I’ve been doing a great deal of research along with writing a fast moving, apocalyptic love story. An excellent writer once told me “the key to good fantasy writing is to make it believable”. I’ve therefore been googling everything from Wyoming weather and fauna to Nostradamus. One thing I came across during this time was the following article from a fellow Christian and friend of mine (soon to launch a book on Bible prophecies – I’ll keep you posted on that one!). I was so impressed and it keyed in exactly to my theme… but I wont spoil it! Give it a read (even if you don’t happen to be a believer the insights are worth pondering – though in that case you may want to skip the introductory paragraph.)
Babylon – The Great
‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’
Repentance is a key step to becoming a Christian and being reconciled with our heavenly Father. For many years I thought that I could make it on my own. I saw no need to repent. I had fanciful dreams about who I was and lived a life of outward confidence. However, the day came that I looked at myself in the mirror and realised I needed something outside of myself to save me. Like the Titanic with a fatal hole below the water line, I recognised I was doomed to sink without salvation. That painful moment of recognising my sin within and repenting, fundamentally changed my life and set me on the road of walking with Christ.
There is one last great character in Last Days’ Scripture that we should be aware of. In Revelation chapters 17, 18 and 19, we read of a final world power that won’t repent and therefore experiences the judgement of God. I have summarised the chapters below, however, please do read them in full and familiarise yourself with them.
This power is graphically depicted as a wealthy woman called Babylon, the Prostitute (17:5). She holds a golden cup full of adulteries (17:4), and rules over the kings of the earth (17:18). She has become excessively rich as a great trader and consumer (17:4; 18:3), committing adultery with the kings and merchants of the world (18:3, 9). She has ‘fallen’ and become possessed by demons (18:2). The language of adultery suggests that this woman was once ‘married’ to Christ; in other words, was once a Christian nation.
She is violent, guilty of many crimes, responsible for much slaughter and the blood of many of God’s children (17:6; 18:24). She is full of deceit (18:23). Because she is proud, sinful (18:5) and will not repent (18:7), God will put it in the hearts of ten kings, allies of the Anti-Christ beast, to utterly burn her with fire (17:12, 16−17). She will be totally devastated and destroyed in one hour (18:10, 17). The Heavens give a shout of praise at this judgement (19:1−2). God calls His people who inhabit her to come out, so that they won’t share in this judgement (18:4−5).
The woman sits on seven hills (17:9). This appears to be a reference to Rome, which was built on seven hills. Many commentators have therefore identified this graphic figure as the Catholic Church. In her time, the Catholic Church was wealthy, corrupted, violent and powerful. However, she doesn’t rule over the kings of the earth in the present world as she did in the sixteenth century. This is too narrow an identification. It may be prudent for Christendom as a whole, which grew out of the Catholic Church, to reflect on the text.
There are wealthy Christian countries that exert a great deal of power in the world today. However, discernment is needed to see to what extent their actions reflect or contradict Christian values. It isn’t what they say that counts, but what they do. What are their ‘fruits’ (Matthew 7:16) seen both in their societies at home, and the results of their foreign policies abroad? Babylon does not look in the mirror to see what she has become. She refuses to see either the corruption within or the results of her actions on other nations. She becomes her own worst enemy deceiving herself and the world around her. Christ followers cannot afford to ignore these passages. They must take a long and possibly painful ‘look in the mirror’. May God’s Spirit give us all wisdom in discerning this mystery.
Jesus will return to defeat the Anti-Christ’s regime, but first He will allow it to wreak judgement on the adulterous unrepentant Babylon. Christians are warned to discern this mystery and ‘come out of her’ at the appropriate time before the judgement falls.
After rejoicing over the fall of Babylon in Revelation 19:1−5, the Heavens prepare for the arrival of the bride of Christ, the church in Revelation 19:6−8. This appears to place the judgement of Babylon towards the end of the time of tribulation, just before Christ’s Coming.
This then is a seventh landmark we can add to our list.
1) Gospel Preached in all the World (Matthew 24:14)
2) Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (Matthew 24:1; Daniel 9:27, 11:31)
3) The Confirming of a Holy Covenant for seven years (Daniel 9:27)
4) The Anti-Christ Revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3−8)
5) The Abomination of Desolation Set Up (Matthew 24:15-20;
Daniel 9:27, 11:31)
6) The Time of Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-28; Daniel 12:1)
7) The Judgement of Babylon, the Great (Revelation 17, 18,19)
8) The Second Coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:29−30; Daniel 7:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8)