The keys To Understanding The Apocalypse- The Book Of Revelations
The Apocalypse- Revelations Study Five!
REVELATION CHAPTER 17 - The judgements against Religious Babylon - The False or Counterfeit Church
Revelation 17:1-6: "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew 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."
Here we have the full revelation of Mystery Babylon which is the climax of Religious Babylon the Ecumenical False Church. John was not amazed when he saw the Beast, the course of the political empire and governments of this world, nor any other thing that God revealed to him concerning the future. But when he saw the scarlet woman as the ecumenical church of the Antichrist, he "wondered with great admiration."
In order to trace the development of Babylon we go to Genesis 10:2 and find the sons of Noah listed, - Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham's line is seen through Cush and Nimrod in verses 6-10. Of Nimrod we read: "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel (or Babylon)".
Genesis 11:2-4 linked with Genesis 10:10-12 shows Nimrod and his people in the land of Shinar (Babylon) building the tower of Babel as their way of approach to God. When God saw this great ecumenical platform He said in Genesis 11:7 "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." Then, in Genesis 11:8-9 we read: "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; (or confusion)..." Nimrod's desire was to establish a false religious system.
This was the beginning of an ecumenical approach to God - a new approach. God was not pleased so He came down and pronounced the system "confusion" or "babylon".
This is exactly what we see today through the tremendous strides being made to bring all religions together that "all may be one". The World Council of Churches has brought together almost every Protestant denomination. The Charismatic Movement has recently brought the Roman Catholic Church into the ecumenical fold. And now a united effort is being made to bring in the other great religions of the world.
In Revelation chapter 13 we find a final merger of all religions under one great head [Religious Babylon]. There will be two devil-inspired men who will take over the rule of the earth after the rapture of the true church. The beast of Revelation 13 is the Antichrist and the whole chapter deals with the worship of this man by the people.
This great ecumenical false church is clearly explained in Revelation 17:1: "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgments of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters."
In the Book of Revelation the figure of a woman is used symbolically of religion at least four times: Jezebel represents the pagan idolatry of the past, (Rev. 2:20); the woman clothed with the sun represents Israel (Rev. 12:1); the bride of Christ represents the true church (Rev. 19:7-8: 21:9). The whore of Revelation 17:1 represents Religious Babylon, the Ecumenical False Church of the Great Tribulation Period.
It is not surprising that the Bible uses the word whore or harlot to represent apostate Christendom a Counterfeit Chrisitianity. Throughout parts of the Old Testament God condemned Israel for spiritual harlotry. A church which calls itself Christian and which courts alliance with the godless system of this world commits spiritual adultery. James 4:4 says, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?"
In Revelation 17 we find the whore woman of Relgious Babylon sitting upon many waters.
Revelation 15 tells us that the waters are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, so she has worldwide influence. This is the ecumenical false church which is truly worldwide in its influence.
Revelation 17:2 "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." The great religious sin was fornication which God mentions in relation to Israel in Jeremiah 3:2,3,9 and in Ezekiel 16-23 at least 20 times.
Revelation 17:3: "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." Here is pictured this false church, this Harlot Church under control of the "False Prophet" sitting upon the scarlet coloured beast which is the "Ten Horns" The Nations of Antichrist, the Government, the dictatorship of Antichrist. At the beginning the False Church or Religious Babylon controls the Beast as she Rides The Scarlet Colored Beast, she controls its formation and direction. She has hold of the reigns.
Next The Antichrist is now supporting the harlot church for his own advantage. He turns the tables. He takes control of this harlot rider, all of a sudden, the Beast is in control and the whore has to go where the beast wants to go. He uses the influence of this harlot church to establish his name and authority. In our next message we shall see that in due time he will crush this Harlot church and destroy its influence.
The "ten horns" speak of the revived Old Roman Empire. We see the stage being set for the revival of this Empire in the European Union of our day. The woman is temporarily controlling the beast, for it pictures this super church which will control the religious affairs of all the world, through a one world religion.
The "seven heads" according to verse nine are "seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." The city of Rome is built on seven hills and without a doubt this great false church will have its center in the city of Rome. From this we can conclude, that after the True Bible Believing Church is Raptured, that the Second Beast - The false religious leader, or the false Prophet along with the "Left Behind" apostate religious professors will probably headquarter themselves in Rome. Probably at the now prevalent Vatican. From here the False Prophet will amalgamate and control all world religious affairs and impose the doctrines of the Antichrist. He will also announce to the world that the Antichrist is the real Messiah instead of Christ.
The wealth of the woman is described in Revelation 17:4 "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." It is hard to imagine the tremendous wealth of this super church which is made up of the remnants of Romanism, Judaism and Protestantism. As well as all the other false religions of the world. That is of the "left behind" ones.
Revelation 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Babylon is the culmination of all the religious efforts of man and is the last stage of apostate false Christendom.
Revelation 17:6 "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." Religious leaders and systems have been the greatest persecutors throughout history. And I believe that as the ecumenical false church grows in strength and influence that we may still see even greater numbers of the saints put to death for their love of Jesus. We need to read Fox's Book of Martyrs again to see something of the suffering of God's people for Jesus' sake. May we be willing to suffer for our Lord.
Revelation 17:7-9 "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."
The Old Roman empire "was" then "and is not" for it faded into obscurity - but never actually died out, for the evil spirit of it was still alive and lurking in the background - and is now "yet is" to be revived and brought back to life in the form of a European Union. The "seven mountains" represent the city of Rome which actually has seven mountains "and here is the mind which hath wisdom"
Revelation 17:10 "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." The five kings already fallen are Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. The one that is, at the time of John's writing was Domitian, the last of the Caesars. "The other that is not yet come" will be the Antichrist who will continue but a short space of seven years.
Revelation 17:11 "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." The seventh king is the Antichrist. The "eighth" described here represents Satan himself "the beast" which will "goeth into perdition. "or be thrown into Hell. Satan is described as being the embodiment of all the previous seven kings combined. "even he is the eighth, and is of the seven"
Revelation 17:12-13 " 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." The "ten kings" are ten heads of state or political leaders from within the revived Roman Empire which have yet to take office. When they do, they will "give their power and strength unto the beast." that is, to the alignment with, and benefit of, the Antichrist.
Finally, the true character of this whole apostate system is seen in Revelation 17:14 "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." The spiritual war is always between those who allow Christ to rule and reign over their lives and those who refuse to do so. The whole effort of the apostasy is to do away with the deity of Christ and so they deny the inspiration of the Scriptures, the reality of Hell, the Virgin Birth, the miracles, and the bodily resurrection of our Lord. The opposition is always against Christ. And this opposition will continue right up to the end of this apostate system under the Antichrist. The spiritual war will culminate in an actual physical war between Jesus, with the true Church and the Antichrist with the False Church for control of the earth. And of course we already know who wins.
Revelation 17:15-18 "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."
Audio Bible Studies: Revealing The Beast Of Revelations 17
REVELATION CHAPTER 18 THE COLLAPSE OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC SYSTEM
In previous studies we have seen that the false church of the Great Tribulation period is called "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS". This is known as [Religious Babylon] There have been others in the religious sphere called harlots, but this one exceeds them all.
Economically, this period is marked by the coming together of all the rival states of Europe under one great head, one great Political Union, with a worldwide Economic or Commercial "Common Market" . This is known as [Economic Babylon]
This will be made possible by the influence of "the woman" the Great Religious Whore who, by seducing and enticing the heads of the states, brings them under her power and authority.
In Revelation 13: 16,17 we read of the enslavement of the [Economic Babylon] of this period: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
The stage is being set for [Economic Babylon] today. Everyone in our nation, for example, has a social security number which is becoming more and more important as the means of identity for each individual. We have zip codes and city zones for mailing purposes. We have license numbers, insurance numbers, credit card numbers, etc.. Just the other day someone suggested that every individual should be distinguished by one common number. This number would replace all other numbers and its use would be mandatory in all personal business and economic matters. Surely this is preparatory for the rule of Antichrist who will number every person and without his number no one will be able to buy, sell or work.
Once the Antichrist finds no further use for [Religous Babylon] the ecumenical false church, the Counterfeit Church he turns against her. Revelation 17:16-18:"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 shall 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."
The first cause of the destruction of this One World Religious System, situated in Rome, will be when world-powers, under Antichrist, turn against her. This great political and economic force will hate the whore church because they are under her control.
In order to free themselves from her tentacles, her power, they shall "make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God shall 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."
I want you to notice that this is the plain teaching of the Bible. It has nothing to do with personalities, as such. I am sure you will agree that in the Spiritual Realm, that is Religious Babylon, the message of the majority of churches today is that we should unite with everyone no matter what they believe, including the Charismatic Movement, New Evangelicalism or other schizims and isms, in order to hold large crusades and to promote the Ecumenical false Church of Religious Babylon.
But the Bible says something different. We are told to:
TRY THEM (1 John 4:1);
- MARK THEM (Rom. 16:17);
- REBUKE THEM (titus 1:13);
- HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP (Eph. 5:11);
- WITHDRAW THYSELF (2 Thess. 3:6);
- RECEIVE THEM NOT (2 John 10,11);
- HAVE NO COMPANY WITH THEM (2 Thess. 3:13);
- REJECT THEM (Titus 3:10);
- BE YE SEPARATE (2 Cor. 6:17).
The Bible is our sole authority of faith and its message is simple and plain as to what believers are to do in this age of grace.
Let us notice that we must follow the truth:
God is truth (Deut. 32:4).
- Christ is the truth (John 14:6).
- The Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of truth"(John 16:13).
- God's Word is truth (John 17:17),
- and Paul speaks of the "truth of the Gospel"(Gal. 2:5,14).
Furthermore, this truth does not change with the changing generations nor does it try to accommodate itself to some passing fancy:
"His truth endureth to all generations" (Psa. 100:5).
- "The truth of the Lord endureth for ever" (Psa. 117:2).
- "Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Psa. 119:89).
- "The scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).
- "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31).
- "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matt. 5:17,18).
- "The word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:25).
The Word of God is therefore fixed and is a sacred trust in the hands of all believers. Why, then, the sudden change upon the church scene of our day? Why has it come about that children of God are yoking up with unbelievers and deniers of the truth in order to crusade for souls? Why is it that believers are allowing new curriculums to be taught in so-called Christian Schools and Colleges that deny the truth of God's Word? Why are so many becoming a part of the Charismatic Movement and its great compromise? Why are so many determined to build a [Religious Babylon]?
I have had people say to me: Do you not believe in winning souls? Are you not anxious for unbelievers to be saved? My answer is, "YES". I am interested in reaching every drunkard, for example, with the Gospel. One weekend I visited over twenty taverns in Boston seeking to reach drunkards for Christ, but not once did I ask a drunk to distribute tracts, or to pray for God's blessing upon my ministry, or to assist in any way. I say kindly and lovingly, that I would just as soon have a drunkard pray for my ministry or teach a Sunday school class or do personal work, as one who denies the essential doctrines of the faith.
God's standard of service is not only salvation. While it is true that one must first become a child of light before ministering to those in darkness, one must also live a holy life in conformity to the Word of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit. God's people are instructed by God to faithfully uphold, defend, and preserve the truth as it is found in the Bible.
THE BIBLE SAYS:
"Every word of God is pure:...add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar"(Prov. 30:5,6)
- "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it."(Deut. 4:2)
- "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev. 22:18,19)
- "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (go to Hell)".(Gal. 1:8,9):
THE BIBLE declares that the Word of God is the basis of all faith:
2 Timothy 1:13: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me."
- Titus 1:9: "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
- 2 Thess. 2:15: "Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
- 1 Timothy 4:16: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
In the light of this plain teaching from the Bible, we, should all remain as old-fashioned fundamentalists, unashamed of Jesus. We seek to stand by His Word, to remain a pure little flock in the midst of the growing Religious apostasy. Oh how I pray that God's people will love the Lord Jesus sufficiently to obey His Word and to sacrifice all for the Gospel's sake.
Martin Luther wrote: "For feelings come and feelings go, And feelings are deceiving; My warrant is the Word of God, Naught else is worth believing. Though all my heart should feel condemned, For want of some sweet token There is One greater than my heart, Whose Word cannot be broken. I'll trust in God's unchanging Word Till soul and body sever: For though all things shall pass away, His Word shall stand forever."
In Chapter 18 we see the complete collapse of the world's economic system [Economic Babylon] by direct judgment from heaven. Notice verses 1,2: "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and he earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a trong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
There are many foul spirits mentioned in the Bible that come to their climax in this world Economic system:
There is the spirit of the world: "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God" (1 Cor. 2:12).
There is the spirit of disobedience: "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2).
There is the spirit of error: "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error" (1 John 4:6).
There is the spirit of bondage for those Left Behind that have been seduced, marked and enslaved by this Economic Babylon system: "For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear..." (Rom. 8:15).
There is the spirit of man [Humanism] which finds its climax in this Tribulation Period: "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" (1 Cor. 2:11).
God's Word makes it plain that in the Spiritual Realm, we are not to believe every spirit, we are not to be seduced by "Foul Spirits" that have flocked together in this evil system. But we are to "try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Notice Revelation 18:3: "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." This is the spirit worldwide today. All of society is bowing down to Economic Babylon and to Religious Babylon Knowing the end result of this great economic system [Economic Babylon] and the false whore church [Religious Babylon].
What are God's children to do right now!, that is during this Time of Grace, while waiting for our Lord's return from Heaven? God says in verse 4: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." The teaching of the world today in the Spiritual Realm,, is that believers should unite with apostates and show a spirit of unity. But God's message is: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins."
Its All Going To Burn!
Rev. 18: 5-24 - In the Political - Economic realm we are commanded to have no ties to, no envolvement with merchandise, with stuff, with materialism, with Business, buying and selling, trading, importing and exporting, investments and stocks etc. it all part of Economic Babylon. Its all going to Burn. Its all going to be destroyed, the Economic system, that is Economic Babylon.
James tells us: James 5:1:3 "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."
Peter tells us: I Peter 1:18-20: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,..."
What Jesus said should be echoed by every True Believer; " I must be about My Father's business" (Luke 2:49). Yet how many who claim to be God's children by faith in Christ are by obedience, actively engaged in the service and business of God their father?
To be a success in the Economic business of the world, seems to be the driving passion of many people. They approved in practice the philosophy of inventor and automobile tycoon Henry Ford: " I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. "He ought to religiously think of it day by day and dream of it by night. . . . Thinking men know that business and work is the salvation of the race morally, physically, socially. Work does more than give us a living; it gives us life."
Men and women of the business world believe they can obtain Salvation through their own works of buying, selling and the trading of goods and services or constructing and building along with their personal accumulation of wealth (wealth building) and property. By engaging in all forms of business and commerce and then with their own generous works of Charity and Philanthropy, they believe in their own way of salvation. God's Word says that "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Men and women who live by that philosophy need to consider the inspired words of Matthew: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Mt:6:24)
"Jesus said ... If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Mt:19:21)
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Mt:19:23-24)
Also Consider Paul's inspired message to Timothy.
"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." (I Timothy 6: 9-11)
The Bible Teaches us not to get caught up in this materialism. Its all going to Burn!
Rev. 18: 5-24 - For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.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.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,Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and 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! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 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.And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
A World filled With Drugs
Rev 18:23 tells us that In the final Days The Whole World will be filled with drugs, drug merchants and drug users
Rv:18:23: "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
The key word of interest here is "Sorceries" which is the Greek word "pharmakia" from which the English words "pharmacy" "pharmaceuticals," and "pharmacology" are derived. Interpreted literally, it refers to the practice of preparing and selling drugs and potions also practicing occultic and witchcraft rituals using drugs and potions. [see also: Acts:8:11, Rev:9:21]
COMMERCIAL BABYLON - REVELATION 18 - The Post Script
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:1-3).
After the destruction of "Mystery Babylon" the "Mother of Harlots" (religious Babylon), comes the destruction of the "Babylon the Great" (commercial Babylon). Some point out resemblances between "the harlot Babylon" of Rev. 17 and "Babylon the Great" of Rev. 18. But, there are also distinct differences between the two. They are alike in that they are both under the rule of the Gentile antichrist and at the same time (Rev. 17:3, 7-14; 16:10 17-21); they are both ruling like gods, and filled with blasphemy (Rev. 17:3; 18:7); they both hate the saints and shed their blood (Rev. 17:6; 18:24); they are both associated with the kings of the earth in what is called "immorality" (Rev. 17:2; 18:3); they both come under the definite judgment of God and are destroyed (Rev. 17:1, 16, 17; 18:2, 6-8). But here the similarity ends, and there are marked differences which distinguish them.
Religious Babylon is called "MYSTERY BABYLON, THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17:5), while commercial Babylon is called "Babylon the great" (Rev. 16:19; 18:2). The one is described under the symbol of a harlot woman, seated upon the beast of government, the other is presented as a mighty commercial, financial conglomeration of merchants and merchandise. The 17th chapter presents ecclesiastical Babylon as a "woman," a "whore," a "harlot", a "mother;" the 18th chapter presents commercial Babylon as a "habitation," of "devils" places of merchandise and "foul spirits" market places, business, finance and commerce. The one is identified with Rome (Rev. 17:18); the other Babylon is visible from and close to the world's seas (Rev. 18:17-21).
The Babylonian Mystery woman is described as guilty of religious abominations (Rev. 17:4), this Babylon the Great is abominable because of its system of commerce (Rev. 18:3, 11-19). The manner of their destruction is quite different. The "Harlot" is destroyed by the political power through which she has come to reign so arrogantly (Rev. 17:16); "Babylon the Great" is destroyed by an act of God (Rev. 18: 8-10, 19 & 21).
There is a fair presentation of an interpretation of those who believe that the old city of Babylon on the Euphrates River will be rebuilt. The old city of Babylon may be rebuilt; however, old Babylon cannot be the city of Rev. 18. Just as the city of Rev. 18 cannot be Rome because Rome is not a seaport, nor is her influence on business great enough to cause the disruption of the commerce of the world, the same may be said of Babylon on the Euphrates. It is nowhere near the sea, and to imagine a city in the valley of the Euphrates as being the center of the commerce of the world is to envisage the prior fall of all Europe and America.
Let us remember that early Babylon was composed of three interrelated parts: (1) religion, (2) commerce and (3) government. All three were united against God, and God pronounced a curse upon them. In the 17th chapter of Revelation, God speaks of religious Babylon and identifies it with the Roman ecclesiastical system and her prostitute "daughters." or daughter churches, her spawn if you like. They follow the Mother church's practices and dictates.
By the teaching of the last verse of chapter 17, the "woman" (religious Babylon) is linked with the city of seven hills (Rome) of her religious headquarters (the Vatican), which has influence over the Revived Roman Empire or "political Babylon," which is of the beast (Antichrist) and the union of ten. Now, may I ask, if religious Babylon is not a city on the Euphrates, and if political Babylon is not city on the Euphrates, why should commercial Babylon be a city on the Euphrates? I see no logic nor consistency in such an interpretation. In fact, I believe that the definite symbolism of the first two, also indicates a symbolism for commercial Babylon.
This great system of commercialized, globalized, systemized cities or group of connected cities, has become the abode of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. One has only to walk the main streets of the commercial capitals of the world, the "big rotten apple," which is New York City, or Hong Kong or Amsterdam, or Singapore, or Los Angeles and many more seaport connected cities, we see the reality of such a description.
Lust is unbridled as thousands of girls each year go on their way to prostitution. A murderer can be hired for a small sum. Hedonism rages, Drugs, crime and Homosexuality abound. Justice can be bought and corruption flourishes. Huge megabanks finance governments, including the U.S. government, who do their bidding. These cities are the home of many devilish Anti-God - Anti-Christ organizations. The attack on the World Trade Center was a stern warning from God and ultimately the entire system of evil cities will be burned to the ground. Surely,these cities sum up the diverse elements which will come under the wrath of God!
In the book of Revelation, chapter 13, some details are given about the first beast, commonly known as the antichrist:
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over ALL kindreds, and tongues, and NATIONS" (Rev.13:7).
It is an indisputable Biblical fact that all nations will be under the authority of the first beast as the Scripture says he will have authority over "ALL NATIONS." Therefore, this means that two things must happen; a consenting union of nations will produce the beast, and all the others will be conquered by him.
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him"(Rev. 13:4)? NOBODY!
Audio Bible Studies: Got Lots of Stuff? Revelations 18
Revelation 19:1-9: "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia, Salvation and glory and honour and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."
Notice the four "Hallelujahs"(Alleluias) mentioned in these verses. The first Hallelujah is over the destruction of the great whore, mystery Babylon, the scarlet woman with a golden cup in her hand. This refers to the ecumenical false church and when she is destroyed all heaven shouts with praise.
The second Hallelujah is over the destruction of the city Babylon. God's judgment must come upon this wicked city for various reasons:
(1) Her sins as mentioned in Rev. 18:5;
- (2) Her arrogance causing her to boast of her atheism and blasphemy against God as taught in Rev. 18:7;
- (3) Her disregard for the souls of men as they are listed in Rev. 18:12-13 with 28 articles of merchandise.
This is what we see in Communism today. Lenin once said: "What would it matter if two-thirds of this earth were destroyed if the one-third that remains be Communist." The iniquity of Babylon is great and when God's judgment is fallen and the Christ-rejecting men are destroyed all heaven feels the triumph of the glory and grace of God and we hear he shout, "Hallelujah."
The next Hallelujah resounds from the exalted elders in heaven: "And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia"(Verse 4). The word "Amen" is first mentioned in Numbers 5:22 and is a word of affirmation in praise to God. These ones at the Throne of God join in ecstasy and praise to the fall of wicked Babylon.
The final Hallelujah is a call from the Throne itself: "And a voice came out of the throne, saying. Praise our God (Hallelujah), all ye his servants, and ye that fear him both small and great (verse 5). The mighty voice of the throne of heaven sounded in thunderous exaltation: "Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (verse 6).
Then in verses 7-8 that mighty voice sounds out the great announcement: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white." What a prospect! What a glorious victory!
The Lamb, as the bridegroom, is Christ, for as the Lamb He shed His precious blood to save us and bring us unto Himself. Christ referred to Himself as the bridegroom in Matthew 9:15: "Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?" John the Baptist referred to Christ as the bridegroom in John 3:29-30: "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom..." In 2 Cor. 11:2 and Eph. 5:23-32, Paul refers to Jesus as the "husband" (bridegroom) of the bride.
The Church, the result of the Cross-work of Christ, is the Bride. The Bride of Christ has made her calling and election sure and is here in Rev. 19:7-10 being united to God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a marriage that will never be broken.
The bride is not Old Testament Israel. Israel in Ezekiel and Hosea is described as the wife of Jehovah but she is now a put-away wife because of her idolatry and adultery in rejecting her great God. Yes, she will be brought back but she can never be the Bride. The Church is the Bride as Paul says in 2 Cor. 11:2: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen...for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Verse 8).
There are two robes for every believer to wear. In the Roman world our Lord wore an inner garment called the tunic and an outer garment called the toga. The tunic represents justification by faith which is the gift of God. The toga speaks of Christian works and obedient service. Both of these garments will be worn by believers at the Marriage Supper. There will be a display of personal righteousness which is given to every believer by his Lord and the practical righteousness of obedience which glorifies the Lord.
Verse 7 tells us, "his wife hath made herself ready." This takes place at the Judgment Seat or Reward Seat of Christ. In 1 Cor. 3:11-16 we are told that all the works of believers will be tested by fire. If our works are hay, wood, and stubble they are destroyed. If they are gold, silver, and precious stones they will abide as an adornment for the beautiful wedding garment when presented to the Lamb.
Some will come to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb beautifully arrayed because of their life of service, dedication, faithfulness and good works which will sparkle like jewels in the presence of their Lord. Others will be saved just as by fire. They will reach Heaven, but they will not receive the Saviour's "Well done" or other eternal rewards.
Now there is something strange here. Nothing is said about the marriage itself. It just says, "The marriage of the Lamb is come" (vs. 7). John hears the Hallelujah chorus announcing it. He speaks about the wife, the bride of Christ. He describes the robe of righteousness. But the details of the ceremony itself will have to wait until we are there by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 9 speaks of the guests: "And he saith unto me (after the marriage), Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb...these are the true sayings of God."
The wedding is now over. Here is the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The guests cannot be the Bride for the Bride needs no invitation to her own wedding. She is part of the marriage feast and is the engaged virgin Bride, the Lamb's wife.
In Rev. 21:9-10 we have that great City: "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit...and he shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." The bride is there but I believe there are others also - her companions and friends. The whole city is called the Bride because all give glory to her. But the city is made up of the bride and friends.
One friend who will be there will be John the Baptist. He died before the Cross and did not become a part of the Church. He belonged to the "old dispensation". That is why he said in John 3:29: "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled." John is not a part of the Church or the Bride. He is a friend who rejoices in the wedding.
I am sure Jesus had this in mind when He said in Matthew 11:11: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven (in the dispensation of the church age) is greater than he." Those who belong to the church belong to the bride of our Lord and are a direct part of the Marriage. The other guests are all the Martyred Saints of the Old Covenant and they are also blessed of the Lord: "Blessed are they (the guests) which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9).
What a glorious banquet it will be. We shall have the new kind of wine like unto that which Jesus created at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. Many think that Jesus turned the water into wine that makes people drunk. God's judgment is upon intoxicating wine and all booze - those who make it, those who sell it, those who serve it, and those who drink it. Notice carefully what is said in John 2: 7-10. when the servants brought the wine that our Lord had made to the governor of the feast he said: "Thou hast kept the good wine until now." This was a new wine. They had never tasted fruit of the vine like this. I believe it is the kind we shall drink at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
An old hymn describes it best:
There be prudent prophets all, The Apostles six and six, The glorious martyrs in a row, And confessors in betwixt. And though the glory of each one, Doth differ in degree, Yet is the joy of all alike And common certainly. There David stands with harp in hand, As master of the choir. A thousand times that man were blest, That might his music hear. There Mary sings "Magnificat." With tune surpassing sweet, And all the maidens bear their part, Singing at her feet. "Te Deum," doth saintly Ambrose sing, And Augustine the same. Old Simeon and Zacharias Anew their songs inflame. There Magdalene hath left her tears And tearfully doth sing With all those saints, whose harmony Through every street doth ring. And in that holy company, May you and I find place, Through worth of Him who died for us, And through His glorious grace. With cherubim and seraphim, And hosts of ransomed men, To sing our praises to the Lamb, And add our glad Amen.
REVELATION 19 THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
"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. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 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. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS"(Rev. 19:11-16).
As we read through these remaining verses of Revelation 19 we see a picture of awful death. The first verses of the chapter speak of the marriage supper of the Lamb which is preceded by the marriage of the Son of God to His bride, who has made herself ready. Immediately following is the Battle of Armageddon. It is the judgment of the great day of Almighty God.
The present world situation is but a preparation for the war of all wars-the campaign of Armageddon. The tension between Israel and Arab peoples will continue until Jesus comes. After the rapture, Antichrist will make a false covenant with Israel to settle the Israel-Arab dispute in favour of Israel. This is clearly pointed out in Daniel 9:26-27 and Antichrist assures Israel of an important place among the nations of the world. This covenant continues for three and one-half years, after which it is broken by Roman authorities and we have the beginning of a terrible time of suffering.
All of history has been written with human blood. Someone has estimated that over 600 million people have died on the battlefields of the world, while millions more were left helplessly wounded to suffer for life. Famine, pestilence and suffering have followed every war. Millions of people are starving today due to the ravages of war.
Armageddon, referred to as "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14) will take place at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).
The Greek word here translated "battle" speaks of much more than an isolated battle. It is more accurately described as a campaign. The hill of Megiddo is located west of the Jordan River in north central Palestine, about ten miles south of Nazareth.
It is recorded that the great French leader, Napoleon, referred to Megiddo as "the most natural battleground of the whole earth."
Frederick L. Brooks in his book on Prophetic Glimpses, said: "Here many of the most noted military generals have fought:
Thothmes fought here in 1500 B.C.,
- Sennacherib, 710 B.C.,
- Nebuchadnezzar, 606 B.C.,
- Ptolemy, 197 B.C.,
- Antiochus Epiphanes, 160 B.C.,
- Pompey, 63 B.C.,
- Titus, 70 A.D.,
- Khosru, the Persian King, 614 A.D.,
- Omar, 637 A.D.,
- the Crusades under St. Louis of France, 909 A.D.,
- Saladin, who conquered Richard the Lionhearted in 1187 A.D.,
- the Ottoman Forces, 1615 A.D."
Three renowned mountains, Carmel, Gilboa and Tabor, overlook this valley:
It was here that Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanites (Judges. 4-5).
- Here Gideon triumphed over the Midianites (Judges. 7).
- Here Saul was slain in the battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:8).
- Here Ahaziah was slain by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27).
- Here Josiah was slain in the invasion of the Egyptians (2 Kings 23: 29-30);(2 Chron. 35:22).
- It was on Mt. Carmel where the contest was held between Elijah's God and the devil-possessed prophets of Jezebel. Here was a battle between God and Satan and, praise God, "the fire of the Lord fell"!
Just as the nations are currently trying to unite against Israel, so in the day of Armageddon the hordes of Hell will gather themselves against Israel:
Joel 3:2 says: "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat."
- Zephaniah 3:8 says: "For my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them my indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy."
- Zechariah 12:3 says: "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people...though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it".
- Zechariah 14:2-3 says: "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle...Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations as when He fought in the day of battle."
As the nations gather to wipe out Israel they will, at the same time, be preparing themselves for God's direct judgment.
Many people fail to recognize that while God is a God of love and of peace, He is also a God of war. When God delivered Israel from the armies of Egypt by means of a miracle, Moses sang:
"The Lord is a man of war" (Exod. 15:3).
- The Bible tells us that God fought for His people at the Red Sea (Exod. 14:25),
- at Jericho (Josh. 6:20),
- at Gibeon (Josh. 10:8-14),
- at Megiddo (Jud. 4:15;5:20),
- at Mizpeh (1 Sam. 7:10),
- at Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35).
One day, at Armageddon, God will again fight for His people and deliver them in a miraculous way. As He used fire from heaven in the day of Elijah, so God will use fire in the day of Armageddon. Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 1:7,8: "The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God."
John tells us in Rev. 16:8,9: "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues, and they repented not to give Him glory."
People may laugh at the idea of God sending fire-judgment upon the earth to consume those who gather against Jerusalem, but they need to remember Noah's day. The people laughed then, too, but judgment fell.
God appeared to Moses in a flame of fire (Exod.3:2). He led Israel at night by a pillar of fire (Exod. 13:21,22). Exodus 19:18 tells us the Lord descended in fire. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that "The Lord thy God is a consuming fire" (Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29).
God is going to use fire at Armageddon to destroy Israel's enemies. : "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." (Rev. 16:18-20; Zech. 14:4,5).
Rev. 16:21 tells us "There fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
Let no one be deceived. God has the situation well in hand and He will have the last say regarding the Gentile nations of the earth. How important it is that those who are not saved quickly turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. he is the only Way into Heaven. Those who reject the Saviour today might well find themselves in the Great Tribulation without further hope. I pray that you might see the need of turning from sin unto the Lord.
What nations will be involved in the great campaign of Armageddon? We have already seen from the study of Daniel's interpretation of the image that, after the rapture of the church, the ten nations of Europe will unite with Israel to protect them from the "king of the north" which is Russia. These are the nations that will promise peace to Israel.
Then there is the Russian confederacy mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39, which will no doubt include the Arab states, coming down to battle against Israel. We also read about "the kings of the south" (Dan. 11) and this certainly refers to Egypt. In Rev. 16:12 a reference is made to "the kings of the east." This speaks of other Eastern countries with an army of 200 million.
These are the nations that will ally themselves against God and His people. While this battle still rages, and when the kings of the north and south seem to be having the final victory, God will intervene. Christ will be Victor as He returns to establish His rule upon the earth.
In that day there will be peace, first in Jerusalem, and then in all the earth. "Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come ye, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34).
Go to lesson Six: Revelations Study Six