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“…I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” Revelation 17:3-6

For ages people have pondered who the woman was in Johns vision. While there's purpose to the woman the most important message is what she's called - "Mystery Babylon"

Revelation was written to a first-century church but it also says "blessed is he that reads, they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it" (Revelation 1:3), and this makes this prophecy applicable to all generations of all people groups.

For ages people have been wondering what the meaning of Babylon is on this woman. To discover this “mystery” one needs to go back to the book of Genesis.

In Genesis chapter 3 we see man tempted in the garden. What was man temped with? You can be like God. You see, satans fall was due to his challenge that he deserved Gods glory and he set out to cause Gods human creation to fall in the same manner. Perhaps it’s due to the whole purpose of
why this story may be playing out.

After the fall of man, for the same reason Satan fell, there was a great flood as corruption filled the earth. When we get to 600 BC we see the people of the earth building a tower. The name of the tower is the tower of Babylon but we call it by its Hebrew name, Babel. It’s believed to be built at Babylon established 1,700 years earlier.

In the story we are told that the people were going to build a tower to heaven and God stopped it because they could do anything they set their minds to. Has this statement bothered anyone else? We’ve built skyscrapers much taller and put man on the moon, are we really expected to believe that these people could build a tower to heaven?

The fact is, the story is written in the way they communicated in that day, not in twenty-first century America. They were not literally building a tower to heaven, they were actually trying to place themselves in the position of God. It’s the same old temptation, the same old sin returning over and over. This was a whole culture redefining good and evil as if they were God. So, God scrambles their language and scatters them over the earth.

From here on, the name Babylon becomes an icon in the Biblical story; it’s an image of rebellion against God by lifting us up into the place of God.

The next time we see it is in the story of ancient Egypt. Pharaoh feels threatened by the Israelites so he has all the boys killed and enslaved all the rest. Egypt was bigger and badder than Babel by taking care of themselves at the cost of others by redefining evil as good. So God turns pharaohs pride back on him and he’s swallowed up by death.

In the story we find Egypt being taken out by Babylon (Ezekiel 30:1-26). In Babylons reign we find her telling us the story of the meaning again. Nebuchadnezzar declared Israel’s God as the only God but constantly lifted himself up in the place of God redefining evil as good; and we see God taking out Babylon again. Is this pattern ringing a bell from the story in Revelation (Revelation 18)?

The term Babylon makes a new entrance when Peter, said in his letter “She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen,”. It's vastly believed that Peter was referring to Rome but dared not mention Rome who was a controlling empire placing themselves in the place of God and persecuting Gods people.

When thinking of this understanding, we can now see a few truths. One such truth is an understanding of what Christ was teaching. He wanted us to humble ourselves, trust in God, love man, and the likes. The opposite of Babylon.

James wrote:

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:13-16

Why would saying something as simple as “Tomorrow I’m going to work” be an arrogant and evil statement? We don’t have control over our life and to think we will be here tomorrow or that we will have the ability to work and make money is putting ourself in the place of God.

I’ve heard it said that satan, the accuser, will be telling lies on us (Revelation 12:10). That’s not true. The fact is, he doesn’t have to lie. If this thing that’s happening is
what I’ve written about, his accusations will be simple. He’ll say, “Like me, they put themselves in your place. If you’re going to destroy me then you must destroy them as well.”

When we get to the woman on the Beast in Revelation 17, we see this other Babylon - a term used often in Revelation. The woman sits on a beast with seven heads. The seven heads represents the seven hills which the city sits (Revelation 17:9). In prophecy a woman is the church therefore this would be a church who sits in a city with seven hills.

There are several cities with seven hills but only three that would be in prophecy: Israel, Washington DC, and Rome.

Some may be questioning my mentioning of DC but
the U.S. is in end day prophecy.

The problem with DC and Israel is that there’s not a single church that sits in them. Israel is Jewish and DC has many churches. Rome, however, had one and that church killed more Christians than any empire in history. She’s also
put herself in the place of God.

This woman is the mother of harlots. Unfortunately, around 200 AD new teachings started entering the church after the apostles retired to their graves. As the gospel spread to pagan lands with highly spiritual ideas, much of those ideas started getting filtered into the church and what was meant in the Bible redefined to a high spiritual teaching. With that foundation came new and more blasphemous teachings which permeate the church landscape today. Like the church in the city of seven hills, we’ve followed suit and have become the harlots of Babylon.