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Tuesday, September 25 2012

Introduction: We were carefully and extensively taken through the Last Two Bowls judgement last week. Amongst other things, we were reminded that even the Devil is a pawn in the hand of our God. The teaching ended in the unfolding of Great Babylon which was brought into remembrance before God. This week, we will be looking at the Judgement of Babylon The Great (The Great Harlot) and the lessons that can be learnt.

Spiritual Prostitution and Fornication: (Rev. 17:1-2 NKJV)

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

         Great Harlot: This is over people, multitudes, nations. The worldly philosophy or system that teaches rebellion against God and encourages the pursuit of sin in every ramification. The world system is satan's tool of manipulation in the world. Satan hates the truth and all who rejects the truth (Jesus) are slaves to him. "Great" refers to the harlot (worldly) system that will reach its zenith after the removal of the true church (genuine believers) by means of rapture.

         Sits on Many Waters: refers to world-wide unification and control. "Sits on" suggests the concept of control and unification (Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 8:1). "Waters" refers to the nations and many people of those nations.

From the above therefore, the first verse can be rephrased as;

"Come, I will show you the judgement of the worldly philosophy that is in control of the nations and all the people of the nations"

      With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication: This indicates alliance/ agreement which those in authorities have with the worldly system. Put another way, an unfaithful, unholy alliance between the church and state which should by design remain separate. By Separate, we are not talking about the separation of church and state that is being promoted today where prayer and dependence on God has been removed from the classroom while godless ideologies are being promoted. Both the state and church were established by God (1 Timothy 2:1-3) but must remain separate if they are to carry out their purpose howbeit that they must support one another without compromising their responsibility before God.

      Inhabitants........made drunk with the wine of fornication: The unholy alliance with the worldly system and philosophy have gone unchecked for a long time, spreading like a plague and the nations and people of the nations have become entrapped in the fangs and chains of satan.

 Babylon The Great: (Rev. 17:  3-9 NKJV) :

So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.

I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

"Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 

......into the Wilderness - This obviously refers to a desolate, desert-kind of place, because it will be full of cities and peoples who are spiritually dead - a spiritual desert, which the woman and beast will rule. A church could be full of attendees who are spiritually dead. There will be no true spiritual food or water from this empty religious system. The world will be starving and dying - this is what religion does for a man, it leaves him empty, in the desert! This is not God's desire

"And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding".[Jeremiah 3:15]

It is our responsibility as pastors, workers and members in the local church to be an oasis holding forth the word of life and if we remain faithful to this, individually and corporately, the Lord will give us an open door to those who are thirsty. He will lead us to the hungry and them to us.

Scarlet Beast - As we will see later in verse 8, The Beast on which the Harlot is seated is the Antichrist. He is scarlet because he is blood-thirsty and will at the right time kill the woman (a symbol of religous system).  He is a counterfeit of our Lord in that he "was" and "is not". These phrase also referred back to Rev. 13:3, 12, and 14 where the beast is resurrected. We know that the ultimate fate of this beast will be destruction just as the end of evil will be. The reason why we must desist from evil at all cost.

"The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul". [Prov. 16:17 NKJV]

......arrayed in purple and scarlet - This in part stands for her political power, and in part they point to her religous pomp. Gold, precious stones and pearls refer to her immense wealth. It is believed that these colours have, for centuries, been the colours of the Roman Catholic Church, and the wealth of this church is immense.

......having in her hand a golden cup..- Refers to her enticing manner of alluring men and nations. Religion can be very alluring and eventually become a trap. Many are trapped in the chains of religion today, even in the church of God where His power and authority are meant to be in full expression.

"having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" [2 Tim. 3:5]

The gold and religous trappings - appeal to the sensual, material and religous bent of man's sinful nature. He admires this, he is awed by it, and it blinds him.

.....abominations and filthiness - Man's religion offers no solution to the flesh. It's the flesh seeking to overcome the flesh and it profits nothing. These may refer to the various forms of idolatry involved in the worship of God through images, statues, and medals (achievements) etc. Filthiness (Unclean things) does not only refer to the natutre of the doctrines taught, but what they lead to in life, immorality and impurity!

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. [John 6:63]

....and on her forehead a name..- In ancient times, the practice of harlots was to write their names on their foreheads for easy recognition, which showed the shamelessness of their character, revealing a seared conscience from continual rejection of God's truth.

.....Babylon The Great - is the secret name. This refers not only to the city of Babylon, but to a religous system, the Babylonianism of ancient time, which will reach its peak in the tribulation.

......Mother of Harlots....- This points to the source. Besides the concept of origin or source of all spiritual idolatry and false religions, the word "mother" indicates the position the harlot will play in the final days, gathering all the form of false religions under her wings for the one great world-wide harlot system.

Martyrdom of Believers  (Rev. 17:6a) - Refers to the rampant matrydom of believers during this time This is one of the ways satan will promote the one-world church system - by annihilation of all opposition.

John Marvelled (Rev. 17:6b) - Another word for Marvel here is to Wonder. The greek word here is "to be amazed, surprised" or "to wonder at something with attentive interest". Shouldn't that be the effect that Bible study and the word of God have on our hearts when we open the Word and study, reflecting on its marvelous truth? We should be interested in the details of God's revelation, its explanation and application. When this is done, God sees to it that that we have an opportunity to learn and to know.

"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." [Jer. 29:13]

Description of the Woman (Rev. 17:7)- The angel's question about John's amazement at the sight of the fully decked and pompous woman and description shows we should not marvel at the woman which appears in such pompous and religous attire because she's so satanic and thereby destructive and deceptive also - these are some of the consequences and effects of evil. We should never be deceived by outward form of religousity no matter their outward attractiveness of influence or power as is the case of false ecumenical (promotion of unity among churches) and godless system.

In Conclusion:

And finally, regardless of the details of who the beast is, we know that its ultimate end will be destruction. But before he meets his end, he will deceive "those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." The opposite side of this verse is very encouraging to the believer when you notice that your name has been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. Your name was not placed there at the point of your salvation. Your name was there before you were saved.before you were born.even before the foundation of the world. If you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, you can be confident that God chose you and has placed your name in the Book of Life. What an encouragement! You didn't choose God; He chose you! Because He chose you, He will be sure to preserve you in His grace. Amen!

"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love," [Ephesians 1:4]

 

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

 

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 09:18 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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