THE MYSTERY OF MYSTERY BABYLON
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great wh*re that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns…
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Perhaps the greatest mystery of all mysteries in the Bible is “Who is Mystery Babylon?” Since the Reformation, Protestants have maintained consistently that the Church of Rome is Mystery Babylon. Known as “Historicism”, a large number of eschatology students today continue to assert that the Roman Catholic Church still appears to be the most likely suspect for that infamous role. A second view considered seriously by many authors is that Mystery Babylon will in fact be a rebuilt “Babylon on the Euphrates”. Although Saddam Hussein attempted to rebuild the once great city, capital to the Babylonian and Greek Empires (and a virtual capital for the Medes and Persians), Babylon was rebuilt only in very small part. As I’ve said elsewhere, it has been little more than a tourist attraction to date.
In my writings, I have taken a very different position that the United States of America appears to best fit the criteria identified mostly by Jeremiah, secondarily by Isaiah, of “the daughter of Babylon”. Is there a distinction between Mystery Babylon and the Daughter of Babylon? Most recently, I have suggested that there probably is such a distinction. I have indicated that Mystery Babylon may refer to the concepts of Babylon, whether religious, economic, or political (as in a single world government or global empire). Revelation testifies that the great city is divided in three parts and my co-authors Douglas Krieger and Dene McGriff writing with me in THE FINAL BABYLON argued that this likely identifies the nature of Mystery Babylon, that it is much more than just a religious city (such as the Vatican and the Catholic Church), but it is a dominating economic, political, and military empire that “runs” the world. For these reasons (as well as over 30 other reasons we identify), we assert that America is the woman that rides the Beast. The essence of Mystery Babylon is the integration of commerce and religion, worship that transpires through sexual intercourse with temple prostitutes, degrading what should be a worship of “the Most High God” through a vile sort of spirituality debased with sexuality.
Nevertheless, in this post I want to focus on the position advanced by those who advocate the Islamic Antichrist theory (IAT). IAT theorists do not see either the Roman Church or the United States as the most likely candidate for Mystery Babylon. Instead, they propose that Mecca and secondarily, Saudi Arabia, fills the bill to be the Great Wh*re of the last days.
Walid Shoebat has been vocal that Saudi Arabia is the Mystery Babylon of the last days. Joel Richardson appears to be less so. But since they collaborated on Shoebat’s breakout book and their concepts are usually considered together, we should assume Richardson accepts the premise that “Mystery Babylon is Saudi Arabia” until he has publicly disavows it.[i] As we will see, this argument may be the weakest argument asserted by the IAT. Thus, there is a reason to suspect that Joel Richardson, (who is very circumspect in his writings and lectures), might not emphasize this tenet of the IAT as much as Shoebat.
According to Shoebat, Saudi Arabia is the “harlot of Revelation” that rides the Beast – and this Beast is Turkey. We will deal more with the possibility that Turkey is “the Beast” in other posts. But here, let’s turn to Mecca and Saudi Arabia as the fulfillment of “Mystery Babylon’. Does the Bible’s testimony corroborate this identification?
In a recent blog, I used the metaphorical language of “exegetical gymnastics” to associate the Ottoman Turks as Daniel’s fourth great empire (in Daniel 7) and thus, an empire greater than Rome. If that was true for reconciling the empires mentioned by Daniel and John (leaving Rome out of Daniel’s four empires), then the assertion that Saudi Arabia fulfills the prophecy of Mystery Babylon requires exegetical acrobatics. Nevertheless, Shoebat does back flips to make this connection work.
Author and apologist Chris White chides Shoebat on this topic with these words in his book, The Islamic Antichrist Debunked: “Shoebat’s method of interpreting these prophecies is extremely unorthodox, and while that is not always a bad thing, it should be noted that very few people, if any, in the history of the church would apply the methods of interpretation that he does.”[ii]
Apparently, being a “man without peers” can be a bad thing.
Shoebat’s argument builds upon Isaiah 21, “The Burden of Dumah”, which mentions a number of cities in the extreme north of ancient Arabia and a few cities in northern Saudi Arabia today. White quotes Shoebat from his (and Richardson’s) book, God’s War on Terror:
Some might argue that the context of Isaiah 21 is only historical. But it is difficult to ignore the multiple references throughout the Book of Isaiah to Kedar, Tema, Dedan and Dumah. Dumah is in Saudi Arabia near Yathrib (Medina), and today is known as “Dumat el-Jandal.” [Says Shoebat] “Contenders to this interpretation would have a difficult time refuting the very direct Biblical references. The names used in these passages make it clear that the reference is not to Rome or literal Babylon on the Euphrates River. Not once do they speak of Rome, Nineveh, Ur, Babel, Erech, Accad, Sumer, Assur, Calneh, Mari, Karana, Ellpi, Eridu, Kish, or Tikrit. All of these literal locations are in Arabia, which was part of the ancient Babylonian Empire. [iii]
White challenges that the cities listed, although they may refer accurately to cities in or near Saudi Arabia, automatically demands the conclusion that Isaiah was predicting a future Mystery Babylon since the prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled in Isaiah’s day. Specifically, the prophecy was realized during the reign of King Hezekiah, who unwisely (against the counsel of God’s prophet Isaiah), joined a rebellion led by an unfortunate rebel, Merodach-Baladan, who took control of the then city of Babylon (it was destroyed and rebuilt afterwards) and came against the Assyrian Empire (100 years before the day of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, who lived in the seventh century B.C.). This deepened hostilities between Israel and Assyria, that would eventually culminate in the destruction of Israel – the northern Kingdom – with its peoples soon scattered to the four winds. White summarizes the prophecy and its fulfillment with some fascinating historical details that are unlikely to be familiar to most readers:
The battle, when it finally came, was devastating for the rebel alliance. The Assyrian king, Sennacherib, who by this time was totally fed up with all the trouble that the city of Babylon was causing Assyria, completely destroyed the city. The complete destruction of Babylon and its temples, down to the foundations, is attested to in the historical inscriptions of the time as well as by modern archeologists. The destruction of Babylon shocked the world, mainly because temples in the city, which were considered very holy by many in the area, were also destroyed. Later when Sennacherib’s sons assassinated him, they seemed to suggest it was in retaliation for his completely destroying Babylon and its temples. Eight years later, the Assyrians began rebuilding the city from scratch. This marks the only time in history that the city of Babylon was completely destroyed. [iv] [Emphasis mine]
White proceeds to dismantle the relevance of the cities mentioned in Isaiah as they play into the historical account of this rebellion. He suggests there is no obvious reason to suspect that Isaiah 21 has a “double fulfillment” in the last days and even less reason to speculate that Saudi Arabia is the best candidate to fulfill the prophecies of “Mystery Babylon” just because (1) Mecca is a city in Saudi Arabia; (2) Mecca is a city where Islam is centered, a religion that is avowedly anti-Christian. Shoebat’s argument is, in effect, circular.
Furthermore, I would make the point that Islam constitutes a rather obvious variant of Christianity, replacing Jesus as the central figure, affirming that God is one, and that Mohammed’s Quran and his sayings (the Hadiths) simply replace the New Testament and most of the Old. There is no mystery here at all. Mecca is well known and it is quite well established that it opposes God of the Bible and His son, Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the identification of Mystery Babylon is not obvious. It represents many heresies and different instances of opposition to God across the globe and since time immemorial. The false religion of Babylon does provide the foundation for virtually all major religions of the world except Biblical Judaism and Protestant Christianity. As I and others have said, the story of the Bible is the tale of two cities, Holy Jerusalem and unholy Babylon.
Unlike Mystery Babylon in Revelation (a city Revelation says is divided into three parts), Mecca possesses only a religious element – it has neither political power nor economic hegemony. In GDP, Saudi Arabia ranks no better than thirteenth in the world. Saudi Arabia is important economically because it has supported the Petrodollar within OPEC, insisting it remains the only way oil can be bought and sold. This world currency built on oil (note: a commodity produced in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. in near equal amounts), does not make Saudi Arabia a global economic power comparable to the Anglo-alliance of Wall Street and the City of London. Compared to the U.S., which I argue is a much better candidate for Mystery Babylon in these last days (as it has all elements of Babylon down pat), Saudi Arabia pales in comparison.
Many teachers counsel that we should think of Mystery Babylon, first and foremost, as a global “system” opposed to God, and not one city, nation, or religion in particular. Troy Anderson and Paul McGuire advance this thesis in their latest offering, The Babylon Code. However, Revelation’s references seem to indicate that while it is more than one city and one nation, there may well be one city and one nation that as an icon, represents the system as a whole. It is my view that we aren’t dealing with an “either/or” reality. Mystery Babylon consists of many things, but is incarnated in a city and nation, just like Jerusalem and Israel are icons of the Holy City and the People of God but exists also as a geographical city and nation state. Mysery Babylon incarnates the evil of ancient Babylon and promotes its “wares” worldwide, dominating in virtually every category of power that matters most: political, economic, military, cultural, and even in its dominant religion. The U.S.A. qualifies in the first four categories. “But in religion?” you ask. Yes, I believe in religion also, when one considers America’s obsession with the paranormal, the New Age Movement and teachings, Luciferianism, and explicit Satanism. The U.S. initiated transhumanism with the eugenics movement (that the Germans learned from us) beginning at the turn of the twentieth century. Slightly before that, in the 1890s, Buddhism was virtually dead until Henry Steel Olcott rekindled it working in tandem with Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky when the Theosophical Society of America was founded in New York City.
The U.S. continues to export perhaps the world’s most evangelistic religion growing at the fastest rate of any religion: Mormonism, founded by Joseph Smith in the 1830s on principles borrowed from the occult and Freemasonry. More generally, occultism blossomed especially well throughout New England and New York from the 1820s until the 1920s. Luciferianism was at the base of Lucis Trust (founded by Alice Ann Bailey and her husband Foster Bailey) still associated with the United Nations. The New World Order is more than a catchphrase, centered in New York City with such institutions as the Council on Foreign Relations and unofficially manifested in the United Nations. Indeed, it was America’s elite that has attempted to conjure world peace for almost a century, beginning after the First World War with the League of Nations, then after the Second World War with the U.N., and finally as the Leader of the Free World to create “ex officio” global government through the NWO, constructing the economic means to do so with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the International Bank of Settlements. The United States of America has created and cultivated what constitutes the most dominating form of secular humanism the world has ever known. Yes, in religion too, the United States has supplied the world its most complete and compelling spiritual enterprise.
In all of these respects, the United States stands without equal worldwide. While most Christians assume that America was founded a “Christian Nation”, this is debatable as most of the nation’s founders were Freemasons and deists. Consumerism and corporatism drive most of our top politicians, corporate leaders, and entertainers, serving as the underlying basis for what we could now call “this godless endeavor”. (See this author’s in depth study: Power Quest, Book One: America’s Obsession with the Paranormal, to understand why America’s religious affections are the essential stuff of Mystery Babylon.)
In the final analysis, there are a number of candidates for Mystery Babylon: The Roman Catholic Church, the United States, as well as a physically rebuilt and restored Babylon on the Euphrates. Author Chris White, cited in this post, contends that Jerusalem is his candidate for Mystery Babylon primarily due to the accounts in Ezekiel regarding the decadent worship of the Jews before Nebuchadnezzar hauled them away to Babylon in two stages, 606 and 587 B.C. However, if we consider which city has the strongest case to fulfill Mystery Babylon based solely upon religious influence, one would have to argue it is Rome or Mecca. However, if we consider all things including the “religion of money” worshipped on Wall Street, and which entity is the most dominating political, military, economic, a city and a country that rules the world today, it really is no contest. Unfortunately, when pointing a finger at the guilty party, that finger is best pointed at our country, the United States and the city that is the city of the world, New York City, home to the center of commerce on Wall Street and the center of global governance at the United Nations. The corrupt religion of unfettered capitalism is hosted there as well. Compared to New York City, Mecca doesn’t stand a chance.
This weekend, the Kindle Editions of all three of my “Mystery Babylon” books, Power Quest, Books One and Two, The Final Babylon, and Mistaken Identity: The Case Against the Islamic Antichrist, from which this article was drawn, will be priced at $5.99. You can find these books at my author page at Amazon.com. Click HERE.
[i] In a personal conversation, Richardson indicated that it is certainly one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible.
[ii] Ibid., Kindle Locations 1084-1085.
[iii] Ibid., Kindle Locations 1109-1116. Citation from Shoebat and Richardson, God’s War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible (p. 396). Top Executive Media, Kindle Edition.
[iv] Ibid., Kindle Locations 1144-1150.