It’s already the center of a great empire – but it’s only going to grow in the years to come. In fact, it’s shaping to be the “mega-city” of the Antichrist himself.

The city is Mecca, the object of devotion of Muslims around the world who pray in its direction five times a day.

New York Times bestselling author and scriptural teacher Joel Richardson argues Mecca is nothing less than the great city that corrupts the kings of the world in the book of Revelation in his new book, “Mystery Babylon.”

Yet Richardson’s case is not only rooted in the Bible but in contemporary history. In a recent interview on Skywatch TV, he outlined how the House of Saud is aiming to turn Mecca into a “mega-city” that will serve as a monstrous conglomeration of spiritual, financial and political power.

“Just to the west of Mecca is Jeddah, and they are turning that into what is going to be the greatest seaport in the world,” he said. “That is their purpose. They want Jeddah to replace Dubai as the greatest seaport of the whole Red Sea, the whole Middle East. Then, in the north, you have Medina, which is the second holiest city in Islam. And then you have another major port city, it’s called King Abdullah Economic City. They are in the process of building this incredibly high speed railroad so you can get from any one of these cities to the other within about 20 minutes.

“Although they are essentially four cities, it will become one mega city. It will be, and they are trying to make it, the regional capital for commerce and trade and so forth.”

To claim Mecca will be the great city of evil during the last days is controversial, to be sure. Eschatology is always a delicate matter and Richardson was especially careful in his new book.

“This is one of the most challenging, difficult, enigmatic prophecies,” he told Skywatch. “I didn’t want to pull the trigger until I had clarity.”

However, Richardson now believes he has enough information and argues “there’s enough taking place in the Earth making prophecies clear to sort of lay this out on the table and let the body of Christ chew it over.”

And the body of Christ is responding, as “Mystery Babylon” is already the No. 1 new release in the category of Christian Eschatology on, one day before the hardback is available.

One of the greatest mysteries in Scripture – solved at last! Discover the terrifying truth behind the shadowy identity of one of the greatest horrors of the end times. New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson reveals the secret of “Mystery Babylon.” Available now in the WND Superstore.

Richardson’s contentions are startling to many contemporary Christians, but as he explained in his interview on Skywatch, he is actually returning to an interpretation of “Mystery Babylon” held by early believers.

“In the early history of the church the primary opinion of believers seemed to be that the pagan city of Rome was Mystery Babylon,” Richardson explained. “Of course, they lived under the shadow, under the dominance, the hegemony of the pagan Roman empire. But as the Roman Empire essentially fell, as pagan Rome fell and it was Christianized, then that view lost favor. And so the next major view that we find in history is that it was Islam. Islam, as a religion, represented Mystery Babylon. We see that in some of the earlier commentaries we have on Islam.”

The belief shifted as Christians began to fight over the true interpretation of the faith with the rise of Protestantism.

“Later, when we have the Reformation, the church sort of went back and picked up the idea of Rome, except now they shifted it to the Vatican,” Richardson said. “No longer pagan Rome, but the Roman Catholic Rome. So this became the dominant position for really the last 500 years since the Reformation. And then really over the past 150 years many have shifted toward the Illuminati, the New World Order, this sort of thing. Now in recent years, we’ve had a lot of people saying the United States, Wall Street, New York City, this sort of thing. Another really popular view, which I would say of all the interpretations is my second most favored interpretation, is a literally rebuilt Babylon.”

But Richardson argues that only the case for Islam meets the specific requirements laid out in the prophecy. He explores all the possible interpretations in his new book and leads the reader inexorably to his dramatic conclusion.

“I lay out their strengths and then I lay out their weaknesses,” he says of the different candidates for “Babylon.”

“If you go to the store and you are going to buy a glove, you don’t buy a glove if three of the five fingers fit, even if they fit perfectly. You buy it if all five fingers fit. So we’re looking for an interpretation that doesn’t have any substantial problems with the text. And that was sort of my guiding principle throughout the book.”

And by that standard, Richardson believes it is clear Mecca is the best possible candidate to be the city identified in prophecy. After all, it is already at the center of a vast worldwide network of blasphemy and corruption.

“Mecca is the primary city of idolatry, in fact the greatest city of idolatry mankind has ever known,” said Richardson. “And not only does Saudi Arabia house Mecca but it is the greatest single source of financial support for the greatest anti-Christ religion that mankind has ever known.”

Other candidates for “Babylon” miss this explicit anti-Christian component, Richardson argues.

“In the case of both New York or London, they’re missing the most essential component, which is the spiritual component,” he said. “The harlot Babylon is not characterized by mere… materialism. It is a specific religion, with specific doctrines and it’s responsible for the shed blood of the saints.

“You look at the Saudi lobby in Washington, the Wahhabi lobby, the Salafi lobby, this is the most vile, the most violent, the most terrorist oriented sect, version or form of Islam that has ever existed. And the Saudi lobby is the single greatest lobby in Washington. There’s no other lobby, in terms of just raw numbers, that has corrupted Washington to the degree that the Saudis have. This is one of the reasons… why I celebrated when Hillary Clinton was defeated in the recent elections.”

For that reason, “Mystery Babylon” isn’t just an important read for Christians or those interested in eschatology. It’s a critical guide to understanding the threat Islam poses to the West today.

“This is one of the greatest issues that has hamstrung the United States from waging the war effectively against radical Islam,” said Richardson. “Because whether we’re dealing with ISIS, al-Qaida, or any of these groups, they all find their ideological foundations in Saudi Arabia.”

One of the greatest mysteries in Scripture – solved at last! Discover the terrifying truth behind the shadowy identity of one of the greatest horrors of the end times. New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson reveals the secret of “Mystery Babylon.” Available now in the WND Superstore.

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