The evil that has originated from Babylon and spread over all the earth is incalculable. The wickedness of Babylon has manifested both in the natural world and in the spiritual realm. Because of the extent of Babylon’s transgressions, I have argued elsewhere that the disasters prophesied against it must be fulfilled there, in that land, in the literal place where all these iniquities had their source.
The Old Testament prophets spoke extensively about the future destruction of Babylon. They weren’t alluding to a metaphorical connection to another location; they spoke of the Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans. In Isaiah and Jeremiah we see multiple prophetic declarations that specify the utter devastation of this city-state in a way that has never yet occurred. It is for this reason that I believe literal Babylon – commercial Babylon – is in view in the book of Revelation 18, not as a code word for Rome.
Because of the deep pagan beliefs coming from Babylon with its ancient hatred of Yahweh, I think God used this hostility for His purposes with a future recompense in mind. There are places around the globe that have extensive connections with the dark forces of evil that arose from the rebellion of God’s divine sons, the bene Elohim, who fell from grace and have fought against Him ever since. One such location is Mount Hermon in Israel, where the first batch of the sons of God descended to intermarry with human women, resulting in the corruption of the entire earth (Genesis 6). The other primary place for the rising of rebellious powers and authorities is Babylon in the aftermath of the building of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). There was something about Babylon in this regard that caused the spiritual forces of darkness to rise up in great strength and even be renewed. Although not necessarily a direct Biblical concept, some Bible teachers believe that in some way Babylon has a gateway of sorts into the underworld.
From Babylon came one of the mightiest kingdoms and armies ever known, that of King Nebuchadnezzar. Of course, God used him and directed his heart in amazing ways. Yahweh caused him to be His avenging vessel upon disobedient Judah, resulting in the complete destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Yet, at some point, in this king’s career, God brought him into a saving relationship with Himself (Daniel 4). However, we also point to Babylon as the source of what we label today as the Beast System. This all-encompassing concept did not arise in Rome; it came out of Babylon. It is from this that we see a prophecy that has not yet – but certainly will – come to pass, as declared in Jeremiah 51:25-26:
“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares the Lord,
which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
and roll you down from the crags,
and make you a burnt mountain.
No stone shall be taken from you for a corner
and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be a perpetual waste,
declares the Lord.”
The destroying mountain of Babylon, in my estimation, is the Beast System. It is this system that encompasses the whole earth and brings utter destruction in the time of the Tribulation. For its iniquity, God will – He must – lay it to waste. In fact earlier in the chapter, God speaks of bringing a destroyer upon Babylon, such that He says in Jeremiah 51:3:
“… Spare not her young men; devote to destruction all her army.”
Granted, Jeremiah’s many prophecies deal with a soon-to-come fulfillment, but they also address that which is far into the future. The OT prophets saw their visions accurately, but the timing of prophetic completion was not made known to them in many instances. The concept of devoting something to destruction has grave consequences. In one sense, it means that it is made holy to the Lord. In the other sense, it means that in this dedication the object must be annihilated completely.
We see throughout these prophecies against Babylon that it is going to be laid waste to such an extent that no human will ever reside there again. Wouldn’t God wish to bring His wrath and judgment upon such a place from which evil has arisen that has encompassed the world? He certainly punished Israel and all nations that came against her for their evil actions. Isn’t it reasonable to think that this same devastation must come in full to the literal place from which the Beast System has come forth?
This Beast System is close to realizing all its wicked dreams and desires. Many of them will cause the entire earth to groan under their weight. Yet, the time during which this system binds the world and all mankind in chains will be limited. We have God’s promise on that.
For those of us who know the Lord Jesus, we have even greater things in our future. The Lord will exact justice. His righteousness will prevail. It won’t be long now. Soon we’ll be with our heavenly Bridegroom, and we’ll know joy and peace forever.