Discourse 31 - Reader’s commentary on Excursuses 01, 02 and 03.




Biblical interpretation - Excursus 01. / Commentary M. H. 00, 2001-02-06

The 144,000 who were sealed - Excursus 02. / Commentary M. H. 01, The Sealed, 2001-02-06

The scarlet beast - Excursus 03/1. / Commentary M. H. 02, 2001-02-06

Babylon - Excursus 03/2. . / Commentary M. H. 03, 2001-02-06


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Biblical interpretation - Excursus 01 / M. H., 2001-02-06)

I can accept what you say in this section without any kind of reservation. Your work is admirably convincing - above all, it is backed up with a sufficient number of illustrations. For the editing of biblical texts, however - for biblical interpretation, that is to say - there are some further points which need to be considered. I have indicated a few of these in my section on “Biblical interpretation”. All the same, there will be quite a few more. I am particularly committed to the maximizing principle which states that interpretation should take its point of departure from the passages that are the clearest and offer the most comprehensive information. This is a particularly important point when dealing with the Last Days issue.

(M. H.  www.bibel-info.net)



(See also Excursus 01: “The interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures.”)

It is perfectly plain that whenever we seek to interpret the Bible there will be some other points that could have been taken into account. Consequently this Excursus does not lay claim to any kind of completeness, in terms either of range or of content. One of the points in question, as you rightly point out, is that an interpretation should start by considering those passages where a topic is treated in the clearest and most comprehensive way.

But before we can make this decision, there are two fundamental premises that need to be allowed for, even if these are often overlooked on a superficial view:

a) the specification as to what information is basically to be regarded as admissible, and

b) the decision as to what topic we are actually concerned with.


With reference to a):

In principle it is a matter of establishing from what sources we can draw our information. Possible answers here would be for instance to take “tradition”, the catechism and the dogmas of the Church - from a Catholic point of view - as sources, or if we are looking at it from a Jewish angle (e.g. for the Old Testament), the Talmud or the entire range of rabbinical commentary.

Here I take my stand with our fathers in the faith, for whom Scripture was only to be interpreted on the basis of Scripture, from which it follows that only the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, are to be cited as a source of information.


With reference to b)

Before we can decide where a topic is treated in the clearest and most comprehensive manner, we must establish what topic is actually at issue here. If for example someone adheres to the view that the 144,000 who were sealed form a portion of the congregation, he will look for scriptural passages that give us clear statements about the congregation. If we take the line that the 144,000 are Israelites, we will quote biblical passages that relate to Israel.

And here, I think, before taking a decision of this sort, we cannot get away from the necessity of making a minute examination of the logical and semantic content of the passage with which we are concerned. Any method of proceeding that involves the reinterpretation of the plain semantic meaning of the scriptural passage - for want of the capacity to interpret the statement, or because it does not fit in with our preconceived opinions - must be avoided at all costs.

If scriptural statements that are substantial, serious and unambiguous do not fit in with our opinion, then in all probability it is our opinion that is at fault, and not sacred Scripture.




(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(The 144,000 who were sealed - Excursus 02 / M. H., 2001-02-06)

The 7 Letters to the churches. This Excursus too meets with my unreserved agreement. Only your assumption that the 144,000 are the Bride of Christ, and thus a group distinct from the congregation, does not seem to me to stand up. A statement of this kind should not be based on isolated verses which show clear contradictions or are subject to a variety of interpretations. A reading of the question how Jews and Christians are related to one another in the congregation should not draw on Revelation, but should rather take its point of departure from Rom 9-11. Here Paul shows without any shadow of doubt that we heathen Christians are on the same footing as Jewish Christians. A separation of the two is consequently untenable. At the same time, I would agree that there are various groups that are set off against others - for instance, the martyrs of the fifth seal, who will reign with Jesus in the Millennium. These 144,000 will attain to a similar position. But it must be stated here that in Christ all are equal, and the distinction between Jew and Gentile no longer applies.

(M. H.  www.bibel-info.net)



(See also Excursus 02: “The seven Letters to the churches.”)

If I understand what you are saying here (please correct me if I am wrong), you see these 144,000 who were sealed as coming from the twelve tribes of Israel - as I do myself - but you disagree, on the other hand, with my view that these are the “Bride of Christ”, as in your eyes this can only be the congregation (including Christians from Israel).

In this you are a typical representative of a point of view that is widespread - especially in Christian congregations - and I cannot argue against it in any other way than I have done in documents already published on this website. I am fully aware that this is not a completely watertight and incontrovertible argument. Nonetheless it seems to me that Scripture indicates in a majority of passages that the congregation (or church) does not occupy that prominent position which so many commentators like to credit it with. We, as the congregation, are apparently the sum total of all who are saved, the wedding guests - while on the other hand all the relevant scriptural passages (from both the Old and the New Testament) show that the identity of the Bride of the Lord has never changed. And the following passages prove that we must see the people of Israel of the Last Days as being the 144,000 first fruits for God and the Lamb, those who were sealed from all the twelve tribes of Israel.

And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.

Hos 2,16 "It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me Ishi - my husband - and will no longer call Me Baali. 2,17 "For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more. 2,18 "In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. 2,21 "It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 2,22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 2,23 "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion [Lo-Ruhama], And I will say to those who were not My people [Lo-Ammi], ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’ Hos 2,16-23;

Israel, the first of His harvest, and Jerusalem, His bride.

Jer 2,1 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2,2 "Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, "I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown. 2,3 "Israel was holy to the LORD, The first of His harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them," declares the LORD.’" 2,4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 2,5 Thus says the LORD, "What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me And walked after emptiness and became empty? Jer 2, 1- 5;

You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.

Isa 49,14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me." 49,15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 49,16 "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. 49,17 "Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you. 49,18 "Lift up your eyes and look around; All of them gather together, they come to you. As I live," declares the LORD, "You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride. Isa 49,14-18;

For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

Isa 54,4 "Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 54,5 "For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. 54,6 "For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected," Says your God. Isa 54, 4- 6;

Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.

Mt 22,8 "Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 22,9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 2,10 "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 22,11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 22,12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 22,13 "Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 22,14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." Mt 22, 8-14;

The ten virgins.

Mt 25,1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 25,2 "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 25,3 "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 25,4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 25,5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 25,6 "But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 25,7 "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 25,8 "The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 25,9 "But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 25,10 "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 25,11 "Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 25,12 "But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 25,13 "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Mt 25, 1-13;

(See also Discourse 66: “The kingdom of heaven - the ten virgins”)

144,000 sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: The first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

Rev 14,1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 14,2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 14,3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 14,4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 14,5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. Rev 14, 1- 5;


As will be seen from the passages above (Mt 22,8-14 and 25,1-13), we are told here about a wedding and wedding guests; the virgins who attend the bride and the bridegroom are mentioned likewise, but not a word is said about the bride herself. The Israelites who were first of all invited by the Lord, as guests to this wedding feast, turned down the invitation and refused to come. So the Lord sent his word among the nations that all should be invited who were willing to accept. There is no distinction any longer, therefore, between Israelites and the Gentiles who come from the nations. Anyone who wishes can accept the invitation. But - as a wedding guest, not as the Bride. Nor are we anywhere told that the identity of the Bride has been changed. On the contrary, the Bride was and is always the same. It is she of whom the Lord says:

Hos 2,19 I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion.

that is to say as Lo Ammi, Israel, the first fruit of his harvest and the first fruits for God and the Lamb, the 144,000 who were sealed who come from all the twelve tribes of Israel in the Last Days.

(See also Discourse 15: “Who is the bride of the Lamb?”)

(See also Chapter 063: The Return of the Lord - part 3 / “The marriage of the Lamb.”)

The fact that these 144,000 are, as you say, “a group distinct from the congregation of Christ” is plainly evident (and there is no contradiction here, no alternative interpretation possible) from Rev 7,2-8 and Rev 14,1-5, quoted above. These are the “one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Rev 7,4). “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14,4). All these attributes could hardly be accurately applied to the entire Christian congregation.

As for the coexistence of Jews and Christians in the congregation, on this point I would agree with you. As Paul says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks” (1Cor 12,13). But this clearly refers to those Jews who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and have come to believe in him.

But then, of course, there are also those Jews of whom Paul says, in Rom 11,25:

A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Rom 11,25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 11,26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "the deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." 11,27 "This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." 11,28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; Rom 11,25-28;


These, then, are not to be put on the same level as the unbelievers who come from the nations or the heathen. It is true that they failed to recognize their Messiah and rejected him, but in spite of that they are and remain “from the standpoint of God’s choice... beloved for the sake of their fathers.”

Even if this “choice” is still obscure to the people of Israel of the present day, and they are “hardened”, as Paul says, nonetheless their descendants in the Last Days will lay claim to this preferential role and become the beloved of God for the sake of their fathers - this in entire independence of the promises made to the congregation and its members.

Of course I maintain an altogether open mind on this issue - understandably enough, as a member of the congregation - so I will gratefully listen to any argument that can successfully refute the scriptural statements quoted above about the “Bride Jerusalem”. Not in the form of a mere statement of opinion, though, but with a proper basis in scriptural interpretation and backed up with reference to relevant and informative scriptural passages.




(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(The scarlet beast - Excursus 03/1 / M. H., 2001-02-06)

The scarlet beast. I am working on an extended essay on this subject. So here I will just offer a few remarks. The beast of Revelation is based on elements of the first three beasts in Daniel, so the sequence must also correspond. As the first beast is the Babylonian empire, the listing of the 7+1 heads cannot possibly apply to Egypt. We have to take account here of the fact that the heathen empires could only take on this role after Israel, as a result of its disobedience and apostasy from God and its refusal of its destiny as the Chosen People that was to instruct the heathen in God’s commandments, had been rejected and destroyed. This destruction was brought about by Babylon. It follows that the first four kingdoms are Babylon, the Medes and the Persians, Greece and Rome. Revelation however speaks of seven kings, and refers to the beast of Rev 13 as the eighth - and it is supposed to resemble one of the earlier ones. If we consider world history, it is true that the ancient Roman Empire fell, but it continued to be resurrected in new forms: under Charlemagne as the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Peoples”, under Napoleon and under Hitler. We likewise find a connection with Israel in all three of these rulers or kingdoms - crusades, persecution of the Jews, rediscovery of the ancient world and Egypt, Jews receiving civic rights, Hitler’s murder of the Jews. Also all three kingdoms took on features of the Roman Empire to a considerable extent: they were all in the tradition of ancient Rome and even adopted the title of Emperor or Kaiser (derived from the Roman Caesars of old). Consider too the following scriptural utterances. Rev 17,10: “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.” Rev 17,11: “And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” All these make a lot of sense in this context. If my view is correct, then this statement would refer to the time of Napoleon. It is a significant point that historiography takes him and his period as the dawn of the modern period. Napoleon was responsible for the dissolution of feudal monarchy and the dissemination of the humanist idea throughout Europe. We may refer here to the first seal - a slender indication, admittedly - which here points to a rider on a white horse who rode out to conquer. Napoleon was always on horseback, and he always rode a white horse. Another factor to be taken into account is the movement which actually and in substantial terms was behind the French Revolution and all the history that followed subsequently - the Brotherhood of Freemasons. Freemasonry was restructured by Adam Weisshaut, the founder of the Illuminati at the time of Napoleon, under the influence of the Rothschilds. This involved the addition of the higher ranks of freemasonry. As a result of the action of the Rothschilds and the groupings that followed them, monarchical dominion was also replaced by monetary dominion, that is to say that the dominion of money was introduced.

(M. H.  www.bibel-info.net)



(See also Excursus 03: “The scarlet beast.“)

In your commentary quoted above you write:

“Revelation however speaks of seven kings, and refers to the beast of Rev 13 as the eighth - and it is supposed to resemble one of the earlier ones.”

In keeping with the criteria I referred to above, I must ask you here to cite scriptural passages in support of this statement of yours. As the text following indicates, it may well be that the beast is itself an eighth (eighth king, that is), but there is nothing to show that the eighth king is identical with the beast of Rev 13.

The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth.

Rev 17,9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 17,10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 17,11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. Rev 17, 9-11;


Nor, consequently, is this any kind of statement to the effect that the beast of Rev 13 resembles one of the seven kings of the beast of Rev 17. The text is as follows: “... the beast... is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven...” It therefore follows that the only conclusion we can draw, in all seriousness, is that the beast of Rev 17 (in the wilderness) is itself one of the seven, indeed the eighth king. But there is no way in which this can apply to the beast of Rev 13 (who comes from the sea).

And here a fundamental misunderstanding in the interpretation of these two beasts comes to light. In Revelation as a whole, we have to do with three beasts:

-  the beast from the sea (Rev 13,1), with two horns and seven heads

-  the beast from the earth (Rev 13,11), with two horns

-  and the scarlet beast in the wilderness (Rev 17,3), with seven heads and ten horns.


When you now write, in your statement quoted earlier,

“The scarlet beast (...) - the beast of Revelation is based on elements of the first three beasts in Daniel, so the sequence must also correspond. As the first beast is the Babylonian empire, the listing of the 7+1 heads cannot possibly apply to Egypt”,

you are confusing the first beast from the sea (Antichrist with the power of Satan) with the third beast in the wilderness (Satan “in person”, so to speak). Although the Antichrist, in his open manifestation of Satan (power, might and throne), is essentially identical with Satan in his physical being, in terms of the person the two are completely distinct. We have a similar situation here to the Incarnation of God the Almighty in his Son Jesus Christ.

He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me

Jn Jn 12,44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 12,45 "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. Jn 12,44-45

He who has seen Me has seen the Father.

Jn Jn 14,8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 14,9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Jn 14, 8- 9;


As the Lord tries to explain to Philip in the above passage (Jn 14,8-9), the Father is immanent in the Son. As God is spirit and so is without form, only by becoming man in his Son can God be visualized, and so this is likewise the only possible way by which human beings can see God.

Satan and the Antichrist are similarly related to one another - in a negative sense. Satan is present in the being of the Antichrist. He dominates and controls him. At the same time, they are two different characters.

So it follows, as well, that the scarlet beast of Rev 17,3 (Satan) is in no way “based on elements of the first three beasts in Daniel”. We are only told here that he was “full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns”. It is rather the first beast in Rev 13, the one that comes from the sea, that has the properties of the three beasts of Daniel 7,4, 7,5 and 7,6.

(See also Table 02: “The world empires in the Bible.” and Table 06: “The Antichrist, the 'queen' in the chess of the devil.”)

The view that Napoleon is this seventh king referred to in Rev 17,11 has already been discussed in

Discourse 13: “Which world empires do the 7 (or 8) heads (or kings) of Revelation 17 represent?

to which the interested reader is referred.




(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Babylon - Excursus 03/2 / M. H., 2001-02-06)

The second remark relates to Babylon. An English historian by the name of Hislop has investigated ancient Babylon with some thoroughness (his book is entitled “The Two Babylons”). Here he shows that the monetary system was developed for the first time in Babylon, where it also presently collapsed. The monetary aspect is therefore of considerable significance. The link between the Catholic church and the Babylonian heathen cult, on the other hand, is too gross to escape notice. The title of Pope, the papal tiara, the cardinals, the veneration of Mary and so on - all these can be derived from Babylonian sources. Taken alone, the concept of Babylon can be interpreted in various ways. But when we find it defined as “the harlot Babylon”, this implies a restricted reference to Jesus and to God. In Revelation overall, as in Jesus’ parable of the harvest which the devil adulterates with tares, we see contrasting pairs emerging: Christ - Antichrist, Holy Spirit - false prophet, God the Father - Dragon, Bride of Jesus - Babylon the harlot. As Jesus does not mean, in this parable, to refer to all human beings, but only to the true Christians (the congregation, that is) as the good seed and the harvest, it follows that the tares must point to a pseudo-Christian church that Jesus will finally reject. In the end the anti-Christian grouping of Antichrist and the 10 ‘kings’ will overcome and kill the harlot. So Babylon the harlot, in my view, can only be the Catholic church and its offshoots (as well as “Babylon the harlot”, “mother of harlots” is a possible reading).

(M. H.  www.bibel-info.net)



I can agree to a great extent with your observations quoted above. Especially with the contrasting pairs

“Christ - Antichrist / Holy Spirit - false prophet / God the Father - Dragon / Bride of Jesus - Babylon the harlot”.

All the same, looking at the matter objectively, I find too many statements in Rev 18 which cannot be applied to the Catholic church - at the present time, at least. But perhaps Rev 17 and Rev 18 belong in two different categories - in which case you might well be right. This is certainly a theme on which the last word has not yet been said!

(See also Excursus 03: “The scarlet beast.”)