Revelation 16:17 – 17:4
 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.”
 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.
 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.
 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Continuing from the last lecture, we are looking into the seventh plague from among the plagues of the seven bowls.
‘Pouring the bowl upon the air’ means that this plague is the world wide one.
Since the air goes everywhere, the plague of the bowl that is poured upon the air sweeps the entire world.
Speaking concretely, this implies that a mega-sized nuclear war will break out at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Of course, there is the 3rd world war that will have occurred before this nuclear war.
But, this last nuclear war is the war that completely destroys the earth.
The earth will have fallen into an unrecoverable state.
It is at this time that the earth is completely destroyed, the 7 Year Great Tribulation is concluded and the Lord will come back to the earth.
The Lord recreates this earth, the sea, and the sky, and then the Millennium Kingdom begins.
The nuclear war that devastates the whole earth breaks out to secure the oil resources.
Today, many countries are trying hard to develop alternative energy that can replace oil, however the acquisition and possession of oil is still given a great deal of weight.
Now, when the news of the impending depletion of the oil resources becomes wide spread, each country tries to secure oil resources even posturing to wage war for it.
Moreover, some big countries desire to take the initiative in the world situation, and finally the nuclear war breaks out.
One of the main reasons a nuclear war breaks out again is because the unified government loses its control.
The unified government that has controlled the world by the means of strong economic and military power that cannot be maintained any longer.
It means that the time that has been allotted to the antichrist is almost over.
Only by God allowing it to happen will the unified government that represents the antichrist be able to seize power and authority.
Since God permits it within His providence of Human Cultivation, they will be able to seize authority and to control the world during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
However, the time allotted has now expired.
When the time that God has allotted is up, there is an indication of the collapse of the unified government.
And this final nuclear war definitively marks its collapse.
Tonight’s scripture describes the situation of this nuclear war in terms of lightning, sounds, thunder, and an earthquake.
Here and there, nuclear bombs explode and flash, and there are sounds like the peals of thunder that shake everything on earth.
The earth cracks and the mountains fall.
Due to the nuclear warfare, earthquakes occur and volcanic eruptions take place.
Now, ‘lightning, sounds, and peals of thunder’ each have a spiritual meaning respectively.
As I told you in the last lecture, ‘lightning’ refers to the authority of God.
‘Sound’ refers to the power of God, and ‘the peals of thunder’ refers to the wrath of God.
It means that the justice of God is staged through the last plague.
The judgment of Justice comes upon those who have stood against God and piled up evil.
Its result is explained beginning in Revelation 16:19.
Revelation 16:19-20 says, “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
What is ‘the great city’ in this scripture?
“The great city” was mentioned in Revelation 11:8, but it referred to Jerusalem of Israel.
As the scripture says, “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city,” the unified government that kills the 2 witnesses will put their dead bodies on public display for all the people of Israel to see.
Because of this, some say ‘the great city’ in tonight’s scripture also refers to Jerusalem.
But, ‘the great city’ of tonight’s scripture has a spiritual meaning; it refers to the unified government.
The great city, mentioned in Revelation 17:18, which reads, “The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth,” here too ‘the great city” refers to the unified government.
Since many countries unified to form a government and it controls the world, this unified government is called ‘the great city.’
Now, when it says ‘the great city was split into three parts,’ it implies the collapse of the unified government.
It rather means the complete collapse.
There is a spiritual meaning when it says ‘the great city was split into three parts.’
“Splitting into 3 parts” carries the meaning that there are three reasons for the collapse of the unified government.
In other words, there are three factors that drive the unified government into collapse.
The first is its internal conflicts and disagreement.
It means that the internal discontentment and conflicts that have been piling up among its countries is being expressed.
Some of them think they are shunned by others, and some others think they are always disadvantaged.
Still there are others that say, “We sacrifice ourselves for all others, and they don’t appreciate it.”
Since they seek for their benefits, they don’t think of others’ position.
They only think of their loss and their sacrifice.
They aren’t able to talk to each other face to face, and it is obvious that the problems become more complex and the conflicts become more serious.
The same principle also applies to personal relationships.
You want the other person to understand you, but you don’t try to understand the other person.
You consider the sacrifice and the loss that you made to be great and you remember them longer.
On the other hand, you consider the sacrifice the other made for you and the losses others suffered to be insignificant and you easily forget about them.
Rather than being the first to listen, you want to be the first to be heard.
You suppress discontent and ill feelings against the other person, and then burst out into a rage against them.
I’m not saying that it’s better for you to reveal such ill feelings and discontent whenever you have them.
You should not have such discontent and ill feelings in your heart at all.
You may have seemed to suppress the feelings for the moment, but you later explode with anger, and it results in a more serious problem.
In this same way, the discontentment and ill feelings that have been suppressed by members within the unified government are revealed and it brings about collapse upon itself.
The second reason for its collapse is the external factor; the discord and conflicts with external forces.
Before the unified government seizes power, there are three major influences in the world.
They are the EU(European Union), and alliance of China and Russia, and the United States.
And then, the unified government seized control.
However, when the foundation of the unified government is shaken, these silenced forces challenge the unified government again.
They stand against the policies or orders of the unified government.
No matter how weak they have become, the alliance of China and Russia, and the United States still have great power.
As these forces are even willing to wage a war for their benefits and challenge the unified government, the unified government loses more of its power.
The third reason of the collapse of the unified government is religion.
The unified government that acts in proxy for the antichrist establishes a religion in order to more easily control the world.
They use this kind of fleshly wisdom of fore-fronting the doctrine of the religion for the purpose of uniting the whole world in religious ideology.
I already explained that this religion proclaims outwardly that they believe in God, but that they actually stand against God.
Since they forefront the religion with political purpose, they craftily deteriorate the truth.
By insisting on religious reconciliation, they make those with different religions come into their (ideological) boundary.
For this reason, they worship not only God, but they also compromise with other foreign non Judeo-Christian religions.
They say nominally that what they do is to embrace other religions and to unite with them.
But it is truly deterioration of the truth, and it is clearly against the will of God.
There is already a movement today that says all religions present a way of salvation; it is so-called ‘religions pluralism’.
They insist that it is a more tolerant, broad-minded, and rational way of thinking.
The religion that supports this kind of ideology plays the role of the “religious puppet” of the unified government.
And this form of religion tries to unite the whole world in a religious bond.
However, at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, conflicts arise in the religious area.
The religious tie breaks up, and religious distrust is prevalent.
The discord resulting from these three factors – inside, outside, and religious – accelerate the collapse of the unified government.
As Babylon the Great – the unified government – collapses, the cities of the nations also fall.
‘The cities of the nations’ refer to the forces that constitute, support, and ally themselves with the unified government.
As the unified government collapses, these forces have no choice but to collapse together with it.
The scripture describes the situation of all of the forces of the antichrist collapsing by saying that they are given “the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.”
When the time that God has allotted to the forces of the antichrist is up, the judgment of God comes upon them.
However, the fact is that they bring this judgment upon themselves in their own evil.
The terrible nuclear war completely destroys not only the environment but also human beings.
As the scripture says, “Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found,” the aftermath of the nuclear war is huge.
Some countries are wiped off the map completely. Even the topography of the earth is changed.
The land is so devastated in some places that people cannot live there any longer, and the trace of human existence even disappears in some places.
That’s because the people who used to live in those places are wiped out.
Revelation 16:21 continues to describe the loss due to the war.
It says, “And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.”
This verse tells us that such heavy and huge hailstones are falling down from the sky.
Because of the aftermath of a nuclear war, nature is completely destroyed, and thus unimaginable disasters are coming down from the sky.
However, when the scripture says huge hailstones come down from heaven, it also means that many devices that orbit in the sky such as satellites fall down to the earth.
The evil people don’t repent at this terrible plague; they still blaspheme God.
The scripture says, “men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail.”
Even though it is resulted from their evil, they rather speak words of blasphemy towards God
It is time when their religious belief that they worship God – at least outwardly – is also broken off.
Therefore people bluntly insult and blaspheme God, by saying “So, where is God now?”
Like this, at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the world becomes an agonizing world full of darkness and chaos.
Now, let’s take a look at Revelation Chapter 17.
Chapter 17 explains the forces of the antichrist whose identity has clearly been revealed to the whole world.
Revelation 17:1 says, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.””
Here, ‘the great harlot’ refers to the head of the great city.
Spiritually, it is Lucifer. And fleshly speaking, it is the antichrist that has the control of the earth.
It also refers to the head of the unified government that speaks in proxy for the antichrist.
This world of evil spirits also operates in strict order with Lucifer in its center.
Therefore, the will of Lucifer is conveyed to the dragons, Satan, the devil, and the forces of the antichrist that are controlled by them.
Therefore, even though the great harlot refers to Lucifer, but it actually refers to all the forces of the darkness.
The scripture says the great harlot sits on many waters.
As it may be explained in the next lecture, Revelation 17:15 says, “And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.””
This explains what the many waters are on which the great harlot sits.
Spiritually, water means the Word, but in this verse, it has a different meaning.
It is the world that the forces of the antichrist control.
Just as the scripture mentions ‘many waters,’ there are many nations and peoples that support and ally themselves with the unified government.
The forces of the antichrist control and rule them through the unified government.
To describe this situation, the scripture says the great harlot sits on many waters.
Revelation 17:2 says, “…with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
‘The kings of the earth’ refer to the heads of the nations that are controlled by the unified government.
They support and ally themselves with the unified government for the benefits of their nations.
Also it refers to, among the men of power, those who had greed and selfish desire, who pursue only wealth and honor, who don’t believe in God, and who don’t have true faith.
The fact that ‘they committed acts of immorality with the great harlot’ means that they follow the antichrist, stay far from God, and stand against God.
Now, ‘those who dwell on the earth’ refers to the people who belong to the world.
The fact that ‘they were made drunk with the wine if her immorality’ means that they live in the darkness and all kinds of evil and sin.
Especially, the reason the scripture says ‘they were made drunk with the wine’ is because their wrong doings are revealed according to the truth.
Until people know the truth, they don’t realize their darkness and evil.
Only when they know the truth, can they find their true self by reflecting on themselves in the truth.
Thus, the immorality mentioned in tonight’s scripture refers to all the things that are against the word of God.
According to the truth, the scripture says that not living by the word of God is being made drunk with the wine.
Revelation 17:3 says, “And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.”
It doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit actually carries Apostle John into a wilderness.
It is to reveal the identity of the antichrist clearly by carrying him in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“A woman sitting on a scarlet beast” in this verse refers to Lucifer, the head of evil spirits.
‘A scarlet beast’ refers to the forces of the antichrist that control the world as Lucifer’s slayer.
The fact that ‘a woman sits on a scarlet beast’ means that Lucifer controls everything the antichrist does.
It means that Lucifer is the entity that is behind everything that the forces of the antichrist do such as standing against God and plotting wicked schemes.
The scripture says the beast is full of blasphemous names. The names are the names of those who become the heads of the beast, who support the beast, and they become slayers for the beast.
Since they stay together with the beast, they stand against God, and thus they are blasphemous.
The beast consists of these blasphemous people who unite with the antichrist.
And the actual driving forces of the beast are the nations (of Europe) that make up the core of the unified government.
Just as the scripture says ‘the beast has seven heads and ten horns, the unified government consists of the leaders of seven core nations and the ten nations that support them.
But, it doesn’t mean that the unified government consists of the seven heads and the ten horns.
It means that they are the core forces in the unified government.
Now, Revelation 17:4 says, “The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.”
The purple clothes represent those who wear the clothing of kings and governing royalty, it represents the men of power, high position and rank.
The scarlet clothes mean that she is full of fleshly wisdom in her evil.
As Isaiah 1:18 says, “”Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.””
She is adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and it means that she has wealth, honor, and authority.
Lucifer that rules the darkness of the world gives the wealth, honor, and authority of the world to her instrument, the antichrist and its followers.
Those who are greedy for the wealth, honor, and authority support the antichrist during the 7 Year Great tribulation in order to get these things.
Now, the scripture says, “having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.”
It tells us what the real character of the antichrist is.
No matter how normal the gold cup in its hand appears, the contents of the cup truly reveal the identity of the antichrist.
The cup is full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.
Despite this fact, people are blinded by the gold cup, and they drink the wine of immorality and follow (in the abomination and unclean things).
We will take a closer look at the great harlot in the next lecture.
Dear brother and sisters in Christ.
People tend to be easily tempted by outward form and appearance.
They are deceived by just the external display of holiness, and outward humbleness.
Blinded by the outward wealth and honor and authority, they don’t see the truth inside.
Just as God searches the heart, however, you too should be able to look into the heart.
When the forces of the antichrist appear in the world, how plausible will they look?
They will justify themselves with sweet talk and provide various benefits to approach you.
They will promise honor and authority, and guarantee many benefits.
But, all these are to hide their true character.
It happens even today.
In many cases, the enemy devil and Satan know your weakest point and craftily come close to you.
They hide their identity, with plausible outlook, they deceive you with sweet talk.
You should always bear this in mind.
Some people are deceived because of their greed and lusts even though they know it, but you should never be deceived.
You should always awake in the word of the truth so that you can be discerning.
You should discern what is not the truth and flatly cast it away.
Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
In order to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, you should put on the fullness and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the power of the Holy Spirit, and arm yourself with the word of God.
Of course, you should also fervently pray.
I hope all of you will do this.
By doing so, may you win victory in spiritual battle and live a blessed life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray!