Taken from: What is The Identity of Mystery Babylon? | Mystery Babylon – Who Is It? (endtime.com) I have altered their references to the 1611 text as the true word of God.
When will the prophesied fall of Babylon happen?
Revelation 16:16 announces the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon: “And hee gathered them together into a place, called in the Hebrewe tongue, Armageddon.”
The next three verses record the fall of Babylon the Great.
17 And the seuenth Angel powred out his viall into the ayre, and there came a great voyce out of the Temple of heauen, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices and thunders, and lightnings: and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were vpon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great Citie was diuided into three parts, and the Cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to giue vnto her the cup of the wine of the fiercenesse of his wrath.
This passage clearly teaches us that the destruction of Babylon will take place at the time of the Battle of Armageddon.
Since we know that the Battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation, after the reign of the Antichrist and after the Mark of the Beast, it is obvious that Babylon has not yet fallen.
Another prophecy of Babylon’s Destruction
The entire ministry of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was devoted to prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of Israel into Babylonian captivity. He also prophesied the return of Israel to Jerusalem after 70 years and foretold the ultimate destruction of Babylon.
The prophecy against Babylon is found in Jeremiah 50:1-23.
1The word that the Lord spake against Babylon, and against the land of the Caldeans by Ieremiah the Prophet.
2Declare yee among the nations, and publish, and set vp a standart, publish and conceale not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces, her idols are confounded, her Images are broken in pieces.
3For out of the North there commeth vp a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remoue, they shall depart both man and beast.
4¶ In those daies, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they, and the children of Iudah together, going and weeping: they shall goe, and seeke the Lord their God.
5They shall aske the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let vs ioyne our selues to the Lord, in a perpetuall Couenant that shall not be forgotten.
6My people hath bene lost sheepe: their shepheards haue caused them to goe astray, they haue turned them away on the mountaines: they haue gone from mountaine to hill, they haue forgotten their resting place.
7All that found them haue deuoured them, and their aduersaries said, We offend not, because they haue sinned against the Lord, the habitation of iustice, euen the Lord, the hope of their fathers.
8Remoue out of the midst of Babylon, and goe foorth out of the land of the Caldeans, and be as the hee goats before the flocks.
9¶ For loe, I will raise and cause to come vp against Babylon, an assembly of great nations from the North countrey, and they shall set themselues in aray against her, from thence shee shalbe taken: their arrowes shalbe as of a mightie expert man: none shall returne in vaine.
10And Caldea shall bee a spoile: all that spoile her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.
11Because ye were glad, because yee reioyced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are growen fat, as the heifer at grasse, and bellow as bulles:
12Your mother shalbe sore confounded, she that bare you shalbe ashamed: beholde, the hindermost of the nations shalbe a wildernes, a dry land, & a desert.
13Because of the wrath of the Lord, it shall not be inhabited, but it shalbe wholly desolate: euery one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hisse at all her plagues.
14Put your selues in aray against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her; spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the Lord,
15Shout against her round about: shee hath giuen her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are throwen downe: for it is the vengeance of the Lord: take vengeance vpon her; as she hath done, doe vnto her.
16Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of haruest: for feare of the oppressing sword, they shall turne euery one to his people, and they shall flee euery one to his owne lande.
17¶ Israel is a scattered sheepe, the lyons haue driuen him away: first the king of Assyria hath deuoured him, and last this Nebuchad-rezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
18Therefore thus saith the Lord of hostes the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I haue punished the king of Assyria.
19And I will bring Israel againe to his habitation, and he shal feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soule shall be satisfied vpon mount Ephraim and Gilead.
20In those dayes, and in that time, sayth the Lord, the iniquitie of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sinnes of Iudah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserue.
21¶ Goe vp against the land of Merathaim, euen against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and vtterly destroy after them, sayeth the Lord, and doe according to all that I haue commanded thee.
22A sound of battell is in the land, and of great destruction.
23How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken? how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations?
Verses 17 and 18 establish for certain when this destruction of Babylon was to occur:
“Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.”
The above scriptures teach us that this particular prophesied destruction of Babylon would occur during the era of the Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar.
Furthermore, verses 39-40 declared that Babylon would never again be inhabited.
39Therefore the wilde beasts of the desert with the wilde beastes of the Ilands shall dwel there, and the owles shall dwell therein: & it shalbe no more inhabited for euer: neither shall it bee dwelt in frō generation to generation.
40As God ouerthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbour cities thereof, sayth the Lord: so shall no man abide there, neither shal any sonne of man dwell therein.
The two Destructions of Babylon Foretold…
The prophecy of Jeremiah clearly stated that Babylon would be destroyed, never to be inhabited again. Yet the book of Revelation prophesies the destruction of Babylon at the time of Armageddon. How do we reconcile what appears to be a biblical contradiction?
Literal Babylon vs. Mystery Babylon
The physical city of Babylon was originally built by Nimrod after the flood. It was located on the Euphrates River, about 55 miles south of where Baghdad, Iraq stands today. The name Babylon came from the Tower of Babel that was constructed there.
Babylon became a large city of global prominence around 1728 BC during the reign of Hammurabi. The glory years of Babylon were achieved under Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC). The city declined during the reign of Belshazzar, and came to ruin when Xerxes, the Persian king, destroyed it in 478 BC.
Thus, Jeremiah’s prophesied destruction of Babylon was accomplished, and, just as the prophecy said, it has never been inhabited to this day. Saddam Hussein launched a project to rebuild Babylon in the late 1980’s, but the effort was halted by Gulf War I and has yet to be resumed.
But if Babylon is never to be rebuilt, why are two entire chapters of the book of Revelation devoted to the destruction of Babylon? And why is the destruction of Babylon clearly described as occurring at the time of Armageddon?
The Babylon described in Revelation is called “Mystery Babylon.” The prophecy of Mystery Babylon is found in Revelation 17:3-5.
3So he caried me away in the Spirit into the wildernesse: and I saw a woman sit vpō a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, hauing seuen heads, and ten hornes.
4And the woman was arayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious stone & pearles, hauing a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthinesse of her fornication.
5And vpon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots, And Abominations Of The Earth.
Who is Mystery Babylon?
A mystery is something secret or hidden— a thing that some understand while others do not. In Revelation 17, there are several clues given to the identity of Mystery Babylon. We will discuss four of them here.
Clue #1. Mystery Babylon is a City
Notice in the above prophecy that a woman is used to symbolize Mystery Babylon. Verse 18 of the chapter tells us that the woman is a city. “And the woman which thou sawest, is that great Citie which reigneth ouer the kings of the earth.”
Clue #2. Mystery Babylon presides over a vast international system
In verse 1, we are told that the woman sits on many waters. Verse 15 explains the meaning of the waters. And he saith vnto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Not only is this woman a city, but the city is apparently the headquarters over a vast international system.
Clue #3. The city sits on 7 hills
In verse 3, we are told that the woman rides on a beast with 7 heads. Verse 9 reveals the meaning of the heads. And here is the mind which hath wisedome. The seuen heads are seuen mountaines, on which the woman sitteth.
Remember, we’ve already learned that the woman is a city. This passage tells us that the city sits on seven mountains. There is a city on earth that is known as “The City of Seven Hills.” It’s the city of Rome.
But is Rome the headquarters for an international power that rules over “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues?”
The Vatican claims to rule over one billion Roman Catholics worldwide. Remember, this prophecy was written long before the Catholic Church existed and long before Rome became her headquarters.
Clue #4. She is clothed in purple and red
Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious stone & pearles, hauing a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthinesse of her fornication
There are two ruling bodies in the Roman Catholic Church: The College of Cardinals and the College of Bishops and Archbishops. These two bodies are somewhat like the Senate and the House of Representatives here in the US.
An article appeared in The Criterion, a Roman Catholic publication, July 1, 1988. The article was entitled, “More than You Want to Know About Cardinals.” It stated, “Cardinals wear red, while non-Cardinal Bishops and Archbishops wear purple.”
So let’s review. Mystery Babylon is a city that sits on seven hills. Rome is known worldwide as “The City of Seven Hills.”
Mystery Babylon is to “sit” on peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” Rome is headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church, claiming one billion members worldwide.
Mystery Babylon is described as being clothed in purple and red. The official colors of the two ruling bodies of the Roman Church are purple and red.
One other factor should be understood. In Revelation 17, God chose to use a woman—a whore—to symbolize the Roman Catholic Church. Why?
It’s really very simple. In scripture, God always used a woman to symbolize a church. He used a virgin to represent His true church (II Corinthians 11:2), and He used a harlot to represent a false church—as he did in Revelation 17-19.
There can be only one conclusion: The Vatican is the Mystery Babylon of Revelation. And it is this false religious system that has deceived the people of the world that will be destroyed at the time of Armageddon.