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Chapter Four

Babylon, book by David W. Dyer

A "Grain Of Wheat" Ministries publication

Written by David W. Dyer



Chapter 2: BABYLON


Chapter 4: TODAY’S BABYLON (Current Chapter)





We learn from the book of Revelation that ancient Babylon is not the only time which the prostitute has come to the fore. It was not the only time when worldliness came to a head. It was not the unique period or place in which all that the world has to offer, including entertainment, sex and sin, was manifested in fullness.

According to our text in Revelation, there have been other locations and occasions where her lust and depravity came to a peak. It seems that there have been, until today, six such “manifestations” of the prostitute.

How can we know such a thing? Let us investigate this together. We are told that this prostitute is riding on a beast which has seven heads. In another book Antichrist, we showed that in Bible prophecy when a beast in a vision has multiple heads this refers to a succession of rulers or kingdoms. Applying this principle, we can conclude that Babylon will rise up to a peak seven times in world history.

Next we are told that five of these manifestations had already come and gone by the time John saw this vision. We read: “Five have [already] fallen...” (Rev 17:10). Five of these places where the spirit of Babylon rose to preeminence, had already come to a peak and then disappeared before John saw this vision.

Although we cannot know exactly which past empires are also included in this list along with Babylon, it is possible that ancient Egypt under some of the Pharaohs might also have risen to the heights of excess which we have described. Possibly the Medo-Persian empire or the later kingdom of Alexander the Great, or even ancient Assyria could fit our pattern. Exactly who they were is not critical to our understanding. Certainly there were five and they have already come and gone or “fallen.”

Then we read, “one is.” When John saw this vision, he was actually witnessing the sixth such “embodiment.” At that time, the Roman Empire qualified to be just such an incarnation of Babylon. Certainly, this empire was noted for its worldly excesses in every aspect of its culture.

Rome was the cultural, economic, and political center of the western world at that time. She was famous for her sinful dissipation. Drunkenness, orgies, sports events which included murders, entertainments and all the pleasures which this world has to offer were found there in abundance.

Sex, opulence, leisure, luxury, riches, and all the other things which characterizes the system of this world was available there. Certainly, that empire qualifies to be one of the manifestations of the devil’s prostitute. So we see that ancient Rome fits exactly into the pattern which we have been describing. This must be the “Babylon” of the time of John’s vision.

But even when we then include Rome as the one which “is,” this still leaves us with only six “Babylons.” One is still lacking.

Then we learn the secret. The one last great embodiment of Babylon is yet to come. It will appear sometime in the future. He says: “...and the other has not yet come” (Rev 17:10)

Here we see that there will be, at the end of this age, one last great manifestation of Babylon. It will be a final embodiment of the prostitute, a place on the earth which in the last days would be a symbol of all of Satan’s attractions and seductions.

At the time of the end there will exist on this earth a nation which becomes extremely wealthy and decadent. This “empire” will be famous for its excesses and extravagance. It will be a “reincarnation” of the Roman Empire with all of its worldly sinfulness. We will see one place which epitomizes all the sensual and even intellectual pleasures and pursuits which this world has to offer. This will be the seventh and final manifestation of this evil prostitute.

It is this place, the final Babylon, which will be destroyed by the Antichrist and his ten kings (Rev 17:16,17).

(For a more detailed investigation of this prophecy, please see the note at the end of the final chapter of this book on page 93.)

We have seen how the prostitute which the Bible describes is in fact the system of this world. It is the “woman” which the devil uses to seduce the hearts of men away from God.

But if we are at the end of the age today, where is today’s Babylon? Is there, at this moment, a place in the world which fulfills this prophecy? Is there a place which seems to fit with all that we have been describing? Let us look in the Bible together and see how these things might fit into our present world scene.


As we read through chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation probing for the identity of Babylon, two things are readily evident. One is that it is a “great city” (Rev 17:18). Also, it will be destroyed by fire (Rev 17:16). So we can conclude that this is in fact a real, physical place and not merely a kind of “spiritual” entity.

Although – as we have seen – there is a spiritual aspect to Babylon, it is clear that there is also a definite, physical place epitomizing the spirit of Babylon at the time of the end, which will be destroyed by fire.

In the Old Testament there was a real city of Babylon. It was the capital of an empire which was also referred to as “Babylon.” The city was the center of and thus a kind of symbol for, the entire empire.

Therefore, it could be that this New Testament “city” is more than merely an individual city but an entire nation which is typified by the city. So what we are going to be studying about the “city” Babylon probably applies to an entire country and its culture. Although there is some speculation here, the evidence for it will become clear as we proceed.


In searching for the identity of the place “Babylon,” we will begin with the clearest parts of the biblical revelation. One thing which is strikingly evident upon the reading of these two chapters is that this final Babylon is the marketplace of the world. This fact is very important. Here we have confirmed for us that she is not merely a spiritual entity.

Babylon is a major center, or even the center of world commerce. It is a place where everyone who has anything to sell is marketing it. This one location buys so much that the merchants of the entire earth are becoming wealthy selling their goods to Babylon.

We read that: “...the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Rev 18:3). So when we wish to identify this woman, we must look for some real place on this earth which fits this description. It must be a location which buys much, if not most, of what the world produces.

Then we are given a long list of luxury goods which Babylon has been buying. Verse 12 reads: “...merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots and bodies and souls of men.”

This is quite a list. It includes every kind of item which was considered expensive, attractive, and desirable in the day in which this revelation was given. It represents the best of all the things the world has to offer.

Since almost 2,000 years have passed since the writing of this list, a few things have changed. We have concluded that the Babylon which will be destroyed is not the ancient one but a modern day entity, consequently it would not be stretching the sense of the scriptures to speculate that this list today might include other items.

Perhaps presently the list might read: jewelry items, clothes (linen, purple, silk, scarlet), automobiles (chariots), furniture (precious wood), granite and marble (the current rage in bathrooms and kitchens), all sorts of imported foods, fruits and vegetables, perfumes, spices and all kinds of domesticated animals and even millions of laborers who are exploited, perhaps because they are not citizens.

In short, everything made in the world which is desirable, Babylon is importing to satisfy her lust for luxury. Therefore, to identify her today, we must find a city/nation which has an insatiable desire for every kind of ornate and beautiful item.

Notice that this “city” does not appear to manufacture much herself. Many of the goods which she consumes with abandon are imported. So, we may conclude that she is primarily a consumer nation.

Not only this, but the word of God tells us how these goods come to Babylon’s shores. This gives us an important clue to her identity. Please pay careful attention to this. These goods arrive by ship. This is not just any ship or a few ships, but it appears that the appetite of the prostitute requires the services of almost everyone who owns or works on ships.

Verses 17 and 18a read: “And every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning.” Then again in verse 19 this fact is repeated, the sailors and ship owners are weeping and wailing, saying “Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth!”

(The ancient city Babylon which Saddam Hussein recently tried to reconstruct could not be a fulfillment of this prophecy. The Babylon of Iraq lies hundreds of miles up the Euphrates river which is not navigable by oceangoing ships.)

The sheer volume of the trade which is done with Babylon supports the idea that she is not merely a city but a city which represents a larger nation. No one city, no matter how large, could ever consume so much that it would require the services of virtually every ship and ship owner in the world to satisfy her desires.

Further, we may safely conclude from these scriptures that Babylon must have access to the sea. In fact, it must be very accessible. She is a location that requires most goods which are imported to arrive by ship. The main route of these items is not by land but by sea.

Therefore, Babylon must have many, many seaports to provide access for “every shipmaster” (Rev 18:17) in the world to service her. No one city in the world has anywhere close to enough harbor space to accommodate so many tens of thousands of vessels.

Babylon is exceedingly rich. Therefore, she must be the world’s most wealthy nation – the world’s largest economy. This is a very reasonable conclusion to draw, since in order to purchase so much of the earth’s most valuable items, she must have a great abundance of money. In Revelation 18:19 we are told that “...all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth.”

So when we are seeking to identify modern Babylon, we must certainly look for a place in the world which is known for its profligate spending and abundant wealth. Her population in general must have a very high level of income which they spend with abandon on themselves.

When we speak about Babylon, naturally we are referring to the general characteristics of the population. It is the people who live in Babylon who act in specific ways which give her a certain international fame.

Of course there must be exceptions. Among the inhabitants of the Babylon of today there must exist, just as in the days of Sodom, at least one righteous man. In fact, we can be sure of this since God calls His people who are in her to come out of her (Rev 18:4). But in general we understand that even though there are righteous men and women who live in this place, the principal character of the population is what is described in Revelation.


Another important characteristic of Babylon, one that will help us to identify her, is that she loves luxury (Rev 18:7,9,14). In fact, she is addicted to it. She pampers herself with every imaginable purchase with which she can gratify her soul. Perhaps her houses are full of every kind of knickknack and decoration. We can imagine that her “chariots” are shiny and new.

No doubt, her attention is constantly on herself, seeking how she can try to satisfy more fully the constant itch for more comfort and ease. This probably includes such pursuits as more and more clothes, more and more jewelry (Rev 17:4) and an unending search for the finest foods and beverages.

We may speculate that she spends much of her time shopping and trying out new restaurants and bars or tea and coffee shops. Entertainments probably occupy a large part of her time. Every kind of movie, sports event, theater, or party might be the focus of her attention. It may even be true that new cars, sporting goods, boats, ATV’s, snowmobiles, motor homes, jet skis, and many other such things consume a considerable portion of her disposable income.

It is probable that the average person in the final Babylon lives at a level which, until very recent times, only kings and nobles enjoyed. Perhaps the inhabitants of Babylon can buy almost any kind of food or drink their heart could desire.

There can be no doubt that the homes of Babylon’s inhabitants are filled with every kind of convenience, luxury and even extravagance. Their televisions are large and their sofas comfortable. Their closets are never big enough to accommodate all the clothes they have jammed in them. They have their electronic “servants” to wash the clothes and the dishes.

Increasingly, instead of having to cook their own meals, they dine in restaurants where they are waited on. If they could want anything, they simply hop in their “chariot” and within a few minutes their desires are satisfied. They live royally in every respect.

Perhaps you think that I am going too far afield in my postulations concerning the character of Babylon. But the Bible tells us plainly that Babylon lives “luxuriously” (Rev 18:7). In our world today, to live “luxuriously” must be to live exactly as we have described. Anything less than this would not qualify. She must be the epitome of self-indulgence.

Babylon lavishes upon herself anything and everything that she can possibly afford. Her economy appears to be very dependent upon consumerism. She has gained worldwide fame for her self-indulgence. Her inhabitants love the world and all the things which are in the world.

Their hearts are completely devoted to and seeking after all that this present world has to offer. All the sensual pleasures, entertainments, goods and comforts available are their constant pursuit. Truly, “she glorified herself and lived luxuriously” (Rev 18:7). Nowhere, ever, in the history of the world has there been a nation like Babylon.


Another characteristic of Babylon which will help us identify her is that she holds a commanding position on the world scene. God’s word tells us that: “...the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18).

This is amazing! Babylon is some city/nation which is dominating the world scene. She is so powerful and influential that she can be said to be “reigning” over the other rulers of the earth. This tells us that we must look for some place that is a kind of superpower, perhaps the superpower.

Babylon must be a very obvious, prominent location. Although she probably does not rule the whole world directly, she dominates the other rulers and nations. She finds ways to influence the other countries to cause them to do her will. We cannot tell from the scriptures if this is done diplomatically, militarily, or by economic pressure, but it is clear that her power and influence are tremendous.

Undoubtedly because of her dominant position, Babylon is proud. Her heart is lifted up because of her position and power. She is totally self-centered and thinks of herself as being the best in every respect. Some of Babylon’s merchants (and perhaps corporations) are world famous. Their financial influence is dominating.

Perhaps some of these merchants have become billionaires and their names are known almost everywhere. The scriptures teach us these facts by saying: “...[her] merchants were the great {important} men of the earth” (Rev 18:23).

The final embodiment of the prostitute is utterly confident of her strength and invincibility. Probably, she exists in a location which is isolated from the rest of the world and so feels quite safe and secure. She imagines that no one could ever bring her down.

The Bible reveals that: “She says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow’” (Rev 18:7). Perhaps she even believes that her position and affluence is because of God’s blessing.

This attitude of pride, world dominance, and sense of great security are characteristics which we can use to identify modern-day Babylon. The one, unique place which today would fit all these descriptions is the United States of America. She is the one nation on this earth today which could fulfill all these aspects of Babylon.


One of the most obvious attributes which we use to identify a prostitute is promiscuous, frequent sex. Babylon is not only a prostitute but a “great” one (Rev 17:1). Therefore, we would expect to see that the society of the nation which we have identified as “Babylon” would be preoccupied with sex. She would be obsessed with the subject.

Perhaps the media of that location is full of all kinds of suggestive photographs, seamy articles, and lewd films. She is probably always looking for more and more stimulation in the area of sex.

Therefore, pornography, nudity, and immorality of every type and description should be increasingly common within her borders. We might expect that those who have influence in the entertainment industries such as cinema, music and print would be constantly pushing the envelope to see how much raw filth they can spew out.

Before her judgment comes, Babylon will probably be as bad or worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. She will most likely be just as perverse as the inhabitants of the earth were in the days of Noah. Her appetite for luxury will only be rivaled by her lust for sex of every kind.

We know, for example, from the story of Lot and his escape from Sodom that the citizens of that city gathered at his door demanding him to turn over what seemed to be two men. They wanted them so that they could vent their perverted lust upon them in plain view of everyone. We can imagine that Babylon also, before her judgment comes, will abandon every shred of conscience or shame.

Unbridled sex breeds violence. I’m not sure why, but these two things, unrestrained sex and violence, go hand in hand. In Noah’s day, not only was immorality of every kind rampant, but “...the earth was filled with violence” (Gen 6:11). So we can expect that before the end of this age, we will see not only an increasing emphasis on nudity and sex, but an upswing in shocking and uncontrolled violence.

Eventually Babylon becomes so filled with filth, perversion and unrestrained lust that a host of demons and foul spirits are attracted to her. When her depravity is in full bloom she becomes “...a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird” (Rev 18:2).

Undoubtedly these malignant spirits swarm there, like flies to a dead carcass, to participate in and stimulate her evil appetites more and more.

For many years as I read this passage, I thought that Babylon’s condition of being saturated with demons was something which happened after her destruction.

But today, a careful reading shows something different. Here we see that this is her condition before she is judged. It is her fallen, decadent state which attracts every kind of evil spirit and demon. This infestation of evil spirits apparently accelerates her moral decay which then leads to her judgment.

No one of us knows how far we are from the end of this age. Anyone who claims that they do is deceived and should not be listened to. Therefore we might assume that, although Babylon will eventually reach a great zenith in the areas of self-indulgence, unbridled sex and violence, she probably has not yet arrived at these great heights (or depths).

In fact, there is no location on the earth at this moment which could really fulfill this description completely. Consequently, in our search for this identity of Babylon, we must look for a country which has not quite yet fully arrived at this condition but is merely well on the way.

We read in Revelation 18:2 that “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” Here we learn that modern Babylon did not begin at this degraded moral state. Evidently she was once better than this but then fell further and further until she was twice fallen. So, when we are seeking to identify Babylon today, we should look for a wealthy, selfindulgent “city/nation” which is in the evident process of a steep moral decline.


In the hand of the great prostitute is a golden cup which is brimming over with something. That something is the “abominations and the filthiness of her fornication” (Rev 17:4). This cup contains a mixture of her unbridled lust for riches, comfort, pleasure, and sex, including perversion of every form. Her cup is full – that is her sinfulness has reached the saturation point. But is she repentant? Is she seeking forgiveness and freedom from her degraded situation? No! Instead she is busy trying to seduce others to drink from the same cup.

Using all her power, she is enticing others into the same shameful state as herself. And she is succeeding! The Bible says that the “inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Rev 17:2).

Not only is she “reigning” over and manipulating other nations to suit her will, but she is using her prominence to spread her extravagant, immoral way of living all over the globe.

But how does she accomplish this? The scriptures do not say, but we can perhaps speculate a little. It may be that through the media: the film producers, the magazine publishers and the music industry, Babylon is publicly displaying her whorish ways and luring others to act as she does.

It could be that the movies and television shows she produces are full of all kinds of dirty jokes, sexual immorality, ever increasing nudity, and an emphasis on perversion.

It is possible that the entertainers and singers of Babylon glorify, through their art forms, every kind of satanic lust, sexual impurity, and rebellion against the laws of God. It is just conceivable that instead of being ashamed, she glorifies her immorality and unrestrained lust for pleasure in an attempt to draw others into it.

Sadly, she is succeeding. All over the world, people are drinking this wine. They are hearing, reading about and seeing from many sources the shameful behavior of the prostitute. Instead of being appalled, they are heedlessly running after her.

Yes, the nations are truly drunk with the wine of her fornication. They are striving to be like her. There is one place in the world today which the nations envy and are ambitious to emulate. When we identify this location, then we also identify Babylon.

Everywhere you go, in most of the nations of this world, men and women are intoxicated with the idea of being just as prosperous and successful as this one place – Babylon. They admire her well-integrated infrastructure. They like how well her society seems to work. They are yearning to achieve the same standard of living. They are jealous of the apparent sense of security and wellbeing she expresses.

All that luxury, ease, wealth and yes, immorality seem very attractive to the average inhabitant of this world. They are drinking deeply at the thought of being just like her. Without a doubt, some nations are envious and pretend to look down their nose at her, but deep inside they all wish that they had what Babylon has. They want to be as rich, powerful, comfortable, and sinful as the prostitute.

It is in this way that Babylon is giving birth to daughters. She is reproducing herself all over the globe. So she becomes known as “...the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). This is the name which God gives her. She is doing her utmost to bring everyone she can down to her level, drinking of and wallowing in her self-indulgence and filth with her. Do you know any place like this?

Perhaps in your travels or through your contact with other countries you have already noticed this intoxication of other nations to be like Babylon. Or, possibly it is even evident from the news you hear and other information sources to which you have access.

When you meditate on this for just a moment, you will soon realize that, at this point in history, there is one place, just one nation, which all the others want to be like or to which they want to move. This place is the United States of America. Many will insist that they despise her, but in their hearts they yearn to be like her. Truly the nations are drunk with the wine of her fornication. 

End of Chapter 4

Read other chapters online:


Chapter 2: BABYLON


Chapter 4: TODAY’S BABYLON (Current Chapter)




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