Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Study 4:
Rome Is Babylon by Bequeath

In the seventeenth chapter of Revelation John said that the woman “arrayed in purple” sitting upon a “scarlet colored beast,” the “great whore” and “mother of harlots,” is “Mystery Babylon.” (Rev. 17:1, 3-4.) And studying chapters 17-19, it should be obvious that Babylon refers to Rome.

Why, we might ask, is Rome referred to as Babylon when the city of Babylon is situated many hundreds of miles away over in Iraq? Is there any logical or historical reason why Rome should be referred to as Babylon? There is an answer, and one of them is that the name “Babylon” is not only the name of an ancient city, it is also a title. In his classic work, Dispensational Truth, Clarence Larkin traces this Babylon Mystery Religion down through history until it enters Rome. On page 140 he said:

“The city of Babylon continued to be the seat of Satan until the fall of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires, when he [Satan] shifted his Capital to Pergamos in Asia Minor,...
“When Attalus, the Pontiff and King of Pergamos, died in B.C. 133, he bequeathed the Headship of the ‘Babylonian Priesthood’ to Rome. When the Etruscans came to Italy from Lydia (the region of Pergamos), they brought with them the Babylonian religion and rites. They set up a Pontiff who was head of the Priesthood. Later the Romans accepted this Pontiff as their civil ruler. Julius Caesar was made Pontiff of the Etruscan Order in B.C. 74. In B.C. 63 he was made ‘Supreme Pontiff’ of the ‘Babylonian Order,’ thus becoming heir to the rights and titles of Attalus, Pontiff of Pergamos, who had made Rome his heir by will. Thus, Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor became the Head of the ‘Babylonian Priesthood,’ and Rome became the successor to Babylon. The Emperors of Rome continued to exercise the office of ‘Supreme Pontiff’ until A.D. 376, when the Emperor Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. The Bishop of the Church at Rome, Damasus, was elected to the position. He had been Bishop 12 years, having been made Bishop in A.D. 366, through the influence of the monks of Mt. Carmel, a college of Babylonian religion originally founded by the priests of Jezebel. So in A.D. 378 the Head of the ‘Babylonian Order’ became the Ruler of the ‘Roman Church.’ Thus Satan united Rome and Babylon in One Religious System.” (Dispensational Truth, p. 140.)

The quote from Clarence Larkin, above, states that the seat of Satan’s worldly empire was first centered in Babylon, then it shifted to Pergamos, and then it was bequeathed to Rome. Pergamos (whose more modern name is Bergama, about 3 miles north of the river Caicus) was the resident dynasty of Greek princes founded after the time of Alexander the Great. It was usually called the Attalie Dynasty from its founder, Attalus, its first Pontiff-King. Pergamos was one of the first cities of Asia Minor that was truly considered “sumptuous” due to the splendor of its princes. This city boasted of splended temples of Zeus or Jupiter, Athene, Apollo, and Aesculapius. One of the seven churches of Asia was in Pergamos, and it was called “Satan’s seat” by John. This revelator wrote:

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. ...
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;... And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is:...” (See Rev. 1:10-11; 2:11-13, respectfully.)

John the Revelator was not the only Apostle to refer to Rome as Babylon. Reading 1 Peter we find that this disciple also considered Rome to be Babylon. Peter wrote, “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you;...” (1 Peter 5:13.) Those who grasp Biblical history know that Peter was, at this time, writing from Rome, and he applied the name “Babylon” to that city. Karl Keating, one of those who likes to justify and excuse the Catholic Church, even said: “Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [four of the six are in chapters 17 and 18] and in extrabiblical works such as Sibyling Oracles (5, 159f.), the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii, 1), and 4 Esdras (3:1).

“Other have said, ‘Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303, noted that ‘it is said that Peter’s first epistle . . . was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as babylon.’” (Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians,” p. 200.)

In his expansive 549 page book, A Woman Rides the Beast, Dave Hunt points out the following concerning what could NOT be the Babylon of the end times:

“It is popularly taught that the woman [in Rev. 17 and 18] represents ancient Babylon revived....
“Ancient Babylon, however, even if it again becomes an inhabited and functioning city, could not possibly be the Babylon to which the writing on the woman’s forehead refers. Saddam’s rebuilt Babylon simply doesn’t meet the criteria John sets forth....
“As much hated as feared by his own people, one day Saddam will be deposed, as eventually happens to all tyrants....
“Whether that happens or not, there is no way that this city, rebuilt after lying in ruins for more than 2,000 years, could be mistaken for the Babylon which is the major subject of Revelation chapters 17 and 18.” (A Woman Rides the Beast, pp. 51-52.)

Although many churches have headquarters in a particular city, only one city is, singularly, the headquarters of “A” church. The Mormon Church, for example, has headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. That city is not known only as the center of that church — there’s much more to Salt Lake City than the LDS Church. But not so with Vatican City, the heart of Rome and pagan Christendom, in general.

The author, David Hun, also said of Rome and Babylon:

“Some suggest that the Vatican will move to Babylon in Iraq when it is rebuilt. But why should it? The Vatican has been fulfilling John’s vision from its location in Rome for the past 15 centuries. Moreover, we have shown the connection to ancient Babylon which the Vatican has maintained down through history in the paganized Christianity it has promulgated. As for ancient Babylon itself, it wasn’t even in existence during the past 2300 years to ‘reign over the kings of the earth.’ Babylon lay in ruins while pagan Rome and later Catholic Rome, the new Babylon, was indeed reigning over kings.”

As stated above, the name “Babylon” is not only the name of a city but also a title as well. The woman upon the beast is the Roman Catholic Church, and the beast is that great city built upon seven hills or mountains — Babylon. (Rev. 17:9.) Only one city is known as the city of seven hills — ROME! There is only ONE city that passes John’s description of Babylon — ROME, and more specifically, VATICAN CITY!

From our study we know why Peter said that Rome is Babylon. He was most likely mindful of the legal fact of Rome’s inheritance, that city having received the title of Babylon by bequeath; and John referred to Rome as Babylon from that same awareness. So Rome, and the Roman Catholic Church housed at Vatican City in particular, is truly Babylon by inheritance of title and position in the paganized religious world.