His Voice Today

Israel, Babylon and Armageddon

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Steve Wohlberg


Series Code: HVT

Program Code: HVT000024A

00:09 The battle of Armageddon is coming...
00:11 Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?
00:14 What does the Bible really say?
00:15 That's our topic on His Voice Today.
00:20 Welcome to another His Voice Today
00:23 with Steve Wohlberg.
00:29 Welcome to the grand finale
00:31 of a series of meetings that we've been doing,
00:33 on Israel Issues.
00:35 The first program...
00:36 four programs ago
00:38 we talked about: All Eyes on Israel
00:39 and then in the second program, we talked about:
00:41 Israel and Jesus Christ
00:43 and then in the last presentation
00:46 we focused on: Titanic Truths about the Temple
00:49 and this is it... the grand finale...
00:52 it's called: Israel, Babylon and Armageddon.
00:56 We are going to take a close look
00:57 at the book of Revelation and see what it really says.
01:02 Who are the good guys,
01:03 who are the bad guys that Revelation reveals,
01:06 who will be experiencing the final showdown at earth's
01:12 final battle called Armageddon.
01:14 Let's start with the beginning of Revelation chapter 1 verse 1,
01:19 and the first line says,
01:20 "This book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. "
01:23 In other words, the book comes from Jesus
01:26 it is revealed by Jesus and it is centered in Jesus.
01:31 In verse 10... John who wrote the book
01:35 said, "I was in the Spirit"
01:37 I was in the Holy Spirit when I got the book from Jesus.
01:41 So, obviously, his spiritual faculties were in tune
01:45 and the Holy Spirit was inside his heart.
01:48 Going on... in verse 11, John then heard a voice...
01:52 the voice of Jesus and he turned around
01:56 to see who had spoken to him, verse 12 says,
01:59 "... I turned to see the voice that spoke to me.
02:02 And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks... "
02:07 Now, candlesticks... this is basically Jewish imagery
02:12 it goes back to the earthly temple
02:14 where there was a Seven-branched Candlestick
02:17 inside the Holy Place,
02:19 there was also a Table of Bread,
02:20 there was also an Alter of Incense,
02:23 and then inside the Most Holy Place,
02:25 there was an Ark called The Ark of the Covenant
02:29 inside of which were The Ten Commandments.
02:33 And so, Revelation begins with Temple imagery
02:36 and John sees Jesus walking in the midst,
02:39 He's a great High Priest
02:41 and He's walking in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks.
02:45 Now, what do these Seven Golden Candlesticks represent?
02:48 As Jesus then begins to explain to John... what's going on...
02:52 in verse 20, Jesus says,
02:54 "I will explain to you the mystery of the seven stars
02:58 which were in His right hand,
03:00 and of the seven golden candlesticks. "
03:02 He said the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches,
03:07 and the seven candlesticks,
03:08 Jesus said, "which you saw are the seven churches. "
03:13 So at the beginning of Revelation,
03:16 Jesus takes the seven candlesticks... which...
03:19 these have to do with Jewish imagery
03:23 and then He says,
03:24 "the mystery of these candlesticks
03:27 is that they represent the seven churches. "
03:30 So at the beginning of the book,
03:32 Jesus takes the things of Israel,
03:34 Jewish imagery and He clearly applies it to His church.
03:40 That's what Jesus does
03:41 at the beginning of the last book of the Bible.
03:44 Going on to chapter 2,
03:48 Jesus then begins to give messages
03:51 to these seven churches.
03:52 The first church was Ephesus then there was Smyrna,
03:56 then Pergamos, then Thyatira, and the list goes on...
03:59 all the way to Laodicea which is the last church.
04:02 Jesus has messages for each church.
04:04 And in verse 18 of chapter 2, "... the angel of the church...
04:10 to the angel of the church in Thyatira write... "
04:13 and then Jesus gives a message to this church and in verse 19
04:19 He talks about the good things that they were doing,
04:22 but then in verse 20 He says,
04:23 "Notwithstanding I have a few things against you,
04:25 because you suffer that woman Jezebel,
04:31 which calls herself a prophetess,
04:34 to teach and to seduce my servants... "
04:36 So, to the church in Thyatira, Jesus says, "You got a problem,
04:42 the problem is, that you've allowed that woman
04:45 Jezebel to come right into the church
04:49 and to teach her deceptions. "
04:50 Now, what's this talking about?
04:52 Does Jesus mean that the ancient woman Jezebel...
04:57 the literal woman who came into Israel... who married Ahab
05:01 and brought all kinds of false idolatry into Israel,
05:05 did Jesus mean that she had been resurrected,
05:07 did He mean that she has been reincarnated
05:10 and then she... you know... this literal lady
05:13 walked right in to one of the churches in Thyatira,
05:17 and that the Christians were falling for her deceptions,
05:21 is that what Jesus meant by this?
05:24 No, we need spiritual eyesight to understand
05:29 what Jesus is doing, is...
05:31 He's using the history of Jezebel and Ahab,
05:35 He's using the woman... that woman... to represent
05:39 a false form of Christianity
05:43 that just like Jezebel came into Israel,
05:46 a false form of Christianity was coming in to His church
05:51 and was bringing in its deceptions,
05:54 and so, once again,
05:56 just like the seven-branched candlestick
05:59 Jesus applied to the seven churches,
06:01 Jewish imagery applied to the church,
06:04 so, he takes Jezebel,
06:07 whose history had to do with ancient Israel,
06:09 she came into Israel,
06:11 and then He applied this to deceptions
06:13 that were coming in to the church.
06:16 There's consistency
06:17 in the teaching of Jesus Christ in Revelation.
06:20 In Chapter 3...
06:22 Revelation 3 verse 12,
06:25 He talks about the need to overcome,
06:28 this is His counsel to the Philippian church.
06:40 and here Jesus is talking about God's temple,
06:43 and the temple obviously again, is Old Testament imagery.
06:48 There was a temple... a tabernacle
06:50 in the wilderness in the days of Moses,
06:52 it became permanent in the days of Solomon,
06:55 it was destroyed by the Babylonians,
06:57 it was rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah,
07:01 and then it was... later on...
07:03 there during the time of Jesus Christ
07:05 but it was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans
07:08 and that Temple... to this day
07:11 has never been rebuilt over in Israel.
07:13 So, Jesus is here talking about a temple...
07:16 but what temple is he talking about?
07:18 He's using the imagery of Israel
07:21 but He's applying this to His church.
07:27 Jesus says that Christians who overcome will become pillars
07:32 in the temple of my God... God's temple...
07:49 so here in verse 12, Jesus now uses Jerusalem itself,
07:57 He talked about the candlesticks,
07:59 He talked about Jezebel, He talked about the temple,
08:03 and now, He's talking about Jerusalem itself
08:07 and He is applying the Temple of God
08:11 and Jerusalem to a New Jerusalem
08:15 and Jesus calls this, "... the city of my God
08:19 which is the new Jerusalem, which is going to come down
08:22 out of heaven from my God:
08:25 and I will write upon him my new name. "
08:28 Verse 13, Jesus said,
08:34 So the Holy Spirit speaks through these Scriptures
08:38 and again, Jesus is using
08:40 Jewish imagery and He is applying it to His church,
08:44 and also to a New Jerusalem in heaven.
08:47 Let me just back up a little bit before I continue on
08:50 and look at Babylon.
08:52 As we see from Revelation so far...
08:56 and we'll continue to see this,
08:57 it's very clear that when you read the book of Revelation,
09:00 the last book of the Bible, that Revelation uses
09:03 the geography
09:04 and the terminology
09:06 of the Middle East in its prophecies.
09:07 There's no question about this.
09:09 If you look at the whole picture,
09:11 Revelation talks about a
09:13 from all the tribes of the children of Israel.
09:16 It talks about Mount Zion, Jerusalem, the temple,
09:19 it also talks about Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, Euphrates,
09:21 Euphrates drying up
09:23 because the kings of the east are coming from the east,
09:26 and then it talks about Armageddon.
09:27 And what's happening today is modern scholars
09:30 are taking these Middle East terms
09:32 and they are applying them to the literal places.
09:35 They often apply this to a 144,000 Jews along the West Bank
09:40 when the Bible talks about Euphrates drying up
09:43 in Revelation, they apply this often to Turkey
09:46 building a dam to stop the flow of the River Euphrates.
09:49 When it talks about Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18,
09:53 this is often applied to the sands of Iraq
09:56 when Saddam Hussein,
09:58 during the first Gulf War in 1991
09:59 was rumored to have been trying to rebuild
10:02 or starting to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon
10:04 not too far from Baghdad, prophecy books came pouring off
10:08 off of the presses saying that this is fulfilling prophecy.
10:11 There it is... the ancient city of Babylon is coming back.
10:14 So they applied it to that literal ancient city.
10:19 Temple texts are applied to a rebuilt Jewish temple in Israel,
10:23 and Armageddon is applied to a final battle
10:25 North of Jerusalem, in a valley...
10:27 a small valley called Megiddo
10:28 between
10:30 sometimes it's China, sometimes... Russia,
10:32 sometimes Iran, Hezbollah, all these different forces
10:35 that will gather together to fight against Jews.
10:38 And this is the way the landscape and terminology
10:42 of Revelation is interpreted today.
10:45 But as we've already seen,
10:48 Revelation points us in a different direction.
10:53 In chapter 1, when Jesus takes the temple imagery...
10:57 the seven-branched candlesticks and applies it to the church,
11:01 when He takes the imagery of Jezebel who came into Israel
11:04 and applies that to deceptions coming into the church,
11:07 when He takes the temple imagery and says that
11:11 Christians can become pillars inside of that temple forever,
11:15 when He takes the word Jerusalem,
11:17 He applies it to the New Jerusalem which Jesus calls
11:21 The City of God which will come down from heaven
11:25 and we will then live inside that city forever.
11:30 So, so far, we see Revelation using Middle East terminology
11:38 but it is applying it to things very different
11:42 from those literal actual places.
11:44 Now, let's keep going and let's look at Revelation
11:49 chapter 17 and then let's talk about Babylon.
11:53 Actually let's do a little bit more before we get to that.
11:56 I'm looking at my notes here
11:58 and I don't want to leave out some things.
11:59 Revelation chapter 21...
12:03 chapter 21 verse 10,
12:08 the Bible says, John wrote,
12:10 "... He carried me away in the spirit"
12:12 so the Holy Spirit was again leading John
12:15 to understand these truths to a great and high mountain,
12:20 and that mountain was Mount Zion,
12:23 a heavenly Mount Zion, a great and high mountain,
12:27 and he shewed me that great city,
12:30 the holy Jerusalem,
12:33 descending out of heaven from God. "
12:36 And so the Holy City, the New Jerusalem,
12:38 God's city came down and
12:41 rested upon that great and high mountain.
12:46 Revelation 11 verse 19 talks about the temple
12:51 that is inside of the New Jerusalem,
12:54 verse 19 says, "... the temple of God"
12:56 so the New Jerusalem is called the City of God,
13:00 and this temple is called the Temple of God
13:03 which was opened in heaven...
13:14 So, John... in heavenly vision
13:17 sees the temple of God up there, he goes into the Holy of Holies
13:21 he sees the Ark and inside the Ark,
13:25 when you study the Old Testament and the book of Hebrews,
13:27 inside the Ark were the Tables of the Testimony
13:31 which were the Ten Commandments.
13:33 So, the temple described here is up there
13:36 and the ark is up there, and the focus is up there,
13:41 not down here on earth.
13:43 Continuing on in chapter 15, I'm sorry, chapter 14...
13:51 chapter 14 verse 12, John describes a people
13:54 called the saints.
14:04 So these commandments are called the commandments of God.
14:06 So the New Jerusalem is called the City of God,
14:08 the heavenly temple is called the temple of God,
14:10 inside is the Ark
14:12 and inside that Ark are the Ten Commandments,
14:15 and now we have a group of people here
14:16 followers of Jesus Christ, who keep the Commandments of God
14:20 and the faith of Jesus,
14:22 they're followers of Jesus but they're keeping
14:24 God's Commandments, which are inside that Ark
14:27 up in that heavenly temple up inside the New Jerusalem
14:31 where Jesus Christ is our great High Priest.
14:34 In Galatians chapter 6 verse 16,
14:38 Paul talks about Israel,
14:40 and we've talked about this in previous programs,
14:44 Galatians 6:16,
14:46 verse 15 says:
14:49 neither circumcision"
14:50 which applies to the Jewish people,
14:52 "avails any thing, nor uncircumcision,"
14:54 which applies to Gentiles,
14:55 "but a new creature" that's what counts,
15:07 Now, in Revelation we've got the City of God up there,
15:10 we've got the temple of God up there,
15:12 we've got people keeping the Commandments of God
15:14 which are up there, as they're awaiting for
15:17 the Son of God to come down,
15:19 and when Revelation talks about Israel, in chapter 7,
15:23 and the enemy being Babylon, in chapter 17,
15:28 is the Israel... the Israel of God?
15:32 or some other Israel?
15:34 And is Babylon a rebuilt city over in the sands of Iraq,
15:38 or is it another Babylon?
15:40 Well, let's find out.
15:41 Let's find out the answers, it's very clear.
15:43 Going back to Revelation chapter 17...
15:48 John, in the Spirit, sees a mystery woman
15:52 that is Babylon, chapter 17 verse 3,
15:57 John wrote:
16:03 so, again, here's the Spirit,
16:05 in Revelation 1:10, John was in the Spirit,
16:07 at the end of every message to the seven churches
16:10 Jesus said, "He who has an ear,
16:12 let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches"
16:14 and here in Revelation 17 verse 3,
16:18 John is again, carried away in the Spirit,
16:22 and he sees an amazing sight.
16:40 and then he describes the woman, and in verse 5,
16:44 John saw that upon her forehead was a name written,
16:48 Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots
16:52 and abominations of the Earth. "
16:55 So the word Babylon, as it is here,
16:58 Babylon was an ancient city in Israel in Old Testament days,
17:02 just like there was a Jerusalem, so there was a Babylon
17:06 and there was a temple
17:07 and all the things that we've read about,
17:10 there was a Jezebel that came into ancient Israel,
17:13 so there was a Babylon that came and attacked Israel
17:15 and destroyed the temple, destroyed the city
17:17 and took the Jews captives for 70 years.
17:20 Now, here in Revelation he uses that term
17:22 but is John through the Spirit... being taught
17:27 that this term applies to a rebuilt city
17:32 over in the sands of Iraq about 50 miles south of Baghdad.
17:36 No... we know that...
17:39 that he's talking about something much different
17:41 when he describes this mystery Babylon...
17:45 this mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth.
17:48 She is sitting upon many waters, it says in verse 1,
17:51 the woman is sitting upon many waters,
17:53 in Old Testament times, ancient Babylon,
17:56 this literal city, sat upon the River Euphrates
17:59 on the waters of Euphrates,
18:00 and in Revelation, John sees another Babylon
18:03 and she's sitting upon the water... many waters...
18:06 but what does this water represent?
18:08 If we look down at verse 15, the angel explains,
18:13 the angel said to me, Revelation 17:15,
18:26 So the water isn't literal water the water applies to
18:31 all the people around the world
18:33 that support this mystery Babylon and her deceptions.
18:40 Now, when we go to chapter 16, we read about the final battle
18:49 and Babylon is involved in this battle
18:51 and actually, let me read another text that I forgot.
18:54 In chapter 18 verse 4,
18:56 the Bible says:
19:08 So, God has people in Babylon, in ancient Old Testament history
19:13 literal Israel was taken to literal Babylon
19:18 and they had to literally come out
19:19 and go back to... literal Jerusalem
19:21 and rebuild their city and their temple.
19:24 In Revelation, we have a mystery Babylon
19:26 who sits upon the waters
19:29 of the people around the world that support her
19:32 and then God calls His people to come out of her
19:36 just like He called ancient Israel
19:37 to come out of literal Babylon,
19:39 He calls His modern Israel, to come out of mystery Babylon
19:43 so they don't share in her sins.
19:46 Revelation 16 describes the final battle.
19:51 Chapter 16 says, "... He gathered them together
19:54 into a place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon
19:57 Now what is Armageddon about?
19:59 Is Armageddon going to be a bloody Middle East war
20:02 against Jews?
20:03 Would that be a correct interpretation of this text?
20:07 I don't believe so, and the reason is
20:11 because that interpretation would go against
20:13 the entire theme of Revelation
20:16 in taking the landscape and the terminology
20:21 of ancient Israel, but it applies it,
20:24 like the seven candlesticks were applied to the church,
20:26 Jezebel was applied to
20:28 deceptions coming into the church.
20:30 The temple was applied to God's people
20:31 and the temple up in heaven.
20:33 Jerusalem is applied to the New Jerusalem up in heaven.
20:36 Keeping the Commandments of God is applied to the saints
20:40 who followed Jesus Christ.
20:41 Babylon is applied to a mystery woman that deceives the world,
20:46 she's sitting upon the waters which represent
20:49 people, multitudes, nations and tongues
20:50 and so if we interpret Armageddon
20:53 as a bloody, Middle East Battle against Jews,
20:57 in a little valley north of Jerusalem,
21:00 that interpretation which takes the Middle East terminology
21:05 literally... is contrary to the trend of the entire book
21:10 of the entire book...
21:11 Now, let's just back up a little bit.
21:12 The theory is that all the nations
21:14 are going to gather into this little valley...
21:15 this little valley north of
21:16 Jerusalem, the valley of Megiddo...
21:18 and the Bible doesn't actually use the word
21:21 in Revelation... Megiddo... it says, "Armageddon"
21:24 "har" in Armageddon... "har" means mountain
21:27 and Megiddo literally means slaughter.
21:30 So this is a mountain of slaughter
21:32 that someone's being gathered to.
21:35 Now, who is being gathered into this Mountain of Slaughter?
21:39 Chapter 14 and 15 gives us the answer.
21:41 Going down to verse 13,
21:44 verse 13 says, "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs
21:48 coming out of the mouth of the dragon,
21:49 out of the mouth of the beast
21:51 and out of the mouth of the false prophet. "
21:53 As we'll see... these are the three parts of Babylon.
21:55 Verse 14 says:
22:08 So who is being gathered?
22:09 And then verse 16 says, "he gathered them
22:12 to the place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon. "
22:14 Who is being gathered?
22:15 According to verse 14, 13 and 14...
22:18 it is the dragon, the beast and the false prophet
22:21 gathering together the kings of the earth
22:24 and the whole world
22:26 for a final battle against God.
22:29 That's the context, and then when you keep reading
22:34 verse 17 says:
22:54 When they're gathered...
22:56 when the whole world all the kings of the earth...
22:58 and all the forces of evil are gathered at this mystical place
23:03 called Armageddon... Mountain of Slaughter,
23:06 then the voice of God booms from the sky,
23:10 from the heavenly temple, says, "It is done. "
23:13 The earth quakes...
23:15 a huge earthquake hits this planet,
23:17 verse 19 says that the great city,
23:19 which is the city of Babylon was divided into three parts,
23:22 and those are the three parts of the forces of the dragon,
23:25 the beast and the false prophet
23:27 and the cities of the nations fall,
23:30 cities all around the world... they collapse,
23:32 Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Paris,
23:37 Moscow... cities all over the world crumble
23:41 and it says, "and great Babylon came in remembrance before God,"
23:44 great Babylon is the enemy in Revelation
23:48 and Armageddon... she comes crashing down
23:51 with her worldwide global forces,
23:54 she comes in remembrance before God,
23:56 to give to her the cup of the wine
23:58 of the fierceness of his wrath
23:59 and every Island fled away
24:01 and the mountains were not found.
24:04 So what's happening here is the global forces of Babylon
24:08 come crashing down in Armageddon.
24:10 I want to make three points,
24:12 three points from this section from the context,
24:16 the context is very clear that Armageddon is global,
24:20 there are the kings of the earth
24:22 and the whole world gathered,
24:23 the focus is the heavenly temple not an earthly temple
24:27 and the context is the
24:29 destruction of the global forces of Babylon
24:32 that come crashing down,
24:33 great Babylon the Great,
24:35 and obviously, Jesus is going to have a people
24:38 who don't go down with Babylon, they are his special people,
24:41 His Israel... His Israel of God
24:44 who are on His side.
24:47 Revelation 16 verse 15, right before Armageddon...
24:51 Jesus says, "Behold, I come as a thief.
24:53 Blessed is he who watches," who watches out for deception
24:59 " and who keeps his garments,"
25:01 and the garments refer to the white robes
25:02 of His righteousness,
25:04 "lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. "
25:08 "And he gathered them together
25:09 into the place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.
25:12 In verse 15 Jesus warns His church,
25:15 his people whose home is the New Jerusalem the City of God
25:21 who are trusting Jesus Christ as their High Priest
25:24 who is ministering in the temple of God,
25:27 who are keeping the Commandments of God
25:29 which is inside the Ark, by the grace of God,
25:32 because they love Jesus and they want to follow Him,
25:34 these people are keeping their garments
25:36 which are the garments of the righteousness of God,
25:39 the righteousness of Christ that clothes them
25:42 and that prepares them for the end
25:45 and these are the people who are ready for Armageddon.
25:49 Babylon... Israel,
25:52 the world forces of evil... God's people,
25:56 a final battle in Revelation... and the return of Jesus Christ
26:00 to deliver His people and to put an end
26:03 to the deceptive, horrific, evil work of the enemy...
26:10 of the devil and of the forces of Babylon.
26:13 Those are the signs...
26:15 Babylon and Israel centered in Jesus Christ.
26:21 And as we've looked at this... and looked at these verses,
26:25 I just want to appeal to you to study Revelation,
26:27 to give your heart to Jesus,
26:29 to be on the side of God's people
26:31 who are prepared...
26:33 clothed in the white robe of His righteousness,
26:35 for the second coming of Christ, and for the end of the world.
26:39 We hope you've enjoyed this timely message
26:43 from Pastor Steve Wohlberg
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Revised 2015-09-28