Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
February 28, 1998
Last Updated :
February 19, 2012
NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
Identity Of Babylon The Great, Seal Of God, The Household Of God, The Name Of God, The Mark Of Satan, Significance Of The 666, Persecution And A Test Of Faith, An Unholy Wedding
Thus far, I have presented a preponderance of verses to show the difference between God's submissive spiritual Bride, and the nation of Israel which for a long time now has committed spiritual whoredoms by rejecting her true Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, and gone after other gods. I have also shown how she is guilty of murder by not only killing her own Saviour, but also by killing many of the Prophets which the Lord has seen fit to send to her. In the beginning of his prophesying against Jerusalem and the kings of Judah, the Prophet Isaiah wrote:
"How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers."
Isaiah 1:21, KJV
While previous verses I have shared have spoken of the whoredoms of Israel in general, the above verse clearly defines Jerusalem herself as a harlot. Notice that we are also told that she is full of murderers. The significance of these words is much deeper than you may realize. Not only did she kill her Saviour and the Prophets of old, but during the height of their apostasy in the Old Testament, the inhabitants of Jerusalem also sacrificed their young children to the fires of the idol Molech in the Valley of Hinnom, a steep gorge located to the south of Jerusalem. I discuss the Valley of Hinnom in more detail in the series "Hell, the Lake Of Fire and Universalism". With these thoughts in mind, the following verses from the Book of Ezekiel make a lot more sense:
"Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations . . . Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it . . . Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great."
Ezekiel 22:2, 24:6, 9, KJV
This idea of being a "bloody city" is the very same accusation that Jesus leveled against the city of Jerusalem in the Gospel of Matthew. Consider the extremely harsh words He used when He exposed the sins of the Scribes and the Pharisees:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
Matthew 23:29-38, KJV
Can there be any doubt as to why the Scribes and Pharisees hated Jesus as much as they did? The Lord very pointedly told them that they were "the children of them which killed the prophets". He then said that upon them would come "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias . . ." In other words, they were guilty of it all; from A to Z, from Abel to Zacharias. Amazing as it may seem, despite the Lord's strong rebuke of these false religionists, do you recall what they said when Pontius Pilate gave them an opportunity to release Jesus? The answer is found in the following verses:
"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified."
Matthew 27:24-26, KJV
Isn't that absolutely amazing? Only four chapters after Jesus exposed their heinous sin of cold-blooded murder, they shouted "His blood be on us, and on our children!", thus fulfilling the very things of which He had accused them! If there is one thing we know, it is that Jesus was a burning Light which exposed the darkest corners of men's evil hearts. In the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, the Lord fully explained why He and His Disciples were hated by the Jewish religious leaders:
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."
John 15:18-25, KJV
Through His words and His actions, Jesus completely ripped away the cloak of spiritual darkness under which the Jewish Elders were trying to conceal their wicked deeds. This Truth was symbolized in a physical sense a short time later when the veil of the temple was torn in half at the time of our Savior's Death upon the Cross:
"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"
Matthew 27:51, KJV
As I mentioned earlier, just as Jesus exposed Jerusalem for her hand in slaying the Prophets which had been sent to her, the Apostle John did the very same thing in the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of the Book of Revelation when he exposed the sins of the mysterious city, Babylon the Great Whore:
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration."
Revelation 17:6, KJV
"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."
Revelation 18:24, KJV
The above verses demonstrate a very striking similarity between these two cities. As you will hopefully see by the time you have finished reading this article, this is not simply a matter of coincidence. The Prophet Jeremiah also wrote extensively concerning the spiritual whoredoms of the Lord's once-faithful Bride. Consider the following verses:
"Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown . . . Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed."
Jeremiah 2:1-2, 3:3, KJV
These verses are another clue which point to the identity of Babylon the Great of the Book of Revelation. Jeremiah specifically tells us that Jerusalem has a whore's forehead. Advancing about seven hundred years into the future to about the year 90 A.D., let's look again at what the Apostle John said regarding the whore that sits upon many waters:
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH"
Revelation 17:5, KJV
This issue of having a marked forehead is a predominant theme throughout the Bible, so it must be very important. In fact, from studying various Scriptures, we find that there are actually two types of marks which can be placed upon a person. One is a curse, while the other is a mark of blessing and protection. Cain was the first person in the Biblical record to receive such a mark:
"And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
Genesis 4:15, KJV
As a close reading of Genesis chapter four will reveal, this mark was meant to serve as a curse; but at the same time, it was meant to prevent people from killing Cain. It may be that the Lord simply wanted Cain to suffer for his sins, and to feel remorse, but not to pay with his life. The question then arises: Exactly what was the nature of this mark? In my view, unless this mark was some kind of a physical mark, I don't see how people would have known not to kill him. As such, it seems to me that this mark would have had to have been some kind of a visible mark on his body. Of course, I cannot prove this conclusively, so it remains in the realm of speculation. In the Book of Ezekiel, the Prophet has a vision in which the Lord orders that a mark be placed on the foreheads of those in Jerusalem who are righteous. He then orders that the remaining people be slain:
"And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof, And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."
Ezekiel 9:4-6, KJV
In the Book of Revelation, we also find the Lord marking His children. In the seventh chapter, just prior to the opening of the seventh seal which contains the Seven Trumpets, we discover one angel of the Lord speaking to four others concerning the sealing of the one hundred and forty-four thousand servants of the Lord. This will be a mark of blessing and protection:
"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Revelation 7:3-4, KJV
In the fourteenth chapter, we witness this same group of people with the seal of God in their foreheads, standing before the Lamb of God on Mount Zion:
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."
Revelation 14:1, KJV
Notice that in the previous verse, we are told exactly what is the nature of the Seal of God. It is nothing less than the very Name of God Himself! As the Apostle Paul wrote, by accepting the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we become God's adopted children; and He wants everyone to know it. God wants everyone to be aware of the fact that we are now a part of His Family and His Household; so He sets His Seal, His very Name, upon our foreheads:
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
Romans 8:15, KJV
"To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
Galatians 4:5, KJV
"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"
Ephesians 1:5, KJV
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
Ephesians 2:19, KJV
If the Lord is going to seal His servants in their foreheads, the next logical question might then be the following: Exactly what is the correct name for the Lord? Based on the following two verses, the Jehovah's Witnesses won't hesitate to tell you that it is Jehovah and no other. They have built a whole legalistic religion around this one name:
"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."
Exodus 6:3, KJV
"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."
Psalm 83:18, KJV
While this is indeed true, a closer study of the Scriptures will reveal that the Lord is referred to by so many names in the Bible, that it is difficult to know which one might be used to seal His servants. In the above verse, the term "God Almighty" is derived from the Hebrew "El Shadday" which is another one of His names. I once saw a list which mentioned all of the various names applied to the Lord in the Bible. It was quite long and included such names as I AM, El, JAH, Eli, LORD, Wonderful, Counsellor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Melchizedek, King of Salem, King of Righteousness, King of Peace, Jesus, Emmanuel, etc. It is even possible that the name used to seal the Lord's servants might be one we have never even heard before! For example, in Revelation chapter nineteen which discusses the Battle of Armageddon, we are told in one place that His name is the Word of God. This is the same name John used in his Gospel. You will notice though that a few verses later, we are also told that His name is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, if we go back a few verses before these, we read the following:
"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."
Revelation 19:12, KJV
This verse seems to imply that in spite of all of the names by which we do know the Lord, He may have another one which only He Himself knows. The Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that Jesus and the Archangel Michael are one and the same person. I have seen these possible links in the Bible myself, and have written about them; yet we still cannot just ignore the above verse. I wonder how the Jehovah Witnesses reconcile their belief with this verse. It must be interesting.
Of course, being the impersonator, the liar, the copycat and the usurper that he is, we are told that at God's chosen time, Satan is allowed to use this very same technique to mark his children as well. Many people of the world, including quite a few non-Christians, are familiar with the following shocking verses:
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
Revelation 13:16-18, KJV
This is indeed one sobering thought! A lot of people have procrastinated in accepting Jesus as their Lord and Saviour for a very long time. In fact, some have done it all of their lives! However, according to the above Scriptures, everyone is going to have to make a decision sooner or later. There will no longer be any neutral ground to stand upon. You will either have to receive the Seal of God by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, or else you will have to accept the Mark of Satan. God will be done wasting His time with half-hearts and lukewarm people. It will be all or nothing at all. You will either bow down to God in humble submission, or else you will bow down to the satanic Beast and his evil Kingdom of Darkness.
As I have stated in such series as "The Seven Heads" and "Mondex and the Mark of the Beast", given the descriptive terminology used in the previous verses, it is generally believed that the Mark of the Beast may represent a personal identification code assigned to each person in the form of a bio-chip implant. This code may possibly incorporate a system which utilizes three six-digit numbers. With such a wide range of numbers at their disposal, it would be very easy for the Controllers to "tag" every single person in the world! However, there are other possibile interpretations as well. It is believed that the Bible was written in a concise numerical code so that important words and phrases would not lose their proper meaning or become corrupted with the passage of time due to human error or intentional mischief. As an example of this, based on the individual letters used to write them, Biblical names each add up to a certain numerical value. Thus, what may be implied in Revelation chapter thirteen, is that the numerical value of the actual name of the Beast adds up to the infamous "666".
One problem with this belief is that ever since John wrote the above verses, people have been using all kinds of crazy methods to try to properly identify the Beast. This is becoming even more of an obsession as we draw closer to the end of this current millennium when many Christians are expecting the Return of Christ. I have heard such names mentioned as Emperor Nero, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Prince Charles of England, Pope John Paul II, Lord Maitreya, and Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. According to those who support these views, all of these people have names, titles or some other characteristic which associates them with the evil "666". Obviously, they cannot all be right. Of course, I also have my personal speculations regarding this issue which I discuss in such series as "The Kings of the North and the South" and "The Seven Heads"; however, it has nothing to do with the numerical value of a person's name. I encourage you to read these articles and "Mondex and the Mark of the Beast" for a more in-depth look at my views concerning this topic.
Let us consider one final question concerning these various marks mentioned in the Bible: If we assume that the mark of Cain was a physical mark, and that the Mark of the Beast will also be a physical mark or implant, is it possible that the Seal of the Saints will follow this same pattern? As I thought on this possibility, what came to my mind is the example found in the Old Testament where the ancient Israelites were required to physically manifest their faith in the God of Israel by painting lamb's blood on their doorposts the night of the first Passover in Egypt:
"And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it . . . For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."
Exodus 12:7, 12-13, KJV
Of course, we know that this lamb's blood was a symbol and a foreshadow of the Blood of the true Lamb of God to come Who would shed His innocent Blood for the sins of the world almost two thousand years later. The point I wish to make is that throughout the Bible, the Lord has tested the faith of His people. He has tried them like gold in the fire. When the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, it was not a five-minute affair. They had to have faith that those towering walls of water were not going to come crashing back down upon them. The Lord also tested His own Disciples on a number of occasions to see how far they had advanced in their spiritual growth. After all, He was preparing them for a very important task. Consider the example of when Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk on top of the choppy waves of the Sea of Galilee:
"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
Matthew 14:25-31, KJV
While we modern Christians may sometimes wonder how the First Disciples could have had such little faith on certain occasions, in spite of the fact that as they were in the presence of the Saviour of the world, we must humbly ask ourselves if we really would have been any different had we been in their shoes. While they may have had their moments of weakness, when their appointed time came, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, they became powerful beacons of spiritual Light. The future evangelization of the world rested upon their shoulders, and they didn't fail. The Apostle James clarified the connection between faith and works when he said:
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:26, KJV
Is it possible then that the members of God's Church will face a similar test of faith by having to receive some kind of a physical Seal from the Lord which will clearly identify them as His children? Such a Mark or Seal would obviously expose us as enemies of the state. Perhaps this Seal is meant to be understood in a purely symbolic sense; however, I believe it is wise to prepare ourselves for the unexpected. Speculation aside, one thing we do know with absolute certainty, is that without the blessing of the Beast's regime, which means accepting his infamous Mark, no one will be able to buy or sell anything, to own property, to hold a job, nothing! A person will be deemed a misfit and a social outcast; and ultimately he will be marked for extermination! In the final years of Satan's earthly rule, God's Church will be hunted down and slain by the forces of the Beast and his followers.
If you are one who is under the false impression that the Lord's Church will be raptured up to Heaven before this period of persecution known as the Great Tribulation begins, then in addition to the following verses, I encourage you to read some of my other prophecy-related articles such as "The Great Tribulation and the Rapture". The series of verses you are about to read make it very clear that God's children will be the subject of Satan's wrath despite what some erroneous religionists teach and believe:
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them . . . And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:21, 25, KJV
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
Daniel 8:23-24, KJV
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."
Daniel 11:33-35, KJV
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
Matthew 24:15-22, KJV
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? "And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
Revelation 6:9-11, KJV
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
Revelation 7:13-15, KJV
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death . . . And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 12:10-11, 17, KJV
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations . . . And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Revelation 13:7, 15, KJV
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."
John 15:18-21, KJV
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service . . . These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:2, 33, KJV
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:12, KJV
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
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