RELIGIOUS BABYLON – FALSE RELIGION

REVELATION 17:6-18

JUDGMENT OF BOTH RELIGIOUS AND P0LITICAL BABYLON

In our last two studies we considered the Armor of God and the protection needed for Christians in the last days.  No doubt as we studied Ephesians 6 you realized that the Armor is needed today just as much as in the last days.

Now let’s pickup our study with Revelation 17, where we left off two studies ago with the thinking about the only way to achieve utopia or heaven.

FACT: THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE UTOPIA OR HEAVEN IS THROUGH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13), and not through our own efforts (Ephesians 2:8-10).  As Christians we should labor and labor diligently, to build the best world and society we can, but with God, not without God.  Notice Scripture:

“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). 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk [live] in them” Ephesians 2:8-10).

“Casting all your care upon Him for; he careth for you” (I Peter 5:7).

“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 11:11). 

“Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Now to Revelation 17:6 – Keywords, Religion, False — Babylon, Religious:  the religious power and bigotry of religious Babylon (false religion) in the end time will be fierce.  The false religion will be the leader in launching the holocaust for the Antichrist.

Literally millions upon millions — a numberless multitude — will be persecuted and killed because they refuse to worship the state and its leader, the Antichrist.  Note: many of the martyrs will be the followers of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 13:13-17).

“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles” (Matthew 10:17-18).

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24:9-10).

“But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake” (Luke 21:12). 

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (John 15:20-21). 

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). 

POWER – KEY WORD

Now let’s think about the Power behind Religious Babylon, behind False Religion: the Beast or Antichrist (Revelation 17:7-18).  We will also consider the Power involved.

NOTE 5 THINGS:  (1) In the end time (2) Jesus Christ will be coming back to earth again.  (3) He will be coming back to establish righteousness in the earth.  (4) He will bring about the perfect and ideal society and government (5) and the pure worship and service of God.

Note:  But before He does this, He has to destroy all the ungodly and evil of this world.  Righteousness cannot exist with ungodliness and evil.  This also means that all false religion has to be destroyed as well.  This is the subject of this passage, the destruction of religious Babylon, or false religion in the world.

Remember: there will be a world-wide religion in the end time, the worship of the state and its leader, the Antichrist.  Everyone will be required by law to give his first loyalty to the state or else face death.

This world-wide religion, this worship of the government and its leader, is what is meant by religious Babylon.  The first part of the discussion is covered in the former passage (Revelation 17:1-6).  Because of the length of the study it has been divided into two parts.  The present passage is the JUDGMENT OF RELIGIOUS BABYLON OF FALSE RELIGION (Part 2).

  1. The mystery and details are given (v. 7)
  2. The source of the power of religious Babylon: the Beast or Antichrist (v. 7-14)
  3. The destruction of religious Babylon or false religion (v. 15-18)

Revelation 17:7 Key Words Religious Babylon/false religion, is a mystery.  How a body of people can claim to believe and follow God and yet honor and put leaders, governments, states, doctrines, and rituals above God is a mystery.  It is hypocrisy; it is counterfeit and false religion.  How a body of people can claim to believe and follow God and  yet slaughter millions of people because the people do not believe as they do is a mystery.

Yet this is just what John witnessed.  He saw a picture of what false religion will be like in the last days of world history.  And the picture is horrifying.  The religion of the last days will join hands with the government of the Antichrist and the false religion will sweep the world.

John saw that most of the world will be seduced by the appeal of false religion, and most will worship the government as the great provider and protector of socialism.  He also witnessed that religious Babylon or the false religion will slaughter millions and millions of people because they refuse to put the state and secular society before their own religion.

He saw that among these millions will be a great multitude of genuine believers.  Seeing all this has left John in a state of bewilderment and amazement, wondering how such could ever take place.  While he stood there somewhat shocked, the angel stepped forward and told John that he would now reveal the mystery and details of religion Babylon.

Revelation 17:7-14 – Key Words Antichrist — Religion:  there is the source of the power of religious Babylon, or false religion.  In the end time the source of power for false religion will be the Beast or the Antichrist.  (Note: practically all of the facts given in these verses have been covered in the former studies.  Where this is true, there is no need to repeat the study.   Therefore, just a brief explanation will be given and then note where the major discussion can be found.)

1.There is the source of the power of the religious Babylon, or false religion, the greatness of the Antichrist (v. 7, 8).

a. There is the great earthly power of the Antichrist: seven heads and ten horns.  The Antichrist will have seven heads or seven governments who will willingly subject themselves to his rule.  But he will also have the power of the ten horns or governments that support him.  How?  When he himself first comes to power, he will probably march against three governments and conquer them and absorb them into his own rule or nation.

Either this or else three government will form some alliance or confederation with him as their head.  These three plus the seven who willingly submit to his rule will give him the power of ten governments (see Revelation 13:2).

NOTE:  Imagine the great earthly power the Antichrist will have by ruling over all these nations and empires.  The false religion of the end time will have a great power behind it because great nations that will be supporting him.

b.  There is the great supernatural power of the Antichrist that is available to him: he [Antichrist] will come out of the bottomless pit, the very incarnation of evil itself or else be indwelt by some power evil spirit from the bottomless pit.   (Revelation 9:2; 11:7-10; 13:2-3).

c. There is the end or doom of the Antichrist: perdition (apoleian).  The word means to be destroyed; to lose one’s well-being; to be wasted and ruined and given a worthless existence.  It does not mean that a person will cease to exist.  It means a person will be destroyed and devastated and condemned to a worthless existence.  He will suffer waste and loss and ruin forever and ever.

NOTE:  No matter how great a person may be, if he does not know Jesus Christ as Savior, he will face perdition.  The ANTICHRIST will be a great man in the eyes of the world.  He will rule the whole world, but he is doomed: all because he never gave his life and heart to Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13).

No matter who the person is, if he stands as an enemy of the cross, he will be destroyed.  It does not matter who he is or how much power he has, either within or without the church, he shall suffer perdition, that is, utter destruction.

Now consider who is an enemy of the cross?  The person…

  • who rejects the cross of Christ as the only way to God (Ephesians 1:3-14).
  • who does not accept the death of Christ as payment for his sins.
  • who does not believe that Christ died for him, that is, as the punishment for his transgressions [sin].
  • who does not believe that the penalty for his imperfection as borne by Christ on the cross.
  • who does not approach God claiming that he is coming by the death of Christ—that is, that he wants God to accept him in the death of Christ.
  • who claims that there are other ways to approach God — ways other than the cross of Christ.
  • who considers the cross of Christ to be foolishness.
  • who opposes and curses Christ and His cross.
  • who persecutes and attempts to stamp out Christ and His cross.
  • who denies and questions that Christ died for his sins.

“…and these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:45-46).

“But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnaton” (Mark 3:29).

“…he [Christ] will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat (saved) into his garner; but the chaff (unsaved) he will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17).

“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (Romans 2:8-9).

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16): who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord SHALL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE” (Hebrews 10:29-30).

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9).

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and All liars, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH” (Revelation 21:8). 

NOTE:  The impact of the Antichrist: he will amaze the world (see Revelation 13:4-8).

2.There is the power of the beast that supports religious Babylon or false religion (Revelation 17:9-14). The power is phenomenal.  Note three facts:

a. The Beast or Antichrist can be understood only by believers who are spiritually minded (v. 9a).

b. The great earthly power of the Antichrist:  he sits on seven mountains and embodies seven great kingdoms (Revelation 17:9b-10). 

c. The great supernatural power of the Antichrist (v. 10).  He will be the full embodiment of evil.  The Beast or Antichrist passes through three stages.  

 1. He had an existence in the past, but he ceases to exist for a time. 

2. Then he is to ascend from the bottomless pit, that is, he is to either filled with an evil spirit,

3. or else be an incarnation of satanic evil beyond anything ever seen before. 

He is the beast… the eighth [ruler who]…is one of the seven original rulers (v. 11).

He is to experience two stages of existence, and the second stage will be full incarnation of evil. He will embody and include all the terrorizing traits of the ancient empires (see Revelation 13:2-3, and 17-18).

The fourth fact is the great rule of the Antichrist (v. 12-13).  His ten horns are ten kingdoms.  These ten kingdoms will be under the power of the Antichrist and form a great alliance with him (v. 13) (see Revelation 17:7-14; 13:1-2). 

3. There is the terrible purpose of the Antichrist and his alliance: to war against the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 14). (see also Revelation 7:13-14; 13:2-3; Revelation 13:4-7; 11:1; 16:12-16).

In our next study we will look at Revelation 17 for more about the Antichrist and the End Time.

Before we leave this study today the needed question for each one of us is:  Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  If you do not, please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 and think about being left here on earth without salvation.  If you go into eternity in that condition you have only judgment by Christ to look forward to and the lake of fire.  Salvation is so simple and quick – read Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 13:5-6).

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