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Daniel and Revelation
Revelation 17-18 – Mystery
Revelation 17:1-2 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, (2) with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality."
Revelation 17 and 18 is about the judgment of the great prostitute. We must first identify the great prostitute. We are told the prostitute sits on many waters. Skipping down to verse 15, we read, “The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.” Does the prostitute literally commit sexual immorality? No, in the Bible prostitution is a figure of speech for idol worship. In Ezekiel 16, Israel was said to be a prostitute because she worshiped other gods. In other words, the great prostitute is a false religion.
Some believe the prostitute is the worship of money. Others believe Mystery Babylon is the old Roman Empire. Some have suggested Mystery Babylon is the United States. I believe the false prophet is the Islamic Mahdi. This would make the false religion of the prostitute be Islam. Rulers of the world will embrace Islam. The people of the earth will be made drunken with the power of this false religion.
What does it mean to be drunk with a false religion? Think about the Islamic terrorists of today. Do they act rationally? They kill in the name of Allah. They believe they are rational. But because of the lies of Satan they act irrationally. To be drunk is to act without reason. Thus they are drunk because they worship a false religion and they are acting on the basis of that religion.
Revelation 17:3-5 He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal , full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet , and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth. (5) And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
The woman is taken to a wilderness or a desert. Literally speaking, the desert could be that of Mecca and Saudi Arabia. But figuratively speaking, the desert is the time of the great tribulation for the Church. It’s not a time for the harvest. It’s a time when no more work can be done.
The woman is dressed in purple and scarlet, and is decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. This reminds us of the rich Islamic countries of today. I say rich because the rulers are rich and not the people. They are rich with the money of oil. We’ve seen pictures of cars, owned by the princes of Saudi Arabia, covered entirely in diamonds.
There is a name written on the prostitutes’ forehead. The name is rather long. Or it can be thought of as having several characteristics. First of all, the name is a mystery. This means that there is wisdom in studying the Scripture to learn the meaning of the name.
The name is Babylon the Great. This brings us back to chapter 13 of this book. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of the statue. The head was gold, the chest was silver, the thighs were bronze, and the legs were iron. The feet and toes were iron and clay. The whole statute is destroyed when Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom. Since the head is Babylon, the whole statue is Babylon. When the feet are destroyed, Babylon is destroyed. We also learned how Israel would return to the land after 70 years of Babylonian captivity. God promised to destroy Babylon when Israel returns. But Israel had not yet overcome sin. So God’s promise to destroy Babylon was put on hold until Israel could overcome sin. That’s the mystery. The legs of iron is Islam. When Islam is destroyed God will have fulfilled his promise to destroy Babylon. But this cannot occur until Israel overcomes sin. Remember that we the Church are grafted into Israel. We must all overcome all our sinful habits before Babylon can be destroyed.
The name on her forehead is also the “mother of prostitutes”. In the ancient world Babylon was the center of idol worship. It was the primary false religion of that day. It was the center of Satan’s kingdom. Today, Islam is the center of Satan’s kingdom. This makes Islam be the mother of prostitutes. John spoke of the spirit of antichrist already being in this world. The spirit of antichrist is that which comes against God or Jesus Christ. As we will see, there were a series of kingdoms, starting with Egypt, which came against God and thus had the spirit of antichrist. Islam comes against the very core of Christianity by teaching that Christ did not die for our sins and that Christ is not the Son of God. Islam is the last kingdom in this series of seven. A revived Islamic Caliphate will be the eighth head of the beast.
The name on her forehead is also the “abominations of the earth”. The prostitution is the false religion itself. It’s the idol worship. The abominations are the terrible things that are done in the name of those false religions. In ancient times children were sacrificed in the name of those false religions. This was an abomination. Throughout the history of Islam, nations have been conquered in the name of Allah and people have been killed for failing to convert to Islam. This is also an abomination. God does not force people to convert by the threat of death.
Revelation 17:6 NIV I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
Earlier we talked about Islamic terrorism and how it causes irrational behavior. Here we see these Muslims are drunk with the blood of Christians and most probably Jews. Throughout Islam’s long history, nations were conquered in the name of Allah. Today, Islam is again being advanced by the sword.
Revelation 17:7-8 NIV Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. (8) The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction . The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
We covered a lot of this verse back in chapter 27 of this book. That was the chapter on Revelation 13. Revelation 13 introduced the beast with ten horns and seven heads. Here it is reversed. There are seven heads and ten horns. This chapter of Revelation puts more emphasis on the heads than it does the horns. This chapter is about Babylon, and the historic sequence of kingdoms from Egypt to the Islamic Caliphate. This chapter is about the Middle East reign of the false prophet and a historical perspective of Bible prophecy. That’s why the seven heads are first.
The beast once was, is not, but will come again. Notice that the beast “will come up out of the Abyss.” In chapter 27 we learned how this could be talking about the return of Nero. The inhabitants of the world will be astonished that the world leader is killed and then sometime later comes back to life. I think that when he comes back to life he will have the soul of Nero, out of the Abyss.
In chapter 27 we also talked about the names written in the book of life from the creation of the world. Everyone’s name was written from the creation of the world. But you can lose your salvation if you join the spirit of antichrist and blaspheme Christ when he appears in the New Jerusalem. Those who are astonished at the antichrist coming back to life will have a tendency to worship the beast and take the mark of the beast. Their names will be blotted from the book of life and they will lose their salvation. They will not be resurrected.
Revelation 17:9-11 ESV "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. (10) They are also seven kings . Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. (11) The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
The mind with wisdom goes back to wisdom from God and the understanding of Scripture. The woman sits on seven hills. Many have attributed the seven hills to the Seven Hills of Rome. The Greek word used here for ‘hills’ really means ‘mountains.’ There is another Greek word they can be translated as hills. There are several translations which use the word ‘mountains.’ This translation apparently used ‘hills’ because of the belief that it is talking about Rome.
In the Old Testament, the word ‘mountain’ is often used to mean ‘kingdom.’ The verse says they are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. This strongly implies a historical sequence of kingdoms. So the Seven Hills of Rome really does not work. The seven heads are not two different things. It’s an historical sequence of kingdoms which have controlled Israel. The woman, therefore, sits on seven mountains which are seven historical kingdoms.
Many of us have assumed that the sequence of kings should start with Nebuchadnezzar. This would force us to name specific kings, instead of kingdoms, which seemed most likely to be types for the antichrist. But such lists were only conjecture and did not come across as convincing. But the sequence of kingdoms which controlled Israel actually goes back to Egypt. The sequence that makes perfect sense is: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek, Roman, and the Islamic Caliphate. The five that had fallen, at the time of John, were the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek Empires. The one that was at the time of John was the Roman Empire. And the one that would come later is the Islamic Caliphate.
The beast that once was, now is not, but will come again is the end-times antichrist. Let’s assume he is Nero. He is an eighth king. But he belongs to the seven. More specifically he belongs to Rome. But it’s not a revived Roman Empire. It’s a revived Islamic Caliphate. So the eighth king belongs to both the sixth and the seventh head.
Many have tried to make sense of this verse without including the Islamic Caliphate, which also controlled Jerusalem for many years. Some have said that the seventh head that would come is a revived Roman Empire. If so, then what is the eighth? You could argue the eighth head is the man while the seventh head is the government. But this does not fit the pattern of Scripture. In ancient times, the king is always considered indistinguishable from the kingdom. This little mystery becomes clear when we allow the Islamic Caliphate to be the seventh kingdom, which is a kingdom which must remain for a little while.
Is the Islamic Caliphate really a kingdom that controlled Jerusalem? There were times when Christians took control of Jerusalem back. But the majority of the time, from 640 AD until 1967, Jerusalem was controlled by Muslims. Yes, the Muslim Caliphate shifted over those centuries. But Jerusalem was still predominantly under Muslim control. The Muslim Caliphate is similar to the Christian (Catholic) pope. There were times when we had more than one pope. But the religious Catholic belief is that you can only have one pope. The same is true for the Islamic Caliphate.
Israel became a nation in 1948. But they did not control Old Jerusalem until 1967. Old Jerusalem is a part of what today is called the West Bank. Before 1967, the West Bank was a part of the country of Jordan. It’s called the West Bank because Jordan extended across the Jordan River. The West Bank was that part of the country of Jordan. The modern city of Jerusalem is in the nation of Israel. But the Old city of Jerusalem was across the border inside Jordan, inside the West Bank.
Prior to 1967, the area that we call Gaza was part of Egypt. And the area we call the Golan Heights was part of Syria. These three areas are collectively known as the “occupied territories.” In 1967, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt joined forces in a war with Israel. This war is called the Six Day War because Israel defeated these three armies in six days. After these six days, Israel controlled the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza, and much of Egypt. After the war, Israel gave the land in Egypt back, except for Gaza.
The so-called two-state solution is for Israel to give up the occupied territories. But they would not be returned to Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. They would become a “Palestinian state.” Palestine was never a state. But they want to make it become a state. Obama has stated that he wants that state to include Old Jerusalem, which would be considered unacceptable by Israel.
Hamas is in Gaza, launching rockets at Israel. But the rockets are mostly low-tech rockets. The only thing that holds back the level of technology for these rocket is Israel’s (and Egypt’s) blockade of the ports of Gaza. If a two-state solution were put in place, Gaza would get free access to ships coming in with high-tech rockets to destroy Israel.
Hezbollah is in Lebanon, and they sometimes attack Israel with higher-tech rockets from the north. They are supplied by Iran. If there was a two-state solution, Hezbollah would simply move into the West Bank. They would be able to attack Israel with rockets from an extremely close range. Remember that the size of Israel today, including the occupied territories, is no larger than New Jersey.
The ten horns are kings, or kingdoms during the great tribulation. The seven heads also are kings. But unlike the ten horns, the seven heads are kingdoms of the past. We know that because “five have fallen, one is, and one will come.” This must be a progression of kingdoms which have controlled Jerusalem and/or Israel. What kingdom controlled Jerusalem after Rome? The only possible answer is Islam, or the Islamic Caliphate.
The verses say the final beast is an eighth head. But the beast only has seven heads. It says the eighth belongs to the seven. So the eighth must be a revival of one of the seven. Remember that the seven heads all controlled Jerusalem and/or Israel. That’s very important. Since Jerusalem is today controlled by Israel, the seventh head has a fatal wound. It is dead.
Israel is a major problem for the Islamic nations of the middle-east. Israel is right in the middle of Islamic nations. And from their perspective, Israel is land that used to be Islamic. They believe that land which used to be Islamic, but is no longer Islamic, must be recovered at all costs. That’s because they believe the entire world will someday be Islamic. Any land that becomes non-Islamic goes against this most fundamental Islamic belief. That’s why, from their perspective, Israel must be “pushed into the sea.” There can be no compromise.
Revelation 13 tells us that one of the seven heads has a fatal wound which is healed. But remember that the seven heads are seven historical kingdoms. For one to be healed from a mortal wound must mean that one is revived. Back in chapter 27 of this book I argued that the fatal wound is literally the antichrist being killed by the sword and then coming back to life with perhaps the soul of Nero, coming up out of the Abyss. When you read chapter 13 of Revelation, this seems to be the strong unavoidable conclusion. The antichrist will be mortally wounded and then his fatal wound will be healed. Chapter 13 of Revelation focuses on the world ruler who known as the beast. On the other hand, chapter 17 focuses on mystery Babylon and the seven historical heads. The seven heads are seven historical kingdoms. They are not literal heads of a man. Therefore, I think there is dual meaning in the head being healed, especially since the wound is only mentioned in chapter 13. The seventh historical head comes alive again. The heads are kingdoms of the past. One of these kingdoms comes alive again.
Revelation 13:3-7 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed , and the whole earth marveled at the beast. (4) They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (5) A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. (6) He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. (7) It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him.
We must also remember that the heads are not just any kingdom. They are kingdoms which have controlled Jerusalem and/or Israel in the past. This means the Islamic Caliphate will be revived and, will control Jerusalem. We know from this verse that the beast will control every nation, tribe, people and language for 42 months. That would have to include Jerusalem. So the control of Jerusalem by Islam is the healing of the mortal wound. Of course after the 42 months, Jesus will conquer the beast and the false prophet at Armageddon.
Here is what Jesus said. The armies of Rome surrounded Jerusalem in 70 AD. This was when the Jews were scattered to the nations for a second time. Jerusalem was “tramped on by the Gentiles” from that time until 1967. Trampling underfoot means Jerusalem is controlled. The Romans controlled Jerusalem even at the time of Christ. So this trampling continued until 1967. But Jerusalem did not become desolate until 70 AD.
Luke 21:20-27 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. (21) Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein. (22) For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (23) Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people. (24) They will fall by the edge of the sword , and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (25) There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; (26) men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (27) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
So Jerusalem was trampled on by the Gentiles until 1967. Some people argue that this trampling is still going on because Israel does not control the temple mount. But Israel has simply allowed the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf to control the temple mount. Israel could reverse that decision at any time. And the issue is whether or not Gentiles control the old city of Jerusalem as a whole. Today, Israel controls Jerusalem. But that fatal head wound will be healed for 42 months. Jerusalem will be trampled again for 42 months:
Revelation 11:1-2 ESV Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, (2) but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months .
The word “nations” is the same as “gentiles”. It’s the same word in the Greek. Note that for the gentiles (nations) will trample on Jerusalem 42 months. This means that the month prior to these 42 months, the gentiles are not trampling on Jerusalem. So we can expect the Muslims to once again trample on Jerusalem for 42 months. The fatal wound of the historic seventh head will be healed for the 42-month reign of the antichrist.
Revelation 17:12-14 And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. (13) These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. (14) They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful."
The woman is the one-world religion of Islam. The beast is the one-world government of the United Nations. The ten horns are ten regions of the world. Today we see their beginnings as world trade centers such as the European Union (EU) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The European Union is the model for the ten regions of the world. Each region will probably have a common currency. Each region will probably have individual states but will be a federation of those states. Most of the power will reside in each of the ten federations. This is the coming one world government.
The beast receives power and authority from ten kings, who come into power for "one hour." The authority and power of the entire world goes to the United Nations. The UN, in turn, will give that authority and power to the beast. The beast uses Islam to make the people of the world desolate and naked. But while this happens, during this "one hour," the Islamic people of the world will martyr many Christians and Jews.
After this "one hour", Christ will come to the earth and set foot on the Mount of Olives. The ten kings will make war on the Lamb. In other words, they will march on Jerusalem to fight against Christ. But the Lamb will conquer the ten kings of the world and all their armies. The beast and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire. Then Christ will set up his kingdom.
Verse 14 says those who will reign with Christ “are called and chosen and faithful.” The Church is grafted into Israel. We who are chosen as firstfruits of the harvest will overcome all our sinful habits before reigning with Christ. We will bring righteousness to the nations. The remainder of the harvest of salvation is in the nations. Those in the nations who will eventually overcome sin through faith and belief in Christ Jesus will also eventually inherit eternal life.
Revelation 17:15-17 He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. (16) The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire. (17) For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished.
The waters are all the peoples of the global earth. The prostitute is the religion of Islam. This false religion will cover the globe. The rulers of the world will hate Islam. They will use Islam to control the people. But they will hate Islam itself. The government will make the people of the world naked. This is talking about poverty. Many will be very hungry. Many will die and their bodies burned.
Verse 17 makes it clear that God has put this into their hearts. This is done so that “the words of God should be accomplished.” Does this mean that all this horror will happen just to fulfill Bible prophecy? That’s not the meaning of this verse. God removes the restraints of Michael to accomplish God’s purpose in his chosen people. God’s chosen people will undergo great tribulation in order to bring about holiness. All of God’s chosen people must overcome all our sinful habits before we are ready to reign with Christ and rule the world.
Revelation 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."
We have already learned that the woman represents Islam. With that in mind, what is the great city? And why does it rule over the kings of the earth? The holy city that is associated with Islam is Mecca. But, as we will find out, the city is a port city. Jeddah is the port city that services Mecca. Muslims come from all over the world to the port city of Jeddah on their pilgrimage to Mecca. It takes a little over and hour to drive from Jeddah to Mecca.
In the Middle Ages, there was a constant struggle between the Pope and various kings. Likewise, when Islam becomes a one-world religion, the rulers of Islam will have power over even the ten kings of the earth.
Revelation 18:1-3 After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory. (2) He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird! (3) For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."
What other religion, in its radical form, calls for the death of Jews and Christians? The sexual immorality spoken of is the worship of a false god. Islam is the worship of a false god. Thus becoming a Muslim is considered idol worship by God. The Bible figuratively considers idol worship to be prostitution or sexual immorality (Ezekiel 16).
Some have said that Allah is a false god because the name Allah derives from the name of an Aramaic moon-god that predated Islam. They also point to the crescent moon symbol of Islam. Critics of this view point out that every language has a word for “god” and that Allah in Arabic simply means “god.” Arab-speaking Christians and Arab Jews that predated Muhammad referred to God as Allah. The critics also point out that the crescent moon in the symbol of Islam is to show the importance of using the lunar Islamic calendar in determining the date of Ramadan. And they point to a verse in the Koran which says not to worship the sun or the moon but to worship Allah who created them.
Does Islam really worship another god? The real test is whether or not Islam produces Judeo-Christian values. Some will argue that moderate Islam is truly a religion of peace. But are moderate Muslims publicly and forcefully critical of radical Muslims? Or do they know down deep that Muhammad himself was a radical Muslim? Islam is all about imitating Muhammad. And if you truly imitate Muhammad, you become a radical Muslim. Radical Islam has always forced people to convert, or to pay a harsh tax. If they do not, they are beheaded by the sword. Eventually, people convert or die. Radical Islam is for the killing of Jews and Christians. Can Radical Islam possibly be the same religion as that of Jews and Christians? Can Radical Islam really be worshiping the same god? Radical Muslims all refer to Israel as the “little Satan” and the West as the “big Satan.” And they don’t distinguish these countries from the Jewish and Christian religions. So Radical Muslims themselves do not believe we worship the same god. And their reason seems to be the same. They believe we really worship Satan, and we believe they really worship Satan.
Revelation 18:4-7 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don't receive of her plagues, (5) for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities. (6) Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double. (7) However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.'
Radical Islam fights against Israel and refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Missiles are launched from Gaza by Hamas and from Lebanon by Hezbollah. A two-state solution would only bring these missiles closer to Israel and would allow the radical Muslims to bring in bigger and better missiles without having to smuggle them in. But the rulers of this world constantly push for a two-state solution. The politicians of this world don’t understand that there is no solution for peace. But the elite of this world actually do understand. The only possible solution is for one side or the other to be “pushed into the sea.” They reason that it’s far easier to push Israel into the sea than to push all of radical Islam into the sea. But Israel has nukes. The elite of this world know they are never going to have a real one-world government, with them in charge, as long as Israel has nuclear weapons.
The elite of this world conspire with radical Muslims. The elite of this world see Islam as a means to control the people. But the elite kings of this world will themselves wind up being controlled by radical Islam. I believe that’s why Revelation depicts the end times as having two beasts, which is two antichrist kings.
Israel is caught in the middle between radical Islam and the elite of this world. It doesn’t look good for the survivability of Israel, especially after they are forced to give up their nuclear weapons. Ezekiel 38 is about the time when the Islamic nations that surround Israel will unite to try and destroy Israel. But God is not going to allow Israel to be pushed into the sea. In Ezekiel 38, God himself steps in and defends Israel. The world will be told that they cannot destroy Israel. Jesus Christ appears to save Israel from being pushed into the sea. At this point, the anger of the elect of this world turns against Jesus Christ, and those who live in the New Jerusalem (heaven). At the end of the seven-year tribulation for the Church, Jesus Christ will come down to the earth and will destroy Babylon, which is to destroy Islam. Mecca and Jeddah will be destroyed.
God warns his people to renounce Islam and come to Jesus Christ.
Revelation 18:8-11 Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong. (9) The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning , (10) standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.' (11) The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more;
The destruction of Babylon comes when Christ returns at the time of Armageddon. I think it’s possible that Christ lays waste to Mecca and Jeddah even before going to Jerusalem to fight at Armageddon.
Revelation 18:12-17 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; (13) and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls. (14) The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all. (15) The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her , will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning ; (16) saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city , she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls! (17) For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.' Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away,
In “one hour” Mecca and Jeddah will become desolate.
Revelation 18:18-20 and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like the great city?' (19) They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!' For in one hour is she made desolate. (20) "Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her."
The entire world will be making pilgrimages to Mecca. They will want to prove their allegiance as the power of the antichrist grows. Everyone will be fearful that they will not be considered to be in true allegiance with the government against Christ Jesus. Praying five times a day, prostrated towards Mecca, and trips to Mecca will be the main ways for the people of the world to visibility show their allegiance. This will allow Jeddah and Mecca to become exceedingly rich. All of Islam will become radical, because in Mecca will be found the blood of the saints.
Revelation 18:21-24 A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all. (22) The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you. (23) The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived. (24) In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth."