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Bible Pathways - Dec. 29, 2008


December 29

Revelation 17

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Doom and destruction as MYSTERY BABYLON is overthrown and the Lamb is victorious (Chapter 17). People on earth bewail Babylon's destruction even as a voice from heaven . . . (calls), Come out of her, My people (18:1-19). God avenges the blood of prophets and saints as heaven rejoices over Babylon's fall (18:20-24).

Over one-eighth of the entire Book of Revelation, about 65 verses, is devoted to the subject of judgment upon Babylon (14:8-19; 16:17—19:5). The reason will soon become obvious and, consequently, Babylon deserves our full attention.

The Apostle John reported: He (an angel) 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. . . . having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations (detestable sins) and filthiness of her fornication (unfaithfulness to God): And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (17:3-5). Old Testament Babylon was the most magnificent and most powerful capital city of the ancient world.

BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS illustrates God-defying forces in politics and religion that will soon control the world. This federation of churches, world religions, and world governments will give full support to the one-world political and economic system called the scarlet coloured beast, which will be ruled by the Antichrist.

THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and the beast represent the close alliance that exists between the world government, called the beast, and the harlot, Babylon, which proclaims itself to be the true Church. Babylon has become the great whore (17:1) — symbolic of an unfaithful wife — because it has become unfaithful to God by accepting the gods of false churches and religions as the One True God with different names. It is an apostate "Christianity" that denies Jesus Christ's statement: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). This false church is also called that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18) because it controls the governments of the world which support its false worship.

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 (18:4).

The forces of the world 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 (17:14).

Thought for Today:

To the Jewish elders and rulers, including the high priest, God said: There is none other name under heaven . . . whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). A word to the wise is (should be) sufficient!

Cross References:

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.

Word Studies:

17:8 perdition =b> destruction; 18:2 Babylon (from "Babel") =b> 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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash — Co-Founder of Bible Pathway International • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Country: Switzerland (7 million) in central Europe • Major languages: German and French • Religious freedom • 53% Roman Catholic; 41% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to help you teach His Word to your children; it will give guidance and instruction as they go through life (Prov. 6:20-23).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:28

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