Chapter 8:

Armageddon

ARMAGEDDON! That is a word which strikes terror into the hearts of many. It means the end of the world! Many think it will come by means of a World War III, fought with nuclear weapons, nation against nation. They feel it will leave the earth incinerated, a lifeless wasteland.

The word Armageddon is found in the Bible only once, at Revelation 16:16. There it says: "And they gathered them together into a place called in Hebrew Armageddon."

But who gathers whom to this "Armageddon"? What happens there? The answer is in verses 13 and 14: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (AV)

The dragon is Satan the Devil (Rev 12:9). We will explain the Beast and the False Prophet later in this chapter. These utter "spirits" (words that seem or claim to be inspired) that move the leaders of this world (the "kings of the earth") to gather their forces to fight. Do they fight each other?

No. The Revelation gets back to this scene in chapter 19. There, verse 19 says: "I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army." So the kings of the earth are gathered into a united opposition, against "the one seated on the horse." Who is that?

He is described in detail in verses 11-16. After reading that, can you tell who he is? Yes, this is none other than Jesus Christ, leading the armies of heaven, mighty spirit angels, against the assembled strength of earthly nations. Who do you think will win that confrontation?

In this vision, John sees an angel invite the birds to gather, to clean up after the battle. They are to eat the corpses of "kings, military commanders, strong men, horses, freemen, slaves, small and great." Everyone on the losing side becomes carrion! —verses 17-21.

We get a closer look at what happens during the battle in chapter 6, verses 12 through 17. What an awe-inspiring day that will be!

This description of Armageddon should give us pause. It means that if we align ourselves with any military power of this world, we will someday— soon— be gathered into battle formation against God. We definitely do not want to be on that battlefield.

How does it come to that? How do the nations let themselves be so led by Satan that they try to fight God?

Perhaps the second Psalm explains it the most simply. Please read that. In verse 3 the kings say, "Let us tear off their restraints and throw off their binding-cords!" The thought of submitting to God’s rulership is unbearable to them. They regard obedience to God as too much restraint on their freedom, like ropes that must be struggled against. But God’s law is actually good for us; as it says (verse 12) "Happy are all those taking refuge in him."

The world today is already well along on this path of defiance against God. Traditional morality is all but dead; a "new morality", which is nothing but the old immorality, has taken its place. God’s word says homosexuality is a disgusting perversion; today such persons have honored positions in government. The most prestigious colleges laugh condescendingly at those who believe in creation by God; they insist that brute beasts are our forefathers, through a mindless "evolution." Millions of mothers have killed their children merely for their own convenience, by legal abortion. Those who try to teach Bible morality are branded as bigots and ridiculed. Government bureaucrats insist that debauchery and degeneracy are "art". We could go on and on, but if you follow current events, you are probably already painfully aware of the situation. —compare Romans 1:18-32.

These things have happened before. Long ago, the nation of Israel was doing similar things, and Jehovah sent prophets to warn them of the consequences. Because the world is doing the same today, we can learn by studying their words. Here is a selection: Jeremiah 5:7-9, 29-31, 6:13, 14, Isa 5:20-23, 30:9-11.

So let us not feel sorry for those who will die at Armageddon. By that time, they will have had abundant opportunities to turn around, but they will have refused. Jehovah does not want anyone to die, and he is having the Kingdom preached now so that no one will die simply for lack of knowing right from wrong. But he will not call off the war. It will come. Which side will we be standing on at that time? —Compare 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16, Prov 1:24-33, Ezek 18:30-32, Jer 25:31-33, 2 Thess 1:6-10.

It Begins Suddenly

Despite all the signs that prove the end is near, the actual outbreak of the destruction will be startling, a sudden turn of events. Jesus said as much at Matt 24:42-44: "Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know one thing: if the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it." The "you" he was speaking to were his disciples, not unbelievers. The destruction catches the world completely off guard. But even those diligently on the watch will not successfully predict the moment the great tribulation is to begin.

As for the world, Paul says: "Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying: "Peace and security!" then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just like birth pangs on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape." The world’s rulers will be saying Peace! Peace! when there is no peace. This has happened before: remember, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain, brought back a signed paper from Hitler and proclaimed, "Peace in our time!" Then World War II broke out. —1 Thess 5:2, 3; compare Jer 8:9, 11.

The Wild Beast, the False Prophet, and Babylon the Great

The book of Revelation reveals more fascinating details about the ending of this world. It is presented in enigmatic symbols which can be deciphered by using other parts of the Bible.

First, what is the "wild beast"? It is described in the 13th chapter of Revelation as coming out of the sea, having seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns. It is a composite beast, with body parts like a leopard, a bear, and a lion, with horns. The "dragon" (Satan) gives this beast "great authority" over this world. Many people admire it with awe. It blasphemes God and persecutes God’s people.

The book of Daniel, in the Hebrew Scriptures, is remarkably similar to the Revelation. There we find the key to understanding what this symbolizes. In chapter 7, Daniel sees a series of four beasts: one like a lion, another like a bear, then a leopard with four heads, and the last simply described as "fearsome and strong." It had ten horns. It made war against the "holy ones", but God gave rulership to his Chosen One, and the beasts were defeated and God’s people reigned over the whole world. Obviously, that last part has not yet come true.

But what are these beasts? Daniel asks an angel in the vision. Listen to the reply: “These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will stand up from the earth. . . As for the fourth beast, there is a fourth kingdom that will come to be on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour all the earth and will trample it down and crush it.” —Dan 7:17, 23.

So the beasts mean kingdoms, human empires! The Beast of Revelation 13 is, in fact, a composite of the four beasts that Daniel saw. So, it personifies mankind’s rule over the earth apart from God. Men in power, believing their ideas are superior to God’s law, harass God’s people (compare Acts 4:18-27, 5:27-30). It is because they believe in human rule that the kings of the earth are finally gathered to Armageddon in opposition to God. That is how the "wild beast" utters "spirits" (convincing words) to gather them there.

You might wonder, "Do not most rulers call on God to bless their efforts to govern? Do not most say, 'In God We Trust'?" Right. They say that. A few may even be sincere. But history proves over and over: they listen to God only when it is convenient or expedient. When they really want to do otherwise, they may try to make their will look righteous (see "manifest destiny"), or not bother with that, just go ahead and do the evil and dare anyone to stop them. And this God-defying attitude is increasing as the final showdown nears. Those who truly know God can see through the hypocrisy. We can see why God depicted their empires as ferocious beasts in these prophecies.

What is the False Prophet? We find it described in verses 11-18 of Revelation 13. It appears to correspond with what Daniel saw as a 'little horn with a big mouth.' (Dan 7:8, 9, 24, 25) Its main job is to advocate worship of the Beast and harass those who refuse to bow before it. In other words, it is the biggest advocate of human rule during the last days. Daniel’s helpful angel calls it a "king" or a kingdom. From further details in both the Revelation and Daniel, we feel that it is the leading World Power of our time, namely, the British-American empire.*

generic photo of UN

Revelation 13:14, 15 says the False Prophet has an "image" of the Beast made, and it gives life to that image. In fulfillment, the British-American world power is the leading animator of the United Nations, which represents the united rule of man, such as it is. According to the prophecy, this world body will yet play a major role in the last days.*

You may protest, "but the United States is the greatest advocate of religious freedom in the world today!" That has been true, and we appreciate it. But did you know that it was not true during the world wars? Christians who would not join the beastly fighting were severely persecuted. And soon, when the final showdown is under way, it will happen again.

In the meantime, Christians are instructed to 'pay to Caesar what belongs to him' (taxes, not our life) and to "have honor for the king", even to make "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving . . . concerning kings and all those who are in high positions; so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion." These deeply flawed, even corrupt, rulers do serve a purpose for the time being, to keep a semblance of law and order, which is better than anarchy despite occasional grotesque injustices against those who happen to get in the way. So Christians support justice and law, and acknowledge those moments that the governments serve to that end; but they are not so foolish as to begin to believe in them, to put faith in them. That would be more than they deserve. —Luke 20:25, 1 Timothy 2:1, 2, 1 Peter 2:17.

According to the prophecy, those who do believe in (forehead) or support (right hand) what the beast stands for receive the "mark" of the beast. This mark of approval allows them to carry on the normal business of buying and selling. Christians would find life difficult, because they have to refuse the mark. This has already occurred to some extent. Communist countries were particularly intense at harassing those who did not toe the party line. As the confrontation of Armageddon nears, the pressure will intensify against those who refuse to pledge allegiance to human government. Many think a pledge of allegiance is just an act of respect. But a pledge is a sworn oath before God— a very serious thing. Allegiance means devotion, an obligation of unquestioning loyalty and complete support. Although Christians are commanded by God to respect and obey, within limits, whatever human government they find themselves under, a Christian can only pledge allegiance to God’s Kingdom. (More on this in Chapter 11, Loyalty to the Kingdom.) —Rom 13:1-7, Acts 5:29, Eccl 5:4-6, Rev 13:16-18.

The last element of the picture is the most interesting of all. In the Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, John sees a "great prostitute." Her name is Babylon the Great; she rides the image of the Beast and prostitutes herself to the kings of the earth, and drinks the blood of holy ones. Indeed, "in her was found the blood of all those slaughtered on the earth." But the kings turn on the old whore and kill her. God himself puts the idea into their mind. After that (chapter 19) the battle of Armageddon is fought, and the kings themselves meet their end. (Please read Rev 17:1-18.24 now.) What is the meaning of all this?

Just as the Beast is a symbol, so is this immoral woman. Here, John also has a helpful angel to give him some clues: "the woman whom you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth." "the waters that you saw, where the prostitute is sitting, mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues." (verses 18, 15) The woman, then, is not another of the kingdoms of the world, but is something that has power over all the kingdoms. Yet it is like a woman, exercising its influence by charms, sweet words, and subtle pressure. But this woman is a whore. She may say she’ll be true, but her real interest is herself. In verse 4 she is shown to be very richly dressed, gifts given to her by kings who enjoyed her charms. She says: "I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning." (18:7)

One more clue: her name, Babylon the Great. There was a great city named Babylon in ancient times, but it is a desolate ruin today. The Iraqis thought to rebuild it as a tourist attraction, but war has prevented that. Certainly it has no power now over all the kingdoms of earth. Besides, the "great prostitute" sits, not on real water like ancient Babylon did, but on symbolic waters, "crowds and nations." So she is like ancient Babylon in some way, but she is not that city itself. The name is the clue: "Babylon" comes from "Babel", meaning "confusion." (Gen 11:1-9) Hence her name really means "the great confusion"!

From all these clues, we must say: this great prostitute represents worldly religion. Religion is supposed to be like a faithful wife to God, upholding his name and being true to Him, bearing "children" in the form of loyal, loving worshippers. (compare Isa 54:5-7, 11-13; 1 John 3:10, Matt 5:44, 45) But worldly religion goes off a-whoring to anyone with a little cash. (compare Hosea 9:1 (AV), Ezekiel 23) The "kings," political leaders, have the most to offer, so she makes herself a handmaiden to them, supporting their corrupt political campaigns, covering for their crimes, justifying their wars. She makes the people "drunk" with falsehoods, confused as to truth, unable to see straight spiritually or stand up approved before God. Worldly religion is so reprehensible before God that he calls her "the mother of all prostitutes."

GET OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE!

But look at what happens to her: "the ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her flesh and completely burn her with fire. . . in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong." —Rev 17:16, 18:8.

How do the worldly nations destroy worldly religion? It is hard to imagine that they could eliminate all superstition and religious belief from the minds of the people. The communists tried that and failed. But it is possible to destroy the organizational structures and property of established religion, and that is what the prophecy describes. (18:11-19) Of course, this will not occur without heavy loss of life. It will truly be a Great Tribulation.

We do not know now what will induce secular powers to devastate this corrupt religious realm. Many have already noticed that religion is very often the cause of stubborn conflicts, rather than preventing or solving them. Perhaps when the "kings" finally "give their power and authority to the wild beast" (in the form of its image, the United Nations) religion will be seen as an interference to this secular plan for world peace. Or, in the face of disintegrating world order due to religiously-driven conflict, the nations will in desperation yield their sovereignties to the UN, which will then turn to "solving" the problem by at last attacking its roots. In any case, so much of this prophecy has already come true, we should not imagine that this part will somehow fail. Worldly religion may be powerful and popular now, but it will be destroyed.17:11-17.

Early in the 21st century we are seeing a gathering storm of opposition to all forms of religion, for a variety of agendas. Homosexuals have organized a relentless and slanderous onslaught in entertainment and journalism to discredit and demonize anyone who would dare speak the truth, that God condemns homosexuality in His Word. To this end they have co-opted so-called "mainstream" churches as their defenders and advocates. Yet these are just prostitutes for them, who will be promptly discarded when their purpose is served. This agenda is well-funded by powerful corporations and has penetrated to the highest levels of the judiciary, who have begun to put out outrageous rulings diametrically opposed to traditional (and scriptural) morality. Up until recently this was a stealth campaign, but it is now open and bold.*

For much more detail see the book The Homosexual Agenda by Alan Sears and Craig Osten (while it is still available).

On the other side, there is a religion on the warpath: Islam. To an extent in a counter-reaction to these secular developments, but also because it is a militant religion at its core with fantasies of world domination, Muslims worldwide are being exhorted to destroy the infidel wherever they are (such as lower Manhattan). Terrorism motivated by such fanaticism will be a very difficult snake to kill; only by finally deciding to go for its head will the governments make any progress.

Knowing this, where do you think we should stand? What do you think Jehovah would want us to do? He does not leave us in doubt: "Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues." (Rev 18:4) Yes, there are people in worldly religion that God claims as his own. They are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things being done in her. Rather than sit there and feel sad, we should get out! She is past reform. The man named Lot was urged by the angels to flee Sodom, because it was about to be destroyed by fire from heaven. In their compassion, they almost dragged him out! But his wife did not really want to leave. She lingered, looking back longingly, and was destroyed. If we want to survive the coming great tribulation, we cannot linger; we must heed this compassionate call by God now! Further, we should help others to heed it as well. —see Gen 19:12-17, 23-26, Luke 17:28-33; compare Ezek 9:4-6.

How do we know if we are in Babylon the Great, so as to get out? First, we must learn the truth about God and his standards. We may be blissfully unaware that we are not pleasing to him, or we may be confused about some spiritual things. Has this book helped you to gain better understanding? Then you are on your way out of Babylon. Have you seen anything that would cause you to change your course in life? Remember, getting out involves more than knowing the truth in our minds; we must act on it. If we do not, we are not really out of the danger zone. —John 8:32, James 2:14.

Are you still attending a church that teaches things you now know to be untrue according to God’s word? Then you are still in Babylon the Great. Or is that church involved in supporting the politics of this world?* Does it make excuses for or treat lightly things that God says is bad? If we keep our name on their registry as a member, we say before God: "I support what they are doing." If so, our name will not be found in another book: God’s Book of Life. —see Rev 13:8.

Take Refuge in Jehovah

Many people sense that a time of great trouble is coming. They can also detect a growing animosity toward religion. To prepare, they stockpile food, take training in the use of weapons, move to remote places, and fortify their homes. None of these things will be of any benefit in the great tribulation. To survive, we must take refuge in Jehovah God. Notice what Psalm 91:1, 7-10, 14 says: “Anyone dwelling in the secret place of the Most High will lodge under the shadow of the Almighty. . . A thousand will fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but to you it will not come near. You will only see it with your eyes as you witness the punishment of the wicked. Because you said: ‘Jehovah is my refuge,’ you have made the Most High your dwelling; no disaster will befall you, and no plague will come near your tent. . . God said: ‘Because he has affection for me, I will rescue him. I will protect him because he knows my name.’” —see also Ps 37:37-40 and Isaiah 57:13.

A mighty storm is about to arrive
Katrina satellite photo

Armageddon is likened in the Bible to a terrible storm. Jeremiah 25:31-33 says: “A noise will resound to the ends of the earth, for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations. He will personally pass judgment on all humans. He will put the wicked to the sword. . . This is what Jehovah of armies says: Look! A calamity is spreading from nation to nation, and a great tempest will be unleashed from the remotest parts of the earth. Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.” Hurricane Katrina (a natural event, not caused by God) that hit the Gulf Coast of the US showed us what one storm can do. The storm Armageddon (hurled by God) will be many times more destructive. Yet we need not fear it at all, IF we are properly prepared, IF we have "evacuated" to the place of safety.

We prepare by taking the advice at Proverbs 3:5-7: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad.” Then, verses 25, 26 assure us, “You will not need to be afraid of any sudden terror, nor the storm coming on the wicked ones. For Jehovah will prove to be your confidence, he will keep your foot from being caught.” Zephaniah 1:14—2:3 warns "The great day of Jehovah is . . . a day of fury, a day of distress and of anguish, a day of storm and of desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and of thick gloom, a day of horn and of battle cry, against the fortified cities and against the high corner towers. I will cause distress to mankind, and they will walk like blind men; because it is against Jehovah that they have sinned . . . Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them in the day of Jehovah's fury, for by the fire of his zeal the whole earth will be devoured, because he will make an extermination, indeed a terrible one, of all the inhabitants of the earth. . . Before the decree takes effect, before the day passes by just like chaff [blown by the wind], before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you, . . . seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. [Then] it may be you will be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger." —see also Nahum 1:5-7.

"Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away"

Revelation 21:1 says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more." Many believe that this earth will be burned up, completely destroyed. They take 2 Pet 3:10 literally when it says (AV), "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." —see 2 Pet 3:7-13.

Such vivid expressions are actually rather common in the Bible. By comparing them, we can understand what they mean. In Isaiah chapter 13, we read of God’s day of destruction against the ancient land of Babylon. This was fulfilled when the Medes overthrew Babylon in 539 B.C.E. At that time, it says, "the stars of the heavens [did] not give off their light" and "the earth [was] shaken out of its place." If that was literal, then where are we now? Similar words were used to describe the day of judgment against ancient Jerusalem (Jeremiah 4:23-28 and Joel 2:1, 10; also Zeph 1:14-18 given above), against the land of Edom (Isaiah 34:1-17), and against Nineveh (Nahum 1:5-6 cited above). All of these were fulfilled long ago, yet earth and sky are still here. How, then, did these come true?

When Babylon fell, the stars that they worshipped as astrologers seemed to have failed them. Their solid "earth", their powerful empire, was suddenly removed. When Jerusalem fell, it was likewise a dark day for the wicked Jews. Their "whole earth", their land, was laid desolate for 70 years. Edom was a mountainous country; its cities were "in the heavens." Jehovah’s avenging sword became drenched with blood in those lofty cities. As a kingdom, their land was "burned up". To this day it is inhabited mostly by animals of the desert. Nineveh was destroyed so utterly that it was lost; its ruins were finally identified again around 1848.

These ancient examples parallel the great destruction immediately in front of us. They help us to understand how the heavens and earth that now exist come to their end, and how the stars fall from heaven at Armageddon. —Matt 24:29, 30, Rev 6:12-15.

Men have navigated by the stars since ancient times, and guided their lives by astrology. They also follow "stars" or leading lights in this world: people of prominence in politics, science and society. But they remain lost, unless they turn to God through his Christ. There is no need for new literal stars or galaxies; God created them to his satisfaction, and they still bring glory to him. (Ps 19:1) But the rulers of this world, like "stars with no set course", are misleading mankind (compare Jude 13). Armageddon will remove them; in that way the "old heavens" perish. Behind human rulers stand Satan and his demons, which Paul calls "the world rulers of this darkness, the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:12) These too will be put out of their position of control. The old "heavens" are replaced entirely by the new heavens, a new government, the Kingdom of God.

So the "stars" that are cast to the earth at Armageddon are symbolic stars. After all, literal stars are thousands of times larger than the entire earth. If even one "fell" to the earth, there would be no one left to remark on it! But it may be that a tremendous meteor shower will also occur at Armageddon. That would look like the stars were falling.

Likewise, the "earth" that is removed is the seemingly solid, unremovable system of things of this world, its empire. Armageddon will shake it to its foundations and destroy it. Then God will establish a "new earth", a new system of things, a new world, a new society of righteousness and peace. Of course, it is likely that a tremendous literal earthquake will also occur at Armageddon. It would feel like the mountains were being removed.

Some have said that because the Bible uses the expression "new earth", it must mean another planet entirely. Actually, previous prophecies of a "new" earth, already fulfilled*, prove that to be incorrect interpretation. As for something being "made new", remember that we ourselves become a "new man" as Christians. To do this, we put our body to death symbolically, not literally. Likewise, for the earth to be made new, the old earth is removed, or dies, when the wicked world is destroyed. The ground under our feet then becomes blessed instead of cursed, clean instead of unclean. But it’s the same literal dirt the whole time. —see Eph 4.20-24, Col 3:5-10, Gal 5:24; Mal 4:1-3.

The Final Attack

In his great prophecy of the last days, Jesus said that the good news of the kingdom would be preached in all the earth. Those who are responding to this preaching are no longer confused about God. They are being separated, set apart from this world, and are becoming friends of God. They are coming out of Babylon the Great, and are being gathered together into spiritual unity. No longer are they divided by the confusing Babylonish doctrines of worldly religion. By now, millions have responded in this way. They have come to be truly a "great crowd, which no man could number." Are you among them? —see James 4:4, 7, 8, John 17:16-21, Rev 7:9.

At the same time, another prophecy by Jesus is being fulfilled. Notice Matthew 13:40, 41: "in the conclusion of the system of things, the Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness." So those who are gathered are also sifted and cleansed. They become a united holy people. Anyone who insists on bringing ungodliness into the Christian organization is removed.

The success of the preaching work and the growing prosperity of this spiritual organization angers Satan. Despite all his efforts, he cannot seduce them into disloyalty to God. Although he has worldly governments and clergy "frame trouble in the name of the law" against them, Jehovah protects His people, thwarting or limiting the persecution. —Ps 94:20-23.

Does this mean that we who are gathered to God’s side will be immune from attack in the great tribulation? No. At Ezekiel 38:8-12 we read: "in the final part of the years [Satan and his armies] will invade the land of a people who have been restored . . . collected together . . . dwelling in security. Like a storm he will come in . . . to take much plunder." This is part of God’s battle plan, for Satan to make this final attack. It is no secret, but Satan cannot help himself. He sees this opportunity opened up before him, he has to know it’s a trap, but he lunges anyway. (Ezek 38:14-16) It is this moment that begins the war of Armageddon. It is with this act that the nations finally begin to, in effect, attack God. Ezekiel provides a graphic description of Jehovah’s response:

“‘On that day, the day when Gog* invades the land of Israel,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘my great rage will flare up. In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I will speak; and in that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. Because of me the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts of the field, all the reptiles that creep on the ground, and all humankind on the earth will tremble, and the mountains will be thrown down and the cliffs will fall, and every wall will fall over. I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘Every man's sword will be against his own brother. I will bring my judgment against him with pestilence and bloodshed; and I will rain down a torrential downpour and hailstones and fire and sulphur on him and on his troops and on the many peoples with him. And I will certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’” —Ezek 38:18-23.

Proving that this is the same war that is described in Revelation 19:17-21, Ezekiel goes on to say, “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the peoples who will be with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of birds of prey and the wild beasts of the field.” —see 39:1-7, 17-20.

We who are "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High" will not need to defend ourselves (as if we could!). Only with our eyes we will look on and see the retribution against the wicked ones. An event in the days of King Jehoshaphat of Judah will be our guide. An overwhelming crowd of enemies was gathering to attack. The people prayed and Jehovah answered: “Do not be afraid because of this large crowd; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not need to fight in this instance. Take your position, stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf.” —see 2 Chron 20:11-13, 15, 17.

Are you afraid? Do not be. If you are sincerely seeking to draw close to Jehovah by active faith in his Son Jesus Christ, you are assured protection. But do not be complacent. This is certainly no time to take it easy, to be trying to carve out a comfortable position in this world for yourself. Paul counsels: “This I say, brothers, the time left is reduced. From now on, let those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who weep as those who do not weep, and those who rejoice as those who do not rejoice, and those who buy as those who do not possess, and those making use of the world as those not using it to the full; for the scene of this world is changing.” (1 Cor 7:29-31) We cannot expect to live ordinary lives; these are not ordinary times. In all we do, in all the choices we make, we have to keep the nearness of the end in mind. Has this knowledge begun to affect your course in life?

Imagine, now, that the terrible war is over. Imagine yourself, going out on the first morning after....

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Revelation 12:9
So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

Revelation 19:11-16
I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. The one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. Out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. He treads also the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:17-21
I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice to all the birds that fly in the sky: “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, that you may eat the flesh of kings and military commanders and strong men, the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, even the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves, of small ones and great.” And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 6:12-17
I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Psalm 2
Why are the nations agitated
And the peoples muttering an empty thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And high officials gather together as one
Against Jehovah and against his anointed one.
They say: “Let us tear off their shackles
And throw off their ropes!”
The One enthroned in the heavens will laugh;
Jehovah will scoff at them.
At that time he will speak to them in his anger
And terrify them in his burning anger,
Saying: “I myself have installed my king
On Zion, my holy mountain.”
Let me proclaim the decree of Jehovah;
He said to me: “You are my son;
Today I have become your father.
Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance
And the ends of the earth as your possession.
You will break them with an iron scepter,
And you will smash them like a piece of pottery.”
So now, you kings, show insight;
Accept correction, you judges of the earth.
Serve Jehovah with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Honor the son, or God will become indignant
And you will perish from the way,
For His anger flares up quickly.
Happy are all those taking refuge in Him.

Romans 1:18-32
For God's wrath is being revealed from heaven against all irreverence and wickedness of men who are deliberately suppressing the truth, because what may be known about God is clearly visible to them, for God made it clear to them. For the unseen qualities of God are clearly perceptible from the world's creation onward; his eternal power and Godship are shown by the things he has made, so that they are inexcusable. For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their senseless hearts became darkened. Although claiming they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles. Therefore, God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, so that their bodies might be dishonored among them. They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen. That is why God gave them over to uncontrolled sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; likewise also the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full penalty, which was due for their error. Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting. So they became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and badness, being full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice, being whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, schemers of what is harmful, disobedient to parents, without understanding, false to agreements, having no natural affection, and merciless. Although these know full well the righteous decree of God— that those practicing such things are deserving of death— they not only keep on doing them but also approve of those practicing them. Romans 1:18-32

Jeremiah 5:7-9
How can I forgive you for this? Your sons have abandoned me, and they swear by what is no God. I satisfied their needs, but they kept committing adultery, and they flocked to the house of a prostitute. They are like horses eager with lust, each neighing after another man's wife. “Should I not call them to account for these things?” declares Jehovah. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation?”

Jeremiah 5:29-31
“Should I not call them to account for these things?” declares Jehovah. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation? Something appalling and horrible has occurred in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, and the priests are domineering with their authority, yet my own people love it that way. But what will you do when the end comes?”

Jeremiah 6:13-14
For from the least to the greatest, each one is making dishonest gain; from the prophet to the priest, each one is practicing fraud. And they try to heal the breakdown of my people lightly, saying, “There is peace! There is peace!” when there is no peace.

Isaiah 5:20-23
Woe to those who say that good is bad and bad is good, those who put darkness for light and light for darkness, those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those wise in their own eyes and discreet in their own sight! Woe to those who are mighty in drinking wine and to the men who are masters at mixing alcoholic drinks, those who let off the wicked for a bribe and who deny justice to the righteous!

Isa 30:9-11
For they are a rebellious people, deceitful sons, sons who are unwilling to hear the law of Jehovah. They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the visionaries, “Do not tell us truthful visions. Tell us flattering things; envision deceptive illusions. Turn aside from the way; deviate from the path. Quit putting before us the Holy One of Israel.”

2 Chronicles 36:15, 16
Jehovah the God of their forefathers kept warning them by means of his messengers, warning them again and again, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling place. But they kept ridiculing the messengers of the true God, and they despised his words and mocked his prophets, until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until there was no healing.

Proverbs 1:24-33
Because I called out but you kept refusing, I stretched out my hand but no one was paying attention, you kept neglecting all my advice and rejecting my reproof, I also will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when what you dread comes, when what you dread comes like a storm, and your disaster arrives like a storm wind, when distress and trouble come upon you. At that time they will keep calling me, but I will not answer; they will eagerly look for me, but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge, and they did not choose to fear Jehovah. They refused my advice; they disrespected all my reproof. So they will bear the consequences of their way, and they will be glutted with their own counsel. For the waywardness of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But the one listening to me will dwell in security and be undisturbed by the dread of calamity.

Ezek 18:30-32
Therefore, I will judge each one of you according to his ways, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. Turn away, yes, turn completely away from all your transgressions, so that they will not be a stumbling block bringing guilt upon you. Rid yourselves of all the transgressions you have committed and acquire a new heart and a new spirit, for why should you die, O house of Israel? I do not take any pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. So turn back and live, O you people.

Jer 25:31-33
A noise will resound to the ends of the earth, for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations. He will personally pass judgment on all humans. He will give the wicked over to the sword; this is the declaration of Jehovah. This is what Jehovah of armies says: Look! A calamity is spreading from nation to nation, and a great tempest will be unleashed from the remotest parts of the earth. Those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.

2 Thess 1:6-10
It is righteous on God's part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you. But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God* and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength, at the time he comes to be glorified in connection with his holy ones and to be regarded in that day with wonder among all those who exercised faith, because the witness we gave met with faith among you.

*not a case of being innocently unaware, this means those who refuse to learn, who stubbornly cling to misinformation, and whose behavior betrays that they do not respect God. Compare Jeremiah 10:25: "pour out your rage on the nations that have ignored you." and 1 John 4:8: "He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love." and Titus 1:16: "They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works."

Jeremiah 8:9, 11
The wise have been put to shame. They have become terrified and will be caught. Look! They have rejected the word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have? . . . And they try to heal the breakdown of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, "There is peace! There is peace!" when there is no peace.

Revelation chapter 13:
It stood still on the sand of the sea: I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns ten diadems, but on its heads blasphemous names. Now the wild beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like those of a bear, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave to the beast its power and its throne and great authority. I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but its mortal wound had been healed, and all the earth followed the wild beast with admiration. They worshipped the dragon because it gave the authority to the wild beast, and they worshipped the wild beast with the words: “Who is like the wild beast, and who can do battle with it?” It was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for 42 months.
And it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to blaspheme his name and his dwelling place, even those residing in heaven. It was allowed to wage war against the holy ones and conquer them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. All those who dwell on the earth will worship it. From the founding of the world, not one of their names has been written in the scroll of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is meant for captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed with the sword. This is where it calls for endurance and faith on the part of the holy ones.
11Then I saw another wild beast ascending out of the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, but it began speaking like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first wild beast in its sight. And it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first wild beast, whose mortal wound was healed, and it performs great signs, even making fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the sight of mankind. It misleads those who dwell on the earth, because of the signs that it was allowed to perform in the sight of the wild beast, while it tells those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the wild beast that had the sword-stroke and yet revived. It was allowed to give breath to the image of the wild beast, so that the image of the wild beast should both speak and cause to be killed all those who refuse to worship the image of the wild beast. 16It puts under compulsion all people— the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slaves— that these should be marked on their right hand or on their forehead, and that nobody can buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name. This is where it calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the wild beast, for it is a man's number, and its number is 666.

Daniel chapter 7:
I was watching in my visions during the night, and look! the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the vast sea. And four huge beasts came out of the sea, each different from the others. The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were plucked out, and it was lifted up from the earth and was made to stand up on two feet like a man, and it was given the heart of a man. And look! another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, “Get up, eat much flesh.” After this I kept watching, and look! another beast, like a leopard, but on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. And the beast had four heads, and it was given great authority to rule. After this I kept watching in the visions of the night, and I saw a fourth beast, fearsome and terrifying and unusually strong, and it had large iron teeth. It was devouring and crushing, and what was left it trampled down with its feet. It was different from all the other beasts that were prior to it, and it had ten horns. 8While I considered the horns, look! another horn, a small one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked up from before it. And look! there were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and there was a mouth speaking arrogantly. I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The Court took its seat, and books were opened. I kept watching at that time because of the sound of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking; I watched until the beast was killed and its body was destroyed and it was given over to be burned in the fire. But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were [or, had been] taken away, and their lives were [or, had been] prolonged for a time and a season.
I kept watching in the visions of the night, and look! with the clouds of the heavens, someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. To him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me because the visions of my head frightened me. I went near to one of those who were standing there to ask him about the true meaning of this. So he replied and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17“These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will stand up from the earth. But the holy ones of the Supreme One will receive the kingdom, and they will possess the kingdom forever, yes, forever and ever.”
Then I wanted to know more about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others; it was extraordinarily fearsome, with iron teeth and bronze claws, and it was devouring and crushing, and trampling down what was left with its feet; and about the ten horns on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly and whose appearance was bigger than that of the others. I had seen that horn make war on the holy ones, and it was prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Supreme One, and the appointed time arrived for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.
23This is what he said: “As for the fourth beast, there is a fourth kingdom that will come to be on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour all the earth and will trample it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, ten kings will rise up out of that kingdom; and still another one will rise up after them, and he will be different from the first ones, and he will humiliate three kings. He will speak words against the Most High, and he will continually harass the holy ones of the Supreme One. He will intend to change times and law, and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.* But the Court sat, and they took away his rulership, in order to annihilate him and to destroy him completely. And the kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all rulerships will serve and obey them.”
This is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts alarmed me greatly, so that I turned pale; but I kept the matter in my own heart.

*This is the same as the "42 months" of Rev 13; this is 3-1/2 years, or one year ('time') plus 2 years ('times') plus half a year ('half a time'). Perhaps symbolic, or possibly a literal 42 months.

Acts 4:18-27
With that they called them and ordered them not to say anything at all or to teach on the basis of the name of Jesus. But in reply Peter and John said to them: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves. But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” So after they had threatened them further, they released them, since they did not find any grounds for punishing them and on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God over what had happened. For the man on whom this miracle of healing had been done was more than 40 years old.
After being released, they went to their own people and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. On hearing this, they raised their voices with one accord to God and said: “Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them, and who said through holy spirit by the mouth of our forefather David, your servant: ‘Why did nations become agitated and peoples meditate on empty things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers gathered together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.’ For truly both Herod and Pontius Pilate with men of the nations and with peoples of Israel were gathered together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.”

Acts 5:27-30
So they brought them and stood them before the Sanhedrin [court]. Then the high priest questioned them and said: “We strictly ordered you not to keep teaching on the basis of this name, and yet look! you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring the blood of this man upon us.” In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men. The God of our forefathers has raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on an execution stake.”

Rom 13:1-7
Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative position by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves. For those rulers are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you want to be free of fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it; for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear, for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword. It is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath against the one practicing what is bad. There is therefore compelling reason for you to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of your conscience. That is why you are also paying taxes; for they are God’s public servants constantly serving this very purpose. Render to all their dues: to the one who calls for the tax, the tax; to the one who calls for the tribute [a form of tax], the tribute; to the one who calls for fear, [due] fear; to the one who calls for honor, [due] honor.

Paul cannot have meant that we must give rulers exactly the fear and honor they may desire, as many of them back then demanded to be worshipped as gods. It is a matter of historical record that Christians flatly refused to give them that much fear and honor. Similar excessive expectations have occurred in our time.

To see Acts 5:29, click "Prev" button once.

Eccl 5:4-6
Whenever you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it, for he finds no pleasure in the stupid ones. What you vow, pay. Better for you not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not allow your mouth to cause you to sin, and do not say before the angel that it was a mistake. Why make the true God indignant over what you say so that he has to destroy the work of your hands?

Rev 13.16-18: also presented previously.

Revelation Chapters 17 and 18:
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me: “Come, I will show you the judgment on the great prostitute who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and earth's inhabitants were made drunk with the wine of her sexual immorality.” And he carried me away in the power of the spirit into a wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored wild beast that was full of blasphemous names and that had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup that was full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her sexual immorality. On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes and of the disgusting things of the earth.” And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. Well, on seeing her I was greatly amazed. So the angel said to me: Why is it that you were amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the wild beast that is carrying her and that has the seven heads and the ten horns: “The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth— those whose names have not been written in the scroll of life from the founding of the world— will be amazed when they see how the wild beast was, but is not, and yet will be present. This calls for a mind that has wisdom: The seven heads mean seven mountains, where the woman sits on top. And there are seven kings: Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet arrived; but when he does arrive, he must remain a short while. And the wild beast that was but is not, it is also an eighth king, but it springs from the seven, and it goes off into destruction. The ten horns that you saw mean ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings for one hour with the wild beast. These have one thought, so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. These will battle with the Lamb, but because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those with him who are called and chosen and faithful will do so.” He said to me: “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is sitting, mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues. And the ten horns that you saw and the wild beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her devastated and naked, and they will eat up her flesh and completely burn her with fire. For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, yes, to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished. And the woman whom you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 18
After this I saw another angel descending from heaven with great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory. And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: “She has fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen, and she has become a dwelling place of demons and a place where every unclean spirit and every unclean and hated bird lurks! For because of the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, all the nations have fallen victim, and the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth became rich owing to the power of her shameless luxury.
” And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. Repay her in the way she treated others, yes, pay her back double for the things she has done; in the cup she has mixed, mix a double portion for her. To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For she keeps saying in her heart: ‘I sit as queen, and I am not a widow, and I will never see mourning.’ That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.
And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment1 and say: ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’
Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives. Yes, the fine fruit that you desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again. The merchants who sold these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and will weep and mourn, saying: ‘Too bad, too bad, the great city, clothed with fine linen, purple, and scarlet and richly adorned with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls, because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!’ And every ship captain and every seafaring person and sailors and all those who make a living by the sea stood at a distance and cried out as they looked at the smoke from her burning and said: ‘What city is like the great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning, and said: ‘Too bad, too bad, the great city, in which all those who had ships at sea became rich from her wealth, because in one hour she has been devastated!2
Be glad over her, O heaven, also you holy ones and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced his judgment on her in your behalf!”
And a strong angel lifted up a stone like a great millstone and hurled it into the sea, saying: “Thus with a swift pitch will Babylon the great city be hurled down, and she will never be found again. And the sound of singers who accompany themselves on the harp, of musicians, of flutists, and of trumpeters will never be heard in you again. And no craftsman who practices any trade will ever be found in you again, and no sound of a millstone will ever be heard in you again. No light of a lamp will ever shine in you again, and no voice of a bridegroom and of a bride will ever be heard in you again; for your merchants were the top-ranking men of the earth, and by your spells3 all the nations were misled. Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

1This refers to the horrifyingly violent destruction; it is not an eternal experience of one who cannot perish.
2Notice what hurts the merchants' hearts: all that merchandise burnt up.
3 literally, pharmakia, that is, her employment of psychoactive potions. In those days inseparably linked to incantations and spells and appeals to spirit powers. So this can also be translated "spiritism".

Gen 11.1-9
Now all the earth was of one language and of one set of words. As they traveled eastward, they discovered a valley plain in the land of Shinar [now southern Iraq], and they began dwelling there. Then they said to one another: “Come! Let us make bricks and bake them with fire.” So they used bricks instead of stone, and bitumen as mortar. They now said: “Come! Let us build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered over the entire face of the earth.” Then Jehovah looked down on the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another's language.” So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why it was named Babel, because there Jehovah confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth

Note, this does not mean God is the author of all confusion, religious, political, social or otherwise. This was simply a practical means of preventing mankind from developing modern destructive technology far too soon (we do not know what they were able to do before the Flood, but that four men could build that ark makes one wonder). In some ways, having many languages is a blessing, in that it creates a variety of cultures and music. That it also makes prejudice, xenophobia, discrimination and war easier is man's fault, not God's.

Isa 54:5-7
For your Grand Maker is as your husband, Jehovah of armies is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser. He will be called the God of the whole earth. For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken, like a wife married in youth and then rejected, your God has said. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great mercy I will gather you back.

Isaiah 54:11-13
O afflicted woman, storm-tossed, uncomforted, I am laying your stones with hard mortar and your foundation with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling stones, and all your boundaries of precious stones. And all your sons will be taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.

1 John 3:10
The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Whoever does not carry on righteousness does not originate with God, nor does he who does not love his brother.

Matthew 5:44, 45
I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens . . .

Hosea 9:1
"Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou has gone a-whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor."

Revelation 18:11-17
Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives. Yes, the fine fruit that you desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again. The merchants who sold these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and will weep and mourn, saying: “Too bad, too bad, the great city, clothed with fine linen, purple, and scarlet and richly adorned with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls, because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!”

Revelation 17:11-17
The wild beast that was but is not, it is also an eighth king, but it springs from the seven, and it goes off into destruction. The ten horns that you saw mean ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings for one hour with the wild beast. These have one thought, so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. These will battle with the Lamb, but because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those with him who are called and chosen and faithful will do so. . . The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is sitting, mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues. And the ten horns that you saw and the wild beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her devastated and naked, and they will eat up her flesh and completely burn her with fire. For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, yes, to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished.

Genesis 19:12-17
Then the men said to Lot: “Do you have anyone else here? Sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and all your people in the city, bring out of this place! For we are going to destroy this place, because the outcry against them has indeed grown great before Jehovah, so that Jehovah sent us to destroy the city.” So Lot went out and began to speak to his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters, and he kept saying: “Get up! Get out of this place, because Jehovah will destroy the city!” But to his sons-in-law, he seemed to be joking. As dawn was breaking, the angels became urgent with Lot, saying: “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here with you, so that you will not be swept away in the error of the city!” When he kept lingering, then because of Jehovah's compassion for him, the men seized hold of his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, and they brought him out and stationed him outside the city. As soon as they had brought them to the outskirts, he said: “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you and do not stand still in any part of the district! Escape to the mountainous region so that you may not be swept away!” . . . . vss 23-26: The sun had risen over the land when Lot arrived at Zoar. Then Jehovah made it rain sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah— it came from Jehovah, from the heavens. So he overthrew these cities, yes, the entire district, including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation as well. But Lot's wife, who was behind him, began to look back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Luke 17:28-33
Likewise, just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed. On that day let the person who is on the housetop but whose belongings are in the house not come down to pick these up, and likewise, the person out in the field must not return to the things behind. Remember the wife of Lot! Whoever seeks to keep his life safe will lose it, but whoever loses it will preserve it alive.

What action Jesus is here recommending? Where indeed would a person run, with or without baggage, if the whole sky was falling? In truth, the correct application is spiritual and immediate, not for a future day: do not let anything in this world slow you down or cause a delay, act now to listen to God and obey him, for at any moment it may be too late. Do not linger and do not look back. Today that doesn't have to mean physical relocation, as in Lot's case. But you may have to "move" quite a way to change who you have been to who you should be. And there may be places you used to frequent that you must abandon. In our discussion, that includes "Babylon the Great", corrupt, idolatrous, self-indulgent, spellbinding false religion.

Ezek 9:4-6
Jehovah said to him: “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city.” And to the others he said in my hearing: “Go through the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. Old man, young man, virgin, little child, and women you should kill off completely. But do not go near to any man on whom there is the mark. You should start from my sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were in front of the house.

John 8:32
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

James 2:14
Of what benefit is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but he does not have works? That faith cannot save him, can it?

Rev 13:8
All those who dwell on the earth will worship it [the wild beast that rules the world]. From the founding of the world, not one of their names has been written in the scroll of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.

Ps 37:37-40
Watch the blameless one and keep the upright one in sight,
For the future of that man will be peaceful.
But all the transgressors will be destroyed;
The future of wicked people will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous is from Jehovah;
He is their fortress in the time of distress.
Jehovah will help them and rescue them.
He will rescue them from the wicked and save them,
Because they take refuge in him.

Isaiah 57:13
When you cry for help your collection of things you trust in will not rescue you. A wind will carry all of them away, a puff of breath will blow them away, but the one taking refuge in me will inherit the land and will take possession of my holy mountain.

Nahum 1:1, 5-7
A pronouncement against Nineveh: The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:
Mountains quake because of him [Jehovah], and the hills melt. The earth will be upheaved because of his face, along with the land and all those dwelling in it. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can withstand the heat of his anger? His wrath will be poured out like fire, and the rocks will be shattered because of him. Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress. He is mindful of those seeking refuge in him.

2 Pet 3:7-13
But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly people. However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people see it, rather, he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to come to repentance. Even so, the day of Jehovah will come like a thief, and in that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the component parts [of this world] being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be laid bare [by the fire].
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens will be destroyed in flames and the component parts will melt in the intense heat! But we are waiting for a new heavens and a new earth, according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

Isaiah chapter 13
A pronouncement against Babylon that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw in vision: . . . 4 “Listen! A crowd in the mountains; it sounds like a numerous people! Listen! The uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathered together! Jehovah of armies is mustering the army for war. They are coming from a distant land, from the extremity of the heavens, Jehovah and the weapons of his wrath, to bring ruin to all the earth. Wail, for the day of Jehovah is near! It will come as a destruction from the Almighty. That is why all hands will go limp, and every man's heart will melt with fear. . . 9 Look! The day of Jehovah is coming, cruel both with fury and with burning anger, to make the land an object of horror, and to annihilate the land's sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give off their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shed its light. I will call the inhabited earth to account for its badness, and the wicked for their error. I will put an end to the pride of the presumptuous, and I will humble the haughtiness of tyrants. I will make mortal man scarcer than refined gold, and humans scarcer than the gold of Ophir. That is why I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place at the fury of Jehovah of armies in the day of his burning anger. Like a hunted gazelle and like a flock with no one to gather them, each will return to his own people; each will flee to his own land. Whoever is found will be pierced through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. Their children will be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped. Here I am raising up against them the Medes, who regard silver as nothing and who take no delight in gold. Their bows will shatter young men; they will show no pity on the fruit of the womb nor mercy to children. And Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the beauty and the pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. She will never be inhabited, nor will she be a place to reside in throughout all generations. No Arab will pitch his tent there, and no shepherds will rest their flocks there. The desert creatures will lie down there; their houses will be filled with eagle owls. The ostriches will reside there, and wild goats will skip about there. Howling creatures will cry out in her towers, and jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is near, and her days will not be prolonged.”

Jeremiah 4:23-28
I saw the land, and look! it was empty and desolate. I looked at the heavens, and their light was no more. I saw the mountains, and look! they were quaking, and the hills were shaking. I saw, and look! there was no man, and the birds of the heavens had all fled. I saw, and look! the orchard had become a wilderness, and its cities had all been torn down. It was because of Jehovah, because of his burning anger. For this is what Jehovah says: “The whole land will become desolate, but I will not carry out a complete extermination. For this reason the land will mourn, and the heavens above will become dark. It is because I have spoken, I have decided, and I will not change my mind, nor will I turn back from it.”

Joel 2:1, 10
Blow a horn in Zion! Shout a war cry in my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Jehovah is coming! It is near! . . . 10 Before them the land trembles and the heavens rock. Sun and moon have become dark, and the stars have lost their brightness.

Isaiah 34:1-17
Come close to hear, you nations, And pay attention, you peoples. Let the earth and that which fills it listen, the land and all its produce. For Jehovah's indignation is against all the nations, and his wrath is against all their army. He will devote them to destruction; he will give them to the slaughter. Their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their carcasses will ascend; the mountains will melt because of their blood. All the army of the heavens will rot away, and the heavens will be rolled up like a scroll. All their army will wither away, as a withered leaf falls from the vine and a shriveled fig from the fig tree. For in the heavens my sword will be drenched. It will descend on Edom in judgment, on the people whom I devoted to destruction. Jehovah has a sword; it will be covered with blood. It will be covered with the fat, with the blood of young rams and goats, with the kidney fat of rams. For Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah [an Edomite city], a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild bulls will go down with them, the young bulls with the powerful ones. Their land will be drenched in blood, and their dust will be soaked with fat. For Jehovah has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution for the legal case over Zion. Her streams will be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulfur, and her land will become like burning pitch. By night or by day it will not be extinguished; its smoke will keep ascending forever. From generation to generation she will remain devastated; no one will pass through her forever and ever. The pelican and the porcupine will possess her, and long-eared owls and ravens will reside in her. He will stretch out over her the measuring line of emptiness and the plumb line of desolation. None of her nobles will be called to the kingship, and all her princes will come to nothing. Thorns will grow in her fortified towers, nettles and thorny weeds in her fortresses. She will become a lair of jackals, an enclosure for ostriches. Desert creatures will meet up with howling animals, and the wild goat will call to its companion. Yes, there the nightjar will settle and find a place of rest. There the arrow snake will make its nest and lay eggs, and it will hatch them and gather them in its shadow. Yes, there the kites will gather, each one with her mate. . . . They will possess it for all time; they will reside in it throughout all generations.

As you can see, the everlasting fire in Edom would not prevent animals from living there. Edom was in what is now southern Israel and Jordan, south of the Dead Sea, which is a truly desolate area, fulfilling the prophecy. But the land is not literally smoking with continual fires. That is poetic language to drive home the intensity of the judgment, and was not meant to be taken absolutely literally.

Matt 24:29, 30
Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Rev 6:12-15
I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

Ps 19:1
The heavens are declaring the glory of God;
The skies above proclaim the work of his hands.

Jude 13
[Referring to wicked men who slipped covertly into the congregation to corrupt it] they are like "wild waves of the sea that cast up the foam of their own shame; stars with no set course, for which the blackest darkness stands reserved forever."

Isaiah 65:17-18
For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart. So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating. For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy and her people a cause for exultation.

Isaiah 49:8
This is what Jehovah says: “In a time of favor I answered you, and in a day of salvation I helped you; I kept safeguarding you to give you as a covenant for the people, to rehabilitate the land, to cause them to possess their desolate inheritances.”

Isaiah 51:16
I will put my words in your mouth, and with the shadow of my hand I will cover you, in order to plant the heavens and to lay the foundation of the earth and to say to Zion, “You are my people.”

Eph 4:20-24
But you did not learn the Christ to be like this, if, indeed, you heard him and were taught by means of him, just as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your old self [lit, old man], according to your former course of conduct, which was corrupt with seductive desires. And you should continue to be made new in the spirit motivating your mind, and should put on the new self [lit, new man] according to God's will, which is created in true righteousness and loyalty.

Col 3:5-10
Deaden, therefore, your earthly flesh as respects sexual immorality, uncleanness, uncontrolled sexual passion, hurtful desire, and greed, which is idolatry. On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. That is how you too used to conduct yourselves in your former way of life. But now you must put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and vulgar speech out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old person with its behavior, and clothe yourselves with the new, which with accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it.

Gal 5:24
Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.

Mal 4:1-3
For look! the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the presumptuous ones and all those practicing wickedness will become like stubble. The coming day will certainly devour them, says Jehovah of armies, and it will leave them neither root nor branch. But on you who honor my name, the sun of righteousness will shine, with healing in its rays; and you will skip about like fattened calves. You will tread the wicked underfoot, for they will be like dust under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action, says Jehovah of armies.

Note here that the fire consumes the wicked, not the ground.

James 4:4, 7, 8
Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is making himself an enemy of God. . . 7 Therefore, subject yourselves to God, but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.

John 17:16-21
[Jesus prayed:] “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. Make them holy by means of the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world. . . . I make request, not only for these, but also for those who will put faith in me through their word, so that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are one with me and I am one with you, that they also may be one with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.”

Rev 7:9
After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to count, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.

Ps 94:20-23
Can a throne of corruption be allied with you
While it is framing trouble in the name of the law?
They make vicious attacks on the righteous one
And condemn the innocent one to death.
But Jehovah will become a secure refuge for me,
My God is my rock of refuge.
He will make their wicked deeds come back upon them.
He will do away with them by means of their own evil.
Jehovah our God will do away with them.

Ezek 38:8-16
You [Gog] will be given attention after many days. In the final part of the years you will invade the land whose people have been restored from the ravages of the sword, collected together out of many peoples onto the mountains of Israel, which had long been lying devastated. The inhabitants of this land were restored from the peoples, and all of them dwell in security. You will come against them like a storm, and you will cover the land like clouds, you and all your troops and many peoples with you. This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “In that day thoughts will come into your heart, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say: ‘I will invade the land of unprotected settlements. I will come against those living in security, without disturbance, all of them living in settlements unprotected by walls, bars, or gates. It will be to take much spoil and plunder, to attack the devastated places that are now inhabited and a people regathered from the nations, who are accumulating wealth and property, those who are living in the center of the earth.’ . . . So prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “On that day when my people Israel are dwelling in security, will you not know it? You will come from your place, from the remotest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly, a vast army. Like clouds covering the land, you will come against my people Israel. In the final part of the days I will bring you against my land so that the nations may know me when I sanctify myself through you before their eyes, O Gog.”’”

Ezekiel 39:1-7, 17-20
This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “I am against you, Gog, head chieftain of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and lead you and make you come up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you in upon the mountains of Israel. I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows fall from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the peoples who will be with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of birds of prey and the wild beasts of the field. You will fall on the open field, for I myself have spoken,” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. “And I will send fire against Magog and against those who are inhabiting the islands in security, and they will have to know that I am Jehovah. I will make my holy name known among my people Israel, and I will not allow my holy name to be profaned any longer; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel.” . . . 17 As for you, son of man [Ezekiel], this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Say to every sort of bird and to all the wild beasts of the field, ‘Gather yourselves together and come. Gather all around my sacrifice that I am preparing for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. You will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty ones and drink the blood of the chieftains of the earth— the rams, lambs, goats, and bullsall the fattened animals of Bashan. You will gorge yourselves on fat and drink blood until you are drunk from the sacrifice that I prepare for you. At my table you will be filled up with horses and charioteers, mighty ones and all sorts of warriors,’” declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.

2 Chron 20:11-13, 15, 17
[King Jehoshaphat prays:] “Now they are repaying us by coming in to drive us out from your land that you gave us as an inheritance. O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless before this large crowd that is coming against us; and we do not know what we should do, but our eyes are toward you.” Meanwhile, all those of Judah were standing before Jehovah, along with their little ones, their wives, and their children. . . 15 He [Jahaziel the prophet] said: “Pay attention, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Here is what Jehovah says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd, for the battle is not yours but God's. . . . 17 You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid or be terrified. Tomorrow go out against them, and Jehovah will be with you.’”

Review for Chapter 8

Who fights whom at Armageddon?

Why should we not feel sorry for those who will perish in that war?

What is the "wild beast"?

What is the image of the beast, and what is its primary life-giver?

How can one get the mark of the beast and not realize it?

What is the great harlot, Babylon the Great?

How has this worldly element prostituted herself with the kings of the earth?

How is she responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents?

How has she persecuted true Christians?

Where does the destruction begin, and why?

What does it mean to be "in" Babylon, and how do we get out?

How can we prepare for the coming war?

How shall heaven pass away?

How shall earth pass away?

What are the new heavens? the new earth?

How will the stars fall from the sky?

What specific action initiates the war of Armageddon itself?

Who will survive Armageddon?

Restore Scripture View

The British empire was dominant from about 1600 to the 1940's. Since then the allied American partner has been stronger. They are counted as a single empire because of their cooperation, common language and similar government.
Ostensibly established to prevent conflict and solve international disputes, and hailed by clergy as "mankind's only hope for peace" and "the expression of the Kingdom of God on earth", the UN is actually a complete failure in those respects. Some of its subsidiary programs may accomplish some good (as is true of most governments), but it also reflects the increasing moral corruption of the world it represents. As columnist Mark Steyn recently commented, "the UN is a shamefully squalid organization whose corruption is almost impossible to exaggerate." Besides top leaders enriching themselves from the Iraq Oil-for-Food program (at the expense of Iraqis oppressed by the tyrant Saddam), Steyn notes there is "a UN pedophile network operating from Africa to southeast Asia . . . systemic child sex in at least 50 percent of its missions." As for ending conflict and establishing real peace, consider the genocide that happened in Darfur, Sudan. Steyn wrote sarcastically: "The good people of Darfur have been fortunate enough not to attract the attention of arrogant cowboy unilateralist [US president] Bush [who was content to let the UN 'manage' this problem] and have instead fallen under the care of the UN . . . So, after months of expressing deep, grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, [UN Secretary] Kofi Annan managed to persuade the UN to set up a committee to look into what's going on in Darfur. Eventually, they reported back that it's not genocide. . . Instead, it's just 100,000 corpses who all happen to be from the same ethnic group— which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone's dead."
More recently, its impotence with the uber-genocidal "IS" in Syria and Iraq (and spreading) should have the world disgusted. It seems every week there is an "emergency" session of the "Security Counsel," followed by solemn pronouncements that can be summarized as "We're going to do something serious about that, as soon as we can agree on what to do!" And Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Counsel, is pushing to restore its empire by intimidation, deceit, and force. Yet so many still "follow the beast with admiration", even worship (devotedly serve) it. True Christians see it as God does. We exhort all others who decry the beast's corruption to learn faith in the heavenly Kingdom. Neither the beast nor its image can be reformed. —Rev 13:3, 12.
For example, the first fulfillment of Isaiah 65:17-18 occurred in the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland from out of their exile in Babylon. Compare Isaiah 49:8 and 51:16. Their recovered land was their "new earth", and their regained freedom to worship in a rebuilt temple and to govern themselves (within limits) was their "new heavens."
They may say,"It is irresponsible not to vote, so just vote for the lesser of two evils." (If you are American, think Clinton-Trump.) But can any Christian vote for evil? Is it really irresponsible not to vote? We know where the world is being led by the dragon. No vote will delay that by a single day, and that day is perilously close. (Much more on citizen responsibility in chapter 11.)
Gog is the commander of the forces of "Magog" (Ezekiel 38:3), which was an actual land in Bible times, far north of Israel and infamous for its fierce warriors. He clearly is the same as the "king of the north" who will make a final push for world domination right before the end, according to Daniel 11:40-45. This book does not discuss that rather deep and difficult prophecy; suffice to say that it presently (2017) appears that verse 40 is beginning to be fulfilled, which portends some serious developments soon. Verse 44 may correspond with Ezekiel 38. Of course, those who attack God's peaceful people will be urged forward by Satan, so "Gog" ultimately must be him. But Jehovah says to Gog "I will give you as food to ... birds of prey," and birds cannot eat Satan. They can and will consume the human leaders of the attacking forces. God simply meant that Gog's armies, including its human leaders, would die on the battlefield and become carrion. Satan's personal demise comes later.