Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and T.A., Is the woman ‘Mystery Babylon’ in Revelation 17 the city of Babylon that is being rebuilt in Iraq?”
Tom: Dave, I remember—it had to be four years ago at least—that you addressed this subject right after writing A Woman Rides the Beast, your book. And it’s clear to me it’s not Iraq, but now—and I think since then, especially with all of the focus on Iraq—this has become an issue that many prophetic ministries are saying this is where it is. It’s going to be Iraq.
Dave: I would think it would be even less so now than before. You know, when there were a few Christian leaders who managed to get over there; they took pictures, and they visited Nebuchadnezzar’s audience chamber, whatever, the palace and all that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding it. As I recalled he had, or still has, his name stamped on every brick. I thought they’d probably bulldoze it eventually to get rid of his memory, but now it’s headquarters for occupation forces in that region. And how’s it going to happen, Tom? When you read Revelation 17, first of all, this is a city. This woman is a city, it says, on seven hills. Now it’s as flat as a pancake out there…
Tom: In Iraq.
Dave: …where that Babylon is, along the river. The sailors see the smoke of her burning from the sea. I don’t think you can. It’s a long, long ways up there. That’s not going to work, although from Rome you could see. She’s committed fornication with the kings of the earth, spiritual fornication. In other words, she’s been in a spiritual partnership. This is the spiritual headquarters, not just the headquarters of the Antichrist. In fact, this is the woman who rides Antichrist. This is the woman that he really needed to begin with. This is the city that rules over the kings of the earth. That’s the last verse in chapter 17. She’s drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus, and Babylon has been in ruins for 2,300 years. I mean, I can go on, Tom, but there are fourteen identifying characteristics, or qualities, or however you want to say it, of this woman, this city. How long is it going to take for Babylon, you know out there in the middle of the Iraqi desert somehow to get rebuilt to be populated—I mean you think of all the water it would take, the sewage, and so forth, for this to build itself up to be the capital of the world, the monetary investment, and then it is going to be drunk with the blood of the saints, and so forth.
Rome, the Vatican, the false church and the false world church of course of which the Vatican would be the headquarters, it qualifies and has qualified for centuries. Why not accept this? “Well, because Babylon was never destroyed. It wasn’t quite, didn’t quite fulfill that an Arab would never pitch his tent there any more, and so forth.”
Well it was pretty well destroyed. I mean, it wasn’t much. Whether that would qualify or not, I don’t know, Tom. But this Babylon could very easily be destroyed, you know, in some future engagement, and why, I don’t know. But it just does not qualify at all. And there are specific qualifications that fit the Vatican and that fit Rome.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, would the fact that Iraq, that area, Babylon, was never ever considered to be, nor is it Christian, by any stretch of the imagination, yet the Antichrist that’s going to be a Christianity that’s developed—do you see a Christianity developing out of Babylon?
Dave: Well , but it’s…yeah, not just the Antichrist of course, that’s the beast on which the woman rides. But it’s this woman, and she has a gold cup in her hand, and you can’t escape the implications of the Mass—filled with her filthiness of her abominations and her colors are purple and scarlet, the colors of the Catholic clergy, and on and on it goes. This woman is the false church. It couldn’t be otherwise. In partnership—fornication with the kings of this earth—and the Catholic Church has been doing that down through the centuries. So what you’re saying is how is this Babylon that’s being built not only become the great world power and the headquarters of the Antichrist, but the great religious power and a Christian religion at that?
Tom, it may be why I’ve noticed something now. I speak at a lot of prophecy conferences. I believe the only thing that will catapult Antichrist into power will be the Rapture and the terror of maybe 50 million people vanished, maybe even 100 million, I don’t know, from this earth. “Where did they go? Who took them? Why didn’t they take me? Are they coming back for me?” and so forth? Tom, I don’t think anything else could unite this world except that. That’s the catalyst. That is the event.
But now, I hear at the prophecy conferences, so many of my dear friends and people I’ve respected for years, now they’re kind of hedging a little bit. There could be a period of months, maybe even years, maybe it could be a hundred years, who knows, after the Rapture, before Antichrist takes power, before we begin the seven-year Great Tribulation period. I don’t think so, Tom. But maybe they are coming up with this idea. It’s going to take a little time for Babylon to become what they are hyping it to eventually be.
Tom: Well, one rumor, and I don’t know if there’s any substance to it whatsoever, and that is the UN is going to set up their headquarters in—whether it be Baghdad or Babylon itself—who knows? But again, this is something that people jump on and say, “Oh, look, this is happening!”
Dave: Tom, if we could turn Iraq into a democracy, that would be incredible, because Islam cannot survive in a democracy. What is this going to be the death of Islam worldwide? And the UN moves in to Iraq? The UN at the moment will not allow any of their people to go in there because they’re killing them. It’s just so unlikely. Why do we have to go for this? We don’t want to put this onus on the Catholic Church, I guess—we’re getting more and more ecumenical.