Transitory Power

Despite human pretensions, history demonstrates the impermanence of political power and governments. Rome endured for a thousand years, but its empire fell all the same. Like life itself, political power is fleeting, and it often collapses quickly and unexpectedly when its allotted time expires. Only the reign and realm of God will last forever.

The Forty-Two Months

The period when the saints endure persecution is presented in three different but equivalent forms – “ forty-two months ,” “ 1,260 days ,” and the “ season, seasons, and half a season .” These variations do not point to three separate periods. Instead, they link several visions that describe specific aspects of the persecution that takes place during this period.

The Abyss

When it is first introduced, “ smoke ” and locust-like creatures ascend from the “ Abyss ” to torment the “ inhabitants of the earth .” In Revelation , it is the deep pit from which satanic agencies ascend to wreak havoc and wage war against the “ saints .” It is also the “prison” where demonic forces are imprisoned until their appointed time to execute their malevolent plans.

Hidden Mysteries Revealed

The Bible speaks of the “ mysteries ” of God, His ways that are hidden from human wisdom and defy our expectations. In his teachings, Jesus declared that not everyone can understand the “ mysteries of the kingdom .” It is God who reveals the deep and obscure things to whomever He pleases. And in His Son, He has done so for all who have “eyes that can see” to behold.

The Neronian Dilemma

The Bible claims that God gives political power to whomever He pleases, “ even to the basest of men .” He “removes kings and installs kings,” including rulers of whom we may disapprove. Disciples of Jesus who assume certain politicians should hold power presume on God’s patience and prerogative, and this is especially problematic in democratic societies.

No Neutrality

In the book of Revelation , humanity is divided into two and only two camps – those who follow Jesus “ wherever he goes ,” and those who give their allegiance to the “ Beast from the Sea .” Members of the former group will not participate in the “ Second Death ,” but everyone without exception who takes the beastly mark will experience it in the “ Lake of Fire .” THERE IS NO THIRD OPTION .