“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.”
This one verse makes a mess of a common interpretation of the seven-headed beast and the harlot. That interpretation being that the last head of this beast is the Roman Catholic church and that the harlot is also the Roman Catholic church. How can the harlot and beast be the same entity if the one hates the other and destroys it?
It’s easy to see why many are convinced that the harlot is the Roman Catholic church. In scripture the Church of God is often referred to as a woman and an apostate Church as a harlot. The Catholic church is an easy target since it is the largest of the Christian churches and it is very wealthy. Not only that, but they are guilty of much bloodshed from their inquisition days. So it may be easy to picture her being drunk on the blood of the saints.
As for the beast, it’s argued that the 6th head was the Roman Empire and that the 7th head was the Roman Catholic church, which came to power after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Both of these ideas can’t be true and maybe neither is.
Let’s take a closer look at the 7th head of the beast. The book of Revelation tells us that there are 10 horns on this head and that these kings have not yet appeared on the scene at the time John the Revelator received the vision. When we compare this with the gold-headed image in Daniel, we find that the final kingdom of that image is the feet, which has 10 toes, some made of iron and others of clay. The previous kingdom of this image is the iron legs which suggest a kingdom that was divided in half. Was the Roman Empire divided in half? Yes, it was divided over religious differences into the Western Orthodox (Roman Catholic) church centered in Rome and the Eastern Orthodox church centered in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey). The toes most likely get their iron from one or both of these factions. But where does the clay come from?
It seems logical to look for the clay in the nations that made up the first kingdoms of the image, since the imagery of both Daniel and Revelation implies that the final kingdom is a composite of the previous kingdoms. These nations are generally agreed to be Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece, and Rome. I already addressed Rome, so where are these other kingdoms today? Babylon is modern-day Iraq, Persia is Iran, and Greece is well Greece. What powers rule these countries? Iran and Iraq are governed by Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. The prodominent religion in Greece is Greek Orthodox, which is a flavor of the Eastern Orthodox (Catholic) church. Islam and Cathlocism, a strange mixture indeed! But is there any evidence of an alliance forming between these religions/nations? The Prophet Muhammad indicated that the Muslim nations would make an alliance with a somewhat ambigious nation named Rûm. The popular Sheikh Imran Hosein identified Rûm, not as Rome, but as the fallen Byzantine Empire which used to be centered in Constantinople. However he says the religion of this empire (the Eastern Orthodox church) is now centered in Moscow, Russia. So he’s expecting a Russian/Muslim alliance in the not too distant future. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the close economic/political ties between Russia and Iran in recent years.
I’ve identified two potential Eastern Orthodox nations (Russia and Greece) and two Muslim nations (Iran and Iraq) who are likely members of the ten-toed kingdom of these latter-days. At present I don’t think I can identify the other toes with any confidence, although I suspect Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Pakistan are among them. Other European countries may even be involved, however, I think we can all safely forget the declining European Union being involved in this alliance.
If the nations named are correctly identified as being part of the leadership of the final head of the beast, it should be relatively easy to identify who the harlot is. We just have to ask ourselves one question: “Which nation(s) do these four beast nations hate?” The United States is the obvious choice, but the Muslim nations also hate Israel and to a lesser degree Britain. We can certainly see how the population of the United States in general has lived an oppulent lifestyle compared to the rest of the world. The same is also true for many nations in Europe. In fact, it could be said that the reason for the United States’ wealth is because it rides on the back of third world countries (China, the Middle East, and South America). And she controls these countries through various economic means (sanctions, subsidies/loans, etc). Much of this is done through the World Bank, IMF, and the New York Stock Exchange. The book of Revelation also identifies the woman as a diverse city made up of many peoples and tongues, a city of trade and commerce. New York City is the natural match.
But how is the United States/New York City a harlot? You certainly couldn’t label this nation or city as belonging to any one church, although a large majority of the population of the United States still identify themselves as Christian, most of those being either Protestant (51%) or Catholic (24%). Interestingly in New York City, the demographics change somewhat, its population being 40% Catholic and 30% Protestant. Even if you can agree with me that both of these denominations are apostate, how could they be accused of being drunk on the blood of the saints? We could of course point to the inquisitions of the Catholic church, which no doubt have not been forgotten by God. However, those crimes aren’t specific to the United States. We do have one crime which continues to grow in popularity in the United States. Current statistics state that one out of every three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Could these unborn children be considered saints by God? This is certainly a possibility. As a Mormon, it is also my belief that the United States became guilty of shedding the blood of at least two saints when it allowed the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum to be taken by an angry mob. Not only that, but many other Mormons lost their lives when they were driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois by similar mobs. Many of them died in the harsh trek westward to Utah. Lastly, it’s a well known fact that the United States government was involved in the extermination of many Native Americans through war and the intentional spread of disease. Do you think a just God has forgotten these crimes against his people?
Some have speculated that 1967 was a Jubilee year since it was a year in which the Jews reclaimed much of their homeland in the Six-Day War. I will show here that there is far more evidence pointing to 1978 being a Jubilee year than 1967.
I will begin by searching for a Jubilee year around the time of Christ. After all, what greater liberation of the captives have we had in the history of man than what was made possible by Christ’s crucifixion? Most biblical historians place Jesus’ ministry somewhere between 26-33 AD. One of these years very likely was a Jubilee year.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar… Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;”
“And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,”
These passages from the 3rd chapter of Luke show us that Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the 15th year of Tiberius Cæsar. History shows us that Tiberius began to reign in 14 AD. If we add 15 years to this date we get 29 AD. But he didn’t begin his reign at the end of the year, so we subtract one year to get 28 AD.
After Jesus was baptized he went into the desert and fasted for 40 days and endured the temptations of the devil. Afterwhich he returned to Galilee and taught in the synagogues.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Many believe Jesus was identifying this year in his ministry as a Jubilee year. This event seems to have happened relatively close to his baptism, very possibly that same year (28/29 AD), but we have no solid evidence for this. However, one could convincingly argue that it was early in Jesus’ ministry since it is one of the first few events related to us by Luke.
One of the most significant years in Mormon history is 1830, it being the year the church was founded and the Book of Mormon was first published. However, was it a Jubilee year?
Josephus states, “six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval.” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book Chapter 3, Section 9) It takes 12 Jubilees to make up 600 years (50*12=600). If we count back three of these 600 year periods we end up at 30 AD, remarkably close to the suspected Jubilee year during the time of Jesus.
Lorenzo Snow (the 5th President of the LDS church) believed 1830 to be a Jubilee year. This is evidenced by the fact that he called 1880 a Jubilee year and he forgave all Church debts in that year .
Moving foward two Jubilee years from 1880 to 1980, we find significant events happening in the nation of Israel. Probably the most significant is the 1978 Camp David Accords which lead to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Indeed, such a treaty would lead to a freeing of captives. True to their word, we have not seen any major aggression from Egypt toward Israel since 1978. Up until that point Egypt was the only country that participated in every attack made on Israel.
Lastly, some prophetic evidence:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
The Jews stopped performing their daily sacrifices (morning and evening sacrifice) after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. The “abomination that maketh desolate” began to be built by the Muslims in 688/689 AD. It is known today as the Dome of the Rock. If you add 1290 to this year you get 1978/1979.
Believing 1978 to be a Jubilee year leads us into some interesting predictions for the future. Using the Samaritan calendar, we can give names to each of the “weeks” (7 years) of the 50 years following 1978.
|1979-1985||The crossing of the Red Sea|
|1986-1992||The changing of the water of marah|
|1993-1999||Where they found 12 water springs and 70 palm trees|
|2000-2006||The manna, which fell down upon them from heavens in the desert|
|2007-2013||The welling out of water from the rock|
|2014-2020||The battles against Amaleq|
|2021-2027||Standing at Mount Sinai|
We are still in the “welling out of water from the rock” week, which suggests economic hardship, not surprisingly started in 2007. Starting in 2014 we enter into seven years of war against Amaleq (descendants of Esau: the Arab/Muslim nations). After those years of war (or maybe during them), modern-day Israelites will be gathered to Mt Sinai.
Daniel gives another year to watch out for:
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
If we add 1335 to 688/689 we get 2023/2024. This is near the middle of the last week, after the week of wars with the Muslims. Indeed it would be a very blessed time.