Today, Wednesday June 29
Babylon, Mother of False Religion
Revelation 17:6-18 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."
Today I will not be giving very much commentary because I wanted to read the rest of the chapter in this chat. And that is because this entire chapter deals with the woman, who is also called, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (v. 5)
During the Tribulation, people will desperately seek religion because of what will be happening in the world. As the hammer blows of God's judgment (the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments) devastate the earth and terrorize its inhabitants, people will turn in desperation to Antichrist as their savior. Aided by the false prophet and hordes of deceiving demons, Antichrist will establish a worldwide religion, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Babylon is a composite religious system which includes Protestantism, Romanism, cults and all the other religions of the world, which was not raptured when Jesus came for His pure bride, the church just before the Tribulation. Babylon is confusion compounded and is the fountainhead of all religious error and idolatry. Babylon in the Old Testament persecuted God's people and was the enemy of God. It was Babylon that put the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace because they would not worship an image.
How can the future religious Babylon be the mother of all false religion? To comprehend the Babylonian false religion of the future requires an understanding of Babylon's role in the false religion of the past. The story of Babylon begins with the Tower of Babel, recorded in Genesis 11:1-9.
Throughout history, then, Babylon has been an important center of false religion. In the end times, false religion will come back to where it started. The devil who deceived the people at Babel, and from there launched false religion over the earth, will deceive the world once again. The final world religion, depicted as a harlot, is the theme of this vision, which records the exposure of the harlot, the explanation of the harlot, and the extermination of the harlot.
When John saw the vision of the woman, he says that he "marveled with great amazement." This is the first time that John has had his mind boggled. We have had our minds boggled before, but this really throws John. The angel asks why he should wonder when he (the angel) was present to explain the mystery of the woman. There are several symbols involved in this description, but the angel explains them to John and to us. If we accept the interpretation of God's Word, we should have little trouble understanding what the chapter teaches.
We will attempt to unfold this chapter over the next few days!