Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who is the Beast of Revelation 13 & 17? (Part 1)


Does the Harlot seen riding the beast in Revelation 17 signify the silent battle currently taking place between Europe and Islam?
The image you see imprinted on the Euro is meant to evoke memories of an ancient Greek myth: the story of Zeus and Europa. Here is my short version: Europa was a beautiful Phoenician princess. Zeus was the chief of the gods. One day Zeus disguised himself as a beautiful, chest-nut colored bull, and caught Europa’s eye as she gathered flowers by the seashore. He seduced her with his meekness until eventually, she mounted him to ride. Zeus then whisked her to the Island of Crete where he raped her, and subjugated her to the status of being just another of his wives.
You’ve probably heard this story before. But now, some Christian thinkers who understand the current situation in Europe are linking it to a similar account described in Revelation 17. Below are some of my thoughts on why I think there is validity to this apparent link. The imagery of Rev. 17, where John sees a harlot is riding upon a scarlet beast is strikingly similar to the mythological account of the goddess Europa riding Zeus, disguised as a beast in order to seduce her.
Who is the Harlot? There is much biblical corroboration for the notion that this harlot of Rev. 17 points to continental Europe and to Western Civilization. The harlot is seated upon “seven mountains” (17:9), which anyone would have recognized as the topography of Rome, and would point to the Roman Empire. Rome historically stretched throughout continental Europe, and today, many European leaders see the European Union as the revived Roman Empire (read, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/14/weu14.xml, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-taheri010603.asp). In fact, it was the Treaty of Rome in 1957 that launched the European Union as we know it today.
Also, the language of Revelation 17 suggests that the harlot symbolizes the largest progenitor of the world’s economy and wealth (18:11-15). It is also designated as the largest exporter of immorality (17:1-6, 18:9). The 18th. Century Enlightenment, as well the Scientific and Industrial revolutions which followed, made it possible to achieve all the advances we have seen in technology, comfort and wealth. These movements originated in Europe, and while they saw their greatest zenith in the United States, they have certainly been exported for the benefit of entire world.
If the harlot is understood as Europe and Western Civilization, there are four intriguing parallels that are seen in relationship between Europe, with its rising Islamic population, Europa & Zeus, and the biblical account of the harlot riding upon the beast.
The first is the seduction. Some accounts show Zeus unsuccessfully attempting to seduce Europa the first time around. Ironically, Islam attempted to conquer Western Europe the first time and was unsuccessful as well. The most definitive battle between Europe and the Islamic imperialists was fought in 732 A.D. at Tours, when Charles Martel (Martel meaning, hammer) successfully drove the Islamic forces out of France, and thereby the rest of the continent. If it wasn't for the Battle of Tours, most historians are confident we would all have been submissive Muslims today. Islam found Europe to be a force to be reckoned with because they had the Christian underpinnings necessary to acknowledge absolute truth, and with it, the ability to define right and wrong. This fueled them with the adrenaline and willpower necessary to fight because they not only believed they could know the difference between right and wrong, but could recognize an enemy when they saw one.

Unfortunately, with any Christian understanding of truth marginalized, and the politically correct idea that says all ideas are really the same, this consensus on the absolute is absolutely gone. A good example of this disorienting loss was seen during the London Tube bombings (7/7/05), where, in a shocking BBC poll, most believed it was not the Muslims fault that they blew themselves up, killing many innocent lives. For many, Blair was responsible because of his involvement in the Iraq war. Everyone interviewed believed them to have acted out in such a desperate way because they were driven to it, and it became apparent that most British citizens could not muster the will to so much as acknowledge that what these terrorists did was wrong. You can rest assure that if Europe continues to suffer from this myopic inability to distinguish between good and evil, and continues to laugh at the very notion of the terms “good” and “evil”, it will not be long before this beast called Islam will have his way with her.
One can see the same gelding of Europe take place when recounting the Madrid train bombings in Spain (3/11/04). Before the bombings, their bold president, Jose Maria Aznar was a strong ally against terror, and commanded the highest poll numbers in the face of upcoming elections. One would think that after the Islamic terrorists who executed the bombings went public as they are usually proud of doing, a hawk such as Aznar would have the strongest support ever. Not so! As you'll remember, the bombings curiously took place days before the elections, and gave the media plenty of fodder for its propoganda campaign. The terrorists, who didn't exactly view Aznar as their choice pick, voted with the bomb instead of the ballot, and won.
There are three more parallels I've drawn. But this blog is getting a little out of control. I'll post the rest tomorrow.

2 comments:

info said...

Pastor’s Pensez is about as mythological as the Harlot and the Beast on the back of the Euro. However, the following may add new light to the understanding of what Apostle John saw in his day that is also troublesome for those of us in these days.
It is interesting to see more and more modern day theological reference to Greek and Egyptian mythology is used to describe the pagan Christian, Jewish, and Islamic belief systems. Mythological stories most generally are used to describe human events in larger than life settings much like our stand up comedians (i.e. George Carlin) who now use to poke fun at social, cultural, and political bigotry and hypocrisy of today. George uses, instead, cathartics to get his point across with larger than life exaggerations.
Apostle John uses pagan symbolisms to describe the events of his day as a madman because his life was in jeopardy. Had the leaders of his day known he was referring to them, John would surely have been killed. John’s depictions, explanations, and warnings are just a relevant today as they were in his day but on a much larger scale. If no one has noticed, everything has gone global; as in one-world-government. Provincial examples are only incidental to the larger picture.
With the above being said, it was between the years 1988 and 1989 a major political revolution occurred worldwide. Most everyone, however, seemes to have either slept through, forgot, or minimized the events entirely. Political boundaries and ideologies were, for the first time, set aside in the interest of creating a global market economy. As a result, key political realignments involving Asia, Europe, America, Islamic nations, and the Jewish State of Israel began a march towards a one-world government and a new-world order controlled by a totalitarian rule of law setting the stage for the feared apocalypse foreseen by Apostle John. Mankind also began a 40 year death march on the epic scale of Exodus, that also ends in death or redemption.
These events, if one looks closely at the new political configurations, we see the reemergence of the fabled Garden of Eden and for good reason. First, we must be forever mindful that the unique feature of the Holy Scriptures is in its dichotomies. In other words, both sides of each story are present. In this case, if the fall of Man came by way of the Garden of Eden, Man’s redemption must also come by way of the Garden (Gen.3:22-24).
A unified Europe became a reality in 1992, where the European nations formed a social, political, and economic alliance to compete with economic clout within an emerging, newly formed global market economy. It was also the reunification of East and West Berlin, accompanied by the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and the eventual removal of the East Berlin Wall that made the European alliance possible. A wall that once surrounded only East Berlin now encompasses all of Europe by an alliance forming the European Union (EU) and bound by a common currency -- the Euro. This union is comparable to the United States of America as a union, but has since its beginning become economically much larger in scale and responsible for creating the strongest currency in the world.
Likewise, many Asian countries formed the Asia Pacific Trade Group (APEC): China reclaimed Hong Kong and entered into separate binding trade agreements with North and South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Philippines, and Japan forming a giant Asian trade coalition. APEC was established for the purpose of competing successfully with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the EU in the global market economy. Asia, too, is known for a wall – the Great Wall of China. The political and economic wall that surrounds all of Asia now pales the Chinese wall, just as the Berlin Wall is paled by the European Union.
The United States of America, small by comparison to the other regional giants, has an alliance with its North and South American neighbors through NAFTA also formed to compete in the global market economy. A wall also surrounds America. Unlike the man-made political walls of China and Europe, America seems to have found favor in the eyes of God and is walled, instead, by water provided by nature, making her unique to all others in the Garden.
These three world political and social groupings -- Europe, America, and Asia -- represent three of the five protagonists of the fabled Garden of Eden. Europe, or the walled European Union, represents Adam who is symbolic of logic and reason. All the world’s formal philosophies come from out of Europe.
America was formed out of rebellion to authority and is where most of the world’s major social, political, and technological advancements were born. America is geographical Eve. However, the Americas walled by water that once stood for purity and truth, now stands polluted and corrupt. While the U.S. government pillages its society by stripping it of its constitutional rights in the interest of peace and safety, American political and business emissaries are shuttling around the globe promoting a global market economy. The market economy is accompanied by a social democracy that subverts and impoverishes the masses in favoring giant, multi-national corporations and its political emissaries that represent only minority interests. If one looks carefully, you will find America is a member of all the economic alliances, including its own North American alliance. America is the disfigured harlot of the world.
China, which is known politically as the dragon, once offered America the forbidden fruit or the behavioral modification program assertive discipline that is used throughout the American education system, and was then later exported to European nations. This process subverts individual liberty and promotes reliance on authority and the new Rule-of-Law.
The global market economy American emissaries promote is run and controlled by small minorities who hide behind a distinctive structure of laws and privileges (rule of law), freezing out the masses from opportunities to participate in the prosperity. Social democracy is used only as a means to control the masses and not for the purpose of equality, such as that intended in the creation of America. America the harlot relies upon the Rule-of-Law, or the beast for authority and control.
Two of the remaining protagonists, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life stand in the midst of the Garden and are found in Africa. Plate tectonics introduced continental drift and science accepts that all major landmasses broke away from the continent of Africa. For all practical purposes, Africa is the center of the world’s landmasses. It is in the African region where the two trees are found, just as they are found geographically in the center of the Garden. This is where the apocalypse comes into play. Adam and Eve were given the responsibility to keep their garden pruned. They failed in their task. Now we return to the Garden where Adam and Eve must come together to slays the dragon and rip the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil out by its roots.
The return of the Garden of Eden is a mythological story that is larger than life but is brought into play every bit as large as the story itself. It is the fabled tribulation that will force many to repent of their sin (finding fault or knowing the difference between good and evil). Mankind is known to not act unless put in a dyer situation – --thus bringing out redemption.
The entire story of The Harlot and the Beast as seen through the eyes of Apostle John can be found listed with Amazon.com carrying the same name. The little book is divided into three sections: (1) How Mankind interacts and develops interrelationships with nature (2) how society (Babylon) makes every effort to separate Mankind from nature, and (3) is an Appendix that details how the perverted, distorted nature of Mankind is manifested in its government, the Beast. The secret of how to defeat the Beast is also revealed.

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