Highlights In Today's Reading:
Clear prophesy of the coming judgment of MYSTERY BABYLON, who deceives multitudes and destroys the martyrs united with the Lamb (chap. 17). Read of her horrifying fall (chap. 18).
Old Testament Babylon, originally called Babel, was the city where human government first openly defied God (Gen. 11:1-9). Centuries later, Babylon became the most magnificent capital city of the ancient world. During that time, the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.
Babylon is symbolic of the political, social, and economic systems that attempt to deceive and distract Christians from fulfilling the will of God. The Apostle John received this warning concerning Babylon: Upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev. 17:5).
The harlot (false religions) in alliance with the beast (political powers) is called Babylon — a city personified as a woman. She pretends to represent the Church; but she is a deceiver, attempting to corrupt Christianity. To the unbelieving world, she is a mystery because the unsaved cannot discern between true Christians and the counterfeit church, with all its worldly splendor and power.
The false church opposes reaching a lost world with the Word of God. For men shall be lovers of their own selves . . . unthankful, unholy . . . despisers of those that are good . . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (II Tim. 3:2-4). The full message that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners is ignored by the false church, which is governed by humanistic principles, social issues, and greed for material things.
In the false church, the Word of God is set aside and lifeless formalism, activities, and works of men, take its place. Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev: 3:17). Babylon — the world system which the false church supports, hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously . . . 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 (18:7-8). As Christians, we must come out of her . . . (so that we will) be not partakers of her sins, and . . . receive not of her plagues (Rev. 18:4).
Thought for Today:
I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches (Rev. 22:16).
For Rev. 17:4: See Jer. 51:7. Rev. 17:12: See Dan. 7:20-24. Rev. 17:14: See Dan. 2:47. Rev. 18:2: See Jer. 50:39; Is. 21:9. Rev. 18:5: See Jer. 51:9. Rev. 18:7-8: See Is. 47:7-8; Zeph. 2:15. Rev. 18:22: See Ezek. 26:13. Rev. 18:24: See Jer. 51:49.
17:8 perdition =destruction; 18:2 Babylon (from "Babel") =confusion (Gen. 11:9). It is the name God chose for Satan's great earth system of religion and world government. The true Church is warned to come out of her (18:4-5).
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Edith Bennett and Mr. & Mrs. Charles Elmore • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Country: San Marino (25,000) inside north-central Italy • Major language: Italian • Religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 5% atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and call upon the Lord with assurance that He will answer if you pray with a godly spirit free from sin (Is. 58:9-11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 28:20