THE DESCRIPTION OF RELIGIOUS BABYLON,
OF FALSE RELIGION, REVELATION 17:1-6
As we move from the works of the flesh and back to Revelation 17:1-6, let’s remember a basic fact. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth and the Christian and the world must be ready to meet Him, our God and our Savior.
Note: The study of the works of the flesh that we just finished should have been challenging to those who live in the Age of Grace, in other words, now or those who are living in the end of time.
Why? Because when Jesus comes back, He is coming to bring righteousness to this earth. Remember, as we saw before, when Jesus comes back to earth, there are some things that must be accomplished “before” He will come and establish righteousness in the earth. Let’s refresh our minds a little by reviewing things that have to be done “before” He arrives back on earth.
- All the godless and evil armies of the world have to be destroyed. This we have previously seen in our study of Revelation 16.
- All the false religion in this world has to be destroyed. This we have seen thus far in our discussion of Revelation chapter 17.
- Further, all the godless politics and government and social systems of this world have to be destroyed. This will be the discussion of Revelation 18.
Remember, when these three things are done, then the ungodly and evil of this earth will be removed and Jesus Christ can come to earth and set up His kingdom of righteousness.
NOTE: False religion and godless government have always been upon earth, and they will be until the end of time.
FACT: In the end time the Antichrist and the False Prophet will institute a one-world religion, the worship of the state and its leader, the Antichrist himself.
FACT: All the evil that has ever been embodied in false religion will show its ugly head in the end time. False religion and godless government will be at their height, but they will also be at their lowest and most evil time. It is false religion and the godless government of the end time that reveals itself, there is no more hiding. This is the discussion of the current passage of Revelation 17.
Remember, all false religion and godless governments are embodied in the government and in false religion of the end time. All godless government and false religion will be judged and wiped from off the face of the earth by the judgment of God. This is the subject of Revelation 17.
Now let’s move to REVELATION 17:1-6. As we have seen before, false religion has done more to doom people than any other single thing. How? By its deception. False religion promises life, salvation, peace, security and hope–in some kind of life hereafter. But it is false, it is a lie–total deception. This will be the great tragedy of false Babylon, of false religion in the end time. It will doom people by the millions, doom them for eternity.
This is the reason this particular chapter is given in Revelation:
- To warn us about false religion, in the Age of Grace and the end of time (see 2 Thessalonians chapter two).
- To warn us of religious Babylon, the false religion that is going to sweep the earth in the end time.
Revelation 17 Review verses 1-6:
- An angel approaches John (Revelation 17:1).
- Religious Babylon is a great harlot (v. 1).
- Religious Babylon sits upon many waters, that is people (v. 1).
- Religious Babylon will be supported by the nations of the world (v. 2).
- Religious Babylon will receive its power from the beast or Antichrist (v. 3).
- Religious Babylon will have a rich appearance but will be corrupt (v. 4).
- Religious Babylon will have a striking name (v. 5).
- Religious Babylon will be prejudiced and have fierce power (v. 6.).
Note: An angel approaches John (v.7). Remember, John is having a vision of the last days of human history:
- He has just been shown the great devastation of the last war, Armageddon.
- He has seen the catastrophic destruction of the great cities of the earth.
- John is standing there in utter shock and stone silence just as anyone else would be.
- But then all of a sudden one of the seven angels goes over to John. Note: This is one of the seven angels who had poured out the wrath of God on the earth.
- The angel tells John to “come here, and I will show you the future judgment of false religion in the earth” (v. 7-17:1).
- John walks over and sees one of the most amazing sights a person could ever witness–the description and judgment of false religion in the world. Wow, John must be stunned.
False Religion and Babylon, now notice Revelation 17:1 again: Religious Babylon (false religion) is a great harlot. In the Bible harlotry stands for idolatry. It stands for worshiping something other than God Himself, other than the only true and living God. This is the picture of religious Babylon; it is a false religion, the worship of an idol. A person commits spiritual harlotry or prostitution…
- when he/she imagines what God is like and follows his own thoughts about God rather than what Scripture reveals God to be.
- when he/she follows an earthly religion and its rituals, ceremonies, and teaching instead of following Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scripture.
- when he/she molds or makes an image and worships it.
Spiritual harlotry means to follow a false religion and worship, the worship of a false god. This is the picture of religious Babylon.
The religion of the end time will be a false religion, the worship of an idol and not of God Himself.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:22-23).
“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” (I Timothy 4:1).
“Having a form of godliness, [ceremony, ritual, rules, worship], but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5).
“Little children, keep yourselves FROM IDOLS” (I John 5:21).
“Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and SERVE OTHER GODS, and worship them” (Deuteronomy 11:16).
“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).
“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save” (Isaiah 45:20).
Again Revelation 17:1. Key Words: Deception – false religion. Religious Babylon (false religion) sits upon MANY WATERS, that is, people and nations. What this means is explained in verse fifteen:
“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth are PEOPLES, AND MULTITUDES, AND NATIONS, AND TONGUES” (Revelation 17:15).
The picture is that religious Babylon will fill the earth; many races and multitudes and nations and languages will be caught up in the worship of the false religion.
Note: As we have seen, millions will be caught up in the false religion of the END TIME. But think about today; think about how many millions are now following a false religion and worshiping idols around the world. But even closer to home, think how many profess Christ and yet do not believe or teach Christ and the Word of God. They prove through their actions that they do not love Christ in violation of John 14:15.
Now we move to Revelation 17:2; Key words: false religion.
Religious Babylon (false religion) will be supported by the kings, that is, by the nations and governments of the world. The governments of the world will encourage the worship of religious Babylon. This, of course, is referring to the worship of the state or government and secular society of the Antichrist (see Revelation 13:11-17).
This is an important principle to see how religious Babylon gains and maintains power in the end time and becomes the WORLD-WIDE RELIGION. Religious Babylon will seduce the world with the wine of her false teaching. She will entice the peoples of the earth to worship the Antichrist and his government and secular society.
Remember, the argument for worshiping the state and secular society will be strong. The Antichrist and his government will bring peace and economic recovery to the earth. He will also provide massive aid to help the nations and peoples of the earth during the natural disasters that are increasingly striking the earth (see Revelation 6:1-8; 6:12-17; 8:6-12; 8:13-9:11; 9:12-21; 13:11-18).
In the times the whole areas of the earth will be devastated by the forces of nature going wild. The world and its people will be begging for help from some leader who has some answers. The Antichrist will be the one person and government that will have the answers, at least for a while. Therefore, the world will turn to him and his state for help and leadership. Many of the leaders and governments of the world will support his idea of a state religion in order to keep the masses of the world loyal to the state. The leaders of many nations will be convinced that the way to keep people supporting the government is this: lead the people to worship the government and to look to the government to meet the needs of society.
The leaders will make the government or state the focus of attention, the center around which all life revolves. The government or state will become the god and man will become its servant. Communism or any other socialist or dictatorial state that is totally focused upon the government will be the center of focus throughout the world.
THE POINT IS THIS: In the END TIME there will be a world-wide religion, a religion of the state. There will be a religious Babylon, a false religion that will try to seduce all the people of the earth into its control. The false religion will have the support of the kings and leaders of the world.
Good question: How many people prefer to belong to a religion or church that allows worldliness, one that does not teach and preach separation. Right now, there are many and that number will continue to grow, especially in the END TIME (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
“Wherefore come out from among them, AND BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-16).
“This know also, that IN THE LAST DAYS perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such TURN AWAY (separate)” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Thought: Many governments support major religions because of the good the religions do. Religion helps the state in promoting law and order, loyalty to the state, peace, morality, and discipline.
Revelation 17:3: Key Words: Religious Babylon or False religion
Religious Babylon or the false religion of the state will receive its power from the Beast, that is, from the Antichrist. The false religion in the END TIME will be supported by the Antichrist and his government (Revelation 13:12). Note three facts.
1. Religious Babylon sits upon a scarlet colored beast. SITTING means that the false religion is supported and dependent upon the state.
2. The scarlet colored beast is the Antichrist. It is he who is full of names that blaspheme God. This means that all the heads or governments under his authority blaspheme and rebel against God. The false religion will actually represent blasphemous governments. It will not be a religion at all; it will be worship of the state itself.
3. The beast with seven heads and ten horns is the Antichrist. The seven heads are the seven nations that will voluntarily surrender to the control of the Antichrist. He will have already conquered three nations.
The three conquered nations and the seven nations who voluntarily submit to his control give the Antichrist the power of ten horns or nations. That is, the ten horns refer to ten powerful nations that will be under his control (Revelation 13:1-2). He will have the power of ten nations to support him in enforcing the state religion (Revelation 13:1).
Let us now refer to heaven and eternal life for a moment. Please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13. If you are not truly saved but would like to go to heaven. you can. Matthew 7:13-14 talks about two gates or paths one can travel through life.
One is a broad path or gate and appears to offer freedom and pleasure, but it ultimately leads to destruction (hell). The other is a narrow gate, a narrow way, but it ultimately leads to heaven and to God’s FREE GIFT of eternal life.
Which path are you traveling? The choice is yours so please read Ephesians 2:8-9, following.
“For by grace [not deserved or earned] are ye saved through FAITH; and not of yourselves: it is the GIFT OF GOD: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Having read this verse, now go back and read again John 3:16 and follow the road to heaven in Romans 10:9-13. Accept Christ as your personal Savior and you will travel the narrow road to heaven and receive God’s free gift of eternal life. It’s your choice, use your free will and accept Christ as your personal Savior.
We are interested in hearing your comments, questions and decisions. Contact us at 931-707-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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