Chronicles shows us that Mystery Babylon, instead of being one religion, or one city, is all unsaved human beings, all human beings who are not servants of Christ.
Understanding the identity of Mystery Babylon is important for two reasons. The first is to have a better grip on what the world will be in for in the end times. I wrote about that here.
This post discusses aspects of the second reason. The second reason is to better understand what is meant by God’s call to his people to come out of Mystery Babylon.
All The Blood
One mental exercise I’ve been working on is what are the implications of Rev. 18:24 where it says “all the blood is found in her.” This would suggest that all murders of people from Cain killing Abel to the very last murder just in the moment before Christ returns might be a part of Mystery Babylon. This led me to ask if all murders have a common factor.
It was the pursuit of the common factor that led me down an interesting path. If Mystery Babylon is indeed all humans who are unsaved, from the earliest times to the end times, then it might be good to understand all the murders. The best place to go for that is the Bible, I reasoned. After all, in Daniel Revisited, the Bible itself tells us the characteristics of a lion, of a bear, and of a leopard, to better tell us why those beasts are used in Daniel 7.
Survey of Biblical Murders
So I conducted a survey of the murders in the Bible. The resulting list did not include the people killed that God had his people kill, such as Samuel killing the king of Amalek, or David killing Goliath. No, the list of murders involved those people for their own reason, for one reason or another, deciding they had to murder someone else, and then carrying it out or attempting to do so.
I counted a total of fifteen murders and three attempted murders. There are undoubtedly more, but those are the ones that caught my eye. The eighteen are, in order in the Bible, with the murderer’s reason, as follows:
Cain killed Abel – religion
Levi and Simeon killed Shechem – revenge for raping sister
Pharaoh to baby boys – keeping power
Saul attempted murder of David – keeping power
Saul killed Ahimelech for siding with David – keeping power
David has Uriah killed – hiding sin
Absalom kills Amnon – revenge for raping sister
Jezebel kills Naboth – for money/convenience
Jezebel tried to murder Elijah – religion
Athaliah mudered royal family – keeping power
King Nebuchadnezzar and the 3 teens – religion
Leaders tried to kill Daniel in den – keeping power
Haman tried to kill Jews – keeping power, and religion
Pharisees’ forefathers mudered prophets – religion
Herod murdered John the Baptist – religion (of Herodias)
Pharisees murdered Jesus – religion
Romans murdered Jesus – keeping power to prevent Jewish rebellion
Pharisees murdered Stephen – religion
The Great Sin
The reasons given in the list above vary by murder. Eight of them are due to “religion” which means the murderer could not stand to have his own belief system challenged by the one who was murdered. Jezebel could not stand to have Elijah challenge her religion just as Cain could not stand to have Abel prove that his own idea of a sacrifice was wrong.
Another common reason is to hang on to power. Seven murders were due to the murderer wanting to keep his or her own power.
One was for money, one was to hide sin, and two were due to revenge.
Think about it long enough and one common underlying factor emerges—pride.
Whether the murderer felt the need to protect his own religion, or his power and influence on others, or to attain more money, or to execute his own view of justice (revenge), the murderer believed his beliefs, and his world, was more important than those of the person being killed. That is Pride at its core.
Each unsaved person is the ruler of his or her own reality, of his or her own universe. Each unsaved person can only believe in a false version of reality because they do not have a correct view about the Reality. The manifestation of pride is the person thinking that they are the most important person in their reality. They rule their own world. And their reality is correct, in their view. It is pride that blinds them.
This might be why the world’s condition is going from bad to worse, here in the end times. God and his reality and his standard are being forgotten.
This is why a woman would abort her own baby—in her view she and what she wants is more important than any other human being that might be growing in her womb.
This is why leaders of a religion might have others who do not follow their religion be murdered; it is because only their religion can be the true one, so all other religions must be erased.
Cain, the first member of Mystery Babylon, killed Abel for this reason. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because Abel presented his “first lamb.” God did not accept Cain’s sacrifice because he brought “some fruit” not the “first fruit.” Cain wanted his beliefs and religion to be true and for Abel’s not to be, so in Cain’s prideful mind, Abel had to be murdered.
Lewis wrote that Pride, or self-conceit, is the opposite of Humility in a Christian’s morals. The worst sin is not sexual sin, but Pride. It is what made Lucifer the devil. As Lewis wrote, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
As I discuss in Chronicles, every servant of Christ lives in, or will live in, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. In contrast, everyone who is not a servant of Christ, who is unsaved, is a servant of sin, and is a servant of the sinful nature. Jesus said you are either for Him or against Him (Matt. 12:30). Every servant of Christ is of God. Therefore, everyone who is not, is against Christ, and has an “anti-God state of mind” as Lewis puts it.
Therefore, it becomes apparent that one underlying quality of servants of Christ is their humility. This exists with those in whom the Holy Spirit resides.
It also becomes apparent that the one underlying quality of servants of the sinful nature is their pride. This exists with those who subscribe to the spirit of the Harlot, Mystery Babylon. Many teachers who say Mystery Babylon is a single entity say it is a religion or is spiritual in nature. Indeed it is spiritual in nature. Mystery Babylon may contain all the unsaved humans, but the one thing they all have in common is their pride, the anti-God state of mind.
Lewis also wrote that the more pride one has, the more one dislikes pride in others. “Pride is competitive by its very nature.” Additionally, Lewis wrote, “It is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.” Imagine Adam and Eve’s heartbreak over their one son murdering their other son. And not only does pride cause enmity between people, it also causes enmity between man and God.
The citizens of the great city, Mystery Babylon, whether they call themselves pagans, or atheists, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or Christians, are all at enmity with God. Let us always remember we were too until God called us and Christ saved us through faith in his work on the cross.
Lewis then asks what he calls a terrible question:
“How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshiping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themselves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound’s worth of Pride towards their fellow-men. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them.”
Pride is probably the most dangerous sin because it is the hardest to see in one’s self. We need the Holy Spirit to convict us of this. Lewis then goes on,
“It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly.”
I mentioned at the start of this article that there are two important reasons why the true identity of Mystery Babylon is so important. We have been discussing the second, and in my opinion, far more important reason. Mystery Babylon is not some single city or single religion. It is everyone who is a slave to their sinful flesh, who has an anti-God state of mind. It can even include those calling themselves Christian who go to church every Sunday. As Lewis wrote, pride is far more subtle and deadly than any other sin. We must be on the watch.
(Incidentally, that chapter in Mere Christianity is worth a read. Lewis differentiates what is real pride and what is not, of what is important and is not. Lewis also shows in that same chapter that acceptable pride is the pleasure of knowing you did something that pleased the Lord; unacceptable pride is when you cross over to thinking you must be a good and fine person for doing what you do. Jesus spoke of this in Luke 18:10–14.)
Of those being saved and becoming servants of Christ, Lewis also wrote,
“We must not think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity—as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about His dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble—delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible.”
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had their own ideas as to how they would believe. Their pride buoyed these beliefs. But the true reality, that of the living God, would have people come to belief a different way. This is why the religious leaders said (in Mark 15:32), “Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Their own religion, their beliefs, were false because the God of the universe, the God of reality, was showing us that the Son of God had to die on the cross to save us all.
Dying to Self
The key to enter the Holy City, and the turning point in our lives, is that we must die to our self. We must make living for Christ and in Christ triumph over living for ourselves. The Gospels, and the Epistles, and Revelation all say this.
First, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24–25 NIV 1984)
Second, Paul wrote, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin,” (Rom. 6:6–7) and, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:2–3 NIV 1984)
And third, and understood only if Mystery Babylon is all of unsaved mankind, God said, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.” (Rev. 18:4–5 NIV 1984)
These are all calls to come to Christ by denying our self, and to belong to Him. We all were citizens of Mystery Babylon, slaves to our sinful flesh, and immersed in pride. Jesus Christ came to Mystery Babylon, the great city, allowing Himself to be sentenced by the Jewish religious leaders, and to be executed by the Romans, both groups being part of the great city. Revelation 11:8 tells us that is where Jesus was crucified: in the great city. (Yes, physically it was Jerusalem, but spiritually, it was part of the great city.) Jesus came to the great city, and died in the great city, so we may escape the great city and become citizens of a different city, the Holy City.
Chiastics in Chronicles shows us that the Harlot is opposite of Christ: one or the other will rule over your heart. Chiastics also shows us the great city is the opposite of the Holy City: you will live for eternity in one or the other. Chiastics also shows us in the end times that the punishment and plagues assailing Mystery Babylon is the direct opposite of the eternal blessings to be received by the servants of Christ.
This is all further evidence, and an important reason why, we must understand Mystery Babylon contains all of unsaved mankind. It is the spiritual seducer, the trance inducer, and the one who makes people and the nations drunk and sleepy, so all the unsaved will believe their pride is normal and nothing to worry about, and that what they each believe is indeed, truth.
Not only will dying to self and living for Christ have you escape the eternity of Hell, but for the end times coming soon, the servant of Christ will also escape the plagues coming to Mystery Babylon, i.e., the world.
Revelation presents a powerful message here. Thinking of Mystery Babylon as only one geographical or religious entity on earth will make you miss it.