BABYLON THE GREAT
What does she represent?
Characteristics of Babylon the Great
Verses are from the book of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 NASB
THE HARLOT IS SITTING ON MANY WATERS , THAT ARE PEOPLES , MULTITUTES ,NATIONS AND RACES.
17:1 "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters". 17:15“The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues."
THE KINGS OF THE EARTH HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER.
17:2,3 "With whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 3 And he carried me away [a]in the spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns."
RICH , POWERFUL, INFLUENTIAL
17:4,5 "The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and [b]adorned with gold and precious [c]stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
PERSECUTED THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.
17:6,7 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the [d]saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered [e]greatly. 7 And the angel said to me, “Why [f]do you wonder? 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 TEN HORNS AND THE BEAST WILL BRING HER TO RUIN AND LEAVE HER NAKED.
17:16 "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has put it in their hearts to execute His [i]purpose [j]by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled."
A KINGDOM THAT RULES OVER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH.
17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which [k]reigns over the kings of the earth.”
A DWELLING PLACE FOR DEMONS ,MERCHANTS SHARE IN HER WEALTH.
18:2,3“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a [m]prison of every unclean spirit, and a [n]prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3"For all the nations [d]have drunk of the wine of the [e]passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the [f]wealth of her [g]sensuality.”
LAMENT FOR BABYLON.
18:9 “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived [l]sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning,"
18:10 " Standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come."
18:11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more—
18:12 "Cargoes of gold and silver and precious [m]stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and [n]bronze and iron and marble.
GREAT MEN AND NATIONS DECEIVED BY HER SPIRITUALISM
18:23 "And the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery."
BABYLON CONDEMNED BY GOD.
20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you [w]saints and apostles and prophets, because God has [x]pronounced judgment for you against her.” 23b "because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. "
Some say that it is Babylon, others say it is Rome, those empires have ceased long time ago, and the prophesy has its fullfilment in the future.
Babylon the Great , called the "Great City", "the harlot" , is said to be sitting on peoples, nations and multitutes, therefore it cannot be a literal woman, so what does this symbolic "Babylon the Great " represents?.
The fact that she is called the "great city" and has a kingdom that rules over the kings of the earth ,indicates that she has power, weath and influence over them, on a world wide basis. The harlot is also said, to be dressed in scalet and purple clothing , and that she is adorned in expensive jewelry, obviously she has amassed shameless wealth.
She is called "the harlot", why?. When the Israelites were leaving Egypt ,God warned them not to seek the friensdship or make alliances with the neighbouring nations as this would lead them to worship other Gods. This was called harlotry. (Ezek. chapt. 23 Deut. 12:30-31) By persuing alliances and friendships with the kings of the earth, Babylon has commited spiritual adultery. Todays Christianity is not the same as in Paul's day, Christianity today has been paganised by the adoption of Babylonian, Egyptian and Hellenistic beliefs , philosophies and practises. For example the immortality of the soul , goes against all Bible teachings of resurrection, and gehenna has been paganised into a fiery place of torment, called "hell". (Matthew 18:9 Mark 9:43,45, 47) The name "Easter" comes from the Babylonian goddess of fertility "Ishtar",many Easter customs have been adopted from these pagan nations, which also carried out ritual sex acts, with the temple prostitutes.
God disloses how to worship him, not man. “ Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it." Deut. 12:32 ( NASB)
Likewise today, God warns people that want from their heart to worship him, in spirit and in truth, to come out .
“‘Come out of her, my people,’[b]so that you will not share in her sins,so that you will not receive any of her plagues;" Rev.18:4.
James wrote :" You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God". James 4:4( NASB.)
NOT A POLITICAL OR COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE.
Evidence to her identity is that she is sitting on a scarlet beast, ( The beast represents political powers and kingdoms, Daniel chapter 7 and 8) with ten horns, and that God has put in the heart of the beast to attack and devastate and burn her up, showing that she will never rise again. Since both the Kings and their friends the mechants mourn for her, and stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering , this indicates that Babylon is not represented by either the political or the commercial empires of the world.
An indication as to her religious idendity is that God has pronounced judgement on Babylon ,the charges against her is that she has misled all the nations with her spiritism. Spiritism is religiously inspired, Babylon has filled the hearts of millions of people with fear,of demons, superstitions, sorcery, fear of the dead, evils spirits and everlasting punishment in a fiery torment. As a result , people rush to buy, good luck charms, amulets, and do rites to protect themselves.
Another fact indicating her religious identity , is that she has also been accused by God of persecuting and killing the followers of Christ and that she has become a dwelling for demons and every unclean spirit .
William Tyndale was persecuted, for wanting to have the Bible translated in the common language of the people .He was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned".( Wikipedia)
Also,John Wycliffe was persecuted for teaching bible truths.He was declared a heretic long after his death , his bones were exhumed, burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift.
It is reasonable now to conclude that "Babylon the Great" represents the religions of the world ,which have sought friendship and alliances with the beast, the beast represents all the political powers of the world . It also includes religions which opposed God and used spiritism to mislead people away from worshiping Him, in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24 NASB.)