Monday, September 29, 2014

Babylon The Great

Revelation 17:1-18

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  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 great admiration. ” (Revelation 17:1-6)

One of the angels came to John and offered to explain the destruction of Babylon to him.   The vision John saw is of a woman being carried by a beast having seven heads and ten horns.  The woman is dressed lavishly, as a rich prostitute, decked with gifts from her lovers and drinking a golden goblet of wine.  She is identified three different ways.  First  she is called “Mystery”, and Proverbs 5:6 warns that a prostitute doesn’t want people to know what she is really doing,  “Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.”  

She is also called “Babylon the Great”.  While many have interpreted this passage to refer to Rome, only one city has ever been known as Babylon the Great.  Finally she is called the “Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”  False religion started in Babylon with the construction of the tower of Babel, known to history as the temple of Marduk.  Anthropologists link the world wide stories of the flood to the Babylonian version known as the Gilgamesh Epic, and many of the gods of religions around the world are based on the ancient Babylonian gods. 

Throughout history, false religion has sold itself to political leaders, changing their beliefs to fit the desires of the system they live support.  It has been responsible for some of the most horrible wars in history, with many directed against the people of God.  Under the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks, Babylon forced the religion of the day on her subject peoples.  America was settled by people seeking to escape religious persecution on behalf or rulers seeking greater power, and the present Jihad movement in the Middle East is just such a conflict. 

“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.  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.

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:7-11)

John was amazed by the richness and beauty of the woman.  The angel explains what the different things mean and that it shouldn’t cause any surprise.  As he explains, the beast with the seven heads represents a satanic system of government.  It is founded on seven different empires of history, the seven mountains or kings.  Five had already had their day, The Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Parthians or Selucids.   The Roman empire was in power and the eastern part would remain until about 565 AD.  The Byzantine  or sixth Empire ruled only a short time before being pushed out by Moslem forces around 650 BC.  Under all those empires, Babylon was a major religious center, even after they had lost their political power.  The Antichrist’s government arises out of the same Satanic philosophy and is part of the same plan.

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14)

The Empire at the end of time will be divided into ten geographic and political districts with their own governments, answerable to the central government similar to the states in the United States.  According to Ezekiel 38:13, some of them oppose the actions taken in the Middle east, and Daniel 7:24 tells us that the Antichrist will personally take control of them, eliminating any opposition.  They will be united in their opposition to Christ and will follow the Antichrist in his attempt to take God’s place.

“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)


The water where the woman is carried by the beast is comprised of the various political, religious and ethnic groups around the world.  Though the political powers have used the prostitute, false religion, they hate her demands and power over them.  When the opportunity arises they will turn on her, fulfilling God’s prophecy against Babylon, as found in Isaiah 13 and 14, and Jeremiah 50 and 51. 

2 comments:

  1. Bible prophecy is fascinating, especially now as the signs of the times suggest we are close to the Rapture. Thanks as always for the thorough and illuminating post.
    God bless,
    Laurie

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  2. Thanks,Laurie.

    I am presently working on a book of the prophecies of the New Testament, not just of Revelation, and the study has been, as you say, fascinating.

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