I feel strongly that the center of control of the Great Harlot (Rev. 17:1) will be from the city of Rome, which is referred to in Scripture as the “great city” and “Babylon the great” (Rev. 17:18; 18:2, 10, 21).
Not everyone agrees that Rome is this city. Many think that it will be a rebuilt city of Babylon (in the same location as the old city). And there are a few other ideas as well. However, I hold to Rome for the following five reasons:
1. After the city of Babylon was destroyed in 539 B.C., the high priest of that Baal religion and his followers fled to Rome. Rome, in effect, became the second Babylon—or the same Babylon with a different name and location. As Ironside writes,
When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain. There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism.23
2. This city, called the great city, Babylon, is said by John (Rev. 18:17, 19) to be located on a sea port. Rome was such a city, located on the Mediterranean Sea; but the city of Babylon in Iraq is not located on the sea, but on the Euphrates river. Therefore, a rebuilt Babylon would not qualify as this future city.
3. This city will be the political, philosophical, and religious headquarters of the world, where the nations of the world will come, by sea, to become rich by all the wealth or all the trading goods (Rev. 18:3). Again, the city must be located at a sea port.
4. The city will be burned to the ground, destroyed in one hour, and the smoke of the city will be seen by those on ships on the sea (Rev. 18:16-19). Again, this could not be true of a Babylon in Iraq, but very possible with the city of Rome. Also, the burning of Rome in 64 AD could very well be seen as a forerunner to this last burning of the city.
5. Since the new world government will be the Revived Roman Empire, and that empire will be the EU, it seems logical that Rome will be the key city, since it is already centrally located in the EU.
23 Harry A. Ironside, “Babylonian Religion,” at http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php?action=full&mainkey=BABYLONIAN+RELIGION+%28By+Harry+A.+Ironside%29.