Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Seat of the False Prophet

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Seat of the False Prophet"
Written by:  Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In Revelation 14:8 we read this: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen…” When we find repetition in a Bible verse, we should pay close attention. We covered the 14th chapter several weeks ago, but now we see first-hand why that verse has such significance. Last week as we studied the judgment against the “The Seat of the Beast,”  it was a study for Jesus’ initial judgment against the seat of power of the Beast (Antichrist). As the Lord judges and dismantles Satan’s world system, there will be a reluctance among those who worshipped the Beast, but the dismantling must continue if Christ is to reign eternally. Satan, and ALL his works MUST be put down. Otherwise, like the Jews did not wipe out the Amalekites as ordered by God, it was an Amalekite who later came and killed King Saul.

It is the False Prophet that becomes the second target of Jesus’ two-fold attack against Satan’s two-fold kingdom on Earth. The Beast will be a human, raised up to be worshipped as a god, and the false prophet is the man chosen to lead that worship and cause many to simply abandon the truth, and adhere to the lies of Satan. This grand deception will be costly to the eternal life of many. No longer will a heavenly realm be promoted, but followers will be duped into thinking that mankind can bring peace to the Earth, resolve all conflict and provide for financial security, as well as social justice for all.

The false prophet’s “congregation” will be world-wide, spanning the globe and reaching across the oceans, The Antichrist will be a dead man being used as Satan’s puppet, speaking lies and false hope. The hope in a one-world system that will bring peace and unity to all peoples around the world. Yet their hope is exactly to opposite of what the Word of God states.

Today in Chapter 17 we are introduced to the Great Whore of Babylon, who “sits on many waters.” The description tells us that the world-wide acceptance of the Antichrist and his “miraculous” recovery causes a type of worship that can only be described as “religious.” The woman who rides the beast is the religious system which provides an avenue through which the False Prophet can lead. This is the seat of the False Prophet. The first “fallen” is for the Beast. The second is for the False Prophet.

Revelation 14:8 - 

“And there followed another angel, saying Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Bobservations' Column:  Audio Version

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:  
Revelation 17:1-18 - "The Seat of the False Prophet"

Summary/Additional Bible Notes:  

John is shown a vision which symbolizes two additional judgments which are spread out over the tribulation. Chapter 17 focuses on the ruin of "religious Babylon," an ungodly spiritual system which is at first supported, then ruined by the efforts of the beast. Chapter 18 will describe the fall of Babylon in a political or economic sense.

Today, we will take a look at chapter seventeen.

In Revelation, Babylon refers to the entire worldwide political, economic and religious kingdom of the Antichrist. Throughout history, Babylon has been the center of rebellion and false religion. It was the birthplace of idolatry. In Genesis 10:8-10, the devil seduced and deceived Nimrod, who was the leader in building the city of Babel and the Tower of Babel to worship false gods rather than the true and living God.

Nimrod established a system of idol worship that detested God and worshiped Satan which eventually launched false religion all over the earth (Genesis 11:1-9).

Today, we see many working towards that same goal. The establishment of a world religious system, economic system and political system. A system that defies and despises God, His Word, His Authority, His Righteousness, and His Son. A system perverts or compromises the truth of God's Word for power and riches.

The final world religion is depicted as a harlot in Revelation 17, and pictures Babylon as causing the entire world to become intoxicated with her pleasures, her whoredom, and unbridled indulgence in all manner of fornication, rebellion, hatred and idolatry toward God. "Fornication" means spiritual prostitution to the Antichrist's false system.

Seven Angels (17:1) - The reference to these angels' links chapters 17 - 18 with the bowl judgments, which extend to the second coming of Christ. These two chapters focus on one of these bowl judgments, the judgment of Babylon.

Great Whore (17:1) - The word "whore" comes from the Greek, porne and is the same word as "harlot."  It is related to porneia ("fornication") and pornos ("fornicator" or whoremonger").  It does not refer only to those who sell their bodies (very common among the people of Babylon) but simply to any who commit spiritual fornication.  Prostitution frequently symbolizes idolatry or religious apostasy.  

Sitteth Upon Many Waters (17:1) - Basically, the sovereign power of the harlot.  It pictures a ruler seated on a throne, ruling the waters, or the nations of the world (see verse 15). 

Kings...Committed Fornication (17:2) - The harlot will ally herself with the world's political leaders, and together will be absorbed into the empire of Satan's false christ. 

Wine of Her Fornication (17:2) - The harlot's "influence" will spread beyond the world's rulers to the rest of the world.  People will be swept up into the intoxication and sin of a false system of religion.

In the Spirit (17:3) - We have read that John had been carried "in the Spirit" forward in time, and up into the heavenly throne room.  Now John is transported back in time to a barren wilderness, to give him a better understanding of the vision.  

A woman (17:3) - The harlot of Babylon (vs.1).

Scarlet Colored Beast (17:3) - This refers to the Antichrist (see 13:1, 4; 14:9; 16:10).  The Antichrist will, for a time, support the false religious system, to effect false world unity.  Then he will assume political control (see v. 16).  Scarlet is the color of luxury, splendor and royalty.  

Full of Names of Blasphemy (17:3) - because of self-deification.  Combining the characters of both the dragon and the beast of Revelation 13, he has the names of blasphemy on his heads.  The dragon possesses earthly governments and kings to use for his evil goals.  This beast that the woman rides is symbolic of the historical succession of world governments (or kingdoms) which were raised up and empowered by Satan to conquer and set up his kingdom.

Beast (17:3) - This is the same beast as in Revelation 13.  The beast refers to the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Daniel 9:27). This is the unholy alliance between the False Prophet (the whore of Babylon) and the Antichrist. 

Seven Heads and Ten Horns (17:3) - 
The seven heads refer to seven kings or kingdoms, five of which have fallen, one that is and one that is to come. The ten horns 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 will wage war against the Lamb” (Revelation 17:12–13a).

Purple and Scarlet (17:4) - Arrayed like a beautiful queen, the harlot is decked in rich jewelry and magnificently colored garments.  The prostitute who has plied her trade successfully and become extremely wealthy.  She is seductive to the ungodly, and successfully draws them away from the true God to partake of her wicked pleasures. 

Golden Cup (17:4) - More evidence of the harlot's great wealth - but pure gold it is not!  The gold is defiled by the filthiness of her immorality.  Just as a prostitute might first get her victim drunk, so the harlot system deceives the nations into committing spiritual fornication with her.   This is the way of false religion.  Masking real spiritual life with outward show of wealth, power to impress the ungodly.  Multitudes in the past up to the present are deceived by this, and have partaken in this foolish, filthy, abominable idolatrous wickedness.  Even in the persecution and martyrdom of the saints of God - all in the name of religion.  

Forehead - It was customary for the Roman prostitutes to wear a headband with their name on it, parading their wretchedness for all to see.   The harlot's forehead is emblazoned with a threefold title descriptive of the world's final false religious system. 

MYSTERY (17:5) - In scripture, mystery is truth once hidden, but in the New Testament, revealed.   Spiritual Babylon's true identity is yet to be revealed.  

BABYLON THE GREAT (17:5) - This Babylon is distinct from the historical, geographical city of Babylon.  The harlot has caused all nations to imbibe her abominable wine, including even once Christian nations.  Babylon is the mother of all harlots and abominations of the earth.  

The Blood of the Saints... Martyrs of Jesus (17:6) - The harlot is a murderer.  False religion has killed millions of believers over the centuries, and the final false system will be far more deadly than any that preceded it. 

Mystery (17:7) - The beast will fully support the harlot, and they will together exert vast influence over the whole earth.

The Beast (17:7) - The mystery of great Babylon involves not only the woman (that is, the religious system established at Babylon) but also the beast that carries her (that is, the totalitarian system of unified government established at Babylon.   The mystery is about to be unveiled.  Not only the characters of the woman and the beast, but their relation to the seven heads and ten horns.

The Beast (17:8) - Both a king and a kingdom.

Was...Is Not...Will Ascend (17:8) - A reference to the Antichrist's false resurrection (13:3-4, 12-14; see 13:3).

Out of the Bottomless Pit (17:8) - After his fake "resurrection," the Antichrist will become possessed by a great demon from the abyss (see 13:1, 3). 

Perdition (17:8) - Eternal destruction (see verse 11; Matthew 7:13; John 17:12; Philippians 1:28; 3:19; 2 Peter 3:7, 16).  This is the lake of fire, the place of Antichrist's destruction (19:20).

Book of Life (17:8) - The roll of the elect, written in eternity past by God (see 3:5).  Only the saved, true believers, will escape the Antichrist's deception.

From the Foundation of the World (17:8) - Literally, before time began (see Matthew 13:35; 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20) referring to God's pre-creation plan.

Seven Mountains (17:9) - The Greek word is often used of hills (Matthew 5:1; 15:29; John 6:15; 8:1).  Many commentators interpret this expression to mean Rome, which sits on seven hills. It is true that the final worldwide system of false religion includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Rome; but specifically, the seven mountains in context symbolize the seven kingdoms and their kings of verse 10. 

Seven Kings (17:10) - Representatives of the seven great world empires (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, Rome, and that of the Antichrist).

Five are Fallen... One is... The Other is Not Yet Come (17:10) - When John wrote this, the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Greek empires had gone out of existence; Rome still existed; and the Antichrist's empire had not yet come.  Today, the Roman empire no longer exists... there is yet one empire to come.  When it does, it will be brief (12:12; 13:5) and will end inn perdition (vs. 11; see also vs. 8). 

And is Not... The Eighth (17:11) - The Antichrist's kingdom is said to be both the seventh and the eighth kingdoms because of his supposed demise and "resurrection," when he destroys the harlot's religious empire and demands exclusive worship of himself (vs.16). 

Ten Kings (17:12) - Sub rulers under the Antichrist, whose empire will apparently be divided into ten administrative districts. 

One Hour (17:12) - Sybolic of a brief period of time, the three-and-one-half-year-period of time.

Make War (17:14) - Battle of Armageddon (16:14-16).  The Lamb, Jesus, will utterly destroy the kings (19:17-21).

Lord of lords and King of kings (17:14) - Title for God (19:16).  These titles emphasize His sovereignty over all other rulers to whom He has delegated authority.

These Shall Hate the Whore (17:16) - After using the false religious system to unify the world kingdoms and gain control of all, the Antichrist -with the help of his ten sub-rulers - will turn against the system plunder and destroy it and seize all power and worship for himself. 

Great City (17:18) - Another identifier of the capital city of Babylon, centerpiece of Antichrist's empire (see 18:10, 18, 21). 

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