Mystery Babylon

nebuchadnezzar-2The Mystery Religions

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.

The History

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.

crosierFYI: 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.emblem_of_vatican_city-svg

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!

Tertullian, On Modesty ch. 1

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.

Left Behind Hoax

Left-Behind-posterThey now have a new movie out based on the fantasy book “Left Behind” by Timothy LaHaye

Left Behind in US theaters October 3, 2014 starring Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan. Follows Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) who is piloting a commercial airliner just hours after the Rapture when millions of people around the world . . .   from movieinsider.com/m10845/left-behind/

With so many people in the Christian world having been deceived by this false teaching we’re sure that the movie will do well at the box office. (Guess not)

However there are some real problems with this entirely false teaching on how the prophecies should be interpreted. The rules for interpretation are called Hermeneutics. This view of prophecy i.e. The Futurist View has often been thoughtlessly taught and thoughtlessly received with little or no searching of Scripture. We have never figured out why this fantasy is so appealing to the masses of Christians, it does however demonstrate how few Christians actually read their Bibles, and even fewer have the courage after having read the Bible to stand up to these false teachers and call them out.

The Futurists have been teaching this “soon” Rapture since 1830, and like evolutionist they have no facts to show that their preposterous scenario has any possibility of being true. Once the mind firmly holds to this belief it becomes a mental habit, a habit that is constantly reinforced by books of fantasy, teachings from the pipit, or so called Christian TV. It cannot however be reinforced by sound reading of the Bible. That which is heard is supposed to be true, and assumes an authority of transcendent truth in the unsuspicious person’s mind. Then when different ideas are presented, no matter how logical or Biblically based they are, these are met with hate and prejudice. The mind has been so well trained to hate all other possibilities, that honest intellectual debate is obstructed. These Futurists accept less of the truth, because of their own agenda. That agenda is one of fear. Not being able see in their own Bibles what is being taught frightens many people.  The more they distrust their own judgment, the more they rely on the teachers. The more they rely on the teachers, the more money they put in the collection plate, hoping to somehow placate or bribe a God they now view as angry and despotic enough to plan a seven year tribulation.

We must return to what the Bible actually says.

The oldest rule of hermeneutics is—

“Quod non est Biblicum, non est Theologicum.” 

In other words, “If is ain’t in the Bible, it ain’t Theology.”

There is nothing in the Left Behind series that comes from the Bible. The Bible has no Rapture, no seven year Tribulation, and no political Antichrist.

The second oldest rule of hermeneutics is—

“The Bible is its own best commentary”

or “God is His own Interpreter”

This means that if one doesn’t understand a passage, instead of speculating, one should look up a similar passage and see if there is not some obvious answer to how it should be interpreted. So when it comes to prophecy one should look at fulfilled prophecies to see how they were worded and then look at the history to see what actually happened, another part of the exercise is to look and see what the people living between the prophecy and the fulfillment thought, as a kind of way to avoid the mistakes that they made. Because the prophecies are rarely completely understood until they are fulfilled. Then we can see that locust are armies, the heavenly bodies are political forces, and waters are people, nations, and tongues. (See Also: Known to be Fulfilled and Symbolism)

The Effects of Futurism

Recently, we acquired some old books on prophecy from the internet. They are listed and linked to in the Bibliography.

book divider

One of them had a very interesting statement on the effect that Futurism would have on the church.

Now, if the theories of these writers are entirely groundless, the effects of their error may prove extremely fatal to the Church. The strongest bulwark against the revived zeal of the Romish Church will have been taken away when it is most needed; and the danger of a renewed apostasy will have been fearfully increased, at the time when its guilt would be most aggravated, and its punishment most speedy and sure. A spirit of feverish and skeptical doubt, the most fatal to real progress in divine truth, will have been injected, without warrant, into the  minds of thousands; the light which the word of God has thrown, for the benefit of the Church, on behalf of the whole period of her history will have been quenched in darkness; and her hopes for the future, by a perplexed and fallacious application of irrelevant prophecies, be involved in a chaos of fanciful conjecture and inextricable confusion.  First Elements of Sacred Prophecy by Rev T.R. Birks, page 2, London 1853

He seems to have had the foresight on our present church worldview quite accurately. We have gone from the crazy notion of a rapture, which is what they were teaching in Birks’ day, to the hoax of Blood Moons. Once you deconstruct what prophecy means into what one imagines it means, all the extravagantly concocted spurious errors become doctrine. This lunacy of errors has blinded many a believer into staying babies, continually feeding on the “milk” of the Word. They have been convinced that they cannot read the Bible for themselves. For they do not test what their spiritual leaders claim is in the Text. If they did, they would be throwing many spiritual leaders out. They come to the erroneous conclusion that it is they who cannot understand prophecy and they are stupid.

We are here to tell the congregation of the Lord. YOU ARE NOT STUPID! These things are not in Scripture. There is no rapture, seven year tribulation, or political antichrist in the Bible.

Whether they are misinformed on their own, or they are following some other teacher they have not checked out. They are making it up. The story they tell is a scary one, and because scared people put more money in the collection plate there is no reson for them to stop. They are seeking followers and financial gain over the sure word of prophecy.

See Also: The Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement and Dispensationalism (part 1)

See Also: Faith without Dispensationalism

See Also: Futurism – What it does to your Faith