Doug Batchelor - A Mother-Daughter Conspiracy
- Amazing Facts Store
Have you ever seen a bald eagle's nest? Eagles often use the same nest year after year, and over time, some nests grow to enormous size, many up to nine feet in diameter and weighing two tons. Both parents provide well for their offspring, and the young birds grow quickly as they eat voraciously, adding a pound every five days. But eventually they must learn to fly and hunt for themselves. Life for young eagles is tough, and tragically only 10 to 20% survive to adulthood. They get electrocuted by landing on wires. They're hunted by poachers, hit by vehicles, and sometimes they simply starve. They were once declared an endangered species, but they've made a surprising comeback. Because of its grace, speed, strength, and its size, the bald eagle was chosen to symbolize the United States of America. Not only do nations today choose animals as their national mascots or symbols. The Bible also uses different beasts to identify the characteristics of prominent kingdoms in prophecy. So join me now as we discover what the Bible really says about the future of the United States of America.
The title of our lesson is dealing with "A Mother-Daughter Conspiracy," and it's based upon Mark 6:14-29. You'll also find this referenced in the Book of Matthew. Jesus tells us that John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets, not that he worked longer, he never wrote a book, but greatest in his dedication in his message to prepare the way for the king, the Messiah. He was that voice crying in the wilderness, bringing the people of God back to a revival, calling the people of Israel back to their Savior and their Lord. And because of John's bold and faithful preaching, he was not intimidated by anyone.
John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, according to the angel that spoke to his father. He was not afraid to say to the scribes and Pharisees, "You den of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" He was also not afraid to tell King Herod, "You are committing adultery in that you took your brother Phillip's wife." Her name was Herodias. And that really aggravated her, and she stayed on King Herod, said, "You need to arrest that loud mouth."
Finally Herod gave in. He had John put in prison because of his audacious preaching, but she thought, "That's not enough. Herod likes him." He would occasionally go to the prison and listen to John the Baptist or have John the Baptist brought up to the palace and speak to him and put him back in jail. She said, "Well, pretty soon, John the Baptist is going to wreck this arrangement I've got." Here's she's like the queen now that she's enticed the king. So Herod had a birthday party, and she had a clever plan. Herod had a few drinks, and then she said, "Would you like my daughter to dance?" And he said, "Yeah." And as she expected, he made sort of a pompous boast, and he said to Salome if she'd come out and dance, he said, "Ask whatever you will. Anything up to half my kingdom, I'll give it to you."
So she came out, and she did her exotic dance and entertained king and all the guests that were there, the who's who in the kingdom of Judah. And he said, "What do you want?" She wasn't sure what to ask for. You think you'd get a credit card for Nordstrom's or something. Went to her mother and said, "What shall I ask for?" She said, "You need to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter." And I don't know how reluctant she was, but that's what she did. The Bible tells us: "So she went and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask?' She said, 'The head of John the Baptist.'" And when the king heard this, he was so sorry, but he had made a promise, and a king cannot change his word. So an executioner went to the prison forthwith. John was unceremoniously executed alone, this great prophet, and the head was brought, it says, in a charger to the mother. John's disciples later came and recovered his body and buried his body.
Now, this is not the first time that a mother-daughter team conspires to persecute a prophet of God. You read in the prophecies of Revelation about another-mother daughter team that persecutes the prophets of God. John introduced the ministry of Jesus. Jesus ministered for 1,260 days, 3 1/2 years. But the Bible tells us that there's another mother-daughter team that persecuted the prophets of God. That leads us into our lesson for tonight.
Question number one, what other mother-daughter team persecuted God's people in the Old Testament? I think many of you are acquainted with a name, though you may not know all the story behind it. Bible talks about Jezebel, killed the prophets of the Lord. King Ahab, he married a princess from the kingdom of Tyre, and she was all engrossed and very devoted to Baal worship. That's what happens when you marry outside your faith. And she began to push the king and push the king and to push the king. The Bible says, "Nobody in Israel ever sold themself to do Israel like Ahab, whom his wife Jezebel stirred up."
One time Ahab said, "I'd like to have that vineyard next door, but Naboth doesn't want to sell it to me." She said, "Give me your signet ring. I'll take care of it for you." And she arranged a feast, had everybody falsely accuse Naboth. He was taken out of the city. He was executed, and she came back and says, "Now you can have that vineyard. I killed the man who owns it." Ruthless woman. For 3 1/2 years, she persecuted the prophets. You remember the famine? Elijah fled into the wilderness 1,260 days. That time period comes up in Daniel, speaking of the beast, and in Revelation several times.
Let me give you one more. 1,260 days was the time of the famine in the days of Elijah when Jezebel was persecuting the prophets of God. Obadiah the prophet hid a bunch of them in caves. You may have read about that. 1,260 days was a period of time when Jesus taught, and then He was executed. 1,260 days, 42 months, 3 1/2 years, talking about the Jewish calendar, is the period of time from the time of Christ to the stoning of Stephen when the gospel then went to the Gentiles.
You read in the Book of Esther, did you ever catch this? "In the third year of the reign of Ahasuerus," this is how the book begins, "he had a feast lasting 180 days." What's half of 360? 180. And at the end of that period of time, Vashti the queen is deposed, and they begin the search ultimately for Esther, another 3 1/2. You'll find that time period continues to appear. Prophetically, we learned that from 538 to 1798, you've got this other 1,260 year period of time, not days. It's when you use a day for year, the Dark Ages when religion was running things in civilization. Not only was it Jezebel. Jezebel had a daughter. Her name was Athaliah. It says: "When Athaliah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all of the royal heirs," the seed of David. She tried to kill them all, but one young boy named Joash escaped. And ultimately she ruled for six years, and then she was slain.
Question number two, what is the second angel's message in Revelation 14? We talked about the first angel's message: "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgment is come. And worship Him that made the heaven and the earth and the sea and the fountains of waters." The second angel has a message. You read it in Revelation 14:8: "Another angel followed, saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she," now is it talking about a city? Is it talking about a church? "For she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." We'll find out what that wine is and who this woman is and what that city is. The Bible is very clear about that.
Question number three, how does God symbolize Babylon in Revelation 17? If you have your Bibles, or you've got your device with a Bible on it, you'll want to turn there with me to the Book of Revelation, last book in the Bible, chapter 17. And it describes this very unusual woman. Verse one: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls," these are the seven vials with the plagues that are poured out, "he came, and he talked with me saying, '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 the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.' So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of the abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written."
Now, I'm hoping you're realizing that this is symbolic because you're probably not going to see too many people that have a whole paragraph on their forehead. "On her forehead was written: 'Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots," mother and daughters, "'and abomination of the earth.' "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement."
Now, if you still got your Bibles open, just jump to verse nine. The angel begins to explain the vision: "Here is the mind that has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits." It's definitely not talking about ancient Babylon. There were no mountains around ancient Babylon. You look in verse 15: "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations." It's not one nation. Nations this woman is over, and tongues, languages, many languages. And if you're in doubt, you go to the last verse: "The woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth." What great city was reigning over the kings of the earth when John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos and had his vision?
So here you have a picture of a woman. What does a woman represent? A church. This woman has become unfaithful. Tells us, first of all, it says she's guilty of blasphemy. Now when we say blasphemy, let's use the Biblical definition. The religious leaders said that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy because Jesus claimed the prerogatives that belonged to God. That's a definition for blasphemy. When Jesus said he could forgive sin, they said, "That's blasphemy. Who can forgive sin but God alone?" They're right, but Jesus is God the Son, correct? It says she's arrayed. Here's something very practical. It talks about some of the principle colors. She's arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. It says she has harlot daughters who have also fallen.
Now, the average people couldn't read the Bible, but the priests had them. And as they would read the Bible, often in Latin, they realized there was a great disparity between what the church was practicing and the doctrines of the Bible, and they would protest. And ultimately it became a showdown. On October 31st, just about 500 years ago, a little more than 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his protests, those 95 theses, on the doors of the Wittenberg Church. And they said it was because of certain doctrines, but when they came out they didn't come all the way out. What I mean by that is they protested certain doctrines, but they still retained in their teachings things that could not be found in the Bible because they were traditions that they just had for years. So just like a mother is going to have some resemblance to, or daughter's going to have some resemblance to the mother, these daughters have some resemblance to the mother. And we'll go through what those characteristics are in just a moment.
Says she was a persecuting power. She persecuted and martyred the saints. Now we're living in a little more sophisticated time in history, but if you go back a few hundred years, I don't know if you've read in history about the Spanish Inquisition. But Karen and I were in Spain. Oh, it's been three or four years ago now. And while we were there, we'd go by several of the shops on the streets, and it would say, pay a few pesos, and you can go down and look at the torture implements underneath the churches. And we went down, and oh man, it was just very disturbing to look at these torture machines and tools that they had to try to get these people that were heretics to recant or repent or extracting confessions. And I won't even go into detail because children will watch these programs, but you can look it up if you're curious if you got a strong stomach. And this didn't happen for a year or two. The numbers from historians are somewhere between 30 and 50 million people, Christians and Jews, were killed by the church during this time of persecution.
Friends, this was no small thing. A few hundred years, we start forgetting what happened. And Jesus did not operate that way, saying, "If you don't agree with me, or you don't follow me, I'm going to torture you." He invited people to follow. If they walked away, they walked away. I mean, Jesus used love. He you did not use force and pain to make someone follow Him.
It says she sits upon seven mountains. You could Google it on your phone, just don't do it right now, city of seven hills. So you got a woman, represents what? Church. This great city reigns over the kings of the earth, sits among seven hills, scarlet and purple, wealth. Goes on to say that she's also got a gold cup in her hand, says that she rules over the kings of the earth. You know if you read anything about history during the Dark Ages, by the way, you know why the Dark Ages were called dark? Because the church said that the average person should not be reading the Bible because there's too much risk. They won't understand it. They said the church must interpret it for you. The Bibles were often in Latin, and they were chained in the walls of the monasteries and the churches. And the average person did not have the Word.
Martin Luther translated the Bible into the language of the people, as did Wycliffe and many of the others. They wanted to give the Word to the people, and that's when there was an explosion of belief and revival when the people could read for themselves. Jesus spoke to the common people. Anyone can understand the teachings of Christ. That was called the Dark Ages because the Bible is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. You take away the light, you've got darkness. That's what happened. How do the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 compare? It tells us: "I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads a blasphemous name."
Now, not only do you see this here in Revelation 13:1. You look in Revelation 12, and it talks about a beast with seven heads and 10 horns. Now, if you're driving down the road, you've seen a deer crossing before, right? Have you ever seen a crossing where you got a beast with seven heads and 10 horns? No. And it says: "I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and 10 horns." It's very interesting that you've got this beast.
Now is this a literal beast in the last days, or is it a symbol? This is symbolic. So there's a big similarity. Revelation 12, you've got that beast, and it says that it's the power of Rome that tries to destroy the baby, the man-child, as soon as it was born. The Roman power tried to destroy Jesus when he was a baby.
What is the meaning and the origin of the word Babylon? Well, you go back to the Tower of Babel. You read in Genesis 11:4,6,7: "Let us build ourselves a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens. And the Lord said, 'Let us go down there and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' Therefore the name of it is called Babel because there the Lord confused the language of the earth."
So one of the characteristics of Babylon is confusion of doctrines. There's just a lot of different beliefs out there that leave people wondering what in the world is going on. There's a confusion in Babylon. How does God describe Babylon in urging His people to leave? Revelation 18:2, and it says, "He cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become the dwelling place of demons and the prison of every foul spirit.'"
Now why does he say, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen?" Well, you had the fall of Babylon back when the children of Israel were in Babylon in the Old Testament. But then Babylon falls again in prophetic times.
Now let me put you in the Bible mind for just a moment. The children of Israel, they were captives in Babylon, but long before that, where did Abraham come from? Mesopotamia. Abraham brought his wife and his family out of Mesopotamia, the same region of Babylon. Anything that was over the Euphrates River was in that territory. He brought her out of Babylon into the promised land. Abraham then has a son. What's his name? Isaac. And God says to Abraham, "Don't want your son marrying one of these Canaanite girls. He's got to go back and bring his wife out." So a servant comes and gets a wife named Rebecca, brings her out of Mesopotamia into the promised land.
Jacob then goes looking for a wife. Where's he go? Back across the Euphrates. He ends up with four for the price of one. He gets Rachel and her sister and the two handmaids and all the kids. They come out of Babylon into the promised land. Then the children of Israel, because of their unfaithfulness, are conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. They're carried off to Mesopotamia. After 70 years in Mesopotamia, Cyrus the Persian comes, conquers Belshazzar, and he says, "I'm going to let the people go."
Now the problem is whenever you stay someplace for 70 years, I've seen how much stuff I bring when I go on a weekend. You ever go camping for a weekend, and you come back with just half the food is still there? If you stay somewhere for 70 years, and you make friends and you have a family, and you learn the language, and then all of a sudden after 70 years of being in a country and really getting to where you kind of feel at home, then God says through his prophets, "Let's go back to the promised land." You go, "Oh that sounds exciting, sounds like an adventure, but kind of comfortable right now." God says, "You need to come out of Babylon because plagues are going to fall on Babylon. You need to go to the land like your father Abraham did, where I'm going to give you this land forever. You need to have faith. Trust me." There was a lot of reluctance among the children of Israel and Babylon about coming out.
In the last days, God is calling people that believe His Word back to the Word of God. Now that's going to mean for some people changing churches. That is not easy. People say, "Oh, our family's been believing these things and part of this church for years. All our friends are there." Are they teaching the truth? Are they practicing, are they proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ? Babylon is fallen. Come before it's too late because when Jesus comes back, He's going to have a united people that are building once again on the Word. Jesus said when the storm comes, wise man builds on the what? The rock. Foolish man builds on the? See, you know that story. You sing about it, right? And what is that rock? "He that hears these words of mine and does them, he'll be like the wise man building on the rock." Hearing the word and what? Doing it, doing the Word. When the storm comes, you realize the storm comes to the wise man, and the storm comes to the fool? Jesus says not if the storm comes. He says when the storm comes.
Friends, a storm is coming, and the only way we're going to get through that storm is to be founded on the rock of Jesus and His truth. And this is a message that's going to the world in the last days. It doesn't matter how comfortable we are in the various teachings. We need to come back to the Word in these last days. So he cries mightily, "Babylon is fallen. Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins." Now, see, when people don't know something, that's one thing, but once we know God's will, if we continue persisting in disobeying, it becomes sin.
Let me illustrate. Years ago, I need two hands for this illustration. Years ago, I heard about a man that had a fabric shop, and this is back in England. They used to pick the size of the foot, and the inch was based upon the size of the king's foot. And so this man had a yardage shop, and he sold cloth. And for years, he sold to everybody in the community, and he'd measure it off on his table. He had this tape measure, and he'd measure off the cloth, and then he'd cut it. And he'd sell it, wrap it up to the customers.
And one day after 30 years in his shop, someone came in to buy some cloth, and they went back home. They came back and said, "I went to make some pillows out of that cloth, and you sold me short." He said, "Absolutely not." He said, "Bring me the cloth." And he put it back together again, and he said, "Look, it matches up." And they pulled out a tape measure, and they measured his tape measure on the table, and his tape measure on the table was like two inches short. And he was stunned by this because he's an honest man, and evidently the king had died somewhere during the time, and they had changed the standard. And the standard had changed, but he hadn't changed his table. Well, he didn't know. He may have been robbing people without knowing it because there was something wrong with his scale, his measurement.
You see what I'm saying? But once that is brought to his attention, it was not a sin before. Once that is brought to his attention, if he continues using that faulty measurement, is he still an honest man? No, because now he knows. See what I'm saying? And so some of you are saying, "Pastor Doug, I wish he never came to this seminar because now I just know too much." Don't, the truth is not a burden. It's a blessing. The truth will set you free, amen?
What will prevent God's end-time people from being deceived? Only one thing, friends: "To the law and the testimony. If they do not speak according to this word," that's the Word of God, the law and the prophets, "there is no light in them." We need to follow the light in the last days. Now in Noah's day, there's only one way of escape, and that way of escape was to get in the ark. There's one ark. There was one door in the ark, and He called His people into the safety of that. And I think you've heard God's voice tonight speaking through His Word, and He wants you to be part of that group. He says, "Come out of her my people."