There's a passage of holy writ that has baffled Bible teachers for centuries, confounding and teasing them, to the point where most modern preachers pass right by it like a trucker skirting a weigh station.
Who is "Mystery Babylon," that "great whore" spoken of in Revelation 17-18 that commits "fornication" with world rulers, lives in extreme luxury and gets "drunk with the blood of the saints" before finally meeting her fiery destruction?
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Who is this mysterious woman?
Popular theories say it's the Roman Catholic Church. Others point to New York City, seat of the United Nations, Wall Street and all manner of human greed and fleshly lusts. Some say it's apostate Christianity in general, not just the Catholic Church, or America as a whole, not just New York.
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Still others point to Mecca and Saudi Arabia's royal family, which lives in opulence and owns everything from diamond-studded cars, a harem of sex slaves and more than a few Washington politicians.
Whatever it is, this mysterious Babylonian spirit reigns supreme during the very last days, and if the amount of space devoted to it in the Bible is any indication of its importance, then it might behoove the faithful to dig deep into the bowels of Revelation 17-19, Isaiah 13-14 and Jeremiah 50 in search of clues.
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Solving this mystery could hold the key to understanding the spiritual battle raging right now in the earth, say the authors of a new book, "The Babylon Code: Solving the Bible's Greatest End Times Mystery."
To understand what is happening now regarding the "Babylonian spirit" you have to go back to the beginning, says Paul McGuire, co-author of the book with Troy Anderson, who is executive editor of Charisma magazine.
There has always been a human element seeking to build a false utopia devoid of God, he said. The essential question is, who are they and what is motivating them?
The Garden of Eden was a perfect world in terms of economic prosperity, health and well-being. But a powerful fallen angel named Lucifer became the temporary 'god of this world' after the fall of mankind," McGuire explains.
And here's where it starts to get interesting. The book's authors take the reader on a historical journey in an effort to connect the unseen dots. Many of them are found hiding in plain view.
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"Since that time, Lucifer has been leading a revolution against God along with one-third of the angels. The world system, or the Babylonian system, is Luciferian in nature," McGuire told WND.
Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, created the first world government, religion and economic system in ancient Babylon. The Tower of Babel was his crowning achievement.
"That is why, ever since ancient Babylon, a secret priesthood of Luciferian elites has conducted secret rituals and passed on secret Luciferian knowledge through what is known as 'Mystery, Babylon,'" McGuire said.
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Plato spoke of it in his "Republic," where he said the ideal society would be ruled by a very small number of "philosopher kings." Sir Francis Bacon described a secret ruling elite in his novel "New Atlantis." Similar principles were found in the French Revolution, the various communist revolutions, and in Hitler's national socialist revolution.
America, the landing ground of Illuminati?
And America has not been exempt, according to the authors. It has been a pivotal playground for these elites since the time of its founding.
Evidence of their secret occult influence can be seen in the symbols incorporated on America's money. The backside of a dollar bill shows an unfinished pyramid with an all-seeing eye in the capstone. Underneath the pyramid are the words: "Novus Ordo Seclorum," Latin for "New Order of the Ages." On the right side is a mysterious bird, which the book's authors say looks a lot like the Phoenix, a bird that was to rise from the ashes of a destroyed civilization and usher in a new world order in the mythical story of Atlantis.
But unlike Soviet Russia or Jacobin France, America has always been a battleground of conflicting ideas in which biblical Christianity has served as arch rival to Illuminati elites. Biblical principles of natural law and unalienable rights provided by the "Creator" were embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. That battle continues to this day.
"As we document in our book, this secret knowledge has been passed on through secret societies throughout the ages. The names of these societies have been changed many times over the centuries," McGuire said. "For example, Sir Francis Bacon, a member of Britain's Parliament, was head of the Rosicrucian Order, which is believed to have later morphed into the Bavarian Illuminati, a fashionable 18th century secret society that attracted some of Bavaria's leading intellectuals."
Today, these powerful secret societies include Yale University's Skull and Bones, whose members include both Bush presidents and current Secretary of State John Kerry; Bohemian Grove, which conducts mock human sacrifices at its annual retreat in rural California; the Bilderbergs; Council on Foreign Relations, Club of Rome and Trilateral Commission.
"They are the scientific elite or the technocratic elite that the philosopher Plato referred to as the 10 god-kings," McGuire said.
Aldous Huxley, the brother of UNESCO founder and eugenicist Julian Huxley, wrote about the coming technocracy in his classic work "A Brave New World."
Aldous Huxley wrote that the term "technocratic elite" comes from the word "techne" and techne comes from the word "wicca," which implies the power or magic to reconfigure reality through supernatural power.
"The Babylon Code" postulates that the secret knowledge originated with Nimrod, whose Tower of Babel provoked God to scatter the people and scramble their languages. This knowledge was passed to ancient Egypt, then got handed down to the Greeks and Romans before landing in modern Europe and America.
'Guarding their secret knowledge'
As a means of control, McGuire says, the elites are careful to keep this knowledge highly compartmentalized, shielding the bigger picture so that even the lower-level elites do not understand where things are heading.
He includes presidents, prime ministers, scientists and educators among the "lower levels of the elite." These lower elites work to create a completely secular society, pushing an atheistic view of the world in schools, universities and business. But this "scientific materialism" is a fraudulent cover meant to keep the wider population in the dark about spiritual realities, probably because they know that a truly spiritual, Christian population will be more difficult to deceive and lead into spiritual darkness and, ultimately, into political enslavement.
McGuire said the only way to fight this evil is with supernatural power. It cannot be defeated in the political arena alone.
"Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto preached the same message as the Illuminati Manifesto," he said: Destroy the family, cause divisions, and destroy religion, especially Christianity. After all is destroyed, rebuild according to the utopian vision of total control by the elites.
Similar principles are taught in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," which was dedicated to the "very first rebel ...Lucifer."
"So there's like a secret priesthood of people who have access to this supernatural power but the way they maintain control is they create a firewall between them and the so-called masses and they hide their power and the only thing they tell the masses is there is no God and it's all just about the material world, and the only thing that's real is that which you can see," McGuire said.
"God has no meaning, we're all just evolved animals," he continued. "But the Illuminati created communism and they know there are supernatural forces and they use things like communism or fascism to deceive the masses. That's the way they keep their control, but meanwhile they are accessing and deploying supernatural power all along. You go back to the intellectuals like Bertrand Russell, Huxley and H.G. Wells, and you discover they were not the secular humanists they pretended to be. They were secretly steeped in the occult."
'1.5 billion bow five times a day toward Mecca'
Others, such as end-times Bible prophecy teacher Joel Richardson, hold to a very different view of Revelation 17-18 and the identity of Mystery Babylon.
Richardson, author of "The Islamic Antichrist" and "Mideast Beast," identifies this "great harlot" riding the beast as the present day kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He traces his view back to Daniel 7 and the four beast empires. He said the Christian use of the word "Babylon" has traditionally been used as a metaphor to describe whatever evil empire happened to be reigning on the earth at the time.
"This motif of a beast as an empire is picked up in Revelation 17 and expanded upon," Richardson said. "She is seen sitting on and riding the beast. The beast represents the final world empire that is the satanic empire that will be the vehicle of the Antichrist and his armies. The beast is the main competitor or the enemy of the people of God in the earth. So the woman and the beast, they are rider and steed, they go together, the great harlot and the beast. They are a team."
Richardson breaks down Mystery Babylon, the great whore, by the following characteristics.
- She lives in a desert and sits on many waters, which is peoples or groups of people.
- She's sitting on a scarlet beast clothed in purple, indicating royalty.
- She is portrayed as both a queen and a prostitute.
- She is both a powerful religious and economic force in the earth.
- She commits spiritual fornication with false gods.
- She has influence with many kings of the earth.
- The kings have committed fornication with her, to engage in idolatry with her.
- She is a heavy consumer, and through her purchasing makes the merchants of the earth rich.
- She spreads her false religious convictions throughout the world.
- She is responsible for the shed blood of the people of God, Israel and its spiritual offspring, the followers of Jesus.
- She lives in extreme luxury and the kings who committed fornication with her also lived luxuriously with her.
- Not only the kings but the peoples of the earth committed fornication with her.
- The beast nations will hate her. These are the nations that make up the final union of the beast empire – Iran-Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Sudan, Libya. They will "devour her and burn her flesh."
- She represents the greatest false religion that has ever existed.
- She is the biggest spiritual whore on the earth, and all nations have "drunk the wine" of her false religion, and will feel the wrath of God.
- She is a rabid consumer, causing the merchants to weep over her destruction.
- She is portrayed as a coastal city. The shipmasters and anyone who trades on the sea "stood at a distance" and mourned her destruction.
Richardson believes the key verse to identifying this great harlot is found in 1 Peter 5:13. Peter was in Rome at the time and referred to the church "who is in Babylon."
"Babylon" was a code word in the early church for Rome, the capital city of the reigning beast empire.
"Rome was the antichrist system, the pagan empire that's at enmity with the Church," Richardson said. "In succession these are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome."
Then there will be a seventh and final beast system, which Richardson believes was the Islamic Ottoman Empire. It will be revived and make a curtain call in the last days before Christ returns.
In the first century the Roman Empire was Satan's physical instrument to come against God's people, he said.
It was the spiritual capital of the reigning antichrist empire. It was the Babylon of the early church.
So Richardson's theory is that Mecca can be interpreted as today's spiritual Babylon, the capital of world idolatry and the economic stronghold of Satan's work in the earth.
Richardson says the Islamic empire meets all of the criteria of the world's final beast system.
"It is the greatest stronghold of Satan in the earth," he said.
Only Muslims are allowed into the city and millions make annual pilgrimages to touch the Kaaba, a black stone that Muslims believe has the power to forgive sin.
"We have 1.5 billion people who five times every day bow down and pray to a false god and they are, make no mistake, worshiping Satan," he says.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he says, is the fulfillment of this prophecy in Revelation 17-18 because it fulfills every biblical criteria of the "whore."
Richardson said people talk about the "Israeli lobby" in Washington but the "Saudi lobby" dwarfs it by comparison. The Saudi royal family has had almost every important politician in Washington in its pocket going back decades. The family lives in extravagant luxury to the point of overkill, like the diamond-studded Mercedes owned by Prince al-Walid bin Talal and the legendary stories of multiple gigantic palaces with gold toilets and female harems at their beck and call.
"The stories of Saudi wealth are just ridiculous. The now deceased King Fahd owned dozens of palaces each more grandeur than the past. Architects estimated one was worth several billion, and that was in the 1980s. Fahd also had a 100-room house in Marbella Spain, one in Paris, one in Geneva, 24 Rolls Royces with gold hood ornaments," Richardson said. "Prince Talal donated $50 million to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which is the main jihadist organization in the U.S. -- not military but intellectual jihad. It's chief spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, said he desired to see the U.S. Constitution replaced by shariah law."
Carters, Bushes, Clintons, Obamas all 'owned' by Saudis
Prince Talal donated $20 million to Harvard to create an Islamic Studies program and another $20 million to Georgetown.
"He came to Harvard to lecture us that we need to be more tolerant of Islam, this from a guy whose country makes it illegal to open a church or be a Christian. That is the very picture of hypocrisy and arrogance," Richardson said. "Harvard committed fornication with him, accepting his gift and spreading his Islamist propaganda. You don't give someone $20 million for no reason."
He said Saudi money buys not only influence. It buys silence.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most brutal societies in the world, where minor crimes such as stealing result in the amputation of limbs, where women are stoned to death for adultery and Christians face beheading, yet not a word of rebuke is ever heard from Washington.
Richardson said the Saudis have given millions to former President Jimmy Carter to fund the Carter Center in Atlanta, which he then uses to spread anti-Israel propaganda while never uttering a word against Palestinian terrorism or Saudi repression of women, homosexuals and other minorities. The Bushes and the Clintons are just as indebted to the Saudis.
Talal, the Saudi prince, paid off the student loans Barack Obama owed for his Harvard law degree.
No wonder Obama "bowed before the Saudi king," Richardson said.
Obama refuses to even discuss the Saudi lobby's influence.
"They buy every other western nation as well. They're the only nation on earth that has that kind of money," Richardson said. "They have influenced the United Nations to hate Israel. They pay for the madrasas, the Islamic centers and mosques of the world and then they send their literature there that encourages jihad against Christians, against Americans and Jews. They are funding jihad around the world."
But if biblical prophecy holds true and Saudi Arabia is the last days "Babylon," they have a day of reckoning coming, "and they know it," Richardson said.
"They spend more per capita than any other nation on arms, to protect themselves from their own people," he said. "She is going to be confronted and killed by the beast she has created. It will turn on her and devour her."
Saudi Arabia produces only two things: Radical Islam and oil.
"Everything else they have, they buy," Richardson said. "They even buy people, 'the bodies and souls of men.'"
Richardson said there have been countless stories of female migrant workers from the Philippines and other countries who travel to Saudi Arabia thinking they will be house maids and they end up being trapped in a life of sex slavery."
How long will the 'mystery' last?
Carl Gallups, author of "Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation," and "Be Thou Prepared" said there is so much going on prophetically that it's hard to track, from the approaching end of the Shemitah year on Sept. 13 to the pope's visit to America Sept. 23-25, to the rise of ISIS and its genocide against Christians in the Middle East. Not to mention the pending Iranian nuclear deal and imploding national economies.
"The bottom line is this: I have a feeling that Mystery Babylon will not be such a mystery much longer," Gallups said. "As with all end-time prophecy – once it converges into reality, the biblical prophecies will then be crystal clear. My main message to the world is this: If you don’t know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, now is the time. If you do – then remember you have been placed in this time of history for 'such a time as this' – so, advance the Kingdom of Christ as a faithful ambassador – while there is still time."