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What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?

When the evangelist John was exiled to the Greek island of Patmos, he experienced a series of visions about events that would happen at some distant time in the future. These events would be a prelude to the return of the Christ and the dawn of a new golden age upon the earth.

In the last book of the Bible St. John recorded how an angel appeared before him in a vision and showed him the judgment that would be visited upon “the great whore that sitteth upon many waters”. This “whore” was described by the angel as a woman arrayed in purple clothing and adorned with precious jewels, and upon whose forehead were written the words “Mystery, Babylon the Great“. (Revelation:Chapter 17)

The symbolic language used by John not only confounded the readers of his time. It has continued to confuse readers to this day. Over the centuries various factions within the church have interpreted them in different ways, and Biblical scholars continue to debate the significance of the symbolism. Yet very few seem to have grasped the obvious meaning of these words.

Mainstream Christianity today believes that the mystery woman Babylon refers to the rise of a future one-world religion that will be founded by, and presided over, by a future Anti-Christ who is predicted to appear on the world stage during the “last days” spoken of by St. John.

In 1970 a book was written about these prophecies which became an immediate best-seller. This book was co-authored by Hal Lindsey and Carla Carlson, and was entitled The Late Great Planet Earth. Under the chapter entitled “Revival of Mystery Babylon”, Lindsey and Carlson described the new religion that they believed would come to dominate the world.

We believe that the joining of churches in the present ecumenical movement, combined with this amazing rejuvenation of star-worship, mind-expansion, and witchcraft, is preparing the world in every way for the establishment of a great religious system”. It seemed clear to the authors that the new world religion prophesied by St. John would be Satanic in nature, and would involve the use of occult practices and drugs.

While mainstream believers continue to look for Satanic influences in such things as witchcraft, magic and astrology, most Christians seem oblivious to the fact that a one-world religion that exactly matches that prophesied by St. John, has grown up under their very gaze.

This new religion now encompasses every country on the globe. It attracts converts from every major faith, and appeals equally to every culture, creed and race. No man or woman alive on earth today is free from its spell. This new religion not only attracts Kings, Presidents and rulers, it also lures the poor, the weak and the needy.

This religion is called “Babylon”. Babylon is not just the name of a place. It is a symbol of everything for which the original city of Babylon was once famous. At the height of its glory Babylon was the envy of the world. It was a place of great luxury and wealth. Its hanging gardens were among the wonders of the ancient world.

The religion symbolized by the woman called “Babylon” is the religion of materialism. It is the desire for material wealth ahead of all other values in life. Babylon is a very old religion. It has seduced people since the earliest days of civilization. It is now the dominant religion on the earth. All nations have fallen prey to its seductive lure.

All of humanity is governed today by an economic system that is based on money. All human enterprise is based on a system that is required to generate money in order to survive. Yet as we have discovered in the last few years, our economic system has become corrupted to the point where the lust for money on the part of the few, has placed the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people around the world in jeopardy.

Not only is this desire for material wealth now the major economic motivator around the planet, but it has assumed the character of a religion. This world-wide religion of materialism has captured the minds and hearts of humanity just as much as if it were a traditional faith.

There is little doubt that our modern economic system comprising commerce, finance, investment and trade now fits the description of the one-world religion described by St. John. For in describing the influence of this mystery woman Babylon he wrote:

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Revelation 18:1-3)

The references above to “the kings of the earth”, “merchants of the earth” and “waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” should make it obvious that St. John is not writing about a religious movement led by some future Anti-Christ. Instead he is referring here to a mercantile system that has grown to world-wide proportions, but has become totally corrupted by materialistic pursuits and is devoid of spiritual qualities.

Not only has our modern economic system been subverted from within by greed and the lust for wealth, but it has also been exploited from without by powerful interests whose main purpose has been to entrench themselves in positions of power, and at the same time insulate themselves from accountability and justice.

This system has now become so convoluted and complex that no single nation or institution has the power to reform it. And as has happened in the past, when the institutions of humanity become corrupted from within, they become ripe for destruction.

The destruction predicted by St. John will be terrible indeed. For just as our economic system has tentacles that reach out to the farthest corners of the globe, so the destruction that will be inflicted upon ”Babylon” will also be universal in scope. The devastation will be unimaginable and it will leave merchants everywhere stupefied with terror.

According to the angel, this mystery woman would be utterly destroyed in the great and terrible day of the Lord, because it had become ”the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird“. (Revelation 18:2) St. John goes on to describe the reactions of merchants around the world to the sudden destruction of everything that they had labored so long and so hard to achieve:

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.”

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by these things, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!”

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every ship-master, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate” (Revelation 18:9-19)

The lamentations so vividly described by St. John clearly refer to a global disaster that not only devastates the land, but affects the oceans as well, leading to an immense loss of cargo and shipping. This sudden world-wide calamity would come at a time when the merchants of the world believed they were secure. Yet if the revelation of St. John is correct, then our world-wide economic system will be destroyed in a single day.

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her”. (Revelation 18:7-8)

The angel revealed to John that in the “last days” this mystery woman called Babylon would be utterly destroyed. She would be destroyed because she had perverted humanity and become the mother of all abominations. According to the revelation of St. John, our global system of international finance and trade will be destroyed by a giant asteroid that will strike the earth and plunge into the sea.

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all”. (Revelation 18:21)

The Old Testament prophet Malachi refers to this day as “the great and dreadful day of the Lord“. (Malachi 4:5) He goes on to say: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch”. (Malachi 4:1)

Jesus himself said that this would be a time unlike any in the long history of the earth: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. (Matthew 24:21) Another Old Testament prophet named Zephaniah described this day of disaster in the following words:

The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither shall their silver nor their gold be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” (Zephaniah 1:14-18)

And in the words of the prophet Joel: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come”. (Joel 2:30-31)

If a flaming asteroid should sear through the atmosphere of the earth and then plunge into the ocean, it would create destruction on a scale that would be greater than almost anything we could imagine, depending on the size of the asteroid. In chapter 8 of his Book of Revelation John describes the asteroid as a ”great mountain” (verse 8). By an interesting coincidence Nostradamus used these same words in a quatrain he wrote about a future asteroid that would strike the earth:

The great mountain, seven stadia round, after peace, war, famine, inundation. It will spread far, drowning great countries, even those of great age and mighty foundations”. (Century I: Verse 69)

Nostradamus gives the size of this “great mountain” as “seven stadia round”. The “stadium” was a unit of measurement used by the Greeks and Romans. One “stadium” was equal to 625 feet. So using this system of measurement ”seven stadia round” would make this asteroid nearly a mile wide. An asteroid of this size traveling at a speed of many hundreds of thousands of miles an hour would cause global devastation.

The impact of this collision would not only vaporize the asteroid itself, it would also penetrate the ocean floor causing huge amounts of superheated water, molten rock and other matter to rise high into the upper atmosphere, where they would then fall back down to earth in the form of blazing missiles that would set fire to buildings, forests and crops around the entire planet.

Volcanoes would suddenly roar back to life, spewing vast clouds of debris into the atmosphere, adding to the hellish conditions. Forest fires would also create enormous noxious fumes that would stain the sky and cause the moon to appear “blood-red” in color.

In addition to setting off a series of gigantic earthquakes around the world, the impact of this asteroid would also cause a rupture of undersea fault lines that would generate colossal tidal waves that would travel around the world many times, causing immense destruction to coastal cities everywhere. The death toll caused by this disaster would be beyond count, as would the damage to cities, ships and cargo.

As John predicted, it would cause “a third part of the creatures in the sea” to die, as well as “a third part of the ships” to be destroyed.  (Revelation 8:9) And because there would be no refuge above the ground from the fiery missiles raining down from the skies, men and women everywhere would try to hide underneath rocks, or seek safety underground.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”. (Revelation 6:15-17)

And just a reminder for those people who would like to read my book, it can be reached here

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Allan, Articles, October 10, 2010, 9:11 pm

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