Thoughts on Babylon the Great in Revelation

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
From the get-go I want to say that this not to debate the identity of Revelation’s Babylon or the beasts, but to engage other amil proponents on some of the finer points of the view upheld by our school. If you are burning to disagree with me or others in this discussion from a postmil, premil, historicist, or whatever view, please keep a lid on it or start another thread. This is to be a tightly focused discussion. Thanks.

For the benefit of those lurking and wondering about some of the interpretive presuppositions of this school, a primary one has been convincingly put forth by G.K. Beale in his massive and erudite, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, and that is the contents of the Revelation are made known by means of symbolism. In the very first verse of the book (1:1) it is written,

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” [emphasis added –SMR]​

This word signified (“communicated” NASB, “made it known” ESV, NIV) – [size=+1]shmanen[/size] – semaino “is part of a clear allusion [in the LXX Greek –SMR] to Dan. 2:28-30, 45. The clauses ‘revelation . . . God showed . . . what must come to pass . . . and he made known ([size=+1]shmainw[/size])’ occur together only in Daniel 2 and Rev 1:1.... the manner of the communication is defined by the context of the vision as symbolic communication by means of a dream vision.... The revelation is not abstract but pictorial.” Beale, pp. 50, 51. For those who don’t have his book, he explicates this further in his sermon (MP3 download) on Rev 11, “Two Witnesses in Revelation” (⇐ link) . Dennis Johnson (his book noted below) concurs (see footnote 6, p. 7). All this to say that from the very opening of the Revelation we are told that this is a book to be understood by seeing and interpreting the symbols given, almost all of which are taken from the Old Testament, which is thus the key to their interpretation.

While preaching through the Revelation, consulting G.K. Beale, Dennis E. Johnson, William Hendriksen, Herman Hoeksema, Arturo Azurdia (81 MP3 sermons) (⇐ link) , Kim Riddlebarger, Stuart Olyott, and Simon Kistemaker, I find that even these generally astute commentators (given that they all have little flaws here and there) are pretty much vague as to how exactly the beast and the ten horns (Rev 17:16) will destroy harlot Babylon. (I have not yet listened to Azurdia’s sermons on Rev 18, so I do not know what his thoughts are.)

Germane to the issue are the identities of the ten horns, the beast, and Babylon the Great. I have looked over the other threads here at PB on “Babylon” and there was not much of interest to me, save a few isolated posts.

All of the above-mentioned commentators concur that the beast from the sea (Rev 13:1) refers to the antichristian governments which persecute the people of God – the church of Jesus Christ – initially indicating Rome, which would be speaking to the seven churches about what they knew firsthand, yet including the churches up through the ages until the return of the Son of God, as the persecuting governments would continue throughout, culminating in a no-longer-limited but universal manifestation of the beast determined to utterly wipe out the church world-wide. The blessing of the Lord is on all who read, hear, and keep “the words of this prophecy” (Rev 1:3) – which includes us in 2010 – and seven times, once to each church (each of which represent conditions to be seen in churches up through the ages), the admonition is given, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”, ourselves not excepted.

As the beast from the sea (John could see Roman ships rising from below the horizon) was known to the 1st century church, the beast from the land (Rev 13:11) was as well, being the indigenous propounders of false religions and philosophies, locally known as the priests promoting emperor worship and those promoting local cults and worship of deities in Asia Minor, yet to include all false religions and philosophies through the ages, so we have this beast (aka “the false prophet” – Rev 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) present in John’s time and in our own.

The harlot Babylon is quite nuanced, spoken of as a woman seducing the kings of the earth and its people; it is also referred to as a city having dominion over the earth (Rev 17:18). It is edifying to read the various interpretations the commentators give to Babylon:

William Hendriksen (More Than Conquerors),

“Babylon is the world as centre of seduction” p. 154

“Babylon.... it becomes evident that the symbol has reference to a great industrial and commercial metropolis. Babylon, therefore, must indicate the world as a centre of industry, art, culture, etc., which by means of all these things seeks to entice and seduce the believer, that is, to turn him away from God. It symbolizes the concentration of the luxury, vice, and glamour of this world. It is the world viewed as the embodiment of ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the vainglory of life’ (1 Jn. 2:16).” p. 168

“a pleasure-mad city” p. 168


G.K. Beale (The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text)

“Though closely associated with the beast, the woman is not to be equated with the beast. That she rides the beast connotes her alliance with the state. The woman must represent that part of the ungodly world that works together with the state, such as the social, cultural, economic, and religious aspects of the world. In this context the work that they agree to do together is that of persecuting the saints...” p. 853

“The followers of the beast are guilty primarily not of immorality, but of idolatry....

“Babylon was the ungodly world power under which Israel had to live in captivity. While Israelite saints did not go along with Babylon’s religious practices, they were nevertheless tempted to compromise. When they remained loyal to their God, they underwent trial by their oppressors (see Daniel 1-6). The ungodly social, political, and economic system dominated by the Roman Empire placed believers in the same position as Israel was in under Babylon... Therefore, here in the Apocalypse Rome and all wicked world systems take on the name ‘Babylon the Great’... [emphasis added –SMR]

“The nations’ cooperation with Babylon ensures their material security. Without this cooperation, security would be removed. Such security is a temptation too great to resist. Therefore... ‘she made to drink’ means that the nations were forced to ‘drink’, to comply with Rome’s and society’s idolatrous demands, if they wanted to maintain economic security.

“Babylon’s promise of prosperous earthly welfare for its willing subjects is an intoxication that the majority of the world’s inhabitants also want to imbibe. Once one imbibes, the intoxicating influence removes all desire to resist Babylon’s destructive influence, blinds one to Babylon’s own ultimate insecurity and to God as the source of real security, and numbs one against any fear of a coming judgment”. pp. 741, 755-756


Dennis E. Johnson (Triumph of the Lamb)

“...the harlot Babylon shows us Rome from the perspective of the spiritual threat of compromise through economic seduction, yet she also transcends Rome and encompasses every expression of the idolatry that worships economic prosperity and cultural achievement, whether in Nineveh, Chaldean Babylon, Tyre, Rome, or later entrepreneurial empires.” p. 243, 244

“This woman represents fallen human culture in all the apparent glory of its achievement and the true repugnance of its arrogance.” p. 246

“ ‘...the great city,’ all that makes the city emblematic of human culture and achievement – music, craftsmanship, food preparation, domestic life, and commerce...” p. 253, 254


Simon J. Kistemaker (New Testament Commentary: Revelation)

“The text reveals symbolism, evident in the two expressions prostitute and many waters. These two should be interpreted not literally but spiritually. First, the great harlot’s goal is to lead people wherever possible away from Christ; hence, she is the exact opposite of the church that seeks to lead all people everywhere to Christ.” p. 462

“Nebuchadnezzar, boasting about the city he built, used the expression Babylon the Great (Dan. 4:30). He exhibited inordinate pride that resulted in his immediate downfall, because not he but God is sovereign over the nations (Dan. 4:32). Similarly, this same expression adopted by the great prostitute seals her own doom. The woman called Babylon, sitting on many waters, which the angel interprets as the peoples, crowds, nations, and languages (v. 15), symbolizes the population of the entire world. The name Babylon the Great is a figurative description of all the godless inhabitants in the world. In the second half of the first century, the city of Rome was a cesspool of iniquity and thus became a symbol of worldly pleasure, enticement, and lust. But as I have pointed out above, to focus attention only on Rome of apostolic times is too restrictive. The name Babylon applies to the lasting conflict between Satan’s henchmen and the people of God.

“The woman calls herself ‘the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.’ She is the mother superior over all those who commit spiritual prostitution by worshipping the beast. Her underlings proclaim the gospel of the Antichrist while she herself receives their adulation and praise. She is the source of all that is evil directed against God: slander, murder, immorality, corruption, vulgarity, profanity, and greed. And she originates these sins by putting her underlings to work. She is also the mother of all abominations in the world, for every sin originates with her. The disparity between this woman who personifies evil and the woman who is the church cannot be greater (12:1). The apostle Paul teaches that the church is the mother of believers (Gal. 4:26). Blessed are those who have her as mother and God as Father. Conversely, God’s enemies belong to the mother of abominations and suffer the consequences.” p. 466​

I don’t quote Hoeksema on Babylon as he veered off and said she was only the apostate church, while I agree with the rest that while the false church is included in Babylon, the harlot encompasses all of the godless world.

These interpretations, although they differ somewhat, are not at odds: they compliment one another. But to the gist of what I want to discuss:

Given that Babylon signifies the cultural, economic, and religious / philosophical aspects of fallen humankind, and the beast (from the sea) the political and military powers, we see in Rev 17:16 that God has put in the hearts of the ten horns (kings / kingdoms) on the beast to hate and destroy the harlot. Yes, this does exemplify Jesus’ saying in Mark 3:24 and 26, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.... And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.” And I find myself wondering, “What would this look like? How would it / could it take place: The governments and their military going to war against the economic and cultural center or centers of the world?”

Of all the commentators two give an inkling: Beale, who draws greatly on the OT and the Jewish writings, regularly finds background for the symbols used in Revelation; he says,

“In both Nah. 3:4-5 and especially Isa. 23:15-18, Nineveh and Tyre are called harlots because they cause ruin and uncleanness among the nations by economically dominating them and influencing them by their idolatry” [emphasis added –SMR], p.885

“ ‘The woman’ is interpreted to be ‘the great city, which has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.’ She includes the entire evil economic system of the world throughout history. She receives power from the devil himself. Her economic-religious influence formerly even extended over the political realm (‘the kings of the earth’). But their loyalty will shift toward the beast and they will become antagonistic toward her in the end time. That the ‘woman’ has sovereignty over the world demonstrates that she must be identified more broadly than merely with unbelieving Jerusalem or the apostate church. Likewise, 18:23 reveals her universal nature by describing her as one who has ‘deceived the nations’.” p. 888​

Kistemaker has an interesting take:

“Does John have in mind the destruction of Rome whereby subordinate vassals rise up against her? Hardly, for the imperial city never entirely fulfilled the words in this verse. The splendor of Rome diminished in the course of due time, and the empire came to an end in 476, but the city itself remained intact. On a broader scale, the text applies to nations pursuing economic and political goals to the detriment of others. When wealth and riches accumulate, a sudden downturn causes these nations to collapse...”

“These kings together with the beast are determined to destroy the woman who has dominated them.” [emphases added –SMR], p. 478​

So we have the thought that economic domination and exploitation by Babylon breeds resentment and a violent retribution. Before I tie these things together with a hypothesis, I want to include an element virtually unnoticed.

An aspect of Babylon the great city is that she deceived the nations by her sorceries (Rev 18:23; see also 9:21); only Kistemaker takes this term literally, Beale, Johnson, and the others relating it more figuratively to deception than to magic and drugs. However, the use of the term “sorcerers” [size=+1]farmakoi[/size] in Rev 22:15 (and 21:8) would indicate actual sorcery is being spoken of. In the ancient (and modern) Greek the root word is pharmakon (drug) [size=+1]farmakon[/size], and may mean either medicine, poison, or magic potion. In Revelation it is always used in the sense of drugs as sorcerous potions, not as pharmaceuticals or poisons.

So what are the implications of these things? We have Babylon dominating the world economically, often “to the detriment of others”, and with great disparity of resources consumed. Babylon is envied and resented for her exploitation and the misuse of her privileged status, some nations suffering extreme hardship due to her extravagant lifestyle, the world itself economically endangered by her lavish irresponsibility, self-indulgence, and waste.

And then the drugs. Is there any nation renown for its drug use, and exportation of same to the entire world? I am not talking of mere addiction to narcotics and euphoriants (coke, speed, ecstasy, etc), but rather to those genuinely sorcerous potions which transport one onto the “satanic wavelength”, such as LSD, hash, marijuana, mescaline, peyote, and like psychedelics. It is known in some nations that these drugs enable one to have communion with spirits and the spirit realm. Did not America, in the 1960s, actually evangelize the world with regard to using these drugs – in the music and literature of those times, the arts generally, and otherwise through the media? Are not the television and film industries – as well advertising – much permeated by those who get high on these substances? Those who have studied the subject know that the government (esp. the CIA and military, and some politicians), many academics, writers, artists, musicians, psychiatrists and those in the therapeutic community, and a great part of the general populace, all experimented with and used these drugs when they came upon the scene in the 50s through the 70s. Drug cultures were birthed in numerous nations as a result, and powerfully impacted the psychic life of every one of those cultures. A tremendous impetus for spiritual deception was introduced to the entire world through the influence of these sorcerous potions. And it continues to this day.

If any one nation could be singled out as personifying Babylon, which would it be? And if any one city? Foremost in the arts, finance, culture, media, intellect and philosophy? Of course there are many cultural centers: London, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna, Brussels, Hollywood (arguably), to name but a few, but would not New York stand out as – at least – first among equals? Or perhaps even the leader and head?

Note, what I am trying to do is get a concrete picture of dynamics – of how the beast and his allied nations could war against the harlot, why they would “hate the whore,” and then “make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Rev 17:16). Note again, that I am theorizing – speculating, filling in, albeit within the outlines given us by Scripture – so as to seek understanding of what the Lord has revealed. I am not stating any of these things dogmatically.

Of course there are WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) capable of destroying cities and even nations, whether nuclear, biological, or chemical.

It is with some grief that I tentatively consider New York as a candidate to personify harlot Babylon, as Manhattan is my birthplace and where I was raised, where my home church is, some of my family and many friends. One thing we have not seen in her yet, and that is the shed blood of the saints.

Any thoughts on these hypothesizings, you amil brethren – and amil sympathizers?
 
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Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
C'mon... everybody knows Babylon's out on LonGuyLand..... here.

Sorry couldn't resist. Back to the serious discussion...
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Sorry if I sound a little harsh in the OP (“keep a lid on it”), but time really is too precious to spend wrangling with other views I have rejected when conferring and new understanding is sought.

The alternative to one major city, or even a nation, being the target of the ten horns’ hatred and destruction, would be a multitude of cultural and economic centers, as I noted earlier – Tokyo, Paris, London, Brussels, New York, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, etc – but that hardly makes sense, as to destroy all of these cities would do far more than destroy the economic-cultural center of the world system, it would provoke an all-out military conflagration from many quarters, and such is not what is prophesied. An all-out military battle will shortly follow the destruction of Babylon, and that battle – Armageddon – will be against God’s people world-wide, and against God, who dwells in their midst. And God’s response.

Another way to look at it – what would it take to utterly destroy a) the world’s economic system, so that commerce and finance, both within nations and internationally, is no longer possible? And b) to destroy the cultural life of the nations of the world? In “cultural life” I would include all the arts, the media, entertainment, institutions of learning, social life, transportation, and communication systems apart from those of the military and political centers.

Is there one target – or other method – that could accomplish objectives a and b? Any other ideas?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We have Babylon dominating the world economically, often “to the detriment of others”, and with great disparity of resources consumed. Babylon is envied and resented for her exploitation and the misuse of her privileged status, some nations suffering extreme hardship due to her extravagant lifestyle, the world itself economically endangered by her lavish irresponsibility, self-indulgence, and waste.

You'd naturally have to prove that our so called domination of the world is to the detriment of others. For one thing, consuming raw materials and selling finished products has helped rather than hindered poor countries. Growing coffee, cocoa, digging up titanium, silver, etc... has given a higher standard of living to people in Africa and SAmerica than they'd ever had in their history.

And then the drugs. Is there any nation renown for its drug use, and exportation of same to the entire world? I am not talking of mere addiction to narcotics and euphoriants (coke, speed, ecstasy, etc), but rather to those genuinely sorcerous potions which transport one onto the “satanic wavelength”, such as LSD, hash, marijuana, mescaline, peyote, and like psychedelics.

These things are always a question of degree, but Germany come to mind as possibly responsible for this as much as we are, and in addition using more resources per capita than us. They currently export more than us, and when you consider the EU, they are more responsible for drugs, consuming resources, p0rnography etc.. than we are by far.


Note, what I am trying to do is get a concrete picture of dynamics – of how the beast and his allied nations could war against the harlot, why they would “hate the whore,”

Out of curiosity, who would be the ten nations that hate the US/NY? The only nations that have any current power to destroy us don't hate our drugs, wealth and p0rnography, they want to copy it, or have or want to exceed us in these things. The only exception I can think of is China. Do you see some sort of Asiatic coalition?
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Tim, are you amil? I really don’t have an interest in defending my perceptions vis-à-vis yours. Perhaps you just wanted to discuss the things I brought up, but my stated purpose was to get light from within my own school of thought, from folks on the same page, as it were – and, hopefully, familiar with the commentators I have been studying.

And no, no Asiatic coalition.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I'm post, I suppose, but my response was one of curiosity. Accepting your thesis that the US/NY is Babylon, who is the coalition who you think will attack us?
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Your thoughts are correct and I am one who believes the church of popery, Roman Catholicism is the beast of Revelations refered to as babylon. You siad "Therefore, here in the Apocalypse Rome and all wicked world systems take on the name ‘Babylon the Great’... [emphasis added –SMR]“The followers of the beast are guilty primarily not of immorality, but of idolatry....
As the beast from the sea (John could see Roman ships rising from below the horizon) was known to the 1st century church, the beast from the land (Rev 13:11) was as well, being the indigenous propounders of false religions and philosophies, locally know as the priests promoting emperor worship and those promoting local cults and worship of deities in Asia Minor, yet to include all false religions and philosophies through the ages, so we have this beast (aka “the false prophet” – Rev 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) present in John’s time and in our own."

The following quote is from Spurgeon’s sermon on Nehemiah 4:10, “Rubbish” (No. 1156):

Soon after apostolic times there came the old
Roman rubbish, which in the end proved a
worse hindrance to the gospel than all the
errors which had preceded it.

This Popish rubbish was found in layers; first
one doctrinal error, and then another, and then
another, and then another, and then another,
until at this time the errors of the Church of
Rome are as countless as the stars, as black
as midnight, and as foul as hell.

Her abominations reek in the nostrils of all
Christian men. Her idolatries are the scorn
of reason and the abhorrence of faith.

The iniquities of her practice, and the
atrociousness of her doctrine, almost
surpass belief.

As the gospel is the masterpiece of God,
“Popery” is the masterpiece of Satan!

There can scarcely be imagined anything of
devilish craftiness or Satanic wickedness
which could be compared with her.

She is the unparalleled queen of iniquity!
Behold upon her forehead the name, Mystery,
Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and
abominations of the earth.

The church of Rome and her teachings are a
vast mountain of rubbish covering the truth.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (Romans 1:17-19)
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Another way to look at it – what would it take to utterly destroy a) the world’s economic system, so that commerce and finance, both within nations and internationally, is no longer possible? And b) to destroy the cultural life of the nations of the world? In “cultural life” I would include all the arts, the media, entertainment, institutions of learning, social life, transportation, and communication systems apart from those of the military and political centers.

Is there one target – or other method – that could accomplish objectives a and b? Any other ideas?


I would think that global (or near-) communism, socialism, etc. would accomplish this in fairly short order, based on history.
 

Turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
The Whore and the Bride

If any one nation could be singled out as personifying Babylon, which would it be? And if any one city?

I can't help but be struck by the contrast pictured in Revelation regarding those two women and those two cities, the whore and the bride, Babylon and the new, holy Jerusalem.

The contrast between the two is so vividly described! The whore rides the beast and the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and eat delicacies. In contrast, the bride, new Jerusalem, rides on white horses, is married to the lamb, they drink from the river of the water of life, and eat from the tree of life. The whore is arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, but her end is nakedness and shame. The bride is clothed with fine linen and white, the righteousness of saints.

The fruits, dainties, and goodly things that her soul lust after will be found no more at all in her(18:14). The voice of harpers, musicians, and pipers shall be heard no more at all in her. The sound of the millstone shall be heard no more at all in her. The light of the candle shall shine no more at all in her. And the voice of the bridegroom shall be heard no more at all in her. (18:22,23).

No mirth, no millstone, no candle, no bridegroom...

In Jeremiah 25:2-11 the inhabitants of Jerusalem are warned to hearken and turn from their evil ways, their other gods, and their idols. If they did not then the Lord's anger would be kindled against them and He would send Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, against them to destroy them.... the destruction was described as no mirth, no millstone, no candle, and no bridegroom.

The character and fate of unrepentant Jerusalem in Jeremiah's prophecy looks the same as what John explained of the harlot, Babylon. Some promises to repentant Jerusalem are similar to John's prophecy of the bride, the new Jerusalem.


Bryan
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Tim, the hypothesis that "the US/NY is Babylon" is quite another matter than making it a thesis. The former is conjecture to be investigated (and perhaps discarded), the latter a premise to be maintained or proved. It is not a thesis with me.

Anna, yes, that thought has merit; communism did accomplish that on a limited scale, but I think there will be a new government or coalition set up at some point to accomplish the destruction universally. I do not know of what this gov't or coalition will consist - except that it will be world-wide (given the idea that the number "ten" indicates completeness, not ten actual gov'ts). After destroying Babylon the Great, it will turn to making war upon and destroying the church, and Him who dwells within her. It is in this attack, which will indeed decimate the church so that it appears to the world to be dead, that the Lord will return and wage His war. I will add some Scriptures to this shortly - I have no time at the moment.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Anna (Cont.), the thing about communism is that it had its own economic system. It seems in that form of government the "beast" aspect was greatly predominant over the "Babylonian" seeing as it incorporated the economic function strictly within itself, and thoroughly controlled cultural / artistic / media life. Communism doesn't truly destroy the harlot, it fiercely controls her to its own ends.

The reason I started this thread is that some things are very clear in the Revelation, and some very cloudy and obscure, and I want both to be able to exposit the text well, giving understanding that will be practical to the congregation, and also enable me to use the gained clarity in my writing, for I have a number of writing projects in the works.


Dudley, Babylon and the beast are not the same, although very closely allied. Once the RCC did bear the visage of each of those in varying degree, though it cannot be said nowadays that she "reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev 17:18). Babylon and beast both transform themselves as time passes. The RCC is now part of Babylon, as are apostate churches generally, but not it itself.


Bryan (Turtle), thanks for your remarks. The image of desolation you recount, that is what I desire to envision (if possible) in actuality – what does it signify in real events?

Yes, and it was, in your Jeremiah 25 reference, upon idolatrous Judah and Jerusalem the LORD visited judgment, and it will be because of Babylon the Great’s idolatry, refusal to repent, and persecuting God’s people she will be visited.

What I desire to see (and I have asked the Lord for understanding) is how Babylon shall be attacked. Included in that question is what shall be attacked so that the world’s economic and cultural system (per the amil commentators I have referenced above) will be brought to utter ruin, who shall do it, that is, what aspect of the government / military conglomerate of the ruling political system of that time will launch the attack, and why shall those kingdoms, in the service of the beast, hate harlot Babylon with such ferocious passion? I know the “who” may not be clear to us at this time, but the “what” and “why” may be to some extent.

It seems that this assault will come very near the end of days; for the world’s economic life, and its cultural / social vitality to be annihilated will make life on earth somewhat of a hell; yes, it is just recompense for Babylon’s depriving the saints of economic standing in its system, due to their firm allegiance to the Lord instead of the state, and its depriving them a part in its cultural and social life. The churches in Asia Minor in John’s day knew this – those that stayed true to the Lord and were not seduced into compromise for the sake of economic well-being – and this has already come upon God’s people in many parts of the world in the 20th and 21st centuries, though not in our secure Western world yet.

After the military at the behest of the antichristian government, and the “man of sin” (that’s another study!), wipe out the economic and cultural center of the world system, they will focus on the people of God. We see this devastating attack on the church in Rev 11:7, where the beast “shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” We see it again in Rev 13:7, and saw it in Dan 7:21, and in Rev 12:17 and 20:9. In Rev 17:14 we see the “ten kings” give their might to the beast in order to wage war with the Lamb; although it precedes the mention a few verses later of their destroying the harlot, it must come after, for when they attack the Lord and His house they are overcome by Him, and this – which battle is called Armageddon – is the very end of the age, so the destruction of Babylon precedes the attack on the Lord in His house, which is the church. You attack the house in which He dwells, you attack Him!

The picture that we see here – especially graphically in Rev 11:7-11 – is the destruction of the visible church. This is no time to explicate the Olivet Discourse (check this), but the Lord refers to this moment in Matt 24:21 and following, when He says, “for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be . . . Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This refers not only to the bowls of wrath poured out on the world, but the assault on the elect as well. I realize this is explicated otherwise by some, but I see this as referring to the end. No time to detail it here.

The two witnesses of Rev 11 were among the last things I had to let go of from my old premil days. I have come to see them as the NT church bearing legal witness to the judgment of God upon sin, first in the Person of Christ, and for the sake of all who will trust in His name and saving work, and then upon the unbelieving world. The faithfully testifying church will be spiritually protected in its witness throughout the age, though they will physically be trampled under foot, and when our time of witness is finished it will be given to the beast to overcome the church. Not all Christians will be killed, but those left will be underground, the organized church destroyed. But then – and here is a picture of the rapture! – our dead bodies, which have been let to rot in disrespect for a short time (symbolized by "three days"), the Spirit of life will quicken, to the horror of the world, and we shall stand upon our feet and the Lord will call from Heaven, “Come up here!” (11:12); for the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them, to be with our Savior forever! (1 Thess 4:16, 17). Daniel 12:1-3 shows a picture of this also. (On the two witnesses, check out this Beale MP3 lecture ⇐ link.)

We are to be faithful to the end, refusing the profound allure of economic prosperity and worldly pleasure the prostitute system affords, being faithful not to turn our backs on those things which are above, those things which are not seen. The beast may not be powerfully manifest in the Western nations yet, but the whore of worldly seduction is, with the magnificent cultural and technological achievements at our beck a call if we but have the bucks. Those saints in the nations where the beast is predominant upon those who disdain the whore, and kills them, say that our danger is far greater than theirs. We know the enemy when he is about to kill us, but we may easily be dulled when she intoxicates us with her wares, the potent wine of her pleasant idolatries.

There seems to be some unravelling of the economic system in the U.S. currently, and who knows what our possible complete economic collapse will do to the world economy; we know they blame their suffering economies on us and our continued extravagances. It will be wise to watch, and pray.
 
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Turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
Participate, or stand afar off?

I am struck by the differences between Babylon of ch 17 and 18. In 17 the ten kings hate her, eat her flesh, and burn her to fulfill God's will. They heartily participate. But in ch 18 the kings of the earth stand afar off for fear of her torment that God executed against her in judgment. Perhaps they are relieved that they are standing afar off, but they are in fear. In ch 18 the kings don't hate her or participate in her destruction, but they lament her with fondness, "What city is like unto this great city!" In the first case they hated her, devoured her, and burned her. In the second they stood afar off and watched her destruction and spoke mournful praise of her. This dichotomy makes it appear to me that Babylon might be a description for two things rather than one continuous thing. Additional aspects to the text seem to indicate this as well.

The aftermath of Babylon is different also. After Babylon is hated, devoured, and burned by the kings... Babylon becomes the "habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird." Not only is Babylon inhabited, but "the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." But after God burns her and judges her she is not inhabited at all. Not a peep can be heard in her. And the merchants of the earth which were made rich by her "weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more." The contrast of opposites makes it challenging for me to see Babylon as one continuous city, but at the same time it is obviously still called Babylon. One way to resolve this apparent dichotomy is perhaps that its populace changes but its geography remains the same.

The reason for which Babylon is destroyed also appears to be different. In the first case the kings of the earth hate her, yet are fulfilling God's will against her. In the second case God himself is avenging his people and rewarding Babylon double for what what she has done. In the first case the kings that hate her are on the outside coming in. In the second case God's people have been called out and God is avenging them. If God calls his people out of Babylon and tells them to reward her double, and avenges them, for what is He avenging? In the text, where do we see his people attacked for which God should avenge them? Who is attacked except Babylon? Is it not that his people were the harlot and the kings attacked them, and then God avenges them, rewarding/recompensing the kings double? This of course is not an uncommon theme that God's people play the harlot, God sends a judging destruction against them, and then delivers them by destroying those who destroyed. In Rev 13 where the beast makes war with the saints and overcomes them, we are encouraged to have faith and patience because, "He who takes into captivity will be taken into captivity."

I don't mean to sidetrack your thread, but I am afraid that I am inclined to think the questions of "what shall be attacked", "who shall do it" and "why" has to be answered for two separate cases. Again I don't mean to sidetrack your thread. If your system has already proved that Babylon is one continuous city, and its destruction is one event explained a couple of times, then perhaps my post should have been a new thread.

To get back more to your hypothesis that NY might be Babylon... I agree with some of the commentators you cited that Babylon's great sin is one of idolatry more so than immorality. What idolatry has NY committed more so than any other city that it should be called the mother of all harlots? Certainly its been a banking center and the dollar has been the world standard (and discontent/hatred is on the rise). NY houses the ungodly UN and it could be argued it leads or coerces other nations to participate and "drink of the same fornication"?

As another hypothesis, (very tentative) What would be more idolatrous than to receive and worship the beast, even as embodied in one individual (17:11)? Could it be the Kings hated Babylon (idolatrous Jerusalem), devoured her, and burned her because they were led to do so by the anti-chirst, at God's will in order to punish them for their idolatry, for receiving or partnering with the beast? (I know it sorta begs the question of what exactly really could be the actual, visible cause of the king's hatred, but it is a hypothesis of who is hated in the first case, and who is avenged in the second, if there be two times that Babylon is attacked).

Bryan
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Bryan, thanks for your thoughts. I believe there is only one Babylon being judged in Rev 17 & 18. Consider: in the sixth bowl or vial the Lord (for all this is at His decree, and part of the opened seals) dries up the river Euphrates (symbolic of the avenue of invading forces – Babylon, Assyria – coming from the East upon ancient Israel in judgment, and potentially upon Rome – the Parthians – in the first century) so the kings of the whole earth would be gathered by the deception of the evil triumvirate to battle against the Lamb, which will result in their devastating judgment. In Rev 17:17 we see it is God who puts in the kings’ hearts to destroy the Babylonian empire of world commerce and culture, no doubt by the same demonic deception which impels them also to attack the Lamb and His worldwide church right afterward.

For the beast and the ten (symbolically representing the complete number) horns or kingdoms to destroy their own economic and cultural base is a mad act of self-destruction, though they do it at God’s (hidden) decree. This is like when Jesus said in Mark 3:24 and 26, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.... And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.” Then, in horror and remorse at what they have done, they lament the downfall of their entire civilization, for how can it long function with the economy undone, and the means of cultural life destroyed? No doubt, it is the Lord who has judged her, but He has used these kings to do it.

These kings have destroyed their own financial base and power, and they belatedly realize it. Very likely they didn’t realize the consequences of their assault. Raging passion can diminish one’s reason. One thing I think which fueled their hatred (humanly speaking, for we know the Lord has set this up) is “the political and economic arrogance” of Babylon (Beale, op. cit., p. 904). It seems appropriate to economically interpret things pertaining to Babylon as the cause for the lamentation of the kings and merchants pertains to the loss of commerce and wealth. And is not the “intoxication of the wine” of her idolatry the intoxication of being able to afford the pleasures of her cultural and technological achievements? In their passion-maddened hatred they killed the goose that laid the golden egg. If the economy of the world is wiped out, the cultures of it would go too, for without money – the grease that makes the world turn – everything would stop. The Babylonish system would be halted.

I keep coming back to this: applying these symbolic dynamics to contemporary life would look like what? And I pick my own country, America, which I know well, though it may be something quite other. And if anyone faults me for doing this, remember, Jeremiah was called a traitor to Israel and imprisoned for saying the LORD would bring judgment on the nation for its idolatrous ways.

What nation is seen in the eyes of the world as “politically and economically arrogant”? With nations actively seeking to change the world’s reserve currency to something other than the dollar due to the U.S.’s inflationary course (it would be no exaggeration to say hyperinflationary!), and as their fears mount that we could truly jeopardize the world’s economy, that says a lot about what they think. And politically . . . well, they are happier now that we have Obama at the helm, but still, the U.S.A. is a big ship, and the presidency only has a little rudder, as far as changing our policy direction. I picked up a book at a used bookstore the other day called, Why Do People Hate America?. It’s big in the UK and elsewhere, though probably not in the states. I want to understand what and why the world thinks of us as they do. We Americans really do not understand that many people profoundly hate us, nor do we understand why, so full of the scripts of our own narrative and self-love are we. We see ourselves as a righteous nation (for the most part), and not as imperialistic hypocrites. Many nations view us as a “rogue state”, terrorists of the first order, though too mighty to tangle with. I think of the line by Robert Burns; “O would some power the giftie gie us / To see ourselves as others see us!”

Bryan, the only reason I picked NY is its reputation as being the financial hub of the world, and in some respects the media / cultural hub as well. I truly hope it is not NY, for I love my city! I’m just seeking what would fit in the imagined scenario. It will – the events foretold in Revelation – have a concrete economic and political realization at some point in the future. I’m trying to see if any shoe will fit the foot. It certainly may be that in 20 – 25 years, or even less, economic and political developments and alignments will utterly change the face of the earth, to something we may not have even imagined. I am only working with what I know now. I do ponder, what would be the effect on the world’s economy if the United States were destroyed?

This questioning may get my friends riled up, but if I sincerely ask these things before the Lord, seeking to understand His word, what wrong do I do? I certainly do not have a Pollyanna view of eschatology as some do, and so am open to Scripture's prophetic warnings. A very significant thing is that the blood of the saints and martyrs / witnesses of Jesus has not been shed in the U.S.

Bryan, it is not a private interpretive system of my own (regarding the destruction of a single Babylon), but the consensus of the solid amil commentators noted above.

-------

There are two women prominent in Revelation, first, the woman typifying the Old Testament people of God in Rev 12:1ff, who gave birth to the Man child who was to rule the nations, and she is seen in a new symbolic aspect after the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ, as His bride. Though even ancient Israel was known as the bride of Jehovah. And the second woman is the whore Babylon. The true Bride of Christ never became the Whore. Which is not to say she was never unfaithful, but she – the elect Bride – never, after entering into covenant relations with her Husband, fell away from Him, renounced Him, and joined the beast to become the Whore. The true Bride stayed true. Her God enabled her to persevere in faith and holiness. For that she was persecuted by the Whore and her beast. The apostate church, the false church, is distinct from the Bride. Christ’s people never fall away, apostatize, or perish.

Earthly Jerusalem, comprised of those who were cut off from the people and nation of Israel (Acts 3:22, 23) are accounted as mere earth-dwellers, the unregenerate, and as such are children of the harlot Babylon, mother of harlots and abominations, in whom “was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev 18:24; cf. 17:6). The Lord was slain, spiritually speaking, in the great city, known as Babylon, and Egypt, and Sodom. Renegade Jerusalem is incorporated in the vast Babylonian empire, as is Rome and other ancient cities, and our modern ones as New York, Rio, San Francisco, Melbourne, etc. Babylon the great city is the mother of all her daughter – lesser – harlots.

The whore Babylon is comprised of all the unregenerate world, including the apostate name-only church, but the apostate church does not sum up Babylon. Babylon is far greater and more deadly than the mere false church. Babylon the world-spirit of pleasure and hostile unbelief, seduces and rules the kings and peoples of the earth through the love of money, which she lavishes upon them that they might idolatrously love and worship everything in her world domain to the exclusion of the true God. Babylon is the culture of fallen humanity in opposition to God. It is the proud, glamorous, and seductive Zeitgeist of the satanic world system, energized, informed, and directed by its infernal prince.


Richard, posting your postmil commentator and thoughts here (whatever little agreement there might be), didn’t honor my request to keep this “a tightly focused discussion” of amil nuances.
 

bug

Puritan Board Freshman
I would suggest that babylon the whore is to be found (to a lesser or greater degree) in all these cultural centres as they have risen and fallen thoughout this age, and will continue to do so until the return of Christ Jesus. Is she New York, yes! Is she just new york, no! The point is not to pinpoint a specific location to my mind, but rather to see the dynamic of history as God unfolds his plan and to see the triumph of Christ's church in these things. Perhaps as we look at that dynamic today those who know New York well may see aspects of the whore there that are relevant to their congregations, however more helpful to me and the folk in our Church is the manifestion of babylon the whore in the North of England.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Jonathan, welcome (a little belatedly) to PB!

I would agree with what you’ve said, and take no exception to it. I would add, though, in seeking to understand the Scriptures, and what they foretell of the days to come – and in particular times which we may be in, or approaching – do I not well to desire an enlightened mind and wisdom in these matters?

Indeed, to discern and resist Babylon’s enticements in our own lives, and our congregations’, is essential; I talk of this often to the church; yet is it not also good to discern – if possible – the larger picture of the times we live in?

The Lord Jesus said to unbelieving Jews who wanted signs from Him rather than His words from the Father, “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3) It was said approvingly “of the children of Issachar” who joined themselves unto David at Hebron, they “were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Living here in the Middle East, away from my beloved land many years now (though anticipating a return rather shortly, DV), I have come across many ideas and views concerning my country that have unsettled my somewhat complacent patriotism to look more critically (though I took a critical look in this poem, “Old Glory” ⇐ link). Truly, I want to see through the eyes and mind of our Lord, and not the flesh. Whatever is to befall my country I want to be there, among my people, ministering in the house of God, and as well to the lost, that they might be saved.

In the meanwhile, I have given myself over to study: the Revelation currently, and those books of the Scripture I will be preaching through during the remainder of my stay here. And whatever else may cast light on the world I live in – the dynamics between nations, their economies, politics, and cultures, including their treatment of God’s people, the advances of Islam in the Western world, etc etc.

It is little wonder, then, that my desire to comprehend is stimulated when I ponder the Scriptures concerning Babylon and the beast she rides, who then turns against her, and read Dennis Johnson’s comment, “...like the beast from the sea, this Babylon is more than a single city or even civilization. The power grid of fallen human culture (political, economic, military, religious, social) is so tightly interlocking that when its heart is shattered, the whole edifice crumbles. With Babylon’s fall, all the world’s cities fall.” (op. cit., p. 238) What does that mean, “its heart is shattered”? What could its heart be?

Beale speaks in the same vein:

“The political side of the ungodly world system will turn against the heart of the social-economic-religious side and destroy it. How does this begin to happen? The multitudes over which Babylon rules (17:15) are turned against Babylon by the political forces. The drying up of the Euphrates’ waters in 16:12 is a picture of how the multitudes of Babylon’s religious and economic adherents throughout the world (also portrayed as ‘waters’ here in 17:15) become disloyal to it. ‘The kings of the earth’ (vv 16-18) dissuade Babylon’s innumerable economic-religious followers from remaining loyal to her. The disenchantment with Babylon is a prelude to her judgment by the kings (described in v 16) and the final judgment itself...

“Here the unexpected aspect of the fulfillment is that the kingdom of evil unknowingly will begin to destroy itself by battling against itself and destroying its own economic-religious foundation... Only inspiration from God could cause them to commit such a shortsighted and foolish act.” (pp. 883, 887)​

We had seen earlier the judgments upon the earth and its idolaters in the seven trumpets resulting in, among other things, the increasing toxicity of the environment, earth, sea, inland waters, air, sky; the psychological / spiritual torment of vast multitudes due to various causes; increasing violence across the face of the earth. And then with the bowl judgments the same environmental toxicity increased exponentially, universally, causing diseases and deaths unknown to earlier generations. I read in the NY Times online on Dec 7th, 2009, that 49 million people in America have been drinking water with illegal amounts of chemicals and pollutants (arsenic, radioactive substances, sewage bacteria, etc) in it. On Dec 5th there was an article in the NYT on cancers caused from chemicals and plastics found in multitudes of kitchens and homes.

It is not surprising that the inhabitants of Babylon – the modern empire – grow bitter against the harlot who had promised them luxury and ease. And then the economy begins to fail, famine sets in in various parts of the world; and in the rich West, homelessness abounds, middle class families are suddenly without money or shelter. Just yesterday I read in the NY Times (⇐ link) that “about six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income”. What’s going on? Stupendous changes are happening. And many countries don’t even have the safety net of Food Stamps.

The anger I am perceiving directed toward the U.S., is not only from the Muslim world but from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and from Americans themselves – what’s going on?

So I will be forgiven, I trust, if I seek understanding in these tumultuous times, and if I seek it from the Word of God, from those who labor long and hard in the Word and doctrine, and from the Lord who enlightens our hearts and minds.

I trust am not a flake, pursuing will-o’-the-wisps, or motivated by mere curiosity, but asking from my Lord “understanding of the times.”
 
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rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
One of the mistakes I see most interpreters make on the Woman and the Beast she rides is that there is some sort of alliance or cooperation between these two characters.

There was a young lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger,
They returned from the ride,
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger

The seated position represents dominance and control, a beast of burden in submission to the woman. The domination of the harlot over the beast is most likely why the beast hates the whore. And since the ten horns are part of the beast it can be said she sat on them too. The harlot sat on many waters means she ruled over peoples can also mean she ruled over the beast.


Then he said to me,"The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." Rev 17:15-18




Point 1: The Great Harlot ruled over the world (Global Hegemony). 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." Rev 17:18

Point 2: The Beast ruled over the world (Global Hegemony). It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Rev 13:6-8

Point 3: The Beast (with 10 horns) hates the Great Harlot and destroys her with fire 16 and the ten horns which you saw on the Beast; these hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the Beast Rev 17:16-17


Conclusion, the Great Harlot which ruled over the world is destroyed by the Beast and then the Beast rules over the world. The identity of the Great Harlot and the Beast are irrelevant for my point. I am simply pointing out that there is a clear time frame or chronological order of events based on the context of the scriptures. Certain portions of Revelation 13 take place after the destruction of the Great Harlot in Revelation 17 and 18. The book of Revelation in many ways is like a puzzle. That probably why I like it.
 

rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
The sins of Mystery Babylon are seldom preached from the pulpit in my opinion. They're not abortion, drug taking, homosexuality, satan worship, p0rnography or most others.
I think there is a very good reason for that. The sin of idolatry is so ingrained in western civilization and sadly taken lightly by the church. But from God's view it is deadly. We serve a very jealous God, and God will not tolerate his people nor others embracing materialistic idol worship. The second sin of Babylon is the persecution of His elect people. The seducing influence of the world is difficult to resist. Hence the harlot's great power.

Mystery Babylons sins are not unique to her. These 2 sins were present with every rebellious empire throughout the entire Old Testament. That is why judgment falls on nations.

Why will the great whore be judged by GOD? Two reasons, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who (First) corrupted the earth by her adulteries(Idolatry). And (Second) He has avenged on her the blood of his servants(persecution). 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." Rev 19:2-3
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Rick (rstora01),

Welcome to PB. You said,

“The identity of the Great Harlot and the Beast are irrelevant for my point.”​

I concur with the time frame you posit in post #18, but without the identity of the beast or harlot Babylon there is no clarity of exposition, they’re just empty signifiers with no things signified. Your thoughts on what beast and harlot signify, both historically and at the end of the age?
 

rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
In history the ancient Beasts (physical persecution by government) and Babylon (seducing persecution via worldliness) can be found throughout the Old Testament illustrated by Israel's falling away from God followed by conquest from neighboring states (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Rome). Finally, national repentance brings Israel back to the promised land. The end time characters follow a similar script.

So, I believe there area certain aspects of Mystery Babylon and the Beast which applies to ancient times but the ultimate fulfillment is yet future.

The wine of fornication (Idolatry)
This is the economic intercourse the harlot used to rule over the kings and people of the world. The symbols of sexual lust, desire and wantonness used to describe the wealth, luxuries and material goods as the wine of fornication. Also, used to seduce the people of God into worldliness . This is the first portion of the great falling away (there will be a great falling away followed by the man of sin). Made clear by the cry "Come out of her my people". There is no need to come out of a place one is not already in.

The Economic System
The merchants of the earth have grown rich from the harlot. That means she imported goods from all over the world. There was a dependence on those that traded with Babylon for her to buy their goods(the lovers of the great harlot). And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore. When the Babylon harlot goes down the economic system goes down with her. Thus, the number system of the Beast is used to replace the economic system of the harlot. No one buys or sell without the mark, describes an act of commerce. I have no problem applying the literal hermanutic here. This is simply a totalitarian system that does not use money. What follows can be described as the greatest tribulation against the people of God from all times. The second portion of the great falling away (Satan deceives the nations into making war against the Lamb and His followers).


Speculation and opinion or Reality?
In 1997 the (7)seven big economic powers of the world Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States known as the G7, met in Denver, CO to add a new member to the group, Russia. The G7 have now becomes the G8.
9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
Rev 17.9

In times past, five members of the group of eight were great empires. For example, it was once said that the sun never set on the 1. British Empire, Italy, was once the great
2. Roman Empire, 3. Japan, the empire of the rising sun, 4. France nearly captured all of Europe under Napoleon, and 5. Germany did capture all of Europe under the mighty war machine of the Third Reich.

On December 1991, the world looked on in wonder, as the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries. Its break up was lauded as a victory of democracy over totalitarianism, and evidence of the power and domination of capitalism over communism. The United States became the sole superpower thereby ending the Cold War which had occurred since the end of World War II.


The final end time Beast represents a state controlled, Christian persecuting, totalitarian government headed by the man of lawlessness. In opposition to all that is called God or is worshipped. So, what was the first atheistic secular government system known to man? Marxist Leninism, a government system where the state replaced religion and controlled everything. Because when someone is against ALL religions everywhere they must be considered an atheist. I do not see such an entity described anywhere else in recorded human history. A more detailed discussion of the Beast probebly should take place in another group forum.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Rick, you say,

“One of the mistakes I see most interpreters make on the Woman and the Beast she rides is that there is some sort of alliance or cooperation between these two characters . . . The seated position represents dominance and control, a beast of burden in submission to the woman. The domination of the harlot over the beast is most likely why the beast hates the whore.”​

Commentators, at least the amil ones I quote above, are no slouches. This is no ordinary beast of burden! It is shown to be the very likeness of the red dragon in its descriptions (Rev 12:3; cf. 13:1; 17:3). In fact, both harlot and beast are instruments the dragon uses, along with the beast from the land (the false prophet), to effect his will on the earth, as he seeks to establish his kingdom here, and rid the earth of the people of God, his mortal Enemy.

Both harlot and beast reflect the will of their master, the former seducing the people of the world with her goods, the latter punishing those who decry her idolatry and the false prophet’s promoting the worship of the beast. Those who, in Christ’s name, defy all three by the testimony of Jesus, are enemies of the world system.

Will you agree that harlot Babylon, in one aspect of her identity, is the culture of unregenerate humankind in opposition to God? If that be so, then the false prophet’s religions and philosophies of deception are part of the harlot’s repertoire. The harlot will turn over to the beast those who spurn her, for persecution unto death. You stand against the culture and the authorities will come down on you.

Rick, you say,

“The sins of Mystery Babylon are seldom preached from the pulpit in my opinion. They're not abortion, drug taking, homosexuality, satan worship, p0rnography or most others.

I think there is a very good reason for that. The sin of idolatry is so ingrained in western civilization and sadly taken lightly by the church. But from God's view it is deadly.”​

This is well said. Those sins in your first paragraph can be found in the golden cup of abominations the whore holds forth to the world, but her choicest wine is love of the world’s entertainments, technologies, comforts, and sundry diversions, all of which hold back our affections from seeking those things which are above, seeing they are directed elsewhere. Where your treasure is....

They work together, to the same end, with different ways. Sometimes, in some nations, the beast is sleeping (or active elsewhere), but the whore ravages the land with impunity, as the nation falls into increasing decadence and decline, the voice of God’s people muted, as they are themselves intoxicated by the wine of idolatry and without credibility. In other nations, the beast is dominant, subduing the harlot – the very culture, arts, economy, and all – to its rigid oppression, as in the hard-line communist regimes. It’s not that there was no culture, and no worldliness, in the communist regimes (I think of the former Soviet Union, or North Korea), but that Babylon was under tight rein.

What I am trying to get into focus is – if it can be done at this point in history – is there a precursor of the final Babylon extant today, in your words, “The Great Harlot ruled over the world (Global Hegemony)”? Is there an entity whose philosophies, entertainments, “sorceries”, economic activities, politico-military power, and consumption of the world’s resources dominate the world, seduce it to luxuriate in materialism, exploit it, and provoke its growing resentment?

That’s one question. Another is, is there any indication of a “time frame or chronological order of events” with regard to duration between Babylon’s fall and the war of the beast and the ten horns – kings of the whole earth – against the people of God and against the Lamb? Is it the latter fast upon the heels of the former, or more drawn out? In 19:19, it is said by John, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” – does this refer to the militaries actually seeking to attack the returning King as He comes to protect His decimated but faithful church?
 
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rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
JB writes,
Commentators, at least the amil ones I quote above, are no slouches. This is no ordinary beast of burden! It is shown to be the very likeness of the red dragon in its descriptions (Rev 12:3; cf. 13:1; 17:3). In fact, both harlot and beast are instruments the dragon uses, along with the beast from the land (the false prophet), to effect his will on the earth, as he seeks to establish his kingdom here, and rid the earth of the people of God, his mortal Enemy.

I agree that the unholy trinity (Beast, False Prophet, Harlot) are united in purpose to Kill, Deceive and Seduce (respectively) the people of God. But isn't it ironic that the Beast which is against all religions works together with the False Prophet and the Beast and False Prophet are allied against the Harlot? A kingdom divided cannot stand and will not stand.

JB writes,
What I am trying to get into focus is – if it can be done at this point in history – is there a precursor of the final Babylon extant today, in your words, “The Great Harlot ruled over the world (Global Hegemony)”? Is there an entity whose philosophies, entertainments, “sorceries”, economic activities, politico-military power, and consumption of the world’s resources dominate the world, seduce it to luxuriate in materialism, exploit it, and provoke its growing resentment?

The City State of Rome is a perfect precursor to the final Babylon, in philosophies, entertainments, “sorceries”, economic activities, politico-military power and every else you named.
One can simply read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and compare the parallels with today's sole superpower. John's letter to the 7 churches was relevant for that time and for every time until Christ's return. Hence, the amill view the 1000 yrs are describing the events encompassing the time from Christ's 1st through 2nd coming.


JB writes,
That’s one question. Another is, is there any indication of a “time frame or chronological order of events” with regard to duration between Babylon’s fall and the war of the beast and the ten horns – kings of the whole earth – against the people of God and against the Lamb? Is it the latter fast upon the heels of the former, or more drawn out? In 19:19, it is said by John, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” – does this refer to the militaries actually seeking to attack the returning King as He comes to protect His decimated but faithful church?

In my opinion the events will take some time to play out but not a long drawn out process. The logistics of finite man performing all the events described in the text could not take place with the snap of the finger. I really don't know the actual length of time and I am against setting hard dates and times. Christ's 2nd coming is described as sudden and unexpected (thief in the night) so I don't see the armies of Satan laying in wait to attack the returning King. But again I an not sure how about you?
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
“ ‘The woman’ is interpreted to be ‘the great city, which has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.’ She includes the entire evil economic system of the world throughout history. She receives power from the devil himself. Her economic-religious influence formerly even extended over the political realm (‘the kings of the earth’). But their loyalty will shift toward the beast and they will become antagonistic toward her in the end time. That the ‘woman’ has sovereignty over the world demonstrates that she must be identified more broadly than merely with unbelieving Jerusalem or the apostate church. Likewise, 18:23 reveals her universal nature by describing her as one who has ‘deceived the nations’.” p. 888

Dr. Sinclair Ferguson takes a similar view, if my memory of the sermon is correct: that Babylon is exposed and that she is greater than Rome (the then present antagonist) and represents all the earth's vain passing glory.

His series on Revelation is excellent regardless of your eschatology.

SermonAudio.com - Apocalypse Now: Babylon is Destroyed
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Jean, thanks for the link to Ferguson’s sermon(s) – I hadn’t known he preached on Revelation. I listened to the sermon you referenced, and liked it.


Rick, you have given me a number of good insights with your remarks, and for this I am grateful. A couple of minor corrections: the beast was not against the worship of itself, as manifest in the emperor worship of Rome. Also, worship may be construed as giving ultimate allegiance, as in loyalty to the state over against loyalty to God. When the state demands what is only properly given to God, this is tantamount to worship: I will serve you and obey you (even if it is coerced). This is the worship the false prophet promotes (Rev 13:12 ff.).

Traditionally, the “unholy trinity” is comprised of the dragon, beast from the sea, and beast from the land.

Art Azurdia has given a very powerful sermon on the topic of Babylonish materialism today, even in the church, and as soon as I can find it I’ll post the link to it (he preached 81 sermons on Revelation!).

You said,

“ The City State of Rome is a perfect precursor to the final Babylon, in philosophies, entertainments, “sorceries”, economic activities, politico-military power and every else you named. One can simply read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and compare the parallels with today's sole superpower.”​

It occurred to me a while back that all militaries and governments were not per se “of the beast”, only becoming so when they used their force to persecute the people of God. Sometimes a government moves into that category when it changes it relations with the church. So a nation could have a mighty military capability and still not be considered of the beast.

Interesting your mention of “today's sole superpower.” I told earlier how I “serendipitously” came across a book – while pondering this matter of why the beast and the kings / people of the earth would hate harlot Babylon enough to destroy her – called, Why Do People Hate America?. I was already wondering about America because of its sorcery (see post #1), so I picked it up. It is written by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (a number of copies at Amazon for under a dollar [plus $3.99 shipping] here). Apparently this was an international best seller, and I would think a powerful catalyst to foment and increase such hatred. Not that it is an unthinking diatribe, not at all, but a profound analysis and critique of American economic, military, media, and cultural policy as it extends to and impacts the other nations of the world.

Elsewhere here at PB I posted a strong critique of postmodern thought and methodology (particularly with regard to literature and poetry in the Kingdom of God), but in this book under discussion I saw (to my surprise) a valid and important use of the postmodern deconstruction of authoritative texts / narratives in the realm of history and culture. I haven’t quite finished it, but I still have some comments to make on what I’ve read so far. It is too detailed and documented to quote from it at this point, but I have come to see that I myself have been propagandized by a government and a media which have constructed a myth of America, a self-serving narrative which does a great whitewash job. Actually it is an oversimplification to say just the government and media did it, for it has deep roots, though the gov’t and media have perpetuated it.

Please don’t anyone come at me as though I am unpatriotic; protest and critique have an honored place in our country. And, after all, is not our primary citizenship in Heaven (Philippians 3:20), and secondary the USA (those of us who are US citizens)? If I seek to discern what the Scripture talks of am I amiss if I permit neither love nor friendship to deter my quest for true understanding? It is that I have seen uncanny similarities between attributes of Babylon noted in Scripture and my beloved homeland. And this book has unearthed multitudes more of them I had been programmed not to see. Yes, this Sardar is a liberal Muslim (as in a cultural Muslim, though not a believer in my view), and I take some of his critiques of the Roman Catholic “church” in its relations with Islam, and the effect of that on European thought, and subsequently American, with a grain of salt. And of course nothing could deconstruct our Scripture or the truth of our pure Gospel – it is impervious to the assaults of the world’s supposed wisdom. The Gospel’s promotion in the world is not intellectual or spiritual imperialism, but the fulfilling the command of God to bring His word to all nations. Which is not to say that all the people of God have done is above sharp critique and censure; no, not even the Reformed.

At any rate, for those who are fearless and impartial in their seeking to understand the place of our beloved country in the vast arena of nations during the church age, I would suggest this book is an important means of discernment, a thinking out of the box of usual assumptions.


I found some good insights in Grant R. Osborne’s, Revelation in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series. Despite his being (historic?) premil, he has some good insights (I’d heard that Beale consults and discusses things with him). Some examples:

“This is primarily a prophecy of the final evil Babylon established by the Antichrist,* but it still considers Rome the basis for the imagery and also embraces all the Rome-like cities of history. As Mounce says, ‘Every great center of power that has prostituted its wealth and influences restores to life the spirit of ancient Babylon.’ The repulsive immorality, idolatry, luxury, and misuse of power that characterized Rome has been reproduced many times throughout history; and we must all recognize the same depravity in our way of life today.” p.628

“The final section before the return of Christ (17:1–19:4) begins with a vision of the ‘great prostitute’ who symbolizes seductive Rome and all self-centered empires of history, including our own . . . We realize the sins of Rome / evil nations in the description of 17:3–6 (blasphemous idolatry, seductive luxury, immorality) and worse, that she had prostituted herself by enticing the other nations into committing the same sins . . . We must all consider 17:4b, where we are told that such things (and materialism is the main thrust of v. 4a) are loathsome filth to God.” p. 629

“They [the merchants] ‘have grown wealthy’ from all the trade. C. Smith says these merchants engaged in ‘unrestrained debauchery,’ by which he means excess consumption of goods, with gross ostentation the order of the day. Moreover, the Romans used their wealth for social control over their subjects. It was often said that Rome conquered the world as much through its merchants as through its armies. Like all tyrannical governments, Rome grew enormously ‘fat’ by exploiting the conquered nation, for most of their goods benefited Rome far more than themselves. The Roman economy was based on (1) the forced extraction of goods and taxes to support the imperial bureaucracy, and (2) the movement of goods out of the provinces to support the elite. Thus, all commerce moved toward Rome and tended to underwrite the power structure . . . The wealthy had power over all agricultural and commercial goods and used them to profit the cities. The commoners barely had a subsistence living and survived through loans as their debt grew.” p. 637, 638

“Rome seduced the nations due to her incredible wealth and the luxurious living it purchased. This bound them to Rome more securely by far than its armies could, for wealth brought them into the Roman fold willingly.” p. 638

“There had never been such extravagance as developed during the Pax Romana, and the kings of the earth shared in all this wealth gathered at the expense of the common people.” p. 645

“In other words, like Tyre the merchants have exalted themselves as the ‘rulers of the earth’ and left God out of the picture.” p. 658​

I have risked belaboring the point, but one can get a clear picture of the economic situation then, and now.

In sum, I am coming to see the ramifications of our consumer lifestyles, and our foreign economic policies which profit through the disadvantaging of other nations, and the exportation of our depraved and violent cultural products, as having frightening correspondences to this entity Babylon. If there is any substance at all in my perceptions, I must say that any likeness could only be in embryonic stage, as this country is still friendly to the Gospel of Christ; or at least it is not persecuting it. If I were to see something like Canada’s new Government policy (⇐ link) targeting 'homophobia' enacted here, then I’d know the embryo was growing. For Canada’s Christians will be in trouble over this.

If anyone thinks I am “over the top” in my thoughts, is it not possible that we, as the church, have become so intoxicated and desensitized through imbibing the wine of gross materialism that we’re just very happy to be blessed with such abundance this land provides for us, and woe to anyone who would denounce this cornucopia of pleasures and things! Do we seek those things which are above (Col 3:1-4) as fervently as we seek our purchases here?

Ol’ harlot Babylon got a hold on us! And we don’t even know it.

----

* P.S. A comment on Osborne's saying in his first quote above: “This is primarily a prophecy of the final evil Babylon established by the Antichrist...” — I do not believe this final Babylon is established by the Antichrist, though the antichrist spirit (per 1 and 2 John) will be very strong in it. The Antichrist, or "man of sin" (2 Thess 2), along with his "ten kings", will destroy Babylon at a certain point, but it will have arisen without him. Perhaps this is his premil view showing.
 
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rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
Jerusalem Blade (JB)
I listened to the Revelation series by Art Azurdia (amill position) and liked it. Here are another set of Revelation sermons from the amill side

Brian Vos: Audio Sermons - Trinityurc.net
Kim Riddlebarger : Monergism :: Amillennialism
Sam Waldron : SermonAudio.com - Sermons by Sam E. Waldron

I'll have to check out the book you mentioned Why Do People Hate America?

I have often wondered why does war occur between the Beast and the Harlot?

1. Why war, limited resources - There are a finite amount of non-renewal natural resources remaining on this planet available for economic utilization some countries hold or control more than others.

2. Why war, economic control - The U. S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world today thus the international pricing method for products traded on a global market. In the event that countries start to shift their holdings of dollars there could be serious consequences for the U.S. economy.

3. Why war, influence and control - The predominate influence of one country exerting control over others in order to determine their foreign policy, culture, and how their society is shaped and molded.

I have often wondered how a war could occur between the Beast and the Harlot?

The U.S. spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined. The U.S. has the most sophisticated and technologically advanced military in the history of the world.
No other nation can match them on the battlefield. I believe that has been clearly demostrated by the recent conflicts in Iraq and by how one sided the Israel (U.S. Arms) Arab (Soviet Arms) conflicts have been.

I think therein lays the answer. The U.S. relies heavily on advance satellites and high technology for command, control, and communications systems which operate the entire military system. That means the ability to hear, speak and see and without these systems the forces would be deaf, dumb, blind and unable to function. This entire infastructure is defenseless according to Lt.-Col. John A. Gentry (ret.) and Prof. William A. Wulf. This is nothing more than an electronic Maginot line in the sky.

The Pentagon's is fully aware of the threat - but, like the interwar French military establishment, refuses to treat it with adequate seriousness: We've spent so much money on weapons and support systems that rely on satellites that we "just say no" when it comes to contemplating a war in which the crucial link in the arsenal goes away.

There are 3 ways to attack the satellite network:
1. physical destruction or impairment of the satellites themselves,
2. jamming the communications links
3. cyber attacks on the support and user networks

Just as the French built their entire national defense around a single system, the U.S. is constructing the most complex and expensive military in history in a manner that relies on one vulnerable asset - the satellite.

And what about the American doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD)? This theory originated in the early 1960’s by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. It stated that any attack would be met with an equivalent counter force sufficient to destroy the attacker, thus a no win situation. This is called deterrence.

That is the reason why American strategic nuclear forces rely heavily on submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBM) as the main deterrent to nuclear war. Why? Because they are difficult to detect, destroy and considered to be the ultimate deterrent. But the nuclear submarine force has 2 weak points. First, they only carry enough food for 3 months limiting their time at sea. Second the communication system used to keep in touch with the submarines is vulnerable to attack. Before he left office, President Clinton signed an executive order removing the ability for submarine commanders to launch their missiles without Presidential authority. If the infrastructure which supports the forces is eliminated then those forces becomes in-effective. And deterrence fails.

It is a fact that America's nuclear forces protect the free world from conquest. If the U.S. were destroyed by the Beast and his allies then which country would be able to make war against the Beast and defeat him? If America's falls then the victorious countries would control the nations of the earth. No power could resist them. No defense would exist to stop them. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make war against him? Rev 13:3-4
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Rick, Thanks for those links; I wasn’t aware of Vos’s or Waldron’s sermons.

The book I noted will give good insights into why America is hated. Even if my thoughts are in error, it is still profitable to see ourselves through the eyes of the rest of the world. Even careful observers of the American and world scenes are too often ignorant of what much American policy really is and does, at least I have been. I have really been shocked to learn what we have done to other nations’ – I am talking third world / developing countries – economies and cultures.

Re your remarks on cyber warfare:

From the NYTimes Feb 2 article, “Senators Warned of Terror Attack on U.S. by July”. What the nation’s top intelligence official, Dennis C. Blair, told the Senate:

. . . Mr. Blair began his annual threat testimony before Congress by saying that the threat of a crippling attack on telecommunications and other computer networks was growing, as an increasingly sophisticated group of enemies had “severely threatened” the sometimes fragile systems undergirding the country’s information infrastructure.

“Malicious cyberactivity is occurring on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary sophistication,” he told the committee.

His emphasis on the threat points up the growing concerns among American intelligence officials about the potentially devastating results of a coordinated attack on the nation’s technology apparatus, sometimes called a “cyber-Pearl Harbor.”

He said that the surge in cyberattacks, including the penetration of Google’s servers from inside China, was a “wake-up call” for those who dismissed the threat of computer warfare. “Sensitive information is stolen daily from both government and private-sector networks, undermining confidence in our information systems, and in the very information these systems were intended to convey,” Mr. Blair said.​

On another topic, I’m still not clear as regards the chronology of Babylon’s fall and “Armageddon” – the attack of the beast on the Lamb and His people. In Rev 11:7 (and 13:7) the beast is given to war on the saints and overcome them. Evidently there is time to leave them “unburied” (whether that profound disrespect is symbolic or actual doesn’t matter) and to rejoice over their apparent destruction for a short period (“three and a half days”). So it seems not to be an instantaneous transition.

Most of my amil commentators say there will not be a real battle when the Lamb returns, His omnipotent might ending it before it begins (which is certainly possible), though Osborne has an interesting comment:

“Yet there is no battle (Rev. 19:20). It seems that when the sword comes from the Lord’s mouth (19:15), the battle is over instantly. The army following the returning Warrior Messiah (19:14) seemingly takes no part in the conflict, but it is difficult to know how far to take this. In 12:5 the life of Christ is omitted as well, and the narrative skips from his birth to his ascension. Moreover, in 2:26-27 the saints do seem to play a part in ‘shattering the nations to pieces like pottery,’ and one would expect the army of 17:14 and 19:14 to have a role in “conquering” the evil army (also 17:14). Moreover, the battle between Michael and Satan in 12:7-9 is described briefly (both ‘make war’ against each other), and it is likely that this would follow a similar pattern, especially since the final battle is also stressed in the OT and apocalyptic literature (see previous verse). Thus, it is probable there is a battle, but it is omitted to emphasize the absolute superiority of the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’.” (Op. cit. p. 689)​

On the other hand, Isaiah 63:1-6 would seem to indicate the LORD has “trodden the winepress alone” – as far as His army helping Him in this battle, though there may be more to the battle than we are shown.

The difficult thing is to discern where the symbolic may yield some literal aspects, as when it is written,

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. (19:19)

Will the devil-inspired beast actually seek to attack the Lamb as He returns for His saints?

I reckon it is well to heed the words of Geerhardus Vos,

[The prophecy of Antichrist] “belongs among the many prophecies, whose best and final exegete will be the eschatological fulfillment, and in regard to which it behooves the saints to exercise a peculiar kind of eschatological patience.” (The Pauline Eschatology, p. 133)​

Another issue is whether there will be an individual Antichrist, an actual person, or if the beast refers solely to the persecuting state. Most of the commentators I like take the latter view, though Kim Riddlebarger makes a strong case for the former in his, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist, tying together the prophecies of Daniel, the Lord’s Olivet Discourse, 2 Thess. 2 and Paul’s “man of sin (or lawlessness)”, 1 and 2 John’s “antichrists”, and the beasts in Revelation, so as to make a composite picture of an individual.
 
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rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
JB write,
On another topic, I’m still not clear as regards the chronology of Babylon’s fall and “Armageddon” – the attack of the beast on the Lamb and His people. In Rev 11:7 (and 13:7) the beast is given to war on the saints and overcome them. Evidently there is time to leave them “unburied” (whether that profound disrespect is symbolic or actual doesn’t matter) and to rejoice over their apparent destruction for a short period (“three and a half days”). So it seems not to be an instantaneous transition.

I like how Kim Riddlebarger explains the events of Revelation as liken to a football game seen from several different locations (camera angles) all describing the same action.
Someone seated at the 50 yard line will see things different then someone seated in the in-zone. So, in the book of Revelation John sees visions in heaven and on earth.
But I'll be the first to tell you there is a lot I don't know either.

JB writes,
Another issue is whether there will be an individual Antichrist, an actual person, or if the beast refers solely to the persecuting state. Most of the commentators I like take the latter view, though Kim Riddlebarger makes an strong case for the former in his, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist, tying together the prophecies of Daniel, the Lord’s Olivet Discourse, 2 Thess. 2 and Paul’s “man of sin (or lawlessness)”, 1 and 2 John’s “antichrists”, and the beasts in Revelation, so as to make a composite picture of an individual.

I agree with K. Riddlebarger the man of sin is a person and also represents the persecuting state too if that is possible. Throughout Bible history there have been individuals that illustrate for us what it means to be a rebel or apostate. These persons are not simply sinners in a general sense. They go far beyond that and cross over into open defiance and hostility toward everything God stands for. They are in reality at war against God, such as the rebels from Genesis through Revelation.

The rebellious attitude of, Cain the first human rebel on the earth. 11 for this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 1 John 3:11-12 Used by Satan to destroy the godly seed Abel.

The rebellious attitude of, the giants on the earth before the flood: 4 there were giants (in Heb. Tyrants) in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. Gen 6:4, 11 Used by Satan to corrupt the godly seed.

The rebellious attitude of, Nimrod which means rebel was the leader of the men of Babel: 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. Gen 10:9 Nimrod was a man of great reputation and influences a celebrity (renown) that people followed. He hunted men not animals and established an autocratic enslaving system to conqueror other men using violence. He was a mighty hunter against or in opposition to God. And mankind has been following after other Nimrods throughout history because mankind seeks paradise on earth on his own terms not built on trusting God. Before the Lord means open defiance before God. Used by Satan to attempt control and dominaton of the godly seed.

The rebellious attitude of Lucifer the king of Babylon challenging the authority of God. Isa 14:12-16 12

The rebellious attitude of, the king of Tyrus brought down because of pride and iniquity. Ezek 28:12-19

The rebellious attitude of fallen modern man rejecting all distinctions in moral absolutes and religious beliefs. They believe the destruction of all religious morality in political and social institutions is necessary for the evolution of mankind into the perfect global utopia. Fallen mankind does not think about a spiritual relationship with God because they are reprobate. Rom 1:18-20

So as I think about it mankind is currently at war with the rider on the white horse (Christ) and his army (The elect)
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Rick, thanks for the valuable discussion. You’ve given me good food for thought. What I’ve said so far is about as far as I can go. I will continue to study the things in question, especially the spiritual nature and qualities of the United States, and either pick up again here, or start a new thread if that’s warranted.

Perhaps the most scary – horrific – book I’ve read (and I follow the genre) is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which shows an apocalyptic vision of the world (and the U.S. in particular) that is ghastly in the extreme, if only because of its actual possibility. (I won’t see the movie, as the book is bad enough, and I don’t want certain images stuck in my brain.)

At almost 68 now, and with a (physical) heart that’s not 100%, I may not live to see things that are to come in 10 or 20 years. But I have family, and children, and a grandson, who may. It is possible they may see a full economic collapse (I may even see that), and worse. What is of the first importance is that they know Christ – or at least be given the opportunity to know Him – for there will come a time when repentance will be extremely rare, and apostasy the order of the day, amidst increasing judgments and tribulation.

Lord willing, I will be back in the states within a couple of years, for it is my land and I wish to be there, even if things are bad. We are to discern the times, detach from Babylonish intoxication with the pleasures, technologies and general worldliness of our culture, lest we be desensitized to the Spirit of holiness. Not that we can’t use the technologies (if I have the $ upon our return I’ll upgrade our Macs), or enjoy the pleasures of life, but if walking with the Lord is our first priority and love, then the lesser priorities are kept in their proper places.

These are exciting times to be in.
 
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rstora01

Puritan Board Freshman
JB thank you also for your contribution. Be alert and sober minded always watchful of the things happening around us is my motto. I believe the Lord has granted us spiritual
insight and discernment on the current conditions of the world system.

I know this subject is very hard to receive, even myself. But I believe for a certainty, that God will someday tear down everything and everyone in opposition to Him and His Christ. And there is a lot of opposition to God and Christ in the world today.

God has always been in control of His creation and always will be because He is the Sovereign Lord. All things are done according to His will and glory. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven is the prayer of every true believer. Assurance of salvation and the knowledge that God keeps us by His supreme sovereign will helps us endure to the end against anything that comes our way.

It will be more scary and terrible for those who are war against the Lord and his people because God is going to come down on wicked mankind in the FULL FURY of His wrath.
The Lord God spoke the universe into existence as effortlessly as one would utter a word. But when He judges the wicked God is going to roll up His sleeves and go ALL OUT in His mighty power. That to me is way more scary then anything we may witness or experience in this life. If it took the death of the Son of God to prevent us from going to Hell then it must be avoided at all costs.

But what a hope we have in Christ for He delivered us out of the chaos of the world in which we live.

All the Best to you and your family JB

Regards
Rick in San Jose, CA
 

PuritanZealot

Puritan Board Freshman
I must say I think this discussion is especially interesting considering I have always equated the Whore with Rome and everything Rome symbolises in a wider context. However I do think some things are of note. The Roman Empire (so called 'Holy' Roman Empire) under Charlemagne specifically encompassed and focussed on Germany. The Empire was centered in Rome but the Emperors were from the German line. Again in our recent history the Roman Empire was reborn under Hitler and the Third Reich but was again to be centered in Rome. Hitler had plans to be crowned Emperor of the Reborn Roman Empire stretching from Scandinavia across most of Asia, he was going to be crowned by the Pope in a mighty coronation through Rome.
In my opinion therefore the beast and the whore must represent some kind of uncomfortable temporary alliance between a military politcal power and the decadence and pagan whoredoms of traditional Rome. I think back once again to the Third Reich and the uncomfortable but very firm alliance between the Islamic Empire and the Third Reich. In our current era if we were to imagine a reborn Roman Empire and a near global Islamic Empire we would see a very uncomfortable whore riding a very, very large beast.
I think Islam definitely has something left to play in all this and whilst I am certain the Whore is Rome I am not sure what she comes to represent in her whoredoms as time creeps towards the Resurrection.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I must say I think this discussion is especially interesting considering I have always equated the Whore with Rome and everything Rome symbolises in a wider context. .........I am certain the Whore is Rome I am not sure what she comes to represent in her whoredoms as time creeps towards the Resurrection.

I agree with PuritanZealot. The rcc is in my estimation the whore of Babylon and her pope is the antichrist of all antichrists. I renounced both the rcc and the pope when I became a Presbyterian.
 
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