In studying the harlot church of Revelation 17, we find some very interesting and intriguing verses.
1)”And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come here; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters; 2) With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3) So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. 4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and bedecked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; 5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6) And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder. 7) And the angel said unto me, Why didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”
We already know that the false prophet of the harlot church will originate from the Neo-Roman Empire. His church will be the mother of harlots and denominations who have perverted the word of God. These verses are describing the Roman Catholic Church and all the Protestants, who no longer “protest”. But there is a mystery surrounding this woman. We see that Babylon is the mystery. What is Babylon? What does Rome have to do with Babylon? What is the connection between the two?
Babylon is a religious, political and economic system whose earthly beginnings are found in Genesis 11. Nimrod was the ruler of the original system after the Great Flood. He had succeeded in uniting the people of the world into a counterfeit system of godliness. They were completely self-centered and thought their goodness and accomplishments were pleasing to God.
Since the days of Nimrod, this Babylonian system has controlled the world, and really is Satan’s source of pride and joy. This system has changed names with each successive empire in history. It is a counterfeit of God’s plan for the salvation of men’s souls. Through this system, Satan has seduced all people into worshiping him and his world. Remember, Satan disguises himself as an “angel of light”, fooling people into thinking they are loving and following God.
The word mystery means something hidden, unknown, and secretive. God’s mysteries are revealed only through the Holy Spirit. Thus, this mystery of Babylon is not discernable to the unconverted man. The mystery of Babylon is unsealed in Revelation 17 and 18, for those who desire to know out of a pure heart.
16)”And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17)For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18)And the woman whom thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
The ten horns referred to here, as in Daniel 7:8, are the Neo-Roman Empire or modern day Western Europe. They, along with the political beast and his country, are the political side of the empire. Eleven nations are involved. The harlot church and the false prophet are the religious side. Together they are mystery Babylon. We see here the persecution and destruction of the harlot church, which begins 3 1/2 years after the religious and political covenant, that brings peace between the Jews and Arabs. For 3 1/2 years the political beast has used the harlot church as a means to gain world control. Then, as part of God’s will, political Babylon or Rome will turn on religious Babylon, most likely because some of the people are refusing to call this risen leader their God.
Again, I believe that the Neo-Roman Empire and Babylon are one and the same. That’s the mystery. The political and religious systems of the United States and Western Europe form Mystery Babylon. This eleven-nation Roman Empire will eventually rule all of the earth. The Communist-Russian system is the other major power, but when Russia’s armies are destroyed by God, the West will fill the power vacuum. They will rule the earth for the last 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th Week.
Revelation 18, Jeremiah 50 and 51, give a very good description of the nation which produces the antichrist. It is a description of a modern Roman nation that mysteriously is called the Great City, Babylon. It is the ruling nation of the eleven-nation confederacy. The apostle John didn’t know the modern day name of this nation because it wasn’t in existence in his lifetime. But he knew that it would be the seat and throne of the political antichrist until he enters Jerusalem at mid 70th Week, and declares himself to be God.