I can’t help but wonder as I study the book of Revelation and the example of Babylon how much this represents, not only sin throughout history, but in our culture now. Babylon, throughout scripture represents and is a symbolic of a permeating worldview filled with wickedness. It seems that the sin today and the love of this sin is getting worse. In fact, hate for any form of righteousness and morality seems to be getting worse as well. Some have no desire to speak out against sin, including people in the global church. The lives of some who claim to know the Lord don’t look any different than those who have no relationship with Christ whatsoever. Have we found other idols in our life to consume us and draw us away from what is most important, like in the case of Babylon or Israel? Are we finding another love?
Pleasure In Sin For A Season
See, this is what happens in adultery. Two people break their commitment to the one that they claim to love and they go to another person hoping to find satisfaction. They may find it for a time, but in the end, there are consequences. There are always consequences. The same thing happens in fornication. It seems enjoyable for a time, but when there is no commitment and someone wants a commitment but the other is unwilling, many difficulties result. This hurts everyone in one form or another. It isn’t what God wants for anyone.
A Current Example
Currently, with a leak in the Roe decision regarding abortion, we have protesters going to neighborhoods and homes of our Supreme Court Justices to harass those who stand for life and stand against abortion. The protestors are on the street and in churches as well to proclaim even the opposite of what honors God. He created life but many are out to destroy life. This post is not to raise the issue of “Roe” and abortion, but it is to show the wickedness of people in many ways. We have people who refuse to live moral lives, then they end up with a baby that they do not want, so then they kill their child. Many today support this and other immorality instead of standing on godly principles.
God frequently calls out his people throughout the Old Testament for embracing foreign gods and the horrors that result from those practices. It seems that people today are so focused on worshiping their own fertility that abortion has become a modern-day sacrifice to their own fertility god – something that God condemned in the worship of Moloch in the Kings and Chronicles.
A Seductive Culture
“The context of the book of Revelation seems to suggest Babylon (Revelation 14:8, 16:19, 18:2, 10, and 21) and the Whore of Babylon (Revelation 17:5) are symbolic of a spirit of a seductive culture which will fall to God’s wrath.” Israel in Ezekiel chapter sixteen is described as apostate as she found someone else to honor, to love and worship instead of God. Babylon took Israel away several times and showed her other idols to worship.
Introducing The Whore Of Babylon
I read and researched to discover who the “Whore of Babylon” is in this chapter. Then I realized that there is great symbolism in this chapter that relates to our culture now, even this very week. The whore finds anything to take us away from the one that we love and eventually is punished for what “she” does. People find great pleasure in her and she looks beautiful! But the kings of the earth commit adultery with her and the inhabitants are drunk with wine. The inhabitants are consumed with her, they think she is awesome and can’t get enough of her.
Here is a description of her that John saw:
- He saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast
- The beast she rode on was
- Covered with blasphemous names
- Had 7 heads, 10 horns
- She was dressed in purple and scarlet
- glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls
- She held a golden cup in her hand, it was filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries
- The name written on her forehead was a mystery, but said:
Babylon the Great,
The mother(origin) of prostitutes
and of the abominations of the earth(great sin)Revelation 17:5
Why Are You Surprised, John?
The angel tells John more about this woman and the beast that she rides on.
“I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.”When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 “Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.”Revelation 17:6-7
So, there are 7 heads, 7 hills, 7 kings
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.Revelation 17:12-13
Another Current Example
Right now, we hear of people that are persecuted for their faith and for standing on moral decisions. People are harassed when they live in truth. They don’t live the way that others live, according to their own lusts and desires and what is relative to them at the time. The whore of Babylon is drunk with the blood of those persecuted for their faith. While not all are physically beaten and killed for their faith, many are threatened on the streets, in front of their own homes and even outside and/or inside of their churches. They suffer for the faith that they hold onto and which guides them in the decisions that they make. Does this sound like the description of Babylon and the Whore of Babylon to you? Does it sound like the Beast that she rides on?
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”2 Timothy 3:12
No Surprise, (a song by Steve Green)
He was a man of sorrows
Who wept in human pain
He knew the grief of parting
And His hunger was the same
He felt the sting of insults
And He bore the weight of sin
He humbly drank the suffering
God set before Him
And it should arrive as no surprise
That tears are gonna come
If you’re called by His name
You’re sure to suffer some
And it should arrive as no surprise
That tears are gonna come
If you’re called by His name
You’re sure to suffer some
He did not seek His happiness
He made no earthly claim
For the joy set before Him
He endured the cross and shame
He was born into the darkness
To shine the light of truth
And if the world hated Him
The world will hate you too
But consider it joy
When you share in his pain
For you’ll share in the glory to come
But The Lamb Will Triumph!
“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”Revelation 17:14
The Beast And The Kings
The beast that once was seen, now is not, but will come again, will come out of the Abyss and go to be destroyed. Those who have lived on the earth and were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life since the creation of the world, will be shocked, (surprised, astonished) when they see the beast because it once was, currently isn’t but will come. (So they are NOT believers)
This requires a mind that is wise. Seven heads are the seven hills that the woman sits on. The seven heads also represents seven kings. Five of the kings have fallen, one currently exists and the last king has not come yet. But when he does come, he will only be here for a short time. The beast who came once but is no longer, is now an 8th king. This 8th king is part of the seven kings and is headed for destruction.)
The ten horns represent ten kings who have not received any kingdom, but for only an hour will be given authority as kings as well as the beast having authority.
Their one and only purpose and they will give this authority to the beast as well, is to wage war against the Lamb BUT the Lamb will triumph over these kings and the beast BECAUSE he is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. With the Lamb will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.)
The Beast And The Prostitute
The angel then said to John, “the waters that you saw the prostitute sit at, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns that you saw will HATE the prostitute. They will ruin her and leave her naked and will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish HIS purpose by handing over to the beast, this royal authority until God’s words are fulfilled. So God will allow the beast to have the authority to ruin the prostitute, until God’s words are fulfilled. This woman that you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. I understand this to mean, Babylon the great, according to her name and the description given of her in this chapter.
This is also something that we see in today’s culture. People using other people and throwing them out like garbage. They are users. They claim to love someone while it suits their purposes, then when things get complicated or it’s no longer fun, or they find something new or more interesting or more entertaining, they throw someone out and hate them more than they claimed to love them to begin with.
How does this relate to Christianity, the Church today? How about the rest of the world?
Remember that the church is the bride of Christ. When she finds someone that she loves besides Christ, she is committing adultery. Worshiping idols existed in the Old Testament and exists now. Even as Christ followers, we all find idols in our life, something that we love other than God Himself. We become attached and give love and time to someone or something else that is not who we should love.
I mentioned earlier that in Ezekiel 16, apostate Israel wanted something other than God (equip.org). This is a good description and parallel to Rev 17. Israel did reject God and idolized other gods. Nineveh was also in Babylon. Jonah was called by God to go there. At first he would not go, so he was swallowed by a giant fish (or whale). After he got out, he still resisted going to Nineveh. Finally, he followed God.
Even many of our current leaders don’t condemn what is happening right now. What is our life, what is our worldview? Is it a worldview of living a life totally committed to God, our first love, or is it to destroy anyone and anything that lives according to godly principles? Do we want only what is convenient for us, what we love for ourselves or do we think first about what God wants for us?
Do we subscribe to the Post-Modern worldview that says that truth is relative to what I think or want. It is all about “me”. It is about what is convenient for me as well. This may sound political to some but our life includes all aspects of all decisions, not just one area or another. This includes going to someone’s home to harass them for a decision that they believe in and stand for. Great sin and persecution will remain until the beast is gone. Many times we stand in the way of those who only want to silence us. They will also intimidate us to get what they want.
What is my passion? Am I looking for another to love and fill my needs or do I only want my first love, the one who saved me and called me to a relationship with Him? If this is the case, then I need to let go of the idols and other desires in my life.
More from Heartshare
My inclination is to view the whore of Babylon as any organized religion as opposed to true believers who trust in The God Who Is and has revealed Himself most clearly in Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah. From early days of Roman Catholicism to modern evangelical organizations that lose sight of their founding principles and feel the need to keep “the machine” going, our tendency is to trust in man and not listen for the whispers of the Spirit of God.
May God have mercy on us all.
I can see that too, that people trust in an organization and have faith and communicate only through an organization to God instead of a direct relationship with God. There are some who believe this regarding the Roman Catholic Church being the Whore of Babylon. I believe that anyone or anything that comes between us and God really is an adulteress relationship, or an idol.
You’re right too, that too many people want to listen to someone who teaches/preaches, instead of reading and studying for themselves. My father in law used to call it “pre-chewed peas”. They have to get the food chewed on first. It isn’t wrong to listen to others speak but when that is all a person does, it’s not good. “Study to show ourselves approved to God…”
“Milk of the word” is okay for babies, but Lord help us if we never grow to feed on the “meat” of doing His will. 😉
amen!!!! Daniel and I both disciple people in our church. People at the beginning often do need something “light” especially if they have very recently come to know Christ, but they definitely need to learn and apply so much more than milk! They need to chew on some good “meat”
I have seen people practically worship some speakers or pastors as well. I know that down in Texas at least years ago Kenneth and Gloria Copeland was the church and ministry to go to. Many have really become the big deal across the country and the world, but we can’t exalt men over God. He comes first1
Blessed be God, our true love.
That is something not seen or preached enough in the Church – Idolatry! And you went into such depth. I believe idolatry just may destroy this nation. If He judged Israel for it. He will judge the US also. But He will have a believing remnant who will be Lights in the darkness. You are one!
I believe it real strongly. The Lord has opened my eyes even more in reading through Revelation how much I haven’t made the Lord my first love. I am a sinner just like everyone else in the world today, but each one of us is just a step away from a decision to do right or wrong. We have such a great God who has done So much that we don’t even deserve! Even when my heart doesn’t understand and like something that is going on, He has it figured out and has a reason and a plan. I have to regularly pray for our kids and grandkids. Daniel and I are struggling a lot over one of our kids. It hurts a lot and I wish it wasn’t the way it is, but I had to tell myself when writing this, that He has to be my one and only first love and I have to listen to Him. It is tough
Thank you for being such an incredible encouragement over and over again!
My sweet friend, you are just going through what every good Christian goes through. You cannot do it yourself. So He is leading you into the fire of His refinement. You will look back one day and thank Him. You will see His goodness when now you feel pain. You are so special to Him and He is perfecting you. You are a very special teacher that is greatly needed in these last days. I believe I will see you leading many more to Christ before He comes. Hang in there. This is only temporary.
I’m grateful to have friends like you to pray and help like this. I need reminded again some days
He loves You so very much!
I’m glad it is temporary, I’m looking forward to seeing Him and all those I know and don’t know yet who love Him too.
No we do not know, but He will make it clear to all. I believe we are at the beginning of His outpouring. I am seeing things in my Church I thought I would never see. It is really great!
That is wonderful! Glad to hear! Our daughter and her family that we just visited in Texas are doing quite well also. We visited their church and enjoyed it a lot. The church needs to be strong and bold!
That is great. Texas sounds so far to travel. Our Church is small but there is a lot of love. Maybe you & Dan could visit sometime. Let’s pray about it! I am in Louisville, Ky. Just down the road a bit!
oh cool! It takes us about 11 hours to get down there. We took it in 2 days each way. Our daughter and family plus my mother in law and aunt in law live there, all just a few minutes from each other. We were married there too plus had all 3 of our kids in that area.
We would love to visit! You aren’t too far away! C.A., one of my other followers lives in Lexington, and we have talked about visiting there someday too. Maybe we will make a trip and visit you and CA and his wife.
My husband, Daniel, also lived in Lexington for several years when he was younger and in high school
Your church sounds similar to my mother in laws church. Her church is real small too but they all love each other and help each other.
Our church here in the St Louis area is around 350. but only around 7 yrs old. We have helped other churches start as well.
I will let you know about our travel plans
That would be so special. My Mom was from Lexington but that was a long time ago. She came here in the 40’s or 50’s not sure but stayed here till she passed in 98. So much to pray. Got to go sing and then go to bed. You both have a good night!
Thank you, you too! God bless you1