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Review. Revelation 12 - 16

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Posted on CCPC's website 2022

"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit."
- Napoleon Bonaparte

     This section of The Apocalypse brings us to some of the more intense action in the book, and a handful of the more iconic 'stars' of the work.
     It is in this section we come across a special number that everybody knows and the discussion of a mark that everybody has an opinion on, but yet nobody knows exactly what it is.
     Then comes the setup for what amounts to the 'final act'.

     Chapter twelve hands us a mystery of the Apocalypse.
     Is the 'woman clothed with the sun' and so on, the Virgin Mary? Well, we'll deal at length with that in the upcoming feature, but in short we'll answer it this way for now, and then move on: Yes, and No. Mostly no, but still, there is a working theory that she does have a place in the drama because of what happened to the 'man child' that is born in verse 5.

     Next, is Micheal really an archangel as Jude says he is, because Revelation doesn't announce his rank? Well, the verse in Jude the only place in Scripture where the word “archangelos” is used with a specific name. The other usage is in 1 Thessalonians 4 where it mentions how loud one of them can yell, but Paul doesn't name names. The word never occurs in Revelation. For the full list of Archangels, we have to go to Enoch chapter 20.
     Daniel spends a lot of time talking about Micheal in 10 and 12, but there he is a 'prince of angels'. It could well be that the two terms have the same meaning.

     It is also in 12 that we confirm that the 'great dragon' is really somebody else, and what happens to him.
     And we see that Martin Luther must not have read the book when he claimed he didn't “see Jesus in it”. Oh, well.

     Thirteen opens with a creature feature as a monster comes out of the sea with a wound that needs a good veterinarian.
     And then things get really strange.
     The dragon gives his powers to the beast, and then another beast comes up out of the earth, and it has the powers of the first beast as well, then it does something odd. He has the people make an image of the first beast, then he brings it to life.
     And here you have the 'mark of the beast' and the problems that not having it causes.
     Next is 666, which we looked at in some depth in the chapter study.

     We stop by one of the hills of Jerusalem for an announcement, then meet a different group of 144,000.
     Then there in a direct statement to the believers after a disturbing verse about the 'torment' of those that aren't. There's some plans for various crop activities, and something about the bridles of horses.

     The shortest chapter in Revelation.
     It breaks for a musical interlude, then sets up the last round of 'seven'.

     These plagues, dumped from golden bowls revisit several of the plagues of Egypt from the Exodus, except some of them have been slightly modified for the occasion. There's even a reappearance of one of the stranger Egyptian goddesses just to make the point.
     And, unusual for Revelation, all seven bowls are dumped in one chapter.
     With the ending of the chapter, the planet is pretty much laid waste, but the bad guys aren't quite done yet.

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NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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