Babylon the Great – The Church System
Could it be? Is it possible that the church, the institutional system, is an aspect of Babylon the Great spoken of in Revelations? This idea is a hard truth to swallow, but our spirits live on truth because it establishes our beliefs and thus our faith. Galatians 3:11 Faith isn’t worth much if it is in the wrong truth, therefore our duty is to seek out the truth.
1. Babylon the Great is the Mother of Harlots
Revelation 17:5 MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Babylon symbolizes a woman who played the harlot against God. The only ones who can play the harlot are those who profess to be united to God in the first place. You can’t cheat if you aren’t in a relationship.
Throughout the Word, God calls His people a harlot when they break their covenant with Him; they have left Him in their heats to follow other gods, other gospels, other Jesus’, other truths, while still carrying His name. He abolished the old covenant and established a new. Because Revelations talks about a time in the future, then the harlotry must be in regards to the new covenant, the only active one that means anything.
2. This woman is also referred to as the great city.
The great city is Jerusalem. Jerusalem symbolizes where God’s people reside. Matt 23:37
Revelation 17:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.
Revelation 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
We begin to see that this woman is headed toward a downfall so much so that she will become like Egypt and Sodom and God will deal with her as He dealt with them.
3. The woman is drunk with the blood of the saints.
Revelation 17:6 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.
Those who drink the blood of the saints are of the church.
We have this example in the Pharisees. They called themselves children of Abraham; Jesus called them children of the devil. Talk about a mistaken identity. What happened with people in the church in Jesus’ day is happening today. The church started out in accordance to God’s ways, but then went its own way. Even to murdering the prophets, sound familiar? Matthew 23:31, 35, 37 John 8: 44 We can kill someone physically, but another way to kill them is the truth they stood for. We kill it by twisting it and not heeding it making it void and meaningless.
John marveled with great amazement, this truth is indeed shocking.
4. Babylon the Great has become a dwelling place of every foul thing.
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.
The great city, the woman, played the harlot and turned symbolically into Babylon. Her downfall is so severe that she becomes a dwelling place of demons, where no good thing dwells.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
Babylon can’t be the world. The world has always been full of demons and lies because it is under the devil’s control. Only God’s people are separated out. So the world couldn’t become a dwelling place, it already is one. Therefore what has become inhabited is somewhere that wasn’t before – where God’s people dwell, church system. Furthermore, He is telling us to come out of something. We can come out of the church system.
Church system (institution of God’s people) = Jerusalem = the great city = Harlot = Babylon the Great
Because of what the church system becomes God is going to destroy it. He warns His people who can still hear His voice to get out while they can. If you look at the church, it isn’t headed in a good direction. There is a disconnect between the Word and what we see in the churches. We like to rationalize and justify the downward spiral of the church, but the Word foretells its future and the Word stands forever.
Revelation 18:4 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
It has grown so corrupt with deception and lies that even the elect are going to have trouble standing firm on the truth. Matthew 24:24 Think about how deceptive that must be? Churches are incredibly persuasive. Religious leaders have a power over people because people trust them. Just ask the lobbyists. They led the masses to crucify Jesus who days before they were praising. They led the people of Lystra who were worshiping Paul and Silas to turn to stone them leaving them for dead. Acts 14 Never underestimate the persuasion they have. God knows their influence and who is behind them that is why He tells us to get out. It isn’t safe. We have to trust Him, putting aside our justifications.
Psalm 74:3-4 Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place; They set up their banners for signs.
Right before this verse the writer talks about Mount Zion which is a name to describe God’s people in the future. Hebrews 12:22-23. The sanctuary, the meeting place of God’s people is going to suffer perpetual desolation. A New Jerusalem will take its place. Revelation 21:2 It seems that time is upon us. He wants His people out of the old so they don’t receive her plagues
You may think now is not the time, but when? Who will you listen to tell you to get out? If you don’t and decide to stay a little longer, I pray your teacher is God and you can clearly hear His voice above all the others. Deception and lies are only going to continue to grow worse. 2 Timothy 3:13. Many are going to go astray. Things aren’t going to get better. If we think we or our church is above deception then we are most deceived. The church served a purpose for a time, but like most man-made institutions it has gone sideways. Ezekiel 8
Where do we go? To Him, to His Word. He will be our Shepherd, He will write His truths on our heart, He will teach us, guide us, and protect us. He has given us all we need, His Word, Himself, and when you get there you will find others.
People are leaving the church because they feel something is amiss. Could it be that they have heard His call in their hearts? Those that know their Shepherd’s voice will follow Him.
There is much to say on this topic but I pray this encourages you to search out His truth from His pure Word.