“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems upon its horns and a blasphemous name upon its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder. Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast saying, ‘who is like the beast and who can fight against it?’ And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty two months.”
The last post covered the first four trumpets, and at this point, mankind is overwhelmed and lost in its ability to comprehend or deal with these judgments. There are dead everywhere, resources are scarce, the coasts are unapproachable due to the tossing of the sea from the asteroid impact, and it is dark, and more than likely, getting colder. There is no semblance of normalcy, and anarchy begins to rule. Mankind is looking for leadership at this dark hour, but more important, wants the judgments stopped and an explanation for what happened and why God is so angry.
The dark forces, who have been preparing for a moment like this, will quickly take advantage of the trumpets. They will be able to accomplish in a few days to a few weeks what many despots in the past were unable to do: create a one world organization. They have been ‘the hands and feet’ of Satan for some time and have the ability, through control of the monetary system, the political system, and connections with all of the official religious bodies to pull this off. Little do they know, but they are ultimately doing the Lord’s bidding and demonstrating that evil people (or entities) ‘running the show’ will ultimately destroy everything they touch, including themselves.
Babylon rises quickly, as evidenced by its ‘leopard’ body. It will have great authority to speak (lion’s mouth) and trample anything in its way (bear’s feet). The seven heads are interpreted in Rev 17 as hills, or religious systems. Another clue to the fact the seven heads are religious, is the fact ‘blasphemous names’ are written on them. Generally, world powers, kingdoms or countries don’t speak for God, religious systems do. One of the religions was given a mortal wound, but healed at the time of tribulation. The ten horns are ten kings who will be self appointed or possibly appointed by the religious coalition. The reason the religious systems take over is due to the fact that all of them, despite worshiping God in different ways, or other gods, will all agree that “God as they understand him” has judged this world. Hence, the political systems in effect will be taking orders from the religious systems and this will become a theocratic based one world government.
Because of its diversity, Babylon, meaning “confusion” will have some difficulty initially getting everyone ‘on board’. There will be very harsh penalties for anarchy, and judgment and punishment will be swift. Babylon will enact multiple ‘sinless’ laws, most likely outlawing things like homosexuality, abortion (no longer necessary since the 144,000 will be identified and in active ministry) hate crimes and other diversity laws, and mandate worship in whichever religious system a person belongs.
On the surface, Babylon’s laws will look reasonable, and sound very similar to what the 144,000 are preaching. This has to occur in order for deception to take place. Babylon will attract those who revel in legalism, as the laws will mandate harsh judgment on the smallest of infractions, and there will be many in all of the religious hierarchy that will believe they know what’s best (despite the fact they did not see this coming).
Blasphemy occurs for several reasons. First, Babylon will mandate worship, and this is direct conflict with God wanting people to worship Him of their own free will. God will not accept this form of worship. Second, Babylon will be pushing for a ‘works based’ plan of salvation that will operate under the presumptions that we will ‘act’ our way out of the judgments from good works, and ‘sinless laws’. Thirdly, Babylon will be teaching that not only can the judgments be stopped, but the planet and society can and will have to be rebuilt. This message will be in total contradiction to the fact that time and history are coming to an end, and the 144.000 will be preaching a message that is contrary to the above mentioned points.
The seven religions also have different days of worship. Islam sees Friday as a holy day, Judaism on Saturday, and Catholicism and Protestantism on Sunday. Since none of the religions will capitulate to the head that was mortally wounded and came back to life, there will be an uneasy alliance by the diverse religions until the time of the ‘lamb like’ beast, who will eventually eliminate them all. None of the official religious bodies will have seen the judgments coming, and as such, will not understand what they mean, and will have the wrong interpretation of them. Their laws will affect and be directed at those following the true Christ the most, and the 144,000 will take the brunt of Babylon’s wrath.
Persecution and martyrdom will be common place, as this beast makes war on the saints and conquers them. Those living will be confronted with a reality they can no longer avoid: follow the beast and be eternally condemned, or listen to the 144,000 ‘Elijah’ people, and suffer persecution, imprisonment and/or execution. The greatest sin, listed in Revelation will be cowardice, as many will acquiesce due to fear of persecution and death, versus following the Commands of God and teachings of Jesus.
The make up of Babylon demonstrates that even Satan is under the law of ‘Sowing and Reaping’. Satan, the ultimate creature of deception, has sown doubts about God and His ways for eons. His beast, as a result will also demonstrate confusion and doubts, because in the end, a lie can never be the truth. But Babylon will be similar enough to the message of the 144,000 that many will worship the beast, because they don’t want to ‘split hairs’ and risk persecution or execution over it. However, what is not understood is that this decision will be the most important ever made, and have eternal ramifications.
The 144.000 will preach the true message of salvation, and God gives every opportunity for conversion and knowing the truth, as these people will have the authority and miracle working power given to Elijah, to demonstrate and back up their message. They will also have about 2.5 years of time to preach to the world before the appearance of Satan, and the world will have had time to take the seal of God, or reject it. The appearance of Satan in the fifth trumpet will complete this process, as everyone on earth will be forced into a decision after the sixth trumpet war and mark.
One final remark on the religious systems. Similar to the first Advent, there were Wise men from the east who inquired about the birth of the Christ. The Jewish authorities not only confirmed this event in scripture, but gave the location, Bethlehem. Interestingly enough, they did not even have enough curiosity to check it out for themselves, and demonstrated no faith in the scriptures they themselves claimed had great authority. It will be the same during the Second Advent. This information is knowable, and will be demonstrated clearly by the 144,000 when they appear, and like Christ before them, will suffer greatly at the hands of the religious system known as Babylon. Babylon will be made up of the same group of religious leaders who did not see this coming, but now claim to speak for God with great authority, and without having any real knowledge of what they have created and who is really behind it.