongest fortresses with the help of an unfamiliar god. He’ll promote those who support him. He’ll make them rule over many people, and he’ll divide the land for profit.
Many speculate a Catholic or a Muslim Antichrist, or that he’ll present himself as the Messiah of all religions. He’ll “prove” from their own scriptures how they’ve deviated from the original revelation of God that was common to them all. In this way he’ll unite them into one new religion.
From this passage, we see that he’ll honor a god who’s unfamiliar to his fathers. I speculate that this new religion would portray our eternal creator God as an enemy to be overthrown. A common theme in polytheism is that the original creator god is superseded by the other gods – “we don’t talk about him because it makes the other gods angry.” As at Babel, he’ll enslave the world – like happened to the Germans under Hitler’s rule. Through his incredible charisma, he’ll rally the people of the world to ally with him. As in Hitler’s Germany, out of a sense of conformity, they’ll all proudly wear the Mark of allegiance to him – on their right arm or on their forehead. Maybe like various jihadi groups do. Typically, this is thought to be a permanent mark such as a tattoo. I can imagine how it starts with the right hand, but some are so enthralled by him they’ll say, “Hell no, I’ll have it tattooed across my forehead!”
He could restore the pre-flood paganism that sought to resurface with the first empire under Nimrod that was dispersed at Babel; and that which was destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah, and with the Canaanites the Jews were supposed to purge from the land. Hence, when Christ returns, the world will be “as it was at the time of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah”, repeating the same explicitly rebellious paganism of sexual orgies, engineering human-animal hybrids, burning babies alive, unaccountable judiciary, and gang-raping strangers. All of this is explicitly practiced in purposeful defiance against God who has revealed himself in such undeniable power.
Daniel 11:40 At the time of the end Egypt will come against him, and a northern country will come against him like a whirlwind, with tanks and other vehicles, and many transports. He’ll invade and sweep through many countries. 41He’ll also invade Israel, and many countries will be overthrown. But Jordan will escape out of his hand. 42He’ll attack many countries, and the land of Egypt won’t escape. 43He’ll take over the treasures of gold and silver, and all the precious things of Egypt. Libya and Sudan will submit to him. 44News from of the east and the north will trouble him. So, he’ll go out with great fury to destroy, and utterly wipe them out. 45He’ll build his camp between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. However, he’ll be killed with no one to help him.
When attacked, in his global revenge, he’ll overthrow Egypt, Libya and Sudan. These seem to be the three kingdoms uprooted by the little horn.
This seems to be partially fulfilled with Antiochus Epiphanes, but his history doesn’t fit perfectly, leaving this yet to be fulfilled.
Daniel 12:1 At that time Michael will arise, the great prince who represents the children of your people. There’ll be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation until then. Then your people will be rescued – everyone that’s found written in the book. 2Many who sleep in the dust of the Earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal punishment. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
At the time of the world’s greatest trouble, many will be raised from the dead – both the righteous and the wicked, to meet their fate.
It’s reasonable to see a Mid-Tribulation Rapture here, although this passage talks about both the righteous and the wicked resurrecting.
4But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many will travel all over the world, and knowledge will increase.
Today, we see an incredible increase of people travelling all over the world, and the ability to access knowledge is growing exponentially.
7I heard the man clothed in linen, who was on the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to Heaven, and swore by him that lives forever, that it will be for 3.5 years. When he’s completely scattered the power of the holy people, all these things will be finished.
This speaks of the second half of the seven years.
11From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the disgusting thing of desecration is set up, will be 1,290 days. 12Blessed is he who remains faithful until 1,335 days.
From the desecration of the temple will be 3 years and 7 months. Those who remain faithful for a further 1.5 months will be blessed. This extra 1-2.5 months seems to be a time of purification when Jesus returns. Note that a prophetic year is 360 days, which differs from a solar year by 36.75 days over seven years.
Zechariah’s foolish shepherd
Following Jesus’ death, the Good Shepherd is replaced with an evil one.
Zechariah 11:16 I’ll raise up a shepherd in the land who won’t look for those that are lost, nor search for the young ones, nor heal the ones that are injured, nor feed the ones that are healthy. He’ll eat the flesh of the fat ones and tear off their hooves. 17The useless shepherd that leaves the flock is cursed! The sword will strike his arm, and his right eye. His arm will wither up, and his right eye will be totally blind.
If this refers to the Antichrist, this describes the fatal wound from which he is healed.
The Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet
Revelation 13:1 I stood on the sand of the Mediterranean, and saw a Beast arise out of the sea with seven heads and ten horns. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads a name that insults God. 2The Beast which I saw was like a leopard. His feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The Dragon gave him his power, his throne and great authority. 3I saw one of his heads looked like it had been killed, and his deadly wound was healed. The whole world was amazed and followed the Beast. 4They worshipped the Dragon, who gave power to the Beast. They worshipped the Beast, saying, “Who’s like the Beast? Who can fight against him?” 5He was given a mouth that spoke arrogantly and insulted God. He was allowed to continue for forty-two months. 6He opened his mouth to insult God, his name, where he lives, and those who live in Heaven. 7He was allowed to fight against the saints, and to overcome them. He was given power over all peoples, languages, and nations. 8All that live on the Earth will worship him – those whose names aren’t written in the book of life of the Lamb, who was sacrificed from the foundation of the world. 9If anyone can hear, they should pay attention. 10He who takes captives will go into captivity. He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. This will test the patience and the faith of the saints.
11I saw another beast coming up out of the Earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a Dragon. 12He exercises all the power of the first Beast on his behalf and makes the Earth and all who live in it worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13He performs amazing miracles, even making fire come down from the sky on the Earth for people to see. 14He deceives those who live on the Earth through those miracles, which he had power to do on behalf of the Beast. He orders those who live on the Earth to make an image honoring the Beast, which had the wound by a sword and survived. 15He was able to give life to the Beast’s image, that the Beast’s image can both speak, and order all those who wouldn’t worship the Beast’s image to be executed. 16He makes everyone, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. 17No one would be able to buy or sell without having the Mark, the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. 18This calls for wisdom. Let those with insight work out the number of the Beast. Because it’s the number of a man, and his number is 666.
The Beast is the Antichrist and/or his empire. The Dragon is Satan, whom they worshipped along with the Beast. None dared resist him over the latter 3.5 years of the Tribulation, coinciding with Daniel 12:7. Another beast, known as the False Prophet, makes the whole world worship the Beast; by making an image, which is animated, some speculate with artificial intelligence. Together, the Beast, the Dragon and the False Prophet are like a Satanic trinity.
Remember that Satan offered his authority to Jesus if he would bow down to him.
Matthew 4:8 Again, the Devil took [Jesus] up an incredibly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and all their glory. 9He said to [Jesus], “I’ll give you all these things if you would fall down and worship me.”
Computerization is everywhere. As a software engineer (programmer), I understand AI is a tool that can be utilized, although I've not yet had the opportunity to apply it directly. This technology is incredible at processing tons of information. E.g., facial recognition, weather forecasting, speech recognition – such as when you talk with Siri or Google on your phone. Google search is AI. It's a wonderful tool. People are concerned that AI will come alive and control humanity like in the Terminator movies or wipe out humanity for the good of the planet. That makes for great movies but contradicts the Bible.
Revelation 19:20 The Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that performed miracles on his behalf, with which he deceived those who’d received the Mark of the Beast, and those who worshipped his image. Both were thrown alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Hell is for spirits - not for inanimate objects (Sorry Joni Eareckson Tada, you won't get the pleasure of seeing your wheelchair burn in Hell - although I love the sentiment ;-) )
This means the Beast will not be AI. But be assured, Satan uses every technology possible to steal kill and destroy – then it will be without the current restraints. It seems the image of the Beast will be animated, and capable of enforcing the worship of the Beast.
Revelation 13:14 … He orders those who live on the Earth to make an image honoring the Beast, which had the wound by a sword and survived. 15He was able to give life to the Beast’s image, that the Beast’s image can both speak, and order all those who wouldn’t worship the Beast’s image to be executed.
I imagine there could be an app with the Beast’s image that everyone must use. It’d record your worship and if you don’t use the app, and don’t worship you’d be executed. AI would power the observance of user’s compliance, rather than this having to be policed by humans, who are prone to corruption and laziness.
However, this is a tool that will be used by the Antichrist – not the Antichrist himself.
Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes
Revelation 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven vials came and said to me, “Come up here. I’ll show you the judgment of the great Prostitute that sits on many waters. 2The rulers of the Earth have indulged in immorality with her, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. I saw a woman sit on a red Beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was clothed in purple and red, and wore gold, precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of disgusting things and filthiness of her immorality. 5On her forehead was a name written, ‘Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Disgusting Things of the Earth’. 6I saw the woman was drunk from the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I was totally amazed.
7The angel said to me, “Why were you amazed? I’ll tell you the mystery of the woman, and the Beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8The Beast that you saw once was, and has been destroyed, but will return out of the bottomless pit, to go into eternal punishment. Those who live on the Earth will be amazed when they look at the Beast that once was, and has been destroyed, and will return - those whose names weren’t written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. 9This requires a wise mind to understand. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 10There’s seven empires. Five have been destroyed, one rules today, and the other will come in the future. When it comes, it’ll only last a little while. 11The Beast that once was, and has been destroyed, is the eighth. It’s one of the seven and will go into eternal punishment. 12The ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who haven’t received a kingdom yet. They’ll receive power as kings for one hour with the Beast. 13They’re of one mind and will give their power and strength to the Beast. 14They’ll make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them. Because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. Those who are with him are called, chosen and faithful.” 15He said to me, “The waters which you saw, on which the Prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16The ten horns which you saw on the Beast will hate the Prostitute. They’ll make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17Because God has put desires in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom to the Beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18The woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the Earth.”
The Prostitute is called Babylon – spiritually. She sits/rides on many waters, which are many nations. She sits on a red Beast with seven heads and ten horns and is dressed in purple and red and precious jewels. She’s responsible for killing many saints and is the great city that rules over the Earth.
The seven empires are five before Rome, Rome and a future one. The future one will reign for a short time. The Beast is one of the first five before Rome, which has re-formed.
The Beast matches the description of the Beast from Revelation 13 with seven heads and ten horns. It preceded Rome, was destroyed, and will return. Its seven heads are seven mountains which the Prostitute sits on. The ten horns are ten kings who exist solely to give their authority to the Beast. They hate the Prostitute.
The Prostitute seems to describe Rome: The city which at John’s time ruled over the Earth and has continued to do so to some extent. The Vatican wear red and purple clothes and are responsible for more martyrs than any other entity throughout history. Googling “city on seven mountains” returns “Rome”.
I strongly believe that there are wonderful, godly people throughout the Catholic Church and in the Vatican. One must be careful not to generalize a prejudice against others because they worship differently or have some dodgy doctrine. We should encourage them in the good doctrines, and gently, and humbly try to lead them away from bad doctrines. Typically, they’ve inherited their doctrine from generations of teachers – just like we have: some good and some not so good.
Matthew 7:5 first throw out the beam from your own eye, then you’ll see clearly to clean away the speck from your brother’s eye.
The seven empires seem to be those that have ruled over Israel:
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, and another.
Given that the seventh empire rules over Israel for only a little while, I think it’s the British empire. Islam ruled over Palestine for a long time, but it didn’t include a Jewish state. The British empire’s short rule began the restoration of Israel.
The Beast is a resurrection of one of the first five empires. This contradicts it being a revived Roman empire. Perhaps this is a different beast that looks similar, but I doubt it. Since the little horn of Daniel 7:8 will depose Egypt, Sudan, and Libya, this rules out Egypt. The Roman Empire encompassed Greece and Egypt. Its rival was Persia, which is modern Iran, but I expect them to be severely weakened by the Ezekiel 38 war. This war may leave a power vacuum for their rival, Iraq, to resurrect the Babylonian Empire, although their ancient capital will never be rebuilt:
Isaiah 13:19 Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' excellency, will be like when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 20It’ll never be inhabited. It’ll never be lived in again.
Assyria seemed to have a recent resurgence when ISIS arose in that same territory. They were based in Mosul, which is the ancient Assyrian capitol of Nineveh. It’s possible this empire could revive out of the power-vacuum following the Ezekiel 38 war.
Perhaps the mingling of iron and clay represents this frenemy alliance between Babylon and the Beast.
The judgement of Babylon
Revelation 18:1 After these things, I saw another angel come down from Heaven, who had great power. He lit up the Earth with his glory. 2He called out loud with a powerful voice, saying, “Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and has become the home of demons, and the prison of every evil spirit, and a cage for every unclean and detestable bird. 3All the nations have drunk from the wine of the wrath of her immorality. The kings of the Earth have indulged in her immorality, and the merchants of the Earth have grown rich with her many luxuries.” 4I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you won’t take part in her sins, and so that you won’t be caught up in her punishment. 5For her sins have been heard about in Heaven, and God is calling her sins to account. 6Give to her just as she’s given. Repay her double of what she’s given. In the cup which she’s filled, give her twice as much. 7As much as she’s glorified herself and lived in prosperity, give her equivalent punishment and grief. Because she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and I’m no widow, and I’ll see no grief.’ 8Therefore, her plagues will come in one day, death, mourning, and famine. She’ll be utterly burned with fire. Because the Lord God is mighty who judges her. 9The kings of the Earth, who have indulged in her immorality, and lived in prosperity with her, will cry out for her, and mourn for her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10They’ll stand at a distance, terrified of her punishment, saying, ‘How horrible. That great city, Babylon. That mighty city! Your judgment has fallen on you in one hour.’ 11The merchants of the Earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their merchandise any more – 12the merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood, and all sorts of containers of ivory, and all sorts of containers of most precious wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13and cinnamon, spices, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; and wild animals, sheep, horses, chariots, slaves and the souls of people. 14The fruits which you craved have been taken from you, and luxurious and extravagant things have been taken from you. You’ll never find them again. 15The merchants of these things, who profited through her, will stand at a distance, terrified at her punishment; weeping and wailing, 16saying, ‘How horrible for that great city, which was clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and decked with gold, precious stones, and pearls! 17Because in one hour such great riches have been destroyed.’ Every shipmaster, their passengers, and sailors, and all who trade overseas, stood at a distance 18and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like this great city!’ 19They threw dust on their heads, and cried, weeping, and wailing, saying, ‘How horrible for that great city, in which everyone who had ships in the sea was made rich because of her wealth! Because in one hour she’s been destroyed.
20Rejoice over her, Heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets. Because God has dealt with her as she did to you. 21A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘With violence like this, that great city Babylon will be thrown down, and will never be seen again. 22The voice of harpists, musicians, pipers, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again. No craftsman of any sort will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. 23The light of a candle will never shine in you again. The voice of the bridegroom and the bride will never be heard in you again. Because your merchants were the powerful men of the Earth. Because you deceived all the nations with your witchcraft.’ 24The blood of prophets and saints was found in her, as well as all who were killed throughout the Earth.
Revelation 19:1 After these things I heard a great voice of many people in Heaven, saying, “Hallelujah. Salvation, glory, honor, and power, to the Lord our God. 2Because his judgments are true and righteous. Because he’s dealt with the great Prostitute, who corrupted the Earth with her immorality, and he’s avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” 3Again they said, “Hallelujah.” Her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
“Babylon” seems to be a coastal city, the center of international trade and wickedness. But God will utterly destroy it in one day.
Hollywood loves to read a nuclear attack into this, but its destruction could also be volcanic, an asteroid, or a supernatural act of God. Whatever it is, people will keep their distance in fear of being caught up in it.
The feast of judgement and Satan’s imprisonment
Revelation 19:17 I saw an angel standing in the sun. He called out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, “Come and gather yourselves together for the supper of the great God. 18So you can eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses, of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slaves, both small and great. 19I saw the Beast, the kings of the Earth and their armies, who gathered to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20The Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that performed miracles on his behalf, with which he deceived those who’d received the Mark of the Beast, and those who worshipped his image. Both were thrown alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21The rest were slaughtered with the sword of him who sat on the horse, whose sword proceeds out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.
Revelation 20:1 I saw an angel come down from Heaven with the key to the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. 2He grabbed the Dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the bottomless pit, imprisoned him, and set a seal on him, so that he couldn’t deceive the nations anymore – not until the thousand years are finished. After that he must be set free for a little while.
After Babylon’s destruction, the Beast gathers his armies to fight against Jesus’ return, but Jesus will destroy him by prophesying their death. Birds will gather to consume their remains.
This is the battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation. We see that the Beast and the False Prophet will both be cast into Hell. This confirms that they are both people – empires and computers can’t be cast into Hell – they just cease to exist.
Not only will the earthly powers be destroyed, but Satan will be imprisoned for a thousand years, during which people will live without the excuse of his temptations.