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SOBER REVELLING IN THE REVELATION OF JOHN
(Advertiser, p. 26, July 23, 2001)
n Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, we considered some of the thrilling majesties of the word of God in Revelation 13-14. Now we have more scope to ponder more data and detail in that writing from God as, like an aeroplane in an atmosphere of sunny brilliance, we survey a landscape not of space, but of time, former time.
That is, it is was long ago that the picture was given; but it is NOW that it is exhibited. No more in mere portraiture, as on the wall of some Celestial Art Gallery (the word of God, which exhibits truth), now it is to be seen on the rural landscape itself. It is happening.
No more do the figures merely feature a tableau, a vignette; we see them actually move. This is not unnerving, since God is like that. He tells the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). One has just to learn that this is the way that it is, part of the wonder of life. It is NOT any part of the wonder of mere biological life, physiological life, life in flesh; it is part of the wonder of life which is seated in the class-room of God, willing to be educated by Him, who has spoken, and now conveys His message in the laboratory of history, with as much detail as you care to find!
Let us then return to Revelation 13, having studied it somewhat in the Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, and bearing in mind what we learned in that chapter, via the hyperlink above.
We shall be looking at verses
5, 6 and 7 in the overall context which was developed in Ch. 4 and is now
to be background as more of the island of Patmos vision is scrutinised.
REVELATION 13, Verse 5: the SCOPE of Babylon
‘Babylon’, as shown before and seen in SMR pp. 946ff., is of course Rome.
As also shown in Ch. 4 as above, and in SMR pp. 729 as well as in Biblical Blessings Ch.2, it is far more than that. It is however decidedly Rome which has this geographical indication. It is assuredly Rome which is depicted on its 7 hills. Yet it is a MYSTERY. This aspect too, we have seen, announces itself concerning the ACTUAL Babylon, the city condemned in Jeremiah 50-51as in Isaiah 14, in the gravest terms; for its obscene spiritual lust and self-confidence, its religious arrogance and intrusion, profusion and contusion was in its own day*1, already proverbial.
We recall of course Nebuchadnezzar and his golden statue commanded to be worshipped (Daniel 3); Belshazzar and his wanton use of the captured Jewish temple gold and silver utensils, for a pagan banquet, and the famed writing on the wall, by the hand that traced the destiny of doom apportioned to his reign, which came with undisturbed speed, and unexpected ease (Daniel 5).
We remember the daring of making a mere man an object of worship, and their result! (Daniel 4); with the fostered follies of subjecting the very symbols of truth, torn from the Temple, to other uses, and to making the very things that stood for the mercies and ways of God, the dumb monuments to sacrilegious harassment, even to the point of defiling such symbols as if they were merely for the abuse of common minds in deplorable idolatry, the gods of nature (Daniel 5:4). In this way, the King and his guests on that occasion were very like those bodies, still somehow called churches, which openly worship 'nature' , personifying it and giving it wit and foresight quite often, as if any God that was there, was lurking in the shadows, perhaps only to pleased to be acknowledged at all.
Nor is this all. The same, as we shall shortly see, DV, is true of the way in which MORALS, the nature of morals, is made a community derivative, just as life is made a nature derivative, in stark contradiction of all reason, in allied desecration of truth. This too is being found in ‘church’ bodies.
Not to repeat these things but now to notice the prophetic intimacies in their midst, like orchids amid a bower of oaks by a living stream, is our current intention. The point is simply this, as we move at this time, that the CURRENT situation on morals and gods, is very like that in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, that first of the list of successive empires prophetically noted in advance by Daniel in Chs. 2, 7 and 8 (cf. Biblical Blessings Chs. 2, 6, SMR pp. 886ff., Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 87, *1). Further, that which was predicted is now actual, and what is more, what is to follow rushes like hungry dogs, at the heels.
This Empire of Babylon, the literal one, the one which has even contributed its name to the phenomenon for which it held such fame, is then in these cardinal respects just like our own day, but in one element there is more to come, before the mirror is complete. There is an obvious contemporary effort to make just ONE name to overcome the ignominy that resulted from the wounded character of the Roman Empire (noted in Revelation 13:3). This is in the direction that mirrors and extends the impact of the information given in Daniel 2, concerning this last of the 4 empire 'beasts'. There in Revelation we find that the fatal wound is healed when the end comes.
Indeed, the healing of 13:3 becomes a ground for the idolatrous rejoicing of the people in the beast, found in 13:4-5.To this hideous feature we shall return; but the UN, European Union, Unification of Religions program, Earth Charter, World Council of Churches, International Court of Justice in The Hague, and the like are all looking as President Bush I (George) declared, for a New World Order.
In THAT day of Babylon itself, of old, the ONENESS to be found lay in this, that the EMPIRE ruled. It spat or spoke and it was to be done.
What however was the case with the fourth Empire of Daniel's lists in Chs. 2 and 7, the last Empire in the select list watching the highway to the End ? What of that which was to rule when the first three were no more : the Babylonian, Persian-Median and the Greek (with Alexander the Great from Macedonia) with its evil flower in Antiochus Epiphanes ? What was to ensure when that lavish outpouring from hell had done its task, found its rebuke and the world rolled on a while ?
It is Daniel 8 which gives the specialisation on Antiochus Epiphanes (cf. Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 10), in that quadrant formed in Syria, of the broken Grecian Empire, resulting from the division of Alexander's Empire. It is however a new thing which comes last (cf. Daniel 7:7-8), of calamitous strength, ferocity and trampling power; and that historically is the ROMAN EMPIRE, which conforms to all the predictions of Daniel perfectly, just as does the death date of the Messiah (SMR pp. 886ff., 943, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 87, End-note 1), and indeed every datum whatsoever.
Amidst the fulfilments, there was to be a PROBLEM, to use the US usage, not with the prophecy, but for the Empire itself. This too is predicted. What was that problem ? It was a certain weakness, a fragility, a degree of brokenness (expanded in the Septuagint rendering) , an imperial datum found in Daniel 2:42, which gives the same scenario in a vertical format, not there in successive 'beasts', but instead in the changing nature of the head to toe specifications for a statue. In that case, going down is the mode of going on in history! Yes, as the point is expressed in Revelation 13:3, it is a mortal wound which it would long wear: from Daniel, it becomes a very phase of its nature.
What is the fulfilment of this, and what is this fourth imperial characteristic found to be, now that history has happened ?
It is this. When Rome fell in 410 A.D., having already sought to adopt Christianity in the days of Emperor Constantine in the preceding century, something from which the next Emperor, Julian the Apostate had himself turned, it was still the site of a religion: both that of Rome and of Christ. The former, Rome’s old pagan religion, had a high priest and a sacrifice, and in time, the official deviance about the Roman version of Christianity, which meant having one bishop above all the rest, as Gregory I rightly termed antichristian (cf. SMR p. 914), this was brought into that official perversion of truth, that was to become Roman Catholicism, rightly Roman, but wrongly Catholic.
Catholic was PRECISELY was it was not, by virtue of its name and its pretension. For Rome’s version of Christianity, the mass sacrifice in time became what the papal (or high priestly) idea also exhibited, mere conformity to paganism, irreformable distortion of Christianity which has of both, ONLY one, and that one, ONLY divine with NO admixture of anything of sin, anything of the fleshly contrivances of man, being deity, God manifest. As a sacrifice, it is ONLY past, done ONLY ONCE and done by none but Him whose status is that of the Eternal God, without beginning or end, incarnate in the flesh, who does it of Himself, and at the hands of no man (Hebrews 1-10, John 10 cf. SMR pp. 1042-1088H).
This new POWER of militancy in religion, anomalously calling itself Christian, was for all that inadequate. It lapsed and lagged. The Empire of the West, fell in 410 A.D.. That of the East did likewise in 1453. Meanwhile, in the 8th. Century A.D., the Franks took up the new unity under Peppin and Charlemagne as the first millenium grew older; but this was not ROME, where the bishop of ROME lived and had his arrogant being. There was a mortal wound in the imperial structure, accordingly.
Even though it was soon to declare UNAM SANCTAM (q.v.), asserting his right to rule all churches AND princes, the papacy was still not self-sufficient, even as a wholly worldly enterprise, LIKE BABYLON, using religion with great freedom, and combining many things profane with those better. It had to DEPEND on an EMPEROR, not of Rome, now, since that was "wounded" (Revelation 13), and the city had successfully been invaded by Goths, Visigoths and Vandals.
The TENSION between pope and emperor was one of the gravely comic phenomena of the Middle Ages, sometimes called the investiture contest. YOU do not get crowned without ME, says the Pope. YOU do not get obedience from your people if I tell them you are a heretic, storms the Pope. This uneasy tension ruined the devilish advocacy of ONE WORLD without God, run by men in the NAME of religion. Not merely was there tweedledum, there was also tweedledee. It was a bifurcation, unstable and insecure. It did much evil, but under various forms of duress and uncertainty.
It is this which is to be "healed", this deadly wound to the very imperial character of empire, aspiring to rule the world (as with Rome EXPLICITLY and CLEARLY and without apology), as is predicted to occur in Revelation 13:3. It took over one and one half millenia for this healing, and it is what is coming quickly now (cf. SMR pp. 720ff..) The irony for Rome itself, of course, is that the healing is also to be a ruin; for depicted in Revelation 17 as the harlot on the back of the beast, vaingloriously adorned in her ceremonies and ‘beauty’, is the fact that the beast with its various kings will grow weary of the harlot, indeed actually ‘hate’ her, and spoil and burn her. The fire appears in Revelation 18 with the appropriate emotions for such an end to such a being as the harlot had become.
The Babylon phenomenon however continues, ex-harlot, with ‘pure’ beast (cf. Revelation 17:11). The BEAST HIMSELF is the last integumental, basic exposition. It is no longer that king, this or that neck, head: now the beast does it in person. This of course is wholly agreeable with the ‘man of sin’ in II Thessalonians 2, with the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 7:8 and the antichrist of I John 2:18.
In other words, the harlot phenomenon, this ‘lady’ of uncertain morals whose pleasure has been to wallow in the blood, indeed drink it, of the slain saints, she is an additive of some force and long continuance; but she goes before Babylon, Mystery Babylon is quite done. The kings have "one hour" with the beast, before the beast’s own time comes. There is a fling before the finish. The harlot was serviceable for the kings (in that, figuratively, they had "committed fornication" with her, thus combining their various passions for power and rule in different dimensions, the secular, the spiritual). This she is no more. The beast will ‘go it alone’.
The end of the PROBLEM for the fourth kingdom is thus the introduction to the end of the 4th kingdom itself! Its clay and iron did not mix (Daniel 2:43).
Thus the SCOPE OF BABYLON is first to be found by considering what Babylon was. It is then seen in what the other empires sought to do, each having various aspirations of a religious kind (Alexander the Great evidently having much spiritual entrancement in Egypt in a religious and formal setting), down to Rome. Rome ravaged Jerusalem under Pompey, again under Titus when Vespasian was Emperor. Later it entirely ruined and made a wrack of the city of Jerusalem, and the slaughter was in the tens of thousands. It used divisions in the carnal and corrupt priesthood of Jerusalem, just as Antiochus Epiphanes had sought to divide the people in his day, and rule in their midst. Communism often uses the same idea.
Since this Roman Empire is the last stated, we see its continuance through Rome to State Established Christianity in the 4th century A.D., to Emperor related Domineering Religion in the Middle Ages, and then to Napoleon and his Concordat with Rome, Hitler and his (cf. SMR p. 906), the European Union and its increasing power, one not yet in any subjection to Rome, except for the Concordats which for so long ruled France and Spain, and for a time Germany.
There is an uneasiness. The Pope is not yet as he was even in the Middle Ages, sitting with some state on the back of the Empire. In fact, however, Europe following the 1957 Treaty of Rome (SMR pp. 732B, 930, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4), is growing in its flavour and fulness. First an economic venture, as many foresaw, it has increasingly become an historic alliance, a judicial centre, a parliamentary ruler and now an arbiter of many things, not least in the Middle East. It is being established as we have seen, in political, military and financial aspects with the number ten appearing repeatedly in these dimensions, one after the other, as if to nudge us awake, as the pitter-patter of little feet brings the viewers to the scene.
This is as it was to be (Revelation 13: 1, Daniel 7:7-8,20). This is as it is.
then is included in Mystery Babylon ? First and foremost it is Rome itself,
on its seven hills. Let us however, add the extract below to SMR p. 729,
as we consider its full, overall, spiritual, persistent SCOPE over time,
even though it is in Rome it ends and has had it these millenia as to TYPE
and SUMMIT. Thus, in Biblical Blessings Ch. 2, pp.
24ff., the matter is covered and is here extracted:
EXCERPT FROM BIBLICAL BLESSINGS Ch. 2
SINCE Babylon is a "MYSTERY" (Revelation 17:5), this means it has a rich symbolic and actual depth in its connotation. In fact, as you see in Jeremiah 51, esp. 33ff., and Isaiah Chs.13-14, 47, there is a horror of a spiritual harlot about her, a wicked and cruel minx: indeed, a hollow self-hallowed lust and arrogance garlands this empire and its pretensions, with all its idols and its complacency. From this it gains its symbolic significance. Further, this above all: Babylon had arisen to slaughter and seize Judah, demolish the temple, disperse its people for 70 years; until Cyrus would release them; and it showed much cruelty in the process. Was this not deserved by Judah ? Certainly. Does this however make Babylon, the "judge", immune from judgment for the manner of her own actions ? Far from it.
Listen to Jeremiah 51:49: "As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall."
"My people, " says the Lord (Jeremiah 51:45-46), "go out of the midst of her, and let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord, and lest your heart faint, and you fear for the rumour that will be heard in the land." Is it not so similar to the language of John in Revelation 18:4, concerning the false pseudo-Christian mix, at the end of the Age!
Thus, to return to base in Jewish history: Babylon so self-assured, is to become a base for a multitudinous slaughter; the very complexity and cosmopolitan character of this city of seizures, this place of many nations, will become the epitaph of a vast slaughter of many, when she falls (Isaiah 47:5-11). Let us hear the word of the Lord:
"Sit silent, and get into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.
" I was wrath with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and given them into your hand: you showed them no mercy; upon the ancient have you very heavily laid your yoke.
"And you said: 'I shall be a lady for ever': so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did you remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell carelessly, who say in your heart, 'I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children'.
"But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children and widowhood: they will come on you in their perfection for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great abundance of your enchantments.
"For you have trusted in your wickedness: you have said, 'None sees me'. Your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you; and have said in your heart, 'I am, and none else beside me'. Therefore shall evil come to you; you will not know from where it rises... and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you will not know."
It proceeds to speak of"your sorceries, in which you have laboured from your youth":Yes, from earliest days in her career has Babylon been like this, imaging and imagining and restless religiously.
which will prove no help; and of her being
"wearied in the multitude of your counsels",
"Let now your astrologers, the stargazer, the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you..."
(cf. Jeremiah 10:11 - "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.")
The incredible and appalling horror is Babylon's daring to so act against the people of the Lord. As she was universal in religious expression and stately worldliness, so a world of destruction would centre in her when her time came. Judgments by her and upon her mount to a carnage unspeakable, one in which the main sacrilege is spiritual, the slaughter of the children of God.
BABYLON "the mystery", as specified in Revelation 17, obviously must include, incorporate and specially feature the SPIRITUAL realities which GOD is decrying, and these are they. They may be of a TYPICAL character, so that there are developments and accretions: surely that is the whole point. It is a spirit of action, a manner of life and a way of dealing BOTH with the people of God and with the things of GOD which matter here. Of the former, it is bitter persecution and destruction. Of the latter, it is wild casualness, a sort of pseudo-spiritual spree without concern. Organise it and you have 'Babylon', equipped with a past and ... a present., a hub and an evil inspiration.
And does not Babylon, in spirit as in name remind one of the folly of Babel *1 from the first: of the whole spirit of pretension and self-motivated power, awry, out of alliance with God, and in derogation of His dominion! Indeed, this takes us back to Cain with his frowning fury about the rebuke from the Lord, and his failure to see the right way, while persecuting to the death his brother who did!
ALL murder is from evil, and its source in the end is always spiritual; and its essence is defiling life with the power of man in despising of the power of God. Some may be less conscious of this; some more; but the spirit back of it is this.
With this, however we must add the point that the phrase "all who were slain in the earth" is used in context, and doubtless it is in the sense of its climate and context: How does this list in Revelation start ? It is like this: "In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints." It would seem most likely that the slot, venue, approach of the chapter is such that, as with the list itself, it is in the specifically RELIGIOUS aspect that we are dealing; the prophets and saints are the heading and the "all" are the rest of THEIR KIND, the religious kind who are in view. The fact that this is nearly a quotation from the historical Babylon case in Jeremiah 51:49 greatly emphasises this point. If "worms" are our topic, "all the slain" is not likely to include magpies. A seductive, squalid spirit demeaning to God is in view. The religiously slain are found in this corner of the cemetery, or, to change the figure: in this massif of deadly interment, soaring like a black rock into tempestuous skies.
1. Babylon then refers not only to Roman Catholic Rome, but by the metaphor or metonymy of the 'mystery Babylon', to the whole counter-godly, counter-covenantal spirit typified by Babylon's inclusiveness and worldliness, along with it. The thrust and force of the 'mystery' Babylon term is this (cf. SMR 1031C). Here is its origin, its zenith, focus and heart of shame, its growth and its vainglory all magnificently put together.
2. Let us now apply this to Revelation 18:24 in more detail.
Thus three items are important here. First is the generic sense in which murder expresses an arrogating of God's prerogatives over what is His. Second is the point that it is an anti-God pretension, reaching crisis and international proportions at epochs of history with which Babel-Babylon are richly related. Third is the consideration that it is the specifically religious area which is the placement of the verse, and even of the list which is completed in this way. It would therefore seem that this has several values for us.
First then, it helps us to reflect on the source of all murder, a religious exaltation against the Lord in terms of muddled and conscience and muddied spirit. The second aspect is this: that the ultimate spirit back of murder is anti-God; for it is pretension as if it were our own, of what are His proprieties and properties. The third is this: the list in view is in a religious chapter dealing with religious deviationism, the list itself, moreover, being placed in a religious setting, a series of "prophet" and "saint" (4), while even more emphatically, it is derived historically from an even more explicit list of religious dimensions primarily, in Jeremiah (5). Thus, with these five constraints, it would seem rather obvious that in the end, the point is this.
ALL slain in the earth, following along the lines of prophet and saint, all whose lives are lost for religious reasons, be they called what you will, be their specialty what it may be - king, priest, young person in the Old Testament or servant in the New, whatever - these are the casualties of a spirit of antichrist. This, whether at times more extensive or more temporary in its self-exhibition, kills what stands in its libidinous and unrighteous way. Any generic spread over the field of murder, has this basis, first before all.
3. Attacking God, it attacks His servants. Derogating God, it dismisses His servants. Its source, in the field of religion, known or not to the perpetrator, is this: that same barren envy, or self-glorification, or erection of false religious precepts or thoughts - and what more fertile in this, than atheists by mere assumption and presumption! For that deluded approach is a barren self-contradiction, affecting to know all, from no base: symbols and myths, rife but unrecognised, can thus be there the more lordly yet; while its creed is implicitly a religious one, by the omniscient grounds of its exclusion of what it would simply supplant with imperious disdain - a wallowing waywardness.
Found epitomised in Babylon, it was earlier illustrated at Babel, as again in countless examples through Old Testament history in the field of idolatry, and of folly incalculable against the Lord, leading to liberties all but illimitable, against man.
And what more? Why this: this same serpentine track of disaster and disregard, such as found in Hitler's Europe, in Cambodia and Vietnam and Mao's China as in Congo and Yugoslavia, Lenin and Stalin's Russia has much diversity; but it is sourced in an enduring and ancient regime founded in Babylon and formalised throughout much of our Age, in ROME. There it has its canons, its principles, its claims FORMULATED EXPLICITLY both as to the arrogance of the popes and the death to be served on those who disagree with this spiritually insane incapacity to see the difference between the Christ who said, "Call no man master, for one is your master, even Christ," on the one hand, and on the other... themselves, neither creator nor sinless!
The spiritual man, said Hosea (9:7) , of such things, is mad! The very prophets of this delusion are unbalanced, putting God in the outward tray, and delusive divinities made of imagery and misplaced mental enterprise on the inward. It is a madness of spirit which has led man to beleaguer and to hate and send to hell or to the gas chamber his fellow man in countless millions, while characteristically PREENING himself on his wonderful (in the end, religious) ideology, his control or insight or pragmatic brilliance or whatever.
4. ROME has it all: it sums it up. It reaches this acme, the perfection of folly in this, that all this is DONE IN THE NAME OF THE ONE
A) WHO SAID, "MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD. IF MY KINGDOM WERE OF THIS WORLD, MY SERVANTS WOULD FIGHT SO THAT I SHOULD NOT BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF THE JEWS; BUT NOW MY KINGDOM IS NOT FROM HERE" - John 18:36, and
B) WHO laid down His life to save others.
Is greater usurpation possible, greater plagiarism, and since the name is that of God on earth as man, greater presumption and apostasy ? IF this is the fruit, then Babylon is the root.
is its base, Rome is its face for contemporary consideration,
as the End typhoon proceeds to its day. What then of ROME?, and its famous
who have never yet formally condemned the popes
who were most notable in the hundreds of years of such
as in the Yugoslavian religious slaughters,
famous events of World War II:
these are thus inheritors of the follies of their fathers,
in the way Christ spoke of the Jews of His generation,
in the coruscating flashes of Matthew 23:34-35.
realises Babylon*2 as nothing
else does. In this, other attempts in the pathology of Babylon, are but
juniors. HERE lies its bloom of all boldness.
IS THE ESSENCE OF "BABYLON" -
OLD, AND WITH NEW FACE ?
The essence of 'Babylon'?
It is a turpid spirit of torpitude, its engines of assertive action
in marked contrast to the deadness of its life ...
the morbid decay of its ideology,
the forsaken character of its misplaced worship ...
and the virulence of its perspective.
Alike to be contrasted is the dehumanising degradation
of its disastrous drift
into the multitude of substitutes for God,
putting its little goddies to bed:
and the rigours with which it puts its victims to a violent ... rest.
In its downfall, God will not rest, having given it its head, and to its power all opportunity for a demonstration of wisdom or grace or goodness. Of these it has none, and of destiny with God, it has none. Its emptiness will be evacuated in the heaven that God fills. Its downfall on earth will be accomplished in marked drama. Its final quintessence will be as warranted beyond question, in a terminus of that worst of all contempts, the divinely and ultimately deserved one. Here are two grounds: it fell and it refused to rise, even to the mercy and at the mercy of God; and indeed, it defiled that mercy and misused that goodness for its own evil ends to the uttermost.
So dies, so lies Babylon. As Cyrus delivered as the Lord directed, the Jews from such a place, so Christ delivers the Christians, not in part, but in all, spiritually and eternally from the lie that city typifies, and Rome concentrates to its supreme pitch, before the end leaves all temporising apart, and the devil's messiah comes undressed and public at last.
Blessed indeed are those who flee out of her, out of Rome her paragon, out of the World Council of Churches her handmaid, out of similar pretensions and follies. Blessed are those who obey the word, COME OUT OF HER! as Revelation 18:4 instructs, and have rest in the purity of Jesus Christ: not wrestling with the casuistries of the lady to whom the nations stream, the ideologies run and in whom the blasphemies arise, like a covering that can be continued only till the time is ripe.
(Cf. Genesis 15:16. "The cup of the Amorites is not yet full", the Lord disclosed. This meant in practice that the time by which God would bring them to judgment, having allowed in mercy all opportunities, would wait until grace was satisfied and the lessons displayed. Nothing is judged before the time; but when the time comes, nothing escapes, except in the mercy of Christ received without admixture.)
There are however many misleading trails by the way, which entice and can confuse, which do not luxuriate in anything like the pagan glamour with which we have just been concerned. Liberty is not merely from proud and potent oppressors; it is even from what perhaps with good-intentions weaves a web which traps pilgrims and delays or even frustrates their flight to the land which is very far off. The next clue to blessing is an avoidance of philosophy when it comes from this or that quarter, direction or sea of surging assurance; in the interests of the pure milk and meat of the word of God - without assistance.
END OF EXCERPT
Consider merely St Bartholomew's Day, that splendid scene of royal treachery on the very eve of a (scripturally forbidden ) Roman Catholic-Protestant marriage. As Professor Boettner relays (p. 428, Roman Catholicism), 50,000 is an averaging estimate of the slaughter in France of "Huguenots" or French Protestants in that riotous regaling in murder as a matter of scale, like vertically downward skyscrapers, hell-scratchers. Te Deums of praise were ordered by Pope Gregory XIII in the light of this splendid 'victory'. Cardinal Ursini was sent to convey felicitations to the Queen Mother of that notorious name, Catherine de Medici. A Medallion was struck for the wonder of it all, making it the more famous, which depraved in morals, hit the base of all depravity.
Hundreds of thousands fled from the tender nurture of Romanist France of that day.
SO did the Papal representative on earth, of Jesus Christ, to use his self-naming, care for the sheep, yes the lambs, yes despise the kingdoms of this world, yes fulfil in its own inverted way, the word, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight ... But now My Kingdom is not from here" - John 18:36.
Each death has a multiplier.
Thus, it leads to death in flight, in impoverishment in the Inquisition's method of grabbing the wealth of those it condemned, to deprivation or death
As recently as World War II (Boettner op.cit. p. 436), it is estimated that 70,000 to 80,000 JEWS were killed or forced to flee (add multiplier effect especially in Hitler's Europe) when the awful day of the man to become (after being condemned internationally as a war criminal) Cardinal Stepinac, as part of the authoritative structure of murder in the State of Yugoslavia, came to its dire dawning; while it is estimated that 100,000 Orthodox Serbians were killed, including children; and chilling is the indication of Romanist involvement at the priestly level, in such works of research as Monica Farrell's Ravening Wolves (cf. the Roman newspaper of that day, SMR p. 952, where bullets were to be clearly 'understood' sermons).
Stepinac in a pastoral letter declared, Boettner advises, that "244,000 Serbs had accepted (forced) conversion to Roman Catholicism" , making the non-acting pope well informed. Each of these 'conversions' allied to the multiplied murders, was an invasion, a degradation, an assault on the soul, a murder of the spirit, a humiliation for the family, acting in a situation where Christ has indicated that to be angry with your brother without a cause is near to damnation. What then is damning him, as far as force permits, then, and mutilating his family, conscience, body, wealth, position, posts and the like ?
The number eaten up in these ways in many inquisition infected nations is in the millions beyond thought!
As Boettner also notes, the Inquisition did its terrible mutilating and destroying task with dreadful efficiency in Italy (where at the time of his writing there was estimated to be about a 1 to 161 ratio of Protestant to Romanist, and where State law required that what was deemed 'insulting' to the papacy, could lead to prison terms, even then!). So was the case likewise in that defamation of Christianity which occurred in the mutilation of Spain, under such as Torquemada, ever honoured in the annals of infamy, in a country with an estimated 30,000 not Romanist at his day, giving Spanish Protestants what is estimated at around 0.035% of the population in the1960s.
The evil grasping which sought to defame and arrest Luther in Germany, was a world seeking power which working in its endless seeming contrivings and intrigues, induced resistance as in the 30 years war which ravaged Germany (1616-1648), at length embroiling Europe even to Scandinavia. State and Romanist religion alike worked their terrible deeds of slaughter or 'conversion' in the Old World, or the New, as amidst Incas and Aztecs; and where did not her tentacles stretch, drawing blood ? What does it say of the harlot of the 7 hills, to use Biblical terminology ? This: "I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled wiht great amazement" - Rev. 17:6.
The reformation in England is alight with the stories of her terrors, and her claim to world rule induces and produces, like magnetic fields from an approaching magnetic pole, resistance and opposites so that its destablilising and resistance production continually leads to devastation and consternation; and indeed, as in the papally blessed Crusades, this insistent, persistent rummaging and rampaging for territory, when that of Christ was a Cross, not a slaughter, makes of this Biblically designated "harlot" , the queen of Mystery Babylon, not only in numbers of victims, but in the manner of it, indeed "drunk with the blood of the saints". Moreover, even more than that, she has "committed fornication with the kings of the earth" so that her exploits for gain, glory and power have reached to the farthest recesses of infamy, not sparing the saints, not caring to limit her atrocities but extending the outreach of her false morals, casuistries and concordats to the limits of darkness.
This is here 'finest hour'. Yet reaching back into all the hinterland of "Mystery Babylon " and all its allies and typifications, its exemplifications and ramifications - for it is ultimately a spirit, just as it is in this world, a thing centred thing in Rome but with a long imperial projection before it - there is all the preliminary blood. Drunk ? Yes, she does not know when to stop drinking. It is a strange liquor, though, the blood of the saints (just as it is a costly indulgence - Revelation 6:9ff.).
Elements needing meditation
So the world lurches to -
This is one of the most direct of all forms of Babylon's virus. Every time someone wants this world to be ruled in a good, or a Christian or a sensible way, the takers from Rome, Communism, Statism, Eclecticism, seem poised to intrude, perhaps with compromise in order to GET POWER. The world shudders in memory (to the extent the current pre-occupation with RECENT THOUGHT permits historical surveys of what has been done in times long past, in religion, education and politics, taken rationally as a study); and in its unsettlement, it looks for what Henri Spaak of Common Market fame, called a leader, be he god or devil (cf. SMR p. 683).
At least they know what they are looking for, or some do; and it is assuredly to be found - a very orchid of evil. It is being looked for by many secularists, men of this world; but it is predicted by that ultimately spiritual declaration of power, the word of God. One man ? Jsut a man, but not a just man, this time. They murdered the Just One (Acts 3:14), but they will acclaim the unjust, "the man of sin" of II Thess. 2.
Yes, there is the rub, and the friction is coming constantly, swiftly and fatally to the resolution of the devil. The world conceives increasingly that it MUST have an apparently NON-enforced, but actually enforceable religious base, to give direction, correction, cohesion and unity. It must get it by guile, as is being done in Victoria (whether or not the politicians themselves realise the name of the very game they are playing! for the devil is very subtle and can appeal, like an angel of light, to ostensibly good motives for evil - II Cor. 11, amongst those not wary). The UN is truly magnificent at this level, for it would be hard to improve on its delusive plausibility (cf. The Other News Appendix 1).
Rome of course will go as predicted in Revelation 17, and predicted as to METHOD of going, first in Rev. 17:16 and then in DETAIL in Rev. 18. It is fire, sudden and total.
In terms of the developing spirit of the Age, she is too 'difficult' to 'sell' now, with her birth control in flagrant violation of what secularists want in population control, and her non-woman priesthood and non-marriage status of priests, clearly a total flop in synthesis. The world wants sex freely and woman anywhere, irrespective of any specialisation. The LAST thing it wants is dictation that men must be kept from it, whatever it is, and women must be lesser in authority in the church, than men; yes in any religion. Rome is predicted to fall, catastrophically, suddenly and astonishingly.
Let us however revert to one of her troubles, her masculine-feminine program. In fact, the Bible has a highly delightful answer (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 10, 11), but Rome does not follow this; while what Rome does follow is not only not commonsensical, it is increasingly being exposed as a monstrous imposition, unnecessary and not working in its setting, as far as the requirements of the male priesthood are concerned. Popularist desires for feminist advance, men having warred too much and children having been shown anything but angels when glorified as gods: this is merely one thing that will not stay with Rome.
As to Rome, moreover, her appalling record in the allied matter of life and deathis also eloquent right into this century. WHY USE HER AT ALL ? comes the thought of the 'beast'! She is to be dumped. The ideological mood and movement of our century is pointing that way; the Scripture two millenia ago, predicted it likewise.
it was written; so it goes; and soon will be gone.
Mystery Babylon USES religions, but in the end, WILL NOT be dictated to by any; though it uses many. That is its name. That is the prediction; this is the lunge of this Age likewise. It is coming. Rome has long dabbled with many religions, making 'peace' with Buddhist or Orthodox in high profile gestures, with the Dalai Llama and so on (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 16) and works now more and more openly in the World Council of Churches, recently taking a full part in a significant meeting.
As Rome has played, in Biblical terms, the harlot, so others have the self-same idea. They will go even further, if it be possible, until the man of sin as in II Thess. declares not the RELIGIONS OF MAN, or the major religions of man, or the distillate (in flat self-contradiction) of the religions of man, or the rights of a committee determining from time to time what are the acceptable religions of man, or what is the formal and official version, even, of the RELIGION OF MAN, but HIMSELF to be GOD! There now, there is a unity, its main defect being that it is divorced from unity with the TRUTH. However, since that was long ago abandoned by this world, it has appeal. It will be a climax PAST BABYLON; for Babylon has a mistress, the harlot, and she being dumped: so what then do we find ?
It is this. The kings having been completed in their sevenfold integumental, integral relationship to the beast (Revelation 17:9-11), the BEAST ITSELF BECOMES the FINAL ONE, the eighth.
It is no longer needing a king; it takes Daniel 7's little horn, which simply displaces 3 of the ten 'horns' or direct and contemporaneous kings (perhaps Benelux), and as it were, coming from nowhere, gets everywhere as far as this world is concerned. Thus bypassing rivalries (rather like Jiang Zemin, perhaps, apparently chosen partly because he was not in either major party in the ideology of the Tiananmen debacle), he sits as God in his own eyes, and acts like except in wisdom: that is, he is a hideous caricature and a very icon of blasphemy. He does what he can, verbally in pompous words (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 17:17, 13:5).
this he is helped by the contemporary equivalent of Hitler's propaganda
Ph.D., Dr Goebbels, the second or religious beast (as in Rev. 13:11ff.).
He puts on a show, before he must go. Many have done the same. This is
the international finale of the day of his power. It is a matter of 'one
hour with the beast' (Revelation 17:11). It is all controlled in the end.
It manifests the purposes of God, exposes the hearts of evil, illustrates
the puny insignificance of the heights of human power, and lends its testimony
The reason for the movement from Rome, to the beast,
the more and more apparent end of the matter,
the present trends towards concentration of power in ONE (as in Putin,
in that amazing movement from Yeltsin's successful concentration of
power in the Presidency to Putin's reception of the same! in a condition
now stressing past glory in Russia, flags of Communist and the prior
past the committee harassments and
the inability to agree arising from the fact that truth being displaced,
there IS no agreement:
these things stir.
The word of God is written. They entirely agree.
ONE is to rule, and for a time, will do so.
The Seven Necks or Heads
At this point, we need to be exceedingly clear that while the beast, the 4th of the series of Daniel, in its FINAL FORM (Revelation 17:12), has ten HORNS or eminences, yet it has SEVEN HEADS and presumably seven NECKS. This refers clearly to its essential nature. The ten refer to a simultaneous grouping (again, Revelation 17:12). One, the seven, being of the very build and structure of the beast, aids identification over history; the other, being a mere extrusion, a matter of horns on the head, indicates a stage towards its end.
Let us then consider the indicative seven in more detail, relative to this imposing beast.
WHO could have occupied, or WHAT, this sevenfold role ?
We could say: the 5 Romans Emperors, or their prototype Caesar and they: Caesar, Augustus, Tiberias, Caligula and Claudius (those "past" - Rev. 17:10), with Nero, under whose rule we find in Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 1, John may have been exiled in Patmos, where he was given to write the book of Revelation, being the one that "now is". But who, then, would be the seventh ? One could say: Nero is the TYPE of the persecution, in essence symbolising it, thus encompassing such emperors as Diocletian and Domitian, and CONSTANTINE is the type of State establishment of the Church (being a non-Christian encompassing of Christian things, clearly forbidden in Matthew 23:8ff.). That is in significant measure what he did, so of this he would be the exponent among Emperors, and one in this company, unique.
This is simple, but seems insufficient in this, that the first five are simple persons, and the last two symbolic types.
Let us then explore a further avenue of understanding, concerning the identity of the seven heads. The eighth to come and the involvement with the beast itself, removes the thought that the identification of the beast would be given in terms which do not identify! There is no special seven completion or consummation or something of this metaphorical kind.
However, if we use the method which those who correspond often tend to do, when they speak in terms UNDERSTOOD BECAUSE OF THE SHARED BACKGROUND of both, then the SCRIPTURE being our background, what would follow ?
the Empires sketched in Daniel 7 and 8, being those of BABYLON, PERSIA-MEDIA,
GREECE, and ROME come to mind. However, in the Bible, since we are
away from the HORNS and into the realm of more essential things, NECKS,
we could look for those mainly focussed in spiritual confrontation mode,
the Bible's treatment of empires, WITHIN the list given in Daniel 7.
We continue with Persia which provides confrontation mode in
Greece leads (Daniel 8:5-8) to the furious and winged haste , to the triumphalist conquest of of world-beater
gives us 5 heads, all GONE (as in Revelation 17:10). Augustus (63
B.C. - A.D. 14) would become the leader into dizzy heights of the imperial,
utilising the name of his grand-uncle, Caesar, his industrious cultivation
of power with protocol becoming the thrust that led to its use without
By the time of NERO, this move had reached its full result in imperial persecution of Christians in particular, as a specialty; and it this part of the imperial juggernaut which would of course be suggested as the one which "NOW IS" (Revelation 17:10).
This was the IMPERIAL-PERSECUTION phase.
we have been dealing in types of empires, focussed in personal ways, we
He appears in terms of his STATE ENDORSED RELIGION idea, one which was short lived, as Julian the Apostate, named because he left Constantine's State religious apparatus and in fact criticised Christianity in barbed writings, was the next Emperor. Thus the one to come, the sixth, in Revelation 17:10, was indeed "for a short time".
The eighth ? Yes it is THEN that there comes the BEAST ITSELF. This appears in Revelation 17:11, and that has been that long period of utterly beastly rule in the Holy Roman Empire and all the other aspects of concordats and oppressions, European in centre, which has set the tone for Babylon for so long, and is to be the last word until the beast goes yet further in self-identification by removing the harlot, identified as Romanism's very individual contribution (Rev. 17:16), setting about her entire humiliation in burning. Her States, papal states, are gone. Her shadow is cast yet on the city.
Her memory is to be extinguished as seen in Revelation 18.
THAT of course would end the this-worldly prestige of the wealth and wonders of the often stolen and immense riches of Roman Catholicism. So it is written.
But with what sadness of imperial heart, what dislocation of ecclesiastical dominion, the emperors and popes of hundreds of years have suffered loss in their this-world drive. As two, they are divided. How to become... one again, as at the first, before Rome fell in 410 A.D.! This was the question: to be or not to be IMPERIAL and RELIGIOUS, compelling and complete in conquest of this world! We find in Revelation 13 the attainment of this long thwarted dream. The wound, the "deadly wound" to pride and pomp is losing its debilitating force.
The desire of ages of evil comes to its evil flower. It would all, the dross and the devilry, be united in one, a far better imitation, in appalling blasphemy, of God.
It is then (Rev. 13:3) that the deadly wound is at last healed. NO MORE is there a jostling and uneasy truce or combination, here with this battle here with that insult, between the political and the religious parts of ROME's day. Now what was broken in 410 A.D. with Rome's fall, is at last joined together again. The fourth beast finds its unity - if not its integrity! - at last.
Now, it has ONE rule for religion and State at last, and in full, and with this in its pocket, it proceeds to rule the pockets of the puny persons who are its subjects (Revelation 13:16ff.) with its economic, digital, data bank methods of pervasive knowledge and control. There is no escape in any normative sense. What you buy, sell is GOVERNED. How they watch!
This is why computer knowledge is so crucial to this development, and its relationship to 666 has been considered in SMR pp. 967-968. The knowledge market is flexing its mental muscles, product of that general human thrust noted as to come, in Daniel 12:4, together with the agitated travel wave associated predictively, and actually, with it.
noted, however , there is not merely a CENTRE in ROME for this development.
There is decidedly a SPIRIT of BABYLON which, while eventually to coalesce
first with Rome then the beast and at certain times, with both, exhibits
the trend of things which MAKE people willing, on the one hand, and SHOW
their WILLINGNESS on the other. Willing for what ? For what is to come:
one which is not God, posing as if he were. That is what.
This thing has had a centre, but the centre has a periphery.
The latest scenario ? The Uniting Church's Victorian president has captured large headlines with his sexual scene advice, confirmed in some ways by theologian Andrew Dutty, whose reported view appears to be that there are some improvements in societal change in this realm, former shames at juvenile exploits in the field, as in unplanned pregnancy, no longer being so operative. But the President ? He advises that nowadays the COMMUNITY no longer considers the matter to be compelling, that there is really NO WAY in which pre-marital sex is going to stop. It is not a matter THEREFORE any more of excluding it, of treating it as sinful! (Advertiser, Saturday July 21, 2001). No more will they be called to account in church affairs, for such things.
This well exhibits the trend for the Community to become a sort of secular papacy, its ways and views, as perfectly explicit in the South Australian Bill to control the internet, allied to the Commonwealth initiative in this matter, and the Victorian one to make the feeling of being vilified a criterion for legal penalty, irrespective of motive: all noted in Pall of Smoke and Diamond of Joy Chs. 1 , 3 and 10 , Galloping Events 7, End-note 2, Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 15. In the former case, the MORAL evaluation of a film or electronic exhibit would be determined by a body whose MANDATE was WHAT the community was deemed to feel, or find or have as values, FROM TIME TO TIME!
Thus there is even in this, our own country, a wildly unrestrained seeming movement into that liberty, so well-known in the 'liberations' of Communism, which acts to annihilate if it were possible, spiritual freedom. Not by any means to ostensible atheism, as there however, but in realms of religious submission to the lordship of the 'community', that invention of imagination without fealty to fact, where man replaces God by his own decrees where it so pleases him, is this trend to prophetic prediction now occurring.
This atrocity of folly, that is to say, making what ought to be a function of what is, or what the word of God has stated in the Bible, dispensable at the word of man, is now finding its way into the Uniting Church in the way expressed by this Victorian President. What is this if not measuring themselves by themselves, and thus not being wise, to use the words of the apostle Paul (II Corinthians 10:12). This then is its Biblical depiction; this is the Biblically predicted direction; and this is our clinical observation of the fulfilment.
Our present concern however is simply the trend. This is the direction of flow of the social lava, erupting ever more fiercely, like Mt Etna (Advertiser, p. 26, July 23), already pushing a "huge wave of magma ... 1 km down the mountainside ... just a few kilometres from the town ... home to 5000 people." Alas the moral departure from the OUGHT because that is the WAY you are made and the WILL of your Creator, to the MAY because this is the will of the creation, is like that. It is heated magma already down the mountainside of society, and threatening not 5000 but 6 billion souls in its declivities, falling down and what is fallen.
This also is covered in prophecy in II Timothy 3, where Paul declares of the "last days" that there will "perilous times", when not only will people be "blasphemers, disobedient to parents", but "unholy, without self-control... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God"; and here is the time when even professional religionists will mislead others "loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts". So it was to be. So it is. The spirit of Babylon is at home, but it is also abroad, ready for the ready take-over by the 'beast' when Rome is done, and fired. Other fires will remain, that burn forever (Mark 9, Revelation 14:11). What is wrong IS a torment, when repression and suppression, and social expression at last recede, and then reality obtrudes!
? "That idea that people should only experience a full sexual relationship
when married has gone with the dinosaurs," said the Uniting Church President
in Victoria. The interesting point is that there is no mention of a rescue
operation, but a statistical adjustment of morals to social statistics.
"About 90 per cent of the couples whose marriage ceremonies he had performed
were already living together or sexually active ..." he is reported to
then ? For the Lord your God is NOT one Lord, but a distillate of public
action, and a monument to social statistics ? (Cf. Lead
Us Not into Educational Temptation!) When Israel did this, the word
of the prophet Jeremiah is strong, adjoining such liberties with others:
Self-assertion is becoming the new sanctity, and social self-assertion one of its distant outreaches. Still not learning that the sovereignty of man over the things of God is mere theft of truth and acquisition without right or wisdom, of what is neither understood nor permits facility to understand in the wilful absence of absolute truth: this is a devastation and a demeaning disaster to man. In these and allied ways, the race continues its decline to the basement of that bottomless pit which discovers for itself ever new depths, agonies and anguish. Still it continues. It is exactly as in Revelation 9:20! Come what will, will will come, and the will of man is anchored to the wind.
war on the Lamb, on the one hand, and the lamb-like look of the second
beast of Rev. 13:11ff. continue towards their predicted climax. Babylon
is a centre; the surrounds are becoming far more like her. The spirits
from the false prophet are abounding as predicted (Revelation 16:12-16),
and going throughout the whole earth as biblically required. They hop like
Is it not like cane toads, this expression of the frog ?
This is the prognosis; but then, you do not have to have the disease.
So does the word of God find exact fulfilment on the left, the right, in the heights of pretension and in the depths of the mires of depravity, in things sovereign, in things social, in matters ecclesiastical and in affairs secular, in historic trends, and in accelerated action towards the climax to be short when it comes (Revelation 17:12) and sharp (Revelation 18:10, 19:18).
It is not a time to stand on your dignity when Etna erupts. It is time to COME OUT of her, that volcano of corruptive eruption. So here, in Revelation 18:4, we hear "a voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.' " It applies to Romanism itself, but not less to her spawn, parallels, partners in such bodies as the World Council of Churches, indeed to whatever shares the spirit of apostasy and the religious affairs of works, works of the mind, the heart, the hand, to devise other salvations, other gospels, other morals, other gods, be they human (as is the final case noted in II Thessalonians) with pretended powers, or spiritually conceived, like gods on earth, replete with the capacity to die!
The words of Ezekiel 28:9 continue to ring like the vast dome of a high bell:
"WIll you say before Him who slays you,
'I am a god' ?
But you shall be a man and not a god,
In the hand of him who slays you..."
Not only has Rome become the centre, this last millenium of all attributed to her in Revelation 13 and 17, but the world has followed in such ways as in II Timothy 3 and II Peter 2.
History has hallowed the name of God,
How vile is human racism, how racist this race, that it should allow itself so to defile itself as to seek to become what it is not, and to play the role it has not received: not in the humility of becoming as a little child before the loving heart of God, but as a delinquent with dignity, often religiously robed, as if the role of the second beast were irresistibly attractive, and his victims intoxicated with play acting, role playing, rogue gallery producing, art forms of folly!
- if not in human morals and inventions of the heart, as in the various comically reductionist naturalisms*2 of Darwin, Freud and Marx, together with there intoxicated seeming philosophical mutations, and the mutilated Christianity of papacy and liberal Protestant,
- then in their fulfilment, like willing servants, of all that has been specified in trend and in detail, for this race.
Yet it remains true to the end that repentance is the direction (Luke 13:1-3), salvation is the offer (Revelation 22:17, II Corinthians 6:1ff.), deliverance is the opportunity (Matthew 11:28-30), and Jesus Christ, not mutilated all over again in pretence and misuse of His name now, as of His body then, but alive from the dead and evermore, as that Shepherd whom nothing daunts, as that Friend whom nothing diverts. It is He who remains the Rock which never moves (Revelation 1:18, Isaiah 28:16, 32:1-4, Psalm 2, Matthew 7:24ff.).
Stand then on Him, for basis, for belief, for benediction, not on the marshy quicksands of rebellion. Is a disease more attractive when its prognosis is known, and is death with contempt ? Or is an artificial rose to be delighted in, though its smell is at best, only that of paper ?
For allied reading: See Beauty of Holiness Chs. 4 and 8, Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 14.
*1 Thus in Isaiah 47 you find this unmasking of the mighty city, the vast empire, that paragon and wonder of the earth, in very different terms to its pride (inverted commas added as needed for spacing):
6 "I was angry with My people;
I have profaned My inheritance,
And given them into your hand.
You showed them no mercy;
On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.
7 "And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’
So that you did not take these things to heart,
Nor remember the latter end of them.
8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures,
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
9 But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.
"They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.
10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 "Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.
12 “Stand now with your enchantments
And the multitude of your sorceries,
In which you have labored from your youth—
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you will prevail.
13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels;
Let now the astrologers, the stargazers,
And the monthly prognosticators
Stand up and save you
From what shall come upon you.
14 "Behold, they shall be as stubble,
The fire shall burn them;
They shall not deliver themselves
From the power of the flame;
It shall not be a coal to be warmed by,
Nor a fire to sit before!
15 "Thus shall they be to you
With whom you have labored,
Your merchants from your youth;
They shall wander each one to his quarter.
No one shall save you.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
THERE you see some of the essential features of Babylon: adding to the disciplines of the Lord in her own frightful and grisly pride, trust in herself, self-affirmation, multitudes of foolish vanities in the name of religion, oppression, heartlessness, empty-headed self-assurance, virtual self-deification, recklessness even to the point of virtual magics and elevations of heart.
Such a TYPE has been chosen by God for His symbol of the Babylon of Revelation 17. The elevations in Romanism in particular, as exposed for example in SMR pp. 1032-1088H, are not of another kind. When you break a speed-limit, the issue is not what you do when you do not break it. It is this: Did you break it ? Much is broken, and much is stored up.
Not in pagan sacrifices, but in ONE ONCE MADE by ONE ONLY, namely Jesus Christ, deliverance by ONE ONLY name, His (Acts 4:11-12), definitive, distinctive, deity itself, is sin to be covered. Trading in sin-extinction is forbidden (I Peter 1:18ff.). It is also blasphemous.
Redemption does not come about by
self-affirmation of man, or
woman ('redemptrix'!), or
but through the wonderful coping stone of the arch:
it is He,
the foundation of the temple is He,
the only high priest is He,
the only One who rose,
it is He.
As to the rest, we are but brothers, who are His (Matthew 23:8ff.), and our only resource is His word for written doctrine (Proverbs 30:6, SMR Appendix D). It is enough, that HE said 'It is finished' (John 19:30); it is enough that John said of the THINGS given, it is finished (Revelation 22:18-19, as Moses did of the words of the Old Covenant, Deut. 4 and 12, and Paul of the Gospel, in Galatians 1). This is one case where the Symphony of Salvation being finished (Hebrews 9-10), adding another movement is like adding an atomic bomb to an afternoon tea party: exciting and imposing ? Yes. Helpful ? Not in the least.
So the cross hairs of identification move inexorably onto Rome, and with Rome in its Babylon dress, onto its allies, partners and propulsions, until its day comes. It is the END that is Biblically projected, just before the powers that be have their ONE HOUR WITH THE BEAST (Rev. 17:12), which leads to the antichrist and its doom (19:20, II Thess. 2:8, I Thess. 1). Babylon with its harlot: It is geographically where Rome is. Its history is as Rome's has been. Its canons and its ways are as Rome's has been. Its wealth, scarlet and purple are her cardinal colours, gold cups her special treasure, and blood has been her signal trade: and the time specified for this depiction, it is NOW, and not somewhere else; at the culmination of history before Christ's return (Rev. 19), as the end approaches as in Answers to Questions Ch. 5.
Therefore, her fate is sure, as in Revelation 18, and the room to manoeuvre to avoid the combination of WHERE and WHAT and WHEN and TO WHOM these things are to be and to be done: it is zero. For years America prepared its bomb; did this make its time unreal when it came ? Quite the contrary, it ensured the reality when it did come.
It is not merely poor exegesis to wriggle about this cardinal scriptural identification of Rome in this terminal phase of the woman on the beast who has lived gloriously with the kings of the earth in multiplied concordats, combinations and accords: it is folly, and to some who engage in it, deadly. The idol is going; but it is idol nonetheless. Her evils are about to be consummated in other hands; but they are dire nonetheless. Be alert and come out of her, her associates and her ways,
- "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins...", and then look at it dimensionally:
- "For her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities." The longsuffering of God reaches the day of judgment soon enough, after all, when it comes.
With its customary deadly accuracy, the Bible has depicted these things, true to life, and for life, from millenia beforehand. NOW it is time to ACT, for it is in love that the Prince of Life (Acts 3) has provided these things for instruction, repentance and restoration.
See Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 9, End-note 1, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 80, That Magnificent Rock Ch. 7, pp. 153ff..