RELIGIOUS BABYLON – FALSE RELIGION – DECEPTION

REVELATION 17:1-6

OUTLINE:  – Review

  1. An angel approaches John (v. 1).
  2. Religious Babylon is a great harlot (v. 1).
  3. Religious Babylon sits upon many waters, that is, (peoples v. 1).
  4. Religious Babylon will be supported by the nations of the world (v. 2).

FACT:  Through the ages, False Religion has done more to doom people than any other single thing.  How?  By deception.  False religion promises:

*life     *salvation     *peace     *security     *hope in some kind of life hereafter

FACT:  If it is false, then it is a lie, total deception.  This will be the great deception and tragedy of false Babylon, or false religion, in the end time.   The seventeenth chapter of Revelation is given to warn us of false teachers (I John 2:18-23), in the Age of Grace and those living in the end time about false religion.  Why?  Because false religion, false teachers {Babylon} will grow in the age of grace and sweep the earth in the end time.

Remember, the earth must be prepared by Satan for the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The apostasy of the end time is being laid out, even now (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  Perhaps soon the Holy Spirit will step aside just enough to allow the Antichrist and the False Prophet to make their appearance on the earth.  However, their plan of deception must be in place before the Antichrist appears.

Now let’s be further informed through Revelation 17:1-6 about other actions of the end time that we have reviewed:

  1. Religious Babylon will receive its power from the Beast or Antichrist (v. 3).
  2. Religious Babylon will have a rich appearance but will be corrupt (v. 4).
  3. Religious Babylon will have a striking name (v. 5).
  4. Religious Babylon will be prejudiced and have fierce power (v. 6).

Now let’s review verse one a little further with the key words False Religion and Babylon; remember, an angel approaches John (verse 1).  John is having a vision of the last days of human history and we are seeing from the Bible what John is watching.

The angel who approaches John says for John to “come here.”  He tells John that he will show him the future judgment of false religion in the earth.  John walks over and sees one of the most amazing sights a person will ever witness—the description and judgment of false religion in the world. Further John is told that religious Babylon (false religion) and false devotion to a false god stands for idolatry (verse 2).

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.

NOTE:  A person commits spiritual harlotry or prostitution…

  • when he imagines what God is like and follows his own thoughts about God rather than what Scripture reveals God to be.
  • when he follows an earthly religion and its rituals, ceremonies, and teaching instead of following Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture.
  • when he molds and makes an image and worships it.

NOTE:  Spiritual harlotry means to follow a false religion and worship, a false god.  This is the warning God is giving:  the religion of the end time will be a false religion (Babylon), the worship of an idol and not of God Himself.  The idol is the government and its leader, the Antichrist.

Listen to Scripture:

“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 fourfooted 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).

The danger “Take heed to yourselves, (2 Corinthians 13:5) 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).

The unsaved are walking the broad path (Matthew 7:13-14) and loving the world and things of the world (I John 2:15-17).

FACT:  The false Religion (Babylon) sits on many waters, that is, people and nations.  What this means is explained in verse fifteen of Revelation 17.

“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 (verse 15):  many races and multitudes and nations and languages will be caught up in the worship of the false religion.   It will be a world-wide religion.

FACT:  Religious Babylon (false religion) will be supported by the kings and governments of the world.  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 (Matthew 24:4-5).

Remember, the earth will be in a sorry condition because of God’s action with natural disasters.  Whole areas of the earth will be devastated by the forces of nature which God is using to judge the world (seal and trumpet judgments).  Nations will be begging for help from some world leader that can solve some of the issues facing the earth.  Guess who will be the one to step to the front and say, “I can solve all your issues.”  World leaders will follow the Antichrist.

The point is that because of the condition of the world in the end time it will be pretty easy for Satan to establish what he is after, that is a world-wide religion that will worship him.  It will be a religion of the state with Satan’s Antichrist at the head.

False religion [Babylon] will try to seduce all the peoples of the earth into its control.  Remember, the false religion of the end time will have the support of the kings and the leaders of the world.  So, the false religion of the end time will be supported by the Antichrist [the one with all the answers] and the governments of the world.  Why do you suppose that today some factions of the U.S. Government are pushing socialism so hard?  Could it be that we are living in the end time and Christ is soon to return (John 14:3)?  Could it be that the Antichrist and his False Prophet are already living on earth????  Interesting isn’t it.

FACT:  The Antichrist, Babylon and the False Prophet will be dependent upon the power given to them by Satan and the Governments under the control of the Antichrist.  It will be the power of these governments that will hold the false religion up before the world.

FACT: The nations under the control of the Antichrist will be the primary nations preaching the false religion of Babylon, that is, the WORSHIP OF THE STATE.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

NOTE:  There are many who try to mix religion with the world.  They base their religion and morals upon their desires, upon what they want to do out in the world.  Their religion is determined by their desires for the world.  The world and its possessions and pleasures are put first, and then whatever religion is needed to ease their consciences is accepted.

“What?  Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: THEREFORE GLORIFY God in your body, and in your spirit WHICH ARE GOD’S” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (overindulge, excess), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34).

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we    should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Consider that most religions are wealthy in the possessions of this world, while so many in the world are in such desperate need!  Is God happy that there are 40,000-50,000 children who die from hunger every day, and that is only the children who die from starvation.  This 40,000-50,000 does not include the adults.

Remember, in the end time the needs will be far greater among the millions suffering from the devastation of the catastrophes that will be hitting the earth and from the holocaust launched by the Antichrist.

NOTE:  the religion of the day will be wealthy and will even be hoarding its wealth (like a lot of religions today).  What a lesson to all believers and churches!

Listen to Scripture:

“Jesus said unto him, If thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21).

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

“And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:29-30).

NOTE:  The false religion of the end time will be corrupt.  It will offer a cup to help the people of the world, but the cup is full of abominations, lies and filth.  That is, what the false religion offers is idolatry, a polluted and corrupt worship.

All false religions feed people nothing but abominations and filth.  The teachings and doctrines of false religion are disgusting and repulsive.  Imagine being fed filth, lies and abominations.  This is what Scripture says we eat if we feast upon false religion.

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [quietly and secretly] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2). 

“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). 

NOTICE NOW REVELATION 17:5 Key Words: false religion; Religious Babylon; the name of religious Babylon or false religion in the end time is striking.

“And upon her [the false religion] forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (V. 5).

1. The name of religious Babylon, false religion is a mystery. That is, the fact that false religion is false is not known to all people.  Many do not know that they are worshiping a false religion.  The fact has to be made known to them.

NOTE:  How true this is (even today) !  Think how many millions are worshiping a false god or a false Christ, they worship a Christ that differs entirely from the Christ revealed by the Word of God.

2. Religious Babylon will be the MOTHER of many false religions and abominations upon earth. She gives rise to many false teachings and deceptions, to corruptions in the worship of God.  This tells us who religious Babylon is.  It goes back to the building of TOWER OF BABEL in the Old Testament.  Under a leader named Nimrod, man decided to build the IDEAL STATE OR UTOPIA.  Man turned away from God and set out to make himself secure by building a tower straight up to heaven.

That is, he sought security, provision, and help from other men rather than from God.  He joined hands with other people in trying to build the perfect and ideal world by their own efforts and without God.  They omitted God altogether; they left God totally out of the picture.

NOTE: the tower of Babel is the founding of the city of Babylon, THE VERY FIRST TIME THE WORD BABYLON is mentioned in the Bible.

Thereafter Babylon came to mean…

  • either godless religion (Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20; 3:1; Ezekiel 16:15; Hosea 2:5; 3:3; 4:15) or
  • godless government and society (Isaiah 23:17; Nahum 3:4).

The point is this:  religious Babylon stands for ALL false religion.  It stands for ALL the religions that seek after heaven or utopia or the perfect life on earth…

  • by man’s own works and self-effort.
  • by man’s own goodness and self-righteousness.
  • by man’s own ritual and ceremonies.
  • by man’s ideas of God and worship of God.
  • by man’s own religion and benevolent services.
  • by man’s own government and state.
  • by man’s own community and society.

NOTE:  In essence religious Babylon is the mother of all false religion.  But there will be one major difference with the end-time religion:  man’s dream for a one-world government and a one-world religion will become a reality.  All the evil and wrong that exists in false religion will be combine into one religion in the end time and it will sweep and consume the world.

Religious Babylon will spread her abominations and filth over all the world under one world-wide state religion.  The religion will probably be electric, that is, assimilate enough of the major religions of the world to satisfy the great mass of people (Revelation 13:13f; 17:5, 15).

NOTE:  The APOSTATE religion will become symbolized in the very city of which its center is established—Babylon.

FACT:  The ONLY WAY UTOPIA OR HEAVEN IS GAINED IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, not by man’s own efforts (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13).

NOTE:  Man should labor and labor diligently to build the best world society that he can, but with God, not without God.

“But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). 

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  Have you done that (John 3:16)?

We would like to hear of your decisions, your comments and questions at 931-707-2728 or by e-mail at openbibleministriestn@gmail.com.

Log onto wilkinsradio.com to find a station near you that streams live our “Reaching Out” broadcast.