In Revelation 17:12-18 we are told of when the beastly last day's Anti-Christ and his ten appointed kings will make war upon an entity manifested as a harlot. The harlot is revealed to be a great city which exercises uniquely established authority over the nations of the earth. The Scriptures foretell that the Anti-Christ and his allies will make war against this harlot because of a united hatred of her. It should be noted as we read from this passage of the time when the Anti-Christ alliance proceeds to destroy the harlot; it is prophesied that these forces will also soon make war against the returning Lord Jesus Christ and His saints at His return as is prophesied of in Rev. Ch. 19, Jude verses 14-15 and Zechariah 14:3-5. Quoting Rev. 17:12-18 we read, "And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
"These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and king of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." And he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. "For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. "And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.'
The questions we will be seeking answers for in this message are, "Who or what does the harlot represent, and why does the Anti-Christ and the rulers of his kingdom hate her so?" We can help unravel these mysteries by searching the prophetic Scriptures, reviewing history and examining last days events. In Revelation 17:5 the harlot is shown with the name, "Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth" written on her forehead. To find out more about this mystery Babylon we need to go back to the Old Testament Book of Daniel where much of the greatest information about Babylon's beginning and future is revealed. In Ch. 3 we are shown that king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was a type of the Anti-Christ prophesied to appear in these last days. Just as the Anti-Christ is prophesied to have an image made of himself, which is to be worshiped (see Rev. 13:15), so too did Nebuchadnezzar have an image made of himself which was to be worshiped.
It is revealed to us in Daniel 3:14 that Nebuchadnezzar demanded worship not only for the statue of himself, but for all of his gods also. Here we find the similarity between Nebuchadnezzar and the Anti-Christ diverging. In II Thessalonians 2:4 we find the Anti-Christ demanding not only that his image be worshiped, but that he himself must be worshiped above all that is called God. Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, the Anti-Christ will have no desire to share worship with other gods. II Thess. 2:4 in fact prophesies that he will sit "as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Nebuchadnezzar repented of his self exaltation on a couple of occasions, but Anti-Christ will remain defiant to the very end. Daniel wrote of him in verse 36 of Ch. 11, "...the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done."
It is interesting that in Daniel 3:1, sixty and six are attributed to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, while the number of the Anti-Christ in Rev. 13:18 is six hundred and sixty and six. It is as though to make clear that Nebuchadnezzar, by God's grace, fell short of filling the Anti-Christ's shoes. Nebuchadnezzar had two distinct authorities representative of himself in his kingdom. There was his political branch and then there was his ecclesiastical. While his political branch was eventually subdued by the Medio-Persians, his ecclesiastical continued to survive throughout the ages. The roots of the Babylonian mysteries, as they were known, extended back to the days of Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-10 & 11:1-9. The Babylonian mystery religion experienced much of its greatest prosperity and influence under Nebuchadnezzar's far-reaching dominion. It was preserved in the cultures of the conquering forces of the Medio-Persians, the Greeks and then the Romans, thus fulfilling Nebuchadnezzar's dream of Daniel 4:14-15 where he saw his kingdom cut down like a mighty tree and the fruit of the tree scattered.
To get a grasp on the exhaustive array of false religious fruit that has been scattered across the earth from Babylon, I would recommend reading Alexander Hislop's comprehensive work, "The Two Babylons." Hislop's research and documentation will leave no doubt with the honest researcher of mystery Babylon's ongoing global influence in these last days. We last spoke of mystery Babylon being found in the care of Rome. In Daniel Ch. 2 we can read of another prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar. In this dream he saw a giant statue made of different elements. It had a head of gold, which represented Babylon, its chest and arms, which represented the Medes and Persians were made of silver, and its belly and thighs of bronze represented Greece. The last portion of the statue is of special significance because the legs and feet are described as one element with a break in its continuity.
The legs were of iron, which represented the eastern and western kingdoms of the Roman Empire. The feet are then also shown as being made of iron, but mingled with clay. Verses 41-44 then reveal to us that the strength of iron (Rome) is in the pieced together feet and that the 10 toes of the feet represent 10 kings that will be destroyed in the days that God will set up His kingdom. In harmony with Revelation 17:12 these ten kings will be in power at the close of this age and will have a direct hand in destroying "mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots." History verifies that the military power of the Roman Empire was broken, but Rome managed to maintain global authority through religion. The high priest of the Babylonian mystery religion was called Pontifice Maximus. In order to keep in favor with Rome the Babylonian priesthood conferred this title to Caesar who not only accepted the position, but had his image along with this title minted upon coinage of his time.
Successive emperors of Rome also took the title until it was eventually declined. The pagan bishop who ruled over the Christian church at Rome, which had grown in power under Constantine, then accepted the title of Pontifice Maximus. Just as was prophesied in Rev. 17:18 the Roman pontiffs then ruled over the kings of Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire through the Roman Catholic Church. The practices of Roman Catholicism, everything from her attire and confessionals to her veneration of statues and praying for and to the dead, can all be traced directly back to her Babylonian heritage. According to Bible prophecy the ancient military might of the Roman Empire must be restored in these last days with an assemblage of 10 kings ruling directly under the Anti-Christ.
As is written in God's Word, the revived Roman empire will hate the harlot religion it has become bound to and their target for annihilation is to be a notable city where her power is centralized. It is not just a coincidence that the Roman Catholic Church has a city to itself that is so powerful that the Vatican is uniquely classified as not only a city, but even an independent country with its own seat at the United Nations. Having addressed the identity of the harlot, we can now answer why the revived Roman Empire will hate her. As was pointed out at the opening of this message, at the time of the harlot's destruction the forces of Anti-Christ will be preparing to make war with Jesus Christ as He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus will be returning as God and Ruler over the earth, the two positions the Anti-Christ covets with every ounce of his being because he is Satan's representative (see II Thess. 2:9 & Rev.13:4).
The harlot will have been vying for the same two positions by leading an ecumenical movement encompassing the gods of every false religion. That is why she is called "the Mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth." Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, Anti-Christ will not tolerate the sharing of his power and worship with other gods. In Revelation 17:3 we find that the harlot rides upon the beastly government of the Anti-Christ, suggesting two things which will stir up the fury of the 10 kings. First is that they are forced to carry her and secondly that as the rider of the beast she exercises some control over what direction it may go.
The vast majority of Bible prophecy teachers are in agreement that the European Union is going to soon fit all of the prophetic requirements of the revived Roman Empire. No matter how many times the number of members of the EU expand in fulfillment of the prophecy of Rev. 13:7-8, in the end the Anti-Christ and his ten kings will rule over them all. The fascinating development of what is taking place in the EU in 2004 regarding religion causes one to consider just how close we are to the time when the harlot will climb upon the back of the beast and gingerly handle the reins of her future destroyer. In the following May 26, '04 New York Times article which headlined, "Eu discusses putting God in its constitution" keep in mind the following, first and foremost that the majority of the original European Union membership do not want God mentioned in their new constitution. For this reason we can reasonably assume God will be left out of the EU constitution. Secondly, that it is only because of the new predominantly Roman Catholic members joining the EU that the issue of God being placed in the constitution has taken on added strength.
Then last is that the mention of God is not all that is being sought, but a recognition of the revived Roman Empire's historical Christian roots which is, as we have attempted to show, in fact a corrupted Babylonian hybrid. This issue is the one that could go either way. No matter what happens for now, we can rest assured that eventually Roman Catholicism will secure a temporary place of EU preeminence. The heritage of this prostituted Christianity which is mentioned in the article would have to include her historical murdering of countless numbers of true followers of Jesus Christ just as was prophesied of in Rev. 17:6. Inquisitions and crusades of the Middle Ages that the Roman Catholic institution reached the height of its authority and by her thefts acquired the majority of her bloodied wealth.
We have been foretold of her in verses 4 & 6 of Ch. 17 in the Book of Revelation, "The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication...And I saw a woman, drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus..." There is no condemnation to those Christians who find themselves bound in her grasp, but there is a clear call from the Lord for them to, "come out of her (Rev. 18:4-5). Now quoting from the New York Times article we read, ""EMOTIONAL ISSUE - Seven member countries campaign for a reference to Europe's Christian roots in the preamble. - As the Europeans haggle over the final wording of their first constitution, they are bedeviled by a three-letter word: God. Mind-numbing arguments over budget rules and weighed voting can be delegated to technocrats.
The issue of whether the most ambitious document in European Union history should include a reference to the continent's Christian heritage is different, an emotional, theological wrangle over the meaning of culture, history and faith. "Of course, we have a Judeo-Christian past, but the constitution is inspired by a heritage that is cultural, religious and humanist all at once," Michel Barnier, France's new foreign minister, said Tuesday. He made it clear that France would not bend to new pressure to inject religion into the draft, saying that the constitution should be "secular." the current wording, he added, is "well balanced." But with the entry of 10 new members into Europe this month, many of them predominantly Roman Catholic, positions have hardened.
The one issue European officials seem to agree on is that there probably will be no agreement on religion before a June 17 summit meeting in Brussels, where the constitution is scheduled to be completed. Last week, the foreign ministers of seven of the 25 European Union member countries, including two old members (Italy and Portugal) and five new ones (Poland, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), sent a brief letter to Ireland, the current holder of the European Union presidency, calling for a last-minute conversion. "The issue remains a priority for our governments" as well as "for millions of European citizens," the letter said. The letter urged "a reference to the Christian roots of Europe." Earlier this month, Pope John Paul II welcomed the accession of the 10 new member states to the EU and underlined the Christian values in which the group's unity was based.
At a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, the group of seven publicly issued the text of their letter to their colleagues. "We are not talking about a reference to Christian values, but to Christian traditions - hence to a historical fact that no one can change," the Polish foreign ministry, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, said. Last week, Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said the seven were asking for "a small inclusion in the text" that "would not alter the preamble too much." But other governments have insisted that the preamble of the current draft treaty goes far enough. In its present form, it states that the European Union draws "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe."
These are the final hours of the age of grace that we are living in. Kings still seek audiences before harlot Christianity's Pontifice Maximus in acquiescence to Mystery Babylon's incredible political authority and economic might. A great but limited authority which is on the verge of coercing the revived Roman Empire to restore her place of global domination. One day soon she will ride upon the festering hate-filled back of the one who will pull her down and devour her. That man, known as the Anti-Christ, waits uneasily in the wings as his kingdom reaches its final stages of preparation. Most importantly he unknowingly waits for every believer in the resurrected Lord Jesus who makes up the true Church of Christ, to be caught up from off of the earth by their Savior at the event commonly referred to as the Rapture, so that his path will not be hindered by Holy Spirit filled saints (see I Thess. 4:15-18). Today is the day to have your sins forgiven and blotted out by putting your faith in the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ, who died and was resurrected from the grave so that we might have eternal life. Don't put it off, the night is far spent and the day is at hand.