In the Book of Revelation Chapter 18 we read about the coming judgment of a nation/kingdom/people referred to as Mystery Babylon the Great.
Here are those beginning verses,
2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
This begins with the announcement that Babylon has fallen. This fallen state happened because of their sins. We read further about that fallen state; it's become a habitation of devils, I would assume literally and metaphorically. The cultural social cohesion of this place collapsing into literal evil.
We read it becomes a home to every foul spirit, again literal and metaphorical in nature. These foul spirits are a reflection of the hearts of those living there; anger, deceit, bitterness, malice, theft, lies, murders, adulteries and sexual abominations, all of the vices of wickedness manifesting themselves in its cultural and social collapse.
This wickedness doesn't remain localized or regional but spreads outward across the borders to reach all the world. We read that the kings or rulers of nations committed fornication with this nation, again literal and metaphorical. Through lies and deceit rulers and merchants of the world became rich from the abundance of this nation's delicacies and merchandise.
International trade is one of the hallmarks in identifying who this Mystery Babylon is. Not only trade but the other identifiers, the public evil of this place as well as its abundance of goods and services, its dealing in pleasures, both sexual and non-sexual.
Then in verse 4 we read "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Here we can see that believers and those of faith do indeed reside in this place. In what state I'm not sure, but reflecting on the cultural and social conditions that exists one would assume the faithful are not in a very amicable environment where they can worship freely.
Believers are told to leave, to flee from this nation because judgment and plagues are coming.
In our day, today, in my mind there's only one nation on earth that can even come close to matching the descriptions defining Mystery Babylon and that is the United States.
This country has collapsed, both spiritually, culturally, and socially, matching the wickedness which describes Mystery Babylon.
Our political and economic situations reflecting similar relationships describing Mystery Babylon. Our major exports are dollars and pornography. Money and sex are two main features of America’s modern exceptionalism which are also highlighted in Mystery Babylon.
All of those vices mentioned in Scripture about Mystery Babylon are reflected in American culture and exported around the world.
Those few faithful remaining in this place are called to leave, I wonder how many will heed that call?
The fallen state isn't an overnight phenomenon, it takes some time but when the cup is full judgment is issued and no time will be left.
I do pray that the Spirit will give whomever this foreshadowing, that judgment is coming, that there is a call going out. That call maybe faint right now for some, but that call will continue to become louder as more eyes and hearts are opened.
Jeremiah 11:11. thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
5. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
17. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22. And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Here we are told to remember the righteous judgment of God and what type of people believers are to look out for. There are those whose sole purpose is to draw your attention away from the Lord, those who distract you with conversations of politics and worldly concerns. We are told to be careful when interacting with them because theirs is the path to hell.
These talkers mock the very God that allows them to breathe, these talkers mock and deride the Son because of their hatred of the Light, loving darkness and sin. These talkers cannot understand even what they are doing because sin has deceived their heart and mind.
So continue in the faith that was delivered to you from Christ as recorded in Scripture, love God, love the Son, and continue in compassion one towards another for today is the day of salvation.
1. Let brotherly love continue.
Some people seem to not understand the idea of brotherly love, since the word love itself is bantered about as if it’s a plaything. Here is a good definition of brotherly love I found today…
Meaning of Phileo
If you’re already familiar with the Greek term phileo ( pronunciation: Fill – EH – oh), there’s a good chance you heard it in connection with the modern city of Philadelphia—”the city of brotherly love.” The Greek word phileo doesn’t mean “brotherly love” specifically in terms of males, but it does carry the meaning of a strong affection between friends or compatriots.
Phileo describes an emotional connection that goes beyond acquaintances or casual friendships. When we experience phileo, we experience a deeper level of connection. This connection is not as deep as the love within a family, perhaps, nor does it carry the intensity of romantic passion or erotic love. Yet phileo is a powerful bond that forms community and offers multiple benefits to those who share it.
So brotherly love, as per this definition, implies the continuation of community, if believers then Christian communities or congregations or Churches. So as Scripture defines itself, we can see in those four words the concepts of church and community, built on the Rock of Ages.
Also reflecting Hebrews 10
23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Allowing phileo to continue in our lives we aren’t suppose to stop going to Church as the manner of some is 👆👆 “read above verse“, we are to participate in the Christian community in which we live, our sphere of influence if you will, encouraging and helping other believers as well as being full of good works, not that the works save anyone, but good works are generally a reflection of our changed heart which leads to a changed life. Yes people often fake their faith with good works thinking as long as others see them doing good then they’re all good, but those kind of people generally show their true colors indue course. True phileo doesn’t discriminate with whomever it helps, it’s focus is on humility in love with the Spirit of God directing the believer.
So let brotherly love continue, keep going to Church, seek out like-minded believers as friends, build a sense of community with fellow Christians, help one another, encourage one another inlove and humility. Most of all, holdfast the faith in Christ which saved you.
2 Timothy 2
3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
5. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
6. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
6. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
7. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.
11. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12. And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
13. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
16. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
1st John 5
1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
. In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
4. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Throughout the extensive history of the Church, there have been numerous events of lasting significance.
Each week brings anniversaries of impressive milestones, unforgettable tragedies, amazing triumphs, memorable births, notable deaths and everything in between.
Some of the events drawn from over 2,000 years of history might be familiar, while other happenings might be previously unknown to most people.
Here are three events that happened this week in Christian history. They include the birth of Increase Mather, the final sermon of John Flavel, and a Quaker treaty with Native Americans.
Increase Mather born – June 21, 1639
This week marks the anniversary of when Increase Mather, a prominent leader in Puritan Massachusetts, was born in Dorchester to Richard and Katherine Mather.
A graduate of Harvard College in 1656, Mather would later become a Puritan minister and serve as president of the academic institution, as well as be the father of Cotton Mather.
“Even more than his illustrious son Cotton, Increase Mather is representative of American Puritanism in seventeenth-century New England,” explained the Mather Project.
“As a leader of Boston’s ministry, he became the defender of Puritan orthodoxy during its decline; as president of Harvard, he guided the college through its most difficult period; as a political figure, he secured a new charter for Massachusetts when the old had been revoked; and as a voluminous writer, he published in widely diverse disciplines.”
William Penn signs treaty with Native Americans – June 23, 1683
This week marks the anniversary of when influential Quaker leader William Penn, founder of the modern state of Pennsylvania, signed a treaty with a local Native American tribe.
Penn made the treaty with a northern tribe known as the Lenni Lenape, making the agreement under a great elm tree located at Shackamaxon in Philadelphia.
There is some dispute as to the exact date for the treaty, with some placing it as actually having happened at other dates, such as sometime in 1682.
Nevertheless, the treaty was famously described by 18th century French intellectual Voltaire as “the only treaty between those persons and the Christians which has not been sworn to, and which has not been broken.”
John Flavel preaches final sermon – June 21, 1691
This week marks the anniversary of when John Flavel, an influential English Puritan author and preacher, preached what became his final sermon, dying from a severe stroke five days later.
His final message centered on the biblical passage of First Corinthians 10:12, rendered in one translation as “Wherefore let him that stands take heed lest he fall.”
According to the Christian History Institute, the goal of the sermon was to urge “those who were careless about their Christian profession to show a deeper concern for their souls.”
“His life was representative of the best of England’s seventeenth century nonconformists. He was known for his passion at prayer,” noted the Institute.
“For instance, learning that a sea battle was in progress, and knowing that many Dartmouth boys were in the navy, he led his people in prayer and fasting. Not one of Dartmouth’s many sailors perished.”
Inés San Martín Jun 18, 2021 rome bureau chief
Displaced Iraqi Christian children in Erbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, hold a sign for the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). (Credit: ACN.)
ROME – According to Bishop Mathew Kukah of Sokoto, the Church in Nigeria is one of martyrs. However, he said it wasn’t a Church of sorrows, because despite the persecution perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organizations, “our people have risen to the challenge.”
“The great news for us Christians in Nigeria is that we’ve been quite relentless, and this persecution, which is part of the life and oxygen of Christianity, has found a greater witness of faith and confidence of our people,” he said on Friday.
The prelate also said that Nigeria is a “very troubled country, almost on the verge of internal explosion,” which has created “serious pressure” for the Christian community, with Boko Haram no longer restricted to Nigeria’s northeast, reaching even Kukah’s diocese in north central Nigeria.
“Every day, we see death and destruction at a massive scale,” he said, noting that two days ago, schoolchildren and their teachers were kidnaped, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
Kidnapping girls and selling them as slaves has long been one of Boko Haram’s strategies to finance its crimes.
Kukah’s words came during the presentation of the 2020 financial report of the pontifical charitable agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). According to the annual report, ACN raised almost $150 million last year, a 15 percent increase from 2019.
One of the questions raised during the presentation was the impact of the allegations made earlier this year against the founder, Father Werenfried van Straaten, who after an apostolic visitation to ACN in 2009 was found guilty of “serious violations” in four areas of Catholic moral and social teaching.
Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of ACN International, said that the donors of the charity “understand that our mission is an important one, and they’re continuing to support our work with their donations.”
He also noted that most of the benefactors were “satisfied” with the way the papal charity had handled the allegations, claiming the past five months have been the most successful in raising funds in the charity’s history.
“Not only did the pandemic turn our own work upside down, but it also dramatically worsened the plight of Christians in many regions of the world, who found themselves — literally almost overnight, without work, pay or food. And many priests and religious were also left not knowing how to make ends meet,” he added.
“In this emergency, however, ACN‘s benefactors remained true to the charity. This great generosity leaves us feeling profoundly grateful,” Heine-Geldern continued. “It was quite unforeseen, especially since the crisis has inflicted profound economic insecurity and difficulties on us all. We were particularly pleased to note that the number of our benefactors has also increased worldwide.”
The organizers of the September 25 March for the Martyrs hope to raise awareness of the plight of the most persecuted religious group in the world.
Gia Chacón, the founder of the non-profit organization For the Martyrs, is on a mission to spread the word that the Christians are dying for their faith in unprecedented numbers.
To that end she is organizing a “March for the Martyrs” to be held in Washington, DC, on September 25.
“We believe knowledge inspires action— the more people who are aware of the crisis of Christian persecution, the more that can be done to aid the suffering faithful,” she told Aleteia.
That knowledge is based on what Chacón has witnessed in her travels to the world’s most dangerous places to be a Christian, from East Africa to the Middle East.
It’s also founded in the work that humanitarian organizations have done to document persecution and violations of religious freedom around the world.
Christians, the world’s most persecuted religious group
According to a recent report from Aid to the Church in Need, almost 340 million Christians — that’s one in eight — suffer some form of persecution, ranging in severity from harassment to murder.
Christian martyrdom is far from a thing of the past. The humanitarian organization Open Doors reports that more than 4,000 Christians were murdered for their faith in 2018.
Called to help persecuted Christians
In 2017, at the age of 20, Chacón was working in the cosmetics industry when she felt a need to find a greater purpose in her life. She took some time off and joined her grandmother, Michelle Corral, in Egypt where she was engaged in humanitarian and missionary work.
John Burger reported in Aleteia that while living among Egyptian Christians, Chacón was inspired to devote her life to helping persecuted Christians:
“It was in Egypt, traveling with my grandmother, that I experienced the face of the persecuted Church for the first time. I realized that there are Christians suffering for their faith, and that these were not just the older generation, but people my age were willing to risk everything for their faith, willing to risk their lives to go to church, to serve Christ and live their lives for the Gospel,” said Chacón.
Jonathan Roumie from The Chosen marches
On September 20, the first March for the Martyrs was held in Long Beach, California. Hundreds of people from many Christian denominations took part, including the actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in the popular series The Chosen.
Roumie addressed the marchers, recalling America’s founding and his own family’s experience as Christians in Egypt.
“The United States was founded by men and women who fled religious persecution,” he said. “My own father left Egypt in the 60s because of religious persecution. He brought his family over in search of a better life.”
“The fact that we can be here praising Jesus’ name together without apology deserves a round of applause. God called you here to celebrate with us, to march with us,” said Roumie.