THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 4, UP FROM THE ABYSS

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth...and mobilize them for war." ---Revelation 20:7-8

CHAPTER 18

The Woman and the Dragon

"The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and she will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel."
Isaiah 7:14

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The portrait of Christianity painted by John in his Book of Revelation is framed by an adversarial struggle between two maternal figures. On one side, riding the scarlet beast is the adulterous lady Babylon, and on the other, wearing the raiment of heaven, the holy woman of God.

One of the most perplexing mysteries in scripture is the fact that John's vision shows us a Satan who has defined his war not only on Jesus, but on His mother as well.

In the Book of Revelation, the Bible reveals that Satan's battle plan has been woven deeply around the image of the pregnant virgin Mary:

"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.

Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns...the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother.

The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron scepter, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready for her, to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days."
(Rv.12:1-6).

In a succession of graphic symbolic images, John reveals that the world's lady, the prostitute which sits on the seven hills, and who has given birth to the children of Satan (the harlot the Bible calls 'Babylon'), exists in violent opposition to God's sacred woman: the mother of Jesus Christ.

"As soon as the devil found himself thrown down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child, but she was given a huge pair of eagle's wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert..." (Rv.12:13-14).

Why the battle lines have been drawn on an image so graphic of Mary has remained an enigma for ages, but we can clearly see on earth Satan's role in pressing a violent campaign against her.

Failing to destroy her, John continued, "The serpent vomited water from his mouth, like a river, after the woman, trying to sweep her away in the current..." (Rv.12:15).

This flood of water seems to constitute a river of propaganda -- a torrent of vitriolic attacks directed at the defamation of the holy lady's image among the people. There can be no doubt that its purpose is to try and subvert the conception process that Mary has initiated on earth under God's direction.

Whatever it is, much of it vanished into the graves of the wicked as the earth opened up to "swallow the river thrown up by the dragon's jaws." (Rv.12:16). The perpetrators of this initial assault all died and the major aspects of their efforts disappeared, buried under the weight of the victory of the Christian millenium.

Similar attacks, however, have begun to re-surface in our own time apparently in response to Satan's return from the Abyss (Rv.20:7).

With the recent stirring of the last heads of the beast, John's battle lines are becoming clear once again. As they rise up from the Abyss, the modern servants of the dragon have shown a preordained obsession with perpetuating Satan's deep hatred for the mother of the Lord and those who choose to follow her Son.

There are some who argue that John's symbolic maternal image in these quotations is that of Judah, the errant tribe of Israel whose rejection of Christ has presented on earth a counterpoint to His Gospel and whose string of catastrophe's down through the ages, a graphic example of that rejection's consequences.

The image that John gives us, however, shows us a mother quite different. The birth of Jesus on earth was wrapped in faith and loyalty -- a devotion and belief so powerful that it enabled Him to conquer the entire planet in just a few hundred years.

The mother of that conception was not a hostile and disbelieving people, just the opposite. This is proved in John's next verse: "Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus." (Rv.12:13-17).

Faith, not rejection was the maternal genesis of Jesus Christ, and the figure of that conception stands crystallized in Old Testament prophecy:

"God is going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth, gives birth". (Micah 5:2-3).

"The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and she will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel...For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince-of-Peace". (Isaiah 7:14; 9:5-6).

Clearly a line separating Satan from God has been drawn in the sands of creation, and it crosses right through the mother of Jesus Christ, making her a central target of Satan's rage.

On one side of this line are the people of God and on the other, those who are led by the dragon.

John's words regarding this attack are as extensive as they are stark; and they telegraph an ominous warning to every Christian who feels animosity toward Christ's mother. According to the Book of Revelation, anyone who attacks Mary is drinking from the devil's river and has fallen into union with the core of Satan's rage.

In the Bible, two feminine images share center stage in the motherhood of Jesus -- His earthly mother, Mary, and His spiritual mother, the Word of God, a sacred entity called 'Wisdom' in the Old Testament.

The Word of God becomes our own mother in the Third Person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit), and it is the Spirit's new birth inside us that keys the prophecy.

The Holy Spirit and the word of God are exactly the same, so they share a common identity in the generation of God's kingdom -- and this identity is tied by John's scripture to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

Jesus had two natures (true man and true God). In both He was perfect and without sin, and Mary gave birth to one of these two natures.

The Book of Revelation clearly shows that the glorification she has since received for her maternal role in the genesis of Righteousness on earth is not a mistake or an accident (Rv.12:1), and much of it is related to Satan's attack.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin.

Because Satan is so cunning, he has been able to coerce a significant number of Christians to join with him in the hatred he has directed at the mother of Jesus Christ.

This despite the grave admonition against it braided by John into the pages of the Book of Revelation.

Mary, as the alter image of Christ's spiritual mother, stands as a buffer to this venom, absorbing much of this abuse so that those who spout it in ignorance are not made ineligible for eternal life by their unwitting participation in the spread of Satan's river against the Holy Spirit (which, according to Christ, is participation in something unforgivable).

John's vision has defined the battleground.

Because God Himself was the author of all this imagery, we can see that war on Mary is an extension of Satan's war on the Church. It is the physical side of warfare against the word of God.

In the Book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit shows us exactly where the focus of Satan's anger will be directed. (Rv.12:13-17).

According to John, Satan hates the Church and he hates the woman who brought it to birth. His rage (Rv.12:17) against both is the malevolent spiritual force that he has tried to implant inside each of us to get us to join him in his hatred -- to try to make us accomplices and participants in his anger against the holy motherhood of Jesus Christ.

He tells us that the Church is evil; he accuses many Christians of worshipping Mary, and he attacks the Jews. No aspect of the genesis of God's Son escapes his wrath.

Those who forget the words of John's vision try to find an answer to Satan's questions. But Satan has led all who listen to him into a trap. He has convinced many that a deep affection for Mary is evil and made them think their hatred of her is pleasing to God.

Satan used the same tactics with Eve, filling her mind with questions that caused her to rebel against God in the Garden of Eden.

It is no different with us because Satan has not changed. There are no reasonable answers. Just a decree by John. And with it a line drawn on the battlefield of Babylon that no one should ever cross.

In the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female, but the presence of a feminine image in divine royalty is deeply imbedded in scripture and it is always associated with the Holy Spirit.

Femininity in the Bible represents motherhood. Usually in the divine sense it is portrayed in the Old Testament as 'Wisdom'.

Precedence for it goes as far back as Esther who is described as the 'bride of the king', and also as the 'little spring that became a river' to save her people. Described in this way, Esther portrays in an allegorical form both the Jerusalem of God and the Holy Spirit, two concepts mysterious to the Jews but later revealed to Christians by Jesus Christ.

Speaking of the new Jerusalem in feminine terms, Isaiah said, "For now your creator will be your husband, his name, the Lord God Almighty...he is called the God of the whole earth." (Is.54:4).

Creation is portrayed by the prophets in scripture as the wife of God. There are two, and they signify the two creations.

The old creation (human civilization), is the unfaithful wife imaged in the Old Testament by both Vashti and Hagar, and the new creation in heaven (the spiritual creation of Christ) is imaged by Esther, and Sarah, and even more perfectly by Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Pouring out from the breast of Christ to form this new creation in heaven is the 'living water' of the Holy Spirit. And because this sacred 'water' brings those it enters into the new life of God, it is defined in the terms of motherhood as well

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit down from heaven to bring us into the life of God by wedding our soul to itself. This bonding makes us one with the new kingdom.

Jesus called this union 'rebirth', showing that the Holy Spirit is the creative substance -- the 'living water' -- of the new Jerusalem in the kingdom of heaven. (Jn.7:38-39).

Pouring into faithfulness, the Bible's symbolism unites Wisdom and the Holy Spirit into a single entity -- the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

God's Spirit is a pure emanation of spiritual water from the third heaven. When we are fused with this Spirit we are made one with God's new kingdom -- its living water, Christ's Gospel, bathing our soul in eternal life.

Since scripture terms this new creation the bride of Jesus Christ, our fusion with her brings us to life in her own existence -- an existence created by Jesus. She is the new creation -- the Jerusalem of heaven -- and she exchanges this world which is passing away with a new world composed in her own substance.

The woman of Babylon, mother nature, the first bride (like Vashti) has been replaced. Passing away, she is doomed to a lake of fire because Satan has infused her so completely with his own wicked spirit.

We can see in these images that the Holy Spirit, then, is both God and Holy Mother.

The Old Testament, preparing us to understand the true nature of our spiritual mother uses the term 'Wisdom', always imparting a feminine gender to it.

This closes the circle because it brings us back to the Gospel. The word 'Wisdom' and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are identical terms. The Holy Spirit is the word of God.

Our true 'Holy Mother', then, is the Gospel -- the will of the Father -- the word which created the universe, and which brings each of us to life the moment we take it into our hearts and are reborn into its nature.

Jesus proved this when he said, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." (Mt. 12:48-50).

This is what being 'born again' is all about. It is our spiritual union with the word of Christ. Born again is what happens to us the moment our soul is fused with the Holy Spirit.

We were born into the substance of Babylon when we came out of our earthly mother's womb, and Jesus came to transform us from that worldly material into the substance of heaven by imparting His Holy Spirit into us.

John has revealed that the clearest sign of Satan on earth is hatred of Jesus' mother. (Rv.12:13-17). The clearest sign of God on earth, then, must be just the opposite.

The love of Christ's mother is a proof of faith. And in the case of Mary, such honor fulfills the prophecies of scripture: "Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me." (Lk.1:46-55).

There is nothing strange about this. It completes the symbolism which has been designed to show us that our conversion can only be accomplished in absolute faithfulness. Because more than anything else, it is the trust and faithfulness of Mary which allowed her to become the receptacle on earth for God's holy Son.

And when she gave birth to Jesus Christ, she gave birth not only to Him on earth but to all of us who follow Him as well. And it is on this fact that all the imagery lies.

The Bible does not call us to worship Mary, but it does insist that we must side with her. "Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Lk.1:42). Such reverence is not only prophesied, it proves which side of God's line we are on.

By defining the warfare between Satan and the Lord in the images of these two women, the Book of Revelation has sealed this reverence as the counterpoint to the worship of the dragon and his beast in the last days.


The Last Days of Babylon


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