Babylon mentioned in the Book of Revelation literally in Iraq? Or is it in Rome or some other location?
Scripture teaches that Babylon is actually two entities intertwined in Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation. The first one is a literal, physical place during the time of Tribulation from where the Antichrist rules. The second one is the Harlot, a religious system the Antichrist uses to control the world in the last days.
Scripture distinguishes between two Babylons in the end times, the place and the religious system, as two sides of the same coin. The Bible calls the religious system led by the False Prophet “Babylon,” while the world headquarters of the religion’s False Prophet is located in geographical Babylon, which is also the Antichrist’s capital city.
From a close study of scripture, we find no reason to reject a literal interpretation of a future world capital in Babylon located at the site of the ancient city in present-day Iraq. Remember, if the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense (i.e., the “Golden Rule” of interpretation).
The descriptions of this future Babylon – including its location east of Jerusalem provided in Revelation – all point to a location in Mesopotamia. Furthermore, there is no Biblical support for moving Babylon’s location to another spot in the world. Therefore, since there is no reason to reject the literal place of Babylon in Iraq, then we should seek no other answer and accept the plain meaning of scripture.
The second entity (i.e., the religious Harlot in Revelation 17) may indeed have its origins, at least in part, within the present-day Catholic church. It could likely include many of the false practices and idol worship found within Catholicism today, however, it would be too narrow an interpretation (in my opinion) to conclude that the future Babylon world religion is merely the Catholic church in its present form.
Much will have to change in the world to make possible these events, so whatever false religion will dominate in that day will exist in a radically different world than the one we know now. Of course, the power and purpose of this false religion will remain unchanged since the time of the Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel: to oppose God and pull men and women away from the truth. So, if the Babylon of Revelation is connected to Rome and the Catholic Church of today, it could only be in the same way that a mother is connected to her daughter: one gives birth to the other.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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