The Revelation of John was not so much written for every generation, but to give understanding for those who would live during its fulfillment. Other than the letters to the churches which existed in the 1st century, which were given as a warning to every generation, the book of Revelation is to the saints that will go through the judgments and the persecutions described in this book, to give them hope and comfort by the ending chapters of victory and the return of Messiah Yeshua. We read in Revelation 18, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!" What is the Bible talking about when it is referring to Babylon the Great? We are going to take a closer look at Babylon because it has been such a mystery throughout the generations, and it seems to be a central focal point of the Revelation. We want to look at how the Babylonian Empire began, but first we need to start with Noah.
Noah knew God because of Adam, because Adam was still alive during the time of Noah. The Bible tells us in Genesis 6:9 that Noah was a righteous man and a preacher of righteousness. But we also know from God's Word that not everyone knew God. These people perished in the flood. From the epic creation poem "Gilgamesh," we learn how man survived a Great Flood. The Biblical account of creation and the flood told by these ancient Mesopotamian religions are very close except for the mention of the One True God. Though the only survivors of the flood were Noah and his family, that did not stop the Evil One from continuing to tempt people into idol worship. Genesis 10 gives us the complete account of the new world after the flood. In verses 8-9 it tells us, "Cush (the son of Ham, the son of Noah) was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar." So we see that Babylon had it's beginning after the flood and Nimrod was the first ruler of what would become a great nation.
The capital of ancient Babylon was Babel, and we know from the Bible what took place in Babel. Genesis 11:3-4 tells us, "They said to each other, 'Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.' They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower (a ziggurat) that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'" God saw this and He confused their language so that people could not come together as one people for purposes of power, and as we see they wanted a name for themselves, not for God. We see here the beginnings of Secular Humanism, the worship of self as a god, for we all now become gods and so we have no need of the One True God.
We will take a closer look at the religion of Babylon, but first let's continue looking at Babylon itself. We see that God scattered the people, the very thing that they did not want to happen. Since the Tower of Babel, people have gone out to conquer lands for the purpose of power and might. Ancient Babylon was about 55 miles south of modern day Baghdad. Babylon was ruled by Hammurabi after Nimrod. Hammurabi was an Amorite—a semitic group of people that settled in Mesopotamia in about 2000 BC. Hammurabi had his own code of laws and religion. We see that many of Hammurabi's laws are still in effect today, such as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and cutting off one's hand for stealing. Hammurabi built Babylon to be a great city with intersecting roads and canals. Hammurabi had the people build many temples to many gods. They built temples called ziggurats. One of their chief gods was called Marduk. Shamash was the name of the sun god. From the "Enuma Elish," the epic poem of this ancient religion, we learn how Marduk becomes the chief god. The people eventually called him "Bel" which means "lord."
The Bible tells us that Abraham was from the town of Ur of the Chaldeans. Ur was a city south of Babylon, which is in the modern state of Iraq and about 200,000 people lived there at the time of Hammurabi. Ur could have been called Urak originally as it tells us in Genesis 10:10, listing it as one of Cush's original kingdoms. We know that Abraham's family worshiped all of the idol gods of Mesopotamia. Abram and his wife left with his father Terah, his brother Nahor and his wife, and Lot the son of Haran to go to Canaan, but they only went as far as Haran, which was on the border of modern day Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, and settled there (Genesis 11:13). It was from there that God called Abram to leave his country and relatives to go to the land that God would show him. It was here that Abram and Sarai left to serve the One True Living God, a God that he did not totally know. It is here that God tells the first of His chosen to flee what came to be known as the Babylonian Empire.
So let's take a closer look at the religion of Babylon and how it got its beginning.
The History of Mystery Babylon's Humanistic Religion
Humanism has its roots all the way back to when the Evil One spoke this in his heart, as we see in Isaiah 14:1-2, "How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'" "How you have fallen," and he did fall. The Evil One, the Devil, Satan himself, now was on a quest to bring people to himself, and to be their god and to have them worship him.
He was there in the Garden of Eden when he spoke to Eve as recorded in Genesis 3:1-5, "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?' The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die."' 'You will not certainly die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'"
Here it is: "You will be like God." Humanism is the belief that we are all gods. At the Tower of Babel the people wanted a name for themselves. They did not build to bring honor to God but to themselves. If we are not living for God then we are living for ourselves, and the worship of ourselves is the worship of the Evil One. When Yeshua (Jesus) was tested in the wilderness, what did He say to him, as we see in Matthew 4:8-10? "Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.' Yeshua said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."'"
The Father of Lies has been telling a lie from the beginning—that we can be gods. We hear it today: "You deserve a break today," "You owe it to yourself," "You earned it," "If it feels good do it," "Experience all that life has to offer." In Genesis we see that the lie he spoke to Eve was that it is okay to question the Word of God. Man cannot trust God because God lies. Satan lied when he said, "We can be like God," "We all can be gods," "If God cannot be trusted then He is not supreme and therefore there are no absolutes, no morals, no truth, and so this now allows us to rebel against God, because God was and is the liar." We are now free from all restraints.
Humanism's emphasis is on secular concerns: "I am the center of the universe." We have replaced the Word of God with science, philosophy, and man's reason. We seek for man's enlightenment and knowledge. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:1-4, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."
Paul also tells us in Romans 1:18-25, "For God does not overlook sin and the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."
And again in 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, "Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."
So what do Humanists believe? Let's take a look at their own manifesto.
In 1933 the Humanist Manifesto I was published. Here are 15 key points.
- It begins with there is no Creator.
- Man is an animal and all life is a product of evolution.
- Man has no immortal soul so there is no future judgement.
- Religion is a by-product of evolution and social development. Secular humanism must replace outdated concepts as in Chrisitanity and Judaism.
- There are no absolute values
- Humanism rejects all religious morals and concepts of "right and wrong."
- Humanism is a religion.
- Humanists are social engineers out to remake the world in their image.
- Humanists want to create a heaven on earth through collectivistic (communist) socialistic utopia.
- In that socialistic amoral utopia there is no room for traditional religion of any kind.
- There is no faith or hope beyond this present world.
- There can be no restraints put on humans in their pursuit for sensual pleasure (hedonism).
- There is an emphasis on living for the moment.
- Traditional religion and religious expression must give way to a global humanistic one world religion.
- Humanists have a collectivistic/Marxist view of economics.
In 1973 the Humanist Manifesto II was published with an updated blueprint for a new One World Order. Even though the manifesto was updated, not much has changed because Humanism was founded upon principles of self-empowerment, critical thinking, reason, curiosity, and doing good for the sake of the other. Humanism requires no authoritarian figures to control one's thinking or motivate one's actions because what is right for me may not be right for you.
Today in the 21st century we now have a Global Secular Humanist movement. With social media and the digital age it has caused the Humanist movement to explode. Its creation resembles a semi-constitution, which enables those who participate to actively engage within the community. The understanding is that this religion (Secular Humanism) has been a powerful force in the world because it gives people a sense of contributing to something larger than themselves. However, the difference here is the shift from supporting a deity to supporting ourselves, based on our own common humanity. The model is as follows:
- God does not exist: human beings do.
- If we contribute to what actually exists, all of us will benefit.
- Helping others will allow others to help each other.
- Humanism is a self-preservation system as well as a system that moves us forward.
Today all restraints are off, and the Humanist feels empowered and free. The global effort has begun to control governments and laws and even has affected modern day religious thought. The years of pushing their ideas in the world of academia and the media with Hollywood at its side, about this new age of "the Human Right" and "Social Justice" and basically this: "All for one and one for all." Socialism and even Communism that they have been pushing for decades has begun to pay off. Even if we realize it or not, Secular Humanism, or should I say the religion of Babylon, has played a part throughout history. We have seen the breakdown of every area of our lives. History has been repeating itself over and over again, but with greater influence as the population has exploded over the centuries. We see Paul's words to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-4) about how the people will be in the end times is totally correct. Our walk with God has become cold. We see, in Revelation 2-3, Yeshua telling the 7 churches that they need to come back to their first love and do the things they did at first. He tells them they are holding on to the teachings of Baal and the Nicolatians (Humanism) and committing acts of immorality. They were tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel (Humanist teachings) who was leading them astray to commit immorality. Yeshua calls it Satanic teaching. He tells them that they are soiling their garments. They thought they were alive, but actually they were dead. Yeshua calls it all a lie. He tells them that they are lukewarm and that He will spit them out. They think that they are rich, but they are poor, miserable, and naked. He tells them that they need to repent. This was for the church then, and this is for the church now.
So let us say this is not something that we can take lightly. The Bible tells us to beware in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12: "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Messiah. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.' Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall."
We see that even with all the miracles and the mighty hand of God that moved in the lives of the Israelites, they still fell. Just like Adam and Eve who walked with God still fell, we can not take for granted such a great salvation. Satan's counterfeit religion has come through the ages, and he has taken down so many before us because he is so crafty. Today, the world has a lot to offer, especially here in America. The church is not even close to what it was in the previous centuries. We have fallen into humanism if we realize it or not. So many people believe that they no longer need the Ten Commandments. So many people are into Social Justice that they believe that they, and not God, need to bring about an equal world. Today the church is seeker-friendly and so politically correct that sin and repentance are no longer preached. We believe that we can not fall from grace, even though we see in the parables of Yeshua that that is not correct. The door will be closed to many who think they are standing but are not. Yeshua tells us in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"
We may go to church or to Bible studies, but do we seek God out for His will in our lives? Do we pray when we need to make a decision to find out what God thinks about it? I have known people who prayed for God to open a door and when several doors opened they believed that it was God opening every door, and so they chose whichever job had the better pay, never considering to ask God His will. This is all Humanism. We must learn to seek God out and to pray things through, and that takes time and even perseverance, waiting upon God and trusting Him. But if we do not, then we rely on our own intuition or our own resources, and that is all Humanism. Whenever we leave God out of our lives or He is not the center of our lives then it is Humanism. When we live outside of His word, it is Humanism. When we start to think that something is owed to us, that is Humanism. We cannot earn anything, because God is the one who gives us everything, and when we start to think differently, that is Humanism.
So we must beware lest we fall. We do not examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith as 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"
So now that we have seen how Mystery Babylon and its religion began, let's go to the Book of Revelation and see just how this false religion will coexist with the Antichrist.
Revelation 13:1-10 tells us this about him: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
This beast is Babylon, a powerful one world government system by which its people are ruled by Humanism. Their king, who is worshiped and considered as God, is the antichrist, Satan himself.
Revelation 13:11-18 tells us this: "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had the power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six-hundred, sixty, and six."
There will be a time of persecution like none other, a darkness upon the earth like never before. We have seen the beginning of this even today with hundreds of true believers suffering persecution and martyrdom every day all around the world. Antisemitism is also on the rise, and more and more Jewish people are finding their Messiah Yeshua as the Gentile age comes to a close. But one day Babylon the Great will come to an end with all those who worshiped the beast and took part in her sins.
Revelation 17:3-7 goes on to say, "Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Yeshua. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: 'Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.'"
Who is Babylon that the kings and the inhabitants of the earth will have this adulterated affair with her? And second, what are these waters by which she sits? God's Word always interprets the Scriptures, and so we should not go outside of that interpretation. The Scripture gives us a riddle.
Revelation 17:8-18 explains, "'The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come. This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.' Then the angel said to me, 'The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God's words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.'"
Many people over the years have thought that the ten horns were ten nations and those ten nations made up the return of the Roman Empire. It is not so important to understand or to know who these ten kings are, or where these seven hills are, or who the antichrist is. These things will be revealed in due time. But what is important is the call to come out from Babylon, because this one-world government along with its humanistic false religion will be judged with everyone who has fallen into her trap.
Revelation 17:1-2 tells us, "One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.'"
Revelation 18:1-8, "After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: 'Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.' Then I heard another voice from heaven say: 'Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given, pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, "I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn." Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.'"
Revelation 20:11-15 tells us, "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
You may think that all of this won't happen in your life time, and yet we already have a global system in place. We have a world court, and agriculture, and a world bank, and a global stock market, and a world army in the UN, and with the internet we have global commerce, and I could go on and on. All we need is for one person to rise up and rule it all.
Humanism is now in the church. Today there are many preachers who do not even believe what they preach. They believe in same-sex marriage, they beleive in abortion, they do not beleive in a final judgment. They believe that God is only love and that He will not judge us or condemn us. Every denomination has made concessions and compromises to their creed of faith. Yes, every denomination. The heads of faith from all over the world have signed agreements, and heads of universities also.
Does your life bring glory to God? Do you walk in holiness as He is holy? Do you live a godly life reflective by the keeping of God's commands according to His Word? Yeshua tells us in Matthew 12:36, "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment." The only way that you can know if you are not under the trap of Secular Humanism is if you have made God the center for your whole life, as He tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 31-33: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . For no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. . . . Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
If you have fallen into the trap of Humanism, repent and come back to your first love, or else as God tells us, "Flee, Flee Babylon," for she will fall, and you will fall with her.