WHEN THE
COUNT
DOWN
ENDS

Chapter 4
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE EU



AS IT WAS STATED in the last chapter, the seventh and last prophesied revival of the European empire began to form in the 1950s and is now nearing its completion. Sadly, the world is totally blind to all this and it does not see literal end-time events that are now taking place right before our eyes, which have been prophesied for a few thousand years now.

For almost 70 years, God’s Church has been telling the truth, to any who will listen, about that seventh revival. That unification started to come together in earnest 63 years ago and has grown into the European Union of today. But now, it is about to fall!

The reason this chapter is being focused upon in this manner is for the hope that Europeans will respond more positively than others have. Above all people, Europeans should be able to grasp the significance, truth, and importance of what is being revealed in this chapter about their history and their present state.

Herbert W. Armstrong
Once again, it is important to know what God gave Herbert W. Armstrong at the end of WWII concerning the coming of a third world war. He was given the understanding that there would be one last revival of a final European empire and also that the United States would collapse before that last war reached its zenith.

The purpose for stating what was just given about the hope that Europeans might respond more positively to this warning is because the United States never has, although it has been given the longest and most thorough warning of all. If the U.S. had responded differently, much suffering and cataclysmic destruction would be able to be averted. But that never happened!

The truth about these end-time events has permeated the United States for decades and people have not seemed to care. Herbert Armstrong began warning of these final end-time events directly after WWII. That warning went out with great power to the United States, but the people and their leaders did not show much concern about it. They did not listen.

Herbert Armstrong pleaded, reasoned, and exerted much effort and resources to warn about end-time events that were coming. This warning went out to a nation of people where large numbers openly profess their belief in God and His Son the Christ. Although Herbert Armstrong revealed a vast amount of scriptural proof of what he said and of the warning he was giving, the nation never acknowledged him or his warnings.

The reason he so vigorously warned the U.S. is because he was given to not only understand that a seventh and last prophetic revival within Europe was underway, but he was also given to see that part of the fulfillment of that revival meant the total collapse and end of the United States. He knew that the first nation to fall in this final end-time was the U.S. That collapse will take place even before a full-fledged all-out thermonuclear war occurs that will result in the destruction of nearly 1/3 of all life on earth.

It is at this time now, while there is still a little time left, that God is granting Europe and many other nations of the world a final opportunity to address what Herbert Armstrong gave warning about.

God’s Church never grew to become large as other religious groups in the world and most have never even known of God’s Church, neither have many known of Herbert Armstrong. Yet it is God who sent him to this world to tell it what was soon going to come to pass in a final world war. Even though his message was sent out as powerfully as it was, it was not accepted by the one nation it was most directed toward at that time.

Within the United States, Herbert Armstrong was looked down upon, maligned, falsely and maliciously lied about, hated and even persecuted by his own government. Even after more than three decades since his death there is still much hatred and lies reflected in those things written about him. It is not at all unlike what happened to Christ who was also deeply hated by others because of the message he was sent to give mankind.

Before his death, Herbert Armstrong was responsible for publishing millions of books, booklets, and magazines that contained much information about the end-time and the coming Kingdom of God. The Plain Truth magazine alone was being published in seven languages with a monthly circulation of over 8.2 million copies. By comparison, the well-known and highly circulated Time magazine of that time only had a circulation of 5.9 million.

His weekly “World Tomorrow” television program and radio broadcasts blanketed the United States and large portions of the rest of the world. This was far more than any other religious organization had ever done.

It is interesting to see how others in the world recognized there was something unique and meaningful in what he was saying. He was treated far differently in other nations than how he was in the United States.

His recognition from people in other areas of the world primarily began when he received a very unique award from King Leopold III of Belgium. It was a watch made from a cannonball taken from a battlefield in World War I by Leopold’s father, King Albert I. King Albert had the cannonball cast into four watch cases with the desire that they would be presented to the four individuals that he felt had made the most significant contribution to world peace. King Albert never found anyone he felt worthy to receive the fourth watch, and so, he passed it on to his son, who was moved to give it to Mr. Armstrong in 1970.

From that time forward, recognition of Herbert Armstrong from other world leaders grew and he became known to many as an “ambassador without portfolio for world peace.” He carried his message to Prince Mikasa and a number of the members of the Japanese Diet. Emperor Hirohito conferred upon Herbert Armstrong the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Second Class—one of the highest decorations that can be presented to a non-Japanese. During a period that covered two decades, seven successive Japanese Prime Ministers counted Mr. Armstrong as a personal friend and counselor. Some members of the Japanese Diet even referred to themselves as being his Japanese sons. Although these leaders showed great admiration for Mr. Armstrong, none of them acted upon the end-time warning or the message of the coming Kingdom of God.

Mr. Armstrong was endeared in friendship with King Hussein of Jordan, King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, and Prime Ministers of Israel, including Golda Meir and Menachem Begin. Others who counted him as a personal friend were Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat; Jomo Kenyatta, Founder and first President of Kenya; Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem; and longtime friend, Nagendra Singh, who was a Justice at the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

Herbert Armstrong also had personal meetings with leaders like Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom; Juan Carlos, the King of Spain; Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak; and Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Yet again, of all of these world leaders, none acted upon the message he carried.

President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines decorated Mr. Armstrong with the Presidential Merit Medal “for his moral presence and compelling influence in moving people toward the creation of a just and peaceful world order.” He received the decoration of “Commander of Our Most Nobel Order of the Crown of Thailand.” Once again, neither of these leaders nor their people acted upon the message he carried.

Other leaders with whom Mr. Armstrong met included President Allende of Chile; President Suharto of Indonesia; South Vietnam’s president, Nguyen van Thieu; and he was invited to Romania by President Nicolae Ceausescu.

Mr. Armstrong also met with Deng Xiaoping of the People’s Republic of China and was the first recognized Christian leader to officially visit leaders inside China, yet this went unreported in the world. In this unprecedented visit, he addressed officials from 76 nations in the People’s Great Hall in Beijing. He spoke concerning the way to real peace and why humanity fails to achieve it. No other religious leader has ever been invited to such an event in China, yet the world knew nothing of this.

Herbert Armstrong received numerous other honors and visited many other world leaders, but it went fully unnoticed by the western world to whom God had primarily sent Mr. Armstrong to proclaim His message.

Again, it needs to be noted here that a very specific nation, to whom he had been sent, did not acknowledge or receive him. It was the United States of America, who is the beginning focal point of cataclysmic prophetic events that unfold during the final period of the end-time. That point in time may actually only be months away now, and not years.

As the world was approaching the end-time, God fulfilled a promise He had made a few thousand years earlier that was to make this specific people the wealthiest and most powerful nation the world has ever known. It was a promise God made to Joseph, the son of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.

The Final Ten Nations of Europe
The previous chapter stated that it is in Revelation 17 where God is very clear and incisive concerning the prophetic importance of the seventh and last revival. It is in chapter 17 that the story about the revivals takes on a strong religious context. It also begins to reveal the origin for that religious context. This will indeed prove to be one of the most difficult things for those in traditional Christianity to face and address.

Revelation 13 described a different beast than the one that is going to be focused upon next. The description of that beast in chapter 13 served as a kind of bridge to reveal more understanding between what was prophesied in the Book of Daniel about Europe and what God was going to reveal and magnify from the Book of Revelation some 2,500 years later—in the end-time.

The meaning contained in the description of this next beast in Revelation 17 helps to reveal far more about the deeper history of the seven revivals and the kind of power that has always worked to bring each revival to life—to war.

It is in these chapters that Herbert Armstrong was given to understand so clearly what would come to pass in the European Union of today.

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:1-3).

What is being described here is what is depicted in the very name of Europe. The name of Europe is derived from Europa, who in Greek mythology was a Phoenician princess that was carried captive to Crete on the back of a bull, which Zeus had manifested himself as being. This history of Europe runs deep—far deeper than people have ever known. Understanding all this has everything to do with understanding what God is revealing in this chapter.

It is this depiction of a woman on a beast that God has used to describe the connection between rulership and false religious beliefs within the prophetic European empire and its revivals through time. The influence of many deities runs deep in the beginning formation of the rise of the Roman Empire—the beginning of a prophetic empire—a European empire that would continue up to the very end-time and the last war on earth.

A heading in Wikipedia entitled “List of Roman Deities” actually captures in the very first paragraph what a person needs to grasp concerning the foundational formation of the Roman Empire from the beginning.

“The Roman deities most familiar today are those the Romans identified with Greek counterparts, integrating Greek myths, iconography, and sometimes religious practices into Roman culture, including Latin literature, Roman art, and religious life as it was experienced throughout the Empire.”

If you recall the example of the snake on a pole and how that has been passed down for several thousand years, then it would be good to understand that what happened from the beginning of the Roman Empire has happened on a far, far greater scale within Europe. The practice of the early Romans was to adopt the deities and religious practices within the different regions of the Empire and mix them. These things went through many transformations and gradually changed over hundreds of years as these things eventually morphed into what became known as “Christianity in the Roman Empire.”

That is why today a person can come to recognize and identify the actual beginning for the kinds of mysterious teachings and beliefs that have no connection and no origin to any scriptural truth, doctrine, or teaching from the Bible. Instead, the ideas, origins, and teaching of things like Easter, Christmas, trinitarian symbolisms, symbolisms contained in crosses, sun and Sunday sunrise worship, mother with child worship, rabbit and egg fertility symbolism, and much, much more have morphed into the current teaching and practices of over 2 billion people on earth. The origin of these ideas used in the creation of this new Roman religion came from religious ideas and practices from those who believed in the ancient deities.

God has much to say about the false teachings and practices from the belief in other deities. Since mankind has ignored God and has further polluted His truth with fables and false religious practices, He is now bringing the world into judgment for doing so. It is during this time of judgment that He will bring an end to mankind’s self-rule and religions as He establishes His Kingdom to rule over all nations on earth.

Full of the Names of Blasphemy
Going through the history from the time the Roman Empire began and seeing the transformation of religious ideas can help a person better face the actual truth of what has morphed into what we see today in “traditional Christianity.” The birth of traditional Christianity has its roots in the very custom of mixing widely varying beliefs.

The Romans incorporated a custom of blending religious beliefs and mingling other peoples’ gods with their own. After conquering a nation, they were accepting of others’ beliefs because it made it easier for them to merge different groups of people together to unite their expanding empire. This practice not only mixed beliefs from the Greeks, Celts, and Germanic people, but also beliefs from Judaism and those who held to true Christian beliefs and teachings in the empire.

These widely varying beliefs also included the belief in many deities. It is for this reason that God described this beast in Revelation 17 the way he did. His description of this beast is similar to that of the mythical god Zeus who disguised himself as a bull carrying the princess Europa on his back to Crete. Crete is the largest and most populated island of Greece and it has a deep history in being the center of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC.

So when it states, “I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy,” then one needs to understand the purpose for such a statement. The name for Europe coming from this mythological story epitomizes the very process that created a “false Christianity.” The custom within the Roman Empire of mixing mythology, religious beliefs and practices, and concepts relating to many different gods was used in much of what formed a false Christianity.

Since this practice was so deeply incorporated into the creation of traditional Christianity, it is prophetically described as being full of names of blasphemy. Blasphemy is a matter of assuming the right to change or act against what God has given as true and right in regard to how one is to properly worship Him.

That which is described in this chapter as “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy” is exactly what was described in Revelation 13.

“Then I stood on the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name” (Revelation 13:1).

“So they worshiped the dragon [referring to Satan] who gave authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:4-6).

As shown through these verses, the formation of false Christianity is filled with blasphemy. Some of that has been addressed already as in the example of how God began to be called a Trinity. It has also been covered how the very name of Joshua was corrupted by using the name Jesus instead. Although it is difficult to fully prove after so many hundreds of years, there are some who give a pretty good argument to the belief that the name Jesus actually has its roots in the name of Zeus.

Although this description of “names of blasphemy” is given, it is about more than just literal names. It also includes those things that were described in mythology as being used in various practices of worship. Even art and sculpture used in worship in mythology have been mixed into worship in false Christianity. These too fit the description of carrying the “names of blasphemy.”

Indeed, there are a very large number of things that fit this description that have become incorporated into false Christianity. Although much of this has been mentioned, some bear repeating.

God’s Sabbath day on the seventh day of the week was changed to a weekly worship on the first day of the week which is a day named after the sun—Sunday. The formal ceremony of baptism where an adult chooses to repent of their sins and is then immersed in water has been blasphemed. It has been changed to a ceremony of christening by sprinkling water on the head of a child and calling it baptism.

There is a considerable amount of artwork with symbols and objects that has originated from the practice and teaching about false gods and false doctrines from these false deities. Much of this has been adopted and used in the exact same representations in false Christianity. The artwork involving these false gods often depicts scenes from heaven and hell. The symbols of crosses and other religious objects like a mother and child statue were used to worship false gods centuries before Christ was born of his mother Mary. All of these things have been mingled into false Christianity.

As it has also been covered, the religious titles pertaining to God that Christ commanded should never be used by religious teachers have been attached to the names of thousands of people who have called themselves ministers of God.

It is also good to be reminded of all of the blasphemous things done by Constantine, who called together and presided over the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and helped create a new state religion that called itself “Christianity.”

God commanded that Passover was to be observed yearly by His people for all time. Yet in that annual observance of partaking of the symbolism contained in eating a small portion of unleavened bread and drinking a small portion of wine, they changed the partaking of these symbols to a ceremony called Communion that can be observed weekly.

Part of the very definition of blasphemous is about “that which is sacrilegious against God or sacred things, and is simply a lack of showing respect to God.”

Calling the name of God’s Son by some other name than what He instructed it should be is blasphemous. Calling God a Trinity is blasphemous. God clearly reveals that He alone has had eternal existence inherent in Himself and that no other God has eternally existed. Even before His own Son was born from a physical woman, God made this clear.

“I am the LORD [Heb.- Yahweh, meaning the Eternal], and there is no other; There is no God [Heb. – Elohim] besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD [Yahweh, the Eternal], and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:5-6).

“For this is the word of the LORD [Yahweh, the Eternal], who created the heavens, who is God [Elohim], who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am the LORD [Yahweh, the Eternal], and there is no other’” (Isaiah 45:18).

God explains here and in many other areas of scripture that He alone has eternal existence. But a church rose up in the Roman Empire that stated God is a Trinity. That is the definition of blasphemy.

The Council of Nicaea established the observance of Easter after outlawing the observance of Passover. The Roman Empire accepted a religious observance called Easter, which has its origin in the goddess of many ancient cultures.

The Christianity of the Roman Empire taught a false timing for Christ’s death, a false timing of his resurrection, Sunday morning worship, Christ’s supposed death on a cross, the distortion of his name, the use of his name in an observance of his birthday—a birthday that did not occur in winter, and so much more. Do such things fit the definition of being blasphemous?

Even the leaders of this church and those who have come out of her have blasphemed God’s name by usurping the title of Father, Reverend, Pope, and more. Her religious leaders have taken to themselves the right to absolve people of their sins, of which only God Almighty can do. It is through the sacrifice of His Son as the Passover who spilled his blood to the earth for that very purpose—so mankind, through Christ, can become forgiven of sins.

The question in all this should actually be, “What is true and what is false?” Only that which is false can blaspheme God and His name. It is the misuse of His name and of His true words that are given throughout scripture. By definition, to twist, distort, and mistranslate what God has spoken is a matter of blasphemy.

The Woman on the Beast
So who is this woman who rides on the beast in Revelation 17? Each reader has covered enough already in order to give a truthful answer to this. It is good to read it again and then continue, in order to learn much more about this seventh revival that is right now being fulfilled.

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:1-3).

The woman who is likened to Europa symbolizes the religion that became established in the Roman Empire. Prophetically, a woman pictures a church. God’s own Church is referred to as a woman—and is even described as “the mother of us all.” God has intended that His people be nourished and fed by the Church. The description of this woman is not about God’s Church but about one that is responsible for feeding (nourishing) in a blasphemous manner—making others drunk on what she gives them.

“The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, and having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. On her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Joshua. When I saw her, I marveled in great astonishment. But the angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns’” (Rev. 17:4-7).

When the meaning of the representation of a “woman” is understood here, it is quite easy to see what God is describing by such prophetic symbolism. The woman as a church is described as being clothed in bright and costly colors and pictured as having great wealth and making a display of it. She is a church and she stands out to all who see her. In Europe, she stands out as the center of cities in order to be seen by all, as much sacrifice and wealth went into such constructions.

The woman is depicted as having a golden cup which carries unique symbolism that also has actual use that reflects its teachings and use of the word of God—to blaspheme. God’s people are commanded to drink a small portion of wine once a year on the night of Passover. As this was covered earlier, this is symbolic of the blood of Christ that was spilled for us in order for our sins to be forgiven, and to reflect that he fulfilled the meaning of Passover and died as our Passover Lamb. Those taking of this small portion of wine on the annual observance of Passover do not do so from a golden cup or chalice.

But the teaching of that great church of the Roman Empire is that it can be done weekly in what is called Communion during the second most important part of its worship service. That service is referred to as mass and specifically during this second portion of mass is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the eucharistic prayer, this church “commemorates Jesus Christ and his redeeming work, especially his sacrifice for the sake of all humankind through his crucifixion.”

So what is true and what is false? Is it the observance of a Communion service in a ceremony referred to as the Liturgy of the Eucharist or is it Passover that is observed only once a year? Do such things matter to God? The truth is that such an altered observance from what God and Joshua the Christ commanded is an abomination to God. God refers to changing what He has commanded, especially in the practice of customs from the worship of manmade deities, as a form of adultery and spiritual fornication, because it reflects unfaithfulness to God and His true word.

So this woman is referred to as a harlot—one who practices adultery—or who is simply casual in her approach to sexual relationships with others (the mixing of religions with God’s word). When looking at this on a spiritual plane in what a relationship with God should be, one faithful in spirit and in truth, then this has much deeper meaning.

This woman is described as “the harlot” who rides the beast and also the mother of harlots. In other words, many other harlots came out of her. The truth of that should be obvious as well for anyone who is willing to face the truth of it. Many churches did come out of that great church that became established in 325 AD as the state religion of the Roman Empire. Her daughters took with them most of her false doctrines.

She is referred to as “Mystery Babylon” because her teachings (words) are like a mystery because they claim their validity comes from God, yet they do not agree with God’s words. Babylon is a good description because the word is derived from the word “babel” meaning “confusion,” and is defined as something that is unclear or confusing due to the result of mixing many voices together. This church actually states that their most important teaching which is about the Trinity is not from scripture, but it is a “mystery given to the church, as something that cannot be truly comprehended.”

This reference of Babylon is given for two reasons. The first concerns what began to happen shortly after the flood in Noah’s day when false religion once again began to spring up in different cities, one of which was Babel. Those living in that city had determined to build a tower that would reach up into the heavens. This pursuit was mingled with false religious ideas. The ruins from that tower still exist today in the area of Iraq. Corruption and pride were accelerating at such a fast pace in the minds of those living there that God had to intervene in order to once again slow down the process of further corruption.

At this point in time after the flood, all people spoke the same language. The means by which God was going to slow mankind in their evil pursuit was to confound the people with different languages. This is the origin for the basis of differing languages today. God changed a portion of the spirit in their mind in an instant so they had understanding and ability to speak another language. When God did this, different groups could no longer understand each other, and they were only able to understand those who were given the ability to speak the same language as themselves.

It would be like everyone speaking English one day, and then all of a sudden, certain groups could only speak French, others Japanese, while yet others spoke only Russian, and so they would divide into groups. It may be hard to imagine such a thing happening, but that is exactly what occurred. For a person who spoke a single language on one day and a completely different one on another, it was as if they had always known the new language they were now speaking and had no memory or understanding of their previous one.

The name of the city became known as Babel. The term Babylon, which became one of the first prophetic world ruling empires, carries that same meaning. It was that first prophetic kingdom depicted by the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.

Babel and Babylon both mean “confusion.” That term has become synonymous with the way of religion and governments of this world. They are man-made systems that only create confusion, turmoil, division, and wars. These are all opposite to the way of God that produces unity, soundness of mind, and true peace.

An even deeper understanding can be derived from the use of the expression “Mystery Babylon” since that is where the formation of false religion actually began. After the flood, it was in the city of Babel that false religious ideas and practices began to form. These evolved into the worship of different false deities that stemmed from the same ideas when there was still one language spoken by all in Babylon.

After people became divided and then separated into different regions with those of the same language, the names of these deities varied because of those different languages. Each culture then began to develop a little differently in religious beliefs and practices. That is true with the worship of the sun gods, and of the moon and planets, as well as gods of fertility.

The histories of the worship of Tammuz, Ishtar, Astarte, Diana, Zeus, Artemis, Ra, Aton, Apollo, and so many others all have their roots in Babylon. It is from what began in the city of Babel that the evolution of false religion began and then finally worked many of its practices and ideas into what later became organized in 325 AD that called itself Christianity. That was the birth of false Christianity, and that is why it is indeed referred to as “Mystery Babylon.”

These verses also state that it is this woman, this church, that has been drunk on the blood of the saints. The word “saints” is simply a term used by the apostles to describe members of God’s Church who were faithful to living God’s way of life. Saints are not what that church has pictured them to be.

That church has been responsible for persecuting and killing many of God’s people through time. After all, it was the Roman government that created this church and it was that government that convicted the Son of God, Joshua the Christ, to death by nailing him to a pole. It was also that same government that beheaded John the Baptist.

It is even believed through writings and traditions passed down that all of the early apostles were imprisoned, some several times, and that all but one was eventually killed at the behest of the Roman government. It states that Herod killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. Records reveal that John, who was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos, was likely the only one not killed by the Roman government.

Paul, the apostle to the gentile world, was beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and then kept under house arrest in Rome for an extended period of time before he was eventually killed. Candidly, ever since that time, people have continued in great hatred of the message that God’s apostles and teachers have brought, and as a result, many other leaders of God’s Church have been imprisoned and/or killed.

Satan and the Bottomless Pit
After John described the woman riding on the beast, the angel went on to explain that he would tell him the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her which has seven heads and ten horns.

“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8).

It would take much time to show where all the meaning in these things is revealed and explained. Some of that will come out later, but for now it is best once again to simply give the explanation of what is written.

As we continue through the story, it will become evident that the beast symbolizes Satan. He is the one being described as being responsible for supporting and carrying the woman—of giving strength and power to this church. He is behind all the consecutive revivals of the prophetic European empire. Indeed, Satan is described as a beast—one like a great dragon and the other being a scarlet colored beast that has seven heads—the seven revivals of the European empire that would occur over a span of time just over 1,450 years from the time of the first which happened under Justinian.

That which is written about the beast that will ascend out of the bottomless pit is partially in the form of a riddle. It has already been mentioned that this beast carries the woman—this Roman church. It is the beast that gives the woman even greater power and prominence. This beast is Satan and the term “beast” also describes much of the role of the nations with whom he specifically works to carry and lift up that church to greater power and prominence during each revival.

These revivals are for the purpose of war. That church was always involved in one way or another in those revivals that covered that first 1260 years up to the time of the fall of Napoleon, which was also the time that marked the beginning in the progressive decline of the power and influence of the Catholic Church over the European empire.

Most of that involvement of the church in those revivals and wars during that period was behind the scenes and in secret. Nevertheless, this has much to do with this description of the beast that supports that church because he is the actual power behind it—Satan and the demonic spirit world.

Satan is the one in scripture who is referred to as being restrained in a “bottomless pit” and who then ascends out of it for a short period of time. The timing of these references that use the form of a riddle is very specific.

This “bottomless pit” is first referred to in events that result from the blowing of the Fifth Trumpet. In that specific account, smoke symbolically begins to ascend out of the pit at a time when a spiritual phase of the Fifth Trumpet was being fulfilled (Rev. 9:1-3). That phase was fulfilled and was about persecution that Satan was allowed to exert upon God’s Church. That period is now past.

However, the physical phase is yet to be fulfilled. When Satan is fully released again he is pictured as ascending out of the pit, which simply means out from his restraints in order to influence and move ten nations of Europe into one last great war—an all-out thermonuclear war—WWIII.

God has allowed Satan to influence the different revivals of the European empire. When one revival has come to an end, then that is when God has restrained Satan once again from exerting such power and influence for war until it is God’s time to allow him to do so again. The time when Satan will be allowed to fully ascend out of that pit, which is to be released from his restraint this next and final time, is when it is God’s time to allow those ten nations of Europe to be brought together for the purpose of war. When those nations are able to fully unite as a single power, without the drag of the rest of the current European Union, it will be the time that leads into a full scale WWIII.

It is so very important to try to grasp the significance of what is being said in the next paragraph.

If God did not control the timing of all this and release Satan when He does, these nations would still come to war. This is especially true in this end-time. The nations of the world are headed toward WWIII no matter what, just as a result of people and nations becoming so corrupt in their thinking. If God did not intervene in exactly the way He does (and will), that war would last much longer and bring far greater agony and suffering from the long-lasting, hideous upheaval in the world. So not only is God going to intervene to stop mankind from destroying itself, He is also shortening the time that would otherwise multiply the intensity and length of mankind’s suffering.

The “bottomless pit” is simply a physical description derived from two words. One has the meaning of an “abyss” (translated as bottomless) and the other word “pit” is often used to describe a cistern (literally, “a place prepared for holding water”).

It is rather difficult to describe things that exist in a spirit realm by the use of physical explanations or examples. This place is simply a specially prepared spirit state that restrains Satan’s ability to exert his full spirit power. It is a condition or state that holds back much of his power, primarily the power to lead people into war. It is simply something that God does not allow him to do until a specific moment in time. Again, such things can be difficult to understand, but they are all timed to serve God’s greater purpose in how to most effectively help deliver mankind.

This restraint from God prevents him from using his full powers that have not yet been completely taken from him. However, even when restrained by this spirit abyss, he is still able to broadcast in strong spirit attitude and influence upon mankind. There is a time coming at the very end of this age just before the Kingdom of God becomes established over the nations in the Millennium that Satan will be sealed in complete restraint so that he will have NO ability to use any powers upon mankind throughout that 1,000 years.

The timing of Satan ascending out of the bottomless pit from this condition of spirit restraint is toward the very end of this last and seventh revival that began to form back in the 1950s. It is this last revival that is represented by the ten horns. This will be spoken of again a few verses later. It will be over these ten horns (ten nations) that Satan is able to exercise his greatest power to influence and move those leaders to agree to go to war. However, even though Satan can work to try and influence and lead these rulers to do his bidding, the decision to heed such influence is still in their own hands.

The Beast that Was and Is Not
This verse in Revelation 17 about the beast, Satan, that “was, and is not” does read like a riddle. The only way to comprehend this is to understand that for all these revivals, God does not restrain the full powers of Satan.

The beast “was” can refer to any time Satan was active during one of the revivals in Europe when he was not being restrained by the spirit abyss. However, this section of scripture is referring to a very specific time period. It is referring to the last time that he was unrestrained and when he was at work with Germany and Italy through the power of influence that he used directly upon Hitler and Mussolini.

Once WWII was brought to an end, Satan was restrained again, and it is in that current restraint that he “is not” exercising his full power because he is restrained by the spirit abyss, as has been for close to 75 years now.

Even when in spirit restraint Satan has always been able to exercise his influence and powers to broadcast his spirit attitude in order to manipulate and deceive people, but he has not been allowed to always use his greater powers of influence to destroy as the Destroyer in war. Satan has many names that describe his evil actions and another one of those mentioned in scripture is Apollyon, which means “the Destroyer.” This verse goes on to foretell what will follow after this period ends: “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition” (Rev. 17:8).

Satan is now described as ascending out of the spirit abyss, his place of restraint. This is the time that he is behind the influence that speeds up the inevitability of an all-out WWIII. After that is completed then it states that he then goes on until he finally comes to his time of “perdition.” This word “perdition” is one that has a wide variety of use and can mean “waste, destruction, to perish, to die.” This has a dual purpose, as it is used here, because once Satan is released, he will quickly move people and nations into a full-scale nuclear WWIII. His actions lead to great destruction, waste, and death of hundreds of millions. However, this is also the last time Satan will be allowed to stir up a war that causes massive destruction, although he will still try one more time.

Europe will respond to Satan in the way he wants them to, and they will become engaged in great nuclear war with others, but to the degree they do so is a matter of their own choosing.

WWIII truly is the war that will end all war. God will never allow another war once He brings an end to mankind’s self-rule on earth. Once God intervenes and brings WWIII to a close, He will establish a peace that will reign on earth for the next 1,000 years of mankind. God will not allow war ever again. This is actually part of the true “good news” (gospel) of the Kingdom of God because it is about the very establishment of peace and God’s rule on earth.

As Satan stirs up one last great war that causes massive destruction and death, he will also be pressing forward toward his own destruction and death. Once he has engaged in one last war, he himself will be headed straight toward his own perdition, although that will come much later.

Now, “the Beast that Was, and Is Not, and Yet Is”
The last part of this same verse is still written as a riddle, but it is different from what was stated in the first part of the verse. Notice:

“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8).

One must first understand who those people are whose names have already been written in the book of life. This is not a matter of predestination like some doctrines teach. As it has been mentioned earlier and will yet be covered more fully, those who are written in this book of life are those whom God has worked with at different times throughout the past 6,000 years who will come with Christ to rule on earth. They are those who have been called to that purpose since the foundation of the world when mankind was first placed on earth.

They are the ones who will be resurrected to spirit life at Christ’s coming, who are composed of spirit essence, but able to manifest themselves in physical form just as Christ did after his resurrection. God’s plan from the beginning, “before the foundation of the world,” was that there would be 144,000 that will return with Christ at his coming. They are those whom God has “chosen” over a period of 6,000 years to be part of the first resurrection to spirit life at Christ’s coming—the ones written in the book of life to this point in time. Many of these are named in scripture, but many more have not been.

The others spoken of here, “whose names have not yet been written in the book of life,” are those who live during that millennial period under the rule of God’s Kingdom. They live during the time when they will know (see) what Satan has done for 6,000 years against God and mankind. They will marvel and they will know that this being and the demonic world are no longer able to be in the presence of mankind to deceive and hurt.

All who live during the Millennium will know that Satan was the beast that “was,” and now “is not,” because he is no longer around mankind. They will also understand (see) that he still exists—he “yet is.” The people living during that 1,000 years know and believe the truth that is already recorded in scripture that this being will be completely removed from mankind and released only for a short time once the Millennium is over.

So indeed, this verse is very prophetic about the beast—about Satan. It is about the 7th and last revival, then it focuses on the time that follows it when Satan is finally placed in the bottomless pit (spirit abyss) and a seal placed completely over it for 1,000 years, beginning right after Christ returns. This is covered in Revelation 20:1-3.

Revelation Given to Herbert Armstrong
As these verses continue to unfold, they give an overview of things that will follow. This chapter continues to describe the order of events in a kind of “outline format” that lead up to a final countdown to WWIII and of Christ’s coming.

“Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits” (Rev. 17:9).

This wisdom is about what can come to mankind from the very mind of God, as it is the word (logos) of God. God is the one who gives such wisdom because it does not come out of human understanding or intellect. Only God can give “this wisdom” to another. Here, God was giving Herbert Armstrong this wisdom with understanding of these verses that applied to the end-time.

Herbert Armstrong had been given to understand that God uses mountains to prophetically speak of larger nations or kingdoms. In this verse, it was clearly revealing that the woman, the Catholic Church, was “on” each of these beasts during their revivals. But this woman, after the fifth revival under Napoleon, no longer had that kind of power and sway it had enjoyed and exerted since the time of Justinian. Nevertheless, its presence and influence through those periods of time is still what has molded Europe into being what it is today.

“There are seven kings, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet, and when it comes, it must continue a short time [a little season]” (Rev. 17:10).

There was only one period of time, lasting only a few years, that this specific verse could be read and have the specific meaning that applied to that very period—to that exact moment in time. Its meaning was revealed to Herbert Armstrong during this time when it was being fulfilled.

God was showing Mr. Armstrong that there was one more revival of the old Roman Empire (though not bearing that name) that was to be fulfilled before Joshua the Christ would return. In these prophecies he had come to see that there would be seven revivals in all.

At a point toward the end of WWII, God revealed this specific verse to him that was prophetic for that exact time in which he was currently living. He knew there would be seven revivals and that there would be one primary ruler over each of those revivals. Napoleon has already been mentioned as being over the fifth revival, and at the time this verse was being revealed to Herbert Armstrong, Hitler was over the sixth.

From this verse, he came to see that, yes, there would be seven kings (a primary ruler over each revival), five had already fallen, and the sixth one was currently ruling in this Second World War. So of the seven kings, five had already reigned and fallen and one was currently reigning—Hitler, and the other—the seventh and final one— “was not yet.”

It states that the one that comes—the seventh one—“must continue a short time.” That seventh revival—WWIII—will be much shorter in duration than all the others before it, but because of modern weaponry, much more devastation will occur than all the previous six put together.

The language of these revivals is first and foremost about destruction and war. So even though the movement of a revival may begin long before the war it portends, the primary meaning of these revivals is all about war. Thankfully, it states that the duration of it will continue a short time (lasting only for a little season). This is stressed because it is about nuclear war that can destroy the whole earth in a very short time, but God isn’t going to allow it to last very long, and once it reaches a specific stage, He will step in to stop it.

The next verse is still speaking in the form of a riddle, as it goes back and describes the beast–Satan.

“The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and yet is of the seven, and goes into perdition” (Rev. 17:11).

As a result of understanding what has been given to this point, it becomes more obvious what this verse is now saying. The one that goes into perdition is Satan. Satan is the beast who gives power to each revival. He is known as the beast power, working during the time of the revivals for the purpose of war. Satan is the beast that “was, and is not” that was spoken of previous to this.

So Satan is “of the seven” because he is the power over each revival, and because he is “of” each of the seven, and over all of them, he is also counted as the eighth.

Ten Nations Unite as One

“And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power, and strength to the beast” (Rev. 17:12-13).

The ten horns are described as ten kings receiving their power together as “one kingdom” in this seventh revival.

At the time this happens, there will be ten countries which come to a quick agreement to use nuclear weapons. They will only be fully united in this for a very short time, as division and differences quickly emerge. Shortly before this event, Satan will already have ascended from the bottomless pit (the spirit abyss—from his powers being restrained). He will quickly maneuver events in such a manner that these ten nations will believe that they must unite quickly, as one, in order to survive what they see happening in the world.

It states that they receive power as kings one hour with the beast. It is not a strongly knit kingdom that is revived once they unite together. After being united, they cannot undo what they have done, although they will wish they could. Once everything has been set in motion and a further expanded world war ensues, it cannot simply be “turned off.”

The Book of Daniel describes this last revival in a little different fashion, but gives more insight to some of its inherent weaknesses. A partial review is needed of some of what was earlier covered in Chapter 3 about Daniel’s prophecy and there are also more details of his prophecy that will be covered.

As a reminder, God gave Daniel the ability to interpret a dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was able to tell Nebuchadnezzar what the king had seen in his dream, and he then told him what it was about. He had seen a statue that was made up of different metals from head to toe. The first was the head of gold. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that this head was about him and the great kingdom over which he was now ruling, the Babylonian Empire.

Daniel went on to tell him about three more great kingdoms that would follow and lead up to the end of mankind’s age of self-rule, when God would intervene and establish His own kingdom on earth. The second kingdom described was the Medo-Persian Empire, then the third, which was the Greco-Macedonian Empire. The fourth was the Roman Empire or the empires of Europe.

The last kingdom was represented by the legs made of iron and with feet and toes that were both of iron and clay.

“The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, in as much as iron crushes into pieces and subdues all, and as iron that breaks all these, it shall crush in pieces and break [about war]. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided, but there shall be in it the strength of iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with wet clay, and as toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly fragile. In the days of these kings [ten toes and ten kings, the last revival and last part of the statue] shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people [not ruled by mankind, but by Christ and the 144,000], but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:40-42, 44).

In this prophecy given to Daniel, hundreds of years before God revealed the things contained in the Book of Revelation to John, God prophesied what would happen in the rise and fall of major kingdoms until Christ’s return in the Kingdom of God. Daniel’s prophecies also lead up to God revealing things that foretell the exact timing of Christ’s first coming, as well as much about the timing for Christ’s second coming.

These verses in Daniel reveal that the Roman Empire would be strong like iron until the end when the feet and ten toes are described as a mixture of both iron and clay. This is an accurate description of something that God was revealing about this last part of the statue of the old Roman Empire (a European empire) that would come together for a short time at the very end. On one hand, it would have great strength, and on the other, it would be very fragile. It would not be held together very well, much like one can see of the European Union today. It is great in combined strength, and yet it is fragile in unity.

These ten kings of Revelation 17 are described as receiving their power for one hour together with the beast. Satan, of course, is the beast that has brought these kings together as one for the purpose of nuclear war, and when he does so, they unite and “give their power and strength to the beast”—to Satan.

As it has already been shown, ten of the twenty-eight nations of the European Union have entered into a military agreement. This could still change as to who the specific final ten nations will be, but it will most certainly be ten.

The one hour mentioned here is definitely a prophetic time and is likely speaking of an actual period of 60 days, as God has revealed similar prophetic timing to mean. But as of now, it is not absolutely certain that it represents that actual timing. Nevertheless, it is clear that the world stage is already set for that final war.

What Comes Next?
This chapter has covered how Herbert Armstrong, toward the end of WWII, came to understand that Europe would soon rise again in its seventh and last revival. He explained how this union of nations would have a government established within it, that it would develop a common currency, and that ten nations would unify in a military union that would engage in a final nuclear war.

He also added to all this that the ten-nation union would be spearheaded by Germany. When he stated all of this at the end of WWII, that indeed seemed ludicrous to many, and it was also unthinkable that Germany would rise and take the lead over such a union. It was inconceivable, but that is exactly what has been happening.

This was unthinkable simply because Europeans harbored a repulsiveness toward Germany over the atrocities they had committed. It was also unthinkable because German industry was basically destroyed due to the bombing of their cities. It would seem preposterous for Germany to again rise out of the ashes and then have such prominence and power to take the lead in a united Europe.

But it wasn’t long, and by 1957 a drive to unite Europe was well underway with the establishment of the European Economic Community. So indeed, Europe did begin to rise again soon after WWII. Over seventy years have passed since WWII and the stage in Europe is now set for WWIII since the last of those things predicted by Herbert Armstrong has now come to pass—a unified military in a European union of nations.

So what comes next? You will know with absolute certainty that the final segment of a prophesied timeline that leads into horrifying cataclysmic end-time events is beginning once you see what is prophesied to happen next. It is about the demise of the United States. Everyone will be fully aware of these disastrous events as they unfold. The whole world will see it, but they will not know what it means or what will follow. But God has foretold it all for us. We can watch and be very prepared.

Before a full-fledged nuclear war between the nations of the world begins, this will happen first. It will include the use of nuclear weapons, but it is not yet an all-out nuclear war.

What happens to the United States first is just the beginning of final end-time cataclysmic events. All the major cataclysmic events that are about to be unleashed upon the world are all revealed through the prophecies of the Book of Revelation. Just as much was revealed to Herbert Armstrong about the last revival of a European empire that has now been set in place, the events that lead to the demise of the United States are also revealed. These will now happen next!