BABYLON: THE GREAT HARLOT
The great harlot of Revelation 17 is primarily an oppressive world system based on fallen man that ultimately traces back to the sin of Adam. It is the corporate manifestation of Adam in all of its worst attributes, the fruit of corruptible seed. Written on her forehead is the name, “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.”
In Revelation 13 we were introduced to the earth beast which has been identified primarily as the Rothschild’s banking system. It began as a guardianship for the Roman Church and has grown to be an international system. The Earth Beast Scripturally, “money is the root of all evil” and the international banking system is a large part of Mystery, Babylon but it is not the only abomination associated with world idolatry.
In 17:1 the great harlot is described as an entity who “sits of many waters”. According to 17:15 the waters are identified as “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” which would include the majority of the planet. This metaphoric concept can be verified by referring to Isaiah 57:20-21.
Isaiah 57:20-21 KJV But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (21) There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
In addition to sitting on “many waters” the harlot is also viewed as sitting on a scarlet beast as seen in 17:3. The scarlet beast can be considered as relatively equivalent to the many waters which is the earth or many nations in turmoil and perplexity. However, the beast with seven heads and ten horns is a more specific group of nations surrounded by the many nations of many waters.
The harlot in verse one is the same harlot as verse 3 where she is labeled “the mother of harlots” in addition to a “great harlot”. This harlot is the madam of a spiritual brothel for the kings of the earth. The brothel may include many people over a period of time who have contributed to the Babylon concept. Church-wise it could be the Roman Church and the many manmade Protestant denominations that have been produced.
In scripture abominations are idols or places to worship idolatry. The worship of idols or false gods was the act of committing harlotry or adultery.
2 Kings 23:13 KJV And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
A few prophets also speak of idolatry as harlotry and adultery.
Jeremiah 3:9 KJV And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
Also Jeremiah 3:8; 5:7; 7:9; 23:14; 29:23; Ezekiel 23:37; Hosea 4:2; 4:13; 4:14
Hosea and the Harlot
Hosea, the prophet, was told by God to marry a harlot. This marriage of Hosea and the harlot represented or symbolized the marriage of God to the original nation of Israel. When the nation divided after the death of Solomon thus creating the northern ten tribes called Israel and the southern two tribes called Judah, northern Israel immediately set up two golden calves as their center of worship. Hosea and his harlot marriage was to represent the ten tribes of northern Israel.
To illustrate the failed marriage of God to Israel and the divorce by God, Hosea proclaimed a divorce from his harlot wife (Hosea 3:1-2). He sent her out of his house as God sent Israel out of His house by leading the Assyrians to overthrow Israel and deport them to a place north of Nineveh around the Caspian Sea. Later Hosea redeemed his former wife from bondage (Hosea 3:1-2) as God will redeem Israel – first through the New Covenant Church and to a greater extent during the Millennial reign of Jesus and the overcomers but also due to the New Covenant. The redemption of Israel, Judah, and the entire world (living and dead) is the back story of the book of the Revelation which is revealed in the story of Hosea and the harlot. However, just as in Hosea, there will be a time of divine judgment prior to the time of considerable redemption.
The New Man
And now for a big HOWEVER: There are issues within the law for a man (including God) to remarry his former wife who was a harlot. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 disallows a man to remarry his former legally divorced wife.
Isaiah 54:4-7 KJV Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. (5) For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (6) For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. (7) For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
The NET version replaces “widowhood” with the word “abandonment”. The reason? A NET note claims the next verse states that God is her husband so therefore she is not an actual widow and won’t be until the death of Jesus.
Although divorce papers legally end marriage contracts, so does the death of the husband which allows the divorced woman to remarry.
Romans 7:2 NET For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.
The death of Jesus Christ (God the Son or God in the flesh) accomplished many events: Israel became a widow; Israel was released from the Old Covenant, Sinai, marriage contract; Christ became a new man and therefore a new husband.
God’s marriage contract with Judah was still valid, otherwise Jesus, of the tribe of Judah would have been illegitimate. However, Judah also became a widow at the death of Jesus Christ. When Jesus arose from the dead, He began to prepare for another great marriage. By definition, all true believers have legally died and become a new person.
Among many other things, the harlot is a counterfeit bride, whose children believe that she is the mother of the inheritors of the Kingdom of God. The harlot takes many forms, all ruled by the flesh through the Old Covenant.
The woman who fled into the wilderness of chapter 12 is the same great harlot in the wilderness in chapter 17, which has been discussed in greater detail at: Women in the Wilderness . The Church quickly became the Roman Church or the “little horn” of Daniel 7 speaking arrogantly and blasphemously and eventually claiming to be the voice of Jesus Christ on the earth or a type of “antichrist”. This was when the church, on account of its religious carnality, became part of the Babylonian succession of empires.
Revelation 12:6 KJV And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
The red beast that she rides is “full of blasphemous names,” showing that there are many manifestations of immorality and lawlessness in this beast. The scarlet beast is a corporate beast, for it has “seven heads and ten horns,” which are later interpreted to mean “seven mountains”. This corporate beast includes many kings or kingdoms. The great harlot consists of much more than the church, but it is certainly a part of it.
The great harlot’s clothing and accessories include: purple and scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls, holding a gold cup of abominations.
Revelation 17:4 KJV And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
The purple and scarlet robes would describe the attire of the pope and cardinals. Although gold cups have most likely been used in the Roman Church, the reference is taken from Jeremiah 51:7.
Jeremiah 51:7 KJV Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
The nations drank of the wine and went “mad” which the effects of alcohol tend to do. All human flesh is a harlot, and this flesh harlot insists that she is the bride of Christ. She insists that her daughters (children of flesh) are the rightful inheritors of the earth, based upon the original calling given to Adam prior to his sin (Genesis. 2:15). However, Adam was condemned to death, including his entire household and his descendants. The entire estate of Adam (the earth) was sold to make payment on his debt (Matthew 18: 24-25). Christ came as the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15: 45) to undo all the first Adam had done and to redeem all that had been sold into bondage to pay Adam’s debt.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23 KJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
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