The Roman Pope Travels from Mystical to Literal Babylon
In March 2021 the Roman pontiff, Francis I, visited Iraq, meeting political and religious leaders, etc. And while there he also visited the site of ancient Babylon.
Babylon was once the world’s capital, seat of the greatest empire of its day. The ancient records reveal that Cush, the son of Ham, the son of Noah, was the first great idolater after the worldwide Flood, leading men away from the worship of the true God. Furthermore, according to ancient history he was the instigator of the building of the tower of Babel (see Gen. 11). His son, Nimrod, became the first king of Babylon, and developed it into a great empire (Gen. 10:8-10).
And it was Nimrod who, along with his mother Semiramis, developed the religion of Baal worship. When he died Semiramis continued this religious system in secret, which was the origin of the ancient Babylonian Mysteries. This religion began to spread around the world, taking on different names in different countries but always expressing essentially the same religious rites and doctrines. It was the religion of the so-called Goddess-Mother and her Child, in reality the worship of Semiramis and Nimrod under various names worldwide. Baal worship is strongly condemned in Scripture, where the goddess-mother is called by such names as Ashtaroth and the Queen of Heaven, and the deified son as Tammuz and Baal.
Babylon was therefore the source of world idolatry, as it is written in God’s Word: “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad” (Jer. 51:7). Baal worship corrupted the whole earth.
And Babylon’s wine is still causing the earth to reel with drunkenness today. Babylon’s location has changed – but the wine is the same. For the religion of Baal worship eventually spread from there to the city of Rome – and Rome became in time the world headquarters of Baal worship, with the pagan Roman emperors becoming the “supreme pontiffs”. And although the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD claimed to become a Christian, it was a false claim – he was never truly converted, but continued to worship the sun god until his death. But under his rule the so-called “Catholic Church”, a paganised version of “christianity” (which of course was not true Christianity at all) was given State protection. It became, in fact, the State religion of the Roman Empire: the first “State Church”.
The Roman State was united to the so-called “Catholic Church”, and the “Catholic Church” was nothing but baptized paganism, ancient Baal worship in a “Christian” guise. The great mother-goddess of the heathen became “Mary”; the child, Nimrod, became “the baby Jesus”; the various gods and goddesses of the heathen became the so-called “saints”; heathen temples were converted into “Catholic” places of worship; the doctrines and rites of ancient Baal worship were brought over lock, stock and barrel into the “Catholic churches”; and thus the religion which we know today as Roman Catholicism was born. It constantly added to its blasphemous and pagan doctrines, all of which were derived from Baal worship, including Mary-worship; the priesthood; priestly celibacy; baptismal regeneration; salvation by works; the mass; the veneration of images; the confessional; purgatory; and so much more.
The pope of Rome is the direct successor, not of Peter the apostle as they fondly imagine, but of the Roman emperors! For those emperors were not only the political heads of the empire, but the high priests of the Babylonian mystery religion. They were nothing less than priest-kings. But when the Emperor Gratian refused to act as pagan high priest, the so-called Catholic bishop of Rome, Damasus, took the title for himself – thereby becoming the high priest of Baal worship. The powers of the high priests of Babylon were thus transferred to the bishops of the false, counterfeit “church” centred in Rome.
No wonder then that in the great vision given by the Lord to John the apostle on the isle of Patmos, the Great Whore had this name on her forehead: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT” (Rev. 17:5). Truly, the Roman Catholic institution is the modern Babylon! Romanism is not in any sense a Christian church and never has been. It is a heathen religio-political system masquerading as a Christian church. As Revelation 17 and 18 show conclusively, it is the New Testament mystical “Babylon”. The religious system of the literal Babylon of the Old Testament is fully functioning to this day – but Satan has duped the world into believing it is a Christian church!
And in March 2021 we witnessed the spectacle of the Roman pope, the great and powerful head of mystical “Babylon”, the Roman Catholic institution, journeying from the headquarters of this religious system in the Vatican to the ruins of the ancient headquarters of this very same religious system in Babylon. From Babylon to Babylon! From where “Babylon the Great” is located today, to where Babylon the Great was located in ancient times! Francis would have been ignorant of the irony. He would not have known that the very religion over which he presides today, the most powerful religio-political system on the face of the earth, originated in the very ruins he was gazing at.
Once, many long centuries ago, the priest-kings of Babylon had ruled a world empire from this spot. But that great empire eventually ceased to exist. Babylon was ruined, its great edifices crumbled, and today people go to gaze at the magnificent stone remnants of a glory that once was, as was foretold by the Lord: “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed” (Jer. 51:8). No one could have imagined such a thing happening to mighty Babylon – but it did.
And as mighty as the Roman Catholic institution is today, its own utter destruction has been prophesied by the same sovereign Lord who foretold Babylon’s destruction. For it is written of the Papal system, the New Testament Babylon: “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Rev. 18:8). “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all” (Rev. 18:21). As we look at the Papal system today, with its headquarters in the Vatican City, it is difficult for our minds to imagine the utter destruction that is coming upon it. But it is coming! Of that we may be absolutely certain. For the Lord has spoken.
What supreme irony, that near the very end of the world’s history the pope of Rome, priest-king of mystical “Babylon”, should in the mysterious providence of God visit the very spot where the literal Babylon once stood, and see the ruins thereof. In gazing upon those magnificent but ruined Babylonian edifices, Francis I, had he but known it, was gazing at the future of the seven-hilled city of Rome itself.
O may the eyes of many – cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, monks, nuns and ordinary Roman Catholic people – be opened to see and understand what is yet to happen to “Mystery, Babylon the Great”, situated on the seven hills of Rome, that they may “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul” (Jer. 51:6)! “Come out of her, my people [i.e. the Lord’s elect, still within her and not yet converted], that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4)!
(For further information about the transfer of the religious system of ancient Babylon to the city of Rome and into what became the Roman Catholic system, see the author’s book, Satan’s Seat, as well as the classic work, The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop.)
Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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