Revelation 17 -- 18
The Apostle John was carried away in the Spirit into the wilderness, where he saw a woman seated upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy. . . . The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and (the) filthiness of her fornication . . . on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Revelation 17:3-5). Old Testament Babylon, first called Babel (located in modern-day Iraq), is where human government first openly defied God by building the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). Centuries later, Babylon became the most magnificent capital city of the ancient world, and its king Nebuchadnezzar controlled the then-known world. During his conquests, he destroyed the Kingdom of Judah, as well as the Temple of God and the Holy City of Jerusalem.
BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, seated on the beast, illustrates the political and religious God-defying forces that will control the world during the Great Tribulation. The apostate ecumenical federation of churches and world religion that is now being developed will work in harmony with and give full support to the one-world political and economic system called the scarlet colored beast, which will be ruled by the Antichrist.
To unbelievers, BABYLON is a MYSTERY because the unsaved cannot comprehend the deceptions of the devil and cannot discern the difference between true Christians and the counterfeit Church, with all its worldly splendor and power. However, to the children of God, Babylon is no mystery.
The woman is clothed with wealth and attractiveness, but the activities she performs are an abomination to the Lord. The woman (harlot) and the beast represent the close alliance that exists between the world government called the beast and the harlot Babylon who pretends to be the True Church. But the harlot is a deceiver, attempting to corrupt and destroy true Christianity.
This false Church is not concerned about reaching a lost world with the Word of God and will promote the "equality of all religions." Even now, the Bible is gradually being set aside and rewritten to suit the agenda of the one-world government and its one-world religion. Eventually, they will discredit and fiercely oppose Jesus Christ as the only way to obtain eternal life. The message of this ecumenical super church will be based on humanistic principles, social issues, humanitarian objectives, and lifeless formalism, and will appeal to the majority of people.
But, the voice from Heaven is saying, Come out of her, My people (Revelation 18:4). The end is near, and the forces of the world will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and those that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14).
For Revelation 18:7: See Isa. 47:7-8; Zeph. 2:15.
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Memory Verse for the Week:
I John 3:3