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Seal Six: The Destruction of Babylon        Listen to .mp3 propecy podcasts.

Eric Summers

I believe that Seal Six that is opened by Jesus in chapter six of the Book of Revelation is the overview of the destruction of the Babylon described in detail in chapters 17 and 18.  More detail about Babylon's destruction is also described in chapters 50 and 51 of the Book of Jeremiah. In this article I'll describe the destruction of Babylon and the attributes of both the Antichrist and the False Prophet, since verses about these two people are included in the verses that discuss Babylon's destruction.

God's Assessment of Babylon

In the Book of Revelation, at the end of the Tribulation, after the last judgment on the unsaved and rebellious people of the earth has been completed by God, He sends one of His holy angels to describe to the Apostle John many sinful attributes of Babylon and His judgment upon this nation. The following verses from Revelation chapter 17 describe this great nation and God's judgment upon it because of the evil influences it has upon the nations and peoples of the world and the heinous acts it commits against the saints of God.  Before the Tribulation even begins, it influences much of the world with its religion of self-fulfillment and self-indulgence and it's contempt for Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible and His people.  The sinful actions of Babylon are being carried out long before the beginning of the Tribulation; during the Tribulation, its evil increases dramatically and much of its evil is directed towards Christians.

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven bowls, and spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters;

The holy angel is ready to explain in detail God's judgment and destruction of Babylon which he calls a harlot.  Now a harlot is a woman that entices one away from a pure relationship between a man and his wife.  A harlot is outwardly pretty and exciting, but aims to seduce a man to abandon his wife and to commit adultery.  Prophetically, a harlot religion draws a person away from devotion and service to the one true God into a life of false worship and ultimately to destruction of the person.  Babylon is a "great" harlot that leads all of the people of the nations of the world away from following the one true God, Jesus Christ.  The waters are the nations of the world and Babylon sits on or controls most of these countries and entices their people to follow  her way of living.

Revelation 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and they that dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her fornication.

By the beginning of the Tribulation the presidents of many of the nations of the world will have abandoned their religion, whatever it may be.  They have been told by Babylon what is important and what they should be doing to direct the way that their people should live.  Babylon's religion is freedom and self-fulfillment of the individual to do whatever they want to do.  The presidents of the world have seen Babylon's religion in action and it seems to work--at least in terms of having exciting personal experiences, acquiring fame, fortune and material things. 

The very worst fornication is to completely abandon the service for and the worship of Almighty God.  The drunkenness is the aimless wandering trying to find fulfillment which never happens with a false religion.  Real and lasting fulfillment can only come by repenting of evil in one's life and loving and serving Jesus Christ.  The wine is the results of applying Babylon's philosophy of living to the way most of the world's people live their lives.  The eventual result is blood, the red wine, that will flow because of following her evil ways.  The blood will be the blood of Christians and the blood of those gentiles that Jesus will save during the first half of the Tribulation.  The blood that will flow during the second half of the Tribulation will be the blood of the enemies of God because He will destroy the unrepentant during the Day of The Lord -- His judgments that will take the lives of all of the unsaved. 

The fornication of Babylon is heard everywhere: on the TV, through talk shows, through commercials, through the Internet, through books, videos and movies.  It is a religion of the fulfillment of self and of materialism and of turning your back on God.  Here are a few of the messages heard from Babylon:
  • The Bible and its stories are myths. 
  • There is hate material in the Bible.
  • Christians are foolish for believing there is a God.
  • Evangelicals are radicals and are plotting subversive activities; they want to destroy the world through Armageddon.
  • Your self image is very important.  You need to act and dress the part of a "beautiful" person.
  • You need to lose weight if your are overweight .
  • You need to apply lotions to clear up any acne that you might have and take tanning sessions to further beautify your skin.
  • Personal success should be your goal in life. You must be all you can be; you must try harder whether it be in sports, music, academics, or business.
  • You must be as healthy as possible.  You should eat the right foods in the proper amounts. 
  • You must avoid using tobacco and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • The use of marijuana might be okay; most use it anyway.
  • You must regularly exercise to work out all muscle groups.
  • You must plan for your retirement.  If you do, you can really enjoy yourself with your leisure time.
  • You must buy a new car often and it should have a great stereo system.
  • You should have a financial adviser to help you make the most of your investments.
  • You should practice yoga so you can have peace within yourself.
  • Evolution, evolution, evolution.  You constantly hear it preached on the TV and on the Internet and in textbooks in our high schools and in our colleges.  I guess if you say it enough, it must be true.  Many people of the world believe that evolution is true, contradicting the fact that about 6,000 years ago God created every galaxy, star and planet in the universe, every animal of the sea, field and sky, every tree, grass and plant and all humankind.
  • The universe and the earth were created billions of year ago by the "big bang." The Universe was not created by God, it just happened.
  • You must enjoy yourself now, because your seventy plus years are all you will ever have.  Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.
  • You need to acquire luxurious items such as diamonds and gold jewelry, install granite counter tops in your kitchen and teak flooring in your home.  If you can afford these items, you are "successful" in life and you will be admired by your co-workers, friends and neighbors.
  • Ads, Ads, Ads.  Have you noticed that you not only get advertisements for two minutes between segments of a TV program, but you also get ads in the middle of a conversation or news or sports program?  You get ads even when you play a DVD movie.

Now the healthful living messages are okay to follow for the Christian.  However, if you do not follow up your exercise and healthy nutrition with a love for and service to God, then they buy you nothing in terms of your spiritual growth.  What did the Apostle Paul say about exercise? He said we should fight the good fight, we should finish the race.  The race he is talking about is not a boxing match or a race in the Olympics, but is the effort we exert to serve God and to obey Him while we are tested during our time on the earth. There are other references to sport and exercise from Paul; do a search through your Bible to find these verses.  He uses these ideas of sport to direct us towards our ultimate goal: to fellowship with and to serve God. For the Christian, exercise and proper nutrition are not an end in themselves but they only help us to serve Jesus Christ.  There are several verses in the Bible regarding the use of food.  You can search the scriptures to see what the Bible has to say about this subject.

The drunkenness mentioned is the never ending quest to acquire things.  Once you buy something that is beautiful or exciting you want even more; this lust for things never ends--you cannot be satisfied with what you have.  These things that you must acquire have become your idolsThe Apostle John counsels us: I John 5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.  We need to evaluate ourselves to determine if we have let pursuing material things and personal experiences and status lessen our devotion to God.  We need to repent if anyone but God is on the throne of our lives; anything or anyone we place ahead of God is an idol.

Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

A wilderness is a place that is hostile to human life.  It could be a desert, a jungle or a place like Antarctica.  For the spiritual aspect of a person, it is a place or situation that takes them away from the influence of God.  There will be lack of spiritual refreshment of a person such as by prayer, Bible study and fellowship and service to God.  The blasphemy is initiated by Babylon and is its openly disrespecting God and His holy word, the Bible.

During the Tribulation, Babylon controls a ten nation confederation out of the European Union that is also evil.  We'll discuss later the meaning of the seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations, even the unclean things of her fornication,

The woman, the nation of Babylon will  be outwardly glorious in appearance.  Babylon will have the most grand and glorious cities, the finest theaters and shopping centers, a strongly equipped and highly trained military, grand arenas and sports complexes, the best and brightest teachers in her universities, the world's best doctors and hospitals, the most beautiful and breath taking national parks.  It is the place you want to live in.  Now the dark side:  she holds a cup that is outwardly beautiful, but contains many evil things including the rejection of God and the Holy Bible, it preaches the worship of materialism, the adoration of Antichrist and the persecution and murder of many of Christ's followers, the Main Harvest Christians.

Revelation 17:5 and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

The mystery of Babylon has been revealed in these last days of the Church Age.  As God has revealed to His faithful the meanings of the verses of Daniel, Revelation and other prophetic books of the Bible, we now understand this mystery:  it is a powerful nation that greatly influences all of the nations of the world.  It is forcing it's beliefs on the rest of the world and before the Tribulation begins, its ideas are now being presented to us in even more vitriolic words against Almighty God through the various media.  During the Tribulation, it will enforce its beliefs by intimidation by its powerful economic and military might.  The harlots are the false religions of the world and the worst harlot is the end time Babylon which preaches materialism and self gratification.  The abominations are hate that exists for all the things of God including the Holy Bible, hate for truth and wisdom and hate for God's people, His saints.

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with a great wonder.

There are two types of people mentioned in this verse: the saints--these are the Main Harvest Christians that were left behind to be tested for 3 1/2 years by Antichrist and the martyrs--these are the Gentile believers in Jesus Christ that will be called and saved by Him during the first half of the Tribulation.  Both groups of believers will be persecuted for the first half of the Tribulation.  When the first half of the Tribulation is almost complete, many of these will be murdered by Babylon as well as by the other nations of the world.  This persecution is described in Seal Five.

The Apostle John's wonder refers back to Rev. 17:4.  Outwardly Babylon is very beautiful and does great things for those people that follow her religion of materialism.  He also wonders--actually is overwhelmed and shocked by the evil that is inflicted upon God's people by Babylon.  The prophet Habakkuk is also perplexed by the suffering inflicted upon Main Harvest Christians described in the Book of Habakkuk.

Revelation 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.

A mystery is an idea or truth that is included in Biblical verses, but is not understandable until God reveals it to us.  In these last days of the Church age, God is now revealing to any Christians that are interested in studying the Bible, many of the mysteries that are included in prophetic books of the Bible including the Book of Revelation.  I'm sorry to say, but most Christians are clueless regarding prophecy described in the Holy Bible.  It's sad, but many Christians of today are listening to the message they are hearing from Babylon and are participating in some measure with the materialism of Babylon.

Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, [they] whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come.

The word beast is used in two aspects: as an evil kingdom or nation and as the ruler or king of that nation.  This beast is Antichrist and the beast that comes out of the abyss is a group of nations that arises, or is resurrected, in the latter days out of Europe where the original Roman empire existed.  This verse simply states that those people of the earth that are unsaved will see the Antichrist rise to be the most powerful person on the planet and wonder about "who is this powerful man" and they shall wonder about what is going to happen to them, given the catastrophic events that happen just before and into the Tribulation. 

The Antichrist was at one time a powerful ruler in the world, but left the limelight for some number of years and then will reappear when the world is in various forms of turmoil including economic, political, environmental and military conflict.  He will suddenly appear on the world stage and seem to have the solution to many of the world's problems.  He will not be a Hitler or Stalin type of person, but will be highly respected and even admired by the nations of the world and their leaders.  He is very bright and his advice he gives to the presidents of the world nations will make a lot of sense to them.

Revelation 17:9 Here is the mind that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth:

The woman mentioned here is the political component of Babylon and she controls these seven mountains or nations during the first half of the Tribulation.  She sits on or rides them like a cowboy would ride and control a horse.  She sits on them or controls them through her military and economic might so these seven nations will do exactly what she forces them to do.  Babylon controls them like a king who sits on and controls his nation and other nations he conquers from his throne.

There are some prophecy writers that assert that these seven mountains are the seven mountains on which the city of Rome is built.  They include: the Aventine Hill, the Palatine Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Quirinal Hill, the Viminal Hill, the Esquiline Hill and the Caelian Hill.  In ancient days, the city was surrounded by the Servian Wall.  The ancient city of Rome was located on the eastern side of the Tiber River.  An eighth hill nearby is the Vatican hill which is located on the west side of the Tiber river.  There are many articles you can read on the Web that describe the seven hills of Rome and the Vatican.

Some authors state in their writings that the Catholic Church under the Pope will be controlling the nations of the world during the Tribulation and is thus the Religious Babylon of Revelation with the Pope being the False Prophet.  This I am not sure of.  I know that the less faithful members of the Catholic Church will be left behind along with the less faithful of the Protestant Church and the less faithful of the mega-TV-church (Laodicea), so I am having some trouble equating the Catholic Church with the religious component of Babylon, especially since many members of this church will prove to be very faithful during the first half of the Tribulation.  Since the False Prophet does arise out of some religious system, it remains to be seen who he will turn out to be and it may surprise us when we find out who he actually is.

Who are the ten horns?  Well, a horn indicates the rule of a king (or president) over a nation.  Thus, there are ten presidents that come under the rule of Antichrist at the beginning of the Tribulation.  He will tell these ten nations that he is in charge and that he wants them to obey whatever he commands them to do.  Seven of these countries presidents will say "yes" to Antichrist when he says to obey him and three will say "no" and not agree to obey him. 


Revelation 17:10 and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a little while.

This verse elaborates on the seven mountains.  The seven kings/nations are the leading military nations that have conquered much of the world during human history since the time of Noah's flood and include: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Babylon.  These first five kingdoms have come into existence and their rule has completed; they are the fallen.  They still exist today, but do not control the world after their rule was over; now they only control their own nation.  As of the time that John wrote the Book of Revelation, Rome was in existence and this is the nation: "the one is". 
The "other" that is "not yet come" is the nation of end-times Babylon that will arise in the time before the beginning of the Tribulation.   As of today, the 7th king has not yet arisen to power.  This is the he, the Antichrist, and he will control the world for a "little time", i.e., the world for seven years and rule Babylon for 3 1/2.

Revelation 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition.

This verse contains much information about Antichrist, the beast.  At one time in the past, he was the leader of the new Babylon: and is of the seven.  As the Tribulation begins, he will have a leading role in the politics of the world, controlling Babylon: is himself also an eighth.  The eighth, Antichrist, will also be controlling the resurrected Roman empire out of the ten nations of the European Union.  The perdition mentioned is his eventual destruction; happening at the very end of the Tribulation when Jesus returns as King of the world.


While we're discussing the Antichrist, who is his accomplice in evil, the False Prophet?  Listed here are several verses that describe the False Prophet, and we'll try to understand this man who leads the worship of Antichrist  during the Tribulation.

Revelation 13:11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like unto lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

The False Prophet will not sound like a "dragon" would sound with a loud growl and flames pouring from his mouth, but he will have the authority to accomplish whatever he wants accomplished and his authority is absolute  because the Antichrist has given some of his power to the False Prophet.  The two horns are not literal horns, but he has the persona of gentleness like a real lamb would have--completely innocent in appearance.   He will be outwardly friendly and very interested in people.  Inwardly, he is evil and hates all Christians and all other followers of Christ.  The earth represents the religions of the world so the False Prophet will most likely arise out of  a conglomeration of all religions of the world.  This "religion" will be the only one that will be authorized by the False Prophet and all other religions will be told to disband in their current worship and to follow the directions of the False Prophet.

Revelation 13:12 And he exerciseth all the authority of the first beast in his sight. And he maketh the earth and them dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose death-stroke was healed.

Antichrist has given the False Prophet free-rein over controlling the one-world religion.   If you do worship and serve Antichrist, you will be taken care of--at least you will be able to buy and sell goods, foods and services.  If you don't, you will be rounded up and placed in detention camps and then persecuted.

The death-stroke refers to Antichrist.  He received a mortal head wound (Rev 13:14) and the wound is now healed.  It will be presented to the world as a kind of resurrection, mimicking the resurrection of Jesus Christ, almost 2,000 years ago.  It will be a miracle, so Antichrist must be "god".  Antichrist's resurrection will be at the beginning of the Tribulation.

Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great signs, that he should even make fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth in the sight of men.

The False Prophet will seem to perform a miracle like Elijah did in the old Testament era when he challenged the priests of Baal to a contest.  The challenge was to send fire down from their god and burn up the sacrifice of a bull and whichever did so, much be the one and true god.  Baal's priests accepted the challenge and they prayed and prayed to Baal, but nothing happened.  Elijah then prayed for God to send fire down from Heaven to destroy the sacrifice and He did; Jehovah's sacrifice was completely consumed by fire.  The "god" Baal did nothing; he must have gone on vacation.  We know that Elijah then had all of the priests of Baal killed.  The verses are given in I Kings, chapter 18. 

The False Prophet will have the TV channels and Internet websites ready to view the fire and it will come down from heaven and destroy something (we are not told what this is) at the time he specified.  All the nations of the world will view the destruction caused by the fire and believe every word the False Prophet says from then on.  The other signs we can only image.  I wonder if they will somehow emulate any other of the miracles that God performed in the Old Testament?

Revelation 13:14 And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who hath the stroke of the sword and lived.

The sword mentioned in this verse is the Greek word: dirk.  This is a short weapon more like a small knife than a sword.  We believe that it is a bullet that hit and severely wounded Antichrist at some point in the past.  He was badly hurt, but actually survived dying.  He is still alive today.

The "signs" are seeming miracles that no other person has ever done and Antichrist will be right there when the False Prophet (FP) performs these miracles.  The FP will say something like: "Look at the power of our leader.  You need to worship and adore him.  You need to worship him whenever you see his speeches on your TV."  The enforcement of this worship will be mandatory at mid-Tribulation. 

Revelation 13:15 And it was given [unto him] to give breath to it, [even] to the image to the breast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

This is the Apostle John speaking, using the words of the first century to describe events during the Tribulation.  He would be totally amazed at our display technologies of today including the TV, computer screens and even giant screens such as in sporting arenas.  The image will be displayed on a large screen that is setup at the temple in Jerusalem, on the temple mount.  The worship means viewing, believing and then obeying whatever the Antichrist, the beast, is saying in his speeches.  If they don't do this, they will be rounded up and murdered.

Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead;

Perhaps the "voluntary" worship of Antichrist has not been very effective at the beginning of the Tribulation and at mid-Tribulation the worship is enforced.   This will be effected by an implant of a small computer chip in the forehead or right hand of the people of the world.  The FP will know where you are and what you do because he will track your information via the airwaves, just like when you send/receive messages via your cell phone or hand-held device or navigate via a GPS.  Every one on the planet will be required to have this implant, rich or poor, important or not.  This will include even those that live in primitive areas of the world including the deserts and the jungles. 

Revelation 13:17 and that no man should be able to buy or to sell, save he that hath the mark, [even] the name of the beast or the number of his name.

To buy or sell anything, both the people and the companies of the world will be required to have an identifying number assigned to them.  Thus, you will not be able to eat, work, get medical attention or have a place to live, because this mark will be needed to do any kind of financial transaction.  This technology will be implemented at mid-Tribulation, so the Christians left behind to be tested during the first half of the Tribulation will not have this chip implanted on their forehead or right hand because they will be taken to Heaven in the Main Harvest Rapture at mid-Tribulation.  Information gathered from the actions of the people with this implant will stored in computer networks and databases.  The most likely place for the database will be somewhere in the European Union.

Revelation 13:18 Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six.

I'll not elaborate on the mark of the beast, the number 666.  Many Bible scholars believe that this is some form of the Universal Product Code (UPC).
The number of the beast, Antichrist, is his authority to use the 666 numbers to control the people of the world, the companies of the world and the governments of the world.  Do a search for UPC/666 and see what authors are saying about the mark of the beast.  The computer chip technology is already here and could be rapidly implemented once several billion chips are manufactured.

Nations that Antichrist will control

Here are verses from the Old Testament that describe the nations that Antichrist will control:


Daniel 7:23-24 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.
 

The Four Beasts out of the Sea article describes four kingdoms or nations that are prophetically important in the years just before and into the great Tribulation.  They include The Lion--Great Britain. For several hundred years before 1900 was the mightiest nation in the world; The Bear--the Soviet Union then Russia, which rises to power in the 20th century and brings several nations under its control in Eastern Europe; The Leopard--Egypt, which is economically very powerful early in the Tribulation and includes the nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Iraq; and The Revived Roman Empire: The European Union, which will be one of the most powerful nations in the Tribulation and is the Fourth Kingdom mentioned in this verse from Daniel.  The European Union (EU) as of 2013 has 27 member nations.  Out of the EU arises the ten nations
that are the most powerful in Europe. Possibilities for these ten include: England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

There will be ten kings (or presidents) of these nations and they will also be powerful.  As the Tribulation begins, the 11th king shall arise--this will be the Antichrist.  He will be the president of Babylon and it will have dominance over these ten nations of the EU.  He approaches the ten presidents of these nations and commands them to follow his directives.  Seven say yes and three say no to his leadership.  Antichrist will remove from office these three presidents and install three that will follow his direction.  With Antichrist leading Babylon and the Ten nations of Europe, the whole world will be listening to and following the commands of Antichrist.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.

The Antichrist will insult Almighty God by saying publicly that He does not exist.  Antichrist will also insult God by moving Main Harvest Christians into detention camps across the world and literally working them to death.  After they are worn out from this hard work, they are no value to him and then he murders them, most likely by guillotine.  This persecution and hard work will last for the first half of the Tribulation: 3 1/2 years.


Back to  Revelation, chapter 17:

Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.

These are ten presidents of countries that are members of the European Union and they will be anointed as leaders of their countries by Antichrist.  They will either be directly appointed or will be elected with Antichrist's "help."  The "hour" mentioned in this verse will be a brief amount of time, possibly a few months in which they will prepare their military to attack and then destroy Babylon.  After Babylon is destroyed, they will still be the leaders in their countries, but Antichrist will be calling the shots behind the scene and these leaders will be doing whatever he commands them to do.

Revelation 17:13 These have one mind, and they give their power and authority unto the beast.

This set of ten nations and their presidents will greatly admire Antichrist and follow his every command.  They will believe everything he says because when he took over his control of much of the world at the beginning of the Tribulation, he did restore some measure of control over the economy of the world.  They are grateful to him and will just hand over the control of their military to him.  Thus, whatever conventional and weapons of mass destruction they possess will be used where ever and when ever he wants them to be used.

Several questions and answers about Antichrist are covered in: FAQs about the Antichrist.

Revelation 17:14 These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they [also shall overcome] that are with him, called and chosen and faithful.

This verse alludes to the very end of the Tribulation, when Jesus Christ returns as King of the Earth.  At that time the EU nations as well as all of the other nations of the world will attempt to defeat Jesus at the Battle of Armageddon.  Of course, Jesus wins and completely destroys these armies.  Christ's faithful saints will also accompany Him to earth when He returns.  They have overcome in a different way than through weapons strength: they have been faithful to Him while they lived on earth and when they were in Heaven with Him.  With God's help they overcame their flesh nature and the temptations of the world.

Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Babylon sits on the waters of the world, such as a boat rides in water.  The sea is the nations which Babylon dominates through its economic and military power.  The sea is also representative of the turmoil between nations which has happened since the fall of mankind.

We'll continue discussing Revelation, chapter 17:16  later in this article.

Babylon persecutes Christians

Seal Five of the Book of Revelation describes the persecution and destruction of many of the world's Christians by Babylon during the first half of the Tribulation. 
This is why Almighty God destroys Babylon. He fulfills His promise to His faithful believers  because Babylon persecutes and murders many Christians during the first half of the Tribulation.   He also destroys it because it continually preaches that there is no God and that Christians are foolish for having faith in Jesus Christ.  God destroys it because many of Babylon's leaders and academics believe that mankind has evolved from apes and that that there is no god.  Hence God destroys it because it does not give Him the glory, honor and respect that He deserves.  For some citizens of Babylon, the only time God's name is used is as a swear word. 

Revelation 6:9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

During the first half of the Tribulation, there is a phased persecution of Christians.  To begin the Tribulation, there will be made-up charges against believers in Christ.  This will include all Christians including Catholics, Protestants, eastern Orthodox, evangelical, missionary and even home churches.  They will first be denounced on TV, on the Internet and in news conferences by the leaders of Babylon.  They will then have their savings and stocks taken away, then their cars and homes and any other resources such as businesses.  They will then be rounded up and sent to detention camps around the various countries of the world, especially in the USA, since many of its citizens are Christians.  They will be given poor food and be expected to work long, hard hours in each country they are arrested in.  Near the end of the first half of the Tribulation, they will be so worn out that they have no value to accomplish anything, hence they will be simply executed, most likely by beheading by guillotine.  Much blood will flow and some of these gruesome events may even be made public on TV and on the Internet. 

These Christians were slain because they read and applied Biblical knowledge to how they lived their lives.  They also were witnesses for Jesus Christ to those guards and supervisors that controlled them in the detention camps.  They were not afraid to witness for Him to the unsaved and even to those who treated them so poorly.

Revelation 6:10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Their souls are now in Heaven awaiting their resurrection.  They then want justice to take place; they want those that were responsible for their persecution and their deaths to be brought to justice by Jesus Christ.  They want to know when this justice will take place.

Revelation 6:11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled [their course].

We don't know how many Main Harvest Christians' lives will be taken in the Tribulation, but it may be most of them.  God knows exactly how many of His saints will be murdered by Antichrist and He tells them that it won't be long before the last of His believers is killed by Antichrist.   The fellow-servants are the Christians and their brethren are the Gentiles that God saves during the first half of the Tribulation and many of these that place their faith in Jesus Christ will also be murdered, most likely by the guillotine.  A white robe is the garment of good works that they accomplish during the Tribulation.  It includes Bible study, prayer, helping others and the worship of Almighty God, even when persecuted.  A literal white robe is also given to each of these Christians and they will be able to wear it shortly at the Main Harvest rapture which will happen at mid-Tribulation; this is when Main Harvest Christians will receive their glorious resurrection body.  The white robe will be recognized by all in Heaven and this will be a sign of honor for those Christians in the Tribulation that were faithful unto death.


Main Harvest Rapture

Those Christians that are still alive at mid-Tribulation will suddenly be taken to Heaven by Jesus Christ.  The unsaved of the world will know about this event and may even see some of these Christians just disappear when Jesus initiates the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church.  Because there is so much destruction going on at that time, the unsaved will not dwell on or talk much about the Main Harvest.  They will be making plans to just survive the catastrophic events that will soon take place.  Details of the Main Harvest Rapture are described in: The Main Harvest Rapture.

Babylon's destruction

Now back to the grim details of Babylon's destruction.  When all of Christ's faithful Christians that are to be murdered by Antichrist is complete, Jesus is ready to follow through with the destruction of Babylon that He promised to His martyrs in Seal Five.  Seal six describes this destruction of  the country of Babylon; this destruction is total and takes place at mid-Tribulation:

Revelation 6:12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

Seal Six fulfills a prophecy from the Old Testament:

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah (or the Day of The Lord) cometh.

If you search the Bible, you will find several other similar passages. This verse summaries that there will be so much dust thrown into the atmosphere because of the destruction of Babylon, that the sun will be difficult to see; it will be just a small light in the darkness.  This dust will obscure the moon at night and when you can see it, it will appear to be red, or blood colored.  The time is mid-Tribulation and The Lord will soon send His wrath upon the earth.  There are two events that must take place before this Day: Jesus calls 144,000 out of Israel: 12,000 from each tribe and they will be His evangelists during the second half of the Tribulation and He takes to Heaven all of the remaining Christians in the Main Harvest Rapture.  Thus at this time, all Christians are in Heaven.  When these two events are complete, God will then send His wrath upon the earth.  The first half of the Tribulation was just terrible; the second half will be even worse in terms of destruction.

Revelation 6:13 and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. 

Here is a picture of unripe figs:



Remember, the Apostle John is giving his interpretation of the events of Revelation, chapter 6.  So he would not have the technical knowledge or vocabulary of weapons of the 21st century hence his use of the word as in this verse. 
Note that these unripe figs shown above look somewhat like the warheads of nuclear missiles. They would be launched from sites around the world and from nuclear submarines that are in the oceans around Babylon.  The stars would be the missiles and they would fall at supersonic speeds from above, from the heavens.  The great wind would be the blazing speed that the missiles will travel and the sound of the rocket engines as they move through the atmosphere.  The great wind would also be the enormous blasts of the atomic weapons as they detonate over the land of Babylon.

What has happened to the military of Babylon?  Why don't they defend the land against nuclear missiles?  This is a good question.  We know that Antichrist has decided to destroy Babylon, even though he is the leader of this great country and we are not given the reason why he would want to destroy it. 

Revelation 6:14 And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

The next step after the missiles are launched and explode over their targets, great explosions of the nuclear warheads will take place.  The picture will be like that of nuclear bombs going off over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  There will be a great fireball and the smoke and debris will rise and roll into a great cloud thousands of feet into the atmosphere over the cities and military installations that were targeted.  There could be hundreds or perhaps even more nuclear weapons exploding over Babylon and this could cause shifting of the earth's crust and literally a world-wide earthquake.  This would move the mountains of the world and the islands of the seas.  Huge tsunamis would also most likely be triggered along the coasts of the world and radioactivity will make living in Babylon impossible.  Those that do escape being killed by the missile blasts will die later because of radiation poisoning.
 
Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;

This deadly attack on Babylon effects all of the nations of the world because within minutes, the pictures of destruction will be shown on TV all over the world.  The presidents of the nations of the world and their military commanders and the citizens of the nations will be afraid of what could happen to them from the radiation that will fall on all areas of the world.  They will hide in places that will afford at least some protection from the radiation.

Revelation 6:16 and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: Revelation 6:17 for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?

It's interesting that the destruction of Babylon is understood by the unsaved as ordained by God. They will know of the persecution, torture and murder of God's faithful followers and that all Christians and any gentiles saved during the Tribulation have been publicly presented as "dangerous" by the leaders of the nation of Babylon. 

It's also interesting that the fear of God does not translate into any kind of repentance by the unsaved.  I guess they are more afraid of Antichrist than they are of Almighty God.  They somehow know that even more terrible and destructive events are planned by God upon tthem.  It's a mystery as to why they don't repent at this point in the Tribulation.

Jeremiah 50 and 51 also describe  the destruction of  political Babylon.  Details of this destruction are covered in detail in:  Q & A Jeremiah 50 and 51: destruction of Babylon.


How Jesus views Babylon

Revelation chapter 18 and chapter 19 describe Babylon, a nation that exists today and is described in detail in the following passage:

Revelation 18:1 After these things I saw another angel coming down out of heaven, having great authority; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

This verse does not say directly who this great angel (messenger) is, but I believe that is the glorious Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has  divine authority and we need to listen carefully to what He has to say.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird.

There are two components of Babylon: a great political and military power that exercises control in the economy, politics and military of the world and a religious power that praises both the nation of Babylon and its leader, Antichrist.  Both are fallen, since they force the people of the world to agree to a materialistic and self-centered way of living.  Political Babylon continually stresses to the world that "freedom" is important.  This is not freedom to worship and serve God, but is instead, the freedom to do whatever activity you may want to participate in. 

The fallen, fallen also alludes to two destructions of this nation.  First, political Babylon will be destroyed at mid-Tribulation and its destruction will be total and absolute.  Second, religious Babylon will be destroyed at the end of the Tribulation. The demons are fallen angels that will influence the leaders at the highest levels of Babylon. The birds mentioned here are Antichrist's followers that are now beginning their persecution of Christians and will be intensely persecuting them during the Tribulation.  They will be wielding the whips and the shackles that harm believers of Jesus Christ.  They will be the judges, analysts and supervisors that steal the homes, cars, businesses and stocks and money of Christians that are citizens of Babylon.  They will be the police that round up Christians and place them in detention camps that are setup by Antichrist and their persecution will last for the first half of the Tribulation.

Revelation 18:3 For by the wine of the wrath of her fornication all the nations are fallen; and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth waxed rich by the power of her wantonness.

The "wine" in this verse is the result of Babylon indoctrinating the world nations with her philosophy of self-indulgence and rejection of the worship and service to God.  So most of the world's nations have succumb to Babylon's indoctrination.  The rest of the world is also persecuting and murdering Main Harvest Christians, just like Babylon does.  Again, those merchants that supply the luxury goods that Babylon buys and the large cargo ships that haul these products are becoming exceeding rich.  This is a wealth that is not stable and will soon fall, at mid-Tribulation.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues:

This verse is directed to the Christians of today, even before the beginning of the Tribulation.  Jesus encourages us to not engage in self-adoration and in gaining and being controlled by wealth while in this world.  He encourages us to remain faithful to Him by studying and obeying the Holy Bible.  This verse alludes to the First Fruits Rapture that takes place just before the beginning of the Tribulation.  Those believers that faithfully obey Christ and watch for His return will completely miss all seven years of the Tribulation and thus not be persecuted by Babylon.  The plagues are the persecutions that will be inflicted by Babylon upon the Main Harvest Christians, those that were left behind because before the Tribulation began they were not very faithful to Jesus Christ. 

Revelation 18:5 for her sins have reached even unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

God is very patient with humans.  However, once a person or country crosses the line regarding the sins they commit, then God has had enough and He will then take action against that person or country and the results will not be pleasant.  With this verse, Babylon has continued to sin against God and against His people, the Christians of the world and to be disrespectful of Him and He is now ready to take serious and destructive actions against this great nation.  He now tells us the consequences of her sin.  Remember what happened to the people of the world that tried to build a tower to heaven (Genesis chapter 11)?  At that time God caused many different languages to be spoken and to disrupt and stop the building of the great tower at Babel.  God's judgment upon end-times Babylon will be much greater than His judgment upon Babel. 

Revelation 18:6 Render unto her even as she rendered, and double [unto her] the double according to her works: in the cup which she mingled, mingle unto her double.

Jesus says in this verse that it is time for retribution for Babylon persecuting Christians and for rejecting honoring God.  This request is lifted up by Main Harvest Christians in seal five and Jesus is now ready to destroy Babylon.  This destruction will be much greater than the destruction and murder of Christians by Babylon in the first half of the Tribulation.  After the destruction that God ordains is complete, Babylon will be piles of radioactive debris.

Revelation 18:7 How much soever she glorified herself, and waxed wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall in no wise see mourning.

The "how great I am" message will continually be brought up when heads of state meet with the national leaders of Babylon and continually in the television programs and on the Internet.  Because of its enormous military capability, it believes that no nation can defeat it.  It believes that it is invincible and will never suffer a defeat of any kind.   In all of its wars, it has won victories; it's last battle will be it's only defeat.

Revelation 18:8 Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judged her.

Babylon will be destroyed at mid-Tribulation and it will only take about an hour for the nuclear missiles to completely destroy its cities, industry and military (Rev. 18:17).  The Lord God has decreed that this destruction will happen and His judgment is irrevocable.

Revelation 18:9-10 And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived wantonly with her, shall weep and wail over her, when they look upon the smoke of her burning,
standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Babylon makes many other countries of the world rich by buying their goods and because she has been completely destroyed, they know that their luxurious living will also soon cease.  Repeating is the message that the presidents of the nations of the world have followed the message that she continually preaches: buy and sell goods and live it up.  The monies that Babylon pays them for their luxurious goods are now dried up.  The smoke from the burning of the factories, buildings and homes will be viewed via TV, cable and the Internet for weeks and the inhabitants of the world will be fearful.  They will also be fearful of the radiation that will spread across the world and there will be at least some effects of the radiation of the nuclear fallout upon the nations of the world.  They don't really care about Babylon or its people, but they are sad because their wealth will soon disappear.

Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more;

What can the businessmen of the world do with those luxurious goods that they have manufactured or grown because they now have little worth?  Most of the rest of the world does not have the capital to buy these expensive goods and the cargo ship owners are also in turmoil: what merchandise will they now haul?  Both groups of businessmen will shortly go bankrupt with few buyers of their goods and services.  Their situation will be like many businesses of the world were in 1929.  They will have little or no income.

Revelation 18:12 merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet; and all thyine wood, and every vessel of ivory, and every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;

Little explanation is needed for these items.  They are the most expensive and beautiful items that money can buy and only the richest people can afford these items in any quantity.  They adorn themselves with the most beautiful jewelry and their houses with beautiful hardwood floors, granite counter tops, vessels of marble, iron for their expensive fences and bridges and brass for  decorations for their homes.

Revelation 18:13 and cinnamon, and spice, and incense, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep; and [merchandise] of horses and chariots and slaves; and souls of men.

Imported are spices that make their food more appealing and tasty.  They use the most fragrant perfumes from France.  The wines are aged and the fine meats are wonderfully cooked by their expert chefs.  The chariots are automobiles and trucks from Japan, Korea and Europe.  The slaves and souls are household and sex slaves that are bought from Africa and Asia and exploited by the richest people in Babylon.  Slavery has not disappeared in Babylon, it is just rarely commented on by the media.

Revelation 18:14 And the fruits which thy soul lusted after are gone from thee, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous are perished from thee, and [men] shall find them no more at all.

Most of the people of Babylon are now dead.  Hence, they will not be able to import anything. After Babylon's destruction, the few remaining alive with be fortunate to have bread and canned meat to eat.  It's interesting--that since all Christians were moved to detention camps to be exploited, those that have not been murdered will be among the few that will actually be alive after Babylon's destruction.  Very shortly, Jesus will summon them to Heaven in the Main Harvest Rapture.

Revelation 18:15-17 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning; saying, Woe, woe, the great city, she that was arrayed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearl, for in an hour so great riches is made desolate. And every shipmaster, and every one that saileth any wither, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood afar off,

How long will it take to destroy Babylon?  One hour is the answer given in the above verse.  It is not only destroyed by nuclear weapons, but the country is made uninhabitable by the residual radiation that will be on much of the land.

The valuable and desirable goods of merchandise and food will be brought into Babylon ports by huge cargo ships.  These ships are mainly owned by foreign companies and individual owners.  Because much of their  income is made by hauling cargo to Babylon, many will be out of business because they will not be asked to haul any expensive cargo to Babylon after its destruction.

Revelation 18:18 and cried out as they looked upon the smoke of her burning, saying, What [city] is like the great city?

These rich ship owners and the companies and individuals that produce the fine goods that Babylon imports will soon be bankrupt.  They admit that Babylon is the great "bank account" that finances their lifestyle, which also includes luxurious living.

Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, wherein all that had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

These ship owners and luxury goods merchants of the world are now giving up.  It is like the 4th quarter of a football game in which you are 30 points behind and only have one minute to play.  You know that you have already lost and there is no hope for victory.   You see on your TV what the losers do--some even cry; there is great sadness in the defeat. 

What will they do with their great cargo ships?  ---They will just be tied up to piers and rust away. In only one hour of time this great country is destroyed and is now a radioactive graveyard; it will take many, many years for the radiation to dissipate.  Again it is mentioned that only one hour is needed to completely destroy this great nation.

Jeremiah 50:9 For, lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon a company of great nations from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of an expert mighty man; none shall return in vain.

Missiles will head over the north pole from Russia, Europe and possibly China.  Nuclear submarines will also line up in the oceans around Babylon and send their missiles into Babylon.  The destruction date and hour will be specified by Antichrist for these nations that send nuclear missiles onto Babylon and because advanced technology will be used by these countries to navigate their missiles, each will hit their target; there will be no misses.

Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.

God has now done what He said He would do in Seal Five: "Shortly I will avenge your blood on those that persecuted and murdered you."  Those people mentioned in this verse are the writers of the Old and New Testaments that have penned these verses that were inspired by God.  They are also those few prophets of today that have studied their Bibles and are interpreting and making public in books and on the Internet the meaning of these prophetic verses.

Revelation 18:21 And a strong angel took up a stone as it were a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon, the great city, be cast down, and shall be found no more at all.

If a great millstone, a stone that weighs several tons, were thrown into the sea, it would make a giant splash and throw much water into the air.  It would also be irretrievable because it would quickly sink to the bottom of the sea never to be seen again.  The only remembrance of Babylon will be its destruction as recorded in the books of Revelation, Daniel and Jeremiah.  None of its victories in war and accomplishments in science, medicine, industry, art, sports, theater and music will be remembered.

Revelation 18:22 And the voice of harpers and minstrels and flute players and trumpeters shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft, shall be found any more at all in thee; and the voice of a mill shall be heard no more at all in thee;

This verse describes the great orchestras, jazz groups, country music and rock and roll bands that make music in Babylon.  It also describes the artists, furniture and musical instrument makers and those people that make arts and crafts for a living. It describes that Babylon is also a great grain producer in the world.  All of these people, their equipment and their products and music will be no more.  They will all be destroyed and will never be heard from again.  Many countries that are poor in wheat, rice, corn, soy and other grains will see starvation for their people because Babylon no longer grows and exports these grains.

Revelation 18:23 and the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the princes of the earth; for with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived.

The great lights both on the streets and in the homes, hotels, event arenas, and vehicles will just be turned off all at once because the nuclear and electrical power plants will also be destroyed by nuclear weapons.  The great billionaires of this nation will be no more.  They will control no one, because their bank accounts, resources and power will completely vanish.  Because of their great wealth, these rich companies have driven the commerce of the world.  However, they are no more and the materialism that was their "religion" will not be preached after Babylon's destruction.  There will be no more marriages in Babylon because those young men and women that would ordinarily be marrying will now be ashes.

Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that have been slain upon the earth.

Since the time of Nimrod who built the temple at Babel, the philosophy of self indulgence has been high on the list for most countries and religions.  Those prophets and saints that presented the word from God that He wanted them to live a righteous life and to avoid evil were many times persecuted, tortured and even murdered by the leaders of the countries of the world from Nimrod's day until today.  Since the sins of the flesh and of materialism were considered something all should participate in, many peoples of the countries of the world thought this was a great idea and simply followed what they were told to do: to sin by worshiping money and what it can buy.  Babylon's lifestyle has been adopted in one form or another by the great nations of history: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.  So the Babylon in this verse is the evil political, military and religious leaders of the nations of the world that incorporate Babylonian practices throughout history.

Revelation 19:1 After these things I heard as it were a great voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah; Salvation, and glory, and power, belong to our God:

The voice of this great multitude are the Main Harvest Christians that rejoice because God has taken His vengeance upon Babylon because they disrespect Him and persecute His people. Those that were murdered will be be resurrected by Jesus and those still alive will be raptured to Heaven and then receive their resurrection bodies.  The First Fruits Christians will also join in with this great celebration and time of giving thanks to God for their redemption.

Revelation 19:2 for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot, her that corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

The request of Christians to God to destroy Babylon in seal five has now taken place; political and military Babylon no longer exists and the first half of the Tribulation is almost over.  The two events that finish this half of the Tribulation are Jesus calling 144,000 Jewish evangelists to preach to the Gentiles of the world and for Jesus to take His Main Harvest Christians to Heaven.  The Day of the Lord is at hand and God will shortly vent His wrath upon the unrepentant people and nations of the world.


Antichrist moves his capital to Jerusalem

We are not told exactly when Antichrist will move his headquarters from Babylon to Jerusalem, but it would have to be before Babylon's destruction at mid-Tribulation.  This move would most likely be right after the destruction of the Muslim nations around Israel (Seal Two - Ezekiel 38 and 39) and he will then have his headquarters  in Jerusalem and control the world from there.

Religious Babylon is Destroyed

Finally, Revelation chapter 16 describes the destruction of religious Babylon:

Revelation 16:17 And the seventh poured out his bowl upon the air; and there came forth a great voice out of the temple, from the throne, saying, It is done:

At the very end of the seven year Tribulation, the seventh bowl of God's wrath upon the world is poured out and His destruction of the unsaved of the world is complete.  When Jesus says it is done, all evil forces of the world have been destroyed.  He is ready to return to the earth as its King.

Revelation 16:18 and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men upon the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.

This will be the most destructive earthquake ever felt upon the earth; it could be a magnitude ten or even higher in destruction.   It will effect the ring of faults around both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and all of the faults of the earth will quake and many will die.

Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The earthquake mentioned will cause three great chasms to appear in Jerusalem and many will die as a result of this earthquake.  All of the people participating in the false worship of Antichrist will die as well as all of the religious artifacts will be destroyed, including the image of the beast.  We know that later, Jesus will have both Antichrist and the False Prophet arrested and judged for their sins.  After their judgment, both will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone and will remain there in torment forever.  Thus, political/military Babylon will be destroyed at mid-Tribulation and religious Babylon at the end of the Tribulation.

Who plots Babylon's destruction?

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire.

The ten horns mentioned in this verse present a challenge to understand: What nations do they represent?  If they are ten nations out of the European Union, as of today, could they produce all of the nuclear missiles and the technology to actually wipe out the great nation of Babylon?  Of this I am not sure.  I know that both France and the UK have some nuclear capabilities, but I am not sure that they have the number of nuclear missiles necessary to completely wipe out Babylon.  I know that although Russia has downsized the number of its nuclear weapons since it became a democratic nation, it still has large numbers of these weapons.  They would have enough nuclear missiles and the submarines and other delivery systems to completely destroy Babylon, so Russia could at least be a participant in the destruction of Babylon.  The nation of China also has some number of nuclear missiles and could also send nuclear missiles over Babylon. 

The beast is Antichrist.  When he assumes power and controls much of the world, will he enlist Russia and China along with UK, France and perhaps six other nations to attack and destroy Babylon at mid-Tribulation?  Whoever they are, there will be ten nations that will do whatever Antichrist tells them to do including using their nuclear weapons to destroy Babylon.  During the Tribulation there is great hate for Babylon because it controls much of the world.  It is hated because the people of this nation live so much better than most peoples of the world and because it controls the economies, political systems, religions and military of the nations of the world.  It functions like Rome did in the time of Jesus but its control is far beyond Europe and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea.  It tells everyone and every nation what to do and some nations more than others.  The "kings of the east": China, Japan, Korea, India and possibly other countries will have more independence from Antichrist than most western countries will have.

Revelation 17:17 For God did put in their hearts to do his mind, and to come to one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished.

Now, Almighty God could destroy Babylon directly by Himself by sending down fire and brimstone on this great nation, just like He did to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah in the time of Abraham and Lot.  But He also uses nature and the military of the nations to accomplish what He wants done.  So for this destruction, He simply implants in Antichrist's mind and in the minds of the leaders of the ten nations of Rev 17:16 the idea that Babylon needs to be destroyed.  Since God has planned this, it will happen.  After Babylon is destroyed, the power of Antichrist will be weakened because after the destruction designed by God upon Babylon is completed, these ten nations leaders will resume control of their own countries.  After Babylon is destroyed, the Main Harvest Rapture will take place and Jesus will call His 144,000 faithful followers from the twelve tribes of Israel to be His missionaries to the rest of the world.  Then, the Day of the Lord will take place where Almighty God will send destruction on the unsaved people of the world and will last the second half of the Tribulation.

Revelation 17:18 And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

This  verse confirms that Babylon will control the world as if it were one nation.  Initially, Antichrist will be the president of this great nation and the great city is the capital of this country.  This country reigns, just as a king would have absolute control over its citizens and through fear, force the other nations of the world to do its bidding.

God has given Babylon an opportunity to repent

Almighty God will  reluctantly destroy Babylon during the Tribulation because He gives this great country more than one opportunity to repent from its sinful and destructive ways and to turn to Him for forgiveness and spiritual healing but its leaders and citizens refuse to repent of their evil ways.  Here are the verses from Jeremiah 51:8-9:

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.  We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

After Babylon has been destroyed by nuclear missiles, the few remaining people that are alive will return to their own countries.  Perhaps the nations of the world will send in planes and boats to take their citizens back home.

The great country of Babylon has actually been given many opportunities to be healed from its sin.  However, almost all of its leaders and its people have said no when asked to repent of their sins and turn to God for forgiveness and mercy.  If they had done what the city of Nineveh did when Jonah preached that they all needed to repent of their evil ways, God would have forgiven them and restored them (Book of Jonah).  The people and king of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes and God decided not to destroy the city.

Who is Babylon?

The Revelation verses that describe the import of luxurious goods and foods describe a nation that has much money to spend upon these items.  Almost all of the items mentioned in the above verses are not really needed just to survive so we need to look for a nation that places a great emphasis on importing very large quantities of these expensive items and living an extravagant lifestyle.  It would also need to have great piers for docking container ships and loading facilities to handle unloading huge quantities of these goods and it would also need great distribution centers, malls, stores and outlets for these goods.  Finally, it would need to advertise to its citizens that these expensive and desirable items are for sale and that you need to buy them.  What country do you think that the Babylon of Revelation is?

Are today's Christians tempted by Babylon?

I can speak for myself--I am affected by the emphasis in the media on acquiring things and experiencing vacations and learning about UFO's and learning how to properly cook my wild salmon filets and how to stretch my back muscles to relieve pressure on my spine and so on; I need to also spend my time in enjoying myself; in making use of the gadgets that I have spent my money on.  I need to get out on the road in my new car and to experience how it handles on curvy roads and how wonderful its stereo system sounds.  That cruise on the luxury liner in the Caribbean sea could be just wonderful; I could eat three full meals a day and even have a midnight buffet.  Why I could gain five pounds on a week's cruise.  With so much stuff out there I can buy, even if retired, I could spend much of my day just enjoying myself.

Do you get the idea?  These temptations make it so easy to diminish your time studying the Bible and your prayer and fellowship time with God.  The temptations of today are probably the most difficult testing that a Christians can have: even more than being persecuted.  God knows of these temptations but he lets us decide what we want to do with our lives.  He lets us decide what is really valuable to us.  We can give into the temptations of today or we can spend time loving, worshiping and obeying our God.  What we as Christians do with our lives today will determine what will happen to us when the time of the Tribulation begins.  If we are watching for Christ's return and are His disciples we will miss all seven years of the Tribulation.  If we are spending much of our time enjoying the pleasures of the world, we will be severely tested by Antichrist as Christians Left Behind.

Final Thoughts

I realize that I have presented several complex and difficult to understand ideas about the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the the rise and fall of end-times political and religious Babylon. However, my observation is that there are few leaders of today's Christian churches that are delivering to their congregations the "meat of the word" messages -- the complex and challenging ideas in the Holy Bible, such as end-times prophecy.  To be obedient to God pastors, deacons and teachers need to obey the following scripture, Matthew 24:45-46:

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

The ruler over His household is the pastor of each church and the meat in due season are the in-depth, difficult to understand verses about end-times prophecy and their explanation by the pastors. The due season is the day and year which God decides to make His messages about the end times understandable and I believe that this is today: 2013.  As stated, there will be great reward for those that study and teach their congregation about end-times prophecy.  However, today, few pastors are delivering the meat of the word sermons and Bible studies, and the church members are by-and-large not studying for themselves the difficult to understand verses, such as in the Books of Daniel and Revelation.  If you read the subsequent verses: Matthew 24:47-51, warnings are given to the pastors that there are serious consequences for not obeying the verses shown above.   I suggest that you read these verses for yourself.