The Woman Is That Great City
In a previous Christian Media CURRENTS, we showed how Zechariah chapter 5, prophesied concerning the system of commerce that is to be so significant in the finale of human history. The vision of Zechariah clearly associates the mercantile system that is conveyed through the concept of an ephah (a sort of basket that forms a unit of commercial measurement) with the spiritual reality we know as WICKEDNESS. The prophecy tells us the system was scheduled to be physically transported at some future point to "the land of Shinar" (Babylon's locale) where it is to be "established" and set up on the "base" of the woman that was seen inside the Ephah. The full vision reads as follows:
"Then the angel that talked with me...said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead on the mouth thereof.
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings...and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the Ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set their upon her own base." (Zechariah 5:5-10)
This amazing prophecy prefigures the global triumph of the monetary system of exchange that we know as transnational capitalism. What is significant is the fact that the vision also plainly imparts the idea that the common symbolic element in prophetic literature that is used to describe religion (a woman) is seen as completely integrated into the system of commerce - i.e. the woman is inside the basket.
The association of a woman as a symbolic representation of a religious body is almost universal throughout the Bible. In fact, we see both polarities of good and evil represented in feminine images. On one side the Christians are visualized as "the bride of Christ" whereas in Old Testament examples, Israel was seen as the "wife" of Jehovah (Yahweh). The contrast between the two is sharp as the "bride" is seen as a pure and chaste virgin, whereas the Lord repeatedly tells us of Jerusalem's adultery "although I was an husband to them." (Jeremiah 31:32)
The idea of spiritual whoredoms runs throughout the prophets and the law, and so when we see the woman that is characterized with the term "wickedness" in the Zechariah 5 vision, it's difficult not to see this prophetic communication in religious terms. Ultimately, the imagery associating a woman with a religion also is merged into the identification of a city.
When "Mystery, Babylon The Great" rides in on the beast, she is definitively characterized as a religious whore through the additional description of her as "The Mother Of Harlots." (Revelation 17:5).This derogatory description paints her in an apostate religious fashion (as opposed to a corrupt political order) because she is distinctly separate from the military and political beast that she rides in Revelation 17. Another point of identification is the term MYSTERY itself. In the New Testament, the Christian church is said to be a "mystery" (Ephesians 3:9) - thus providing the opposite symmetry for this evil "mystery" to be considered as a religious body.
On the godly side of the conflict, the imagery is consistent when we see the woman in the wilderness "which brought forth the man child" as she is being persecuted by the great red dragon. This "woman" is obviously an allusion to the collective body we would recognize as the elect of the Lord. Indeed, in the end of the conflict, this blessed "woman" seems to transition from "the bride" who is in attendance at the great wedding supper of the lamb, into "that great city, holy Jerusalem" as it descends from heaven.
The prior passage makes the connection as the angel tells John "Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the lamb's wife" and then proceeds instead to describe the city characterized as "new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2)
The fact that the vision of the "bride" merges with a "city" that is seen as "Having the glory of God; and her light was like a stone most precious..." (Revelation 21:11) continues the motif of the chaste female being joined unto the glorious God within the descriptive context of the heavenly city of New Jerusalem.
Again, the symmetry is precise as the harlot church is also described as "that great city [which] made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Revelation 14:8) These cryptic scriptural clues pertaining to the true identity of the final Babylon are abundant as the linguistic usage is consistent within the text.
For instance, in another widely quoted but little understood passage in Revelation, we see a direct reference to JERUSALEM under the symbolic names of Sodom and Egypt. The verse tells us that Jerusalem is "that great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." (Revelation 11:8)
While it is obvious that Christ was executed in Jerusalem, it is significant that the Spirit of God chooses to allude to that great city with the provocative designations of two places that are renowned for their associations with worldly evil. Sodom is known for the sins of the flesh whereas Egypt is always seen in scripture as a similitude of the ungodly world system the believers are to come out of.
This type of identification is all over the various prophetic texts, and it is not limited to women and cities. For example, in the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul also utilizes the metaphor of women when he compares the two covenants that God made with Israel. In this wonderful example, he compares the two wives of Abraham (Hagar the Egyptian, and Sara the Hebrew) to the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
In Galatians 4, we that that Hagar was the slave girl (symbolizing the law) that was given to Abraham, and her child Ishmael became the father of the Arabs (note the subtle allusion to the forthcoming bondage of Islam). Sara was the promised one that was wed to the great patriarchal figure, and her freeborn status is compared to the freedom found in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Paul then moves the analogy to Mount Sinai and Jerusalem - the former as the site of the origination of the law, and the latter as the city of the great king that brings us His grace.
It's crucial that we see that the same figure can have opposite meanings in different contexts. For instance, in the just cited example in Galatians, we see Jerusalem described as "Jerusalem, which is above, is free..." whereas in Revelation, the same place occupies the negative role in the simile where Jerusalem is seen as Sodom and Egypt in Revelation 11:8. Also, before we leave Galatians, it should be noted that Paul provides us with a profound bit of prophetic information when he informs us that "Jerusalem...is the mother of us all." (Galatians 4:26)
While there are several examples of the various dominions and kingdoms portrayed in scripture as being a "great city," these examples also testify as to the transitory nature of such identifications. As a case in point, we see another great city known as Tyre that has a vivid text relating to the king of Tyre. In the passage, the prophet Ezekiel takes "up a lamentation for the king of Tyre." (Ezekiel 28:12. While the prophet starts out with an adverse description of the pride and riches of this unnamed king, he then states "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering...Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth...Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:13-15) Those familiar with scriptural geography know that Tyre was most certainly not in Eden, and no political "king" was ever perfect as we realize the identity of this ruler is smoothly transitioned into Satan himself. Thus, the concept of a shifting identity is hardly foreign to the prophetic texts.
There are actually several texts that tell us the identity of Babylon is to be treated in the same light of progressive revelation. For instance, in the very end of Peter's first Epistle, he writes "the church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you." (I Peter 5:13)
According to the book of The Acts Of the Apostles and other early church documents, there is much doubt that Peter was ever in Babylon. Indeed, it is very clear that Peter was in Rome - and apparently cryptically referred to Rome as Babylon, based on the fact the Romish religion was in his time already departing from the historic Gospel of Jesus Christ (II Thessalonians 2:7).
In our present timeline, we see that the only city that can possibly fit the multi-tiered description of "Babylon" that is found in Revelation would have to be New York City - yet even that great city will not exhaust the prophetic scope of the amazing Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Clearly, Babylon has transitioned through the age from the literal original Babylon, to the present mercantile headquarters that is the financial head of America, and finally to the last "Babylon" that is destined to host the ultimate "king of Babylon." The prophetic texts make it abundantly clear that the ANTICHRIST is the final manifestation of the spiritual entity behind the various titles such as the king of Babylon, the king of Tyre, the Pharaoh, the Assyrian, the Son of Perdition, etc.
Again, the texts are layered with "many antichrists" (I John 2:18), but there is a final manifestation that will ultimately rule from JERUSALEM.
Because the so-called Christian church has overwhelming made "the word of God of none effect through [their] tradition" (Mark 7:13) of the Jews being the "chosen people" in the New Testament era, the truth of the identity of the last Babylon is thoroughly masked because "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (II Corinthians 4:4)
The uncomfortable truth is that Jerusalem is scheduled to be the final manifestation of "that great city" that commits fornication with the kings of the earth.
Again, while many point to Rome and the brazen apostasy of the Papacy, they see what was but one manifestation of the spiritual mystery of Babylon. Others recognize America's New York City as the only "great city" that can fit the vivid description of the burning of Babylon seen in Revelation 18. Still others cling to the absurd notion that ancient Babylon in Iraq will be rebuilt as a future world capital. However, in the endgame that is dead ahead, the only possible identification is JERUSALEM - the place in which Satan is predicted to "plant the tabernacle of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (Daniel 11:45)
Come let us reason together. Since "Mystery, Babylon The Great" is plainly said to be "the mother of harlots," how can Catholicism (as in Rome), or Islam (as in literal Babylon) be the "mother" religion?
The simple truth is that Jerusalem becomes the final Babylon when the three primary religious movements converge on that great city. The three religions that lay claim to Jerusalem have all committed an enormous apostasy in order to merge under the global banner of the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the United Nations construct that is their habitation. .
As I have repeatedly prophesied, the United Nations (or a successor organization founded on the same principles) will be relocated to Jerusalem, and all of this will occur in the very near future when the Beast of Babylon finally achieves his long desired objective.
The real "king" of Babylon has worked for millennia towards this goal and it is now in sight as he will place the capital of his world government and his iniquitous religion in that most prized possession - the city of the great king - Jerusalem.
See the striking similarities found in the maps of the Three Babylons HERE.
September 30, 2002 - James Lloyd
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