The Bible might seem like an indecipherable mystery, but it becomes easier when you understand the overall plan of God and the principal players of prophecy that each takes active roles in the plan of God.
- The Principal Players of the End Times
- God and Jesus Christ
- Satan the Devil
- Fourth Kingdom
- False Prophet
- Harlot of Babylon
God and Jesus Christ
I don’t think I need to say much about God’s role in things. It’s pretty obvious. But Jesus Christ is another matter. Jesus is very subtle in how he is the same as God and how he is different. Jesus is entirely God, and all the fullness of God is revealed in Christ, but there is nonetheless some wiggle room here.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (NIV84)
You cannot fully comprehend the Son. Only God the Father knows him completely. But, and this is interesting, you can know the Father if Jesus reveals him to you.
Now I have said that God is a principal player in the end times scenario, but I mean more than the obvious. Your relationship with God and his relationship with you are through his Son, Jesus Christ, and Jesus is accessible to you through the Scriptures. I am talking about a hands-on personal relationship; Jesus Christ is the revelation of God, he is the physical embodiment of the invisible God, so how you interact with the Bible is how you interact with God Almighty. If you listen to God, as I imagine that you claim, then you will become a part of the Bible, and that Bible will become a part of you, and I am not talking about the words of the Bible, but rather the Spirit. When you read the Bible, you should be communing with God himself. You reverently open your heart and slowly let the words open themselves up to you as you receive them. In this way, the Bible, that is, Jesus Christ, that is, God becomes an active player in your life.
Satan the Devil
Satan has a more significant role in the world than you probably know, but not with your relationship with the Almighty.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV84)
The word in this passage, flee, is probably a little more emphatic than you think. If you resist the devil, then he will keep away from you like you have the plague or something else undesirable to him. He has no direct power over you, but you are in the world, and he has a significant effect on the goings-on of the world. Imagine living in Nazi Germany during the war. The whole world today is more under his influence than people probably realize.
Nebuchadnezzar-Type of Satan
Almost every world leader from the beginning of history until now is one of Satan’s surrogates.
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” (NIV84)
Pray about this Scripture and let its meaning come to you.
Belshazzar—Type of Satan
You can read the whole fifth chapter of Daniel and see that Belshazzar is also a type of Satan, or a surrogate of you like.
I believe that every major world leader is greatly influenced by Satan, but that doesn’t mean that he is responsible for all of the evil that is going on in the world. There is another invisible player that is probably just as guilty as Satan, and that is the Harlot of Babylon.
The Fourth Kingdom
Daniel’s fourth kingdom is also a significant player in the End Times scenario. The fourth kingdom will be the agency through which Satan affects the world.
As a point of interest, World War II was not a war of the good guys fighting the bad guys. It was a fight between Satan’s control of the world and the Harlot of Babylon’s control of the world. Adolf Hitler and his allied nations were fighting for world domination by Satan, and the fledgling union of countries that want to establish a world-wide economic order fought to keep their growing system in place.
Star Trek – Man’s Vision of Hope
Satan wants to control the whole world under the few men that he manages, and the human forces with great money also want to control the world. I see the vision of “Satan-less” human domination of the earth for the betterment of man depicted in the science-fiction show Star Trek and its derivatives. The Star Trek vision for the future seems very nice by and for humanity, but it forgets one thing. Sin will not allow it. Sin will destroy any and every system because of greed. Those rich folks that are controlling the economic system are almost entirely concerned only about themselves. God’s system is the only one that will work because God is the only one that is good enough and wise enough to direct life. God is the embodiment of Love, and Love wants what is best for all his children.
Harlot of Babylon
That name, the Harlot of Babylon, is from the King James Bible. The NIV calls this the Prostitute of Babylon, but that doesn’t have the poetic ring to it as the harlot does. So, I’ll stick to the harlot name.
I’ve heard a whole bunch of ideas concerning the identity of the harlot, mostly wacky. I have just explained above that the kingdoms of the world are mostly Satan’s, and that he does with them as he desires, so we can understand that the animals (beasts) that represent the various kingdoms are also representing Satan.
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 This title was written on her forehead:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. (NIV84)
Now, at first glance, it looks like Satan is the bad guy here, but he is not. He is represented by the scarlet beast that has seven heads and ten horns, but this passage is not really about the kingdom beast; it’s about the female that is riding the kingdom beast. Please read my article, The Great Prostitute, for more information. For now, I want you to consider what she represents, that is, the business leaders and system that is controlling Satan’s fourth kingdom beast. Satan is trying to control the world, but this major force is preventing him.
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (NIV84)
If Satan had control of the harlot, he wouldn’t hate her, and he wouldn’t bring her to ruin by burning her with fire. This harlot is a lot of things, but every one of them is human. In a way, we can see that there are three major players in the end time. God, Satan, and Mankind.
The Antichrist/BEAST Man
For a more in-depth article on the Antichrist and the BEAST, please read my article.
The Antichrist and the BEAST, as is the False Prophet, are all Satan’s focal point ruler. Satan is imitating Jesus Christ in that he has his man, the BEAST, and the BEAST has his prophet. This is supposed to be like John the Baptist and Jesus, and the Two Witnesses and the second coming of Jesus.
The seventh trumpet announces two enormous things; the coming of Christ for his church(the Rapture) and the Day of the Lord judgment upon the world. A whole lot of things happen all at the same time, but one that relates to this topic is this:
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (NIV84)
This passage is fulfilled at the mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation. Notice that it says that the accuser of our brothers is hurled down, well the thing that was preventing his being cast down was the unholiness of the church, and at this time the world has been experiencing the first half of the Tribulation, and the life-threatening events that have been happening have testing and purifying the church, and right at the moment of the Rapture the holiness of the church brings Satan and his angels down, and the Lord comes and gathers up his body, as there is no longer a need to keep it on the earth.
It is very valuable to know the players in the end times because when a passage speaks, it is talking to one of the players and not to the others. Things spoken to the church do not apply to Israel and vice-versa. This is especially confusing when the Bible uses an ambiguous word like saints. Saints can mean the church, or it can mean Israel, but it rarely means both. Identifying the player is one of the most challenging objects of Bible reading. Proper identification of the Harlot or Great Prostitute is also essential. If you don’t know who is involved in the events, you will not be able to determine what his happening and, more importantly, why things are happening.