This issue takes a closer look at “Mystery Babylon.”
SINCE YOU ASKED
Since the rebuilding of Babylon continues to be such a hot topic, let”s continue our search to discover which “Babylon” will be utterly destroyed (Rev. 18:2) and how the rebuilding of ancient Babylon fits in. (See blog posts 14, 64 and 103.) In Rev. 17 “Babylon” clearly represents a false religious system during the Tribulation period. Rev. 18 indicates that it also represent some sort of commercial system. “We know that the woman, the great harlot of Rev. 17, is “the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 17:18). So, Babylon represents a city and a religious/commercial system.
Rev. 18 tells us that when the city is destroyed, the merchants of the cargo ships are devastated because no one would buy their cargos anymore. Apparently, this city was by far, the world”s leading importer of their products, including gold, silver, slaves and human lives. As I have stated before, it would take a very long time for the city of Babylon in Iraq (now
being rebuilt) to reach such a status and Babylon is 400 miles from the coast, making it impossible for seagoing merchants to watch the smoke of her burning (Rev. 18:9).
Another city seems to be implied. Traditionally, Rome has been identified as the seat of a future 10-nation confederacy and the city most easily associated with seven hills (mountains/kings). Her location on the Tiber River and near Italy”s west coast fulfills the shipping requirements just mentioned. A lot of development needs to take place, however, to make her the world”s premier commercial center, or the other candidates must first be destroyed, giving her the title by default.
Those who believe that Rome is being described point to recent developments that support the prophecies of Daniel 2, especially the “ten toes” and the implications for a revived Roman Empire. In 1957 the European Common Market was formed under the Treaty of Rome. In 1993 it became the European Union. In 1998 the European Central Bank was formed, and in 1999 an official military arm was begun. In 2002, its
dollar replaced the other European currencies, and talk of making Rome its official capital began to spread. Then there are the recent Vatican proclamations against Israel , further setting the Roman Catholic Church at odds with God.
Since so much has already been written about Rome representing “Mystery Babylon.” I”m not going to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, in future articles I”ll present some of the arguments of those who think America is Mystery Babylon as represented by New York City. I”ll also present some arguments against this view.
AS I SEE IT
As fascinating as this topic is, we must not fail to see the forest for the trees. The entire biblical discussion of Mystery Babylon is a warning. More specifically, it is a warning to come out of her, whoever and wherever she is. In His infinite mercy, God lets us know when He is going to bring judgment, and prior to the judgment comes the opportunity to avoid it. It”s one thing to understand biblical prophecy, but quite another to heed it (Rev. 1:3). One of the purposes of prophecy is to make us more holy (1 John 3:3, Titus 2:11-14). God wants our understanding of what”s coming to change us. We must be honest with ourselves. Why are we interested in this? What are we really up to? What”s going to happen is going to happen, but how it affects us will depend on what we do with what we have learned. Post 160 shows the role of God”s supremacy in all this.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Hospitality: Making your guests feel like they”re at home, even if you wish they were.