Friday, March 31, 2017

JUDGMENTS TO RECEIVE A CROWN



By pastor Mike Taylor

26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrew 9:26-28)



While reading your Bible, you will happen on a central theme that is throughout the Word of God. Beginning in Genesis, the judgment of Adam and Eve begins a story of judgment when our common parents transgressed against God and partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Moving through the pages, you come to the flood of Noah's day, the judgment of an unfaithful generation during the Exodus and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness till every last member of that generation had died. Then other judgments, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, a multitude of judgments against Israel for their idolatry, and finally the ultimate judgment for sin paid for by the only Person who could pay it's price, Jesus Christ at Calvary...This is just to name a few of the judgments you will find in Holy Scriptures.



THE ULTIMATE JUDGEMENT



There is coming an ultimate judgment that those who live during this generation we are now in, will experience the 21 judgments outlines in the Book of Revelation during the coming Tribulation period.
The Bible outlines five individual judments that differ in five general aspects; the subjects, the time, the place, the basis of that judgment, and the results of the judgment passed.

There are two judgments for believers. The first judgment was for sinners, and the time of this judgment was roughly 33 AD. The place was the cross at Calvary.


The basis for the judgment was the finished Work of Christ.  And the result was the justification for the believer.  For the believer, this first judgment is in three parts. First as a sinner, second as a son, and thirdly, as a servant.

The “sin” part for the sinner was settled at the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The 'son' question is an ongoing process called sanctification through personal judgments the Bible calls 'chastisement'.

I call it the 'wood shed' experience that God will use to discipline those who step outside of His will. This judgment is designed to bring the believer back in line with God's Will.
6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (Hebrews 12:6-9)






Finally, there is the judgment that comes for being God's servants, which brings us to the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the Bema Seat.
The Subjects are believers in Jesus Christ. The time is after the removal of God's true church from this planet, some call the 'rapture'. The basis for this judgment is our works that we have performed for service in the Name of God our Savior, Jesus Christ. The results will either be rewards, or the loss of rewards.
9 “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)


11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)



Those that appears before this judgment seat, are not to be judged worthy of entering heaven, or God's Kingdom. That question has already been settled at the cross.
Here we will be judged for what we have done, or not done in the service as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a 'rewards banquet' and will reveal what sort of works we have done for Jesus and in His Name.



Think about that for a moment!  Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every good thing. . . and every bad thing.  We'll be called on to give account of every word, every deed, every thought. 



I don't know about you, but the bad part that I've done in my life, I don't relish the idea of Jesus piercing gaze cover all the things I've done in my life. I was not always following the Lord, and it makes me sad that I wasted any amount of time not following Him, as a servant that has received a pardon from a death sentence.
For all believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . ." As Paul wrote: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)...I can see what He meant by wiping away all tears from our eyes...even now it breaks my heart to know that in my past, I failed my Lord in something I did out of His will.



REWARDS FOR SERVICE FROM OUR LORD



There are five possible rewards, or "crowns" that believers can earn for their works at the Bema Seat. 
The Crown of Life.  This is the Martyr's Crown.  You get this one the hard way;
10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”.(Revelation 2:10-11)

The Crown of Glory.  This the the 'Pastor's Crown' given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve;
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." (1st Peter 5:2-3)
I readily admit that I am working to earn this crown.  Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves -- crowns you have to work for.
"And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (1st Peter 5:4)
The Crown of Rejoicing.  This is the Soul-winners crown.  Those brought to Jesus by us will be our "crown of rejoicing" at His Coming. Our Lord will give us this crown because of our witness to others about the Gospel message, and we will rejoice over who we have led away from the jaws of hell.
19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.”(1st Thessalonians 2:19-20)
The Crown of Righteousness.  This is the crown earned by the Watchmen on the Wall who give the warning of His soon appearing.





18 “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19)



7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2nd Timothy 4:7-8)
The Incorruptible Crown.  This is a tough one to earn.  This is the "Victor's" Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime. 
24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1st Corinthians 9:24-25)

Those who don't yield to the lusts of the flesh, saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown. 



TRIBULATION ON EARTH



The judgment seat of Christ takes place simultenously with the Third Judgment identified by scripture as taking place on the earth.
God's judgment is falling on a rebellious world. Revelation speaks of horrors that only one can imagine and never would want to experience. The Jewish people who are going through intense persecution will make the holocaust pale in comparison. The subject of this Tribulation period are the Jews, the place is Jerusalem, the time is called the “Time of Jacob's Troubles. God will refine the nation of Israel as gold or silver is refined in a hot, fiery furnace.
2 “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto theLord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” (Malachi 3:2-4)



But God will save a remnant of His people through the fire of purification:



7 “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” (Jeremiah 30:7-9)



The basis for this judgment is the continued unbelief and rejection of their Messiah, until they cry out as Jesus prophesied they would and will bring national redemption of Israel:

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39)


The fourth judgment identified in Scripture also takes place during the Tribulation.  The subjects are the Gentile nations.  The place is the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  The basis for this judgment will be their treatment of the Jews.




11 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” (Revelation 19:11-18)
Those who survive the battle at the plains of Megiddo or from around the world, will be gathered before the King of kings...
31 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”(Matthew 25:32)
The nations will be divided into the "Sheep nations" and the "Goat nations".  The result is the Sheep nations will be permitted to enter into the Millennial Kingdom.  The "Goat nations" will be destroyed.

This judgment takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. 

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:40-41)
We have a resurrection that takes place at the end of the Tribulation, as Jesus has come and raised those who have experienced martydom during this period being of the 1st resurrection...Jesus was the beginning of that resurrection, those raised to life when Jesus came for His church, and those now, are all of the first resurrection..Jeus the First Fruits.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)

The fifth and final judgment identified in Scripture is the Great White Throne Judgment.  It will take place at the close of the Millennium a 1000 years after the judgment of the Nations, and before the "Great White Throne."  and the books were opened:

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13, The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his work
14, Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15, And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:12-15)

I want you to notice something.  This entire outline only works if the Rapture takes place beforethe Tribulation.  If the Church is on the earth during the Tribulation Period, the entire outline falls apart. I've often made mention of this and it bears repeating here....if Jesus comes and destroys all rebellion on this earth and only those who are found in Christ are changed into immortal beings according to Paul's writing, then who goes into the Millennium as mortal? ..the answer, NO ONE.
50 “ Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1st Corinthians 15:50-55)

BUT -- and this is the important part -- this is the only outline there is!  There is only one Bible from which to work, and it doesn't give an alternative scenario.  
It is the key to understanding the outline of Bible prophecy as it unfolds before this generation.

The Bible identifies five judgments and five crowns.  The judgments are as I've outlined them, by those who are subject to them, when, where, why, and how. 




WHERE WILL YOU BE?



Now for you who are reading this message, where will you fall when Jesus comes? What judgment will you partake of? What crown will you inherit as a reward, or will you be so unfortunate to be cast out into eternal darkness? This time is fast approaching as we bump right up to the end of this Dispensation, or the Age of Grace. Jesus is coming soon, Make your calling and election sure.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” (2nd Peter 1:10)...what thing?



16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you are standing with me at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ awaiting your crown...if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,  God bless you all....



TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET


Thursday, March 30, 2017

POPE FRANCIS ENGAGES IN BLASPHEMY


Again, another day of "ranting" emerges, as things have just "stuck in my craw," as my grandmother would say. Being this "rant" speaks about the Pope of the Catholic Church, I composed this one carefully.

Many government leaders see the man as not only "head" of the Catholic Church but as someone who has an insight into Christians as a whole. They count on the Pope to "sway" and "keep in line" the millions of Catholics worldwide to varying states of government. Pope Francis I does his job well.
Being a protestant Christian, the understanding of the structure of the leadership of the Catholic Church escapes me. One man stands above all others in matters of the Word of God and the church doctrine in Catholicism. This requires the man be of unquestionable faith, steadfast in his beliefs, a practitioner of the Word of God, pure in heart and character, just, and beyond reproach in every way. Daresay no man on this earth meets those requirements. The only man on earth who met those requirements received crucifixion so that others receive salvation.

Upon hearing the Pope of the Catholic Church has "pontificated" on climate change, my curiosity peaked. What would a "man of God" say regarding the false narrative of this environmental oppression of any people? Surely, a true man of God would hold to God's word when speaking about falsehoods -- Not this Pope. He took the opportunity to indulge in "incredible stupid" and show his less than "holy" nature.
Pope Francis I issued an encyclical that interpreted the Bible rather loosely to support a falsehood, sanction government theft in the guise of redistribution, give credence to secular philosophy, and used guilt against those who see the truth in science, while quoting an Islamic poet. The Pope's encyclical parroted "half-truths" of science regarding climate change. A half-truth remains a partial lie.

The Pope implied that individuals rejecting the "climate change" science as "indifferent to the poor's suffering, against the protection and enhancement of the poor and underprivileged," and trying to mask problems through ignoring efforts to mitigate it. In other words, the Pope supports more governmental theft through wealth redistribution under the falsehood of climate change. He ignores one of God's commandments, "Thou shalt not steal."

Why doesn't the Pope order the allocation of vast Vatican resources to the "poor and underprivileged" since he supports theft by government upon others? It is better to give than to receive after all. The Pope should practice what he's trying to sell to others in regards to the poor and underprivileged if that is what he truly believes. The real question is "what does this Pope truly believe?" His numerous comments and this encyclical touching on climate change suggest his belief isn't in God or God's word. Pope Francis I supports the lies coming from the "world government wannabe" -- the United Nations.

Some would accuse those scientists advocating against climate change as paid "shills" for the Koch brothers or some other group; however, the UN IPCC and scientists advocating in favor of climate change are definitely paid by government and those who hold an "interest" in controlling vast numbers of people. These climate change-supporting scientists at the UN IPCC admitted manipulating their data predictions making the outcomes a falsehood.

But, what does this have to do with the Pope? It appears the Pope is aligning himself with the "political" fad of the time against aligning himself with God and God's Word. He chooses to advocate falsehoods instead of exposing them; he promotes a lie in the name of God. His sin and blasphemy is on full display. One could say Pope Francis I is the "Joel Osteen" of the Catholic faith.

According to Dr. Wei-Hock Soon, "the church knows that many of the predicted catastrophic disasters from the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide are highly exaggerated if not downright fraudulent. Yet Laudato Si' gives credence and praise to these predictions by relying on climate models scenarios that have been proven to be false."

Instead of questioning the science by the UN IPCC, since they admitted falsifying models, and denouncing the falsehood, the Pope encourages compliance with falsehoods. Who can take this man seriously as a devout man of God much less as the head of the Catholic Church? An elementary school age child knows plants require carbon dioxide for growth and sustainment. Evidently, Pope Francis I missed that day in school.

This Pope chastised the journalists at Charlie Hebdo claiming they should know the "limit of free speech" regarding blasphemy. Blasphemy? No journalist there committed "blasphemy"; at least, no definition of blasphemy any Christian knows by doing or saying things against the Lord Our God or Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Did this Pope sanction murder because these journalists cartooned Mohammed? Where was this Pope in calling "blasphemy" against the depiction of a crucifix in a jar of urine or the painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus, covered in dung? Silent as the night Pope Francis I remained. According to this Pope, it's only blasphemy when criticism of Islam and Mohammed, may camel dung be upon him, occur. He justified his position by saying that if "someone cursed his mother, they would have to expect to get punched."
There is a big difference between defending the character of someone "with a punch" and committing murder because of a "cartoon." It's amazing the man even compared the two. He said freedom of speech has limits when dealing with Islam. In other words, the Pope backs sharia law, the law of Mohammed, may camel dung be upon him, instead of God's law.

Pope Francis I denied the God-given right of freedom of speech to everyone, reserving it only for heathen cultists, and now thrown Romans 13 under the bus. He supports a lie while denying truth. Upturning God's Word, the "leader" of the Catholic Church validates government's right to theft based on a lie under the guise of government being ordained of God. God only ordains government that does good works and fights evil. Once government becomes evil and wicked, it ceases to be ordained by God meaning the people should resist its wickedness and evilness. In supporting the perversion of Romans 13, Pope Francis I figuratively condemns those who would stand against such wickedness and violation of God's Word. This is a man of God? This is who Bishops, Cardinals or whoever selected to be the leader of the Catholic Church? It appears the united States is not alone in experiencing "leadership" problems.

In an incredible, unbelievable section of the encyclical, Pope Francis I quoted an Islamic poet. Seriously? The leader of the Catholic Church quoted a poet who follows the teachings of Mohammed, may camel dung be upon him, which encourage murder, pedophilia, rape, kidnapping, necrophilia, female genital mutilation, slavery, misogyny, and oppression.
And, yet again, this "Pope" declared those who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons cannot call themselves Christian. Pope Francis I missed the memo that machetes, used by ISIS to behead "infidels," are weapons. He forgot that his own Swiss Guard does what... carry weapons. One thing the Pope got right was saying, "duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another." Hello? Pope Francis I. Snow White's stepmother called and asked for her mirror back. This Pope knows about duplicity since he's been practicing it.

The Pope suffers some type of memory difficulty or either he's "all there" and chooses to go against God. God endowed every individual with the inherent right of survival -- the "right to life." People possess the innate instinct to defend themselves and their loved ones against harm. The Pope missed that with his "curse my mother and you'll get punched" comment. I suggest he cease calling himself a Christian since he promotes falsehoods and compliance with government wickedness, supports sharia law of "blasphemy," basically committed blasphemy, and shows irreverence through his own duplicity.

The "bat guano crazy" fruit tree resides at the Vatican and the Pope partakes and shares of its fruit.
When religious "leaders" succumb to the desires of political yearnings and driven by social motivations instead of upholding God's Word and Law, these men, who call themselves men of God, cease to be credible and a servant of God. They deserve to be removed from positions to minister God's word to others. In the case they cannot, faithful followers of Christ should denounce them refusing to give heed to their ministry. Man cannot serve both God and government, when government goes against God and His Laws. Pope Francis I made his choice and it appears it was not God.

What is the Pope getting or expect to get in return for his commission of sacrilege, his violation of God's word and law, and his sell-out of Catholic Christians and Christians in general? Instead of preparing himself a place in heaven, this Pope secures himself a place in this earthly world in hopes of receiving worldly treasures from governments with whom he aligns. Pope Francis I secures his place among the most corrupt and irreverent Popes in history with his "devotion" to secularism, communism, blasphemy, duplicity and the violating of God's word.

MYSTERY BABYLON, MOTHER OF HARLOTS




by Jack Kinsella
 
Pretty much every time I publish a column in which I note that the Bible is silent insofar as any mention of a fifth, overarching superpower resembling America, I get a flood of emails telling me where I went wrong.
 
Invariably, they identify the entity called Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots as the United States of America. One reader emailed yesterday, saying;
 
"O come on!! America is talked about in the Bible, New York city gets nuked (Revelation 17 &18). How else did you think the anti-christ takes over the world economy,w/ his new system..the mark of the beast to buy & sell.
 
One key to this (there are many) is Rev: 18 verse 11 &12. The seventh and eighth have not risen to power but in Revelation 13 it explains a little about them and the mark of the beast. Please open your eyes it's all so plain to see!"
 
The problem here is one of wishful thinking. I would very much like to find evidence of America in the Scriptures for the last days, since I am in America and these ARE the last days. If America plays no role in the Tribulation, and we can see the Tribulation just over the horizon, then logic dictates something happens to America before it begins.
 
Since, on this side of the Tribulation, America is the world's undisputed superpower, making it 'go away' (as the Bible indicates that it must) suggests that 'somethng' is ALSO sitting just over the horizon, somewhere before the kickoff to the Tribulation Period. And it must be pretty bad.
 
For that reason, I wish my correspondent was right; I wish it was, 'all so plain to see' America in the end times scenario.
 
What IS plain to see is that America ISN'T Babylon the Great.
 
Assessment:
 
Insofar as Mystery Babylon is concerned, the Scriptures identify it as Rome. An examination of relevant passages lend themselves to no other defensible conclusion:
 
"And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. " (Revelation 17:7)
 
That is the political 'beast' first described by the Prophet Daniel and identified in Daniel 9:26 as the 'prince of the [Roman] people' who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.
 
Political Rome collapsed in the 5th century, but its political influence remained, carried on through the papal church headquartered in Rome. That isn't 'anti-Catholic bashing' it is secular history.
 
During the height of its power, no European king could take his throne without Papal approval. Those who dared defy the Pope's power faced the Pope's armies.
 
The power of the papacy waned, but continued to directly influence European politics until the mid-part of the 20th century, when that power began to shift away from religious Rome and back toward the political center, codified by the 1957 treaty of Rome.
 
As a continuous power, one could argue that Rome was, then wasn't, yet is.
 
But one could NOT argue credibly that Rome's influence ever ceased to be felt throughout the history of the Church Age.
 
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
 
The modern city of Rome is famed throughout the world as the 'City on the Seven Hills'.
 
Of 'Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the abominations of the earth', the revealing angel tells us this:
 
"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." (Revelation 17:7-10)
 
Speaking of the antichrist, he is identified with Rome in the next verse as,
 
"And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
 
Speaking of the Mother of Harlots situated on 'seven mountains' the angel says;
 
"the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:18)
 
In John's day, and in the centuries that have passed since, no other city could have been said to have reigned over the kings of the earth EXCEPT Rome.
 
Revelation Chapter 13 makes it clear that the government of the antichrist is both political, and religious. There are two beasts of Revelation 13 -- the first is the political beast, the one we call the antichrist, who appears in 13:1 and a second beast, called the False Prophet, who makes his appearance in verse 11.
 
The Babylon depicted in Revelation 17 is the religious system of antichrist, which is headquartered on the 'city on the seven mountains' The Babylon of Revelation 18 encompasses both the religious and political systems, as embodied by the literal city.
 
Revelation 18:3 refers to the religious Rome that existed between the fall of the Roman Empire and the mid 20th century. That is a reference to the religious, rather than secular, is confirmed by the next verse, which says, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (4)
 
If this is a reference to America, or any political entity, what sense does THAT make? How does one 'come out of America'? Move? Where? The Bible doesn't say, so why bring it up?
 
Because one CAN 'come out' of a religion, and since God frames it by saying, "that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," the context makes it clear He is referring to a religious system, not a political city.
 
Those who equate Babylon to America point to Revelation 18:9;
 
"And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning," arguing this must be New York City because "all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!"
 
It MUST be New York City, because it is a 'great city' whose burning can be witnessed from sea, they argue. It MUST be America because America is the great whore who produces most of the porn, consumes most of the cocaine, and is the richest country the world has ever known.
 
America has existed 226 years. It has been a superpower for 45 years and the world's premiere superpower for 15 years. Rome's power has continued to influence global politics and religion without interruption for the last two thousand years.
 
In additon, Mystery Babylon is called a 'mystery' to denote the spiritual nature of the political system. It is a reincarnation of the Babylonish counterfeit system of Nimrod, Semiramus and Tammuz -- essentially a goddess cult with a father god figure and a child god figure. America acknowledges only a generic 'God'.
 
The city 'Babylon' that is destroyed in Revelation 18 gives another important proof that Babylon can't be America.
 
The Roman coliseums were filled with captives from the known world fighting as gladiators. When the gladiator games ended, then the slaughter of the Christians would begin. The Apostle Paul was martyred in Rome.
 
"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (18:24)
 
One can argue America is no less blood-soaked, but one can hardly characterize America's 'victims' as 'prophets' or 'saints'. (Mostly they were Indians, Mexicans and African blacks taken as slaves)
 
The Bible says there are four spheres of world power in the last days. Gog-Magog, the revived Roman Empire of antichrist, the Kings of the East and the Kings of the South. Since there is no reference to America, one person's guess is as good as another's as to where she might have gone.
 
Rome played a central role in the history of civilization from John's day until this very moment. It is about twelve miles from Rome to the coast of the Meditterranean Sea.
 
Occam's razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). His principle of logic states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.
 
Put more simply, Occam's Razor dictates the most obvious answer to a given question is usually the correct one. America doesn't sit on seven hills. It hasn't exerted continuous global influence throughout Church history.
 
And America isn't drunken with the blood of the martyrs. One can't say the same about Rome in either its secular political or religious incarnations.
 
I wish it WERE so simple.