When we come to the 7th seal, trumpet, vision, or bowl, we are at the end: the final judgment which will be followed with the new creation. These 4 perspectives, like the 4 gospels, are describing the same 7 judgments from different views. With the 7th bowl, we see wrath poured out on the woman Babylon, who represents the counterfeit church. She is bold and loud, like the bold and loud voice of the foolish woman in Proverbs. She is contrasted with the Bride of Christ, the true Church, who is quiet and wise, like the soft voice of the woman wisdom in Proverbs. The woman Babylon comes riding in on a beast. She has deceived many, and the world is intoxicated with her. Katy Perry came riding in on a “beast,” a mechanical lion, in a glittering gold outfit at one Super Bowl halftime.
Whether or not they were trying to mock Revelation, I do not know. Christians discussed this afterwards — and I found this article about such discussions to have wisdom, should you be interested. https://getalongwithgod.com/being-real/did-katy-perry-ride-the-beast/
This “astonishing show” brought down the house — like the vision John has in Rev. 17.
Just last night, Christmas night, I was watching the Green Bay Packer football game with my family, including my two grand-daughters. During a commercial for a movie, a couple having intercourse flashed across the screen. The 8-year old was playing with a Christmas toy and didn’t see it, but the 11 year old turned white. She has just learned about God’s plan for sex. I was so angry at the dragon who perverts everything good and targets the vulnerable. He was right there in our living room, after a beautiful and truly holy day, targetting our precious girl.
Not only do we have a dragon originating evil plans, we have a counterfeit church spreading lies about God’s plan for sex. She is the woman Babylon who is without shame: loud, brassy, and unrepentant.
In contrast, the Bride of Christ is quiet, pure, aware of her sin, quick to truly repent and be ready for her Bridegroom.
Dr. David Campbell says that the Greek word (porneia) that is translated adultery or sexual immorality (used to describe Babylon, or the counterfeit church) “refers in Revelation primarily to self-serving participation in economic and religious activities.” That ad went up during last night’s game was meant to make money for a movie company, and it was allowed by the NFL.
This is sobering to me, for though I know the Lord is talking about the counterfeit church, I don’t want to just point fingers away from myself. There have been times in my speaking as a younger woman when I was flattered by the praise of man and then wanted it! The focus shifted from God to me. I know He has forgiven me, washed me, yet I so regret it, and ask Him to help me nip this evil within myself in the bud, turn from it, and make myself ready and unashamed for His return.
The sermon will really help you with both this passage and next week’s passage. He articulates clearly the lies the woman Babylon tells — just knowing those can help us defeat them. Then next week will give us more insight into defeating these lies.
On a personal note, our own Laura did this dance for Christmas — scroll to the 1 hour ll minute mark:
- For what are you thankful from this Advent or Christmas Day? And, what stood out to you from the above?
Monday: The Seventh Bowl
2. What have you learned that the number 7 represents in Scripture?
3. Read Revelation 16:17-21
A. What does the angel say in Revelation 16:17? How does this verify what the number 7 means?
B. Look back at Revelation 11:15 to see what will follow the 7th judgment.
C. How is this earthquake different from others according to verse 18?
D. What happened to the cities of the nations and the islands, according to verses 19-20?
E. What fell from the sky and how did the earth dwellers respond
4. On the very last page of Section 7 of Mystery Explained, beginning with “The account reaches its climax,” and ending with Section 8, read those two paragraphs and share anything that stands out to you.
Tuesday: The Great Prostitute Described
5. Read Revelation 17:1-2
A. How is the great prostitute described in verse 1 and what do you think this means?
B. How is she described in verse 2, and what do you think this means?
C. Why do you think God equates the counterfeit church with a prostitute?
6. In Mystery Explained, in the 8th section, under “Description of the Great Prostitute” read up to “Next, John is transported…” and share what insight Campbell gives concerning John’s description of the prostitute.
Wednesday: Her Relationship with The Dragon
7. Read Revelation 17:3-6b
A. Describe the beast (verse 3)
B. Describe the woman’s attire and cup (verse 4)
C. What title is on her forehead? (verse 5)
D. With what is she drunk with? (verse 6a)
8. Read Campbell’s explanation of each of the following by finishing the above section up to the bold: THE BEAST AND THE SEVEN KINGS.
A. What do you learn about the wilderness in the opening paragraph beginning with “Next, John is transported…”
B. In the paragraph that begins “in the wilderness” what do you learn about the:
1) The blasphemous names
2) The numbers 7 and 10
3) The red color
C. In the 3 paragraphs about the woman what do yo learn about:
1) What the woman’s attire and cup represents
2) The name on her forehead
3) Her contrast with the Bride of Christ
Thursday/Friday Sermon from Westside Church
This sermon so clarifies Revelation 17, I’m not making it optional. I have decided to skip what I originally wrote for next week so we can get started on Lent at the right time, so I really want you to hear this so you cover what we would have covered next wek.
9. What are the first two lies the woman Babylon tells? How has she captured you with either of these lies?
10. What is the third lie?
11. What else stood out to you from the sermon?
Saturday: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
12. What is your take-a-way and why?
13. Here we are, a brand new year. I’m thinking of Anne of Green Gables loving new mornings with no mistakes. Resolutions are usually broken for we are too often operating from a morally restrained heart instead of a supernaturally changed heart. Christianity is organic, in that we must abide in the vine. Pray for yourself here, to do just that in 2022.