We have all seen it.
The label, "One Size Fits All" but we know that is far from being true. One size doesn't fit all from clothing to just about anything. Today, we are going to recap everything we have learned in our study of Revelation 17 up to where we left off and I've added some references for you in regards to some of the things we have been studying. Remember, don't take my word for it, do the research yourself, I highly encourage it.
Revelation 17:1-18 ~ "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prositute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk." And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. But the angel said to me, "Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other had not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.
"And the angel said to me, 'The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth."
The false church is based on a global deception that will be the most accepting of all the religions of the world into one. Remember that all of this comes to a head at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. The seven bowl judgments are being poured out on a Christ-rejecting world. The word to note here is "judgment." God is coming to judge and pour out His righteous judgment on this false religious system and now is that time finally.
What we discover here is that this false religious system is one of spiritually pornography, it's idolatry. Anything that leads you away from Jesus Christ, whether pagans, idols, rituals or false paths is false.
To recap remember all of this future vision is given to John, the oldest disciple of Jesus somewhere in 90-95 A.D. while he is sitting on a volcanic desolate island called Patmos, to rot there by the Emperor of Rome as a prison sentence, but God used this as a theater to show him future events that would come to the world.
The city we are learning about in this chapter is none other than Rome. It was the ruling city of John's day, the seat of Emperors and a central power at that time. John was referencing a false religious system that had Babylonian roots, a pagan worship system that has been embraced by the nations of the world.
The Roman Empire had taken civic powers and mated them with religious worship. Remember Emperor Constantine was the first to do this. His official title was Pontifus Maximus Constantine, even before it was used by the Catholic church as the title for the Pope. The Roman Catholic Church believes that the apostle Peter was the first pope. You can find a plaque in St. Peter's Basillica in the rotunda inlaid in the floor that states that. So how could Peter before a pope if he was married to his wife and had a mother in law that Jesus healed?
Remember that Babylon was founded by Nimrod, who wanted an alternative to worshiping God. You can read about it in Genesis 10 and 11. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord, which is not a compliment, it meant he was in competition with God for the souls of man. That is why he built the tower of Babel, to shoot an arrow into heaven and dethrone God. You might ask where is that in the Bible?
First of all read Genesis 10 and 11 first, and then you will have to step outside of religious history to study the life of Nimrod. He was inviting people to another way to heaven.
We studied that he had a wife, Semiramus, who isn't mentioned in the Bible by name, but the worship of her is, in Jeremiah 44 as the Queen of Heaven. This was more than 5000 years ago. They had a son found in Ezekiel 9, called Tammuz. Remember that Semiramus wept for 40 days to the gods of the underworld to send back her son from the dead. That time was called Lent.
It is the mother of all cults that beckons man to trust in some other system than God alone. The very image of the mother and child was unearthed before there was ever a Catholic church and if you saw it today you'd think it was of Mary and Jesus. It is an ancient pagan image that has nothing to do with Mary or Jesus and can be found in numerous cultures by different names, but it began with Semiramus and Tammuz.
An interesting side note is that when Saddam's nuclear reactor was destroyed by Israel in was named by Saddam as Tammuz.
You might ask, how could a road of false religion from so long ago be present even in John's Day, but how can a false religion from John's day be so prevalent in ours and it's only going to grow and get worse?
To highlight what we touched on yesterday quickly...To road to identifying Babylon is that is will be a system having "global" powers. What religious system in the world today has global powers?
Her identity is as clear as it was in John's day. Her location is clear, remember we are given a description in Revelation 17 as to where is city resides. The seven heads are seven mountain or hills and they are in Rome. Roman has always had the seven hills and we learned their names yesterday as part of the Roman Empire. The interesting thing if you research this, sometimes they added another hill, but instead of adding it to the count, they simply deleted another one, so there was always just seven. You will have to research this in secular history but it is interesting to note there was never more than seven, why?
Her attire is clear. Remember she is naked but clothed in red and purple robes. Her influence is clear. She sits on many waters, which are the nations, peoples, tongues and multitudes, which is the entire world. The sea of humanity. This has never stopped being a global system, it was in John's day and it will rise in prominence again in the very near future. It has always been in the lives, some religious form in the acts of people who worship. The question is whom or what is going worshiped? We will study that in more detail later.
It is a system having a "glorious" position. She will be granted swift access to the world. Remember the museum painting we looked at yesterday? This is a painting from the 1800's which depicts Revelation 17 with some interesting details.
It showcases men of political influence of the time, a number of them with crowns bowing down to worship her. The multi-headed beast is depicted as a dragon which in previous studies we know the dragon in the Bible is Satan, here it is going to be one man who is the antichrist, having received his powers and influence from Satan. Notice the churches in the background.
The woman is seated on the beast, and is the Babylonian worshiped system that has been unearthed throughout archaeology. This is the false church.
The beast is standing on two rivers and we know that Babylon was located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. She will dominate the world's religions. We are already seeing this moving into position as more and more churches are becoming more tolerant of the world and less likely to stand with the Bible.
It is a system of "grand" prosperity. One of unlimited wealth. The woman is clothed in purple and scarlet. The priests of Semiramus had to wear purple and red to serve in her worship services. The governing council of men were required to all wear red and had to be virgin men who would dedicate their lives to the worship service. The priestesses were virgin women who were required to swear an oath that they would dedicate their life to this purpose of worship and service.
Interesting to note that the Bible says concerning a pastor or overseer of a church that they must be a husband to one wife. Hmmm....