Revelation Lesson 44: Our Strong God :: By Sean Gooding

Revelation Chapter 18:1-7

“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.’

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.’” – Revelation 18:1-7

Once again, thanks for the responses to the articles. The Lord has opened some doors for me to share the Gospel over the past week. All three of the people I am speaking to are Catholics. Keep praying, keep studying and be prepared to tell others of the hope that is in you. As we venture in to chapter 18, we will see more about the destruction of Babylon.

Babylon has Fallen – Revelation 18:1-2

This angel, another of the same kind as mentioned in Revelation chapter 17, is coming from Heaven and is illuminated so much that he lights up the darkened world. He was visible to all of the people, and he begins to cry out in a loud voice about the fall of Babylon. Not only that it has fallen, but that the end of it is that it is a place for demons, for foul spirits and hated birds. This is a place of death. Babylon is like a modern-day Zombie; it is moving and talking, but in reality, it is dead inside.

This judgment pulls back the façade and shows what it really is. There is so much about religion that is just dead inside. Jesus referred to the Pharisees with their man-made rituals as sepulchers, graves full of dead men’s bones. Babylon is the symbol of what man-made religion will do; it fails man and leaves death in its path.

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 7:13-15,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

Jesus is the narrow gate to life—ONE Way and only one, not many paths to Jesus.

Just recently I saw a quote from a prominent preacher that said something to this effect: “God revealed himself to us one way and the Muslims in another.” This is heresy. The god of Islam IS NOT the God of the Bible and the God who died to save us from our sins. Yet, this man has millions that follow him, and you can walk into just about every Christian book store and see his books. This is how Babylon sneaks in and eventually takes over. There are lots of people, millions in ‘churches’ across the world, who do not know the God of the Bible. Yet they are faithful to their church. They follow men; sadly, these men are wolves and they are leading many to Hell, all the while appearing to be preachers of light. They are mimicking the god they serve. 2 Corinthians 11:14,

“And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

The Nations have drunk the Kool-Aid, Revelation 18:3

We live in a world that equates success with Luxury. The nations of the world have succumbed to the wiles of the harlot, this spiritual whore that embraces everything but Jesus. Just this past week, the EU refused to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Those on Israel’s side and those opposed to Israel are becoming more and more defined; this is all part of the picture of the end.

Jesus, we are told, was poor; he did not even have a place to lay his head, and the ministry was supported by His faithful followers who gave of their time, money and selves to serve the cause. The church in Acts was sacrificially supported by people who sold everything they had and shared it with their brothers and sisters. Acts 4:32-37,

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

The apostles did not get rich off the people; they actually turned the administration of the physical needs over to the deacons in Acts 6. The apostles wanted to concentrate on the study of the Old Testament. Over and over again we are told that Paul, for instance, was poor and had to work alongside fellow believes to meet his needs. For centuries there were small churches all over the world from Europe, to Africa, to the New World; and they were poor, God supplying their need. Many pastors worked another job to meet their physical needs while also teaching and serving.

But now we have these mega-churches that are like the Walmart of churches killing off many of the small community churches that served the Gospel with a deliberately personal touch. Ministers became almost like a ruling class and not servants. Many know a very small percentage of their flock face to face. There is no real intimacy.

In the midst of all this growth, there was the apostasy of Babylon creeping in. You see, the true Gospel for the most part is very offensive to most men; it tells them that they are sinners and unable to please God without Jesus. It tells them they are inadequate and dirty, unwashed and filthy, in need of the salve of the blood of Jesus to wash away their sins. So, the Gospel has to go or be diminished; and churches became filled with programs that never get to the Gospel. Churches helped a lot of people and seemingly loved them, but the Gospel became a trinket and not the main focus.

This is how the heresy of Babylon creeps in; soon man becomes the focus and not the Lord Jesus. People come to hear the preacher, but not to seek God. If that preacher leaves, the church may not survive. Who then is it built on?

As we can see, the heresy of Babylon has crept in. It is amazing how many people in the political places claim to be religious, Catholic, Christian and now more and more Islamic; and yet we see governments all around the world voting to abort babies by the millions, we see corruptions at just about every level, and justice is perverted; it is only for the rich. True Christianity demands openness and transparency, it demands the truth, and does not tolerate injustice. But the governments of the world have all drunk the Kool-Aid, and all for the sake of riches.

The system of Babylon is rich; it is filled with luxury and nice things. Remember the TV show from the 1980s, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? This was a show that opened our eyes to the Luxury and serious money of the world’s rich. Jets, houses, cars and wives. This is what the world longs for, and Babylon offers that to all who will drink from her cup of heresy and denial of Jesus. She offers glory to those who will serve her and defy God.

Come out, Revelation 18:4

I cannot understand why there are God’s people intertwined with this harlot, but they are; and they are warned to get out before God’s judgment is poured out. This calls to mind the story of Lot and Sodom; God could not judge them until Lot was out of the city. Maybe there are God’s people hiding in the city that is about to be judged. I do not think this is the literal city of Babylon in Iraq. But the modern city of Babylon at the time. It could be the Vatican, but it may be where the EU head Office is as well. It may be that the Anti-Christ has a new Head Office that we see now, but do not realize that it will be the new seat of Babylon. Either way, it is the system and the religion of Babylon that will be destroyed.

When I was a young man in seminary, some of my professors thought that Babylon could be in New York where the UN Head Office is; this could be the case as well. It is certainly visible from the sea. Nonetheless, both the physical Babylon and the spiritual Babylon are judged by God. But before He executes His judgment, He allows for his people to leave.

Folks, we need to be diligent to separate ourselves from Rome/Babylon as the Lord’s churches. We need to be aware that they need the Gospel; they are not carrying the Gospel. We need to protect our pulpits, and we need to guard the Lord’s sheep from false doctrine. We do not all worship the same God.

I read this week that discernment is not knowing the difference between the truth and a lie, but between truth and almost truth. A lot of heresy is wrapped up on Jesus’ name. There are many that claim that the New Testament church is the new Israel, that the events of Revelation have already happened, that there is no Millennium, and on and on. They have KJV Bibles and degrees, and they sound like preachers but they are ravenous wolves. Separate from them, they are a part of the system of Babylon.

God sees and Judges, Revelation 18:5-8

The deeds of the whore of Babylon, both spiritual and economic, are seen by God. They cannot hide from Him, and their judgment is coming. They cannot see it; they think they are invincible. Such is the pride of mere men.

We see in Revelation 18:7 that she sits as a queen. There are two ways one can look at this. One is that Babylon is a queen of whores—the bride of Satan, much like the New Testament church is a chaste bride awaiting her King, Jesus. She thinks that her allegiance to Lucifer offers her some degree of protection from God and that Lucifer will actually win. Talk about God sending them strong delusions. Or, we can see that Mary is called the ‘Queen of Heaven’ by those in Catholicism. As such, there is a pride that comes with this idea of royalty. She not only lives in luxury but she has a haughtiness about her that she wears openly. She has not suffered much over time and has caused much suffering over the centuries.

The word ‘render’ in Revelation 18:6 means to give what is due. She is about to get what God has coming her way, and she has earned every iota of the wrath that God is about to dish out. God is going to repay her double for all of her sins against heaven and man. He will execute on her His wrath for all the people, His people, that she has hurt, cheated, sold, killed, ignored and abused.

Imagine the wrath of God for the thousands of children that have been raped and sold as sex slaves over the years by nations and those that have been abused by those that carry the name ‘church.’ Imagine the wrath of God for the wealth that was stolen by lies, the property taken by deceit and/or coercion, and the lives that were ruined, both by the religious and the economic systems of the harlot called Babylon.

Old Testament passages found in Isaiah (chapters 13, 14, & 21) and Jeremiah (chapters 50 and 51) predict the fall of Babylon. God allows this evil to exist for a time as people are being saved and coming to Him for life and forgiveness. But the end of the Gentile age is fast upon us. Babylon, both the religion and the economic system, are alive and well in these, the last days; and together they are hurting millions with false doctrine and false promises of prosperity. Satan is the father of lies; sadly, a large part of the earth hates the truth, so he has a willing audience. In contrast to the destruction that is coming on the children, the city, the religion and the economy of Babylon, read Psalm 91 and see the safety and security we have in the Lord God.

I will be having a surgical procedure done in a few days, and I do not know how long it will be before I can write again. I hope it is only a week or so. Please pray for me. Thanks.

Revelation Lesson 43: Woman on the Mountains… :: By Sean Gooding

Revelation Lesson 43: Woman on the Mountains with the Kings

“But the angel said to me, ‘Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.  8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

13 “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.’15 Then he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.’”

Thank you for your responses to the previous article about the Catholic Church. I must address a question that was posed. Someone asked if I thought the Pope was the Anti-Christ. I do not think so. First of all, as far as I can tell, the Anti-Christ is an unknown man. He seems to come out of nowhere. I do believe that the Catholic church, and Islam for that matter, have a large part in the global power that the Anti-Christ will have, and it may be that the Pope (whoever that is at the time) will have some degree of leadership in the new government. Maybe, he will be the (or at least a) ‘spiritual’ prophet for the Anti-Christ – a false prophet. Once the chaos of the rapture happens people will need ‘spiritual’ guidance.

Just look at what church attendance was like after 9-11; for three months churches were packed. The aftermath of the Rapture will pack religious establishments as well, and the two dominant religions will be Islam and Catholicism. They will have infrastructure all over the world. Think of how many Catholic church buildings there are, and think of how fast the construction of mosques have exploded in North America and Western Europe.

John sees the Woman on the Beast; she is clothed in scarlet (red) and purple, the picture of royalty and wealth; she has adorned herself (like a prostitute) to meet her suitors and she is wealthy; she holds a golden cup.

The Woman’s Three Names, verse 5

Back in verse 5 the Woman is seen with three names on her forehead: Mystery, Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth. A mystery is something that was hidden but is now being revealed. The New Testament tells us of a mystery that was revealed in Jesus. That His first coming was to die and take away our sins. In John 12:27-36; Mark 10:32-34; Matthew 20:17-19, Jesus told the apostles over and over again about His death, burial and resurrection but they did not understand it until it happened and they saw it. But these events had been prophesied for thousands of years; and yet, to most, it was a mystery. The coming of the Anti-Christ will be like a mystery to many people, but the truth is that it has been prophesied and planned for since the days in Genesis 11 on the plains of Shinar.

The system of religious harlotry has been built where God has been replaced with statues and rituals. I used to think that the physical Babylon had to be rebuilt, and I had read in several places that the US was undertaking the reconstruction of the city of Babylon when they invaded Iraq the second time following 9-11. It would appear that this has not happened, but we know that there is a Babylon at the end. Rather than a city, it is the over-riding system of idolatry. It began with people building a tower to worship the heavens, and it has morphed into multiple religions that worship all manner of gods using everything from sexual perversion to child sacrifice.

Anyone living in North America can see that the influences of these religions are permeating our society. We are surrounded by sexual perversion, and the rate of abortion is staggering. We have some areas in North America where there are more abortions than live births. Let that sink in. We sacrifice our babies as a part of the religion that was identified for us in the book of the Judges (see 17:6 and 21:25).

This is a part of the system that God told us was already in the world but that has come to the full fruition in our time (Romans 1:18-32). We see sexual perversion which is the fruit of worshiping the creation and not the Creator. This mystery is going to become more and more prevalent as the Rapture takes the Holy Spirit out and the restraining power of God is gone. But you and I can see this mystery playing out in front of us every day.

Imagine that there seems to be entire political parties in the USA and in just about every nation in the Western world that wholeheartedly endorses abortion, even to the point of infanticide, to kill a baby once it is born. Worse, there are people that will vote for these parties, revealing to us that these leaders are just the symptoms of the issues that lie beneath.

Part of being the Mother of Harlots is that she, this religious entity, hates the truth. Some have accused me of not believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture because I warn that we Christians may face severe persecution before we are raptured. In a report from CBN news on March 20, 2019, we see that Islamic groups have killed some 300 Christians in Nigeria. According to an article in in North Korea, apparently Christians are the number 1 enemy of the state; in Somalia, Christians are considered ‘high value’ targets; in Afghanistan, it is illegal to be a Christian; even in India there is serious persecution of Christians; and on we can go.

The predominant idea in the West is that it can’t happen here. Yes, it can. If and when there is a hardcore liberal elected who can get enough votes to squash free speech and make Christianity illegal, or at least not wanted, we will suffer like these other folks. Sadly, churches are not preparing people to suffer if need be for the Lord. I don’t want to suffer, but we must understand that it is a possibility.

Notice that this Harlot is drunk with the blood of the saints. At one time, the Catholic Church was the major enemy of the Christians. Now it is Islam – same persecution, just a different arm of the Mystery of Babylon.

Seven Mountains, verses 9-11

This can be looked at in two ways: the Greek word for mountains is often used in describing hills; Rome, the city, sits on seven hills. We know that the final false kingdom will be the revised Roman empire. The iron in the feet of Daniel’s statue is Rome, and the toes made of iron and clay show us some kind of morphed kingdom that still includes the Roman Empire. The other way, and seemingly the one that is more readily accepted, is that the seven mountains represent the seven (7) kingdoms and their kings, them being Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and then the Anti-Christ.

At the time that John wrote at the end of the first century after Jesus, 5 had already fallen: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Rome was ruling at the time of the writing, and then the final kingdom was to come. We are at the dawn of the final kingdom. In verse 11 we see that the Beast will follow the 7th kingdom and set up an 8th kingdom that will be extremely short lived – just an hour, we are told.

The 7th and 8th kingdoms are separated by an event that is told of in Revelation 13:3; it talks of the Anti-Christ being wounded in the head and apparently dying and coming back to life. When we couple this with Daniel 8:23-25…

“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.”

Notice that this king that arises has power, BUT not of his own power. It appears that a demon or maybe even Satan himself will bring this man back to life after what is a mortal wound to the head. We are told that he is cunning, so Satan simply makes it appear that there has been a resurrection. And the final clue that this is most likely Satan: in verse 25, he exalts himself in his heart. Satan so wants to be God, but He cannot be God. His end is told in verse 25; he shall be broken without human hands. Jesus will break him.

The system of kingdoms that are all human kingdoms, these seven (7) that are all pagan kingdoms – their kings all think they are gods. From Pharaoh to the Caesar of Rome, they all wanted their citizens to revere them as gods. They were just men who all died and turned to dust. Even the last vestige of the Roman Empire in the Vatican wants her followers to revere the Pope an ‘Il Papa,’ The Father, or God. He is not and never will be. The true God has never been replaced. The Pope has been replaced many times.

The Kings, verses 12-18

We are clearly told that these seven kings will exist and they will be given a kingdom for a short period of time. In the agreements that are made following the chaos of the Rapture, the governments of the world will divide the earth into ten (10) kingdoms. Lest you think some corner of the earth is saved from this system, we are told in verse 15, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” This system of kingdoms will engulf the whole world. Further, we are told that the kings will give their power and authority to the beast; they are all of one mind, verse 13. The Beast will hold some sway over them, or more likely, make some arrangement with them that binds together as one for a short time. Not long after this agreement, in verse 16, we are told that the kings hate the harlot and attack her to kill her. So, these kings along with the Anti-Christ – remember, he comes out of the ten kings, according to Daniel 7:24 – he will subdue three kingdoms and ascend to the place of the Anti-Christ, this unholy band will turn on the woman and attack her.

We will explore more of this fall of Babylon in another article. But verse 17 is the verse that I want to leave you with.

God is in charge. There are no words more comforting to the believer than to know that God is in complete control even of what appears to be chaos. Notice that God put in their hearts to fulfill His purpose and that God’s words will be fulfilled.

As we hurtle towards the end and we see the rise of evil in our midst, we see our corrupt governments and the corrupt religions around us. We see politicians proudly and unashamedly touting that they are for infanticide and abortion, when they promote the rise of sexual deviancy, and lately have begun to promote that people should receive a wage even if they are unwilling to work, in bold defiance of the Scripture that says that a man who does not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

We know that it is not long to the end. It may seem that the course has gone off the rails and that just maybe God has allowed this to run too far to correct, but nothing could be farther from the truth. God has every detail mapped out to the most minute detail. When he is ready, his glory will be revealed. And one day soon, this defiant and rebellious world will bend the knee, every last one of them, to worship Jesus the Son of God, the Christ. God is in control, Luke 21:28,

“But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!”