In my previous post, Part 1 of this topic, I quoted at length from the recent “A Statement on the ‘Russian World’ (Ruski Mir) Teaching. Signed by more than 500 church leaders around the world, it condemns the growing teaching called “Russian World” in which people like Russian President Vladimir Putin call for the formation of an ultra-ethno-nationalism that would even go beyond the geography occupied by the former USSR. Union to replicate the medieval Russian Empire, which included present-day Ukraine. Many proponents of this view of Russian nationalism also link it to the Russian or Eastern Orthodox Church. One of them is Patriarch Killil of Moscow, a close associate of Vladimir Putin. This is why Killil remained silent in condemning Putin’s war in Ukraine, which is probably favorable.
I suspect that this ideological union between Putin and Killil, between the Russian world and at least some of the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church portrays the graphic prophecy in the Bible’s book of Revelation called “Babylon, the great mother whores and abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:7). I have a book manuscript on Revelation 17-18 which I am planning as Book 6 in my STILL HERE series on Bible Prophecy. Revelation 17 begins as follows in the NRSV at vv. 1-14, with one named “John” (Rev 1.4) as author and narrator:
“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 harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and of the wine of fornication with which the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk. Then he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten 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 fornications, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and abominations of the earth. And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”
“When I saw her, I was very surprised. But the angel said to me: ‘Why are you so surprised? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns who bears it. The beast which you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and must come.
“It requires a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits; also, there are seven kings of whom five have fallen, one is alive, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must stay only a short time. As for the beast which was and which is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they must receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast.
“These are united to yield their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb [Jesus Christ at his return]and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are called, chosen, and faithful.
There’s a lot to digest here, and I won’t go into it all. What is the overall meaning of this woman Babylon riding a beast? To know who the woman is, we have to go back almost to the beginning of the Bible. Genesis 11 tells that after Noah’s flood, people multiplied and gathered in “the land of Shinar” in the “kingdom of Babel” in what is now central Iraq (Gen 11.2 ). There was a city called “Babylon” there. And the people said, “‘Come on, let’s make some bricks and burn them down.’ And they had brick for stone and bitumen for mortar. So they said, ‘Come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves’” (vv. 3-4). So they built what became known in ancient history as “the tower of Babel” or “the tower of Babylon”. Eventually, a religious system became attached to this tower of Babel. In the Bible, it represents man’s self-taught religion in contrast to the pure and true religion of the God of creation, as evidenced by Israel, God’s chosen nation through which he would reveal himself to the world. Thus, “Babylon the great” in Revelation 17 recalls the Tower of Babel recorded in Genesis 11.
I believe the depiction in Revelation 17 of Babylon the Great riding the beast is symbolic of the man-made religion controlling various governments in the history of the world. So this Babylon mystery has existed throughout history and becomes very important at the end of time. As to some of the details the angel gave John about this vision, not all interpreters agree. I believe, as do many conservative commentators, that the seven heads of the beast refer to seven successive kings of the Roman Empire and that the last symbolizes the man in the Bible called the final Antichrist (1 John 2.18) . Since he has not yet appeared, the Roman Empire will be revived in the last period of this age, and then he will appear among the ten horns, which also represent ten kings who will rule this final empire consecutively in the last days.
Some Bible interpreters call the Babylon mystery in Revelation 17 “Babylonianism.” Babylonism is an ungodly religion that is associated with human government or even controls human government. I believe this has happened in history with many religious systems, including Christianity. When this happens with Christianity, I believe those responsible for it are probably not true Christians. True Christianity is not ethnic, but God through Jesus calling a people for their name among all ethnicities and socio-economic classes. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote of the true Church of God: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Jesus taught a lot about whether or not people are his true disciples or pseudo-disciples. For example, he said of his true followers, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:27-28). We also read: “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free'” (John 8:31). And He who will be the Judge of all (Acts 17:31) explained earlier in his Sermon on the Mount concerning this future judgment: he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, have we not cast out demons in your name, and have we not done many deeds power in your name? Then I will declare to them: “I never knew you; depart from me, you criminals’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
I don’t think anyone fully understands and endorses Putin’s war in Ukraine, in which his Russian forces attacked and killed innocent people who did nothing to cause this, belongs to the Jesus of the Bible, whom he whether religious or not. or not. And if they are religious leaders who approve of this, they are part of the mystery called “Babylon, the great mother of whores and abominations of the earth”.