Throughout history Satan, our great opponent, has been hell-bent on the destruction of mankind by any means possible. Following his failure to destroy mankind by the events that led up to the Flood (see Genesis 6:1-4), Satan launched a far more subtle plan to destroy mankind – his great nemesis.
Remember that Satan had wanted (and thought he was going to be given) this wonderful world that God had created (ref Esther 6:6 / 1 Tim 3:6), But just as Satan thought he was about to be handed the keys to planet Earth, God created Man – in His image – and gave man, not Satan, dominion over the world He had made! Satan’s pride and jealousy led to his fall, and to underline the magnitude of this, one third of the angels also rebelled and followed after heaven’s worship-leader and ‘light bearer’. This was no trivial thing!
So, following the flood, Satan’s new revised plan consisted of three parts:
- A one-world government,
- a one world religion,
- a targeted attack on Israel (through whom the Seed was to come).
Firstly, He would set about the creation of a One World Government, This would give him great control over mankind.
Rather than man being responsible for his own family and needs before God, being largely self-reliant and able to fend for himself, man would become dependent on others in a larger society and as a result become so consumed with the acquisition of wealth and power that it would leave very little time for the things of God. As History has shown, this plan worked very well indeed (!), and added to this was the corruption that comes with power that has plagued almost every government that has existed.
Step one of this plan was the Tower of Babel; a deliberate attempt to unite mankind under a one world government. From what we know historically, it was Noah’s grandson Cush who was led this rebellion against God. This however, was abruptly halted when God intervened (see Genesis 11:1-9) and put a stop to this centralization of power and control.
However, far from giving up on this part of his plan, Satan has been working behind the scenes for the last 4,500 years since Babel to bring about a One World Government. Every empire from Nebuchadnezzar to Napoléon has aspired to rule the world and have power over man. In the books of Daniel and Revelation it is made clear that this will finally come to pass, albeit for a short time.
The phrase Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for “New order of the ages”) appears on the ‘Great Seal’ of the United States, printed on the back of the United States one-dollar bill since 1935. What does this mean? – and why did Present Bush (Snr) announce that his foreign policy would help build a New World Order?
There can be no denying that behind the scenes there are powerful people working to unite the world, monetarily, economically and politically. The European Union has boldly declared they are attempting to reverse the effects of the Tower of Babel and unite people of all languages. In an advertising campaign back in the 1970’s, they even published a picture of Pieter Bruegel’s famous painting of Babel, with the caption ‘Europe. Many Tongues, One Voice’. The European Parliament building in Strasbourg is clearly modeled on Bruegel’s painting, and unashamedly called the ‘Tower Building’!
In whichever way these pieces of the jigsaw eventually fit together, all of this is being manipulated by Satan to bring about a one world government headed by 10 kings (see again Revelation 13 & 17).
Whilst all of this is provocative and even fascinating, particularly to Bible students in the days we are living, there is another attempt to unite the world from a different perspective, not the coming of a One World Government, but the coming of, and eventual destruction of, a One World Church. That is the subject of Revelation chapters 17 & 18.
As we noted in our previous session, this is the second phase of Satan’s ‘master plan’ that he began in ancient Babylon, at the time of, and following on from the Tower of Babel.
Many people ask why there are so many religions in the world today? Particularly if God is in control, why would He allow them? The answer is found by looking at the false religion that was established in Babylon. Almost all religions in the world today can be traced back to that source. There may be different god’s, but they are all just branches of the same corrupt tree. It was a tree deliberately sown to be a counterfeit and keep people from the truth. Ingeniously Satan didn’t create a brand new ‘religion’, he simply took what God had already reveled and twisted it just enough to send people off on tangents. That is why there are so many similarities across the world’s religions. To study this further, it is strongly recommend that you get a copy of ‘The Two Babylon’s’, originally published in 1858 by the late Alexander Hislop. It is astounding to actually see the roots of this tree and make the connections.
In chapter 17 we saw how Satan has used and manipulated the Roman Catholic Church as a catalyst to start to draw all ‘faith’s’ together. In recent times ISIS have also prompted many to seek ‘religious tolerance’ (in essence that means a watering down of the fundamentals you hold to). The pressure for all religious groups to conform will only intensify, and any who stand firm on the fundamentals of their faith will be ostracised and labeled as extremists or radicals.
Out of all of this will grow a One World united faith that will no doubt fuse together elements from all religions. Since 2009 we have had open talk of ‘Chrislam’, which is the working together of Christianity and Islam, promoted by so called leading evangelicals like Rick Warren and Robert Schuller (who died in 2015).
One article stated: The Chrislam movement has gained impetus by statements from President George W. Bush and that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God and by Rick Warren’s reference to Isa (the Muslim name for Jesus) in his prayer at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. (http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/chrislam-starts-to-spread-in-america/)
Satan is not so concerned about the labels, but is determined to lay a smoke screen of deception that will keep people from the Truth of the Bible and the knowledge that salvation is in the Name of Jesus alone. This study therefore addresses the pouring out of God’s judgment on this coming false religious system that has actually existed since the time of Babylon and has manifested itself in various forms throughout history.
We pick up from our previous study by looking at where this One World Church will be finally based at the time of her destruction.
Having already shown that the great harlot of Revelation 17 is not directly the Roman Catholic Church, but rather is the Queen of Heaven that was birthed in ancient Babylon, but that the Roman Catholic Church is merely the clothing that this woman has disguised herself in so that she may bring about a one world religion; the question as to what city now has to be settled.
Given all that we have seen, it follows that the city is literal Babylon of the banks of the Euphrates and not Rome. Rome may be home to the Roman Catholic Church but it was not the home of the Queen of Heaven, for that was Babylon. This great spiritual deception may have resided at Rome for a time, as it did at Pergamos (Rev 2:13), but it started in Babylon and will also be destroyed there. This obviously means that this great harlot will have to move from Rome back to Babylon before the judgment recorded in Revelation 18 can take place.
There is a very interesting prophecy in the Old Testament that Zechariah saw in a vision and is recorded in Zechariah 5:5-11:
“Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”
The same passage in the Living Bible adds some clarity:
“Then the angel left me for awhile, but he returned and said, “Look up! Something is traveling through the sky!” “What is it?” I asked. He replied, “It is a 35-litre basket filled with the sin prevailing everywhere throughout the land.” Suddenly the heavy lead cover on the basket was lifted off, and I could see a woman sitting inside the basket! He said, “She represents wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and clamped down the heavy lid again. Then I saw two women flying toward us, with wings like those of a stork. And they took the 35-litre basket and flew off with it, high in the sky. “Where are they taking her?” I asked the angel. He replied, “To Babylon where she belongs and where she will stay” (The Living Bible)
So in this passage Zechariah sees a vision that he doesn’t understand and the angel explains that he is seeing a pot containing an ephah which was a commercial measure – representing corrupt world trade – that permeates the world. The talent of lead was also a commercial measure of weight – and is seen here as a lid that covers the ephah. When the lead is lifted up Zechariah sees a woman sitting [comfortably] in the midst of ‘world commerce’. She is identified as wickedness (moral corruption) in the midst of the ephah. Zechariah then sees this wicked woman lifted up and taken to Shinar [Babylon] where she is to build a house on her own base.
The only woman in the Bible that are identified with Babylon are this one and the whore of Revelation 17 & 18. If these are indeed one and the same, as it would appear, then at a time yet future this false religious system will relocate to the city of Babylon on the ancient plain of Shinar in modern day Iraq.
It is no secret that Saddam Hussein had already started rebuilding Babylon, seeing himself as a modern day Nebuchadnezzar.
Left to right: Babylon today – on the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq / Inside the rebuilt palace / More of the city that Saddam Hussein was in the process of rebuilding
Many passages in the Old Testament and chapter 17 & 18 of Revelation prophesy the complete and total destruction of Babylon – something that to date has not happened.
Some Bible commentaries try to explain these prophecies away as having been fulfilled when Cyrus conquered Babylon (on the night of the famous feast of Belshazzer where the handwriting appeared on the wall, as recorded in Daniel chapter 5). This event is known as the ‘fall of Babylon’, and indeed politically it did fall into the hands of the Persians; but the city was not destroyed. Even Cyrus himself bragged how he had taken the city without a fight – this is recorded on the ‘Cylinder of Cyrus’ that is now in the British Museum.
Babylon continued to be a powerful city and was later to be the place where Alexander the Great took up residence and later died. Throughout history the city of Babylon faded from the political scene but was never destroyed. In contrast, the following prophecies make it absolutely clear that when Babylon is destroyed it will be complete and final.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. Isaiah 13:19-22
Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country [the 10 kings of Rev 17?]: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain [‘Arrows’ that don’t miss – laser guided missiles?] . And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls; Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. Jeremiah 50:8-13
And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD. Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. Jeremiah 51:24-29
For these prophecies to be fulfilled, Babylon has to once again become a centre of false worship, corrupt trade and idolatry in preparation for its final judgment.
And after these things…
This chapter opens with the Greek phrase ‘meta tauta’ – after these things; so the natural question is: After what things?
Some have suggested that this phrase means that we are now done with ‘Mystery Babylon’ and our subject changes to view ‘Political Babylon’ – whatever that may be. However as we have already noted, there is no such thing as ‘Mystery Babylon’; it is ‘Mystery, Babylon the great’. The same title is used to clearly identify literal Babylon in 18:2. The ‘mystery’ part of the name simply identifies the spiritual influence of the city of Babylon that has existed throughout the ages since the time of the Tower of Babel. The spiritual influence of Babylon has shifted from place to place but will ultimately end up back on its base on the banks of the Euphrates river as we have seen.
Another problem with the idea that there are two Babylons in view (one spiritual and one political) is that at the start of chapter 17 the angel specifically says to John that he is to come and see the judgment of the great whore. As we arrive at chapter 18 we still have not seen the judgment of the great whore; all that has happened is that John has seen the great whore, the angel has explained who she is, and that she will be (future tense) destroyed by the 10 kings when they come to power. (It is worth keeping in mind that there were no chapter breaks in the original, they were not added until Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton (c. 1150 – 1228AD) added them for convenience).
We have already seen in chapter 17 that ‘Babylon’ is both a woman (representing a spiritual system) and a city. The same idea is carried on in this chapter with the personal pronoun ‘her’ being used 29 times, and the fact that we are also viewing a literal city being alluded to at least 19 times.
As to the phrase ‘after these things’, it is after the vision of the woman riding the beast and the explanation of her identity…..
…I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. With this we will go on to witness the final and complete destruction of Babylon. With the earth being lit up, some see the possibility that this is a nuclear strike by the ten kings whom God will use to destroy Babylon. Certainly the smoke of her burning will be seen far off as we will see.
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Now we witness the destruction of Babylon. The double reference ‘fallen is fallen’ implies suddenness. Babylon’s new inhabitants are not the kind of neighbours that you would like to find have moved in next door! There is something dark and demonic about this place.
This kind of destruction fits perfectly with what we read in Isaiah 13/14 & Jeremiah 50/51, and clearly has not yet occurred in world history (see also cf: Isaiah 21:9)
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Commerce between the woman and the merchants of the earth are substantial. They used her and will miss her for she has made them rich.
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.
The message is clear – have nothing to do with this woman, this false religious system. But who is the message to?
‘My people’ – all who would class themselves as God’s people should therefore take note.
The danger is to assume that this warning is not for us.
Seven times in scripture God’s people are warned to flee from her: Is 48:20 / Is 52:11 / Jer 50 8-9 / Jer 51:6-8 / Zech 2:6-7 / 2 Cor 6:17-18 / Rev 18:4
Seven times in Matthew 24 Jesus warned of great spiritual deception in the last days that would lead many astray: Matt 24:4 / Matt 24:5 / Matt 24:11 / Matt 24:23 / Matt 24:24 / Matt 24:25 / Matt 24:26.
Paul writes: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Tim 4:1)
And again: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables”. (2 Tim 4:3-4)
And again:“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves……….lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim 3:1-6)
Jesus warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”. (Matt 7:15-16)
And in Matthew 24 we read:
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matt 24:5)
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt 24:11)
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. (Matt 24:23-26)
Scripture is absolutely clear, the last times are to be characterised by great spiritual deception; ministers and preaches who will have a form of godliness, who will seem genuine and who will even perform signs and wonders in the name of Jesus. In Matthew 7:15-23 Jesus said that there would be people who would prophesy in His name, cast out devils in His name and in His name do many wonderful works; yet He will turn to them and say: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23).
There seems to be an incredible arrogance in today’s church that believes that it is somehow above deception, and therefore we need not worry about these things.
We had the ‘Toronto Blessing’ and Christians just jumped on board, allowing experience rather than scripture to be their guide. What happened to all ‘Toronto’s’ prophecies of revival sweeping the world? Multitudes being brought into the kingdom? Where is the fruit now, by which Jesus said we would know them? Scripture teaches that if a man prophecies in God’s name and it does not come to pass, then that person is a false prophet and has not been sent from God.
Exactly how do you think this end time deception, that Jesus promised, will come? So called ‘Christian TV’ is littered with false prophets who promise things far outside of what the Bible teaches; and yet countless Christians just accept it if it’s got a ‘Christian’ tag on it. Once again Jesus said: “Take heed that no man deceive you” – this is a personal admonition to all of us!
We then had Alpha Course, heavily influenced by the Toronto experience, with its emphasis on ‘feeling right’ rather than the stability of the Word of God; and again everyone signed up – surely it can’t be wrong when so many are doing it?
We now have the ‘Purpose Driven’ movement that is sweeping the church with a self-help gospel that removes the need for repentance and subtly introduces New Age doctrines – see Warren Smith’s excellent book ‘Deceived On Purpose’ (ISBN 0-9763492-0-5).
We have the Message Bible that replaces established Christian doctrine with New Age ideas and phrases such as ‘Master Jesus’ – a New Age term for the coming ‘enlightened one’; and: ‘As above, so below’ – the title of a prominent New Age book. We could list many more examples.
Now at this point some may object and say ‘But I’ve found the Message Bible useful’ or ‘I’ve been on an Alpha Course’ or ‘But our church has gone through the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ and it was really good’ – Surely these things can’t be all bad?
Well, the very fact that these things, and many others like them, are not all bad exposes the fact that it is a mixture. Some of these things are good. However, as we have mentioned, Jacob Prasch (among many others) warns of the dangers of mixing truth and deception. He uses the clear analogy of making an omelette. He says that he has two good eggs and one rotten egg. Does the fact that his omelette contains more good eggs than rotten ones make you want to eat it? Of course not! So why do so many Christians tolerate false teaching and error in their churches? Your church may not be being led astray at the moment, but what is your standard and how do you know that it will stay that way? Deception is subtle, that’s how it works. You don’t get forged £9 notes – because you would immediately recognise it as a fraud.
We have prominent Christian leaders signing joint declarations with Roman Catholics under the banner of ‘evangelism’, overturning all that was accomplished by the lives and deaths of millions during the Reformation.
Gradually the edges are being blurred and we are moving closer and closer to a One World Church. Many, many churches are treading dangerously close to the line in an attempt to become ‘seeker friendly’. Sincerely keen to see the church grow, pastors and congregations are willing to try whatever new thing might work. It is however a very fine line and just as Jesus promised, deception is coming.
A serious question is: Does your church worship the right Jesus?
The Jesus of the Bible said that many would come in His name and deceive many.
However, some churches have a Jesus that is OK with homosexual ministers. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. Some churches have a Jesus that is fine with evolution as the explanation of our origins. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. Some churches have a Jesus that doesn’t believe in a literal Hell. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. Some churches have a Jesus that places church tradition above the Word of God. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. Some churches have a Jesus who is not going to physically return to earth at a ‘2nd Coming’, but teach that Jesus has come again ‘through the church’ and is waiting for the church to win the world for him. That is not the Jesus of the Bible. The list goes on and on, but the point is clear. So how do we safeguard against deception?
Our Safeguard Against Deception – THE WORD OF GOD!
The Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). It is sharper than any two edged sword and it will bring division between the truth and the deception (Heb 4:12). Jesus declared “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The only way to be sure that we will not be deceived is to know Jesus and His Word and meditate in it day and night. We must be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who ‘searched the scriptures daily to see whether these things were so’. We must not be ‘carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive’ (Eph 4:14). We must not be driven by our experiences; we must not even be fooled by signs and wonders or miracles.
2 Thess 2:8-11, referring to Antichrist says: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”
In Deut 13:1-3 we read: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
To conclude: Jesus said that deception would abound in the last days prior to His return. He also said that many would be taken in by this deception, not evil people, but genuine and sincere people who simply did not receive the love of the truth; people who preached, prophesied and did good works in His name. It doesn’t matter how many good eggs you may find, if there is even just one rotten egg, don’t eat their omelette! – find a church that only serves the meat of the Word of God. This is not a suggestion but a command: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
At the Tower of Babel people wanted to ‘build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven’ (Gen 11:4). How ironic that here they have reached heaven, not with bricks and mortar, but with their sin. “God requires an account of what is past.” (Eccl 3:15).
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt 12:36)
Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
God will see to it that this false religious system that has (and will) deceive multitudes will receive a just punishment.
When you look into a mirror you see an exact likeness, if you will, a double. That is what is implied here. She will receive an ‘exact likeness’ for all that she has done to others.
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Here we are again reminded of how she has glorified herself, and at great spiritual cost to others she has lived deliciously. Because of this it is now her turn to receive torment and sorrow.
What she has said in her heart: “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” is an arrogant boast against Jerusalem. Remember, we are dealing with a spiritual entity that calls herself ‘The Queen of Heaven’ and is known as ‘Babylon the great’, the great adversary of true religion and worship of God. Jerusalem on the other hand was described by Jeremiah as having become like a widow because she forsook the worship of the one true God.
“How doth the city [Jerusalem] sit solitary, that was full of people how is she become as a widow she that was was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary” (Lam 1:1)
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
This is another verse that hints at the possibility that the 10 kings who God will use to destroy her will launch a nuclear attack that would indeed accomplish all of these things in just one day.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
It is hard for us to understand how important ‘organised religion’ is to the governments of the world. The problems that are created by religious tensions provide enormous opportunity for the governments to exert control on the people. Consider the struggles in Northern Ireland – religion has been blamed, but political control has been the victor. And how else would people willingly consent to things such as the introduction of personal ID cards if it were not for the threat of religiously inspired terrorism and events such as 9:11, or the July 7th Tube bombings in London, or the recent terror attacks in France? All of this gives the government far more power and control than they could have achieved without her.
The Iraq war had far more to do with the West’s need for Middle-Eastern oil than it did the threat of terrorism; but again religion and the threat of religiously inspired terrorism were the tickets that were waived.
(For more on this see “The Twilight’s Last Gleaming – Why Did America Really Invade Iraq?” – www.khouse.org.
However by the time we get to Revelation 17 & 18 the Ten Kings have got complete control and no longer need this newly united religious power, who will be able to exert far too much influence for their liking. It is therefore the other kings of the earth who will bewail her as she is destroyed and they see the smoke of her burning. Once again, for people around the world to see the smoke of her burning it has to be something major, – a nuclear strike with pictures beamed to TV sets around the globe?
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
In verse 8 we are told that this judgment will come in one day, now we find that it will happen in one hour! And why is it that the kings of the earth that are bewailing her destruction are standing afar off? Nuclear fallout/radiation?
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
The Catholic Church alone boasts over a billion members. This One World Church will be huge and will by now be controlling so much of the world’s economy that the Ten Kings have to get rid of her.
The trade on earth is going to change dramatically from now on as we move from separate democracies to a dictatorship.
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
The merchants of the earth are distraught. How sad it is that people put their trust in things that cannot ultimately satisfy. Many of these merchants were probably not too ‘into’ the religion of this One World Church, but were happy with the relationship because it made them comfortable. In much that same way many, many people go to church because it makes them feel comfortable. The message from these pulpits never challenges them or speaks of sin to make them uncomfortable. Many churches are indeed ‘seeker friendly’ and people like to be made to feel good about themselves. The modern church is telling people that they have a ‘self-esteem problem’ – don’t fall for it! People have a sin problem and unless they repent and put their trust in the One and only Saviour of sins, Jesus Christ, they will join with these merchants in tears as their security and comfort goes up in smoke.
And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Underlining the previous comments, these people were only in it for what they could get out of it. Again this false comfort will be destroyed in one hour.
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
What a contrast as we turn our eyes toward heaven! Here there is rejoicing and celebration because those in Heaven have built on the Rock and not the sand. They recognised their own abject poverty before a holy God; and that God said to them:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt 5:3-8)
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Thus the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah will be fulfilled and what started on the plain of Shinar in Iraq almost 4500 years ago as a satanic attempt to deceive mankind will be ended.
In many respects this plan of Satan’s succeeded. Countless numbers were led astray and just as Satan attempted at Babel, his man is now poised to take centre stage as the last three and a half years are about to begin.
As we have already noted, the One World Church will ‘reign’ from the time of the Rapture until the mid-way point of the Tribulation, at which point the 10 Kings under Antichrist’s authority will destroy it once and for all, thus making way for the worship of Antichrist as we saw in our study of chapter 13.
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
As if to just remind us again, God is completely justified in His destruction of this One World Church because she has shed the blood of His beloved children throughout the ages.
To be continued…