Mystery Babylon, as John called her in Revelation 17:5, has appeared many times throughout history but her final portrait is revealed to John as a harlot, decked in the royal colors of the priesthood, with scarlet and purple robbing as described by Peter (1 Peter 2:9). But, she is false and riding upon the Beast which represents the spirit of Antichrist. While she talks religion, she ‘fornicates’ with the world. Her actions, both past and present, reveal her true nature to those with eyes to see. She is a persecutor of all who love the truth of God’s word and cannot be deceived by her.
Like Joseph of old, who fled from Potiphar’s wife rather than be seduced by her fornicating spirit, she will ultimately persecute those who do not submit to her. So John sees her holding a golden cup filled with the “blood of martyrs of Jesus”. Like Cain who slew his brother Abel because God accepted Abel’s offering and not his. She always tries to worship in her own way instead of the way God commands.
She represents the false church which wears the trappings of religion, which cover her guilt for sin but never really satisfy with true redemption. In fact the ‘redemption’ she offers always has some price, such as an indulgence, and ultimately leads to bondage. She preaches much about tithes and offerings but not much about true communion with God and obedience to His word. There will be an offering taken every Sunday but not so the remembering of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper – taking both the body and the blood. The body reminding us to live separated holy lives before God and the blood reminding us that it is God alone Who can empower us to do it.
She promotes the idea that the church is ‘big business’ and her success is measured by ‘bigness’ – big buildings, big influence, big flock, big programs, etc. All too often her bigness becomes a source of pride in her own accomplishments rather than in God. She does not realize that this very ‘bigness’ makes it easier to be controlled by the beast she rides. For example, I remember when American schools were small and dispersed it was much easier for parents and communities to control what their children were taught. Then the drive to consolidate came and small country schools were combined into big schools. It was sold to the people because it would save money. Not only did it not save money but it made it much easier for false doctrines such as humanism, evolution, etc. to infiltrate the children and the parents lost control as God was pushed out of education.
For Mystery Babylon the issue is always control. In following issues I will continue showing the footprints of the false church throughout Scripture and how they can seen in society today.
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