The Parousia - Mystery Babylon


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This presentation discusses the origin and judgment of false religion - Babylon.

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The Parousia - Mystery Babylon

  1. 1. The Parousia An In-Depth Study on the Second Coming of Christ
  2. 2. The Parousia Mystery Babylon
  3. 3. ―On her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ―BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.‖ ‖ (Revelation 17:5)
  4. 4. Exegetical Study of Revelation 17-18
  5. 5. ―Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, ―Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.‖ ‖ (Revelation 17:1–2) • The use of the angel shows that this judgment is connected with the bowl judgments that came prior in Rev. 16 • ―Great harlot‖ = ‗porne‘ = prostitute • ―Many waters‖ represents many nations and peoples; it is far reaching and global • ―Kings of the earth‖ means that politics has become interwoven with this false religious system • ―Those who dwell on the earth‖ have become intoxicated with this religious system and have engaged in sinful acts at its prompting
  6. 6. Spiritual Harlotry and Adultery ―How the faithful city has become a harlot ‖ (Isaiah 1:21) ―For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, ‗I will not serve!‘ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot. ‖ (Jeremiah 2:20) ―Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,‖ declares the Lord God. . . .You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. ‖ (Ezekiel 16:8, 17)
  7. 7. Spiritual Harlotry and Adultery ―The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, ―Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.‖‖ (Hosea 1:1–2)
  8. 8. ―And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. ‖ (Revelation 17:3) • A wilderness, ‗eremon‘, an isolated deserted place that is barren; no distractions • The woman is the harlot, a symbol of a great singular false religious system and worldview • The scarlet beast is the Antichrist and the one world government, which was discussed in Rev. 13: ―And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. ‖ (Revelation 13:1–2)
  9. 9. ―The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality‖ (Revelation 17:4) • The harlot is clothed luxuriously, which indicates the external attractiveness of religious system and its wealth that it has accumulated • There is a singular cup – one not many, which means that the teaching of the system is one and has a singular origin • Though externally beautiful (i.e. the teaching sounds good), the reality is God sees it as an abomination and unclean with respect to what it actually is • ―Abomination‖ is oftentimes used in Scripture as a reference to idolatry such as the abomination of desolation spoken about by Jesus in Matt. 24:15 • Note the contrast – Beauty and gross wickedness
  10. 10. ―Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, For this is the Lord‘s time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her. Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad. ‖ (Jeremiah 51:6–7)
  11. 11. ―On her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ―BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.‖ ‖ (Revelation 17:5)
  12. 12. Prior References to Babylon in Revelation ―And their [God‘s two witnesses] dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. ‖ (Revelation 11:8) ―And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, ―Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.‖‖ (Revelation 14:8) ―The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. ‖ (Revelation 16:19)
  13. 13. The Origin of Babylon ―Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, ―Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.‖ And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, ―Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.‖ The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, ―Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. ―Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another‘s speech.‖ So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. ‖ (Genesis 11:1–9)
  14. 14. The Origin of Babylon Babel = ―gate of God‖, but now is synonymous with confusion • ―The land of Shinar‖ - a place. The area between the Tigris and Euphrates, ancient Babylonia, which is now modern Iraq • ―They said, ―Come, let us build for ourselves a city‖‖ – a prideful statement about the desire for man-centered glory • ―And a tower whose top will reach into heaven‖ – a false plan of salvation: man will get to God on his own • ―Let us make for ourselves a name‖ – an attempt to deify humankind • ―Otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.‖ - a rebellion. God had told them to fill the earth (Gen. 9:1) ―The Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. ‖ - his command is fulfilled
  15. 15. The Origin of Babylon ―Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling. ―You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you. ‖ (Isaiah 47:12–13)
  16. 16. ―Babylon cannot be confined to any one historical manifestation, past or future. Babylon has multiple equivalents (cf. 11:8). The details of John's description do not neatly fit any past city, whether literal Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, Rome, or even Jerusalem. Babylon is found wherever there is satanic deception. It is defined more by dominant idolatries than geographic or temporal boundaries. The ancient Babylon is better understood here as the archetypal head of all entrenched worldly resistance to God. Babylon is a transhistorical reality including idolatrous kingdoms as diverse as Sodom, Gomorrah, Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, Nineveh, and Rome. Babylon is an eschatological symbol of satanic deception and power; it is a divine mystery that can never be wholly reducible to empirical earthly institutions. It may be said that Babylon represents the total culture of the world apart from God, while the divine system is depicted by the New Jerusalem. ― - Alan Johnson, Expositor‘s Bible Commentary
  17. 17. Babylon‘s First Leader – Nimrod ―Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, ―Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.‖ The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. ‖ (Genesis 10:8–10) The name Nimrod means ―to rebel‖; he was Noah‘s great-grandson. After Babel, Nimrod then expanded to Assyria, building Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah (modern Nimrud), and Resen (Gen. 10:11–12). The prophet Micah refers to Assyria as ―the land of Nimrod‖ (Micah. 5:6). Nimrod, through his idolatry and military might, is a type of the Antichrist who is to come.
  18. 18. Legendary Wife of Nimrod - Semiramis External sources state that Nimrod had a wife known as Semiramis who founded the secret religious rites of the Babylonian mysteries. Semiramis had a son with an alleged miraculous conception (via a sunbeam) who was given the name Tammuz and in effect was a false fulfillment of the promise of the seed of the woman given to Eve (Gen. 3:15). She also was known as the Queen of Heaven. Various religious practices were observed in connection with this false Babylonian religion, including recognition of the mother and child as God and of creating an order of virgins who became religious prostitutes. Tammuz, according to the tradition, was killed by a wild animal and then restored to life, a satanic anticipation and counterfeit of Christ‘s resurrection.
  19. 19. The Mother (origin) of all False Religions - Babylon ―The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. ‖ (Jeremiah 7:18) ―Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Lord‘s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. ‖ (Ezekiel 8:14) Semiramis was worshiped by offering a wafer to her . There were always 40 days of lent, weeping for Tammuz before the feast, which celebrated his supposed return. The worship of Semiramis also involved priests, sacramental rites, dedication of virgins and more.
  20. 20. The Transference of Semiramis Ishtar of Assyria Isis of Egypt Ashtaroth of Phoenicia Venus of Rome
  21. 21. One group of people with a single false religion consisting of the same satanic characteristics is scattered across the earth Hinduism Buddhism Roman gods Various cults Islam Taoism Egyptian gods Voodoo Greek gods
  22. 22. ―People ask me all the time ‗Do you think there are a lot of Satanic religions around today?‘ and I say ‗Yes, every religion that is not Christianity is Satanic.‖ - John MacArthur
  23. 23. ―And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. ‖ (Revelation 17:6) • False religions have always persecuted God‘s people and still do so to this day • ―When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained‖ (Revelation 6:9) • ―After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands . . .Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ―These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?‖ I said to him, ―My lord, you know.‖ And he said to me, ―These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ‖ (Revelation 7:9, 13–14)
  24. 24. ―And the angel said to me, ―Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. . . .The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. ‖ (Revelation 17:15–16) • Babylon‘s false religion has infected the entire world and its peoples; no place is immune • Although the political system was using the false religion for its own purposes, it will eventually turn and destroy it. Satan‘s kingdom becomes divided • The Antichrist will do away with all religion and instead demand the world worship him (cf. 2 Thess. 2: 4)
  25. 25. Contrast of the Bride and the Harlot Jesus Christ Antichrist A Pure Bride A Harlot Loves His Bride Hates his Harlot Died for and Saves Kills and Destroys His Bride his Harlot
  26. 26. The Ending of False Religion ―For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. ‖ (Revelation 17:17)
  27. 27. ―The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.‖ (Revelation 17:18) In the same way that Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Las Vegas are real places, they also represent a system of thought, a worldview and way of living. Babylon is the same – it was once a place, but now represents the origin and fountainhead of all false religious thought and ideas.
  28. 28. The actual city of Babylon was previously condemned and destroyed by God… ―Behold, I am going to stir up the Medes against them, Who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold. And their bows will mow down the young men, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, Nor will their eye pity children. And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans‘ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation‖ (Isaiah 13:17–20) ―‗Then it will be when seventy years are completed [the Jewish captivity in Babylon] I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,‘ declares the Lord, ‗for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation. ‖ (Jeremiah 25:12)
  29. 29. Are the events in chapters 17 and 18 referencing the same ‗Babylon‘ or not?
  30. 30. Two ‗Babylons‘: Spiritual & Commercial ―And the ten horns which you saw [the kings], and the beast [the Antichrist], these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. ‖ (Revelation 17:15–16) VS. ―And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‗Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.‘ ‖ (Revelation 18:9–10)
  31. 31. Babylon: One and Yet Two Spiritual Political & Worldly Harlot Empire of Antichrist Religious Babylon lures the world into spiritual adultery with false gods and commercial Babylon seduces the nations with materialism
  32. 32. ―After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ―Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. ―For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.‖ (Revelation 18:1–3) • Many of the same statements made about Babylon in Rev. 17 reappear here • Two ―fallen‖ statements are made; perhaps one for the false religious aspect and the other, the worldly/materialistic side • Birds oftentimes a picture of Satan • New statement is added – the merchants of the earth have been made wealthy by Babylon • This is the world system of the Beast, his commercial empire
  33. 33. ―I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ―Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. ‖ (Revelation 18:4–5) • Voice from Heaven – another (―allos‖ – another of the same kind) angel speaking • As God is holy (separate), His people must be holy too and keep themselves from friendship with the world system • An exit from Babylon is necessary so that (1) freedom from sin is achieved; (2) freedom from punishment is achieved
  34. 34. ―for her sins have piled up as high as heaven‖ (Revelation 18:5) ―piled up‖ = kollao: literally ―to glue together‖ The sins of Babylon have been constructed together and formed a tower that has reached Heaven, which was the goal of the original tower
  35. 35. ―Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. ‖ (1 John 2:15–17)
  36. 36. ―Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‗I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.‘ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. ‖ (Revelation 18:6–8) • God has kept track of Babylon‘s sins and is ready to reward her with what she has done to others • Pride and a false sense of confidence characterize the human manifestation of Babylon • The Antichrist‘s ‗Babylon‘ will fall in a single day just as ancient Babylon did before the Darius the Mede (cf. Dan. 5)
  37. 37. ―And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‗Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.‘ ―And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. ―The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. ―The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying, ‗Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!‘ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‗What city is like the great city?‘ ―And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‗Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!‘ ‖ (Revelation 18:9–19) Notice the merchants don‘t care about the city, only themselves.
  38. 38. ―Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.‖ (Revelation 18:20) What grieves the fallen world brings joy in Heaven. A commentary that what brings joy to the world saddens God and vice versa. Now God has brought justice for His martyrs against the source of all persecution.
  39. 39. ―Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ―So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. ―And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. ―And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.‖ ‖ (Revelation 18:21–24)
  40. 40. ―Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. ‖ (Matthew 23:34–35)
  41. 41. • The destruction of false religion and worldly materialism signal the return of Christ • God‘s justice is seen in the destruction of Babylon. He uses evil against itself and proves His sovereignty over everything, including evil
  42. 42. ―But the important question is: ‗Are we citizens of ‗Babylon‘ or citizens of heaven?‘‖ - Warren Wiersbe
  43. 43. The Parousia Mystery Babylon