By Joel Richardson
Middle-Eastern media outlets are reporting that Israel may be about to launch a major attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Last week, Israel Today reported that Saudi Arabia had given Israel permission to use its airspace for an attack, and now the Iranian Fars News Agency has reported that a squad of Israeli jets has even landed at a military airstrip in Saudi Arabia. Could this development have any significance with regard to biblical prophecy? I believe it could.
One of the greatest prophetic mysteries of the Bible is the identity of a women referred to as "the Great Prostitute" found in Revelation 17 and 18. The woman is also referred to as "Mystery Babylon." She is initially portrayed as riding a seven-headed beast, but later this very same beast turns on her, "devours her and burns her with fire."
Now to those who are not well-versed in the book of Revelation, this of course will all sound bizarre. But to those who have studied this prophetic/apocalyptic capstone of the Bible, the symbolic imagery is all quite familiar.
As mysterious as the book of Revelation is, the story that it conveys is actually fairly simple. The larger context of the story begins a few chapters earlier describing a very different woman. This woman is about to give birth to a "man-child," but positioned before the woman is a seven-headed dragon that seeks to devour the child. Bible scholars are in near universal agreement that this woman represents the nation of Israel, which corporately gave birth to Jesus, the Messiah. The dragon of course, is Satan, the adversary of God and his people. Satan's desire down through the ages has been to thwart the redemptive plan of God in the earth by destroying Israel, in order to ultimately destroy the Messiah.
As the story unfolds, we are introduced to the seven-headed beast, a being which represents the seven world empires of history that have sought to destroy Israel. In that the beast is seen to be a reflection of Satan the dragon; it is also believed that these gentile empires have been Satan's primary vehicles or strongholds in the earth. The first world empire that made efforts to destroy the Hebrew people, of course, was Egypt. Egypt was followed by Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. This brings the number of empires to six. There is one more. Each one of these empires share the commonalities of having possessed the same destructive anti-Semitic spirit. Each sought, but failed, to exterminate the Jewish people.
But thus far, only six empires have been identified. The seventh and final head to follow the Roman Empire was the Islamic Empire that consisted of the various Islamic dynasties culminating in the Islamic Ottoman Empire. In my book "Islamic Antichrist," as well as in "God's War on Terror," co-authored with Walid Shoebat, the identity of Islam as the seventh empire is made abundantly clear.
With this background, we can now turn our attention back to the other woman, the Great Prostitute. Who is this women riding the beast, and why does the beast turn on her?
Identifying "Mystery Babylon" is actually far simpler than it might seem. The prototype of the ultimate last days Babylon, of course, was simply Babylon, the spiritual and economic capital of the Empire of Babylonia. Later in the first century, however, the Apostle Peter, writing from Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, referred to Rome as "Babylon" (1 Peter 5:13). In this, we see that the early church understood "Babylon" to be a concept that migrated. Babylon is a symbolic codeword that refers to the capital of the reigning beast empire. In the first century, the persecuting beast empire was the Roman Empire. But today, the anti-Semitic beast empire of the earth is the Islamic Empire.
So, what is the spiritual and financial capital of the Islamic world?
Undoubtedly, Mecca, situated in the heart of Saudi Arabia, is the spiritual capital of the Islamic world. Every day, 1.6 billion people bow toward this city praying to Allah, their god.
Also beyond the shadow of a doubt, the financial capital of the Islamic world is Saudi Arabia. Although this is perhaps one of the greatest taboos that one can state openly, it is Saudi Arabia, above any other nation or entity that has given birth to the global jihad. The Saudis finance the madrassas, mosques and Islamic centers throughout the earth. They raise up the hate preachers and send them to fill the pulpits and teach at the schools. And they fill the shelves with Saudi-approved radical Islamic pro-jihad literature.
What is Saudi Arabia's primary export?
Most will assume it be oil. Wrong. The answer is ideology; radical Islamic ideology. According to one authority, the Saudi Arabian government spends more every three days on Islamic missions than the Southern Baptist Convention (the world's largest protestant missions organization) spends every year. Saudi Arabia is the womb that gave birth to Islam 1,400 years ago, and today, Saudi Arabia continues to give birth to radical Islam throughout the nations.
As the spiritual and economic capital of the reigning anti-Semitic beast empire of our day, Saudi Arabia/Mecca may be identified as the Great Prostitute of Revelation 17 and 18. Most who hear this notion for the first time are surprised as it is a fairly novel concept. For a much more detailed expansion of this idea, I would refer you to my latest DVD, "Understanding the Times."
As I have traveled the nation, after teaching on this subject, I've yet to meet anyone who has rejected the idea outright. Saudi Arabia fulfills every last Scriptural description of the Prostitute to a T. And while nearly everyone has acknowledged the convincing nature of this perspective, nearly everyone asks, "But why would the radical nations that make up the Islamic beast empire turn on Saudi Arabia to destroy her?"
For anyone who understands the geopolitical climate of the Middle East, the answer is actually quite simple. While the Saudis pour open their treasuries to fund the radical jihadis globally, as well as to bribe and influence various world leaders and major universities, this cannot compare to the amount of money they spend to fund their own defense. The Saudis greatest enemy has always been the radical monster they created. Throughout the Middle East, the Saudi royals are viewed as a filthy rich, corrupt and compromised monarchy and an affront to true Islam.
And now, reports are coming in that claim the Saudis are collaborating with the Jewish nation, the enemy of all enemies, to launch an attack on Iran. I would undoubtedly say that has deep relevance with regard to biblical prophecy.
Joel Richardson is the author of "Islamic Antichrist," published by WND books and is the co-author with Walid Shoebat of "God's War on Terror." His blog is www.Joelstrumpet.com.
© 2010 Joel Richardson