... how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house ... - Acts 20:20
We are in a significant time of history in Australia and in the nations. The militant, aggressive and violently arrogant and immoral socialist homosexual spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah is intimidating nations and bringing Western "Christian" nations under its sway. Militant Islam, the violently aggressive beast, has also been trying to bring nations on most continents under fear and oppressive rule to its law. In this time it could be easy to be fearful and concerned for the future. It is a time to understand the "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots" (Rev.17:5) and her destiny so that we may be encouraged to persevere and stay faithful to Jesus the Messiah and see the ultimate victory!
In understanding the mystery of Babylon and her downfall one must look at her origins. It is written that after Cain killed Abel that he "went out from the presence of Yahweh and dwelt in the land of Nod" Genesis 4:16. The word Nod means wandering. Cain became a wanderer. His life was now outside of the presence of Yahweh, and this is a place of wandering, a place of "aimless conduct received by tradition" down the generations (1 Pet.1:18). It is a place of no rest.
It is then written that Cain and his wife "bore Enoch. And he built a city after the name of his son - Enoch" Genesis 4:17. Cain named his son Enoch. The word Enoch means dedicated or initiated. Cain built a city. This was a city built by a man who lived outside the presence of Yahweh. The city Cain built was a city dedicated and initiated to wandering. It was a place dedicated and initiated to life outside the presence of Yahweh. It was a city of man; a city of the flesh; a city of indulgence in worldly pleasure, of witchcraft, occult and dark art practices, dedicated to what is wicked and abominable!
In the era after the flood the same spirit arose among the people when they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves..." Genesis 11:4. This city and tower was for themselves and to make a name for themselves. The tower was to reach into the heavens. This was man's attempt to ascend the heavens. Apostle Paul wrote that the "righteousness of faith speaks in this way, 'Do not say...Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)" Romans 10:6-7. Trying to ascend speaks of man, by pride, religion and worshiping false gods wanting to get into heaven. Trying to descend speaks of man accessing the occult and witchcraft for power. These people were trying to ascend by pride, religion, worshiping false gods and by making a name for themselves. This was a city devoted to man building something for himself, devoid of Christ.
The word Babel is the same Hebrew word translated also as Babylon. It means confusion. When God saw all that man was attempting to accomplish independently from Him He decided to do something about it. He decided to "confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech" Genesis 11:7. This caused them to cease building the city and so the name of the city was called Babel or Babylon because Yahweh confused their speech (Gen.11:8-9). At the very core, the great city of Babylon is a city of confusion. As Messiah Jesus builds His assembly, the church, people will see that "God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches [assemblies] of the saints" 1 Corinthians 14:33. There is a people, who walk in Divine order as God's assembly, who are the answer to this confusion of Babylon!
The next major mentions of Babylon are in the context of the great empire which began to rule the world ruthlessly under King Nebuchadnezzar, eventually engulfing God's people about 586 years before Jesus came. But over 700 years before Jesus came and before Babylon became the ruling power in the world, Isaiah the prophet spoke of her and prophesied her destiny.
It is written, "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride..." Isaiah 13:19a. Babylon is called the glory of kingdoms. When Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of the statue whose head was gold, Daniel interpreted the head of gold to be Babylon (Dan. 2:36-37). The next aspects of the statue were interpreted to be other kingdoms that would arise after Babylon. Babylon is the glory of kingdoms in that it is the head from which all the earthly kingdoms arise. Babylon permeates every human kingdom and is the head of all the following kingdoms of this world.
After declaring Babylon to be the glory of kingdoms the prophet declared that Babylon, "will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah" Isaiah 13:19b. The destiny for Babylon is complete destruction like Sodom and Gomorrah! Hallelujah! We can rejoice that the destiny of Babylon, the destiny of all confusion in the world, is that it will "never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation" Isaiah 13:20a.
There is a Stone that was cut without hands that struck the feet of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in the dream. It destroyed Babylon and all its offspring kingdoms so that they were "crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the Stone...became a great mountain that filled the whole earth" Daniel 2:35. Babylon's destiny is destruction! It is the "Stone that the builders rejected" that will destroy the kingdoms that come from Babylon. It is the Messiah and His kingdom that will fill the earth! (Dan.2:44) John saw the proclamation of this victory when he heard loud voices in heaven proclaim "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever" Revelation 11:15.
Isaiah prophesied again concerning Babylon saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground" Isaiah 21:9. Isaiah did not say that one-day Babylon would fall but he saw the eternal reality: Babylon is fallen! In God, it is accomplished! It has been done! What is Babylon characterised by? Carved images of her gods. This is why Babylon is a place of confusion. Babylon is confused because she does not know God. Babylon is a place of idol worship. But the declaration is that all these carved images God has broken to the ground!
Babylon falls when the confusion ceases. Confusion will cease when the "knowledge of the glory of Yahweh covers the earth as the waters cover the sea" Habakkuk 2:14. Confusion will cease when the revelation of the true God is made known and published throughout all the world! The apostle John wrote, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen" 1 John 5:20-21. The way to keep ourselves from idols is to worship the true God, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. He is the true God and eternal life. The revelation of who He is destroys the confusion that is Babylon!
In the New Testament we can see Babylon referred to by the phrase the basic principles of the world. These principles, or elements (an alternate translation), speak of what the world is founded upon. It speaks of the world system where there are no absolutes, only philosophies and opinions of men, aimless traditions, immorality, false gods and fleshly, sensual living.
The apostle Paul tells us to "beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" Colossians 2:8. This is a picture of confusion. Philosophies, deceit, traditions of men and basic principles of the world. What is the answer? "For in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him..." Colossians 2:9-10a.
Understanding all the fullness of God being in Messiah Jesus is the answer to Babylon. Knowing that Jesus is the fullness of God is how to come out of Babylon and out of all confusion and bondage to the world system! We are to realise that when we came into Christ through baptism we "died with Christ from the basic principles of the world" (Col.2:20) and now we are to be founded upon "the first principles of the oracles of God" (Heb.5:12), even on the "elementary principles of Christ" (Heb.6:1), which are the six foundations mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-2. This is so that we can go on to perfection in Christ (Heb.6:3), showing forth another King and another kingdom! Finally the elements of the world, Babylon, will "melt with fervent heat...the heavens being dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat" 2 Peter 3:10, 12.
These elements mentioned by Peter are the same elements or principles mentioned by apostle Paul that the believer in Jesus has died from in baptism! We live in another realm now based on different elements or principles!
The apostle John saw by revelation an awesome company arising. He saw "a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name on their foreheads" Revelation 14:1. They are the company who "bow their knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named" Ephesians 3:14-15. They are the ones who "have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God" Hebrews 12:22. These ones "sang as it were a new song" and they were "redeemed from the earth" (Rev.14:3).
These ones are "virgins" (Rev.14:4b) unto the Lord having been betrothed as a "chaste virgin to Christ" (2Cor.11:2). They are not given to idolatrous worship but remain as virgins unto Jesus, not seduced to have any other lovers. They are "redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb" Revelation 14:4b. God has "brought us forth by the Word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" James 1:18. It also says of this company that "in their mouth was found no deceit" (Rev.14:5). These ones speak the pure word of God and know how to approach the Throne of grace boldly (Rev.14:5b, Heb.4:16). This is the company that sees the confusion of Babylon fall!
After John had this awesome revelation of the company with Jesus the Lamb, he then sees an "angel [messenger] flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth" Revelation 14:6. Who has Jesus told to preach the gospel? Angels or men who are messengers? Could it be this company on Mount Zion is the messenger flying through the earth proclaiming this everlasting gospel? Jesus said "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" Matthew 24:14. He told us to "preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15.
Apostle Paul said that through the "preaching of the unsearchable riches of Christ" all will be able to "see what is the fellowship of the mystery" with the purpose being that "the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church [the assembly] to the principalities and powers in heavenly places" (Eph.3:8-10). Principalities and powers will fall through the preaching of the everlasting gospel, the mystery of Christ being revealed. This gospel calls the earth to "fear God and give Him glory...to worship" the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev.14:7, Eph.3:9). The result of this preaching was another "angel [messenger] following saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" Revelation 14:8. This company of "virgins" unto the Lord has not fornicated with Babylon, the harlot. They are pure, speaking the Word of God, making known the everlasting gospel, bringing the end upon Babylon forever!
To win this battle we must "endure to the end" (Matt.24:13). In this preaching of the everlasting gospel we need to realise that "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" Revelation 14:12. This is the "faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude3), the "apostles' doctrine" (Acts 2:42). Some may die in the process, however, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours and their works follow them" Revelation 14:13. We have a wonderful promise. To win this battle and see Babylon fall, we must be willing to die in the Lord. Even now while we live we are to be "carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our bodies" 2 Corinthians 4:10.
Later in apostle John's Revelation we have the mystery of Babylon revealed. John is told by an angel "Come, I will show you the judgement of the great harlot who sits on many waters" Revelation 17:1. It describes her as the one "with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" v.2. The Greek word for committed fornication is porneuo from where we get the word pornography in English. It means to engage in illicit sexual intercourse, be unfaithful, play the harlot, prostitute oneself.
The rulers of nations have been prostituting themselves and playing the harlot with this woman. They are legislating and allowing all sorts of confusion to do with sexuality and gender, even demanding that males who want to be called women must be respected as such, and vice versa. This is Babylon. A place where sexuality and religion is confused, a place where people do not even know if they are a man or a woman. This woman is behind the pervasive spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah, strangling nations into accepting homosexuality as normal. It is a power that is affecting many nations because their leaders bow to it. This is the "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the abominations of the earth" Revelation 17:5. This woman is pursuing followers of Jesus as she is "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" Revelation 17:6.
This woman rides on the beast of human government, legislating confusion into society (Rev.17:7). The Beast and the Woman will "make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful" Revelation 17:14. We overcome by staying with the Lamb! We overcome by knowing we are called, chosen and faithful. So we are to "come out of her My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive her plagues" Revelation 18:4. Congregations of believers need to come out of her and receive the pure word of righteousness so that they can "have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" Hebrews 5:14. Do not be fooled any longer by her seductions of prosperity and trying to use her to "become rich through the abundance of her luxury" Revelation 18:3. "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17.
Finally an angel [messenger] was seen by John "and the earth was illuminated with His glory. And he cried mightily...Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen" Revelation 18:1-2. It is the glory that will destroy Babylon! So "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her" Revelation 18:20. Understanding that God is bringing the restoration of true holy apostles and prophets in the earth is a cause for excitement. It is through the holy apostles and prophets making known the revelation of the mystery of Christ and His Body (Eph.3:5) that a new society is formed according to Christ and not according to this world. As apostles and prophets are again functioning, the Body will receive this "hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory" (1 Cor.2:6-7). Then the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea and the cry will fill the earth that Babylon is fallen, is fallen!!