Bill Salus on Mystery Babylon: Not Jerusalem or New York City
By Nathan Jones
One of the portions of the book of Revelation whose meaning is hotly debated is the reference to Mystery Babylon in chapter 17. It appears that this will be the location of the Antichrist’s governmental and spiritual headquarters. But, where exactly is Mystery Babylon located? Will it be headquartered in Jerusalem, New York, Mecca, or Rome? Or, will it be ancient Babylon rebuilt?
Dr. David Reagan and I asked these questions on our television program Christ in Prophecy of Bible prophecy expert Bill Salus, the founder and director of Prophecy Depot Ministries based in La Quinta, California. Bill is a prolific writer and conference speaker, best known for his insightful book about Psalm 83 and the war that is depicted in it.
In the first segment, Bill ruled out the arguments for Mystery Babylon being the rebuilt city of Babylon in Iraq. Now he’s going to examine Jerusalem as a possible candidate city.
Arguments Against Jerusalem
Dr. Reagan: Some believe that Mystery Babylon is going to be Jerusalem. How do they come to that conclusion?
Bill Salus: Well, Jerusalem is not one of the more popular views concerning the identity of the headquarters of the Antichrist’s kingdom, but it does deserve commentary.
Revelation 18:21 reveals that when Mystery Babylon is destroyed it will be thrown down, never to be found anymore. Mystery Babylon has an expiration date. We all know prophetically that Jerusalem does not have an expiration date.
Nathan Jones: Yes, Jerusalem stands as Christ’s capital over the world during the Millennial Kingdom, and the New Jerusalem is eternal.
Bill Salus: Jeremiah 3:17 reveals, “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is where Jesus is going to set up His throne during the Messianic Kingdom. So, for me, I can’t get past that contradiction with the eternal destruction of Mystery Babylon.
Arguments Against New York City
Nathan Jones: New York City has been labeled by some Mystery Babylon.
Bill Salus: Interesting, since America is not quite even 250 years old yet.
Dr. Reagan: Accusing America of being Mystery Babylon has become more and more popular.
Bill Salus: It’s a newer theory.
Nathan Jones: And, not just New York, some identify Washington D.C. or even Hollywood.
Bill Salus: I would ask, “Which of the Apostles were killed in New York City, according to Revelation 18:20?” And, “What seven hills are we talking about New York City resting on?” Advocates of America being Mystery Babylon tend to say Scriptures are not really saying the Antichrist’s headquarters are resting on seven hills, but rather seven continents. His kingdom sits in the midst of seven continents. But, the Greek word for “hills” or “mountains” in these translations is oros, which cannot be translated as “continents.” The reference is either to a city sitting on seven hills or mountains.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible certainly doesn’t indicate that the Antichrist is going to reside in the United States of America.
Nathan Jones: And, to Bill’s point, America hasn’t killed all the prophets and the apostles, so how could America then qualify?
Bill Salus: I think Revelation 18:20 creates a huge problem for the America is Mystery Babylon theory.
In the third segment of our interview with Bill Salus identifying the city of Mystery Babylon, we’ll explore Mecca as a potential candidate.