When sin entered the world through lust man became separated from God, and because of that separation we have inherited a false value system. Thankfully, Jesus came to restore us to a true value system. Now when we are in union with God through Christ we can share His desires and we can identify what is truly valuable.
In the beginning Eve was deceived into desiring something that she didn’t need. There was no true value in the forbidden fruit. It wasn’t filling an empty part of her soul. She was already complete and had everything through her relationship with her Creator. Yet she was deceived into believing that the Lord had been holding something good back from her and keeping her from reaching her full potential. She saw VALUE in that fruit, and so she took of it and ate.
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:14)
Adam was not deceived, yet he took of the fruit choosing to sin with Eve rather than choosing obedience to God that would have separated him from Eve. She, being deceived, chose a fruit over obedience to God, whereas Adam willingly chose to follow Eve rather than remain obedient to God. Paul places the blame on Eve in the verse above, but in Romans 5:12-14 Paul teaches that sin “entered the world” through Adam. Indeed, it was Adam who confirmed Eve’s original sin by joining her in disobedience. Adam could have redeemed Eve at that moment by offering his life as a ransom for her’s (just as Christ did for us as the second Adam), but in sinning Adam confirmed the fall of the human race and the release of sin into the world.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6)
That was at the very beginning. Now let us look at the end.
The entire scope of human history is shown throughout Scripture in symbolic terms as a clash between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Babylon. God’s calling of Abraham, the giving of the Law through Moses, and His messages sent through the Prophets were all setting the stage for God to invade the kingdoms of this world and to establish His Kingdom on earth, which would be founded upon a true and eternal value system.
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” (Luke 16:16)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, taught about His Father’s Kingdom as a present reality and then He demonstrated with His life how we are called to live our very lives here in the world as subjects of this heavenly Kingdom. As members of God’s Kingdom we are in the world, but not of it, and our true citizenship is in Heaven. Therefore our value system should reflect the value system of Heaven because much that is valuable to this world is passing away and only what is valuable in Heaven’s eyes will remain.
The destruction of Babylon is described in the book of Revelation, chapter 18. The great harlot who represents the “city” of Babylon is a deliberate representation of disobedient Eve. She is pictured in Scripture as she has been portrayed throughout pagan religion from the earliest of times. In ancient Sumer Eve was honored and celebrated as the goddess Inanna the “Queen of Heaven,” whose stories contain references to an original tree and a serpent; in Assyria and Babylon she was Ishtar, often pictured enthroned or riding upon a beast; in Egypt she was Isis; in Greece she was Athena the goddess of democracy; and in Rome she was remembered as Diana… to name just a few pagan deifications of the glorified rebellious Eve.
Jesus came to preach the kingdom of God, to pay the ransom that would allow fallen human beings to be adopted into it, and to release the Holy Spirit that would empower us to live free from sin, pursuing holiness and producing Kingdom fruit. The call of the Kingdom of God has always been to “Come out of Babylon, my people!” When we are adopted into God’s Kingdom we are pulled by the Holy Spirit to renounce the value system of Babylon and the carnal lusts that are given maximum liberty within her kingdom. That is because this false value system, these lusts, and all the things that are lusted after by Babylon’s citizens will all come to an end one day, as described in Revelation:
“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty (LIPAROS) and goodly (LAMPROS) are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” (Rev 18:14 KJV)
In my presentation of the “Queen of Babylon” at Future Congress 2 back in January I tried to drive home the parallels between Genesis 3 and Revelation 18. I showed that Eve in Genesis becomes the Great Harlot in Revelation; the Forbidden Fruit becomes the mass of various commodities consumed by Babylon; and the role of the tempting Serpent in Genesis is played by the “merchants of the earth” who market their commodities to Babylon. In this way we see that the original sin that started the entire epic drama of rebellion and redemption in Genesis is finally shown to come full circle in Revelation, with the judgment of the wicked who are portrayed through the symbolism of the Great Harlot of Babylon (Rev. 18) shown in contrast to the redemption of the elect as the Bride of Christ pictured in Revelation 19:1-9.
In Revelation 18:14 we see that the “fruits” that Babylon lusted after are the various commodities listed in verses 12 and 13. These are the things that the Great Harlot values and devotes her entire existence to pursuing. The words liparos and lampros need to become a part of every Christian’s vocabulary, because these words describe the temptations that are TODAY leading to Babylon’s downfall. Liparos is a Greek word that comes from the root word lipos, meaning grease or fat. It pertains to food, particularly juicy or succulent meats. Lampros is a Greek word that means bright, glittering, or shining, and therefore especially attractive to the eyes. From this analysis we see that Revelation 18:14 is a final commentary on Eve’s choice to disobey God in Genesis 3:6:
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…”
“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were LIPAROS [good for food] and LAMPROS [pleasant to the eyes] are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.”
When Eve valued the forbidden fruit over her relationship with God she fell into idolatry. The same goes for today. The world is entirely filled with created things that can easily cause us to forget the Creator, valuing our things more than we value Him. When we devote our entire lives to accumulating things, we demonstrate that we are living perfectly according to Babylon’s false value system. It is false because it is passing away. The “fruits” that are marketed by Babylon’s merchants are only temporary, just as the forbidden fruit that Eve was tricked into eating was valuable for her merely as a passing momentary taste sensation.
In Revelation 18:14 we are reminded that all of the liparos and lampros commodities of the global marketplace that we are deceived into desiring by clever advertising schemes and marketing propaganda will one day all be GONE! In fact, the final line of verse 14 is written in the Greek as a double double negative meaning it is “as emphatic a negation as the Greek can make”! GONE FOREVER! COMPLETELY USELESS AND WITHOUT VALUE! What Babylon tries to tempt us with is absolutely WORTHLESS when placed against the backdrop of ETERNITY!
Today the Church looks very much like the world, and most Christians live according to the value system of the world, devoting their lives to pursuing the very same things that the world pursues. Our value system needs to change. We have been in Babylon too long and our thought patterns and desires have been conformed to the world. We need to remember the words of Paul who warned us saying,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
And again Paul warns us, this time describing the Church as the Bride promised to Christ, like a new and innocent Eve facing a world filled with forbidden fruits:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)
Liparos and Lampros. The Food Network and Forbes Magazine! Succulent and greasy fatty food and shiny glittering commodities. Fried chicken, bacon, steak, prime rib. Gold, diamonds, smartphones, computers, decked-out houses and cars, and bigger and bigger flat-screen TVs.
Liparos is connected with food, whereas we find that in the New Testament the word lampros is most often connected with the commodity of clothing. (Six out of the nine times it appears in the NT it is used to refer to clothing. The other three appearances are here in Revelation 18:14, in Revelation 22:1, “a pure river of the water of life, lampros as crystal…” and 22:16, “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the lampros morning star…”).
This dual connection that is made with liparos and food, and with lampros as pertaining to fashionable and luxurious clothing, leads us right back to the teachings of Jesus:
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:25-33)
If the Bride of Christ is to “come out of Babylon” she must have a value system that is conformed to the Kingdom of God!
Here is a short Bible study that, with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, can help to make that happen:
——- Analysis of Revelation 18:14 from “Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament”
“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee,
and all things which were liparos and lampros are departed from thee,
and thou shalt find them no more at all.”
The fruits (η οπωρα — hē opōra). The ripe autumn fruit (Jeremiah 40:10, Jeremiah 40:12). Here only in N.T. Of uncertain etymology (possibly οπος — opos sap, ωρα — hōra hour, time for juicy sap). See Judges 1:12 for δενδρα πτινοπωρινος — dendra phthinopōrinos (autumn trees).
Which thy soul lusteth after (σου της επιτυμιας της πσυχης — sou tēs epithumias tēs psuchēs). “Of the lusting of thy soul.”
Are gone from thee (απηλτεν απο σου — apēlthen apo sou). Prophetic aorist active indicative ofαπερχομαι — aperchomai with repetition of απο — apo things that were dainty and sumptuous (παντα τα λιπαρα και τα λαμπρα — panta ta lipara kai ta lampra). “All the dainty and the gorgeous things.”Λιπαρος — Liparos is from λιπος — lipos (grease) and so fat, about food (here only in N.T.), while λαμπρος — lampros is bright and shining (James 2:2.), about clothing.
Are perished from thee (απωλετο απο σου — apōleto apo sou). Prophetic second aorist middle indicative of απολλυμι — apollumi (intransitive).
Shall find them no more at all (ουκετι ου μη αυτα ευρησουσιν — ouketi ou mē auta heurēsousin). Doubled double negative with future active, as emphatic a negation as the Greek can make.
——- From the commentary at http://www.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=18