(Part 1, yesterday)
The kingdom opposing the Church is given a name: Babylon. Which may not mean much to us, but to the Jewish Christians reading the book of Revelation in the first century it would, because Babylon had destroyed their country in 587 BC and dragged them off as captives. Everything they’d held dear as Jews, their city, the temple, their traditions, rituals, teachings – all wrecked because of Babylon.
And now it was being revealed 600 years later that Babylon had risen from the ashes of its destruction by God (Jeremiah 25:12-14), and this time to wreck the Church. And like the Babylon of old it would become THE power in the world too, described in Revelation 17:5 as “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the Earth.”
And this awful Babylonian prostitute “woman,” verse 6, would exist for one reason, to become “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” Its one purpose and goal is to suck the life out of the Church and that way eradicate anything to do with Jesus.
That being the case, how does Babylon do it? Is it by open warfare against Christians, like Saul chasing down Christians far and wide and having them arrested? Well, yes, because that’s happening today too, but violence and persecution haven’t been Babylon’s main weapons of choice in its attempt to destroy the Church.
Its main weapon and greatest strength, according to Revelation, is its ability to seduce. She’s the “mother of prostitutes” – and she’s very good at it too, “For ALL the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her immorality. Kings have committed adultery with her, and because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich by her,” Revelation 18:3.
It makes Babylon easy to recognize, because the culture it creates is obsessed with two things: “luxury” (whatever money can buy), and “immorality” (perverted sexual fantasy). Which isn’t surprising because, verse 2, Babylon is “a home for demons and every evil spirit.” It’s through a demonically driven culture, therefore, that we see Babylon’s main weapon of choice. So has it worked? And more to the point, is it still working today? (Part 3 tomorrow…)