By Nathan Jones
Can the United States of America be found in Revelation 18?
Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mark Hitchcock on the show Christ in Prophecy. Mark is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor of Faith Bible Church located in Oklahoma, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also a much in demand speaker at Bible prophecy conferences all over the nation.
Dr. Hitchcock was invited to answer questions based on his book The Late Great United States. The subtitle of Mark's fascinating book — What Bible Prophecy Reveals About America's Last Days — states the purpose. The book digs deep into the Bible, mining for any textual nugget that might reveal some value as to the United States' future as an end time player.
The US in Revelation 18?
Nathan Jones: What about Revelation 18? Some people when they read "Babylon" they'll say that it is New York City, or it the United States as a whole. Is Babylon, which will be destroyed in an hour, be the nation of the United States?
Dr. Hitchcock: I would say this is the most popular claim that the Bible is talking about the United States today.
Dr. Reagan: It is. Almost every day I get a message from somebody saying it's got to be the United States because this chapter talks about a nation that controls the world and economy and everything, and so it has got to be the U.S.
Dr. Hitchcock: That's right. This view became even more popular after the events of 9/11 took place.
There are several clues in the book of Revelation as to what this means. Revelation 17:18 tells us that Babylon is "the great city that rules over the kings of the earth." The verse tells us very clearly that it is a city. Now, what city is it? When you go back to the beginning of the passage it says that whatever this Babylon is, it is the mother of all harlotry and spiritual rebellion against God. Well, there is only one city that I know of that qualifies as the fountainhead of all of this, and it was Ancient Babylon.
The book of Revelation is called the "Apocalypse" because it is the unveiling. It is not a hiding of truth.
The word "Babylon" occurs about 300 times in the Bible. All the other times that Babylon occurs, with maybe one exception in 1 Peter 5, it refers to Ancient Babylon. It would seem very strange to me for the Bible to refer to Babylon over and over and over again as the literal Babylon and then we come to the very end of the Bible and all of a sudden it would change. Babylon is the most talked about topic in the book of Revelation. There are 44 of the 404 verses in the book of Revelation concerning Babylon, and so 11% of the book of Revelation is about Babylon.
Whatever Babylon is, it is very important to see Babylon as the literal city over in Iraq, but also the false system the Antichrist will develop around that city that will exist in the end times.
Dr. Reagan: That is the point I would make whether it would be Babylon, Rome or whatever — Babylon is going to be the empire of the Antichrist, and that empire is not going to be the United States of America. It is going to arise out of the European Union — the Revived Roman Empire. And so, whether it is Rome, Babylon, or whatever it is going to be, Revelation 18 is talking about the worldwide kingdom of the Antichrist which is going to be a much greater kingdom than the United States of America because it is going to include the whole world.
Dr. Hitchcock: Right, and Bible prophecy focuses on that part of the world as well. I take it as literal Babylon and others take it as Rome, but it is not going to be New York City or the United States. It just simply doesn't fit.