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© by Rich Kelsey.  All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without the prior permission of the copyright holder, except as provided by U.S. copyright law.  ISBN 1-57921-526-2 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2002115819

RICH KELSEY

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR

 

Chapter Eight

CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES
CAREFULLY

 

 

     This earth, as it nears the midnight hour, is in a conflict with God. On this planet and in the heavens above, a spiritual battle is unfolding. One day this war will pierce through the invisible realm of the spirit and fill our streets with the slain. A vicious, bitter attack will soon be launched. Mankind will be subjected to the edicts of a detestable being whose goal is to enslave, injure and kill. This monster will not be satisfied with only forcing his opponents to die. His plan is to bring death[1] to even his most devoted followers.

     Rebellion[2] is the cause of the coming conflict. Vengeance[3] will be the motive behind the slaughter. Deception[4] is the means by which the battle will be fought. Even now the stage is being set for the war. One day we'll have to choose sides. Will we submit to the adversary when he comes to our homeland? Will we bow down and worship his image? Will we follow his edicts? When the greatest terrorist who has ever lived endeavors to take away our freedom; will we surrender our will to him, or will we fight?

John's Vision of the Beast

     The Apostle John had a vision of the future and saw Satan be­ing cast out of heaven to the earth. He then saw a beast emerge from the sea and have an impact upon humanity. All of the things that John saw were illustrations of real events that will take place in the future.

     Let's look at John's vision:

     Revelation 13

     Verse 1.

"And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name."

     Earlier in Revelation before Satan was banished from heaven he was illustrated as

"an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads." (Rev. 12:3).

     In John's next view of the beast where he is seen coming out of the sea, three crowns have been added to his horns. Three added crowns are indications that the satanic empire has grown stronger.

     The sea the beast arises from is an illustration of the "nations;" this is spelled out in Revelation[5] as well as in Daniel.[6] The Scriptures also tell us what the ten horns represent;

"'The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast'" (Rev. 17:12).

     A popular theory about the ten kings is that they represent the European Common Market. One drawback to the theory is that the Bible claims they are

"ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom". (Rev. 17:12).

     Whereas, the European Common Market is made up of existing kingdoms. While some Bible teachers harmonize this potential discrepancy others believe that Revelation's ten kings could be powerful men and women that are now behind the scenes and

"who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast." (Rev. 17:12).

     The crowns most likely speak of the authority that a king pos­sesses. The blasphemous names written upon each head clearly indicates that every branch of this beast/government is in total rebellion against God.


Three Plus Four Equals Seven

     The prophet Daniel also had a vision of a ten-horned beast. It was the last of the four beasts that Daniel saw rising out of a great sea. An angel explained to Daniel that,

"'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.'" (Dan. 7:17).

     The first beast in Daniel's vision was "like a lion."[7] The second beast was "like a bear."[8] The third beast "looked like a leopard"[9] and the fourth beast that Daniel saw was

"frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns" (Dan. 7:7).

     From the time Daniel received his vision to the return of Jesus Christ the world will have seen four more beast/empires. This fourth beast is the same as the seven-headed, ten-horned beast, in Revelation. Since the beginning of creation there have been six major world empires which have played pivotal roles in the history of Israel, and often persecuted and otherwise afflicted the people of God: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The next one would make seven.

     The Book of Revelation explains it this way: the seven heads are

"seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while" (Rev. 17:10).

     The five kingdoms that had fallen at the time Revela­tion was written were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia and Greece. Rome was a world empire then and so it was written of Rome, "one is."

     The Ottoman Empire,[10] also known as the Turkish Empire, had its beginning in 1299 A.D. and ended in 1922 A.D. From a historical perspective, it looks as though this Turkish Empire may also fit Revelation's prophecy:

"... the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while" (Rev. 17:10).

World Empires—Then And Now

     Revelation 13 Continued

     Verse 2.

"The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority."

     This beast appears to have attributes from every former monarchy yet the scriptures clearly state that it will be different. Possibly the reason this last monarchy will be different is because none of the previous kingdoms had the technology to communicate between generals and officers in real time across land and sea. Now, along with global telecommunications, the modern war machine is capable of lambasting opposing forces on a scale never before seen in human history. The superior military power the modern emperor will have at his disposal is surely one of the qualities that will make the empire under Antichrist different that any former kingdom.

     Also, in the area of economic sanctions, the Antichrist's empire will have far-reaching control over its subjects. No former empire the world has ever seen has had the ability to force its subjects

"to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark" (Rev. 13:16-17).

 

     Finally, in the area of religion, the new monarchy will exceed every former one. A new-age counterfeit church will go hand in hand with Satan's Order. The "false prophet"[11] will work alongside the Antichrist and perform "great and miraculous signs"[12] deceiv­ing the nations with his satanic "power."[13] In Revelation 17 this religious system is pictured as a woman sitting upon a seven headed ten-horned beast. She is called "the great prostitute, who sits on many waters"[14] which is an illustration of a harlot church with global participation. Revelation speaks of her as having commit­ted "adulteries"[15] meaning that she has seduced her congregation into a relationship with Satan rather than the true husband[16] of the church—the LORD Almighty. The Apostle John

"saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus" (Rev. 17:6).

     This is a good description of the multitudes[17] of Christians who will be martyred because of persecution from the coming satanic religion.


The Beast's Fatal Wound

     Revelation 13 continued

     Verse 3.

"One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast."

     The fatal wound being healed could depict the rebirth of the Ottoman / Turkish empire;[18] this may also fit what is recorded[19] in Revelation:

"The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction." (Rev. 17:11)

Satan Worship

     Revelation 13 Continued

     Verse 4.

"Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, 'Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?'"

     Many will welcome the new empire as an essential component of a utopian society. The regime to come will have lots of appeal. It will be the answer to many problems. It will provide economic stability and trade through a network of financial institutions. It will bring about peace through a unified coalition of nations. It will provide a sense of safety from the threat of war and terrorism. The words,

"'Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?'" (Rev.13:4)

speaks of great military capability. Enormous military strength will make this a formidable beast indeed. It's interesting that men will actually worship Satan for establishing this kingdom upon the earth.


The Mouth of the Beast

     Revelation 13 Continued

     Verse 5.

"The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months."

     Here, where we see "the beast was given a mouth" this passage is speaking of the man Antichrist.

"He opened his mouth to blas­pheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation" (Rev. 13:6-7).

     The word "saints" in this passage is speaking of Christians. Satan is going to give his power to the Antichrist in an attempt to conquer the Christians. The word conquer can mean, defeat, overpower, beat, or triumph over. The whole idea behind the word conquer is to "obtain by force."


Portrait of an Antichrist

"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become com­pletely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does." (Dan. 8:23-24)

     A powerful figure will arise upon the world scene. He will consider himself superior[20] to all:

"He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all." (Dan. 11:37)

     Rising up from among his peers this wicked one will sell his soul to do Satan's bidding. "Lucifer"[21] who deceived a host of angels and plunged humanity into the darkness of sin will take on human form. The devil will manifest himself through his christ:

"He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time." (Dan. 7:25)

     It's interesting to note that Antichrist will openly speak out against God. The world will hear the ideologies of the devil right from the source. Satan shall spit forth his twisted delusions through his mouthpiece. Apparently, he will be given three and one half years to rule and during this time Christians will face severe persecution.

     One might wonder why God will allow the devil and all of the fallen angels to dominate the world in the days to come? The answer is simple: at this point in time a great light will have come into the world through Christians spread­ing the gospel. Evidently, as the world rejects the light of Christ, God will allow darkness to sweep over the land. And, because people will have rejected the truth many will be given over to a reprobate mind. In a state of madness the deceived[22] masses will persecute the Christians and will actually celebrate the killing of God's prophets:

"The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth" (Rev. 11:10).

 

Marching to the Front Lines

    The best defense is a strong offence. When the enemy is holding noth­ing back in his onslaught against humanity why should we merely shield ourselves from his blows. In order to be effective soldiers we need to march ahead to the front lines where we can strike back. Instead of hiding in our prayer closets let's take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the streets. Let's reach out to the children in darkness and show them the light. People that are brought out from the grip of Satan will be forever grateful to the ones that cared enough to free them.

"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (Dan. 12:3)

 

BOOK INDEX




[1] "He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Rev. 21:7-8)

[2] "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the ut­most heights of the sacred mountain.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'" (Isa. 14:13-14).

[3] "But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short" (Rev. 12:12b).

[4] "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image" (Rev 19:20, KJV).

[5] "'The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, na­tions and languages'" (Rev. 17:15).

[6] "'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth"" (Dan. 7:17).

[7] Daniel 7:4

[8] Daniel 7:5

[9] Daniel 7:6

[10] "During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful states in the world – a multinational, multilingual empire that stretched from the southern borders of the Holy Roman Empire on the outskirts of Vienna, Royal Hungary (modern Slovakia) and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the north to Yemen and Eritrea in the south; from Algeria in the west to Azerbaijan in the east; controlling much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa." (Wikipedia, Ottoman Empire)

[11] "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Rev. 20:10).

[12] Rev. 13:13

[13] "Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth" (Rev. 13:14).

[14] Rev. 17:1

[15] Rev. 17:2

[16] "For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." (Isa. 54:5)

[17] "And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name" (Rev. 15:2).

[18] "The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-yi ʿOsmâniyye Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu), also historically referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey  in north-western Anatolia in 1299. With the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed II in 1453, the Ottoman state became an empire. The conquest of Constantinople was a pivotal event in the evolution of Turkish statehood, since the victory of 1453 cemented its Eurasian nature, which remains one of the essential characteristics of Modern Turkey. The empire reached its peak at 1590, covering parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. The reign of the long-lived Ottoman dynasty lasted for 623 years, from 27 July 1299 to 1 November 1922, when the monarchy in Turkey was abolished." (Wikipedia, Ottoman Empire) 

[19] "... Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.

I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.

Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

" ‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.

After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.

You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

" ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme.

You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars.

I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land."

Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?" ’

"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it?

You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.

You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

" ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them.

This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD.

In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. (Ezekiel 38:1-21)

[20] "He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior" (Daniel 8:25).

[21] Isa. 14:12 KJV

[22] "the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:26).