Babylon and the Beast

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  • #41607
     NickHassan 
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    Thank you H,
    I realise that Daniel is the key to Revelation and need to grasp more from it. Can you offer more help?
    I would also like more clarity on the “immortality of the soul” and “eternal suffering in Hell”

    #41608
     Human 
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    well…

    At Daniel 7:2-8 he describes four beasts coming out of the sea, the first resembling a lion, the second a bear, the third a leopard, and “see there! a fourth beast, fearsome and terrible and unusually strong . . . and it had ten horns.” This is remarkably similar to the wild beast seen by John in Revelation chapter 13. That beast also has the characteristics of a lion, a bear, and a leopard, and it has ten horns. Daniel informs us: “These huge beasts . . . are four kings that will stand up from the earth.” (Daniel 7:17) Hence, those beasts represent “kings,” or political powers of the earth.

    Daniel 2:44 is speaking that God will build Jesus' kingdom during the time of the last kings. So it means that God's heavenly kingdom must be established in the heavens a short time before Armageddon – during the reign of the last kings. Daniel chapter 7 is talking about crowning of Jesus and only after that the beast (political system) is eliminated. Revelation adds more detail to this issue and talks about the actual war in heaven that takes place before the crowning of Jesus – Revelation 12:7-9. It tells us that Satan is thrown down from heaven upon earth and only AFTER that it says that Jesus starts to reign – Revelation 12:10. This is not yet Armageddon because Satan still remains active – he only is thrown out of the heaven. Its actually quite the opposite – Satan becomes even more angrier.
    So just a quick summary: Jesus starts to reign in the God's created heavenly kingdom some time during the last kings of earth by throwing Satan out of heaven upon earth. After that Jesus is crowned as God's anointed king but that all happens shortly before Armageddon and it is an event in the spiritual world that we cannot see. We can only see the consequences of these events – Satan being even more angry and causing much evil on earth.

    Of course the book of Daniel is not enough – there are also many references to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Moses etc.

    As regards the immortality of the soul… Where does the Bible actually say that a human has an immortal soul that continues living after the death? The Bible actually tells that the human himself is a soul (Genesis 2:7) and that even animals are souls – Genesis 1:20 (depends on the translation but there is actually the same word). The soul is the person himself, his life, his very being. On several occasions, the Bible says that somebody killed souls – Josh 11:14. In several cases the soul is given such attributes as eating, being tired etc. The soul can die – Ezek 18:4. Nowhere it says that a soul is immortal. Nowhere it says that the soul continues living after the death of a human.
    Quite the opposite – the Bible says that a dead person does not feel anything – it does not have a consciousness – Ecclesiastes 9:5. In death, the human is not different from the animal – Ecclesiastes 3:19. Also when Lazarus was resurrected, there is no record that he mentioned anything about being aware of anything during the time he was dead. Jesus compared death to being asleep.
    This is very much related to the issue of eternal suffering in hell. Hell (“Sheol”/”Hades”) is just the common grave. Job actually wanted to go to hell (Sheol) during his troubles – Job 14:13. There cannot be eternal suffering of people after death because:
    1) the dead are not aware of anything
    2) God is love – it is completely against his nature to have somebody suffer for eternity.
    3) the result of a sin is death not eternal suffering – Romans 6:23.

    uhh… I hope this makes some sense. Sorry for mistakes – English is not my native language :)

    #41609
     NickHassan 
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    Hi H,
    Thanks for the help with Daniel-will do further study.
    As far as your view about God's nature not allowing eternal suffering I would remind you that this is the God who instructed the Israelites to slaughter every man, woman and child many times in the OT.

    A God of love but to be greatly feared.

    There is death but also the second death as mentioned in
    Rev 20.6, 20.16, 21. 8

    Death is as sleep but sleep is not absence of life.

    Hades and Paradise need to be understood as Sheol. The place of waiting for sleeping souls. Yet in Lk 16,15 The rich man and Lazarus are seen in these places and still aware and able to see one another and communicate.

    Man [and animals]was created from the earth-as a body-in Gen 1.7  and he became a living soul by the breath of God.

    We are body, soul and spirit according to the Word of God. Death is for the body and even it awaits resurrection-first or second.

    If suffering cannot be eternal what do you make of
    Rev 20.10, Rev 14. 9-10, Mk 9.48 and Mt 10.28?

    #41610
     Human 
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    Yes, God instructed to kill all people of several nations that opposed the holy nation. Of course, this is not love towards those nations, but is a love towards the Israelites. And another very strong attribute of God is justice. Those nations worshipped idols, sacrificed children, had prostitution in temples etc. One of the Mosaic laws was to give their enemies a chance to give up before being attacked (however this did not apply to several enemy tribes). Also if those tribes and nations were not destroyed, would the Israelites be able to keep a clean environment for pure worship? Would they not be assimilated or influenced by them (this actually happened after a longer while – their religion was influenced by neighboring countries)?

    Regarding the rich man and Lazarus – it is clearly a figurative illustration. They represent classes of people and their death is symbolic. This became clearer later at Pentecost 33 C.E., when the old Law covenant is replaced by the new covenant. It then becomes unmistakably clear that the disciples, not the Pharisees and other religious leaders, are favored by God. This illustration cannot be literal because it then would contradict the rest of the Bible.

    Why do you say that Paradise is in Sheol/Hades? Do you conclude that from Luke 23:43? But what happens if you move the comma AFTER the word “today” (we know that there was no punctuation in the original language). No other part of Bible supports the idea of Paradise being in Sheol imho.

    Yes, I agree – sleep is not absence of life. Those who are asleep can be waked up – resurrected by God – restored from God's memory. However, there is no scripture in the Bible that says that there is any form of life until resurrection.

    As regards scriptures talking about eternal suffering:

    Revelation 20:10 – it is not logical to say that symbols, such as the wild beast and the false prophet, as well as death and Hades, could suffer torture in a literal way. Hence, we have no reason to believe that Satan will be suffering for all eternity. He is to be annihilated. The Greek word used here for “torment,” “basanizo”, means primarily “to test (metals) by the touchstone.” “To question by applying torture” is a second meaning. (The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). In the context, the use of this Greek word indicates that what happens to Satan will serve, for all eternity, as a touchstone on the issue of the rightness and righteousness of God's rule. That issue of sovereign rulership will have been settled once and for all time. Never again will a challenge to God's sovereignty need to be tested over an extended period of time in order to be proved wrong. Additionally, the related word “basanistes”, “tormentor,” is used in the Bible to mean “jailer.” (Matthew 18:34) In harmony with this, Satan will be imprisoned in the lake of fire forever; he will never be released. Finally, in the Greek Septuagint, which was well known to John, the related word “basanos” is used to refer to humiliation that leads to death. (Ezekiel 32:24, 30) This helps us to see that the punishment that Satan undergoes is a humiliating, everlasting death in the lake of fire and sulfur.

    Revelation 14:9-10 – a brief look at a similar prophecy shows the real import of these words in this context. Back in the days of Isaiah, God warned the nation of Edom that they would be punished. He said: “Her torrents must be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulphur, and her land must become as burning pitch. By night or by day it will not be extinguished; to time indefinite its smoke will keep ascending. From generation to generation she will be parched; forever and ever no one will be passing across her.”-Isaiah 34:9, 10. Was Edom hurled into some mythical hellfire to burn forever? Of course not. Rather, the nation completely disappeared from the world scene as if she had been totally consumed with fire and sulfur. The smoke 'ascending to time indefinite' vividly illustrates this. When a house burns down, smoke keeps coming from the ashes for some time after the flames have died down, providing onlookers with evidence that there has been a destructive conflagration. 'the smoke of her burning' is still ascending in a symbolic way.

    Mark 9:48 – look at the previous verse – here the original text talks about being thrown into Gehenna not Hades. Gehenna was an actual place outside Jerusalem where there was always burning fire and where people threw garbage and corpses of criminals. Jesus used this as a symbol of everlasting complete destruction with no chance of coming back to life. The everlasting fire in it just means that it will never be put out – it is a total destruction.

    Matthew 10:28 – soul here represents the life of a person. You know that noone can kill a person so that God is not able to resurrect him – restore to life. Jewish religious leaders killed Jesus, but God ressurected him. So they could kill his body but not his soul – his life that God returned to him. God is the only one who can completely destroy a person so that it can never be resurrected. This is what the second part of the verse talks about. And the word translated as “hell” here is actually Gehenna (not Hades)- symbol of total everlasting destruction.

    #41611
     NickHassan 
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    Thanks H,
    So the second death is the same as the first to you? Hades ,of course, finishes up in the lake of fire as there is no more need for a place of waiting when judgement has occurred.
    The parable about Hades and the Rich Man and Lazarus has to be looked at deeper. No other parable gives people names-why does this one? That gives the impression he was a real person does it not? There are no classes of people to God surely?You cannot deny the truth of what God is telling us here. He does not tell lies about what happens after death surely?
    The good thief did not go to heaven-no man does anyway. He went to Paradise. Jesus had yet to be raised so his death would be under the OT anyway.
    I see sheol as a general name for the state of a man after death, paradise and hades. Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you .What did he mean? I could be wrong about sheol.

    #41612
     Human 
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    Hi Nick,
    I am so glad that we can have this nice discussion. It is always very pleasant to talk with people who value the Bible as much as I do.

    So – to answer your question – no, the second death is not the same as the first. We know that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous – Acts 24:15. It means that all people that have died will be raised up from the grave, except those who are killed in Armageddon and some individual exceptions (like Judas). It is very logical, because millions of people in the past have not ever heared the good news about God's kingdom before they died. Will they never die again? Not exactly. After the Jesus' 1000 year reign, Satan will be let out for a short while to test the humanity for the last time – Revelation 20:2-3. After that there will be a judgement of all resurrected people and all those who did not resist Satan will be thrown into the symbolic lake of fire together with Satan and death itself – the second death – complete destruction – Revelation 20:13-15. All others will live forever and Jesus will give his kingdom back to God.

    Another very good reason why there cannot be hell where people are tortured for ever is because those who have died are free from sin! – Romans 6:7. The death is the wage of the sin. You cannot torture someone who has died for his sins and is therefore free from sin.

    Yes, there are no classes for God, but Jesus was using this illustration to show the problem that Israelites had in their society and religion. God does not favour those who take high religious positions but are spiritually empty. He rather favours weak, poor, and sick people who are humble and admit their spiritual need. You can also look at this illustration from this point – was Jesus explaining what happens after death or was he just showing the way that God views people?

    In my opinion Sheol is the same as Hades. Sheol is a hebrew word, but Hades is the same in Greek. If I am not mistaken then one of these words (maybe both) literally means “a grave”.
    I see no reason to say that Paradise is in Sheol or Hades. If you slightly reorganize the punctuation in Luke 23:43 (an there were no commas in the original language) then we can easily see a different meaning:
    “And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”” The Paradise that John is talking about in the end of the book of Revelation. And anyway it was God's original goal – to create a paradise on earth and fill it with loyal people – Genesis 1:28. I do not think that God has given up his initial goal towards earth. God always fulfills his plans. And Jesus plays the key role in this.

    Yes, Jesus said that he must go to prepare a place for his disciples. Was it during his death? I dont think so. I think it is after he went to heaven. One of the main tasks he had to perform was throw Satan out of heaven. This did not happen during the 3 days he was dead but a long time after that.

    #41613
     NickHassan 
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    Hi H,
    Iwill write a fuller letter but a few questions
    Do you think men go to heaven?
    Why are those killed at Armageddon and Judas not resurrected?
    If men are free from sin after death why is there a judgement?
    Why do you say the fire is symbolic?
    Where does it say Revln is talking about paradise? Are you not using the world's understanding of that word?
    Where does it say Jesus threw Satan out of heaven?
    Is the judgement of ALL resurrected people after the 1000yr reign?

    #41614
     Human 
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    Hi Nick,

    ok, I will try to answer your questions the way I see them.

    Do you think men go to heaven?

    Yes, but not all of them.
    Daniel 7:22 says that God's “saints” will “possess the kingdom.”
    Revelation 5:10 “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (btw over whom shall they reign?)
    So there is a group of people in heaven along with Jesus ruling over the earth.
    However, there are also many people who are not in the heaven but will be resurrected on earth. Actually, none of those who lived before Jesus will go to heaven. Why?
    Matthew 11:11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
    Revelation chapter 7 also talks about two groups of people “the 144000” and “the great crowd”. Jesus also spoke of “the little flock” (Luke 12:32) and “the other sheep” (John 10:16).

    Why are those killed at Armageddon and Judas not resurrected?

    Matthew 25:46, Matthew 10:28, Mark 3:29, Hebrew 10:26, John 17:12

    If men are free from sin after death why is there a judgement?

    I believe there will be two judgements – Armageddon, where Jesus destroys this system and all those who have not accepted God (illustration of the sheep and the goats). The second one – after Jesus' 1000 year reign when the Satan is let out for a short while. IMHO In the second judgement, people will be judged for what they have done AFTER resurrection because, as you corretly positioned the question, they cannot be judged for what they did before death. There have been many many people who have not had the chance to learn about God and Jesus – they will have this chance during Jesus' 1000 year reign.

    Why do you say the fire is symbolic?

    Because those who are thrown into the fire (beast and Hades) are also symbolic. You cannot destroy death by literal fire. In my previous post you can see some more details on separate scriptures.

    Where does it say Revln is talking about paradise? Are you not using the world's understanding of that word?

    Well, I think it will not be enough just by looking at Revelation. Daniel 7:13-14 tells us that “all peoples, nations, and languages” will serve Jesus. There will be no suffering, no death on earth – Isaiah 25:8. Why is it an earthly paradise? All prophets in the Hebrew scriptues talk about an earthly paradise – Isaiah 45:18, Psalms 115:16. Even Jesus himself spoke of people who will inherit the earth – Matthew 5:5. This was also God's initial goal – Genesis 1:28. Revelation 21:4 talks about all these conditions that God has promised. Seems to me a very logical conclusion of what God planned in the very beginning.

    Where does it say Jesus threw Satan out of heaven?

    Job 1:6 symbolically talks about Satan who is easily able to approach God (obviously in heaven). So it shows that Satan was initially in heaven just like all other angels – close to God. Look what happens later at Revelation 12:9 – Satan is thrown down to earth. Revelation 12:12 explains that it is heaven that he is thrown out of. Why is it done by Jesus? Well, several scriptues point to that. Revelation very often mentions Jesus as an impressive warrior and leader of angels. Revelation 12:10 also points to Jesus who pays this role in this act. Another way how we can see a hint is – Michael (who overcomes Satan) is an archangel (Jude 9). 1 Thess 4:16 says that the dead will be ressurected by “the voice of an archangel”. John 5:28-29 says that the dead will be resurrected by hearing Jesus' voice. The Bible never uses the word “archangel” in plural. So we can see a trace to Jesus here.

    Is the judgement of ALL resurrected people after the 1000yr reign?

    No. Just those on earth.
    Revelation 20:6 is very good to explain this:
    “Blessed and holy [is] he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
    Those ressurected first will be in heaven with Jesus and will actually judge those who are on earth.

    #41615
     NickHassan 
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    Thank you Human,
    Sadly I largely disagree.
    The 1000 yr reign is of Yashua and those in the first resurrection who will be rulers with him on earth.The others are not resurrected until the 1000yr reign is over. All will be resurrected according to the Word.
    There will be two judgements-the tribunal of Christ, which is at the start of the 1000 yr reign and it is primarily not a judgement of condemnation but reward. Then Jesus restores order on earth and then at the end of time gives the kingdom to the Father.
    The other sheep and goat judgement is of the rest of mankind who are not judged worthy[ie not born again into Yashua-see Heb4] to enter the 1000yr reign, and it is of condemnation and unexpected mercy. All the actions of men during their lifetime are recorded ,unless they have died and been reborn into the Holy One [Jesus], and men are judged for them. These sheep in the final judgement may be the other flock.
    Men never enter heaven apart from those we know have been there-Enoch and Elijah. There is no toing and froing between earth on heaven for men. We stay on earth.
    The Kingdom of heaven is from heaven but on the new earth and God will make His dwelling place again there with men as in the time of the Ark of the Covenant.
    The 144,000 are defined as jews only 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes.
    Hades is real… we cannot change scripture.
    Jesus is not an archangel. He delegates to angels his work too.
    That is enough for now. what do you think?

    #41616
     NickHassan 
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    ps. Rev 12.7 suggests Michael will be throwing Satan to earth.
    Please don't be put off by disagreement as truth is precious and that is what we both seek . We all start with opinions that we inherit from our experience but everything has to be tested against what is revealed in the Word.Challenge me to prove anything I say too. Blessings to you and yours.

    #41617
     NickHassan 
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    pps. You ask over whom do they rule in the 1000yr reign. The severity of the Tribulation is terrible but it does not say anywhere that all will be killed as far as I know. So some will remain as natural man during the reign.There will be a rebellion at the end whemn Satan is released and the rebels would come from their descendants I would have thought.

    #41618
     NickHassan 
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    also The beast is a person, not a system.
    I still am alarmed that you would throw out Lk 16.19-31 as not having any real meaning. Can you please relook at this?The “Bosom of Abraham” is how I see paradise.

    #41619
     Anonymous
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    Greetings to all,
    Can anyone help me on this question. Will the Father live on earth with us during the 1000 year reign? Or will we only worship and serve Jesus and then be presented to the Father after the age has finished. Im interested because there will be sin in the millennium and the Father cannot abide by it. Any help would be appreciated.
    thankyou

    #41620
     NickHassan 
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    Welcome MM,
    The only ones present in the 1000yr reign will be:
    Rev 20.4
    ” I saw some thrones .Those who were sitting on them were empowered to pass judgement[1Cor 6.2-3]
    I also saw the spirits of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and the Word of God,
    those who had not worshiped the beast or it's image nor accepted it's mark on their foreheads or their hands

    They came to life again and reigned with Christ for 1000 yrs”

    And v8 ….the nations..”

    God will still be in heaven waiting for Christ to fully reign[1 Cor 15.22-28]

    After 1000yrs and the second resurrection and the final judgement there will be a new heavens and a new earth. God will dwell in the new Jerusalem on earth. There is no temple in the city but God [and the lamb]is the temple.[Rev 21]

    #41621
     Human 
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    Hi Nick,

    I am back. Sorry, I do not have too much time to go into details but I will try again to answer some of your comments.

    You said that the others are not resurrected until the 1000yr reign is over.
    I assume you base it on Revelation 20:5 which says “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.”
    Well, lets assume it is true. What happens at the end of 1000 years? Satans is let out for a short while “and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth” (Rev 20:8) Whom will he mislead if they are still dead? Rev 20:8 also says that “the number of these [who Satas has converted to his side] is as the sand of the sea.” So there will be many many people there at that time.
    So how can we then explain Rev 20:5? The expression “come to life” has to be understood according to context. This expression can have varying meanings in varying circumstances. For example, Paul said of his fellow Christians: “It is you God made alive though you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) Yes, some Christians were “made alive,” even in the first century, being declared righteous on the basis of their faith in Jesus' sacrifice.-Romans 3:23, 24. All who are resurrected, as well as the great crowd of faithful other sheep who survive Armageddon and any children that may be born to these in the new world, must yet be raised to human perfection. This will be accomplished by Christ and his associate kings and priests during the thousand-year reign, on the basis of Jesus' ransom sacrifice. By the end of that time, “the rest of the dead” will have “come to life” in the sense that they will be perfect humans. As I mentioned, they must then pass a final test, but they will face that test as perfected humans. When they pass the test, God will declare them worthy of living forever, righteous in the fullest sense. “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” (Psalm 37:29)

    You say that men will never enter the heaven. Not true. Rev 5:9-10, Rev 1:6, Mat 26:29, 1 Peter 1:4. But that does not apply to all men.

    You say that the 144,000 are defined as jews only 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes. You will notice that this list of tribes is different from that of the real Israelites. Also these cannot be real Israelites because God took away the chance for the real Israelites to become the holy nation and gave it away to the people of the nations. Jesus showed this in an illustration – Mat 22:2-10. Also the Hebrew scriptues talk very often about that. Jerusalem and the jewish system was completely destroyed in 70 a.d. by the Roman army. Revelation is full of symbols and the biggest problem for various people is that they try to take these symbols literally.

    Of course Hades is real. Sorry, I probably used bad phrasing there. I will use a better expression. You asked why the lake of fire is symbolic in Revelation. It is because those that are destroyed in this lake of fire (Hades, death, Satan) cannot be destroyed by literal fire. You cannot burn death in a fire. You cannot burn a spiritual creature in a fire. So this fire is just a symbol of destruction.

    Ok, thats it for now :)

    #41622
     NickHassan 
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    Hi Human,
    Thank you for the clear explanation of your views.
    I like the insight on Mt 22.2-10. I now realise the invited guests are the jews and those from the highways and byways are the gentiles.I also feel there will be such a banquet as in Rev 19.9
    i think most would take a different view of the 1000 yr reign. We know many natural men will die during the time of Jacob's trouble and that all the armies who come against Jerusalem will perish.But I do not see it written that only the saved will be present during that reign. They rule with Christ but they rule over the nations-who are those who remain alive but are not saved [Rev 20.8] . So the natural descendants of these are those who attempt a failed rebellion against the King of Kings[Ps2].Then there is the second resurrection[Rev 20.13] for the final judgement.
    That is how I see it anyway.

    #41623
     Human 
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    Hi Nick,

    I think there is a lack of logic if God ressurects all dead only just before the second judgement at the end of the 1000 yr reign. Would it be wise to resurrect millions of people just to kill them again? Many of them will even not know what they are judged for and by who. In my opinion, much more likely God (who is love) will give a chance for all those unrighteous to get to know God during Jesus' reign and become loyal servants of God.

    Who will be alive just after Armageddon? Revelation 7 gives us a hint. It talks about two groups of people. My answer would be – 1st group: those who are ressurected to heavenly life with Jesus Christ as kings and priests; 2nd group: “the great crowd” that survives Armageddon on earth.
    Jesus explained that Armageddon will be similar to Noah's days. And we know that in Noah's days, all world was destroyed but a small group of faithful God's servants survived the big disaster. The same will be in Armageddon.
    Well, and I think, after Armageddon the ressurection of the dead will start to take place.

    #41624
     NickHassan 
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    We do not seek logic but revealed truth, Human. We do not define God according to our standards but discover Him as He reveals Himself.We have to move from our opinion to what is known.

    #41625
     NickHassan 
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    Hi Human,
    Judgement is God's business. Judgement must happen for everyone because God said it would. All outside of Jesus will face judgement together so all must be resurrected in the second resurrection together.
    God says nobody has any excuse for not knowing He exists. All will be judged by how they responded to the Son. Many cultures are idolatrous and this prevents so many people from finding the truth-God calls such people 'Godless' and says He will not show mercy to them.
    But He is also fair and He does allow some exceptions.Life is so short. Why would anyone not seek these answers before they die?
    The nations of natural people could well become a huge crowd over 1000 years -do you agree?

    #41626
     NickHassan 
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    Hi Human,
    In 1 Peter 1 we are told that our inheritance is kept in heaven. But it comes to earth as the new Jerusalem.The kingdom is from Heaven, as Adam Pastor says , but is on earth. The same applies to Mt 26.29.
    In Rev 1. 6 the ” elders” I believe to be the 'sons of God', archangels not humans, as I have explained in a previous post.
    Rev 5.9-10 is a song sung by angels glorifying the works of God but it says nothing about men in heaven.

    Do you agree?

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