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Particulars of Christianity:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)

Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 7)

Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 3)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 4)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 5)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 6)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 7)

Articles 7-12
Articles 13-18
Articles 19-25
Articles 26-29

From our examination of the relationship of the great city, Mystery Babylon, to the empire of the False Prophet and the empire of the Antichrist we can see an interesting, but clear scenario depicted in the scripture. Apparently, the kingdom of the Antichrist in accordance with the will of its 10 kings and their hatred of the harlot, will attack and destroy the chief city of the seventh empire, the empire of the False Prophet.

This may seem like a startling event since the False Prophet and Antichrist are clearly described in Revelation 13 as working together. But we must remember that while the 10 kings make up the empire of the Antichrist, the text is careful to place the responsibility of this destruction of Babylon the great city with the 10 kings and not the Antichrist himself. It is the 10 kings, and not the Antichrist himself, who are said to hate the end-times harlot city.

This is a critical distinction that must be made. While the Antichrist and False Prophet are working together, it seems that they pit their kingdoms against one another in some respect in order to advance their agenda. And this makes sense with Daniel 2 where we see this very idea presented in the feet of the statue.

Daniel 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

This excerpt from Daniel 2 supports this same idea regarding the enmity that will exist, not between the Antichrist and the False Prophet themselves, but between their respective empires represented by the iron and the clay. Verse 43 tells us that though the unification of these two kingdoms will be attempted, it will not work, just as iron will not mix with clay. And verse 42 states that while the part of the kingdom that is iron will be strong, the part that is clay will be broken.

The word translated as "broken" in verse 42 is the Aramaic word "tebar" (8406). It is used only one time in the Bible here in Daniel 2:42. However, it corresponds to the Hebrew word "shabar" (7665). Both words carry the idea of being broken or destroyed.

08406 t@bar (Aramaic) teb-ar'
corresponding to 07665; TWOT-3052; v
AV-break 1; 1
1) to break (P'al) broken in pieces (participle)

07665 shabar shaw-bar'
a primitive root; TWOT-2321; v
AV-break 115, destroy 9, break in pieces 8, break down 4, hurt 3, torn 2, give birth 1, crush 1, quench 1, misc 6; 150
1) to break, break in pieces
1a) (Qal)
1a1) break, break in or down, rend violently, wreck, crush, quench
1a2) to break, rupture (fig)
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to be broken, be maimed, be crippled, be wrecked
1b2) to be broken, be crushed (fig)
1c) (Piel) to shatter, break
1d) (Hiphil) to cause to break out, bring to the birth
1e) (Hophal) to be broken, be shattered

While the Aramaic word "tebar" occurs only once, its Hebrew counterpart "shebar" is used many times. In the book of Daniel it occurs 8 times.

Daniel 8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake (07665) his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken (07665); and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

Daniel 8:22 Now that being broken (07665), whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Daniel 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken (07665) without hand.

Daniel 11:4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken (07665), and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

Daniel 11:20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed (07665), neither in anger, nor in battle.

Daniel 11:22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken (07665); yea, also the prince of the covenant.

Daniel 11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy (07665) him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

It is clear from the use of this word "shebar" in the Book of Daniel that what chapter 8:42 is portraying is that the clay, which represents the empire of the False Prophet, suffers some sort of destruction or loss of dominion that does not occur to the iron, which represents the empire of the Antichrist.

On the other hand the iron, which is the Antichrist's empire, is said to be strong. The word translated as "strong" in this verse is the Aramaic word "taqqiyph." This word is used a total of four times in Daniel. Besides its occurrence in verse 42, two other uses of this word are relevant here.

Daniel 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong (08624) as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong (08624) exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

As we have covered earlier in our study Daniel 2:40, Daniel 2:42, and Daniel 7:7 are all representations of the Roman empire and all depict it as iron. Both Daniel 2:40 and Daniel 7:7 qualify Rome's strength in its destructive ability to break to pieces and subdue the other empires or nations. This is what is indicated by the phrase "stamped the residue" in chapter 7. The word residue is the Aramaic word "shehar" which means "the rest." Therefore, verse 7 is describing that Rome will break and devour the rest of the kingdoms.

So we see here the idea presented that Rome, symbolized by iron, will break other kingdoms to pieces and devour them. The word translated as "devoured" in Daniel 7:7 is the Aramaic word "akal" (399). It means "to eat the pieces of." And isn't this exactly what we see the 10 kings of the Antichrist's empire do to the great city, Mystery Babylon? Yes, it is.

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

From all of this we can see decisively that Daniel 2 and Revelation 17 describe that the 10 kings of the empire of the Antichrist will destroy the great city of the empire of the False Prophet. So, while the Antichrist and the False Prophet are working cooperatively as Revelation 13 establishes, we also know that the deception of the kings of the earth that is orchestrated and carried out by these two individuals is given no small amount of attention in the Book of Revelation. From this we must comprehend that their cooperation with one another may involve some complexity and cunning strategy, which may not be easily understood at the time, which apparently includes the destruction of the great city of the False Prophet's empire.

Now that we have concluded our study of Mystery Babylon we will summarize its defining characteristics that we have uncovered in this study.

Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth is:

1. The inheritors of the ancient mystery religions that originated in Egypt and Babylon, (including Gnosticism) and were present in all of the seven empires. These people:
a. Murder the people of God.
b. Instigate and legally institute idolatry and spiritual adultery.
c. Practice sorcery, astrology, magic, divination, etc.
d. Hold secret knowledge of, among other things the changing of the times, which is the time when one kingdom will fall and be replaced by another.
e. Believe in a plurality of gods.
f. Believe that the gods do not dwell in flesh.
g. Believe in a hierarchy of gods emanating out from the supreme god.
h. Believe that higher gods can reveal deeper truths and hidden mysteries.
i. Believe that man can ascend to divinity through the acquisition of secret knowledge from these gods.
j. Believe that only by practicing secret rituals, rites, and mysteries can we achieve salvation by acquiring secret knowledge and enlightenment from the gods and so free the human spirit from the evil physical world and eventually become one with god.
k. Believe in and are devoted to mother goddesses.

2. The great city in which these men live and from which they wield their influence, which transfers from the leading city of each empire to its successor. In the last days this city will be:
a. A rich city.
b. Mourned by shipmasters and sailors.
c. A center of world trade.
d. The seat of world political power.
e. The source of global deception.
f. An ethnically diverse city.
g. The leading city of the empire of the False Prophet.
h. Destroyed by the 10 kings of the Antichrist's empire, the revived Roman empire.
i. Does not have to be Babylon, Iraq or Rome, Italy though these may be possibilities.

As we close this section, we would like to make one final note on our assertion that the "great city" of Mystery Babylon refers not only to an actual city but also to a society of mystery cults that has existed and flourished in the great empires of history, particularly those depicted as the prominent empires of the Bible. Despite the evidence both Biblically and historically that we have covered to establish this point, some people will no doubt cling so tightly to the fact that Mystery Babylon is an actual city that they hesitate to accept that it also refers to a society of people as well.

And there will be some who insist because of Revelation 17:9 and 18 that Mystery Babylon is only a city that resides on seven hills, and cannot be interpreted as a society at all. In addition to all the evidence to the contrary that we have already provided in this study, we would make one final reference in this regard and that reference comes from Jesus himself in Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Here Jesus Christ compares his disciples to a city that is set on a hill. While a direct correlation between Matthew 5:14 and Revelation 17 and 18 is not possible or even necessary, what is clear from this passage is that the idea of a city referring to a society of people is not a foreign concept in the scripture. In fact, this idea that the saints are "a city on a hill" is one of the common metaphors that Christians apply to the body of Christ. Therefore, the suggestion that the "city" of Revelation 17 and 18 refers not just to a literal city but also to a society (a global and historic mystery cult) cannot be rejected out of hand and the evidence, which we have presented to establish that conclusion, should be allowed to speak for itself. The symbol of a city and the symbol of a woman are used throughout the scripture, including the book of Revelation specifically, to represent groups of people. In some cases they are used to depict God's people and in some cases they are used to depict idolaters and unbelievers.

We now conclude this study with a final summary list of our findings.

1. A series of unfolding historic empires can be represented collectively using a single, symbolic entity (such as the statue of Daniel 2 or the seven-headed beast of Revelation 13.)
2. The phrases "out of the earth" and "out of the sea" are used interchangeably by Daniel and, therefore, no great significance should be attached in the effort to distinguish between them.
3. Daniel 2, 7, and 8 as well as Revelation 13 all depict the same succession of 7 empires starting with Egypt and Assyria, then Babylon, then Media-Persia, then Greece, then Rome (along with another nation represented by the clay), and finally the coming of the kingdom of God, when the saints possess the kingdom.
4. While Daniel 7 depicts the kingdoms of gold, silver, brass, and iron from Daniel 2 as four beasts but does not depict a beast representing the kingdom of clay, Revelation 13:11 finally depicts a beast, which corresponds to the kingdom of clay.
5. Something of the Roman kingdom exists in two time periods, the time period of the legs before the clay is introduced into the statue and in the time of the feet and toes after the clay is introduced into the statue. Likewise, Revelation 13 depicts the restoration of a former head that was defeated by war to exist side by side with a second beast. This coexistence of a former empire with a new empire is identical to the coexistence of the iron and the clay in the feet of Daniel 2's statue.
6. Beasts represent two items, both kings and their kingdoms.
7. Likewise, the word "mountain" in Revelation 17 is an established poetic reference to a kingdom. And so the heads of the beast in Revelation 13 and 17 represent both kings and their kingdoms, with four of the heads corresponding to the four beasts of Daniel 7, one head corresponding with the second beast of Revelation 13, and the other two heads representing the past empires of Egypt and Assyria.
8. Although the second beast of Revelation 13 does represent the single human figure known as the False Prophet, because the biblical precedent for the symbol of a beast never depicts just a king or ruler but the king and the kingdom he rules, we must understand from the second beast of Revelation 13 that the False Prophet is himself a ruler over a kingdom or empire in the same way that the kings of Daniel 7 and 8 were rulers over actual geo-political kingdoms.
9. Horns also represent kings and, unless specified by the text, horns represent contemporary kings, not a succession or line of kings.
10. Although horns represent kingdoms that arise out of an empire that precedes them, the kingdoms represented by those horns do NOT have to be situated geographically in the same region as the preceding empire. The kingdoms represented by the horns can migrate significantly away from the geographic location of their imperial predecessor.
11. A beast with multiple heads represents an overarching political entity and the political powers that come from it, as was the case with the four-headed leopard of Greece and the seven-headed first beast of Revelation 13.
12. Angelic princes rule over the kingdoms of men, and specifically over the empires described in Daniel 2, 7, and 8.
13. The "prince of the people" who "destroyed the city and the sanctuary" is NOT the Antichrist, but the angelic prince who ruled over the Roman Empire.
14. The Roman angelic prince, whose people destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary just as Daniel 9:26 predicted, is known by the name or title Destroyer (Abaddon/Apollyon). He is the beast that is let out of the bottomless pit by the last of the seven angelic princes, who is depicted as being cast out of heaven to earth in Revelation 9 and 12 at the start of the final three and a half years prior to the Millennial reign of Christ.
15. The last angelic prince is not cast out of heaven and does not come down to earth until this final three and a half years, however, the casting out of the Roman prince and his coming to earth are depicted as occurring in the final days before Jesus' crucifixion in John 12 and 14. But by the final three and a half years, this Roman angelic prince has been put down in the pit.
16. This Roman prince (who is the spirit behind the human antichrist) "yet is" in the first century when John wrote his epistles (see 1 John 4), but is described as "was, is not, and shall ascend out of the pit" in terms of his overall history in Revelation 17:8 and 11 because he reigns on earth for a time, then disappears from the earth when he is put down in the pit, and then reemerges again when he is released in the last days.
17. Putting all of this together we can see that Daniel's writings recorded and anticipated a succession of the following empires: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, Rome, another yet unknown represented by the clay and the second beast of Revelation 13, and finally a Jewish empire or kingdom ruled over by Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah, the Prince of princes.
18. While the harlot of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 refers to an actual city, and may indeed be Rome, Italy, it does not necessarily have to be Rome, Italy but could very well be another modern city.
19. While the harlot of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 refers to an actual city, as a symbol it most certainly also includes the mystery cult society, which has been present and politically prominent in all 7 of the major Biblical Gentile empires, which has migrated from empire to empire particularly in the capital or most prominent city, which has used its political influence to persecute the people of God, entrap them legally, and to institute idolatry and empire worship through the legal institutions of those empires.

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