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November 15, 2001
I have said many times that I believe that Mystery Babylon will eventually appear as the United States. Of course, that is a very controversial stand to take in the world of prophecy. Many prominent Bible scholars believe Iraq to be Mystery Babylon because that is the region in which ancient Babylon existed. In fact, Saddam Hussein has spent millions rebuilding ancient Babylon, but has received very little media attention given the prophetic importance of this city. If not for a few Christian prophecy books, most probably would not have even heard about it. I donít think there is much chance that Iraq will reach the economic and financial status that this end times nation is predicted to climb to.
Thereís another problem with modern day Iraq being Mystery Babylon. Letís look at the Revelation 18:16-19.
The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.
These verses speak of the destruction of Mystery Babylon at the hand of God through the ten-nation kingdom of the antichrist. As I read this passage, I realized something very puzzling. Whatever country Mystery Babylon turns out to be, the percentage of it actually being Iraq is extremely low! Why do I say this? Have you seen a map of Iraq? Itís virtually landlocked with the exception of the southern most tip of the country (with about 30 to 50 miles of water access). Unless the merchant ships are going to congregate in the small southern corner of Iraq they arenít going to see any smoke ascending up from a burning Mystery Babylon. And they sure arenít going to be delivering massive amounts of imported goods through their limited waterways. Remember, they made the whole world rich through their immense imports by ship.
Itís clear to me that whatever country Mystery Babylon turns out to be, they will have major access to shipping lanes and it will be a primary mode for importing goods from all over the world. Mystery Babylon will be seen as the greatest nation economically of the last days and many countries will be financially devastated when they are destroyed. This will be an awful time for world commerce and it could take place during the first four seals of the tribulation period when one quarter of the worldís population will perish.