Questions About The Babylon Prophecies–1/30/10

Questions About The Babylon Prophecies

Questions About The Babylon Prophecies

A Reader’s Questions

Responses by R.A. Coombes

Author of

America, The Babylon: Volumes 1 and 2

From time to time I get questions from readers concerning the Babylon prophecies.

Often times readers of The Alpha-Omega Report have never read my 2-volume work entitled: “America, The Babylon: America’s Destiny Foretold In Biblical Prophecy.”
There are instances though where readers have read my 2-volume work and other articles that I’ve written since then that are posted here at A-O that relate to Babylon issues and still have questions that need answers.

Such is the case with one reader who recently wrote asking some pertinent questions that I’ve never adequately addressed, particularly concerning the false notion that the “woman” of Revelation 17 “rides” the Beast. Consequently, I’m posting this reader’s questions here on The Alpha-Omega Report so that anyone else might also benefit from my responses.

Below is the copy-pasted E-mail message that I recently received from a reader who shall remain anonymous. I appreciate this individual’s questions as I believe they have genuine merit.

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I appreciate your in depth analysis and the gift God has given you for digging
prophetic truths out of the Word of God.  I agree with just about everything you
say, but I do have a question for you:
 
You indicate that America-Babylon will be destroyed by fire at the beginning of the tribulation right after what appears to be the rapture (Rev 18:4).  However, if this is the case, then:
 
How can the woman (America-Babylon) ride the beast (AntiChrist) (Rev 17:3, 7) if the beast has not been revealed and hasn’t received power yet until after she is
destroyed? (2Thess 2:6-8; Rev 17:13).  Also, this would mean that none of the
martyrdom that she has caused  (Rev 17:6; 18:24) would be in the tribulation, which is not impossible but unlikely since from Rev 4 onward the tribulation is in focus. Also, doesn’t Rev 14:8-10 indicate that America-Babylon is destroyed in the same time frame that the Mark of the Beast is enforced, which happens at the midpoint of the tribulation?
 
Thanks for any help you can give me in resolving these concerns.

May God bless you richly,


My Response:

The reader raises a very interesting series of questions, which I don’t believe I have ever dealt with publicly in comments. For that reason, I wanted to publish this reader’s questions anonymously with a special acknowledgement of thankfulness for the questions raised and then provide a public response for others that might have wondered or may wonder in the future.Let me begin by addressing the first question raised and connecting it to a common misconception that has been promulgated by a well-known author and minister, Dave Hunt. Many of you are familiar with Hunt’s famous book “A Woman Rides the Beast.”This book was first published in 1994 by Harvest House.

Hunt’s book title is apparently based upon his misinterpretation or rather mistranslation or misunderstanding of Revelation 17 and verses 3 and 7. His book title suggests that the woman of Revelation 17 is “riding” the scarlet-colored beast that has seven heads and ten horns.

Verse 3 states:

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”


Verse 7 states:

“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”


Our A-O reader then asks a 2-part question, no doubt influenced by Hunt’s book title. Allow me to address the first part of his question:

Q. #1  “How can the woman (America-Babylon) ride the beast? (AntiChrist) (Rev 17: 3,7)


A. #1. What does verse 3 state?

“and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast…”


The key term in question is the word “sit.” The Greek term employed in verse 3 is the word  — καθημενην καθημάί  = Strong’s Code # 2521.= transliterated as kathaymai.

The verb is a passive, present participle in the Greek.

The word itself can carry a variety of meanings depending upon its grammatical structure and context.

Often times, the word can mean, to sit or be sitting or to be seated. It can also mean “to dwell.”

It can also have a totally different meaning in which the word describes a state or a condition that is used for someone in a position of power or authority in discharging their duties of office, such as a judge or a Queen, as in occupying a throne or the idea of reigning with power. For example – this same word is found in Revelation 18:7 where we find the same word used in the phrase: “I sit a Queen” in describing our “woman” of Chapter 17.

So, in Revelation 17:3 the verse is telling us that the woman is either sitting or reigning over the beast. In other words, she is in power and in charge of all including the beast that is under her authority. We note the grammatical spelling of the word indicates passivity. She is not involved in any kind of action, such as the term “riding” would indicate.

The verse gives absolutely no indication that the woman is “riding” the beast. The passage gives no indication that the beast is moving in any way. Thus, the idea that the woman is “riding” the beast is an absolutely false assumption on the part of the reader and Dave Hunt.

However, one might raise an objection by raising the issue of Verse 7b which states:…

 

“I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her,”

 

In this passage the objection raised focuses on the English word, “carrieth.”

The original Greek word in question is the term:


βαστάζοντος  = βαστάζω = Strong’s Code #941 = Bastahzoh.

Here again we have a term that can carry different meanings dependent upon grammatical spelling and context usage. The term itself does not mean generally to move geographically. It involves more of a mental or emotional concept.

It can mean: “to bear, or to endure.” It can mean “to support” or “to put up with,” or “to take up” or “to carry” or “uplift” in a mental, or emotional sense.


Verse 3 already establishes that the relationship between the woman and the beast is one in which the woman reigns over or controls the beast. The beast is but a subject under the power and authority of the woman in chapter 17. 

Now the rest of the A-O Reader’s question is:


“How can the woman (America-Babylon) ride the beast if the beast has not been revealed and hasn’t received power yet until after she is destroyed?”

The second part of the questions assumes that the term “Ride” means something different that what we’ve already pointed out. The beast is subservient to the Woman and it does not indicate that the beast need be revealed first in order for the Woman to “καθημάί” have authority over or reign over the beast; or for the beast to have to endure her reign over the beast.

In other words the relationship between the woman and the beast is no different than the woman with any other human beings on earth.  The beast has not yet come to power. The real problem for the reader is a total misunderstanding of the terms “Ride” and  “carrieth” thinking the terms must indicate the beast being in power in order for the woman to “ride” the beast. The reality is that the original terms do not suggest any kind of power on the part of the Beast. The beast has no indications of power of any sort, based upon the original Greek text meanings.

Allow me a moment to rant and rail against morons like Dave Hunt. Dave Hunt wrote a book called “A Woman Rides the Beast.” It is a book that fosters total misconceptions about prophecy. Hunt never bothered to do his own homework in any real capacity. The fact that Hunt chose a misnomer for the title of his book should raise a question about his Biblical scholarship.

The best thing we can say for Hunt’s choice of a title is that he ‘assumed’ the term “Rides” was an appropriate interpretation for καθημαί  and  βαστάζω. Is anyone familiar with what seems to me to be a famous joke about “assuming” in that when assuming it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me?” Certainly, in the case of Hunt’s choice of title terminology, Hunt made an “a_ _” out of himself and reflects on his inability to accurately present Biblical interpretation.

What is even worse is that, no one, that I know of, has ever called Hunt out on this issue. Not one Seminary professor or Bible Prophecy “scholar” that I know of has ever published anything that exposes Hunt’s title error. I find that totally amazing that in 16 years, Hunt’s error has been overlooked and not subject to rebuke by anyone. Having vented my anger, let’s continue on with our reader’s valid questions.

Question number 2 raises another interesting question.


Q 2.  “Also, this would mean that none of the martyrdom that she has caused (Rev 17:6; 18:24) would be in the tribulation, which is not impossible but unlikely since from Rev 4 onward the tribulation is in focus.”

Answer:

First of all, the question is based on another assumption that is so common in prophetic circles. The assumption is that the Book of Revelation is written in a linear chronology. In other words, the events described are occurring in a linear time frame with each described event as occurring one right after another, throughout the entire book.

This is an assumption that is extremely common. As far as I know, none of the popular prophecy book authors have ever raised the issue that the events in Revelation might be out of chronological order. This is not true however of some Seminary professors. I studied under at least two such professors who raised the question that Revelation may not be written in a linear time frame.

There are also other Biblical scholars in the past who’ve raised similar objections including one noted scholar. R.H Charles. Dr. Charles wrote of his concerns in his commentary on Revelation entitled: “A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John” published in 1920 by T&T Clark.

Now for our purposes in this article, I will deal with the most obvious of all indications that the book of Revelation is not written in chronological order.

Revelation chapter 13 gives us our first introduction of the Antichrist and his False Prophet. Both are described as “beasts” coming up out of the sea. We also see the introduction for the “mark of the beast” being described and his number is noted as 666.

Yet when we come to Revelation chapter 17, we once again see the beast described. Initially, the beast or Antichrist is described as being under the authority of the Great Whore, the Mother of the Harlots, who “reigns” over the Beast/Antichrist. 

Note that in verse 11, the text indicates even then that the “Beast” “was not” and “is not”yet come into power. Not until verse 13 do we see the beast being voted into power by the 10 horns.

This means that Revelation 17: 11 is out of the chronological sequence from the previous 3 chapters (14-16). To be in chronological order, Revelation 17: 1-14 should be part of Revelation chapter 13. After all, Chapter 13 describes the arrival of the Antichrist upon the world stage.

We read of the Antichrist’s role and power in chapters 13 and 14 and events through chapter 16 that take us right up until the moment before the Second Coming of Christ. Revelation 16 ends with the final judgment given. Indeed Revelation 16: 19 mentions Babylon being “remembered” before God, almost as an after thought. The sentence structure of the verse implies that, “oh, by the way, Babylon was also remembered by God to give …”

So by the end of Chapter 16, the next chronological event is the Second Coming.

Now some of you might object here and state that Revelation 16:19 indicates Babylon’s judgment and thus, the chronological time frame remains intact. Yes it does, until Chapter 17 and 18 which, if nothing else goes on to describe Babylon’s two different destructions. Yes, there are two distinctly different judgments described, just as there are two distinctly different judgments described by Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning Babylon’s destruction.

Furthermore, Revelation 18:6 states a double-judgment, or a two-fold judgment upon Babylon.

“Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.”


Notice the use of the word “double.” The word is used three times in one single sentence.
“Double unto her double.”

Isaiah, Jeremiah and Revelation all describe a fire judgment. The fire judgment is the first judgment.

Revelation 18: verse 8 tells us

“her plagues come in one day… and she shall be utterly burned with fire.”


Verse 9 also indicates fire. – “they shall see the smoke of her burning,…”

Verse 10 tells us the time frame: “that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

Verse 17 again reaffirms the one hour time frame: “For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.”

Verse 18 re-establishes the fire judgment: “And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning…”

Verse 19  reaffirms the time frame of one hour: “for in one hour is she made desolate.”

Isaiah 13: 19-21

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”

“It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.”

“But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”


Notice Isaiah indicates Babylon’s judgment is as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. Isaiah also states that afterwards, Babylonian becomes like a desert. The text states it will never be inhabited but it does say that desert like conditions will develop with desert animals living there for an unspecified time frame.

Now Jeremiah 50 32

“and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.”

Jeremiah 51: 25  “and will make thee a burnt mountain..”

Jeremiah 51: 30  “have burned her dwelling places;”

Jeremiah 51:58  “her high gates shall be burned with fire;”

These all indicate a fire judgment, in which Babylon becomes a desert for an unspecified time frame.

But there is more than just a fire judgment. Jeremiah also describes a “water” judgment  in Jeremiah 51: 42, 55 & 64.

“The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof…”


“Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered


“And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her”


And in Revelation 18:21 we find a similar watery scenario described.

Rev 18: 21

“And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”


This water judgment is what is being described in Revelation 16:19-21 as Babylon is remembered before God.


Review:

So that in review, we’ve noted that Revelation 18:6 describes a two-fold judgment.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and John all speak of a fire judgment that takes place in one hour of one day, resulting in desert-like conditions for an unspecified time frame. The second judgment is a water judgment in which the sea comes up and over Babylon and she sinks to the bottom of the ocean, never to rise again.

Judgment #1 occurs in one hour of one day, during the same one-hour time frame in which Revelation 17:12-16 describes the Beast (Antichrist) being voted into power by the 10 horns.


Verse 12. “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.

Verse 13. “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Verse 16. “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

It should be noted that Revelation 17 and 18 are written for the same contextual time frame and Revelation 17:18 makes this very clear as it states that the “woman IS the ‘hey polis hey megala.’ “ and the key verb “IS” is a grammatical verb that is called a “linking verb” meaning it becomes like an “equal” sign in mathematics.

The woman = the megalopolis.

The term megala-polis is a compound word meaning “a super-power nation”
So, we have a double-judgment. One judgment is a fire judgment that takes place in one hour of one day. At the same time Babylon is destroyed by a one-hour fire judgment, the Antichrist is being voted into power. The fire judgment results in temporary desert-like conditions taking place as described by Isaiah 13: 19-21.
We then have a second, distinctly different judgment of water wherein the sea comes up and over Babylon and she sinks beneath the waves during the great and final ‘bowl’ judgment as described in Revelation 16:19-21 in which a super-earthquake of the likes of which has never occurred in human history wrecks the earth. All the islands of the world disappear. All the mountain ranges flatten out and Babylon is once again remembered before God for the special “double-judgment” just before or at the critical moment when Jesus Christ appears with his church and the angelic armies accompanying Him to conquer the Earth and establish the Millennial reign of Christ.

In conclusion: I have demonstrated textually that Revelation is not linear in time. If nothing else, Revelation, chapters 17 and 18 are out of the logical, sequential flow of events.

The Question of Martyrdom:

The woman of Revelation 17 is a reference to the goddess Ishtar, who in reality is a fallen angel who initially was around on Planet Earth before Noah’s flood is held responsible by God for ALL innocent deaths from the death of Abel to the Second Coming of Christ.

We know this because of Revelation 18:24

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

What is critical to note in verse 24 is verb tense of “were slain.” The Greek term for were slain is the word – εσφαγμένων = grammatically a verb that is a “perfect participle.”

A perfect participle means that the action refers back to a specific point of time in the past that continues up to the present moment and continues on into the future to a specific point of time indicated.

So, the verb refers to all of those having been slain. This means that this fallen angel, Ishtar, known as “The Mother of The Harlots” and “The Great Whore of Babylon” is guilty of the blood shed from the time of Abel all the way through time including all others who were having been slain upon the earth.

Because of this verb tense, no nation, or city could ever be responsible for all the deaths from Abel and those thereafter, because the verb references itself to the very first incident of anyone being slain. Abel was the first such individual who was slain on Earth. She is also held responsible for all those slain during the Tribulation period.

She is not alone in taking blame for at least some of the deaths of the prophets and saints. Jesus notes that the Pharisees would be held accountable for the deaths of earlier prophets even before their time.

See Matthew 23:34-36

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:”

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

“Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”

So you see the guilt upon Ishtar, the Fallen Angel is not without Divine precedent.


Final Question:

Q. “Also, doesn’t Rev 14:8-10 indicate that America-Babylon is destroyed in the sametime frame that the Mark of the Beast is enforced, which happens at the midpoint of the tribulation?”

No. The angelic activity described in Revelation 14 is that of warning. The first angel warns the recipients to worship the True God. The second angel – REMINDS the recipients of what happened to Babylon and the third angel warns what will happen to anyone taking the Mark of the Beast and worships the Beast. In other words, what happened to Babylon will happen to anyone worshiping the Beast and taking his mark.

Here again, we see Revelation is not linear in time. Also it should be noted that the double-repetition of the Angel’s statement: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen” is indicative of a double-judgment. It is also indicative of certainty. The fact that the angelic statement comes in the middle of the other two angelic messages does not indicate that Babylon’s judgment comes at that point in time.

Babylon’s first judgment comes as the Antichrist comes to power. In point of fact, it is more likely that the Antichrist is voted into power because of the destruction of Babylon, because Babylon was “THE” Lone Super-Power at the time of the fire judgment. As Babylon’s judgment unfolds, the ten horns convene some sort of one-hour emergency meeting. The ‘beast’ is present. During this one hour time frame, the 10 horns vote to select and give their authority to the Beast.

God states in verses 17 that they do so, ultimately because God motivates them to give their authority to the Beast. The motivation is most likely God’s demonstration of His power by destroying Babylon by fire.

A Final Note on “Timing” in Bible Prophecy:

There are many Seminary professors and textual scholars who understand that trying to establish dogmatic timelines is foolish. The idea that we can be dogmatic on many predicted events yet to be fulfilled is simply dangerous. We really must keep an open mind about events along God’s prophetic time-line. The only event that any of us can be certain of is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ occurs at the end of the Tribulation Period. Everything else is all just ‘theoretical.” This includes the timing of the Rapture, the Magog War, The Abomination of Desolation, and the instituting the Mark of the Beast, just to name a few of the events prophesied in writing.

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