Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the Judgement of the great prostitute who rules on many waters.” – Rev. 17:1
Once again, we are here talking about something that a A LOT of people have A LOT of opinions on. Though, its also quite fair to say that not all opinions are created equally. Our opinions must still be consistent with the FACTS given in scripture. NEVER should our opinions change or twist scripture to fit those opinions or ideas. Otherwise, it is no longer just an innocent opinion or interpretation, it is antibiblical and false. That remains true on this topic as well; The mystery of Babylon the Great.
We see Babylon the Great talked about quite a bit in the book of Revelation. Revelation designates 2 chapters on it; primarily chapters 17 and 18. If you have read Terms and Conditions, you will already know that I also believe there is another reference to its destruction in chapter 11, though not mentioned by name. And to be as concise as I can, this journal will not contain all the scripture regarding Babylon directly because I encourage you to read it for yourself. Many parts will merely be summarized for the sake of simplicity. What this journal will serve as is, once again, a guide away from false interpretations and also a largely theoretical proposition on the identity of this future Babylon. By no means will my theoretical proposition be dogmatic in any way. This is merely written to get YOU thinking about the future because we don’t know if we will be part of that chosen generation that will endure to the very end. Whether we are or not, we ought to be prepared, as the Bible instructs us to.
“Why is Babylon so important, Brad? Its destruction isn’t until well after we are caught up to be with Jesus.” Correct. BUT after vigorous study on this topic, I do believe there are some practical reason why we ought to be looking out for who this “great city” of Babylon is.
The matter we must first address is the “mysterious” characteristic given to Babylon the Great. Because, believe it or not, overthinking of this word used to describe Babylon the Great has caused lots of deception and confusion on other passages of scripture as well. Why is it called a mystery? Why is it called a mystery, given that it is described quite clearly and thoroughly for 2 entire chapters of Revelation?
Dispensationalist Pastor and author, Clarence Larkin, has a take on the matter. Clarence Larkin was one of the more notable figures contributing to modern-day dispensationalism in the late 1800s to early 1900s. He posed the question, “Where have we heard the word, mystery before?” In Ephesians 3, the Apostle Paul calls the church a mystery because it was unknown to the Old Testament prophets. Clarence then implied that since Christ has a bride, the church, the Antichrist will also have himself a bride, named “Babylon the Great”. Is this the mystery? Is this what John was getting at when he called Babylon the Great a mystery?
It sounds good. And on the surface, it appears to be good enough for many people because this happens to be a widely accepted view. But actually, it couldn’t be farther from the truth when we look at scripture and see the relationship between Babylon the Great and the Antichrist. We will get to that in a moment. But the real issue with what Clarence is proposing is where he is going with this idea. He proposes that Babylon is the Papal church, also known as the Catholic Church, or as I’ll call it, the “Illegitimate Bride” of Christ, thus making her the Bride of the Antichrist. THAT is probably the only real strong point in what he is saying. I’m certainly not defending the Catholic church. While I do believe there can be genuine Christians in the Catholic Church, the church at it’s core is not Christian; it’s illegitimate. But, In my opinion, if this church was Babylon the Great, the only thing great about it is how greatly if fails to live up to its predecessor, ancient Babylon and its other antitype, the Roman Empire. When we look at the text itself, we can see clearly that the Bible describes Babylon the Great much more extravagant as well. In fact, here we are, driving ourselves crazy over Babylon being such a “mystery”, that we fail to see that the Bible itself answers that very question regarding what the mystery is!
Revelation 17:7 says,
“Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the Beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits upon…”
Well isn’t that convenient?! Why are we so amazed at the mysteriousness of Babylon the Great? The angel is like, “you think that’s impressive? You’re astonished by that? Just wait till I tell you what she and the beast represent!” So, what does this Woman, Babylon the Great, represent?
And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city which rules over the kings of the world. – Revelation 17:18
Clarence Larkin apparently knows better than the Bible though. This is his response to that passage and verse:
“The eighteenth chapter speaks of a “City,” a literal city, called “Babylon the Great.” That the “Woman” and the “City” do not symbolize the same thing is clear, for what is said of the “Woman” does not apply to a city, and what is said of the “City” does not apply to a woman. The “Woman” is destroyed by the “Ten Kings,” while the “Kings of the Earth” in the next chapter, “bewail and lament” the destruction of the “City,” which is not destroyed by them, but by a mighty earthquake and fire.“
He goes on to suggest that the woman is the Papal Church, as we discussed already, but that the commercial city of future Babylon the Great must be something else.
THIS is one of the more widely accepted views of Babylon the Great. It doesn’t take a scholar to figure out that this man does not want to accurately depict what the Bible clearly says and would rather twist the meaning of scriptures around to fit what he wants it to say. Like I said, not all opinions are created equally. And like I said in previous posts, I will sit here and honestly tell you that I do not know for certain who Babylon is specifically. But I can tell you a very poor argument when I see one. And this, my friends, is a very poor argument. Since the Vatican/Catholic Church really does not fit the bill regarding all the political, economical, and authoritative aspects given in the description of Babylon the Great, he butchers the passage to somehow try to make the “woman” and the “city” two different entities completely. Once again, it does not take a scholar to figure out that the language of the woman is figuratively describing the City that rules over all the kings of the world. Of course you can’t literally apply that which is said of the woman, to that which could be said literally of a city! The text is CLEAR! “This woman REPRESENTS the great city…” I cannot believe we have fallen for this nonsense. We cannot blindly accept the words of man. We must ALWAYS compare it to what scripture says.
If we look at ancient Babylon, we will get a decent idea what this future Babylon will look like. The reason this future “city” is called Babylon is to shift our eyes towards something we know more about. We know about Babylon in the Bible; it’s corrupt, perverse, yet a powerful empire. It was the world leading power, and it persecuted God’s people.
We are going to lightly talk about something called “typology”. Typology is something seen all throughout scripture. Its the study of “types” of things, people, or events seen throughout scripture. We see most of it in regards to people. For example, Moses was a “type” of Jesus. He was born during a time when the ruler sought to kill all the male newborns, similar to the ruler during Jesus’ time. Moses Redeemed the people of Israel. Jesus redeems us from sin. Moses wandered or was “tempted” in the wilderness for 40 years. Likewise, Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness. The list goes on, but you get the idea. We see Joshua as a “type” of Jesus. Joseph, Noah, Elijah, Elisha and so on, all were as well. And though all these “types” of Jesus are similar, they all failed in some way. They are incomplete versions. Jesus was the fulfillment.
The same thing goes for Babylon as well. There are “types” of Babylon. Ancient Babylon was the original, but it was incomplete. It didn’t fully live up to its “type”. It did not have complete control over the entire world… only most the “known” world. It also failed to either assimilate the Jews into nonexistence, or annihilate them completely. Rome, during New Testament times, was a type of Babylon. It was the world leading power. It was the center of the world economy. And most importantly, it persecuted God’s people. BUT, it didn’t fully live up to its name. It didn’t control the entire world. And it too, failed to persecute God’s people into oblivion. The future Babylon will have all these traits as well. Here are other traits associated with Babylon:
Wealth – Rev 17:4 – Expensive jewelry exploited from the perverse manner in which wealth was earned.
Power – Rev 17:15 – Seen as a city that rules over all the kings over the world. (Not applicable to Catholic Church AT ALL)
Self–gratification – Rev. 18:7 – Arrogant, thought of themselves as untouchable; the greatest superpower of the world. They had no needs. They worshipped their own greatness.
Comfort – Rev. 18:14-17 – Sitting upon a heap of wealth and luxury, they feel no need for God or caring for others. They are comfy and cozy.
Obsession – Rev. 18:3 – The entire world worshipped Babylon. Everyone wanted what Babylon had but failed to see the immorality and sin they were indulging in.
Deceit – Rev. 18:23 – Babylon will deceive the nations by their sorceries. Their merchants are the greatest in the world because of the deceptions Babylon created in gaining that wealth. They allow them to believe in their greatness when they were full of sin and immorality.
Persecution of the Church – Rev. 18:24 – This goes for ancient Babylon and other “types” of Babylon, or world powers: God’s people are killed by their hand.
THIS is the face of a world superpower. Babylon types throughout history were always world dominating political powers. Not a measly, old man who calls himself the mediator between God and man and occasionally walks out in public to give a boring speech. There is little influence or appeal coming from the Catholic church, even amongst many proclaiming Catholics.
The real reason why Revelation calls Babylon the Great, “a mystery”, is because she represents an entity/nation that did not exist at the time John was writing this. And will add, also because it exists as a unique kind of nation never seen before.
And that leads us to the fun part of this journal; my proposition. Again, I am not dogmatic on this position, neither am I completely sold on this idea. BUT it holds some serious merit and lines up with scripture. I believe that Babylon the Great could very well be the United States of America.
“Well, the US is not exactly a city, Brad.” Well, that’s right. But that is not an issue if we look at the original Greek writing. Many commentators assume, based on how the Greek word πόλις, (polis), or “city”, is used when talking about Babylon the Great, that Babylon the Great must be a singular city, not a nation made up of many cities. However, “city” is only one of the possible meanings of the word πόλις. According to the lexicon LSJ, “country,” “state,” or “community” are other possible interpretations. Actually, πόλις, was the normal word for “state” in extrabiblical Greek, and normally held political implications as well.
“Well Brad, why didn’t John just use the Greek word for “nation” if he is talking about a world superpower?” Well that’s just it, there isn’t really a better Greek word that could have been used to describe the United States other than ἡ πόλις ἡ μεγάλη, (the great city/polis). ἔθνος (ethnos) or what we would normally understand as “nation” generally implies a racial or ethnic group. You can hear how it sounds like “ethnic” or “ethnicity” just by reading it. The US is not a ethnic group. There is no American race. The next possible term, βασιλεία (Bassilia) or kingdom, as well as βασιλεύς (Basileous), or king, is more in line with describing land, domain. In the case of Babylon the Great, that could mean the entire earth. It also could potentially cause confusion about whether we are talking about the kingdom or its king. Neither of these terms are the normal term used to describe a political entity. And finally, the word, χώρα (horra) or country, is primarily talking about a piece of land or district. This too does not hold to any political implications. There is truly no better word in Greek to describe what the United States are. It is completely unique.
I told you we would get back to the relationship between the Antichrist and Babylon. They are definitely not soulmates. In Revelation 17, after hearing of how awful and disgusting this Babylon is, you would think that the antichrist and this “woman” would be best friends. She’s terrible. Babylon is terrible. But in verse 15 through 17, we hear something very off key to what we would expect to find. it says,
“The Scarlet beast and his 10 horns ALL HATE the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put a plan in their minds, a plan that will carry out his purpose. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled.”
What?? The antichrist will destroy evil Babylon? This makes NO sense! But wait! When Babylon is destroyed at the end of the Wrath of God, that is clearly supernatural. It is clearly a great earthquake, a terrible hailstorm, and a giant tsunami that destroys Babylon entirely. How can the antichrist have anything to do with this? Well that’s just it! He is not a part of this at all. The final destruction of Babylon at the end of God’s wrath is truly that: God’s wrath. BUT There is something else in scripture I would like to draw our attention to that I believe will shine light on what this passage is talking about here.
Revelation 14:8 is the first verse to mention Babylon the Great in the book of Revelation. It says,
Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting. “Babylon is fallen – that great city is fallen – because she made the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.”
This appears prior to the rapture seen in verse 14 of chapter 14. This doesn’t make sense! How can Babylon be destroyed here, when it talks of it being destroyed completely during the wrath?! Some people will try to dodge this question by saying that this is merely prophetic of th destruction that is to come. Or be like Clarence Larkin and say this is where the “woman” dies, but the city is destroyed later. That’s partially right, but it is the same Babylon or entity here (city represented as a woman) that we see being completely destroyed at the end of God’s wrath. We can also see just by looking at the Greek that this is not prophetic of the future destruction either. The two verbs ἔπεσεν ἔπεσεν, epesen epesen (fallen, fallen) are in the aorist tense, which is typically used to indicate past action. So this is clearly speaking of something that already happened in chapter 14.
This is SOOO important! Look at the context of that verse. First, we see the beast and the false prophet establishing themselves. Next, we see an angel flying through the air telling people to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, Babylon “falls”. Then, verse 9, another angel comes: “Anyone who worships the Beast or his statue, or who accepts his mark must drink of the wine of God’s wrath”. Then, “God’s people must endure!” THEN The rapture of believers unto Christ! WHOA! That’s a lot to take in! Believe it or not, our question has been answered. God, sets it in their minds, (the antichrist and his 10 kings) to burn, tear apart, to conquer Babylon on their quest to establish their ONE WORLD ORDER. Babylon, evil Babylon, the powerful Babylon is in the way. As evil and perverse as Babylon is, she is clearly in the way of the antichrist and the plan God has set in their minds. The United States is in the way of the Antichrist’s one world order. There is no room for a free nation in the Antichrist’s dictatorship, where he himself will claim to be God. Babylon, though she is perverse, though she persecutes Christians like the Antichrist plans to do; she is not efficient enough at doing so like other past Babylon “types”. Yet, she it too arrogant, too prideful, too self-righteous, and too nationalistic to bow down to the Antichrist. Does this sound like something you know?
The United States of America, according to he GDP, has the largest economy in the world, still, even after the hit we have taken here in 2021. The United states also has it’s influence plugged into all parts of the world. On the negative end, the United states is the world leading contributor and distributor of Pornography and sex trafficking. We are comfortable. We think we are untouchable. Persecution is only seen being on the rise. We see it more every day, and I believe it will get much worse. And most importantly, the USA is HATED by the world at the same time. When the Antichrist and his 10 kings are seeking to establish his one world order, the US, is far too proud and self-righteous to bow down to the will to the antichrist. In the antichrist’s world, not even self worship will be permitted. He, the antichrist, will be worshipped. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 says,
“Let no man deceive you, for that Day will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
All other forms of worship and all items of worship will be forced to cease. That is why Babylon will fall. She is drunk on power and self righteousness. And it is that power and self righteousness that will eventually lead her to becoming drunk on the blood of Christians she persecutes. And in her drunkenness, she will oppose the very dragon she is riding. The antichrist will strip her naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. He may be already beginning this from the inside. Even now, the US is being torn apart by the antichrist’s workers. Self righteousness was merely Satan’s plan to get us to turn away from God. Ultimately, Satan wants to be worshipped like God.
World War 3 will see Babylon the Great “fall” to the Antichrist and his 10 kings, who will make him ruler of the entire world. THEN his mark will be established and Christians will be persecuted unlike any time ever before in the Great Tribulation. This fall of Babylon lines up as being during the time when Nation will rise against Nation. The antichrist is marching towards his goal, and stubborn. drunken Babylon will be overtaken and conquered. They will be the last nation in the way. If you have read my Terms and Conditions or my breakdown of the 4 Horsemen, you will already know that during the antichrist’s march, Christian’s are still here on earth. Like I said at the beginning of this post, there’s reason why we should seek to discover who Babylon is because we will be around to watch it fall into the hands of the Antichrist. And when he conquers the US, and sits in the temple, declaring himself to be God, we will know that Great Persecution or Tribulation is coming and we must preach the Gospel and try to endure as long as we can.
Our hope in this is that even when we see the world around us crumbling to the ground, itis still part of God’s plan. Babylon will fall. Persecution will come. But our Lord has overcome the world! And He is victorious over evil. He will judge rightly.
Man’s wrath and the Antichrist’s wrath against Babylon takes place i chapter 14. But GOD does not forget what she has done. At the end of the wrath of God, it says “God remembered all of Babylon’s sins.” Not even Babylon will get a free pass. Though stripped of her power and authority in this world, God sends her plagues upon her all at once, and she is destroyed completely in one day. God does not forget her crimes against the world. God will not forget the sins of the world. All will be accounted for, either upon the shoulders of Jesus, or through the pouring out of God’s wrath an unto death.
Much more still to come. Comment if you have a topic you want me to write about! Thank you for taking the time to read! God Bless!