Mystery Babylon the Great

Revelation 17 and 18 describe “Mystery Babylon the Great” in several ways.  For example, it is shown to be “the mother of prostitutes [or harlots] and of the abominations of the earth” (17:5).  It also is depicted as a place of luxurious wealth that will be brought to ruin in a short time (18:16,17).

There has been a great deal of speculation as to the identity of Mystery Babylon the Great.  Some potential candidates have been Rome, the Vatican, the Church, New York City, the United States, the United Nations, and even Hitler’s Third Reich.  I feel that there is a better candidate to be Mystery Babylon than all of these.

A clue can be obtained by looking at two cases of “Babylon” in the Bible.  One was the capital of the “beastly” kingdom of Babylonia several centuries B.C.  Another was referred to by Peter here:

The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son (1 Peter 5:13—KJV).
At the time of writing his epistle, Peter was in Rome.  So “Babylon” was a figurative referral to Rome.  It also was a Jewish practice during the first and second centuries A.D. to refer to Rome as “Babylon.”  Both of the “beastly” kingdoms of literal Babylon and figurative Babylon, Rome, fiercely and ruthlessly dominated Jerusalem and Israel.  Presumably, a future “beastly” kingdom, again, will do the same.

Saudi, ArabiaThere are several criteria, in Revelation 17 and 18, that must be met when attempting to identify this end-time Babylon.  I feel that Saudi Arabia in general, and Mecca specifically, meet all of the conditions to be Mystery Babylon at the end of the age.  I will explain several reasons why I feel this way.

This “great prostitute” is shown to be sitting on “many waters” (Revelation 17:1).  Later, these “waters” are identified as “peoples, multitudes, nations and languages” (17:15).  Any religion or form of worship that does not venerate the one, true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) is a counterfeit religious system that deceives those within its sphere of influence.  Those under its deceptive “spell” have included all of the major empires of the ancient world, particularly the ones that had domination over Israel.  With their false gods, they committed spiritual “adultery” or infidelity against the only real God: YHVH or Yahveh, the "I AM".

The word “mother” in “mother of prostitutes” does not mean the one who came first; it is a superlative indicating the leading, chief, and biggest counterfeit and adulterous religion of all.  I believe that the foremost prophesied religion of treachery and deceptiveness, particularly at the end of the age, will be Islam (see the woman and the beast), whose god is Allah.

Saudi Arabia is an Islamic kingdom, and Mecca is Islam’s holiest site and main hub in the world.  Furthermore, Mecca is the birthplace of Islam and of its prophet, Muhammad.  Moreover, the royal family of Saudi Arabia is fabulously, luxuriously and lavishly wealthy (Revelation 17:4).

Islam, by far, is the chief antagonist of Judaism, which is the woman of Revelation 12:1,2,5,6.  Furthermore, Mystery Babylon the Great, the “mother of prostitutes,” is seen to be “drunk with the blood of the saints” who have born “testimony to Jesus” (17:6).  These saints are Christians.  True Islam detests Christianity as much as it hates Judaism.

A fundamental tenet of Christianity is that Jesus is the Son of God; but Islam vehemently insists that god (Allah) has no son.  Consequently, Christians will be greatly persecuted and slaughtered during the Great Tribulation period (Revelation 6:9-11, 12:17).  I feel that a great deal of this will be a result of Islamic intolerance and opposition.

This “woman,” the “mother of prostitutes,” will have direct ties to the “beast” or final global kingdom, headed by the Antichrist.  The woman is seen to be sitting atop the blasphemous beast (Revelation 17:3), which is among the “many waters” (17:1) or multitudes of people under her influence.  This beast is seen to have seven “heads” (Revelation 17:3), which also were seven “hills” or “mountains”—that is, seven “kings” (17:9,10).  Unlike what often is thought, the “hills” do not represent seven literal hills on which a city has been built; they symbolize seven kingdoms (see seven kings, seven kingdoms).

John wrote that a command of God is to “believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 3:23).  However, the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, states that the idea of having a son “befits not” and is “not suitable” for Allah (Maryam: 35, 92).  Yet John also noted that “every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist...” (1 John 4:3).

Islam does not acknowledge that Jesus really was/is the Son of God; thus, the spirit of the antichrist pervades Islam.  All who deny that Jesus is the Son of God, including those who have embraced the Qur’an and its teachings, will be open to accepting and embracing the Antichrist, who will deny the true identity of Jesus and will blaspheme the one, true God (Revelation 13:5,6).

The next thing of importance to note is that John was taken into a desert or wilderness (Revelation 17:3), which is where he observed Mystery Babylon the Great, the “mother of prostitutes.”  Now, the angel talking to John had explained how the “many waters,” on which the woman sat, were symbolic of her influence over great multitudes of people.  However, no such allegorical description was given for the desert, where John saw the woman.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that the term “desert” in this passage is a literal geographical location and that the harlot woman is located there.  Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Middle East, is 95% desert, including the Rub’ Al Khali: the biggest mass of sand on the planet.


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