The recent failure of an agreement in Doha, Qatar, among eighteen OPEC members, plus non-member, Russia, on an oil export freeze is significant, particularly in light of the current glut of oil on the world markets. The failure is because of two archenemies, Saudi Arabia and Iran (absent from the meeting). Apparently, the Saudis demanded that Iran join in the freeze despite Iran’s repeated assertions it would not do so until it had reached pre-sanctions levels of output. (Read more). Iran is seeking to boost crude production and exports after years of economic sanctions, and alleges that the Saudis gained significant market share while sanctions were imposed upon it. Of course, Iran’s boost in production will offset any freeze in oil exports by oil exporting countries. The result? Oil price instability. In fact, oil prices fell 5% overnight after the failure of the agreement in Doha.
Oil has historically been the weapon of choice of the Arabs for some time; and now, its adversary, Iran, is experiencing the sharp edge of the Saudi sabre. Even if Iran continues to refuse to join in the freeze, the resulting price drop will impact Iran’s economy. One way or the other, Iran will pay the price, and the Saudis believe their pockets deep enough to incur the loss of revenue if doing so has a negative impact on its rival. Why the rivalry between the two you may ask? Iran is Shia. Saudi Arabia is Sunni, and historically the two have been enemies for centuries.
For those who view the Islamic Paradigm as the correct “puzzle” for end-time Bible prophecy, the collapsed OPEC agreement is about more than the price of a gallon of gas. If you are like me and see oil as the apocalyptic event that triggers the tribulation, this is a significant piece of the puzzle being laid moment by moment, week by week. (Read more here – Collapsing Oil Prices – a Harbinger or a Boon?) And, finally, if you interpret the Arabs and the Persians as the two key players in the fulfillment of Daniel 2, and the first event that takes place before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, the only Begotten God in human flesh, returning in judgment, then you are on the edge of your seat these days wondering if and when the trigger will get the squeeze.
One of the keys to the importance of petroleum in the tribulation is the interpretation of Revelation 17 and 18. The view that I read most about is that the “wine of her immorality” refers to a spiritual immorality that the “harlot” has committed with the peoples of the world. Many interpret this to refer to the Roman Catholic Church and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Others interpret the phrase to refer to false religion whatever the source. It is my view that Revelation 17 and 18 relate to a specific time period, the end-of-days, and particularly those days nearing or in the Tribulation, i.e., the 7 year period preceding the return of Jesus Christ in judgment. Adding a further condition to the Tribulation will be the entering into a treaty of some type for a specified period of time, generally interpreted as seven years, by Israel and the anti-Christ empire of the end-of-days. Since I hold to the Islamic Paradigm that empire will by Islamic; and, although the Roman Catholic Church has the preponderance of votes by many respected and far more informed interpreters than yours truly, I find the RCC fails on many counts to meet the required “identifiers” of the antichrist in the end-of-days.1 In fact, as the world continues to ponder the necessity for a two-state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli problem, I see the treaty that seeks to solve this problem as quite likely the treaty referred to in Daniel 9:27. But the answer to that issue will need await a later post. For now, however, the question is whether “wine” refers to oil Revelation 17?
Every time the phrase “wine of her immorality” appears in Revelation 17 and 18, it is accompanied by another word or phrase that relates to wealth, commerce, or business (Rev. 17:4; 18:3, 15, 16, 19). For example, Revelation 18:3:
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” —Revelation 18:3 (NASB)
Further, this wealth comes from the harlot to those who associate with her. The wealth is not created by the selling of products to the harlot (as would be the case if America were being described). Rather, the merchants of the world have become rich from the harlot and by the “wealth of her sensuality.” Consider Revelation 18:19:
“And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ —Revelation 18:19 (NASB)
Again, notice the specific words given to describe the harlot’s wine: “…all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth…” How can that phrase not refer to petroleum which fuels ships at sea (and 16-wheelers on the highways or UPS in the skies) in the modern-day that transport goods from across the oceans of the world to peoples on the other side of the world? That phrase practically has no meaning until the modern-day. The passage states it applies to a time when “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” have become drunk from her wine (Revelation 17:15). In the age prior to the modern day, ships were driven by the wind to their sails, and hardly would this refer to a time when all the peoples of the world have become drunk from her wine. Take away the petroleum products of Saudi Arabia (and her allies in OPEC) and the world goes into economic withdrawal pains the like of which we have never seen.
Its about more than how much we pay for a gallon of gas. Oil is one more “piece of the puzzle” that points Christ-followers to the identity of the anti-Christ empire of the end-of-days — Islam. If you want the full story, please read my book, Islam the Cloak of Antichrist. You may not agree with everything I interpret, but it will give you something to seriously challenge the Roman paradigm.
Jesus come quickly.
- One key failure is that Revelation 12:17 envisions a holy war to annihilate “those who hold to the testimony of Jesus.” The RCC as well as Protestantism both committed atrocities in the name of Christ to eliminate heretical beliefs and the sects that advocated such from within their own. However, war against one’s own is not the holy war that Rev 12:17, 13:7-8, and Daniel 7:21-22 envision. It is against itself and not another opposing unbelieving empire. Daniel 2:44-45 describes the victor empire which survives, and it does so only after it has “crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold.” These five elements of the great statue were the surviving composite empire of Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. However, the clay in the great statute represents the divided kingdom of Islam, Sunnis and Shias. In the end-of-days, it is this kingdom, Islam, that will unsuccessfully rise up against the enduring kingdom “cut from the mountain” by the hand of God. [↩]