Summary: Message 28 in our exposition of Revelation exploring the coming fall of Babylon.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“Fall of Babylon” Revelation 17-18
Last week we introduced the last player in the great end time drama.
Babylon. Babylon as a system of thought and government has existed from the time of Noah.
She is pictured as a harlot sitting on many waters and riding on top of the beast with seven heads and ten horns. She is called a mystery. Her name is Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth. There are some clues as to the character of Babylon but the exact identification cannot be certain until it unfolds.
History of Babylon
The original culture was based on god defying self-promotion and materialism. It represented the powerful and wealthy center of human civilization seeking to find meaning and prominence apart from submission to the Creator. It focused on godless materialism, consumerism, sensuality, sexuality and control. Meaning in life is ultimately found in the fleshly apathies and the culture centers on appealing and satisfying those appetites. Babylon came to symbolize humanity’s rebellion against God and is the seed of western philosophy and values.
Characteristics of Babylon from Revelation and prophetic passages
This Babylon is called a “mystery” -- symbolic rather than a literal geographic location or city.
The specific stands for the whole ie Wall Street, White House
Every city operates according to world view or system of values. Materialism, Interaction, activities, entertainment, enforcement, lifestyles determined by values.
This future “Great City” is no different.
• “Harlot” characterized by infidelity, permissiveness, profiteering, seduction, sensuality. Willing to sacrifice morals for money.
• “Sits on many waters” is interpreted later (17:15) as having worldwide influence.
• Source of immorality of the nations of the world.
• Has seduced and spaced out many people with her immoral focus.
• Rides a scarlet beast. Indicates that either she exercises certain control over the kingdoms of antichrist or is supported by the antichrist coalition. At best there is some sort of power relationship between antichrist and this entity called Babylon. This is the same beast we encountered earlier identified as the antichrist.
• Dressed in purple and scarlet adorned with costly jewelry symbolic of luxury and royalty.
• Golden cup full of abominations indicates looks good on the outside but vile on the inside.
• Associated with the abominations of ancient Babylon and perpetuator of current godless perversions.
• Instrumental in the demise of countless of God’s servants through the ages, indicating she has been around for a while.
• Called a “Great City” which reigns over the kings of the earth as opposed to the New Jerusalem which will reign over the earth.
• Drives the world’s economic commercial enterprise with a philosophy of consumerism
The deception perpetuated by the philosophy of Babylon is that meaningful life can be achieved apart from God through the personal godless pursuit of possessions, pleasure and prominence. This is the same philosophy perpetuated by Satan from the beginning. In the last days, there will be a world power that becomes the main perpetrator of this lie. It will have economic, religious and political power to peddle its wares throughout the world. Antichrist and his coalition of kings will use this vehicle to gain influence and power around the world.
After listing all the characteristics of final Babylon, it seems clear it represents something beyond a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq. It seems more plausible to me that this power represents a world power that propagates the godless aspects of western thinking and culture focused on humanism, materialism, consumerism, sensuality and sexuality. The idea that the United States and perhaps England and western civilization most closely fit the Biblical characterization of Babylon has pretty strong possibilities. Even though America was founded on godly principles by some very devoted godly men, there was a parallel influence of occult-like entities and organizations as well.
As long as we stood for godly values God saw fit to bless us. The more we have jettisoned our Biblical foundations, the more the satanic influence has flourished and will eventually lead to severe judgment.
Paul outlined the moral demise of the last days.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 2 Timothy 3:1-8