Babylon and the Harlot

In Revelation 17 & 18 it describes a great idolatrous city which reigns over the kings of the earth in the period of time leading up to the return of Yeshua. That this is no ordinary city is made clear by Revelation 18:24 where it tells us this city is responsible for the blood of the “prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

Think about that for a moment. This city is the responsible for all those slain upon the earth. So not only does this Mystery Babylon represent an actually literal city at the end of this age, but it also transcends time representing the city or mechanism which is responsible for all the blood shed upon the earth.

That Revelation 17 & 18 was meant to represent more than just a literal city is made even clear because Revelation 17:5 describes this city as “Mystery” Babylon. The word mystery comes from the Greek musterion which means: hidden thing, secret, or mystery. So in others words one might say that this city is the hidden or secret Babylon.

To me this brings to mind Paul’s important warning to the Ephesians where he tells them the real battle for this world is being waged in the unseen realm.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

In my last article Religion of the Harlot we explored why the Bible describes this Mystery Babylon, as the Mother of Harlots. We found reasonable Biblical evidence to show that Humanism and its roots in satanic pride and rebellion were the underlying “religious” ideology, which has given rise to all other religious inventions of men.

Indeed, it was those seeds of humanism with which Satan deceived Adam and Eve that brought sin and death into this world. It’s no exaggeration to say that this diseased philosophy of Satan, this mother of harlotry, is the mystery (hidden or secret) “city”, the gates of which all the bloodshed of this earth can be laid.

Notice in the following passage how Yeshua describes the works of Satan:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Yeshua tells us that Satan was the father of lies who didn’t abide in God’s truth. We learn elsewhere that because he did not abide in God’s truth, he became prideful and rebelled, then unsatisfied with his fallen state conspired to plant those seeds of pride and rebellion in the heart of mankind. Satan’s lie was the knife with which Adam and Eve (and their descendants) committed suicide in a slow death which has lasted to our present generation.

Before we explore in more detail why the Mother of Harlots is associated with “mystery” Babylon we need to have a better understanding of how Satan works his evil and his place in this world order.

In the Light of Darkness
You have to admit the perverse irony of it all. Satan promised Adam and Eve enlightenment and instead mankind was cursed with a special kind of blindness. Paul makes this rather plain in his epistle to the Corinthians where he tells them that it is the “god of this world” that hid the gospel from them which are lost.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:3-5)

Paul had a thing for contrasting the light of God’s truth with the darkness of Satan’s lie. This was not just a convenient metaphor, but rather a divine revelation given to Paul by Yeshua on the road to Damascus. If you remember, Paul (Saul before his conversion) in his zealous self-righteousness persecuted the early church. Finally, Yeshua decided to intervene personally and He gave Paul the true message of enlightenment:

And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:15-18)

From these passages we learn several important truths.

• Satan is the god of this world
• Satan preaches a message of darkness disguised as a message of light (enlightenment).
• Yeshua is the true light
• Yeshua preaches true enlightenment by faith in His atoning sacrifice on our behalf.

The Mystery of Iniquity
Now, let’s once more visit 2nd Thessalonians 2 where it describes the end of this age and the secular humanistic revealing of the “man of sin” who declares himself God. Let’s see if we can put together a few more pieces of this mysterious puzzle.

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away {apostasia = apostasy} first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8)

Did you notice in this passage that Paul explains that the “mystery of iniquity” was already at work and that it would reach its evil climax when the “Wicked” one is revealed declaring himself God? I don’t believe that it was an accident that Paul describes the iniquity that gives rise to the anti-christ as a mystery (hidden thing or secret), because it is this very same iniquity which comprises the soul of Mystery Babylon.

It bears repeating here: It was Satan’s pride and rebellion which infected mankind with the philosophy of humanism in all its evil forms. As we learned in our last article The Religion of the Harlot, it was that evil which has given rise to every form of religious idolatry known to man. But let’s get back to the Bible’s association between this mystery religion and ancient Babylon.

Cities of Iniquity and the City of Truth
Now I know some might think it a bit strange for the Bible to associate a city (literal and metaphorical) with the bloodshed and death instigated by Satan, but contrast this with Paul’s allegorical description of the heavenly Jerusalem as the mother or source of all (believers):

“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Galatians 4:26)

Paul brings even more clarity to the subject in his letter to the Ephesians. Notice how he contrasts “the course of this world” ruled by the “prince of the power of the air” with those who are raised up “together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:1-6 )

So we’ve established a couple of things here. Jesus and His truth is what brings true enlightenment, salvation, and a home in a future Jerusalem. Satan, the prince of this world, is the spirit which worketh in those “children of disobedience” who live in the “lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind.” Or in others words – humanism.

Now let’s turn our attention to a more terrestrial exploration of ancient Babylon Why is this city, of all the cities in the Bible, the one which YHWH chose to associate with the evil and darkness of Revelation’s Mystery Babylon?

The First Babylon
To explore this question, let’s look back in Biblical history to the first Babylon (Babel in Hebrew) in the land of Shinar.

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And YHWH came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And YHWH said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because YHWH did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did YHWH scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1-9)

How many of you have read this passage and in your mind pictured some ancient metropolis? Do you realize that this city was constructed in the days of Nimrod, the grandson of Ham? In other words, after the flood the earth was repopulated by 8 souls. Then three generations later, some of those descendants built Babel and its tower in an effort to reach heaven. Now it is pretty safe to say, even if you believe the most optimistic demographic scenario that there were not an unlimited number of laborers to build this tower in the third generation after the flood. This would suggest that the effort to reach heaven was not literal in the sense that the inhabitants were trying to build a tower up into space, but rather they were building a temple so they could reach heaven (the spiritual realm) by their own efforts.

It is important to note the focus of these early Babylonians, because we get a glimpse here of that spirit which Paul describes as working to fulfill the desires of the human flesh and mind. The focus of those early Babylonians was on what they could accomplish, i.e. “Let us” make a city and tower, “Let us” make us a name. Fausset’s Bible dictionary sums up the actions of the inhabitants of Babel this way:

“Another object the Babel builders sought was to “make themselves a name”; self-relying pride setting up its own will against the will of God and dreaming of ability to defeat God’s purpose was their snare. Also, their “tower, whose top (pointed toward, or else reached) unto heaven,” was designed as a self-deifying, God-defying boast. Compare Isa. 14:13; God alone has the right to “make Himself a name” (Isa. 63:12,14; Jer. 32:20). They desired to establish a grand central point of unity. “

In my next article Conspiracies of the Harlot, I’ll show you that one of the past three centuries most influential secular humanists organizations traced its roots and philosophy back to Babel and the humanistic efforts of its inhabitants. Further, in their own words, I’ll show you that their goal is the same as those ancient inhabitants of Babel, i.e. self-deification.

The Daughter of Babylon
Centuries after mankind’s first attempt to “make themselves a name”, a new Babylon rose from the fallen ruins of ancient Babel. True to the form of its ancient mother, the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar’s day was also a place of humanistic pride and idolatry. Upon the ancient foundations of Babel’s tower, Nebuchadnezzar built his own tower. Interestingly at Borsippa (which the Talmud claims was the site of the original tower of Babel), a clay tablet was found dated to the 16th year of Nabonid. Notice the spirit of humanism in this inscription:

Nebo

“the house of the earth’s base (the basement substructure), the most ancient monument of Babylon I built and finished; I exalted its head with bricks covered with copper … the house of the seven lights (the seven planets); a former king 42 ages ago built, but did not complete its head. Since a remote time people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words; the earthquake and thunder had split and dispersed its sun-dried clay.”

From the book of Daniel, we learn that Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was truly a beauty to behold. Unfortunately, Nebuchadnezzar did not give the glory to whom it belonged and instead ascribed its beauty and greatness to his own human efforts. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride eventually led him to making an “image” (idol) that was 60 cubits high by 6 cubits wide. In an effort that could foreshadow events described in Revelation 13 & 14, Nebuchadnezzar demanded all his subjects bow down and worship this image.

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

…And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

…Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Daniel 4:30-37)

The spirit of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon didn’t fall far from its ancient tree. Nebuchadnezzar gloried in his humanistic accomplishments not giving the glory to YHWH. Nebuchadnezzar’s story had a happy ending though. To teach old Nebuchadnezzar that he wasn’t really all that great, the living God of the Bible, gave Nebuchadnezzar the heart of an animal and he dwelt with the beasts of the field and ate grass with the oxen. This humbling experience eventually led to his repentance and the restoration of his kingdom. You’ve got to wonder if we might not see old Nebuchadnezzar in the kingdom of heaven someday.

Babylon and Lucifer
The prophet Isaiah provides us even more details on the satanic spirit which is at the heart of Babylon in his famous proverb against the king of Babylon. As you read this passage, pay special attention to the pride and rebellion which led to Satan’s delusions of self-deification grandeur. Even if you don’t believe this passage speaks of Satan, at the very least, it is another example of humanism run amok.

That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! YHWH hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, …..

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; …..

For I will rise up against them, saith YHWH of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith YHWH. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith YHWH of hosts. YHWH of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (Isaiah 14:4-24 excerpted)

Tyrus and Lucifer
Similarly to Isaiah’s description of the king of Babylon, Ezekiel provides another example of a human king (the prince of Tyrus), his kingdom, and his prideful heart. But part way through this passage the perspective appears to change to the spiritual realm and a picture of Satan (the king of Tyrus) and his dominion comes into focus. If this is in fact the case then what is being described in this passage is the spiritual power behind its human manifestation.

Ruins of Tyre

The word of YHWH came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord YHWH; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

 

…..Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord YHWH. (Ezekiel 28:1-2, 9)

Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord YHWH; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:12-17)

The Great I Am
There are several more examples of humanistic pride and rebellion and its associated self-deification in the Bible, but I want to give just two more which underscore the satanic spirit which drives them. To do this let’s first look at two passage in which YHWH the living God of the Bible describes Himself as the “I Am” or all existent one. In the first passage YHWH tells Moses how He desires to be known and in the second passage we have a panoramic view of YHWH as the great I Am from creation to the 2nd coming of His Salvation (Yeshua).

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14)

For thus saith YHWH that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am YHWH; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I YHWH speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I YHWH? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in YHWH have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In YHWH shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (Isaiah 45:18-25)

YHWH is the only I AM. He created us and the beautiful world we inhabit. He is the just God and our Savior and there is no one equal to or above Him. With this background in mind, now read the following passages to see if you can find the blasphemous spirit upon which Nineveh and Babylon are built. Notice also how similar Isaiah’s description of Babylon is to the description of Mystery Babylon as given in Revelation 17 & 18.

YHWH will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen…

And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. (Zephaniah 2:11, 13-15)

Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans:…

Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: 9 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. 10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.

Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.

Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame:… (Isaiah 47:1-2 8-15)

The Spirit of Babylon
I hope that this article has illustrated for you the spirit of pride and rebellion, which has energized the deluded humanistic aspirations of mankind from Genesis to Revelation. This “mystery of iniquity” is in fact the spirit of Babylon which rejects the truth of YHWH, and instead sees the desires and will of mankind as superior.

Today, many if not all the cities on this earth have the spirit of Mystery Babylon coursing through their veins. But someday, in the not too distant future, I believe a particular city will epitomize the Babylonian pride and rebellion we’ve explored in these pages. I’ll be frank, I don’t know the identity of Mystery Babylon. Sure, I have my own personal opinion, but I don’t think anyone can know with certainty at this time.

In closing, I encourage you to remain vigilant as the return of Yeshua draws near. Don’t confuse the idolatrous daughters of Babylon with their mother, Mystery Babylon. Remember it is the humanistic spirit of pride and rebellion, that mystery of iniquity, which Satan first introduced to Adam and Eve in Eden, that which characterizes the final Babylon and fulfills the prophecy of Revelation 17 & 18.

This prophesied city will be a place where the desires of mankind supersede the laws of YHWH, where the prideful principles of Satanic “enlightenment” are celebrated and the morals of YHWH are mocked. It will be a place where the righteousness and sovereignty of YHWH and His Anointed are reject for the deification of man.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHWH, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:1-4)

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YHWH willing in my next article Conspiracies of the Harlot we will explore one of the most influential secular humanists’ organizations of the modern era to provide you with a living example of the insidious nature of humanism at work in our world today. We’ll look at its symbols and symbolism to show that in many cases they are outright expressions of Satan’s original lie. And finally, we will explore a bit of American history which will show that this organization was a powerful agent at work from the very beginning of our nation’s founding in an effort to sow the tares of secular humanism amongst the wheat of Judeo-Christian principles which were held by many of our nation’s founders.

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If you found this article interesting you might also appreciate my books in the Prophecies and Patterns series. Subscribes can download the books for free from my website. (Book 3 coming soon) Rest assured I will not share your email address nor will I spam you with endless requests or advertisements. Just every week or so I’ll share with you my love for Biblical history and Bible prophecy. I hope you’ll join the adventure!


Part I – The Mother of Harlots
Part II – The Religion of the Harlot