Friday, February 23, 2018

Revelations 18:1-3 Mystery Babylon Extended


KEY TEXT: Revelation 18:1-3 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living."

KEY THOT: As mentioned in my last blog on Mystery Babylon, major reformers like Luther, Calvin and Knox had identified the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) with the Great Harlot. Modern interpreters like the authors of the Scofield Reference Bible and the Seventh Day Adventists have also made the same association between the Harlot and RCC. The Harlot is "arrayed in purple and scarlet". These are the official colors of the RCC priestly garments which are inherited by all her derivative denominations in the mainline Protestant churches. Purple is the color of RCC Bishops and scarlet the color of the Cardinals.

However, as new details are given in Revelation 18 about Mystery Babylon, her identity seems to morph beyond just a religious hub into a global economic powerhouse. The mention that "the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living" suggests that Mystery Babylon is a source of the global wealth generated through its commerce.

Furthermore, Mystery Babylon is also the home of occultic powers and immoral practices: "She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her" (vv.2-3).

Which other city or country fit this description? Later on in the chapter, it is said that Mystery Babylon will be destroyed "in a single hour" (v.10). There has been some suggestions that it points to America, the hub of the global economy and also the major exporter of the cults and occults and also sexual immorality through its movies and music.

Could America (USA) or its cities be some kind of economic offshoots of religious Mystery Babylon, who is the "mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations" (Rev. 17:5)? Is there a spiritual linkage between the religious Babylon and the economic Babylon? We shall try to decipher the texts of the rest of Revelation 18 next week.

Meanwhile, we have to seek the Holy Spirit for further wisdom and revelation as we continue this study of Revelation.

Abba-Father, Mystery Babylon is truly a mystery. May Your Spirit open our eyes to understand this great mystery that will corrupt the nations of the world. Amen.

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