God will not allow mankind to come together in true unity apart from Him. “Babel” (See Genesis 10) means confusion and mankind has been and will be confused as they try to solve the world’s problems (the sin problem) without the Sinbearer Jesus Christ. False unity and false religions began thousands of years ago in Babylon with Nimrod (Genesis 10-11) and will continue until the end when once again man tries to unite against the one true God. Revelation 17 shows their end. Chapter 17 seems to fit chronologically into the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation (the Antichrist seen as riding a white horse promising peace to a world in chaos; see Rev. 6:2) up to the midpoint of the seven year period when Antichrist declares himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:4) and he and the false prophet demand that the entire world worship him (Rev. 13). He and the false prophet "use" apostate Christendom/one world religion to unite the world through this false religious system to rally the world around him and then later destroy the "harlot" (Rev. 17:16-17). This One World Religion includes unsaved nominal “Christians” and all false religions – meaning all religions which reject the free gift of salvation received through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. So our mission field for lost souls includes people within the walls of our own churches, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and all religious groups in our midst and across the seas along with professed atheists. Evangelism and discipleship must be our primary ministry for it alone has the power of God to save and change a life both now and forever. (See Rom. 1:16-17; Matt. 28:18-20)
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. 7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? 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.” (Revelation 17:1-7 – Please read all of Revelation 17.)
[“This harlot church system will, many prophecy students and teachers believe, be made up of an eclectic mix of religions in the time following the Rapture of the true Church. The religious system, called "Mystery Babylon," will work in concert with the Antichrist regime to enslave the world in every realm of life. Many believe the ecumenical movement among the religions of the world and the falling away within Christian church bodies from the sound, fundamental doctrines are quickly moving the world toward this prophesied harlot system. Dr. John Walvoord, one of the great Bible teachers of our day, addressed this troubling Bible prophecy for the Tribulation era. ‘The great prostitute described in these verses is a portrayal of Apostate Christendom in the end time. When the Rapture occurred, all true believers were caught up to be with the Lord, but left behind were many thousands of those who made some profession of faith in Christ and claimed to be Christians who were not born again. These constituted the apostate Church which will dominate the scene politically and religiously up to the midpoint of that last seven years before the Second Coming. The apostasy, called adultery and fornication here, of course refers to spiritual unfaithfulness, not to physical adultery. The church, devoid of any redeeming influence, is now completely united with the world, and, as the passage indicates, is working hand in glove with the political powers. It should be borne in mind that the term "Babylon" applies to Babylonian religion; it also applies to the city of Babylon; and it applies to the empire of Babylon. In this section, however, the revelation concentrates on the influence of Babylon religiously. Because the religion of Babylon was in the form of a secret religious rite in which they worshipped certain idols, it requires divine revelation to understand completely what they held. The prophecy concerning Babylon here as well as other allusions to religion in the Book of Revelation demonstrate that apostasy will have its final form in the Great Tribulation in the worship of the world ruler and Satan. The whole false religion found in Babylon is satanic in its origin and therefore is closely related to the demon world. The purpose of the alliance between the woman and the beast is that both are seeking world domination. When this is finally achieved, as the end of the chapter indicates, the political power will no longer need the religious power to support it.’” http://www.raptureready.com/abc/harlot.html ]
[“The most popular apostasy in Christendom today is the teaching that God has revealed Himself in many different ways to different cultures and that, therefore, all religions worship the same god, but just use different names. From this viewpoint, the Allah of Islam is the same as the Yahweh of Judaism and both are the same as the Krishna of Hinduism. The natural conclusion that is drawn from this apostate idea is that there are many different paths to God, Jesus being only one of them. This has led liberal leaders of groups like The National Council of Churches in the United States and the World Council to condemn missionary activity as "arrogant" and "anti-cultural." http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_signs6.php] I
t is also necessary to understand how the word "Babylon" is used here and in chapter 18. This chapter addresses the false religious system and includes all false religions, cults and apostate Christendom which Antichrist destroys (by God's will) while chapter 18 refers to the political and economic kingdom of Antichrist (and an actual city) which God destroys in “one hour.” (See The Revelation of Jesus Christ by John Walvoord, p. 262-263, for his belief that a rebuilt Babylon is what Revelation 18 refers to in verses 18:9-10.) The city of Babylon is being rebuilt even now and the ecumenical "church" (unions of all faiths) is growing rapidly. As we come to the end of chapter 17 we see that the Antichrist and his henchmen (the ten kings under him) will destroy the one world false religious system (the Harlot) after it serves his purposes of uniting the world, and will demand that all mankind worship him as God (Rev. 17:16-18; Rev. 13; 2 Thess. 2:4). He will then move his headquarters from Rome (17:9) to rebuilt Babylon (18:2). The center of wealth has moved to the Mideast due to its rich oil reserves and rebuilt Babylon will be the new Wall Street of the world. Many commentators see the prophecies regarding ancient Babylon as unfulfilled which requires a new Babylon to be rebuilt for the events described here in chapter 18. According to Jer. 51:8 and Isaiah 13 (esp. v.9) Babylon was to be destroyed suddenly and completely and in "the day of the Lord" which always refers to God's final end-time judgment of the world. This was not true of ancient Babylon as it continued for many years after its political downfall. So Antichrist will destroy religious Babylon at the end of the first 3 ½ years and then God will destroy Antichrist's empire (political/economic Babylon) at the end of the second 3 ½ years with the second coming of Christ. Babylon is seen in Scripture as both a city (ancient & rebuilt Babylon) and a system (mystery Babylon) as man against God both religiously and politically/economically.
Until He comes,
Len and Kristen
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