Reflections on Revelation #292

‘Day 292

“4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, holding in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her sexual immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery: “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.” REV 17:4,6 (NASB)

Any interpretation that ignores the importance of the Old Testament sanctuary system of worship and instruction has missed a basic rule for understanding Revelation. The sanctuary was God’s dwelling place with the children of Israel. It was a reminder of their lost inheritance and was therefore modelled on Eden. It outlined the entire plan of salvation, focusing on Jesus who became the embodiment of the sanctuary when he “tabernacled” with us on earth. Luke showed us that Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sept/Oct). Jesus said,” destroy this building and I will raise it up again in 3 days.” (John 2:19, Matt 26:61) Revelation ends by saying that He will again tabernacle, dwell with His people. (Rev 21:3) 
Is it any surprise then, given its importance, that the devil has a counterfeit for the sanctuary and its high priestly ministry? In today’s text, a beautiful woman is dressed in clothing reminiscent of Israel’s High Priest adorned with precious stones, mimicking the breastplate of the High Priest whose clothing was a shadow of the sanctuary. She is wearing the colours of the sanctuary. (see Ex 25: 4; 28:5,6,36-38; Num 4: 7-12; 15:38-39) Scarlet is the colour of sacrifice, purple is the colour of divinity.

The missing sanctuary colour in the counterfeit is blue, which stood for obedience to the law. The blasphemous inscription on the harlot’s forehead also replaces the priestly inscription, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” on the mitre of the high priest (Exod.28:36-38). The cup in her hand reminds us of the vessels of the sanctuary which Belshazzar drank from, the night before Babylon’s fall (Dan 5). The cup in the harlot’s hand uses the appearance of truth to conceal the wine, (the falsehoods of Satan’s end-time religious system) in order to seduce the world away from God.

She is Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes. The separated brethren she calls them. Not everyone who names the name of God is serving Him. We should never place our full trust in human beings and institutions. God’s Word is our safest guide. (See Matt:7:21-28 for a solemn warning from the sermon on the mount.) 


No Comments

Post A Comment