John describes 'Babylon’ in the section of his revelation when God is meting out judgement on the earth:

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me: ‘Come, I will show you the punishments of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.  With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries . . . I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus (Revelation 17:1,2,6).

Schools of thought

There are different schools of thought regarding who or what Babylon refers to.  Most Christians consider any connection with the historical city of Babylon to be purely metaphorical, though there are some who believe that the ancient city will be rebuilt on its original site on the banks of the Euphrates (some miles away from the modern city of Baghdad) and this will become the Antichrist’s headquarters.

The Roman Empire

Of those who believe Babylon to be metaphorical, the most common theory is that it refers to the power of the Roman Empire which was oppressing the early church at the time John received his revelation.  In this theory, Babylon refers to a Roman emperor, or it may personify the might of the Roman Empire itself.  Both Christians and Jews were persecuted and killed for refusing to worship and submit to the Roman emperor as a god.

Here at Christian Spectrum however, we believe that Babylon is a feature of the last days before the return of Jesus.  Some Christians believe that the original Roman Empire will be revived in the End-Times, and Babylon is the power of the confederation of nations ruled by the Antichrist.  In this case, the nations will be in the same geographical location as the old empire.  Many consider the European Union to be the beginning of this alliance of nations, since it’s in the right area geographically. 


On a prayer trip to Strasbourg some years ago, a group of us went to the European Union Parliament building.  We discovered that it’s dedicated to the memory of Louise Weiss, a French woman who fought for federative peace in Europe based on Europeanism, universalism and pacifism.  She was wholehearted in pushing the concept of Europe as an entity rather than a collection of individual nations.

Whilst the confederation of nations could be the EU, there are some who think the alliance will be based in the Middle East.  The ‘nations’ may be groups of nations, not nation-states as we know them, so the power base may be extremely large.

Differing opinions

There are other protestant Christians who interpret Babylon as the Roman Catholic Church personified by the Pope.  Others believe Babylon represents all false religions.  Opinions differ, but all are agreed that Babylon is a symbol of every kind of evil, and the description we’re given, albeit in apocalyptic language, indicates that it will have demonically-inspired worldwide influence in the areas of economics and religion, and it will deceive the nations.

Eschatalogical revolution

Babylon, who some describe as 'Harlot Babylon,' by definition, will seduce the nations, causing them to do evil and persecute the saints.  If, as we believe here at Christian Spectrum, that the return of Jesus is immanent, the events that Babylon stands for must have already begun.  For Babylon is the vehicle for the Antichrist to gain pre-eminence in world affairs.  There are lies and false ideologies spreading wildly across the earth, affecting all mankind including, sadly, the church.  The false ideas and sentiments, because they’re seductive, will lead to a unified, global religion that is part of Satan’s plan to cause many to fall away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

Allen Hood (IHOP, Kansas) says:

It is critical that the Church understands the deception coming to its own doors and that is even already knocking.  It is the role of forerunners to rightly discern truth from deception and make it plain to the Body of Christ.  We . . .(have to understand) . . . the corrupt and seductive religious and economic system known as Harlot Babylon as we prepare the Church to take its stand on the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lou Engle (President, The Call) says:

The Harlot Babylon system has already begun to infiltrate our nation as our present laws and education reflect its alignment with her corruption.  We must equip ourselves with knowledge and understanding of what Scripture teaches us in the Book of Revelation about this broad-sweeping, Satanically-inspired movement that will touch every sphere of society, including our families and churches.  (The) trumpet call to the Church (is) to stand on Truth and not waver in the face of political correctness.

The strategy of the Harlot

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons (1 Tim 4:1).

Babylon is preparing the nations to accept the Antichrist.  We expect that it will deceive many into thinking that doing lots of good works is all that matters.  It will be a religion of affirmation, toleration, no absolutes and a counterfeit justice movement.  Those deceived will feed the poor, get involved in humanitarian projects, and inspire acts of compassion – but for all the wrong reasons.  The deceived will be sincere, and Babylon will be characterised by false unity and a drastic falling away from faith.

God’s strategy

Babylon will be judged in two stages.  The worldwide religious system of toleration and syncretism will fall down half way through the seven years of the Tribulation, when the alliance of ten nations destroys it (Rev 17:6).  World domination by the Antichrist will take its place, until, at the end of the seven years, Jesus returns and puts an end to the tyranny that will have ensued.

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (i.e. the Antichrist) is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thess 2:3).

Don’t be deceived

The scriptures warn us not to be taken in by deception.  We do well to encourage one another – and all the more as we see the Day approaching (Heb 10:25).

Opinions differ, but all are agreed that Babylon is a symbol of every kind of evil, and the description we’re given, albeit in apocalyptic language, indicates that it will have demonically-inspired worldwide influence in the areas of economics and religion, and it will deceive the nations

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