Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:
#8. Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?
Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Well, it's not called "Mystery Babylon" for nothing! It's a mystery. So, we can only guess. But, there are some clues in the Bible that give us kind of an indication what this mystery is not.
Revelation 17 and 18 explains Babylon as an economic powerhouse, but then also a great source of immorality. The people are sinful and they live for pleasure, and that's clearly a picture of the United States today. But, the Antichrist's government is a global government, so it will incorporate the United States. It will rise from the European Union and the whole world will become part of it.
Then there is the Harlot aspect, this prostitute whom the Bible talks about, who rides the back of that world government. Well, the world government cannot be the Harlot and be the Beast of the Antichrist kingdom it is riding on at the same time. So, we must be reading about both a political Babylon and a separate religious Babylon.
The United States will not be the Harlot system the Bible talks about either, for when it talks about women, especially adulterous women, the Bible is referencing religious systems. What it's talking about is not a nation, but a religious system that will exist during the first half of the Tribulation which is made up of apostate Christianity, but will have its basis in humanism. It will soon after be destroyed, and then the Antichrist for the second half of the Tribulation will institute his religion which is self-worship and the worship of his master who is Satan.
Terry James, Rapture Ready
I really personally don't think so. For one thing concerning America, if we look at history, I think that we can pretty much see the way things are going by today's history. America is no longer remaining the apex nation. The flower is quickly fading, so to speak. We can't say that the United States is going to be the premier nation during the Tribulation, especially during chapter 18 of Revelation. We see chapter 17 concerning Mystery Babylon which is the harlot system or an apostate Church system, but I don't see anywhere a mystery Babylon with regard to that city that is doomed to be destroyed in a single hour from Revelation 18. Therefore, I'm more or less of the conviction that the Beast's headquarters is going to be the rebuilt Babylon.
Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
I think Revelation 17 and 18 both speak about Babylon, but I believe they are different. I believe Revelation 17 is the professing church that remains after the Rapture of the true Church. It will become manifest as the Great Harlot that never did believe in Christ. It just pretended and was very hypocritical of the whole thing. It'll become the world religion after the Rapture and will attract the whole world, as I think most of the false religions of the world like the Muslims and the Hindus and all these various religions of the world will coalesce around the Mother Church that survives after the Rapture. But, it will be destroyed by the Antichrist who gets tired of it. He uses the false Church to gain power, but once he's gained it after 3 1/2 years he says, "I'm through with you. I don't need you anymore." He devours it the Scriptures say.
Then there is the Babylon of Revelation 18 which seems to be the actual city of Babylon. This is the old city of Babylon where it all began, where the Tower of Babel was, and where pagan religion had its origins.
Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
A lot of people think Babylon is the United States. A lot of people think Babylon could be the United States, or many people will say that it is New York City, because clearly whatever it is it is a city as Revelation 17 and 18 says, "Babylon is that great city which rules over the kings of the earth." So, clearly Babylon is a city.
Now, some people think it's Rome, some rebuilt Babylon, and some New York City in the United States where the United Nations is headquartered. For me, making it the United States, when you really go through Revelation 17 and 18 and look at what those passages say concerning how this Babylon kills the prophets, to me it's a stretch to take the specific statements there and have them apply to the United States. I take the view that it's a literal, rebuilt Babylon in the future. I reject the idea that Babylon has anything to do with New York City or the United States.
David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
I personally agree with the experts when they say there is no possibility that the Antichrist's headquarters could be located in the United States. I happen to agree with Ed Hindson's view that the headquarters will be located in Rome. For more detailed information about why I believe that, go to my article entitled Mystery Babylon.
In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the nineth question, "Is Jesus returning to set up an actual thousand year long kingdom?"