The Word for today:
(Over the next few days, we'll be going back to Babylon. Today's article will look at religious "Babylon" in chapter 17. We will encounter political/economic "Babylon" in chapter 18.)
mark this: Revelation 17:5
This title was written on her forehead:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Babylon is an all-purpose metaphor in the Bible. It represents--
- the worldly system--the kingdom of Antichrist (1)-- which opposes the principals and program of God;
- human/demonic pride which seeks to displace God;
- false religion, idolatry, and the false god of materialism;
- the confusion caused by godlessness.
Babylon first appears in scripture as Babel (2), where the people joined together to build a tower. The tower, so it seemed, was to be built so that the people could reach up to God. But what they really wanted to do was pull God down to their level.
If we can grasp that concept, then we can understand the essence of "mystery Babylon," the prostituted church in Revelation 17. She is going to seem religious, even pious. But--like the Tower of Babel--she will be just the opposite of what she seems.
How will the church turn into this harlot?
It will happen at the Rapture, when all the true believers are taken out of the churches. True believers from every denomination of Protestantism, true believers from every parish in Catholicism, true believers from here and there and everywhere--all gone.
What remains will look like a church, but faith in the real, biblical Jesus will have vacated the premises. What's left behind is the prostitute spoken of in Revelation 17--an unfaithful version of the true "bride of Christ."
Throughout much of Revelation we are in a counterfeit realm. Antichrist will present himself as Christ. The prostitute will play the faithful bride. Evil will pose as good. The wolf will wear sheep's clothing.
And many will be deceived by the Great Pretender. You remember him; he pretended to be a snake in the Garden of Eden.
The Great Tribulation is going to be a Great Masquerade. With the true church gone, what's left behind will be a world filled with spiritually gullible people who will be predisposed to the devil's deception.
They'll be buying whatever counterfeit goods he's selling.
They already are.
(1) see Matthew 4:7-9; Luke 4:5-8; (2) Genesis 11