Continued from Babylon the Harlot, Part 1
The Bride of Christ is called a city, and that is the portion of the church which has not compromised. The other (opposite) side of that is the harlot. It is also called a city but is evil because of compromise. This is not only the apostate church in Rome, but the apostate in many other churches, as well. Again, the waters let us know that this apostate church is throughout the masses of people.
17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
We see here, that this universal apostasy (unfaithfulness to God) does not affect just one class of people. This unfaithfulness is from the very rich and powerful (kings) to the very poor.
The same way a drunken person naturally has no earthly idea what he is doing, this apostate group is so carried away with the world that they, too, do not realize the terribleness of what they are doing. God will judge this idolatrous church. Judgment begins at the house of God.
17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
This "wilderness" here, I believe, means the world. This "scarlet coloured beast" shows evil world power.
Since this woman sits upon this beast, it means that her power comes from this evil beast in Revelation 18 verse 2, Babylon the Great as It supports her. This woman, it appears, has decided to trust the powers of this world over God's power.
Seven denotes spiritually complete, ten denotes world government, and horns denote power.
You can easily see, since she is on top of this thing, she guides it, but receives her support from the beast. The word "scarlet" can be very good or very evil. In this case, it is very evil. This great evil (blasphemy) that this woman (church) has committed is spiritual adultery (the watering down or changing of the Word).
17:4 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 elegant clothing and jewelry of the woman show her wealth and attractiveness, but her activities are filthy and abominable to God. Her mystery name is Babylon the Great verse 5. Ancient Babylon is a type or prefigure of this future Babylon. Babylon the City The harlot will do what literal Babylon did in the past:
(1) Oppress God's people, and
(2) Propagate a false religious system. Much of the world's idolatry can be traced back to historical Babylon (Gen. 11:1-9), including the mother-child cult of Semiramis -Tammuz (Jer. 44:16-19; Ezek. 8:9, 14), which entered other cultures as Ashtaroth - Baal, Aphrodite-Eros, Venus-Cupid, and even Madonna-Child.
Semiramis, who was both Nimrod's wife and mother, was worshiped as the "mother of god" and a "fertility goddess" because she had to be extremely fertile to give birth to all the pagan incarnate gods that represented Nimrod.
Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
The color scheme of this one world religion as defined in Rev. 17 v.4 is most revealing: "The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet." If you are familiar with pictures of the Vatican Council as published in national magazines, you will have observed that the bishops and cardinals wore purple and scarlet robes.
Revelations 17:5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Just as God marked the 144,000 with the name of the Father, and just as the bride of Christ is marked with the name of Christ, we see here this group marked on the forehead. This name alone makes you know how evil and worldly this church is.
This worldly part of the church, though nominally Christian, is yet more faithful to the world than to God. Notice here, that the church that pretends to be Christian and is not, does more to cause harm than those worldly people who claim to be lost. The worldly church always persecutes the faithful church. This evil in the church is an abomination to God. It is a mystery how this could happen in the church.
As the fountainhead of idolatry, Babylon the harlot is the MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH; the harlot has killed many of God's saints and Christian martyrs throughout the ages, and will do so again during the Tribulation period.
17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
The faithless part of the church is guilty of the blood of the saints. In Matthew 12:20 we read that Jesus says "He that is not with me is against me". This watered down church is actually causing great problems for those who are sold out to God. We do know that Rome had a great deal to do with the death of the martyrs and even had a hand in crucifying Jesus.
Of course, the Jews (church) of that day had even more to do with the crucifixion of Jesus. However, the most blame for His death has to be placed on each of us. Sin placed Jesus on the cross. He went to the cross to crucify sin. His sacrifice stopped us from being a servant to sin.
The wonder of it all is, that with the Bible as their guide, how could these people get so far away from God and still occupy a pew? The answer is quite simple. They never read or study their Bible themselves. They allow someone else to read it and tell them what it is saying.
I truly believe that much of the problem lies at the shepherd's feet. So many preachers are overlooking the need for the spiritual growth of their people. In the 34th chapter of Ezekiel, it says God will take the sheep away from the shepherds that do not care for them. Shepherds BEWARE! We are not to be as concerned with "our" needs as we are with the needs of "our people".
We see from the last few scriptures above that this is probably speaking of Rome and the Catholic Church, who have brought the compromise. Even more than that, it is speaking to individuals in all churches who have compromised themselves.
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3 verse 5. A person claiming to be a Christian on the outside, but who is not on the inside. It's so easy to point to someone else, but in so doing we should examine ourselves as well.
17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Next week - Part 3
Written by Jennifer Auld