Judgment on Babylon

Judgment on Babylon

Scripture: Revelation 18:4-5, Jeremiah 51:13, Exodus 28:36-38
Date: 03/23/2019  Lesson: 12
"In the very end, as today, and as has always been the case, the masses of the people get it wrong. What should this tell us about the dangers of following popular sentiment, no matter how popular?"

The USA in Bible Prophecy - Paper or Digital Download

The USA in Bible Prophecy - Paper or Digital Download

Final Judgment by Bill May

Final Judgment by Bill May
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Hello, friends, welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. We'd like to welcome our online members, and I know there are number of other folks joining us across the country and around the world, part of our extended Sabbath School class. Thus we'd like to welcome our regular members and visitors who are joining us here in person this morning. And even though we're in California, it feels little bit more like Oregon this morning, doesn't it with all the rain? We're glad you braved the rain and are here to study with us. Through the last few weeks, we've studying through the Book of Revelation, that's been our Sabbath school quarterly. And today, we're nearing the end of our study together. We're actually on lesson number 12, so we have one more lesson left on the Book of Revelation. Today's lesson is entitled, "Judgment on Babylon." I'm looking in Revelation Chapter 17, it's the principal passage that we'll be studying.

We do have a free offer for those who are joining us online. If you'd like to learn more about these important prophetic themes, our free offer today is an Amazing Facts study guide, it's entitled, "The USA in Bible Prophecy." And this is our free offer, all you need to do is call the number 866-788-3966, and ask for the offer 181. And we'll be happy to send this to anybody who calls and asks, and you'll be able to learn more as you study this free offer. If you'd like to receive a digital download of the study, you'll need to text the following code "SH093" to the number 40544, and you'll be able to download the study guide, "The USA in Bible Prophecy."

Well, before we get to our study this morning, let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear, Father, once again we're grateful that we have this opportunity to open up Your Word and study the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. And in particular, a very important subject relevant for the time in which we're now living. And so, Father, we ask for Your Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and lead us into a clearer understanding of these important truths, for we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Now, if you've been following our Sabbath School Study Hour, we've been studying the Book of Revelation over the past few weeks. You've noticed from time to time Pastor Doug Batchelor and myself, we've been sort of tag teaching some of the lessons, and we've been having a good time. I know Revelation is the favorite book of Pastor Doug, it happens to be one of my favorites as well. And so this morning we gonna try to do that again, Pastor Doug.

We will and this is not scripted, so Pastor Ross is gonna jump in, he'll give me some kind of signal. And we're gonna go through this very important presentation, and if you've not heard the study on Revelation 17, I suggest you have a little prayer. And you ask God to give you grace to understand this. I know when some people first hear this, it kind of knocks their socks off. So we're gonna start with the memory verse, and the lesson, of course, for today, we're dealing with the Judgment on Babylon. And we have a memory verse, it's from Revelation 18:4-5, and we invite you to say that with me. This is from the New King James Version. Are you ready? "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." Several times it says, come out of her, her sins, her iniquities.

What does a woman represent in prophecy? A church. And so a good, pure, bright woman represents the Church of God, Revelation 12. This is the antithesis of that. Revelation 17, evangelists call this The Sermon on the Scarlet Harlot. And she is drunken with blood, it's not a pretty picture, abominations and plagues. And this is talking about a church that became unfaithful as a bride who cheats on her husband. You find that story appearing many times in the Old Testament, the Book of Hosea. It talks about how God's people have played the harlot, and they were his wife and they ran off with pagan lovers. This happened to the church not too long after the time of the apostles. And so, we're gonna delve into this, and we'll be going from the screen. The first section in the lesson here, it's called, The Harlot Babylon. And, you know, what I like to do, Pastor Ross, is I'm just gonna read, tell you what, I'll read verses 1 through… Why don't you do it? You get your Bible open. Why don't you read verses 1 through… Revelation 17:1-6? This will set the stage for what we're gonna study in the next few verses.

If you have your Bibles, Revelation 17, beginning in verse 1, it says, "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked to me, saying, 'Come, and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead was a name written: Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement."

All right, John is shocked by the scene, and he is marveling this woman as a persecuting power. She's drunk with the blood of the saints. And if you want to find out right away where this woman is, the last verse in the chapter, it says, "The women that you saw is that great city," and that's verse 17, I believe, "that's reigns over…" Verse 18. "The woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth." All right, so, what great city was reigning over the kings of the earth when John wrote Revelation? Rome. Hence here you have a woman and what does woman represent? A church. In what city? Rome. Right there, you can figure out what this is talking about, and most of the great Protestant Reformers were in total agreement that Babylon represented this woman.

Now, before we delve into that, just give you a little background so that we can understand what we're talking about. Babel, Babylon appears way back there in Genesis 11, when they built the Tower of Babel, and it was something that it was manmade salvation. You know, build the tower to save ourselves in cases of flood, can't trust the Word of God. Don't want to be scattered, let us make a name for ourselves, about making the name for ourselves, saving ourselves, work our way to heaven, and so Babel and Babylon sort of become… The word Babel means gate of God. Babel. But it later became known as Babilim, because of the tongues were confused there as well. So, it's one of those words that's got two histories.

Now, when you read about Babylon in Revelation, keep in mind that these are Old Testament prophecies coming to life. I just pulled one here from Jeremiah 51:6-8, "Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone of you save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity." Let us flee, it says in Revelation from her plagues. "For this is the time of the Lord's vengeance, He shall recompense her. Babylon was a golden cup." We just read about a golden cup."In the Lord's hands, that made all the earth drunk." So she's drunken with the blood of the saints. "The nations drink her wine." We just read about wine. "Therefore the nations are deranged." It says the nations were drunk. "Babylon has suddenly fallen." We read about Babylon fallen in the second angel's message, in Revelation 18. So all you're reading in Revelation is drawn from the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, they talk about Babylon and the fall of Babylon. So the better you're acquainted with those Old Testament prophets, Revelation is like a kaleidoscope of those different prophecies.

You know, Pastor Doug, it's interesting to note in the Old Testament, you have, some are referred to it as the tale of two cities. Two cities standing in opposition one to the other, both of them have to do with worship. You have Babylon as mentioned representing false worship, and then you have Jerusalem which is a symbol of true worship. And throughout Old Testament you see these two cities, at times Babylon conquers Jerusalem, at other times the people come out of Babylon back to Jerusalem, and so this back and forth between Jerusalem and Babylon. In Revelation, we have two women. In Revelation 12 is a pure woman, representing the true church, being persecuted by this false church that we read about in Revelation Chapter 17. So the parallels are rather interesting that we find both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It's interesting to note that the church power in Revelation 17 is called Babylon. And we go to the Old Testament, we have a city called Babylon, that was persecuting God's people.

That's right. Amen. All right, we got a lot to cover. Now, what mother daughter teams persecuted God's people in the Bible? Now, follow me. We just read about Babylon, the mother of harlots. I mean, she has daughters. So you got in Revelation 17, a mother and her daughters. Do you remember reading in the Old Testament about someone named Jezebel, who persecuted the prophets of the Lord during a three and a half year period? You know, how long three and a half years is in Hebrew calendar? One thousand two hundred and sixty days. Remember, there's a famine for three and a half years and then Elijah prayed that it wouldn't rain, then he prayed it would rain. She had a daughter named Athaliah, who killed all the royal seed of David. So you got Jezebel and Athaliah. And three and half years of famine, Elijah's fled, he's in the wilderness. Then you go to the New Testament, and here's where it talks about where Athaliah saw her son was dead, she destroyed all the royal seeds. She was a persecuting power as well.

You go in the New Testament, you got someone who came in the spirit and power of Elijah, what was his name? John the Baptist. During the three and a half year ministry of Jesus, Jesus preached for 1260 days. There was another mother, daughter team. You got Herodias and her daughter dance, so that where John the Baptist lost his head. And people often ask me, is there anything wrong with dancing? I say it depends on what kind of dancing, wrong kind of dancing you can lose your head. And so here you got that. Then you get to Revelation, you got Babylon and her daughters and there's a 1260 year period, where the people flee into the wilderness and they're persecuted. This is a pattern that is playing out through history, prophetically. Any thoughts on that?

Yes, it's also interesting to know that in the examples that Pastor Doug gave, in the case of John the Baptist, you have Herodias working through her daughter to influence the King Herod to persecute the prophet. So in Revelation, you have the mother church called Babylon, but she works through her daughters, and eventually persecutes God's people in the last days. So there is that parallel once again between these Old Testament types relating to prophetic things.

Yeah, you've got apostate Protestantism that will influence apostate Catholicism to persecute the faithful during that time period. All right, now the next section, the harlot riding the beast. How does God symbolize Babylon in Revelation 17? We're using some question answer program. Frankly, we comingled our evangelistic slides to make it match up with the Sabbath School lesson. Revelation 17:18, "And the woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth." Now, just so you know that even in Christ time, they looked upon Rome as spiritual Babylon. If you look in the first letter of Peter, 1 Peter Chapter 5, when he concludes his letter, he says, "She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you." What it means, she who is in Babylon? The church? There were some Christians that were in Rome. He's not talking about Babylon, there's nothing going on in there. They're talking about Christians that were in Rome, they called it Babylon, even back then they understood the spiritual analogy of that. Now, this is review. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the mark of the beast, and we said, we want to make sure you understand, what was the view of the reformers regarding Babylon and who was this woman? Universally, they believed it was the papacy or what we would call the Catholic Church.

We're not trying to say anything, people gonna say, that's hate speech, you're bashing the Catholic Church. Some of the finest Christians in the world are in the Catholic Church, they do a lot of great things. We're talking about a system of organization that became unfaithful to the scriptures, that's what we're dealing with, and this is… Keep in mind, the quotes we're going to quote, maybe you can read this one, Pastor Ross, and this is John Wycliffe, a Catholic priest. Listen to what he said.

He said, "We suppose that the Antichrist, the head of all these evil men, is the pope of Rome."

Here's another one by another Catholic priest.

Says, "The pope is the true Antichrist, of whom it is written, that he sits in the temple of God, amongst the people where Christ is worshiped. 'The vicar is in the place of the absent chief, that is such a vicar, but Antichrist.' 'I know and am certain that the papacy is the kingdom of Babylon.'"

Right, now, the former one I read was John Huss, that we hold up there. This one, of course, is Martin Luther. All three of these were Catholic priests, through the study of Scripture, they said, "We have become that unfaithful woman in Revelation 17." They protested it. That's why they get the name Protestants. Here's one, John Knox also... He was a Catholic priest, until he was evicted or excommunicated. "Yea, we do not doubt to prove the kingdom of the Pope to be the kingdom and power of Antichrist." And here is one you want to read John Wesley.

John Wesley said, "He it is that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, claiming the highest power, and the highest honor, claiming the prerogative which belong to God alone."

And, then here's one by Charles Spurgeon. You want to read that?

Says, "Behold upon her forehead is the name, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, the Abominations of the Earth. The Church of Rome and her teachings are a vast mountain of rubbish covering the Truth of God!"

So you don't have to wonder how Spurgeon felt. But this is what all of the Protestants used to preach. You don't hear it very much anymore, do you? They said, you know, we're drifting from Scripture. This is what happened to the church. And I think, and this is from a book, I'll read this one, this is a, just a book called A Cloud of Witnesses. "Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, in the 17th century, Bunyan," John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, "the translators of the King James Bible, the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of faith. Sir Isaac Newton, John Wesley, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, and more recently Spurgeon, Bishop J C Ryle, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, these among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the Antichrist." They all read Revelation 17 and said, if there is a slam dunk prophecy in the Bible, this is it. You can't confuse it.

Now, let's, with that background, let's go on to our next question here. What other evidence from Revelation 17 proves that Babylon refers to papal Rome? Well, now we're gonna go through a list of criteria. And Pastor Ross and I'll take turns. I'll go to A and you can do B. One, she's guilty of blasphemy. Blasphemy means when you either claim the right to forgive sin. They accused Jesus of blasphemy when He said, He could forgive sin, they claim that. Or blasphemy is when you put yourself in the position of God. They accused Jesus of blasphemy when He said that He was God. I Am that I Am. Here's B. Oh, here's some of the quotes, sorry. "Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted, that he is not a mere man, but as it were God and the vicar of God." That would be technically a definition of blasphemy.

Point number B, it says, she is dressed in purple and scarlet. It's interesting the colors, that colors that are specifically mentioned, they were colors of royalty back in Bible times. But if you look at some of the official colors of the papacy, it's pretty clear that purple and scarlet play prominent roles.

The cardinal, what color is a cardinal bird? It's red. So the cardinals always wear red. The bishops wear purple. And you know, in inference we should say that in the priests, in the temple, the priest in God's temple, there was also scarlet and purple. But here, it's talking about unfaithful church is also using scarlet and purple. Go ahead.

Say, she's adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, very wealthy church as I think we all know.

Yeah. I think the Catholic Church is the largest private owner of rare and precious gems in the world. And also, I think they own, largest private owner of silver, not gold but of silver too. She's called the mother. Now, it's Interesting. Do you know the pope, while he's the head of the Catholic Church, he is also the pastor of a specific congregation. It's a church in Rome. It's called the Lateran Church. And here is a plaque that you find today, that is in marble on the Lateran Church in Rome, where the pope is the pastor. It's like, you know, I direct Amazing Facts, but I also pastor a church. Where the pope is the head of a Catholic Church, but he also has a congregation. This is the church and it says here, this is the Latin translation, "The sacred Lateran, mother and head of all churches of the city and the world." So they claim the title, mother. And here's the next one.

But number D, It says, she has harlot daughters who also are fallen. Revelation Chapter 14, it says, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen," and she said to be the mother of harlots. So if a woman represents a church that which would constitute her daughters, would be those churches that are holding to the teachings and the doctrines of the mother church. And so we're talking not only about the papal power, but we're also talking about those Protestant churches that are holding to the same doctrines and teachings that originate from the mother church and are not found in the Bible.

Yeah, if you have a daughter is gonna usually resembled her mother, maybe not completely because the father hopefully had some influence. But in the same way the Protestant churches though they came out and tried to come back to the Bible, they still as one pastor put it, they still had in their bosom relics of popery, they still clung to a lot of those foundational teachings. Says that, "She's a persecuting power and martyred the saints." We read in verse 6, it said that, "She's drunken with the blood of the saints." And so the Catholic Church freely admits that they persecuted. And during the period of the Dark Ages, especially during the Spanish Inquisition, estimates range anywhere from 20 to 50 million Christians and Jews or anyone branded a heretic was killed by the church, burned at the stake, buried alive, drowned, you name it. And it's a shocking history. Karen and I were in Spain last year, and we were in a little gift shop. And we saw in the back of the gift shop, it said, you want to see the torture room? I said, "How much to see the torture room?" It was like $2 or whatever. And so she said, "Sure, we'll go and look at the torture chamber." And so they took us down and they showed us under all the churches all around Toledo, Spain and different cities. They got these places and they got the implements where they tortured Christians who did not comply or they called them heretics. And it was most frightening. You want to read that?

Yes. From the book, History of the Popes, it says, "Great numbers were driven from the habitations with their wives and children, stripped and naked, many of them inhumanely massacred."

All right, it says, "She rules over the kings of the earth." And what's meant by that, this. Any of you ever played chess? If you know, if you played chess that to the right of the king, queen, a game that was developed during the Dark Ages, you always have the bishop, two bishops, one king, one queen, two bishops, to the right and to the left, because that's the way things were all throughout Europe. They had to sort of check with the church regarding any activity. The priests and bishops were the counselors of the monarchies. And they had great power in the church, still has great power today. This is just one picture I threw in of Pope Francis who is negotiating peace between the president of Israel and the Palestinians. I think we all know that Pope Francis inserted himself in helping to open things up for Cuba. Maybe you've heard in the news recently, the pope offered to mediate between the two presidents that are fighting in Venezuela right now. Did you catch that piece of news? And so, it's not just a religious figure. It is a political figure that has influence over the kings of the earth. Go ahead.

Yes. The next one that we have is identification of the scarlet beast.

All right, so how do these beasts of Revelation 12, 13, and 17 compare? So now we're talking about the woman, now it says the woman's riding a beast. Now typically, the one riding is in control. If you've ever ridden a horse and you're not in control, I'm sure you remember that. Any of you ever have some of those experiences where the horse thought he was in control? I'm waiting for your hand to go up, Vickie. But yeah, so typically that means that they're the ones that are in power and there's some similarities that you find when you look at Revelation 12, 13 and 17. We're going to look at those verses now. First of all, Revelation 12, you can read that for us.

Says, "And there appeared another wonder in heaven, and behold a great red dragon, having," here's the point you want to note, "seven heads, ten horns, seven crowns upon its heads."

Now when you go to Revelation 13 next chapter, you can read that.

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the names of blasphemy."

So there's some similarity. Now before we go to the third beast, you know, in Daniel Chapter 7, Daniel's given this vision of the future in beast through years. And lion represents what kingdom? Babylon. And a bear? Medo-Persia. And a leopard? Greece. And then this is fourth beast that it can't find a word for it, just tells its characteristics, but it's not like anything we know now is the exceeding dreadful fears. So you got a lion, a bear and a leopard. Now, when you go to Revelation 13, it says, "This beast comes out of the sea," and it says that "He's like a leopard, a bear and the lion." In Daniel it's lion, leopard, bear. In Revelation it's leopard, bear, lion. Why? Daniel has this vision, he's looking forward these kingdoms. John now has this vision, those kingdoms of Greece, Persia, and Babylon are backwards. So the perspective is exactly as it would be in history. So this second beast in Revelation or the first beast in Revelation 13 that comes up right away, you see, it's a composite of these former kingdoms.

And I should pause here and just mention that… You just interrupt me if you get a thought. I should pause here and just mention that what's happened is through history. When Persia conquered Babylon, Persia embraced some of the things they learned from the Babylonians and kept it. When the Greeks conquered the Persians, Alexander the Great, and the Greeks, they kept certain things that the Persians had learned that work well and they got stronger for it. And, you know, each of these kingdoms reigns longer than the one before it. And then when the Romans conquered the Greeks, we all know, they call it Greco-Roman because the Romans adopted many things from the Greek government, which was very good. They adopted Greek architecture. They adopted Greek learning, but they developed some new things that made them stronger. Their military was stronger. It's like the vision in Daniel of the statue. The top metal is the most precious, but it's soft. Gold is softer than silver. Silver is less valuable, but it's more valuable than bronze, which is more valuable than iron, which is more valuable than clay. Each one of these goes down in value, but they go up in durability as far as hardness. Each kingdom last longer than the one before because it's learned. So they're all building on each other. That's why this beast you finally get to the end of time. It's learned from all these empires that persecuted God's people and has become stronger through it.

Just to add to that Daniel 2 image, you've got the image head of gold, chest and arms of silver. The two arms representing the Medes and the Persians. Belly and thighs are brass representing Greece, and then you got the legs of iron. It's interesting there're two legs and two arms. The two arms are two parts of the empire, the Persians and the Medes and then when it gets to the legs, we recognize that the Roman Empire also consisted of two parts, you have pagan Rome. And then pagan Roman eventually moves into what we call papal Rome. The pagan Roman ruled longer than any other former kingdoms in Daniel 2 in the image, but we find papal Rome ruling even longer than pagan Rome. So again, these patterns are established that we see in the Old Testament now in the Book of Revelation.

Yep. All right, and so now when we get to Revelation 13, we saw in Revelation 12, we're talking about the beast again. Saw in Revelation 13, Revelation 17, it says, I saw a woman on the beast, seven heads, ten horns. Now, who is the beast? Well, we know in Revelation 12, the devil was working through the Roman power to kill the babies. It's what it said, trying to devour the man-child as soon as it was born. It was Roman soldiers that went to Bethlehem to kill the babies. It was Rome that crucified Jesus. It was Rome that killed Paul and Peter. So Rome was that power. Rome imprisoned John. But the devil is working behind the scenes through this power. And so it's a woman sitting on the Roman power. You'll notice, it says, that this beast receives its power seat and great authority from the dragon. And so ultimately, when the woman comes into power, she gets her power seat and authority from the Roman power. They move the capital to Constantinople. They tell the Bishop of Rome, you're large and in charge, and how that fits so perfectly.

You know, what's interesting is a beast in Bible prophecy clearly represents a political power. A woman represents the church. Revelation 17 describes the union of church and state, but it's interesting that the woman, the church is directing the state. Well, that's exactly what history tells us occurred during the Dark Ages or the Middle Ages. You have the church controlling the states, not just one power, but all the powers of Western Europe. The church was dictating the kings and the different battles that were to be fought. So you find the woman riding the beast in Revelation 17.

All right. Amen. What is the meaning and origin of the word "Babylon?" You read in Genesis 11:4, 6, 7, 9, "Let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. And the Lord said, let us go down, there and confound or confused their language, their tongue." Babylon became a symbol of confusion. And this is what happened to the church during the Dark Ages, there was a lot of confusion in its doctrines. "That they may not understand one another's speech. Therefore the name of it is called Babel, because there the Lord did confound or confused the languages of all the earth."

Number six. How does God describe Babylon urging His people to leave? You want to read that one?

Revelation 18:2 says, "And he cried mightily with a strong voice," this is an angel coming down from heaven," saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit." And then the next verse says, "And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Interesting to note that God has got faithful people in this power described as Babylon. In the last days Jesus is calling His people to come out of religious confusion to make they stand upon the truth of God's Word. So come out of her, my people, is the call in Revelation 18.

This happens all the way through the Bible. When it talks about Babylon, it meant the lands beyond the river Mesopotamia. Where does God call Abraham? That people turn to idols, he calls them out of Ur of the Chaldees, the Babylonians were called the Chaldeans. Brings them to the Promised Land, then a wife for Isaac is called out of Mesopotamia. Like the church, the bride into the Promised Land. Jacob goes to get his Wife, he crosses Euphrates again, gets four wives, they were on sale and he brought them back to the Promised Land. Then God's people are carried into Babylon. During the time of Jeremiah 70 years there, then they're called out. But, you know, they didn't want to all come out. They've been there 70 years, they were comfortable.

You read the Book of Ezra. And when he found out how few were willing to come, he says, we don't even have enough priests to man the temple. And he issued another appeal, please come back to the Promised Land while the doors are open. And they said that there would be persecution that would happen to God's people, who stayed in Babylon. After they got out of Babylon, and they were allowed to rebuild the temple, a new king came to Persia that restricted the religious freedom in Babylon, and they suffered for that. And during the time of Esther, there was a decree that was gonna annihilate all the Jews that had stayed behind. So he said, "Get out of Babylon. It's gonna be tough for those that stay behind." So there's a theme in Revelation that you see that's going on.

All right, let's see what we got going next. Babylon is guilty of making the world drunk with her wine. What is the wine? Now, we're gonna go through… How do you know you're in Babylon? How do you know if you're in a church that's in Babylon? What are some of the characteristics? And maybe you want to help me read some of these.

Revelation 17:4 says, "Having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations." Again, wine in the Bible, just to give you an idea of what the symbol represents pure wine or unfermented wine. We refer to that today as grape juice would represent Christ's sacrifice and Christ's teaching, which are true, trustworthy. Fermented wine or alcoholic wine represents false teaching or false doctrine, a counterfeit of the genuine. So here in Revelation Chapter 17, this is a counterfeit wine because all nations are made drunk with the wine. So what are these false teachings that the Bible is describing in Revelation 17?

Now Jesus said, you put new wine speaking of His gospel in new wine cans, said the old wine cans represented the false teachings or traditions that had crept into Judaism. So even Christ compared His teachings to new wine, something, just a footnote here, "The chalice, the golden cup is the most important of the sacred vessels." And this woman who is holding that it's… You know, the Protestant Reformation had a big battle over something called transubstantiation. That the priests claimed he had the power to actually turn the wine which was fermented into the blood of Christ. And the Reformer said, no, you don't have that power. You cannot create God's, it's the symbol of His blood. So that was a big battle.

Another. Well, how do you know whether or not these teachings are part of wine? Number one, the Ten Commandments are not binding. So any church or entity that says, you know, the Ten Commandments, they nailed to the cross, they're done away with, you don't have to keep God's Ten Commandments. Well, that's a sign right there, there's something wrong.

Yeah, sin is the transgression of the law. If you're in a church that said you don't need to keep the Ten Commandments that God spoke with His voice and wrote with His finger, you're in Babylon. And then another one would be Sunday sacredness, that would be connected with the doing away with the Ten Commandments. If a person is saying, well, not only do you not need to keep the Sabbath, but now Sunday's a new holy day, and I always like to come back and say, show me one verse in the Bible that says, Sunday is the new Sabbath. There's not one. So yet there are millions of Christians around the world that are led to believe that somehow we're supposed to keep Sunday holy. And I say, "Show me that commandment." All they have is tradition. They say, "Well, He rose on the first day." I said, "That's true, but where does it say that's the new Sabbath?" He died on Friday. Does that make it the new Sabbath? The Lord's Supper was on Thursday. Does that make it the new Sabbath? So God never changed the seventh day Sabbath.

Point number C, is a teaching of a secret rapture, which we find popular not only amongst Protestant Churches or many of them but also amongst certain Catholic groups, they are teaching a secret rapture. And of course, the second coming if we read about it in the Bible, the rapture does not take place or they're catching away until Jesus comes again. And there's a great earthquake and the graves are open and there is a resurrection. The wicked are destroyed with the brightness of Christ's coming. There's nothing secret about the Second Coming of Jesus. Matter of fact, the Bible says, "It's the sound of a trumpet as lightning flashing from the east to the west." It's a glorious event when Jesus comes, not a secret rapture, as we hear many saying.

Every eye will see Him, it's gonna be a roar. The cities are broken down, as the most visible climatic event. If you're in a church that's teaching the immortality of the soul, nowhere in the Bible does it say that you have an immortal soul. It says that when Christ comes, then this mortal will put on immortality. The Bible says, "God and God only, speaking of in our world, has immortality." So the Bible actually teaches the sinner will die. The wages for sin is what? Death. God said to Adam and Eve, "You will surely die." The devil said, "You will not surely die." Sad thing is many pastors are teaching what the devil said to Eve in the Garden of Eden. So if you're in a church that's teaching that you have an immortal soul that you are God, that's not what the Bible teaches.

Point number E is an eternal burning hell. Now the Bible is clear that there is a hell. A destruction of the wicked, and you can read about that in Revelation Chapter 20 and some other places throughout the scriptures. But the purpose of hellfire is to consume the wicked and purify the earth. The fires of hell do not burn without an end. And that's the confusion. There is a teaching which crept in from paganism that there is an eternal burning place even now. And the souls of the wicked are burning in this place of torment that has no end. And many have been turned away from God, thinking if that is what God is like, if that is what a God of love is like, I don't want anything to do with Him. This idea of eternal torment in a place, that's really not what the Bible teaches on the subject.

Yeah. Not only just some turn away, many people go to church, not because they love God, but they're just afraid of hell. And they're just driven by fear all the time. And so it's what you would call in the Bible, a doctrine of devils that was used by the church to manipulate people. Now, there are a few difficult verses that have been taken to teach this. But there's a lot more in the Bible that says, the wicked shall be consumed, they'll perish, they're burnt up. Never will they be any more. There's no more pain. All things are made new. They're devoured. Mean, you read the whole panoply of verses on the punishment of the wicked. It's very clear.

Oh, one more thing on that, Pastor, like, it's also interesting to note the Bible in Revelation tells us that the devil and his angels are cast into the lake of fire. So it's not the devil in charge of hell, but it's the devil that gets thrown into the fires of hell, and the devil is consumed. The Bible says, "He shall be no more." So even the devil is destroyed by the fires of hell.

Babylon's called confusion. Now wouldn't it be confusing to have a person go right to hell, and yet the judgment still in the future? Why would you punish them before they're judged? Pull them out then for judgment and put them back in. I mean, that doesn't make sense. Confessing your sins to a priest. If you're in a church that says, to find forgiveness, you must confess your sins to a priest. What does it say in the Bible? Now it does say, confess your faults to one another, not priest, and pray for one another. Doesn't say you have to confess your sins to a priest. This inside knowledge has been used by church leaders to manipulate people. It's been used as a power to control. The Bible says, "You can go directly to the throne of grace through Jesus as your high priest. You do not need to go through an earthly man or woman to confess your sins."

Jesus counterfeit baptisms. The Bible says, "There is one baptism, baptism by immersion." And that needs to occur when a person is old enough to make a decision to follow Jesus. Christ was baptized at 30 years of age. People making a decision to follow Jesus are baptized by immersion. The Bible does not talk about infant baptism. It talks about dedicating your child or your baby, but it's not talking about baptizing them.

That's right. And another characteristic of ancient Babylon, God confused their languages, a confusion of tongues. Do we see in some of the charismatic Protestant and Catholic Churches, services where people are babbling? And you don't know what they're saying. And they'll confess, they don't know what they're saying. And you don't find this happening in the Bible. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, and they received the gift of tongues in the Bible. They were speaking in a language that others present understood. And they knew what they were saying. They were communicating the gospel. Jesus said in Mark 16, "You will speak with other tongues." It is not the kind of a paganistic ecstatic utterances that is now going through a number of Protestant Churches and Catholic Churches. If you're in a church where they're babbling and no one know what they're saying, you're in Babylon. So there are some, you know, I just drop that in there to remind me.

There's some notes here, I thought I'd read to you as we summarize the teachings of Babylon. There's a number of contradictions between the Protestant view of Scripture and the Catholic view. Let me go through this real quick with you. First of all, the Bible teaches we're not to bow down to statues. Is that clear? Exodus 20. Catholic Church says that we should bow down. Now, the Bible teaches that all have sinned, except Jesus. Romans 3. Hebrews 4:15. The Catholic Church teaches Mary was sinless. The Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5. The Roman Catholic Church says that Mary is a co-mediator. The Bible teaches that Christ offered His sacrifice on the cross once for all. Hebrews 7:27. Hebrews 10:10. Catholic Church teaches that priest sacrifices Christ over and over on the altar during the mass. The Bible teaches that all Christians are saints and priests. Ephesians 1. 1 Peter 2:9. The Roman Catholic Church says that saints and priests are a special caste within Christianity. The Bible teaches that Christians can know that they have eternal life. 1 John 5:13. Catholic Church says that Christians cannot and should not know that they have eternal life. The Bible teaches that we should call no religious leader our father. Matthew 23:9. Catholic Church, of course, calls the priest father and the pope. Bible teaches not to pray in vain repetition. Matthew 6:7. The Catholic Church says that you can say the Hail Mary or the Lord's Prayer over and over in repetition. The Bible teaches to confess your sins to God only for sin. Isaiah 43:25, Luke 5:24. Catholic Church says, you confess them to a priest. We just talked about that. The Bible teaches that before baptism a person should be taught the gospel and the commandments of Christ, and believe and repent, and... Matthew 28, and Acts 8, and Acts 2. The Catholic Church says, little infants should be, must be baptized or they can't be saved. They'll be consigned to hell, if they die and they're not baptized. The teaching of purgatory, limbo, prayers for the dead are nowhere in Scripture, but they're relics of paganism. The words of Jesus to the Pharisees apply well, when you nullify the Word of God in place for manmade tradition. This is what happened with the growth of this harlot in Revelation 17. Go ahead.

Question number 8 says, what is the second angel's message in Revelation Chapter 14? And we studied the three angels' message earlier. Revelation 14:8 says, "And there followed another angel saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication.'" So one of God's last warning messages, they go out to all the world just before the Second Coming of Christ, is a warning of this religious system that is fallen from the truths of God's Word. Notice it's not only the mother that's fallen, but it's those daughter churches that are holding to these false teachings, as we just mentioned, they're part of Babylon in the last days. And God is calling His people to come out of this religious confusion.

And He doesn't just call them to come out and hover. He calls them to come out of the false into the truth. Jesus said, "Many sheep I have," John Chapter 10, "which are not of this fold, them I also must call they will hear my voice and there will be one fold and one shepherd." So in the last days, obviously there's gonna be two groups in the last days. One's got the mark of the beast. One has the seal of God. There will be a shaking in the last days. People are gonna be polarizing into one of two movements, that's happening in the world today. People are being called back to a biblical Christianity. We believe the remnant church has this message to call people out of Babylon into the remnant church and based on the truth. Now next section in the lesson... This is very interesting, is in dealing with the seven heads of the beast. What do they represent? Well, go ahead for one time.

Verse 9 tells us, gives us a clue. It says, "She sits upon seven mountains." So the seven heads represent seven mountains upon which the woman or the church sits or is located.

I want to hear you read this as time permits.

You see, I wasn't gonna read all of them, I was gonna pass it on to you, do we? But you can see here on the note. It says, Rome was founded in 553 BC. And it's known as the City of Seven Hills. You know, Pastor Doug, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to actually go visit the papacy and I was there in the Vatican. We went up onto the roof of St. Peter's Basilica. And we had a tour guide that was there with us, and he was very excited to show us the seven hills. You could see it from the roof, upon which Rome is built. Of course, he wasn't aware of this passage but I got to think of this verse when he is pointing out the seven heads or seven hills.

And you know, to this day, if you just were to Google, city of seven hills, it would say Rome, is none of that. Now, in your lesson, you're gonna find… You know, we looked this up, our church says, there may be five or six potential valid understandings of what the seven heads represent as kings or kingdoms. First, the angel says, everyone's agreed, she sits on a city of seven hills. That's Rome, hills. But the hills have a secondary meaning as kings. And it goes on to say, "Five are fallen" "one is" "one is not yet to come." Here's where you're gonna see a lot of difference. In your lesson for instance, it says, that you start with Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece then the one that is pagan Rome. One is not yet is papal Rome. Well, Pastor Ross pointed out that... One problem with that is that, it says, that he must continue a short time speaking of papal Rome. Well, papal Rome lasted the longest. And so I think, you said the way you typically featured is Assyria, the five that are fallen, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and pagan Rome. Because John is looking back from the woman, when she's established, pagan Rome's in the background. And then you've got one is, papal Rome was in power at that time. One is not yet to come, the United States which is the second beast of Revelation 13. By the way, that's our free lesson today.

And it's interesting to know but talking about the one that has not yet come, it says, shall continue a short space. All these powers that described as being persecuting powers against God's people. According to Revelation Chapter 13, the second beast, the lamb like beast, representing the United States. Does at the very end of time persecute those who are holding to the truths of Scripture. So it continues a short space. Of course, that's a whole another study. And you might want to go back and take a look at our study on Revelation Chapter 13 about the US in Bible prophecy.

Yeah. Now I just threw this in because there's a spiritual analogy in the Old Testament. When it talks about the seven kingdoms that are obstacles to God's people, don't forget when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, there were seven kingdoms that tried to keep them out. Remember that? That's mentioned not only in Deuteronomy, but even Steven's or Paul's sermon in Acts 13. "When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan…" Now, when they came into the Promised Land, it says, there were seven nations. When Abraham was there, there were ten nations. So it talks about the judgment then that falls on Babylon, which is our next section. If you look in Isaiah 13:19, "Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." When he overthrew them, they never came back again. And the fall of Babylon in the last days in Revelation Chapter 17 and 18, there's no recovery from that fall.

And do you just, I thought, I'll just throw this in here. You notice that it says, there's seven heads, ten horns. I told you, these kingdoms that were adversaries to God's people. You had seven kingdoms. And then in Abraham's day, it's ten kingdoms. Here you find it. "On the same day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. The Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, the Jebusites.'" Y'all try and do that. Ten nations. And so, when you see the seven and the ten that were kind of opposing or blocking God's people to the Promised Land, that's being repeated in Revelation. All right, in Revelation 17:16, you want to read.

It says, "Then he said unto me, 'The ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make a desolate naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire.'" So we're talking about the destruction of this power Babylon. Revelation describes that there will be a time where the nations that once supported her will turn against her and actually bring about her destruction.

Yeah. Now, you know, I think we're running out of time to go into three frogs. We actually covered this couple of weeks ago, so this would be a repeat. Ultimately, three powers will unite the dragon, the beast and the false prophet in the last days that will become a persecuting power. They go to the kings of the earth and help try and form this confederacy, this beast power confederacy to persecute the people of God. Well, the bottom line is, yeah, they're going to organize… Oh, I don't have time to read all this. We're out of time. But how do we stay safe in the last days? It says in Isaiah Chapter 8. "According to the law, according to the testimony and the law, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them." And so as long as we're basing our teachings on the Bible, we're safe. Don't have to be confused with the wine of Babylon. Amen?

Amen.

And we have a free offer, we wanna remind people.

We do. Our study guide today's called the US in Bible Prophecy. For those of you who are joining us online, if you'd like to receive a free copy of our offer. All you'll need to do is call the number 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer number 181. Or you can text the code "SH093" to the number 40544. And we'll be happy to send you a copy of the United States in Bible Prophecy. Did you want to say something about this next quarter or the half?

Yeah, this is our second to last study in Revelation. We've enjoyed this. Amen? And we're gonna enter on a new quarterly talking about family seasons. Be talking about the Christian family. Very, very important. And Pastor Ross and I both said, I don't know if I'm qualified to teach this. But we're gonna be teaching about the Christian family and you can get your quarterlies at your church. You know, one more thing I wanted to mention before we close. We've been talking about Revelation 17.

Amazing Facts has a study guide written by Joe Cruz that you can download for free. You can read it for free online. It's called "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman." It outlines a lot of the material we just shared with you. If you go to the Amazing Facts website, you can find that for free, "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman," and that'll give you a lot more specific information. Thank you very much for studying with us. And God bless you. We'll study His Word together again, God willing next week.

Don't forget to request today's life changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen. And be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want and most important, to share it with others.

On several occasions, scientists have demonstrated that people and even creatures can struggle with depression when exposed to continual darkness. This can be seen every year in the winter months in the Arctic regions. The beautiful village of Rjukan, Norway is situated in the deep valley where mountains block the sun's rays for about six months every year. This, of course, keeps the 3,400 residents in a state of shade, and sometimes depressing darkness throughout the winter. Then the town leaders got a bright idea to help illuminate their village during the murky months. In October 2013, Rjukan installed an array of three gigantic, 550 square foot mirrors on the nearby mountain at 1,000 feet above the town. The computer control and solar powered mirrors track the sun through the winter months and reflect that giant beam of sunshine down to the town square brightening their lives. If you visit Rjukan in the winter months today, you can often see the people gathered or sitting on benches around the town square, bathing in the reflected sunshine. Like those mirrors on the mountain, the Bible says that Christians are to reflect the light of Jesus, who is the light of the world into this dark planet. Matthew 5:14 says, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do we light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it illuminates everybody in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." So, friends, use today to brighten the life of someone else by reflecting Jesus.

Did you know Amazing Facts has a free Bible school that you can do from the comfort of your own home? It includes 27 beautifully illustrated study lessons to aid in your study of God's Word. Sign up today for this free Bible study course by calling 1-844-215-7000. That's 1-844-215-7000.

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