This is a detour from the main focus of my posts on this subject but it doesn't go far off the track.
I received a link to a video in my email and found it to be a surprisingly effective claim to reveal a completely different interpretation of Mystery Babylon and the Antichrist than I've been working on: Babylon the Great and The Turkish Antichrist. It's definitely worth some thought. It traces the connections between Islam and the pagan religions back to Semiramis, and claims that Mecca, not Rome, is the "city on seven hills" of Revelation 17. John was taken into the desert, or wilderness, to see the image of the great harlot who sits on the beast, and that location does make Mecca a better candidate than Rome.
It is merely asserted in passing that Mecca sits on seven hills, so I don't know what degree of authenticity can be claimed for this, but certainly Rome was known as the City on Seven Hills already back when John wrote the Book of Revelation, and has always maintained that title.
There are other claims made that give credence to this new interpretive scheme, but I think also enough failures to fit the prophecies to show that it isn't really a rival to Rome.
It's mainly the idea of the Antichrist in this system that ultimately doesn't work, though. This is a single figure who will appear at the very end of time, along the lines of so many Futurist views we're familiar with today, who will have the title of Caliph, which is said to mean "Substitute" just as "Vicar of Christ" means Substitute for Christ and therefore Antichrist. The connection is strained in the film, however, as Jesus is regarded by Islam as just one of many prophets, so the final Caliph is a substitute for him along with all the other prophets and therefore can't be Antichrist who specifically usurps the place of Christ. No informed Christian is going to fall for such an inexact Substitute, but the papacy has fooled Christians down the centuries already with their claim to be the Vicar of Christ.
The papacy also has all the trappings of the old religions that go back to Semiramis, as Alexander Hislop showed in his Two Babylons, so both religions show that connection, but the papacy does a much better job of filling the description of the Harlot's scarlet and purple garb.
Also they have to turn the "wine of her fornication" into the oil which has made Saudi Arabia wealthy, as it is that oil that keeps the world more or less at their mercy, and that made possible all the wealth in today's Middle East that fits the description in Revelation 17. But of course this is all very recent. None of this wealth existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation, or down through the centuries either, but the papacy has accumulated wealth from early on.
The woman's being drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus fits both systems though, as Islam has murdered Christians, including a million and a half Armenian Christians by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire, and of course Islam has been continuing the slaughter particularly in Africa in recent times. Now with the rise of ISIS it is becoming everyday news. I just saw a headline, too, that says ISIS destroyed the monument to the Armenian genocide in Syria.
So none of this is going to rival the papacy for the title of Antichrist, but I'd say it does fill in the case for Islam as the other leg of the Roman Empire as shown on Nebuchadnezzar's statue as described in the Book of Daniel.
Seeking God again
9 months ago