Why Rome Is Babylon

When we think of Babylon we normally think of the ancient city of Babylon; and we think of the tower of Babel where Babylon originated. And, of course, we think of the great evil in its idol worship that eventually spread all over the world. And so, I suppose, when we read in Revelation of Babylon and the fall of Babylon, we may naturally think of that ancient city of Babylon, which has to be rebuilt.

But there is another option that I think is more probable. I think Babylon is Rome, and here are six reasons why:

1. After the ancient city of Babylon is destroyed by Cyrus of Persia in 539 B. C., the high-priest of the Babylon religion and his workers fled to Rome. Harry Ironside writes,

When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom.  From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain.  There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism.10

Then, as I point out in my book, After the Rapture,

Beginning with Julius Caesar, the Roman emperors seemed to share power with the chief priests. And then, under Constantine the Great, for the first time in history the emperor became both the head of state and the head of the church. Some say that Constantine became a Christian and was trying to Christianize the world. However, others correctly concluded that the devil was working through Constantine to corrupt the church… Hence, as it happened, idolatry was forced upon Christians and many of the pagan practices became part of the church.11

Thus, Rome became just as Babylon was. In fact, it is my contention that Rome, with the Catholic church, is, in fact, the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18.

2. The false religious system (the harlot) is tied to the Catholic Church of Rome. When we read in Revelation 17:6 that “the woman [was] drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus,” we have a direct link to Rome. It began with the Popes against Christians such as John Wickliffe and William Tyndale, and many hundreds of others; and it will continue in Rome by the Church of Rome in the future Tribulation period.

3. The harlot (in Rev. 17) looks Roman Catholic. Not only does the harlot act like the Roman Catholic Church in her murders (pt. 2), she looks like the Roman Catholic Church. The colors of the harlot’s purple and scarlet, as well as her jewelry of gold, precious stones and pearls, are the colors and the adornment of the Catholic Priests and Cardinals.

4. The woman sits on the seven hills of Rome (Rev. 17:9). From Revelation 17:7-18, we read that the beast has seven heads and ten horns; and the woman sits on the beast. In verse nine we read that the woman sits on the seven hills.

Many scholars say that the seven hills implies Rome—because Rome is known for its seven hills. A group called City Wonders Team has written,

The Seven Hills of Rome are on the east of the Tiber in the heart of the Ancient City and are said to be the origins of the empire. Back in the day (there is proof of civilization on the hills from as early as 1,000BC) the seven hills were inhabited separately, each with its own independent tribe. Eventually, the tribes came together to compete in sports, strengthening their bonds and uniting their villages. And thus, began the great Roman Empire.12

5. The ten toes as well as the ten horns are the ten kingdoms of the beast and represent the Revived Roman Empire (Dan. 2:33; Rev. 17:12-13). This Revived Roman Empire will most likely be ruled from Rome.

6. The city (of Babylon) will be located on a sea port (Rev. 18:17-19). Here is the most convincing evidence yet that Rome is Babylon: because Rome is located on the Mediterranean Sea; but the ancient city of Babylon is not located on the sea, but on the Euphrates river, which may still be dried up (Rev. 16:12).

10 Harry A. Ironside, “Babylonian Religion,” at http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php?action=full&mainkey=BABYLONIAN+RELIGION+%28By+Harry+A.+Ironside%29.

11 Stephen Nielsen, After The Rapture (Saint Paul, Minnesota, published by Stephen Nielsen, 2020), p. 84.

12 City Wonders, “Could you walk the seven hills of Rome?” at https://citywonders.com/blog/Italy/Rome/could-you-walk-the-seven-hills-of-rome#:~:text=The%20Seven%20Hills%20of%20Rome%20are%20on%20the%20east%20of,the%20origins%20of%20the%20empire.

Timeline Of Events Leading To The Bowl Judgments

I don’t know if we can be exact about when all the judgments will occur; but, according to most bible prophecy scholars, the seal judgments will occur roughly during the first twenty-one months of the Tribulation, the trumpet judgments during the second twenty-one months, and the bowl judgments during the entire second half of the Tribulation, for forty-two months or three and a half years. In the first half of the Tribulation (with the seals and trumpets) the earth will experience the wrath of the Antichrist, along with the harlot (or the false church); and in the second half of the Tribulation, known as the Great Tribulation, the earth and its people will experience the wrath of the Almighty God.

I don’t think it is super important to try to fit everything exactly into its proper place—nor can we; but, I think, to at least guess at it, we may get a better understanding of how things will fit together, especially during the time of the middle of the Tribulation and leading up to the bowl judgments.

The way I see it, there are two categories of time; events at the mid-Trib, and events a little later, leading up to the bowl judgments.

Events at the Middle of the Tribulation

1. The Antichrist is resurrected (Rev. 13:3). After this seemingly miraculous event, the Scripture says, “The whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast.”

2. The Antichrist breaks his peace covenant with Israel and puts a stop to animal sacrifices and grain offerings in the Jewish temple (Dan. 9:27). Notice that he does this in the middle of the week (meaning the seven-year covenant).

3. He exalts himself, and others exalt him, as God (2 Thess. 2:3b-4; Rev. 13:3b-4). In 2 Thessalonians we read, “The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” Then in Revelation it is written, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to war with him?’”

These three points will mark the exact time at the middle of the Tribulation. And this is the time when scholars believe that Satan fills and empowers the Antichrist so that he believes himself to be God and the resurrected Christ. Hence, it is at this time that he begins to speak so arrogantly against God and against believers and makes war with them (Rev. 13:5-7).

A Few Days or Weeks Later

We cannot be sure how long it will take the following events to transpire, but it seems logical that it will take at least a few days to a few weeks—but probably not longer than that.

4. The Antichrist destroys the harlot (Rev. 17:16-17). The harlot (the false church) will reign together with the Antichrist during the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 17). But when he is fully controlled by Satan and thinks that he alone is God, he no longer will tolerate the harlot; and he, along with his ten kings will hate her and make her “desolate.” Now we don’t know how long it will take to destroy her, but I imagine that with just a strike of the pen, with an executive order, he will do it.

5. He will make war with all true believers (Rev. 13:7). Besides the false believers of the false church, He will also, and more, go against the true believers. In fact, he will hunt them down and kill them—all who are destined to be martyred (read Rev. 13:10).

6. The image of the Antichrist is made and set up (Rev. 13:14-15). We don’t know how long it will take for those “who dwell on the earth” to make this image and to make it speak, but I am guessing that it will take some time. However, the way advanced technology will be, it may not be long.

7. Many Jews flee to safety into the wilderness (Rev. 12:14; Matt. 24:15-21). We know exactly when these Jews—as many as decide to go—will begin fleeing for safety into the wilderness. It will be, as Matthew 24:15 indicates, when they see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the temple. This, I think, is the image of the beast (I won’t go into more details as I have already written on it on pages 155-157).

8. All people are required to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18). These verses (vs. 16-18) explain it quite well. Everyone, no matter how old, how wealthy, or what status, will be required to take the mark; which is a mark representing the Antichrist. It will be the government’s system to control people. And if you want to buy or sell anything you must have the mark.

But we know that there will be many who refuse to take the mark. All true believers will not take the mark; for it is a sign of the Antichrist and for those who worship Him (Rev. 14:9-10). And since all who take the mark will suffer the wrath of God (hell), we can be certain that believers will not receive it, nor will they be force to get it, or be tricked into getting it. However, we know that God will somehow provide for them; He will provide for any believer that is destined to live during that time.

Now one of the reasons I decided to do this timeline is to give us an idea as to when the bowl judgments will begin; because the first bowl is a judgment on those who received the mark and who worship his image. For that reason, the first bowl will not commence until after the image is set up.

However, in saying that, I think we can be certain that even though there is a gap of time between the mid-Trib and the first bowl, there still will be plenty of Tribulation-suffering going on in that short gap of time.