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.
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.
As we consider Mystery Babylon we must remember that we are drawing close to the end of the age. The Blood Red Moons of 2014 and 2015, the Shemitah (Sabbath) year of 2015, and the Jubilee year of 2016 all signal its nearness to those who are watching. As the end of the age approaches, we should expect wickedness to increase but also righteousness to increase. The message of Revelation 22:11 is going forth –
“He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
In other words, if you want to be filthy, go on – be more filthy because you don’t have long, but, if you want to be righteous – strive with all your being to be more righteous because the Lord is soon coming! The Devil knows this as well and he is doing all he can do to stop this next word from happening –
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”– Revelation 19:7, 8
That is what Mystery Babylon is all about. With great deception the Devil infiltrates the true Church of Jesus Christ with the false church sewing tares among the wheat. Jesus dictated letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 warning of these deceptions –
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.”
“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
All these warnings come to churches that Jesus loves enough to warn them of their faults. Go back to the beginning and begin to function like the first Church did. It was Messianic, full of the Holy Spirit, actively looking for the return of the Lord to make this world right before God. Jesus warned against the doctrine of Balaam who seduced Israel with a message of compromise with the world’s standards and not God’s. He warned against the encroachment of feminism which distorts God’s established order for the bedrock of God’s creation – the family. He warned that the love of riches leads to lukewarmness in the work of God – which is the establishment of the kingdom of God in society.
The Church today has allowed a Trojan horse in its doors. It has compromised its message to be separate from the world –
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” – 2 Corinthians 6:17
We marvel at Muslims who will riot over a cartoon about Muhammad because they have the zeal of belief. I do not agree with Islam but one thing you can say about them – they are not lukewarm! Christians allow paintings of Christ in a bottle of piss and call it art – and even allow our tax dollars to pay for it! There is no shame or outcry in the Church any more against divorce even though it is destroying the family upon which the Church is built and God is so clearly against it –
“For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:16
God even gives the reason He hates divorce because it robs Him of “godly seed”. No one, who has studied the problem, can deny the damage done to children who bear the brunt of divorce. I do not mean to imply that there can be no forgiveness for this but we need to understand the great damage we are doing to ourselves, basically for the sake of selfishness, and begin teaching against divorce in the Church once again.
Anyone who looks at what is accepted in the modern Church and compares it to the beginning Church will see that the doctrines of “mystery Babylon” have been allowed to infiltrate the Church. Many churches will not speak or act on the message of the Bible for fear of losing their tax exempt status or fear of being sued by a corrupt legal system.
When so many evangelicals, who are supposed to believe the Word of God, can vote for politicians like Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Democrats who have not hidden their contempt for God by their language and actions, it is clear that much of the Church needs to hear the message of Jesus Christ to His Church –
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” – Revelation 2:5
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” – Revelation 18:4