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Spiritual Babylon

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
December 8, 2019 11:00 am

Spiritual Babylon

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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Have your Bibles with you today truth. If you would to Revelation chapter 17 and look at verses 1 to 6 this morning. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters within the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with the wine through sexual immorality. The dwellers on earth have become drunk and he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness.

I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality known her for head was written the name of mystery, Babylon the great mother of prostitutes in verse abominations and I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly spray heavenly father we come before you today thanking you for your precious word and yet Lord as we look at this particular passage we all feel a sense of deep conviction, the Lord, we realize that what we are dealing with here is the tip Tatian's of a worldly culture and heavenly father. How easy it is for us, even as believers to give end of those tip Tatian and to bring dishonor your name heavenly father as we look at this today. May we be challenged to run from these temptations and run to you as our Lord heavenly father we thank you for the apostle John. The 2000 years ago by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit pin down these words for us that 2000 years later, we might be able to to read these words and be challenged and convicted in and prepared to meet you one day face-to-face guide and direct us to this passage. May Jesus be uplifted through it and may this congregation beatified by and is in Jesus holy and precious thing we pray.

Amen. You may be seated. It's Christmas season and if you watch anything on TV other than ESPN, then you have probably seen a rerun of the movie version of the Christmas Carol, a Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens, the primary character is a man name Ebenezer Scrooge who is a rich, stingy, crotchety old man who owned a business and treated his employees like dirt.

He was extremely selfish. He viewed money as a God and he used people just to benefit himself.

You remember the story have the three ghosts came to Scrooge and that the three ghosts were the ghost of Christmas past the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future and Ebenezer Scrooge was absolutely changed as a result of these of these ghost payee was changed completely and totally no longer was he the champion humbug. He became a paragon of of the character and joy Al from what I understand, Charles Dickens was a Unitarian, is probably one strike against him right there, but from what we are told he got a lot of his his ideas from the premise of the book of Revelation, and I think that's very very interesting and we don't have ghost in the book of Revelation, but we do have visions of vision of the past vision of the present and visions of the future. Ebenezer Scrooge was broken and absolutely changed as he saw what he had been what he then was and what he could be the book of Revelation was written for that very purpose. It was written in an order that at that the veil might be pulled back in and that we might be shown reality that that we might be able to get through the deception and the glitter of the world the flesh and the devil, and that we might see the glory, the majesty and the the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dickens pointed out that analogy that hundred and 70 years ago. About 1600 years ago there was another Christian who wrote another book. His name was Augustine and the book that he wrote was a book that was called the city of God, and his primary source for that book was the book of Revelation in the book the city of God. There were two cities there was a city of God.

And then there was the city of man. You and I are citizens of one of those cities, there is no dual citizenship.

You can't be citizens of both, it can't be both ways, but it has to be one there is a kingdom of light. There is a kingdom of darkness. But there is no kingdom of dimness.

In other words, your you belong to Christ, or you belong to Satan. There is no in between. You were saved or you are lost one city is controlled by the holy Trinity which is the father the son and the Holy Spirit, and they work together to build this great city that the the book of Revelation refers to as Jerusalem and in the city of man is built by the Satanic Trinity, the Dragon the foot of the beast and the false prophet, the Dragon is Satan the beast is the political secular political system and the false prophet is the false religious system and he they are building together.

A city called the city of man. The Scripture refers to them as babbling neck today what I wanted to lose to to share with you was some very important things about this mystery woman so drop down to verse five with me if you would an order for head was written to a name of mystery, Babylon the great mother of prostitutes and of earth abominations. The word ministry in Scripture is a technical word, it means open secret. A biblical mystery is something that we would not know about unless God made it known to us in in Romans chapter 16 verses 25 to 26. Paul talks about the ministry of the gospel and he said this was a mystery because beforehand these were things that you did not know, but now it is been revealed in verses six and seven we see an interesting thing, for it tells us that that John marveled at the mystery woman and he had to be rebuked by the Angel for doing that even John is called up in the deceptive glitter of this mystery woman.

So the angel rebukes John and Vinnie gives John insight into who this mystery woman is I want to share with you four points about the mystery woman today. Number one I was to look at the identity of the woman. Look at verse 01 with me.

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters. This woman is called the mother of proud of all prostitutes.

Her names her expensive clothes. Her jollity jewelry. Her self-indulgent life, give her away. She is a harlot. She sells yourself for money. She is not just a harlot. She is the mother of all harlots is woman in rebels right.

Revelation 17 is called a prostitute.

The word in the Greek, there is the Greek word porn eight which we get our English word pornography.

I want you to understand the is this woman is not the false church now and if you come from a dispensational background than you may have heard this, I know I heard this for a long time that that this woman is the fault church. I don't think so. I believe that this woman encompasses much, much more than that, I believe she is much, much bigger than that, who initiate she is the godless culture that permeates our world, but she is an evil temptress she's not some silly woman that just gets in an affair makes a mistake and she really mean to do that.

That's not this woman cheat sheet. She's a woman who purposely intentionally praise all men. She seduces them.

She is after their money. She she desires to blackmail them and to make yourself rich of other people she's identified as an immoral woman in the city that she's identified with his babbling. Babbling is first mentioned in Genesis chapter 10 and chapter 11.

Nimrod and Nimrod's followers a decided they were not going to obey God.

God commanded them to go out to repopulate, like the earth and and to do it now and they said no were not going to do this will build a great city here and they built a tower. The Scripture refers to it is a tower that is reaching up to the stars what it was was a stargazing powers called a ziggurat. It was this is the occult on steroids that they were saying we are going to guide and direct our lives to the horoscope through the movement of the stars. It was an absolute rebellion against God. That's our first look at babbling as you go through Scripture. Every time you see babbling it.

It is a situation where there is rebellion against God.

I think a king Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king over babbling and he went out on his balcony and he looks out over city in his heart just feels up and wails up with with arrogance and pride in you it's over that city and and and Daniel chapter 4 verse 30 said this is this not the great babbling that I have built for the honor of my Majesty Manny was Sophia with pride he could strut sitting down what control Nebuchadnezzar a world permeated culture. This is what John was talking about in first John chapter 2 verse 15 and 16 were John says love not the world. Neither things are in the world any man love the world, the love of the father is not any for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not of the father, but of the world. Joel Beatty describes it well. Listen to this much. In Revelation 17 is difficult understand but one truth that emerges is that babbling is viewed as past president and future babbling was in the is entity is to come. Her essence is the same, despite any changes in her outward appearance babbling the end is the world as the center of industry commerce, culture and power. This woman stands for everything that temps seduces and draws people away from God. All that stirs the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

This mystery woman is the harlot city High Point to is the strategy of the woman. Look at verse two with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with the wine of the sexual immorality.

The dwellers on earth have become drunk. The strategy of this woman is worldliness your member Rev. James chapter 4 verse four James said you adulterous people do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity against God. The sexual immorality and the drunkenness is symbolic of worldliness and who is subject to worldliness. Every single one of us every single one of us are subject to it. Look at verse 15 and the angel said to me, the waters that you saw with a prostitute is seated our peoples, and multitudes and nations and languages and in other words, no nation, no class, no generation is safe from the temptations of worldliness or clientele include capitalist and communist presidents and dictators, rich and poor.

There is no system of government, no political in ideology.

No human philosophy that is not been tainted by this woman.

Not even the church is safe from her. This know what Joel Beatty said again and if this done shaker in which nothing will. We tend to think of the world is been out there or remote from us. We also tend to identify worldliness in terms of outward appearance or conduct that is far too simplistic. Worldliness is so much more than smoking, drinking too much list and ungodly music, watching simple movies. Worldliness is an attitude of the heart toward God and our fellow human billions. It includes lifelessness and pride include self-centeredness, bitterness, and indulgence is thinking too highly of yourself, all ignoring the pain of others. Worldliness is admiring people instead of worshiping God is making God small in making people big worldliness can get into a church and spoil the Christian voracious bone. Our sales outlook of the church are found in the world. I look to the world.

I found in the church, a W toaster speaks about the effect of worldliness on church attendance. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting were the only attraction is God.

Something else must be offered to entice people to come to church today whether music celebrity guest movies, special programs for young people and the like.

The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life are not out desire.

They are right here attacking us as God's children every day. Most of us Christians have persuaded ourselves that were rule, worldliness is not really a problem for us. We we know how to handle it when we look at at situations like that. What we're seeing here in Revelation 17 that we see the woman's behavior and it was a man we don't want any of that. And yet, yet we may be flirting with her in her own way. Verse six is and I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. The woman is responsible for persecution and and martyrdom of Christians.

That's a horrible thing when he goes on in the church really taste something that's worse than persecution and that is when worldliness seeps into the church that is worse when Christians are being persecuted they become more dependent on Christ. When Christians are being persecuted. The world looks at us and I think while that these people really mean what they say they believe that they believe that Jesus is of infinite value that they're even willing to die for him and the world is is shocked by that and moved by that but when the world sees worldliness in the church that they're not moved by that, in the right way, there moved by that in a wrong way, they realize that what's going on in the church is nothing more than what they've got in there repulsed by that. I remember back in 1987 there were three scandals that broke out Jim Baker in the PTL situation where he got involved with an adulterous relationship then it was found out about all the money that was being misused and there was Jimmy Swaggart he got caught with a prostitute. There was Oral Roberts who climbed up and is tolerable. Oral Roberts University and 71 coming down until several million dollars came into his ministry and I can remember during that time right after all that took place there. It was almost like the church was stifled.

You can almost feel it in the air. It was like the world said hey you guys are not for real. Don't come around us. Don't share the gospel with us because all we see when we look at you in the church is the world the early church used to say the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the gospel. And that's true, but this is also true worldliness is the destruction of the gospel .3 the support of the woman. Look at verses 334 and he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness.

I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.

The woman is seated on the beast now.

The woman represents the worldly culture.

The beast is red or scarlet. The color of the Dragon, but the beast itself is the secular political system and notice where the woman is. She is seated on the beast on to think about a horse and rider the horse and the rider. Where's the power they are where's the strength they are the strength and the power is in the horse but the guidance in the direction is in the rider of the horse in the United States. What got what is it that guides and directs our government it is the culture that guides and directs our government. Why is it that our government has said that that abortion is now admissible and that it's a good thing and it's illegal in our country why they do that because a politically correct culture demanded. Forget the fact that his murder.

Forget the fact that the baby has rights, it is the mother wants to not have to deal with this child because Gilly given the way of her lifestyle so just go ahead and kill it.

Forget the fact that that's just another form of of of birth control, why, why would the government say that's okay because the culture demands it, who gave our government the right to redefine God's definition of marriage. God says marriage is between a man and a woman, not between a man and a man and a woman and a woman between a man and a woman only the culture who gave our courts the right to say okay to no-fault divorce. The culture who gives the town Council the power to declare that a man can go into a woman's bathroom if he happens to feel like a woman that day. The culture books the power is in the government. The strength is in the government with the guidance in the direction is in the culture verses three and four we are told of the glitter. The fancy close the bright colors. The heavy makeup the expensive jewelry, showing us of the harlot. That's what harlots do that. That's how they allure people and attract people. They dress up they cover over aging. They do anything to make themselves alluring and exciting. What is the what is the woman live. The Scripture tells us that she lives in the in the wilderness what's in the wilderness in the wilderness. There is desolation there is boredom's barrenness. There's dryness there's emptiness the world tempts us with the excitement of alcohol, a young person seizes friends out drinking and and submit that that looks exciting, that looks like fun, and so they get the little buzz in and they have the parties like see all the stuff it's associated with it yet. How many of them end up in absolute addiction with just money thrown away with relationships absolutely destroyed and just one heartbreak after another after another because the physical, mental and emotional bondage is that are created by the whirlpools people to extramarital affairs by tempting them saying you like this is boring is not exciting.

Just get involved in this affair and everything will be wonderful and that person doesn't and what do they experience the wilderness. Eugene and I got called out that 10 years ago. One evening to home where this young man had been involved with a female employee at work. Her husband found out about it and called the wife of the man when we got over there and walked into that house the loop.

The wife was just wailing. The children were crying and the man was laying in the floor in a fetal position solving like a baby brothers and sisters that's babbling and that's what we get when we trust babbling.

We trust the world and we get the wilderness brothers and sisters. It will take you further than you want to go. It will keep you longer than you want to stay in it will cost you more than you want to pay remember Eugene and I walking out of that house that night we went to our car. We looked at each other and we said to each other.

This is war and it is the wildernesses is desolate. No fulfillment no satisfaction whatsoever. You hunger and thirst after more, but the world cannot satisfy the promises satisfaction, but it never gives it in Matthew chapter 4 a.

It was Jesus who was led by the Holy Spirit to go out into the wilderness and he went out into the wilderness to be typical of the devil. The devil took him and like went up to Pine Mountain. They looked out over the mountain and he showed him all the kingdoms the world and the devil said, I will give you all these kingdoms if you will just worship me and Jesus said no, no, that is Satan strategy once again we give you a great quote from Joel baking piece of the woman rides this based beneath this world is a plotting, scheming devil's only interest is so for the purposes of God and ruin the cause of Christ. If you side with the world. You are siding with the devil. If you flirt with this woman you're putting yourself in the hands of Satan. You are offering yourself to him instead of the Christ. James calls worldliness, spiritual adultery you adulterers and adulteresses know you not that friendship with the world is enmity with God, whom whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James is not talking about an occasional brush with the world. None of us can avoid that.

Whoever intentionally and deliberately chooses to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God.

He is saying as it were, as a believer you are promised to another. You are engaged to Christ to be his bride. When you live for the luxuries in vanity of this world rather than for Christ, you are guilty of adultery .4 is the frailty of the woman, verse five and six and in verse 15 and 16 in order for head was written the name of mystery, Babylon the great mother of prostitutes and diverse abominations. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly verse 15 to 16 the angel said to me, the waters that you saw with a prostitute is seated our peoples, and multitudes and nations and languages and the 10 horns that you saw. They and the beast will hate the prostitute.

They will make her desolate and naked, and devour flash and burn her up with fire you never had were studying the book of Revelation we broken down into seven chapter divisions, each chapter division is a picture of the church age. From the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ. Last week we ended the fifth section that was chapter 15 and 16 there was a seven bowl judgments. Last week we saw the last bowl judgment and that was something that's going to take place immediately before the second coming of Jesus Christ. That was the great earthquake that hit the earth today were dealing with starting the six section is chapter 17 through chapter 18 that's were looking at today and we need to understand that this is not something that just gonna take place immediately before Christ returns. What we are seeing the day in the ministry of this woman is something that takes place all the way through church history from the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ. John had to deal with this policy had to deal with this. Calvin had to deal with the aspersion and to deal with the you and I have to deal with is the generation that is living before Christ returns, which might be us will have to deal with it as well. The lesson of the harlot is this, she is not what she appears to be. People are attracted to her and infatuated with her to begin with, but then when they give in to her temptations.

They find that right quick that what they thought they were gonna get is not with a actually got there, getting the wilderness, and they will experience just great revulsion and absolute disgust your member Amnon Davidson, son who was infatuated lovesick with his half-sister Tae mar and he schemed and he plodded and he made a way to get into her bedroom and he physically and sexually molested his own half-sister after he did that the infatuation the love sickness immediately left.

And all he felt for this girl was hatred. Listen to what second Samuel 1315 says, then Amnon hated her with very great hatred so that the hatred with he hated her was brighter than the love with which he had loved her and Amnon said to her, get up and go away. Judas Iscariot is a great example of this. Outwardly, he was a disciple of Christ inwardly was a worshiper of money.

He wanted to get rich that his religion and I think I think Judas Iscariot is very similar to the prosperity teachers today.

The prosperity teachers is a name and claim what you want to just do a prosperity gospel a faith word thing. I think it's very close to what Judas was doing. Jesus portrayed the Lord Jesus for a mere 30 pieces of silver.

The money enticing. It look good. He thought it would satisfy. That's the great harlot that's babbling.

It entices and then it destroys Matthew 27 versus 335 sales. Then, when Judas, the betrayer saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priest and the elders saying I've sinned by betraying innocent blood. I said what is that to us, situate yourself, throwing down the pace of silver in the temple, he departed and he went out and hanged himself. Judas was a worldly coverages and greedy man, and the devil use those traits to destroying any gave in to the culture the JVM to worldliness and what did again getting a guiding regret, revulsion, self-hatred, and suicide. The book of Revelation was not written so that you and I could take what's in Larin right last days novels, it was not written so that you and I could make bold predictions about the exact date in which Jesus Christ would return. It was written to challenge us. I think with the same challenge that Joshua gave to his people as Joshua knew that he was getting ready died. He looked out over his congregation of people and he said to them, choose you this day whom you will serve this for million miles.

We will serve the Lord, the pleasures this world are temporary.

The joy of the Lord is eternal. John is calling us out brothers and sisters we you Leo for the world or by the grace of God we live by faith. Think of Moses.

Moses turned out a life of privilege in order that he might be a servant of God. In Hebrews 1124 through 26 says the us by faith Moses when he was growing up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin, to consider the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking for the reward while he was being groomed to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt. Egypt was the most wealthy nation on the face of the earth, and it could have all belong to him. He said no I'll go and I'll be afflicted with the people of God rather than become the Pharaoh of Egypt.

Why would he do that because he knew that Egypt was temporary, but heaven is eternal. The only way for us to be safe from the world is to line herself up with the Lamb of God. Look at verse 14. It will close with this they will make war on the Lamb and the Lamb will conquer them for he is Lord of lords and King of Kings and those with him are called and chosen and faithful choose you this day whom you will serve. But as for million miles. We will serve the Lord. Amen.

Man must pray heavenly father we thank you and praise you for this great passage of Scripture, may we be challenged by May we be convicted through it.

May we come to love you more.

As a result of it. Heavenly father I pray that if there are those here today that are not sure which city they belong to, but not sure whether they belong to Jerusalem or whether they belong to babbling and not sure whether they are the seed of the woman of the seed of the serpent. They are not sure whether they are in Christ are out of Christ.

They're not sure whether their Savior. Whether their lost. I pray Lord that that will not be something that they leave with a pray heavenly father that even today, right now that if there is that uncertainty that those souls would bow their hearts before Christ and cry out to him for salvation for mercy for grace and trust him and him alone is Lord and Savior. We love you today.

Jesus, thank you for loving us. Thank you for dying for us on the cross.

Thank you for the Holy Spirit that regenerates our dead spirit.

Thank you for the heavenly father that called us from all eternity. We love you and praise you for us in Jesus holy and precious name we pray.

Amen


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