Mystery Babylon is hard to identify, after all, she is called mystery by John. She is full of deception just like her master, Satan. She likes the trappings of religion, the pomp and ceremony. Her liturgies can be reassuring to her members lulling them into a false sense of security. She promises redemption without the embracing of the cross – seldom if ever teaching that Jesus said, “If you will be My disciples, take up your cross and follow Me.”
John alludes to this false church in 1st John 2:18 calling them Antichrists. He says “they went out from us, but they were not of us”. In other words, they were part of the church masquerading as believers. He links them to the Antichrist who will come. They are of the same spirit. That is a serious thing to say. It makes what Paul writes about the coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) all the more crucial. He will come “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.
Jesus taught if you keep most of the law but, fail in one point, you have failed in all. The same principle applies to the doctrines being taught today in the name of Christianity. Jesus told a righteous Jew, “You must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven.” But many churches today teach if you are baptized as an infant, without any repentance or consent on your part, you may enter the kingdom of heaven. But, the Word says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9. How does an eight day old baby do this
Other churches teach the doctrine “once saved, always saved” totally forgetting the many Scriptural requirements to live righteous and holy lives such as “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:“ – Hebrews 12:15 . They say ‘Grace covers all’ forgetting that Grace is the empowerment to live as we ought to live, but if willfully choose not to obey, Paul calls this “grace in vain.” He wrote,
What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? – Romans 6:15, 16
John sees the false church at the end of time, arrayed in great pomp and splendor but, compromised with the world and riding the very ‘beast’ that is trying to destroy God, His Son, and His people! She is drunk with the blood of saints and martyrs of Jesus. John, who saw the current Church come forth anointed with the Holy Spirit, is amazed as he looks on what it has become. She has a “form of religion but denies the power thereof” – 1 Tim. 3:5. What is the power she denies?
- Is it the “preaching of the cross” which is the power of God – 1 Corinthians 1:18?
- Or is it the “power of the Holy Ghost” which gives signs and wonders – Romans 15:19?
- Or is it “the word of truth” which is the power of God – 2 Corinthians 6:7?
I believe it is all of these.
The ‘false church’ has the trapping of religion, arrayed in purple and scarlet – the colors of the ‘royal priesthood’ of 1st Peter, but she doesn’t know that we are not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. She is more interested in prestige and power and outward adornment is more important than inward righteousness. She is the ‘false shepherd’ described by Ezekiel that fed herself and not the sheep.
“As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— Ezekiel 34:8
What is God’s final answer for Mystery Babylon? God will turn her over to the Beast she is riding. They will tear her flesh and destroy her. But God’s mercy is acting even in this. God knows there are many of His people trapped within Mystery Babylon, perhaps by culture or deception and He will give them a chance to escape before her judgment falls.
“And 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.” – Revelation 18:4
I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking this message even now. In Mystery Babylon, part 3, we will look at the beast the Harlot is riding.