David Rosenthal, the director of operations for Zion's Hope, addresses this important topic of the identity of "Mystery Babylon" -- biblically, historically, and politically. There have been many suppositions about who, what, and where "Mystery Babylon" is located. David explores details and an increasingly possible, even probable, answer to this riddle.
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NOTE - from Michael J. Young, pastor-teacher and founder of White Stone Fellowship:
David Rosenthal and this teaching is the most succinct, level-headed, balanced, studied and bibllically accurate teaching on the matters of End Times and the coming Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. This is truly an "anointed teaching" and necessary for your preparation for what is coming upon earth and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. Enjoy and learn!
There is much debate and discussion about the identity of the SEVEN HEADS, THE TEN HORNS (Ezekiel 38, Daniel 7,9, Revelation 17) and BAYBLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.
To be clear, this discussion is interesting and could be helpful to some, but generally, it has nothing to do with our responsibilities to prepare, as followers and disciples of Jesus, and to being about His Work
in these Last Days.
With that said...
The Bible calls this a mystery for good reason. But, in Revelation 17:9, we read "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
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.
11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.
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.
13 "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
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."
15 And he *said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
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.
Here are two views, one from David Guzik (Enduring Word Bible Commentary) and David Rosenthal (Videos posted above - video Part 2, in particular):
3. (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. (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).
i. There are problems with this viewpoint as well (so some have taken the seven as symbolic). This plainly is a difficult passage!
5. (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.
a. Is 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. (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.
a. 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.
i. “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)
b. 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.
i. 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.
ii. 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: 10 Nation Confederation (THE HEADS) of the BEAST Ezekiel 38, of Daniel 7,9 and Revelation 17:
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.
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
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.
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.
5. Tubal - a region in east Asia Minor, perhaps nearly equal to Cappadocia
6. Persia - Iran
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.
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.
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.
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)
c. 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).
d. 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.
i. 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.