Revelation Lesson 49 - A Tale of Two Cities

Revelation Lesson 49 - A Tale of Two Cities

Series: Revelation
Ref: Revelation 17:1–7, 16–17

The story of the Tower of Babel isn't about humans trying to build the tallest tower in the world--it's a story about men attempting to be God . . . and God having to put them in their place. The ending of that story is found in Revelation 17, so join Stephen as he takes us there.

Transcript

A Tale of Two Cities

Revelation 17:1-7

There are two cities mentioned more times than any other cities in the Bible.

Jerusalem is mentioned most, at more than 800 times.  The first time it appears in scripture is in Genesis 14 and the last time it shows up is in Revelation chapter 21. 

Throughout scripture, Jerusalem is pictured as a special city in the plan and purpose of God.  It is, in fact, the city of God.

The root word shalem – pronounced Salem or shalom makes up the latter part of the name – Jeru‘salem’.  Rather woodenly translated, Jerusalem means, foundation of peace. / Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible: Volume 3(Zondervan, 1975), p. 459

It would be correct to understand it to imply that this city, Jerusalem, is the place of God’s peace.

It’s certainly the place where God made peace with all mankind as His Son hung on the cross, fashioning a peace treaty in His blood for all who would believe.

Paul wrote in Romans 5:1, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

To the Colossians, Paul wrote, For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the [fullness of God] to dwell in Him (Christ) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)

The city of Jerusalem truly represents for the believer the foundation of our peace. 

Now the city of Jerusalem is experiencing anything but peace, right?  You would never refer to Jerusalem as the peaceful city, would you?

That’s because the King is not yet ruling in that City as He will one day, according to Revelation 19.

In the meantime, you have another city prominently featured throughout human history. 

Nearly 300 times, the city of Babylon is mentioned throughout the Bible.  In fact, Babylon is mentioned more times in the Bible than any other city besides Jerusalem.

It first appears in Genesis chapter 10 and then throughout scripture until its last appearance in Revelation chapter 19 where it is destroyed.

Just as there is a city that represents the plans and purposes of God, Babylon is a city that represents the plans and purposes of man.

In order to understand the significance of Babylon’s rise and fall in the last book of the Bible, we have to go back to its origin in the first book of the Bible.

The founder of Babylon was Nimrod, the mighty hunter who defied God’s decree to Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply and fill then earth.  (Genesis 9:1).

By the way, in that same context, Noah was given a promise by God concerning the forces of nature, which, through the flood had devastated the topography of the earth. 

He promised Noah that not only would water never flood the entire earth again, God also promised that the systems of weather and the resources of the planet would sustain life in general. 

God said to Noah in Genesis chapter 8, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 – show to your children)

In other words, for the remainder of earth’s duration – that is until Christ creates a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21) – earth will experience normal seasons of seedtime and harvest, winter and summer and the 24 hour cycle of night and day. 

You can consider this an addendum to a former discussion in Revelation 16 as we covered the subjects of global warming and global cooling.

In God’s promise to Noah, God promised an ongoing basic balance of natural resources and patterns of weather and even the changing cycle of seasons.  We in North Carolina get to enjoy all four.

Those of you who moved here from the north are amazed to find there are more than not two.

The decree from God through Noah, following the universal flood, was to disperse throughout the whole earth.

But along comes the great-grandson of Noah, the world’s first tyrant, a man named Nimrod.

He defies God’s command and attempts to build a one-world federation of nations.   / John Phillips, Exploring Genesis (Loizeaux Brothers, 1980), p. 104

But it was more than political muscle.  It was deeply religious.  He would be the founder, along with his wife, who was especially involved, in creating a blasphemous, idolatrous, one world religion.

All of Nimrod’s political defiance was expressed in the building of a city named Babylon and all of his religious defiance was expressed in the building of the tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:4 records, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower who top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

In other words, they defied God’s command to multiply over the face of the earth and instead they chose to build an empire where God would be defied.

Now, political unity will only work with so many people.  Political unity is fickle.  Republicans can cross the aisle and become Democrats and Independents can become Republicans.  Sometimes they vote together but most often they vote differently.

And not many people are willing to risk their lives for a political party.  Nobody dies for the Democratic party . . . there are no suicide bombers trying to rid the world of Republicans. 

At least not yet.

But religion is different and far more powerful.

When people unify around a religious cause, they are willing to give their lives to that cause and for that bond of unity.

And when political causes are wedded to religious causes – you’ve got the makings of a nation and even a world empire.

Nimrod will be later deified as Babylon’s chief god Marduk.   Herodotus, the Roman historian traveled through Babylon and saw one statue of Marduk weighing 22 tons and it was solid gold.  In today’s economy, that one statue would be worth more than 600 million dollars.

That’s commitment!

In the Hebrew text of Genesis 11:4, the words, “let us build a tower whose top will reach into heaven” has added words by the translators to make sense of the Hebrew preposition.  It actually clouds it.

They weren’t trying to build a tower tall enough to reach into heaven, they had built a tower whose top was dedicated to the heavens.

The words “will reach into” aren’t there. 

You could more woodenly translate the preposition, “Let us build a tower whose top is with the heavens.”

In other word, the top of the tower was dedicated to the universe.

The first system of worship, worshipped the heavens. 

The God of creation is denied and the creation becomes god.

More and more, thanks to best-selling books like the Secret and media personalities who promote it like Oprah Winfrey and others, you have in our generation a growing population of people literally believing in the existence of the universe as a being of power that can give them what they desire in life.

The universe has become god.  Sun, moon and stars were believed to give life and determine destiny.  And millions of people today are religiously devoted Babylonians – they believe their sign and the movements of the stars have something to do with their purpose and destiny on earth.

This was the first worship system of Babylon.

In fact, the Tower of Babel originated the zodiac.  Turn to any book on astrology and its history will return you to the Chaldeans – another name for the citizens of Babylon.

They divided the heavens into sections and gave meanings to each on the basis of stars and constellations they observed.  A person’s destiny in life was said to be determined by whatever section or sign he was born under.

At the top of the ziggurat or tower, the signs of the zodiac were emblazoned on the ornate ceiling and walls at the top of the tower which represented a holy place for religious worship. / James Montgomery Boice, Genesis: Volume 1 (Zondervan, 1982), p. 343

From Babylon, astrology passed to the Egyptians where animism and polytheism was added.  The pyramids were even constructed with certain mathematical relationships to the stars.  These elaborate tombs of the Pharaoh’s were designed to fit into their worship of the Sun, moon, and stars of the universe.

So the first federation – the first United Nations was a society built to bring the human race together to exalt man and exclude God. 

And this first attempt at a “unified religion” so to speak, ultimately deified creation and dethroned the Creator.  Or at least they would try. / Mark Hitchcock, The Second Coming of Babylon (Multnomah, 2003), p. 41

In fact, Nimrod will become a prototype of Antichrist as he becomes a god, deified in statues of gold, much like the antichrist who will place a huge statue of himself in Jerusalem’s holy temple as he declares to the world that he is the living god and as he rules the world from his capital city, Babylon, known as the gate of god.

One author said that the gods of Rome, Greece, Egypt and every other world empire are essentially the gods that grew out of the religious systems of the Babylonian empire.  The gods were simply repackaged and renamed over the centuries. / Boice, p. 341

But there’s more to the political and religious mystery of Babylon.

This is my introduction to Revelation 17 . . . so hang on.

In Genesis 11, unbelieving humanity, already prepared for anti-God legends and the deifying of mankind, fell hook line and sinker into the mystery religions of Babylon.

John Walvoord provides this summary, and I quote,

Nimrod had a wife known as Semiramis who created secret religious rites of the Babylonian mysteries, according to extra-Biblical records.  The legends grew that Semiramis had a son, conceived miraculously by a sunbeam.  He was the promised deliverer of earth and named Tammuz.  Tammuz was in effect a false fulfillment of the promise made to Eve of a deliverer born from the seed of woman – in other words, conceived without the involvement of man (implied in Genesis 3:15 and come true in the virgin born Jesus Christ).   / Hitchcock, p. 41

You can see how Satan, early in human history – in fact, in the very first religious and political rebellion, sowed the seeds of lies by wrapping them around kernels of truth.

According to Babylonian legend, originating with Semiramis, Tammuz was killed but after forty days of his mother’s weeping, he was raised from the dead.

By the way, Satan obviously understood the implication of God’s promise to Eve that the Savior would be virgin born; and he obviously listened as the prophets revealed more and more truth about the coming Messiah. 

And then he counterfeited it throughout the world in false religious systems.

Isn’t it striking that the first perverted religious system would center around both deifying the universe along with the ideas that a god-beings would exists and one particular god-man  would be born of a virgin.

Mother Semiramis and her god-conceived son Tammuz became the first version of a religion wrapped around a queen of heaven and equally divine son. 

Their names were changed in different places, but the basic story remained the same.  In Phonecia, the mother was Astarte and the son was Baal.

Sound familiar?  Israel would believe the kernel of the promise of God through Eve, but fall for a false religion and idolatry.

In Egypt, she was called Isis and her son was Osiris.  In Greece, she was Aphrodite and her son was Eros.  In Assyria, the son’s name remained Tammuz, but the mother’s name was Ishtar.

The religion spread.  Both mother and son were considered equally divine in Babylon and as it spread throughout the world, the liturgy of worship was defined. 

The mother was soon called the Queen of Heaven.  Her forty days of weeping were memorialized in the forty days of Lent, followed by the celebration of Ishtar where eggs, symbolizing new life were exchanged as presents.  Of course, the word Easter is transliterated from Ishtar.

In these and other rituals the Babylonian religion counterfeited the promise of God that His Son would be born of a virgin and die for the sins of the world. / Hitchock, p. 41  / David Jeremiah, Escape the Coming Night: Volume 3 (Turning Point, 1994), p. 118

There isn’t anything wrong with celebrating Easter so long as your celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  But He didn’t rise from the dead because of His mother’s tears.

And there isn’t anything inherently wrong about Easter eggs – as long as you don’t revere them as givers of life.  There’s nothing wrong with candy eggs – as long as they’re chocolate, otherwise you’re wasting your calories . . . that wouldn’t be right.

You say, but Ishtar is named after a pagan god – so are the Nike golf shoes you wear – Nike was a pagan Goddess who name meant victory.  I doubt she’s ever helped your golf game.

Listen, so long as your faith is not bound up in the symbol but focused on the Savior, you’re in good stead.

Martin Luther, the Reformer, took the Christmas tree, a pagan Roman symbol, and hung globed candles on it, thus giving it redemptive meaning.

We do that a thousand times over.

By the way, none of the pagan counterfeits of mother and son has the virgin born son dying for the sins of the world and providing forgiveness from sin.

They merely created an anti-Creator message and allowed man even further justification for sinning.

In fact, it was the development of Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod who began the practice of religious prostitution as a form of worship; in other words, let’s call sin sanctified. 

And so they founded an order of virgins who were anything but chaste, and they served as temple prostitutes for those who came to the temple of worship.

And as you read the history of Israel, you find them time and time again buying into the religion of Babylon . . . the cult practices of astrology and religious prostitution over and over again. 

In fact, Ezekiel would record God’s judgment on them as they were weeping for Tammuz. (Ezekiel 8:14 the son of Semiramis). 

Jeremiah condemns his people for burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her (Jeremiah 44:17)

You recall the Israelites infatuation with Baal, another version of a  supposed virgin born god-man and you remember in 1 Kings 18, Elijah’s contest that defeated all of the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

And so God comes to judge mankind at the tower of Babel and he confuses their language and effectively scatters mankind to the far corners of the earth.

The Hebrew meaning of the word Babel or Babylon means, “confusion”.

The Sumerian language translates it, “the gate of god.” / Geoffrey W. Bromiley, General Editor, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Volume 1(Eerdmans, 1979), p. 384

But by the time the people had scattered as differing language throughout the world, the religion of Babylon – the worship of creation – the synthesizing of sin and sacrifice had burrowed into their spiritual DNA and they constantly looked for gateways to the gods outside God’s own revelation.

It’s fascinating to discover that through scripture, the city of Babylon would false gods.  In conflict with the city of Jerusalem and the true and living Creator God.

You don’t have to travel very far past Genesis 11 before there is a conflict involving these two cities.

The very first war is recorded in Genesis chapter 14 where several kings formed a coalition which defeated Sodom and carried away its citizens as slaves. 

One of those abducted people just so happened to be Lot and, the nephew of Abraham.  When Abraham heard the news about Lot’s capture, along with his wife and two daughters, Abraham and his men mounted up and went to war.

With God’s help, they defeated this coalition of kings. One of the kings happened to be the King of Shinar – a name for the region that included Babylon.

So you have a battle where Abraham, representing the purposes of God, defeats the King of Babylonia representing the purposes of man, energized by Satan, the ultimate anti-God.

It gets even more interesting as Abraham returns from battle, he is met by the king and high priest of Salem – old Jerusalem.  He came out from Salem and fed Abraham and his soldiers with bread and wine.  Many believe Melchizedek prefigured the king and high priest of Jerusalem – Jesus Christ.

Perhaps even in that act, prefiguring the Lord who would give his disciples bread and wine as a memorial of His sacrifice.

And Abraham, we’re told, responded to this king of Jerusalem, without any request or provocation, he gave to him a tithe of the best of his spoils from battle.

So there you have the first armed conflict between the forces of Babylon and the forces of Jerusalem. 

In fact, from this point on in the Bible, you have what you could call “a tale of two cities.”  God’s city, Jerusalem, versus Babylon, man’s city.   / Hitchcock, 46

And the conflict will only increase between the city of confusion and the city of peace.

Babylon appears next in a victorious scene over Jerusalem where Nebuchadnezzar levels it to the ground over the course of 3 military campaigns (2 Kings 24 & 25).

This conquering king moves the vessels of Solomon’s temple into the temple of his gods, as if to say, my gods are more powerful than your gods (2 Chronicles 36:10).

Babylon was truly the kingdom of gold.

But just as Daniel prophesied from within the city walls of Babylon, Babylon would be defeated by the Medo-Persians; the Persians defeated by Greece and Greece defeated by Rome.

The final world empire will be a coalition of 10 kingdoms in the Revived Roman Empire and its capital city will be . . . of course, Babylon.

The conflict that began in Genesis will reach its climax in Revelation.

Since the Tower of Babel, Satan has wanted worked and schemed to bring mankind back to Babylon . . . to pick up the fight between the city of man against the city of God.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the first war recorded in the Bible involved Jerusalem and Babylon; the last world war recorded in the Bible will be between Jerusalem and Babylon.

The whole course of human history is essentially a tale of these two cities and who they represent.   / Henry Morris, The Revelation Record(Tyndale, 1986), p. 329

Human history can be viewed as the attempt by Satan to bring man back to a new Babylon.  To create a global order where all of mankind – every empire in the world – once again says in effect, we will create a kingdom that defies Creator God.

And Satan seems to succeed.

As Nimrod appeared on the scene in the first book of the Bible, the Antichrist appears in the last book of the Bible.

Just like Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar, the Antichrist builds a statue in his honor.

Like Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar of old Babylon, the king of new Babylon demands that everyone worship before the image of his greatness and the glory of his new empire.

And like both of them – they all are ultimately defeated in battle.

This last time the conflict is called the Battle of Armageddon.

In our past studies, we’ve unpacked the truth of that battle as the forces of the kings who marched against God were defeated.

The blood that flowed from the defeated armies ran like a river through the valley of Jezreel.

The bowls of God’s judgment are finally emptied . . . Christ in his glorious coming defeats the armies of Babylon and Antichrist.

Alright, enough of an introduction.

As John the Apostle watches the bowls of God’s judgment dumped on planet earth – and the earth pounded with hail stones and topography reoriented by the global earthquake – he’s no doubt stupefied by the sights and sounds of God’s judgment.

At that moment, as it all wraps up, an angel comes over to him and pulls him aside.

Notice verse 1 of Revelation 17.  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.”

Now what happens here, as has already happened several times in the record of John’s revelation; events are raced across the monitor of human history as if in fast motion; and then a slow motion button is pressed and we’re given a lot of details and behind the scenes tours regarding the unfolding events.

Chapters 17 and 18 are a slow motion button where we’re shown the details of Babylon in living color.

Chapter 17 shows us the religious system of Babylon and her demise.

Chapter 18 shows us the regal city of Babylon and her destruction.

By the way, there is more said about Babylon in the book of Revelation than any other topic or event. 

There are 404 verses in the Book of Revelation – we’re covering 10 a year.  Out of the 404, forty-four of them have to do with Babylon.  11% of the Book of Revelation is devoted to this one subject – Babylon.  In fact, more attention is given to Babylon than the new heaven and new earth. / Hitchcock, p. 101

And wouldn’t you like more information about heaven?

Why the disparity?  Perhaps it’s because we can’t understand much about heaven, but we’d better understand the nature of Babylon.

God knew that His people in every dispensation – throughout the course of human history – would be involved in a spiritual battle with the city of confusion; the kingdoms of this world along with the false religions of man’s imagination.

I want to give you 6 characteristics of the system of spiritual Babylon . . . the system of false religion, provided in chapter 17.

Six Characteristics of Religious Babylon

  1. First, I want you to notice her influence. 

Verse 1b. tells us that she sits on many waters.  Look across the page at verse 15 where we’re told, “the waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.

In other words, there will be the growth of a religious unity that will influence most of the world.

Notice verse 1b.  And I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2.  With whom the kings of eth earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.

Imagine the world without true Christians.  The rapture has taken place and Christians are gone.

Sin will be unleashed throughout the world like never before, for the restraining influences of godliness will be gone.

And religion will not have slowed down either.  The references to Babylon’s religious system is pictured with sexually freighted words, because God has always considered idolatry and false religion to be spiritual adultery.

The world will be drunk with both – sin and idolatry.

Think about it.  How many religious systems of worship do you think will carry on after the rapture without missing a beat?  All of them.

Protestant churches will carry on although many will be nearly emptied.  Catholic churches will have their mass as usual. The Mormon church won’t miss a second; Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism will all continue on.

The missing element is the true salt of the earth.  The genuine believer in Christ will have been raptured and the only religious people left behind won’t care all that much about the Bible. 

The missing people are the ones who attended denominational meetings and said, “We can’t do that; what are you thinking?”

The missing people are the missionaries both vocational and informal who testify to the exclusive truth of Christ alone.

That testimony will be gone and the world will be able to move with lightning speed at unifying as doctrine is discarded now with abandon and delight.

The religions of the world will coalesce rapidly.

When the World Council of Churches was organized in Amsterdam in 1948, one of its aims was to bring all branches of Christianity (and I use that term loosely) together; including Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox churches under one organization. / John Walvoord/Mark Hitchcock, Armageddon, Oil, and Terror (Tyndale, 2007), p. 142

Well all their dreams will come true.

The current Catholic Pope’s desire to find unity with Islam and Judaism will also come true.

The religions of the world will unite in one confused Tower of Babel.

One author said he expects to see more and more mergers between denominations and more emphasis on ecumenism – which is a word that refers to the effort to merge all the world’s religions into one giant world religion. / Daymond R. Duck/Larry Richards, The Book of Revelation (Thomas Nelson, 2006), p. 248

Well, here it comes.

And all it takes is for the Bride of Christ to disappear and the world will be left for a brief period of time without the salt and light of the gospel.

  1. Secondly, I want you to notice her partnerships.

Verse 3.  And he carried my away 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.

We’ve already learned that the empire of the Antichrist will be the seventh world empire – the Revived Roman empire – and it will be made up of a coalition of ten kings. 

We won’t take time to go through each descriptive phrase again regarding the Antichrist’s kingdom.

However, there is one verse that I want you to notice – v. 9.  Here is the mind which has wisdom.  The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman (this harlot) sits. 

That reference to seven hills has made some believe that this woman – this system of false religion is the Roman Catholic Church, since Rome sits on seven hills.

Not only is that viewpoint far to restricted – for all the world will embrace this woman – this view is not even supported by the very next phrase.  There isn’t a period at the end of verse 9, but a comma.  And these seven are seven kings.

In other words, the seven hills are seven kings or kingdoms.  Who are they?

John tells us in verse 10; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come.

Thanks John, that’s helpful.

Well it is, if you understand his metaphor of hills being empires.

Five have come.

Study world history and five western world empires have come and gone.  Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece.   / John MacArthur, Revelation: Volume 2 (Moody Press, 2000), p. 170

What empire is – well, when was John living?  During the reign of the Roman Empire.

Guess what.  There’s only one more empire to come that will rule the world.

The Antichrist’s.

We’re living in that moment, in human history, when the next world empire ruled by a man, will be the last.

Now the fact that this harlot is seen riding on the beast is John’s way of saying that she’s partnering with it – perhaps even, at the outset, in control of the Antichrist’s rise to power. / Sam Gordon, Revelation: Worthy is the Lamb (Ambassador, 2000), p. 343

  1. Thirdly, notice her wealth of this unified religion

Verse 4.  The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet,and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.

Purple and scarlet clothing was the most expensive you could own.  Millions of certain small sea snail that emitted a purple dye would be harvested in the Mediterranean region. 

In John’s day one ounce of purple dye would cost more than one pound of gold.

The religion that captures the world’s attention will be immensely elaborate and awe inspiring and wealthy.

I find it interesting that this woman is decked out in things that heaven will have in abundance.  Gold, precious stones, pearls.

It made me realize all over again that compared to heaven, the religions of the world will look like trinkets.

I remember playing with my youngest daughter Charity when she was a little girl that board game, Pretty, Pretty Princess.  Is that a great game or what.

You move along on the board and if you pass a certain point you get to pick up a piece of jewelry and put it on.  The winner got it all – earrings that looked like huge rubies . . . a necklace of plastic gems and even a gold plastic crown.

We have pictures of me wearing all that jewelry after I won . . . it’s kinda scary now.  But to a little kid it really looked like something.

Heaven will make the jewelry of this world look like plastic ornaments and little game pieces.

  1. Notice fourthly, her perversion.

Verse 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.”

In other words, it all started with Babylon!  The source of organized rebellion and creature worship and universe adoration and astral devotion demon inspired idolatry and on and on is Babylon.

She is the mother of spiritual prostitution – worship that ought to belong to God alone is given to another.

Her name is on her forehead.  It’s interesting to note that the common prostitute in the first century – and it was a flourishing legal profession then – wore her name on a scarf on her head or on a colorful headband.  This was how she advertised – this was her attempt to be remembered and called for again by name.

So the spiritual harlot seeks to be remembered and desired.

But it won’t work after all.

  1. Notice fifth, her agenda.

Verse 6.  And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.

Since ancient Babylon to the current day, false religion has caused one blood bath after another against the believer.

By the time of the Tribulation, the woman is actually portrayed as drunk – totally inebriated by the blood of Christians.

  1. Then finally, notice her ultimate destruction.

Verse 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.

Put simply, the 10 kingdom federation and the Antichrist will have no need of her anymore as the Antichrist unveils his image and desecrates the Holy Place.

This one world church will be replaced, most scholars believe, around the middle of the Tribulation period, when the Antichrist will claim to be god and set himself up to be worshipped alone.

What happens to this wealthy, world-wide religious system?  She is robbed – disgraced – devoured and destroyed. / John Phillips, Exploring Revelation (Loizeaux Brothers, 1991), p. 219

More than likely, she will have claimed some right to rule and they will get rid of her.

The Antichrist will no longer need her and he will discard her once and for all.

Where is God during these wretched days of blasphemy?  Is He in control?  Are things out of hand? 

Notice verse 17.  Don’t miss it.  For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast until the words of God will be fulfilled.

The return to Babylon and the religion of Babel is part of the plan of God.

The coming final conflict between Babylon and Jerusalem is part of God’s redemptive plan.  God is the author of this tale of 2 cities. 

From Genesis to Revelation, the purposes of God will be fulfilled.

Bank on it. Depend on it.

In your life right now . . . no matter the struggle, the suffering, the chaos or the conflict . . . God’s purposes for you will be fulfilled . . . perfectly . . . on time . . . and with such future glory we cannot imagine.

For Christ shall come, the heir to Jerusalem’s throne, and we with Him in that final conflict between the city of man and the city of God. 

That final conflict will be won as the city of Jerusalem defeats the city of Babylon and Christ will reign on David’s throne.

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