Saturday, August 25, 2012

Are the Tribulation Temple and Abomination of Desolation Literal or Figures of Speech

Recently I have been in a dialogue online with a group of people who are espousing, in my mind, some very strange and interesting interpretations of the abomination of desolation of Daniel's 70th week. I tried to understand their viewpoint and reasoning, but quite honestly it was so lacking in coherence and logic that I found it difficult to follow. Basically they held to a spiritualized interpretation of the event, which in and of itself can lead to some very strange conclusions. What I managed to gather that they believe is, first they do not expect a real literal temple to be built. They believe that all references to the temple in the New Testament must refer to the Christian's body. Now this is not a totally uncommon theory, so I was not completely surprised at this since they took a spiritualized rather than literal approach to Scripture. Second, they feel that the first half of the 70th week was Christ's ministry and that his crucifixion was the abomination of desolation or rather the first in a list of abominations that somehow they fit into this mid-point (which according to this theory continues for the last 2000 years) of the 70th week. This is followed by another literal three and a half year period beginning with a spiritualized abomination of desolation initiated by the antichrist. Quite honestly I found it very difficult to follow the ideas, as not only were they a little obscure, but the manner in which the information was delivered was very disjunct, peppered with oblique spiritual comments that interrupted the flow of information, and a lack of reference points for many comments to enable the reader to know the point being discussed. I decided that even though I have written a very detailed Bible study on Daniel in my endtimes blog, I needed to write something on this subject alone, just out of a need to purge my pure frustration, in that when I tried to discuss taking a literal approach to these Scriptures with them, they could not see any logic to what I was saying. Quite frankly this puzzled me, as I merely took the verses at face value and in order, as I believe God wants us to take them. So for my own benefit and hopefully the reader's, I would like to look at the Scriptures surrounding the temple and the abomination of desolation to see if they are literal things or just ideas which have no material substance, as this group insisted.

I think a good place to start is with the New Testament references to anything having to do with the temple or abomination of desolation, as Daniel was sealed until the end of the age, while the New Testament Scriptures were not, so we need to see how we should understand the temple and abomination in the New Testament first, then reference back to Daniel as Christ told us to do.

Matthew 24:15-21 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Mark 13:14-19 “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains. And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”

Luke 21:20-23 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. ”

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

Revelation 11:1-2 “ And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”

What do all of these verses say? First in Matthew we are told there will be an (singular) abomination of desolation. It is the abomination of desolation, not a list of abominations as some might believe. Second we are told that this abomination is referenced in Daniel, so when we go to Daniel we should expect to find some reference to a particular abomination. Now this is important to remember, for there are references in Daniel to abominations as in plural events, but this is one specific event which stands out from the rest. The Greek word for “abomination” is “bdelugma” meaning a detestable thing of idolatry. The Greek word for “desolation” is “eremosis” which is derived from a word which means “to lay waste.” Next we are told that we will see this abomination. Christ is talking to His disciples who were believers. Therefore we must understand that 1) since He was talking to His followers, by extension He is talking to us, and 2) since only Christians study the New Testament, the information in this passage does apply to Christians, as the gospels were written for believers. Then it must also follow that as in this passage He is speaking to those who live in Judea (now the West Bank), He must also be speaking about unbelieving Jews as well. Therefore the conclusion must be that this passage is not meant strictly for Jews or Christians, but for the entire world, Jews and Gentiles alike. Antichrist's blasphemous act will affect the entire world. However only Christians who study this will have foreknowledge of the event. Which then brings us to the conclusion that if Jews should know to flee, if this information was also for them, there must be something other than the New Testament which clues them in. Christ gave us the answer to that problem when He referenced Daniel, which Jews would know and therefore recognize this event as something from their history.

Next we are told that we will see this event. That seems fairly straightforward and understandable as is, but there are those who actually reinterpret this word to mean something other than “to see,” so we need to study what is meant by the word “see.” The Greek word for “see” is “eido” which means “to see literally, or to know about or be aware of.” The entire world will either see or be made aware that this event has transpired. This abomination will stand in a holy place. The Greek word for “stand” is “histemi” which means “to stand” as in being established. It can be meant either literally, as something is set up, or it can be meant figuratively as in something will be established (such as a rule that must be obeyed). Then we are told that this detestable thing of idolatry will be established in a holy place. The word for “holy” is “hagios” meaning sacred and the word for “place” is “topos” meaning spot or location, but in the sense of a very limited space or place, not in a general area. In other words, a very particular spot in a place such as a room or street corner, that sort of idea. So to recap, we are told that when we (everyone in the world) literally see and become aware of a detestable object of idolatry which will lay waste and desecrate the sacred spot (think a location as in the size of a room or so and the only sacred spot of God is found on the temple mount), those in Judea should flee to the mountains as quickly as possible from wherever they are without even returning home to grab their things, for then there will be great tribulation such as the world has never seen before. He tells those of us who study the gospels (whoso readeth) that we should look to the book of Daniel to reference this event (let him understand) and realize in advance what will happen.

Now Christ makes a very deliberate point of saying that the reader needs to understand this, and that he will understand it through the reference in Daniel, so that we will know exactly what to look for. As we will recognize the repeat of the abomination of idolatry that has already happened once before in the book of Daniel, we will recognize it as the precursor to the Great Tribulation. Specifically when it is seen, the people in Judea are to flee for their lives to the mountains without a moment's hesitation, as even Hitler's holocaust will seem tame by comparison to what is about to happen. So it appears that it will be something that everyone will see at the same time. This will be a very visible event, not some spiritual happening in the hearts of men which can neither be seen literally by the world nor pinpointed as being a single event. This must of necessity be something physical that occurs and occurs at one time in one place. So let us again recap what Christ said. He said that when we (everyone) either literally see or are made aware of a detestable form or object of idolatry, which will lay waste and desecrate the sacred spot (this is a limited location at God's only sacred spot – on the temple mount), set up or established in that spot, those who are in the land of Judea (today that is the West Bank) should run for their lives to the mountains without stopping to grab anything from home. We (the readers of the gospels) [Christ must have foreseen that Christians would not read the O.T. as a rule, so sent us there so that we would understand this event more thoroughly] should have already looked to the book of Daniel to reference this event, which has been foreshadowed there. And the Jews, by already knowing the book of Daniel, will also recognize this event as having occurred before. This is a straightforward literal reading of what Christ said.

This event is described again in Mark in the same way, with the addition of the fact that this abomination is standing where it ought not to be. In other words, it is totally forbidden for it to be there. It is also referenced more obliquely in Luke. In Luke we are merely told that when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, then we should know that desolation is about to occur. Now one of the arguments used against believing that the abomination is by necessity a physical event, as there has to be a signal to people that they have to flee, is that because Luke tells us that armies will surround Jerusalem, that is what tells the people to flee to the mountains, so the abomination need not be a physical event for people to see. The problem with this reasoning is, two of the three writers of the gospels do not mention the armies – at all. In other words, it is the abomination that is the event that signals people to run. In Luke we are told that the armies signal to us that the abomination is about to occur, so those who have studied these passages will realize what is about to occur and can warn people to leave earlier, making their escape a more sure thing, but it is the abomination that is the key. It is that event which all those in Judea (meaning Jews, not Christians), those who have not studied these passages of Scripture, will suddenly recognize as something that has occurred before.

From all these verses one can gather that there will be something that is easily recognizable (from referencing the same situation in Daniel) as an idol or an event that creates a situation for idolatry to be carried on. It will be set up (if an idol) or established (if a situation) on a specific spot in a place that is considered sacred. (the temple mount). This can only be a literal event of some kind. I don't know how the reader perceives it, but it is extremely difficult to see how this passage can be spiritualized to mean a spiritual invisible happening within a Christian's body or heart. And if we were to establish an idol in our hearts (bodies) would that not mean we have forsaken Christ? If the Christian's body is the temple of God, and a Christian rejects antichrist as God, he would then not sit in the temple of God. To sit in the temple of God, temple meaning a Christian's body or heart, declaring himself God, it would mean that they have put him there replacing Christ.

The problem with this spiritualized interpretation then becomes, how would everyone in Judea be aware of this invisible event happening in the hearts of Christians that tells them they should flee to the mountains? One cannot simply reference Luke and say the armies would do this. Matthew and Mark say that Christ said the abomination would be the key to their fleeing. They do not even mention the armies. And why should Jews flee to the mountains because Christians have adopted an idol in their hearts? What difference would it make to a Jew in whom a Christian believes? And as the ones in Judea are Jews, not Christians, and have no idea what the New Testament says about this event, how will they recognize a situation that telegraphs to them that something is terribly wrong, even if there are armies surrounding the city? The clue is in what Christ told us to reference in Daniel. Jews are aware of the events in the book of Daniel that are historic and therefore we must now realize that what happens is something that was described in the book of Daniel that Jews will recognize as being a repeat of an abomination that has already occurred.

Now at this point, I should mention that some people think this abomination refers to the Romans destroying the temple in 70 AD, (they get this from Daniel as we will shortly see) as that event made people flee Jerusalem when armies surrounded the city, and it was yet a future event when Christ spoke on the Mount of Olives. But that is impossible, as Christ tells us that when this event occurs there will be great tribulation such as the world has never seen before. That has not occurred. This is exactly why armies surrounding the city cannot be said to be the sign before the Great Tribulation that will signal people that the abomination has happened. Armies have surrounded the city before and will again. It is not the sign to which Christ was referring when He said that when they see it they should flee. Not that they should not flee any time they see armies surrounding the city. It would be a good idea, even if it does not signal the start of the Great Tribulation, but still it is not the sign to which Christ referred. It will be the abomination, not the armies that is the crucial sign that the Great Tribulation is beginning. Further, when the temple was destroyed, there was not a detestable idolatrous thing set up. Instead the temple of God was torn down. So this event in the gospels could not be speaking of the Roman armies destroying the temple and city as the abomination.

Before going to the book of Daniel to see what the event was that Christ was referencing, we need to look at the rest of the verses in the New Testament. In Thessalonians Paul tells us that the man of sin, the son of perdition, more commonly known as the antichrist (or in Revelation, the beast), will exalt himself above all that is called God and sit in the temple of God declaring himself to be God. So what is the temple of God? It is this passage more than any other that people, who believe the abomination has to do with the body or heart, use to expound upon their theory on this issue. And it is this very verse when one looks at that way of interpreting it makes a completely illogical statement. We already know that something will “stand” in a place that is holy to God on earth, and here we see something that fits that description perfectly. And this place is one specific small location, not an accumulation of many small (the heart) locations, which is what the temple in this passage would have to be if it were referring to the hearts of Christians. There is only one specific location geographically that is holy to God and that is the temple mount. But even that is larger than is implied in Matthew when the word “place” is used. The implication is that it is a single spot. The holy place can be the two roomed temple proper, and it can go as far as to include the area around the temple where the altar and sacrifices occurred, but the implication with the verses is that even that is a little bigger than the area that this abomination occurs. This man of perdition sitting (establishing himself - “standing”) in the temple (the most holy place where the ark should sit and where he should not be sitting) demanding worship would certainly fit the bill of a detestable act of idolatry establishing itself in a place where it has no business being, as described in the gospels. And again, the idea that he sits in a temple of Christian's hearts is simply unfathomable, as if he did that, would not all Christians then no longer be Christians having forsaken God to replace Him with Satan in their heart? This interpretation is quite illogical to the grammar of the sentence.

One of the questions that must be asked of those who hold to the spiritualized view of the temple being the Christian's body is this. If (and I believe He is) God is trying to indicate a real physical temple on the temple mount, how else is He to refer to this in the Scriptures so that we understand that this is what He means? Would He not call it the temple of God? The word temple is the word used to describe the temple building. There simply is no other word to describe that building. Just because the word temple is also used in some places in the New Testament to refer to our body does not mean that it must always refer to it. In fact when looking at the Scriptures in context where it does refer to the body, the surrounding text makes it very clear that it is the body of the Christian that is being spoken about. That is not the case in these verses where the temple having to do with the abomination and 70th week is referenced. In these cases it becomes clear from looking at all of these verses together that it must be referring to a building. The fact that Christ refers us back to Daniel and an incident that happened at the second temple should clue us in that He is speaking of a physical temple. That was partly why He did reference Daniel, to make the point that He is not speaking of the Christian in these passages, (and at this time, people were not referred to as being the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit had not been given yet), but of a building that will be built on the temple mount (and which is the only way that the disciples would have understood the word temple).

Now having addressed the passage in Thessalonians, it is of interest to read the passage in Revelation 13 about the beast. Verses 11-15 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Clearly this is an abomination of idolatry. Is this also part of the abomination that lays waste the holy place?

We have seen the mention of a holy place and a temple in the verses covered so far. In all cases it seems that it is speaking of a literal place, specifically located on the temple mount. Now in Revelation 11:1-2 we see that John is given some instructions. He is given a reed like a rod. This reed is a measuring tool. It comes from a plant and is like a wooden stick or wand. In ancient times this was used to measure objects, and measuring something is exactly what John is told to do. Specifically he is told to measure the temple of God, and the altar. Clearly this is referring to a literal temple, as only a literal object can be measured with a measuring stick. And we are told that there is an altar. The Christian's body may be referred to as a temple in some of the Scriptures, but we are never called an altar. The altar always refers to a literal altar. So this is referring to a literal temple and a literal altar. He is also told to not include in his measuring the court which is outside of the temple, for it will not be a part of the temple complex. Clearly now we have a definitive description of a literal temple complex, as there is nothing about us that could be called a courtyard symbolically. This is a confirmation of the literal manner of interpreting the verses in the gospels and Thessalonians. This is a temple with an altar and a courtyard, which is being trampled by the Gentiles. We surmised from the Greek terms that the holy place that is abominated is a small location, probably only the temple proper itself. And here we are told that the court that is outside the temple is indeed not a part of the working temple. It is being trodden down by the Gentiles, something which is not allowed in the regulation temple complex. The Gentile court was the outermost part of the temple. They could not get anywhere near the actual temple itself. So this tells us that the tribulation temple that goes up will only be the temple itself with an altar, not an entire complex on the temple mount.

So all of these verses seem to confirm that indeed there will be a literal temple, one that will not be a full blown temple in the sense of having all the courtyards, but merely the temple proper itself and an altar at best. And in this temple the man of sin will take a seat establishing himself as a god, thinking himself above God, demanding worship for himself. Further the false prophet will create an image of him that is given the power to speak which people will be forced to choose between worshiping or dying.

It would appear from putting this all together that this man of sin's actions constitute the detestable thing or act of idolatry in the holy place that lays waste to the place. It is the abomination of desolation. Now we need to go to Daniel to see if we can confirm this interpretation by finding an event that occurred at the temple, where an act of idolatry and something detestable occurred which laid waste to the temple. And this event is something that the Jews, without ever having read the New Testament would immediately reference in their minds to know that something horrible was happening, so that they should get out of town as fast as possible, as this would be a repeat of something that has occurred before.

We find a reference to an event like this in Daniel 11:21,29-31 “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries......At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”

This event where a vile man polluted the sanctuary (temple) and took away the daily sacrifice, and placed an abomination that desolated the place is a well-known event. It is especially well-known to the Jews. This passage is describing the historical actions of Antiochus Epiphanes, who came to Jerusalem, slaughtered a pig on the altar, and set up a statue of Zeus in the temple. He also killed many Jews. The story is found in the books of the Maccabees. It was the Maccabee brothers who finally cleansed the temple and lit the menorah which burned for eight days on the oil of only one day's worth. This event is celebrated every year at Hanukkah. It is this event to which Christ was referring in Matthew 24 when he spoke of the abomination of desolation that occurred in Daniel that the reader should understand. It is also a prophetic passage that foreshadows the antichrist. Antiochus Epiphanes was the dress rehearsal, so to speak, for what antichrist will do. Now look at the similarity of the event we have seen described in the New Testament to this abomination. A man of sin comes to the temple, and commits an unspeakable act of blasphemy and idolatry in God's holy place. This is followed by terrible bloodshed of people. To which event do I refer? Hard to say, isn't it? Antiochus stops the daily sacrifice. Does the antichrist? One assumes that if the temple is in service again, and there is an altar (John is told to measure it), there will be sacrifices. Is there any indication that this stopping of the sacrifices as Antiochus did happens again? Christ said that the event in Daniel is a picture for us to reference in regard to the event that will happen before He returns. If that is so, we should find something that references a stopping of the sacrifices at the temple that will again be built besides this passage, which in foreshadowing antichrist indicates there will be sacrifices which will be stopped. And we do.

Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

This passage in Daniel 12 is the conclusion of the vision that God gave Daniel about the end of the age. Particularly this chapter speaks of the events of the last half of the 70th week (which we have yet to address). Verses in Revelation and elsewhere in Daniel tell us that the last half of the 70th week has three endings. The 1260th day is the end of the antichrist's reign. The 1290th day is the end of God's wrath, and the 1335th day (also mentioned in this chapter) is when the temple is most likely restored and consecrated and the millennium begun. Here in the above verse we are told that from the time the abomination is set up and the daily sacrifice is stopped there will be 1290 days. So here we see that when the abomination occurs, there have been sacrifices going on. This clearly indicates a physical temple, and it now makes the event of antichrist match up completely to the act of Antiochus. So indeed, this is the reference to which Christ was referring in Matthew and Mark. Now we have another passage in Daniel that tells us more of this event.

Daniel 9:24-27 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

In these verses we are told that seventy weeks were determined upon Israel to finish up God's dealings with their sins, to bring them back to Him, and to finish up all these prophecies and this age. We are then told that the first sixty-nine of those weeks (which are seven year weeks) will bring us up to Christ's death. He is killed after the sixty-ninth week finishes up its seven year period. Then we are told the temple will be destroyed. (70 AD) It is this passage which those who would make the abomination in the gospels the destruction of the temple in 70 AD point to, to try to justify their theory. But this destruction is not put at the middle of the 70th week, and as we see in the verse above, the abomination occurs in the midst or middle of that last week. The destruction of the second temple is mentioned as happening between the 69th and the 70th week. At some point in the future (Christians have been waiting 2000 years for this last week) a covenant will be confirmed for one week or one seven year period. In the middle of that seven year period or 3 ½ years into it, there will be an abomination of desolation set up and the daily sacrifices will be stopped. This goes along completely with what we learned in the New Testament passages, with more details added in. Now if the temple was destroyed between the 69th and 70th week, and the sacrifices are caused to cease in the middle of the 70th week, it necessitates that an altar (and temple) be restored so that they can be abominated. So we now see that this abomination which occurs in the gospels and Thessalonians will occur in the middle of a seven year period known as Daniel's 70th week. And we are also told that sacrifices will cease to be made. Again the point is made that sacrifices cannot be made without an altar and temple. The very ones that John was told to measure. The very one that Paul said the man of perdition would sit in declaring himself God. All of these passages work together very well like puzzle pieces to paint a picture. And we have only had to take all of it quite literally. No spiritualized symbolic interpretation needed.

If a more detailed explanation of the 70th week of Daniel is desired, my end times studies blog at can provide more information. The archives on the right side of the page list the Scripture verses for ease of finding the passage wanted. The book of Daniel is found in June 2009.

So in taking God's Word at face value, and when all of the passages which speak to this issue are taken together, we see that they all point to one thing. There will be a literal temple building (albeit probably quite small) with an altar upon which sacrifices are made, which will be stopped when an abomination reminiscent of the event by Antiochus Epiphanes that led to the holiday of Hanukkah occurs. The reader is free to believe what they want, but I think it is quite clear what God has said on this issue.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Who is Mystery Babylon?

Who is Mystery Babylon? This is one of the great mysteries that has puzzled many theologians (some think they know exactly who she is). The four current main schools of thought (there may be some other suggestions, but they do not have the large following of these others, and quite honestly I do not know of them.) Probably the oldest line of thought is that Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church centered at the Vatican. The next choice is that America is Babylon, and the last two suggestions are that she is Jerusalem or a literal rebuilt city of Babylon in Iraq.

When I began this article, I had written the first paragraph then intended to do an article laying out the description of Babylon and pointing out her characteristics, leaving it to the reader to ascertain whom  of the candidates they thought might be the one who filled the bill. During the course of writing it though, I had been in prayer asking for wisdom to finally know for certain, as I have never truly been sure myself of the choice I had made. I had questions that I could not solve, as to why she rode the beast when it seemed that she was a political entity herself, apart from the beast. I also did not understand why in the end he hates her so, when she has been his companion all these years, riding him with apparently his consent. It also seemed that she should be a religious entity, but then she was political too. This fact seemed to point in one direction, but then the description in Revelation 17-18 pointed in another. It was a conundrum I could not reconcile. Not until now. I had all the information at my disposal all this time, but I could not piece the puzzle together correctly.

I want to share what I have discovered. It starts with looking at her in Revelation. She rides a beast. A beast with seven heads and ten horns. We must first look at the beast and understand who he is to then understand her. We are told the following about the beast. Revelation 17:3, 8-13 “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.......The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

We are told that the beast comes out of the bottomless pit. I believe he is a spiritual being, a demon who will inhabit the antichrist, that being whoever is in a position for him to use. (I believe the person involved may be killed and the beast will then enter and occupy the body, making it appear the person has been resurrected.)  He has seven heads. We are told that these heads are seven mountains (which symbolically in Scriptures stands for a kingdom) and seven kings (the rulers of those kingdoms). Further we are told that five of those kings (kingdoms) have fallen before John's time, one exists at John's time, and one is future to John's time, and will only last a very short time compared to these other kingdoms. We are told that the beast himself will become an eighth kingdom/king and that he is “of” the seven and will go back to hell. Then we are told that the ten horns stand for ten kings (leaders) who have no kingdom at John's time, but will receive power in one hour along with the beast. They will submit their kingdom's power to the beast. We know from the book of Daniel that the statue Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about gave a history of world empires. Each of these empires was controlled at one time by the beast and was one of the heads he has. We know that Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome are four of those heads. Rome is the one that existed at John's time, which tells us that we need two more before Babylon. What do all of these have in common? They were the world super-powers and they persecuted Israel. So what other two kingdoms before Babylon did the same. The question is easy to answer. Egypt and Assyria. We know that one kingdom will come into being after Rome has ceased to be a power. What “kingdom” was a world power and persecuted the Jews, and we are told that this particular kingdom will be short-lived. This is also an easy answer. The Third Reich under Hitler. Hitler was a well-known occultist, and his empire lasted only a matter of a few years in comparison to these other kingdoms.  So this also fits well.

Now we need to go back and consider the whore Babylon. We are told that she sits upon and rides the beast. A woman symbolically in Scripture generally represents a spiritual not political element. If the beast were the ruler of a kingdom, then what part did she play in each kingdom (for she has always ridden him)? It has always been assumed that she represented the religious system of Satan, the Babylonian Mysteries. And she did. It was the religion, the Babylonian Mysteries, that controlled the people in each of these ancient kingdoms up through Rome. While the beast reigned, she controlled the people for him. While she is seen riding the beast, because she did through all of these six kingdoms, we shall see that she and the beast have parted company for the seventh and eighth kingdoms, and she has become more than just a religion. First we need to consider her and the beast's shared history.

The Babylonian Mysteries started at the original Babylon or Babel with Semiramis. She created a religion around her husband Nimrod (Marduk) and her son Tammuz. This was the creation of the mother/son worship which we still see even in some Christian churches today. The Scriptures indicate that something happened to Nimrod to change him. Genesis 10:8-9 “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” Nimrod became a mighty one. References to “mighty ones” often refers to the Nephilim that existed before the Flood. They were half-breeds of the angelic/human matings. Now Nimrod was not born a mighty one, he became one. What this indicates is uncertain, but something changed him. Was he possessed by the spirit of a demon? It is thought that demons are the bodiless spirits of the nephilim who died in the Flood and still are free to roam the earth. They may not be confined to hell, due to their dual nature. They seem to seek and need bodies, whereas angels (including fallen ones) have their own bodies. If Nimrod and Semiramis were possessed by two spirits, (whether nephilim or fallen angel)  these same spirits would go on to inhabit other bodies as the humans they possessed died. I believe it is possible the beast (whatever his actual spiritual name is) possessed Nimrod, which is what made him change to be a mighty one, and this beast was striving to build a one world kingdom, (sound familiar?) the Tower of Babel. Semiramis, possessed by the spiritual being, Babylon the whore, created the religion to control its people. This seems to have been the goal of each of the kings on the head of the beast and she was always his cohort or consort providing the religion for his kingdom. As God dispersed Babel before it could be created as a world power or government, this kingdom did not qualify to be one of the heads of the beast, hence the first head on the beast is Egypt.

When Babel was dispersed because of the Tower incident, the Mysteries traveled around the world, but Babylon herself along with the beast had to go to one place as they are not omnipresent. The place they seemed to choose was Egypt. We can see their influence with the pyramids, the Osiris/Isis/Horus religion, and eventually their persecution of Israel. Because the language was changed, we hear different names than is seen in Sumerian texts, (ancient Babel) but when one examines the religion, one sees that whether it is China, India, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, or Rome, the gods and the stories are basically the same or very similar. That is because all of the information about the Babylonian Mysteries was carried with each group dispersed from Babel. With the eruption of all these new languages, the names were changed, and the stories changed, as any story does when carried in different directions and passed down from generation to generation.

With the decline of Egypt's power, (maybe God's punishment for what she did to Israel?) they moved their base to Assyria. Always the couple, in fact one wonders if they were lovers or husband and wife as Semiramis and Nimrod were, they used the same system in each kingdom they took over. I do not know which of the leaders of each of the kingdoms was actually possessed by the beast, or if really all of them were, but the fact is, the pattern of world domination, the Babylonian Mysteries as the religion, and persecution of Israel is found in all of the kingdoms on the beast's head. We know that Assyria took Israel captive, and in fact they never came back from captivity becoming known as the ten lost tribes. Following Assyria we had Babylon. Babylon took Judah captive and it was Nebuchadnezzar to whom God gave the visions for the future that we find in the book of Daniel. When Babylon was conquered by Medo-Persia, we had the incident with Esther, another persecution. It was during the inherited captivity in this kingdom that the people of Israel were sent back to rebuild the city and temple. In each case the kingdom that persecuted Israel was in turn overthrown. Punishment by God? I think so. Medo-Persia was overrun by Greece. It was one of the Seleucid rulers (one of the four divisions of Greece after Alexander died), Antiochus Epiphanes, who set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and slaughtered a pig on the altar, as well as killing many Jews. Greece was overthrown by Rome. I think we all know how Rome persecuted Israel, crucified Christ (with Israel's help), destroyed the temple (dispersing Israel for 2000 years), followed by persecution of Christians. And each of these kingdoms had a form of the Babylonian Mysteries as their religion, controlling the people.

What happened when the Roman Empire declined? The empire was split in two and both went into decline, the western empire dying quite some time before the eastern. There was no world power that raised its head any time soon, the same way these other kingdoms had followed each other in succession, for the beast to take over. The implication from Scripture is that he had been put in the abyss until the seventh king came on the scene, as he seems to have been inactive until that seventh kingdom came about, which was a very long time in happening.  Even the Ottoman Empire did not seem to bring him out, as long-lived as it was, because it was a Muslim empire. Islam in spite of it being anti-Christian does not lend itself to Babylon's Mystery religion. And during all this time, Babylon was still on the scene. She was left with a dying empire and no new empire immediately on the horizon.  Plus she was without her man. So what happened to her? 

Well, the first thing that happened was that Christianity came along and lived side by side with her in the Roman Empire. That was a thorn in her side. She tried to deal with Christians the same way she and the beast had tried to deal with Israel, by destroying them. The martyrdom of the early church is well known. But this was different. Israel was one thing, Christ was another. Christ defeated death and the gates of hell cannot prevail against Him. Then Christianity quit living alongside of her and came in and corrupted her religion. What? I hear you say. We are used to thinking of Constantine corrupting Christianity by incorporating paganism or Babylonianism into it when he made Christianity the state religion. From our point of view that is true, and maybe initially she thought it would work to allow this pairing, as she had done with Judaism when she incorporated Kaballah into it, but again, Christ is a much greater opponent. From Babylon's point of view Christianity came in and corrupted her religion, for as bad as the combination was for Christianity, the fact was that the truth that Jesus or Yeshua came and died for our sins was a teaching in the combined church that could actually save people from Satan's control and her ways, and was something she could not and would not endure. It was abominable to her to have worship of the true God saving people, alongside herself. She was not going to share her godhead with anyone, much less with the true Son of God. Her joint venture with the church was not long-lived. Although the leftovers of her corruption of Christianity and many of her followers remain in the church to this day, she does not headquarter herself there. It is not the source of her religion. She soon went underground and became a secret religion, as Christianity was too great a power for her to reign out in the open anymore. This is how she lived for quite a while until someone resurrected her on a much bigger scale. And what was that, you might ask.

In the 11th century, the Knights Templar were a special order under the Vatican. They were believed to be an order above reproach, but they were not. While on the Crusades it is said that they came across the Babylonian Mysteries, and it almost sounds from the reports that they came across her headquarters itself, wherever that was. They saw the power that she and these mysteries offered them, and they immersed themselves in her teachings, giving themselves over to her control which really was the control of Satan. For a while they were able to conceal their activities, as this was a secret religion, and they were supposed to be known as a charitable organization, well respected by the people. Many nobles and princes even willed their estates to them. Within 200 years they became the bankers of Europe because of this wealth. Babylon now had followers and wealth, and with wealth comes power, but she had no beast anymore to provide a kingdom in which she could rule by religion, and she could not reign out in the open as herself.  But, she had money, so she would find a way back to power through the Templars.

In 1307 King Phillip IV had a run-in with the Templars. He discovered that in actuality they were a Satanic cult using the gnostic teachings and ancient Babylonian Mystery rites. To get into the order, one had to commit sodomy, spit on the cross of Christ, denounce Christ and swear allegiance to Lucifier. They used the name Lucifer, as this is what Satan had them call him - his supposedly original name which means light-bearer. He presented himself as the way of enlightenment to them via Babylon's teachings. The people of Europe were outraged. Germany and France demanded that investigations be done. A trial was held and the Knights Templar confessed. At that time the leader of the KT was Jacques DeMolay. He was the most well-known Satanist of all time. In the Masonic “bible” Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike, he says that the KTs had been masters of deception and experts in duplicity appearing to serve Christ on the surface while worshiping Lucifer in their inner rites. The Templars, like all secret organizations had two doctrines, one concealed and revealed only to the masters, and one for the public whom they deceived. On May 12, 1310, fifty-four French Templars were burned alive in Paris. Prior to his execution, Jacques DeMolay formed four secret underground lodges. One at Naples for the east, one at Edinburgh for the west, one at Stockholm for the north and one at Paris for the south. That he founded these four is testified to by the fact that although they differ in some respects, his initials are found used in the same order in the first three degrees of ascension. These secret societies kept underground and were governed by unknown people revealing themselves only to those who passed through a series of degrees and proved themselves worthy to be trusted with the secrets. At this time there was a massive flow of gold and silver from France to Scotland. Scotland became the power base of these secret societies.

A couple hundred years passed while these orders kept themselves secret. In the late 1500’s and early 1600’s they decided to try to go public. They created a document called the “Teachings of Christian Rosencroix” which allegorically told the history of the Knights Templar through the life of a person searching for spiritual enlightenment who went to the Middle East and came in contact with superior occult teachings and brought them back to Europe. They floated these documents to university leaders and scholars with a return address to gauge interest. They were overwhelmed by the responses. This was due in part to the Renaissance and enlightenment philosophies that were developing at the time. They became known then as the Rosacrucians. Shortly after that they went public. They needed a public front and organization already respected and established for their cover. At that time building guilds were threatened with extinction and wanted to keep their building traditions alive, so they agreed to a take-over by the Rosacrusians. So the Rosacrusians became the Stone Masons Guild, or as we know them today, the Masons. The KTs became known as “speculative” masons and they adopted all the symbols of the Masonic guild such as the square and compass. Remember though that Babylon was and is in control of this, and what people think of as a fraternal organization is actually a cover for the Mystery Babylonian religion.

Through the rich bankers, Babylon had amassed a fortune.  She had followers with business power, a legitimate front to come out of hiding, and now needed a kingdom through which she could wield political power. She had found that she could not do this openly in Europe as the European royalty had not treated her well in the past. She needed something that she could mold from the start to suit her own purposes -  a country without competition from the royalty, who did not want to share that power with her followers who were the tradesmen of the day.  It was about this time that Europeans had really started to settle the new continent of America. As time went by it appeared that this country would provide the perfect cover for Babylon's activities.

By early 1717, the first grand lodge was formed. By the late 1700’s Masonry was accepted in Europe as a charitable organization. In 1776 (interesting date isn't it?) the Illuminati was created. Albert G. Marley who is a Masonic historian describes the Illuminati as a secret society founded on May 1, 1776 by Adam Weishopt who was a professor of Canon law at the University of Inglestadt. He is celebrated in the history of masonry as the founder of the order of Illuminati in Bavaria. It was very popular and had 2000 names of distinguished men in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Italy, and Germany. Its purpose was similar to our Council on Foreign Relations today. They wanted their men in key political advisory positions around the world to favor world government. (And this has now been accomplished. The leaders of the countries of the world are mostly, if not all, Masons.) They were exposed in about ten years by someone who seized some of their documents and sent them to leaders of Europe. By this time the leaders had thought the threat had been abolished not understanding it had gone undercover and had grown in ranks.  Ranks who did not look upon the patronizing attitude of the royalty with favor. These leaders thought the documents so outrageous and unbelievable, they paid no attention. This is the common response of people today to the idea of an Illuminati that controls world affairs. George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison made a show of warning the U.S. about the Illuminati. This seems a little bogus as these men were Masons or favorable toward Masons themselves.

When our government was founded in 1776, we had Illuminists and Masons as our founding leaders, as have the majority of our leaders been since then. That is why you will find so many occultic symbols at our nation’s capital and on our nation’s currency. - The Washington Monument (obelisk); the pyramid with the missing capstone, all-seeing eye, and words Novus Ordo Seclorum on the currency. Our country's capitol is actually a temple to the goddess. The streets are even set up in an occult way outlining occult symbols. The vast use of all of this in our country is another study in and of itself. One more thing, Washington DC is the headquarters for The Supreme Council of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.” (its official name) It is also known as the House of the Temple Home of the Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction. Most importantly it is also commonly known as the Mother Supreme Council of the World (notice the word “mother” and “world”) and was the first Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. To join the Supreme Council, one must attain the 32° of the Scottish Rite, and then be conferred the honorary 33°. It is at these ranks that it is revealed to its members that the God that they are worshiping in secret is actually Satan.  A great many of our political, business, and even I am sure some religious leaders as well as sundry other people from teachers to artists, spend two weeks a year in worship of Babylon at the Bohemian Grove in California, where a mock human sacrifice (I believe it may be a real human sacrifice) is offered to a thirty foot statue of the owl god Molech. (Just one of Babylon's persona). This is just one of what I am sure are many debauched activities goes on. 

In 1801 in Charleston, SC, the first U.S. grand lodge was founded. Babylon had found a home. She had her religious worship (the Masonic rites) and now she had a political power base. The rites of Masonry demand that the brotherhood come before any other loyalty. This is why a Mason will give preference to or help another brother Mason in all kinds of situations from giving him a promotion on a job (even undeserved) to letting a criminal get away with a crime (as a judge). The loyalty of brotherhood even supercedes country loyalties. The leaders of the world are Masons. Their loyalty is not to their country, but to their Masonic brothers and religion. Even well-known so-called Christian minsters and leaders are secret Masons. They give themselves away when they are photographed using the secret signals that Masons love to use. The goal of the beast and Babylon has always been a one world government, and that is the goal of the leaders of the world. All of the posturing that they hate each other is bogus. Just as Babylon covers her real religion under the guise of a fraternal order, the leaders of the world cover their real agenda by acting in public as they think they should if they were loyal to their countries. What they do behind closed doors is another matter entirely.

So it would appear that America is Babylon's kingdom.  And indeed if one reads the description in Revelation 17-18, not to mention what is said of her in Jeremiah, it does seem to describe the U.S. If you are now wondering what that city is that rules the kings of the world, mentioned in Revelation 17:18, I believe it is not NYC as most people, or even as I had believed until just the other day. I had long ago come to believe that Babylon was America based upon the description in Revelation 17 and 18, as nobody fits that description as the USA. And I now think that is absolutely correct. And the logical city in her boundaries to be the city Babylon seemed to be NYC based upon the fact that the UN is there, and most of the world thinks of the UN as being the ruler over the leaders of the world. Not to mention the statue of Babylon standing in the harbor. But I now believe that the UN is as much a phony front and cover to throw suspicion away from the real city, as is the Masonic Lodge being a good works fraternal organization. The Mother Supreme Council of the World, the headquarters for the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is at Washington, DC. This is the true power base of Babylon. This is what controls and reigns over the leaders of the world. Their Masonic religion. Their fraternal order to which their loyalty comes before any other loyalty. Their goal of a one world government is on the behalf of their goddess and god (Satan). The temple to their goddess Babylon is the capitol building at Washington, DC. The entire city is a shrine to her. I have come to believe that Washington is that city spoken of in Revelation and America is the political power she wields to enforce her control over the world. We are the super-power of the world. She is back on top but this time by her own power alone, not with the help of the beast.  She has carved out this world power by the work of her own hands and she sits as a queen saying she is no widow, (because she has succeeded without the beast) with the belief that nobody can touch her, but the fact is, she is a widow, having lost the man in her life.

Now to explain something mentioned earlier. After Rome, the beast must have been sequestered away from Babylon in the abyss, as otherwise he would have reared his ugly head before he did. When did he next surface? I believe the seventh head of the beast was when he surfaced and possessed Hitler. Hitler was bent on world domination and attempted to conquer Europe, Russia, and countries to the south into Africa. He did create a fairly vast empire, but just as the Scriptues say, he didn't last long. He was also an occultist and murdered Christians and Jews by the millions. What was interesting about Hitler was that he hated the Masonic order. Why, if he worshiped Satan too? It makes no sense. It makes no sense until you understand what the Masonic Lodge is. Babylon's power control. When the beast came back, he found that Babylon had established a power base without him. She was now a world power to be reckoned with. She was not about to hand over to him what she had spent a great deal of time creating by herself, and he was not pleased.  If she wasn't going to give her power to him, he wanted to rid himself of her from his own power base. So Hitler went about dissolving all the Masonic Lodges in his domain. The ten Grand Lodges of Germany were the first to go, with its prominent members being sent to concentration camps. The Gestapo grabbed the membership lists and looted the lodges. This activity carried over to each country as it was conquered by the Nazis, with the Masters of the lodges ending up in concentration camps. The beast now hated Babylon, for she was not his consort, and the means of him controlling the people, she was his enemy and rival for world power. He could not control the people by religion, as he had no religion in place, so he controlled them by fear and brainwashing, getting rid of anyone who posed a threat. When Babylon saw the threat he posed to her, and how he was going after her followers and eliminating them from the positions of power all over Europe, she needed to stop him, so America entered the war. And she defeated him, sending him back to the abyss from whence he had come.

The next time he comes out, he will possess (either taking possession of the person inside the body, or that person will die as indicated by Scripture, and the beast will merely usurp the corpse for his own use) the person known as the antichrist, (whomever that may be) and he will be determined to get his revenge against Babylon. This time he will win, for it says that he destroys her in one hour. But this is only because he is carrying out God's will for Him. Babylon, oddly enough when she first had a hand in creating this country, stood by while Christianity flourished, sending out missionaries and doing great things on behalf of God. She did not mind this, as her religion was quite separate (and secret) this time, so it couldn't corrupt her followers. And her followers were the political leaders and financiers in charge. Christianity is a source of great good for a country. The countries in which Christianity flourished were the most prosperous, civilized, and educated in the world, and she knew it. She needed Christianity for the good it did for her, creating a people who would serve her well when she turned them. Meanwhile God was using her country for His good, and she had no problems with that at the beginning. After all, she could corrupt Christianity in time and turn the people away from God within the churches. She had corrupted it before, she could do it again. But this time from a position of power politically, as well as her secret religion which controlled quietly behind the scenes. She put her followers in positions of leadership and power within the church to corrupt it from within. America started out as a golden cup in God's hand, Jeremiah 51:7, but now she was a whore making the whole earth drunk off the wine of her abominations. She now holds the golden cup. She is also drunk with the blood of the saints. Now we come to the really scary part for American Christians. Everyone is worried about the beast, but Americans have much to fear from Babylon. Her cup is full of the blood of the saints. Not just those she killed in Rome years ago, but those she will kill during the Tribulation. Americans are the Laodicean Christians who are rich and blind and think they have need of nothing. They will have to overcome if they want to get into heaven.

So now we see that America truly appears to be Babylon. And who is the next puppet of the beast that hates her so? From where will the man he possesses come? Ask yourself - who hates America more than anyone else? The beast needs a religion to control his people. He didn't have one the last time, and he lost, but while he was here possessing Hitler, he had time to look around. Where could he find a fanatical religion that hates America, (Babylon) Christianity, and the Jews? Think about it. If it helps, remember, he is going to cut people's heads off.  And Satan has given this religion some prophecies that have them looking for a Messiah or Mahdi to come on the scene who will turn the world to their religion. They also believe in a second return of Jesus Christ - their Jesus Christ being a false prophet who will say to the world that the Mahdi is the world's Messiah.  It would certainly fit the description in Daniel 7:7 "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong 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."  This beast is not just a political nation.  It says it is different from all the other beasts before it.  And it is a great bully, killing all who get in its way as it takes over.

I don't know how the reader feels about the above ideas, but they certainly seem to fit all the Scriptures in my opinion.

*After writing this, the idea came to me that Babylon is not necessarily the beast's consort or wife, but his mother.  I thought back over the myths and in each case the father (Nimrod/Marduk, Osiris, etc.) is "killed" leaving the mother and son to carry on. This would explain why the mother/son relationship is so important in all religions and especially in Masonry with Horus (the son) being so important.  Quite possibly the beast is the literal offspring of some type of relationship between Satan and Babylon which we don't quite understand.  It does say in Genesis that Satan will have a seed, and that might mean more than people following him by rejecting God.  It might mean a literal seed just as God has a literal seed in Jesus.  As Satan appears to be reptilian in nature (called the Serpent, Dragon, etc.) his offspring would no doubt also be a rather literal gruesome beast, hence his moniker.