The Coming Religious Reich

By Brannon S. Howse

Satan wants a counterfeit of most everything God has. He wants false revival, false christs, and false messiahs. He will make people think false spirituality is true. 

Satan already has a false church. God had prophets and apostles, and today Satan has modern prophets and apostles who are false teachers. All of this, however, is ultimately because Satan wants his own kingdom so he can try to stop God’s kingdom from coming. 

The Reich of Satan


Rest assured that God’s kingdom will crush the Reich of Satan as described in Daniel 2:44:

"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."


Satan has tried many times to gain a world kingdom or Reich. Because he does not know when the return of Jesus Christ will occur, Satan prepares an anti-Christ figure for every generation in hopes of building his religious Reich. 

Hitler wanted to set up a thousand-year Reich. He and Mussolini each aspired to create a revived Roman Empire. But God’s timetable wasn’t ready for them to succeed. Satan is on God’s leash, and eventually God will let out enough slack to give Satan an earthly kingdom for a period of time. When that happens, Satan’s kingdom will have three main facets: religious, economic, and political. So let’s look at how this religious Reich comes about. 

Revelation 17:1-2 is the best starting point:

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."


This passage reveals that kings or leaders of the earth commit “spiritual fornication” with “the great harlot that sits on many waters.” This is an ecumenical harlot consisting of most of the world’s false religions, and she deceives and seduces the nations of the world as symbolized by the words “many waters.” It is significant that not just the general populace are seduced into spiritual fornication, but all the leaders of the world embrace this one-world religious, economic, and political system. 

The majority of the world’s religious, economic, and political systems will find common ground for their “collective salvation” through this one-world ecumenical harlot. They will have global consensus derived from the blending of social justice, mysticism, pantheism, panentheism, spiritual evolution, humanistic education, economics, environmentalism, dominion theology, ecumenicalism, and communitarianism. This disturbing religious syncretism merges with what were once seen as incompatible belief systems, thus facilitating the merger of world economies and governmental bodies. The ecumenical harlot is vital to the ultimate rise of the Religious Reich. To see this happening, you merely need to read a local newspaper. Syncretism is in full swing as wide-ranging religious leaders unite in prayer services and other spiritual enterprises. In the Revelation passage, the angel tells John that he will ultimately see the destruction of a global religious system called “the great harlot that sits on many waters.” 

Next, John is taken away in the spirit and shown another character in this play of world events. Look at Revelation 17:3-6:

"So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement."


Not Rome 


The woman in Revelation 17:3-6 is different than “the great harlot.” The great harlot was sitting on many waters while this woman is sitting on a beast. This woman is Babylon and is described as Babylon the great, as is clearly written on her forehead in verse 5. Babylon is a harlot, but she is not “the great harlot”—yet. At this point in the revelation, Babylon is “the mother of harlots.”

Many people will tell you that the woman described here is Rome because of the colors of purple and scarlet in which the woman is adorned. As I will show, however, this is not Rome. The text says it is Babylon. 

Many of the reformers who were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church believed this scripture referred to Rome. It’s an understandable error, given that they saw untold numbers killed by Rome for being Christians. Under those circumstances, it would be easy to think the Pope was the Antichrist and Rome a type of spiritual Babylon. Yet Scripture—not world events—must interpret Scripture. Events can confirm Scripture, but God’s Word stands alone and should not be defined by our experiences. 

While the one-world religion is not going to be exclusively Roman Catholicism, and the religious capital will not be Rome, the Vatican will play a major role in bringing about the religious, ecumenical harlot. That process is already underway and has been for years.

Since 1962, the Church of Rome has stepped up its efforts to unite the governments, as well as the religions, of the world. Yet the Vatican, many popes, and many prominent Catholic politicians and policy makers have been heavily involved in helping to create a European dominated, revived Roman Empire or Religious Reich. 

Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic priest whom I had the joy of interviewing several times, served as a priest for 22 years before he came to salvation in Christ. After coming to the Lord, he stayed another six months in Catholicism before he felt he had to get out. Now, he does all he can to alert people “who have ears to hear” about what is at stake in the power and political machinations of the Church of Rome: 


[quote] The Vatican’s desire to maintain civil relations with other nations is now greater than ever. From 1950 to 1999, 128 concordats were signed between Rome and various states. In the course of 9 years, 43 concordats were signed between the Holy See and other nations. Even the nations in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa are entering into judicial agreements with Rome. . . .

Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church has much influence in national and international laws. At the present time, she maintains diplomatic relations with 179 countries at embassy level. The political civil power is subordinate to the spiritual control of the Roman Catholic Church and is each individual pope’s necessary instrument used to fulfill his aspirations and objectives. Thus, while the wickedness of the pope is no longer overtly shown, it is seen sinisterly in its civil legal power. [end quote]


Rather than specifying the Church of Rome, the purple and scarlet colors could be revealing the tremendous wealth of the world capital of Babylon. In biblical times, if someone wanted to show their wealth they would wear purple or scarlet. Such clothing was very expensive because of the cost of the dye required to make purple or scarlet garments. Revelation 17 is describing a fabulously wealthy religious, political, and economic system. Today, the Church or Rome is likely the wealthiest organization in the world, so what could hold even greater riches? The wealth of all false religions combined with the wealth of all the nations and businesses working in concert through a world empire. That’s a lot of money! 

The rich clothing described in the passage would simply indicate extreme wealth—of which the Church of Rome would certainly hold a gigantic share. Even now, its riches are so dramatic that the March 2013 National Post featured an article entitled “Wealth of Roman Catholic Church Impossible to Calculate.” It is estimated to be the first or second largest corporation in the world in land ownership. 

An article in the April 1992 issue of The European describes just a small portion of the riches of the Church of Rome:


[quote] The fabulous treasure of Lourdes [France], whose existence was kept secret by the Catholic Church for 120 years, has been unveiled….Rumors have been circulated for decades about a priceless collection of gold chalices, diamond-studded crucifixes, silver and precious stones donated by grateful pilgrims. 

After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection…floor to ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid gold chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy gold brooches, many encrusted with precious stones. 

Almost hidden by the other treasures is the “Crown” of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris goldsmith in 1876, and studded with diamonds. 

Church authorities say they cannot put a value on the collection. “I have no idea,” says Father Pierre-Marie Charriez, director of Patrimony and Sanctuaries. “It is of inestimable value.”…

Across the road is a building housing hundreds of ecclesiastical garments, robes, mitres and sashes—many in heavy gold thread. [end quote] 


This is just the beginning of the wealth possible when all the world’s religions and all nations combine their riches. The potential value is unimaginable. Yet that is being described in Revelation 17 and 18, a Religious Reich headquartered in Babylon. 

There is still some mystery as to how the Religious Reich described in Daniel 2, 7, and Revelation 17-18 will come to pass, but the mystery is about to be revealed. Revelation 17:7-14 reveals the starting point this way: 

[quote] But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” [end quote] 


    Let’s break these verses down into small sections so we might interpret them more easily. Look what the angel told John in verses 9 and 10:


"Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come."

Babylon, the city, is riding the beast, and the beast has seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are described in verse 9 as seven mountains, and in verse 10 the seven mountains are described as seven kings. In verse 12, the ten horns are described as ten different kings. 

While the prophet Daniel reveals five of the seven heads in Daniel 2 and 7, John describes all seven players that will work with a one-world leader to build a world empire headquartered in Babylon that is described as the woman riding the beast. The five that have fallen at the time John is writing includes the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires. Rome was in existence at the time John was writing Revelation, but today we know Rome has also fallen so that’s six that have fallen, leaving one yet to come. It will be a revived Roman Empire.

John, with the help of an angel, is describing a political and economic world capital that is based in Babylon. The woman is Babylon, and she sits on a beast with seven heads and ten horns. The beast is Antichrist, and the ten horns are ten world assistants. The seven heads represent a geographical area this kingdom encompasses that at one time had been the land holdings of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. It is a world government that is Euro-centric, and it will rule the world. 

For many years, I believed that this false religious system would be based in Rome, as depicted in Revelation 17, and that the commercial Babylon of Revelation 18 would be based in Babylon itself—present-day Iraq. While that may be a legitimate understanding, after months of intense, often 16-hour-a-day study, I’ve come to a different conclusion about what this reference to Babylon means. I believe all components of the one-world religious, political, and economic system will be based in Babylon. The site of ancient Babylon is located about 60 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, and it fits the bill for a lavish world capital. In nearby Baghdad, the U. S. embassy employs thousands of workers at a reported cost of almost $1 billion dollars. An Associated Press article posted on the NBC News website reveals these amazing facts:


[quote] The fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq’s turbulent future…. The 5,500 Americans and Iraqis working at the embassy, almost half listed as security, are far more numerous than at any other U.S. mission worldwide…. “Embassy Baghdad” will dwarf new U.S. embassies elsewhere, projects that typically cover 10 acres. The embassy’s 104 acres is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the acreage of Washington’s National Mall. Besides two major diplomatic office buildings, homes for the ambassador and his deputy, and the apartment buildings for staff, the compound will offer a swimming pool, gym, commissary, food court and American Club, all housed in a recreation building. [quote]


Babylon will be the center of the world religion because Revelation 17 describes this one-world Religious Reich as “mystery, Babylon.” Notice in the text that “mystery” is followed by a comma. Most people run this together as though it is “mystery Babylon” and thereby wrongly conclude that the location is a mystery. The actual mystery, though, is revealed to John right there in Revelation 17 and 18. Tommy Ice explains the proper understanding of this passage through detailed hermeneutics:


[quote] Futurist commentator Robert Thomas notes that the Greek word for “mystery” “is a noun, not an adverb.” Nor is “mystery” an adjective, the form it would have to take in order to function as a modifier of the noun “Babylon.” A Greek lexicon says the Greek noun “mystery” in the New Testament means, “the unmanifested or private counsel of God, (God’s) secret, the secret thoughts, plans, and dispensations of God.” Further, the syntax of the passage makes best sense when “mystery” is seen in apposition to “Babylon” and would have the following sense, “a name written, which is a mystery.” 

What is the mystery or secret that is about to be revealed? The latter half of 17:5 tells us: “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” “Babylon the great” is a reference to the famous or renowned city spoken of in Genesis 10 and throughout the Old Testament. “The mother of harlots” refers to the origin or source of something. This is why Genesis 10 and 11 record the events of postdiluvian Babylon, because it is the source where corporate unfaithfulness to God originated. “The abominations of the earth” in the Greek text is linked with the phrase “the mother of.” This is true because there is a single Greek article modifying the entire clause, connected with the conjunction “and.” This, the third appellation would have the sense of “the mother of the abominations of the earth.” Thomas says that this phrase “makes her the progenitress of everything anti-Christian. This includes all false religions, not just those that are Christian in name only, but also everything that is pagan and idolatrous under Satan’s control.” Again, Thomas sums up Babylon: “It is a city, but it is also a vast religious system that stands for everything God does not tolerate.”

The mystery or secret is stated clearly for the reader in Revelation 17:18 as follows: “And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” Thus, Babylon is clearly a city that will be built in modern day Iraq on the Euphrates River that will wield a global influence over the kingdoms of this world. So Babylon means Babylon! [end quote]


Charles Dyer says, “The Bible mentions Babylon over two hundred and eighty times, and many of those references are to the future city of Babylon that is rising from the fine sands of the desert today.” So what was the real goal behind the Tower of Babel in Babylon? The answer to this question reveals why, even now, the attempt is being made to form a global religious Reich or empire. Dr. Dyer answers our question when he writes:

[quote] Babel was humanity’s first united attempt to short-circuit God’s purpose. This first post-Flood city was designed expressly to thwart God’s plan for humankind. The people wanted unity and power, and Babel was to be the seat of that power. Babylon, the city of man trying to rise to heaven, was built in direct opposition to God’s plan. [quote]


In Genesis, after the flood, God commanded mankind to scatter, procreate, and fill the earth, but people wanted unity and power and to declare themselves to be as God.

After Jerusalem, Babylon is the second most-mentioned city in the Bible, and Scripture tells us that it will be an amazing city in the last days. Even so it will eventually be destroyed and never be rebuilt or inhabited again. Revelation 18:21 tells us: 

"Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore."


This destruction has not yet happened to Babylon. It has to be built first, and, in fact, political and military voices are calling for Babylon to be rebuilt and to play a major role in the world. 


Babylon Needs a Harbor?


Revelation 18:17-19 has been used by some to say that Babylon needs a harbor and, since it does not have one, then the Bible is not literally referring to Babylon. Here’s the passage:


[quote] For in one hour such great riches came to nothing. Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “What is like this great city?” They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, “Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.” [quote] 


While Babylon does not have a harbor at the time this book goes to press, does that mean that it will never have a deep harbor? No, it does not, and I’ll tell you why. 

More than 20 years ago—in 1991—it was reported that Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein wanted a deep sea harbor. Elaine Sciolino in, The Outlaw State: Saddam Hussein’s Quest for Power and the Gulf Crisis (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1991), 191-192, she reveals: 

[quote] It was unacceptable to Saddam that a country as great as Iraq did not have a long coastline. Over and over he talked about the necessity of building a Navy and becoming a seafaring power. Iraq’s isolation from the sea was a cruel accident of history, he believed, and one that had to be rectified—a theme he continued to dwell on after his invasion of Kuwait. [end quote]


As Dan Hayden explains in his book Iraq: In the Crosshairs of Destiny, a deep-water harbor is very possible for Babylon:


[quote] Actually, the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers converge in southern Iraq and enter the Persian Gulf in Iraqi territory. The problem has been that Iran and Kuwait squeeze Iraq into a bottleneck at the mouth of the rivers and Iraq’s attempts to forge a harbor there have been thwarted by the hostile refusals of those two countries. 

But suppose international pressures were brought to bear upon Iran to allow Iraq access to the Shatt al-Arab waterway all the way to Basra and cooperation could be coerced from Kuwait to open up the area around its little island of Bubiyan and Warba. A commercial port and harbor for ships could become a reality for Babylon in a relatively short period of time.

With modern dredging equipment, a deep channel waterway could be opened from the Persian Gulf all the way to Babylon. With its location on the Euphrates River, ships and sailors could indeed have access to this future queen of modern cities. The Antichrist ruler, with his political and economic power and global influence, could easily make that happen. So, as you can see, a harbor in Babylon is not at all out of the question. [end quote] 

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