Nope, It's Rome
by Brian Hennessy
(The Villages, FL, USA)
Here’s where and why I depart from Watchman Bob’s belief that Mystery Babylon is the USA and not Rome. As Rev. 17 states, the Whore rides upon the Beast of ten horns. That is, she has influence over the kings of the earth. It appears her power derives from a spiritual/economic influence. Spiritually, for “the nations were deceived by her sorcery” (18:23) and corrupted by “the unclean things of her immorality” (17:4). And economically because it was the merchants of the earth who lamented her demise most. So she is a city who rules over the nations, but not militarily (as the USA does). That’s what the Vatican did for centuries through all its offshoots of institutional Christianity, both Catholic (Eastern and Western) and Protestant. And we know that religion is just the latest incarnation of the religion of Babylon. Having nothing to do with the new covenant faith Jesus gave us.
But notice the Beast and the ten nations upon which she rides suddenly turns on her and rids themselves of her influence. Sounds like the secular part of Babylon overthrowing the centuries-long yoke of her priestly tyranny, much the way Napoleon snatched the crown out of the Pope’s hands at his coronation and crowned himself, officially ending the Vatican’s rule and the Holy Roman Empire. But Rome’s spiritual influence continued unabated over the nations, especially in the West. And its influence has never been greater or more seductive than today. Read Nino Lobello’s,”Vatican Empire,” which reveals the Vatican to be in reality the world’s largest economic corporation with a religious veneer.
Yes, the USA is a part of Babylon. It’s just one more gentile nation, but is probably the ruling secular seat of its power today. Whoever is the leading world power is just the latest head of this system which represents fallen mankind’s Satanic world system. The fact that the USA professes to be Christian just shows its connection to the religion of Babylon, which is represented today by Rome.
Conclusion. I believe the woman is Rome (the Vatican), the “eternal city,” called the Great City. And she will be destroyed in one hour by AC, who the Lord will then dethrone on his return (Rev. 19).
Reply from Watchman Bob:
Interesting commentary, but somewhat self-contradictory and limited in the scope of its understanding.
Yes, as with all worldly religious institutions and secular governments, the Vatican is controlled by the anti-messiah spirit. But so is the fastest-growing religion in the world - Islam, as well as all other false religions of the world. Also, ancient Babylon was polytheistic. The Vatican is monotheistic, or attempting to bring other religions under its monotheistic and ecclesiastic umbrella. The U.S.A., although it claims to be "Christian," is also polytheistic, even having the freedom of religion clause, allowing the free practice of every religion, including Satanism and Islam, in its Constitution. America is the melting pot of all the world's religions, just as ancient Babylon was. Therefore, there are many more manifestations of Babylonian religion in America than there are in the Vatican. In America, the practice of true faith in the Messiah is all but nonexistent, because it is swallowed up by false (anti-) Christianity (Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical) plus the thousands of other Babylonian religions in America.
And yes, although economically the Vatican may operate as the world's largest "corporation," it does not begin to have the influence over the economies of the nations of the world that the U.S.A. has. If the economy of America collapsed, the economies of practically every other nation would collapse. If the Vatican went up in smoke, the merchants of the world would not look on in horror because their main source of income is destroyed, as they will when the U.S.A. is destroyed by fire in one hour (Rev 18).
And the military might of America should not be discounted as a characteristic of Babylon the Great, which is called in Scripture "the hammer of the whole earth" (Jer 50:23).
In short, although the Vatican manifests numerous characteristics of Babylon the Great, it cannot begin to fulfill all of the over 50 Scriptural indicators of the identity of modern Babylon the Great, over 35 of which are listed in this "Who is Modern Babylon" essay.
You contradict yourself, Brian, when you state that the U.S.A. "is probably the ruling secular seat of its (Babylon's) power today.... Whoever is the leading world power is just the latest head of this system," but, you state, it's the Vatican that will be burned in one hour. According to Revelation 17:16 religious, spiritual Babylon the Great (which, as we have explained, is more descriptive of America than of the Vatican) will be burned, and, according to Rev 18, it's secular Babylon the Great - the great political, economic and military power of the world (which is also much more descriptive of America than of the Vatican) - that will be burned in one hour of one day, while the merchants of the earth look on in horror.
The Bible also indicates that Babylon the Great will be taken over from within by Middle Eastern terrorists (Jer 51:1-4, 14, 27-28) before it is annihilated by fire. That seems more likely to happen to the U.S.A. than to the Vatican, doesn't it?
Finally, a strong case can be made that the ultimate false messiah ("Antichrist" is a misnomer) will come out of the Islamic world, rather than the Roman Catholic world (cf. footnote 9 of this commentary on Revelation 17).
So, it seems much more likely that the Vatican is just one part of the global Babylonian religious system rather than being the religious and secular Babylon the Great that will be annihilated by fire, although, as a leading part of religious/spiritual Babylon, the Vatican may also be destroyed to make way for the anti-messiah's global religion and government, which will be the worship of himself as god as he rules the whole earth (2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:4-5) for 42 months.