Posted in babylon, bride of Christ, Jezebel, religion

Religion is represented as a woman

In the bible, religion, whether bad or good, is always represented as a woman.

Mystery Babylon – the first false religion and the last – (and all of them in between) is represented in Revelation 17 as a woman.

Source

And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Revelation 17:3-6)

The church at Thyatira was plagued with idolatry, in the form of a represented Jezebel,

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

Whoredom is spiritual adultery and spiritual adultery is whoredom, Hosea 1:2

When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”

On the positive side, Israel is represented as a woman in Revelation 12:1,

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars

Jesus as the Bridegroom, has sacrificially, lovingly, and eternally chosen the church to be His bride,

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25–27)

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In the end, the true believers will be forever united with Christ as the wife.

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9)

What a day that will be!!! Made perfect and holy, adorned and loved, freed from even the presence of sin. Our Savior, our Groom is a tremendous God!

Posted in babylon, glory, ISIS, jesus, jonah, Mosul, Nineveh, prophecy

"Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum," Prophecy and Mosul/Nineveh

God said ‘Jonah, arise and preach to Nineveh.’ (Jonah 1:1-2)

Jonah outside Nineveh’s gate. Rembrandt

We know the rest of the story. Initially Jonah refused, and ran in the other direction. He boarded a ship and sailed away. God sent a storm and overboard Jonah went. As Jonah contemplated his options on the way down to the bottom of the sea, he relented and acknowledged the sovereignty of God. He accepted the call to preach repentance to Nineveh. God had appointed a big fish and the fish swallowed Jonah and then spit him up back to where he began. Hoisting his toga, Jonah set off for Nineveh, heeding God’s call.

It was ‘an exceedingly great city’ some three days’ travel in breadth. Some historians calculate that as many as 250,000 lived in Nineveh. For several decades it was the largest city in the world. When Jonah preached, all the Ninevites repented, from the king on down to the lowliest peasant. All of them. It surely was a great move of God and a great shower of grace upon the many people of Nineveh.

Nineveh’s Adad gate exterior entrance. Wiki CC

God’s move was so powerful and so amazing that even till this day Eastern Orthodox churches of the Middle East commemorate the three days Jonah spent inside the fish during the “Fast of Nineveh”. There are streets named after Jonah in the Middle East and monuments to him. There are even several places claiming to be his tomb. He is known to Muslims as Nabi Yunus, and Prophet Jonah is mentioned in the Q’uran. Therefore we see that God’s move was SO GREAT that the vestigial memory of it rests in the hearts and minds of even the most blinded and spiritually distant from God.

Unfortunately, the Ninevites’ repentant attitude was not permanent and Prophet Nahum records Nineveh’s end. One hundred years later, they had gone back to their ways. Nahum says that it was a city full of blood, lies, and plunder. God said He would make an utter desolation of the city and He did.

The city was so obliterated by 400BC the city of Nineveh itself had passed into history. Even the very name was forgotten. The city was buried so well it was never re-discovered until 1842.

In 1842, French Consul General at Mosul, Paul-Émile Botta began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon II, which was largely explored for sculptures and other precious relics. Wikipedia

Today’s Nineveh overlaps Mosul. Mosul is in Iraq, or what used to be Iraq, now that the ISIS group has taken over and established “The Islamic State”. You might know that the goal of the Caliphate is to have 100% of all residents in it compliant to Allah. If someone is not a Muslim, they must pay jizya, a religious tax to the dhimmi (community). Or convert. Or die.

Nineveh’s Mashki gate from the west. Wiki CC

The leaders of ISIS issued an ultimatum recently to that very effect. Before the war in Iraq in 2003, there were about 65,000 Christians living there. That is according to official records. However, spiritually, most of those are not Christians, because they adhere to an Eastern Orthodox religion, which is false. Personally I cannot say that the numbers were so large, but we do know that at out of 65,000 claiming Christianity, least some are true Christians.

Remember, Iraq is also home to Baghdad, AKA Babylon, the first city which Nimrod built and future history’s (almost) the last city; a city which will be the prophetic focus of the Tribulation. It has been said that the bible could be subtitled “A Tale of Two Cities: Jerusalem and Babylon.” What I’m saying is, the area has a long, loooong spiritual history. Moreover, and future history will dwindle down to events in this exact region.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq about half the Christians left. After ISIS came, 10,000 more left. Suffice to say that life for a true Christian in this war-torn, spiritually hostile ground zero place would be hard. And this week, it just got harder.

Iraqi Christians flee after Isis issue Mosul ultimatum

Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul after Islamist militants threatened to kill them unless they converted to Islam or paid a “protection tax”. A statement issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) was read out at the city’s mosques. It called on Christians to comply by midday on Saturday or face death if they did not leave the northern city. Isis has control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and said last month it was creating an Islamic caliphate. The ultimatum cited a historic contract known as “dhimma,” under which non-Muslims in Islamic societies who refuse to convert are offered protection if they pay a fee, called a “jizya”. “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the Isis statement said.

This is very similar to the upcoming ultimatum that the antichrist will issue. The antichrist will locate headquarters in Babylon. At the Tribulation, the antichrist will force all to worship him by accepting a mark on their hand or forehead. Or be excluded from the economy and unable to buy or sell, and then to be beheaded. (Revelation 13:16-17).

In addition to the hostility against perceived Christians, the ISIS people also took a sledgehammer to “Jonah’s tomb” in Mosul.

Shocking moment ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah

Donning balaclavas and black coats, they swung sledgehammers into the tombs, causing pieces of dust and stone to fly through the air. One of the devastated tombstones belonged to the Prophet Jonah (Younis in Arabic) and was revered by Muslims and Christians alike, according to Iraqi authorities. Speaking of the latest attack, Ninevah official Zuhair Al-Chalabi, told IraqiNews.com: ‘The elements of ISIS [have] controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis in Mosul since they invaded the city.’  

It should be noted that there are also alleged burial sites for Jonah in Hebron, Lebanon, and Galilee in addition to Mosul.

We should:

1. Pray for the true Christians in the Middle East. As Joel Rosenberg calls it, it is “the epicenter” because geologically the epicenter is the point on the earth above the center of the earthquake. It aptly describes Israel, Jerusalem, and the countries surrounding her. Geographically, God considers Israel the center of the world. (Ezekiel 5:5) as Rosenberg explains here. Spiritually, it all comes down to God and His people, and history’s last events will be located in Jerusalem and surrounding environs.

From this moment forward, whenever you are reading this, life will only be harder for Christians there. Jews also. Every day will be harder than the day before it.

2. Pray for the rapture. (2 Timothy 4:8). It is spiritually all right to pray for a time of deliverance, in so doing, acknowledging your citizenship (heaven), identifying yourself with the promises of Jesus, and wanting to be where there is no more pain.

3. Be strong in the word. Persevere, and in so doing, being the Light of Hope within us. Let it shine, your patience, calm, and hope will be a balm to those around you.

4. Study scripture and memorize it. Even in America, the time is coming and might already be here when we will need to rely on memory for scripture- as possessing a bible may soon be not-possible. The noose is tightening daily. Apostasy is rising and as John MacArthur said, “Cultural Christianity is dying at warp speed.” I’ll do another blog post later today about that. Therefore we should be aware of what is happening in the world and in our nations, and in that way we can be responsible to our duties as Christians on behalf of the glory of God.

5. Always shine the glory back to Him, He is the originator of the world, the sustainer of the world, and the King, Lord, and Judge of the world, He deserves all glory and acknowledgement in all we say and do. At the very moment that attitude is becoming more rare, is when we need to display it the most.

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Further reading:

Topical Bible: Nineveh

Posted in babylon, chaldea, iraq, prophecy, time magazine

Time Magazine this week: "The End of Iraq"?

Time Magazine’s new cover features this photo, obviously their political opinion of what is happening in that troubled region of the world. They wrote, “The sudden military victories of a Sunni militant group threaten to touch off a maelstrom in the Middle East

It is my opinion too, but not because it’s political, but because it’s prophetic.

The Atlantic published this today-

The New Map of the Middle East
Why should we fight the inevitable break-up of Iraq?

Almost seven years ago, I wrote a cover story for this magazine about the coming collapse of the post-World War I Middle East map. I conducted the reporting for the story, which we eventually called “After Iraq: What Will the Middle East Look Like,” in the fall of 2007—pre-Obama, pre-Arab Spring, pre-a lot of things—but even back then, it was fairly obvious that the age of Middle East stability (relatively speaking) was coming to an end.

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In the last of the last days (days immediately prior to the rapture) and in the Tribulation, borders are going to be redrawn. Borders will be fluid, change, and disappear. We know this because of prophecy. Here are two examples:

1. In Daniel it is written that in the time of the antichrist there will be ten kingdoms. After the Antichrist takes control, the globe will be divided into ten kingdoms with ten kings (Daniel 7:7, 20-24).

2. We also know that borders are going to be redrawn because during the Tribulation, Israel acquires their covenental land, so that when the Millennium Kingdom is installed and Jesus reigns on earth, God’s promise to His people regarding their lands will be restored to them in full and His promise completed. (Read more here).

Secondly, we know that borders are going to be redrawn because of history. Borders are always being redrawn. Nations’ names even change- not just in the distant past but even in current history. (Burma—> Myanmar; Sudan into North Sudan and South Sudan, into UN-recognized separate countries).

In January 1991 the Soviet Union had the world’s longest boundary, clocked at 37,000 miles! But when the Union split and the 15 countries within it went their way, the borders changed. By December 1991, the USSR was no more. During that heady time, it seemed that new countries were emerging every day. Maps became outdated every year. It was a dizzying time, and I remember it well.

Just a few months ago the Crimea split from Ukraine and is now occupied by Russia. Abyssinia was the name of Ethiopia until the early 20th century. Namibia was born from Southwest Africa as an independent nation in 1990. The original Yugoslavia had borders much different than it does now. It’s now divided up into Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia. This occurred in the early 1990s.

So you see, new nations come and go. In addition, wars usually change borders. Austria-Hungary was a long-lasting monarchy established in 1867. It included not just Austria and Hungary, but also parts of the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Romania, and the Balkans. World War I redrew all those borders.

WWII changed a lot of borders. Prussia ceased to exist and the current Germany came to being.

So when we see an alarming national magazine cover that poses the question, “The End of Iraq?” one isn’t perturbed because it is the way of things for nations to come and go, borders ebb and flow, and names change and change again.

Mot assuredly of all, we know prophecy is simply history written before the time. God is in control of all nations.

For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:28)

Iraq is the home to the ancient land of Babylon. After the Flood, the world’s first tyrant, Nimrod, built Babylon and Nineveh and many other cities. He subdued the peoples and united them. He also led the world’s first rebellion against God (Genesis 11, Tower of Babel). The Plains of Shinar, Mesopotamia, Chaldea…they were, are, and will be “Iraq”. Let’s move from south to north in looking at this most historical and ancient of lands, Iraq.

Bible Study: Chaldea

Where you see “Babylon” on the map, just 50 miles to the north is Baghdad. Where you see “Nineveh” on the map, is Mosul now, just across the river.

~~~~~~~~~Chaldea~~~~~~~~~

Easton’s bible dictionary defines Chaldea

The southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used of the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim, which is usually rendered “Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 50:10; 51:24, 35).

Somewhere between 593 and 565 B.C. during the Babylonian captivity Ezekiel wrote the following:

You also multiplied your harlotry with the land of merchants, Chaldea, yet even with this you were not satisfied.“‘ (Ezekiel 16:29, NAS)

So, even in the beginning the region was called ‘the land of merchants’ and at the end of time it will be called so again. The last empire of man will be focused at Babylon, and it will be a religious empire and a commercial empire. In Revelation 18:11-13 we read that ‘all the world’s merchants’ mourn the loss of the great city because of its stupendous commerce.

~~~~~~~~~Mesopotamia~~~~~~~~~

Moving north from Chaldea a bit, we haveMesopotamia. Easton’s Bible Dictionary describes Mesopotamia:

The country between the two rivers (Hebrews Aram-naharaim; i.e., “Syria of the two rivers”), the name given by the Greeks and Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Genesis 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:4; Judges 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is mentioned also under the name “Padan-aram;” i.e., the plain of Aram, or Syria (Genesis 25:20). The northern portion of this fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the Hebrews (Genesis 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his wife Rebecca (Genesis 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned (28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).

~~~~~~~~~Babylon~~~~~~~~~

Moving north still, here is Easton’s again, describing the Kingdom of Babylon. Remember, we’re going through this history of changing names because today’s Iraq IS this ancient land.

Called “the land of the Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 24:5; Ezek, 12:13), was an extensive province in Central Asia along the valley of the Tigris from the Persian Gulf northward for some 300 miles. It was famed for its fertility and its riches. Its capital was the city of Babylon, a great commercial centre (Ezek. 17:4; Isaiah 43:14). Babylonia was divided into the two districts of Accad in the north, and Summer (probably the Shinar of the Old Testament) in the south. Among its chief cities may be mentioned Ur (now Mugheir or Mugayyar), on the western bank of the Euphrates; Uruk, or Erech (Genesis 10:10) (now Warka), between Ur and Babylon; Larsa (now Senkereh), the Ellasar of Genesis 14:1, a little to the east of Erech; Nipur (now Niffer), south-east of Babylon; Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24), “the two Sipparas” (now Abu-Habba), considerably to the north of Babylon; and Eridu, “the good city” (now Abu-Shahrein), which lay originally on the shore of the Persian Gulf, but is now, owing to the silting up of the sand, about 100 miles distant from it. Another city was Kulunu, or Calneh (Genesis 10:10).

In addition to being labeled the land of merchants, it is also called the land of Nimrod. (Micah 5:6, more here about Nimrod.) As you read the above description by Easton, note the cities of Babylon. Most were founded by Nimrod. (Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh in Shinar (Genesis 10:8-10). That’s why I put them in bold.

Later Nimrod extended his Babylonian Kingdom and “went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.” (Genesis 10:11-12).

~~~~~~~~~Assyria~~~~~~~~~

In the north, Assyria began as a Babylonian colony. It eventually shook off its colonizers and became one of the largest (and most brutally vicious) kingdoms in history.

Easton’s on Assyria-

The name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia

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So when the secular media pronounces a death knell on Iraq, is it true? Yes and no. Perhaps we’re seeing the name Iraq pass into history, as Chaldea, Babylon, and Mesopotamia have. Perhaps we are seeing the borders of the Iraq as we’ve known it pass into history, once again. Kingdoms rise, live for a time, and die.

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; (Daniel 2:21)

What we are seeing is the hand of God in His providential working out of His plan for the Gentile nations, and His people Israel. These lands, Assyria especially, are so evil, the LORD will strike them and judge them. (Isaiah 66:15-16)

Yet, He is merciful! He will restore them! He blesses His lands and His people!

In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance. (Isaiah 19:24-25)

Posted in babylon, judgment

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3

Babylon: The Spiritual & Economic Harlot, Part 1
Babylon: The Spiritual & Economic Harlot, Part 2

Is the USA in end times prophecy? Perhaps the most asked question after, ‘are we in the end times now?’ I admit I go back and forth on the answer. I cannot dogmatically say one way or the other because as far as I can tell from my limited studies, the bible doesn’t say one way or the other.

For a long time I believed that the US was not a specific player in end times prophecy, any more or less than any other nation that is on the earth, except for the biblically identified nations in last times prophecy in the Middle East. After all, Iraq is home to Babylon, Israel is the navel of the world, Egypt is ancient, Damascus is 4000 years old. America as Americans know it is less than 300 years old. Why should we of all places have any part in this ancient drama?

But then there are some things that trouble me in attempting to resolve. Babylon is the focus of Revelation 17 and 18. Rev 17 Babylon is the fall of Spiritual Babylon and Rev 18 is fall of Economic Babylon. The city itself is also mentioned. Revelation 18:9b mentions it twice as a city, as does verse 16, 18, 19 and 21. It is said seven times to be a city in Revelation 18. So Babylon is not just a spiritual false religion and not just an economic system, it is an actual city, too.

Babylon in Iraq exists. It is partly abandoned but before Saddam Hussein was killed he was rebuilding it. He actually thought of himself as a modern king Nebuchadnezzar and had bricks made that one one side had the name Hussein and on the other side had the name Nebuchadnezzar imprinted. Some have speculated, including myself, that after the Iraq war ends the investments and money flowing to the city would propel it to prominence.

However there are some details that do not make sense in thinking of the Iraq Babylon as the prophesied city. In Revelation 18 there is much mention of ships seafaring cargoes and sailors and captains. Babylon Iraq is 375 miles from the Persian Gulf. Merchants are mentioned, commodities, but why sailors and seafaring cargoes? The verse says:

“For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’ (Rev 18:17-19).

So the sailors stand off at sea watching the demise of Babylon the city… The verse goes on with this title punctuating the story:

“Finality of Babylon’s Fall”
“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.” (Rev 18:21).

So the finality of Babylon’s demise comes from the sea. How can this be if Babylon is the desert Babylon? Just because we can’t picture it now does not mean it won’t come to pass the way described. The Tribulation is full of devastating earthquakes and perhaps one of them cracks the land enough so that Babylon becomes waterfront property.

But another notion comes to mind. I am speculating here. Perhaps Babylon is New York City.

Revelation 18 is all about the fall of the evil economic system. The world’s current economic woes began when Lehman Brothers fell, sparking an economic panic and decline that continues to this day. Wall Street is home to the brokerage houses that caused the economic panic and global decline. The world’s reserve currency is the US Dollar, and NYC is home to all currency at one point or another. NYC drives the world’s economy.

NYC is also home to the United Nations, thought to be a progenitor of the home to the one world government prophesied to come in Revelation 13. NYC is a busy port. Within one generation, the US has been both the strongest ally to the new nation of Israel and its biggest betrayer. Islam calls us two the Great Satan and the Little Satan. Here, Patrick Heron makes a case for Babylon the city being NYC.

The first rule of biblical understanding is to take the bible literally where it is obvious it should be taken literally. Babylon was and is a city in Iraq. I’m still inclined to believe the prophecy will culminate in the literal place the bible tells us it will, but I am throwing out this a possibility to chew on.

Read for yourself in the bible, and read widely. Revelation is not the only place that the final judgment of Babylon is discussed. Jeremiah 50 & 51, and Isaiah 13 are but a few examples. The idea is to read and pray for understanding with open mind. We can’t be dogmatic about the details when the details are not given.

True believers in the church will not be on earth when the final judgments occur, and certainly not be here to witness Babylon’s fall. However, we will praise the Lord for its death! Revelation 18 shows the earthly lament for Babylon’s fall, but Revelation 19:1-6 shows the heavenly praise for the Lord’s final sweeping away of the curse that Babylon is! There is a “Fourfold Hallelujah”!!

“After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 1, here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 2 here
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Posted in babylon, judgment, revelation

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 2

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 1, here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3 here

God will judge Spiritual Babylon in Revelation 17. Nimrod, Noah’s great-grandson, and his wife Semiramis, brought the first organized false religion to man. His city, Babel, was the place where the Tower was built. The tower was a monument to man and what man could do, not a monument to God and what He can do. God stopped the building of the tower but that did not stop the growing of the false religion. It still grew. Babylon is therefore forever known as by full name: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth”. (Revelation 17:5)

So where is Spiritual Babylon today? Does she still exist? Yes, she exists. Technically, Babylon the Mother of Prostitutes is the mother of all false religions, starting with Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, who called herself Queen of Heaven. The Queen of Heaven is mentioned in Jeremiah 44:15-19. The Queen of Heaven’s counterparts in different cultures are Ishtar and Isis. All false religions that spawned from her are the harlot daughters of the original. But there is one religion that can be said not to be a daughter of the original Harlot Babylon but is still the Mother herself: The Catholic Church. Mary is the Catholic’s Queen of Heaven.

I bring Catholicism into this discussion because of the prophecy in Rev. 17:9, “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” Rome is known as the City of Seven Hills.  I do not know dogmatically that the city of 7 hills refers to Rome. I do not believe that the Harlot of False Religion is only the Catholic Church, I believe that it refers to ALL false religions in the world. The prophecy in Revelation shows us that though all false religions are tolerated by the Beast (Antichrist), in the middle of the Tribulation the Beast puts a stop to them all, and any semblance of ecumenism goes out the window. Catholicism will not be tolerated. Wicca will not be tolerated. Judaism will not be tolerated. Islam will not be tolerated. The Beast insists all worship HIM and him alone. (Revelation 13:11-18).

But…since the antichrist will emerge from the revived Roman Empire, it behooves us to look at its capital, Rome and the nation nesting inside Rome, Vatican City.

The Fuel Project Series explores the coming New World Order from a Biblical perspective. In this part, it discusses how Catholicism was created by putting a Christian facade on Mystery Babylon paganism. This Fuel Project, Know Your Enemy, Part 23 is only 16 minutes long. It gives a great overview from Constantine onward to the solidification of Catholicism, its marriage to money, and its relation to Babylon.

FUEL Project part 23 transcript, excerpt beginning at ~7:00–
“Stanley’s history on page 40 says, The popes filled the vacant place of the Emperors at Rome, inheriting their power, their prestige and their titles from paganism Pope Damascus recognized the power inherent in his new title. He believed himself to be head over not just the Christian church, but also over the pagans in Rome. It meant complete authority and domination; both the secular and the sacred, under one system. So how was the Roman Church to consolidate this rule over the pagans and the Christians under one system? They needed to somehow iron out the differences between the Babylonian system and the Christian system to create a unity between all peoples… and that meant compromise. What the Catholic Church did was consistently compromise the Gospel message with pre-existing pagan beliefs and adapted it based on whatever form of Babylonian mysticism existed a culture held to.”

That melding of all the religious beliefs will find its ultimate expression in the first half of the Tribulation. This movement has already begun. It is called the Ecumenical movement

Ecumenical movement is a pursuit of a unity in and among all churches with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church began its modern pursuit of ecumenism in 1961, but actually it has always been its stated aim, since at least 1274 if not before. The Catholic Church believes that it is the identical Church Christ founded and that all others have wandered. Ecumenism is the pursuit of the wayward churches back to the Catholic fold.

“Ecumenism takes as it starting point that Christ founded just one Church, not many churches; hence the Roman Catholic Church has as its ultimate hope and objective – that through prayer, study, and dialogue, the historically separated bodies may come again to be reunited with it. Before the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church defined ecumenism as a relations with other Christian groups in order to persuade these to return to a unity that they had broken. Pursuit of unity, thus understood, was always a principal aim of the Church.” (source)

Knowing the past will help us identify the future when it arrives, as we see the pursuit of the folding-in of all religions into one.

A missionary couple our denomination supports recently came to speak of their work. They said that the Catholic Church’s influence and embeddedness in Guatemala makes their work in bringing the truth of the Gospel very hard. The Mayans in the area are completely melded to the Catholic Church, mainly because the Catholic Church allows them to retain their Mayan rituals. Outside one local Catholic Church, he showed us a photo of a cave kind of pit, where the indigenous Indians sacrifice to the Mayan god before entering the Catholic Church to worship. The Catholic Church built the sacrificial pit as an honorary understanding that both religions could be accommodated. Therefore the Mayans sacrifice outside and then enter the Church and leave their money tithe inside.

Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world. It is not just a city, it is its own nation. “The size of a golf course, the Vatican City  is the smallest country in the world. It’s basically a walled enclave inside of Rome, Italy. It’s so small that the entire country does not have a single street address.”

“Another unique thing about the smallest country in the world is that it has no permanent citizens. Citizenship of the Vatican City is conferred upon those who work at the Vatican, as well as their spouses and children, and is revoked when they stop working there. The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See, or the seat of the Catholic Church, its central government, which has over 1 billion people  or about 1 in 6 people on the planet as constituents. The Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, which was signed by one of history’s most repressive dictators, Benito Mussolini and is ruled by the Pope, a non-hereditary, elected monarch who rules with absolute authority. He’s the legislative, executive and judiciary all rolled into one. Indeed, the Pope is the only absolute monarch in Europe.”

Interesting, isn’t it?

“The country’s economy is unique: it is the only non-commercial economy in the world. Instead, the Vatican City is supported financially by contributions of Catholics worldwide (called Peter’s Pence – hey, even the Pope accepts credit cards!), the sale of postage stamps and publications, and tourism.”

I had shown through scriptures in Part 1 the tie-in between money and false religion. Being wealthy is not a sin. Abram was wealthy (Genesis  13:2). It’s doing wrong things with the money and for the money that brings judgment. Remember Elisha’s greedy servant Gehazi? “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Aramean, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” (2 Kings 5:15-27). He ended up a leper. Remember Ananias and Sapphira? They stole from the tithe by falsely holding back and lying to Peter? They ended up dead. (Acts 5)

Jesus reminds us that where vast wealth exists, falsity likely exists too. “And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24). Jesus repeats His warning in the same verse.

How rich is the Catholic Church? Time Magazine wrote in 1965,

“Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate. … Unlike ordinary stockholders, the Vatican pays no taxes on this income, which led the leftist Rome weekly L’Espresso last week to call it “the biggest “the biggest tax evader in Italy.”

That was in 1965. I wonder how much more wealth the Vatican has accumulated in the ensuing nearly 50 years? If I calculated right, and I may not have, 15 billion in 1965 dollars in today’s dollars would be 105 billion. The Catholic Church is the wealthiest organization on earth. Italian author Avro Manhattan wrote,

“The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars.”

Babylon the False Religion will be destroyed and its partner the Babylon the false economic system will also be destroyed. The Catholic Church has a role to play, whether it is prophetically the Babylon of the city on 7 hills or whether it is a part of the general destruction of all false religions.

The Harlot is mentioned again in the destruction of Babylon the false economic system. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev 18:3). It’s called prostitution because of the addition of the exchange of morals, faith, and conscience for money. It is the money exchange that makes it the harlot.

The lesson for us is to heed Jesus’ warnings that vast wealth corrupts. In Revelation 18 when the Babylon economic system is destroyed, the woes that are heard from the crying participants only for the loss of the consumer goods, not the people. It is all about them, they are crying, ‘where will be get our luxuries from, now?’ (Rev 18:11, 14, 18-19).

The Son of Man had no place to lay His head, (Mt 8:20) but the King of Vatican City has golden monstrance, gold embroidered robes, gold jewelry, velvet garments and a satin pillow to lay his head…

Fornication with false religions and fornication as a greedy consumer and hoarder of wealth will find their ultimate whorish marriage both fulfilled in the Tribulation and judged in the Tribulation.

If you are blessed with wealth, that is wonderful. But take care to be a generous giver, (2 Corinthians 9:7), a diligent doer of the Word, (James 1:2) and pray always for the Holy Spirit to guard your heart from prostituting yourself for filthy lucre.
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 1, here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3 here

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Posted in babylon, false religion, revelation

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 1

Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 2 here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3 here

The most intriguing name in the bible may well be Babylon. (AKA Babel). It is mentioned over 300 times, more than any other name except Jerusalem. Babylon figures prominently in Genesis and in Revelation, illustrating to us the bookend of the false system that has bracketed mankind from the beginning to the end. It was with us after the flood (Genesis 10) and it never left the earth, but it will be addressed in the future. Just because the Lord has not yet judged Babylon the harlot religious system does not mean that He won’t.

Babylon is a false religious system, or spiritual harlotry. Revelation 17 is all about the evil thing that spiritual adultery leads to, and shows us the final judgment of it. Revelation 18 shows us the false political/economic entity Babylon will become and also shows us its final judgment. There is a third meaning of Babylon in Revelation, and that is the name of an actual city. From Revelation’s intertwining of spiritual adultery and economic adultery we can surmise that where one exists, the other follows. They are closely related.

SPIRITUAL HARLOTRY
Babylon’s full name is found in Revelation 17:5: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth”. Pretty strong! So what exactly does spiritual harlotry look like?

Hosea was a prophet of God whom God commanded to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1). As Pastor Weaver exposits, “At the beginning of Hosea’s ministry, the northern kingdom was seemingly prosperous under the stable reign of Jeroboam II. But though things appeared to be calm on the surface, underneath the torrents of the kingdom’s destruction were swirling. The nation had forsaken Yahweh. Though they retained allegiance to Yahweh with their lips, their hearts were far from Him. They had began to mingle elements of the Canaanites’ fertility religion with Yahweh worship by engaging in sexual rites and drunken orgies which were thought to secure the giving of rain and the fertility of the land for their crops.”

The first indicator of spiritual harlotry is unseen. It is a heart condition that God sees. Everything looks all right on the surface because people speak and act in ways that seem consistent with God. But everything is not all right. The second indicator of spiritual harlotry is when religious people incrementally meld pagan rituals and ideas and doctrines with the Truth as revealed from God. Today this can be seen when churches bring the world into the pulpit, such as promoting the latest popular book, following a worldly fad, or singing secular songs.

This is a process Paul described as gangrene. (2 Timothy 2:17). If not stopped immediately, the false practices and doctrines continue to infect the body.

Pastor Weaver continues,
“The book of Hosea is not primarily about Hosea and his marriage, it is ultimately about God and His relationship to His covenant people, Israel. Hosea was commanded to marry a prostitute because that is the kind of wife which Israel had become to Yahweh. By combining elements of Baal worship with the elements of Yahweh worship commanded in the Law, Israel was engaging in spiritual adultery – a religious syncretism which by combining true Yahweh worship with idolatry resulted in a perversion which God Himself viewed as spiritual adultery.”

Though the excerpt above characterizes idolatry as spiritual adultery, I prefer to use the term used in Revelation, prostitute, whore or harlot. While adultery to me is a setting aside of morals, prostitution has the additional component of money changing hands. We will see from scriptures below that money is always a large component to spiritual falsity.

The Tribulation’s Spiritual Babylon is the end result of man’s failure and inability to eradicate false religion from the flesh and the mind. Finally, they all just quit trying. The Holy Spirit’s ministry of restraining of sin and illuminating the Truth has slowed this gangrenous creep for the last 2000 years, but when the Restrainer is removed, (2 Thessalonians 2:6), Babylon as spiritual harlot will explode all over the earth. Almost everyone will be infected by it. The final result will be that the world worships satan. The exhortations to the Tribulation believers in Matthew 24:13 and Mark 13:12 show us how hard it will be to remain faithful in a fallen and perverted world.

ECONOMIC HARLOTRY
So Revelation 17 dealt with the harlot Babylon in religion and Revelation 18 deals with harlot Babylon as false economic system. To me, this illustrates how the two are closely related. Once the mind begins to allow the world in, then money follows. By reverse logic, the old adage to “follow the money” shows that when we follow money to the root, the person will be evil at root also. 1 Timothy 6:10 states that “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” That verse shows us that the love of money and false religious systems are intertwined.

Look at the cross references to the 1 Timothy 6 verse warning us about the evils of replacing God with the idol of money: Joshua 7:21, Psalm 62:10, Proverbs 15:27, Ecclesiastes 2:19, Matthew 6:19, Matthew 13:22, Mark 4:19, Colossians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:3, 1 Timothy 6:9, 2 Timothy 3:2, James 5:19. NOT following the money is a huge theme in the bible, and the final end of such waywardness is shown to us in Revelation 18 when the Economic Babylon is destroyed.

Titus 1:11 warns us against false teachers who always do what they do for “filthy lucre’s sake”. Peter repeats this warning in 1 Peter 5:2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” (KJV). So it is no wonder that Babylon the Spiritual Whore is joined to Babylon the Economic Whore.

Babylon was the first organized false religion, and she has many daughters. However, there is one daughter who can actually be stated to still be the mother. That is the Catholic Church. This will be explored in part 2 of “Babylon the spiritual and economic harlot”, and part 3 will look at the city of Babylon.
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 2 here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3 here
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Posted in babylon, prosperity gospel

Follow the money! To Bankruptcy, that is

When we think of bankruptcy we always think of material bankruptcy. Someone went broke. Someone had money, and they don’t any more. Bankrupt.

What we never think of is spiritual bankruptcy. We never ponder that we are all bankrupt. “What?” You ask? “I have money in my bank account and my bills are paid.” No, we are born sinners, bankrupt of the spirit that we need to come into alignment with Jesus, which is the spirit of repentance for our sins.

His glory is that men respond to His call for repentance and come out of spiritual bankruptcy because of His grace and mercy. It is the highest act of a Holy God to redeem men.

Sadly, we live in a time when there is much material bankruptcy but also much spiritual bankruptcy. There is spiritual bankruptcy in the church. The Prosperity Gospel, also known as Name it-Claim it, the Health-Wealth Gospel or the Word of Faith Gospel, permeate today’s Laodicean Church of America. The Prosperity Gospel is spiritually bankrupt.

I wrote a blistering essay on the view Jesus holds of the last church in the Church Age. We are in that phase now, and it is called the Laodicean Church. I wrote about what Jesus says of this church, here.

Jesus said of this last church they will say “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’” This is a direct quote of what Jesus said the last church will say of themselves. He abhors this church. He vomits it out of His mouth. (Revelation 3:14-22). How did we get here? What happened?

False philosophies don’t just appear, they have always existed, since the Garden when satan exhibited pride and sought to diminish God before men. All philosophies stem from this, in various iterations. As far back as 1860 (or so) Charles Spurgeon preached:

“I believe that it is anti-Christian and unholy for any Christian to live with the object of accumulating wealth. You will say, “Are we not to strive all we can to get all the money we can?” You may do so. I cannot doubt but what, in so doing, you may do service to the cause of God. But what I said was that to live with the object of accumulating wealth is anti-Christian.”

Even further back, Jonathan Edwards preached in the 1700s, that “On judgment day even the condemned will testify against unfaithful ministers for their failure to seek the salvation of souls. Such ministers neglect the proper work of the ministry and attend chiefly to accumulating wealth. “They will face a dreadful Judgment.” “Those precious souls who were committed to our care lost through neglect will rise up in judgment against us and shall declare how we neglected their souls.” (source, book “The salvation of souls: nine previously unpublished sermons on the call of ministry and the Gospel” by Jonathan Edwards.)

Prosperity Gospel is nothing new. But our response to it, is.

Hearken to a warning from even further back. Jesus’ warning of the Laodicean Church was not only condemning a general attitude of the last church in the Church Age, but was a letter to an actual church in 90AD. It was read at the church in Laodicea. It is real. Jesus warned the actual Laodicean Church that accumulating wealth for wealth’s sake will lead to them being blind, poor, naked and unrighteous. By poor, I believe He meant poor in not having the treasure of Jesus as the primary consideration of their heart.

We receive other biblical warnings about the gangrenous effect of replacing the treasure of Jesus with the idol of money.

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.” (James 5:1-6)

The Holy Spirit causes James to write that the rich will weep. There is no getting around that. The rich will weep. They will howl. They will be miserable. Not that money is bad, but look what the verse goes on to say they did with it: they accumulated it in the last days. They defrauded. They cheated honest workers. Do we see these conditions now? Yes.

So that is the second verse that shames and condemns the church that trades spiritual treasures for material wealth. Revelation 3:14-22 tells us, James 5:1-6 tells us. And now Jesus tells us in Matthew the same warnings. In Matthew 13:22, Jesus explains the parable of the sower. He says, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”

The deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word.

In Matthew 6:19 Jesus warns, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:”

Paul warns Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Focusing on wealth makes us stray. It chokes the word. It makes us howl. It produces misery. And if we pursue material wealth at the expense of Jesus and to the exclusion of Jesus, we will be vomited out His mouth.

Do we take heed?

Money is good and useful for advancing the Kingdom of God. It is great for showing the love of Jesus through giving to our neighbor. But if we accumulate it, hoard it, gain it by deceptive means, we succumb to its inherent evil, because then money has been separated from its intent: to show the glory of Jesus. Be warned.

Revelation 18:4-5 is the end of the end of the prosperity gospel. It is last chance Texaco, the bitter end of the sin of riches come to full fruition. See, even as the harlot economic Babylon is almost at her final moment, in His mercy He still calls us out of the deceitfulness of her riches!

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18:4-5)

But then the damnation comes. It is where this has all been leading since the American Prosperity Gospel polluted the American church in the twentieth century, since Charles Spurgeon warned us not to accumulate riches in the nineteenth century, since Jonathan Edwards preached against ministers accumulating wealth at the expense of their charge of lost souls, since satan in the garden tempted man with the notion that satan has more to offer than God does, we have been chugging down this road. It all ends in Revelation 18.

“In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.” (Rev 18:4-5, 7-8).

Use your money for the Glory of God. Check your motivations for accumulating it. And combat the Prosperity Gospel as the evil daughter of the Harlot Babylon that it is. Don’t be spiritually bankrupt. Work, labor, be paid, and give back joyfully. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
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