BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND
ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
And I saw the 'WOMAN' drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the Angel' said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the MYSTERY of the 'WOMAN,' and of the BEAST that carrieth her, which hath the SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS. The BEAST that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and go into PERDITION: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the 'Book of Life' from the foundation of the world, when they behold p. 150 the BEAST that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The SEVEN HEADS are seven mountains, on which the 'WOMAN' sitteth. And there (they, the mountains R. V.) are SEVEN KINGS: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the BEAST that was, and is not, even he is the EIGHTH, and is OF THE SEVENTH, and goeth into Perdition. And the TEN HORNS which thou sawest are TEN KINGS, which have received no kingdoms as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the BEAST. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the BEAST. These shall make war with the LAMB, and the LAMB shall overcome them: for he is LORD OF LORDS, and KING OF KINGS: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the WHORE sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the TEN HORNS which thou sawest upon the BEAST, these shall hate the WHORE, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the BEAST, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the WOMAN which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
That the ancient city of Babylon restored is to play an important part in the startling events of the last days of this Dispensation, is very clear. This is seen from what is said of it in the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of the Book of Revelation. At first sight the two chapters, which contain some things in common, are difficult to reconcile, but when we get the "Key" the reconciliation is easy. The seventeenth chapter speaks of a "Woman," and this "Woman" is called
Babylon the Great,
The Mother of Harlots
Abominations of the Earth."
The eighteenth chapter speaks of a "City," a literal city, called "Babylon the Great." That the "Woman" and the "City" do not symbolize the same thing is clear, for what is said of the "Woman" does not apply to a city, and what is said of the "City" does not apply to a woman. The "Woman" is destroyed by the "Ten Kings," while the "Kings of the Earth" in the next chapter, "bewail and lament" the destruction of the "City," which is not destroyed by them, but by a mighty earthquake and fire. Again the "Woman" is destroyed Three and a Half Years BEFORE THE CITY; and the fact that the first verse of chapter eighteen says--"after these things," that is after the destruction of the "Woman," what happens to the "City" occurs, shows that the "Woman" and the "City" are not one and the same. The "Woman's" name is
"MYSTERY, Babylon the Great."
"Mystery!" Where have we heard that word before, and in what connection? Paul calls the Church a "Mystery" because it was not known to the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets. Eph. 3:1-21.
[paragraph continues] That Christ was to have a "Bride" was first revealed to Paul (Eph. 5:23-32), and the "Mystery" that Antichrist is to have a "bride" was first revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos. The name of Antichrist's "bride" is "Babylon the Great." Some one may ask why give to a "bride" the name of a "City"? The answer is that it is not unusual in the Scriptures. When the same angel that showed John in this chapter "Mystery, Babylon the Great," came to him in chapter 21:9-10 and said--"Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride--'The Lamb's Wife'," he showed John, instead of a woman, that great City, the "Holy Jerusalem" descending out of Heaven from God. Here we see that a "city" is called a "bride" because its inhabitants, and not the city itself, are the bride. "Mystery, Babylon the Great," the "bride" of Antichrist, then, is not a literal city, but a "System," a religious and apostate "System." As the Church, the Bride of Christ, is composed of regenerated followers of Christ, so "Mystery, Babylon the Great," the bride of Antichrist, will be composed of the followers of all False Religions.
The river Euphrates, on which the city of Babylon was built, was one of the four branches into which the river that flowed through the Garden of Eden was divided, and Satan doubtless chose the site of Babylon as his headquarters from which to sally forth to tempt Adam and Eve. It was doubtless here that the Antediluvian Apostasy had its source that ended in the Flood. To this centre the "forces of Evil" gravitated after the Flood, and "Babel" was the result. This was the origin of nations, but the nations were not scattered abroad over the earth until Satan had implanted in them the "Virus" of a doctrine that has been the source of every false religion the world has ever known.
Babel, or Babylon, was built by Nimrod. Gen. 10:8-10. It was the seat of the first great Apostasy. Here the "Babylonian Cult" was invented. A system claiming to possess the highest wisdom and to reveal the divinest secrets. Before a member could be initiated he had to "confess" to the Priest. The Priest then had him in his power. This is the secret of the power of the Priests of the Roman Catholic Church today.
Once admitted into this order men were no longer Babylonians, Assyrians, or Egyptians, but members of a
over whom was placed a Pontiff or "High Priest," whose word was law. The city of Babylon continued to be the seat of Satan until the fall of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires, when he shifted his Capital to Pergamos in Asia Minor, where it was in John's day. Rev. 2:12, 13.
When Attalus, the Pontiff and King of Pergamos, died in B. C. 133, he bequeathed the Headship of the "Babylonian Priesthood" to Rome. When the Etruscans came to Italy from Lydia (the region of Pergamos), they brought with them the Babylonian religion and rites. They set up a Pontiff who was head of the Priesthood. Later the Romans accepted this Pontiff as their civil ruler. Julius Caesar was made Pontiff of the Etruscan Order in B. C. 74. In B. C. 63 he was made "Supreme Pontiff" of the "Babylonian Order," thus becoming
heir to the rights and titles of Attalus, Pontiff of Pergamos, who had made Rome his heir by will. Thus the first Roman Emperor became the Head of the "Babylonian Priesthood," and Rome the successor of Babylon. The Emperors of Rome continued to exercise the office of "Supreme Pontiff" until A. D. 376, when the Emperor Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. The Bishop of the Church at Rome, Damasus, was elected to the position. He had been Bishop 12 years, having been made Bishop in A. D. 366, through the influence of the monks of Mt. Carmel, a college of Babylonian religion originally founded by the priests of Jezebel. So in A. D. 378 the Head of the "Babylonian Order" became the Ruler of the "Roman Church." Thus Satan united
Rome and Babylon
In One Religious System.
Soon after Damasus was made "supreme Pontiff" the "rites" of Babylon began to come to the front. The worship of the Virgin Mary was set up in A. D. 381. All the outstanding festivals of the Roman Catholic Church are of Babylonian origin. Easter is not a Christian name. It means "Ishtar," one of the titles of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, whose worship by the Children of Israel was such an abomination in the sight of God. The decree for the observance of Easter and Lent was given in A. D. 519. The "Rosary" is of Pagan origin. There is no warrant in the Word of God for the use of the "Sign of the Cross." It had its origin in the mystic "Tau" of the Chaldeans and Egyptians. It came from the letter "T," the initial name of "Tammuz," and was used in the "Babylonian Mysteries" for the same magic purposes as the Romish church now employs it. Celibacy, the Tonsure, and the Order of Monks and Nuns, have no warrant or authority from Scripture. The Nuns are nothing more than an imitation of the "Vestal Virgins" of Pagan Rome.
As to the word "Mystery," the Papal Church has always shrouded herself in mystery. The mystery of "Baptismal Regeneration"; the mystery of "Miracle and Magic" whereby the simple memorials of the Lord's Supper are changed by the mysterious word "Transubstantiation," from simple bread and wine into the literal Body and Blood of Christ; the mystery of the "Holy Water"; the mystery of "Lights on the Altar," the "Mystery Plays," and other superstitious rites and ceremonies mumbled in a language that tends to mystery, and tends to confusion which is the meaning of the word Babylon.
All this was a "Mystery" in John's day, because the "Papal Church" had not as yet developed; though the "Mystery of Iniquity" was already at work (2. Thess. 2:7), but it is no longer a "Mystery" for it is now easy to identify the "Woman"--"Mystery, Babylon the Great," which John described, as the "Papal Church."
In Rev. 17:4 we read that the "Woman" "was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a 'Golden Cup' in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornications."
Now who does not know that scarlet and purple are the colors of the Papacy? Of the different articles of attire specified for the Pope to wear when he is installed into office five are scarlet. A vest covered with pearls, and a mitre, adorned with gold and precious stones was also to be worn. How completely this answers the description of the Woman's dress as she sits upon the Scarlet Colored Beast.
We are also told that the Woman was "drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus." While this refers more particularly to the martyrs of the time of Antichrist, yet who does not know, who has studied the history of the Christian Church for the past nineteen centuries, that this is true of the Papal Church during those centuries? One has only to read the history of the persecutions of the early Christians and more particularly the story of the "Inquisition" in Papal lands, to see that the Papal Church has been "drunk" with the blood of the Saints.
The fact that the Woman sits on a "Scarlet Colored Beast" reveals the fact that at that time the Beast (Antichrist) will support the Woman in her ecclesiastical pretensions, or in other words, the Woman, as a "State Church," will control and rule the State, and her long dream of world-wide Ecclesiastical Supremacy will at last be realized, for John tells us that "the waters which thou sawest, where the 'Whore' sitteth, are Peoples, and Multitudes, and Nations and Tongues." That means that after the "True Church" (the Bride of Christ) is taken out of the world the "False" or "Papal Church" (the bride of Antichrist) will remain, and the professing body of Christians (having the "form of Godliness without the power") left behind, will largely enter the Papal Church, and it will become the Universal Church. But this will continue for only a short time for the "Ten Kings" of the "Federated Kingdom," finding their power curtailed by the "Papal System" will "hate The Whore," and strip her of her gorgeous apparel, confiscate her wealth (eat her flesh) and burn her churches and cathedrals with fire. Rev. 17:16.
This will occur at the time the worship of the Beast is set up, for Antichrist in his jealous hate will not permit any worship that does not centre in himself.
The Beast upon which the Woman sits is 'introduced to show from whom the Woman (the Papal Church) gets her power and sup-port after the True Church has been "caught out," and also to show that the Beast (Antichrist) and the Woman (the Papal Church) are not one and the same, but separate. Therefore the Papacy is not Antichrist. For a description of the "Scarlet Colored Beast" see the description of the "Beast out of the Sea" of chapter 13:1-10.
From this foreview of the Papacy we see that the Papal Church is not a dying "System." That she is to be revived and become a "Universal Church," and in doing so is to commit fornication with the kings of the earth, and that she shall again be "drunk with the blood" of the martyrs of the Tribulation Period. The meaning of chapter seventeen of the Book of Revelation is no longer a Mystery; the prophetic portrait of the Woman there given corresponds too closely with the history of the Papal Church to be a mere coincidence.