“Babylon the Great” is mentioned six times in the book of Revelation.  Babylon was mentioned for the first time in Revelation in chapter 14:8.  Her fall was predicted then. In chapters 17-18, we have a description of her and the details of her fall and complete destruction.  Let’s look at Revelation 17:1-2, “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

It is pretty obvious that this Babylon the Great is alluding to some religious system that the rulers of the earth had crawled into bed with.  Babylon the Great is the ‘apostate church’, which means she functions as the representative of God in the world, but in reality, she is atheistic and rebellious.  The ‘waters’ that she sits upon is explained in verse 15, “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  This speaks to us of her great influence and dominance over the nations.  Let’s notice how that the ‘kings of the earth have committed fornication’ with her, while the inhabitants of the earth ‘have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’

Verses 3-4 tell us, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.”  This beast who has seven heads and ten horns is spoken of in greater detail in Revelation 13.  The ten horns of this beast are mentioned as a revived Roman Empire in Daniel 7:24, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”  The seven heads can refer to seven different kings of Rome, or it may refer to Rome itself as it is called, “the city upon seven hills.”  In these verses, we are witnessing Babylon the Great in all its glory and power, ruling over this revived Roman Empire.  While she is arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones, things which have always impressed and attracted the world, we see that in her golden cup there are abominations and filthiness.  Thankfully, this rule will not last long!

Now let’s read verse 5, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”  We read of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel in Exodus 28:36,38 “And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD…And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead…”  Upon Aaron’s forehead, the Lord’s holiness was declared.  Upon the head of Babylon we read that she is the mother of harlots and abominations.  What is this mystery?  It is, undoubtedly, the “the mystery of iniquity” spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

Thankfully, we read of Babylon’s destruction in Revelation 18:21, “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”  (203.6)