a brief study of the harlot, revelation's mystery woman
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried
The great city that will fall is called Babylon the Great, but is referred to figuratively as a woman, not as a geographical place. She is described as having a broad, sweeping range of influence, enveloping all the kings and nations of the earth, as well as merchants and captains of industry. In Roman Catholicism this is historically true, particularly in her influence over Europe, but a vast, and even greater range of influence world-wide. However, it would not be limited to Roman Catholicism, because she is called the "Mother of Harlots," suggesting her daughters of the greater world of Protestant denominations, Eastern Orthodox denominations, and Christian religions in general known collectively as Christendom are included. The kings, the civil rulers of the earth will eventually grow to hate the Harlot and rip her apart.
Christianity is the largest religion on earth. The Roman Catholic church is by far the largest of all the Christian denominations but lumped in with her miscreant daughters she commands an enormous total of adherents. Christianity claims about 2.5 billion internationally. Islam claims over 1.5 billion, Hinduism claims about 1.05 billion, and Buddhism claims over 488 million adherents. These statistics are from year 2020, and each of these religions are in a state of growth.
As stated in the prophecy, her identity is a mystery. That truly was the case when this prophecy was written. So who exactly fits the description now that the prophetic vision has matured? We've heard many Christian preachers attempt to identify the Harlot as Israel or apostate Jews. However, this idea does not compute according to the words of the prophecy. We can find no place in history where the kings of the earth committed spiritual adultery with the Jewish people. Historically there were only local, regional instances of such Jewish adultery with some of it's neighbors, but not world-wide. Pointing to the children of Abraham is an idea that more likely emanates from the replacement theology so prevalent in Christian teaching, or drawn from the fact that in the time of Yeshua, "Babylon" was used as a popular euphemism among the Rabbis for the post-Babylonian diaspora, ie; one might travel to or live in Babylon (anyplace outside Israel).
Others point towards Islam, suggesting Babylon the Great is likely Saudi Arabia (home to Mecca), or Iraq (home to the original Babylon). However, 'Islam' doesn't quite reckon either. While Islam continues to grow more and more strident and dangerous, Islam more likely fits the prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38, 39). Still others assert the harlot could be New York, London, Hong Kong, or some other financial hub that corrupts the world with the love of money and materialism.
Perhaps the prophecy extends to all religions of the world, for their willful lack of Torah understanding, rejection of the Messiah, and failure to recognize the Almighty God of creation. This would extend even to atheists who worship godlessness. In this sense the harlot may be a "spirit" that has led all mankind away from God, following different religious paths in search of spiritual enlightenment. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, various folk religions, and all their many off-shoots may well constitute a very broad and overarching religious rejection of God and His purposes. In this sense, the Harlot could possibly be understood as a non-human entity existing in a spirit realm, but pulling the strings, so to speak, manipulating human affairs.
Still, of all the groups suggested, it's the Christians that stand out. In denial that ecumenical Christendom, and Roman Catholicism in particular (the Nicene church), are so twisted, and corrupt, while claiming to speak for the God of Creation as his humble servants, sadly they fit the Biblical description so neatly. He calls out to "His people" to get out of her. The God of the Law and Prophets, the God of the Torah, despises those that venerate idols and graven images and embrace adulteress relations with false religious practices, or idols such as 'Pachamama,' or praying to trees for forgiveness. Christians and Jews together have had the Word of God placed in their hands, and yet have sought other ways, preferring the teachings of men rather than those of God. To follow His teachings is a matter of choice, and one's choices are the basis upon which one will be judged.
People of God are described as being "in her" and urged to get out. Evidently, she must be a Judeo-Christian structure that likely has forsaken the Torah, prophets, and writings, and the Gospel teachings of God. After all, the prophetic vision was given to a Jewish Christian elder, an apostle of Yeshua HaMashiach named John. To remain in her can make one a sharer in her sins and expose one to her plagues. God doesn't forget past unrepentant sins and isn't impressed with the revisionist history of men more interested in protecting the traditions of the 'institution' than in teaching the truth.
In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' - Revelation 18: 7-10
The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.'.....The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth." - Revelation 18
And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." - Revelation 14: 8
Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." - Revelation 17: 15-18
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying 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 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 beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. - Revelation 17: 1-6
"Revelation" is the translation of a word from the Latin apocalypsis, or the Greek apokálypsis, meaning 'uncovering', 'disclosure', 'revelation'. The book is written in a language, so filled with figurative imagery, that it can be quite difficult to comprehend. None of it can be understood as literal, being written primarily in a prose that is symbolic or figurative. Fortunately, in this particular passage, the angel speaking to the apostle John goes on to explain the symbolic imagery of the scarlet beast, the ten horns, and the harlot, mother of harlots.
Babylon the Great is the harlot, and she is the mother of other harlots. She is said to reign in a transcendent manner over the kings or nations of the earth.
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. - Revelation 18: 4,5
the mother church, Roman Catholicism, or more aptly- the church of golden calves
"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."
The harsh language used in Revelation to describe the harlot church, and make no mistake, it describes the Mother church and the ecumenical Christian church at large, is also found elsewhere in the scriptures. The Israelite people are described in similar fashion in various places through the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament). When they left the proper worship of the One True God, and began worshiping false gods, idols, and sacrificing to them, the prophets used such language, speaking for God, and rebuking the nation. Harlots, whores, filthy prostitutes, adulteresses, and other such terms were used to describe the turning away from true teaching and following after the false gods of the world. "Abominations" was the term often used to describe the false gods. This sort of terminology is not used in scripture to describe secular governments.
King Solomon, known for his wisdom, also became known for the numbers of wives and concubines he had taken. In his old age, some of his pagan wives led him into false worship where he sacrificed to idols. Punishment came swiftly. The result was his kingdom was split, divided into the ten northern tribes and the two southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin). Eventually both kingdoms, north and south, were taken out of Israel into captivity.
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women: the daughter of Pharaoh, and Moabite, Ammonite, E'domite, Sido'nian, and Hittite women from the nations.... Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen." - (1 Kings 11, Compare Matt. 24:15, Daniel 12:11)
Paganism has woven its way, in various forms, throughout all the cultures of the world. From early Sumer to ancient Babylon and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Asia, India, Africa, the early Americas down to today. Some developed organically within ancient cultures, but contributions to the spread of paganism came from traveling merchants and explorers through the Anglican and French colonization programs as well as those of Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. Pagan symbolism is found in the cultures of the world, often modified somewhat for local and regional appeal. Yet, as evil as these are in the eyes of God, it's when their practices get picked up and spread by those that claim to speak for God, that the God of Creation gets mad. Really mad.
It was the Roman Catholic church, itself so rich in pagan symbolism and practice, that decided how the European powers should divide up the world and directed much of the aggressive colonial acquisitions and subjugations. It was considered "providential" that the European Christians had the power and the means to impose themselves, along with their religious beliefs, on other peoples of the world at will. Political powers and merchant interests all enriched themselves mightily through colonization. (see the Papal Bulls of inter caetera, dudum siquidem and others, 1493, all considered Bulls of Donation).
Underlying all this is the question of salvation. To the Christian community "collective salvation" is a myth taught by many different Christian denominations. Roman Catholicism and many others. They teach this in underhanded ways such as misinterpreting the words of the Lord from the Olivet Discourse:
The churches teach that the interpretation is a warning - that to be outside the church (or a particular denomination, as the case may be) is the equivalent to being outside the ark of Noah. To be outside God's salvation. Only by remaining in the church, showing up every week, can one hope to gain salvation. This error of church teaching leads the congregations into the realm of "collective salvation," whereby you must be part of the group, because it is the particular group (collective) that will be saved. In fact Jesus taught individual salvation through personal judgment in that Day. They are twisting the words of the Lord as a scare tactic to keep the folks coming back and filling the pews.
In fact, the prophecy is merely pointing out that life will be going on as usual, and people will be going about their ordinary business, failing to recognize the coming judgement. So, it was in the days of Noah. So, it was in the day of the Messiah's arrival and ministry, so it will be when Messiah returns in glory.
The Jewish people, on the other hand, have always, from the institution of the covenant, been a people born of the family line of Abraham, and to the exclusion of all others (gentiles) Israel has a separate destiny as the elect people of Yahweh. In this element of Yahweh's plan there is a sense of collective salvation which is separate and distinct from His plan of salvation for the rest of mankind. Yet, the salvation for the individual Jew, though connected to a certain extent to the salvation of all the Jewish people will also be a judgment adjudicated on an individual basis. The Torah places a high value on individual morality. He said:
This division, which will be rectified at His second coming, is what the Messiah meant in the Good Shepherd discourse when He said:
Salvation is offered first to the Jews, and then to the other sheep, the Gentiles, after all, Yeshua never set foot outside of Israel. Follow the voice of the Shepherd and seek the truth. While the voice of the ecumenical church can be seductive, persuasive and offer an easy, well-traveled, and undemanding path, don't trust your salvation to a prostitute.
What Yeshua the Messiah did by His propitiatory sacrifice was to purchase all mankind. Past, present and future. No matter how or what or where or even if they worship anything at all. We all belong to Him, and He will judge each individually according to his deeds. But there is a great eternal risk if one allows oneself to be poorly taught, and improperly influenced by the smiling faces of the wolves in sheep's clothing.
Nonetheless, scripture says that the teachers, the hired shepherds of His flocks will be held to a higher standard of judgment and be judged more severely. True, but this doesn't exactly let the sheep who occupy the pews of the prostituted church off the hook. These should know the Word of God sufficiently and should be seeking Him through the scriptures. Nonetheless, we of the ecumenical examiner wish to express our brotherly love to our brothers and sisters that struggle under the yoke of the Roman Catholic church. We wish only the best for you all, both in this life and the next.
addressing the general assembly of the UN
addressing a joint session of the US congress
In similar fashion the Roman Catholic church has been split into different church denominations, and split again, and the new churches have ripped themselves apart again and again and again until we are left with a big heap of ecumenical confetti. The so-called "ecumenical movement" of today is a vain and ludicrous attempt to reassemble confetti. It is not the purpose of the ecumenical examiner to reassemble confetti, but to search out truth. We find an element of truth in many of the pieces, but also the horrible stench that can only emanate from Satan's kitchen. Of false teachings and erroneous guidance.
The word "Catholic" means "universal," which it is indeed. It is universal in the sense that it is a mixture of many religious beliefs, starting with a cloak of Judeo-Christian teaching, Torah and Gospel, mixed with a large helping of "other" ideas meant to attract new proselytes by compromising deeply with other cultures and beliefs. This has been going on since the earliest post-apostolic years of the church. In other words, it is "universal" in the sense that it's got a little something for everybody, all inclusive, open and diverse. A religious organization rooted in Greek philosophy at its core, mixed with the nuts and bolts of Roman pagan pageantry and organization, all camouflaged under the sanctimonious affectation of a strong, but humble, Judeo-Christian leadership countenance.
The pagan roots of the Christian religion are evident in many of the practices and doctrines on display at every "service." From the opening procession, where the priest and others enter, walking ceremoniously to the singing of the congregation, taking their places in front, to the elevated platform they call the "sanctuary." This is a practice begun in the fourth century with the "mass" of the mother church, an imitation of the ceremonious entrance of the pagan imperial court, where the assembly would stand and sing as the officials filed in formally to their appointed places, presiding over the assembled congregation. Many of the so-called "Protestant" denominations observe this practice as well. Many likewise borrow the vestments of the pagan priests, the use of incense and holy water used in purification rites, the burning of candles in worship services, and even the very hierarchical ranks of the clergy itself. Neither Yeshua nor the apostles practiced any such things.
There is a joke often spoken among Catholics, "What are the protestants protesting?" After all, they've readily retained so much of Roman Catholic error they might as well rejoin the Mother church, right? Catholicism gave us the rejection of the seventh day Sabbath, replacing it with the institution of Sunday worship. To rest on the Sabbath was actually forbidden to Christians with the Synod of Laodicea (343-381 AD), where it was referred to as "Judaizing." Christians were instructed instead to rest on "the Lord's Day" sometimes referred to in a mocking and disrespectful manner as "the Sunday Sabbath." There's no such thing as a Sunday Sabbath. They tell their congregations, "Saturday or Sunday, it doesn't matter." So much for the Fourth Commandment of the Decalogue. It was done away with as easily as the Second Commandment (idols and images), and the First Commandment where God reveals His Holy Name, yet virtually none in the Mother church or her nefarious daughters know His name, or even know God has a name. (see also - the Sabbath and the Devil, see also - Purging God's Name from the Bible)
salvation and the followers of the Harlot
"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." - Luke 12
Consider this, in terms of prophetic shadows of things to come. Rome never invaded Israel. The Jews had successfully expelled the Syrians following the Maccabean revolt which led to real independence for the nation of Israel. The first true independence in hundreds of years. It did not go well. The Jewish state was torn apart over political and economic issues that led to riots, assassinations (the dagger men), and political infighting. It got so bad that the Jewish leadership invited the Romans to come and establish order and authority in the land as they had already done in Egypt. This measure was seen originally as a temporary means of restoring peace and security. Yet instead, the Romans came, they saw, and they stayed.
Herod was appointed King of Israel due to his Roman connections and lobbying efforts. Israel rode the beast for a time.
The Roman policy was to require the worship of their pagan gods in all the lands they conquered. Israel only got an exemption to this rule by negotiating an arrangement, whereby Rome granted them religious freedom, but for a price. The price was an extra tax. Still the Jewish leadership continued to ride the beast and work with the Roman overlords in a subordinate manner. This lasted until the Romans grew weary of Jewish attempts at manipulation and religious intransigence and turned on them. In the year 70 C.E. they demolished the Temple and the city in a great slaughter.
So it will be on a larger, worldwide scale when the beast of today turns on the harlot of today and the great city falls. It should be noted that John's Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem was not the prophetic Babylon the Great.
the Harlot's good and powerful works
Some of the largest of the ecumenical family (as well as some of the smaller) engage in a very large way with praiseworthy humanitarian and charitable works. Catholic Charities and the USCCB (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) together constitute the largest religious based charitable organizations in the world. Others include Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, The Hebrew Immigrant and Aid Society, and the Church World Service and World Relief Corp., which are umbrella groups including a great many Protestant and evangelical groups and denominations.
The self-laudatory praise of these grand humanitarian efforts resonates through the churches like so much melodious good-will. Putting them most definitely at the front of the line when God's good rewards are being handed out. After all, God loves a giver. But wait a minute. Whose money are they being so generous with?
The churches set up these non-profit organizations, which in turn must produce annual reports to the IRS. It becomes a matter of public record that in fact only about 3% of the funding comes from church donations. Roughly 97% of their funding comes from the federal government. That means federal tax funds are siphoned off to fund these charities. All tax-paying Americans are made into unwitting contributors. In some cases, the organizations sub-contract the funding through other charities, making the flow of money more difficult to follow. The humanitarian organizations help provide legal representation and instruction on applying for social services all of which are also funded by American taxpayers. It's a big scam, and don't think for a minute that the non-profits are not profiting. Investigations are currently uncovering how the USCCB has been siphoning generously from the "charity funds" to pad their personal financial requirements (such as covering the cost of lawsuits stemming from sexual abuse cases).
A large percentage of the federal tax funding is used to hire lawyers to litigate asylum cases which may take years to settle. Other funding is granted to direct resettlement costs such as housing, food, medical care, etc. Another large percentage is provided to illegal aliens and refugees in the form of loans. These are typically for travel expenses. The non-profits are then permitted to collect on the loans, often hiring private collection agencies, and then allowed to pocket up to 25% of loan money collected. It's a sweet deal. There's a lot of money being thrown around, and everyone wants to get a piece of it. Even the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society which was originally set up to assist Jewish immigrants from Europe following WWII, has expanded to a world-wide enterprise, and for people of any faith.
These shakedown rackets underpin the churches vociferous roles in advocating for open borders and broader refugee resettlement programs. Pope Francis has made open borders and refugee resettlement programs one of the hallmarks of his papacy. The Jesuits are the organizers behind the 'caravans' of illegal immigrants that make their way through Central America, and Mexico, heading for the United States, and then organize settlement programs and legal assistance once they've arrived. Ha. American taxpayers are paying for all of that, without being given a voice.
The charities are being very good to themselves, while encouraging and advocating for the growing numbers of both legal and illegal border crossings into North America and Western Europe. From their pedestals of moral superiority, they agitate for regional and national sanctuaries, as long as others are paying for it. The unsuspecting taxpayers are the ones funding the whole scheme, while the church leaders accept the accolades, awards and praise for their benevolent charitable works. As always, the lawyers quietly line their pockets.
Forgive me if I am dwelling too much on the stink of Roman Catholicism. It's just because she is the Mother church, the oldest, and the biggest. A position to which she has struggled to elevate herself with great determination. However, she has spawned a great many miscreant daughters in the form of 'Protestant' churches and assorted denominations. They all follow her lead in the matters of greatest significance, and they all stand under her umbrella.
I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek. “ ‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people. - Leviticus 20
"I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd." - John 10
As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. - Matthew 24
the hand is quicker than the eye
see also - the Devil's Handmaiden goes on the Warpath
with the EU money pot
rubbing elbows with the political elite
Benedict and Castro
If every Catholic edict were consistent with Yahweh’s Word, confirming and augmenting what God has revealed, then Catholics would be standing on potentially solid ground. But when their most important teachings conflict with Scripture, changing what God has said, like changing the Sabbath to Sunday and Passover to Easter, then the whole of their 'most impressive edifice' is more likely to crash and burn like the Hindenburg.
If the Word of God cannot be trusted, then God cannot be trusted. If the Word of God is not reliable, then God is not reliable. If God’s Word was for a different people in a different time and place, then it holds no value for us today. More to the point, an organizational institution which routinely contradicts the inspired written word upon which it claims to be based, is lavishly dressed up rubbish - as are its teachings. When two things contradict one another both cannot be true. Why did God inspire the Book of Revelation? So, His people would know the things that were coming in the future, and not be fearful.
In the way of a brief preface, we should underscore a salient point. We find in Deuteronomy 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth."
The people of Israel were chosen to be separate and apart from the peoples of the nations as a special possession of God. Then along came the early church fathers of the post apostolic church leading up to the big hammer of the first Council of Nicaea. Christianity was defined in new and dynamic ways, as something apart and separate from Judaism, embracing the ways of the nations. In a sense, a turning away from the Jewish roots of Christianity, and
"What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, The molded image, a teacher of lies, That the maker of its mold should trust in it, To make mute idols? Woe to him who says to wood, 'Awake!' To silent stone, 'Arise! It shall teach!' Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, Yet in it there is no breath at all. But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him." - Habakkuk 2:18-20
mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." - Revelation 18
the Gospel of Yeshua. A turn of enormous dimensions and consequences. A wrong turn. The Nicene church was born, known today as the Holy Roman Catholic church, the largest denomination of Christianity, by far. The Mother church, who also spawned her many daughters, making up the main body of Christendom in general. (See also - Seventh Day Sabbath)
there's a whole lot o' adulteress fornicatin' going on 'round here, spiritually speakin' o' course