(Isaiah 21:9) “And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.” (Jeremiah 51:7-9) “Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are going mad. Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; Wail over her! Bring balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed. We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed;” (Revelation 14:8) “And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” (Revelation 18:2-3) “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 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 17:5) “And on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
What is “Mystery Babylon?”
Many have speculated about the Mystery of Babylon the Great. In the first century the early Christians identified Pagan Rome with Babylon and they were right (1 Peter 5:13). At that time in history Pagan Rome had all the conspicuous features that marked the Ancient Babylonian Empire. After Constantine became Emperor and made Christianity the official religion of the empire Bible believing Christians began to associate Religious Rome with Babylon and down through the history of the Church even to the present day MANY Bible believers associated Roman Catholicism with Mystery Babylon. Very soon after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire pagan symbols, garments, festivals and holidays were suddenly “Christianised.” Christmas and Easter are just two examples. Martin Luther wrote a book titled; “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.”
Is it Roman Catholicism?
Constantine moved his capital to Constantinople in Turkey and left the Bishops in Rome to control the affairs of the empire. Ultimately the Papacy came about. Even today when you look at Roman Catholicism which evolved from the time of Constantine you can see many aspects of this religion that have their roots in ancient Babylon. Throughout its long history even to the present day the Roman Catholic Church has been identified with Babylon by Bible believing Christians. Now they were not completely wrong, however, is the mystery of Babylon the Great just applicable to the Roman Catholic Church? Let’s look at this…
“A City in a Desert”
Now Babylon the Great is described as a specific city in a desert that has traded with the kings of the earth but is also linked to Mystery Babylon as well. Now Rome itself is not located in a desert. The Apostle John tells us this. “And he (the angel) carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness (desert) and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast full of blasphemous names.” (Revelation 17:3) The woman sitting on a scarlet beast full of contemptible names was seen in a desert. The prophet Zechariah also speaks about this “woman.” “Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what is appearing.” I asked, “What is it? ”He replied, “It is a basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.” Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it. Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth. “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me. He replied, “To the country of Babylonia (Shinar) to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.” (Zechariah 5:5-11
The location of this “woman” we are told is in Shinar where the original Babylon had been built by Nimrod according to the book of Genesis. Shinar was a plain or desert in the region of Iraq near the Euphrates River. It was not the city of Rome, New York or Brussels the capital of the EU for that matter. There is one thing we must always keep in mind regarding Bible Prophecy is that it relates to the Middle-East and to those regions and nations surrounding Israel. The Bible itself is not a western book but a middle-eastern book and needs to be interpreted with a middle-eastern mindset and not with a western mindset.
The original Babylon was a city in a desert that was an empire ruled over by Nimrod the first major type of the Antichrist in the Bible. The empire itself was a religious, socio-economic, political and militaristic empire. This was an empire with a global agenda that was an affront to God. When they were about to build the Tower of Babel they said; “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4) This was always Satan’s agenda. We read what he said in the book of Isaiah; “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-15) Just as God overthrew those building the Tower of Babel so God will overthrow the kingdom of Satan. Nimrod was defeated and so will the Antichrist be defeated. Nimrod’s empire was an empire that resisted and opposed the Lord. The mystery religions that were passed on down through successive empires had their source in Nimrod’s Babylon. Today among prophecy teachers there are five main views concerning the mystery of “Babylon the Great.” They are as follows…
1. The Church of Rome.
We have already mentioned Rome briefly. For many centuries now many Bible believing Christians have believed and taught that Rome is the “Mother of Harlots.” Of course when you look at the Papacy historically they had armies, an economic system and a religious system that dominated the kings and princes of the earth, at least in the west and to a degree in the Middle-East. The Ancient Roman Empire had “two legs” namely a Western and Eastern leg of the Empire. Rome was the capital of the Western Empire and Constantinople the capital of the Eastern Empire which came to be known as the Byzantium Empire. This Eastern leg of the Roman Empire lasted around another 1,000 years after the Western Empire had collapsed. Ultimately the Eastern leg of the Empire fell to the Turkish Ottoman Empire of Islam. Throughout its long and bloody history the Church of Rome persecuted and murdered Bible believing Christians and Jews. This is a fact of history.
Many of the reformers saw the Popes as Antichrists and taught that the final Antichrist would be a Pope. Of course the Papacy itself is Antichrist. The Popes title in Latin is “Vicarious Christos” but in Greek it is “Anti-Christos” i.e., to say “One who is against Christ and in the place of Christ.” The sense in which Popes are sitting in the seat of antichrist is because they have the final say in the way the Bible is to be interpreted to “the faithful.” Many erroneous doctrines such as Purgatory, Priestly celibacy, indulgences, penance, rosary beads, auricular confessions and many more unbiblical practices have been instigated and sanctioned by the Popes down through history. Now there is only one Vicar of Christ on earth and that is the blessed Holy Spirit of God the ultimate source of the Bible and the one who reveals its truth. (John 16:13-15) (2 Timothy 3:14-17) (1 John 2:20, 27). No man then takes this position on himself yet the Church of Rome says the Pope has this right. However, has the Church of Rome ever denied the Trinity? They cannot deny the Trinity as it is established doctrine that cannot be changed. However, the Antichrist denies the Trinity (1 John 2:22-23).
Roman Catholicism or Islam?
When you look at the practices, the position of the clergy, the symbols, the vestments and the enforced celibacy of the Priests and Nuns you have a mirror of the Mystery religions of Babylon. So the reformers were right to a great degree in their understanding of the Mystery of Babylon the Great. However, some of the reformers saw Islam and not Roman Catholicism as the source from which the ultimate Antichrist would come. Today one of the fundamental pillars of Islamic doctrine is to vehemently deny the Trinity and to persecute and kill those who believe in The Trinity.
2. The City of New York.
there are some prophecy teachers who identify Babylon the Great with New York as it is a city that sits near the sea and is the primary centre of trade and commerce for the USA in dealing with the nations of the world. In a very real sense it “sits on many waters” which the Bible says represents; “peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” Some could say that America itself is the City of Babylon mentioned in Revelation and when you look at the features of American life you can see the features that were conspicuous in Ancient Babylon and Rome for that matter.
Not in a desert
America is multi-faith, obsessed with sport and the perfection of the human body. It is a socio-economic power, a multicultural society and a militaristic power. Furthermore when you see Cleopatra’s Needle standing outside of the Whitehouse and also outside of the Vatican in Rome it is clear that they are both connected to Ancient Babylon. The Needle of Cleopatra actually represents the Penis of Nimrod. Furthermore, when you look at an aerial view of certain streets in Washington near the White House you can see them laid out in the pattern of the 5 sided Occult Pentagram with one of its corners touching the Whitehouse. Most of the American presidents have been Freemasons. The Freemasons are a secret occult organization. Indeed when you see the Money preachers on Television, the wealth, the prosperity and opulence of many American conglomerates, the violence, the sexual immorality, and the many professing Christians embracing ecumenism and unbiblical doctrines indeed you can see the Mystery of Babylon the Great at work. However, New York is not in a desert. Is in fact New York the City of Babylon the Great mentioned in the Bible?
3. The European Union.
Many Prophecy “buffs” identify the last beast Kingdom with the European Union based in the city of Brussels. Out at the front of the EU building you have a statue of a woman riding a beast. Indeed many say that the EU is the revival of the Roman Empire. Of course to believe this you have to see Europe as the seat of the coming Antichrist and his empire. However the Bible says nothing about a European Antichrist. Does in fact the Antichrist arise in Europe or in America for that matter? Some even said that Obama was the Antichrist. Undoubtedly there will be some who will even say President Trump is the Antichrist. We always need to look at what the Bible says. Again it is not a western book! Many books have been written about the European Union. Like America, Europe has the same conspicuous features that were prevalent in Ancient Babylon. Brussels is certainly not a city located in a desert by the sea!
4. The World as a whole.
Most Amillennial teachers would probably hold this view. Because they spiritualise many texts that should not be spiritualised and they make general applications. For example, they often take prophetic passages of scripture that relate to literal Israel and try to apply them to the Church. When you look at the prophetic passages of scripture in the Old Testament there are passages that apply only to Israel while others apply to Israel and to the Church collectively. When you distinguish between those relating to Israel and those relating to the Church Bible Prophecy becomes much clearer and easier to understand. When Amillenialists see the mystery of Babylon the Great mentioned in relation to Prophecy they will say it means the whole world system generally and that the city is not a literal city at all but the whole world under Satan’s power. They are partly correct. They would speak of two cities namely the City of God (His invisible Kingdom) and the City of Satan (This present fallen world under Satan’s power) Augustine was the instigator of this view and who denied a literal Millennium. He spiritualised many passages of scripture that were meant for Israel and sought to apply them to the Church. While Babylon prophetically speaking is described as a literal city in a desert by the Red Sea whose destruction is heard at the Red Sea it can also be applied to the wider world but not exclusively. It is a literal city that is destroyed in the last days but also has a wider application to the world’s system of government which will also be destroyed by the Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus. What the Amillenialists fail to recognise is that the city of Babylon from the perspective of prophecy is also a literal city as well as a description of the fallen rebellous world. Historically, Babylon as a city was never destroyed but atrophied over time. It’s destruction is still to come in the future.
The early Church believers were Premillennial. The Bible itself is Premillennial in its eschatology especially where Israel is concerned. Furthermore, God is the God of history and works through earthly kings, kingdoms and nations. This is perfectly consistent throughout the entire Bible and corroborated by history itself. Just look at the book of Daniel and see how accurately God predicted world events hundreds of years before they occurred in history. Daniel was proved to be 100% right in what he predicted through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. What God has said and done in the past He will also say and do in the future. He is always perfectly consistent in what He says and does in history. How He has acted in the past He will act in the future! Even when Peter makes a reference to Rome being “Babylon” he still identifies Babylon with a specific city. At that time Rome was the centre of the mystery religions inherited from ancient Babylon. Again when we see Babylon the Great described in both Testaments we can see that it describes a literal city in a desert and a city which controls the economy of many; “peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.” It is also called “the mother of harlots” because it has given birth to all false religions down through the ages. All false religions play the harlot because they deny the God of the Bible and the Tri-unity of the Godhead.
5. The City of Mecca .
There are an increasing number of Bible Teachers today who are not looking at Rome, New York or even the European Union for that matter but at Islam and the remarkable thing is that Islam meets all of the Biblical criteria for the coming of the Antichrist and his kingdom. In fact the Bible is quite specific. Virtually all of the nations mentioned by name in the Bible in relation to Prophecy are Islamic nations today. There is a beast kingdom arising in the earth today with a “Trojan horse” in virtually every western nation. Mecca in Saudi Arabia (Ancient Edom) is the heart of the Muslim World. Its roots go all the way back to Nimrod himself. It is a city surrounded by literally seven mountains or hills, a city in a desert and a city that trades in “the wine of oil” which had driven the nations “mad.” It is a nation that beheads Christians, denies the Trinity and persecutes the saints.
The City will Burn!
In the Bible we are told that Saudi Arabia one day will burn including the city of Mecca. The Prophet Isiah saw this when he said; “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause. Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulphur; her land will become blazing pitch! It will not be quenched night or day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again.” (Isaiah 34:8-10) There are three things we notice in this text. Firstly; Edom is Saudi Arabia today and underneath its desert are rivers of oil. Secondly; “its streams will be turned into burning pitch,” namely the oil fields will burn. During the War with Iraq you could see oil literally burning in the desert. Well in Saudi Arabia the whole land will become streams of fiery oil burning out of control and sending poisonous sulphurous dust into the atmosphere. Thirdly; the whole region itself will be so polluted by the fallout that no-one will be able to live there. This has happened to them because they have hated and attacked Israel for centuries even going all the way back to Ishmael and Esau. (Ezekiel 25:12-14)
Its destruction is heard at the Red Sea
Furthermore we are told in the Bible that the fall of Babylon the Great was heard at the Red Sea. (Jeremiah 49:21) the Red Sea is a geographical indicator as to where the Last-Days Babylon will be located. Look at the city of Mecca on any map and you will see that it sits near the Red Sea. Edom stretches from Teman (Yemen) to Dedan (Saudi Arabia) Greater Edom included all of the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula (Ezekiel 25:13).
The “Woman” will be burned with fire.
Saudi Arabia finances terrorists all around the world today. They decapitate Christians regularly and control many nations with their oil supplies. On one hand they do oil deals with the west while on the other hand they supply money to terrorists who are attacking the west. They import many things from many nations and the merchants of the earth grow wealthy from their trade with the Saudis via the sea port. Recently, in a news bulletin it was reported that the Saudi’s now fear a nuclear strike from Iran. The Jihad minded Muslim world hate Saudi Arabia because of its ties to the west. They see the City of Mecca as “a harlot” to the Islamic cause and a “woman” that needs to be destroyed. Indeed it may well be that it is the beast empire of Islam that burns the “woman” Saudi Arabia with fire (Revelation 17:16). A nuclear strike by Iran on the City of Mecca would literally turn the deserts of Saudi Arabia into rivers of burning oil and possibly ignite a war in the Middle –East unequalled in the history of the world. Possibly even Rome would not escape a fiery holocaust. Once before in history Rome burned under Nero who was himself an Antichrist. Islam hates Rome and Christianity primarily because they believe in a Triune God. One of the main agendas of Islam today is to conquer the city of Rome; something that multitudes of Muslims feel has been denied them. Many see Rome as the Representative of Christianity and also the source of the Crusades. Muslims have never forgotten the Crusades!
What has been will be again.
King Solomon said; “That which has been is that which will be,And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) In closing this study we need to remember that what happens in the book of Genesis happens again in the book of Revelation. In Genesis we see Nimrod the founder of Babylon and the source of false religion building an empire in rebellion against God. The Tower of Babel was the result. In the book of Revelation we see another empire in the character of Ancient Babylon and a ruler in the Character of Nimrod. The first Babylon was a political, socio-economic, militaristic and religious empire and so the last Babylon will be the same. It’s interesting to note that the text in Genesis says they built both a city and a tower whose top was to reach to heaven itself. Their purpose was to make a name for themselves. (Genesis 11:4)
Today you have “Mount Babel” located in Mecca. Mount Babel is where the Clock Tower is located in the heart of the city. It has seven massive buildings located on the same site called; “The Towers of the House” that overlooks the Ka’ba, Islam’s holiest site. This structure, including the Clock Tower, rises higher than the other towers above the Ka’ba. Looking at it from the air you see it. The Clock Tower is a very tall tower with a crescent Moon sitting on the top. The crescent moon is the symbol of the ancient Mesopotamian moon-god of war that goes way back beyond the time of Mohammed. The clock tower itself is another Tower of Babel sitting in the heart of a city in a desert by the sea that trades with the whole world that “sits on many waters.” There is no place on earth today where stands the largest structure in the world, used for a religious purpose, all worshipping in one tongue, all committed to a global empire, and is holy to more than 1.5 billion people on earth that is called Mount Babel overlooking the Ka’ba. Mecca is both “a City” and “a Tower.” In our next study we will look at the source of “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”