The Fall of Political and Commercial Babylon (Part 13)
Revelation 17 is a parenthesis that places a magnifying glass over the Great Whore, describing the apostate faith that will become the one-world religion. Revelation 18 is a return back to the judgements of God, it is a continuation of the seventh Bowl Judgement, giving details of the destruction of Rome. So, chapter 17 recounts how religious Rome comes to an end, betrayed by the Antichrist, and chapter 18 gives details regarding the seventh Bowl Judgement, which recounts the destruction of commercial and political Rome. The city will be the home of the Antichrist in his rise to power, and also the centre for the global rebellion against God. Chapters 17 and 18 record the consequences of that rebellion.
After the Antichrist is accepted as mankind’s “messiah” at the start of the Tribulation, he will move from Rome to Jerusalem, effectively counterfeiting the future Kingdom rule of Jesus. Then, after 3½ years, at the start of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will turn on the Great Whore and proclaim himself to be god (Rev. 17:15-18). It is during this time that the immense wealth of the Roman Catholic church will be confiscating by the Antichrist and “the kings of the earth,” to further their own goals. The looting and vandalism that will take place is centred over the religious heart of Rome, the Vatican, chapter 18 on the other hand Is a judgement against the whole city.
Similarities between the Babylons of Revelation 17 and 18:
|Religious Babylon (Rev. 17)||Political and Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18)|
|Controlled by the rule of the Antichrist.||Controlled by the rule of the Antichrist.|
|Demonic, has a ruling Great Whore.||Demonic, has every unclean spirit.|
|Filled with blasphemy.||Filled with blasphemy.|
|Persecute the saints, and put them to death.||Persecute the saints, and put them to death.|
|Corrupt association with rulers (kings).||Corrupt association with rulers (kings).|
|Judged by God and destroyed.||Judged by God and destroyed.|
Differences in the Babylons of Revelation 17 and 18:
|Religious Babylon (Rev. 17)||Political and Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18)|
|Symbol: Great Prostitute.||Symbol: Great city.|
|Identified with the city of seven hills – Rome.||Identified with a port city – Rome.|
|A woman, an apostate faith, a whore and a mother of false religions.||A great commercial city, marketplace.|
|Guilty of apostacy.||Guilty of greed and self-indulgence.|
|Destroyed by the betrayal of the Antichrist.||Destroyed by the wrath of God.|
So, the flow of the narrative goes from Revelation 16, which ends with the seventh Bowl Judgement being poured out on a very specific location – “Babylon the Great,” – the city that is home to the apostate religion – Rome. Revelation 17 takes a close look at why God’s wrath is focused upon the city, and Chapter 18 returns to the seventh Bowl Judgement, giving details of the destruction of the city. Just as Babylon was the capital of Nimrod’s rebellion, Rome, the new Babylon, will be the capital of the Antichrist’s rebellion. Rome’s destruction, the seven Bowl Judgement, will take place just prior to the return of Jesus at Armageddon.
When reading through chapter 18 it must be remembered that Rome is where the Great Prostitute is seated, and that the city will be the political and economical centre of a one-world rebellion against God. So, while the physical structure of Rome is being destroyed, so too is the haunt of every vile demon that made Rome its home.
Before continuing on with the explanation of chapter 18, it is necessary to define what city John is referring to when he writes “Babylon.” Is it the ancient of Babylon restored, or a title given to another major city in the world today. Some theologians believe that ancient Babylon will be revived in the Last Days, and become the centre of world commerce, supported by all the Arab oil in the Middle East. However, the evidence is against this theory; Saddam Hussein saw himself as a modern reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, so he wanted to restore the city of Babylon on the banks of the Euphrates. Starting in 1983 he spent millions in an effort to reconstruct Babylon, with a lavish palace for his residence, built like an ancient Ziggurat, which would overlook the city. The 1991 Desert Storm war put an end to Saddam’s aspirations, and now the uncompleted structure is a site for tourists to meander through, and attain a glimpse of what some parts of the Ancient city could have looked like. If Saddam had read the Bible, he would have realised that the Old Testament prophets are clear that the city of Babylon will not be rebuilt (Isa. 13:19-22, Jer. 51:24-26; 61-64). So, John was not referring to a rebuilt Babylon, that will become the economic hub of the world, as some commentators would have their readers believe.
Americans have a tendency to believe that because they are the superpower of the world, they will play an important role in prophecy, and therefore New York will be the Last Days Babylon. Unfortunately, prophecy points to Europe as being the Last Days superpower, being the revived Roman Empire under the Antichrist – America must decrease and Europe increase. Very likely Joe Biden and the Democrats with their globalisation agenda, are the genesis of this collapse of America as the world’s superpower. Also, a country whose military is more concerned about diversity in its armed forces, than being battle ready is in for trouble. America used to be a strong Christian nation; many Americans have forgotten that is the reason why the USA became so strong. There is accountability looming in America’s not so distant future, a judgement that will see the nation slip from first place. This will be a wake-up call for the European Union, and force the European nations to take over the role as the world leader. The invasion of Ukraine, resulting in Russia being on the door steps of Europe, has had the effect of waking up a docile NATO and showing strength and unity in the face of the Russian threat.
So, which city in the world today is the “Babylon” of the New Testament? Peter in his first epistle, ends the letter by sending greetings from all those with him in “Babylon”:
“13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son” (1 Peter 5:13).
This greeting at first seems very strange, as the ruins of Babylon were lost under the sands of the desert at the time of Peter’s writing, so he could not be at the actual site of Babylon on the banks of the Euphrates. “Babylon” was the early Church’s metaphor for the city that opposed God, and that was the home of idolatry – Mystery Babylon Religion. The “she” Peter is referring to in his letter is the church in Rome, where Peter had been fellowshipping. So, he is protecting the Christians in Rome by using a coded term that all Christians who read the letter would recognise, but would shield the people from persecution if the letter was intercepted by Roman authorities. As Peter gives greeting from Mark, and Paul mentions Mark is living in Rome (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24), this is a further confirmation that “Babylon” is Rome. Finally, we have the fact that John gives clear evidence that the Great Whore is linked to Rome in Revelation 17:9.
Babylon the great! A dwelling place for demons (18:1-3)
“1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. 2 And he called out with a mighty voice, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. 3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living’.”
Once more John starts a new revelation with “after this,” indicating the he is keeping to the sequence of events as it was revealed to him. John had witnessed seven angels coming from the heavenly Temple carrying the seven Judgement Bowls, so when he says he saw “another angel,” it seems as if this angel is of the same type that carried the Bowl Judgements. Just as the bowl angels had great authority in carrying out the judgements of God, this angel also has “great authority,” and he shines forth the glory that comes from being in the presence of God.
This angel who flies from the presence of God, shouts out a triumphant announcement – “‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great”, the root cause of the rebellion of mankind against God, has finally fallen. The repeat of “fallen” by the angel is not only done for dramatic effect, but also to emphasise the demise of both the Babylonian religious system of chapter 17, and the commercial and political system of chapter 18.
Verse 2 is a clear indicator that Rome is the seat of Satan’s demonic power, with the angel calling it “a haunt for every unclean spirit,” a fact that was covered in detail in the “Seat of Satan” discussion in Revelation 17. With this knowledge clearly provided for us, the question must be asked, is the Church doing enough to warn others of this abomination? The answer is a clear NO! “Babylon the great,” has tentacles that spread to every country, and her foul doctrine has been spread worldwide. The tactic of the Roman Church throughout its history, has been that whenever there has been a resistance to Catholicism in a country because of a pagan belief system, the Roman Church has been very skilled at accommodating and adapting the pagan practices to become part of Catholicism. An extreme example being the Voodoo goddess Yemaya of Cuba becoming the black Virgin at the Church of Our Lady of Regla, in Havana. The black virgin’s icon is celebrated each year with a procession through Havana, as she is recognised as the patroness of the sea, of sailors and mariners. Note that the black Mother of God is holding a white infant!
The Roman Catholic queen of heaven, with the great power to deceive, sits as a stronghold over a large portion of the population of the world. Yet, instead of teaching against her lies and deceptions, churches welcome her into their midst as a representative of Jesus, and even adopt some of her traditions. No system in the world’s history has enslaved more people than this commercial and religious city, much of her wealth coming from evil methods, such as the confiscation of “heretics” property during the inquisitions, and false doctrines such as indulgences and purgatory deceiving people into parting with their finances. This home of these apostate deceptions finally gets what it deserved – destruction!
Although Revelation 18 is a description of the destruction of commercial and political Rome, the angel still makes it very clear that the city is inextricably linked to religious Rome, by announcing the fact that the city is the “seat of Satan” and the home to great demonic powers. Revelation 17 revealed that the Great Whore was Roman Catholicism, now Revelation 18 is confirming that great demonic powers inhabit the city. To give clarity on how Rome became the haunt of demons, it is important to study the origins of the Paganism within Roman Catholicism.
A look into the Paganism of the Vatican:
The worship of Helios (the sun) is rife in Roman Catholicism and connects right back to the time of Emperor Constantine. After his victory over Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine inherited a divided empire. Constantine was a realist, he understood that there needed to be changes made to restore unity in his Empire. He saw that through the Christian church, he could have a people who were morally strong, hard workers and would be loyal to him. By his issuing the edict of toleration in AD 313, he became not only the head of the Church, but also a leader in whom the previously persecuted Christians were deeply indebted to.
Evidence of Constantine’s loyalties can clearly be seen in the Arch of Constantine, which he had built next to the Colosseum after the battle of the Milvian Bridge, to celebrate his victory. Now Constantine claimed that before the battle, Jesus gave him a vision of a cross in the sky, saying to him “in this sign conquer”. Yet Constantine’s Arch was decorated with images of the goddess Victoria and sacrifices were made to Apollo, Diana, and Hercules. Furthermore, on the east side of the Arch, facing the rising sun, is a rendering of the sun god Apollo. Then on top of his Arch Constantine erected a bronze statue of himself, in a chariot with four horses in the same manner as Apollo is depicted when traversing the sky each day. Any evidence that Constantine was grateful to Jesus for his victory was absent from the Arch.
Despite his legalising Christianity in the Empire and being head of the Church, Constantine remained a pagan, worshipping pagan gods, specifically sun gods Mithras (Indo-Iranian), Sol Invictus (Roman) and Apollo (Greek):
- Constantine served as an officer in the Roman army in Britain, under his father Constantius, who became Caesar in the west in AD 293. The god worshipped by Roman officers was Mithras, the god of the sun, justice, contract, and war. Archaeologists have found evidence that Mithras was worshipped by the officers of Constantine’s home barracks in Britain.
- In AD 310, Constantine claimed he saw a vision of the sun god Apollo and publicly made vows to serve him.
- After his victory against Maxentius in AD 312, Constantine went to Apollo’s shrine to make sacrifices.
- Constantine kept on minting coins with an inscription to Apollo.
- The imperial cult of Rome worshipped the Emperor and Apollo above all else. During his reign as Emperor, Constantine did not put and end to Emperor worship, in fact he did much to elevate himself as a god in the eyes of Roman citizens. He erected a 12m statue of himself in the centre of Rome with the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem emanating from his head, giving the impression that he was larger than life, a god man.
- In AD 321, Constantine, in keeping with the practice of sun-worship, instructed that all Romans, both Christians and non-Christians, should unite in observing the venerable day of the sun (Sunday).
- At the dedication of the new capital of Constantinople, Constantine wore the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem. There were no Christian symbols present during this very important ceremony.
- Under the palace that Constantine built in Constantinople, archaeologists have found the largest known temple to the sun god Mithras.
- There were no Christian emblems in Constantine’s new city, but Constantine erected a hundred-foot column with a statue of Apollo on top. The column is in the process of being rebuilt in Istanbul. Further evidence that Constantine encouraged Emperor worship was that in place of the face of Apollo, Constantine had his own face engraved on the statue.
The evidence that Constantine did not convert to Christianity, and was a diehard pagan is so strong, that historians are changing their mind about him. Some historians now believe that he was attempting to convince the people of Rome that he was the second coming of Jesus.
Other evidence that Constantine’s sudden conversion to Christianity was not a sincere conversion, but rather a means to an end, was that after becoming Emperor, he had his eldest son Crispus executed, and drowned his wife Fausta in boiling water.
The influence of Constantine’s sun worship remains embedded in the Roman Catholic Church. For example, Constantine said that in the vision he was given by Jesus, he saw a cross in the sky, and heard the words “in this sign conquer,” yet Constantine’s “cross” is a chi rho cross, which is a pagan sun symbol.
The chi rho cross can be seen in the layout of St Peter’s Plaza in the Vatican (shown below). The layout of the plaza is such that the east/west spokes of the eight-spoke sun wheel are in line with the summer and winter solstices. The layout around the obelisk in the centre, is designed according to the shadow it casts at sunset and sunrise on the winter and summer solstices. A practice common to pagan temples, not Christian churches.
Note around the obelisk at the centre of the huge eight-point sun wheel is a smaller four-pointed sun wheel, the same symbol that is found on the altar stone in the temple of Baal in Hatzor. So, St Peter’s Plaza has three pagan sun images, the chai rho, the common eight spoked sun wheel, and the Hatzor four spoked sun wheel, with the plaza orientated to the winter and summer solstices.
“I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun-worship, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols; and I will detest you” (Leviticus 26:30).
“Your altars shall be made desolate and your sun-pillars shall be broken in pieces, and I will cast down your slain before your idols” (Ezekiel 6:4).
At the centre of the sun wheel in St Peter’s Plaza is an Egyptian obelisk originally from Heliopolis. Emperor Gaius Caligula had the obelisk of Saint Peter bought to Rome in AD 37 from Egypt. The idea to move it to St Peter’s Plaza was that of Pope Sixtus V in 1586. There are three reasons why this was done:
- The first being that the movement of the last remaining obelisk in Rome that had not toppled since Roman times – an extremely technical feat of engineering – would be a testament of the ingenuity of man during the Renaissance period. It was raised as a monument to humanities achievements. The gilt ball on top of the obelisk was believed to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor to be declared a god. A fitting cap to a monument to mankind’s greatness.
- The second reason is the symbolism of the obelisk matches the purpose of St Peter’s Plaza – occultic sun worship. The Egyptian obelisk was originally from the city of sun worship in Egypt – Heliopolis. The obelisk is both a representation of a shaft of sunlight and a phallic symbol (‘shaft of Bel‘). The Catholic Church clearly ignores God’s instructions regarding following pagan practices: “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt (Lev. 18:3)”. The pagan association with obelisks was something well understood by the Roman Church. The Jesuit scholar, Athanasius Kircher, in his book Obeliscus Amphilius, published in 1650, gives an account of the ancient views of the obelisks as the digitus solis, or “finger of the sun”.
- The third reason the Pope erected the monument was that it was a counter-Reformation monument. A display of the power and greatness of the Roman Church. The Pope tried to stop people going back to the Bible and find out God’s true plan of redemption for man, by erecting monuments to the sun god!
The above is just a few examples of the extensive contamination of pagan sun worship that exists at the Vatican and in the Roman Catholic Church.
Mary Worship is connected to Sun Worship
Mother, or Mary worship is the most powerful and emotional phenomenon in the Roman Catholic Church today. This mystic cult is given credence by the multitude of accounts about supernatural phenomena involving statues, apparitions and healings. Since Mary worship is found nowhere in the writings of the first Christians, it is evident that its origin is found in the universal adoration of the mother goddess throughout all paganism, well before the time of Christ. Mary veneration was adopted into the rising Roman Church early in its history – from the Constantine era.
When the people of Babylon were scattered to all parts of the earth by God, they took the worship of mother and child with them. Examples of mother and child worship are found in China with the mother goddess being given the title of “holy mother” or Shingnoo. Ralph Woodrow, in his book Babylon Mystery Religion, names other mother goddesses:
Hertha – Ancient Germans; Disa – Scandinavians; Nutria – Etruscans; Aphrodite or Ceres – Greeks; Indrani – India; Nana – Sumerians; Venus or Fortuna – Rome; Cebel – Asia.
Bach, in his book Strange Sects and Curious Cults, sums it up by saying, “but regardless of her name or place she was the wife of Baal (lord), the virgin queen of heaven, who bore fruit although she never conceive”. As you travel through history, the title “Queen of heaven” is given to the alter egos of Semiramis. And, as more focus is given to the mother than the child, eventually she is worshipped individually.
The Egyptian gods of Isis, Osiris and Horus are the Egyptian equivalent of Semiramis, Nimrod and Tammuz – the Babylonian gods – with Isis being the Egyptian alter-ego of Semiramis. The Egyptian mythology of Isis sticks closely to the story of Semiramis. Isis was married to her brother, Osiris. Another brother, Set (Seth), who was jealous of Osiris, killed him and cut him up into pieces and spread the body parts around Egypt. Isis went out and gathered all the parts of Osiris and magically restored him. Isis then conceived a child through her relation with Osiris. The child was a boy called Horus, who was considered a miracle-child born after the restoration to life of Osiris by Isis. It is of interest to note that Seth the third son of Adam and Eve, was born as the righteous line of Adam and eve, after his brother Cain had killed Abel. So, Satan has the evil Semiramis and Nimrod depicted in their Egyptian alter egos as righteous, and Seth, the righteous son of Adam as evil.
With the conquest and Hellenization of Egypt by Alexander the Great, the Greeks were exposed to Isis worship. Due to her attributes as a protector and mother, Isis became the patron goddess to the Greek sailors, who spread her worship from Egypt to all ports of the Mediterranean, including Rome. There was universal appeal for the Isis cult in Roman society, from lowly slaves to traders and businessmen, and to women, as there was a feminine appeal to alternative Roman patriarchal dominated religions such as Mithraism. Also, unlike Cybele, the resident Roman mother goddess, she did not require a change in lifestyle.
With the dominance of Isis worship at the time of the fledgling church in Rome, the myth of Isis had a direct influence on the elevation of the Mary in the Roman Church. Aspects of Isis that attracted worshippers to her, and had a direct influence on the status of Mary in Catholic theology are:
- Isis was depicted as the Lady of sorrows weeping for the dead Osiris. The Egyptians believed that the weeping of Isis for Osiris was the reason why the Nile flooded each year. Mary has become the Lady of sorrows in the Catholic Church, weeping over the dead body of her Son. The focus in the Church should be on the resurrection of Jesus and His triumph over death, which gives all believers the assurance of eternal life. The Catholics, however, want to focus on the suffering of Mary at the crucifixion of Jesus to elevate her suffering to be equal with the suffering of Jesus. Because of this indoctrination, Mary could soon become co-redeemer with Jesus in the Roman Church, as the majority of Catholics already believe she is equal with Jesus.
- Isis was commended as the divine mother, nursing her infant son Horus, and in that form, she was often depicted in statues and paintings. The Catholic Church depicts Mary as the divine mother holding the baby Jesus. Archaeologists in Rome, discovering statues (idols), and paintings depicting mother and child veneration from the time of Constantine, are unable to distinguish between Isis-Tammuz and Mary-Jesus. The reason being that the Pagan statues and paintings of Isis and Tammuz, simply changed to be “Christian” images of Mary and child.
- The title of Isis in Rome was “the queen of heaven,” that title has been adopted by the Roman church for the Catholic Mary.
- Isis was also referred to as “mother of the gods.” The belief that Mary is the “Mother of God” is central to the Catholic faith.
- Isis was called “Lady of the Words of Power.” This is another indication that Mary worship developed out of the old worship of the mother goddess. Mary is often titled “Madonna”. Alexander Hislop in his book The Two Babylons states that the title “Madonna” is one of the titles by which the Babylonian mother goddess (Semiramis) was known. Nimrod came to be called Baal, which means lord. Semiramis was referred to as “My Lady,” which is Baalti. The Latin for “My Lady” is “Mea Donna,” and in Italian it is corrupted into “Madonna.” When Catholics venerate the Madonna, they are venerating Semiramis, not Mary.
In the picture of Isis (above), the horns represent the crescent moon, which is also the symbol of the womb of a woman. So, the sun in the horns represents the birth of the sun. The deceased Nimrod is being reborn in the womb of Semiramis and becomes her husband/son Tammuz.
The symbols of the sun and the moon are combined in the Catholic monstrance, which has a crescent moon in the centre and the eucharist (also a sun symbol) is placed on it as the centre piece of the monstrance. The monstrance therefore is a representative of sun worship with the uterus producing the sun child as the centrepiece.
This Catholic link between Jesus as the “sun” and Mary as the “moon” was further revealed by Pope John Paul II, in the weekly Papal publication Zenith. He wrote that “the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Eucharist is explained by referring to the ‘Eucharistic faith’ that Mary already practiced ‘even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the incarnation of God’s word’.”
Once again, the above is a sample of the contamination of pagan Queen of Heaven worship that exists within the Vatican and in the Catholic Church. In an upcoming series on Mystery Babylon Religion there will be a document which covers in detail the evidence of the Queen of Heaven worship in Roman Catholicism.
The angel makes a very important announcement regarding Rome, that the city is a “dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast”. One must consider the fact that if Scripture is clear regarding the powerful demonic forces associated with Roman Catholicism, then what can be said about the presence of Roman Catholic churches in towns and cities throughout the world? They are going to be strongholds of demonic powers that will work against evangelism in the community. If churches want revivals to take place in their areas, they are going to have to make a stand against strongholds such as The Queen of Heaven, the most powerful of them all:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Come Out of Her My People (18:4-8)
“4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. 7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’ 8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her’”.
This scripture indicates that there are true believers within the apostate church, and God is calling them to separate themselves from it. This is the case within the Roman Catholic Church, as there are still believers in that apostate faith. They have accepted Jesus as their Lord and saviour and do not venerate Mary, but for various reasons still remain loyal to Rome. God here commands them to separate themselves from the embrace of her abominations. Revelation 18:23 informs us that the Whore deceives the nations through her sorceries (demonic power). God does not want believers to be associated with the evil of the Roman Catholic Church – sin by association.
It amazes me how some people, despite the overwhelming wealth of evidence against the Roman Catholic Church, still do not want to believe that the Great Whore is Roman Catholicism. There is no other religion that can compare with the detailed fulfilment of prophecy that is in chapter 17, never mind the prophesies in the book of Daniel that point directly at Rome, now verse 4 of chapter 18 gives us a further clarification. God is calling believers out of the Great Whore, meaning that the Whore is an apostate Christian faith, which has God’s saints worshipping in a corrupted, apostate system.
I believe that the warning the voice from heaven gives, is not being shouted out to the saints at that time, and it makes no sense! The final Bowl Judgement is taking place, which is the destruction of the city of Rome, the armies are gathering in the valley of Jezreel for Armageddon, Jesus is preparing to return, the warning is too late! Many commentators compare the warning with Lot, and his being called out of Sodom before the destruction of the city by “sulphur and fire” because of their wickedness (Genesis 19:24). This cannot be, as by the end of the Great Tribulation, when this judgement takes place, the persecution of the saints would have killed most believers in Rome, and the few that are left would be in hiding. Not the appropriate time for this warning. Yes, Rome will be judged as Sodom was judged, but God’s message is for believers throughout the ages to not be deceived by syncretism, the allowing of paganism to enter into Christianity, this requirement to be separate from the paganism of Babylon is repeated throughout Scripture:
- “Depart, depart, go out from there; touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the Lord” (Isaiah 52:11).
- “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock” (Jeremiah 50:8).
- “Go out of the midst of her, my people! Let everyone save his life from the fierce anger of the Lord!” (Jeremiah 51:45).
- Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The apostle Paul makes it very clear when he writes “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23, emphasis added), there has to be an accountability. The city at the heart of the rebellion to God, the “seat of Satan,” will be held accountable, the city has earned judgement. The term “has paid back,” is translated “rendered” in some translations, and comes from the Greek word apodidomi which means literally “to pay a debt,” God has kept the record and “Babylon” will receive what is due to her – complete destruction.
The Enduring Word Bible Commentary explains that verse 8 reveals a three-fold sin: “First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously). Second, pride (glorified herself… sits as a queen). Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). All these things are characteristic of worldliness and materialism”. The opulence of the Roman Catholic Church was made clear in the previous study on Revelation 17, this is a repeat of the symbolism of the Great Whore being “adorned” in expensive jewellery – the great Whore is self-indulgent, arrogant, and uncaring. Because the great sin of Babylon Religion was incubated in the city, and spread worldwide, her destruction will be swift and sure, being utterly burned by fire (as a result of 7th Bowl Judgement), “for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her…” (Rev.18:8).
The kings of the Earth Mourn (18:9-10)
“9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, ‘Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come’”.
No other religion has had such political influence, and power over kings through history as the Roman Catholic Church. The kings of Europe needed the backing of the Pope to be able to rule their largely Catholic subjects. Catholics hold their allegiance to the Pope above allegiance to their country, as he is seen as the “Vicar of Christ,” God’s representative on earth. Every American president since Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) has travelled to the Vatican for a meeting with the Pope. Considered by most people to be the most powerful man on earth, and the leader of the world’s greatest economy, the American President will travel to a tiny city within a city to meet with its leader, why? Because of political influence.
Also, as the capital of the Antichrist, Rome will become the centre of world government leading up to the start of the Tribulation. Become of this, the city will become an extremely wealthy city, a centre of trade. The city that is the epitome of man’s religious, political, social and economic order is totally destroyed in the last Bowl Judgement.
The political leaders of the earth, labelled “kings” by John, have not only sought political influence through Roman Catholicism, but also have “committed sexual immorality” with her, opening the doors of their countries to her religious apostasy. They now distance themselves from the city standing “far off,” fearful of being included in her judgement.
The Merchants of the earth Mourn (18:11-17a)
“11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls 14 ‘The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!’ 15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, 16 ‘Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste’”.
While the kings of the earth mourn for the loss of their political influence, the merchants of the earth “weep and mourn for her,” because the idol worship within the Roman Catholic Church is not limited to images and statues, it also extends to the things of the world – wealth, power, etc. They are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:4). The merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of the Great Whore’s luxurious living. The list of items the merchants were required to supply is long, pointing to not only the jewellery and expensive robes of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and elaborate functions they hold, but also the quality of materials that are used in the construction of their cathedrals, churches, convents, monasteries, administrative buildings, Catholic schools, colleges and universities. The destruction of Rome spells economic disaster for the merchants, especially of luxury goods – note that the merchants weep for themselves and not the city, as “no one buys their cargo anymore”.
The most disturbing item on the list is slaves, some commentators such as Barne’s Notes on the Bible see the list of merchandise as not being a literal list but rather symbolic: “All this is symbolical, designed to exhibit the papacy under the image of a great city, with what was customary in such a city, or with what most naturally presented itself to the imagination of John as found in such a city; and it is no more necessary to suppose that the papacy would be engaged in the traffic of slaves, than in the traffic of cinnamon, or fine flour, or sheep and horses”.
However, the possibility is that the list is literal, and refers to the history of the requirements of the Roman Catholic Church, revealing the full extent of her extravagant demands. Evidence of the Roman Church’s past involvement in slavery is:
- All ranks of the Catholic Church from Catholic clergy, through to the Popes owned slaves. In 1488, Pope Innocent VIII accepted the gift of 100 slaves from Ferdinand II of Aragon, and distributed those slaves to his Cardinals and the Roman nobility.
- During the crusades the naval galleys of the Papal States used captured Muslims as galley slaves.
- According to a 2015 Global Black History report, the Catholic Church did not oppose the institution of slavery until the practice had already become infamous in most parts of the world.
- Rachel L. Swarns, a journalist with the New York Times, on writing on the history of the Roman Catholic in the United States, exposed the use of slaves by the Church, writing: “We often view the Catholic Church as a northern church, an immigrant church. But in the early decades of the American republic, the church established its foothold in the South, relying on plantations and enslaved laborers for its survival and expansion, according to historians and archival documents”.
- The Catholic and Jesuit George Town University was constructed from the profits attained from forced labour and the sales of people. This example is evidence of the Jesuit philosophy, that the end justifies the means, any evil is acceptable to the Jesuit, if the end result may be considered beneficial to the Roman Church.
There is also the possibility that accusation of slavery lies more in the vow of poverty that nuns and monks of certain orders are required to make. These men and woman are not allowed to keep whatever they earn, but instead hand their salaries over to their religious order. The profits of commercial Babylon have been gained through the hardship and suffering of those deceived by the lies of the Roman Church.
Ultimately, the point of the lengthy list of requirements, is to highlight the focus of the city of the Great Whore, being directed to the things of the world rather than a devotion to God.
The Sea Captains and Sailors Mourn (18:17b-20)
“… And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, ‘What city was like the great city?’ 19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, ‘Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste. 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!’”
The third group to express their sorrow at the destruction of Rome, is the sea captains and sailors. These seafarers mourn the loss of the riches they gained from transporting the world’s goods, goods that were required to satisfy Rome’s great appetite for luxury. Both the merchants and the sailors have depended on the trade of the “great city” that has become the commercial centre of the world, for their wealth.
The description of the mourning of these men of the sea is revealing; John describes the mourning that was traditional for the culture of his time. As Adam was created from the dust (Gen. 3:19), throwing dust in the head was a humble reminder that a person was just dust – from dust we come and to dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19). Therefore, throwing dust on the head became a traditional part of funerals and illustrated the personal grief over their loss of a loved one. This form of mourning is distinct to the time of John, and certainly not a cultural practice in the modern world. This gives backing to the understanding that the list of items mourned over by the merchants is symbolic, representing the demands of a wealthy commercial city of John’s Day. So, while the destruction of the city is literal, the merchants list of goods, and the mourning of the sailors is symbolic, giving an accurate description which will be understood by all generations that read chapter 18.
Once again, the shipmasters, seafaring men and sailors “stood far off,” distancing themselves from the city standing in fear of being included in her judgement. From their position far out to sea they hear the rumblings, and explosions of the destruction of Rome, and watch the smoke rise from the burning ruins of the city. They then shout out, “What city was like the great city?” A cry that expresses their complete incredulity at the total destruction of such a great and powerful city, and they then mournfully weep, calling out “alas, alas”. They show no understanding that this city must be judged, so that the Lord can return and establish His great city, Jerusalem, the city of the Great King.
Suddenly there is a 180 ° turn in the narrative, from following the great loss experienced by kings, merchants and sailors, without warning there is an unexpected summons to rejoice over Rome’s destruction. The reader goes from the mournful “alas, alas” of the sailors, to a call for the saints of God to rejoice. The reader has been following a dramatic judgement with a great cost to humanity, now verse 20 pulls the believer back into understanding that this judgement is for all the saints of God. The home base of the great apostacy is destroyed – the mystery of iniquity that has plagued mankind from the time of Emperor Constantine the Great, and which will reach a climax in the Great Whore, had found a home in Rome. God will destroy the city that has been the cause of so much suffering of believers – rejoice you saints, rejoice!
Babylons Death Knell (18:21)
“21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more’”.
When a movie depicts an item spiralling its way down through the deeps of the ocean to land on the sea floor, the director is portraying the message of the total loss of the item to humanity, stranded on a desolate sea floor hundreds of feet under the ocean, out of reach to all. In Verse 21 that same image is given, Babylon the great city will sink to the bottom of the sea, never to rise again. The great millstone is an added effect, to stress the plummeting of the city into the depths, with the weight of the stone being so great, it ensures that the city will rise no more.
The millstone brings to mind the warning of Jesus in Matthew 18:6: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”. The reason the saints of God are told to rejoice at the destruction of Rome is made clear: because she led God’s precious creation into rebellion against Him.
The dramatic destruction of the city of Rome, Babylon the Great, is described by John in his record of the seventh Bowl Judgement:
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” (Rev. 16:19).
Babylon Broken and Powerless 18:22-24
“22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more, 23 and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth” (emphasis added).
Chapter 18 concludes with a Babylon that was once great and mighty being depicted as broken and powerless, no more will there be music, no more will there be craftsmen working on their creations, no more will there be industry, no more will there be light in the city, no more will there be the joys of life. John in his best poetic writing, graphically describes the death of a once vibrant city. The last two verses give the reason why – the city had been the home of occult spiritual deception that had spread through the world, causing a world-wide rebellion against God. Verse 24 links with the depiction of the Great Whore being drunk on the blood of the saints in Revelation 17; “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15), God does not forget the persecution of His children, those who harm His children will be held accountable. God judges the city responsible for the persecution and death of so many of His children.
Some examples of the persecution of God’s saints before the break away of the Reformation in 1517, can be seen in the lives of those who tried to remain loyal to the Roman Catholic Church and reform it from within:
- Arnold of Brescia, was a religious reformer who criticised the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, and opposed the temporal power of the Popes. He was hanged in 1155 for heresy, his body burned.
- Jan Hus who was an outspoken critic of the abuses of the Roman Church. In 1412 three of his students were put to death for protesting against indulgences. Then in 1415 Hus was tried for heresy against the doctrines of Roman Catholicism and burnt at the stake.
- The theologian John Wycliffe spoke against the corruption of the Roman Church especially the practice of indulgences, and he believed that people should be allowed to question the teaching of the Roman Catholic clergy. He also translated the bible from Latin into English which could then be read by all in his homeland. These actions upset the Roman Catholic Church and he was subsequently declared a heretic, but unfortunately for the Roman Church, Wycliffe had a stroke and died before sentencing could be carried out. So, 13 years later Pope Martin V had his corpse dug up and burned.
- Girolamo Savonarola spoke out against the corruption of the Roman Catholic clergy and sought to end the temporal power of the Pope. In 1498, after Savonarola was examined by a commission, he was tortured to extract a confession of heresy, and then like Arnold of Brescia before him he was hanged and his body burned.
Rome is judged by God for her pride, pagan spiritual deceptions and the many and varied persecutions that she metered out on the innocent. What other city matches these three criteria?
In conclusion of this study on the description by John of the Mother of Prostitutes, one cannot help but be amazed at the detailed accuracy he has given, and how accurately it matches the Roman Catholic Church. No other religious institution comes close to fulfilling the requirements, the Roman Church stands out on its own. With the counterfeit Mary, the Queen of heaven, being the symbol of the Roman Catholic Church, we must conclude that it is she who is riding the beast. We can then say with confidence that the Antichrist must come to power through the Roman Catholic Church.
The modern Church has a short memory, and has been lulled into a sense of complacency since the ecumenical movement (movement toward worldwide Christian unity), gained momentum in 1948. Protestants who forget the warnings of leaders down through Church history do so at their own peril. Warning from some of the great Protestant theologians are:
- Martin Luther: “We are of the conviction that the Papacy is the seat of the real antichrist (quoted in LeRoy Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol.2, p. 256).”
- John Calvin: “I deny him (the Pope) to be the vicar of Christ …. He is antichrist — I deny him to be head of the church (John Calvin Tracts, Vol. 1, pp. 219,220).”
- John Knox: “That tyranny which the Pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church, the very antichrist and son of perdition of whom Paul speaks (The Zurich Letter, p.199).”
- John Wesley: “Roman Papacy he (the Pope) is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin (John Wesley, Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, p.110).”
- The most appropriate quote for the modern Church to pay attention to was given by Cotton Mather who said: “The oracles of God foretold the rising of an antichrist and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that antichrist are so marvellously answered that if any who read scripture do not see it, there will be marvellous blindness in them” (The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg 13).
The well-respected book Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, that chronicles the persecution of God’s saints through the ages, labels the Pope as the Antichrist of Revelation 13 and 17: “Disregarding the maxims and the spirit of the Gospel, the papal Church, arming herself with the power of the sword, vexed the Church of God and wasted it for several centuries, a period most appropriately termed in history, the ‘Dark Ages.’ The kings of the earth, gave their power to the “Beast,” and submitted to be trodden on by the miserable vermin that often filled the papal chair…”
Charles Spurgeon, the great 19th century preacher gave multiple sermons warning against the apostacy of the Roman Church and Popery, believing them to be the Whore of Revelation and the beast.
Alexander Hislop’s masterful work The Two Babylons, exposes the connection between Babylon Religion and the Roman Church. Through detailed historical and archaeological evidence, Hislop proves that The Whore of Revelation is the Roman Catholic Church. Hislop says of the Roman Church: “there is hardly a form of ‘pious fraud’ or saintly imposture practiced at this day on the banks of the Tiber, that cannot be proved to have had its counterpart on the banks of the Euphrates, or in the systems that came from it”. Emphatic language! Stating the Roman Church is the Great Whore.
More recently, Dave Hunt in his book A Woman Rides the Beast, devotes his whole book to Revelation 17, exposing the Whore as the Roman Church. Ralph Woodrow in his book Babylon Mystery Religion, does an equally convincing work in linking Roman Catholicism to Babylonian paganism. Both well known and trusted Christian authors, give ample evidence that the prophecies in Revelation 17 and 18 point a finger directly at the Roman Catholic Church – there is no ambiguity, they are firm in their conviction. They do not state that the evidence is their opinion, they are certain it is the truth.
For the modern Church to ignore the warnings of these great men regarding the Roman Catholic Church is dangerous and foolish, revealing a blindness equal to Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister of the day, wanted to believe that Hitler was a man of peace, so it was very easy – despite ample evidence to the contrary – for Hitler to convince Chamberlain that there would be peace in Europe. Chamberlin was wrong and the consequences for his mistake were enormous – Europe was set on fire. Scripture is clear – the Great Whore that is the Roman Catholic Church is going to be the false religion that will see the Antichrist rise to power from within – and the Church has a responsibility to sound the warning!