The Chastisement – 2

1. “Then I saw a second beast emerging from the ground; it had two horns like a lamb but made a noise like a dragon. This second beast exercised all the power of the first beast, on its behalf making the world and all its people worship the first beast, whose deadly injury had healed. And it worked great miracles, even to calling down fire from heaven onto the earth while people watched. Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to lead astray the people of the world and persuade them to put up a statue in honor of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and still lived. It was allowed to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the beast was able to speak, and to have anyone who refused to worship the statue of the beast put to death. It compelled everyone – small and great alike, rich and poor; slave and citizen – to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead, and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything unless he had been branded with the name of the beast or with the number of its name” (Rv. 13:11-17).

2. “I saw a ram standing in front of the gate. It had two horns: both were tall but one taller than the other; and the one that rose the higher was the second. I saw the ram butting westwards, northwards, and southwards. No animal could stand up to it, nothing could escape its power. It did as it pleased and became strong. This is what I observed: a he-goat from the west, encroaching over the entire surface of the world though never touching the ground, and between its eyes the goat had one majestic horn. It advanced on the two-horned ram . . . and charged at it in the full force of its fury . . . it was enraged with the ram and struck it, breaking both its horns, so that the ram was not strong enough to hold its ground. It through it to the ground and trampled it underfoot; no one was there to rescue the ram. The he-goat then grew more powerful than ever; but at the height of its strength the great horn snapped, and in its place sprouted four majestic horns, pointing to the four winds of heaven. From one of these, the small one, sprang a horn which grew to great size towards south and east and towards the Land of Splendor. It grew right up to the armies of heaven and flung armies and stars to the ground, and trampled them underfoot. It even challenged the power of the Prince of the army; it abolished the Perpetual Sacrifice and overthrew the foundation of his sanctuary, and the army too. Over the Sacrifice it installed iniquity and flung Truth to the ground; the horn was active and successful. I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one say to the speaker: ‘How long is this vision going to be – of Perpetual Sacrifice; of horrifying iniquity, of sanctuary and army trampled underfoot?’ The first replied: ‘Until two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings have gone by; then the sanctuary will have its rights restored’ (Dn. 8:3-14).

3. “Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, sent to announce the gospel of eternity to all who live on the earth; every language, race, nation, and tribe. He was calling: ‘Fear God and glorify Him because the time has come for Him to sit in judgment; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea and the springs of water.’ A second angel followed him, calling: ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, Babylon which gave the whole world the wine of retribution to drink. A third angel followed shouting aloud: ‘All those who worship the beast and his statue, or have had themselves branded on the hand or forehead, will be made to drink the wine of God’s fury which is ready; undiluted in His cup of retribution; in fire and brimstone they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb and the smoke of their torture will rise for ever and ever. There will be no respite, night or day, for those who worship the beast or its statue, or accept branding with its name. This is why there must be perseverance in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus” (Rv. 14:6-12).

4. “I saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a Son of man with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. Then another angel came out of the sanctuary and shouted at the top of his voice to the One sitting on the cloud: ‘Ply your sickle and reap; harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then the One sitting on the cloud set His sickle to work on the earth and the harvest of earth was reaped . . . [and] the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God’s anger, outside the city, where it was trodden until the blood that came out of the winepress was up to the horses’ bridles as far away as sixteen hundred furlongs” (Rv. 14:14-20).

5. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Rv. 20:1-6).