photo of MECCA, Saudi Arabia
There is much debate and discussion about the identity of
- “BABYLON THE GREAT MOTHER OF HARLOTS” – Ezekiel 38
- “THE ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH” – Daniel 7,9
- “THE BEAST WITH SEVEN HEADS AND TEN HORNS” – Revelation 17
(Links to resources used for this page are Enduring Word Bible Commentary and Zion’s Hope Videos Parts1,2 & 3 (I suggest watching all three videos, in order, but, video Part-2 may be of particular interest)
To be clear, this discussion is interesting and is helpful to some, but generally, it has nothing to do with our salvation in Christ. It can be helpful in our preparation, as followers and disciples of Jesus for His return. We are to be about His Work in these Last Days. Some of the most popular guesses are that…
- The Great Harlot could be Rome (the reemergence of Rome as a power),
- Or, that even New York City, USA, could be the Great Harlot.
- One view suggest that the Apostle Peter uses the word “Babylon” as a symbolic way of referring to the new world culture at war with the covenant community. The Whore of Babylon is the spirit of seductive culture, actively engaged in the deception and destruction of God’s people. That she rides upon “the beast” means she is propped up by the forces of anti-Christian government.
Just like the beast, who was, and is not and is about to rise, the “Whore” keeps on rising from the dead! A particular brand of her seductive charm may fall into the dust and be buried by the sands of time, but just you wait! Before you know it, she will rise again in another place, known by another name but waging the same destructive war against God’s covenant people. With that said…
The Bible calls this a mystery for good reason. But, in Revelation 17, we read, starting in
Verse 1 “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls (NOTE: 9At this point, the 7 Seal Judgements are finished and the Church is with Christ, before the Throne of God in heaven) came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
verse 2. “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.”
verse 3. “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.
verse 4. “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,
verse 5. “and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery,
verse 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
verse 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.
verse 11. “The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.
verse 12. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.
verse 13. “These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
verse 14. “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”
verse 15. “And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
verse 16. “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.”
I am posting two views here:
- David Guzik (Enduring Word Bible Commentary) and
- David Rosenthal Videos posted give a complete description – video Part 2, in particular):
- DAVID GUZIK commentary on Revelation Chapter 17: 3. (verse 9) Seven mountains associated with the beast.
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”
a. The seven heads are seven mountains: Many quickly associate the seven mountains with Rome and the Papacy, because Rome is well known as the city on seven hills. Yet literally, the Greek word means mountains, not hills.
i. Many commentators – especially those who see all of Revelation fulfilled in history – regard the seven mountains as an irrefutable connection with Rome. Clarke is a good example of this when he writes, “This verse has been almost universally considered to allude to the seven hills upon which Rome originally stood.”
ii. But in the Bible mountains are sometimes a figure of governments (such as in Daniel 2:35) and the city of Rome is built on hills, not mountains.
b. The seven heads are seven mountains: It is probably better to see the seven mountains as representing the seven kings and kingdoms described in Revelation 17:10. Many people find the connection between religious Babylon and Roman Catholicism irresistible, yet it is flawed in the sense that there is no doubt that religious Babylon will incorporate a strong Roman Catholic element, but it will be much bigger than Roman Catholicism.
i. Tendencies for Roman Catholicism’s ultimate partnership with a one-world religion were evident in Pope John Paul II’s bizarre involvement with and approval of other anti-Christian religions.
ii. In addressing a “prayer gathering” of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and others, Pope John Paul II told participants that their efforts were “unleashing profound spiritual energies in the world and bringing about a new climate of peace.” The Pope pledged that “the Catholic Church intends to ‘share in and promote’ such ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation.”
iii. The Catholic Review commented on this and said, “The unity of religion promoted by the Holy Father Pope John Paul II and approved by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not a goal to be achieved immediately, but a day may come when the love and compassion which both Buddha and Christ preached so eloquently will unite the world in a common effort to save humanity from senseless destruction, and lead toward the light in which we all believe.”
4. (verse 10). Seven kings and kingdoms.
“There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”
a. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come: This is one of the more difficult passages in the Book of Revelation. Some explain these seven kings, five past, one present, and one to come in the succession of Roman Emperors in John’s era, but there are many historical difficulties with this approach. More likely, it is a reference to:
· Five have fallen refers to the five world empires before John’s day: Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and Greece
· One is refers to the world empire of John’s day: Rome
· The other has not yet come refers to the one world empire to come: a revival of the Roman Empire
b. When he comes, he must continue a short time: This seventh will quickly be taken over by an eighth – and will become the state of the Antichrist (Revelation 17:11).
NOTE: There are problems with this viewpoint as well (so some have taken the seven as symbolic). This plainly is a difficult passage!
5. (verse 11). The beast (the Antichrist) is clearly identified as the eighth king.
“And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”
Is he, himself, also the eighth: He is of the seven in the sense that he shares characteristics with all previous world empires, but his fate is clear. Perdition means “destruction,” and the beast will be destroyed.
6. (verses 12-15) Ten kings to come, allies of the Antichrist.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
Ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet: This probably alludes to a ten-nation confederation (as in the toes of the Daniel 2:24-45 image), but some take ten as a symbolic number.
They are ten kingdoms which shall arise out of the fourth great kingdom there: ten European powers, which in the last time, in concert with and subjugation to the antichristian power, shall make war against Christ. In the precise number and form here indicated, they have not yet arisen… What changes in Europe may bring them into the required tale and form, it is not for us to say.” (Alford, 1866)
These are of one mind: Many have seen the European Union (formerly the European Economic Community) as the potential fulfillment of this. Perhaps, but now there are more than ten nations in this revived European power, and more on the way.
There is little doubt the EU itself claims to be a successor to the ancient Roman Empire. The EEC started in 1957, when six European nations met to talk about combining their nuclear, coal, and economic resources. They met together in Rome and signed the treaty of Rome – the beginnings of the present EU. In many places in Europe, the EU flag is just as prominent as any national flag.
ONE VIEW: We could still say what Alford wrote in 1866: “In the precise number and form here indicated, they have not yet arisen… What changes in Europe may bring them into the required tale and form, it is not for us to say.” But it will happen, and this confederation of nations will emerge as an heir to the ancient Roman Empire.
ANOTHER VIEW by DAVID ROSENTHAL: The 10 Nation Confederation, (THE HEADS), of the BEAST from Ezekiel 38, of Daniel 7,9 and Revelation 17:
Nation #1. Gog: A Reubenite, son of Shemaiah, the prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and Magog. Gog is identified as a descendant of the prophet Joel, and in Ezekiel 38–39, he is the chief prince of the tribes of Meshech and Tubal in the land of Magog, the mountainous region between Cappadocia and Media.
Nation #2. Magog: The 2nd son of Japheth, grandson of Noah, and progenitor of several tribes northward from Israel; the mountainous region between Cappadocia and Media and habitation of the descendants of Magog, son of Japheth and grandson of Noah
Nation #3. Rosh: “the Prince of Rosh” is Asiatic Russia receives confirmation from the Imperial Dictionary. “Evidence exists of an ancient people called Rosh, or Rhos, supposed to be the original stem from which the Russia or modern Russians have derived their race and name.” The scholar, Bishop Lowther says: “Rosh, taken as a proper name, in Ezekiel, signifies the inhabitants of Scythia, from whom modern Russians derived their name. We must conclude therefore, that Ezekiel’s “episode of Gog’s invasion” (A. B. Davidson) points irrefutably and undeniably to the Russians.
Nation #4. Meschack: Was a Chaldean. The Chaldeans inhabited the coastal area near the Persian Gulf. About 630 Nabopolassar became king of the Chaldeans and in 626 he forced the Assyrians out of Uruk and crowned himself king of Babylonia. Modern day Turkey.
Nation #5. Tubal: a region in east Asia Minor, perhaps nearly equal to Cappadocia
Nation #6. Persia: Iran
Nation #7. Cush (Ethiopia): located on either side or both sides of the Red Sea. As such, “Cush” is alternately identified in scripture with the Kingdom of Kush or ancient Ethiopia.
Nation #8. Put (Libya): Ancient Libya. In this sense, Libya was the whole known African continent to the west of the Nile Valley and extended south of Egypt. Herodotus described the inhabitants of Libya as two peoples: The Libyans in northern Africa and the Ethiopians in the south.
Nation #9. Gomer: (was the wife of the prophet Hosea (8th century BC), mentioned in the Hebrew Bible‘s Book of Hosea (1:3). Hosea 1:2 refers to her alternatively as a “promiscuous woman” (NIV), a “harlot” (NASB), and a “whore” (KJV) but Hosea is told to marry her according to Divine appointment. She is also described as the daughter of Diblaim.) The Hebrew name Gomer refers to the Cimmerians, who dwelt in what is now southern Russia, “beyond the Caucusus”, and attacked Assyria in the late 7th century BC.
Nation #10. Beth-Togarmah: Togarmah is a city mentioned in Assyrian and Hittite texts. It was north of Carchemish on an Assyrian trade route. It may be related to modern Gurun between the Halys and Euphrates Rivers))
These are the 10 Nation Confederation, (THE HEADS), of the BEAST Ezekiel 38, of Daniel 7,9 and Revelation 17. All are Islamic, the Center of which is MECCA (see video #2).
The common argument is for Rome which is built on 10 hills. Guzik deals with the assumption as incorrect.
(Resume with Guzik comments, here)
These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast: Whatever their exact identity, their actions are clear. They join with the Antichrist in the war against Christ, in the battle alluded to in the sixth and seventh bowls (Revelation 16:12-21).
The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits: The harlot presides over peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. This tells us that the harlot’s influence is worldwide, through her connection to the beast. This will be a truly one-world religion.
The interpretation of the harlot focuses on her relation to the beast: she is utterly connected to the beast and his government. If this sounds unthinkable, remember that throughout history, religion – not true Christianity – has often been the willing servant and supporter of tyrants.
I know this is a difficult subject and a ‘tough read’. So, I will conclude with…
While scholars may debate some of the fine details of this particular vision, the main points of application seem abundantly clear:
#1. We are crossing the threshold of a Global Transformation – and it does not look good for most people.
#2. By all indicators, God’s prophecy of the End of Days is well under way.
#3. The Bible says events will turn cataclysmic – very soon.
#4. Culture is not neutral. You will have to choose sides by your actions. Talk won’t work.
#5. Satan is boldly walking through the front door of a worldwide governmental alignment, even as I write this.
#6. The devil is encroaching through the backdoor of seduction, idolatry, technology, perverse entertainment and has crept into the church. He is now in the church, deceiving many.
#7. The majority of the Church is either compromised, asleep, ignorant or afraid to engage the enemy.
#8. A remnant is rising at the Voice of God.
#9. God is calling and it is time you and I mobilize and do the Works Jesus has commanded.
#10. Doing nothing, except being nice and “going to church”, assures you of nothing!
Let’s Remain, IN HIS GRIP!
Your Brother and Friend,