Babylon's Two & Three - Revelation Chapters 17 & 18

 Jamma Mokhriby


In our previous study on the Book of Revelation titled, "The Wrath of God," we left off at the outpouring of the seventh bowl in Ch. 16 at verse 17. This is the last bowl judgment containing God's wrath and will complete the events being revealed in the day of the sounding of the woeful seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:14-15.
Verses 18-21 of Rev. Ch. 16 then give a summation of the dramatic developments which will be experienced upon the earth at the pouring out of the seventh bowl.
We are told that the greatest earthquake in the history of mankind will take place and that every island will flee away and the mountains will not be found. Hailstones weighing approximately 100 pounds will fall upon men and men will blaspheme God because of this great plague.
Verse 19 brings our attention to the main focus of this study when we are told that the great city Babylon will be remembered by God when He gives her, "the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath" and cuts her into three pieces as the nations fall around her during the earthquake of all earthquakes.
Before we enter into a more detailed look at what God shares with us about this Babylon found in Chapters 17 & 18 of the Book of Revelation we must first realize that there are three distinct landscapes to the last days appearance of Babylon which we might figuratively refer to as her body, spirit and soul.
According to Scripture these three aspects of Babylon are to be destroyed at three different points in time. Perhaps this is the greater relevance as to why God has shared with us His intention to divide this great city into three portions.
The first aspect according to Jeremiah 51:59-64 is the literal geographical city of ancient Babylon which has been rebuilt by Saddam Hussein and now stands for the time being at its original location in Iraq.
By that which is revealed in Jer. 50:18-20 & 51:19-24 we know that the destruction of Babylon must take place at its original location during these last days before Israel's restoration to God and while Israel is still a military power to be feared.
Babylon's destruction, according to Jer. Chapters 50 & 51, will be accomplished by many nations among which will include Israel. This would indicate that geographical Babylon will be destroyed at some time in the near future and not during the Tribulation Period when Israel's military might will be broken and she will become prey for the Anti-Christ.
The second manifestation of Babylon to be destroyed will be the sacrilegious last days seat of her ancient harlot religion. The fall of this great city, where her prostituted teachings are centralized, will transpire at approximately the middle of the final 7 years before the mark and worship of the Anti-Christ are fully initiated according to Rev. 14:8-11.
It will be at this time that the harlot's days of glory and authority will be finally ended. What remains will then be incorporated into the kingdom of the Anti-Christ.
The harlot's destruction is accomplished by a ten king alliance who serve the Anti-Christ according to Rev. 17:16-18.
In comparison to the destruction of geographical Babylon, Israel will be in severe distress at this mid-point of the Tribulation and her broken military might is in stark contrast to the great power she wielded earlier during the destruction of geographical Babylon (Dan. 8:23-24 & 9:27). Where as Israel will have been a major contributor in a global confederacy to eliminate geographical Babylon (see Jer. 51:19-24), in the annihilation of religious Babylon, only ten kings are singled out in the campaign for her destruction. The third manifestation of Babylon to be destroyed will be the great city where the location of the Anti-Christ's ten kings power and might will be centralized. That is, his kingdoms wealth and government.
This final aspect of commercial/political Babylon is to be destroyed at the close of the Great Tribulation by Jesus Christ Himself. Her final moments will come by an unparalleled earthquake ( as was revealed in Rev. 16:16-19), along with swift acting plagues and a raging inferno (Rev. 18:8 & Dan. 2:34, 35 & 42-45).
Verses 1-7 of Ch. 17 of the Book of Revelation then begin by an angelic revelation. We are given detailed exposition of the last day's Babylonian harlot which has, according to Rev. 17:6, a bloodthirsty nature. She is found to have intoxicated herself from the blood of the martyrs of Jesus which makes her a defiled institution existing since the time the Church of Jesus Christ was founded.
Along with the enjoyment she derives from destroying true believers we are told that she is a mysterious, bejeweled and extravagantly draped harlot whose wealth is astounding.
With her being manifested as a harlot it is made known to us that she is found in the role of a soiled version of the faithful, betrothed Church of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 11:2-4). By her title it is made known to us that she is the original mother of all false religions which began to spread over the face of the earth since Genesis 10:8-10 & 11:1-8. She has taken on her final form as a prostituted matron of the one true faith. Under her deceptive guise she will gather all her wandering children in a final march to destruction.
We are shown that in the last days she will be carried upon the back of the beastly representation of the kingdom of the Anti-Christ.
Verses 8-11 of Rev. Ch. 17 then share cryptic revelations abut the spirit entity which will possess the Anti-Christ and more information regarding the harlot religion.
Considering the harlot, the Apostle John is told she sits on seven mountains, which to his understanding of that day would have unequivocally been meant to be a reference to Rome.
We are thoroughly convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Roman Catholic Institution is the harlot being unmasked in Ch. 17 of the Book of Revelation (see Rapture Watch message, "Holy Rome to Return to Jerusalem). The evidence to support this is overwhelming. "The Two Babylons" by Hislop should convince any reasonable skeptic.
Verses 12-18 of Rev. Ch. 17 then conclude the chapter with an intriguing double cross. In verse 7 of this chapter we are shown that the Anti-Christ and his composite kingdom carry the harlot. We then learn of just how much a burden she really is to this kingdom and of the seething hatred which will be revealed against her from the Anti-Christ. Her temporary control over the beast was only tolerated by the beast so that she could be used to bring her illegitimate children together in unity.
Verses 12-18 share that the ten kings of the Anti-Christ will devote all of their power, authority and wills to the establishment of the kingdom of the beastly Anti-Christ - so much so that verse 14 reveals they will even dare to challenge Jesus Christ at the day of His return.
Revelation 13:14 reads, "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him [which is the Church] are called, chosen, and faithful." (See also Rev. 19:19).
Revelation 17:15 brings us back to focus on the harlot by showing that her ecumenically corrupted form of Christianity, which incorporates and encourages the worshipers of every false religion of the world, has influence over the whole earth.
Verses 16 & 17 then reveal the utter contempt the Anti-Christ has harbored and nurtured against the harlot and how ten kings will be of one mind with his hatred towards her.
The Anti-Christ's relationship with the harlot might be compared with a black widow spider who allows the smaller mate of the species to approach until the desired pro-creative at is accomplished. The mate is then devoured by the larger female.
The Anti-Christ carries the harlot while she regathers her children for his future plans, only then will the ten kings strip the harlot of her power and wealth and will burn her up with fire.
Verse 18 tells us that the city that is recognized as being one with the harlot, will up to that time have had a history of reigning over the kings of the earth. Our unqualified candidate for the great, religious city of the wealthy murderous harlot is Roman Catholicism's own unique domain found in Vatican City.
Verse 1 of Ch. 18 of the Book of Revelation then opens with a glorious and powerful angel appearing to the Apostle John. We soon find out that this angel has an announcement of something which is to take place "after" the wealth and power of the scarlet woman of Babylon is devoured and her city is destroyed by the Anti-Christ.
We are shown in verses 2 & 3 that all that was the harlots will then be found in another final manifestation of Babylon which will include a transferred infestation of countless demons.
Verse 1 told us this will take place "after" religious Babylon has been destroyed.
In verse 2 we are shown that there has been a movement of demons and foul spirits from the one aspect of Babylon which had just been destroyed, into another aspect when we are told of two fallings of Babylon. It is still the one Babylon, but her destruction comes in stages.
First the geographical, then the religious. Last comes religious Babylon's consort, the Babylonian beast which she has merged with the ultimate false worship.
Verses 4 & 5 warn the tribulation saints that they should have no part of Babylon and that they should flee from her.
Verse 6 gives us an additional clue to help with understanding this newly announced destruction of Babylon after having just witnessed a pervious destruction of Babylon in Ch. 17. We are told, "...repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her."
There is to be a second death for religious Babylon after her vile legacy is absorbed into the realm of the Anti-Christ's kingdom. False worship, in defiance against the only true God, is a defining characteristic of the Anti-Christ's kingdom.
Verse 7 of Rev. Ch. 18 reveals that in her final form Babylon is no longer referred to as a harlot, but instead as a queen. An arrogant queen that does not recognize herself as being widowed by the destruction of her former consort. In the face of her proud, defiant attitude God assures her of His swift judgment in Rev. 18:8.
Verse 9 again presents a contrast between the harlot and the queen of Babylon when we are shown kings weeping over the day the queen is destroyed, while in Rev. 17:12 & 16, kings enthusiastically destroyed the harlot because of their burning hatred against her.
In the same fashion that the harlot had a central city so too, we are told in verse 10 of Rev. 18, does the queen.
The religion of the Anti-Christ's kingdom is of the greatest importance to the queen, but of no less significance is the empire's financial control. Revelation 13:14-17 draws a clear connection between control of wealth and control of religion in the Anti-Christ's kingdom.
This is why Rev. 18:11-19 centers on the extraordinary wealth based power controlled by the queen's great city. Because of the prophecy of Daniel 9:26 which reveals that the Anti-Christ will come from the people that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, we know the queen's city will be found in what was once the Roman Empire. The European Union established by the Treaty of Rome is without any doubt, by our understanding, the fulfillment of the restored Roman Empire of these last days.
We do not believe it is a coincidence that women are found symbolically portrayed as representative of government or a depiction of false beliefs in Europe in these last days. Tony Pearce out of London noted this in the summer 2003, "Light for the Last Days," along with Europe's affinity to identify itself with Babylon.
We quote, "The EU has adopted symbols which are very significant in the light of prophecy. The EU flag with twelve stars on a blue background points to the ‘Queen of Heaven' and worship of Mary, linking it to Roman Catholicism. Outside the Council of Europe building in Brussels there stands a sculpture of a woman riding a bull (see Revelation 17 - the woman rides the beast). The sculpture is a representation of the Greek myth of Europa being carried away by Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods, in the form of a bull. This building is the nerve centre of the EU, where laws are written by unelected men, only later to be rubber stamped by the EU parliament. Its new parliament building opened in Strasbourg in December 2000 is deliberately modeled on Brueghel's painting of the Tower of Babel. When asked by a secular journalist ‘Why the Tower of Babel' an EU official replied, ‘What they failed to complete 3000 years ago - we in Europe will finish now.' An EU promotional poster has a reproduction of The Tower of Babel with construction cranes above it and the caption ‘Many tongues, one voice.'
For an example of how a modern European city could fulfill the parameters of the queen's commercial Babylon, we might consider looking within the female representation of Great Britain, Britannia.
With the British Isles historic Celtic beliefs and what is known as British Israelism, one can find a strong foundation for a religion which can be used to position the Anti-Christ as the last day's false Messiah.
Combining these facts with the January and December, 1999 reports from the Electronic Telegraph, a proposal to replace Britain's coronation service with a multi-faith ceremony with contributions from other faiths ("Coronation might become multi-faith..."), and that the religion of the United Kingdom would no longer be explicitly "Protestant" in opposition to Roman Catholic inclusion in government affairs (Archbishop's Timebomb"), we can see by this example how a historic commercial and financial Goliath like the 677 acre former Roman settlement called the City of London might fulfill the yet to be revealed final Babylon of the end times.
A more recent report that has had years to mature even further concerning the growing efforts of Great Britain to develop far reaching religious authority was shared in the Electronic Telegraph article of Jan. 4, 2000 which headlined, "Leaders of nine faiths stand together."
The article stated that, "Leaders from the nine religious faiths in Britain stood together in the Palace of Westminster yesterday and made a public commitment to "work together for the common good" in the Third Millennium. The unprecedented events, hosted by the Prime Minister, brought together Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs, Jains, Baha'is and Zoroastrians in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, stood shoulder to shoulder with Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, and leaders of other faiths..."In a world scarred by the evils of war, racism, injustice and poverty, we offer a joint Act of Commitment" work together "to help bring about a better world now and for generations to come"...Tony Blair described the occasion as "progress of a very special sort" for the country which showed how religions, which had often been cause for division, "can reach out across the divide." Dr. Carey emphasized the Christian nature of the millennial celebrations, but acknowledged "the increasingly important contribution of other faiths." He said: "This event will, I believe, be seen by future generations as truly historic."
It is interesting how Pope John Paul has also prayed in unity with these same religions.
Out of this tangled web we can be sure the end time harlot and queen will be made known after the true Church of Jesus Christ has been Raptured to heaven (I Thess. 4:15-18).
Returning to Ch. 18 of the Book of Revelation we find that verses 20-24 close out this chapter with a call for heaven and believers to rejoice over the complete and final destruction of Babylon because, " her was found the blood of the prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth." By this revelation we are shown that her roots are ancient.
It was a matter of false worship and rebellion against God that brought forth the very first murder by Cain when he slew his brother Abel.
Where as Jesus told us in John 8:44 that the devil is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning, it might be said of Revelation Chapters 17 & 18 that we had just met the mother.
There is only one true way to come to God and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Trust in Jesus this moment for the forgiveness of our sins and receive the promise of eternal life. Once you have truly given up your life to Jesus, never let the words of Galatians 2:20 leave your heart and mind, "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me, I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."