In Revelation 17 and 18 respectively, John mentions two Babylons that will rise to prominence shortly before the advent of Christ. The one is mystical Babylon, referring to an evil ideology, or false system of religious worship, and the other one a commercial city with all kinds of worldly pleasure and immoral practices in it. Both these chapters in Revelation are based upon the supposition that there will be a reconstructed Babylon as an end-time manifestation of the ancient Babylonian empire, and also as a fitting centre of operations for the Babylonian world religion.
The one Babylon is called: "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the eartH" (Rev. 17:5) and the other one: “Babylon, that mighty city! (Rev. 18:10). Because the city of Babylon is the place of origin of the pagan religions, the apostate end-time world religion with its unbiblical unification of all religions, is aptly described as mystery Babylon. It is opposed to biblical Christianity and is already in the process of establishing an ecumenical body, or parent organisation, called the mother of harlots in Revelation 17:5. This woman rides on the back of the beast, and will be recognised, supported and used by him. The angel said the following to John about this spiritually defiled woman:
The identity of the beast with the seven heads and the ten horns has already been discussed in the messages on Revelation 13. It is the Antichrist who will be the ruler of the seventh, apostate world empire. Of these empires, five had fallen before the time of John, i.e. the Babylonian Empire of Nimrod, the Assyrian Empire, the restored Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, the Medo-Persion Empire, and the Greek Empire. The sixth one, the Roman Empire, was then in power while the seventh and last one, that of the Antichrist, was still future.
The woman sits on all seven of these empires and has spiritual dominion over them. The seven mountains on which she sits must not be applied to Rome nor the woman narrowly identified as the church of Rome. She symbolises all the false religions of all times. She cannot be related only to Rome as there were more than seven apostate caesars who persecuted the Christians. From Nero to Diocletian alone there were ten. The woman reigns over the kings of the earth, deceiving them and their followers against worshipping the true God. She represents the spiritual power of deception that Satan has on earth. It is in this sense that the whole world, with the exception of a small minority of true Christians, according to 1 John 5:19 lies in the sway of the Wicked One.
It is helpful to keep in mind the significance of the word 'harlot'. It indicates an immoral woman who does not keep herself pure for marriage to one man, but commits loveless fornication or adultery with many men. Or she could be a married woman who is unfaithful to her husband and commits adultery with many men. True religion is to be faithful to the one true God. To set up religions which worship gods other than the true God is spiritual adultery and such false religions are therefore harlots spiritually. The worst kind of spiritual harlotry is to profess Christianity which should worship the true God and Him alone, while forming alliances with heretical 'Christian' churches and with false religions who do not worship the true God nor accept Christ as the one mediator between God and mankind. An alliance of adulterated Christian and false religions therefore merits the title THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.
The origin of the false world religion of the end-time can, according to Revelation 17, be traced back to Babylon. The ancient Babylonian Empire which was founded by Nimrod, functioned in close association with the pagan religion of that time. The marriage between politics and religion was so intimate that this empire was controlled by a priest-king. He made use of occult powers and astrology to reign. The king was also the personification of the sun-god who was regarded as the giver of light and life. From this superstition the cult of the sun-pillars arose, from which the later obelisks and peace-poles of modern times developed. In Revelation 17 and 18, a description is given of a neo-Babylonian government, religion and economy that will be established before the Second Coming of Christ. That is the ultimate goal of the New Age Movement, of which the roots go back to the ancient Babylonian Empire of Nimrod. It is nothing new.
The end-time emergence of the New Age Movement is linked to the Russian-born Madame Helena Blavatsky who founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. She received her revelations and commands directly from a spiritual master with whom she had telepathic contact. She offered herself as a medium to higher (demonic) powers that worked through her.
As a result of these revelations, she published the book Isis Unveiled in 1877, and the six volume The Secret Doctrine in 1888. In these volumes she expounds the secret doctrine that, according to her master, forms the foundation of all religious, philosophical and knowledge systems. In the introduction to Volume 1 of The Secret Doctrine she says:
The New Age objective is, quite clearly, to unite all religions, including an adulterated version of Christianity, in an alliance of world religions. In association with demonic doctrines such as evolution, reincarnation, metaphysics, parapsychology, astrology, pantheism and Marxism, all faiths and philosophies must revert to their common Luciferic origin. In this way, unity can be achieved in the world and all people’s lives be ordered according to the same evil principles.
It is of the utmost importance to consider the role of the false religions in the end-time as they will be officially recognised by the Antichrist and be endued with great power and authority in his empire. They will be associated with one another in an ecumenical alliance and gradually narrow the differences between them until they form a corporate group who will accept the Antichrist as their common messiah. To the deceived Christians he will be the Christ, to the Jews the Messiah, to the Muslims the Imam Mahdi, to the Hindus Krishna, and to the Buddhists the Maitreya Buddha.
After the revelation of the Antichrist the whole world will be religiously united, with the exception of the 144 000 Jewish evangelists and the true Christians of that time. The united world religions will institute a vicious and bloody persecution of Christians who refuse to join their ranks or to worship the beast. The blood of the martyrs of Jesus will be on the hands of this woman who will be the mother of the harlots. On a much greater scale than previously, she will perpetuate the persecution of God’s children on earth with a view to obliterating true Christianity.
There are various ecumenical bodies in the growing interfaith movement. Their objective is to first equalise and merge all factions within every religion, after which religious equality will be promoted in a multireligious dispensation. Once this stage of merging has been reached, the final objective of religious unity will be pursued under the pretext that all religions worship the same God. When this idea has been firmly established it will be opportune for the appearance of the universal messiah of all faiths, and also for the global false prophet.
One of the biggest interfaith bodies is the Parliament for World Religions. In August 1993, 7000 delegates of 250 different faiths met in Chicago for the biggest and most representative interfaith meeting in the history of mankind. At this meeting were not only ecumenical Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and the followers of more than 200 other religions, but also shamans – i.e. magicians and witches. A declaration of global ethics was approved and published. Various other regional meetings were subsequently held to promote interfaith collaboration. The next general meeting of the Parliament for World Religions was held in Cape Town from 1 to 8 December 1999. In 2000, the United Religions Initiative was launched.
The United Nations, as well as many individual governments, support the initiative for the establishment of an alliance of world religions. They see the promotion of a religious world brotherhood as an important prerequisite for the successful introduction of the new world order. That is the reason why the United Nations in the early 1970’s founded the World Conference on Religion and Peace, an ecumenical body intended to promote peace and unity on earth. This is a category 2 non-governmental organisation. In South Africa, it functions under the guidance of two theologians of the University of South Africa to bring the various religions closer to one another for the sake of peace and unity. The traditional African religions also feature strongly in their public lectures.
One of Satan's major tools which he uses to adulterate Christian doctrine, infiltrate and unify Christian churches with a view to associating them with the non-Christian religions, is the World Council of Churches (WCC). This body was formed in 1948 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and its credo is One church for one world. Right from the outset it was obvious that the WCC did not only have Christian unity in mind, but rather a world-wide alliance of religions. The following actions and decisions are proof of this statement:
In 1961 the WCC had its third session in New Dehli in India. The theme of the conference was: Jesus Christ, the light of the world. This was not a reference to the biblical Christ, but to the cosmic Christ of all faiths. In terms of this perception, Hindus and Buddhists are viewed as anonymous Christians on the basis of the general grace. It is argued that God has reconciled all men to Himself through Jesus Christ. According to the WCC, some people who do not know that they have been reconciled to God are nevertheless on their way to heaven!
At its 1968 conference in Uppsala, Sweden, the vision of the WCC extended beyond the unification of the church since their ultimate goal was formulated as a united humanity in a new international order. People from all religions were to be merged into a new world order. To actively promote this idea the WCC instituted the Programme of Dialogue with People of other Living Faiths. Since its institution in 1970 the term ‘believer’ was a substitute for 'Christian', and the members of the non-Christian religions were henceforth addressed as ‘fellow believers’, based on the premise that we all worship the same God. In 1973, the Bangkok conference of this WCC body was opened by the president of the World Buddhist Society. In her prayer she called on the gods of all religions to save mankind.
The 1975 Nairobi conference of the WCC expressed itself in favour of the more intimate unification of humanity. One of the closed sessions on spirituality was attended by Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Pentecostal Christians, as well as Hindus, Buddhists and an atheist. Their agenda was obviously humanistic and multireligious!
At the 1983 conference in Vancouver, Canada, a totem pole was erected in honour of all the tribal spirits of the Red Indians. At the conference it was recommended that the different religions should take hands to promote peace on earth.
The 1991 conference at Canberra in Australia resolved that an active process of reconciliation should thence be set in motion by the Christian religion. Justice and peace should be pursued in all walks of life. It was emphasised that this should be an interfaith action as it is beyond the capacity of a single religion to bring about peace in our troubled world. A Korean theologian stated that all missionary work is redundant and should be discontinued as God is present in all cultures and in all religions. Missionaries do not have to introduce Him where He already is. The WCC maintains that God does not only reveal Himself to the world through the Christian religion, but through all the religions. Equality and unity must be pursued by them. One religion should not elevate itself above the others nor denigrate any of them, as they are all equal.
These ideas are very popular in the new South Africa and are advancing with giant strides in the theological faculties of virtually all universities. Various text books for courses in multireligious education have already been produced – here and overseas. In this and other ways, religious Babylon is grooming herself for her exalted position in the coming antichristian new world order.
The Roman Catholic Church is, in its own right, also actively involved with the promotion of interfaith ties. They give strong recognition to Islam as a monotheistic religion, which allegedly worships the same God as Christianity and Judaism. The leaders of a number of world religions have in the past been invited by the Pope to venues in Italy where they prayed for world peace. The reason why the Roman Catholic Church is not an official member of the World Council of Churches is evidently because the Vatican regards itself as the ‘mother’ and ‘home’ of all Christian churches and expects all the 'separated brethren', as she calls them, to return to her. Despite this stand, they are collaborating with the WCC on committee level, with the result that degenerate Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and the non-Christian religions are almost daily moving closer to the objective of a general alliance of religions.
The New Age Movement continues with plans to promote global religious unity. The leaders of certain New Age organisations have worked out a thirteen-point Plan to institute the new world order. It constitutes a revival of the old Babylonian religion and world government that interacted very closely. In this list you will clearly recognise the woman on the back of the beast. The New Age Movement is the vanguard of the ecumenical movement, and they openly declare their objective of uniting religion and politics in the new world order. The 13 points in the strategy of the powers of darkness are:
1. The principal aim of the Plan is to establish a one world religion and a one world political and social order. Their key concept is that everything is one (monism). This unity must be established in all spheres of life.
2. The New Age world religion must constitute a revival of the religion of ancient Babylon in which mystery cults, sorcery, occultism and immorality flourished.
3. The Plan will be fully implemented when the New Age Messiah (the Antichrist) with his number 666, reveals himself as head of the world religion and the coming world government of the new world order.
4. Spirit guides (demons) will prepare people for the coming of the cosmic Messiah, by acclaiming him as the world teacher.
5. Peace, love and unity are to be used as buzzwords for the new world order and the new world religion.
6. New Age teachings must attain scientific credIbility and be vigorously propagated in every sphere of life, in the public and private sectors, around the globe.
7. Jesus must be portrayed as a prophet and a master of wisdom who is one of the disciples of the cosmic Christ. It must be denied that he is unique and that he should be worshipped as a God who is above humanity.
8. Christianity and all other religions must be integrated into the inclusive world religion of the New Age.
9. Fundamental Christian principles that stand in the way of this reform movement (e.g. the atonement for sins on the cross and that Christ is the only Way, Truth and Life), must be discredited and abandoned.
10. Children must be spiritually influenced and indoctrinated in schools in order to promote the New Age dogma.
11. Flattery will be employed to entice people into believing that man is inherently divine. They should be told that we are all gods.
12. Science and the New Age world religion must become one. The mystic (cosmic) dimension of man and nature must be researched.
13. Christians who resist the Plan must be reoriented or dealt with in other ways. If necessary, they will be exterminated and the world purified of their influence.
From this strategy for a take-over it is evident that the new world religion will not function in isolation, but in close association with the Antichrist’s political system and world government. He will be the political and religious leader of the world. The great harlot on the back of the beast will have a clear political agenda to induce her followers to accept the world government and the number of the Antichrist. She will also have a religious agenda to deceive her billions of supporters into accepting him as world messiah, and into worshipping him.
The Antichrist’s marriage with the false world religion is contracted in imitation of the relationship between Christ and His bride, which is the true and unadulterated Christian church composed of those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. The long influence of the false religions over the reigning political powers from Nimrod's time until the advent of the Antichrist will culminate in an unprecedented 'marriage' of the one-world politico-economic power (the Antichrist) with the one-world religious Babylon (the great harlot) but it will not be a long and happy marriage. Religious Babylon will enjoy great privileges and prestige in the Antichrist's empire but after 3˝ years the alliance of politico-economic powers under the Antichrist will turn on the great harlot and destroy her, as she will have out-lived her purpose. John describes her execution as follows:
In the middle of the tribulation, religious Babylon, the harlot-bride, will be abolished and her places of worship closed, destroyed, or used for other purposes. The same fate awaits the orthodox Jewish faith. Daniel says: “…in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate” (Dan. 9:27). The harlot-bride of the Antichrist will thus only be married to him for 3˝ years when his role as world messiah and deceiving angel of light will expire. After that, he will be revealed in his true character as a cruel dictator, murderer and self-deified god. His harlot-bride will then be confronted with the frightening choice of either worshipping him as god or be publicly humiliated by being abolished. Most of the deceived and spiritually blinded religious people of that time will accept the Antichrist's ultimatum and bend the knee to the end-time Baal as the god of this world.
The harlot-bride of the Antichrist can, right from the outset, count the days of her brief period of glory – 1260 days from her marriage until the dark day of her public execution or degradation to slavery. What a terrible price she has to pay to find favour in the eyes of the beast! She has to sear her conscience, turn her back upon the living God and His Son, Jesus Christ, be prepared to be terribly abused, and on top of it all conclude a covenant with death – all that for the proverbial bowl of lentil soup! That is the way of death which was also trodden by Esau and Judas Iscariot.
The mother organisation of the apostate religious peoples of the world is rapidly taking shape. From the viewpoint of traditional Christianity, this process passes through the following seven phases:
1. Unity in the whole Christian world, including between Protestants and Catholics.
2. Religious equality among all religions in constitutions, government structures, and educational systems.
3. The forming of interfaith alliances among all religions.
4. Propagation of the idea of the universal God who is worshipped by all faiths.
5. Propaganda for the coming of the universal messiah of all faiths.
6. The appearing of the world messiah and his united worship by people of all religions.
7. The forced worship of the Antichrist as God, 3˝ years after his appearing.
When phase 6 has been reached at the beginning of the tribulation period, the harlot-bride will enjoy the peak of her popularity and public support as she rides on the back of the beast. In phase 7, her sudden downfall and destruction will occur when all people in the global empire of the beast will be commanded to worship him as God.