. . . by Noah Hutchings
There are well-meaning and even knowledgeable Bible scholars who contend that all the prophecies relating to Babylon, even those in Revelation, were fulfilled in the Persian, Macedonian, and Hellenistic periods, before the birth of Jesus Christ. But Babylon was not destroyed in a day; it was not wiped off the face of the earth in a fiery judgment within an hour's time; its name is still remembered; and there were no martyrs of Jesus who died in old Babylon. Therefore, we have to look elsewhere, other than the Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar built, for the identity of mystery Babylon of the last days.
We first read Revelation 17:1-7, "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me. Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, 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."
It is generally agreed by all reputable Bible scholars who have offered a commentary on Revelation 17 that Babylon, the "mother of harlots," is an evil religious system. This conclusion follows the symbolism set forth in Scripture. The church, the bride of Christ, is referred to as a chaste virgin. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, was a prime example of degenerate womanhood, and we read in Revelation 2:20, "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols."
We notice that the woman is arrayed in purple.
Purple is the color of royalty, so the symbolism follows that
she is the concubine of kings. She is also adorned in scarlet,
and the color of scarlet on a woman is
traditionally the identification color of prostitutes. The harlot has evidently been rewarded for her services because she is also decked with gold, precious stones, pearls, and has a golden cup in her hand. If you have ever been to the huge cathedrals in Europe, like the ones at Toledo in Spain, the comparative symbolism is striking. In these cathedrals there are billions of dollars worth of gold ornaments and images, and jewels beyond imagination.
Now we notice that the harlot comes riding upon a scarlet colored beast. Predatory beasts in the Bible are used as symbols of empires, and they still are today - the lion, bear, leopard, etc. The symbolism is again apparent. The political system or the alliance that will ultimately produce the Antichrist will allow the religious system to ride along for the support and pleasure the beast receives. The harlot will play her part in deceiving all the unsaved world to worship the Antichrist as god.
In Revelation 17:7 we notice again the words of the angel: ". . . I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her. ..." After the angel described the political beast, he spoke again to John: "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" (Rev. 17:15-18).
There is a jingle which goes:
|There was a young lady of Niger, Who smiled as she rode on a tiger; They returned from the ride With the lady inside, And the smile on the face of the tiger.|
This little rhyme illustrates the relation of the religious system to the kingdom of Antichrist during the tribulation period. The system of religion is destroyed by the Antichrist once she has served her purpose. Some believe the city to be Rome of the first century and the religious system that sprang from Rome. However, this is a conclusion and not a prophetic certainty. So there is still a mystery concerning the real identity of both the religious system and the kingdom often rulers. But the setting of the prophecy is the Great Tribulation, and during this period of seven years that precedes the coming of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on earth, the identity of both the woman and the beast may not be a mystery.
The city of the religious system of Revelation 17 becomes Babylon in Revelation 18. To understand the mystery religion of Babylon, we should first understand that all the gods of the Chaldeans sprang from the legend of Nimrod. In The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop wrote in great detail concerning the evolvement of the religion of Babylon through the founder of Babel. Concerning some of these gods and goddesses we quote from the book Babylon by John Oates:
|"The roots of Babylonian religion lie far back in the prehistoric past. Anu . . . who appears as a shadowy figure throughout Mesopotamian history, originally stood at its head. . . . Under various names Ishtar was later to become the most important goddess through Western Asia. . . . In late Babylonian times the title Bel, Lord, became synonymous with Marduk, who like Ishtar assimilated to himself various aspects of other gods. A second group of gods consisted of the astral deities, the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus. Of these the moon-god Sin was perhaps the most important. . . . Ishtar, goddess of love and war, was, like Shamash, a child of the moon-god. She was Venus, the Morning and Evening Star, and she often was represented riding on her sacred beast, the lion. . . . Closely associated with Ishtar, but whose rank in the pantheon is obscure, is Tammuz . . . whose death and disappearance it was custom to mourn. Much has been written about Tammuz and the mythology associated with his name on the assumption that he underwent an annual resurrection."|
Another principal Babylonian god was Sin, the sun god whose worship was often accompanied with the lighting of candles. There were many other gods in the Babylonian pantheon, and the religion of Babylon included amulets to ward off evil spirits and sacrifices to the demons. Marduk was the same as Baal of the Canaanites, and Ishtar was the Diana of the Ephesians and the Grecian world. All the gods of Babylon can be traced to the idols and gods of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the heathen world. Hinduism and Buddhism are much like, in part, the mystery religion of Babylon.
After Nimrod died, according to the Babylonian tradition, his wife Semiramis bore a son whom she named Tammuz. She claimed that Tammuz was Nimrod reborn, the son of the sun god. This was a satanic deception of the promise of a coming Savior in Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel." The resurrection of Tammuz was, of course, another part of the satanic lie. Semiramis claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived, so the mother was worshipped as well as the child. Many of the Jews in Babylon accepted, at least in part, this satanic religion, and one of the Jewish months is Tammuz. We read in Ezekiel 8:14-15, "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, 0 son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shall see greater abominations than these. "
Concerning the spread of the mystery religion of Babylon, we quote from the book Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow:
"The Chinese had a mother goddess called Shingmoo or the 'Holy Mother. 'She is pictured with child in arms and rays of glory around her head. The ancient Germans worshipped the virgin Hertha with child in arms. The Scandinavians called her Disa, who was also pictured with child. The Etruscans called her Nutria and among the Druids the Virgo-Patitura was worshipped as the 'Mother of God.' In India, she was known as Indrani, who also was represented with child in arms. The mother goddess was known as Aphrodite to the Greeks; Nona, to the Sumerians; and as Venus to her devotees in the olden days of Rome, and her child was Jupiter. . . . In Asia, the mother was known as Cybele and the child as Deoius.
" 'But regardless of her name or place,' says one writer, 'she was the wife of Baal, the virgin queen of heaven, who bore fruit although she never conceived.' When the children of Israel fell into apostasy, they too were defiled with this mother goddess worship. As we read in Judges 2:13: 'They forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.'
". . . One of the titles by which the goddess was known among them was 'the queen of heaven'(Jer. 44:17-19). . . . The prophet Jeremiah rebuked them for worshipping her.
. . .In Ephesus, the great mother was known as Diana. The temple dedicated to her in that city was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world! Not only at Ephesus, but throughout all Asia and the world was the goddess worshipped (Acts 19:27). In Egypt, the mother was known as Isis and her child as Horus. . . . This false worship, having spread from Babylon to the various nations, in different names and forms, finally became established at Rome and throughout the Roman Empire. "
It should also be noted that many of the idols of Diana by the idol makers at Ephesus were made with a replica of the Tower of Babel on top of her head, recognizing the false religion of Babylon and that the goddess was actually the wife of Nimrod. The worship of the pseudo-goddess and her offspring in all nations can be traced back to Babel and the incorporation of this satanic deception into the mystery religion of Babylon. Israel and Judah were warned repeatedly by the prophets of God to reject this prostitution by the devil of the promise of a coming Redeemer, but they continued to follow the false prophets of Baal such as Jezebel. Finally, God allowed them first to be subjugated by Assyria and then by Babylon from whence the religion came.
Isaiah repeatedly warned Israel against worshipping the gods and goddesses of Babylon, but then the prophet pointed to the birth of the true Savior of God: ". . . Hear ye now, 0 house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel"(lsa.7:13-14).
In the fullness of time a virgin by the name of Mary did conceive and bear a Son by the Holy Ghost. Certainly Mary was a handmaiden of the Lord, especially chosen according to time, circumstances, and heritage to bring the Savior into the world to save sinners. She is to be called blessed by all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But there is no scripture in all the Bible that even implies that her birth was of a divine nature, that she was sinless, that she was caught up to Heaven, or that she is to be worshipped or prayed to by Christians. None of the apostles or disciples worshipped her or directed intercessions before God to her. There is not one single word of evidence in the records of the early church that Mary was worshipped or considered more than being the mother of the Lord. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time "(I Tim. 2:5-6).
The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that in the Christian churches of the first centuries, no emphasis was placed upon the worship of Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:
Devotion to our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly, in the earlier forms of the Apostles' Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries."
It was not until the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire that Marilogy became an important part of church doctrine. Because of the Babylonish religion that had spread to all the world, it became easier for the heathen world to profess allegiance to the state church if the main beliefs in the traditions of Nimrod could be incorporated into worship. In 431 A.D. at the Council of Ephesus, the worship of Mary in the form that is prevalent today was adopted as an official church doctrine.
In the book Babylon Mystery Religion, the author states:
|"A further indication that Mary worship developed out of the old worship of the mother goddess may be seen in the tiles by which the Babylonian goddess was known. In deified form, Nimrod came to be known as Baal. The title of his wife, the female divinity, would be in the equivalent of Baalti. In English, the word means, 'My Lady'; in Latin, 'Mea Domina';and in Italian, it is corrupted into the well-known 'Madonna'!"|
Therefore, it is no mystery that the government of Iraq has stated that the rock star Madonna of the United States lives in the heart of the Iraqi people, and why she was invited to reign as queen over the Festival of Babylon in 1987.
© 2000, South-west Radio Church Ministries
This article was used by permission from chapter 4 of the book "The Persian Gulf Crisis"by N.W Hutchings. For more information on how to obtain this book and more of these materials contact:
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