Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Looking Further East

Last week I mentioned that our imaginations have been hijacked when dealing with some bible prophesy due to the anti-christian sentiments of Edward Gibbon and his 1,000 year premature pronouncement of  the death of the Roman Empire. Because Gibbon put the death of Rome in Rome and not in Constantinople I believe we're looking too far west when we try to imagine the outcome of end times prophesy.

Currently I'm reading the two books that raise a LOT of questions. These books being the Bible (as always) and A Woman Rides The Beast by Dave Hunt. If you read the bible in a spiritual manner your view of God and the way he wants to be worshiped evolves always for the better, and if you read A Woman Rides The Beast in a Berean manner (looking up references and making decisions for yourself) your view of how the Catholic church wishes to be worshiped evolves too. A Woman Rides The Beast is an excellent historical exploration of the multitude of sins of the Roman Catholic Church, however if you are prone to anger I suggest you do not read it. Dave Hunt postulates that Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17 & 18 is the Vatican, and he makes a very good case, and he may be 100% correct. But then again he may not be correct. I personally think that as westerners our eyes were drawn to the west of the true Mystery Babylon due to Edward Gibbon's ham fisted treatment of the true history of the Roman empire and his hatred of Christianity and his love of Islam. 

For us here on earth Bible prophesy is not set in stone, God gave it to us to ponder and wonder over and when it comes to pass we can look back and say "How wonderful is our God! (and how did I miss that, it was so obvious!)" It's meant to be interesting, and maybe even fun to consider and I'm sorry but for my militant Pre-VS-Post trib friends, how we interpret Bible prophesy has nothing to do with our salvation, it is the redeeming blood of our savior Jesus Christ that is our salvation. So with that in mind let's look at a few things regarding Mystery Babylon and see if there's anything interesting to see if we look further east. 

Mystery Babylon comes to us in chapter 17 of the Book of Revelation:
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. 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, 5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. (Revelation 17:3-6)
We know this isn't a real woman because we are told in verse 18
The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18)
And we know that this city rests on seven mountains or hills because we are told in verse 9
Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits (Revelation 17:9)
Can you name a great city that sits on seven mountains or hills? Of course everyone knows the answer to that question: Albany NY. No? Maybe Yonkers. Both are built on seven hills. Personally I consider both evil, but then St. Paul is built on seven hills and that place is pretty nice. But when we talk about bible prophesy it's pretty fair to say that Albany, St. Paul, and even Yonkers are not part of prophesy. However Rome is built on seven hills, and Dave Hunt makes a good case that Rome is the Mystery Babylon of Revelation. But if we look east we can also see that New Rome, or as it came to be called Constantinople also sits on seven hills. But there is another city worth considering: Mecca. Mecca claims to be built on seven hills (It's listed in Wikipedia's list of cities that claim to be built on seven hills) but unlike the hills of Rome and Constantinople I can't find a reference to the seven hills (or mountains) of Mecca.

Then again are these seven mountains in Revelation 17:9 mountains made of rock and dirt? or are they more philosophical mountains? The New Apostolic Reformation has seven mountains; Business, Government, Family, Religion, Media, Education, Entertainment. In this case Mecca has seven mountains too: Guardianship, Purity, Prayer, Charity, Fasting, Pilgrimage, and Jihad - the seven pillars of Islam. Could this be what "Here is the mind which has wisdom" seems to infer? 

While the term "MOTHER OF HARLOTS" seems to harken to the Vatican's blood splattered, greed fueled, history of vice and corruption, the name is also a title of the pagan Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar was the goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. She was also called Astarte, or in the bible Ashtoreth (Judges 3:7, Judges 10:6 and many other verses) and pagan worship of Ashtoreth was a huge problem for Israel up to the point where God sent in Babylon to clean house. But the term Mother of Harlots is an Arabic term for Ishtar, the moon goddess.

We can see the worship of Ishtar/Ashtoreth happening on the Arabian peninsula and throughout the middle east, we can also see the crescent being mounted atop some of the holiest sites of Christendom, the churches of Constantinople, after the fall of Constantinople. While sex and war (a favored way of worshiping Ishtar) were always popular past times in the Vatican, Ishtar was never worshiped there. (openly). However her popularity in the Middle East was only recently extinguished.

John describes the Mother of Harlots as 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. That's some pretty vivid imagery, and quite a wardrobe. Scarlet and Purple aren't just colors that she wore because that's what was hanging in the closet. These are two very important colors. Back when this prophesy was made clothing was not cheap, and if they were dyed it generally wasn't anything spectacular as dyes were expensive and hard to make. Therefore bright colors had meaning. Scarlet was the considered a color of power, wealth and luxury, and this imagery would not be lost on a first century man or woman. Purple was a very difficult dye to make and incredibly expensive so therefore became the color of kings and emperors. In the ancient world these colors had Meaning, Nero would have people caught wearing purple executed.

Therefore when we describe the harlot in purple and scarlet we're describing a city of great wealth and luxury, a playground of kings and/or emperors. Rome could be that that city, as it was quite wealthy for a while and it housed the emperor for almost 300 years. Vatican city could be that harlot too as the pope has set himself up to be above emperors, the pope decided who would be king and who would be emperor. The wealth of the world poured (pours) into Vatican city and of course the pope wears purple while his court wears scarlet. 

Looking further east however we see that Constantinople, which was the seat of the Emperor of the Roman Empire for 1100 years not only dripped in the wealth of the world, it was the hub of nearly all dye creation. In fact when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire the great dye works were destroyed and purple cloth disappeared from the earth until a substitute could be formulated. Constantinople was the trading hub of the world, it was the western hub of the great caravan routes to the east. The kings of meaningless western mudpits (like Normandy, France, Romania) would come to Constantinople, hat in hand, and vow fealty for a bolt of Byzantine silk. The wealth and splendor of Constantinople made it the envy of the world, almost like we see today in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is as rich and powerful as Constantinople ever was. Not many of my readers have been to Saudi Arabia because it is closed to western tourists, however I've been there. Saudi Arabia pays good money to the US, Great Britain, Germany and France for protection, so plenty of us grunts have gone over there to suck sand and sweat under the desert sun so the incredibly rich Saudi princes can rat race around the desert in their Bugatti and their Ferrari toys without worry of invasion by their jealous neighbors. Oil money pours into that country as does gold, diamonds, and luxuries of almost any desire. And so do slaves, I've met some. Poor people pour into Saudi Arabia promised a job with good pay and find out that their passports have been confiscated, the good pay was a lie and they have no way home.

And at the center of this lies Mecca. Every Muslim on earth worships Mecca 5 times a day and at some point in their life they must travel there for a religious festival where they end up kissing a rock. And of course Saudi Arabia is going to get their hands into the pocket books of these pilgrims. Muslim I've spoken to from all over the world hold Saudi Arabia in disdain for their treatment of pilgrims and the raging hypocrisy and tyranny of the wahhabi form of Sunni Islam. And let us not forget that Saudi Arabia is a kingdom, one of the few left on earth. 

So could the harlot be Rome? Martin Luther thought so. Constantinople? It could fit the description too. Mecca? Quite possibly. Maybe there's more we can look at. 


  1. Sorry, there's no question about it. IT'S ROME. Not only is it specifically pointed out as Rome, "The Great City who Rules over the Kings of the Earth", and sits on Seven Hills, She's also called Babylon - Strong's Concordance lists the reference to "Babylon" as metaphorically meaning "Rome" not Constantinople. Peter references Rome as Babylon... 1 Peter 5:13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. It's Rome, pure and simple - it can't be anything else.

    1. Very good points - but in my defence Rome is both a city and an Empire. If Peter is talking about Rome the empire and if Babylon is a place it could be the city of Rome, or Constantinople which is on seven hills and was the capitol of the Roman empire far longer than the city of Rome (330 AD to May 29, 1453. Or it could even be Jerusalem which sits on seven hills.

      That idea of "Mystery Babylon as Place" being Jerusalem is becoming a favorite of mine because the bible is all about Jerusalem. From Abraham sacrificing Isaac on Mt Moriah which would eventually be renamed Mt. Zion and covered with Jerusalem, to the Epistles that are written to the Christians back in Jerusalem, the bible is all about Jerusalem and its inhabitants.

      The idea of "Mystery Babylon as System" is also very compelling. I've heard a great sermon about Mystery Babylon being the world wide economic system and some very compelling, very biblical arguments were given for that straight from the book of Revelation.

      Any way about it, God's plan is perfect and His will is absolute. If you remember not too long ago we all were sure that Jesus would come again in 1988 because that is 40 years, one generation, after the reforming of Israel. 1988 came and went and no second advent. I'm absolutely sure that some day we'll meet in Heaven and both say "How did I miss THAT?" God's prophecies are always correct and always misinterpreted even by the most prayerful until His will is fully revealed.