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BABYLON IN THE NEW TESTAMENT — In the Book of Revelation the world in rebellion against God is called “Babylon.” The Old Testament prophets often prophesied the fall of Babylon, the capital of an empire that destroyed God’s city, Jerusalem, and carried His people away as captives. So in Revelation Babylon is a word-picture for a society that persecuted God’s people but that God will eventually destroy.
When the Book of Revelation was written, Babylon may have been a kind of code name for pre-Christian Rome, which was built on seven hills (Rev. 17:9) and which was already persecuting the church. Since that time, generations of Christians have been able to identify their own Babylons and have found reassurance in Revelation’s message.
In Revelation 14:8 Babylon’s power to make people resist God’s claims in the gospel is admitted, but its doom is certain. In Revelation 16:19 Babylon is a “great city” that falls because God remembers its sin and brings His punishment. Throughout chapters 17–18 Babylon is prominent, pictured as a prostitute because it seduces people away from God with its glamor. But it is a false union that cannot satisfy.
“Babylon” stands over against the church, the “New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2), which is “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 21:9). God reveals the “mystery” or divine truth (Rev. 17:5) about it and all such manmade societies that are organized independently of God. Its fall is celebrated by God’s people (Rev. 18:20; 19:1–5).
In Matthew 1:11–12, 17, Judah’s captivity in Babylon is mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy. In Acts 7:43 Babylon appears in Stephen’s famous speech about the history of the Jewish people. In 1 Peter 5:13 “Babylon” probably refers to the city of Rome.
The Law of Moses and Mesopotamian Law
The charge is often made that the Law of Moses was not divinely communicated but that it borrowed heavily from the Code of Hammurabi, or at least from the Mesopotamian context. The Mesopotamian materials were then supposedly purified of polytheistic elements and put in the Old Testament.
As a basis for our thinking, we need to note that the Code of Hammurabi was discovered in Susa (the biblical Shushan). Found December 1901 and January 1902, it was broken in three pieces. When combined, the pieces revealed a code on a black diorite shaft almost eight feet high and six feet in circumference, with 3600 lines of cuneiform text arranged in 44 columns. A total of 282 laws, written in Akkadian, appear in the text. The top front of the shaft features a low relief of Hammurabi standing before the sun god Shamash, the god of justice, and presumably receiving the text of the code from him.
Hammurabi receives the laws in his famous code from Shamash, god of justice.
(From the top of his code, now in the Louvre, Paris)
Originally set up in the great Temple to Marduk in Babylon during the second year of Hammurabi’s reign, the code was carted of by the Elamites to Susa about 1200 b.c. The code today sits on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris. If we accept the low chronology, Hammurabi is to be dated 1728–1686. Most scholars date him a little earlier, 1792–1750.
Now we know that Hammurabi’s claim to originality was just idle boasting. In 1947, a Sumerian code of Lipit-Ishtar surfaced at Isin, in southern Mesopotamia. Dating before 1850 b.c. it had laws that were similar to Hammurabi’s and showed that Hammurabi did not concoct all of his laws. Some took the position that he was bringing up to date the common law of Mesopotamia. Then in the very next year (1948) at Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar), also in southern Mesopotamia, an Akkadian code of King Bilalama came to light. This dated some seventy years earlier than Lipit-Ishtar’s. Four years later, in 1952, archaeologists found the Sumerian code of Ur-Nammu at Ur, dating perhaps 2100–2050 b.c. Of course no one can predict whether other earlier codes are still to be found in Mesopotamia.
Scholars soon began to notice some similarities between the Code of Hammurabi and the Mosaic laws in the Old Testament. Many professed to find a dependence of Moses on the earlier code. But on more sober reflection, direct dependence or borrowing cannot be defended, for the attitude of the two codes is very different. Hammurabi’s code is polytheistic, civil, and commercial, and punishments are geared to class distinctions. Moreover, though Hammurabi appears to pay lip service to the god of justice as the originator of the code, he clearly claims in the preamble and the epilogue of the code to be the wise law-giver who composed his code.
The Mosaic code, on the other hand, is monotheistic, civil, and religious, and does not recognize class distinctions in meting out punishments. Moses claims no credit for formulating his code; this was God’s set of requirements for His people. Similarities between the codes may rise from their Semitic antecedents and the fact that to be called a law code at all or to meet the basic requirements of society, certain similar items would have to be included; e. g., control of murder, theft, and false testimony in the courts.
Because of some repetition of laws or legal principles in these ancient Mesopotamian codes and the Old Testament, we may assume that they to some degree reflect the common law or common customs of ancient Mesopotamia, perhaps analogous to some of the Anglo-Saxon common law that grew up in England in the late Middle Ages.7 In evaluating the whole question of the degree of originality in the Mosaic code, we should not so much be looking for similarities between the Mosaic code and the ancient Near Eastern context as to be looking for distinctives. Remember that God’s goal was to create a unique people that would glorify His name, that He wanted them to conform to a standard of His own specification. He shut up these people to Himself for a whole generation in the wilderness. So we should concentrate on distinctives rather than similarities.
A Comparison of the Hammurabi Code and the Mosaic Code
Code of Hammurabi
Hammurabi claims credit for the laws; he established justice in the land
God is the source; Moses is only the instrument through which the legislation was given
View of God:
Civil and commercial
Civil and religious
View of Society:
Punishments geared to class distinctions
All on an equal plane before God
Geared to a land of rivers, an irrigation culture
Intended for a dry land like Palestine
Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1995). Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.; Includes index. Nashville: T. Nelson.
7 7. The texts of the Lipit-Ishtar, Eshnunna, and Hammurabi codes appear in James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 2nd ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1955), 159–180. For a useful comparison of the Hammurabi and Mosaic codes and translation of the Hammurabi code, see George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, 7th ed. (Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1937), 378–406.
Vos, H. F. (1999). Nelson's new illustrated Bible manners & customs : How the people of the Bible really lived (98). Nashville, Tenn.: T. Nelson Publishers.
Vos, H. F. (1999). Nelson's new illustrated Bible manners & customs : How the people of the Bible really lived (100). Nashville, Tenn.: T. Nelson Publishers.
Ulaya let me quote you here:
"So the above verse is black and white that ABRAHAM,430 years before Moses KEPT GOD’S SABBATH."
This is another LIE you've promoted here, please consider these scriptures:
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
1:17 John contrasts the OT period and the NT era. The law that was given through Moses was not a display of grace. It commanded men to obey and condemned them to death if they failed to do so. It told men what was right but did not give them the power to do it. It was given to show men that they were sinners, but it could not save them from their sins. But grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. He did not come to judge the world but to save those who were unworthy, who could not save themselves, and who were His enemies. That is grace—heaven’s Best for earth’s worst.
Not only did grace come through Jesus Christ, but truth came by Him as well. He said of Himself, “I am ... the truth.” He was absolutely honest and faithful in all His words and works. He did not show grace at the expense of truth. Although He loved sinners, He did not love their sins. He realized that the wages of sin is death. And so He Himself died to pay the penalty of death that we deserved, in order that He might show undeserved kindness to us in saving our souls and giving us a home in heaven. 
5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” (NKJV)
At this point God had not yet given the Mosaic Law; Abraham was not under the Mosaic system. However, the important thing is that, when God told Abraham something, he believed God and acted upon it. He demonstrated his faith by action. 
OT Old Testament
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jn 1:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (1:ix-109). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Forty-Seven Prominent Texts used by Sabbatarians Examined
Gen. 26:5. Abraham kept the Sabbath. Abraham kept God's "commandments and laws." This was the ten commandments, therefore he kept the Sabbath.
1. They assume the very thing to be proved, viz: that this was the ten commandments.
2. This was 430 years before the decalogue was given. Gal. 3:16, 17. How could he keep what was not yet given?
3. Anything which God commanded at any time would be "his commandments," and this would vary with circumstances. What Moses required is called "God's commandments." Deut. 28:1, 15.
Says Paul, "What I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.". 1 Cor. 14:37.
"Sacrifice to the Lord our God as he shall command us." Ex. 8:27.
The Lord's directions to Noah about the ark were God's commandments. Gen. 6:22.
To circumcise was one of the commandments of God to Abraham, which he kept. Gen. 21:4.
So Abraham obeyed all God told him to do. Hence, this text has no reference to the ten commandments, nor to the Sabbath.
MISUSING THE LAW OF MOSES
A foundational error of Seventh-day Adventism is its misuse of the Law of Moses. This is the same heresy that many of the Jews of Paul’s day were guilty of. It is the heresy that he confronted in his epistle to the Galatians.
Four Adventist Errors about the Law
1. According to Adventism, law and grace are not opposing systems, but both work together for man’s salvation.
“The fact that all who are redeemed are saved by grace does not dispense with the law of God any more in the one dispensation than in the other. The law is not against grace, and grace is not against the law” (Charles Everson, Saved By Grace, p. 11).
2. The Law of Moses is the standard by which God shall judge believers.
“The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment. … Those who in the judgment are ‘accounted worthy’ will have a part in the resurrection of the just” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, pp. 423-425).
3. The Law of Moses is the believer’s rule of life.
“Instead of being free to ignore and break the law because he is saved by grace, he is now doubly obligated to keep it. … It is very evident, then, that in the new covenant we do not see the law a thing of no consequence, but we find it occupying the center of the covenant” (Charles Everson, Saved By Grace, pp. 23, 36).
4. “The Ten Commandments are the only perfect rule of conduct in this world today. God gave man the Decalogue as a rule of life” (J.L. Shuler, The Great Judgment Day, pp. 113-114).
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
The following is a summary of every major New Testament passage dealing with the law. The reader is encouraged to look up and study each one of the passages. We are confident the Lord will encourage you in the glorious eternal liberty the believer has in Christ Jesus.
1. The Law of Moses has one main purpose, and that is to lead men to Jesus Christ. A man is saved and justified by faith ALONE through grace ALONE, apart from the law. Because of man’s fallen condition, the law can only condemn him. The law is indeed holy and good, but it can do nothing for sinful man except to reveal his wicked condition and lead him to Christ. See Romans 3:19-20; 5:20; Romans 7:7-13; 1 Corinthians 15:56; 2 Corinthians 5:5-13; Galatians 2:16; 3:9-24; 1 Timothy 1:6-11.
“The law demands strength from one that has none, and curses him if he cannot display it. The Gospel gives strength to one that has none, and blesses him in the exhibition of it. The law proposes life as the end of obedience, the Gospel gives life as the only proper ground of obedience” (C.H. Mackintosh, Notes on the Pentateuch, pp. 232-233).
2. The Law of Moses holds no power over the believer; he is placed in Christ entirely out of the law’s grasp. The law can no more bring condemnation to the believer than it can to Christ Himself, since the believer has been made perfect in Christ. The law has no more power over the believer than the dead husband has over a living wife. The apostles did not teach the Adventist doctrine that the believer is to conform his life to the standard of the law by the power of the resurrected Christ, and that if he fails to do so the law will condemn him in the day of judgment. See Romans 5:1-2, 6-11; 6:3-7; 8:8-10; 10:4; 7:4; Galatians 3:24-29.
3. The Ten Commandments is a covenant of death that is done away with in Christ. Adventist teachers protest that the moral law, represented in the Ten Commandments, was not done away at the cross of Christ and that only the ceremonial law was done away. But the New Testament describes even the Ten Commandments as a covenant of death! The Mosaic Law as a whole had one chief purpose. It was given by God to fallen man in order to show him his sin and his need of the Saviour. See 2 Corinthians 3:6-13.
The apostle said that the law written in stone is done away with in Christ, and that refers to the Ten Commandments. Two times the apostle tells us that the Ten Commandments are abolished. Two times he tells us that the Ten Commandments were a ministration of death and condemnation! Words could not be plainer. For the Adventist teacher to come along and point the believer back to the Law of Moses as a rule of life is a great evil.
4. The Law of Moses is not the believer’s rule of life. The believer is told to put on Christ and to follow the Spirit of God. The believer’s objective is not to be conformed to the law, but to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). The Holy Spirit molds and transforms the believer’s life into the image of the Lord Jesus. Romans 8:11-14; 8:29; 13:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-11.
“If the law be indeed the rule of a believer’s life, where are we to find it so presented in the New Testament? The inspired Apostle evidently had no thought of its being the rule when he penned the following words: ‘For in Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God’ (Gal. 6:15-16). What ‘rule’? The law? No; but the ‘new creation.’ Where shall we find this in Exodus 20? It speaks not a word about ‘new creation.’ On the contrary, it addresses itself to man as he is—in his natural or old-creation state—and puts him to the test as to what he is really able to do. Now if the law were the rule by which believers are to walk, why does the apostle pronounce his benediction on those who walk by another rule altogether? Why does he not say, as many as walk according to rule of the Ten Commandments? Is it not evident, from this one passage, that the Church of God has a higher rule by which to walk?” (C.H. Mackintosh, Notes on the Pentateuch, pp. 232-233).
“I, as a Christian, obey all law that is moral in the Decalogue, not because it is in the Law, but because it is in the Gospel. Worship of God only is enjoined fifty times in the New Testament; idolatry is forbidden twelve times; profanity four times; honor of father and mother is commanded six times; adultery is forbidden twelve; theft six; false witness four; and covetousness, nine times. ‘The Ten Commandments,’ as Luther says, ‘do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews.’ So therefore, Paul, in all his fourteen epistles, never once names the Sabbath—except in a single passage where, classing it with the entire law, he declares it has been totally abolished. So the early church held” (William C. Irvine, Heresies Exposed, p. 165).
5. Law and Grace are two different systems that cannot be mixed in salvation. We have already looked at this under the section on the Seventh-day Adventist’s false gospel of grace plus law. See Acts 15:8-11; Romans 3:18-25; 4:4-5; 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10.
6. To point believers back to the Law of Moses as a rule of life is to place them back under legalistic bondage, bringing a curse upon the one who teaches this heresy as well as upon the one who follows it. The apostles condemned in the strongest language those who tried to get believers to return to the Law of Moses as a rule of life. This refutes the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine that the law is a blessing to the justified man. See Galatians 1:7-9; 2:4; 3:1-9; 4:9-11, 19-21; 5:1-9.
Christ came to redeem men from bondage to the law, to remove their condemnation by paying the price the law demanded for man’s sin. Those who try to bring believers back under the law are deceiving men and pointing them away from the finished work of Christ and true Bible freedom in Him. They themselves are cursed because of their false gospel, and they are leading others away from the truth. The goal of salvation is not to bring the believer to the law, but to present him perfect in Christ!
….and these are The Signs of The Times…………...
This report is excerpted from AVOIDING THE SNARE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM. This book has been called the best on the subject by the editor of The Baptist Challenge. Now it has been throughly updated and enlarged. It is diligently researched from official publications of the Seventh-day Adventist organization and proves conclusively that the Seventh-day Adventist gospel is false. The book begins with a chapter entitled “Adventists Wanted Me to Revise This Book,” describing a deceptive attempt by Seventh-day Adventists to have me change the book. The major divisions of the book are: “Adventist History Proves It is Heretical” and “Adventist Doctrine Proves It Is Heretical.” The book analyzes Adventist doctrines such as Sabbath-keeping, Soul-sleep, Annihilation of the wicked, Ellen White as a Prophetess, Investigative Judgment, Misuse of the Mosaic Law, and Vegetarianism. The chapter “Why Some Have Considered Seventh-day Adventism Evangelical” analyzes Walter Martin’s (author of Kingdom of the Cults) faulty view of Adventism. The book includes selections from D.M. Canright’s 1898 book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced. Canright was an early leader in Adventism who left and became a Baptist pastor.
Adventist Truth about Babylon the Harlot
For Seventh-day Adventists, Bible prophecy is all about the SDA Church's struggle against Sunday-keepers, led by Roman Catholicism, whom they accuse of having changed God's day of worship. Bent on identifying Catholicism as an evil entity, Seventh-day Adventism manages to pin Catholicism to nearly every evil beast or wicked woman that Bible prophecy portrays! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Seventh-day Adventism identifies the scarlet beast of Revelation 17, the whore of Revelation 17, and Babylon as Roman Catholicism.
The following quotations are from Revelation Seminars:
1. The Harlot of Revelation 17 is Roman Catholicism.
"'And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH' (Rev. 17:5). The symbolism here is of a great mother church and her daughters. It takes no genius to figure out who this is. The great Roman church claims to be the mother church."1
2. Protestant Churches are also Harlots.
"The daughters who came from her "protested" and pulled away and became known as Protestants. The name Babylon is a family name which includes both mother and children. It is shocking and sobering to realize that God is clearly indicting both mother and daughters as fallen."2
3. God is calling Christians out of Catholic and Protestant Churches to join the SDA Church.
"'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' (Rev. 18:4). The command is to God's people. Many are still in Babylon. God is lovingly calling them out before the plagues fall upon Babylon. ... Her false teachings are God's reason for punishing her and calling His people out."3
4. The Beast of Revelation 17 is the Papacy.
"'The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is' (Rev. 17:8). Both chapters 13 and 17 of Revelation depict the Papacy. ... The fallen woman is the apostate church. She rides upon the beast (state or government), which indicates that she is supported by the state and is in control. Here a combination of church and state is clearly indicated."4
5. The "seven mountains" represent seven powers throughout Christian history.
"'And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition' (Rev. 17:9-11). ... Since the time frame for Revelation 17 occurs after the 1260 years of papal persecution, we suggest the following applications.
Five are fallen (v 10):
One is (v10):
6. Papacy (from "deadly wound" until recovery)
Not yet come (v10):
7. Papacy (from recovery until ten kings support)
He is the eighth (v11):
8. Papacy (during ten-horns confederacy)5
6. The "ten horns" represent Europe.
"'And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast' (Rev. 17:12). These kings refer to the nations of modern Europe."6
1. Revelation Seminar Studies, Lesson 21, "Mystic Babylon the Harlot".
7. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance.
Problems with Adventist Truth about Babylon the Harlot
1. Is Catholicism the Harlot?
Revelation 17:8 unlocks the identity of the woman:
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Most people take a quick look at the last part of the verse, "reigneth over the kings of the earth", and immediately conclude the "great city" must be Rome, the city that ruled the world. Adventists take a twist on that, and interpret the city as papal Rome. However, Strong's notes that the Greek word for "reigneth" is basileia, which can be used to refer to a "dominion" that is "not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom."
Under the Old Covenant, Jerusalem was the seat of God's government and His power upon this earth:
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem... (Joel 3:16)
Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. (Ps. 135.21)
...they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem... (Jer. 3:17)
...thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain... (Dan. 9:16)
...The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem... (Amos 1:2)
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Mic. 4:2)
Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. (Zec. 8:3)
Jesus warned people not to swear "by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King." (Matt. 5:35)
Cyrus was ruler of the largest empire on the earth, and could have built a temple in any city, but notice what he says:
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem.
Thus, even pagan kings recognized Jerusalem as the center of God's spiritual kingdom upon this earth.
In the Old Testament, Jerusalem was recognized as a "great" city:
Now the city [was] large and great... (Neh. 7:4)
Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? (Jer. 22:8)
How doth the city sit solitary, [that was] full of people! [how] is she become as a widow! she [that was] great among the nations... (Lam. 1:1)
In Revelation, John specifically says the "great city" was the location where Jesus was crucified:
And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Rev. 11:8)
Here John gives us a not-so-subtle hint about the identity of the "great city". Was Jesus cruficied in Rome? No. In Babylon? No. In Jerusalem? YES!
John even refers to the New Jerusalem as the "great city":
...and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God... (Rev. 21:10)
The Bible evidence is simply overwhelming that the "great city" is a reference to Jerusalem, the seat of God's power, authority and dominion upon this earth.
Notice how John's description of Babylon is strikingly similar to Jesus' denunciation of the Jews:
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus... (Rev. 17:6)
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (Rev. 18:24)
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:34-35)
To conclude, the weight of Biblical evidence points to Jerusalem, not Rome, as the whore of Revelation 17.
2. Are Protestant churches also harlots?
If Catholicism is the "mother" harlot, and Protestant churches--being the children of the Catholic Church--are also harlots, then what does that make Seventh-day Adventits? The grand-children of the harlots?
As we have seen above, Jerusalem is the "harlot" of Revelation 17. The term "mother of harlots" does not mean that Jerusalem spawned a bunch of religions. Hosea referred to Israel as a "harlot" and a "mother" (Hos. 2:4,5) Similar language is found in Ezek. 16:44-48. To be a "mother" and a "harlot" is a double shame. It is bad enough to be single and a harlot, but to have a husband and children and still be a harlot is most reprehensible indeed! Not only is this harlotry perverse, but it goes beyond mere harlotry, showing utter contempt for the sacred institution of the family. The fact that this "harlot" is also a "mother" is a statement about the utterly repulsive nature of this woman.
3. Is God calling Christians out of Catholic and Protestant churches to join the SDA Church?
It is convenient for Seventh-day Adventists to label all other churches as "Babylon" so that they can fulfill a supposedly divinely ordained mission to call members out of those churches to join their own church. However, as seen from the last two points, Adventists have misapplied the symbols of Bible prophecy in order to construct a scenario that conveniently identifies them as the good guys and everyone else as the bad guys. Such a warping of Bible prophecy to suit one's own needs is a travesty.
4. Is the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 the Papacy?
Adventists rightly assume the beast of Revelation 17 is the same beast as that of Revelation 13. The problem is, they have misconstrued the beast of Revelation 13 to be the papacy (see study on the beast of Revelation 13) The beast of Revelation 13 is easily identified as Pagan Rome, and so is the beast of Revelation 17.
Revelation 17:9 states:
And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
In this image the woman is riding upon the beast and is seen sitting upon "seven mountains". The city of Rome is notorious for being nestled among seven hills. The first century readers of Revelation could not fail to see the connection between the beast having "seven mountains" just as Rome has seven hills. The fact that the woman is sitting upon the seat of Rome's power indicates the country has committed spiritual adultery against God and has joined with the Roman Empire, as is evidenced by the pronouncement of the chief priests of the Jewish nation: "We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15).
5. Do the "seven mountains" represent seven world powers throughout history?
The SDA scenario of world powers existing over many long centuries of history is refuted in the first chapter of Revelation, which says the events written therein must "shortly" come to pass. Furthermore, the seven mountains are said to represent "seven kings" not "seven empires" (Rev. 17:10). These "kings" are easily identifiable. Knowing that Revelation was written around 65 AD, we can identify the seven kings according to Rev. 17:10:
"Five are fallen". These Caesars had passed away prior to the writing of Revelation:
"One is", the sixth Caesar, was reigning when John wrote Revelation:
"The other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space"
7. Galba, the seventh Caesar, reigned for less than seven months
6. Do the "ten horns" represent Europe?
This interpretation of the ten horns is based on a flawed understanding of the ten horns on the beast of Daniel 7. In Bible prophecy, horns upon a beast always represent the kings or human leaders of that empire. The ten horns do not represent other empires. They represent the kings that ruled over the Roman Empire. The ten horns represent the ten Caesars that ruled up until the final termination of the Old Covenant and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. To study the identity of the ten horns further, click here to read our study on Daniel 7.
1. Revelation Seminar Studies, Lesson 21, "Mystic Babylon the Harlot".
7. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance.
Obsessed with Sabbath?
One of the chief complaints of evangelicals, including evangelical Seventh-day Adventists, is that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists seem to be so obsessed with the Sabbath that they pay little attention to anything else, not even the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
These evangelicals have heard Seventh-day Adventists say:
When Seventh-day Adventists talk about "keeping the commandments of God", they mean keeping the Sabbath.
When Seventh-day Adventists talk about "resting from one's labours", "resting in Christ" and "entering into Christ's rest", they mean resting on the seventh-day Sabbath.
When Seventh-day Adventists talk about "decisions" in the context of evangelism, they mean decisions to keep the Sabbath and join the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
This obsession with the Sabbath reminds me of a similar obsession among the Pharisees during the time of Jesus.
I have read that the Pharisees believed that Israel must keep one perfect Sabbath in order for Messiah to come. The Pharisees rejected Jesus as Messiah because He was too "liberal" in His teachings about the Sabbath, making such "liberal" statements as "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath". Ultimately, the Pharisees conspired to murder Jesus because He was a threat to their desire to restore and purify "historic Judaism" through proper Sabbath observance. The spiritual descendants of the Pharisees in Judaism are still trying to restore proper Sabbath observance in Israel today.
Seventh-day Adventists need to remember that keeping the Sabbath can never be the basis for our salvation. If our keeping of the Sabbath were the basis for salvation, then every one of us would be without hope. We fall short of God's ideal in our Sabbath-keeping, just as we fall short of God's ideal in every other area of our lives. We are all Sabbath-breakers - in our thoughts and attitudes as well as in our deeds.
There has been only one man who has ever attained God's ideal in His Sabbath-keeping and every other area of life - the man we know as Jesus Christ - God incarnate in human flesh.
Many Seventh-day Adventists will be surprised to hear me say that many of their evangelical neighbours who have attended church on the wrong day (Sunday) all their lives will be accounted as perfect Sabbath-keepers in the judgement because they have received the gift of Christ's perfect righteousness (and perfect Sabbath-keeping) through the gospel. On the other hand, many Seventh-day Adventists and other sabbatarians who have attended church on the right day (the seventh-day Sabbath) will be "weighed in the balances and found lacking" because "they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own" righteousness and "did not submit to God's righteousness" (Romans 10:3, NIV) which is offered in the gospel. This is the reason why I counsel people to attend a church where the preaching of the gospel is the central theme of worship every week, even if that church meets on Sunday rather than the Sabbath. The gospel without the Sabbath is more effective in building and maintaining faith in Christ than the Sabbath without the gospel. Those who enjoy the privilege of attending a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached every Sabbath should thank God that they have received a "double blessing".
God gives us all His gifts (forgiveness, cleansing, righteousness and eternal life) through the gospel - the good news that Jesus Christ has done everything that needed to be done for our salvation. We cannot add anything to what Christ has done for us.
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness".
"Clad in His righteousness alone" I am "faultless to stand before His throne".
"On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."
by Wayne Willey