. . . and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF
THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
Perhaps you have heard religious groups making the following statements:
“Let’s accept each other’s differences,”
“Doctrine is divisive,” or
“Let’s agree to disagree.”
Maybe you have read about new and popular ecumenical conferences and gatherings, and have seen news articles about recent denominational mergers.
These things, which are done under the banner of love, tolerance, and kindness, are actually the fulfillment of predictions in the Bible pointing to a one-world religion.
We know that the United Nations is taking us toward a one-world government, as is predicted in the Bible, but did you know that it is also pressuring the nations for a one-world religion?
Besides Jesus’ warnings during His teaching ministry, God’s apostle, Paul, gives us two warnings of this end-time religion:
1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
The history (and final destruction) of this one-world religious system,
referred to in the Bible as the “harlot,” is revealed to us by God in
17-18, as we will see in the following pages.
Vine's Expository Dictionary defines the New Testament Greek word as follows: musterion (3466), primarily that which is known to the mustes, “the initiated” (from mueo, “to initiate into the mysteries”; cf. Phil. 4:12, mueomai, “I have learned the secret,” rv). In the N. T. it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the Eng. word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed. Hence the terms especially associated with the subject are “made known,” “manifested,” “revealed,” “preached,” “understand,” “dispensation.”
In simple terms, God is allowing one of His angels to "reveal" information to John in a symbolic vision, a woman on a scarlet beast (Rev. 17:1-4). Rev. 17:5 continues the explanation of the vision, focusing on the woman's name. Her name is "Babylon the Great." Babylon comes from Babel and literally means “confusion” (See Gen. 11:1-9 where a confused disobedient people had their language confused by God). “Great” means high, loud, mighty, or strong. The woman on the beast is a master of great confusion. Confusion comes from willful ignorance and from false information, as when Satan confused Eve with false information in the garden. He also twisted the truths of God to confuse Eve even more. Like many people today, Eve did not even realize that she was confused.
The woman is also referred to as the "great harlot" in
17:1. A harlot is a woman who pretends she loves a man and
tells him things he wants to hear--for a price. Since the Bible portrays
the true Christians as the espoused Bride of Christ (Eph.
5:23-29; II Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7), this makes the symbolism of the
harlot easy to understand--the “bride” represents true Christianity. The
“harlot” represents the one-world religious system including all false
Christianity and false religion; her “daughters” represent the specific
denominations and religions.
THE GREAT BABYLON “MOM”
Revelation 17:6 And
I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood
of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
Revelation 18:20-24 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
It is normal for those who read these verses in Revelation concerning
the "woman who rides the beast," to try to figure out who or what she represents;
and God, our Father, wants us to do that very thing. There is an
answer to “who” or “what” this woman represents, but it is found only by
looking at all the information that the Bible gives us.
THEIR ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH
As we read the above verses we realize that there is no one person, city, country, nation, or religion guilty of all the "blood of the saints, the witnesses of Jesus, . . . and apostles, and prophets." The Jews killed their prophets and some of the apostles and saints. First century Rome was guilty of murdering and torturing other apostles, prophets, and saints. This practice continued for the next four hundred years. Then, when the empire fell, the Roman Catholic Church, started by Constantine in the fourth century, began to rule, ushering in an unparalleled time of brutal torture and murder known as the Dark Ages (A.D. 500 to 1500). Publications such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, The Trail of Blood, by J.M. Carroll, and the historical works of men such as Will Durant, record the untold millions tortured and murdered during these years by the Roman Catholic Church and other so-called Christian organizations. History records that even the Reformers, such as Luther and Calvin, murdered and tortured those who disagreed with their baby baptism and literal body and blood “for the remission of sins” sacraments. Adolf Hitler, a Catholic who revered Martin Luther, carried out Luther’s teachings (see Vol. 47 of Luther’s Works: The Jews and Their Lies) in the infamous Jewish Holocaust of the 1940’s. Since then, countries such as China, the Sudan, Russia, etc. have also tortured and murdered millions of Christians. Communists and radical Muslims continue even to this day to murder and torture Christians. In Ireland professing Christians are killing each other. The murder of God's people, and the murder of people by those who claim to be God’s people, goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. (Cain, whether a disobedient believer or false believer, worshipped the one true God, had a verbal face-to-face relationship with that God, and was even protected by God.)
The great harlot is not a city, nation, or specific religion, as some may think; but a religious system incorporating pagan religions, false professing believers, and including disobedient true believers, originating with Cain himself. In other words, the harlot represents all past, present, and future religions, whether pagan or false Christian. The two groups of people excluded from the "harlot" are the true obedient believers and those people who already worship Satan. This should help us to understand Rev. 17:17, where it is stated that God has "put in their (antichrist and the ten nations) hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose," in that God and antichrist both hate the "harlot." There are some disobedient true believers who have gotten themselves caught up in this confusion, as there always have been from the beginning. Later, we will look at God's warning to them.
Note: In I Cor. 3:1-3, some disobedient,
sinful “saints” of Corinth (true believers) are referred to three times
as “carnal,” KJV; or “fleshly,” NASB.
THE BEAST THAT CARRIES HER
Rev. 17:7 states that the beast that carries the harlot has seven heads and ten horns. These heads and horns represent the historical world rulers and the ten-nation European Confederation (the revived Roman Empire predicted in Dan. 7:7-8, 20-26). Rev. 17:10 declares that these seven heads are seven kings. "Five (kings) have fallen," and they are: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Mede-Persia, and Greece; “one is”: Rome--the sixth; "the other has yet to come": revived Rome (the ten-nation European Confederation) with antichrist--the seventh. This shows that the harlot not only originated with Cain, but has been supported or "carried" by all the world rulers. Even antichrist will tolerate this false religious system for a while--three and one-half years. After that, in Rev. 17:16, the ten-nation European Confederation gives its power to antichrist (the beast) after he returns from the dead (Rev. 13:12-14; 17:11), and together they turn against the harlot. They turn against her because she represents all religious worship (except that of the obedient saints), and antichrist tolerates no worship except of himself. True Christians and anyone else refusing to take the mark and worship the beast will be ordered to be put to death (Rev. 6:9; 13:15; 20:4).
THE GREAT CITY SYSTEM
In Rev. 17:18 "the woman" Babylon, is referred to as the "great city." This has prompted many into trying to guess which "city" of the world it might be--New York? Rome? Jerusalem? There is not one city that has always reigned over the kings of the earth, but there is a "system" that has reigned over them--religious confusion.
The word "city" used in the N.T. is translated from the Greek word "polis."
We derive our words "police" and "political" from that word. The
police and the government are not cities, but systems. "System" is a better
word to help us understand the harlot. In Rev.
17:6 we see the ten-nation European Revived Roman Empire working
with antichrist to destroy the harlot. Why does antichrist, who is
now indwelled by Satan, (the dragon, Rev. 12:9, 13:4)
want to destroy religious confusion, especially when Satan is the author
of confusion? Satan, who has had to be content with confusing people
and blinding their minds (II Cor. 10:4), is
now cast down to the earth, and is allowed to demand total and absolute
worship (Rev. 13:4-8). Will antichrist
(the beast, indwelt by Satan) completely destroy New York City or Rome?
Will he burn the local malls, Wal-Mart, Pick 'n Save, Ace Hardware, and
the local gas stations? Not likely. Where is “the voice of the bridegroom
and bride” heard? In places of worship, of course. His armies will destroy
the Muslim mosques, the Buddhist temples, the Kingdom Halls, Jewish temples,
Mormon and Masonic temples, Al-anon clubs, Catholic, Lutheran, and Presbyterian
churches, etcetera, and there will be no atheists or agnostics
under his rule. ALL MUST WORSHIP HIM!
THE RICH WEEP FOR THE HARLOT
In Rev. 18: 9-19 there is mourning by different
people who have become rich through the harlot. That is because there
is a lot of money to be made in the name of religion. The financial
holdings of the Catholic Church are estimated to exceed those of the combined
top six corporations of America. These who weep have not become rich
from cities such as New York, or L.A., or Rome, but from the "system" that
is in, and affects, all the cities of the world.
HARLOT DAUGHTERS PREDICTED
say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord,
did we not prophesy in Your name, and in
Your name cast out demons, and in
Your name perform many miracles?’
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I
knew you; depart from Me, you
who practice lawlessness.’
One of the first things Jesus does in His teaching ministry is to give a warning that there will be many people calling Him "LORD" and doing things in "HIS NAME" and yet He will say to them, “I NEVER KNEW YOU!" They are false Christians!
Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
At the end of Jesus' ministry, He once again warns His followers not to be confused or misled by the “many” false Christians that are coming.
Acts 15:1,5 Some
men came down from Judea and
began teaching the brethren,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot
be saved.” But some of the sect of the Pharisees who
had believed stood up, saying,
“It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law
Luke records, in the above verses, Jesus' predictions coming true.
Galatians 2:4 But
it was because of the false brethren
secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we
have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
Here Paul refers to the men in Acts 15:1,5 as false brethren.
2 Corinthians 11:26 I have been
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers
from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers
in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers
among false brethren;
In this verse Paul refers to other false brethren as dangerous to him.
2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false
teachers among you, who
will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who
bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Peter describes the carnal or false Christians as false teachers and false prophets.
Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed,
those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly
persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our
only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude states that the carnal or false Christians are ungodly people who have crept in.
BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS IN THE HARLOT CHURCH
Revelation 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
It is sad but true that down through the ages people have become saved--born-again--but have continued to refuse to come out of their pagan
religions or false Christian churches. They would give you all sorts of
reasons, from evangelism to family ties, all of which would be a stench
to God. The verse above records God's final warning to these people. If
they do not come out of their false churches, they will be considered condemned,
in that they "participate in her sins," and they will "receive of her plagues."
This is what all disobedient Christians can expect as discipline on earth
and at the Judgment Seat of Christ when they fellowship with unbelievers,
and unsaved or worldly churches.
True believers are those people who understand that they have broken God’s laws and deserve to be punished forever in flames; that they were dead in their sins and needed to be “born-again,” as Jesus said. They also understand that a loving God became a human being--Jesus Christ--and that He went through agonizing torture before the cross, on the cross, and after the cross, for three days and nights in the flames of Hades paying for all their sins--past, present, and future, purchasing for them the free gift of eternal life, and resurrecting from the dead as He said He would. True believers know that because of Jesus alone they are absolutely sure of going to heaven, although they always will deserve to be in hell. They can never lose, sin away, reject, or return eternal salvation. They have salvation, not “probation!” (John 1:1-14; 3:3-18; 4:14; 5:22-24; 10:26-30; 14:6)