Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bible Prophecy: The Great Whore of Babylon

Bible Prophecy: The Great Whore of Babylon

a photo of the book The Apocalypse: The End of Days Prophecy by Erika Grey Sample Chapter 5 THE GREAT WHORE OF BABYLON

This is a Sample- Chapter 5


Revelation, Chapter 17, describes the Great Whore of Babylon, who represents false religion. Babylon’s government and religion aspects bring down God’s judgment.  

While political Babylon’s judgment occurs just prior to the battle at Armageddon and results from the Antichrist’s reign, religious Babylon’s annihilation comes through the Antichrist and his federation of kings. The Antichrist abolishes religion, and persecutes its followers for not worshiping him as god.  In Dwight Pentecost’s Things To Come: A Study of Bible Eschatology, Pentecost quotes Scofield, who confirms: “Two ‘Babylons’ are to be distinguished in the Revelation…Ecclesiastical Babylon is ‘the great whore’(Rev. 17:1), and is destroyed by political Babylon (Rev. 17:15-18), that the beast may be the alone object of worship (II Thess. 2:3, 4; Rev. 13:15).”

As one reviews history, one realizes the identity of the woman in Revelation Chapter 17.  She sits upon many waters, and is arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls.  Her hand holds a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.  Upon her head one sees words written in capital letters: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Drunk with the blood of the saints (martyrs) she sits upon seven hills (Rev. 17:4-5, 9).

Harlotry, in the Bible, equals idolatry.  When Israel worshiped other gods, God compared the nation to a harlot.  The book of Hosea elaborates on this precept by its description of an adulterous wife and a faithful

Husband, symbolic of the unfaithfulness of Israel to God through idolatry. The bride of Christ is pure and holy, and she embraces truth.  The harlot symbolizes all false teaching.  She leads individuals away from the true God, to herself.  The mother of harlots encompasses all teachings that diametrically opposes the truth of Jesus Christ.

Idolatry, immorality, and sorcery, imprinted Babylonian society. The nation was famous throughout the ancient world for astronomy.  They were primarily astrologers.  Sorcerers and necromancers were more popular than physicians.  and the interpretation of dreams were common practice.

Hepatoscopy, a favorite Babylonian method of divination, involved examining the livers of animals.  Ezekiel confirms these Babylonian practices in declaring: “For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows; he consults the images; he looks at the liver” (Ezek.21:21).   Heavily superstitious; the Babylonians were idolatrous, with innumerable gods.  Historian Will Durant numbered their gods around 65,000.

The Babylonians worshiped one woman in particular.  This woman is Ishtar, whom the Babylonians worshiped for being the mother of God. Her titles include “The Virgin,” “The Holy Virgin,” and “The Virgin Mother.” Ishtar represented the divinity of bounteous motherhood.  Those who worshiped her considered her a goddess of war as well as love.  She stood over prostitutes as well as mothers.  She called herself a caring courtesan.  Babylonians represented Ishtar sometimes as a bearded bisexual deity, and  other times as a nude female offering her breasts to suck.  Though Babylonians referred to her as “The Virgin,” this merely meant that her illicit lovers were free from all bonds of wedlock.

Revelation 18:7 states: “She says in her heart, I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.” Ancient Babylonian prayers referred to her as “Queen of all cities, Queen of Heaven and Earth,…Ishtar is great! Ishtar is Queen! My lady is exalted; my Lady is Queen.”  Revelation 17:16 names her “the whore. In later centuries, among Babylon’s enemies, the upper classes called her the “whore of Babylon.”

False Religion

 False religion led the Israelites from the true God to its teachings. Babylon’s religious symbols and doctrines bore many similarities to those taught in the Scriptures, in part because the Jews lived within Babylonia and Jewish doctrine influenced their myths.  Ancient Jews embraced the Babylonian religion, and God rebuked the Jews for following its practices.

During Ahab’s reign in Israel’s northern kingdom, Jezebel, the Phoenician princess, instituted Baal worship and murdered the prophets of God.  Baal was the Sun-god, the Life-Giving One, equivalent to Tammuz.  Baal worship was part of Babylonian society, and caused God's judgment on Israel.  In Jeremiah 44:17-20, the Jews acknowledged to Jeremiah that they burned incense, and gave drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.  This passage mentions the “Queen of Heaven” four times.  Four in the Bible represents the number of man, and man invented religion.

From Babylon, this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations, and the symbols remained similar, including the image of the Queen of Heaven with a baby in her arms.  Ashtoreth and Tammuz became Isis and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and bore many other names.

The Babylonian religion merged with Christianity during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  These combined beliefs became part of the Catholic Church.  Historians Will and Ariel Durant recorded that, “Babylonian altars frequently sacrificed a lamb, as the substitute for man who gave it in exchange for his life… priests carried from sanctuary to sanctuary the image of Mardak, and performed the sacred drama of his death and resurrection. They anointed the idols with sweet-scented oils, burned incense before them, and clothed them with rich vestments.”

The woman in Revelation 17 sits dressed as a harlot leading to herself the hearts of men.  Revelation 17:2 tells us that the world’s kings commit fornication with the Great Whore.  The fornication committed is not merely physical, but spiritual adultery.  As men deny the true church of Jesus Christ by embracing the harlot's false teaching, they become corrupt in unholy union.

The Whore’s Judgment

In the end times, the Great Whore sits upon the Beast and is joined to his Kingdom. Later the Antichrist and his federation of kings destroy her. They carry her off, strip her naked and set her on fire.  Her presence initially indicates political influence.  Her destruction by the Beast reveals that she exercises limited power over the Antichrist and his federation of kings.  Though present in the kingdom’s early stages, and having influence, she does not remain long after his government becomes powerful.  Her destruction occurs when the Antichrist claims to be god and demands worship of him alone.  His ideology diametrically opposes her precepts.  All religions threaten his imposed laws.

Revelation 17 and Isaiah 47 describes the Great Whore's judgment by God.  In verse 6, the Scriptures describe her as "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs."  Verse 7 describes the Beast "carrying her."  Initially, the Bible pictures the woman sitting on the Beast—joined to his kingdom—which reveals that she has influence over the Beast.  Later, they carry her, indicating that she grows into a burden, and in verses 16 and 17 the Bible tells us: "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.

The Whore's judgment comes from God.  Making her desolate and naked, eating her flesh, and burning her with fire indicate that violence will be committed against her—such as spoiling the treasures of her churches, taking possession of her land, burning her Bibles, religious literature, statues, paraphernalia, and buildings, and persecuting her followers so that the Antichrist alone can be the sole object of worship.  All religions then become a threat to him, and he sets out to remove them from the face of the earth.

In the past century, many dictatorships arose and each of them eliminated freedom of religion and speech as the state and the dictator act as the objects of one’s sole dedication.  The Antichrist will limit these freedoms on a worldwide scale and the nations which do not willingly go along he will conquer.

The Revelation prophecy  depicts the Whore of Babylon and the Beast operating separately. The Whore’s location, religious teachings and influence over the area of the Beast intertwines them.  Revelation 17:7 states that the beast “carries” the woman.  The verse uses bastazo, the Greek word for carries which according to Strong’s Lexicon means:  1) to take up with the hands, 2) to take up in order to carry or bear, to put upon one's self (something) to be carried, a) to bear what is burdensome, 3) to bear, to carry, a) to carry on one's person, b) to sustain, i.e. uphold, support, 4) to bear away, carry off.

This woman clearly becomes a burden to these kings and the Scripture tells us “these shall hate the Whore.” Verse 17 explains that they give their allegiance to the Beast who deifies himself and establishes his own religion (Dan. 11:39).   The Revelation specifies that the woman sits on the Beast because she shares the same location.  Her teachings influence the leaders and people of the land.

Religion and The EU’s Formation

The Bible depicts the Whore sitting on the Beast, signifying that she plays a principal role.  Religion does play a part in European politics. Its teachings provided the ideology that prompted the European Union’s formation.  Religion has a voice in European politics through the Christian Democratic and Socialist political parties, which elect statesmen who share their beliefs. The leaders of these parties become the political representatives of their churches.  During the French Revolution, as Democracy spread through Europe, so did Christian political parties.  Most of these parties were Catholic. The Christian Democratic political movement defended the Church’s interests. This political party assumed responsibility for the social services that the Church was no longer in a position to provide.

The Whore in part sits on the Beast  through the Christian political parties that are responsible for the European Union’s formation and evolution.  While Christian doctrine founded America, the Whore’s precepts provide the ideological basis for the formation of the EU.

Catholic ideals influenced the European Union’s founders. Each were exemplary Catholics, hunted by Nazis and Fascists during World War II. French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and Alcide de Gasperi, who founded the Christian Democratic Party in Italy, believed that the party man remained linked with his spiritual mother, the Church.  Their theological convictions influenced his public and private actions.

Robert Schuman had wanted to become a priest, but gave the idea up to serve his faith in other ways.  For him, politics was a priestly duty.  Pope Pius XII, who held strong political beliefs, sought to aid the cause of peace with the help of fellow Catholics.  He and the leaders of the Christian Democratic parties formulated a plan.  For the first time, leaders of the Catholic Church headed the French, Italian, and German governments.  The Christian Democratic political parties aroused hopes of a new Christianity.  The movement arranged religious gatherings where they planned political action.  Vatican Europe became part of the political scene.

Europe, devastated by two world wars, directly felt the threat of two atheistic ideologies—communism and fascism.  The European government leaders believed that the only way to have peace among nations would be if the nations aligned themselves in economic and political pursuits.  Schuman proposed that France and Germany create a Coal and Steel Community, encompassing the two nation’s production.  Konrad Adenauer welcomed the idea as a way to prevent war between these two nations.  They invited other nations to join as well.

On May 9, 1950, the Schuman Declaration led to the first European Union.  On April 18, 1951, European leaders signed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty in Paris.

The entire Franco-German production of coal and steel resided under a higher authority. Its decisions bound France, Germany, and other member countries.  A Council represented the interests of the Member States.  The common assembly later became the Court of Justice.  In their view, this foundation of a European federation was vital to the preservation of peace. The union would prevent war.

The French and German industries urgently needed rebuilding. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) would create growth.  This treaty marked the birth of the European Union.   Ratified by the governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg, the ECSC began functioning in 1952.  It represented a revolutionary approach to foreign relations, as the first international organization with a federal governing body.

The ECSC led to the drafting of the EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community) and Common Market Treaties. On March 25, 1957, European founders signed the EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community) and the Common Market Treaties in Rome on one of its seven hills—Capitoline Hill.  What is worth noting is that Revelation 17:9 states, “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. This is Rome, which has seven hills.  The first treaty establishing the European Union was signed on one of the hills mentioned in Revelation 17, and thus evidences the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Religion influenced the European Union’s construction through political leaders who embraced its teachings.  These men acted as key players in the Union’s formation. They held the highest positions in its newly established organizations.  Robert Schuman became the first president of the European Commission in 1958. Alcide de Gasperi held the presidential post of the ECSC Common Assembly in 1954.

Monsignor Pierre Raffin, the Bishop of Metz, in Schuman’s native Lorraine, launched a campaign for his beatification; the first step on the way to sainthood.  Some Christian Democratic members of the EU Parliament backed the idea.  The Catholic Church took the steps to make Schuman a Saint. The Church not only played a role in the formation of the EU also in its evolution.

The Role of the Catholic Church and the European Union

Discussions during the 1970s about creating a formalized connection between the Bishops' Conferences and the European Community led to the decision, on the eve of the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979, to establish COMECE: the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. It is made up of Bishops delegated by the 2 6 Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the EU, and it has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels.

COMECE was launched in  March 1980 to monitor and analyzes the political process of the EU. It informs the Church on developing EU policy and laws. It also maintains dialogue with the EU through annual Summit meetings with religious and political leaders and holds conferences and takes part in European Commission consultations.

Other churches joined the Catholic church in influencing the evolving Union.  In the summer of 1998, the United Methodist News Service issued a press release stating that European churches were preparing to play a major role in the continued development of the EU.  The Conference of European Churches comprised 123 different church bodies, and also cooperated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic thought provides the ideological basis for a united Europe, and presents itself as a political point of reference.  The Church considered itself the spiritual backbone of the evolving European Union.  According to See Change, a publication for Catholic organizations, which reports on how the hierarchy of the Catholic Church involves itself in public policy debates:

It seems that the bishops want the European Union to become an extension of the church, by confirming that European civilization, in the words of the pope, “emerged because the seed of Christianity was planted deep in Europe’s soil.” (Zenit, “Popes, proposals for European Charter of human rights, “September 24, 2000.)

During Pope John Paul, II State of the World address in 2003, he declared concerning the European Union: “The Holy See and all the Christian Churches have urged those drawing up the future Constitutional Treaty of the European Union to include a reference to Churches and religious institutions.”     According to United Press International, the Pope was “lobbying European governments to officially recognize the European Union’s Christian roots,” and they reported on the Catholic Church’s efforts to work a strong Christian reference into the preamble of the EU Constitution. The Vatican argues that “Christianity’s fundamental role in shaping European culture should be acknowledged in what is destined to become the European Union’s key document.”

The Catholic Church even demanded that the EU enshrine Sunday observance into law.  In October of 2009, the Catholic News Service reported Pope Benedict XVI asserted that the— values Christianity fostered on the continent -are what inspired the movement toward European unity and are the only guarantee of its success.

The annual meetings with religious leaders were launched by EU Commission President Barroso in 2005. At the first conference of this type, the religious leaders only met with the President of the European Commission. In 2006, the then President of the Council attended the meeting. Since 2007, the representatives of the churches and faith communities are received by the three presidents of the European institutions.

The church succeeded in its endeavors. The Lisbon Treaty created legislation for the first time in the history of the EU, that formulized dialogue between the EU and the Churches and religious communities.

The Lisbon Treaty signed in 2007, went into force on January 1, 2009 added Article 17(3), which strengthens the ‘specific contribution' made by Churches and religious communities to European integration.  Article 17 (actually of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, inserted there by the Lisbon Treaty), reads as follows:

The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.

  1. The Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organizations.

  2. Recognizing their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organizations.

Thus, the Harlot officially, legally is part of the Beast.  This legislation was formalized due to the churches' demands.

Pope Francis during a meeting with COMECE assured the COMECE bishops of his interest in and support for their mission.

He showed a profound appreciation of the Christian roots of Europe and asked the bishops to convey a message of encouragement to all who work to further the European project. He emphasized how essential it was to bear witness to God, especially in the current European situation. Unlike other popes, Pope Francis has already been photographed meeting various EU member country's leaders, including the EU Commission President on issues.

The woman sitting on the Beast and her influence is clearly evident.   So much so you can go online and easily find a good deal written on “European Union- Holy See Relations,” and another entry titled, “The European Union and the Catholic Church.” The Catholic Church has had such an influence on the EU that even its principle of subsidiary that says the state should not take on what the church and other organizations close to the people can do is taken from Catholic theology and derive from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and Pius IX.

Dr. Ian Paisley of the Institute of Protestant Studies, whose web site (http://www.ianpaisley.org/about.asp) promotes, defends, and maintains Bible Protestantism in Europe, exposes the papacy as the Beast of Revelation and offers some enlightening facts.  His article “The Vacant Seat Number 666 in the European Union Parliament,” records:

The prophetic significance of the European Union has been revealed as the saga unfolds. First, the sign which it chose as its symbol was the woman riding the Beast.  This comes from a prophecy in Revelation 17.  The depiction of the harlot woman was reproduced on the centenary stamp of the European Union, in a huge painting in the Parliament’s new building in Brussels, and by a large sculpture outside the new EU Council of Ministers Office in Brussels.  The new European coinage, the euro, bears the same insignia. The Tower of Babel has been used on the posters emanating from Europe – a truly suggestive prophetic sign. Now, a massive Crystal Palace tower (officially called the Tower Building) houses the Fifth Parliament of Europe….

The European Union bases many of its symbols on pagan myths; the very name Europe is from the Greek mythological Europa, a Phoenician noble woman kidnapped by Zeus who came to her as a bull and took her to the island of Crete where she became queen.  Ian Paisley pointed out the similarity of Revelation Chapter 17 depiction of the harlot riding the beast, and the EU’s woman seated on the bull, which are outside several of the European Union's institutions, as well as on the Greek euro coin. Europa also serves as the national personification for Europe.

Social Babylon

God condemned all three aspects of Babylonian society: political, religious, and social.  Besides being a hub for international trade, and religiously devoted to the Queen of Heaven, Babylon was immortal, steeped in superstition, divination, idolatry, and sexual promiscuity.  The morals of Babylon shocked Alexander the Great, himself  a drunkard.  Temple prostitutes practiced sacred prostitution in Babylon until abolished by Constantine.  Babylonians engaged in considerable premarital experience.  Poor men prostituted their daughters for money. The indulgence in fleshly pleasures abounded.

Babylonian men acted effeminate.  They wore their hair as long as the women did, dyed and curled it, perfumed their flesh, rouged their cheeks, and adorned themselves with necklaces, bangles, earrings, and pendants. This also describes many of today’s rock groups, transvestites, transsexuals, and homosexual drag queens.

While all kinds of sin abounds in the world European society is known for allowing practices that the rest of the industrialized world deems sinful. They are a also a society steeped superstition, divination, the practice of astrology, faith healing, and psalmists.

Amsterdam has long been known for its legalized marijuana smoking and brothels with scantily-clad  prostitutes sitting in front of windows advertising themselves for customers.  Germany just opened its first beastiology brothel and aims to normalize sex with animals as an alternative lifestyle.

The Green parties in Europe have revived a form of idolatry that originated with the Greeks: earth worship.  To the Greeks, she was a goddess; earth as mother.  Green policies for the preservation of the earth began in West Germany, spread through Europe and then into America. Various rock music trends, also began in Europe. These are just a few examples.

Political Babylon’s Foretold Destruction

The Scriptures refer to Babylon as a “she.” International trade characterizes her. God cites her as a deceiver of nations, and the means by which the merchants and great men of the earth trade (Revelation 18:7,23). The European Union’s political ideology derives from the Whore’s teachings.  The act of uniting Europe to prevent war among its nations finds its roots in religious teachings.  Nations will not wage war against one another while united in economic alliance.  If nations align with one another they will eliminate war and achieve peace.  The deception exists in the premise that worldwide democracy will ensure peace, justice, and human rights.

Revelation 18:11-15 lists twenty-seven exported goods combined with categories of products.  The 28th phrase lists “souls of men.” Verse 23 concludes with: “For by thy sorceries were all the nations deceived.”  The Scriptures teach that man is sinful, and because of his nature, there will be no peace on earth until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Jeremiah foretold Babylon’s judgment in the latter days.  Just as Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem and oppressed the Jews, the Antichrist will do the same(Jeremiah 50:30).  When the Antichrist treads down the nations, they become angry.  Jeremiah 51:7 states: Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand that made all the earth drunk: The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged.”

Revelation 17:4 tells us that abominations and filthiness of fornication fill the gold cup in her hand.  The kings of the earth commit fornication with her and become drunk with the wine of her fornication.  Revelation 18:3 adds that “the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”  The rest of the chapter predicts her destruction. The remaining passages refer to her as the hub for trade for the earth’s merchants.  Upon her destruction, these merchants mourn, for they can no longer trade with her.

Part of Babylon’s judgment comes through the Antichrist and his kings who abolish religion.  The other part of Babylon’s judgment comes from the direct hand of God.

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