I appreciate the gas (bottle gas for heat in winter) that was brought. It made us a little more comfortable tonight. This week I'll get out and buy another couple of bottles so we'll have plenty for next Sunday. Let's turn to Revelation chapter 17. I haven't preached to you from this for quite a long time. I think we need to study this once in awhile because it has great relevance to our strongest opposition in the world today from a religious viewpoint.
Revelation chapter 17, beginning with the first verse and reading the entire chapter. It's only eighteen verses. And the subject of tonight, of course, as you can see if you are familiar with this passage is "Ecclesiastical Babylon" or the "The Scarlet Woman of Revelation Chapter Seventeen." Now let's read this passage quickly together and then we'll talk about it for awhile tonight.
Revelation 17:1 "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 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.
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
Now as we begin to think about this, of course, that it's impossible to even approach a detailed discussion of this whole chapter in one service. One would have to spend six or eight hours perhaps to do a detailed discussion of all the ramifications of this chapter. But we want to spend about forty or fifty minutes on it tonight and see what we can get, concentrating just on the scarlet woman here from this chapter.
The there's a very interesting book that I might recommend to you to get and read sometime before we get into the detailed discussion of this here, and that is a book by Hislop. H-I-S-L-O-P. And it's called, The Two Babylons. The Two Babylons. I've forgotten his first name, I believe it's William, but I wouldn't be sure about that, but it's Hislop, The Two Babylons. And it is available here in the bookstores in South Africa. And it's uh, gives a great deal of detail along the lines of what we're going to give a little bit of tonight.
And as we begin to think about this --- the introduction of our theme for tonight --- we notice here in chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation, there are two different Babylons involved. This Babylon in chapter 17 refers to a woman. Yes, to a woman. She's called "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT." She is described as, "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Now if you look on over to chapter 18, you find another reference to Babylon, but this is not exactly—this is not the same Babylon in chapter 18. Babylon in chapter 18 is speaking of a city. Speaking of a literal city that's called Babylon the great. And it's clear if you read both chapters and think about them for even briefly, it's clear that the woman in chapter 17 and the city in chapter 18 are not the same person, though they both are referred to as Babylon. One is Babylon the great, the city; and the other is MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, and so forth.
What is said of the woman, if you compare it in chapter 17, does not apply to the city in chapter 18. And if you look at chapter 18 and compare the things it says with the city—about the city there with what it says about the woman in chapter 17, you see that they are contradictory. Therefore it must be referring to two different things: one the city of chapter 18 and the other MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, which as we will see is the great, false religion of the world in chapter 17.
Some of the contrasts that are easily visible here if you compare between chapter 17 and chap—the Babylon of chapter 17 and the Babylon of chapter 18, you'll see that the woman is destroyed by the kings in chapter 17. But in chapter 18 we see the kings of the earth of bewailing the destruction of the city. So this doesn't match. It can't be referring to the same thing, you see. The kings did the destroying in chapter 17 of Babylon. Yet in chapter 18, they're—the kings are wa—wringing their hands in anguish because the city is being destroyed by God.
Another contrast here, in chapter 18 the city is destroyed by fire in one hour and a great earthquake. But if you read over in chapter 17, you see that the woman referred to as Babylon there is destroyed in the middle of the Tribulation while the city is destroyed about three and a half years later. So it cannot be referring to the same Babylon though it does use the word Babylon in both cases.
Notice also that chapter 18 begins with the words, "After these things I saw," "And after these things I saw," clearly showing that it is separate from and distinct from the events of chapter 17. After the destruction, in other words, of mythical Babylon or the false church then the city is destroyed later, as it shows us even in the wording of the beginning of chapter 18. So clearly the Babylon of chapter 17 is this false religion as we will see and chapter 18 is a great commercial center and leading city of the world which is referred to also as Babylon. The destruction of the two is about three and a half years apart.
Now moving on a little further, we notice something getting back more into detail on the reference from chapter 17, the woman's name is MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, as we read it to you there in verse 5 of chapter 17. Now when we think about this word mystery, we've heard that lots of times before, haven't we? There are many mysterious things relative to religious things. Some mysteries are even relative to the true religion. And they're referred to in Scripture. For example, Paul calls the church a mystery. If you look in Heb—in Ephesians chapter 3, and read 1 through 21 there, you'll see that he speaks in some detail there of the true church as a mystery.
Then we have another mystery which is a true mystery relative to the true church, and that is the mystery of the bride of Christ is referred to, the church. And it's discussed by Paul in Ephesians chapter 5, verses 23 through 32, speaking of the mystery of the bride of Christ, the church.
Now as we've seen there are many others one could name but these are two of the more common mysteries relative to true religion that are mentioned in Scripture. And just as the true church is often referred to as the bride of Christ, so also the antichrist will have a bride. Remember he tries to copy the true Christ in everything, doesn't he? This beast in the last days who sets himself up in the place of Christ and claims to be Christ, he tries to copy or to counterfeit Christ in everything, doesn't he? And just as the church is referred to often as the bride of Christ, the true church, so also the antichrist will have a bride and this will be the false church. The false church will be his bride. Just as Christ's bride will be the church—the true religious system—so also the antichrist's bride will be the apostate religious system.
Now, thinking before we leave this idea here—the introductory parts of this idea of MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, let's think for just a minute about some of the mysteries that we have in one of our very prominent religions in the world today—baptismal regeneration. MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT AND MOTHER OF HARLOTS. She's the mother of all the false churches, you know. And Babylon the Great, of course, as we'll see a little bit later, is clearly referring to the Roman Catholic Church, and she's the mother of all these harlot churches that follow after her. And even these who have split off from her who pretend not to fall—follow after her, yet they are still following in her footsteps. They're still from this mother of harlots, the Roman Catholic Church.
But in all of these --- or in many of these --- we find these mysterious things. First, we find baptismal regeneration, don't we? That's very prominent in Roman Catholic teaching and in many of her daughter churches, baptismal regeneration. Another mystery we see there is the mystery of transubstantiation. Transubstantiation, that is trying to make people believe that the elements of the Lord's Supper, or as they call it the elements of the Mass, are literally—literally become the body and the blood of Christ. That's transubstantiation. That's another mystery which is common.
Holy water is part of their mysterious rigmarole that they go through, isn't it, in the Roman Catholic Church? Holy water. Another mysterious thing is lights on the altar. They always want candles around, don't they? Burning candles. Another mystery is—you can remember probably from reading in the—in your history studies even in high school, the old mystery plays that they used to put on. When the Roman Catholics were in almost total domination of the world. Remember the readings about the old mystery plays that they used to put on in the middle ages. And there are may other examples one could give, but let's just leave that now and go on a little further. We'll come back to that in a moment.
The Babylonian mystery religion is one that we need to look at now, because it leads as we shall see in the end of it, it becomes the main part of the Roman Catholic religion as well in later years. The Babylonian mystery religion. Now the question is this: where did all of the false religions of so-called Christianity originate? Now that's an important question, isn't it? Where did they all come from?
Well, we know that God didn't originate two thousand or three thousand or four thousand or ten thousand or whatever number there are—there up into the thousands now of different religions—He didn't originate up into the thousands of different religions. But where did all these false religions of so-called Christianity originate? When or where did it all get started? That's a good question.
The pre-flood apostasy was centered, as you will find if you read over in Genesis, in the area of Babylon, which seems to have been the devil's headquarters in early earth history. Nearly all of the great evil events that happened were centered in that area somewhere near Babylon, near what later became Babylon. After the flood it seems that the forces of evil sort of made their headquarters there, they gathered there in the area of Babylon. Before the nations were scattered from Babylon, Satan had implanted the seed of every false religious system ever known, so that when they did scatter from there then they took all this false seed with them all over the world.
The Tower of Babel, or Babylon, was built by Nimrod and it's recorded in Genesis chapter 10 if you'd like to read it sometime beginning with verses 8 and going—with verse 8 and going down through verse 10 or 11. Now let's take a special note here of something else before we go on a step further. All through the Scripture, those who followed false religion were referred to as committing whoredom, or adultery. Following after false religion, in other words, is commonly referred to in Scripture as spiritual adultery. And often times the Scripture doesn't even bother to put the world spiritual in front of it. It just calls it adultery or whoredom, but it's referring to spiritual adultery, following after false religion.
And this harlot here in Revelation 17, verses 1 through 7, is simply the continuation of this Babylon mystery religion which began with Nimrod and Semiramis. This—the antichrist with the help of this harlot of this false religion—this apostate religion—is going to get political power over all of the earth in the last days. And the scarlet woman that's symbolized here with the antichrist's help, is going to gain world domination in the religious field. That is, she will become all powerful in the field of religion during the time of her partnership with the antichrist.
The beast on which the harlot rides here in chapter 17 is identified in chapter 13, verse 1, as the beast who is the antichrist. In Revelation 13:1, it's clearly identified this beast on which she rides is identified as the beast who is the antichrist.
Now another question. What is this world religious system, the false system opposed to true religion, and can we now identify it? Well, we already have tonight, haven't we? And we can do a better job of identifying it. The answer is yes, we can identify it. The false religious system of the devil, the direct descendant of the Babylonian mother/child cult is with us today. It began as a worldwide system at Babel in Genesis 10, verses 8 through 10. Although its true beginning, of course, its very origin was with Cain. The earliest known follower of false religion because he refused to accept God's plan of salvation and wanted to set up his own plan of salvation, didn't he? By working for salvation. So we could even take it all the way back to Cain, but it began as a worldwide system at Babel.
Babel is from two words, Bab and El, which means the gate of God or the way to God. Bab-el meaning the way to God or the gate of God. And they built the tower that was to reach to heaven. That's the reason it was called the Bab-el or Babel, because it was supposed to be the gateway to heaven. You remember how they said they would build a tower and go up it to heaven, and so forth. And their system was to be the way of approach to God, this system there at Babel. Here began the first organized idolatrous religious system in the world, at the tower of Babel.
Here God confused their tongues, and word—and the word Babel came to mean confusion. Today we use that word in English to mean confusion, don't we? Babel. It always is used to mean confusion or a mixed noise that means nothing or makes no sense. Babel. So it came to mean confusion, the word did. And if we remember—we need to remember that idolatry, or false religion, is always referred to in the Bible as whoredom, or spiritual adultery, or fornication. Sometimes that word is used in Scripture referring to following false religions.
Evil women are very often used in the Bible as symbols of false religion. And thus this expression is just what you would expect here in chapter 17 of Revelation, when we read this expression here, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. That would be perfectly compatible with all the other references in Scripture where we have this constant reference to whoredom and fornication and spiritual adultery referring to following after false religion, wouldn't it?
Nimrod and Semiramis set up the mother/child cult at Babylon or Babel, the tower of Babel. If they took Genesis chapter 3, verse 15 --- I suppose that perhaps you may remember what that says but let's read it again just so everyone will be sure what we're speaking about. They took Genesis 3:15 which says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Now they took that verse and claimed that her first son, the first son of Semiramis was the fulfillment of this verse. In other words, that Tammuz, her son, was the Messiah. Here's the devil getting pretty early on his attempts to usurp the coming Messiah isn't he? By putting in Tammuz thousands of years before the birth of the true Christ. And they took this verse, of course, and twisted it around and claimed that Tammuz, her firstborn son was the Messiah. And they set up a full-fledged complete religious system with Semiramis and her son Tammuz to be worshipped.
And one of the symbols of the religion—in fact, one of the greatest symbols of this religion was a mother or the mother, Semiramis holding the child in her arms. And where do we see that all the time today? Every time you look around at any kind of Roman Catholic literature, go into any Roman Catholic church, go to any Roman Catholic school or anything else even remotely connected with the Roman Catholics, you find all kinds of pictures, statues and so forth of a mother holding a child, don't you? The mother and the child. And it all began way back here with Semiramis and Tammuz.
This religion spread everywhere with only minor changes. It just spread all over the world when they were scattered from Babylon or from Babel, it spread everywhere. They took this false religion with them. It spread everywhere in Phoenicia. They called the mother Ashteroth. And they used the word Tammuz then for the son. And the son became the emblem of Tammuz. They worshipped them under the name of Baal. And you've read a lot about Baal worship if you've read very much in the Old Testament, haven't you? This was the worship of this mother/child cult that began at the tower of Babel and has come down to its final culmination in the Roman Catholic church today.
It spread further after the overthrow of Babylon and the center of the religion came to be at Pergamos where it was at the time that John wrote the book of Revelation. If you read in Revelation chapter 2, verse 13, you'll find these words—and it's speaking about Pergamos at the time it says this, "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is." Satan had moved his headquarters, in other words, on earth from Babylon to Pergamos at this time. "Even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." So Satan's stronghold on earth or Satan's seat as it refers to it here would mean Satan's throne or the capital of his operation, we might call it or his headquarters, his [uncertain], we'd call it, high office or headquarters would be here at Pergamos at the time that John was writing this.
In Egypt, now this religion was—was worshipped under the names of Isis and Horus, the mother and the child or the mother and the son. In Greece, this religion was worshipped under the names of Aphrodite and Eros. In Rome, it was Venus and Cupid, still the mother/child cult. The same one that started at the tower of Babel. And the Estruscans, of course, carried it to Rome when they moved there from over near Pergamos. The Estruscans came from the area over near Pergamos and they took it to Rome with them when they moved to the area around Rome there. It even spread to the Americas. Incredible that it could spread that way, isn't it? But it spread even to the Americas. They have found clear-cut evidence that early Mexican Indians, Red Indians as you would call them here, about 200 years before Christ worshipped an image of the mother/child cult, in Mexico, way across the ocean.
You say, "Well, how could it do that?" But Paul tells us the answer to that in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12, doesn't he? Where he says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." That's the explanation of how it can do that, isn't it? Jump the oceans and go over there and be spread among the American Indians.
Now another question, "What were the principle teachings of this first, organized false religion?" And this is important. The answer is they taught and practiced the following themes. Semiramis set herself up as the way of approach to God. Now where have we heard that before? The means of coming to God, the way of approaching God, Semiramis with the child in arms, she pictured herself as the one who could give life. This false religion taught that salvation was through her by means of such sacraments as the sprinkling of water and ceremonial cleansing. This sounds more and more familiar, doesn't it? The more you read it and think about it and look at it, it becomes more and more familiar today.
They taught purgatorial cleansing after death. And the Roman Catholics still teach that today. They taught that Tammuz was killed while out hunting and they set up a period of forty days fasting for the temple virgins. And, of course, that's where Lent came from. Forty days Lent came from this. At the end of the fast at the time of the feast of Ishtar or Easter as it's come to be called, Tammuz was supposedly resurrected. The feast of Ishtar or Easter was made an annual feast to celebrate his supposed resurrection.
And the egg became sacred to Tammuz as a symbol of life out of death. That's where we got our Easter eggs. The evergreen tree—just as well to go ahead and kick all the rest of the sacred cows while I'm at it, hadn't I? Can't miss on of them, they might feel lonesome if I missed one of the sacred cows and didn't kick her good. The evergreen tree, the symbol of life, became the symbol of Tammuz. For the mid-winter, that is, in that part of the world the mid-winter celebration of the birth of Tammuz. In other words, Christmas tree. That's where our Christmas tree came from.
Semiramis, the queen of heaven, as they called her was worshipped by offering a round cake marked with a "T", which in the alphabet that was then in use was an "X". We would call it an "X" today. And that's where our hot cross buns come from. Let's see, now I may have missed another sacred cow or two here. Let's see if we can find another one to kick somewhere. This offering was made each year at the feast of Ishtar or Easter, the hot cross buns, in other words. Offered to Ishtar or Semiramis as she had been originally.
When Ahab married Jezebel they soon corrupted all of Israel with this cult. They went back, in other words, into the idolatry that God had led or called Abraham out of. And they went back into this same type of idolatry, this mother/child cult which was the basic—the basis of all false religions worldwide from the time of Babel until now.
You say, "Well, I'd like some Scripture for this. You've been giving us a lot of history here but what about some Scripture for it?" Okay, here's some Scripture for it to go with this history that I've been giving you. In Jeremiah 44:16-17, God here through Jeremiah is telling why He's going to send Israel into Babylonian captivity. God is telling why He's going to send Israel into Babylonian captivity. This is what the Lord had Jeremiah to write.
And remember what He's doing, He's telling him why He's going to send them into captivity. "As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord," this is their answer to Jeremiah actually, when he told them that God was going to send them into captivity because of this, they said, "As for the word that thou has spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth our of our own mouth," now listen, "to burn incense," that's like burning candles, "unto the queen of heaven." The queen of heaven, that's Baal worship or Semiramis, Ishtar or all the other names you want to give it down through history. "And to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem." They'd even been practicing this abomination in Jerusalem itself. "For then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil."
Then if you look at verse 18, you'll find they mention the queen of heaven again in verse 18. Then look at verse 19 where it says this, "When we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make cakes to worship her," and so forth. Now that's plain enough, isn't it? Fits in perfectly with the history I've been quoting you from Hislop and other experts who've dug it out of history.
If we turn over to Ezekiel chapter 8 and read verse 14, we find an interesting reference there where it mentions women weeping for Tammuz, even in the gate of the temple of God built by Solomon. There the women were weeping during this forty year—uh, forty day mourning period that they were to go into each year remembering the death and resurrection of Tammuz. And these women were even practicing this in the gate of the temple of God that was built by Solomon. And it's recorded there in Ezekiel 8:14.
Now going a little further—by the way though, I can't leave that queen of heaven until I mention something. You know, I've been quite a few places in the world in my travels. Going hither and yon both as a missionary and then traveling hither and yon from mission work. And everywhere you go, you know what you always see? You always see some Roman Catholic mission somewhere that's called "Mary, Queen of Heaven". Or just simply, "Queen of Heaven" referring to Mary. And if they happen to not speak English, they'll say it in some other language, French, German, Afrikaans, or whatever. In any language, they've got another expression for it.
And you'll find these expressions everywhere that these Roman Catholics --- whether they're German, French, English speaking or what --- they always have their first or second mission in a country named "Queen of Heaven" or "Mary, Queen of Heaven" nearly always. We had one or two of them in Rhodesia named "Queen of Heaven". Just a little bit north of where we were in Rhodesia we had one called Queen of Heaven.
Going on now from before the time of Christ the Roman Emperors were crowned Pontifex Maximus. This is terrible blasphemy for any man to be crowned Pontifex Maximus because that literally means the greatest High Priest. It doesn't just mean the High Priest, or even the Great High Priest, as the Bible refers to Christ in a few places. In Hebrews it speaks of Christ and only of Christ. Nowhere else anywhere in Scripture does it ever refer to any man as the Great High Priest except to Christ.
Now it speaks of the High Priest many places in Scripture. But never speaks of the Great High Priest referring to anyone except Christ. And yet the Roman Emperors were crowned Pontifects Maximus, meaning the Greatest High Priest, and that was of course, the Greatest High Priest of the mother/child cult. The Greatest High Priest of the mother/child cult as it had spread with the Etruscans as I've already mentioned when they moved to Rome. And all of these great, early Roman Emperors were so crowned.
And then Constantine became a "Christian". He didn't even know what the word meant, but he became a "Christian". And he brought his position as leader of the mother/child cult—that's what the Emperor of Rome automatically was, was leader or Greatest High Priest of the mother/child cult, or the leader of the Babylonian Mystery Religion, he brought this into the church at Rome when he became—when he came to power. And he mixed them all together, this mother/child cult with the little remnants of corrupted Christianity that he found there and mixed it all into a mess that we have today.
Many of course refused to submit to his evil teachings and they went underground and they were hunted like animals by Constantine and the others who became the Roman Catholic Church in later years. But a large part of the so-called church, of course, was taken over at that time by the Babylonian mystery religion.
Now what about today? What about today? There are many branches of the false religion of works and Satan today. But they all have the same background and the same basic origin. The main branch is still the Roman branch, of course. And it teaches about Mary, the Queen of Heaven, doesn't it? It teaches the worship of mother and child. It teaches the purification by priestly ablution, doesn't it? It teaches the power of men to forgive sin, which the Babylonian mystery cult also taught. It teaches many other things. You can just go down the line and many of the things that I've already named and even others that I haven't taken time to name tonight fit exactly with the Babylonian mystery religion and the Roman Catholic teaching today. And it all fits right in with that religion started with Semiramis and Tammuz and Nimrod way back at the Tower of Babel. That's where it began.
Now what about the future relative to this false religion? Well, there are several things that we know about it. We don't know all the fine points, but we know the main points of the history—the future history that hasn't even come to pass yet, from Scripture. When Jesus comes in the air at the rapture, all true Christians and the church will be taken away with Him to heaven. In other words, the true church plus all other true Christians will be taken away with Him to heaven at the rapture.
All false professors and other unsaved will be left behind. Professing church that's then left will all unite under Rome under the Pope. In other words, during the—after the rapture there'll be nothing left to stop them from setting up their universal worldwide Pope dominated church. And that's exactly what will happen. Immediately or almost immediately after the rapture. They will then help this false church which will be worldwide in power and influence then, because the true church will have been taken away, and all true Christians will have been taken away as well, but this false church that will be left here at the beginning of the time of tribulation will help the leader of the world federation come to power. And he will, of course, be the antichrist as you know.
This false world church will then be destroyed as we read to you tonight, in the middle of—or in the midst of, and we assume that means in the middle of, the tribulation period as we've read in Revelation 17. Satan will be cast out of heaven and will be become incarnate in christ at about this same time. He will demand and receive the worship of most of the world, but many will be martyred. Especially a lot of Jews will be.
And now, the last thought is this. That now is the time to make a choice and avoid the tribulation period. Right now is the time to be prepared to miss the tribulation. Joshua 24:15 says this, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Jesus said about this choice in John 3:3, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Again, in John 3:18, He said this: "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Doesn't say anything at all about the Queen of Heaven, does it?
Romans 10:9 and 10 says, "That if thou shalt confess with they mouth and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." And the only thing to do is to do it now, isn't it? Be prepared. Like the Scout motto says. Be ready when He comes.