Babylon’s Demise and Rebirth
Recently I have been taking a course on the internet to improve my writing skills. The first lesson was about making things personal and emotional, something we strive not to do. Theology is supposed to be cold and analytical. The emotional response is supposed to come from the leading of the Holy Spirit and not by any emotional manipulation from the writer.
Anyway the opening here is my attempt at such a style. I doubt I will repeat it, and I was unable to express how upset and distressed I was at the time.
When I was in high school. I became greatly interested in the Bible and what it meant. Prophecy was one of those areas that made no sense to me. So when one of the slightly older young persons came back from Bible College offered a course on prophecy using the Late Great Planet Earth as his teaching text, I was all in. Our pastor was in the room agreeing with everything that was taught. I found it all very exciting. We were learning secret knowledge that was hidden in the Bible. However my expectation were of a more complete understanding. What was taught was quit confusing as we kept hopping all over the Bible in a way that we had previously been taught was the way cults teach. They kept connecting passages that I could not understand how they were connected.
During one of these lessons the young man who was teaching the class said something I thought odd. He said, “If we only knew what the Babylonian Mystery Religion was, we would know what to look for.” I thought to myself, why don’t we know what the Babylonian Mystery is? When I got home that night I went to my parent’s Encyclopedia Brittanica pulled out the Index and looked it up. It said, “see Mystery Religions”. Now I was really curious. So I turned to Mystery Religions and found columns of articles. Obviously my pastor and the young man had not availed themselves of an Encyclopedia. I sat and read these articles one after another till bed time, after which I decided that the pastor and this young man were idiots. Anyone with an Encyclopedia knows exactly what the Babylonian Mystery Religion was and is.
Many centuries have passed since Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon. Long ago the city became a desolation. During the reign of Antiochus I the city was officially depopulated when in 275BC the inhabitants were transported to Seleucia. So by the time of John’s writing the Revelation (ca. 96-98AD), Babylon itself had long been an abandoned waste.
19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them. 20 It will never be inhabited or dwelt in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there. Is. 13:19-20
The Babylon in The Revelation is therefore symbolic for several reasons. First of all, ancient Babylon has laid in continuous ruin for approximately 2250+ years. The Revelation makes references the outer purple and scarlet clothing of the priests serving in the Temple. This is a further indication of the woman’s or church’s symbolic religious wickedness. Her name and her action are described as the Babylonian mystery religion. In John’s day, this religious abomination was centered in Rome.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; 5 and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Rev. 17:4-6
After the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean priesthood was expelled from Babylon by the Mede-Persian kings. They traveled up the rivers valley and over the mountains finally settling on the Aegean coast in the town of Pergamos. There they established the College of the Pontiffs. The leader of this group was know as the Pontifex.
This title was handed down till at last it was held by Attalus III the last king of Pergamos.
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; Rev. 2:13
Upon his death in 133 BC, he left in his will all his dominions to the Roman peoples. The College of Pontiffs was moved to Rome, and for a time the tile Pontifex was forgotten. However Julius Caesar arranged to be elected Pontifex Maximus, making himself the head of both the Roman State and the Roman Religion. He became the true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff, further taking the title Venus Genetrix meaning that Venus was the mother of the Julian family. He appeared before the Roman people in all the pomp of Babylon wearing the robes of scarlet, with the crosier of Nimrod, the mitre of Dagon, and the keys of Janus and Cybele. So too did all the Emperors after him, until the Christian Emperor Gratian denounced the title as pagan and refused to wear the idolatrous pontifical clothes, and again the title lay forgotten. Until 610 AD. when Boniface III usurped the title Pontifex or Pope.
FYI: Pontifex means bridge builder. Maximus means the highest, greatest, supreme, or sovereign. A crosier is a ceremonial staff carried by a king or bishop or an abbot, hooked at one end like a shepherd’s crook. A mitre is a tall pointed cleft hat originally worn by the priest of Dagon. The keys of Janus and Cybele were changed out and styled as the keys of Peter.
The only early church father to use the term Pontifex was Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225AD) iwho used the title as an insult to any bishop who claimed to supersede any others.
In opposition to this [modesty], could I not have acted the dissembler? I hear that there has even been an edict sent forth, and a peremptory one too. The “Pontifex Maximus,” that is the “bishop of bishops,” issues an edict: “I remit, to such as have discharged [the requirements of] repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication.” O edict, on which cannot be inscribed, “Good deed!” … Far, far from Christ’s betrothed be such a proclamation!
The Mystery Religions
The Pontifex Maximus was in theory the head of all the mysteries. There were many varied mystery religions, the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Mysteries of Cybele, Mythic Mysteries etc. however they all have a few things in common in the basic structure of their rituals. Once initiated into the mystery a person was given secret knowledge that would guarantee that a person would end up in a good place or reward in the afterlife. To be initiated there was always a blood oath, that insured that the initiate would keep the secrets of the mystery. Then there was a confession in which all crimes were confessed to a priest of the Mystery, whether they be against the gods or men. A communion of sorts was taken in which the drink and/or the cake or bread may have contained opiates or hallucinogens, so that one might better commune with the god. Then there was some kind of ordeal, a maze, or tunnel from which the initiate was born again. The secret information was then imparted and a large party was held. Some of these parties became so notorious that they were banned by the Roman government as they thought them too wild. (It must have been some orgy for the Roman’s to have been offended.)
Although many secret societies have adopted the ritual nature of these mysteries only one stands out as having adopted the full religious meaning of all that was in Babylon, that is the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Rome is many things, but Christian is not one of them, it is Babylonian to its very core. The Pontifex Maximus is openly proclaimed, the College of Pontiffs is now the College of Cardinals, and the rituals of the mysteries have become the sacraments.